Friday, October 31, 2008

Would you Like Some Cheese With That?!

H's voice has always had a distinct cadence, which was deemed by myself to be très cute. But lately, it's a pitch that only dogs can understand. A simple 'I want milk' sounds like sonar equipment. Oh, and aparrently babies can hear it as well, because the height of the annoyance usually occurs just as C is drifting off to a hard-won sleep.
Please tell me this ends soon.

On a positive note, we went trick-or-treating, and H stayed with me without the aid of a leash (always makes you feel like a stellar parent), there were no incidences of my 'raised voice' and we had a great time. One day at a time, folks. One day at a time.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

In The Game Of Life...

J returned home from his conference, and the kids, my clot-free legs and I picked him up from the airport. He's currently fighting off a minor cold, and was lamenting that fact when I gently reminded him that he'd had several consecutive nights of sleep in a hotel, without kids, alone, by himself. dark. peace. quiet. Not to mention the fantastic dinner he was treated to, with a menu that featured steaks that melted in your mouth while I ate re-heated leftovers and doled out chicken nuggets...no bitterness, though.

I've been fantasizing recently about something that is more seductive to me than any lust in the dust novel and it goes something like this;
I awaken in a dark bedroom and glance at the clock; it's 8am. I've been asleep since 10pm the night before and the house is humming with a gentle quiet that only comes when you're alone. I ease myself from my cocoon of warmth and, after walking through the house, I realize that my husband has hustled the kids to the park early, and decided to bottle feed C for the first time throughout the night so that I could have more than 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep...all without being prompted.

I drink a cup of coffee as I watch the Today Show and check email and then head to a long, slow, hot shower filled with extra shampooing, exfoliation, aroma-therapy body wash, and shaving gel that doesn't have to be applied and removed with a dull razor at mach three. When I get out, I have time to let my hair air-dry slightly before blow-styling, applying make-up and moisturizing head to toe.
Then I head to Starbucks and meet the kids and J at the park, sipping my latte in the brisk fall air as H behaves like an angel, requiring not a single departure from the bench where I'm reading my latest library find.


Alas...


Last night was one of those nights that nothing goes as hoped. J was scheduled to get off at 10pm, but is usually home an hour or so late due to the nature of his work (no, really). I've been waiting to make my exodus to bed until the first feeding of the night is over, as each time I think C will sleep through it, he bellows for me just as I'm drifting off. I decided that this would be the perfect time to start Sex and The City back at Season 1, Episode 1 since the middle of the night seems to be the only time I'll have screen time that doesn't involve WordGirl or Curious George (in both 'regular' and movie versions).


At about 11:30 I was startled awake by a man dressed in dark colors asking if he could take my baby! Wait, it was just my husband who'd found me slumped in the rocking chair with an exposed breast and zonked out child...mm mm, that's a picture of sexy to call forth Austin Powers' 'Do I make you horny, baby?'


Upon his urging, I went to bed only to immediately leave to get another quilt as Fall has decided to make way to it's bully Winter, and the windows in our slapped together apartments seem to leak air like a sieve (must remember to call maintenance!)


Throughout the night, H made his way back into our bed about 400 times, only to be taken back to his own when asleep again. At about 2am, C was hungry...again...some more...so I was in the living room when H decided that this would be the night for him to test whether or not I was serious about him not having milk in the middle of the night anymore. Yes, it's been well over a year since I've allowed him to have anything other than water but he still tried to see if he can trick me now that I'm more sleep-deprived than ever. Still didn't work so he sat next to me with a half-whine/half-cry while I tried to get C back to sleep...annoying. I finally made my way to the crib and just as I laid him down, J brought a yowling H back to his bed...in the same room.


