Running with Lynn Show

Good morning UND, we are looking at a cloudy chilly day with a high of 35 right now at 9:30 in the a.m. we are sitting at 33.

Today is National Kazoo Day. People young and old love Kazoos. Kazoo Day celebrates the joy of this musical instrument.

Alabama Vest of Macon, Georgia made the first Kazoo in the 1840’s. Actually, he conceived the Kazoo, and had Thaddeus Von Clegg, a German clockmaster, make it to his specifications

Commercial production of the Kazoo didn’t occur until many years later in 1912. Manufacturing was first started by Emil Sorg in Western New York. Sorg joined up with Michael McIntyre, a Buffalo tool and die maker. Production moved to Eden, NY where the factory museum remains today.

Kazoos are easy to play. Simply hum a tune into the kazoo, and you’re an expert. Kazoos can be played solo, or in groups. It plays a great tune both ways

When you get tired of playing your kazoos catch a movie! The movie of the week, Foxcatcher (R), Olympic Gold Medal-winning wrestler Mark Schultz is struggling in obscurity and poverty in Wisconsin when he is invited by wealthy heir John du Pont to move on to his lavish estate to form a team and to train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Schultz seizes the opportunity, eager to step out of the shadow of his revered older brother Dave, a prominent wrestling coach and Gold Medal winner himself. “I saw this movie last week, its a great true story with a shocking ending.”

I’ve started this a thousand times.

I’ve started writing this blog post roughly a thousand times in my head. I’ve edited it, I’ve redrafted it, I’ve added, I’ve deleted… but I’ve never actually stopped to write a sentence down.

Our little one came in-

(sorry about that- she was crying and needed to be held… now, where was I?)

Our little one came in November and turned our family of 3 (husband, myself, and our dog) into a family of 4. To say she’s given us a run for our money is an understatement.

I’ve always been pretty protective of my schedule and my routine. I don’t like to deviate too much from what I know and am familiar with. Let’s just say that babies throw that ALL out the window. It’s been a total and complete adjustment, but in a good way. And to be honest, it’s taken me a few weeks to be able to say that- to say that it’s a good thing.

Change is hard. And harder for some (my hand is WAY up).

She cried a lot those first 5 weeks, and didn’t sleep a lot. I felt like a human milk machine. Showers were few and far between, while the tears rarely ceased (for both of us). I felt empty and defeated at the end of most days, just thinking “This is it? This is life now?!” There were times I mourned* the loss of my freedom and ability to shower each morning and eat a hot meal while it’s still hot and just get in my car and go to the store in under an hour. (*mourned=sobbed uncontrollably)

Luckily, it’s getting easier. She’s crying less and sleeping (a very little bit) more. Or maybe I’m just getting used to the sleep depravation- it’s anybody’s guess. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the kindness of others. It takes a village to raise a child, and even telling a mother that she’s doing a great job sparks a fire that I cannot describe in words. Feeling that love and support helps to refill my tank.

It’s a slow process. And I’m a constant work in progress.

As I became a bit more comfortable with my role as Mom, I longed to do the things that helped me feel like myself again- working out and eating things that aren’t necessarily  Spaghettios or Oreos. (Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE those and still enjoy them from time to time, but I also know they don’t make me feel as good as my leafy greens do.) I’m ready to start feeling better about the new person that I’ve become- inside and out.

It’s Love Your Body Week at UND- one of my favorite times of the year. I love the idea of celebrating yourself no matter WHAT. Love your body or not, it’s a great reminder that there is always something to be thankful for.

A friend asked me what I loved about my body the other day. The truth is, since having a baby there isn’t much. Sometimes I like the way my hair falls. And I like my eyes- they seem to be one of the only things that didn’t change with pregnancy and birth. Almost everything else stretched and expanded. It’s incredibly frustrating to have nothing that fits unless it has an elastic waistband or extra fabric gathered around the middle or 3 sizes bigger.

But this friend is one of the more resilient, thoughtful, and positive people I’ve met in my life; she helped me to remember that my body is not just a size. And I suddenly felt as though I had permission to look at my body with love and acceptance as I thought about it’s capabilities.

