17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

At Least He's Normal and My Feelings are Natural

This weeks has been particularly frustrating when it comes to Baby Brother's sleep habits and crankiness.

One day he was awake for 6 hours straight. I could have killed the kid.

A few nights this week, Dad has come home and I have just handed the little guy off saying "I'm done." This prompted Dad to pull out our favorite baby book from the bookshelf for a little help on the subject.

"Many parents find this time particularly frustrating, since many babies reach a peak of fussiness and wakefullness at about six weeks. Your baby may irritate you and exhaust you. He may give up napping all together, and to make matters worse, when awake, he may appear to me grumbling all day. You may feel battered at the end of each day; you may be at your wits' end. This too is natural..."

Hallelujah. At least he's normal. And I'm not the only parent that has ever been annoyed with their "bundle of joy."

The book goes on to say that as the baby's nervous system matures, things will start settling down. I think I remember this same thing with the first two kids. But my, how easily I forgot. (I also forgot about the whole growth spurt thing at 3 weeks and I was like "Why am I nursing all day! I can't live like this!").

I have to keep reminding myself that each day (good or bad) is not setting the pattern for the rest of my life - or even for the rest of the week. I thought by the third kid I would be a pro at this (or at least by now I wouldn't be taken by surprise by the ups and downs of natural child development). I guess not.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Kids Say the Darndest Things...

Ah kids...they say the darndest things. Here are two recent gems from my 5 year old. The first was this evening...

It had been a rough day with NO listening from the 5 year old. My words evaporated like vapors once they hit his ears. It was unusual behavior for him...and it drove me nuts. At the end of the day, I was tucking him in and reminded him that tomorrow he would have a fresh start and to PLEASE listen better. He looked at me...listening. I then told him that it makes me frustrated when he doesn't listen. To which he replied:

"Mom, if you are frustrated with me, just take a deep breath".

Which...I then did...so that I wouldn't laugh and then strangle him.

The second gem was a few weeks ago when he was getting the last of his kindergarden shots, which included chickenpox. I was explaining that when I was a child, they didn't have the chickenpox vaccine available so I got chickenpox. To which he responded with earnest feeling:

"Really mom? Oh...DAMN."

Seriously, did he just say that? The doctor was about to come in the room to give him his shot so the most I could do was say, "EXCUSE ME. WHAT did you just say?"

And looking right at me, little wheels in his head spinning quickly, he responded:

"Ummmmm...I was talking about a beavers house..."

Got any gems from your little ones?
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Friday, May 23, 2008

From the Tales Inbox: Green for Vaccines

As new parents we are fortunate to have most of the Mercury/Thimerosal removed from our children's routine vaccinations. Has anyone thought about the high levels of aluminum? At birth my son was given the "routine" Hep B vaccine. I consented after many hours of labor not really thinking twice. There are two types of Hep B vaccine on the market- Merck or GlaxoSmithKline. Both are similar in there aluminum content- 250 micrograms per dose. Doesn't sound like much- right?

"The FDA has determined that babies should not get more than about 25 to 50 micrograms of aluminum in any one day," Dr. Sears says in the The Vaccine Book. "If too much aluminum is injected all at once, it can find its way into the brain, bones and body organs and cause damage. This was discovered many years ago in hospitalized patients who were receiving IV solutions containing too much aluminum. That's why the FDA put a limit on it."

This is where you can find the information- page 2 section 3a.

For a tiny newborn this toxic dose would be 10 to 20 micrograms per day, and for an adult it would be about 350 micrograms per day. Tissue loading may even occur at even lower rates of administration the FDA states.

Ok...are you kidding? I gave my baby 250 micrograms in Hep B the first day he was born and he was 2 weeks early.

The article also states; "Aluminum toxicity is difficult to identify in infants because few reliable techniques are available to evaluate bone metabolism in...infants. Although aluminum toxicity is not commonly detected clinically, it can be serious in selected patient populations, such as neonates, and may be more common than is recognized."

Dr. Sears points out that the FDA requires an aluminum warning label on all other injectable medications, other than vaccines. Vaccines have some sort of exemption. What about full term healthy babies? Have there been done any test on how many micrograms a full-term, 2 month, or 4 month baby can handle? Up to this point no. If anyone can find any real evidence-please send it my way. I am sure even a conservative estimate will be less than the 250 micrograms given to full-term babies at birth.

