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.

Anyway...as I have said for a while now...my 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. Post...do 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 grudge...by 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 still...it'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.)

Anyway...my 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 hospital...so 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 me...so 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