Thursday, September 26, 2013

Spencer Hadley is Not a Hero

I read this article about Spencer Hadley after seeing it appear several times on my Facebook newsfeed.  

Reading the comments, I noticed that some fans hailed Spencer Hadley as a "hero" and/or "good role model"  

Nothing against Hadley, hope he turns out alright but I don't think it's appropriate to call him a hero or a good role model for "Doing The Right Thing"  Many people get these terms confused.  

A hero is someone like the Navy Seal from "Act of Valor" who ran and threw himself on top of a grenade to save his fellow Seals from death and prevent a vile terrorist attack in the US. 
Basically, someone who puts his/her life at risk for the safety of another. 
Hadley? Hardly. 

What defines a good role model? 
Anyone in a situation that acts appropriately without being forced to is a good role model.  

"But he's redeeming himself, he will turn his life around for the better, therefore, he is a good role model of making a mistake and turning his life around"  one might say.  Um...he had to!  He let his entire team and a large fan base down.  He was forced to get things straightened out...after being caught. 

Good role models in athletes (college and pro) are the ones that don't do anything that gets them in trouble and instead act as they believe they should act. No cheating,  no affairs, no doping, no criminal acts, and at BYU, no Honor Code violations. And...they aren't immune to opportunities to do the wrong thing. They still go do the right thing and what's expected of them.

Don't confuse heroes and good role models. Recognize who they really are and direct your praise to them. 

Escorting a hero. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pregnancy Musing #6 It's Getting Closer

One of my friends' baby was sneaky and my friend delivered almost a month away from her due date!  

That was an eye opener for me to get the ball rolling on a couple of things just in case it happens to me.  

Things I've gotten out of way after that...

Pre-authorization from insurance for the delivery: 
I didn't know that was required but it's out of the way now.

Dental exam and cleaning: 
Done. No new cavities! 

Thank you notes: 
I've finished writing  one for every single gift I received so far. 
I just. need. to. mail. them. 

Car seat: 
We picked up our infant car seat yesterday. 

Just getting a snap and go for now. 
I don't know how much I'll be using an actual stroller in winter and figured when the time comes, try some strollers with the baby in it. 

 Getting one from a good friend!

Diaper bag: 
My backpack will work for now. It has plenty of room and pockets. 

got some hopefully to last the first 3 months. And wipes. 

Childbirth class: 
We're going to one at the hospital all day instead of once a night for 6 weeks. 
Just get it done and over with! 

Hospital bag: 
Haven't packed yet but got great advice from mothers as to what to bring.  
Hopefully the class will help. 

Not much expect for her closet, which is pretty much what she needs. 
Just need to rearrange the room for a crib. 

Baby name: 
Agreed to a wonderful and beautiful first name!!  
Still up in the air for a middle name. 

Baby moon: 
Went away for a night in Midway. 
Great weather,  swimming, fine dining, 
and then relaxing in our hotel room to watch the BYU vs Utah football game.  
This salad was very delicious!!

Dave and I are are Utah alumni so...yay for the UTES!!  
University of Utah
Great place to work and/or study at.

Some BYU fans are crazy enough to believe that losing to the U is like losing to Satan so...
I was happy for a 4th straight win against BYU.  ^_^ 

I liked that we didn't travel far for the baby moon because...
 you never know if you'll have a pregnancy scare.  


Right before check out, I used the restroom and saw blood before flushing the toilet.
That was weird because I felt no pain. 
Dave and I went straight to the hospital after leaving Midway. 

After 4 hours of waiting and monitoring, they concluded it was a kidney stone. 

At my follow-up visit yesterday, I asked my OB why I felt NO PAIN because I heard passing a stone is more painful than labor...

do I have a magical pain tolerance for kidney stones and possibly birth??

  The OB said "No" 
and explained that the uterer dilates more during pregnancy.  
 Depending on the size, the stone was easier to pass and not experience pain. 

I was lucky!  
Also very pleased with the excellent follow-up care I'm receiving. 

Pregnancy related, no signs of preterm labor. 

She is healthy, happy and cozy in my tummy. 