Awesome. I spent the next hour trying to convince H that there are no monsters in his room, and rocking him back to semi-sleep. I'm not sure what the world record for most consecutive times singing "You Are My Sunshine" in the middle of the night is, but I'm pretty sure I broke it. As I was sitting there wondering how long he could possibly fight sleep, it hit me. These years are going to end soon. He won't want me to rock him forever. So, tired as I was, I rocked him a little longer and then tucked him back into bed, escaping to my own and hoping for a paltry thirty minute reprieve before the Dueling Babies routine picked back up and it was C's turn.


This morning I crawled back to bed at 7:30, and nudged J awake to go occupy H who was happily ensconced in Cars with a dry diaper while C took his first nap of the day so that I could enjoy a few hours in the cocoon that had escaped me last night. Tag. You're It! And so goes the game of Parenthood.

Oui, On Peut!


This is a video posted to YouTube called 'Oui, On Peut!' (Yes, We Can!) that was made by a Zydeco group at The Whirly Bird in Opelousas, Louisiana. While there are a million funny music videos, this one is demonstrative of the grassroots efforts in this campain.

Rock the Vote

Or at least give it a guilty little nudge...



You can create this guilt-fest for your friends at CNNBC Video (by moveon.org)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Making a Point

In starting some of my Christmas gifts this year, I realized I needed a set of size 13 double-pointed needles and wouldn't you know, they don't sell them at the majority of the outlets where I usually purchase my supplies.

I turned to my trusty friend, the Internet and googled the term "size 13 dpns" and stumbled upon a woman asking the same question . At the end of the thread, she was proudly displaying the needles she made on her own after viewing a site with knitting tips and videos. Uhhhh, Como? Apparently, all you need is your sizing tool and a trip to the hardware store.

By purchasing wooden dowels and using a pencil sharpener or pocket knife to make the points and sand-paper to smooth down the points and shaft, you'll not only have custom needles just the way you like 'em, you can also save a boat-load of money!

I'm a big fan of the Clover Bamboo needles, but they were $8.75, plus an additional $6.25 for the set because of the size, so I'll be an even bigger fan of Home Depot from now on.

To check out the video tutorial for this, and other knitting questions, you can go to KnittingHelp.com. The video for the diy needles is the last on the page.

Just a little aside, in my 8th grade-level maturity mode, when she was demonstrating 'sanding the shaft' I went other places...I. know. Hey, at least I'm honest...will you be?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Got Democracy?

I've received the email about the documentary Iron Jawed Angels a couple of times, and was glad to be reminded of the struggle that many women endured in order for us to have the right to vote today. In this country we talk a lot about, and treasure the fact, that we have 'certain inalienable rights'. We also talk a lot about what we're entitled to.

In exchange for those entitlements, we have certain responsibilities in doing our part to maintain a democracy. You'll have your chance to fulfill that responsibility in just one week. Make it a priority to get to that voting booth or mail in your ballot.

I saw an awesome bumper sticker the other day that said "Vote or Shut the F*&% Up!" It's only too true. Even if your candidate didn't win, you still have the right to complain about the outcome if you voted, otherwise you may as well be complaining about yourself because you are a part of the problem.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ghirardelli LUXE bars

Today I posted about Ghirardelli's new line of Luxe chocolate bars on Knitty Reviews. What a lucky taste tester am I!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Deep Vein Psychosis

I don't know if you've caught on yet, but I'm a little neurotic. Some Most All of the women in my family have what you might call issues with anxiety on some level. My personal favorite is fixation. Lately, I have become convinced that I will develop, or already have, blood clots leading to an embolism. Fueled more by the fact that a couple of years ago my sister had a blood clot removed from her arm, and my dad had an aneurysm when I was 15. I've asked J about it several times, he being a doctor and all, and he asks several specific questions which always result in the same conclusion...I don't have a blood clot, and most likely won't develop one.

The slightest twinge of pain leads me down a trail of obsession ending with the scene from Steel Magnolias where Jackson rushes into the house to find Jack Jr. crying as Shelby is laying on the porch unconscious with the phone next to her.

And then I take it even one step further...

