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Sparrow's debut

28 May 2009
Sparrow wanted to say hello!

He's a cute kid. I think we'll keep him around for a little while!

Book Review: The End of Overeating

27 May 2009
Today's book review is on The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by Dr. David Kessler. Click on the book to visit the author's website.

This book was recommended to me by several friends on the Mothering.com message boards. I was told that it changed their lives, the way they looked at food, and it would change my life too.

Um, not really. Don't get me wrong, it was an interesting read, but this book is S.L.O.W. The first half or so of the book is all about the science of how the brain responds to hyperpalatable, stimulatory food. Interesting in the first chapter, but after the first 150 pages I was more than ready to move on to a new topic. I stuck with it, and I'm glad I did. The last 75 pages is about how to essentially "reprogram" your brain's responses to craving high salt/sugar/fat foods. Kessler says that while it may become easier to eventually avoid overeating unhealthy, hyperpatable food, the urge never completely goes away. I'm glad he admitted that, because I think I'd feel like a failure if I worked my butt off and still wanted French fries now and then.

My two favorite things were how he says that we get in the habit of coming home and going straight to the fridge, coming back with a carton of junk and eating in front of the TV. He says the routine we set while eating becomes deeply ingrained in our psyche and is one of the reasons people have such a hard time with overeating. One thing he recommends is to shake up your routine and don't just sit in front of the telly stuffing your face. I think the reason I liked this bit of advice so much is because we're moving and I'm determined to not start a new routine of coming home from the gym with Wendy's and watching TV while snarfing it down.

My other favorite thing was when he likened today's food to adult baby food. Much of the processed food we eat has been softened up with oils. The fat helps the food form a lump in our mouths as we chew, which becomes very easy/comforting/quick to swallow. Kessler says it's almost like the food we eat has been pre-chewed. Gross.

Overall, I got some good information from this book, and I was able to write several pages on how to help myself overcome my junk food addiction. I'm glad I read it, and I would recommend it to anyone struggling with addiction to unhealthy food or portion sizes, but I wouldn't buy it again. Not for hardcover prices anyway.

Moving on up

26 May 2009
On Saturday, we are moving from our teeny tiny apartment to a beautiful townhouse. From the Salt Lake valley near the freeway to the mountain that divides Salt Lake and Utah county. The view is incredible. We'll be in an end unit and none of the rooms touch our neighbor's walls, so fingers crossed we won't get any complaints about loud little Sparrow.

I'm a little nervous about this move. Last year when we moved into the apartment, Sparrow was only a few months old. He stayed out of the way while we moved in and unpacked because he couldn't move yet. Now he's VERY mobile! In fact, as I type he's scaling the mountain of boxes piled in our corner. He's a fearless one, that's for sure!

I'm not really sure how to pack up either. Hawk and I have moved three times since we got married (sheesh!) so you'd think I'd be a pro at this, but I can't remember how I worked this out last time. Oh that's right - I didn't! Hawk ended up packing our whole house while Sparrow and I flew out to our new home.

So, how do you handle moving with a toddler? What can I do to keep him entertained and hopefully out of the way? And how do I pack all this stuff up? Why do we have so many clothes and dishes and pots and pans, and can I just donate it all to someone and start over new in our new home?

Bird Watching

24 May 2009
Cast of Characters.

Kestrel: Narrator. A 20-something self-diagnosed LAZY person with a love for reading, writing, and all things musical. After graduating with an Associate's degree at age 17, Kestrel took some time off to live in England for 6 months. Upon returning to the States, she struggled with (and still does) mental illness, regret, and low self esteem. After some Stupid Idiot Moments, Kestrel married Hawk and had a nightmare pregnancy before giving birth to Sparrow. Currently, Kestrel spends her time taking care of her family and trying to figure out how to get back to England as soon as possible.

Hawk: The 20-something husband of Kestrel and father of Sparrow. A computer programmer by trade, he puts up with both Kestrel and Sparrow's antics with surprising, almost inhuman patience. Hawk loves movies, watching LOST, eating at restaurants, and his family. Hawk is the oldest of 8 kids and lived in North Carolina for most of his life before moving to Utah. He has never left the country, which drives Kestrel nuts. He would love to visit Japan someday.

Sparrow: The offspring. Sparrow was born in late January 2008 after a pregnancy that nearly killed his mother. He was born at 33 weeks gestation, and weighed only 4 lbs. After a brief (3 week) stay at the NICU, he was able to join his anxious family at home. Now a healthy, happy, LOUD toddler, Sparrow loves to laugh, read and exercise his newly discovered walking skills. He also enjoys food. Non-stop. He would most like to visit wherever his mommy goes.

Bamboo and Panda: The cats, who are both very spoiled and very aware of it. They would not like to visit anywhere, but especially not the vet.

Join our narrator as she tries to handle life with a silly husband, a demanding toddler and two crazy cats, all while battling depression, social anxiety, and an eating disorder. Will she be able to rise above the clouds and soar? It is a mystery.