Moon Pie

An Open Letter to Moon Pie #1

(For those not in the know, Moon Pie is the nickname we have given our unborn child. A lot of people do Bean or Monkey or something similar. Not us. We use a Big Bang reference.)


(Ultrasound early in pregnancy – he’s way bigger now, and we only have roughly two more months until his due date)

***

Dear Moon Pie,

This is the first letter that I have ever written you. I don’t know how old you will be when you first read this letter. My guess is that you’ll be somewhere in your teens.

It’s funny – even though I have not met you yet and have only see the little fuzzy black and white picture of you on the ultrasound, I feel like I know you so well.

Right now, only your mom can feel you moving around. I can’t wait until I get to feel you kick for the first time. But I know you are in there, and I can’t wait to meet you.

Obviously, by the time you are reading this, we’ve already met. I know we’re going to have a great relationship, and I want to be the best dad I can possibly be for you. I’m working as hard as I can to get healthy and fit, just so I’ll be here for as long as you need me.

I want to write these letters to you, before you’re born and as I watch you grow up into an amazing man, so you’ll know how I felt before you were officially here. If you really are reading these as a teenager, you probably think they’re pretty geeky, and let’s be honest – your old man is a geek. But someday, especially when you start your own family, you’ll understand why I’m doing this.

I can’t wait to hold you. I can’t wait to take you home and introduce you to our pets. I think Malcolm will especially like playing with you. I can’t wait to be your dad.

I hope you get the best of me and your mother. Her sciences, my literary. Her music, my math. Her direction sense, my love of the Power Rangers and horror movies. And there are a lot of things we share together, like passion, enthusiasm, and humor, and I’m sure you’ll take after both of us.

We made you together, and you are going to make us a family.

You haven’t even been born yet, and I’m sure you’re going to be an amazing big brother someday, a wonderful son, and one of the best people this world has ever seen.

Love,
Dad

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Life Stuff

I have not been around for a few days. This may be a fairly length blog post, so if you want to know what has happened and what will be happening to me, please read ahead to find out.

First of all, the good things. Tina and I recently returned from our babymoon in San Diego. It was a great last trip before we have the baby. Baby Logsdon is still doing great (although our last ultrasound revealed he was going to be a very LONG baby – I’m not surprised; his mother and I are both six feet tall).

Other good things – my entire family is still with me, even though if things had been just a little different the other day, I couldn’t say that now.

I’ll explain that one, first.

My mother is a Type 2 Diabetic. She was diagnosed when I was in middle school. I’ve watched her struggle with it my entire life.

I got a call from my father at 7:30 a.m. yesterday morning, a Saturday. We were all going to meet up later that morning to go to my nephew Clint’s graduation. He was calling to say they would not be able to make it, and he further explained why.

My mother almost died in bed early Saturday morning. Her sugar crashed in the middle of the night, and she was unable to wake herself up to consume orange juice or something else with sugar. Dad only knew it was going on because he heard her trying to scream to get his attention.

He tried to get her to drink orange juice, but at that point, her sugar was far too low. He called 911, and the paramedics were able to get her stable. She didn’t have to go to the hospital, and now, she is fine.

Her sugar has certainly crashed before, but it has never crashed that drastically or caused her to have that dramatic a reaction.

This is the part that scares me. If my father had not been there, my mother would be dead right now.

Just a few weeks ago, my dad left the house at 2 a.m. for a week straight because a nonprofit agency he is the head of was doing security at the Kentucky Derby. If this had happened then, when my mother was alone, she would have had no one to call 911 for her, and she probably would have laid in bed and died, alone. The nonprofit agency is a Rescue Squad, and that means they frequently go out on calls in the middle of the night to search for people who have been reported missing. If he had been out on a call, she would have died.

I may be 34 years old, but I’m not ready to give up my mom yet. She’s only 67. She should still have many years of life left in her.

I called her Saturday afternoon, and we talked for a while. She knows she has to get her health under control. She did Weight Watchers with me in the past, and she was successful at it. But as circumstances change, she stopped going.

She wants to be around for the birth of my son. I want her around to watch my son graduate college.

She and I are going to start going to Weight Watchers again. There is a meeting in my city every Saturday morning at 10 a.m., so she is going to drive up and we’ll attend together. With the structure of the meetings and the weekly support and weigh-ins, I feel very confident that she’ll overcome this obstacle. I hope, sometime shortly down the road, I can write a blog post about how her type 2 diabetes is completely overcome.

Just as importantly, I know that the group support of Weight Watchers will be useful for me, too.

Something else has been going on, too. Let me explain this one by explaining my thoughts on dieting. (It’s relevant, I promise.)

I am a huge fan of moderation. That’s why I can’t ever subscribe to ONE diet plan, because I want to eat… well, everything. I can’t commit to being vegan forever because I like meat and cheese. I can’t commit to being paleo forever because I like cheese and bread. I can’t commit to Atkins forever because I like fruits, veggies, and bread.

But, that said, there is one food that I will never, ever, ever, as long as I live, consume again.

Artificial sweeteners.

They are literally poison, and I am suffering from the effects right now.

