Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Better late than never. We made it to a pumpkin patch this weekend. The pumpkin pickings were a little slim, but so were the crowds so it all worked out. Combined with the beautiful weather on this late Saturday afternoon, we couldn't have asked for a lovelier day.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Weight loss: a battle of misinformation

Anyone that has ever dieted (who hasn't?) knows it is hard, incredibly hard. And at times it can feel like an exercise in futility. And if you have followed all the diet advice to the letter (take in fewer calories than you consume, eat small meals throughout the day, avoid carbs and sugar, exercise daily, don't eat after 7pm, etc. etc.) only to end up frustrated and right back where you started, you are not alone. The fact is, most diets do work. You can lose the weight if you restrict your diet and increase your calorie burn. The problem is keeping it off long term and this is where most diets fail. Unfortunately, scientists are still trying to understand how the body responds to an energy imbalance over time and the knowledge is far from complete.

A new study to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine and profiled in the NYTimes,  demonstrates how the body's own hormones work against permanent weight loss. Leptin, a hormone that is directly proportional to the level of body fat, drops dramatically with a significant reduction in body weight (10% of body weight loss in the NEJM study).  A decrease in leptin will result in increased appetite and a slower metabolism. Conversely, grehlin, a hormone known to stimulate hunger, increases with weight loss. It makes sense in the context of our need for survival. In hunter-gatherer days, an energy imbalance as a result of going without food for several days would result in the body's hormones kicking in and stimulating the need to hunt for food. This survival mechanism imprinted in our genes is not going to go away just because we live in a modern world with easy access to food in excess supply. The hormonal changes demonstrated in the NEJM study were present one year after weight loss, making the individuals hungrier at their new body weight and essentially ensuring the pounds creep back up.

So our bodies battle against us in the effort to lose weight. This is probably not news to most people struggling valiantly to shed excess pounds. It is time to admit that advising people to diet and change their eating habits is just not enough.

Still going by the advice that if you burn 3500 calories you will lose one pound? If only that nearly universal advice was actually true! To be continued...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Morning snapshot

Ryan takes the kids to daycare in the morning and he usually leaves before I do. After they all leave, I make beds, put away toys, etc. so when I come home at the end of the day I am greeted by a somehwat ordered and clean house. Ready to be destroyed again. I enjoy seeing them out the door in the morning as I hand out lunches, put on jackets, and collect kisses. The other day I made them stop for 1 second so I could capture that moment just before they head out into the world for the day. My family.

Check out pics from the weekend on Tumblr.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A tale of two phones

You may have heard the tragic news already. My iphone 3G came to an untimely death. It was so sudden and unexpected. Having heard so much talk lately about the new iphone 4S coming out (yet another new model to compete with and be compared to unfavorably) my forlorn 3G just couldn’t take it anymore. In a fit of self-loathing and pity, he threw himself off the bathroom cabinet onto the cold, unforgiving tile floor below. Poor 3G, his surface cracked and ugly, he continued to tick in his slow and frustrating way, but his days were numbered. It was time for him to go. I put in a request for the new and improved phone of the hour to take his place. Ah, the mighty 4S. You are so much faster, sleeker, lovelier than I ever knew possible.

Most of my excitement for this new phone is geared towards the camera, the best ever put on a mobile device. In spite of 3G’s shortcomings, I still managed to take over a thousand pictures on that phone. The camera on the 4S is super fast, can flip towards the viewer (which might mean a few pics of me and the kids could happen once in awhile) and has video. Considering I took over 50 pictures on the first Saturday I had my new phone, it will definitely get lots of use. I’m excited for the possibilities!

A sample of what the 4S (plus Instagram) can do.


Another tech note: One thing I have found that really helps me keep up with pictures, filing them away, backing them up, etc. is Eye-Fi. It is a wireless memory card for your digital camera. You can get a 4GB card on Amazon for around $40. It is easy to set up (if I can do it...) and then you don't have to plug anything into your computer, etc. Just turn on your camera in the presence of a wireless network and it automatically downloads pictures to your computer. You can designate where the pictures are stored on your computer and also have them loaded directly to flickr, facebook and other online sharing sites. There is also an Eye-Fi app that will allow you to transfer pictures from your phone to the same folders and websites, putting all of your pictures in one place. It really simplifies the process and has allowed me to keep up with my blog posts because when I go to put one together, the pictures are already there ready to go.  It is $40 well spent! I heard about it from Digitwirl, a good source for tech help and ideas.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Do you tweet, tumble, pin?

Seems like every day there is a new social networking site or app that is the latest and greatest. Between Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, it goes on and on. These are just the ones I know of and I am by no means one to keep up with the latest tech anything. I like Instagram for photos, and Pinterest can be fun if you have a purpose to your pinning like collecting design ideas for a future house, etc. But it can also be a huge time drain. I've never ventured onto Twitter and don't have any desire to. I like Tumblr because I can post pictures easily from my phone. Speaking of Tumblr, I put up some new pics so check it out here or in the tab up above. I feel like I am at my max capacity right now and I can barely keep up. And yet I know my tech forays only scratch the surface. Any absolutely fabulous new sites or apps that I'm missing out on? Anything you really enjoy or can't imagine not using now that its out there?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chocolate Banana Bread

I have been making this chocolate banana bread forever. Ok, not forever, but for almost 10 years. It definitely qualifies as a go-to recipe in our house. Great for breakfast or anytime. I had a former co-worker who swore he didn't like banana bread but loved this recipe.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A beautiful fall day (and KU football)

I don't remember not going to KU football games. I don't have memories of going at Charlie's age, but I know I've just always gone. To me they are synonomous with fall and family and fun. Now, just like when I was a kid, the game is secondary. This is not College Game Day. We do a G version of tailgate-lite and while everyone loves a win, it doesn't define the day. Because let's face it, no one would have much fun if we were dependent on a KU football win to enjoy this beautiful day. 

Charlie started off the day a little grumpy, as if he knew the score of the game already.

 Iz was all smiles, as usual, for her first KU football game.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Comparing firsts

While documenting Izzy's introduction to food, I couldn't help but look back at Charlie's pictures to see how similar they were. Despite her blond hair and blue eyes, Iz definitely resembles her brother.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Baby eats!

Without further ado...the baby food post. I made most of Charlie's baby food when he was Izzy's age. I wasn't attempting to be super mom, I just thought it sounded like fun and it was easier than I thought. This time around, I'm not making any promises about how much I will make for Izzy. Its already proving more difficult to find the time. But at least for these very early stages when the foods are simply one-ingredient, its doable.

Stocking up on fruit while it is in season is the best place to start. I started with peaches, plums and apples. I have a feeling we'll be having lots of homemade applesauce given the great apples available right now.

Cuteness by Kish

This super cute hat was made by my dear friend Keri's mom, Judy. It is now a perfect fit. Thanks Keri (for the color choice) and Judy for the handy work!