October 23, 2010

Sick Day Not-So-Blues

This past week I’ve been experiencing a sore throat and fever, so at last, I was convinced by all of the people most likely to catch what we thought was strep or some other infection (i.e. my boyfriend and my roommates), to go to the doctor.

At the doctor, it turned out that I don’t have an infection, but a virus that has been going around the Utah County area that behaves exactly like strep but without the complications of going untreated, but is a virus.

As a result, I have been prescribed a mouthwash made of Benadryl, lidocane and Maalox. It’s a noxious brew and even though I spit it out after I was done gargling and swishing, I still passed out less than thirty minutes later.

Because I had fallen asleep watching TLC, I woke up to some pregnancy show. This wasn’t capturing my interest, mostly because it seemed to be the only show without a dwarf on it. So instead, I went and worked on some genealogy stuff until Nick came back.

Thankfully, he came back with a pizza. I hadn’t eaten anything all day so it was delicious. We also tried out some Australian soda we found at Fresh Market.

While it was a fun experiment, I can’t say that I enjoyed either of them. The ginger beer upset my stomach and was very gingery and the root beer had a very strong black licorice flavor. I think I’ll stick with Jones, no matter how cool the bottles were.

I also got to watch Signs today. Nick doesn’t like that movie, but he picked it out because he knew I liked it. I have to say, no matter how many times I see that movie, no amount of discomfort can beat that moment when you first see the alien out of the bedroom window. While I haven’t enjoyed one of his movies for a while (I watched the Village the other day as well), I appreciate that M. Night Shyamalan has made a few thrilling, “jumpy” movies that aren’t rated R.

For what it was, I had a good day. Sure I’m in pain because my medicine makes it impossible to stay awake, but I will take it in a few minutes and all will be well again.

G’day!

October 17, 2010

Double, Double Toil and Trouble

Tonight, Nick and I carved our Halloween pumpkins. We had been talking about it for weeks and finally were able to do it today. We got our pumpkins at Fresh Market along with a kit that included a few pumpkin saws, other tools and some patterns. Nick chose to do a werewolf pattern from the kit and I printed out a Guy Fawkes mask to use as a pattern for my pumpkin.

They both turned out great! It took us couple of hours, but we weren’t messing around so we weren’t about to cut corners. While we carved, we watched “The Dark Knight” and ate tater tots and chocolate.

After we I was finished carving my Guy, I sorted the seeds out of the pumpkin goop, washed and strained them and now they are sitting out for the night to dry out before I roast them up tomorrow. Mmmmmm!

October 14, 2010

Love & Rockets

It’s time for another adventure from my trip to Louisiana!

For a while, Nick and I had been planning to buy and put together a model rocket, so while we were at his house, we decided to make this dream a reality. We used the GPS to find a hobby shop and after driving to two other locations, we finally found one that still existed. It was very cute with all kinds of science projects and pieces for train sets and what looked to be very involved games based on periods throughout history. However, in the back of the store we found the rockets.

We went ahead an got one of the less complicated ones (with a few extra engines of course) and put it together in our spare time around the house. Once it was completed, we went to the park with his Mom, brother and youngest sister to shoot it off.

 

Alexis was the first to press the launch button.

The rocket went much further than we expected it to and narrowly missed the water feature on the other side of the park. It was retrieved, loaded with a new engine and ready to go!

After a few more launches, it was time to clean up and feed the birds. We had brought some stale bread and crackers and attracted quite a crowd of ducks, seagulls and other birds (none of which I had seen in the “wild” before).

Those birds were sure excited to get some snacks. Some did get a little close though and I was reminded not only of the time when a goose bit my hand as I was feeding it popcorn, but of the time that a badelynge of ducks attacked my sister in order to steal the bagel she was going to feed to them. Such ferocious creatures.

October 12, 2010

Tuesday Tip: That Prize Winning Smile

Or How to Take Care of Your Mouth

It should be easy. From the time we’re young we use sparkly toothpaste and character toothbrushes. As we age we may get braces, or use mouthwash, giving the appearance of good overall mouth health, but there may be a few things that will make this care more pleasant and give you better results.

 

1. Clean Your Gear

No matter how much you take care of your mouth, it will not matter one bit if your retainers, dentures or mouth guards aren’t clean. To clean them, brush them with your toothbrush and a little bit of toothpaste before each use. Denture cleaning tablets are also a great thing to have on hand for semi-regular use for any type of gear used in your mouth. I use the generic brand of Efferdent Anti-Bacterial Denture Cleanser from Wal-Mart every couple of weeks to thoroughly kill germs and remove stains. (You may think that isn’t very often, but I have three sets of retainers and I clean them all at once…I’m not really gross.)

