Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge {Vol. VI}

1. What have you 'fallen for' recently?

Zucchini! I hated it as a child. But, now I love it. I eat it several times a week. And since I have to eat gluten free, zoodles have become my favorite noodle replacement.

2. What's something you're 'squirreling away' for later?

Seriously, it should be money. But, I don't think I am squirreling away anything... How about an idea for a book I want to write? I just have that put away for a later time.

3. How do you like your apples? Sweet? Tart? Crisp? Cooked? Apples are one of the superfoods for often do you eat an apple either plain or as part of a favorite recipe? What's your favorite variety?

I like sweet, crisp apples. I like Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, and Fuji apples to eat raw. In baking and cooking, I prefer Granny Smith Apples. I made some delicious Apple BBQ Pork Chops a while back. It was a hit. I want to try my hand at homemade applesauce. 

4. According to Fodor's the ten best fall foliage trips in the US of A are-Aspen ColoradoThe Catskills New York, The Berkshires Massachusetts, Columbia River Gorge Oregon, Green Mountain Byway Vermont, Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway New Mexico, Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, Upper Peninsula Michigan, Lake of the Ozarks Missouri, and Glacier National Park Montana. Which would you most like to visit this fall and why?

Well, the Great Smoky Mountains of NC and TN are close to me. However I would love to see the Catskills in New York. That has always been a dream of mine. 

Isn't it beautiful? This is Kaaterskill Falls in the eastern part of the Catskills.
 photo Kaaterskill_falls_catskill_windham_zpsxhp9bsol.jpg

5. The topic of legalizing marijuana was raised in the most recent televised political debate so let's wade in too. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Four states have legalize marijuana for recreational use. Your thoughts?

Oh, where do I begin? First of all, I am allergic to marijuana. I cannot be near it, I cannot be near you when you smoke it, I cannot even smell it on you or in the air. I get a migraine, my face goes numb, my chest tightens, and if I am exposed to it too long, I start having difficulty breathing. With that being said, it is a problem for me. Now, I had to take Physiological Psychology. Part of that class was to discuss the effects of substances on the brain. To me, the current research proposes effects that are not worth the "high". After reading the research performed, I have no clue why people would want to risk it. As for using it for medical purposes, I am still on the fence. Obviously, it would never be an option for me, 

6. Are you okay to watch a movie already in progress or do you need to always see it from the beginning? How about jumping into a TV series somewhere in the middle? Is that okay? 

I can watch a movie already in progress, but do not prefer it. I do not like jumping into the middle of a series. I want to watch TV series from the beginning; it is so much easier to understand that way. 

7. Thursday (September 24) is National Punctuation Day. What rule of punctuation trips you up most often? What rule of punctuation, when broken by someone else, bugs you the most?

I'm not sure which rule of punctuation trips me up most often. Any type of punctuation rule breaking bugs me. However, not using punctuation at all is the worst for me. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Today is my second - born's 13th birthday. I am now the mom of TWO teenage daughters! Her soul is much like mine who prefers to wear black, feels uncomfortable in skirts/dresses and prefers rock music. She loves frappuccinos. Her favorite shows are The Walking Dead, Chicago PD, and Arrow. She dreams of going to LSU and being an architect. She is named after 3 of the most amazing women who left my life too soon.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Man Behind the Blog {Volume II}

{Photo: © Crystal @ The Italian Bella Diaries, 2012}

1. What is your all time favorite food?

Coconut Pie
(the one thing I cannot make)
2. Who is the cook between you and your significant other?

Significant Other
(he pointed at me with that "Is this even a question?" look)

3. What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?


 photo Durian_zpsxipvsvdn.jpg
{Photo from Wikipedia}
(this is an Asian fruit that smells like onion. He says that it taste like one too.)

4. Are there any foods that you absolutely detest?

(his exact words were "That nasty $h*t we just looked up the name of)

5. What is your favorite local, little-known, or hole in the wall place to eat?

Hap's Grill
(I have never eaten there so I have no clue about it)

Linked up with Heavens to Betsy and her The Guys Behind the Blog link up. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge {Vol. V}

1.  I recently read here about four secrets to happiness from around the world. They were-

Overcome your fears by facing them head on, allow yourself to relax and reset, work to live versus living to work, and find the good in life. Not sure if these are the actual secret to happiness, but which of the four do you struggle with most? Which one comes most easily to you?

The one I struggle with the most is allowing myself to relax and reset. Relaxing just isn't an option for me. The easiest one for me is finding the good in life. I always try to find the positives in situations. 

2. How would you spend a found $20 bill today?

FlavorGod seaonings, hands down. It's the only seasonings I use on my food. 