Just drinking more water now.

What else do I need to get done before the baby arrives?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pregnancy Musing #5 Eating Free Meals for Science

When I went to diabetes counseling (standard practice for any woman with GD) the counselor told me about a new research study that needed participants with GD. 

The goal of this study is to determine whether women diagnosed with gestational diabetes will have a decrease in pregnancy risks if they eat pre-packaged meals (specifically designed by a registered dietician to meet the nutritional needs of gestational diabetes) compared to women who prepare their own meals

You randomly get selected into one of two groups:

  • Get free frozen meals and record in a log of your levels and what you ate

  • Make your own meals and record in a log of your levels and get a $35 gift card each week. 

The incentives of both groups sounded appealing and I decided to enroll.  

Personally I was glad to be in the group that gets the free meals.  It was a solution to my problem with meal planning and carb counting, and my lack of desire to cook in my final stretch of pregnancy.  At the same time, I really wanted to eat right for myself and my baby!

I'm glad the carb and other nutritional contents have all been figured out by someone else on these meals.  They are prepared in a safe and legit food prep environment.   

It's like NutriSystem but instead of weight loss, it's to have better sugar levels. Also like Meals on Wheels because they are delivered to my door :-)

I get 3 meals a day including snacks.  One snack per day.  I warm up the meals up, eat them, check my levels after about an hour, and once a week, submit a log of a food journal and my levels for that week of meals. 

Here's a pic of my meals I received this morning:

Some of the meals,  I was able to stuff more in this tiny freezer. 

Right before heating up.  French onion dip sandwich with some veggies

I officially start Saturday but have some commitments this weekend where I may not be able to eat all the meals Saturday and Sunday. Not wanting to skip meals, I ate a Saturday lunch and dinner today! 

I hadn't had a frozen dinner since becoming pregnant, I wanted to avoid over processed and packaged foods as much as possible.  But this is different.  I'm doing this for science.  

What I liked about these meals is that they aren't prepared too far out in advanced, no need to add stuff to make it taste fresh. The meals taste pretty good for a frozen meal.  I'm also getting ideas on my own after pregnancy on what to eat and portion sizes.  

I'm extremely happy to participate!  I'll keep eating them until baby arrives.  I had a dream about her last night and she look so beautiful ^_^.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pregnancy Musing #4 Nutrition and Gestational Diabetes

I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes after the first glucose intolerance test.  Doctor immediately referred me to to diabetes counseling.  

Nothing to do with weight or eating sweets.  Just an over active placenta getting too much glucose to the baby, and physiological factors that increased my chances of having GD.

I was bummed finding this out and nervous about the consequences of not controlling GD.  As long as I follow doc's orders, baby and I will be fine.

Having GD made sense as to why I was extremely tired in the morning and early afternoons.  Taking medicine to control glucose and some changes in diet made a huge improvement with my crashes.

I thought I was doing great with shunning sweets, sodas, and not pigging out.....  

Taken today.  31 wks and 5 days

The change in diet was to monitor my carb intake.  That meant no more cereal!!  I would eat so many bowls because it tastes great and involves little effort to prepare.

Dave's been very supportive with my diet and taking an interest with how much carbs a particular meal contains.

I do have to monitor my blood sugar and prick my finger.  Didn't like it at first, but I'm more adjusted to it now.  It feels like a quick bee sting without my fingers getting swollen.  I record in a booklet of my levels and what I ate.  I can see trends of what certain foods affect my blood sugar, and have to keep it at normal levels, all in effort not to get a jumbo size baby and avoid a c-section.

At my last check up, my doctor looked at my booklet and said I was doing a great job monitoring my levels, taking the medicine, and watching what I eat.  Even my weight gain was great.  

I've gained 7 lbs total since becoming pregnant  ^_^

If you need food ideas for weight loss this are some things I'm doing:

Eat carbs, but LIMIT them, especially in the mornings, and watch portions with carbs the rest of the day along with minimal sweets.

The more carbs I consume, the higher my blood sugar levels become, which can put more weight on myself and the baby.  Don't want that!

