Monday, November 01, 2004

Not endorsing anyone

However, since there are three Juvenile Court Judges races in Cuyahoga County, I thought I would give you some links so that you can make informed decisions.

Here are the Judicial Ratings from the various Bar Associations. Scroll down to find the Domestic and Juvenile Court Judges. Click on the names for more info.

You can find all the PD endorsements here.
Again, you'll need to scroll down to get to the Juvenile Court Judges.

Finally, you can access the Cuyahoga County League of Women Voters 2004 Voters Guide here.
Use the Local Elections pick list to see the Juvenile Court candidates' qualifications and their answer to a juvenile law issue.

With three Juvenile slots on the ballot, voters can really affect the juvenile bench and the direction the court will take. Think about it.

Friday, October 29, 2004

I will try to follow the case of Peggy Fugate in Hamilton County, Ohio. She had her parental rights to her daughter terminated seven years ago and is now petitioning to adopt the girl who was never adopted and remains in foster care.
When you type in the name of my county in a Google News search, you get mostly fishing reports. hmmmmm...

Monday, October 25, 2004

Do you know all the candidates for office where you live and vote? I don't. And I find it disturbing that our local newspaper is doing nothing to help out the average citizen.

But then again, the Cleveland Plain Dealer can't even decide who to endorse for President. The editorial staff reportedly wants to endorse Kerry and the publisher wants to endorse Bush. Who do you think will win?
So what do you do when you have no hope of winning an election in Cleveland? Why change your name to Russo and you're all set.

Talk about laughable political ploys.
If you have been following the case of Aiden Stein, then you know that his case goes before the Ohio Supreme Court for argument over whether an appointed guardian should have the authority to withdraw life support, which will most likely result in Aiden's death. While I appreciate the news attempts to follow this story, I think the quoting of a professor in Medicine Law is missing the mark just a bit. Why nothing from FAMILY LAW experts? This isn't merely a medical issue...but one of parental rights and responsibilities, juvenile rights, and potential criminal consequences.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Is it an ethical violation for an attorney to say that sometimes the Ohio Supreme Court is a bunch of wimps? Does that fall under the category of judicial criticism that is supposed to be a discipline-worthy offense?

I have been following the case of the man who owed $38,000 in child support (he fathered seven children by five different mothers). He was found guilty of a criminal offense for failure to pay and was ordered not to father any more children. Of course, the case went on appeal all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court. Rather than simply address the fundamental issue of whether such a sentence is constitutional, the Ohio Supreme Court, in all its wisdom, sent the case back to the trial judge on the grounds that no escape provision had been set that would allow the father to end the restriction (perhaps upon paying his obligation). So the trial judge is going to get another crack at it. What do you think he might do? I guess it will depend on whether he's as irritated by the Ohio Supreme Court's refusal to tackle the tough issues as I am.
I am not a Bush supporter...I'll freely admit it...but this sort of thing really bothers me. A police officer can not have a political bumper sticker in his car/truck if it sits in the city parking lot?!?!?! First, this case presumes that everyone who walks by will know that this car belongs to a police officer. I have no idea what the police officers in my courthouse drive...and quite frankly I don't care. Second, when did it become political to voice your support of the President of the United States??? Or is it merely a time relative problem?

If this officer were wearing a pin on his person while at work, I could understand the problem. But his car making a political statement is an entirely different matter. And what happens if he decides to put a permanent sticker on his bumper, instead of just in the window. He can't drive the car to work anymore?!?!?! Is he not allowed to express his support of the President? Who can he express support for and who can he not? Can he put a World Wildlife Federation sticker on his car? What about those "my child is an honor student" stickers?

Repeat after me, oh great legal minds...slippery slope, slippery slope, slippery slope...
I simply should not watch the news. But every time I happen to flip channels past a local news program already in progress, I just can not help but stop and watch. This past week I saw a story about a serial pet killer on the loose in my county , a story about a baby left in an alley in our state capitol, and a story about how Ohio is going to be the next Florida.

Oy! Somebody please take my remote control and hide it!

Monday, September 27, 2004


I am still breastfeeding my daughter. She and I are both pretty comfortable with it most of the time. However (and this may not be for the squeemish), during the few days leading up to and during menstruation, breastfeeding becomes excruciating and the amount produced from pumping plummets.

Knowing that I have periods while still breastfeeding my sister-in-law sent me this advice:

"For some women, the drop in milk supply and nipple tenderness associated with menstruation becomes more of a challenge. An effective treatment for these symptoms associated with the return of periods is to add a calcium/magnesium supplement to the diet upon ovulation and continue it through the second or third day of a period. The supplement should be 1500 calcium/750 magnesium but can be as low as 500 calcium/250 magnesium (the higher the dosage the more effective and quicker the results). It should be a combination pill. This much calcium should never be taken alone. If your cycles are not regular and you do not know when you ovulate, you can take the supplement the entire month until you begin to see a pattern to your flow. This type of supplement seems to work as it prevents the drop in blood calcium levels which occurs mid-cycle and continues through the second to third day of a period. It is this drop which is associated with the nipple tenderness and drop in milk supply as well as the uterine cramping so often experienced with menstruation. You only need to take one pill a day."

I have been taking the supplements as advised but my supply is still low. Nursing and pumping merely painful, rather than eye-popping, eye-watering painful. I guess that is an improvement.

Is this the best I can hope for until I no longer nurse or pump? Anyone out there have other advice?

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


I receive some parenting newsletter via e-mail. Today I found this article regarding nudity around your children. The gist of it is that once the kid becomes self aware, it's time to cover up.

Now I'm not talking about being nudists while at home, but wouldn't we be sending the message that nakedness is bad and shameful by covering up? Isn't there some sort of balance between such a prudish view and developing a child's healthy sense of self and body image? How do you walk the line between teaching a child that some things are private and over-reacting so that they see naked bodies as wrong?

Do you think it depends on the gender of the child and the parent?

I definitely didn't find the article very thoughtful or helpful. I wonder if she's a Freudian psychologist?
Did I mention that I broke my nose? It was an unfortunate meeting of my face with the very hard head of one of my dogs...he zigged when I zagged...and I was left seeing stars. But to tell you the kind of mom I have become, I immediately reached into the freezer and pulled out BooBoo Bear. I can only imagine the picture I made standing in my kitchen with little birdies and stars circling round my head with my son's BooBoo Bear stuck to my nose. Oh...and we unfortunately do not own the Blue's Clues version of this product...a fact which my son is more than willing to tell you all about if you give him the chance.
I am working on arranging an animal rescue transport for this weekend that has particularly disturbed me. Actually, I'm arranging three transports for this weekend, but one has me thinking (and that is always a dangerous proposition). A mama dog (retriever/chow mix) and her five puppies were brought into the dog pound a few weeks ago. I won't mention which pound because I would like to maintain a working relationship with them. Anyway...the mama was allowed to nurse her puppies for the state-mandated six weeks and then the pups were all adopted out. The mama was left in the shelter and was scheduled to be put to sleep when a wonderful rescue saw her story and decided that she deserved better.

I am startled that this pound, overrun with dogs and cats, would adopt out the puppies without requiring that they be spayed or neutered. I am saddened that this mama is left to be put to sleep because she isn't a cute and cuddly puppy anymore. But more than that, I'm terribly afraid that at least one of these five puppies will find themselves in the exact same situation as their mama in just a year or two. There is no incentive for people to do the right thing anymore. Our country is filled with millions of unwanted pets...over four million are put to sleep each year. This mama and her puppies ALL deserve better from us, as responsible adults. Pardon me while I channel Bob Barker for a moment...PLEASE have your pet spayed or neutered. is her picture...she's beautiful, don't you think?
The Ohio Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Aiden Stein, the baby who is in a vegetative state (allegedly due to shaken baby syndrome caused by abuse by his father)...and whose case has held, up to this point, that a guardian may terminate life support for a minor (despite the parental rights not being terminated). It will be interesting to see how this case concludes. I'm not a Ohio Supreme Court expert and have no insight, so I can't even offer a guess.
New mothers with fibromyalgia (FM) face multiple barriers to breast-feeding their babies, according to a study published recently in the American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing.

