Monday, September 29, 2008

This weekend, Adam and I hit the road yet again, this time to go to our first session of premarital counseling and then to head up to State College to attend the Penn State vs. Illinois game and celebrate Adam's sister Cara's 20th Birthday!

We dropped Tobey off for the first time at the kennel around 9:00AM on Saturday morning, and headed toward Mechanicsburg in the pouring rain. After a successful premarital counseling session with Dr. Melton, we set out for State College.

Adam and I arrived at State College around 2:00PM and somehow found our way through the maze of RV's, to his grandparents RV. We hung out there for a while, grilled some steaks for dinner, and sang "Happy Birthday" to Cara.

Around 7:00PM, we headed over for the 8:00PM game. This was the first "white-out" and night game I have ever been to, and it was really neat. The ENTIRE stadium was full of fans in their white Penn State gear. It was a really good, and exciting game and to top it off, Penn State won!

By the time we got out of the stadium and back to the RV it was after midnight and I was exhausted. We waited for the traffic to die down a little bit before Adam, Cara and I headed back to Cara's apartment for the night. Because Cara has no visitor parking in her apartment complex, we decided to park in the Giant parking lot, accross the street from the apartment.

We finally got to bed around 2:00AM and after a rough night on an air mattress on Cara's bathroom floor, got up around 10:00AM on Sunday morning. We were planning on going over to get Adam's car and then heading back to Baltimore to pick up the dog and relax for the afternoon. However, when we walked over to the parking lot, Adam's car was nowhere to be found. We discovered that Giant tows cars that are left in the parking lot on football weekends. The towing company actually sends someone in an unmarked car to watch for people parking there. They watched us get out of the car, get our bags, and walk over to the apartment.

After rescuing Adam's car from the impound lot, we were finally able to drive home. We picked up Tobey (who was equally as exhausted as we were) and relaxed for the rest of the evening. After two busy months (August and September), I am looking forward to spending most of October in Baltimore, relaxing and saving money!

We All Scream for Ice Cream!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

So this morning, I was reading the news on CNN and was pretty surprised to come across this article: "PETA Urges Ben & Jerry's To Use Human Milk". OK, so I'm all about preventing cruelty to animals and standing up for animal rights...but this might be taking it a little too far.

Here is the letter that the PETA wrote to the owners of Ben and Jerry's, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield:

September 23, 2008

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Cofounders

Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc.

Dear Mr. Cohen and Mr. Greenfield,

On behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters, I'd like to bring your attention to an innovative new idea from Switzerland that would bring a unique twist to Ben and Jerry's.

Storchen restaurant is set to unveil a menu that includes soups, stews, and sauces made with at least 75 percent breast milk procured from human donors who are paid in exchange for their milk. If Ben and Jerry's replaced the cow's milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers-and cows-would reap the benefits.

Using cow's milk for your ice cream is a hazard to your customer's health. Dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies, constipation, obesity, and prostate and ovarian cancer. The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, America's leading authority on child care, spoke out against feeding cow's milk to children, saying it may play a role in anemia, allergies, and juvenile diabetes and in the long term, will set kids up for obesity and heart disease-America's number one cause of death.

Animals will also benefit from the switch to breast milk. Like all mammals, cows only produce milk during and after pregnancy, so to be able to constantly milk them, cows are forcefully impregnated every nine months. After several years of living in filthy conditions and being forced to produce 10 times more milk than they would naturally, their exhausted bodies are turned into hamburgers or ground up for soup.

And of course, the veal industry could not survive without the dairy industry. Because male calves can't produce milk, dairy farmers take them from their mothers immediately after birth and sell them to veal farms, where they endure 14 to17 weeks of torment chained inside a crate so small that they can't even turn around.

The breast is best! Won't you give cows and their babies a break and our health a boost by switching from cow's milk to breast milk in Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Thank you for your consideration.


Tracy Reiman

Executive Vice President

Who wants some Chunky Monkey?


Monday, September 22, 2008

This weekend, Adam and I traveled up to Scranton, Pennsylvania to pick up a bedroom set that belonged to his grandparents. The whole set is cherry and it is both beautiful and in amazing condition. We're excited that this will be one less thing for us to buy when we eventually move in together.

