Friday, October 30, 2009

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Humans = Ferrets

On my mommy sanity board a question was asked about what could be done for a toddler who had a horrible cough. Being as said toddler is not quite a year and a half it limits the use of medicines. I wrote that I vaguely remembered reading something about rubbing Vicks Vapo Rub on the soles of your feet to help stop coughing.

Wait you say – Vicks to stop coughing…sure it helps you breath better but stop coughing…hey I am pretty skeptical myself – but there are weird things out there – for example did you know if you get a mild burn – throw some soy sauce on it…

So I turned to Google and found that the whole Vicks on the soles of the feet started as a chain e-mail (surprise) and there is no scientific proof it works…Some people have stated they have tried it and it has worked for them…Skeptics point out that the odor is strong so you may get a desired effect of reduced coughing no matter where on your body you slather it.

Then I came across this…

Myth: Slathering Vicks VapoRub on the soles of your feet will silence a cough
February 9, 2009 · No Comments

Reality: This “prescription” maintains a healthy life on the Internet. According to true believers, applying the cold remedy to the feet works 100 percent of the time. Not a chance, says Dr. Bruce Rubin of Wake Forest University, part of a research team that recently tested VapoRub on ferrets, which have airways similar to those of humans.

“I don’t know how Vicks on the feet would help a cold,” Rubin said. “I do know that if your nose runs and your feet smell, you are probably built upside down.” Chicken soup and TLC work better, Rubin notes.

My one question is this...they debunk the idea by the use of ferrets...FERRETS...question is what did they give them to make the little ferrets cough in the first place and then how do they know that maybe, just maybe the ferrets got some relief from having their paws slathered with Vicks.

Furthermore, how do you keep the Ferrets from licking the Vicks off…for some reason I have this image of poor little Ferrets strapped down spread eagle on little gurneys – each of their little paws in some sort of leather restraint…or do they just put a little “Silence of the Lambs” face mask on the Ferrets and let them thump around with Vick covered paws? {Note to self: Check U-Tube for video of Vick slathered Ferrets}

So does it work – who knows…next time I or someone in my family gets a bad cough I will probably try it - if nothing else, think of how soft your feet will be in the morning.


TW: Did you have a lot of boyfriends before Daddy
ME: Some not a lot
TW: Did you kiss all of them
ME: Yes
TW: Wow – so that means I can kiss a lot of boys before I get married too.

That in turn led into how old should one be before you kiss a boy…I asked PWG since TW, much to my chagrin, has already experienced her first kiss with a boy (and has been told if she does so again she might have her lips sewn together and she will have to drink her food through a straw) – and the response was…

PWG: 9th grade – unless he is really really cute
ME: {silence}

I am so not ready for the next phase of girlhood…

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

12 years and counting...

This past weekend TC and I celebrated 12 years of wedded bliss...the month before we celebrated 16 years of togetherness - we toasted to the fact we haven't maimed or killed each other yet.

Now a days 12 years seems like a lifetime. We have unfortunately seen a number of our friends go through divorces.

Some of them we knew it was just a matter of in sitting at thier wedding enjoying the open bar and taking bets with others just how long it will last.

With others - separation and divorce rocked us to our core. These couples were ones we thought would last forever - the "so in love" couples...

However, the dimise of our friends marriages has had an unexpected perk...strengthing our relationship...

When the conversation starts with "Did you hear about Bob and Sue..." so far it has usually led to a picking apart of their relationship and what went wrong...for some it was infidelity...others some form of mid-life crisis...others simply grew up together and realized that while they were in the same place 10 years ago - with the same hopes and dreams...those have changed and a compromise just can't be reached...

But in picking apart their builds up ours - a weird form of marriage counseling I guess - we have a chance to talk about take in an non-threatening conversation about how each of us has changed over the years...some for better...and some for worse. It has opened our eyes and made us take a hard look at our life and realize we truely do love our life and each other...

So here is to another 12 years...and another and hopefully...maybe even another...

Friday, October 09, 2009

Stalker Friday: For the Love of Purses...

So in order to force myself to actually come to my blog and actually post stuff so I don't fall off the face of the earth I have decided to institute Stalker Fridays...