This beautiful body created and carried and delivered a baby (that’s pretty bada**). My legs carried me for many miles throughout the pregnancy, despite sciatic nerve pain that brought me to tears some days; and now they help me rock.and rock and bounce.and bounce.and bounce.and bounce until our little one finally quiets and drifts off to sleep. My arms are strong enough to carry her from place to place and give her a bath almost every night- a favorite time of the day for both of us alike. My mouth allows me to make funny faces and noises that bring a smile to her sweet face…oh how I love those sweet little smiles.

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Geez, when I stop and really think about it… my body is pretty dang awesome. Sure, my clothes may never fit the same again… or at least not for quite awhile… but in the meantime it’s doing exactly what I need it to be doing. And I LOVE it for that, and I accept where it’s at- stretchy waistbands and all.

And now I turn to you, Dear Reader, and feel inclined to ask:

What do YOU love about YOUR body?

Running with Lynn Show

Good morning UND, Burr Baby Burr- that wind has been a killer the last couple of days, so bundle up, wear a scarf, and don’t stay out for a long time.

That gives me a great idea- stay inside and catch a movie! The movie of the week is [The Gambler] Yes my friends, it’s time to put on your poker face.
{movie story}Jim Bennett is a risk taker. Both an English professor and a high-stakes gambler, Bennett bets it all when he borrows from a gangster and offers his own life as collateral} This Drama, Suspense/Thriller will give you chills and thrills all 1hr and 41 min. long.

The Running Show brings you
[Stories that will blow your mind]

Four day ago I lost my cell phone… I searched everywhere and can’t find it. I came to the conclusion that the phone was stolen. I thought to myself, maybe I should call my phone and the crook will pick up. I called the number, the phone rang, and then someone picked up. I said “hello,” he said “hi,” and I said, “can I ask you a question? Did you steal my phone?” He replied, “yes I did.” I replied, “that’s my phone, what are you going to do with it?” He replied, “I don’t know, make a few calls.” I answered back, “then can I have my phone back?” He answered, “aw, no.”

Have a great day everybody!

An Artificial Awakening

I saw a meme the other day that made me both chuckle and think about my habits during my first semester as a graduate student. It was from a fellow classmate after we finished with our last final and it said, “Caffeine, you’re on the bench. Alcohol, suit up.” I’m sure it was funny to the majority of my classmates. It made me reflect on my study habits and my cycles of “self-medicating.” Both caffeine and alcohol are indeed drugs, legal ones, but too many people have developed a dependency on them.

I can remember a few tests this semester where I had more caffeine than I should have while studying. I knew skipping coffee on any day would make me feel unproductive. I associated mental arousal with that irresistible hot black beverage. I even went on a caffeine detox for a week and I felt horrible during the first couple of days.
After those tests were done, I often found myself wanting some sort of alcoholic beverage just to relax. I didn’t want to go to parties and binge drink my brain away, but rather enjoy the effects of a drink or two in solitude. See, my mind was so overstimulated from the caffeine that the depressive effects of alcohol seemed to balance it out. I needed one drug to counteract the effects of another. I thought I was being smart, only having one or two drinks on Friday evening. My mindset was “I’m old enough to legally drink; I’m doing so responsibly, there is nothing wrong here.”

Many will argue that caffeine and alcohol are fine in moderate amounts and in appropriate situations; however, I do believe we need to get out of the vicious substance controlled undulation of our state of minds. Instead of relying on caffeine to heighten our senses, we should be altering our lifestyles in a manner that brings more balance. Instead of unwinding with a drink after a week of taxing our minds with caffeine and dull textbooks, we should be seeking out positive and enriching experiences outside school. I’m not going to be giving up on my green tea anytime soon, but I will avoid using it solely as a means to be more attentive.

Running with Lynn Show

Good morning UND, we are looking for a high of 18, right now at 9:00 we are sitting at 4 above.

Ah! Christmas, the biggest holiday of the year. Christmas has both a strong religious and traditional meaning. It has a certain feel, all to itself, that you usually do not feel at any other time of the year. It creates within us a sense of kindness and concern for fellow man. At no other time are we more generous and giving. It creates a sense of family and belonging.

Everyone comes home for the Christmas holiday. It is a time of family and giving. It is truly a time that comes but once a year. Christmas is celebrated in most countries around the world!

And so, we invite you to ride along. Join us in celebration of the magic, the wonder and the spirit of this holiday season.
Did you Know? Charles Dickens published, “A Christmas Carol” on December 19, 1843?

