Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wherein we redub the baby "Grasshopper", and Liam finally wins on my sugar habit.

We bought paint for the baby's nursery. The paint color was called "Grasshopper" (a really light spring-y green), which made us laugh and now we are calling Player 3 "Grasshopper", especially because it likes to kick. The kicks are actually kicks now, instead of the swish-swish-thumps of two weeks ago. They're still gentle and cute (for now) but it's very disconcerting and uncomfortable to have your internal organs jabbed from internal directions.
There is new research out that is linking excessive sugar consumption to heart disease (excessive defined as more than 8 teaspoons a day for women, more than 10/day for men. There are about 4 grams of sugar per teaspoon. For reference, a cup of vanilla Greek yogurt has 26 grams of sugar, or 6.5 teaspoons of sugar) and Liam has finally backed me in to a research corner for my sweet tooth. He's been trying to get me to cut back on sugar for my health for years now, trying to link it to diabetes, but all of the research out there had only linked poor lifestyle and fat consumption/body weight to to diabetes and heart disease. Well he's got me now, the *@&#$*, and I've been trying really hard to cut back on sugar. It makes me very unhappy because I love sugar very very much, but, you know, science.

Liam's shoulder is getting better. His MRI in December found nothing. The good news is that it meant there was no need for surgery. The bad news is that the doctors had no idea what was causing him so much pain. They wanted to do a cortisone shot as a we-don't-know-what's-wrong-with-you treatment, but it would have been a painful procedure involving inserting a long needle into a delicate spot, x-raying it to check the placement (with the needle still in there), adjusting the needle, x-raying again, and then pushing the plunger on the needle. He chose instead to go to a chiropractor as a last-ditch effort before the needle, and it has been great. This chiropractor examined him and noticed the same displaced rib that the Physical Therapist noted but the doctors dismissed. Basically what she thinks is wrong with him is that something is out of alignment way over here on the other side of his body and it's pulling on this which is yanking on that and the end result is that the end of the line (his shoulder and bicep) have such pressure and pulling on them that they're under tremendous stress. She works on him for maybe 5 minutes a week and he's been seeing marked improvement. Nice lady. Walk-in-only practice, 3 days a week, doesn't even need to advertise and her waiting room is always full from returning clients and word of mouth advertising.
Nashua-the-dog has news: he's being removed from the program. His training is flawless and his intelligence is unmatched, but he likes to steal things off of counters for attention which is a big problem for a guide dog because you can't move things around on a blind person. It is not unexpected for a retriever breed to want to bring you things, but it is an automatic failure if he can't be broken of it. Even the top trainers in the organization can't break him of the habit, and they've progressed to outright punishment to try to deter him. The good news is that he is such a perfect specimen that they are 95% certain that he will be used as a Stud Dog, which is a huge honor since only about 2 male dogs every 4-5 years get chosen for breeding service.
I practiced making fondant (that smooth cake frosting edible sugar clay stuff that they use to make wedding cakes look fancy) for the baby shower cake. It was a delicious disaster. Candy-making is apparently very different from baking. I used way too much sugar, accidentally, and the stuff was too stiff and thick and unusable. Liam thought it tasted like fresh Circus Peanuts and ate quite a lot of it. You know it's too sweet when even I recoil when you offer me another piece.

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