What are Stalker Fridays...well there are many things i am passionate about in my life and because of the WWW i can stalk people who might share those same passions from afar...Creepy, no?

So for my First Stalker Friday I am going to talk about my love of purses.

Because of a Brownie Vest 2 years ago for Mothers Day TC presented me with a Sewing Machine as my present.

Unless you count Home Ec projects gone horribly wrong I had never really sewed in my life....

So one trip to the local quilting store and one purse class later I was hooked.

The purses I make are not over the top - they are simple and colorful and surprisingly some people are actually willing to pay me for one...

Over the past few months I have decided to try and branch out with my is slow going but I have found some wonderful sites to follow

Artsy-Craftsy Babe - simply wonderful - I have no idea who this woman is...but I am sort of grateful I don't know her because I really don't want to be slapped with a restraining order. Her patterns have been featured in a number of sewing books and she has some wonderful patterns available for purchase. She has also been greatful enough to share a few tutorials for FREE - I recently used her PHOEBE bag tutorial to make myself a simply awesome purse. See isn't it cute....

Make It and Love it - oh how I adore this site...I will admit I have never made anything featured on this site - YET (I have the Grocery Bag Holder printed out and stored in my MUST DO ONE DAY SOON pile...) it is a FABULOUS site that not only has all things sewing...but it gives you links to other crafty-licious things...I could spend hours on this site clicking through links...saving projects that I intend to do. One of my most favorite things are the posts about repurposing items...Like for example today she shows how to repupose an adult shirt into an adorable dress for a little girl - GENIUS...go take a look - I'll wait...

Homemade By Jill - Jill is a crafting goddess...she is the UBER queen in my little stalking world...why you may ask...umm Sewing - CHECK, Papercrafts - CHECK, Yarn/Textile Art - CHECK, any other crafty idea - CHECK - from bulletin boards to punched butterflies to sock monkeys to blouse pillows - this chick has got it going on...I stumbled upon her site when I was thinking about making my own curtains and fell in love with the ones she HANDPAINTED - however I chickened out and ended up just buying some (the blame goes to Pier One and thier great sale)

Now I will say there are many other blogs I peruse that deal with sewing...but the above are my go-to places to find something new and wonderful...maybe you too will find something that inspires you to bring out the crafty goodness inside of you...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

You Little Girl, are no friend of mine…

So last night while going over homework TW informs me that her little friend from afterschool care J told her that sometimes babies come out of your private parts.

Hearing this did not make me happy…Especially since when the girls asked how babies get out of a mommies belly I have used the explanation of "They cut your belly open and pull the baby out", complete with a veiwing of a C-section on an episode of A Baby Story. I thought I was in the clear for a little longer...

I am not an uptight mother…I do think my children should know about the birds and the bees, but when I am ready …not on the timetable of another 9 year old little girl.

Later on TW informed me that she hoped when she had a baby that it does come out of her private parts because it would hurt less...ahhh the dreams of the youth

This past summer I had a few discussions with mommy friends that have girls the same age as mine and how pretty soon we were going to have to pony up and divulge what being a woman is really like to our young charges…none of us is quite ready.

What lead to those discussions was TW asking me how babies are made. She didn’t understand how the babies get into the mommies tummy. I so wasn’t ready to go there. Even though I was able to successfully divert her attention with some chocolate, I know the day of truth is drawing nearer…

During a neighborhood party I asked our one neighbor who is a practicing general practitioner Doctor what would be the appropriate thing to say…after glancing at her 1 and 3 year old little girls I was told “When you figure it out let me know”.

I mean we have had the Animals Frolick conversation - but I am just not ready for this now…A good friend of mine suggested buying the American Girl Doll book “The Care and Keeping of You”…looks like Amazon will get more of my money…and I have another gift for under the tree this year*

*yes I am well aware that by giving a book about Puberty as a Christmas present will probably come back to haunt me…I figure I am helping some therapist down the line as “The Christmas my mom gave me a book about my changing body” will probably be good for at least 2 sessions

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My Fat Ass Review: Wii Sports Active & Wii Fit Plus

So a few years ago when I bought my Wii system I had to sell it to TC…I know what you are thinking – I had to sell a gaming system to a man…yes I did as TC isn’t into gaming at all; preferring to do all his playing on the hunting field with real guns instead of remotes.