I logged onto webMD for the first time ever (I know, hard to believe due to my history of compulsion and obsession) and typed 'leg pain' into the search box. Wouldn't you know that DVT was one of the first things to pop up. A-Ha! Confirmation.

Let me back up just one step. Just after I had H, I started having 'attacks' wherein I felt a tightening band around my chest to the point that I felt nauseated and was quite certain I was having a heart attack or some other fatal calamity which was frightening and anxiety producing in and of itself. J was in medical school and was wary of weighing in on family ailments, especially mine since I wouldn't listen anyway.

I had about three incidences where I felt that way, usually late in the evening, and by the time I would decide that maybe I needed to go to the ER, got H loaded in his car seat and ready to head out we would literally have the car started and the pain would be gone. Completely gone. I felt like a crazy person.

J gently suggested after the second foray to the car that maybe I was having a little bit of anxiety. Now, he was obviously not off-base in his suggestion, as I am a neurotic anxious person. But I know that I'm a neurotic and anxious person and am generally very in touch with why, and I just didn't feel like that was it.

I suggested the possibility to J that I may have gall stones, but he didn't say one way or the other (although he was fairly dubious of the self-diagnosis and still leaned toward me having anxiety attacks), just encouraged me to make a doctor appointment with a GP, which I didn't have. I got a recommendation the following day from my OB and made an appointment to be seen.

When I went to the ER, I asked that J just drop me off, as neither of us thought the waiting room at the ER was the best place for an infant and I promised I'd call him as soon as I knew anything. About five hours later (about 2am), a phone in my room rang and a frantic J was on the other line telling me he'd called all over the hospital and they first didn't have any record of me, blah blah blah. I told him through my fantastic morphine haze that apparently I was being scheduled to have my anxiety gall bladder removed the next morning.

I only tell this to illustrate that even though J has several years of training and education now under his belt I will always rely on this one story as proof that my obsessions sometimes have basis. Read: I grasp at loose straws.

I emailed J at his conference to let him know that I had a reason to be paranoid because the Lovenox quiz classified me as 'high risk' for DVT. All day as I went about my business I'd periodically reflect on my breathing to see if I had "Sudden shortness of breath, sharp chest pain that is worse when you cough or take a deep breath, or a cough that brings up pink, foamy mucus." Uh, no to all accounts. Whew! looks like I was in the clear for a Pulmonary Embolism for one more day.

I don't know about anyone else, but I just go into spin mode when I have too much time to think (aka, no adults with whom to share my evenings). I had pushed my ineviteable, impending clot to the back of my mind when I went to check my email tonight because I felt so, well, healthy and I got the following response from J:

1. No family history of clotting disorder - blood clots and a clotting disorder are two different things

2. IUD doesn't count, only estrogen based oral contraceptives

3. Based on the risk stratifcation tool that I use every day to determine the probability of DVT in patients, your probability is essentially zero.

I love you honey,

J

I noticed that he didn't make any note of the fact that I listed overweight as a factor that boosted me to high risk, and one of the prevention tips on webMD was "lose weight". What?! You mean consuming mass quantities of ice cream isn't the promotion of overall health? What about a spoonful of sugar making the medicine go down?

Perhaps the good to come of all this wasted time is the realization that my weight is the one thing I do have control over, and it's a major contributor to my lower back pain (and a host of possible future health concerns to be quite frank). I am making a promise to be serious about healthy eating habits. My meals are already healthy, it's all the refined sugar I eat throughout the day.

I am going to have to make the huge lifestyle adjustment of not eating dessert everyday. I know! So, I'll be saying to White Sugar what Samantha said to Smith "I love you. But I love me (and my husband and children) more."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Save The Children

Today, I received my email from The LionBrand Notebook which containted an article about the Knit One, Save One initiative. Partnering up with Save the Children (as part of their Survive to 5 campaign), Warm Up! America and celebs like Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rebecca Romijn (fellow yarn-crafters) they are accepting donations of knitted or crocheted caps to be sent to babies born in developing nations. Sweet, right?

