Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Since I might be busy around midnight...

Happy and healthy 2004 to everyone.

I solemnly resolve to blog more consistently in 2004. I guess that was my warning to the blogosphere.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Breastfeeding Ad Scandal

HipMama provides a detailed report on the scandal involving the AAP leadership succumbing to infant formula lobbyists which has apparently halted the launch of new DHHS pro-Breastfeeding campaign. I read rumors about this problem on several mommy message boards, but this is the most concrete look at the scandal that I've seen.

What I find most appalling is the idea that the new president approved this letter without even consulting his organization breastfeeding experts. I can't really imagine that an Emergency Room Pediatrician needs to know a lot about breastfeeding in his daily job.

The author of the HipMama article, Kate Ellison Granju, has her own blog. And she updates it much more frequently than your friendly mommies at law. She follows up her HipMama piece with more information and links about "hard science behind the new risk-based approach to breastfeeding promotion" here.

(This Scandal--the breastfeeding ad not our glaring lack of posts--received a lot of attention thanks to Instapundit)

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Guess what, mommiesesq1?!?!?

Today at my CLE on Ethics, Professionalism, and Substance Abuse, we got a case study of a certain juvenile court judge who was suspended for six months. The presentation was by the Chief Disciplinary Counsel of Ohio. Interesting information.
Now I'm off to find posts of real substance!
Well, aside from the general daycare sickies that seem to keep my baby boy down, things here are going pretty well.

I have almost all my Christmas shopping done.

I have my Christmas cards sent out.

The Christmas tree is up and the house is decorated.

Now all I have to do is my baking, wrapping, and office party planning.

Whew...I'm tired just reading all that.

Thursday, November 27, 2003


Friday, November 07, 2003

Very Cool

I'm laying on the floor in the living room, when I here little feet thudding towards me. My daughter flops on my chest and says, "I got ooo!" (That would be "you" in 16 month old speak).

She's such a great kid.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Utah opens Child Protective Cases to the public. I'd be interested to see how it has played out in those 13 other states. Anyone have any insightful information so I don't have to Google for it myself? maybe I'm a little over-sensitive about some things, but not going to your own father's funeral?!?!?! My husband's Uncle passed away over the weekend and they're not going to have a memorial service until December, "when all the children are able to make the trip."


Am I wrong, or is this weird???

Thursday, October 30, 2003

So by now, I'm sure you've heard the story of the young boy suspended from school for drawing a picture of a Marine shooting a Taliban fighter. What I bet you haven't heard is that the boy included the phrase "Thomas Brooks was here" above the dead Taliban fighter's image. Thomas Brooks just happens to be a classmate. Now give me your that you have all the facts.

Can you tell I have a pet peeve about the media only telling you half the story (if you're lucky)???
I thought this sort of thing didn't happen anymore. And it leaves me to wonder what is going on at a department where the commissioner doesn't even seem to know what's what or who's who.
Now you just have to ask stupid can one person be???

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Cleveland's loss
Hyman Friedman passed away last week. He left behind quite a legacy.
An interesting report concerning violations of federal law in Hamilton County's Human Services Department.
9-year old arrested for waving toy gun. “You know, we don’t know if this is real or fake.” OK...I'll buy that...but when you DO know it's fake, do you have to arrest the kid???
This blog is dead, dead, dead...we need some new life around here. Now that the sickies have left my house, I'm making it my MISSION to post some stuff.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Here's one I'm sure we could've told you without a study.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Fabulous Harry Potter News

I'm thrilled to learn that Emma Thompson has been cast as Trelawney! She is one of the finest actresses around and is the person I visualized as Trelawney. The Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite book and now I'm really looking forward to the movie.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Could it be true? Snow is possible tonight?!?!?!
Utah won't require boy to undergo cancer treatment.
Attention Cuyahoga County Juvenile's how you handle a threat by the County Commissioners to cut your funding.

Saturday, September 27, 2003


You'd think with two mommies posting, we'd have a bit more activity on our little site. I guess it means we're simply two times busier than the average bloggers.

What can I say, work is hectic, baby keeps me on my toes when I'm home, and I have barely enough time to check my e-mail lately.

Waaah Waaaah Waah.

Still life is good. In just a few short hours today, my daughter did a thousand things to make me smile. Today I watched her concentrate as she tried to pick up two balls of different sizes at the same time. Then she picked up a baby doll and cuddled it. And when I said, "Awww, Are you snuggling the baby?" she grinned and pulled it even closer to her. She made happy little yummy sounds as she ate the beef stew her cooked tonight.

Right now she's fallen asleep on the floor; her dad put the doll under her head as a pillow.

I'm very lucky.

Monday, September 15, 2003

And they wonder why schools s*ck...

Bureaucracy at its best.
I know I haven't blogged anything of substance for the past three weeks or so...and I apologize profusely. I will be trying to get back in the swing of things here in the next week or so, but with a baby with double ear infection I make no promises.
An interesting commentary , Married with Children? The Impact of Lawrence v. Texas on Child Custody, Visitation, and Adoption By JOANNE MARINER. I'm not sure I agree with the leap of logic from one conversation about sodomy, etc. to the implications on juvenile cases...but we shall see.
Now here's a good use of judicial resources.

Friday, September 12, 2003

More Hodgepodge

Because I needed some light fare:

If you had to cast a Patronus charm, what would be your happy memory?
I have a couple. Of course the first would be the birth of my daughter. My wedding day. The first time I realized I was in love with hubby. A road trip I took with several friends a few years ago--We were inspired to be silly and drive to a concert in Texas. Mid-way through the concert my best friend jumped on my back and hugged me, and shouted, "Thank you [ME1]!" She died a few months later so that moment is pretty special to me.

I guess I'm incredibly lucky person to be able to name so many happy memories.

Students are soon starting a new school year, if you were going back to Hogwarts which class would you most look forward to? Which class the least? Well my favorite would not be herbology, because since I've moved to northeastern Ohio, I've been killing plants left and right. I think Charms would be my favorite because I think the Cheering Charm would be pretty handy.

Least favorite would probably be Potions, because I'm a terrible cook. If I can't follow a recipe I can't imagine that I could follow instructions in a Potions class.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

This new blogger stuff is really making my head spin! Thanks for the heads up on the strangely multiplying photos, ME1...I hope I've fixed it now. Hugs!

In memory of James Leahy, New York City Police Department...those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001...and all who have died serving the people of the United States of America.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003


Now here’s a quote from this site that I think women who are unable to breastfeed should really find comforting:

And those of you who are medically unable to breastfeed, I want you to know that it isn't just breastmilk that makes a child special. If you have tried to nurse, and were unable to or you have a medical problem that makes nursing impossible, then take heart in the fact that formulas now have the nutrition children need, and that you tried. Your children are better for that effort.

I promise that this is my last breastfeeding post. For tonight.
And Another Thing

I've seen this tidbit about breastfeeding in several places. I was intrigued by the idea that breastmilk has over 300 "ingredients" and most baby formulas contain only about 40.

I'm curious to know what the components of breastmilk really are. In my searching, I found this excellent article about the difference between breastmilk and formula. This bit particularly caught my eye, but didn't completely answer my question:

There are ingredients in breastmilk that cannot be duplicated in a factory because breastmilk is a living biological fluid; it contains, for example, hormones, active enzymes, growth factors, immunoglobulins, anti-inflammatory components, cytokines (involved in immune function) and other compounds with unique structures. These special ingredients allow breastmilk to stimulate and support the maturation of the nursling’s immune system, as well as the growth and maturation of other organ systems.

Here's another bit about the differences between breast milk and cow's milk. And there's this site, and this one, but I still don't see three hundred.

Can anyone out there tell me what ingredients have been found in breastmilk to date?
Real Simple Breastfeeding Article Update:

I recently mentioned an article in Real Simple magazine which listed breastfeeding as a "time waster." Well they've gone to the trouble of publishing a response to the flurry of letters, calls and e-mails they've received. After reading it I have to wonder why they bothered. They actually say that
In no way are we suggesting that breast-feeding is a waste of time.

Umm, the article was about time wasters whose time had come and gone. By including it in such an article, aren't you implying it's a time waster?

Their response also states:
By saying that no great harm will come to your child if you are unable to breast-feed, Real Simple is not implying that it is better to forgo nursing. (In fact, in the article we clearly outline the benefits.) But not all mothers are able to nurse for the 12 months recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The advice in the article is intended for those women — women who sincerely want to do the right thing but are defeated by circumstance and subsequently saddled by guilt.

