Hump Day Open Thread

What’s up?

Have the hankies ready. I wish I had when I read this sweet story about best friends who turned out to be brothers.

In health news: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services interviewed a researcher about whether the contestants of the Biggest Loser could keep their weight off. Here is what he had to say:

“They would have to have about a 20 percent calorie cut from where they started, with about 20 minutes a day of vigorous exercise.”

Interesting. It always seems that keeping the weight off is so much more work. What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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About Elisa

I am a journalist and online organizer who is the co-publisher of this blog. When I am not online, I am shuttling around my two kids, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

80 thoughts on “Hump Day Open Thread

    • Lol!

      But seriously, as someone who has kept 40+ pounds off for more than 12 years now, the math in that link isn’t adding up for me.

      So say a Biggest Loser “started” off consuming about 5,000 calories a day. Is the article suggesting that if they lose a ton of weight, then consume 4,000 calories a day (20% less) and exercise 20 minutes a day, they will keep the weight off? Sounds impossible to me.

      Am I crazy or does this seem way wrong?

  1. Blerg. Tired, overwhelmed with the move, dh and I were arguing last night over where to put the sofa. I love our rental but the thought of moving again in 6 months brings tears. Baby slept well last night but she’s just generally fussy if not being held or nursed and I am not feeling all that glowy about being her 24/7 food and entertainment source. Unfortunately with her broken bone she can’t spend a lot of time in a wrap/carrier yet. And she hates the car seat! She didn’t get the memo that she’s the third kid…she’s going to spend a majority of her time in the carseat, shuttling to and from activities and school!

    Going to move over to the rental this weekend hopefully. Gettjng the dogs back next week and I really don’t want the stress of pets right now! But they’ve overstayed their welcome, and the family who has one of them loves him but declined to keep him.

    Too much change all at one time. Ok end venting.

    Life will get easier…someday…

  2. Oh and a birth control question. I was going to get an iud but I’m terrified of the 1% chance of getting pregnant. Im uber fertile. The midwife said vasectomy is as close to 100% effective as possible if you wait the specified amount of time. Dh is willing. For those of you whose husbands/so’s are fixed, how confident are you? I just feel like I would still be nervous no matter what but I don’t want to worry about backup. I just cannot do pregnancy again.

      • Yes she said you have to use backup until you have 3 negative samples, and after that its about 100%. After my last baby I wasn’t ready to close the door obviously. But now I’m at the point where we are ready to slam it shut!

          • Huh. Well maybe the urologist they refer to is overly cautious. Which is fine with me!

            You know it’s horrible to say it but before I was unwilling to do it because of the whole “what if something happens to one of my kids” thing. You know, an heir and a spare? But at this point, having 3 for 3 difficult pregnancies and 3 for 3 deliveries with complications (albeit minor ones), there is nothing that could replace my kids and there is no way I would put them thru the stress of another pregnancy.

          • We did two and I feel 100% about it. the cases where it fails are usually when they don’t go back for the check. Honestly, I praise all that is good in the world that we did the V. It makes things so much easier for all of us.

          • I was curious so looked it up. This is the American Urological Association guideline based on literature review:
            “12. Patients may stop using other methods of contraception when examination of one well-mixed, uncentrifuged, fresh post-vasectomy semen specimen shows azoospermia or only rare non-motile sperm (RNMS [rare non-motile sperm] or ≤ 100,000 non-motile sperm/mL). Recommendation (Evidence Strength: Grade C)

            After PVSA demonstrates azoospermia, the risk of fertility is about 1 in 2,000. Other studies suggest that the risk of pregnancy associated with RNMS is very low and similar to the risk when sperm are absent. The opinion of the Panel is that after azoospermia or RNMS has been achieved, the patient may rely on his vasectomy for contraception, and further PVSAs [ie sample screenings] are unnecessary.”

    • Uber fertile, too, and the vasectomy has worked for us. I would follow instructions very closely — I believe there was a month after he had it that we had to use back-up birth control. But since then, no accidents, no worries and no having to remember to take a pill or shot. I highly recommend!

    • Do it! I was completely confident since we followed all the rules [no unprotected sex for whatever the prescribed period was, then a clear test]. It’s been 14 ish years so I can’t remember so well. Of course, then five years ago I had a hysterectomy so we are totally in the clear now. But I was very confident in the results of the V and DH said it wasn’t bad.

