Friday, August 24, 2007

Bathroom: Demolition, Day 1

One day late, but finally, the bathroom remodel has begun! Before we let the workers attack, we had to get some fun in first. What could be more entertaining than watching a couple of kids draw on the walls and carpet...watching them hammer walls out, that's what!

And finally, it's all GONE!!! We have a looong way to go, but we're on our way!

We interupt this post *literally* for a bit of a problem. As I'm uploading pictures Mark informs me that we have a BIG problem. Looks like something happened during the demolition and water has been leaking in to the wall below the shower for the past 24 hours. The wall is dripping, paint is sagging, parquet floors are buckling...and there's still the basement that we can't even see because it's filled to the brim with my brothers stuff. Big problems. Huge problems.

I will update as this progresses.

The mind of a 5 year old

A few days ago, Alex and I were laying on the bed while he read "Whacky Jack" to me. This is a Phonics book about a little racoon that has a new baseball bat and glove and he's so excited to play baseball, but when he starts to play, he gets upset because he's never played before and of course, is not a good player. Daddy racoon asures him that with practice he will get better, and of course by the end of the book, he's no longer getting hit in the face with the ball, blah, blah, blah, you get the gist. So throughout the book there's colorful pictures of Father and Son Racoon walking around on two feet, fully clothed. Shortly after beginning the book Alex takes his time scanning the page before going on as he typically does. It's not uncommon for him to spend twice as much time looking at he pictures and talking about them than he does actually reading the book, and most of the time he has a keen obeservation to share.
Anyway, so Alex stops reading, stares at the page for a short period of time and says: "Oh momma, this book is sooooooo fiction."

I reply "Really? Now what gave you that clue?" (As I chuckle inside about the obvious answer. I mean we ARE reading a book about fully clothed racoons playing baseball)

Much to my surprise, my little 5 year old replies:
"Well momma, racoons are nocturnal and they wouldn't be playing baseball in the DAYTIME! They'd be sleeping, DUH!"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Alternative Methods to Lowering Cholesterol

Just the other day I was chatting with my neighbor friend, Peg, when she brought up her dilema about the possibility of going on meds to control her hereditary high cholesterol. We discussed a few options and then I told her I'd talk to Ruthie about what she's done to control hers. I was pleasantly surprised by the detailed email that followed my inquiry and decided that this information should be shared. Below is her gererous response in chronological order:
Thank you Nana!!!

I am always reading and adding to my efforts. I have made a list in chronological order of my efforts and results. Hope it helps.

I have always had medium High cholesterol. My Father and all of my
brothers were or are on cholesterol medication.

06/2006 -I started with my Cholesterol at 273- HDL- 40.- LDL- 207. When I got these results- I decided to get really serious.

Intake 35 to 50 grams of fiber a day I take at least 3000 mg a day of omega 3 (the standard recommendation is 1000 mg)- This supplement helped alot. It was just not quite enough.
Eat practically no butter- mayo
Eat olive oil generously
Eat avocado and garlic

11/2006 - Cholesterol - 239 - HDL- 42 - LDL - 196

People with cholesterol problems often have problems with insulin resistance. I have read that if you control
your glucose levels that the cholesterol will come under control. I try to watch my sugar intake and take a sugar glucose supplement as well as cinnamon. Also limit carb and sugar..

I also take 500 mg niacin supplement.. My Canyon Ranch doctor recommended building up to 2000 mg. You take the niacin at night because it opens up your blood vessels and can cause a flushed itching face, chest etc. I decided to stay with
500 mgs because I can still tell that the dosage I take still affects me.
Exercise is recommended and I can say I do it more then I used to but I don't do it enough.
I also bought a glucose and cholesterol monitor and I used it monthly.

All of the above helped but I was still fighting the numbers until I broke down and took Red Yeast Rice. I take 1200 mg a day. 600 in the morning and 600 in the evening. Red yeast is a natural statin. This means that you should have your blood work checked every 3 months. I keep thinking that if I get better at diet control and exercise, I'll be able to back off the Red Yeast Rice. Maybe go to 1 a day and then slowly eliminate it. I'm convinced that the Red Yeast Rice is a better solution then the medication the doctors would recommend. My doctor was absolutely sure that the Red Yeast Rice would not work but after I had been on it about 2 months.

01/2007 Cholesterol - 172 - HDL- 51 LDL - 103. YEAH! His response was to keep doing what I was doing.

T minus 4 days

Tonight was Ashley's 6th grade orientation as well as my PTA Board Meeting. Mark took the kiddos to Ashley's thing so I could make my thing. Turns out that the rumors we've been hearing about the possibility of her school starting one to two weeks late due to renovations is false. They promised they would be finished by Monday. Yay! Aside from that, they say the orientation was pretty much old news, but she did get her schedule...for a brief period of time. Unfortunately, they scheduled her for two PE classes this semsester, and they had to turn her schedule back in for a change. Sooo, Monday morning she'll be able to see what classes she has.

As for my meeting, it went very well. This is my first year with a position on the Board, and I have to say, I'm pretty excited about it. I'll the the Kindergarten Represenative, which means I'll be in charge of getting Kinder room moms for each class and ensuring that they understand what that entails. I will also be in charge of the PTA Bulletin Board. Being up at the school as much as possible is my goal, and I think I've pretty much ensured that my goal will be met. As it turns out, Alex is in the same class as the PTA Presidents son, which is SUPER news, considering she requested her sons teacher.

Just before leaving for the meeting I checked the mail and found the sweetest little postcard addressed to the one and only, Alexander Urben. This was not just ANY postcard, it was a very, very special postcard from his very first teacher. When I told him he had a postcard from his teacher, his little 5 year old face LIT up as if I'd just told him we'd won tickets to Disney World. After calming him down I was finally able to sit him down so he could read his very own piece of mail. Of course, he read it in it's intirety without hesitation, and is now even more eager to start Kindergarten than ever. Tomorrow is meet the teacher night which should hopefully hold him over until Monday.

My little pumpkin is going to big boy school and my little princess is going to big girl school. I'm going to need some serious therapy on Monday morning...friend therapy will do...but Mimosas will do even better!

Finally, Alabama Photo Album

Alabama Trip

Monday, August 20, 2007

New toilet!

Another update on the bathroom remodel that I forgot to mention. A new potty! It does seem a little silly to be excited about a new toilet, but once again, I'm not sure if it's the thrill of a deal or the actual toilet itself. So here she is, the Toto Carrollton. Mark is excited about the flushing action (25 golf balls...not sure why that's necessary, but you know boys and their toys..??), I'm loving the skirted sides and soft closing seat, but even more so, the price tag. List price: $582.00, display markdown at Apex: $230.00. Savings: $352.00.

Savings to date: $1,392

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Jacuzzi anyone?

Well, today Mark and I made our first big purchase for the bathroom remodel and I am beyond excited. I still haven't decided if I'm more excited about the sweet whirlpool tub, or the amazing deal we scored. Anyway, Mark and I decided on a corner tub, and had a budget of $1000.00. We wanted jets, and room for two. We had one picked out at Lowes for $999.99, but today I found an excellent deal for a brand new Jacuzzi tub on Craigslist. After doing some research on it, we discovered what an amazing deal we had stumbled upon. This is a Jacuzzi Cappella tub retails at a whopping $2,189 starting price. (Although I did find it on bizrate for $1,600). So here's the tub we picked up today:

Oh, did I mention the price??? This puppy was on Craigslist for a whopping $700, and Mark ended up talking him down to $650. And it's NEW!