Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I caught him!

So, this is what Gollum does in his spare time.

Friday, January 20, 2012

L-Tryptophan: Nights Two and Three

Wednesday night I got another good night sleep. My brother Dan even woke me a little after 7am because the power was out at the house and he couldn't get ahold of my father. I was able to get back to sleep right away. I was so happy!

Last night I got to sleep very easily again for a third time. It felt so good. I don't even know the last time I fell asleep that fast and slept so soundly.

Also my cravings for Carbs is going down. I'm not feeling like I NEED to eat bread all day. YAY!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Look who came to visit me today

This morning there was still snow and ice on the deck and when I looked out the door, I got a surprise. There were 5 birds hopping around on the snowy deck looking for food. After watching them for a while, I began to feel sorry for them. I finally gave in and put bird seed out onto a plate for them. They were so cute and I was able to get a picture of one.

* I didn't realize that my sliding door had puppy nose marks until after I took the pictures*

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

L-Tryptophan: Night One

As I have said before, I have a really, really, hard time sleeping. I have tried Melatonin, Chamomile Tea, Warm milk, Valerian/Passion Flower combination, Etc.) but nothing worked. I talked with someone from a supplement store last week and she suggested L-Tryptophan. The first thing I did was look it up. I had never heard of it so I wanted to know what it was. I got my information off of (World's Healthiest Foods). This is what I got from them.

What events can indicate a need for more high-tryptophan foods?

*Anxiety - I can get anxiety at times
*Irritability - I get nasty when I don't get sleep
*Impulsiveness - sometimes
*Inability to concentrate - sometimes
*Weight gain or unexplained weight loss
*Slow growth in children
*Overeating and/or carbohydrate cravings - I have major cravings for bread and potatoes. I mean MAJOR! That's all I want to eat 24/7.
*Poor dream recall
*Insomnia - MAJOR!

Food sources of tryptophan include red meat, dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes, soybeans and soy products, tuna, shellfish, and turkey.

What is tryptophan?

Tryptophan is one of the 10 essential amino acids that the body uses to synthesize the proteins it needs. It's well-known for its role in the production of nervous system messengers, especially those related to relaxation, restfulness, and sleep.

Raising Serotonin Levels

Second, tryptophan serves as a precursor for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps the body regulate appetite, sleep patterns, and mood. Because of its ability to raise serotonin levels, tryptophan has been used therapeutically in the treatment of a variety of conditions, most notably insomnia, depression, and anxiety.

What are deficiency symptoms for tryptophan?

As an essential amino acid, dietary deficiency of tryptophan may cause the symptoms characteristic of protein deficiency, which include weight loss and impaired growth in infants and children.

When accompanied by dietary niacin deficiency, lack of tryptophan in the diet may also cause pellagra, the classic niacin deficiency disease that is characterized by the �4 Ds� � dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, and death. This condition is very rare in the United States, however, and cannot occur simply because of a tryptophan deficiency.

Dietary deficiency of tryptophan may lead to low levels of serotonin. Low serotonin levels are associated with depression, anxiety, irritability, impatience, impulsiveness, inability to concentrate, weight gain, overeating, carbohydrate cravings, poor dream recall, and insomnia.

So many of those symptoms sound like me. After reading this, I thought I would give it a try.

Last night was the first night. I took a tablet at bedtime and about an hour later I was starting to feel tired. I was actually feeling like I could just fall asleep right there while I was talking to Louis on the phone. We said our goodnights to each other and then I closed my eyes. I don't remember tossing or turning a lot before actually falling asleep. When I did wake up in the early morning, because I was thirsty, I was able to get back to sleep easily. I was still a little bit tired when I did finally get up a 8:30, but I also have a lot of sleep to catch up on. It may just take time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Where'd My Car Go?

When I got up this morning, to my dismay, there was only a dusting of new snow. I was quite sad because I was hoping for at least a few more inches. I didn't go to work today because I didn't want to drive on the snowy/icy/slushy roads. I tried it yesterday and it was not fun. Well, not the whole time at least.

The snow finally started falling around 9:30am and didn't stop until about 2pm. I went outside around noon and the roads were completely covered again. I had a hard time finding my car though because it was almost completely covered with snow.