No one should ever feel guilty because they were unable or chose not to breastfeed. No one should ever be bullied, harassed or mercilessly egged on to breastfeed. But I find it sad that a person who had difficulty breastfeeding would find comfort in the idea that it is a waste of time. The short and sweet of it is, breastmilk is best. It is often worth investing the time to make it work. However, there are lots of reasons that breastfeeding doesn't work (medical, returning to work makes it difficult, etc). Some babies wean themselves before they reach their first birthday. In my opinion, it would be wrong to force a baby who has self-weaned. Every parent makes these decisions based on what works for her/his own family.

I'm simply disgusted with Real Simple's condescending response. I guess that Real Simple assumes it's readers are Real Idiots who will believe any half-baked explanation. And it still didn't acknowledge that the Doctor quoted in the article gets money from a company that makes baby formula. It's needless to say that the online community at Mothering was not satisfied with Real Simple's response.

Personally, I would have preferred a statement truly valuing both decisions and an admission that the information provided was inaccurate, or at least more complicated than could be adequately covered in a magazine called "Real Simple."

Saturday, September 06, 2003

So what DO you tip the delivery guys who said they'd deliver your furniture 9am-1pm...and then 5pm-7:30pm...and finally show up at 8:30pm???
By the way...still waiting for my bed to be delivered...
OK...Cleveland-based Charter One Bank has chosen Albany, NY for its first joint venture with Starbucks. That's right, the bank will be sharing branch office space with Starbucks...and will be open the same hours as Starbucks (6am-10pm). That sounds kind of convenient for those of us that typically work during regular banking hours. And my husband says it only makes sense, since you almost need to visit the bank for a loan before you buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. (He's a funny, funny guy.)
It's Saturday, and I'm waiting for them to deliver my new king-sized bed. I've moved my old bed out of my room, planted my bulbs, ducked a phone call from my mother-in-law, and am now contemplating a nap. It's a GOOD day.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Oh Joy! Firefly to go to the big screen. Really.

Courtesy of Maximum Verbosity, I am thrilled to discover that Mutant Enemy will really make a Firefly movie. Like Betty, I want to know what's up with the guys with the blue dishwashing gloves, Book's real story, Mal and the rest of the wacky Serenity gang. And the fine folks at Firefly Fans are pleased.

If you didn't see Firefly when it was on tv, quite frankly you should have. Now we're stuck with dreck like "For Love or Money 2" Thanks a lot people. Shame on you. Just go ahead and buy the DVD. You'll enjoy it.

I know depart to go do my happy dance. Actually I depart because I am sick and so is the baby girl. But I'll throw in a happy dance at some point in time.
Stuff totally not related to anything serious

Turkey hunting information for Ohio

Apple Boom Anticipated for Ohio (my husband will be thrilled.

Ohio the musical?????????

I apologize for the non-working link on my Saturday August 23 post...the story now seems to be inaccessible. Maybe more people like me complained about the poor play on words that referenced six Pakistani children being deported from India as "six Pak"...and obvious play on the American slang "six pack." I wish I could remember the exact wording...I'm sorry I didn't post it directly now.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

OK, I'm going to take this time to rant about my law school loan debt. Turn away if you're not interested in the crazy lady's ramblings.

I called a consolidation company to consolidate my federal loans. I don't need much, just a slight time extension on the length of the loan in order to lessen the monthly payment load. First, I was shocked to receive an ACTUAL person on the other end of the line (for this reason alone I recommend doing business with Collegiate Funding Services. But then, the actual person tells me that my loan servicer (who shall remain nameless for fear of lawsuits and such) has a policy of refusing to release loans for consolidation if all the loans are held by only one lender. I have SIX federal loans who are all held by one lender, so I'm out of luck. If I want to consolidate, I'll have to do it through my current servicer and lender. Now, I'm a little perturbed by this because all six of my loans were NOT with the same lender when I started. But through the course of business, my servicer made sure to arrange sales of my got it...all to the same lender. So I'm trapped into business with these people for the next ump-teen years because they (as my grandpa would say) snookered me! I'm so aggravated right now!

I don't care why this ad is off the air...I'm just HAPPY it's gone!

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

And ME1's Head Exploded...

When I read this post at the Mommy Blawg (thanks for the mention btw). Like the Mommy, when I read Real Simple ages ago, I thought it was less about how simplify and more about how to buy more things to convince myself that I have simplified everything. But hey, I guess you get what you deserve if you think you're going to unlock the mysteries of an easier life by paying $3.95 for a magazine at a newstand.

Anyway, I was incredibly appalled to read that in their article on time wasters, they suggested eliminating breast-feeding. Worse yet, in support of their position, they quoted an OB/GYN who specializes in high risk pregnancies and fetal health. Don't you think they should have at least checked with a pediatrician if they wanted a "medical professional?" An OB/GYN is primarily focused on the mother and getting the baby to term; not what the kid should eat once he/she is out in the world. What poor research! I thought that "Real Simple" was supposed to be the magazine's approach to life, not their staff's collective mental capacity.

As the Mommy indicated, there are many reasons women choose to use formula. You need to educate yourself about your options. I recommend Kelly's AP site or Dr. Sears site for breastfeeding information. Another good source of breastfeeding info (and several excellent rants) is a thread at the Mothering magazine message board.

Hitting the top of my personal list of time wasters: reading Real Simple magazine.

Monday, August 25, 2003

I survived my first day as a bona fide prosecutor!!!

Now I'm going to take a nap.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Are you following the case of the parents who have "kidnapped" their son in order to prevent his undergoing court-ordered chemotherapy? An interesting case, considering precedent.
Am I the only one who finds this headline to be distasteful?

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Treating Newborns with Jaundice

This AP story on jaundice has been picked up by many media outlets. This article lists some of the risk factors for jaundice. If left untreated, jaundice can have very serious complications as the AP article indicates. I wholly support the proposed test, because more information about your baby's health is better than less. However, I'm not so sure I agree with medicating a baby with jaundice when the bili blankets and lights work so well. I don't believe in giving medication unnecessarily if there are effective and less intrusive alternatives. If you are given these options, do your best to make an informed decision.

My daughter developed jaundice during our second day in the hospital. She was bruised at birth--we saw a hand print on her small back from where the doctor literally yanked her out of my body--and had yellowed skin, some lethargy and a slow start to the breastfeeding due to the lethargy. Fortunately, we were in the hospital so they monitored her pretty closely for three days and had us do an outpatient blood test the day after we left the hospital to be certain her bilirubin levels were dropping. As the boston artice indicates, her levels peaked on the fourth day and then began to drop.

The doctor advised us to alternate breastfeeding with formula feeding to "flush out" the bilirubin. Now I know that frequent breastfeeding would have had essentially the same effect, but this was an older doctor (he had actually been the pediatriacian for one of the nurses) and he had a rather limited view of breastfeeding (he knew enough to say breastfeeding is best, but nothing about how it actually works). You can read articles here and here to learn more about breastfeeding a baby with jaundice.

Unfortunately, it took a while to get the yellow tint out of her skin. We were lucky because our hospital made a follow-up call about a week after she and I had been home. The nurse who called had the same problem with her baby and advised us to let our daughter lay around the house in her diaper in a room with a lot of good indirect sunlight. The sunlight helps break down the bilirubin, but you're not trying to tan the baby so indirect light is best.

We tried it and it worked perfectly.
Hogwarts Hodgepodge

Because I'm in need of a little pick-me-up, it's twice the podge!

1) Which ship (relationship) do you support the most and why?I suppose the obvious answer is Ron and Hermione. I think so many people are expecting them, unless JKR decides to kill one of them off. However, the Couple with my whole-hearted support has to be Harry and Ginny. Initially it was because she adored him and she had red hair like his mother--I guess the romantic in me wants him to have the family his parents should have had.

However, Ginny has really come into her own in the Order of the Phoenix. She's clever, funny, brave and intelligent. She's become one of my favorite characters. I think she is perfect for Harry. And Harry is really well overdue for some basic happiness.