For those of you who know me well, you'll know that I am extremely attached to my bed. In fact, when I was growing up and people would come and visit (even my grandparents), I used to throw a fit if I would have to surrender my bed to someone else. Well, I am still in love with my bed, and crawling under my covers, turning on the TV and unwinding in bed at night is one of my favorite times of the day.

I thought that since this blog is about beds and sleeping, I would fill you in on some of the "40 Facts About Sleep You Probably Didn't Know (Or were too tired to think about....)":

- Anything less than five minutes to fall asleep at night means you're sleep deprived. The ideal is between 10 and 15 minutes, meaning you're still tired enough to sleep deeply, but not so exhausted you feel sleepy by day.

- A new baby typically results in 400-750 hours lost sleep for parents in the first year (I left this fact in here specifically for my sister)

- No-one knows for sure if other species dream but some do have sleep cycles similar to humans.

- Dreams may not serve any purpose at all but be merely a meaningless byproduct of two evolutionary adaptations - sleep and consciousness.

- Scientists have not been able to explain a 1998 study showing a bright light shone on the backs of human knees can reset the brain's sleep-wake clock.

- The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska, the Challenger space shuttle disaster and the Chernobyl nuclear accident have all been attributed to human errors in which sleep-deprivation played a role.

- Exposure to noise at night can suppress immune function even if the sleeper doesn’t wake. Unfamiliar noise, and noise during the first and last two hours of sleep, has the greatest disruptive effect on the sleep cycle.

- The "natural alarm clock" which enables some people to wake up more or less when they want to is caused by a burst of the stress hormone adrenocorticotropin. Researchers say this reflects an unconscious anticipation of the stress of waking up.

- Tiny luminous rays from a digital alarm clock can be enough to disrupt the sleep cycle even if you do not fully wake. The light turns off a "neural switch" in the brain, causing levels of a key sleep chemical to decline within minutes.

- To drop off we must cool off; body temperature and the brain's sleep-wake cycle are closely linked. That's why hot summer nights can cause a restless sleep. The blood flow mechanism that transfers core body heat to the skin works best between 18 and 30 degrees. But later in life, the comfort zone shrinks to between 23 and 25 degrees - one reason why older people have more sleep disorders.

- After five nights of partial sleep deprivation, three drinks will have the same effect on your body as six would when you've slept enough.

- Humans sleep on average around three hours less than other primates like chimps, rhesus monkeys, squirrel monkeys and baboons, all of whom sleep for 10 hours.

- Ducks at risk of attack by predators are able to balance the need for sleep and survival, keeping one half of the brain awake while the other slips into sleep mode.

- Ten per cent of snorers have sleep apnoea, a disorder which causes sufferers to stop breathing up to 300 times a night and significantly increases the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke

- Teenagers need as much sleep as small children (about 10 hrs) while those over 65 need the least of all (about six hours). For the average adult aged 25-55, eight hours is considered optimal

- Some studies suggest women need up to an hour's extra sleep a night compared to men, and not getting it may be one reason women are much more susceptible to depression than men.

- Feeling tired can feel normal after a short time. Those deliberately deprived of sleep for research initially noticed greatly the effects on their alertness, mood and physical performance, but the awareness dropped off after the first few days.

- Diaries from the pre-electric-light-globe Victorian era show adults slept nine to 10 hours a night with periods of rest changing with the seasons in line with sunrise and sunsets.

- Experts say one of the most alluring sleep distractions is the 24-hour accessibility of the internet

Happy Birthday Adam!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Yesterday was Adam's birthday, he turned the big 23! Last night, we went out to an amazing tapas restaurant, Pazo in Baltimore. I would recommend it to anyone! The atmosphere was laid-back and lounge-like, the service was good and the food was unique, healthy and amazing. We had a fun night out, and even got 2 free glasses of champagne to make a birthday toast.

Today, Adam's parents came down for dinner to celebrate his birthday yet again. With a little help from Rachael Ray, I made chicken parmigiana sandwiches. Of course, I also made the cake! Chocolate cake with peanut butter icing (Adam's favorite).

Tobey turned 6 months old today, and to celebrate, he got a new bed and a new rag bone.

Here are some pictures of our celebrations: