Thursday, September 24, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Going Chestnutty

Speaking of trips, Steve's in Atlanta right now at a conference. I've been mostly by myself with the girls since Thursday afternoon and honestly. . . besides the heat, it hasn't been that bad. I hate to admit that to him because then he might think that I don't really need a break (OH, BUT I DO!).

Dr. Chestnut with the fam.

I've been trying to figure out a way to sum up the seminar we went last weekend in a few sentences, but it's difficult. Just to give you an idea . . . Dr. Chestnut is among other things, a chiropractor, and just about all of the attendees were chiros or wives of chiros or people who work for chiros. He developed a program called "Eat Well, Move Well, Think Well" to promote wellness and to certify chiros to use in their offices. Steve plans on implementing it in his. (The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer!) This particular seminar was the "Think Well" portion of the program.

Listening to Dr. Chestnut is like drinking from a fire hose. I guess, in over simplistic terms, he spoke about how to empower people to take charge of their emotional and physical health. Our physiology is affected by our emotional, intellectual, and spiritual health. Our physiology.

An interesting thing about this seminar is that I found I was making connections to religion, although he left religion mostly out of his lectures. Because I'm religious, I'm already aware of my values and beliefs, which is something (he says) that some people aren't sure about, whether they're religious or not. He talked about relationship dynamics, having integrity (acting according to your beliefs), being optimistic, and realizing our worth as human beings.

He also spoke a lot about how most chronic illnesses (heart disease, diabetes, obesity, infertility, high blood pressure, just to name a few) aren't the result of genetics, but of lifestyle choices -- choices we make both psychologically and physically.

A big (and perhaps the most shocking) part of his program is "Eat Well". There are many who say he's pretty extreme (including me), but the beautiful thing about his program is that he doesn't tell anyone to give up anything. The reasons why diets don't work is because we try to give up things that we love. Chestnut suggests always adding positive things instead of removing negative. He used "pizza and beer" quite often as his example. He said that you can keep your pizza and beer, just have a salad first. The point isn't to follow his guidelines perfectly from day one, but to make easy, gradual, and comfortable changes. Swearing off all sweets isn't any of those things. But eating an apple or a carrot a day is. The point isn't to lose weight, either, but to become healthier. When you become healthier, your body will naturally find a healthy weight.

He also said to eat your favorite food while naked, in front of a mirror . . . on a mini trampoline. Jokingly, but I see his point. :)

I'm nowhere near where I'd like to be as far as nutrition goes, but I do notice that when I eat more things that I should be eating, I lose a little interest in things that aren't healthy. Just a little. Sometimes I still drown myself in a bowl of popcorn/ice cream/cookies because I'm bummed out. Or eat seven pancakes just because I feel like it (now regretting it as I stare down at my "pancake belly") I just start over the next day. And I feel better because I ate some broccoli at lunch.

Dr. Chestnut went on a few rants throughout his lecture, and one of them was about the health care crisis. He said that neither option from the political parties would fix the problem. Everyone keeps talking about who's going to pay for what, who's going to have coverage, and what prescription drugs will be available, but no one is talking about how to make people healthier. We don't need more money, we need fewer sick people. I agree with him.

He didn't just pull all of this stuff out of his head, either. For every statement or concept he spoke about, he listed several studies and/or academic articles to back them up. The research this man has done and the influence he's had on people is incredible. He's literally helped people save their own lives with this program. Occasionally he threw some things out there that made me roll my eyes, but for the most part, I think he's spot on.

I feel like I'm jumping around, and if you've read this far, you must be at least curious, right? Visit his website at There's a video of some snippets from Dr. Chestnut's lectures that sums up his philosophy as well.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

To Seattle and Back

I really like Seattle. After going there for a journalism trip in high school, a friend and I decided we were going to live on Bainbridge island together. And after having my first cosmetic counter make-over, I really wanted to work for Clinique in the downtown Nordstrom.

My how things have changed. I'd rather have my eyes gauged out with a red-hot poker than to work in retail again. Although a make-up counter might be slightly more tolerable.