2) Which ship do you think is the most ridiculous, meaning it'll never happen? Why? Well I don't really read the fan fic so I don't know what shippers have been proposing, but off the top of my head, here's my list of unlikely couples:

Dumbledore and Petunia
Snape and McGonagall
Lucius Malfoy and Mrs Weasley
Errol and Hedwig

Second set of podge questions:

1) Which Hogwarts House would you LIKE to be in? Why? Any thing but Slytherin! I'd like Gryffindor because they all seem so cool. Ravenclaw because I'd like to think I was smart. Hufflepuff, because I think I am a pretty hard worker.
2) In which Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat most likely put you? Why? I've been placed in all of them at some point in time, so this is a tough question. I would guess that I'd probably not get Gryffindor because I'm not that brave, so it would probably be down to Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw. I think the decision would be based on my mood at the time I was sorted and what kind of day I was having. Slytherin is pretty much out. I don't crave power, other than wanting to be declared Grand Poobah of the Universe, that is.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Good grief. I need a clock, a business card holder, and some sort of briefcase/portfolio for work. I can't find ANYTHING that I like. I never realized I was so picky. the insightful blogging material may come a bit later today. I'm participating in an online shopping spree (mostly looking, very little buying). As soon as I've exhausted all shopping possibilities for today, I promise I'll get back to business.
I believe in a higher power even though I don't attend church on a regular basis. I believe that higher power is sending me a message to wait a bit for baby #2. The official plan is to work for a year and then give it a try when I have family/sick/FMLA available. I'm a little disappointed...but I'm pretty excited about the new job too. [Which I realized I never specifically stated...I'll be working in the Civil Division of a County Prosecutor's Office (I won't say which for safety/security/don't want to get in trouble with the new boss).] I guess we'll have to hope for another Russell sighting next year when I'm ready. Though, I doubt he'll be doing much touring, etc. with the new baby arriving. I guess I'll just have to drag out my DVDs to get inspired. Some people have porn, I have Gladiator and Texas...what is wrong with this picture?

I'm off to study Title 5 of the Code! Oh, who am I kidding, I'm really going to go find some stuff to blog about.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

You try your fertility method, we'll stick with ours

ME2 recently announced that she and her hubby were thinking about having child number two.

I mentioned to my husband that TOFOG (the band which includes Russell Crowe as singer and guitarist) is playing in Chicago tonight. Unfortunately, although ME2 and I have been to several concerts in previous years, we couldn't attend any concerts this summer.

Why are these two seemingly unrelated items mentioned?

My hubby turned to me and said, "Well if she's really serious about getting pregnant again, she should have gone to the concert. It worked for her the last time."

There's still time ME2! I think there are a few concerts left in Chicago.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Butler County, Ohio, Children Services Reorgnization

I wonder if this will work. It sounds a little like a committee building a horse.
Power Outage part two

Our family was also affected by the power outage. We were out of town for a bit. It was very eerie to drive home with no streetlights or stoplights. The only spot that had working lights was around my town's new baseball stadium; somehow I pictured the mayor diverting power to the stadium. Home was quite warm because hubby had turned off the central air before we left. While the baby girl had handled a previous outage pretty well, this one seemed to spook her.

One of our favorite games involves chasing each other around the house while I shout "Where is mommy hiding?" so she knows where to find me. Well, in the candlelight, she saw me take off and chased after me, thinking we were playing our game. I was back in the bedroom, getting ready for bed. Baby girl headed for one of our favorite spots, which became a very dark corner during the blackout. I didn't realize what she had done until I saw her flee the very dark corner at top speed, howling. There was much comforting, cuddling and consoling after that.

What I learned:

1. I give full credit to frontier mommies who changed poopy diapers by candlelight.

2. Bathing a baby by candlelight is a very interesting experience.

3. My daughter is not ready for potty training. And her grandmother has probably traumatized her and set back any potential potty training by several months.

4. People's instincts are not always right (see the second sentence of number three above).

5. A power outage will convince my daughter to go to bed before midnight.

6. A power outage will test the limits of my baby's normally good spirits.

7. My husband will enthusiastically grill food under any conditions at any time of night.

8. We have crickets.
Back on the grid

Yes, folks, we were temporarily disrupted by the giant power outage of 2003. It always feels strange to be part of a historical event...even the non-deadly ones like power outages. I guess Ohio's going to get the blame now.

So what did I learn while without power?

1. Babies get really cranky when they're hot and sweaty.

2. Candlelight is only romantic in the movies.

3. Hot fudge warms up really well on the grill.

4. People act silly when the power goes out.

5. The crickets are really loud on my property.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Check out this article about immunizations.
Hiring tips...hire more friendly people

It seems that friendly employees are more productive than impersonal employees.

Now I understand why we got so much done in ME1's office!
Guilty plea for cancer hoax parents

Robert and Teresa Milbrandt pled guilty in Champaign County Common Pleas Court to felony child endangering, felony grand theft and felony theft. These are the parents who faked their daughter's cancer (even telling her she was sick), in order to make money. Anyone know how the prosecutor cut a deal to drop the felonious assault charges? That just doesn't sit well with me.

In case you don't know, this is the case where the father maintains he didn't know about the scheme and truly believed his daughter was sick. Teresa Milbrandt shaved the girl's head, gave her sleeping pills to make it appear she was receiving chemotherapy, made her wear a protective mask and put her in counseling to prepare for death. She apparently also handled all the doctor visits, phone calls, and bills. Huh? You're a father and your child is supposedly dying from cancer, and you don't go to any of the doctor visits?!?!?!?
Child Welfare Improvements in Iowa?

Iowa is supposed to have a child welfare board to make improvements to the system by Jan. 1, 2004. Problem is, they haven't even figured out who's going to be on the board yet...and their first meeting is supposed to be Monday.
The Job
Well, I've had a day for it to sink in and I still feel the need to pinch myself every now and again. I found a great job...well, actually, it found me. I had interviewed with this place while I was pregnant (yeah, I know, pregnancy insanity hit me pretty hard), and the boss remembered me. He called yesterday and had me come in to the office and offered me the job! (This stuff doesn't happen to me...But I have to admit...I like it.) I guess I'm going to have to reallocate my time and blogging will be a late night event (after my son goes to bed). But I promise I WILL still find things to gab about here, so stop by often.

Personal news
In other news, my uncle got the results of his biopsy and has had a consultation with the oncologist. The good news is that there is a 70-80% cure rate for this type of cancer. The bad news is that the main source of his cancer is apparently the back of this tongue. This is particularly tricky for him, since it will involved chemotherapy for 7-8 weeks. He only has one kidney and there is a chance that chemo could damage it. If that were to happen he would be forced onto dialysis for the rest of his life, since they don't give kidney transplants to people who've had cancer (unless by some miracle we could privately find a living donor...but what are the realistic chances of that happening?). Please say a prayer or two that he's able to kick this cancer to the curb without any lasting damage to his kidney.

A small bitch
$275 every two years to maintain my law license?!?!?!?! Grrrrrr.........

Stupid fun stuff
~We got a cable modem...and I LOVE it! No more waiting an eternity for pages to load.

~Had dinner last night (in celebration of the new job) at Max and Erma's. I had the bacon and bleu cheeseburger....YUM!

~Have you ever had Spiced Chai tea? Lipton makes a pretty decent teabag of this stuff and now I'm completely addicted. It's quite a shot of caffeine for me since I've been on the pregnancy/breastfeeding diet most of the past two years. Pardon if my posts appear jumbled and confused...I'm just getting used to the energy surge.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

I got a new job!!!

Story is my anniversary so I'm not going to spend too much time blogging.
Foster Parents' Rights in Ohio

Just to add the Ohio perspective to the Kansas pilot project mentioned by ME2 below:

Ohio law requires that foster parents receive notice of a variety of hearings in abuse, neglect and/or dependency cases including permanent custody hearings, dispositional hearings and custody reviews. The statute also allows foster parents to present evidence at these hearings.

As extensive as these rights may seem the law clearly states that foster parents do not become parties to the action, which ultimately means they do not have the right to appeal or the right to file objections to magistrates decisions. The law has been on Ohio's books since 1999 and seems much broader in granting foster parents access to the hearings than the proposed Kansas law. I'm not sure if any harm has come to any children based on foster parent involvement in the hearings. I think the concerns raised in the article on the Kansas law--that the child will be harmed because "we're increasing the number of people who are going to hear that child's story -- that can be very difficult for the child" is actually pretty minimal. In general, foster parents become quite familiar with their foster child's story. I would expect the foster parents to show some discretion about publicizing the details of that child's life or else perhaps they shouldn't be foster parents.