You judge for yourself. What do you think about this?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Snow: Part 2

Yesterday I woke up around 9:30 in the morning and looked outside in hopes that it had snowed during the night. Not that I didn't want to go to church or anything, it's just that I wanted snow more. I was disappointed when there was nothing new; not even a dusting. I happened to look out the window 10 minutes later and the snow was coming down....HARD. It's amazing what just a few minutes can bring. It was so beautiful; I just wanted to keep watching it fall down to the earth.

Louis and I had already decided that we were not going to go to church because the roads were too snowy for us to want to drive in. We did, however, get to talk with each other for about half the day. It was so nice to hear his voice on the other end! It really made my day.

The dogs were so excited to go outside to play. They could hardly wait.

Once they were outside, nothing could stop them from having the time of their life!

A view of the front yard. I am also sad to say that this will be the last winter for the maple tree in the second picture. It is getting cut down in a few weeks because it is getting to close to the water line. I am going to miss how beautiful that tree gets in the winter.

My dad and I went for a walk with the dogs after lunch. I put wax on their paws to protect the pads of their feet against the snow. If it's good enough for sled dogs, it's good enough for my dogs. They had so much fun!

Sadie looking cute and paw prints in the snow

The streets were so icy. There were hardly any cars at all.

Some pictures of me and the dogs

This one is for you Louis!

I tried to get Sadie to look at the camera but she was having none of it.

She only looked when she was good and ready for it.

Towards the end of our walk some of the neighbors started doing fireworks. Sadie hates fireworks, so she was FREAKING OUT! I had to hold her tightly in my arms to try to calm her down.

Me and my pups

Puppy kisses!

More pictures to come tomorrow. We are expecting much more snow over the next 48 hours. YAY!

I Was Wrong About The Snow

Sometimes I am wrong. I am not a weather person and so I can't predict what the clouds will bring. On Saturday I judged a little too early I guess because right after I published the post it started to snow. Isn't that what always happens?

Anyway, Louis and I were going to get together Saturday afternoon because he had something to do in the morning in the Woodinville/Bothell area where he works. Shortly after the snow began to fall I went out into my parent's living room to let my father know that I might not be getting together with Louis that day. My sister Angeligue was at the house (which kind of surprised me) because she was going to take my dad out to eat lunch and then see a movie for his birthday. She wanted to see if the snow would stop, but after a half hour of the white stuff sticking to the ground Angelique, my dad, and myself decided that they better not go. We wanted to be sure my sister would get home okay.

Honestly, I was really hoping that it would stop after 10 minutes *at least until Saturday night* because I really wanted to see Louis and we were going to go see The Muppets before heading to his house to work on a few songs together. I knew I could get to Woodinville and his house, but I wasn't sure what the weather was going to be like on my way home because the temp was supposed to drop and I didn't want to get stuck trying to get home. So, sadly, we made the tough decision to skip our weekly Saturday togetherness. It's not the choice we wanted to make, but for our own safety, it was best to be safe than sorry. Even though it's the only time we get to see each other in the week, we still talk on the phone everyday- so I guess that will have to do for right now.

I did however feel comfortable in driving to the library and to the Redmond Bank (it's the only bank around here that is open until 6pm on Saturdays). It's, for the most part, mainly flat with no large hills. I went to the library first because it ws the closest to my house. The drive there was snowy but fun. It wasn't dumping snow when I got there but it was coming down hard when I left. Here are some pictures before I left for Redmond.

This was Redmond: About 3 miles away

It was night and day. I felt like I had entered the Twilight Zone for about an hour and a half before coming back to the real world of snow. The snow just feels like home.

My next post will be about Yesterday's walk and more snow!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Can't Sleep

I wish I could say that I can sleep but that would be lying and I was always taught that it's not okay to lie. I wish I was one of those people who fall asleep fast and stay asleep all night. I have tried so many things to help me be restful but with no luck.

The reason I bring all this up is because I didn't get to bed until around 3:15 this morning. Before you judge me se and my sleeping habits, let me say that I don't normally stay up that late. I just had such a great time talking with Louis last night because I didn't get to see him at all yesterday (that story is for the next post). When I talk with him it's like time speeds up and pretty soon it's been 5 hours when it only feels like one. I just had the hardest time feeling tired.