Just a few other shots and there aluminum amounts:

1. HIB- 225 micrograms per shot (PedVaxHib brand only)
2. Pc- 125 micrograms per shot
3. Hep A- 250 micrograms per shot
4. Pediarix- 850 micrograms per shot
5. Pentacel- 300 micrograms per shot

Talk to your doc and try to pick the brand with the lowest dosages of aluminum. Or seperate shots out a few at a time if you are concerned about the lack of data like I am.

So at my son's 2 month appointment- he weighed 10 pounds and recieved a grand total of 1225 micrograms of aluminum in one day.... ONE DAY!!! unfortunately our doctor had the higher level brands. I wish I would have known about this then.

I guess the FDA just assumes that all kidneys of healthy infants are able excrete this aluminum rapidy before it can circulate through the body, accumulate in the brain and cause toxic effects. I guess all I can do at this point is pray that his little body pee'd it all out. Great!

I am in no way anti-vaccine. I just want the safest drugs on the market. Why can't the vaccine companies spend a little more time and money on legitimate current testing that applies to the ingredients used today over a 10-20 year period versus 2-3 year period. I know it would cost too much money and waste too much time. Well like I said earlier- my son is not going to be the latest science experiment of what aluminum overload will do 10 years down the road. Until they do testing for 7-9 shots at one time- he will be getting 1-2 at a time (which is how the vaccine companies test the vaccines- individually).

Dr. Sears expects doctors to choose aluminum-free brands as much as possible, and space out the shots to only give one aluminum vaccine at a time. He also expects vaccine manufacturers to begin looking for alternatives that are safer.

So I guess I sum up my take on vaccines as "Green our Vaccines" (909shot.com). It is the idea of taking out the toxins currently in the vaccines (ie: Ingredients: mercury, aluminum, antifreeze, formaldehyde, aborted human fetus cells, chick embryos, monkey kidney cells, fetal bovine serum, etc.) And replacing them with safer/less toxic ingredients. This includes the vaccines for adults. If you watched the Today Show last week- a doctor talked about 10 vaccines adults should be renewing. How many of us are actually running to the doctor to get these shots. And just so you know- "They will save adult lives also". I would like safer vaccines for myself and children. It seems very significant and important to all folks. Check it out online if you are interested.

Green Mom
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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Another Baby Joins the Crib

We are pleased to announce that Beth delivered a healthy baby girl last week. The cute little peanut entered the world by an early, whirlwind delivery. And so far, her big brother seems to adore her. Congrats Beth! And by the way, I think you need a new description on the sidebar. You can't be a "newbie mommy" when you have two kids!
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So You Want to Keep a Better Journal

Perhaps keeping a written journal in a book has become irrelevant in this age of blogging, but perhaps some of us still keep non-public journals. If so, here are a few thoughts on doing it more creatively than just trying to sit down and conquer that blank page.

Most of these ideas come from the book Thoughts of a Grasshopper by Louise Plummer (SLC: Deseret Book, 1992 — a great read I highly recommend for humorous thoughts on just about everything from journal writing to procrastination).

In my opinion, Plummer’s best suggestion is “rush writing”: writing without thinking, without noticing the “blank page,” without worrying about what you’re leaving behind or censoring as you go. Here’s her explanation: “Rush writing is simply writing down your first thoughts. It is a timed writing. This is how you do it: You set a timer for a short time — five minutes is enough — and you write as fast as you can, never allowing your pen or pencil to leave the page. Keep your mind focused on the paper. If you hit a blank, then simply write, ‘I just hit a blank’ and keep writing that until you think of something else to write. The main rule is to keep writing no matter what . . . .

“The advantage to writing fast, or writing your first thoughts, is that it allows you to record your thoughts before you censor them — before you can say, ‘Oh, what a stupid beginning,’ or, ‘This doesn’t make any sense,’ or, ‘I’m spelling this wrong.’ Our critics encourage the myth that writing is a high and mighty thing, and unless we can do it like Virginia Woolf or Erma Bombeck, we shouldn’t do it at all. I happen to think if you can talk, you can write.”

I love this kind of writing. It’s messy and honest, sometimes trivial, but occasionally insightful — insightful about myself, my experiences, and my problems. I often learn something because I’m following my thinking/writing to wherever it leads me. I think it leaves a truer snapshot of ourselves than the kind of writing that we’ve taken pains to perfect as it goes on the page—like the difference between candids taken when the photographer isn’t noticed versus posed shots in a studio. The first is much more real — more who we are.