I do like the idea of the additional advocate for the parents in the proceedings. Parents don't always feel that their attorney is in their corner and sometimes they just need a friendly face to help them sort through the legalese. I do wonder what the financial impact of adding the advocates to the system will be: are they volunteers or court employees or child welfare employees?

Just over one hundred years since its creation, the juvenile system is still searching for the best way to help children and families.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Foster Parents allowed in Juvenile Court hearings
Two Judicial Districts in Kansas will be experimenting with allowing foster parents in to Juvenile Court hearings involving abused and neglected children. I am a little concerned with this quote..."I'm glad they're doing this as a pilot project first," Love said. "We need to be sure we don't harm the child." I guess the children in the pilot program don't count?
It's a tough time to be a kid

An interesting article about zero tolerance in South Florida.

The comment that the courtroom is becoming, in essence, a principal's office is well taken. I don't know about you, but I know the level of intimidation and respect MY principal's office held...when someone was "called to the principal's office," the snickers of contempt and outright "who cares" laughter was quite audible. I'm afraid Juvenile Court is headed the same direction with zero tolerance policies.

Also, I'm beginning to wonder who zero tolerance is REALLY supposed to protect. It seems to be a little like passing the buck to avoid responsibility, if you ask me. All those questions asked after Columbine...where were the teachers? why didn't the school know? Seems as though school officials are just trying to duck out of any liability when something goes wrong.

Lastly...I'm confused about the basic theory of zero tolerance. Would such a policy have stopped any of the school shootings we've seen in our history? If I recall the facts of Columbine, neither of those boys had ever previously taken a weapon to school. So, how would zero tolerance have helped? And how is it a logical extension of the resulting events?
Juvenile Law and Homeland Security

There are no provisions, that I'm aware of, in the Juvenile Code that consider parents who are detainees under the new Homeland Security Act. An Ohio case is the first case that I've heard of that comes even peripherally close to having to consider the issues involved. Anyone familiar with the Homeland Security Act enough to enlighten me, please email us. I'd love to know if it will have any impact on the standard time limits imposed for abuse, neglect, dependency cases.
Another step for woman-kind
We've been added to (Links & Information on Legal Weblogs).

Saturday, August 09, 2003

In a step forward for small-town Ohio, officials of The Ellet Suburban Football League have reversed their decision to ban Stephen Derrig from helping coach his 7-year-old son's football team. Derrig is on disability as a firefighter who contracted AIDS from patients he was asked to help in the line of duty. Maybe I'm naive, but I thought we were past this kind of small-minded knee-jerk reactionary behavior. Hopefully the citizens of Ellet will get a much-needed lesson in AIDS prevention...and compassion...from all of this.

And what's with all the hot-button issues happening in Ohio all of a sudden?!?!?!
My neighbor (three houses down) is selling his house for $220,000!!! That's almost a full $100,000 more than we bought our house for! Now, he's got 1.5 more baths than we do...but he's got more than an acre less of land. The reason I know this is because we received a postcard in the mail from the realtor "announcing" the listing. It says, "Should you know of someone who may be interested in this property, please call me." Isn't real estate a strange business? Do they really expect me to do their work for them? Anyway...if anyone wants an over-priced home in extreme NE Ohio, drop me a note.
A welcome comment from Carolyn Elefant at, about my very opinionated friends and my desire to have Baby #2 (Aug. 4th blog entry).

"The three year gap is fine, but like everything else, there are pros and cons. Same is true for one year gaps and 4-5 year gaps. It's just so unimportant with a blessing like children. Bottom line - just do what you want and everything will work out."

Thanks Carolyn! (I personally enjoy reading your blog and I hope you find something interesting on ours every now and again.)
This post is just to manage my other posts...please disregard...I LOVE Blogger some days.
OK, so you probably knew this was coming. My personal analysis of the "breastfeeding while driving" case in NE Ohio. A lot of my friends and family have asked me how this woman could be found "not guilty" of child endangering. So, I've done what I do research. This is the way I read the law...

Ohio code section 4511.81, dealing with child car seats, specifically allows to out-of-state travelers a defense...that if the home state's law doesn't require a child seat, then they are not required to use one in Ohio.

"(F) If a person who is not a resident of this state is charged with a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section and does not prove to the court, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the person's use or nonuse of a child restraint system was in accordance with the law of the state of which the person is a resident, the court shall impose the fine levied by division (H)(2) of section 4511.99 of the Revised Code."

Michigan's law states that the driver is not required to have a child passenger in a car seat if it is nursing.

Now, as to the Child Endangering...the way the law is written in Ohio, she was NOT guilty of child endangering. The law specifically states that a violation of the child restraint law cannot be used as evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding other than for a violation of the child restraint law. can't be used as evidence of child endangering.

"(D) The failure of an operator of a motor vehicle to secure a child in a child restraint system as required by this section is not negligence imputable to the child, is not admissible as evidence in any civil action involving the rights of the child against any other person allegedly liable for injuries to the child, is not to be used as a basis for a criminal prosecution of the operator of the motor vehicle other than a prosecution for a violation of this section, and is not admissible as evidence in any criminal action involving the operator of the motor vehicle other than a prosecution for a violation of this section."

If there were other evidence (erratic driving, speeding, etc), it would have been a different story.

Welcome to Ohio...where we pass strange laws.

I know there are a lot of people who will talk about the "religious issues" involved in this case, but I'm going to steer clear of those (especially after a quick gander at the website for the "church" in question).
Good Night

I guess the number of hits has made us giddy. Tomorrow we will return to some thoughtful, lawyerly commentary. Most likely.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Home

So I'm driving home tonight and I see a new road sign near a construction area and, since it just started raining, I squint to read it. The sign reads, "Clean Water Falling."

I pause for a half second to let that sink in as rain pours on my car.

I live in Northeast Ohio. Near Cleveland. Clean Water Falling? You've got to be kidding me.

Although this person would apparently agree with the sign.
Another Bit of Random Opinion

I wholeheartedly agree with ME2's assessment of the young star in OC. I saw a commercial and thought, "Wow, early Russell Crowe." I'm thinking all the way back to The Crossing for those Russell fans out there.

We also got several hits from a place called The Usual Suspects. Not a bad movie but I kind of saw the ending coming. Not because I'm actually incredibly smart or anything--I just don't trust a lot of people.

Anyhoo. Thanks to the fine folks at the Usual Suspects for linking the bit about the baby names site (which still makes me giggle).
Holy Hit Counter Batman!

According to Site Meter, we had 208 hits on Friday. I'd like to thank my Mom and Dad, the Academy, Bag and Baggage, How Appealing and you, the friendly readers who wandered over to our little spot in the blogosphere.

Like ME2, I suddenly feel a lot of pressure to be pithy, clever and intelligent. Well, it's midnight, so you're just going to have to take what you get.

Friday, August 08, 2003

In a twist on the old Six Degrees of Separation game, a new study finds that 5-7 emails separate most strangers worldwide. How I would have LOVED to be part of this study!
What to do while in Chicago? Why, go see Oprah, of course...or maybe not. Thanks to TV tattle.
Would you watch the Puppy Channel??? Maybe I've had too much Chai tea...because this idea just makes me giggle.
The only reason I can give for my insane number of postings discovery of Spiced Chai tea. Half the caffeine, yeah, if you only drink ONE cup.
I know I shouldn't blog about what I watch on TV...but the Chicago Tribune has a hilarious article about that television phenomenon, Trading Spaces. Of course, some of the humor is lost if you don't watch the show regularly. But if you do watch the show, read it, it'll make you chuckle.
Double Holy Cow!!!

No doubt about it, we've hit the big time! Bag and Baggage has blogged about us in the blawgroll!

Welcome to everyone who happens upon us from bgbg!
Hamilton County, TN is using it's Housing Authority to crack down on unexcused absences in school. Any more than 5 unexcused absences and the Housing Authority reserves the right to terminate the family's lease. Anyone see a problem with this? I feel like I'm back in Con Law and there is some hidden problem/solution in this fact pattern. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out, at least.
An interesting editorial from N.H. about raising the age at which teens can be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.
While I'm glad the juvenile detention center money standoff between county commissioners and the juvenile court administrative judge is over (Fremont, OH), I'm left with one lingering question. $9.12/hour for detention officers? These people work odd hours, under odd/diffcult working conditions...only earning $9.12/hour...something doesn't sit right with me about that. Maybe it's my father's voice in my head saying, "You get what you pay for."
I was willing to listen to the complaints of Summit County social workers, until they started picketing foster parent training classes. How will intimidating prospective foster parents make your working situation any better? Can someone please explain the logic to me?
No Child Left Behind???