Monday, September 13, 2004

I figured out that ME1's obsession with purchasing cross-stitch supplies is not that strange. Why have I reached this conclusion, you may ask? Because I have found myself engaging in similar behavior patterns...but with scrapbooking materials. I have no idea where my obsession springs from. It seems to have come on quickly, like an aggressive disease for which there is no treatment.

When given ten free minutes to do with as I please, I choose to scrapbook. And in reality, those ten minute sessions are few and far between. But that does not stop me from buying up all the doo-dads that I can possibly afford for future use.

Yesterday, my illness progressed so far that I drove over an hour to a scrapbooking store, two-year-old AND husband in tow, just to buy some neat paper and stickers.

Do you think there are twelve-step groups for this kind of thing?
I think perhaps this guy's message got a bit lost when he dressed himself up like Batman.

For those that don't have a NYTimes subscription online...

A group that advocates greater rights for fathers in child custody cases sent two of its operatives over the fence at Buckingham Palace today and one of them, dressed as Batman, scampered up a ladder to a ledge near the Queen's balcony, setting off a security alert and a tense standoff with police.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I have a terrible time comparing myself to others.

I read my friend's blog and think, "Why can't I write like that?"

I see my friend interact with her child and think, "I need to be more like her as a mom."

I watch my co-worker in court and think, "How does she come up with those amazing legal arguments?" (Not to mention she looks fabulous in a dark suit while I look short and dumpy)

I often wonder if it's insecurity, like I've been telling myself for years, or if it's real and honest jealousy. Maybe I've been fooling myself thinking about my "shortcomings" and I'm just a small and petty person who is worried about what she doesn't have.

Everyone has their own gifts to share with the why can't I just be happy with the ones I have?
In answer to the BORED comment...if you find yourself at work and you're facing a stack of incoming research projects that do not excite you, it is EASY to find yourself spiraling down into the depths of boredom. I have LOTS to do...but I'm bored with all of it.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

I am BORED!!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

A sharp drop in the number of Cleveland-area children being put into foster care is raising questions over whether Cuyahoga County officials may have been pulling too many children from their homes during the late 1990s.
And this from the ewwwwwwww files.
The biomechanics of the bra.

Interesting...I had no idea that WonderBras are out. And I had no idea so much was going into the new generation of bras. About time, I say.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

I just found the Center for Law and Social Policy and I can't stop reading their material. What a fabulous resource! Now...if only those in charge of running the country would read it.
An interesting look at child support and TANF.

Particularly interesting...

Only one state--Wisconsin--provides an example of the type of child support system that Jensen and others would like to see other states emulate.

Wisconsin passes along all the money it collects on behalf of single parents on public assistance without withholding other government benefits.

"Wisconsin's philosophy was that since welfare was supposed to mimic the role of the absent parent, then mothers should receive all of the child support that came their way," said Maria Cancian, an economics professor at the Institute for Research on Poverty in Wisconsin who has studied the impact of Wisconsin's child support system.

"A job wouldn't stop paying you because you were getting child support," she said.

Cancian and her colleagues found that under the new system, Wisconsin mothers were more likely to establish paternity when they received more child support, non-custodial parents were more likely to pay child support when the money went to the families and that mothers and fathers had fewer conflicts over child support payments when the payments went to the custodial parent rather than to the government.

Cancian also found that the new program had no negative effect on the state's revenue, since the drop in revenue from lost child support collections was offset when women who received regular child support payments went off welfare.
I am officially a Democrat. There...I said it. I feel much like I imagine an alcoholic feels after admitting s/he has a problem. I went to see John Edwards speak in Warren, Ohio yesterday and I have to admit that I was impressed. The pep rally atmosphere did not detract from the message and the platforms that are being advanced by the candidate. And now I'm told that the VP debate will take place at the university where I attended law school. I'm already angling for tickets.

How did this happen to me? I'm not old enough (or wealthy enough) to be interested in politics. lol

Monday, August 23, 2004

If you're not working in government, like ME1 and I, then you might find this article about maternity leave to be very interesting. It even has a link to free download-able templates for maximum maternity leave and summer sabbatical proposals.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Disposable digital cameras. Huh? Or better yet...why?
What the heck is wrong with people?!?! An 11-year old boy is found living alone. What happened to his mother? Oh, she was moving in with her boyfriend and decided to let the boy live alone to help him deal with his depression over his father's death a year ago. But don't condemn her too much...she stopped by every day to bring him food. [/sarcasm]
You learn something new every day...

Cracklin Oat Bran is NOT good when it is stale. blech!
Well...I have had my first real taste of what it means to be a lawyer. I advised my client and she did exactly the opposite of what I advised. At first I was really irritated...but my husband reminded me that I have nothing to gain or lose by my clients' stupidity, so I shouldn't take it so personally. I can only give my legal opinion and let the clients do whatever they're going to do.

Makes me really wish we had a limit on billable hours for each client though. As an assistant prosecutor, I find it completely unfair to my other clients that one client eats up all my time and their projects/requests for opinions get shuffled to the back burner. I spend so much time cleaning up the messes from certain clients (because they don't take my advice in the first place), that my other clients don't feel like they are a priority. There should be a limit. I know we're statutorily appointed counsel for political subdivisions...but I think some are taking advantage of their "free" legal counsel. I have said for a while job would be so much easier if I just didn't have to deal with my clients. lol

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Did you see that NASA has definitively stated that it was a flaw in the application of foam that caused the space shuttle Columbia explosion? How horribly sad for those involved. Can you imagine how it must feel to know that such a tragedy was completely preventable?
Have you SEEN these???

BTW...ME1...I LOVE the comments! But I am starting to feel very alone here. lol
Emily Post, where are you?

I received a wedding invitation from a co-worker! Help!

I just started this job one year ago (August 25). The gal that is getting married started just shortly before I did. We were sort of thrown together on the office Christmas gift buying, as the "new person" is assigned that glorious task (which I still say is some sort of professional hazing). But anyway, we chatted during our Christmas gift fun...and still talk when we see each other if only to say, "Thank God there are other "new people" in the office this year so we will be spared a repeat of that agony." I generally ask about her wedding plans and how she's holding up under the stress. But I wouldn't say we are friends by any means.

So Ms. I RSVP yes or no? I see advantages and disadvantages. If I say yes, I would be encouraging a friendly relationship with this co-worker by acknowledging that her wedding is important enough to me to attend. However, what if it was only a courtesy invite and she never really expected me to attend? Will I be creating a obligating her to provide me with meal and drink on that day (when all she really expected was a gift)? I just don't know! Do I respectfully decline and risk offending her? Do I decline and send a gift? OY!
I signed up for the Induction Ceremony Reception at our law school (this Friday) and now I'm having second thoughts about attending. I imagine I will be the only public/governmental attorney amongst a bunch of expensive suits who work for high-priced law firms. I suppose I should go and wish the class of 2007 well...and maybe have a drink while I'm at it...but it's not like I have many friends from law school. And I doubt there will even be anyone there I know. But's good to network, etc., so I feel an obligation of sorts. Oh what to do...?
I generally don't like Yahoo News because their writing style is so elementary that I get bored while reading the first few sentences. But here is a good article about the female vote in the 2004 Presidential Election.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Yesterday I suffered through that moment every mom dreads.