In addition to rush writing, Plummer gives the following content suggestions to fill up a “five-minutes-a-day” journal:

· Description — describe your days or yourself (what do you look like right now? what do you look like every March 22?)

· Write memories using as much description as possible

· Cathartic writing — get out your feelings· Free writing — clear your mind and write whatever

· Reflective writing — assess and evaluate your own life

· Lists — your fears, hopes, contents of your purse, what’s in the fridge or under the bed

· Daydreams and dreams — write them down!

· Unsent letters — address a real person or make someone up

· Save your postings to this blog!

Here are some of my own suggestions, not for writing, but for “collecting” history about yourself:

· Keep your planner or whatever you might use to organize your life, even if it’s post-its

· Save letters, emails, birthday cards, ticket stubs—any evidence of significant events

· Keep a running list of books you read, plays you’ve seen, callings you’ve held, people you’ve done temple work for

· Keep a guest book

· Write letters to those you love in a notebook that you give each time you write

· Create a timeline of the major events in your life—illustrate it with drawings or photographs

· Buy a cheap planner and record thoughts, quotations, discoveries, or impressions for each day

· Carry a cheap notebook everywhere and write impressions, observations, and reactions as they come to you

· Every once in a while, save things that are unimportant: grocery shopping lists, metrocards, receipts, written phone messages

Here’s a quote I love: “The truth is that scarcely a moment goes by in your life that doesn’t hold something worth jotting down . . . no day is ever empty of material.” (Peter Stillman, “Of Myself, for Myself,” The Journal Book.)

What works for you? I’d love your suggestions. How do you inspire yourself to keep a journal in a way that is meaningful to you?

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mom on Meds

Being a mom is challenging I know,
but it's getting harder and harder for me as I am not only navigating the ins and outs of two kids in the big city, but also battling within the ups and downs of my meds. I haven't quite figured out the triggers for when I feel complete exhaustion and utter misery for no apparent reason, so I just try positive self-talk: "This is just a moment, this won't last forever, don't weep and fall to the playground concrete floor right now."

Today was a bad med day. I woke up my hopeful and optimistic self, but I slowly fell into that place that I call my medicine mind. I came out of it briefly when I spoke to my mom on the phone and when I got some unexpected mail, but in general I was just dazed and tired and sad all day long. My daughter needed a nap today but never got it, so the mixture was not the best of times.

On the train at around 3:15 pm, Poopy kept straddling the tops of a bench seat...rude subway etiquette and dangerous. I counted down from 5 about 3 times, and by 1, she was seated in the correct position. By the fourth countdown she made no move to correct her behavior, so I physically removed her and she went from 0 to 6000 in less than 1 second. I had to physically restrain her on my lap by holding her down. This is getting harder and harder to do because she is getting bigger, I have not been exercising much since my head injury and my medicine also has weakness as a side effect. I struggled for several minutes and felt all the eyes turn to us and our noise (both literal and figurative).

I stayed calm but assertive (thank you Dog Whisperer), and tried to coax her out of her craziness with her Planet Earth sticker book. That did not work, so I handed that off to Pukey. As I struggled to hold her down I also worried about my purse being snatched as I did not have a good hold on that. I didn't mind her flailing and weeping and wailing, but I figured the many train-riders did, so I tried to figure out how to stop this display. Finally I remembered the first time this happened and how I got it to stop.

I reached into my bag and pulled out my Sigg bottle. I poured some water into my hand and then rubbed it over her face and hair. I did this twice until she was good and damp. She then took a breath, turned around toward me and cuddled into my shoulder quietly as I rubbed her neck. I took a sigh then and looked up to see a man who was standing nearby watching the entire 7-minute episode, and he said: "Well Done."

And he will never know how much that meant to me. He will never know what a challenging day I had had. How hard it was to put on my clothes, pack snacks, walk to the park, push the swing, negotiate the crazy man at the post office who demanded to know whose baby girl that was only to tell me that she just picked one of her raisins off the floor and put it in her mouth in a tone that suggested that she had just licked the open-wound of one afflicted with the HIV virus, to which I replied: "I am totally ok with that." That man on the train who I simply smiled at in response to his: "Well Done." will never know how much I hate the way I feel sometimes on this medicine and how much I want to stop taking it, but then how I am overpowered with fear for the possible disastrous consequences of that choice. He will never know how hard I am trying to keep it together and stay sane and provide my children with a normal life even though I don't feel normal at all anymore. And he will never know just how much I needed to hear those words today. So thank you, Man on the N train for being my cheerleader today.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

CRIB NOTES: Playstation Nation--protect your child from video game addiction


This book is meant to inform parents about video game addiction. The authors tell their own story of their sons who were on the road to addiction and how they pulled them out.