[ HAPPY Festivus]
Seinfeld [edit]

Festivus was introduced in the Seinfeld episode “The Strike,” written by Daniel O’Keefe’s son, Dan O’Keefe. The episode revolves around Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) returning to work at H&H Bagels. First, while at Monk’s Restaurant, Jerry, George, and Elaine discuss George’s father’s creation of Festivus. [3] Then Kramer becomes interested in resurrecting the holiday when, at the bagel shop, Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller) tells him how he created Festivus as an alternative holiday in response to the commercialization of Christmas. [3]

Frank Costanza’s son, George (Jason Alexander), creates donation cards for a fake charity called The Human Fund (with the slogan “Money For People”) in lieu of having to give office Christmas presents. When his boss, Mr. Kruger (Daniel von Bargen), questions George about a $20,000 check he gave George to donate to the Human Fund as a corporate donation, George hastily concocts the excuse that he made up the Human Fund because he feared persecution for his beliefs—for not celebrating Christmas, but celebrating Festivus. Attempting to call his bluff, Kruger goes home with George to see Festivus in action. [3]

Kramer eventually goes back on strike from his bagel-vendor job when his manager tells him he cannot have time off for his new-found holiday. Kramer is then seen on the sidewalk picketing H&H Bagels, carrying a sign reading “Festivus yes! Bagels no!” and chanting to anyone passing the store: “Hey! No bagel, no bagel, no bagel…”[3]

Finally, at Frank’s house in Queens, Jerry, Elaine, Kramer, and George gather to celebrate Festivus. George brings Kruger to prove to him that Festivus is real.

Have a nice day everyone!

Alcohol, Sleep & Caffeine: How do they mix?

Can alcohol really help you sleep better at night?

NO, it affects the deep sleep cycle and causes the sleeper to have a more fitful night of sleep. This is due to the fact that the body is processing and metabolizing the alcohol. During this processing, ones’ sleep becomes lighter and more distressed. The notion that drinking alcohol before bed can help you sleep better seems to be widespread in part because in some cases people have believed it can help one fall asleep more quickly. However, it does not actually help you stay asleep or give you the greatest quality of sleep. Concentration of alcohol in the blood is usually highest one hour after ingesting the drink, so drinking too close to falling asleep (even just one drink) can decrease your chances of having a good nights sleep by a significant amount!
It’s also unwise to drink before sleeping, especially the night before a big test or presentation.

Fun Fact: A great deal of memory formation and retention happens while sleeping. If you’re not getting a good quality and a substantial amount of sleep then the memory retention occurring at night is not to its’ best ability. Binge drinking, drinking 5+ drinks for men and 4+ drinks for women in the course of two hours, can affect the brain and body’s functions for up to three days; add that to not getting enough sleep and one’s overall functioning is looking pretty dim.

What less sleep can be doing to you:
1. Increasing episodes of depression
2. Difficulty performing everyday tasks and increased irritability
3. Decreased motivation, memory, and concentration
4. Impaired social functioning
5. Lowered mental stamina
6. Decreased creativity and spontaneity

Can Caffeine really keep you up at night?

Unlike alcohol, caffeine is a stimulant which in turn reduces the flow of sleep inducing chemicals in the brain while also increasing adrenaline production. Caffeine can have stimulating effects as soon as 15 minutes after consuming the beverage and it shortens the deep sleep cycle. It takes around 6 hours for half of the caffeine ingested to be eliminated from your body. Therefore, it is best to curb drinking caffeine at about 6 hours before going to bed. However, at that point only half of the caffeine would be fully processed and eliminated by your body. So maybe it’s best to stick to that one morning cup a day rule.

Fun Fact: It is possible to be physically dependent on caffeine just as it is equally possible to be physically dependent on alcohol. There is a disorder in which many people dependent on caffeine are susceptible to, known as Caffeine Induced Sleep Disorder. This disorder occurs when caffeine has lengthened the amount of time it takes for one to fall asleep.

What caffeine can be doing to you:
1. Reducing fine motor skills
2. Headaches, nervousness, and dizziness
3. Causing insomnia
4. Rapid heartbeat

Caffeine and Sleep

It’s safe to say that alcohol, caffeine, and sleep do not mix well together. Careful what you choose to drink before bed… Sweet Dreams.