We were working on cleaning the gutters, my husband on a ladder and me at the foot of the ladder patiently waiting and praying to god that I could dial 9-1-1 from my cell phone. I happened to mention that I needed my work gloves or my hands were going to get all "hurty." (Yes, I say baby-words still, despite my son being 2 years old.) son looks up at me and says, "I get gloves...barn...right back...stay here." He walked all the way to the barn by himself, looking back occasionally to reassure me that he was ok and I would "stay there" (in fact, he pointed and hollered..."stay there" several times just to be sure).

As I watched him walk, I was torn between a slight giggle at his obvious purposfulness and willingness to help with mundane chores like cleaning the gutters...and tears for the independence that I knew would one day appear. As I watched my little boy walk toward the barn, I couldn't help but think of they day we brought him home from the helpless and needy. And here he was, directing me to stay put so he could take care of things.

He returned from the barn with my gloves with a bright smile and a twinkle in his eye and said, "I did it!"

He probably hasn't been a baby for a very long time...but now I have had that moment of realization and I recognize that he is indeed a little boy. I'm sad to see the baby days go...and I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a little afraid of what is to come. But I love my little boy and the outstanding person he is...yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Does anyone know if it is legal to vacate a county road, creating one landlocked parcel? If so, how does a developer deal with the private right of way that will remain to that parcel? Easement? Anyone know?
How old is too old to have a baby? I was recently on a message board where one lady said it was unrealistic to have a baby at age 39. My mom says I should plan to be done by age 35. I know ME1 has some thoughts on this...but what does everyone else think? Am I in the minority when I think you should just keep trying if that's what you want to do (and there are no obvious medical issues to worry about)?
For those parents who wonder "what works"...there is a fabulous database of analyses of interventions and their effects on certain risky behaviors at Child Trends Data Bank.
Guest columnist for the Marion Star, Karen McCleary, wrote a wonderful piece about August being Breastfeeding Awareness Month in Ohio. Now, I know you're going to say, "Isn't is something/something/something Awareness Month too?" I know the Awareness thing has been done to death...but this one is important to you get to read about it here. :oP

If you've been following the news lately, you've probably had a recent dose of breastfeeding awareness concerning the "hoopla" at Wyandot Lake where a mother was escorted out of the park for breastfeeding her baby. It's unclear if the woman was discreet or not while nursing her 4-week-old infant, but reports state that there were concerns other "guests" had been offended. The "exposure" surrounding this event opens the door for an opportunity to educate the public about ways to promote and support breastfeeding in the Marion community.

Governor Bob Taft has designated the month of August 2004 as Breastfeeding Awareness Month in Ohio in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, 2004. This year's theme is Exclusive Breast, the Gold Standard: Safe, Sound and Sustainable, which emphasizes the many benefits of exclusive breastfeeding defined as providing no other liquids or solids for a baby's first six months of life.

Exclusive breastfeeding is:

Safe - because breast milk provides protection against common illnesses such as respiratory illnesses (colds, flu and pneumonia), intestinal illnesses (vomiting and diarrhea) and ear infections.

Sound - because the nutrients found in human milk are made just for human infants. Breast milk is continually changing to meet the needs of the growing child.

Sustainable - because breastfeeding provides an infant with a source of food as breast milk is always available.
Unrestricted, exclusive breastfeeding is positively related to breast milk production and breastfeeding success and longevity. Babies were born to be breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life. After six months, continuation of breastfeeding with the addition of complementary foods is recommended.

The Healthy People (HP) 2010 breastfeeding goals are to increase the proportion of mothers who breastfeed their babies in the early postpartum period, at six months postpartum, and at one year postpartum, to 75 percent, 50 percent and 25 percent respectively. A survey showed that in 2003 the Ohio breastfeeding initiation rate was 38.5 percent, which was well below the HP 2010 expectations.

Infant feeding decisions can have long-term consequences on the growth and success of our children. Because of increased bonding, improved cognitive development, decreased risk of obesity and many other health benefits, breastfeeding can help ensure a positive start for infants and young children. Think how much money the breastfeeding family can save compared to the high cost of formula. The health benefits of exclusive breastfeeding can be translated into cost savings for individuals, government programs and insurance plans nationwide.

Did you realize that mothers can return to work or school and still breastfeed? With the help of a variety of manual and electric breast pumps, breast milk can be harvested and fed to the baby by caregivers or can be refrigerated and even frozen for up to 6 months. Modern pumps are cleverly disguised to look like savvy back packs or lunch bags and hold all essential supplies, including a cooler area for the milk bottles.

Schools and businesses can assist the breastfeeding mother by allowing sufficient breaks with a private space for using a breast pump throughout the day. A mother should never be told to use a breast pump or breastfeed in a restroom! Would you want to eat in a restroom? Very doubtful!

Marion's WIC clinic, Marion General Hospital and local health care professionals promote and support breastfeeding. Each can provide our mothers-to-be and their families with enough information to make informed choices about infant feeding.

Marion General Hospital and WIC also provide free breastfeeding education classes for the prenatal woman and her family. Once the decision to breastfeed has been made, women are provided a supportive environment to encourage the continuation of breastfeeding. Follow-up in the hospital and telephone calls after the baby is born improve breastfeeding success and longevity. Ultimately our whole society will benefit from having healthier mothers, babies and children.

Local Breastfeeding Awareness Month activities which are planned for August include a "kick-off" walk from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 7, at Marion Southland Mall, co-sponsored by the Marion City Health Department's WIC Program and Marion General Hospital's Center for New Beginnings.

There will be contests for the best decorated stroller/wagon, "Cutest baby pictures" from birth up to 24 months old, and numerous door prizes. The first 25 attendees to register will receive a T-shirt and special gift bags. Breastfeeding information, well child referral agencies and I.D. fingerprinting for children will be offered by the Marion County Sheriff's Explorers.

The 2004 Breastfeeding Quilt will be "unveiled" at the walk and will start its display rotation around Marion during the month of August.

See if you've got breastfeeding awareness by attending the mall walk and by remembering that "Babies were born to be breastfed."

Karen McCleary is a registered nurse, certified in maternal newborn nursing and is the WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator in c/o the Marion City Health Department. WIC can be reached by calling 740-383-5533.
I was at our local county fair this weekend and was happily surprised to see an area for rocking and relaxation for breastfeeding moms. Now, mind you, I don't live in what you would call a progressive county, so the discovery of some enlightened minds really brought a smile to my face. And we're not talking a nasty and dirty area either. It was sponsored by the local hospital system and included nice secluded cubicles with rocking chairs and footstools...and even a fan to circulate the air and keep it nice and comfy. Now...if they could have moved it AWAY from the dancing bears show (and all the related ruckus), it would have been perfect. OK...not perfect...But what can you expect? Just down the exhibit hall was the Republican exhibit with balloons. lol

Friday, July 23, 2004

I will try to blog. I will try to blog. I will try to blog. I will try to blog.
The child poverty rate rose slightly between 2001 and 2002, from 15.8 percent to 16.3 percent
While birth rates fell substantially among young women ages 15 to 19 between 1980 and 2002 (from 53 to 43 per 1,000 women), they rose among women age 30 and older during the same time period (from 62 to 92 per 1,000 women ages 30-34, for example).
Pregnancy rates among adolescent females have fallen steadily during the past decade, from 116.3 per 1,000 female teens ages 15 to 19 in 1990 to 84.5 per 1,000 female teens in 2000, the lowest rate reported since 1976.
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.
An interesting article about Violence in the Lives of Children

Saturday, July 10, 2004

The last absurd quiz for the week

I took the most accurate villain personality test

created by:
The Arch Villainess Gracie

Cool--I'm the best in the series
Star Wars4
You are The Empire Strikes Back era from Episode V!