*According to their research, playing video games increases the activity of dopamine in the brain--so it is actually physiologically like a drug. "Dopamine is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the brain, controlling movement, attention, and learning. It is also associated with reinforcement--triggered by events that produce pleasure--and with the reinforcing effects of addictive drugs like cocaine and amphetamines."

*Get this: A study proved that children allowed to play gameboy prior to surgery were more relaxed than those on tranquilizers or had held a parent's hand to keep them calm. They were happy--forgot where they were. Also, seriously ill children in a hospital who played Nintendo required HALF the pain meds as those who didn't. TV had no effect on meds. "Good news? Possibly. But if these 'comfort' games replace the use of drugs when children undergo surgery, what does that suggest about their influence on a child's brain and emotions the rest of the time? Do we really want our children 'sedated' on a daily basis?" Wow. That was the kicker for me.

*It is also hard to walk away from video games because their structures are built to keep players hooked: Beating the game (beating the computer, also isolating as kids play alone for long periods), competition (against friends, adds complexity and many possibilities), mastery (the more you play the better you get, so keep playing...), exploration (the mystery of finding secret and hidden levels), beating the high score (even one's own score), story-driven role play (finding out how the story ends by winning), relationships (Internet games where players rely on each other, also false/anonymous relationships).

*Game ratings: Video games all have ratings like movies, tv, and music. However, when the National Institute on Media and the family checked on them, they were given a few grades:

in 2004
ratings education to the public C-
ratings accuracy B-
retailers enforcement of policies B-

in 2005 they received, in the same order a C+, F, and D-

So, if your kids play, you can't rely on anyone but you to determine which games are appropriate--be there when they play.

*Parents--try to avoid these mistakes: 1) Starting your kids into games young. Children should develop "natural" play, not "virtual" play at such young ages. They will become accustomed to video play if they start young. 2) Easy access--owning a system, putting it in a bedroom or isolating place. 3) Using your system as a reward. Chores, homework, etc. become necessary evils to get to more game time. 4) One more level--kids always want to play one more level. Know if you can deal with the begging every time. 5) Ignoring your gut. Instead, trust your instincts and intervene or do what you think is right, not what is necessarily easy.

*In this book you'll find a lot of helpful info: Names of particularly disturbing/addictive video and internet games, lists of symptoms of those addicted, ratings explanations, suggestions to help someone addicted, list of addictive game elements, lists of many various alternative activities to get kids interested in to pull them out of the gaming world (for all ages). Also, they have suggestions of how to have a gaming system in your home and not let it get abused. My favorite suggestion was to treat it like a board game--keep it in a box and get it down occasionally to play with friends and/or family. Then put it back up.

*I have not described them here, but much of the book contains really sad stories of lives just wasted. College students failing, marital relationships suffering, and other tragedies. Aside from any research and analysis, those stories alone are probably enough to keep people very aware of video game trouble.

*Although they don't come out and say "don't ever buy a gaming system" it's clear that that is the surest way to keep children from game addiction. They describe the pain of limiting game time from children who push and push for more time almost unbearable, and definitely harder than not owning a system.

*The authors have a website for further info and support.

My take:
I've never wanted a gaming system. I don't see any real value in them. This book just cemented that decision and will give me backbone when my kids start begging sometime in the next 3-5 years. Also, it has helped me understand how to deal with computer games since, well, we will always own a computer.

And by the way, they do not suggest that children's educational games are in any way addictive.

What are your experiences with video games? Do you see them abused? What are your impressions of this perspective on video game addiction?

What are Crib Notes?
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Saturday, May 17, 2008

May 16, 2000

That was the day I lost my dad and found my life.

I had a great dad. He was the dad who nailed a wooden basketball hoop to our backyard shed for my eighth birthday and didn't worry that I was the only girl on our block whose birthday wish list did not include Strawberry Shortcake or a My Little Pony. Dad would sneak me out of the house to run errands or go to ball games with him before my other brothers and sisters could be jealous, because he knew I needed a break from being the oldest. One year, he stayed up past midnight helping me finish the Christmas presents I was making for my friends.