2. Floss

Yes, it really is that important. The dentists don’t nag about it because they are in cahoots with the floss companies. While I know how hard it can be to floss (I did have braces for seven years), I am grateful that I can now floss with ease in less than a minute. The swelling and brightly colored have returned to their proper condition and my gum sensitivity has decreased. Additionally, flossing at least once a day has shown to have numerous health benefits. It can decrease the the occurrence of colds and viral illnesses, and even allow for better heart health.

3. Watch Out for Fluoride

It is still a heated debate as to whether fluoride is actually beneficial for your teeth, however, it is universally accepted that fluoride is harmful when ingested or used in large quantities. Too much fluoride consumption can cause skeletal or dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is acquired during primarily childhood, and affects large quantities of the American population. Fluoride has is also help suspect for a number of other physical ailments due to its toxicity to the human body. Avoid fluoridated water and be careful not to swallow mouthwash or toothpaste EVER.

4. Sensitive Teeth Need Sensitive Solutions

My teeth are incredibly sensitive. This is a problem that increased over time as I continued to use regular toothpastes, and even got worse as I began to use toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. However, now I use the all natural “Tom’s of Maine” toothpaste. It is fluoride free, easy on the teeth and gums and better at whitening teeth than the primary brands (at least, so I’ve found). The one problem is that it can be difficult to find. You can buy it in a large pack online, but as always I recommend trying first. It can be found at some supermarkets (Fresh Market, IGA and others) but may be something you could find at a drug store as well. The taste is very different from other pastes you will have used, so it takes some getting used to, but it’s worth it. I have found that my teeth are not only less sensitive during teeth brushing time, but while I am eating as well.

 

While the eyes are the gateway to your soul, your mouth is the gateway to, well, the rest of your body. Keep it clean and use it to look for signs of poor health elsewhere in your body and it will serve you well.

October 10, 2010

Happy Homecoming, BYU!

First off, I would like to congratulate BYU on winning their homecoming game last Saturday. While I didn’t watch the game, I could hear the roar of the crowd from my lowly concession stand, and it sounds like there were lots of happy fans that evening.

That’s all fine and dandy, but what about the most important part of homecoming? The homecoming dance?!?

At BYU there is always a formal couples dance and an informal party for couples that don’t want to get dressed up and everyone else, on the Friday before the game. This year, Nick and I went to the formal dance at the Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy, Utah.

It was so much fun to get dressed up in my prom dress from senior prom. There just aren’t enough opportunities in life to wear puffy ball gowns. While we were at California Pizza Kitchen eating dinner, I overheard a little girl asking her mom which princess I was and if I was Cinderella with Prince Charming. She was so excited, and it was very sweet.

The aquarium is relatively small but it was an excellent place for a dance because you could look at the exhibits when you needed a break from the dance floor.

 

It was definitely a wonderful experience. While I’m generally freaked out of aquariums, I made it through the whole night only having a couple panicky moments. The first when I thought the sting ray was trying to climb out of the open water feature in the middle of the dance floor, and the second when I realized what was in the tank that Nick was shining his phone on…an octopus (my arch-enemy). I will admit though, that I did end up touching the sting ray for half a second at the end of the dance. It felt like snot, but at least I can say I did it.

October 3, 2010

We’re Goin’ to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

As I mentioned before, I did lots of stuff this summer. However, what I did not mention was that I spent the month of August in Louisiana! I went home with Nick for a visit and so that he could get his knee surgery. We did lots of stuff, which of course I am going to write about, but all in good time, my friends, because this post is about the zoo only…

We went with some of Nick’s family to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. It had been a long time since I’d been to a zoo (and the last was the “zoo” at Lagoon, at that) so I was very excited to see some animals. As luck would have it, the tiger was away, but everything else was just chilling as good zoo animals should.

 

Before you ask, yes, I did take that picture, and yes, I know, it’s easily the best zoo picture I have ever taken. Back when I was a kid and would take my old school film and one-size-fits-all flash camera to the zoo, I would just get blurry shots and reflecting glass. By the time the pictures would get developed a few months later (and that’s an optimistic estimate) I didn’t have a clue what it was a picture of. Digital cameras make zoo photos so much easier. But enough about me, these giraffes are gorgeous!

Now check this guy out. There was a reptile room FULL of reptiles, but the craziest were the snakes. Some of them were huge! Needless to say, the giant fake snake of the ceiling showing the uncurled size of one of the largest snakes made me freak out a little bit when I first saw it and any subsequent time when I thought about it still being above me. But this little froggy has no fears. The frog is poisonous and the snake knows this, so as part of the exhibit, they are kept together. I was lucky enough to see the frog actually sitting on the snake’s head. How crazy is that?

 

Of course the trip would not have been complete without a visit to the swamp exhibit. I got to see oodles of alligators that were hidden in a swampy pool of water (they really know how to sneak around), babies, and albino alligators along with a few other swamp animals like nutria rats and alligator gars.

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It was very lucky that I am so small. For the alligator hatchlings, I could crawl under the table and fit in the tube in the middle of their small tank in the gift shop. My little friend here even smiled for the camera.

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