I'll be donating several in soft, washable yarn (the only requirement). If you'd like to join me, you can send your donations until December 31st. All instructions are included in the Action Kit download (patterns, tags for your donation, everything.)

With the warm fuzzy PC stuff taken care of, I have a confession. I couldn't stop looking at the picture of the hat displayed (placed in this post for your viewing pleasure). It's a little early here, and I didn't sleep great last night, but really? Being born underweight, malnourished and in a developing nation isn't enough? You're going to put this hat on the poor kid's head? I wasn't shocked when my cursor rolled over the hat to display the tag "Patricia Arquette's hat". Hello, Mommies of Hollywood (and the entertainment industry), you may be able to name your children Dweezle and put a crazy stringy hat on their heads, but it may be a bit much for little Lupito in (let's just say) Guatemala. Luckily, they give pattern ideas in the Action Kit.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Crafts to While the Day Away

I was baby-sitting a friend's kids today, and it was the witching hour where everyone should be taking naps, but they were having too much fun together to be able to settle down. First, we headed out to the playground to burn off some energy which always results in too-tired boys with hurt feelings (or bodies). They were playing chase, always with the youngest and slowest being 'it', which brought back memories of the way we treated my little sister (except instead of being the 'scary monster' as this boy was, we made her be the 'naked man' who was chasing us. Hmmm...perhaps ideas were being fed to us via kids with older brothers?...poor Boober.)

After we headed inside, and snacks were distributed, I was wracking my brains for something they could do that would involve the smallest amount of interfering in one another's personal space. I then remembered the bright pink index card I keep on my fridge for just such occasions labeled "Cooked Playdough From Granny". A-Ha! I let the oldest pick the color and away I went.

Gathering ingredients, I pulled the container of table salt out of the cupboard that was circa 1912, and realized we had only about a tablespoon left, but needed half a cup. Curses! Foiled again! Luckily J was home and offered to run to Stop N Shop and I placated the boys with Ring Pops until he returned.

Now, I am typing away, as they're busily occupying themselves with what looks like a giant blob of bubblegum. If you ever need a quick, easy and fun rainy day project, here you go:

Granny's Cooked Playdough



Mix 1/2 c. salt, 1 c. flour and 2 tsp. cream of tartar in a pan. Add 1 c. water, 1 Tbsp. oil, food coloring and the optional flavoring such as mint or orange extract (although I never do this because I don't want them to think about eating it more than they already will.)



Stir CONSTANTLY over a low heat until it forms a stiff ball around the spoon. (about 10 minutes, but it feels like an eternity)



Never Gonna Happen!


Ohhh! Happened. Turn out onto counter and knead until cool(ish) depending on how antsy the kids are.






Voila! An activity so easy, it may even qualify for Crafts for the Clueless

Socked it To 'Em


My first sock is completed...the true test will be whether or not I can make the other match. However, I did complete the Playground Mittens from Crossroad Knits and was able to make them exactly the same size, so there is hope...

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Cascading Colors Completed


Cascading Colors blanet completed...what a quick and easy way to use up a bunch of different yarn! Each stripe is a strand of 'baby' yarn (bernat, lion, etc) and a strand of Lily Sugar 'n Cream Cotton held together. I made it for a friend, so hope she enjoys the simplicity of it. It's nice and cozy and I contemplated keeping it for C for a carseat blanket, but surrendered it nonetheless.



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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It Was a Bellobration!

I was so excited when my family got offered tickets to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus as part of the Bellobration tour. H had not ever been to one, but is completely obsessed with elephants, the zoo, and movies like Dumbo and The Wild so I was really looking forward to his reaction. I remember being a little girl and watching the girls in their glittery costumes riding the elephants and just knowing that's what I would do someday. I've always been fascinated with the circus life, devouring books like Like Water for Elephants and Geek Love.


We arrived on d-day, or should I say c-day, to TD Banknorth Garden in Boston and were immediately suckered into the $20 parking space by the man with the big orange flag waving us into the parking lot. Oh well, it was a really great spot.


