Sunday, August 30, 2009

Happy Birthday to Logan!

Logan celebrated his 3rd birthday yesterday!! Here are a few pictures of all the fun.
Myra and I looked at wedding dresses with Kali before the party started.
The kids played on the swings while the grownups hung out and chatted.
Here are a couple of the doctors, sitting by the grill and talking shop.

Logan got a ton of awesome gifts (Thank you, everyone!!), so here is just a brief selection of all of the "Wow!" faces. If you are dying to see them all, click here.

Then we had cake. Logan loved his Cars cake.
Isn't Nate sweet?! Diana wanted him to sit with her.
Myra gave Uncle Dan a bite.
And to top off the day, a Med-evac helicopter flew over really low. Logan was in awe.
He loves the dinosaur that Daddy made for him.
Afterward a bath was VERY necessary! I've never seen these two so messy!
It was so fun!! Thanks to everyone who came and celebrated with us. Logan had a GREAT birthday!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

We LOVE books!

Now that Myra is toddling around, she can't stand to see an empty lap, and will bring a book to anyone who happens to have such a thing. Last night at bedtime, she and I were "reading" her Elmo book while Mitch read Hop on Pop to Logan. Myra missed her Daddy, so she decided to slide off my lap, and join in on the fun with the big kid book.But be warned, if you come to my house, and dare to sit down, Myra and her book will find you...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Why do we buy toys?

...when Myra is just as happy dismantling the potty (which no one uses, so this isn't as gross as you are thinking.),and Logan makes trains from packs of diapers,
then uses the box as a slide, while Myra supervises.
Imaginative, eh?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

34 years ago, the most wonderful man in the world was born, and today we all get to celebrate,

We love you. Thanks for brightening our lives with yours.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I used to be in good shape

Now I'm just a fattie. That's what goes through my head every time I look at myself. It has something to do with the fact that between 2nd year of med school and now I went from 155 pounds to 195 pounds, and from a 28 inch waist to a 36.

That process came from two things:
1) Bilateral plantar fascitis, the bane of all things running
2) Still eating the same as when I ran 12 miles, swam 3-4 miles, and biked 30-40 miles per day.

Of course Med School and Residency, with the concurrent lack of time, didn't help.

Some time ago we went on a trip with some friends of ours to Houston to go to the temple. It turned out poorly, as we all got some form of gastroenteritis and spent the evening and night exploding from both ends. For the next few days I just wasn't hungry, and even when I did eat, I just wanted 1/2 of an apple, for example.

I then noticed I had lost 8 pounds in a week, without being hungry at all. It took nearly 2 weeks before my appetite came back. This made me reflect on just what it is about my body that makes it feel full or empty, and the inescapable conclusion was: it had little to do with intake of calories.

Hunger, something that I nearly always feel, is a subjective sense influenced by many variables, For me, some of these include speed of eating a meal, recent foods (eating chocolate makes me ravenous 30 minutes later), content of a meal (protein makes me feel full, fat and carbs do not), and social situation (I always overeat when with others, even if I feel full).

I also examined my diet, which is the typical American diet loaded with fat, sugar, tons of protein, and little that might qualify as healthy. I'm a doctor, I know better than to eat this trash. I see the results in my clinic (and in the hospital, and in the ICU) every day. Why, then, the perpetual stupidity?

I think one of Sarah's books about food marketing (sorry I can't recall offhand the title, Sarah if you can send me the title I'll link it) showed me clearly just how much work the food industry puts into psychological tricks to increase food consumption and (let's be frank) food addiction. I think that's when I developed a dislike of the "American" diet, because I saw clearly that what we define as a meal is an arbitrary construct encouraged by companies who see $$$ but not heart attacks.

I also started reading a book called "Born to Run" by Chris McDougall that details a society built, by necessity, around running. It tells of the Tarahumara, an Indian tribe that performs tremendous feats of endurance, to include foot races lasting two days (48 hours straight), fueled mostly on corn, beans, and chia seeds, shod in strips of castoff tires as sandals. He writes of his own transformation from an injured lumbering "bear" to someone who can complete a 42 mile run with this tribe, in the Copper Canyons in Mexico. A great deal had to do with his running technique, but also his diet. And he adopted the diet of the Tarahumara.