  3. So, my DB2 and SIL are getting a divorce. They were together for 8 years, married for 5.5 years, don’t have kids, pet, property… But I’m kind of in shock about it. 3 weeks ago they were all excited talking about Christmas/New Year’s plans. 10 days ago they were “in a rough patch” and now they’re signing papers. It just seems really fast and I’m kind of spinning about it. SIL is taking on a lot of the ownership – she wants to be on her own, focus on her career, etc. I think she was hoping that DB2 would be more supportive and/or offer to make some changes in his career (SIL has always done really well, but they’ve definitely moved/made decisions based on DB2’s career). But DB2 didn’t want to make any changes, SIL didn’t want to wait, and for now at least I guess it’s done. I’m a little concerned DB2 had/is having an affair (I saw a text a couple months ago that was very sexual in nature). But he denies it and it’s not part of what SIL is talking about. But I can’t help but wonder if that’s why he’s not working more to see if there’s something to be fixed here. Anyways, it’s been a weird few days. My parents are in shock. They truly love SIL, have taken numerous trips with DB2 and SIL, and are quite sad. None of us can really figure out how this happened so quickly.

    • I’m sorry to hear that. It seems very fast. They must have had problems for a while they didn’t share with the family. Very shocking to everyone else when it happens though!

    • I’m so sorry – it’s a loss for all of you. Your parents can still be friendly with SIL though – I know it doesn’t happen a lot but there are families that make it work.

    • That’s really too bad. I hope you can figure out how to be supportive and that you’ll all be okay regardless of what happens.

      Divorce is so extra strange for the extended family, I think. You have to walk on eggshells about the topic to be supportive but not too vocal about it, so you are prepared if they reconcile. I’ve been burned by this and had to walk back statements I made that were intended as support that were later seen as, “why don’t you like x?”

      • Yes – I feel on eggshells. And I feel guilty because I’m not really “in DB2’s camp” but feel like I should have more family loyalty or something.

        Now we have to figure out how to tell the kids…

        • Well, as someone who screwed this up I’m glad to see you’re being so thoughtful about it. In our case, my SIL became persona non grata after my brother had an affair and divorced her. Wha????

          In my family blind loyalty trumps logic, except for me, leaving me the bad guy for keeping in touch with ex-SIL (the mother of my nieces) and not jumping in to agree when other family members blame everything on her. I think at this point she is being held personally responsible for global warming. I’m fine with DB as well, but there’s no room for gray in the situation. You’re either 100% behind him and 100% against her, or, by default, 100% against him.

          • Oh – major rift in my husband’s family when his grandmother invited her daughter’s ex-husband in for a cup of tea when he was dropping the kids off at her house. No real reason not to be sociable with him but the daughter had decided that everyone was to cut him off and treat him like shit. Now he comes to family gatherings and she doesn’t.

            I hate that stuff. Especially when there are kids involved.

    • Many of our friends and family were shocked when we announced we were separating permanently. I guess we didn’t want to tell them until we were 100% sure it was really going to happen. That being said, plenty of people separate only to figure out a way to make it work. I hope your DB and SIL find a way to happiness no matter what. I certainly still feel very much like family with my SIL. (not so much with my BIL so I am very glad to get to cut him loose. :-) )

      • :-) Congrats on cutting BIL loose!

        If it was just me surprised, I’d totally understand that they just waited to tell people. But DB2 and my parents are *really* close (sometimes I think too close!) so the fact that this is all new too them is really surprising.

        I too hope that whether together or apart they both find happiness! Thanks.

  4. Last night on the way home from school, Lucy tearfully told me she had a deep, dark secret that she didn’t want to tell me. She finally spilled it after a little reassurance and coaxing. Turns out, all the time she was telling me she was a vampire? It wasn’t really true. She told me that it makes her sad, because she really really wants to be a vampire and she really really wanted me to think she was a vampire. I reassured her that I knew she was pretending, and that it wasn’t lying to have a creative imagination, and that she/we could still have fun telling stories about vampires and pretending to be one even if we all know it’s not true. She also said she knows that there’s no such thing as vampires, especially good vampires, and she knows Ariel isn’t real and Tinkerbell isn’t real, either. She doesn’t know if mermaids are real or not, though she really really wants them to be real. But, of course, fairies are real. Because who else would take the teeth? ; )

    It opened up a whole conversation about “real” not always being the most important when it comes to things like this, because it’s fun to tell stories and to believe in magical things. No clue what precipitated all this, but I am trying to ready myself for the Santa questions that might be lingering just below the surface.