From ice planets, to swamplands, to cities in the
clouds, you will embark on quite the adventure!
A little green man is in your future (nothing
from the X-Files). Be careful when standing
around carbonite. That's cold stuff!
Unfortunately, everywhere you go, you will be
surrounded by darkness. Don't lose your head
(or your hand!).

Which Star Wars Era Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Yet another ridiculous quiz

Which generic smut novel character are you? (With somewhat relevant pictures!)

The Obscenely Wealthy Heiress

Poor dear, all alone in your opulent estate, with no one but a tight-fisted, controlling prude of a relative to keep you company. Perhaps you can entreat some strapping young lad into educating you in the ways of the world.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

Okay ME2, it's your turn. Take the quiz my friend.
Trouble at Wyandot Lake

I saw this story at Nursing Mom.

A few years ago, there was a bill in the Ohio General Assembly that explicitly allowed a woman to breastfeed in a public area. It went nowhere but we did get those wonderfully written juvenile sex offender and serious youthful offender laws instead.

Hopefully some smart representative or senator will actually push a bill supporting breastfeeding through one of these days.

And people, if the sight of a breastfeeding mother and child offends you, don't look!
Another quiz
What Color is Your Brain?

brought to you by Quizilla

Okay. If you say so.

Friday, July 02, 2004

APA Breastfeeding Recommendations Handout

You can find a new Breastfeeding Handout by the APA on the KellyMom Website.

Note to Pediatricians: Read it, Say it, Mean it, Live it.

And for anyone out there wondering, I charted my daughter on the new and improved Growth Charts for breastfed babies (Permalink for that post isn't working). She still was on the low end of the scale--comfortably near the middle at Mean - 2. At least she appeared on this chart.

Of course I have to wonder about the methodology of gathering data for these charts--were these children healthy and eating appropriately? I like the results, but I'd like to know how they got there. Considering my daughter isn't even on the "normal" chart, there is some disparity in growth of formula fed and breastfed babies.

Still, I hope pediatricians consider using these charts for their patients who are breastfeeding. It just makes more sense to use the charts that match how the baby is actually being fed.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004


Stupid, stupid blogger.

For some reason our permalinks aren't working.

I am having technical difficulties tonight I think I better quit while I'm still vaguely sane and the computer is in a functional piece.
New and Improved?

Well I think I've enabled the comments feature in Blogger. Why? Well why not? ME2 and I discussed it when we first started the blog and we never signed up for comments. Now that it's part of the Blogger system, I figured we could give it a test drive.

Of course, I have a sinking feeling that if activated, we will only be confronted with the fact that very few people actually read this blog.

I don't know if that thought is discouraging or a relief.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Chart their growth

KellyMom has a new page up about the growth charts for breastfed babies, based on data compiled by WHO. I printed the one for girls to see how my girl compares.

At our recent check-up, she is still off the chart for weight, however her weight gain is directly parallel to the chart. Dr. isn't and never has been worried--I can't say the same for the girl's loving parents. I'm curious to see how she appears on the revised charts.
Update to the JKR site

The mysterious door can finally be opened. But you'll need to remember how to enter Diagon Alley to get anywhere.

There's lots of new info (including "spoilers") in the FAQ section. JKR's answers will set a thousand Message Boards on fire with discussions. I'm a little sorry to admit that on one point at least, I'm more confused than ever.

Watch them grow

BBC News has some amazing pictures of babies in the womb along with interesting developmental facts.

Just incredible.

And it will come as no surprise to my hubby that I think they are all adorable.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

So that's how it's done!

How to Make a MommieEsq1:

How to make a MommieEsq1

5 parts success

5 parts crazyiness

1 part ego
Stir together in a glass tumbler with a salted rim. Add emotion to taste! Do not overindulge!

I think I like it!

Friday, June 25, 2004

It's not easy being green

I don't have much to comment about the idea for green roofs, except that I think it's brilliant. You can find some research regarding green roofs here.

Now where are the green roof detractors? This article finds some drawbacks.

Check out the links to the Chicago City Hall--just beautiful. Much better than tar. Imagine Cleveland with fields of green on top of its buildings. Cool. Where do we sign up?

My new name: Countess Stitches Off-Center

All bow before me. Then go here to get your new Stitcher's Name.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

A whimper not a bang

Well the new breastfeeding campaign {such as it is} has been released. I can't imagine anyone being inspired to breastfeed by such paltry, lackluster ads. The tv spots border on the ridiculous. The print ads are vaguely offensive. Instead of modeling breastfeeding, we are treated with inanimate objects or food arranged to resemble breasts. Feh.

ABC's 20/20 did a story on it, which reiterates what I've mentioned previously about the controversy. However, this sentence caught my eye: " The changes were so substantial that the ad agency that first conceived the campaign no longer wants to be associated with it." Wow.

Apparently, LLL was so thrilled to have any campaign that it has withheld any criticism that it should rightly be directing at such an weak spirited campaign.

As usual, KellyMom has a great page with links about the campaign and media coverage.

I don't think moms who formula feed their babies should feel guilty, I just wish that I could believe most women were making an informed choice. It seems to me that our culture actually encourages women to go to formula when they have the least little problem with nursing. Even a little breastmilk is better than no breast milk. This campaign does nothing to change attitudes toward breastfeeding.

I'm disgusted.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

A wonderful day

I arrived a little late for my daughter's two year check up. She was running around the exam room in her diaper chattering away, when she suddenly ran to my leg giggling and saying, "I love you Mommy!"

It doesn't get any better than that.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Though a bit sporadic at times...we've been blogging for over a year now!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

A computer keyboard, a two year old boy, and a bottle of bubbles do NOT mix for a good combination.
A computer keyboard, a two year old boy, and a bottle of bubbles do NOT mix for a good combination.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Geek Mommy rides again

It's been a rough week, so it's just light stuff tonight. I'll be profound some other time.

Nifty(and totally unexpected):

[i'm bill weasley]

...and which lesser Harry Potter character are you?

I also aced the Harry Potter quiz found here. It's only impressive (or frightening) because I still haven't found my Harry Potter books since we moved almost three years ago.

Friday, May 28, 2004

what kind of social software are you?

I think that means I should post more frequently.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

OK...I haven't posted in a LONG time...and now I'm going to hit you up for shoot me.

This is Beau. Beau was in the Memphis Animal Shelter and was scheduled to be put to sleep when I found a no-kill shelter to take him. As he was being discharged, the MAS revealed that Beau is heartworm positive. The shelter I had arranged did not have the facilities to care for Beau during his treatment and refused to accept him. Through a series of miracles, Beau was transported to Columbus, Ohio where he was to receive discount price HW treatment through the Dalmatian rescue there. Following treatment, he was going to find a foster or forever home.

Last weekend, Beau was admitted to the ICU at Ohio State Veterinary Hospital with a high fever...apparently a negative reaction to the heartworm treatment. He responded very well to the oxygen tank and the steroids. He will be on meds for the next 10 days and will need to be rechecked after that. He is allowed NO MOVEMENT ... so he gets to go out to do his business and then it's right back into his crate. His appetite is back, so that’s a good sign. All the doctors loved him, he such a darling. We thought he was going to be all right.

The total bill for the emergency room came to $507 ... which is high, but better than expected. Thank doG for small things, right?

Today's development...Beau has blood in his stool. It is not a small amount. The rescue has spoken to both OSU and his regular doctor, and they have given the option to bring him back to emergency, or take a 6:10pm appointment with the reg, vet. Both agree to pull him off the steroid (but he had his pill already this morning), which may have upset the mucus lining in his stomach, and *possibly* caused a secondary infection.

Since he is not "dripping" blood, the rescue plans to take him for this evenings' (3:40pm) appointment. OSU will want to do many, many tests, and it is very expensive there. The regular vet will be thorough and will do what is necessary, but is also more conservative with rescue funds. But the rescue still must send out an emergency plea for funds.