After picking up our tickets at will-call, we made our way to the Club Seats. With C in his sling and H ready to go, we arrived with just enough time to get settled but not so early we had a long wait...so far, so good.


As soon as the music started, H's eyes lit up, and he was clapping and very excited. When the elephants made their entrance it was as great as I'd hoped (I think I was almost more excited about it than Henry). I think that H's favorite was Bello, as he's been running around the house singing "It's a Bello Bello Bello Bello Bello Bello Bello Bello (you get the idea) braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaation" ever since. Watching him, you realize how athletic and amazing he must be because he participated in a huge variety of acts.


As H got hungry, I bought a hot dog and pink lemonade, so only spent $7 plus parking...not bad, considering the lemonades in the comemorative cup were $10 alone. I didn't get any souvenirs for H, but that's not what we went for, and he didn't even ask so it was fine. You could definitely drop some serious money at one of those things, though.


When I told my mom and the rest of my family about our chance to see the circus (and I italicize it because when people talk about the circus, their really talking about Ringling) and they were so excited. Jealous, but excited. My mom reiterated that everyone needs to see a Ringling circus at least once in their lives. After going, I can say that I heartily agree. The thing that most impressed me was that the simple circus elements were still all there. There were a couple modern things added in, but for the most part it was all about the tight-rope walkers, the high-flyers, the contortionists, and the animal tamers. They don't need to beef up their show with a ton of pyrotechnics (there were just a couple of mass musical numbers in which they shot out confetti, etc) because the circus, in and of itself, is enough.





Just in case you're wondering, it's still the greatest show on earth. If it's in a city near you, and you've been contemplating going, I would definitely recommend it!

A 'Reach Out' To My BlogHer Connections

When I arrived at the BlogHer conference, my friend Alex handed me a ziploc bag to keep the business cards I would collect throughout the day from other bloggers. I had with me my box 'o' cards that I'd ordered from VistaPrint for free, eager to hand them out in order to expand my popularity in the blogosphere.

I attended with Alex and Suzanne and met so many great women who were creative, funny and passionate about blogging, so collected quite the stash of cards in order that I could check out their sites and keep track of them until the national BlogHer in summer 2009.


As I was clearing off the kitchen table yesterday, I picked up my swag bag...yes, it was still there, and realized that I'd executed extremely bad netiquette. With most humble apologies, here are some of the women I met at BlogHer...


The gals at Chester County Moms, Boston Bibliophile, Her Bad Mother (who I was really excited to meet in person, as I'd been reading her blog for several months. She has an assortment of blogs she contributes to as well), Miss Chicky (also excited to meet her, as I'd read her on New England Mamas) Lady Gypsy , Sassymonkey, Laurie White, Megin from GNM Parents, Rachel Weston and Oh2122.


The session that I attended were led in part by Megan Garnhum , Danielle Henderson and Christine Koh (founder of Boston Mamas). Again, I can't say enough about what a great experience it was. If you're able to attend the big one this summer, I'd encourage it strongly and hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Seven Random Things

My friend Michele tagged me to write a post containing 7 random things you probably don't know about me, so here goes:

1. I have had a job since I was 13 and began baby-sitting. Staying at home was a huge decision for me, mostly because I was terrified of what people would think since I'd always been a 'worker'. After being home for over a year, I can say with confidence that it's the hardest job I'll ever do and I feel guilty for all the times I bitched about the gym having classes at 9am for all the 'stay-at-homes', or when I'd see them taking a walk with their double strollers and Starbucks lattes as I was driving by to do yet another assessment at odd hours, and turn to a co-worker to say "wow, they have it really hard..." Little did I know they were probably out in the fresh air before nap-time, doing anything to keep their sanity on a daily basis, watching the professionals lunching out and thinking "wow, it would be really nice to have a meal without my kids." I guess the grass is always greener.