Running with Lynn Show

Good morning UND we are looking at a cloudy day with a high of 22.
The weather is chilly and that makes it a grand time to take in a movie. The movie of the week is (drum role please) ************** Are you ready to get dumb? I can’t hear you! Are you ready to get dumb? [Dumb and Dumber To} Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels are back on the big screen- catch this ‘dumb’ movie only at the River Cinema.

Thanksgiving History:
The first Thanksgiving was celebrated between the Pilgrims and the Indians in 1621. That first feast was a three day affair. Life for the early settlers was difficult. The fall harvest was time for celebration. It was also a time of prayer, thanking God for a good crop. The Pilgrims and the Indians created a huge feast including a wide variety of animals and fowl, as well as fruits and vegetables from the fall harvest. This early celebration was the start of today’s holiday celebration. Like then, we celebrate with a huge feast.

Did you know? Potatoes were not part of the first Thanksgiving? Irish immigrants had not yet brought them to North America.

The Running Show brings you turkey tips:
[Always buy a cinnamon dessert. [Why?] When people taste a great dessert they say, “this so good, what’s in this?” The answer is always cinnamon.

Class dismissed.

Have a great day everybody!

Sleep More, Achieve More!

As I write this, I’m thinking about my bed and wishing the day was over so I could crawl into bed. However, when the time comes, sleep doesn’t come as easily as I would like. I toss and turn and sometimes count sheep before I finally doze off. Not only does it take a while to fall asleep, there isn’t a night that passes that I don’t wake up to use the bathroom. This drives me crazy. Research has shown direct connections to the importance of sleep and the effect on academic success. In order to get a good night sleep there are certain tips that should be followed.

• Keep a regular sleep schedule
It’s important to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. Try to sleep the same number of hours every day, at the same time. When I sleep for less than 7 hours a night – the next day is awful! I’m rundown, yawning, find myself thinking of bed and in general, I’m not a happy or friendly person. It messes up my day.

• Create a relaxing bedtime routine
Taking a warm bath, listening to soothing music, and reading a book are all examples of a relaxing bedtime routine. Activities that help tell your body it’s time to sleep and reduce stress and anxiety. Whenever I need to unwind, I take a warm bath and relax which ultimately makes me sleepy. Avoid activities like watching TV or homework right before bed because it can keep you awake by stimulating your mind. Even the bright light emitted from the television or computer can wreak havoc with your sleep. Turn off your electronics a couple of hours before bed to ensure they don’t ruin your rest. Give your brain a chance to wind down from the day.

• Get comfy
One thing about college is that controlling your sleep environment is very difficult. However, do your best to get comfortable. If you are in a residence halls with a noisy roommate, who stays up late with the light on, get eye masks and ear plugs. Ensure your side of the room looks appealing and relaxing. Finding comfortable sheets can create a pleasant bedtime experience, too. The room should be dark and you could do this by hanging up a black sheet around your bed or hanging up dark curtains. Keep the temperature down – it should be between 68-70F.

• Limit daytime naps to 10-30 minutes
No matter how tired I am I try avoiding naps during the day and when it’s absolutely necessary, never for more than 30 minutes, and ideally before 3pm. An early afternoon nap may help you get through your day.

• Turn off your electronics at least 30 minutes before falling asleep
There have been numerous studies showing that using a light-emitting device before bed, like a phone, TV, or laptop, stimulates the brain, creating a false alertness and stimulation, making it harder to sleep. I usually try and turn off my phone or put it on silent and put it face down, even if it’s on, so I will not be disturbed by the light.

• Use your bed for sleep and sex only
I know this may be difficult to do especially when you are in the residence halls, but avoid using your bed for homework or other activities especially ones that cause stress and anxiety. This will help strengthen the association between your bed and sleep.

• Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine before bedtime
I love drinking chocolate drinks, but I try to limit my intake after 4pm. This is because caffeine (found in coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate) is a stimulant and causes your body to be more alert. It can stay in the body for an average of three to five hours. Even if you don’t think caffeine affects you, it is likely to hinder your sleep quality. Although many people use alcohol as a sleep aid, it actually decreases sleep quality by increasing night time awakenings. This leads to a night of lighter sleep that is less restful. Nicotine is a stimulant, which can make it difficult to fall asleep. When tobacco users go to sleep, withdrawal symptoms can also cause poor sleep. Nicotine can also cause problems waking up in the morning and causing nightmares. Avoid nicotine 2 hours before bedtime.