We REALLY need sponsors for Beau. He has come so far...don't you think he's earned it? Can you help give him a better life? Please SPONSOR Beau by visiting to make your donation.

Beau is a wonderfully gentle and sweet boy and I REFUSE to believe that he has come this far for nothing. Please, if you can find it in your heart to help in ANY way, no matter how small, please email me or drop me a private message. We will be setting up an eBay fundraiser for Beau's care and I will post the link as soon as I have it.

Thank you!

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Feeling Happy at Bedtime

For the longest time, our bedtime ritual included "What Shall We Do With the Boo-Hoo Baby," which I've mentioned elsewhere, and "I Feel Happy." I bought it on an impulse when the Border's Outlet near me was closing. I thought, "She'll never like it, but the pictures are cool." How was I to know that she would demand this story so much that Hubby and I would memorize the poem in a very short time. Even more encouraging, when reached the line "So I'll rest my little head," our daughter would consistently pat her own head. The book has a simple enjoyable poem and not-your-usual-baby-book illustrations.

I guess this means I'll need to find more Flavia books for my daughter.

Like I need an excuse to buy books.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Reading with Your Child

I can't rave often enough about Chinaberry. They have a wonderful selection of books and you can tell by reading their catalogue that they truly love everything they sell.

Included in the catalogues is also this bit of advice aboutway to read with children who aren't able to read yet. Fortunately they post it on their site as well. They also have thoughts about the importance of reading for the parents of older readers.

Chinaberry is a wonderful place to visit on the web. It's good for the economy when I visit it because I always want to spend money on something there. I'm sure you'll find a book to love if you go.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Good News: More Books

Today we received an order from Chinaberry! This happy event has pre-empted my original plan for tonight's post because as I skimmed some of the books, I immediately fell in love with one in particular: Bunny's Noisy Book.

The Bunny experiences his day through sound after sound from the rustling of birds, his own yawn, to the buzzing of bees, to the thumping of his mother's foot calling him home again. The pictures are lucious and the bunny sometimes seems so real that he could jump off the page. I think I prefer it to Good Night Moon, of course it could just be that Bunny is new to me while I can now recite Moon from memory. Here's a review from a Third Grader--it comes highly recommended.

I found some brief biographical and autobiographical sketches of Margaret Wise Brown. Here is an unofficial site (the official site seems to have disappeared).

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Feeling Bookish

A very popular book in our house is "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon," from the Sesame Street song performed by Ernie. The board book has beautiful illustrations covering Ernie's adventurous side and his return home. Ignore the professional review at Amazon, my daughter's face lights up when I read/sing it to her.

You can hear the midi here and the guitar bits here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Alphabetically Speaking
I just wanted to recommend two sweet alphabet board books.

"A You're Adorable" is based on a song from the 1940's and has lovely watercolor images of kids playing. I don't know the song, but you can hear a midi here, read a muppet script here and read about Perry Como's version here.

So Many Bunnies tells the story of old Mother Rabbit who lived in a shoe with her 26 children. Each childs name starts with a diffent letter as she counts them one through 26 while sending them to sleep in unique locations. My daughter would snuggle with me as I read the simple rhymes.

Monday, May 17, 2004

More Book Stuff in Honor of Reading is Fun Week

Thanks to Darkmark, I've just spent a decent chunk of time fiddling around J.K. Rowling's website. Harry Potter fans can amuse themselves endlessly there with games and background information on the books.

I'm sure I haven't solved all the current riddles, but I have proudly placed three pages of special content in my scrapbook!

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Revived Book Club

If you want something a little different from the typical babies board book, try the artist series by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober. The rhymes are fun and the art is beautiful. The books won't make your child a prodigy, but they are entertaining poems set to beautiful pictures, which is what any good children's book should contain.

Based on this excerpt, I may have to buy Not So True Stories.

While tooling around the Chronicle site, I found a parenting book my husband might appreciate.
Reading is Fun Week

Today kicks off Reading is Fun Week! If you are looking for inspiration, hit the Chinaberry link at the side. Go to the RIF site for inspiration to celebrate reading. I loved getting books through RIF as a kid.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Happy Mother's Day

Hope it was wonderful. Did you talk to your Mommy today?

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

I have volunteered my time recently for group of volunteers who drive relay style to deliver pets from shelters to rescues and forever homes. Often people say, "I've found the perfect pet...unfortunately, it's also 200 miles away." We make the dream a reality by providing free transport. Additionally, we transport lost dogs home, and help neglected animals get to the right rescue for their needs.

I have already participated in one weekend dachsund, one German Shepherd pup, and one beegle/hound. It went smashingly well...and I encourage anyone who can spare a couple hours drive time to consider this endeavor. You get a good sense of accomplishment when you see a pup get home...and you get free puppy time.

Just tonight, I took in four pups and their mama from a neglectful home. They are woefully malnourished...but you can't tell it by their spirit. There are tails wagging and tongues delivering licks and kisses all over. Hopefully they will be able to get to a rescue within the week. I'll post pics and let you know how it goes tomorrow. I'd forgotten how puppies can wear you out.
Now this is some originality on eBay...quite funny.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Shopping for schools

Well my daughter is nearly two and I suppose it's never too early to wonder about her education. While surfing the net, I found Great Schools. You can find schools in your county or by address and if you are lucky, some parents have rated the school and the principal has included the schools information on the site. There isn't a lot of information posted currently, but it has the potential to be a great tool for parents.

You can also find local school "report cards" at the Ohio Department of Education.
SBS Quilt

I have been such a poor blogger that I don't believe I have noted that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

To call attention to this month, the Shaken Baby Syndrome Quilts will be located in the Cuyahoga County Justice Center from April 26th through April 30th. If you can't go to the Justice Center this week, this site has some information about the quilts and some pictures of the quilts' panels. You can find some older reactions to the quilt here.

Finally, here is the site for the Shaken Baby Alliance.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Breastfeeding--even when you don't feel like it

Kelly Mom has an interesting article on Breastfeeding when yousometimes don't like it. I agree with the central premise: "There are peaks and valleys with breastfeeding and sometimes you will thoroughly enjoy it, and sometimes you will resent it--but in the end you will not regret one day that you stuck with it, even though you were not feeling that joy 100% of the time. " The only caveat is that if you resent it for more than a few days in a row, if you're going on a week and it makes you resent the baby as well, if the numerous benefits of breastfeeding don't pull you out of your emotional slump, it might be best for all parties involved if you stopped breastfeeding.

And if you are wavering about breastfeeding:

1. Go to a lactation consultant.
2. Read this, which I mentioned here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004 I'm getting progressive in my old age.

The Mommy Myth is an interesting piece.

I found this VERY interesting...

"If all the mothers of America were sent on a fact-finding mission, here’s what we would find. In Sweden, we would see that the government requires companies to give a new mother a year’s leave at 90 percent pay. It also provides nurseries for most children older than 18 months. A quick stop in Denmark would reveal that nearly half of the children under 3 are in publicly financed nurseries, and nearly 95 percent of children 3 to 6 are. On to France, where 95 percent of children aged 3 to 5 are in preschool. OK, you say, that’s Europe. Well, get this. In 1984, Brazil gave workers 12 weeks of maternity leave with pay. (That’s right, with pay.) Kenya mandates eight weeks of maternity leave with pay."
What We Owe to Parents: How public policy can support the hard work of raising children


Sunday, April 18, 2004

Random Quiz

Take the quiz: "The Wildest, Craziest, Most Massive Quiz Ever!"

An Awesome Austrian Australopithicus
Omigawd! I survived the biggest, wildest quiz on the internet!
I thought it would never end! Now I am posting this Tongue-Twisting result to dare you to take it.
Can you survive it?