In case you're wondering, Ohio and California both have NO "persistenly dangerous" schools in their entires states. I personally know a few children in the Cleveland Public School system who would argue with that determination...but why bother asking the kids? Apparently the game goes something like this...make up your own definition...then announce that your schools don't meet your definition. WHAT?!?!
Holy Cow!!!

We've hit the big time ME1! appellateblog blogged us as a new blog!

Welcome to all those joining us from the big time. Now I feel all this pressure to blog something intelligent...eeks!
My uncle had his tonsilectomy yesterday. They only removed one tonsil, which kind of puzzles me. Only one was enlarged, but wouldn't it make sense to remove them both at the same time and cut down on the possible need for future surgeries? Anyway...they also biopsied his tongue and throat, so we shall see if we're in as good of shape as we thought. Please keep your fingers crossed that the tonsil was the source of the cancer and we're a clear to go with just radiation/surgery on the tumor in his neck.

In my life I've reserved the power of prayer for those times when I really felt like it was important. I just didn't want to bother the head honcho with trivial stuff. This is one of those times when I hope that I've saved enough points to earn just one answered prayer.
I have had a headache for FIVE DAYS! I was being cheap and trying to keep the air conditioner off to save a few dollars on our electric bill...but last night I finally gave in and turned the dang thing on. I hate doing it because it's so nice and cool outside, but my head just couldn't take it anymore. Not that you care, I just felt the need to whine to someone.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

After lacking in blogging inspiration lately, I was struck with a sudden need to gab with my fellow Russell Crowe lovers (you know who you are) after watching The O.C. on Fox tonight. Benjamin McKenzie looks remarkably like a young Russell. I'm not going to do the disservice of posting a picture, since I can't find any that seem to capture that Russell-esque quality I noticed. But if you watch the show (as painful as it may be), you will see that this guy has that something that makes him able to speak volumes without saying a word.

Now, on to my opinion of the show itself. Yes, it's horrible. There are no Aaron Spelling character twists to make it particularly interesting. All the characters are spoiled rotten rich kids whom I assume will develop certain personality crises throughout the run of the season. The problem is, I haven't been given enough in the first episode to care enough to watch again. It's a good thing this Benjamin McKenzie looks like Russell...or I might pass on the show altogether. I'm telling you, give it a look and tell me what you think.

Lord, I hope I don't get hooked on this show!
Not your baby's stuffed animal

I was out shopping tonight with the hubby, my mom and, of course, the baby girl. We were searching for some baby sandals that did not have a one in thick sole. [Tangental Rant Alert--While I realize that thick sole shoes are quite fashionable for adults, how the heck do they expect babies to walk in them?] We found a good leather pair at Marshall's for a reasonable price--I'm one of those terrible parents who can't quite bring herself to buy StridRites for $40 when my little girl will only fit into them for about three months.

We puttered around the kiddie section for a bit and I started rummaging through the stuffed animal bins. I found the usual assortment of rattles and Carter's toys. I pulled on a grey elephant and discovered it was wearing silver stillettos, pink feathers, a silver tassel, and pink elbow length glove. A streetwalker elephant? In the kid's section? Then I found a similarly dressed hippo. Apparently, these animals are from jellycat and are ultrahip.

Having seen them in person, I'm less inclined to think of them as "cutting edge collectables" and more as an example of when stuffed animals go bad, they go really, really bad. I guess we can all look forward to Reform-School Rhino next year.
Vaccinations and basic parenting

Mommy at the Mommy Blawg gives her take on the latest vaccination controversy: i.e. some kids don't get them. She has a really good point about the poor journalism involved in writing the story. She has another good point about the inconsiderate nature of some parents. Chas Rich has another tale of a selfish parent who seemed determined to expose her sick child to the general public. Really people, sometimes you just have to think about others before you do something.

As far as vaccines go, as with anything else, educate yourself before deciding whether you are going to have your children vaccinated. And that means looking at both the pro-vaccination side as well as the anti-vaccination side.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Another Mommy/Lawyer/Blogger

Just found this site today courtesy of Inter Alia. Very cool. I look forward to many interesting topics on families and law from the Mommy Blawg.

Blogging world beware: we Lawyer-Mommies will soon be taking over! (Insert ominous music and maniacal laughter here.)

Monday, August 04, 2003

What is it with people sharing their opinions?
Over this past weekend, I happened to mention to some people that Hubby and I are thinking of trying for Baby #2...three out of the four felt it entirely appropriate to tell me that I should wait for the "perfect" spacing of children (3 years is apparently the magic number, for those of you that are curious). I wonder what it is about people that make them think they can just rain on your parade and tell you your plan isn't "right?" I was really I'm filled with doubt and fear (again). We should've just kept it to ourselves until we were sure it was what we wanted to do. The less outside analysis the better, I think.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Hogwarts Hodgepodge

Because I'm feeling a little light and fluffy tonight (didn't take my vitamins today), here's a new meme that I think I'm really going to enjoy:

What would you give Harry for his birthday?

I think I would interview everyone--still living--who knew his parents. I'd compile as many stories about his parents that I could find and give him a giant memory book. I know, he's already got the photo album from Hagrid, but I think he'd really appreciate a few stories to tell him what his parents were really like. Especially after that incident in the Order of the Phoenix.

I might skip Snape altogether though. And I'd probably need to threaten Petunia with an influx of house elves to get her to tell nice story about Lily when they were kids.

Anyway, Happy Birthday Harry!
Because three (or four) categories weren't enough

Today the Governor signed SB5, a new sex offender registration and notification law. This is an ugly, complicated law that has the bonus of going into effect immediately, instead of the usual ninety days.

I am dreading how convoluted this will make an already complicated registration system.

Some changes wrought by SB5:

* Sex offenders can't live within 1000 feet of any school
* Some offenses have been recategorized as "child victim offenses" this will overcome the problem identified in the Dayton case last month.
* adult offenders must also register their employment or higher education addresses.
* The bill creates clever new categories such as "presumptive registration exempt offenses" and "habitual child-victim offenders."

The bill is over three hundred pages long so it will take a while to sort out the nuances. Oh wait. This is an emergency. Never mind.

This should be fun.
$278,000 to be superintendent of Cleveland Public Schools. This makes me sick to my stomach. Especially since superintendents in Chicago, Boston, and Detroit all make less (substantially less in Chicago and Boston).
Yep, Pres. Bush, the economy is getting "better"

6500 people out of work. I suppose these people will just have to make the most of their child tax credit refunds.

On a personal note, now I'm going to have to buy different sheets. Darn.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

"Summit agency violated Ohio laws, regulations in Kenmore child abuse case." This would be the case where some of the children escaped out a second story bedroom window after being locked in their room for weeks? The case with calls to Children Services dating back to 1988? The case where multiple calls were made to Children Services...and not investigated? The case where an 8-year-old boy was 28-pounds? My son is 14-months old and weighs 28-pounds!!! I hope there is a special kind of punishment for the people who deliberately let those boys suffer...for whatever reason.
So it seems that the definition of reckless has changed since I was in law school. No recklessness in leaving a 3-year-old in a locked van in a zoo parking lot on a hot day? I think I'm going to have to break out the old law books to check.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Maybe naming the baby isn't their biggest problem

Just what the web needed: a site that compiles really bad baby names accompanied by snarky commentary. It's kind of like television without pity for the pregnant crowd.

Just a sampling:

there is a girl who is in my classes at college, morgan. she is the most popular person in the world. i am a pack rat, so i save newspapers. i was looking through them, and i found out that she was even more popular as a kid then she is now. she is in about seven of the newspapers. then i was thinking, morgan, what a pretty name.i dedicided that mybaby, if it is a girl will be named morgan elizabeth. is that a good name?
Funny, I thought most stalkers were too busy working on their basement shrines to meet someone and get knocked up.

Ahem. Okay. Well it made me laugh out loud.