I still like Seattle, though.

We only spent about 3 hours downtown. The rest of the time we were at the Hilton next to the airport. We had lunch at Spencer's in the hotel before the seminar started. I guess it was our "anniversary lunch" since ordering pizza that night isn't much of an anniversary dinner.

Usually when we go out to eat Steve likes what I order better than what he orders. I think I can count on one hand how many times this is reversed. This was one of those times. He just got a burger and fries, but it was one of the best burgers I've ever had. (No offense, In-N-Out. I still love you.)

Yes, I took a picture of it. If you know how I feel about food, it shouldn't surprise you.

Here's a bunch of pictures of Ivy that could really have been taken anywhere. At least you don't have to look at our poor couch, right?

Here we have Ivy posing for a Hilton advertisement. Ya, the beds really were that comfy.

. . . after falling asleep on the light rail. Since we didn't have a stroller with us, we carried her around like that the whole time.

Ivy on the light rail on the way back to the airport.

Strange that Sophie isn't in this picture. I don't think we have one of Ivy with just the two of us.

And like I said . . . the girls were happy to be reunited at bath time. When I put Ivy in the bathtub in Seattle, she looked around and then looked at me like, "Um, no toys? No bath buddy? Lame-o bath, mom."

Doesn't Ivy look like a spider in that top pic? It's a little weird. Oh, and Sophie's knees are fine. She just barely scraped her knees after biting it on the cement just a couple of hours earlier. Band-aids make everything better.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Welcome Home, Us

I have a lot to tell you, but 12:15 AM, and I need sleep more than I need to extensively blog about the last few days. Plus the photos (mostly of Ivy, and could be taken anywhere) are still on my camera. So I'll leave you with a few tidbits until I can get back into a routine.

1. Sophie had a blast with Grandma in Sacramento. She didn't even ask about us. We could have left her there for a few more days, I think. After the meltdowns and a full-blown tantrum she had today, I think I want to give her back to Grandma for a while. Why do they always act the worst for mom?

2. The girls missed each other. Especially during bathtime. I stuck both of them in the tub this morning and they couldn't stop smiling at each other . . .

3. until Ivy left a few deposits in the water that made Sophie move to the opposite side of the tub. Sophie's smiles were gone. Ivy was clueless and happy as could be.

4. The seminar we went to was actually really good. Brilliant, actually. Maybe I'll have time to post about it. Maybe I won't. Here's a link. It doesn't do it justice, but it's now 12:25.

5. Oh, and I won $2500 today. Yippee! Read HERE. Watch HERE.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Today is our 6th anniversary.
We are in Seattle.
At a seminar.
Um, no.
Not even close.
Neither is this photo.
But that's kind of how we roll.

I love you, hun. :)

(You know I'm not good at mushy stuff.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Labor Day-bor + Surprises from Ivy

(Bonus points if you know where "Labor Day-bor" comes from!)

We took the girls to the zoo on Labor Day. Sophie loves the zoo. She also loves having her picture taken as you can see.

If you can't tell, there's an alligator right behind that fence, sunbathing on the sand. I didn't think the fence was high enough, but I guess alligators have short legs. Maybe they aren't the best jumpers.

After we saw the animals Sophie rode some of the rides outside the park. She'd never been on any rides before, so we were anxious to see her reaction.

Steve got her settled in the sparkly blue VW bug she picked out. (atta girl)

She waited patiently for the ride to start, clutching the steering wheel.

The ride started and after the initial surprise that her car actually moved, she was all smiles. (I don't put quarters in the ones at the mall. She has no idea, and she loves playing on them. Why ruin a good thing?)

After the cars we headed to the carousel. She was more nervous about this one, but after the first run, she didn't want to get off. And she wanted to ride on a zebra.

I just realized that we have no pictures of Ivy at the zoo. She stayed in the stroller just about the whole time and slept while we were at the amusement park. So, here's a little clip of her latest accomplishments: crawling and dancing.