2. I started attending church again under the guise that I want my kids to have the structure and support that belonging to the Catholic community brought me, but it's also because I still really like the donuts they serve at coffee hour...for free.

3. I have attended more funerals than most people my age, both for old relatives and peers. I have a completely morbid curiosity for anything surrounding death and dying and am petrified, to the point that I get relatively intense anxiety sometimes, of dying before my kids are old enough to take care of themselves or remember me.

4. I love being pregnant. It's the time in my life that I felt the most confident about my body (aside from childhood) no matter how huge I got.

5. I'm a very self-conscious person when put in new situations so my coping mechanism is to be uber loud, and jump right in. I also tear off band-aids quickly and run (not walk) into the cold ocean.

6. When I was three years-old I poked around 20 holes in my mom and dad's water bed with an exacto knife while I was supposed to be taking a nap. My dad was at summer camp for the National Guard, and my mom had all the daycare kids at the house. You may be asking yourself, How did a three year-old have access to an exacto knife?! Well, my mom was in her I'm-going-to-be-a-ceramics-goddess phase, which resulted in us having cool stuff like a glazed ceramic toilet clock in the bathroom. Tres chic. It is the one spanking that I remember getting from my mom, and I think I knew even then that I deserved it. Truthfully, I was most disappointed that I didn't get one of the Jell-O Pudding Pops at snack that the Bloom girls had brought with them that day. (Don't you remember those sweet Bill Cosby commercials?)

7. I had my gall bladder removed a couple of months after having H, which alleviated my completely ridiculous diarrhea and stomach cramps that followed pretty much every meal for about 5 years. (To the point that my doctor tested me for Giardia in college.) Oddly enough, rampant diarrhea still has a social stigma attached. J's college room-mate loved it when I stayed over.

Wow, this ended up being a little mini-therapy session. Analyze this, beyotches.
I now tag Sherri, Milly V., Alex and That Girl. If you're reading this and want to do it, I'd love to see what you write, just leave me a comment and I'll check it out!

Monday, October 20, 2008

La Leche

Living in New England, I've often told J that there's one place I can't leave this area of the country without visiting; the Ben & Jerry's factory in Vermont. Last night, I was at a girlfriend's house when it came up in conversation that it had been reported on a local news station that PETA had submitted a plea to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, founders of the legendary Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, to cease the use of cow's milk in their products.

What was the suggested replacement? Human breast milk! Blech! Shudder and mini-barf in the mouth completed, I decided I had to check the validity of this claim as it could surely not be true. My brief google went straight to the horse's mouth as it were.

Yes, PETA did send a letter urging them to begin using breast milk in their recipes instead of cows milk, after learning that restaurant in Switzerland, Storchen, had decided to purchase breast milk in order to create a menu with items containing at least a 75% breast milk to cow's milk ratio. Never one to shy away from a completely audacious ploy to get attention for a cause, PETA has gone to another level. While I sincerely hope that I'm correctly understanding that they don't really want Ben & Jerry's to use human breast milk, I still had to blog about it because the idea is just, well, gross. Also, it's always interesting to see how something that started out as a joke or at the very least an exaggeration, ends up being a forum for people to unload.


I immediately called Sherri and we, in all our smart-assed glory, started throwing possible names back and forth; Pumped Up Praline, Mint Chocolate Tit, Chubby Booby and Tit Roof Sundae topped the ranks. Hey, I never said we were incredibly creative.


I'm currently breast-feeding C, and am a huge proponent of women breastfeeding when it's possible, but I can guarantee you that there is nothing that would make me stop eating ice cream more quickly than having it be made of breast milk.


I worked full-time with H and spilled some milk on my jeans once while transferring from the pump bottle to a storage bag...the rest of the day, I walked around wondering how I smelled like spit-up. Not really a flavor I'll be jumping to try.