He did the funniest impression of my junior year English teacher, Ms. Kullbom, where he slid his glasses down his nose, squinted his eyes really tight and scowled like an old bird. One year, for Halloween, he dressed up as a nerd and went into his office wearing broken glasses, a pocket protector and taped toilet paper to the bottom of his shoes. He was the CEO of the company.

Aloe-scented after shave, warm wool sweaters, Simon & Garfunkel, eggnog french toast, NBA games on lazy Sunday afternoons, magical summers on the beaches of Maui....these things will forever represent the life I had with my dad.

A tragic fall from a roof, sleepless nights and jigsaw puzzles in the ICU waiting room, my brother's tearful goodbye...his fingers caressing my father's cheek, my mother's house bathed in flowers and casseroles, and a very large and public funeral with no time left for mourning....these things will always represent his death.

My sophomore year at BYU, Dad surprised me with a trip to Washington, D.C. for my birthday. He had a conference to attend, but we managed to do a fair amount of sightseeing together. While we were walking near the US Capitol, we watched a fleet of limosines pull up to the Capitol building. I remember him saying we should wait and see if anyone important comes out....and I replied, "I am already looking at someone important." Such a cheesy line, for sure, but I really meant it.

Dad had always loomed large in my eyes. And understandably so, he had accomplished a great deal in his career, in his public life, in his home. I spent a lot of time during high school and college trying to live up to what I perceived to be his impossibly high standards. No GPA was high enough, no career choice perfect enough, no guy good enough to bring home to him. These weren't things he ever said to me, but expectations I placed on myself. The year before his death I felt particularly lost. I was finished with my undergraduate degree and had no clear idea what to do next. I felt battered down by my college boyfriends and wondered if I would ever find true love (ridiculous to think about now considering I was 23 at the time). And then one day I went to work and got the call that changed everything forever, my dad was in a coma and he wasn't coming back.

The days following his death are still a haze of grief and shock and anger and exhaustion. Walking down the street left me winded, catching a ball felt shaky...even though a week before I had been in nearly the best shape of my life. I never realized how physical grief could feel. Have someone kick you square in the stomach and live that feeling for an entire year...that was my grief.

And then eventually, between the waves of grief, a new, unexpected emotion emerged....Relief.

Not relief in the variety of "thank goodness he is dead." Even eight years later, I crave him. I want so badly to share the life I have built with him. I want him to play with his grandsons and to sleep in our guest bed and talk sports with DH. The relief I felt was a kind of freedom. Freedom of expectations removed. Freedom to start living the life I wanted for myself.

And that I did. Over the next two and a half years, I got married, graduated from MBA school, moved across the country and had a baby. Talk about putting your life on fast forward.

Initially, a lot of guilt accompanied these feelings of freedom. Since then, I have read that this is actually a pretty common reaction to losing a parent. I've read stories about adult children making huge life changes soon after a parent dies, everything from quitting a smoking habit, to changing careers, to moving abroad, all resulting from the relief of expectations removed.

I fully anticipate I will feel free of another set of expectations when my mother passes away.

And I will also miss her terribly.

And I hope that when I am dead, my own children derive some peace and happiness from their own newly found freedom.

But not too much.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

3 cakes? Really?

I keep coming upon this problem as my kids are getting older. Birthday cakes. One for the family on the actual birthday, one for the friend party (which usually can't be on the actual birthday) and cupcakes to take to their class. Are you serious?

I have dodged this once by sending cookies to class. I have also given the family leftover party cake on the actual birthday (which was a day or two after the friend-party). And yes, the family is always at the friend-party too. It just seems wrong to not have cake on your actual birthday.

So, this month I've got "birthday snack" for preschool the 21st, actual birthday the 22nd, and the friends come the 24th. 3 cakes (or some form of cake) and candles just seems excessive. I mean, one cool cake seems the most meaningful for the child. So if the friends get the cool cake, do you have cake on the actual birthday? Sigh. What did my mom do? She never sent stuff to school (too many kids I guess--she had 9, and not all the moms did it back then--seems more prevalent now), we had friend parties every other year, and the "on" years...I just don't remember. Maybe she made two cakes.

What do you all do?
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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Good Mom, Bad Mom

It all started with Oprah...

She HAD to do a story on puppy mills. It got my DH and me curious. We started browsing petfinder for fun. We saw that there were a LOT of dogs out there that needed a home. It sparked a conversation about dogs and brought us back to the dating years of yore. A decade ago we used to dream about getting a weimaraner and calling her Uli (OOH-lee) (an Austrian name DH loved from his mission days). All that talk came flooding back and our hypothetical search for a dog became more and more un-hypothetical.