Must have been the Platypus. Or maybe one or two other answers.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Happy Easter

I hope it was wonderful. Ours was fantastic. Hubby surprised us with an Easter Egg hunt for our daughter throughout the house. She loved it.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Hubby may be signing me up as I type

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy has spawned the inevitable spin-off. I always thought that I was more in need of their help than hubby. I'm a little afraid of who they might choose for celebrity guests.
Tis the Season for Peeps!

Now I've never liked Peeps, but the Peep-o-Rama amuses me. I have been a fan of the site since 1998, but unfortunately, they haven't updated it this year (And I'm still hoping for the incredible 50th Anniversary Peeps Gallery addition). The UConn Peeps tour was fun--too bad they had to take it down. But they still have Little Peeps on the Prairie and a hilarious gallery of peeps on parade.

You should check the site.

Happy Holidays to all.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

I have been remiss in posting lately due to the new additions to my little farmette. My horses arrived on the 15th of March and we've been working on getting to know each other. I'm very excited, and very in love with both of them. My son, who is not quite two years old, has already learned their names and knows them on sight. We sat out in the nice weather on Sunday and just watched the horses romp and play. So much better than television!

I have also had my first run-in with "horse people" who feel that I have no business having these horses...lack of experience on my part and lack of experience on the horses' parts are the supposed reason for the rather direct judgment and attitude. Little do they know...I could care less what anyone else thinks about my life. I've made it this far without their approval, and I think I'll survive without it.

OK...vent over. :o)

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Finding Child Care

It's always a bit difficult even under the best circumstances, but most everyone has to find childcare at some point in time.

The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services allows you to search for state licensed child care facilities in your area. Best of all, you can see detailed results of state inspections, which occur twice a year in a licensed daycare. For each provider, you can learn when they were most recently inspected and what issues were discovered in the facility (the play area wasn't safe, the cots blocking exits, etc.) It is very interesting reading, although maybe a little alarming.

The ODJFS also has a guide for parents choosing day care.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

First sentence?

Today I heard my daughter say, "Okaaay Bay-bee. Buh-bye."

I'm going to assume that she was just stringing some sounds together rather than trying to communicate with me.
This pleases me to no end

You are boisterous and affectionate. You are the
kind of tree that takes nothing sitting down,
and is always ready for an adventure. You like
to see everything that goes on around you. You
like the warm weather, but you flourish when
the nights tend to grow slightly colder. You
are someone who likes to extend your days into
the night hours because you never want to leave
anything unfinished. You love an audience when
you do things and you like to show off
sometimes, but others admire your attitude. You
fear past mistakes coming back to haunt you,
but try to live day by day. You admire the
strength of others and try to find the same in
yourself. When you leave this word, you want to
make an impression so that you'll never be

What's Your Inner Tree?
brought to you by Quizilla

I've always been partial to oaks.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Looks like Juvenile Court isn't the only target for the Plain Dealer newspaper.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Let's just settle in for a nice cuppa...

you are camomile are very calm, and
you like to be warm, relaxed, and cozy. You
tend to have a calming effect on people, and
your friends often come to you with problems.

(with pics) what tea are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I like chamomile tea (how is it spelled?) but lately I've been in an Earl Grey mood. I also love Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice, but there was none to be found when we went to the grocery a few nights ago.
Girls in Little League

I wanted to do something for Women's History month so here it is. Maria Pepe tried out for the Young Dem's Little League team in New Jersey. After playing three games, the coach told her that she could no longer play on the team because the Little League organization had threatened to revoke her team's charter. She quit, but NOW took up her case ( and several other cases across the U.S.). After two years of legal battles, Maria was too old to participate in Little League when the Hearing Examiner for the Civil Rights Division ruled that Little League teams had to admit girls to its teams. I also found an Alumni profile of Maria Pepe at Fairleigh Dickinson University's site.

Title IX is a beautiful thing.

Monday, March 15, 2004

My Husband will be greatful

Sesame Street should start airing new episodes on PBS starting Monday April 5, 2004. The 35th season will kick off with a prime time special featuring Elmo learning about the History of Sesame Street--a little something for the kids and the parents. We may watch it. I'd kind of like to see Mr. Hooper again. And the picture of Ernie with the clay head of Bert--one of my favorite moments. And I'd like to see just about anything with Kermit. I loved seeing him interview fairy tale characters when I was a kid.

I seem to have diverted from Sesame Street to Nostalgia Lane.

And I learned about the new season here. Who knew?
Feeling the Love

87% Of The Internet Loves Me!
I am loved by 87% of the population, including:
9053 people who love quiz takers
9436 people who love people who like vegetables
4293 people who love lawyers
In return, I love 80% of the population, including:
13647 night people
760 movie stars
1880 puppies
show the love at

Kind of random and fun. I'll do more substantive posts eventually.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Stepping up to my soapbox...

This kind of reporting is shameful. Instead of focusing on the facts and the operation of the law, Mr. Pohlman reports emotion and outrage. Whatever happened to objectivity in the news?!?!?! He could have produced a very informative piece about the issue of sexual offenders in schools, instead he appears to be searching for someone to blame. This is one of the many reasons why I don't watch his station anymore.
An update on the Mahoning County Juvenile Court budget controversy.
From Licking County, Ohio...More Females Entering Juvenile Justice System.
And not to worry...the complete sentences thing...a one-time event. We are now back to good old point and grunt communication (or point and scream as the case may be).
OK...I took one of your quizzes, ME1.

Yellow Vibes
Your Energy is Yellow. You are generous, bright,
and expressive. An excellent communicator, you
keep your audience captivated with your
animated storytelling. Sometimes you talk too
much, but when you learn to listen you will be
sought out for your talents to advise.

The communications field appeals to you as a
profession. Public speaking, writing, radio,
acting or teaching would also be good career

What color is your energy?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, March 12, 2004

Breastfeeding Supplies

Kelly Mom posted a great resource page for what a breastfeeding mom really needs. And a second page to discuss the extras that may benefit a breastfeeding mom.

What have I found useful:

A supportive husband
A lactation consultant
breastfeeding websites and mommy message boards
stools and foot rests
Large cups of water
some nursing clothes (to help my comfort leve in the beginning)

I was overdue for a breastfeeding post.

Proud moment

My daughter figured out how to use a straw on the very first attempt.

Okay, so it's no "My kid can speak in complete sentences," but it's all I've got tonight.
Quiz girl rides again

You are Pipkin!
You are Pipkin! Cutie!

Which Watership Down Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Umm first time I tried it I got Bigwig--I think it was due to my love of any Queen song. So Iwent back and picked the song that actually describes me.
I'm pink?

Pink Vibes
Your Energy is Pink. You have achieved a perfect
balance between spiritual awareness and
material existence. You are usually
affectionate and warm, showing compassion and
love for others. Others find you genuine,
cooperative and friendly. You are a
humanitarian and you possess a deep
understanding of life. You may aspire to
philanthropy, or you may find yourself heading
or volunteering for agencies that create change
for the good of the whole. You are a leader
and are willing to take on much responsibility.

What color is your energy?
brought to you by Quizilla

What's up with that?
Friday Five

1. What was the last song you heard? Not sure--it was something from Baby Galileo as I walked from the kitchen to the computer room (Hubby is amusing the dear daughter).

2. What were the last two movies you saw? I did this a few weeks ago: The Return of the King, which I loved, and Legally Blonde, which I'm trying to erase from my memory.

3. What were the last three things you purchased? conditioner, frizz ease and tums smooth disolve

4. What four things do you need to do this weekend? Buy Groceries, mail bills, take Angie to music class tomorrow and vacuum.