Before I explain, let me give a little back history.

When I was in my mid-teens, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It primarily affected my upper body, mostly my hands, and it was painful, crippling, and embarrassing. I remember my fingers swelling up so large they wouldn’t bend. I went to a doctor, was put on some anti-inflammatory meds, and by the time I was 15, it was over and in remission.

In my late twenties, I began having pain and swelling in my right knee. I truthfully ascribed it to my obesity, and kept saying, “Well, when I get to goal weight next year, it won’t hurt anymore.”

I’m now 34, and I’m still not at goal weight. My knee still hurts. It typically painfully swells about two to three days out of every ten. The other days, I’m fine. My chiropractor even told me she suspected it wasn’t because of my weight, as if it was, both knees should have been affected. Regardless, she agreed losing weight would help it.

About three and a half weeks ago, I went through a two-day binge of Diet Dr. Pepper. I drank maybe twenty ounces of water over those two days. My food was fine and spot-on. My diet soda consumption was three two-liters over those two days. Not good. It was, in my mind, an acceptable, calorie-free binge.

On day three, I woke up with the most painful swollen knee I have ever experienced. I took four ibuprofen and the hottest shower I could stand to even be able to move around somewhat easily.

My wife has been trying to get me to give up artificial sweeteners for years. I made a very clear association – my sweetener binge led to a swollen knee. I was done.

I threw away my Crystal Light and poured my last 2-liter down the sink. If I want soda, I’ll have the regular kind and count the calories.

Well, an interesting thing happened.

My body lost it’s freaking mind.

My right knee, which is the only joint I’ve been having troubles in for YEARS, decided it wanted company. Left knee. Both ankles. Alternating elbows. At one point, my left elbow was so stiff, I couldn’t straighten my arm out more than about 120 degrees. Two days later, my left elbow was fine and my right elbow was so stiff, I couldn’t touch my right ear.

Oh, and the newest pain to join my old-guy-aches? Fiery hot nerve flare-ups on the back of my left hand.

I was beginning to believe I had developed rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, or lupus. Or all three. I couldn’t exercise. I could barely walk, and this was with me taking MULTIPLE ibuprofen a day. You know how the bottle says you shouldn’t take more than six a day? Some days, I took sixteen.

I scheduled an appointment with my doctor, fearing the results but knowing I had to do something. But then, on a lark, I visited Dr. Google, and I got the best news I had ever heard.

I wasn’t alone. I probably didn’t have RA or lupus.

I was experiencing the common after effects of going cold turkey on artificial sweeteners.

Except for headaches (which I never get), the symptoms were like a checklist of what was wrong with me. Other people had gone cold turkey and their bodies suddenly hated them. I kept my doctor’s appointment, but I felt a great relief.

But then I got some bad news. Most of these people said it took two to three months to get back to their normal, pain-free lives.

Crap.

So at over two weeks out, I was still hobbling. I was still in extreme pain.

It sucked. My wife and I went to San Diego, and I was in extreme pain for the entire trip.

I did a little research on diets that would help with inflammation.

Time and time again, I kept coming back to various forms of paleo. Give up the grains and the inflammation will disappear.

Paleo, as many of you know, is giving up grains, dairy, and legumes (beans and peanuts).

Last Monday, I decided I would start a paleo-ish diet. I can’t say that I am paleo, because I’m not being too strict on dairy. I don’t really drink cow’s milk anyway, so I have cut that out, but if I want cheese once a week or so, I’ll have it, provided it is a hard cheese. Basically, my “paleo” is giving up grains, legumes, and most dairy. I know some paleo people would call me a heretic, so if people ask, I mostly say I’ve just given up grains.

Giving up legumes is not a big deal. I hate beans and literally eat them only for the health benefits. It’ll be no trouble cutting them out. I do like peanuts (a legume), but I’m going to give them up, too, just because saying sayonara to peanuts or peanut butter won’t be that difficult.

As I said, last Monday, I started giving up all grains, all legumes, and most dairy. By Wednesday, I was taking only two ibuprofen a day. My results were anecdotal only, but I felt SO much better. My daily weigh-ins showed that weight was coming off fairly steadily, too. My suspicion for this? Without eating starches, it is fairly difficult to eat high calorie. I was eating proteins and fats (along with LOTS of veggies and some fruits), and I had no trouble getting satisfied and keeping my caloric intake low. It was clear that I was walking better. I still had soreness, but I felt tons better.

You’d think it would be easy to just keep giving up grains, wouldn’t it? Well, I gave up grains for five days, and I fell off the wagon on Friday. I ate a slice of pizza and had two breadsticks.

By Saturday morning, I was a crippled old man again. It hurt to lay in bed. It hurt to sit on the couch. It hurt to hobble around the house.

Dare I say it? Grains are the devil.

This can’t be a coincidence. Tina asked me if I thought it might be psychosomatic.

If it is, sign me up for crazy pills because I’ll take relief in whatever healthy form I can get it.

I plan to keep eating grain-free. I know that I will eventually have bread again. I’m hoping that someday, I’ll be light enough with healthy joints so I can occasionally have a slice of bread or pizza without being crippled. But for now, at my weight, that is not an option, so if my options are pain-free days or eating bread, I’ll take the pain-free days.