I woke up this morning around 9:30 and 6 hours is just not enough for me. I didn't want to get up but my body wouldn't let me sleep anymore than that. It probably doesn't help that I am a very light sleeper. Louis told me last night that he would give me some of his sleep if he could. Believe me....if I could, I would take it but I can't. I just want to get a good night's sleep and not have to wake up tired. When I am tired I get really bad headaches, my eyes hurt, and I feel like I need a nap in the afternoon.

I hope I can get some much needed rest soon. It's killing me! My last resort is a sleep study, but I really don't want to do that unless I absolutely have to.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Snow this weekend?

Those who live in Washington know that when a weatherman says it's going to snow, it usually means that it's not. This winter hasn't been, well, wintery. I LOVE SNOW and most people who know me will say the same thing. Since it doesn't snow here that often, I take all the snow I can get.

The snow storm doesn't even sound that bad. I think they used the term "light snow showers" to describe it. So, I find it very funny when people here in the Pacific Northwest hear this and instantly think that the world is going to end. Case in point: When I was out at the store getting something for my father's birthday yesterday, it was super busy. Both PCC (where I got his cupcake) and Safeway (where I got candles and a few other things) had very long lines at the checkout. The cashier was saying that they had been super busy that day because of the "storm" that is coming. I would hardly call a shower a storm, but everyone think differently about it.

What I want at least once this winter season? An actually snow storm- a blizzard would be nice (yeah right). I love looking at the snow, going outside when it's snowing, and I really LOVE driving in it (which really freaks my parents out). The thrill of driving slowly on snowy roads while you have the heat on and the wipers going is so fun. I love having 4WD and it makes snowy driving a whole lot easier. I don't know how many times it has saved my trip and gotten me where I needed to go. With this "storm" I don't think I will get to use it but we shall see.

Hopefully it will snow more than the weather people are saying. I really want it to!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Can you Spot it?

I took Sadie, Oscar, and my parent's dog Miko for a walk today. We had been walking along the Tolt Pipeline Trail and were going back to the car. I thought I saw something and I almost missed it. After doing a double take, I realized that I had seen something in a yard along the trail. Now I ask you:

Do you see what I see?

It's really small so it might take a minute to spot it.

Still don't see it?

Let me zoom in a little.

Hopefully you are starting to see something. Anything?

I will zoom in closer.

Please....Please....Please....tell me that you see what it is!

If you (still) haven't found it by now, here it is.

Yes, it was a squirrel and, because it was still a baby and doesn't know any better, it didn't freak out or try to run away when it saw me and the dogs.


It is?

Yeah, I thought so too!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Metabolism, Energy, and Envy

I am just like everyone else and I would say that my metabolism is about average. I can't say that I exercise a lot because I don't. I would like to start walking more and start running again, but that is all for another time. I also don't have as much energy as I would like to have. It might have something to do with the fact that I don't sleep very well. I'm lucky if I get though the day without needing a nap.

This brings me to Envy. I hate the word because it brings up negative feelings- just by hearing it. I hardly use it, but I feel I just need to right now. I have a confession to make. I, Kathryn, am envious of my dog and his metabolism, energy, and the fact that he knows how to sleep soundly. There, I said it. It seems kind of silly but I will explain.

Oscar's metabolism:

What can't I say about his eating. He eats A LOT! Oscar is only 26 lbs on average and eats about 3 cups of food a day. That's 1.5 cups twice daily with treats during the middle of the day. That is 2-3 times more than the average dog his size. One of the reasons he eats so much is his metabolism is very high. The other is his energy.

Oscar's Energy:

If I could use his energy to power my house, I would never have to pay for electricity. It's too bad I can't because that would be awesome! I just need to harness his energy and use it for something productive. This dog could play ball until he drops dead- luckily it hasn't come to that yet. I usually take him off leash on the Tolt Pipeline Trail at least once a day, play ball with him in the yard for an hour a day, and by the end of the day he still wants to play. I wish I had half as much energy as he does.