3. Ego trip, power trip, guilt trip, round trip, trip the light fantastic, or trip over your own two feet...which 'trip' have you experienced or dealt with most recently? Explain.

Trip over my own feet. I tripped and almost fell walking from the living room to the kitchen. It's actually a typical occurrence for me. 

4. If you could master any physical skill in the world what would it be, and how would you use that skill?

I looked here to figure out what physical skill I would want. From this list I would pick balance. And I would use it to keep myself from twisting my ankle, yet again. 

5. As July draws to a close, let's take inventory of our summer fun. Since the official first day of (North American) summer (June 20th) have you...

been swimming?  Nope
enjoyed an ice cream cone? I don't eat ice cream, but I have had "ice cream" made from coconut milk
seen a summer blockbuster? Nope
camped? Nope
eaten corn on the cob? I don't eat corn
gardened? Nope
deliberately unplugged? Nope. I have to stay connected for school
watched a ballgame? On TV
picked fruit off the vine? No
taken a road trip? No
read a book?  Yes

Are any of these activities on your must-do-before-summer-ends list?
Not really. 

6. The Republican Presidential candidates will debate on August 6th. What's your question?

Hmmmm..... I have way too many questions I would ask. It's really hard to narrow it down to one. When I watch debates, I really want to see how the candidates stand on all the issues. 

7. What's your most listened to song so far this summer?

Uma Thurman by Fall Out Boy

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

My birthday was yesterday, I did nothing to celebrate because I never do. I turned 25, again. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

9 Tips for 9 Months

I have had seven pregnancies. I am the mother of seven children (I had some pregnancy losses). To say the least, I am considered an "unofficial expert" in pregnancy. Through the years, friends have come to me for advice on different situations in pregnancy. From symptoms to cravings to morning sickness to labor, I have learned how to deal with them all.

Below you will find nine tips on dealing with the ups and downs of pregnancy.

1. Every pregnancy is different. I have had seven pregnancies and I never had two pregnancies alike. So, please remember that what worked for me may not work for you. What works for you may not work for your best friend. There is no perfect and universal way for handling symptoms and problems during a pregnancy. There are only suggestions. This is the single most important tip for pregnancy.

2. Pick a doctor that you like and that respects your choices. Picking your doctor is the first and one of the most important decisions you will make. Pick a doctor that you are comfortable with and that will listen to you, respect the decisions you make concerning your pregnancy, and take the time to talk to you about your concerns and questions. Nothing is more frustrating than the doctor who rushes in and out and never legitimately addresses your questions.

3. Nausea and morning sickness. Nausea and morning sickness is a common problem in pregnancy. This can range from very mild to severe. It is estimated that around 75% of pregnant women suffer from morning sickness. While this ailment normally occurs during the first trimester, some women suffer through the second and third trimesters as well. I was lucky that in all my pregnancies, I never suffered from true morning sickness. I did have nausea during my sixth pregnancy. My doctor did suggest an anti-nausea medication only as a last resort. I tried other methods first. One of the first things I did was try the ginger suggestion. I began to use fresh ginger in my food. I also kept ginger snaps by my bed to eat as soon as I woke up. I hoped the ginger in them would help first thing. 

 photo ginger_zps1b5k77uf.jpg
{Photos from here and here}

We also increased my Vitamin B6 and B12 to help with my nausea. If you try all the alternatives and still need to take a medication, please research all you can about it. Be sure to learn all the risks and side effects of any medication prescribed to you. This has become a big concern since it has come out that the prescription medication Zofran is linked to side effects such as cleft palate and heart defects on babies.

4. Activity. Even though you are pregnant, you can still participate in physical activities. During my second pregnancy, I walked a lot. As in miles a day. I stayed fit and healthy during that pregnancy. During my sixth pregnancy (second set of twins), I was told by someone that being in the pool was not good for me during pregnancy. I asked my doctor and was told that being in the pool was fine and actually good for me. Talk to your doctor about activities. I know women who stay very physically active during pregnancy. 

5. Research. I know the last thing you want to do is research, but ultimately every decision you make affects you and your baby. It's always important to make informed decisions. This is another time when having a fantastic doctor is helpful.

6. Appointments. With a normal pregnancy, the minimum number of appointments is around 14. This number increases when you go in for emergency appointments (not feeling well, possible problems) or when you have a high - risk pregnancy. My second pregnancy was considered "normal" but of course, being a young first time mother I was going in for minor things because I had no idea what was going on (do you really want to know how many times I thought I was in labor?). My other pregnancies were all high-risk; therefore, I had more appointments than normal and even had some appointments with specialists. Of course, a smart phone or tablet is available now to help pass the time in waiting rooms. Other options include bringing a book or a notepad (make to do lists, make notes, etc). Having something to pass the time is nice if you have to take the 3-hour glucose test (stuck there for over 3 hours? Definitely need something to do). Also, for your actual check-up appointments be sure to bring a list of questions or concerns for your care provider. You wouldn't believe how many times I got home and remembered questions I had wanted to ask my doctor. Also, do not be scared to ask questions about any test or procedure performed on you. 