If you are doing any sort of home improvement on a home built before 1978, please contact a professional in order to test to determine if you need professional lead paint removal from your home.

Jobless more likely to commit suicide.

How do I get money to conduct a study like this?
I can't get my makeup to stay good for a year and archaeologists have unearthed what they think is 2000 year old face cream/paint. What do you think ladies? Hoax?
I'm currently stuck in home improvement hell. Everything needs fixed, and I have no idea how I'm supposed to get it done while entertaining my 14-month-old son who is now walking (and into everything). Peach paint and baby does not make for a happy ending.
For the first time in 30 years, the Soap Box Derby World Champion has been stripped of the title for making illegal modifications to his car.
And now for some humor...

Borrowing a comment from the Held in Contempt blog...

"There is one difference between a weekend away with baby and staging the Normandy invasion.

...Amphibious landing craft."

Duane must have children.
Now, the cynical side of me must speak up, if only to give me a place to vent/rant/talk to myself.

I was watching the noon news today, on the station that I used to work at. When they announced the passing of Bob Hope, they played a very nice piece about his life. Being a former employee, however, the sentimentality was somewhat dampened by my realization that the piece was the same one that had been put together several years ago when Bob Hope was ill and in the hospital. Granted, a few additions had been made to the end of the piece, but the main body of it was the obituary that had been edited in anticipation of Mr. Hope's passing YEARS ago. Now I know the news business needs to be prepared and on top of the story, but it struck me as a bit sick and twisted (and therefore I MUST blog about it). I wonder if they have a library of obituaries ready for the possible passing of any number of famous people?
Thanks for the memories
Bob Hope has age 100. Born in England as Leslie Townes Hope, he provided decades of laughter under the most common name...Bob. And did you know that, besides being an entertainer, he was a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire with 54 honorary doctorates? He was also the first person ever to be named an Honorary Veteran of the US military. My father would probably want me to point out that Bob Hope was an avid golfer, playing on over 2000 courses around the world. He once joked that golfing was his profession, he just told jokes to pay the greens fees. Selfishly, I wish Bob could've lived another 100 years, so he could continue entertaining the world. But ultimately, I know Bob Hope is in a better place...playing golf and telling jokes wherever he goes. God Bless his Soul.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Baby is growing up

This afternoon, hubby and I ran some errands at the local mall. He needed his watch band fixed and was stunned to learn that they wanted to send it out to get a pin replaced. I need a few new clothes because several bits of me have not returned to their pre-baby positions and I am conceding they might never do so.

The mall also has a kids zone where kids can play and romp with other kids. This one even has a small library. Yay.

My girl's usual response to other kids is to giggle loudly and stare in wonder from afar, but flee if they approach her. Hubby had taken her to the kids zone earlier this week and reported that she ran when the kids took a few steps toward her.

Today however, that all changed. After a few minutes of shyness, another baby climbed into the same plastic car shape that my daughter was in. My girl backed as far away as she could inside the car and looked at hubby and I as if to say, "well what do you think of this?" We pulled her out of the car just as another baby wandered over. A slightly older girl asked hubby if she could play with our daughter and started patting her softly on the head. The next thing I know, my girl is racing to a stage area where she's climbed up to be with the big girls (seven years old I'd guess) who are reading books. She and all the girls were racing around the stage and I was thrilled to hear her giggle as she ran toward one of them and they bounced around together.

I got a little choked up: my girl is moving into the wide world. It was really wonderful to see.
Thank Heavens

Maybe this is a sign that the ridiculous Rachel-Joey pairing will end during this final season of Friends. I believe that ME2 disagrees with me (just a sign that we aren't actually the same person) on this one, but I found the whole Joey-Rachel-Ross to be tedious and uninspired if not downright uncomfortable. Their kiss during the season finale didn't strike me as a passionate-hurray-they're-finally-kissing-moment. Instead, I felt exactly as if Ross had kissed Monica. Eeeeeew.

I think Joey has been under-used on the show, but he certainly deserved better than to be tossed in with Rachel. I can't root for them. Sure they'd have gorgeous kids, but my goodness they'd be dumb.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

A cool idea

Hubby and I were real movie junkies prior to the baby's arrival. Since her birth, he has seen -0- movies and I have seen two (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which I recommend, and Legally Blonde 2, which I don't). I'm still a little sad that I did not get to see the Ents in the Two Towers on the big screen but I'm resigned to see them on our twenty-five inch tv. Sigh. My brother took his son to the movies when he was under a year, but hubby and I just couldn't do that to our fellow movie-goers. Not even for Ents.

Anyway, today I saw this article today and thought, "this would solve my problems. I love that the lights are low but not out completely and that the volume is down, so as not to hurt little ears. No one could complain about breastfeeding in public. I wonder if the theater invests in giant diaper genies? It would be a great way for moms to get together with other moms, but I'm not really keen on the idea of allowing my beautiful daughter to crawl on the movie theater's floor. Eeeeeeew.

Now if only they would start Reel Moms in Cleveland, ME2 and I might be able to catch X-Men 2 or Seabiscuit. Come on, we're at least the peer of Detroit for heaven's sake. I can accept us being behind Chicago, New York, D.C. and L.A., but Detroit????

Of course, that's assuming we can afford the cost of admission after we've spent all our money on diapers and such.
Parenting Styles

The baby girl and I were listening to NPR tonight while returning from some errands at Target and a visit to Petsmart's adoption center to look at the kittens.

The announcer introduces the segment by saying when her daughter was born, this woman quit her job. There is a slight pause in which I contemplate my jealousy, then the announcer adds, "to indulge in scrapbooking!" Huh? Well, it is one of ME2's favorite hobbies, so I listen.

He mentions, "Now her daughter is four, and she has seventeen scrapbooks!" Good Grief lady, I can't even keep up with my diary or tracking the basic baby firsts. The woman says, "Everywhere I go, I see scrapbook layouts." "Very cool," I think, because my artistic tendencies lean toward the written rather than the visual. Then the woman gushes, "I just didn't want her to wonder, when she got older, if she was loved."

Gosh, I was hoping my daughter would understand that she is loved because I tell her a thousand times each day, "Mama loves you!"

Now where are those pinking shears?

Monday, July 21, 2003

And yes, ME1, I know I'm supposed to be reading Harry Potter IV, but I just can't seem to keep my attention on it. I WILL finish it one day...I promise. I have to admit that I'm reading East of Eden as part of Oprah's Book Club. I'm only about halfway through it (it was a great read for my 8-hours-in-a-car trip) and I'm particularly interested in what people think of the Cathy/Kate character. I've heard that maybe she is Steinbeck's incarnation of Satan...but I'm just not so sure yet. I think I'll have to go join an online book club so I can talk out my thoughts.
I'm sitting here blogging in the dark, and these tiny little gnats and mosquitos keep landing on my screen, since it's the only light on in the room. I'm sure I should come up with something philosophical about that, but all I can think is...YUCK!
Adding my congrats
As ME2 indicated, Russell and his wife Danielle are pregnant. I'm guessing that they will have a girl--divine justice. Here are two links to the Aussie story.

Here's hoping for a happy and healthy baby.
Yet another reason to lock your car doors
A 5-year-old is in critical condition this evening, after taking his grandmother's car out for a drive. He was apparently injured when the driver's side airbag deployed upon impact.
I would be remiss if I failed to blog that Russell Crowe and his wife are expecting their first baby in January. My congratulations go out to them. I bet they have a pretty baby.
We're back from visiting my uncle, aunt, grandmother, and grandfather. The visit was strange, as the whole family is having to get used to the big "c" word (cancer). And my uncle is having a tough time, since this has scared him away from smoking. So now he's got the double bad mood from withdrawal and seeing a bunch of doctors. He has a consultation with the oncologist this week...for all his test results...and we will know what is what then. My aunt, being the tough old Polish lady she is, says God is going to have to arm-wrestle her to get my uncle before she's done with him. I just hope that's enough. Please keep them in your prayers.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Geauga County Sheriff Red Simmons passed away last night from pancreatic cancer. He had been sheriff for the past 11 years...since I was about 20 years old. It's strange how someone can be such a fixture in your town and yet you have never personally met them. My condolences go out to his family and friends.
If you live in NE Ohio, I highly suggest you spend a weekend visiting the Great Lakes Medieval Faire. This weekend is Pirate Invasion weekend...and if it's anything like last weekend (Celtic weekend), it promises to be a GREAT time. Unfortunately, I will be out of town this weekend, so I will miss it. But I fully intend to be back next weekend for Legends and Lore.
Yesterday was my mom's birthday...and I forgot to blog it!