One afternoon I found a weim who needed rescuing, named Mattie. Her profile has changed since I first saw it, but a few weeks ago there were pix of her emaciated and super skinny and her story was a sad one. We both fell in love with her face. We went through the application process and even spoke with the foster mom a few times. We never heard back so we figured Mattie would not go to us.

As the weeks passed, my DH suddenly became excited about getting a weim pup. I did the research and found a great breeder reasonably nearby. I had long conversations with the breeder, bought the puppy books at the store, tivoed all the Dog Whisperer episodes on NGC, and decided this would work out for our family. We decided to make the plunge to get a puppy.

We drove out on Saturday and met the big Weims that were well-behaved and so soft to the touch and beautiful dogs. The four girls in the litter were frisky, but one came right over to me and then right over to DH and was much more mellow. We decided she would make a great pet and we took her home. She was so good on the ride home and it seemed like it was going to work out really well.

The next morning as we were playing with our new pup, we got the call that our application to rescue Mattie was approved. And I felt bad. After all, Oprah and the puppy mills are what started this all, and Mattie was who I wanted to rescue. Shoot.

After I got over having to say NO to Mattie, reality with pup set in. I started to get a few itchy patches on my skin. I knew I was slightly allergic to dogs, but I am also allergic to everything else and on a lot of medicines to fight it, so I thought, one more thing wouldn't make a dent. The itchy patches were manageable but concerning. I was really diligent about insisting on sitting to earn affection, food, elevator-riding rights (to get outside), and before we crossed the street. We did the crate at night and DH was really great about getting up to take her out and help to settle her back down. The kids loved her.

But she peed a lot....and all the time and she whined and barked and was rough with the kids to where my little one cried often (and she is the MOST dog lover of all of us). I was trying to be so present and so patient, but it just escalated and escalated and I realized that there was no way I could care for this pup the way she needed to be cared for. And so my DH drove her back home last night (2.5 hours each way), and I dried the tears of my older daughter and asked for her forgiveness. I then cleaned the entire house like a madwoman and slept so soundly. There was a little guilt about putting my kids through this, but neither of them has mentioned her this morning, and I am so happy that I am no longer a dog owner.

But she was cute.
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Monday, May 12, 2008

To Circumcise or to Not Circumcise...that is the question

Before the baby was born, we had a few short discussions on the subject, but I was pretty much content to differ the final decision to dh since I didn't really have any strong feeling either direction. From what I had heard, most fathers choose to have their sons look like them which is why I was somewhat surprised when DH didn't really have strong leanings either.

After baby brother was born, the nurses at the small hospital informed us that the two doctors that performed circumcisions were out of town for the weekend, so if we wanted the procedure performed we would have to come back later during the week. This gave us more time to stew over the decision. When dh said that he would have probably just had it done if the doctors were available the weekend of baby brothers birth, I decided to call up a highly referred pediatric surgeon rather than going back to the doctor at the hospital we knew nothing about. The soonest available appointment was three weeks away. More time to stew.

I collected info on the web and from my pediatrician (who didn't lean either way advising that it was a completely personal decision) which cleared up some misconceptions I had about how "difficult" is it caring for an uncircumcised penis. I talked with some family members who didn't really help us make the decision but did help me realize why this has been so hard for DH and I. Our families are totally mixed in this department. Fathers: no, sons: yes, nephews: some yes, some no. At least most people have a family "trend" to go off of right?

The appointment drew nearer. I finally called dh to let him know that we had to make a final decision because I needed time to cancel the appointment. We decided that since neither of us had strong feelings either way (plus a few other factors), the default decision should be a "No" to the elective penis surgery.

Most days we feel good about the decision. But every once in a while, the reasons we have heard in support of circumcision enter our minds. Are we condemning our son to a lifetime of ridicule in the locker room? Will he end up being one of the few men who will suffer medical complications from being uncircumcised? Does it matter if son looks like father? Is it really that big of deal? Are all of our worries reason enough to make another appointment to just get it over with?