So now where does that leave me? I've always thought of myself as an athletic guy, but it's hard to argue with the scale. So I have changed how I approach eating, and have come to a few realizations:
1) I can eat much, much less than I did, and be just fine.
2) Properly timed, properly composed meals, even if very low in calories, stave off hunger.
3) Improperly timed meals leave me ravenous and unable to resist junk food.
4) Junk food is a disgusting trap designed to leave the eater addicted, just like cigarettes.
5) When I avoid that trap I have more energy and feel better about myself.

So now I am experimenting with my diet, looking to change it. For years I have avoided healthy foods--veggies--because they always came steamed and limp. I'm adding some taste, not with fat and salt, but with spices and herbs. And I have some really good stuff.

I'm going to get back into running. I'm going to find a way to run without injuring myself again. And at some point I am going to run a marathon.

The scale says I'm 10 pounds closer to this goal.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Really and truly

One year ago today this little princess joined our family.
We couldn't have imagined then what joy she would bring us, just in this short year.
Her happy smile, ready laugh and warm, kind heart enrich and bless our lives so much.

We love you, Myra!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Paleolithic time

So I FINALLY finished the dinosaur, seen left with the original diagram. The primary difficulty with finishing was the paint. I painted all surfaces, including the interior parts between the puzzle pieces. Seems the paint is thick enough to overcome the kerf of the saw blade. Also, it appears that at certain parts of the cutting, the blade was not perfectly square. It's not consistent throughout the entire puzzle, so perhaps I was putting pressure on the blade and making it cut sideways. Whichever it was, it makes it impossible to slide the pieces together from either direction. So much sanding and re-carving was needed prior to finishing.

This is the final piece. I've now sanded down all the rough edges, painted, and added a gloss clear coat. As you can see, the fully assembled puzzle stands by itself. Now I'm finally ready to give this to Logan for his birthday. It will be the first time I've ever constructed a handmade gift.

I recall when I was young, that I had a real thing for the Dukes of Hazzard. I wanted the General Lee car, and made no bones about asking for one. My parents couldn't find one at the store (sold out) so my Dad bought an incredibly detailed model kit and spent night after night assembling the car. Now if you haven't met my Dad, he's a mechanical engineer, and "attention to detail" may be his middle name. So the car was perfect--every decal precisely in place, every aspect of the motor perfect, working hood, rubber tires, etc. A much nicer car than could have been purchased. But I, being, what, 5? didn't realize that. I wanted the metal car like they had on TV, and I was a bit upset with this plastic thing. I can only imagine how Dad felt, when after hours of work, I threw the car aside and ignored it. It was broken and battered over the years, but as I grew up I realized just what had gone into that car, the sacrifice that was made, and the love that went into it.

I still have it. It's in the top drawer of my dresser. It's one of my most treasured gifts.

I don't know if, 20 years from now, Logan will feel that way about his T. Rex. Probably not, actually. I can assure you, however, that I feel that way about it. Some gifts are worth the effort, regardless of how they are received.

Myra's Birthday Celebration!

We celebrated Myra's first birthday yesterday. She doesn't actually turn one until Monday, but Mitch is off this weekend, so we wanted to take advantage of that. And we did! They napped together in the morning, then went to play at the park.
For dinner, we had one of her favorites; spaghetti with fruit salad.
As you can see, she loved it. Any of the anesthesiologists want a shot at those cords? I think I can see the vallecula from here...

Then (after clean up!) we went for presents.
Logan is helpful, as always. He was VERY excited about Myra's birthday. I think there was some realization that these presents were sticking around.
Myra gazes adoringly at her very own Elmo. She held onto him for most of the present unwrapping.
This cool toy that Grandma and Grandpa sent was the hit with her, after she was ready to give Elmo a nap, that is. It is pretty cool - all the gears go around and you can move and stack them.

After presents, it was time for cake.
For Logan, I piped all of the words that he had acquired onto the cake, but I had to be more selective for Myra. There just wasn't room on the cake for all of her words. I picked the ones that are the most consistent.
She likes it?
The ice cream was a problem - too cold!
Until Daddy gave her his spoon!! Then she went to town!
As you can seem she made short work of the cake and ice cream.
And the best part of her birthday? LOTS of naked time!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Helping take 2

My kids are such good helpers!! Logan sets the table, and Myra LOVES to help empty the dishwasher.At least, until she realizes that there is a camera around...
Then it is time to pose.