Carb goals:
30-45 gms of carbs with breakfast
45-60 gms of carbs with lunch and dinner

  • More protein.  Mostly eggs and chicken.
  • More veggies.
  • Less pasta and rice.
  • Less bread.
  • No fruit juice.
  • Lots of water.
  • No fried food
  • Salads: no croutons or dressing other than olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • Frozen yogurt instead of ice cream
  • Less or no fruit in mornings.  Less fruit throughout day.
  • Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt (more protein).
  • 3 glasses of milk a day. I've been drinking either 1% or skim the entire pregnancy. Since it counts as a carb, I have to count that as part of my meals.
  • No sugar or sugar substitutes like Splenda.  You eventually get used to not adding sugar!
  • Continue to take a multi vitamin/prenatal

That's pretty much it.  This helps with not getting fat, especially on days when I don't exercise and just want to lie in bed and feel the baby's kicks.

Watching what I eat is preventing stretch marks, swollen feet, and new cavities.

I do miss cereal though.  Especially Fruity Pebbles and Corn Pops. But I don't miss it that much to go against doctor's orders.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Married Couples Moving in With Parents? 10 Reasons you Shouldn't.

With a baby on the way and being a one income household, it would make financial sense to move in with in-laws/parents to "save money for a house" 

Pretty common here in Utah and even accepted.  

I'm all for saving money and living frugally but I'll explain why this type of financial arrangement is not and never will be an option for us.  In fact, Dave and I highly discourage this.  

  1. Being ready to be husband and wife meant that the two of us can look out for each other physically, emotionally, and financially; WE put our own roof over our heads. WE put our our own food on the table. 
  2. We became our own family.  As a new family, there are things that we need to learn and adapt with each other and those things we need to face alone, the two of us, not with parents in tow.  This makes us grow closer, stronger, and more united as a couple. 
  3. It's an ideal situation for a young couple to live rent-free at their parents, but that doesn't mean it is for parents/in-laws.  
  4. "We can't afford to pay rent" is not a logical excuse for us.  If that happened, we would find a cheaper place to stay, even if it meant a one bedroom or a studio apartment.  Or even better, see what else we're wasting our money on and use that for rent.  
  5. All of the couples I know that said "Oh we're just staying there no more than 3-6 months" Guess what?  All ended up living there at least a year or more with a couple of kiddos in between.  You may think that you're saving but I doubt spending habits had changed and/or improved when you stay longer than originally planned.  Makes sense, if you don't have bills, you are more likely to blow your money than save!
  6. If you're not forced to be a poor married couple, you won't look hard enough at your other expenses and see where you can cut and save!  There is always something to cut out from your budget.  Once you figure what to cut out, put what you would have spent into in your savings!  Duh!  
  7. We want our privacy!  That is golden especially when we're starting our lives together.  How hard it would be getting to know my husband better at a deeper level and have someone listening to what you do and talk about? No thanks!
  8. We want to be the head of our own home!  We want to run things the way we want for our family.  You can't do that when you live with family.
  9. We want our extended families to visit us whenever they want to, without ever feeling intrusive. "I want to visit my daughter and grand baby but I feel that I'm not visiting her at her home, it's her mother-in-law's home" 
  10. We are adults.  Adult things include paying bills and rent.  Not avoiding them.   

Yes rent is expensive.  Dave's commute to work is very long.  Our take-home pay has been slashed by  half.  There's a baby coming.  

However, both us work as a team to make sure we manage our finances, and sometimes we just have to say NO to going out to eat, buying gifts, shopping for clothes, travel, and hold off a little longer on bigger purchases. 

We don't spend more than what we earn.  Against the rules of common sense.  

The best thing is, that if there is an unforeseen expense, like a car repair, we can cover it ourselves from savings.  We don't have to call our parents to send us money to pay rent.  Or give us money to pay for gas.  

A lot of people would use the phrase "extended families should lend support when needed"  but we are commanded to "honor thy father and thy mother" not burden them with our financial problems that we created on our own and get parents to fix it. 

We are much happier in the long run as a result.  Self-satisfaction plus more respect and trust from both sets of parents.