7. Unwanted Questions/Advice. No matter how many times you have been pregnant, there is always some unwanted questions or advice. I've learned that when the advice starts rolling in, it's best to just listen and then decide if you wish to follow it. If the advice is something I know I won't follow (goes against my personal beliefs), I just acknowledge it and then continue on. I use to argue with it, but as time went on I realized that acknowledging and moving on was a better option. While you will get advice that makes you want to shake your head, you can learn some valuable information and tips from many people. 

8. Hydration. For the record, dehydration can cause contractions. It is important to stay hydrated. Talk to your doctor about the amount of water you should be consuming. Personally, I was drinking about a gallon of water a day for most of my pregnancies. I had a 32 oz, plastic cup that made sure I filled up and drank at least 3 times a day. I also ended up getting dehydrated overnight while I was sleeping during one of my pregnancies. I would freeze a bottle of water during the day and then set it beside my bed when I went to sleep. It was usually thawed out by the time I woke up in the morning for me to drink first thing. 

9. Bedrest. When this term is said during pregnancy, there is fear and panic. I was on bedrest for 2 weeks in pregnancy 2, 20 weeks for pregnancy 4, and 8 weeks for pregnancy 5. I wasn't allowed to clean, be physically active, and in pregnancy #3, I wasn't allowed to even cook or stand longer than a quick shower. During these times, I read books, wrote in a journal (this was before blogging was a thing or even laptops), and watched a lot of TV (and I mean A LOT). During the 8 critical weeks I was on bedrest for Pregnancy #5, I fixed it to where my computer desk was right next to my sofa so I could be on it.

** This post is part of the 9 Tips for 9 Months project for the American Recall Center

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge {Vol. IV}

1.  Did you do anything 'memorable' this past weekend?

YES! On Saturday, I went to Charlotte Motor Speedway and saw Xfinity Series Qualifying, Sprint Cup practice, and the Xfinity race. On Sunday I went back to the speedway to see the Coca Cola 600. I had pit and driver intro passes, got to see Lee Greenwood sing "God Bless the USA" up close and personal and was in the presence of a couple hundred of our service men and women. We also had a chance to remember some of our fallen service men/women as they were honored pre-race.

I wrote a little about my Coca Cola 600 day here. But, it's mainly pictures.

2. Ronald Reagan is quoted as saying-

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."  

Your thoughts? Do you somehow acknowledge and appreciate the freedoms you enjoy? Did your upbringing contribute to that sense of appreciation? If you're a parent, are there specific things you do to pass on this sense of responsibility and appreciation to your own children in regard to the freedoms they enjoy?

I was taught to appreciate my freedoms. I do the same for my children. I teach them to appreciate the freedoms they have and to remember the fine men and women who have fought for the freedoms they have. 

3. Loudest noise you've ever heard?

Haha, the race cars as they started racing. Or when lightening had struck something really close. 

4. What was the last thing you ate that might be considered 'junk food'? Did you enjoy it?

Trader Joe's Chocolate "ice cream" made with coconut milk. I did enjoy it. It tasted wonderful!

5. When was the last time you were somewhere the crowd felt 'packed in like sardines'?

At the race. Those little seats make you feel real close to your "neighbor". I can tell you he liked to take selfies and text them to everyone he knew. 

6. Are you organized when it comes to packing for a trip? Do you make a list weeks in advance or toss items in last minute? Are you a carry-on only sort of packer or do you need an entire suitcase for your shoes?

Yes! I have OCPD; my life is all about organization. I even make lists of lists I need to make. I start planning trips months or even a year in advance. I am already planning our Coca Cola 600 experience for next year and that is only a day trip!

7. What was the last sporting event you attended in person? Did your team win? Did you care?

NASCAR race. My driver did not win but my daughter's did. She was upset we got to see his signature back flip in person and she didn't. Of course I wanted my driver to win, but it wasn't in the cards for this week.

If you want another "sport", it was in February of 2013. We saw the Brooklyn Nets vs New Orleans (at the time) Hornets. My team was New Orleans and they did not win. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I really, really, really hate statistics. I have decided that if I need to do research as a psychologist, I will hire a research team. Cause, this mess sucks!

This was the formula I had to work with today.......
Rxy = nΣXY – ΣXΣY / √[nΣX2 – (ΣX)2] [nΣY2 – (ΣY)2]

Yeah, it fried my brain.