  5. Nausea with a period? Anyone experience this? My 14 year old says her cramps are so bad that they make her feel sick to her stomach. I’ve had wicked bad cramps but not with nausea – anyone have any ideas to help or guidance on this? I’m hesitant to give her meds because they might send her tummy over the edge but my mother’s treatment of liberal doses of the cooking sherry seems extreme before school.

    • A teaspoon or two of cola syrup poured over crushed ice and sipped slowly is my younger son’s favorite nausea remedy. I don’t think his nausea is menstrual, though. I also have a bottle of a strong ginger extract concoction in my medicine closet that I use myself. I used to get a sour stomach on occasion back when I had periods, but I don’t think I’d found the ginger remedy yet so don’t know if it works specifically for that; I just like ginger.

      • I’ve taken emetrol, which is some kind of sugary syrup stuff sold OTC as an anti-nausea medication. It works, though maybe the cola syrup would taste better. Where do you get cola syrup?

        • Our small local pharmacy carries it. I don’t know if the big box stores do. The cola syrup is safe, palatable, cheap, and doubles as a sore throat soother – one of the very best things to keep in the parental medicine chest.

    • My 14 year old often has really bad cramps She sometimes gets nauseous, but I have often thought it is just because the pain is so bad. I had much worse cramps when I was a teen too and I remember my doctor telling me to take Advil RIGHT when I felt the slightest bit of pain – I would often wait to see if they got really bad – but I guess once it is bad it is hard to reverse. So now my daughter does the same – the second she feels a twinge she takes 2 Advil and it seems to really make a difference.

      • Actually for really bad cramps you should take the Advil regularly for a day or two before the period. Ibuprofen reduces prostaglandin synthesis, which is what causes the cramping. I used to have cramps that were so severe I would occasionally black out in class. Preventative advil changed my life. Unfortunately I didn’t learn about this until mid college; it would have spared me a lot of embarrassment in high school if I’d known earlier. I got the nickname “gangrene” after I passed out sitting propped upright in chemistry class; the classmate who noticed called out “Oh my god she’s green!!!!”

        • is prostaglandin synthesis also what causes diarrhea, too? When I was in junior high and high school, I got horrible cramps, headaches, nausea, and diarrhea with with my period. Only the headaches persisted into my college years and beyond. I always took pamprin, remember that? It never worked that well. Advil came out on the market sometime during high school and was a life changer for me, as I recall.

          • The prostaglandins that cause the cramping are related to the inflammatory signaling pathways and I believe directly affect the uterine muscles. I would think the bowel issues are more likely related to fluid retention. But I don’t know for sure.

    • Cramps, headaches, nausea, the works. I was on the pill at age 14 (I think) for just that reason. This was long before I became sexually active. It is the most commonly used solution for menstrual troubles here.

    • Been there. Clamminess, pain, the whole nine godawful doubled-over yards. I passed out a couple times at school. I’m old so the doctor’s response to my description was to call me a liar. Fortunately my mom believed me because she had the same things. I know we tried caffeine, heating pad, and aspirin when I lived at home. Ibuprofen was not yet OTC in those days so I took a different (prescription) prostaglandin inhibitor after leaving home. It never worked for me though. Excedrin was sometimes good. Maybe with food, if she can stand eating something?

      Honestly the only thing that ever worked for me was narcotics. Not everyone can take them but they agree with me. I’m so sorry for your daughter. I will say the cramps eased up when I got older but my period was still regularly messing up my week / vacation / whatever into my 30s. Kinda lived in fear of it, especially because I wasn’t regular. Having good drugs on hand was a life-saver but I didn’t get those reliably until my mid-30s, for a different condition. I believe Canada is more enlightened about such things. I remember going up to get Tylenol 3.

      Hopefully hers will become more tolerable. Hugs, Mama. Such a hard thing to see your baby girl go through.

    • yep, I had it, too, cramps where I’d be lying on the floor in the bathroom. Advil was the best thing for me [wasn’t OTC when I was young and had all these symptoms] but later on I could use it — and it worked way better than anything else.

      so sorry for your DD.