Anyway in my mind was the fact that with the Wii you had to get up and move…so therefore, when you played a game you didn’t feel so guilty downing that Reeses Peanut Butter Cup later.

So of course when Wii Fit came out – I had to have it…if for nothing else to make myself feel even less guilty about that Peanut Butter Cup…and it held my interest…for awhile…

The thing is I have never been good about being focused on exercising…my fat ass is a testament to that. Don’t get me wrong there have been periods of my life I could have been classified as a gym rat…well at least for a few months…but inevitably I get bored.

But it is a good thing MORE games came out for the Wii – like My Fitness Coach and EA Sports Active.

Now since I dropped off the face of the earth for a bit I didn’t get around to doing a Fat Ass Review about the Sports Active – so I will do it now…


Wii Wii EA Sports Active is about $50 and can be found at leading retailers; such as Best Buy, Target and on-line at Amazon. It comes with the disk, a leg strap and a stretch band.

The Sports Active have a variety of different strength training and cardio exercises, along with sports activities, such as basketball, baseball, inline skating, boxing just to name a few, that combine stretching, cardio and movement.

You can choose to do a few different things with the AE Sports Active

  • Choose to do a single activity

  • Create your own workout by choosing from among all activities

  • Do a pre-set workout - ranging from ~10 minutes up to ~60 minutes

  • Do a 30 day challenge - easy, medium or hard levels

What makes the AE Sports Active different from the basic Wii Fit is the fact that you can combine activities to create a fairly seamless workout that moves from one activity to the next. I say fairly seamless because there is some downtime between each activity as it shows reminders on how each activity is done.

After playing around with the EA Sports Active for a bit and learning how to do most of the activities I was ready for the 30 day challenge. The object of the 30 day challenge is for you to complete a cycle of workouts within 30 days – the system sets days for you to workout, along with rest days. It does not hold you to those days – if you choose to workout on a rest day or have to miss a scheduled workout day the calendar readjusts itself. Something I found nice, since the My Fitness Coach god forbid you miss a scheduled workout you start back from the beginning as far as “unlocking” new localities and music.

There are 3 levels of the Challenge – easy, medium and hard – the workouts vary in length from day to day. I started my first Challenge on Easy and after a few days switched to the Medium level.

When doing the Challenge you have to option to check if you are using the Wii Balance Board or not. The Balance board is not a necessity for the program…but I think it makes it more fun and a little more challenging. I will say there were certain days when I felt the workout wasn’t long enough – on those days I usually broke out the Wii Fit and did some of the activities on that since I had some workout momentum going. A few of the “rest” days I popped in My Fitness Coach and choose to do a Core workout, as the Sports Active is a bit deficient in that area.

Speaking of unlocking – there is nothing to unlock on the EA Sports Active game – everything is available for you to play – which is nice – no busting your butt only to be disappointed by what you have unlocked…KWIM.

The thing I really liked was being able to create your own custom workouts…not so much for myself but more for TW and PWG. While I can do a workout for 30 minutes – the little ones…not so much – remember they are 8 and have the attention span of a gnat. So it was very easy to make their own workout – they really enjoyed picking out what they wanted to do and I could keep it in a reasonable time frame.

No matter what type of workout you do Sports Active keeps track of both the time and calories burned throughout your workout. The calorie count is an estimated number, from some reviews from people who have worked out while wearing a monitor the calorie burn seems to be fairly accurate.

You do get a good workout from the EA Sports Active – I did break a sweat and my muscles felt it, especially on days mainly devoted to the lower half of my body. My sister, a very sports active fit individual, gave it a whirl and promptly declared it kicked her butt and mumbled something about squat kicks being the devils work.

I will say you will need to invest in a pair of bike shorts or pants that hug close to your body – the leg strap can chafe your skin (or course it could just me and the friction of my flabby thighs). The stretch band is fairly thin– for a beginner like me it is perfect – but for a more advanced person you may want to invest in a heavier band. Furthermore the band is thin – so if it gets a hole in it (like say for example from a cat taking a swipe at it while you are working out…) it can easily tear – so if you find an extra band (look for long physical therapy bands) go ahead and grab it…you should be able to attach the handles to a new band with no problem.