5. Who are the last five people you talked to? Hubby, daughter, cashier at Target, waitress at Chi-Chi's (hence the need for tums), and an attorney (work related--I'm not suing Chi-Chi's for the price of some Tums).

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Pardon me one moment while I burst with pride over my son's latest accomplishment. Tonight, he offered his first real sentence-based communication with me.

I asked him at dinner, "Did you have a good day today?"

As usual, he said, "Yes."

Then came my usual, "And what did you do?"

This is normally where our conversation degrades into unintelligible baby babble. But not tonight! Tonight he looked me square in the eyes and said fairly clearly, "I danced with Ashley." (Ashley would be one of his many girlfriends at daycare)

I know it's not going to cure cancer or anything, but the mere fact that I had an actual conversation with my son brings tears to my eyes. I remember the moment in the hospital when I looked at him and realized I would actually be taking him home and accepting responsibility for what was then his little helpless blob of a person. Today, I understand him and he understands me! I only pray that we continue to understand each other as the years pass.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Women Divided

Amanda at the DotMoms has a good post on the different roles women have and how that affects our views of one another and how we do and don't support one another. Ms Magazine Blog has a post suggesting that part of the problem is the labels: Stay at home mom versus working moms.

It is frustrating that women are not more supportive of one another. I'd have to agree with Melissa's comments at DotMoms: the desire to shoot down another person comes from insecurity about our own choices and secret envy of the other person's position.

The important thing to remember is that every child and every family is unique. Each families needs can't and shouldn't be met in the same way. I've tried very hard to support all of the mommies I've known, even when their choices are completely at odds with my own parenting skills. Unfortunately, not all the mothers have shown me the same consideration. Somehow, they get caught up in the idea that their way is the only way.

It's less stressful for me to accept and acknowledge that what works for some mothers, does not work for me or my family. I only have to look at my beautiful, clever girl to know that our "system" is working for us.
Ms. joins the Blogosphere

Ms Magazine now has a blog. It is a very interesting look at women in culture, politics and media. However, I'm not fond of the layout. Seriously people, archives are a good idea. Better than arrows.

Of course, I've added it to our blogroll.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Hearing Little Voices

I contemplated blogging something tonight, but I keep hearing a little voice running down the hall saying, "Mommie. Mommiiieeee." So I think I know where my place in the universe is tonight. I'll blog more productively when I've caught more sleep.

Happy International Women's Day to everyone!
If you are in a non-serious parenting sort of mood, take a peek at ironycentral. Be warned that there is some offensive language and the material is not all "warm and fuzzy" parenting material. Maybe that's why some of it made me laugh out loud...really loud.

I particularly enjoyed Literacy is tedious, as I currently could do without the stimulation of the repeated theatrical renderings of Baby's First Nursery Rhymes.
Hey ME1...can you ad to our list of Mommy bloggers?

Have I told you lately what a wonderful job you do keeping this blog all set up for us?


Saturday, March 06, 2004

J.K. Rowling Web Chat

To celebrate World Book Day, J.K. Rowling participated in a web chat. The Leaky Cauldron has the transcript here. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you definitely want to read the tantalizing tidbits about book six and seven. She clears up a few rumors and misconceptions as well.

Most intriguing for me:

Wormtail's debt
Wizarding parents can home school
Sirius's motobike
Book Six has the shortest stay at Privett Drive yet.
More about Sirius (and Snape)

And tons of hints of things to come. What she would say was as enticing as what she would say. I can't wait for the next book to be published. Too bad she says she'll never publish her notes.

This concludes this week's geek mommy blogfest.
Best interests remain the standard in order to prevent a convicted rapist from exercising parental rights.

The dissent states, "Given the prevalence in today's world of fractured families and the relative ease of qualifying as a presumed 'natural father' -- especially under the majority's analysis in this case," he wrote, "thousands of biological fathers in California may now be at risk … although they have a loving, healthy and well-developed relationship with their children."

My question is...why is it the responsibility of the state to preserve those "loving, healthy and well-developed relationship(s)" where the biological fathers haven't done so themselves? Sounds like an effort to allow bio dads to maintain relationships without legal responsibilities...a concept which I find disgusting.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Good Grief
Charlie Brown
You are Charlie Brown!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Yeah I take myself too seriously at times, but I didn't see this one coming.

Do you think it was because I picked Social Worker?

Breasfeeding mommies deserve an award

So give yourself one by posting these very cool awards on your blog or website. Be kind, save it to your own server first. And a big thanks to Kelly Mom for making them available.

Even if you could only nurse for a few days--you deserve a purple heart for trying.

Cue Geek Mommy happy dance music again

The Farscape miniseries has nearly wrapped. This quote gave me some trepidation: "We have produced 22 episodes worth of work in 4 mini-movies, so get ready for Farscape on Acid!" Be very afraid.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Firefly movie: Cue Geek Mommy happy dance music

It's going to start filming in June and should be released in 2005. Yippee.
And apparently the entire cast will return.

Take that FOX network.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

We celebrated Seuss; Did you?

I bought Hop on Pop for her.

And Gramma bought: Green Eggs and Ham, Fox in Socks, and Go Dog Go.

My poor girl, no one wants to read to her. Hah. Tonight, she has carried books from Gramma, to Daddy then to me.
Celebrate IBCLC Day

That would be International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Day and it is tomorrow, Wednesday March 3rd. ILCA suggests some activities to promote the day and awareness of the great service lactation consultants perform. Go here to learn more about IBCLCs. Kelly Mom also has a wonderful page explaining what Lactation Consultants do. If you want to become a Lactation Consultant, go here, the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.

I personally am very greatful to a lactation consultant. She boosted my self-confidence and helped my girl and I to get the hang of breastfeeding. If you are planning to breastfeed, or if you are trying to breastfeed and are struggling, I highly recommend that you find a lactation consultant. Ask your pediatrician if she/he recommends a lactation consultant, or go here to find one at the IBCLC site.

And to my lactation consultant, Madonna Fasimpaur (I've referred to you here), a whole-hearted thank you. It's been twenty months and we're still nursing. You provided much needed help and I am incredibly greatful.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Tomorrow would have been the Doctor's Birthday

Dr Seuss that is. He'd have been 100. Seussville is the official site for celebrations, so pop on over and take a look. The National Education Association has a site for celebrating the Seussentennial (thanks to the Center for Seussian Studies). Here's a fun teacher's resource page on Dr. Seuss. There are few early childhood authors who so capably inspire kids with a love of language. I haven't found one who could surpass him in whimsy or delight.

I will attempt to read "And to think that I saw it on Mulbery Street" to the darling girl. She'll try to rip the pages, but she enjoys Seuss just like her mommy and daddy. But we will not be serving Green Eggs and Ham.
Giddy Geek Mommy

Well baby girl watched the oscars with me. She really enjoyed the musical performances--I may need to pick up the Triplettes of Belleville soundtrack for her.

After my little post here, I must admit that I was very pleased with the results of the Oscars. And a sanctimonious "Pbbbbfflllllttt" to those out there who are trying to rain on the LOTR parage. Fie!

Most stunning for me: How genuinely giddy and filled with child-like delight Annie Lennox was at winning. I had this mental image of her as cool and commanding, a bit hard to fluster--a result of being an MTV kid when they still played music videos and watching countless Eurythmics videos. I was so happy for her because she was so thrilled. And she looked gorgeous. And I love the song (the baby girl loved the song too). All right Mommie Annie Lennox!

Super Tuesday in Ohio

Well tomorrow is Super Tuesday in Ohio.

You can find some information about the Presidential candidates here (thanks to the National League of Women Voters Democracy Net).

Here's a link to the League of Women Voters' page on Statewide elections.

Here is information for Cuyahoga County and another for Cleveland.