  6. Good morning. I spent yesterday in Santa Barbara for work. What a lovely place. Made me want to go back to spend more time.

    I’m going back North to LA on Friday after work to spend the weekend with a very good friend of mine from High School (in Iowa) who now lives there with his wife. Another friend is flying in from Iowa so it should be a great weekend. Something about spending time with people who you grew up with really soothes the soul. Especially when one lives so far away from where one grew up. (Like so many of us Californians!)

  7. OK, to me that story linked at the top was not a “get out your handkerchiefs” moment. That was a “I want to grab that mom by the throat and slap her around the parking lot” moment. She failed to tell her son he was adopted? And then she raised him in a community where he’d be highly likely to stumble upon that information on his own? That’s just a great way to seriously mess with your kid’s head. The best time to tell your child he’s adopted is before he can speak, but the worst is considered to be adolescence. It could have turned out very badly.

  8. GAH! Big event next week and it’s crunch time. Soooo many little details. Sooooo little time. Thank God for a team. And a great boss.

    Kiddo’s great, DH is close to at least one job offer (I hope, I hope). Things are okay.

  9. Y’all, I’m looking for prayers for a colleague and her family. Her teenage daughter (who is a smart and lovely girl) is facing some pretty tough mental health issues. It started out looking like depression/anxiety and she went on meds for those things, but now it is looking like it could be something worse she’s dealing with. She overdosed on ibuprofin a few weeks ago, then told her mom immediately afterwards and had her stomach pumped. She’s on anti-psychotic medication now and missed 1 dose last weekend. They don’t know if the missed dose is the cause, but she’s hearing voices in her head that tell her to throw herself in front of a car. She’s been caught going outside or trying to head outside a few times in the last couple of days. They are on top of it, in touch with her counselor and trying to figure out if she needs to be hospitalized. For some reason, it has been determined that she does not need to go into the hospital tonight and they have a safety plan for her. My colleague’s husband is working temporarily in another state, but has flown home today. It seems like she’s in the clear for the moment, but it is just so damn scary. I can’t get her out of my mind, or her mom out of my mind. Please send all your good vibes and prayers their way.

    • Oh, I’m so sorry to hear this. I have a weird rule of thumb that people who want to run into traffic often end up being diagnosed with bipolar, which can have psychotic features. The good news about that is that lithium is very effective.

      Your poor colleague. It doesn’t get much worse than seeing your kid suffer and possibly endanger herself. I really hope they can come up with a good plan for her.

      • They are hanging in right now and she’s been going to school. She feels a little less distracted, so maybe it really was the missed dose that caused the latest issues. I think they are just starting to realize that this is probably not some short term thing they are dealing with, which is really hard to come to terms with. My colleagues and I know nothing about what the right course of treatment should be, but we are all kind of bummed that the psychiatrist is only focusing on meds right now and she’s doing no talk therapy at all. It seems like both would be in order during a crisis time like this. And while it might seem good to avoid hospitalization, it has a big cost–her mom is having to basically never let her be alone in the house, even monitoring her in the bathroom and sleeping with her. That’s just a lot to be responsible for at home. It’s more hands on than having a baby, it seems. I just feel so bad for all of them, and worried for this sweet teen’s future.

  10. To lighten the mood: we put a big fleecy throw on the couch so the dog has a place he’s allowed to be. I noticed he’s crept off it just enough that his head is nearly touching me. He wants to be close! Aw man. Everyone should adopt a greyhound. I love this creature.

    • Do you take him to tennis courts to run? I had a friend who had an adopted greyhound (a retired racing dog) and though they had a decent sized yard, she needed more room to run fast around in circles.

      • One of my favorite memories of living in Berkeley was when I was hanging out at a local park, and someone brought their two greyhounds to play. Those dogs were amazing! They played for a few minutes and then the urge to race kicked in, and the two of them whipped around the park over and over. They were leaping over things, running like crazy. It was so fun to watch.

    • You are so lucky! I’ve wanted greyhounds since I was about ten, but I didn’t have the space or lifestyle for them when I was younger–so I got cats instead. I know some greyhounds are considered small animal safe, but I just don’t trust them with my cats, especially in our huge yard where they could really get going. Shoot, my retrievers are barely cat safe. I think I’ll stick with herding dogs from here on out.

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