If you want more information, please contact the Health & Wellness Hub on the main floor of the Memorial Union. Enjoy your sleep!

Keep Moving

I tried to get off the couch last weekend, only to realize that this baby inside of me is slowly robbing me of my ability to bend and move as easily… and sometimes, at all. Now I knew this day would come. I’ve had moments of struggling to bend over or get up off the ground… but not like this. This was laughable- like a turtle stuck on its back. I think my loving husband and dog enjoy the show every time I get up to use the bathroom or grab a snack.

When I sleep at night, it’s become a major feat to roll from one side to the other. Occasionally I will stop for a breather when I’m on my back. And to get up when I need to pee? Let’s just say I’m glad we have a firm mattress or we’d be in some SERIOUS trouble.

In the very beginning of my pregnancy, I was often so tired and winded that working out was something I dreaded and barely made it through, but I was determined to keep moving. I figured that by my 7th month I could possibly be couch or bed bound because this was my first pregnancy and you just never know about those things, so I made pact with myself to move while I could. I also mapped out strategies like looking into a swimming pass to help relieve the potential aches and pains I heard so much about.
But for the time being, I wanted to keep moving. Walking the dog. Making it to the gym most days of the week. Dusting off the ol’ walking videos in the basement. Zumba-ing my heart out. Whatever it took.

I’m proud and relieved to report that I’m at the point of “any day now” with my pregnancy and I am still able to take our dog for a “long walk” occasionally (FYI: “Long walks” are anywhere from 1.5-2 hours… “Walks” are around an hour… and “Barely Even” means that we walked 30 minutes or less) Granted there are days where she more or less walks me, but we get there. And back. And then collapse on the couch until it’s snack time- which cannot be missed.

I was thinking about it while being walked by the dog the other day… I cannot believe how fortunate I am to still be able to walk that long. Granted, it takes me a lot longer to walk a shorter distance thanks to constant potty breaks and occasional leg pain/numbness… but still. I’m moving.

And do you know why I think I’m still moving like this? Because in the beginning I kept moving. I stuck to my commitment. (I also LOVE double stuffed Oreos and peanut butter/peanut M&Ms, so I told myself I had to find some sort of “balance.”) No matter what the reason, I stuck with it for the past several months. And I truly believe it’s made all the difference.

Now… you may be reading this thinking, “Who cares?! I’m not pregnant. This is irrelevant.” But try to see the big picture. It’s been about making a commitment to physical activity or something to do with living a healthy life and sticking with it… and then seeing results. So maybe the scale isn’t where I’d like to see it at this point in my pregnancy, but I’m still moving. And I hope it will continue to be a reward with a faster labor and delivery. I guess we’ll (hopefully) find out soon!

What kind of commitment can you make today? It doesn’t have to be a big, huge, extravagant goal. You don’t have to walk forever like I do (for me, walking is thee BEST therapy). Start small and work your way up. I bet it will surprise you how amazing and capable your body is when you push a little bit at a time.

So what you do say?
Let’s make your pact…

Weed 2.0

A few weeks ago I wrote about the use and abuse of marijuana, and I learned a lot about how popular the drug has become. What you may not know is that last week we did an outreach project in the Memorial Union about marijuana. I was surprised at the questions we received and the controversy we heard about the drug from the students. One of the questions that caught me off guard was, “what are the long-term effects of marijuana use if you’re not smoking it, just eating it?” I honestly have never even thought about this before, so I started to do some research and here’s what I found:

Overall, there has not been enough research to determine the exact long-term effects of marijuana use if you are consuming it in ways other than smoking. However, eating marijuana has much different short-term effects on the body. When people consume marijuana, let’s say in a brownie, it takes up to an hour to feel the effects. Once the marijuana begins taking effect, it is usually stronger than if you were to have smoked it. People tend to have strong hallucinations from eating marijuana. Because it takes longer to feel the effects, many people keep eating more because they think that it’s not working, and then they eat way too much.

Even though we don’t know the major long-term effects of eating marijuana, it doesn’t have many positives. Any use of marijuana may lead to severe anxiety, depression, and lower grades and GPA (if you’re a student). Until more research is done on the long-term effects of eating marijuana, I would avoid it because there are more negative consequences than positive ones when it comes to using marijuana.

MJ

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