Oscar's sleep:

Oscar can sleep though anything. I wish I could sleep as well as he does. I will wake up to the slightest noise (a clock, guinea pigs drinking, the wind blowing, the heater going on, etc.) and any light will keep me awake so I have to wear an eye mask to be in complete darkness. To say the least- IT SUCKS! This is why Oscar is not allowed to sleep on my bed at night. First, his snoring WILL wake me up even if it's across the room (just not as bad). And, for those people who have not heard him snore, it is extremely loud. Sometime I feel like it could wake the dead. Second, his gas WILL keep me up. He can clear a room in less than 10 seconds when he lets one. They are very toxic to anyone that comes close (I advise you never to go into a room after he has farted). He also usually does the hit and run. He hits you with the smell and then runs for his life. Leaving you gagging and gasping for air. When he is is my bed he likes to face towards the foot of the bed. This means that my face is in the danger zone every time I sleep. It's not fun to wake up to the smell of something so putrid and vile.

Well, that's it. I know it's sad, but hey, everyone wishes for something at some point in their life. I guess I can only dream.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Getting Braces

On Friday I had a consult with my orthodontist about doing braces on my teeth. This is after pictures and molds were taken of my teeth. Now, I have a lot to think about in the next few weeks.

Basically, I have two options. I can do just braces and I would have them on for 1.5 years. Then have to wear a retainer at night for the rest of my life. I also have to wear a night guard so I don't grind my teeth.

The other option (which the orthodontist said would be the most ideal) would be to have surgery on my jaw while having the braces on. In this case I would have the braces on for 2-2.5 years. The surgery would be to fix 3 problems I have with my jaw. They would raise my upper jaw, bring my bottom jaw forward (I have pretty good overbite), and fix my bottom jaw so it has more symmetry because right now one side is longer than the other.

The orthodontist has referred me to a good oral surgeon that she wants me to see before I decide which way to go. I think it all depends on if the dental or medical insurance will cover it. I hope it does get covered because I would love to get these problems fixed!

New Year's Eve

I'm almost caught up on my blogging. New Year's Eve was great. Louis came over during the day and we had so much fun waiting for the new year. First we played Perfect Dark on my Nintendo 64. Yes, I still have 64 and that's okay because a lot of the games are really fun. After playing that game for about 1.5 hours we ate some dinner. It was just veggie burgers and bell peppers, but still very tasty! Later in the evening we (my mom, dad, Louis and I) played a very fun game of Mario Party. It has been such a long time since I played that one with more that 2 people and we all had a great time.

Around 11:30 pm Louis and I left the house to go celabrate the new year at Marina Park in Kirkland. We were not sure if we would be able to see the Seattle fireworks from the waterfront, but we didn't really care either way. Well, as it turns out, we couldn't see Seattle fireworks, but there were some local fireworks.

We both rang in the New Year talking about how great the last year was. We have both been such a big part in each other's lives. 2011 brought some really good changes to my life and I know there are so many things I would not have done without Louis there right by my side. Honestly, it's going to be pretty hard to top last year!

So, with that, I welcome the new year with open arms and can't wait to see what it brings!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas Part 3

Two parts down, one part to go. After opening presents at my house, Louis and I went over to his house so his family could open presents. We got there in the late morning because we wanted to have enough time for everyone to open their gifts before going to church. I brought my church clothes with me so I could just change at his house and put my pajamas back on after church. Now, let's go to the pictures.

His mom opening one of her gifts

His dad after opening his gift from me. It was a coin just like the one I gave Louis, but with his favorite plane on it.

Louis after opening his gift from nephew Caleb

Louis's sister Mercedes after opening her gift from me. It was the Iron Chef America game for Nintendo DS. It looked so fun; I almost wanted to keep it for myself!

More pictures

After church- which was totally awesome- we made a stop off at my sister shelly's house so Louis and I could drop by a few presents for my nephew Owen and niece Gwyneth. Then, we watched as they opened them and saw how excited they were to play with the new toys. It was so worth the trip over there.

Next, we all went back to Louis's house because his brother, sister-in-law, nephew Caleb, and niece Hallie came over to open their presents from us. It was so much fun and I really enjoy seeing Caleb and Hallie. They are so cute!

That was a lot for Christmas Day, but I am finally done! It was a great day and I hope there are more to come in the next year.