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

The Child Trends DataBank has new 2002 Birth Estimates out. Highlights include:
~Teen birth rates have been declining for the past decade; the preliminary 2002 birth rate for teens ages 15 to 19 is the lowest rate ever reported in the United States, at 42.9 births per 1,000.
~Since 1995, the percentage of births to unmarried women in the United States has declined slightly among black women while continuing to climb among Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites. Overall, in 2002, preliminary estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics indicate that one-third of all births in the U.S. were to unmarried women.
~The percentage of births to women receiving late or no prenatal care declined substantially during the 1990s, from 6.1 percent in 1990 to 3.6 percent by 2002 (preliminary estimate).
~In preliminary estimates for 2002, 7.8 percent of all newborns were born low birthweight, the highest percentage since the early 1970s.
~Girls performed better than boys at every grade level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) writing assessment in 2002. (which I personally find interesting given my recent blogging about "The New Gender Gap")
~Over the last decade, average reading proficiency scores have increased slightly for eighth graders, are unchanged for fourth graders, and declined modestly among twelfth grade students.
~After decades of decline, the percent of children living with two parents stabilized in the late 1990s, standing at 69 percent in 2002.
~The high school dropout rate for non-Hispanic black youth in the civilian, non-institutionalized population reached a historic low in 2001 at 11 percent, down from 13 percent in 2000 and 21 percent in 1972.
James Spader and Sharon Stone on The Practice? It's true. Sharon Stone will only be on three episodes, but James Spader is going to be a new regular. I just don't know if I can watch.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

I apologize for not blogging more recently. I am personally having a rough time, and haven't really been in the mood to blog. The latest addition to my already long list of feel-sorry-for me excuses is that my Uncle has been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the neck. He discovered a plum-sized tumor in his neck and the oncologist is not sure whether that is the primary site (initial tests indicate it may have come from his tonsil). My Uncle will have more blood work and a CAT scan done Tuesday. Friday he will have a PET scan of his head and neck. My hubby and I are taking our son out to visit with the family (my Aunt and Uncle live with and take care of my Grandparents) on Thursday. This trip was planned well before any of this recent news, and we think it's important for our son to know his extended family...more so now. Please, keep us in your prayers.

On a side note, if you smoke...please stop. This type of cancer is typically a result of heavy smoking (which is my Uncle's case), and is completely avoidable. Please, do NOT put yourself or your family through this kind of uncertainty and upset if you don't have to. Find a way to stop smoking...for the sake of yourself and everyone who loves you.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

And How do I like the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix?

Very well, thank you.

I won't go into much detail because ME2 has not finished Year Four yet (good heavens)!

Here is what I will say:

1. I was somewhat disappointed that all the questions that I had formulated in the three years between Goblet of Fire and the Order of the Phoenix weren't answered in the first two or three pages. ;o)

2. By the end of Chapter 2, I was thoroughly satisfied.

3. Fred and George RULE!

I can only add that the writing is simply brilliant. As I raced to read the book before someone spoiled it for me, I often tried to read it while my daughter napped on my lap. This book is written so vividly that at times I was afraid the characters' shouting would wake my daughter. Then I remembered, she can't hear them yelling--it's a book!

I think the highest compliment I can give J.K. Rowling is that she wrote this one so well, I lost track of of the simple fact that I was sitting with a sleeping baby in my living room.
One of the many reasons I've been missing

I mentioned before that I am quite lucky to have such good friends and family. Here's another example of how lucky I am.

When we had my baby girl's birthday party, several family and friends came from across the city and around the country. Hubby's sister even called from Brazil to wish her niece a Happy Birthday. We were really touched by all the people who wanted to share our girl's special day.

Well, you know how hectic party days can be: you see lots of people, but rarely have enough time to visit properly with any of them. Hubby's uncle stopped me briefly to chat about the new Harry Potter book. I mentioned that I really wanted it. I had thought about taking Baby Girl to a midnight purchase, well, because I do wacky things like that. I decided against it because the little one really needed her sleep (and so did mama--man am I getting old). I added that I thought I could squeeze in reading while I was on break at work. But in the end, I had decided not to get it right away (for many reasons--mainly dealing with money but I didn't mention that to Hubby's uncle).

We finished our chat and I ran back to getting things for people at the party and saying good-bye to exiting friends and family.

At some point my Hubby's father and uncle disappeared. I thought, "how strange" but really didn't waste much energy pondering their absence. I continued puttering around the house, chatting with guests and doing whatever I thought was necessary to clean up.

When they returned, the family had gathered in the living room and we were comfortably chattering.

Hubby's uncle beckoned me and saying, "I thought for all you do for this family, you deserved something for yourself." From behind his back, he pulls out the new Harry Potter Book. And not the regular edition. No. It's the deluxe collector's edition. With the special case. And the color endpaper. And the special dust jacket art. I thanked him and tried not to salivate noticeably.

Be still my heart I am a lucky soul, to have someone be so kind.
Stupid Bravenet

They "upgraded" they're services. However, we no longer have our wonderful musical scale counter. It's gone forever. We're supposed to have a text line giving our hit count, but so far, we've got nothing.

Plus, when I check the stats at Bravenet, it shows we've gotten more hits since Tuesday, but it provides no other information--usually it shows the referral page.

This is an upgrade?

I think I'd best go find us a pretty counter.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Friday Five (roughly five days late)!

I was at the in-laws this weekend so I just saw this very cool Friday Five:

1. What were your favorite childhood stories? When I was very small, I had a cool counting book that involved elves. It went up to twelve, which I thought was pretty nifty because, well, twelve elves just sounds cool. Plus the twelve elves were in bed and their little feet stuck out--you could count to twenty-four.

I also liked the Runaway Pancake.

When I was older, I loved mythology. My grade school library had a series of books on myths and legends from various countries--I read and re-read all of them.

And of course, Dr. Seuss was great.

There was a really good book on Deborah Sampson (or is it Samson?).

I loved all books. I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I'm still waiting to grow up.

2. What books from your childhood would you like to share with [your] children? I wish I could find that elf book. Maybe my Mom still has it somewhere. I also want to share Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. The Shoes stories by Noel Streatfeild. The All of a Kind Family by Sidney Taylor. The Louisa May Alcott books. Caddy Woodlawn. The Velvet Room. The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Figgs and Phantoms and The Westing Game , both by Ellen Raskin. I have tons of old Scholastic books--at least I hope I still do. I'm really going to need to ask Mom. Anyone else remember getting a free book every year through RIF?

Maybe the question should have been, "What books from your childhood would you not like to share with your children?"

3. Have you re-read any of those childhood stories and been surprised by anything? Hmmm. The Roald Dahl books work on a lot of levels. Sometimes I find nuggets in a book, that I didn't catch on the first reading. Every time I re-read the Lord of the Rings, I am dazzled by J.R.R. Tolkein's brilliant use of language.

4. How old were you when you first learned to read?I was small. I don't really know how old I was. My Grandma helped teach me and she died when I was five or six so I would guess that I was probably three or four? I remember that my great-grandmother was in a nursing home in an old victorian house. Belle was the woman who ran it--she only cared for three or four older ladies and her place was full of dolls and books. Belle gave me Gideon, the Man Who Won Without Fighting. I was only four or five then.

5. Do you remember the first 'grown-up' book you read? How old were you? I'm not sure how "grown-up" is defined. I read The Stranger, Terese Raquin, and Madame Bovary when I was fifteen/sixteen. I read the Flowers in the Attic series when I was thirteen. I was constantly reading so I'm not sure when I read what.
Windows on TriBeCa
43 of 300 surviving ex-Windows on the World workers are hoping to form a cooperative and open a restaurant in TriBeCa. I, for one, will make a point to go eat there when they open.
Is anyone else tired of hearing about LeBron James???
Baby Emma Rose Update
The teenager who "found" Baby Emma Rose abandoned in an alley is actually the baby's mother, according to DNA tests. The logic escapes me at this point, but then again, I've never been an unwed pregnant teenager. The baby's mother pretended to find the baby. The mother's mother (the baby's grandmother) insisted that there was no way it was her daughter's baby. I hope they all are able to make some sense out of the situation and get the help they so obviously need.
Woo-Hoo!!! I figured out how to manage my multiple postings!!! I feel like an official blogger now!!!
OK, I'm a stay-at-home mom so it's not a big deal, but I've been up since 7am and I just realized I'm wearing my t-shirt inside out (it's now 1:17pm). What has happened to my brain?!?!?!