Upcoming Plans

I need to blog more often. It keeps me sane, and it provides an outlet. I know this blog isn’t widely read, but it’s useful for me. (And to those of you who comment or read without commenting, I thank you for being there for me, even if we’ve never actually spoken.)

I’ve come up with a schedule for blogging. I want to blog daily, at least until such point that it becomes a chore. I have a proposed schedule I’m going to try.

Monday – Motivational Monday
Tuesday – Healthy Recipe
Wednesday – Wednesday Weigh-In
Thursday – Geeked Out Weight Loss Review
Friday – Open Letters (a.k.a. Stellar Path Stalks Celebrities)
Saturday – Photog Friday (a photo recap of the previous day)
Sunday – Horror Movie Weight Loss Review

As other things occur that I want to blog about, I am, of course, at liberty to abandon this schedule as I see fit.

Starting this upcoming Saturday, my mother and I will begin attending Weight Watchers. I will continue eating grain-free, and I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to post my Weight Watchers weigh-ins (late on Wednesday, obviously) or if I’ll just continue weighing in at home.

In Conclusion

I realize this was a long, slightly random post about a lot of different things, but I had a lot to get out at once. Thanks for reading.

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Tired or Excuse?

I am a big fan of listening to your body. I think when you are too tired to exercise, you shouldn’t.

I was writing a quick blog post, right now, about that very thing. I was going to post one of my match-ups (I’m a bit behind), and I was explaining about how tired I was and how I felt I should take a rest day today.

And then… even though it’s already 8:45 at night… I just had a mini-epiphany.

Am I really THAT tired, or am I just a little tired and using it as an excuse?

I still don’t know. I do think I’m tired, but I know that if I go to bed at 9, I’ll just play on my iPad until 10:30. Or, I could put on my sneakers, strap on the heart rate monitor, exercise for an hour in my living room, take a shower, and be in bed by 10:00ish with a good thirty minutes of time to spend some time with Tina (and my iPad) before 10:30.

Maybe I am tired. Maybe I’ll be so useless when I start working out that I’ll realize I should have taken a rest day.

Or more likely, I’ll start, forget why I thought I was tired, and at 10:30 when I turn off the lights to go to sleep, I’ll be happy that I made this choice.

I can’t use being tired as an excuse. When Moon Pie gets here, I know I’ll have even less time, but because I want to be the healthiest dad I can for him or her, I have to make time.

Today, I am making the time. I am exercising. For an hour, I will better myself.

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My Huge News

I have some pretty big news to share.

Tina and I made a movie trailer! It’s horror themed, but I really don’t think it’s that scary. It’s fairly short, only about three and a half minutes.

Jeremy and Tina’s Movie Trailer from Jeremy Logsdon on Vimeo.

Okay, if you aren’t up for watching the video, that’s cool. I’ll just tell you my big news.

I’m going to be a dad. Tina is pregnant.

I am THRILLED beyond words! It’s our first baby, and we are already over the moon. I’m sorry to say that Stellar Path may have lots of baby news on it for the next six months. We waited until the first trimester was over to tell people, and let me tell you, waiting to tell was HARD. But we’ve had our first ultrasound, and so far, everything looks fine.

This is our Las Vegas baby. This may be TMI, and I apologize if it is, but Moon Pie (our chosen nickname for the baby) was conceived in Vegas. Tina and I had just begun to try and start our family in November, and on our last day in Vegas, we saw a onesie in a shop. Fully aware that it took most couples several months to conceive, we both just had a very good feeling about our second attempt month.

On January 3rd, Tina told me she had a late Christmas present for me. I opened the package, and in addition to a pee stick wrapped in a ziplock baggie, I was given a pink First Christmas stocking that we accidentally stole during our first Christmas and a blue Star Trek onesie. She took eight more pregnancy tests over the next few days. All were positive.

Oh, and if you are a Trekkie, I don’t have to explain this, but if you aren’t… Blue isn’t me hoping for a boy. I just want a healthy baby; I don’t care what it is. On Star Trek, blue is the color of the sciences, and we’re planning for our little bundle of joy to be a scientist or doctor. 🙂

And I should probably explain the stolen stocking. During our first Christmas together in 2008, we went to Hobby Lobby and picked out our stockings. When we opened our stockings much later, that little pink baby stocking was in the toe of my stocking. One mild heart attack later and Tina assured me she had no idea that the baby stocking was there, and we realized that it had been placed in the big stocking and we stole it. Whoops! However, we took it back to Hobby Lobby and they just told us to keep it, so we have a 2008 Baby’s First Christmas stocking.

But stolen stockings aside, we are having a baby. Moon Pie’s due date is September 15th. I’m obviously not shy about sharing either my or Tina’s name on the blog, but we are going to keep Moon Pie’s real name secret until he or she is born. Obviously, we don’t even know yet if we are having a boy Moon Pie or a girl Moon Pie, but regardless, we’ll share his or her name when he or she is born.

We’re having a baby!

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Randomness

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