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone for your contributions to this post. After weighing both sides, we feel good about sticking with our decision not to circumcise. I highly recommend reading this article that a Dr. friend forwarded to me before making your decision. I feel it is very well rounded and highly informative without being prejudicial either way. (you have to "sign up" to have access, but it was worth it)

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Freebies form the Crib: Bundle Your Baby Winner

And the winner of the Bundle Your Baby over-the-top car seat cover is:

Mrs. M who said: "Ooh, I know just who to give it to!". Sounds like someone out there is going to get a FAB gift. Please e-mail us your shipping info to talesfromthecrib(at)gmail(dot)com and we will get it into the hands of Kelly at Bundle Your Baby.

If you didn't win, remember that for a limited time, Tales readers will receive a receive a 10% discount on any carseat cover. Just use this link to place your order.

Thanks Kelly for helping us protect our babies in style!

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Hey, good job...you're a mother! Whassup?

Have we ever had this conversation before? What do you want for Mother's Day?

When I attend Church on Sunday, I do not want a carnation.

My kids will take it, fight over, squish it, and it will die. Or I will sneeze. Or, after finding a way to carry it delicately around amongst my 14 bags, coats, umbrella(?), and kids, it will just have some sort of mishap and die. MAYBE if a corsage was pinned to my blouse I could go for some fresh flowers, but then my allergies become an ish.

I really don't expect church to acknowledge me as Mother, but it is nice to have a talk or a song or something...but I also realize that the non-mothers might not enjoy that so much, so I am fine with foregoing that and celebrating in private (and preferrably ALL ALONE).

I would like to go home this Sunday and take a nap, but I pretty much do that on Sundays anyway. Maybe, I could have a nap with little consequence...like, I don't HAVE to get up to feed the hungry people or better yet, maybe someone else makes food for me? Maybe my husband wouldn't have to leave at 5:45 for meetings and stay after church for a few hours? He already strongly encouraged the High Priest Group to reschedule the social they had planned for this upcoming Sunday. I got the email from my honey: Do you care if we go to a High Priest Group Social on Mother's day?

My response:

Uh......YUP, I pretty much mind.

He also asked me a few weeks later: Can the Mother's Day Fairy email me what you want for Mother's Day?

And so she did, 3 links to 3 books that are on my list. And Lil Sis told me which book it was the other day....oh well, nothings a surprise.

As for my own mom, (mom, stop reading now!),

Stop mom. You will have to come back later.

Really, click on yahoo or something.

As for my own mom, I sent her a card with a quick note and the message that I donated money to a good cause for a race happening in her town on that day (which I did, I didn't just make that up). I would like to think that I show appreciation to my own mom when I feel so inclined, not just because it's an assigned time to show appreciation, so I don't feel that much pressure to do something outrageous for her for Mother's Day.

I spoke to a mom yesterday who has been hinting at Lilacs and Hydrangeas to her girls for the past several days....I wonder if she'll get her wish.....

What's your wish?

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Freebies from the Crib: Bundle Your Baby

Due to a technical problem, the deadline for this giveaway has been extended to Saturday at midnight!

This week's freebie comes from another Kelly. This Kelly is the owner of Bundle Your Baby, a company whose purpose is to "protect your bundle of joy".

It all started when Kelly's second baby was born in the middle of a very, very cold, Colorado winter. She immediately thought there must be a better way to protect her baby from the wind and snow than a flimsy blanket draped over the car seat. Her search turned up either products that very ugly or ones that were not practical with the features she needed.

Kelly then worked with her mom to design the perfect over the top car seat cover which would combine function and fashion. Their design, which comes in a wide variety of fun prints, not only protects the baby from the elements but also germy little hands (I could have used this a couple weeks ago when baby brother came home from the hospital and immediately caught a cold from his big sisters).Another big plus of a Bundle Your Baby car seat cover is added safety. The National Highway Safety Administration suggests bulky and heavy clothing not be on the babies while being strapped into their car seats. It prevents the harness straps from being snug on babies shoulders. The Bundle Your Baby car seat covers are perfect because they go OVER the top of the seat, there is no fabric under the baby or between the straps.
At Bundle Your Baby you can also find nursing covers and shopping cart covers also in wide variety of prints. And did you know that research has shown that shopping cart handles are more germy than public restrooms? I always wondered why so many moms have those shopping cart covers. I guess I don't think about germs as much since we left NYC - a place where my children licked the subway poles on occasion.

The winner of this week's freebie will receive the fabulous Cheetah Print car seat cover (a $70 retail value). What a great thing for everyone out there expecting winter babies! Aren't expecting? Well, it would make an excellent baby shower gift!

And if you don't happen to win the freebie cover or you have your eye on a different fabric choice, for a limited time, Tales readers will receive a 10% discount on any carseat cover. Just use this link to place your order.