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

New Ohio legislation
A new bill introduced this week would make it a felony to leave a child (under age 7) unattended in a vehicle. This bill is apparently in response to cases of adults leaving children in hot cars during the summer heat. Currently, these cases are treated as child endangerment, and are subject to a wide variety of punishments. I'm not sure where I see the need to change it...but I'll get back to you on this one.
Is anyone else having trouble with Blogger publishing their posts more than once?
Baby Emma Update
A 15-year-old girl has been arrested for abandoning her newborn baby in a Cleveland alley earlier this year. The 15-year-old, who was apparently identified through DNA, has been released to her mother and is expected to appear in Juvenile Court on July 17th. Baby Emma (named by the hospital nurses who cared for her) is currently living in a foster home.
Safe Haven law success
In the past two years, 20 babies have been safely surrendered in Ohio. This law allows a parent to deliver an unharmed newborn to a hospital, law enforcement agency, or emergency service organization, without fear of prosecution. While the count seems to say the law is a success, I would be very interested in case studies of these women/children to see what the ultimate outcomes were.

Monday, July 07, 2003

A summertime warning
If you have a "easy-set" or "simple set" pool for summertime cooling off (the kind where you inflate the top ring and then fill up the pool and the ring this one), and you have kids, you should be aware that they pose a serious drowning danger. The very thing that makes them easy to set up is what makes them dangerous. A toddler (or anyone), has only to push down on the top ring enough to climb in, since there are no real supporting walls to hold that top ring up. I saw a demonstration of this particular pool and the ease with which a child can get inside is scary. Until now, my hubby and I had been seriously considering buying one of these we're thinking it's not such a good idea. I guess it's a reminder that we should do our homework before buying any "toy" for our home and our son.

Friday, July 04, 2003

Happy Independence Day!!!

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

From our friends at This or That Tuesday
1. Lemonade or Ice Cold Beer? Lemonade...I only really like beer with pizza
2. Swimming pool or beach? Beach...I'm a water baby
3. Long weekends here & there, or a 2-week vacation? Long weekends here & there...2-week vacations can really get on your nerves...a long weekend is long enough to enjoy, but not too long.
4. Destination: Acapulco or Hawaii? Hawaii...never been, but would love to go
5. Destination: Mountains or Beach? Beach...I'm a water baby
6. Hotel/motel/B&B or camping? Hotel...four stars with room service!!!
7. Carefully planned vacation, or play it by ear? Play it by ear...the more relaxing the better.
8. Sneakers or sandals? Sandals...or barefoot if I can get away with it.
9. Air-conditioning or fans? Air conditioning...helps relieve the old allergies.
10. Concerts in the park or baseball games? Baseball games...I love the ballpark...and those cute guys in tight pants...oops...sorry...this is a family blog.
I have no idea why blogger is posting my posts so many times. Still working out the bugs in the new version, I suppose.

Monday, June 30, 2003 I know this isn't a tech blog, but I just heard that the California Supreme Court ruled today that simple spam is not property trespass unless there is proof of harm to the computer network on which it is received. The case involved a former Intel employee who sent email critical of the company to other employees.

I personally like the analogy that it would be like saying a "mailbox was harmed after reading an unpleasant letter or the telephone was harmed after receiving an intrusive phone call." (The mailbox read the letter? The telephone received an intrusive phone call?) Sorry...I digress...

Here's my question...does this mean that this man could now step up his campaign and send snail mail (in addition to the email)to the employees? Could he begin phone calling them? Surely there is some theory that would prevent this type of harassment. So why didn't they argue that in this email case?
President Ridge?
OK... this is scary. Personally...if all the people in the presidential succession get picked off, and the Homeland Security Secretary becomes President (18th in line or 8th in line doesn't matter), I'm moving to Canada.
Merriam-Webster has added some new words to the new edition of the Collegiate dictionary. Looks like ME1's favorite, "oy" is finally official. Of course there are other new words added...I'm still looking for a complete list.
Merriam-Webster has added some new words to the new edition of the Collegiate dictionary. Looks like ME1's favorite, "oy" is finally official.
Well, I can report that I have not lost my mind. Not completely, anyway. Today at around 3:20pm I heard and felt what I thought was a truck driving by (we live on a particularly busy and noisy road)...trouble was, I didn't see any truck at the time. Next, I thought possibly a tree limb had fallen on the roof...nope, wrong again. As it turns out, there was a small earthquake out here in the boonies today. 3.4 on the Richter scale. No damage, and Baby Boy slept through it...but it gave me something to blog about today.
The Christian Science Monitor has an interesting article in its July 1 edition. The Story Behind Dropout Rates examines what dropout rates really mean in relation to race. It takes a particular look at the relation between dropout rates and rates of incarceration among black and Hispanic children.

For anyone who's interested, these numbers (dropout rates) are a product of a study conducted by The Child Trends DataBank. This organization offers many studies concerning children every year.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Good-Bye to a Classy Lady

Katherine Hepburn died today. Desk Set and The Philadelphia Story are among my all time favorite movies.

Not only was she a talented actress, but she was a very interesting person: clever, funny and spunky. If you have never read her books, take a gander at "The Making of The African Queen: Or, How I Went To Africa With Bogart, Bacall and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind," (Also great for Bogie and Bacall fans) or "Me: Stories from My Life," both written by Katherine Hepburn.

Something Funny on the Ark

My Daughter also received a Fisher Price Little People Noah's Ark for her birthday. It is a very cool gift that comes with two toucans, two lions, two zebras, two giraffes, two goldfish in a water bucket and, of course, Noah and his wife. We've noticed a few issues while playing with the ark.

You can buy additional animals for the ark: hippos, peacocks, rhinos, alligators etc. Interesting thing is that all the female animals are clearly smaller, have pink ears, are blushing (I'm not kidding) and have their tales pointing up (I'm not going to try to give you hubby's explanation of that one--this is a family blog)! Umm, so all the female animals took the time to put on make-up before they got on the ark? {Sigh} I guess I'm greatful they don't have ribbons or mascara or sky blue eye shadow (yes I was a kid in the 70's).

Also, in the handy dandy materials accompanying the ark, they only refer Noah's wife as Noah's wife and not by any name. This is just one of those little things in life that just kind of irritate me. The woman was directed to gather all the plants and she did. She probably cleaned the stalls and did the cooking for her hubby, her sons and their wives while Noah watched for the dove to return. Seriously, eight people taking care of all the animals of the world, and no one could bother to put Noah's wife's given name (or the names of any of the wives) in the story?

My daughter can supposedly play with the ark until she's five. What does Fisher Price expect me to tell her? Noah's wife doesn't have a name? What kind of message will she pick up regarding women's roles and identities?

My mother in law thought her name was Tovah, which is nice enough, except that it appears she was mistaken.

My diligent hubby searched for the name of Noah's wife today. We have discovered that it was probably "Naamah". I think it's interesting the meaning of the name varies depending on the information source: it means "beautiful" because Caanites were vain or it means "pleasant" because her actions were pleasing to God.

I am now torn. Do I call the little figure "Naamah," which sounds an awful lot like "Mama" and run the risk of confusing my baby girl? Or do I stick with Tovah, which I have been using since her gramma mentioned it last week even though I now know it is wrong? This is the kind of problem you don't see being discussed at ask Dr. Sears, Kelly's Attachment Parenting site or Baby Center. I really didn't think I was going to be worrying about gender issues when my daughter was only one. I just wanted her to be able to play with a bunch of little animals. You see where that got me.

Just for fun, meticulous hubby also learned that Naamah is a skin care company and a Polish progressive metal/goth band (who just played a festival with 3 Doors Down).

Finally, he found two children's stories regarding Naamah. This one is for kids 0 - 4 years old. The other is for ages 4 to 8. I can't vouch for them since I haven't read them yet, but I'll probably pick them up. I feel like I must do something to share Naamah's story with my daughter. Although, she will probably make up her own stories and adventures with Naamah, Noah and the Ark as she gets older.