I adore my EA Sports Active and highly recommend it, especially if you are just starting out in attempting to get a bit healthier and get yourself moving more - There will be an addition available come November that promises more workouts, including core workouts and a 6 week challenge – I know what I will be asking Santa for Christmas.

Wii Fit Plus

Ok moving on to Wii Fit Plus. From what I can figure out there is no more basic Wii Fit…it is now Wii Fit Plus. If you don’t have a Balance Board yet and plan to buy one – make sure you buy the Wii Fit Plus package and not the Basic Wii Fit.

The Wii Fit plus is available as a package with the balance board for about $100 or stand alone for $20. The stand alone version is for those of us who already own the Balance Board.

If you have Wii Fit already when you put the Wii Fit Plus disk in it will go through an update and update your Wii Fit Channel to Wii Fit Plus. The Plus version has everything the Basic version has and more…

The big changes are in addition to keeping track of the time you spend it now also calculates calories burned. As with the Sports Active this is only a general estimate and your calorie burn could be higher or lower – but at least you can see an approximate amount – which is nice. At the end it will show you how many calories you burned and show you examples of what that calorie count corresponds to food wise…for example last night I burned about 143 calories…which corresponded to a glass of milk or 1 ounce of fudge…hummm which one to partake in…

The Plus version adds a few more yoga poses and a few more strength poses, but the big draw is the addition of 15 new “games” and they are FUN – they range from having to shake your hips to add numbers up to 10 (while doing this I was reminded of a naughty joke that ended with - nickel, nickel, quarter, dollar...but I digress) to using the balance board to drive a segway through the sand while trying to pop balloons to rhythm Kung Fu to making your Mii dressed as a chicken fly through the air by flapping your arms, and many more. So far my favorite new activity is the snowball toss…you aim to throw snowballs at other Mii’s while trying to avoid getting hit yourself – the really enjoyable part of this is the fact that while there are random Mii’s milling about it draws on the Mii’s set up in your system. I managed to cream TC, my sister and my dad with snowballs last night…must keep playing until my Mom’s Mii shows up.

Another upgrade to the Plus is the ability to challenge other people – up to 9 people can play at one time – play is done by taking turns as all the activities involve the use of the balance board. I really like this aspect as now the girls and I can play Wii Fit together rather than having to switch the Mii’s back and forth.

The last big upgrade is the ability to do preset workouts based on different goals and the ability to create your own workout. However, there are a few drawbacks to this area, when compared to a program like Sports Active. The preset workouts do combine yoga, strength training exercises along with a game activity here and there – in flipping through them last night I noticed most of them were fairly short in duration lasting less than 10 minutes each. In the custom workout area you are only limited to yoga and strength training – so if you want to put together a whole yoga workout or a whole strength training workout then this is a great feature. I only wish you could throw in an activity or two to break up the possible monotony of the workout.

When compared to the Sports Active the Wii Fit Plus falls short in the custom workout mode. This is my personal opinion – one of the big draws for me for the Active is having the (at some times boring) stretching and strength training activities broken up with a round of hitting baseballs or throwing basketballs…thereby making working out seem more like fun and not a chore that it can sometimes be.

There are a few little extras built in; such as being able to weigh a baby or your pet, the ability to choose right and left handed for some of the games, along with some educational information about exercise and calories.

But you all probably want to know what the bottom line is – is Wii Fit Plus worth the money????

YES…absolutely it is. If you don’t have Wii Fit already now is definitely the time to invest in the balance board (especially since more and more games are coming out that are Balance Board compatible) and Wii Fit Plus…and if you already have the Wii Fit – the $20 you spend for the upgraded Plus version is not a waste of money at all – I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent playing it last night and look forward to sharing it with PWG and TW tonight (after all the homework is done) in the multiplayer mode.

Note to myself: work out enough tonight so there is not so much guilt when you sit on the couch eating your Edy’s Tart Honey Frozen yogurt while you watch The Biggest Loser.

For working out and pushing myself – it is EA Sports Active all the way…on my Sports Active rest days or just to have some fun, while burning calories and putting some movement in my day I’ll be popping in the Wii Fit Plus…