I can't believe how fast this girl is progressing. Sophie took forever to get past army crawling (though I could hardly call it that... it was more like yoga planking). Ivy has gone from being practically immobile to crawling with her knees and pulling up to things (like low baskets and stairs) in just a month. She's the most determined and fearless little thing I've ever seen. I've caught her by the feet several times as she tries to plunge herself off the couch or the bed or down the stairs. It scares me a little, and I think it means a more thorough baby proofing than we did with Sophie.

It also means we will not be putting up the Christmas tree this year.

The little shake she does does halfway through cracks me up. She does it all the time now, and I have no idea where she got it from!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Adding Calories

The other day I gave Ivy half of a pineapple-orange yogurt popsicle. (Steve ate the other half and left that one in the freezer. That man can't hold his popsicles.)

Of course Ivy loved it. I think she's teething, too, so it probably made her gums feel good. I had to take it away halfway through so she wouldn't go completely numb. Her poor little mouth was freezing!

That little finger is always pointed up.

I'm glad at least one of the girls got daddy's nice, full lips! Guess who kissed all of the popsicle off her face? :) (I'm not sure what's with her left eye, though. It seems to show up like that in photos, but doesn't look that way in person. )

Friday, September 04, 2009

Food is Awesome

Last Saturday we went to the Eat Real Festival in Oakland. When I heard that there was a festival entirely dedicated to food, I had to go. We'd never been down to Jack London Square before OR ridden BART (the light rail), so it was a day of firsts for us.

We forgot we had parked our yacht at the marina or else we would have hung out in there to get out of the heat.

The festival was free and all of the street food was under $5. I was hoping they'd have funnel cakes or something, but the food there wasn't like typical fair food. (Sorry, no corn dogs or deep fried Snickers, either.) There were signs everywhere about putting "real" food back into fast food, people passing around "why you should be a vegetarian" flyers, and street food from all over the world (We ate some tamales and Korean BBQ). They had an indoor farmers market and we sampled things like lavender honey, freshly made goat cheese, orange watermelons, raw milk (speaking of hippies), and chocolate.

Because of the heat we camped out in the corner of the air-conditioned vendors building and ate our lunch. The girls had a few rounds of "Ring Aroung the Rosey" to pass the time.

It was too hot to leave her outside when we got home, and she'd had meltdown after meltdown, so we didn't want to wake the beast . . .

Ivy was well-rested an happy, so we got some shots of her smiling. She's a total stone-face around people she doesn't know, so here you go . . . she's happy, really!

That bottom left pic reminds me of a Sears portrait with props in the background. Heh.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Can We Still Be Friends?

Sometimes when I get on here I assume I can just say what I want because it's my blog. Technically I can, but I run the risk of offending someone when I do, which sometimes comes across a bit insensitive or judgmental -- even in person. I don't know why I do that, and I'm trying to be better about it. In my last post I bad-mouthed my doctor a little and insulted rice cereal. I wanted to apologize if I offended anyone, and maybe try to explain myself a little better.

I really like my doctor, and I know she was just trying to do her job, and I respect that. I'll leave it at that.

As far as rice cereal goes, it's great for teaching babies how to move food around in their mouths, and it does provide some iron, but what I was trying to say was that it isn't very nutritious (unless you get brown rice cereal - that's a little better).

My thoughts and beliefs on a lot of things have changed since we moved here, and I think I'm turning into a hippie -- in some ways. I have a more holistic view on health care than I used to, I bring my own bags to the grocery store (that isn't too strange around here), and I try be more aware of where my food comes from (and what's in it). Don't worry, I won't ever join a commune, give up grooming, or put "Yes We Did!" bumper stickers on my car.

So, if I blog one day about how I would never own an American car, eat peanut butter (except if I'm pregnant), or put a giant hair bow on either of my girls, know that it doesn't affect how I feel about a friend* who drives around in a Focus, eating PB&J, while straining to see what's in her back mirror because of the hydrangea on her baby's head. I still love you. And you can tease me all you want about being a hippie.

*No particular friend. I made that up to prove a point. One of my best friends used to drive a Focus, and although I teased her about it, it hasn't affected our relationship.