How to win this Freebie:
-You have until Saturday (5/10), midnight EST to enter.
-Make a comment (any comment) on this post
-Please don't post under Anonymous - use a Blogger login or the "nickname" category.
-Winner will be randomly picked and announced Friday(5/10) morning.
-Please only enter (comment) once.
-Tales contributors are excluded from winning the freebies--sorry :(
-Freebies can only be shipped to US addresses.

What's with the Freebie?

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Welcome to the World Baby Brother

Baby brother is now three weeks old and I know everyone out there in blog land is just dying to know if any of my labor inducing techniques actually put me into labor. Well, at one week overdue, I had another appointment with my midwife. She was nice enough to offer me a good "stripping". Since this little procedure put me into labor within 24 hours with my first two I quickly accepted her offer and left the office hoping for great things.

I followed up the slightly unpleasant "strip" with a fab salon makeover courtesy of my very talented friend. Not only did I receive a great new do, but also a conditioning treatment and a fresh face full of makeup. I kind of wanted to head to the hospital right then because I would have looked smashing in the photos. But alas, it wasn't meant to be.

Then, at three in the morning strong contractions woke me up. We decided to get the kids settled in at the neighbors and head to the hospital. I was a little disappointed when the midwife on call was not one I had met. She then proceeded to make me cry within 3 minutes of meeting her (so much for my theory that all midwives are awesome). But I quickly forgave her when, 7 hours later, she coached me (a 5'3" woman) through the delivery of a 8 lb 15 oz kid without a rip, tear, or cut.

This latest delivery also helped me realize that I am definitely an epidural girl. Yes, I ended up having what I like to call "a little piece of heaven in a needle up the spine" with my first two, but I held out hope that I could manage a non-medicated birth with number three. As I sat in the rocking chair listening to the Relaxation Rainbow on my Ipod trying so hard to stay in my Zen place, my mind kept wandering (which is not a good sign in hypnobirthing) to the chaotic and agonizing moments in my past two births before I finally made my frantic request for the wonder drug.

This time around, I decided to calmly tell my nurse I was ready for an epidural before I found myself in the same "bad place" all the while trying not to feel too disappointed in myself for giving in so easily. But, I then proceeded to have my most calm and enjoyable birth experience to date (which included a hilarious "text" exchange with my BFF) and knew I made the right decision.

And what can I say about baby brother except you were all right--boys aren't that scary after all. He's been good to his momma - sleeping good, eating like a champ and hasn't peed one me once.
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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Me, venting

Other possible titles:
Wrong side of the bed
BAD BAD morning
Why I nearly threw my TV out the window
What's wrong with my middle child?
Will YOU babysit all day? I'll pay well.

Deep cleansing breath.

After about 45 minutes of cartoons this morning, and with a 5 minute "end of show" warning, I turned off the tube. All my kids were watching the noggin bliss but one completely flipped out. This is middle child, almost 5. As I clicked it off, she totally wigged, screaming "I want to watch TV!!" over and over. She continued to scream and scream then decided to dump out little sister's bowl of dry Chex, sending cereal flying. I demanded that she pick up every piece of cereal and then head to time out. Or...she'd see "the maddest mom she's ever seen". Uh, nice threat. I had no idea what to do and that's what came out of my mouth. I kind of managed to laugh at myself at that point. As she cleaned up the cereal she was angry and at times just further spreading it around. Eventually she went to her room for time out. At that point the screaming for TV was going full force. A few minutes later my son goes in to get his socks and she tries to shut the door on him. At that point I got a peek at ALL the clothes she had thrown out of her drawers! I was mad. Mad I say. So I advised her to get folding and shut the door. More of her screaming..etc. etc. Finally she quieted down and put everything away quite nicely. Phew. Now it's time for her to get dressed and she's bawling for her brother who just left for school. Come on.

So sometimes I HATE, no, LOATHE the TV because it brings out such reactions in her. And causes other problems with kids wanting to watch gross amounts. I have thought, multiple times, of taking a sledge hammer to it.

Because these tantrums have been showing up more lately I wonder if we are doing terrible things to make the middle child behave, well, middle.

Maybe it's just a bad morning. I really was hoping I could find a babysitter though...and the fact that I'd be willing to PAY says a lot.

Any advice or thoughts are welcome. Mostly, I needed to get that out. And now I need to go comfort crying girl. She probably doesn't remember why she's even crying.
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