Unfortunately, the other Northeastern Ohio LWV sites were either non-existent (Helloooo Ashtabula County), referred back to the state LWV (Thanks for naught Geauga) or out-dated (Hey Lake County--the general election was three months ago). Come on Ladies, roll with the times get some info on the internet.

Happy voting everyone.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Quantum Leap Conundrum

Well, you know that I am resident sci-fi mommy here at MAL. So today I was watching the Quantum Leap marathon (in honor of leap year) on the Sci-Fi Channel (just about the only thing I've watched on it since they cancelled Farscape--not that I'm bitter). They showed the series finale and hubby and I discussed how it was a satisfying series finale because it wrapped things up while allowing you to know that the adventure would continue. However, we disagree about the meaning of the finale. (And if you care about this sort of thing for a series that ended so long ago--I'm spoiling stuff).

The Bartender person talks to Sam about a sabbatical before a difficult mission. He asks Sam where he would like to go. Sam says home, but then says he needs to go talk to Al's wife instead. The last shot in the show is the line that "Dr. Sam Becket never returns home)."

Now I always interpreted this to mean that Sam was never seen by the Quantum Leap Project again. I thought that he was given a choice of how he would like to spend his last moments in a sabbatical and that thereafter, he would resume random leaping ad infinitum, only this time without the help of Al or anyone at the Quantum Leap Project (which, by the way, I thought was pretty crappy for his wife, but I'm a woman so I think that way). I thought that he was going to be leaping alone, and the increased difficulty would come not just from the more complex problems but from the fact that he would be on his own, without back-up. Sam's decision to go to Al's wife was his final gift to a friend who had been through so much with him--Sam didn't save him when he was a prisoner of war, but he could do this one thing, before going away.

Hubby thinks that there is no reason, based on the series finale, to think that Al was unable to help Sam at least some of the time. He feels certain that Al continues to work with Sam after the finale. After all, it says that he never returned home, not that he was never seen again.

Anyone out there care and have any thoughts about this?
Of Course

Plopping down to do anything is contigent upon my daughter actually allowing me to do so.

Oscar night

When Hubby finishes watching his quota of sporting events, I plan to plop down in front of the tv and watch the Oscars. I have no vested interests this year, so I have no idea how long I will actually last. Oscar is interesting because everyone in the industry seems to take themselves so seriously and there is always a little drama. Sometimes the drama is in the fashion (or lack thereof). Sometimes it's in who did and didn't get an award.

Knowing what a kick I get out of the whole shindig, Hubby forwarded this link from ESPN, which discusses various Oscar injustices. I definitely agree with the assessment of Haley Joel Osmet's loss to Michael Caine and Russell Crowe's loss to Kevin Spacey. The commentary on Robert Downey Jr.'s loss is quite funny. I always assumed that Russell Crowe's Oscar was for his work in the Insider and for not even receiving a nomination for LA Confidential (but I certainly didn't want the Oscar to go to Tom Hanks for Castaway). And I thought that Denzel Washington's Oscar for Training Day was for any of a vast number of movies for which he should have won. I think that Oscar's actor picks go for career, rather than the film for which the actor is actually nominated.

And I have to say I agree with most of the travesties in the Best Picture column:

Gladiator (much as I loved it) won over Crouching Tiger? Seriously?
The Insider lost to American Beauty (which made me weep and was the first DVD I ever received but still....)
Worst of all: LA Confidential lost to Titanic. LA Confidential is simply one of the finest movies ever. Hubby will probably say it is too early to tell, but I really believe that LAC will be a classic. The Titanic simply looked pretty, and was a great recreation of the ship itself, but LAC had style and substance.

Which leads me to my hope for this year: I really want the Return of the King to win best picture. And since evil hobbit Michael Moore won last year for a documentary that wasn't actually a documentary, I think good hobbit Peter Jackson should win this year for the final installment of a classic series. But as I said before, Oscar will probably go for some arty piece . In the end, it doesn't matter because ROTK is a beautiful, moving film.
Movies on the big screen

Courtesy of the Mommy Blawg, here are the last five movies I have seen in a theater:

  1. The Return of the King which I discussed here
  2. Legally Blonde 2 (I'm so sorry we didn't see Pirates of the Caribbean instead)
  3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  4. Star Wars Attack of the Clones
  5. Spiderman

I feel certain I have left something out, but I can't figure it out. Well, hubby will read this and correct me later.
Happy Leap Day!

I hope you're enjoying your extra February Day.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Women's History in my own backyard

I'm ashamed to say that I didn't know that Cleveland is home to the International Women's Air and Space Museum until I read the local school's newletter today. (Considering I begged hubby to let me see the Women's Hall of Fame when we went to Seneca Falls, you'd think I would know about it--My new mission: find the women's museums.)

Through a grant from Alcoa, the IWASM is working with schools in northeastern Ohio to encourage girls in the 7th through 9th grades who have an interest in science, math and technology. Okay, reallistically, that description couldn't be farther from me when I was in 7th through 9th grades, but my darling daughter may show a desire and an aptitude for the stuff.

The site has information on many women involved in aviation and space, including current astronaut candidates--so cool. My best friend's grandfather photographed Amelia Earhart. I may have to get the Amelia Earhart doll for my daughter's birthday. It would be for her of course.
New Breastfeeding info at Kelly Mom

Kelly Mom has posted some new information on the presence of flame-retarding chemicals in breast milk. One of the few things I don't worry about simply because if it's in breastmilk, it's only an indication of the contamination that is throughout our bodies. I love how the articles emphasize that breastfeeding is still best for baby and mom.

Kelly Mom now has a page for breastfeeding and speech development. Since the little one is quite talkative, this is another area I don't worry about too much. She has a musical little voice as she speaks in her pretty language. I don't have a complete dictionary for her, but it's wonderful to hear.
My mom heard her in the background while we were on the phone. She said, "It's like she's having a real conversation!"
I said, "She is."
"No, I mean with words and intonation."
"She is; we just don't understand her yet."

I'm just wondering if she will be such a chatterbox when she's speaking our language.
Hooray for Me!

Which HP Kid Are You?

Good news for kids on the low end of the growth charts

It seems that skinny babies whose weight gain out strips their growth are at a higher risk for diabetes. "Doctors should reconsider the idea that small babies should get extra calories to encourage rapid growth, said Dr. Francine Kaufman, a pediatric endocrinologist at Children's Hospital-Los Angeles and past president of the American Diabetes Association. 'We need to look at not overfeeding some of these children,' she said."

Access the abstract here.
I'm sorry to hear that you're sick, ME1. Please, if you possibly can, go to a doctor. If these are the same collection of germs that your daughter and I suffered/are suffering from, it's quite possible you have strep throat. I went to the doctor Monday and got a lecture for not going in earlier...and despite taking some heavy-duty antibiotics, I'm still feeling like crud. Catch it early sweetie...because this stinks.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Another link between breastfeeding and SIDS prevention

The Mommy Blawg posts a blurb on another possible SIDS preventing aspect of breastfeeding: breastfed babies wake more easily. I'm not sure that science completely supports the proposition that breastfeeding prevents SIDS--after all some breastfed babies still die from SIDS--but breastfeeding seems to provide some protection against SIDS. However, even the suggestion that breastfeeding could lessen the risk of SIDS was enough for me to commit to breastfeeding for the first year. Heck, the mere suggestion of SIDS reduction also led me to allow my daughter to use a pacifiereven though it was supposed to be bad for our breastfeeding relationship--it wasn't. I cannot think of many things more horrible in life than having medical professionals tell you they simply have no idea why your perfectly healthy baby died.

I think that what we now call SIDS, will someday be shown to be a variety of conditions or diseases each with a different "cure," although breastfeeding, with its natural immune systems boosters, will be part of the solution in many cases.