Obviously, I wasn't the only one who had such a visceral response. Here were some of the comments on the PETA blog post regarding the letter, which basically encompass all of the points that I was going to bring up in this post. In an effort to stem my redundancy here you go:


"This is nothing but false humanitarianism! Wake up and smell the roses people - who do you think is going to end up donating the human breast milk???? It won't be Mrs Sally Housemaker living in the rich suburbs, it will be the poor and disadvantaged. Let's not even talk about the disease risks and just the good old YUCK factor. Truly laughable.
Posted by: logical human being September 23, 2008 11:56 PM "


"My wife donates excess pumped milk to the University of Iowa Milk Bank (there is no compensation from legitimate Milk Banks) for use in their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (as well as other NICUs).


Our two month old gets plenty of milk, our two year old son even asks for a glass of "mommy-milk" from time to time, and she is still able to donate about 2 gallons of milk per month.
Even if one stands clear of the ethical debate,logistical and production issues, and regulatory obstacles, there is one major hurdle preventing breast milk from being utilized in ice cream production...the only flavor would be cantaloupe (breast milk tastes like cantaloupe juice...seriously.)
Posted by: Derek, MD September 24, 2008 04:50 PM "



"This is ridiculous. 1. Do you have any idea how expensive breast milk is? 2. Why would you use breast milk on ICE CREAM when there are many American babies needing that nutrition? Mothers who cannot breastfeed need another source of nutrition for their infants, infants without mothers/adopted/wards of the state need breast milk much more than we need "vegan ice cream." Come on. If you know anything about medicine and infant care, you'd know that the physician above is referencing formula made with cows milk, as well as milk we drink daily, which yes, is not the first choice for infants. It does have side effects, and yes, is higher in protein vs. human milk because calves need to grow faster. But right now it's a better alternative than not feeding the infant for mothers who choose not to or cannot breastfeed. You guys are ridiculous. Get your facts straight and think of benefiting the rest of human kind first. Wow.
p.s. If cows have to be "forcefully impregnated every 9 months" how do you think we're going to get milk from humans?
Posted by: Kristen September 23, 2008 08:43 PM "


I then read the PETA blog further and saw a post entitled 'Calling All Breast Milk Recipes' stating that they were gathering recipes due to the current economic crisis and were going to compile and sell a cookbook. Thank God that post ended with "P.S. This entire post is a joke, but given our history, it's understandable if you didn't get that."


In the end, old Ben & Jerry had the final say:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Work In Progress

As I was looking at a plethora of MSNBC's articles about the polls and last night's debate, I came across a couple that were particularly interesting. Steve Tuttle's It's Just a Flesh Wound examined what may be behind the thinking of the 10% of Americans who report they are currently satisfied with the direction of the country.

Regarding the current economic crisis, he states "Maybe the people who are satisfied just can't admit to what's happening. Seriously, who could have predicted that giving out loans like Halloween candy to people with mini-salaries to buy mini-mansions—who then used their home equity to buy gas-guzzling Hummers—would ever backfire?"
The fact-checking article on MSNBC examined McCain's plan to alleviate the mortgage crisis:
"McCAIN: "Now, we have allocated $750 billion. Let's take 300 of that billion and go in and buy those home loan mortgages and negotiate with those people in their homes, 11 million homes or more, so that they can afford to pay the mortgage, stay in their home."
THE FACTS: Ordering the government to buy up bad mortgages to cut homeowners' monthly payments might sound good, but experts are skeptical. They say the plan McCain is promoting is unlikely to solve the housing crisis that's pushing the economy toward recession. One big problem: The vast majority of the toxic home loans that are clogging financial markets and freezing up credit have been repackaged into complex investments that the government would be hard-pressed to unravel and buy. And the government could end up paying far more than they would ever be worth. That could primarily help banks and lenders with taxpayer money.
— The Associated Press "

When J and I were getting ready to make the trek east, we wanted to buy a home, so began the application process for a loan. The amount for which we were pre-approved was much higher than the amount for which we knew we could comfortable make the monthly payments, so we didn't even look at that end of the spectrum of houses. Alas, we didn't find a house in our 'range' so are living in apartment-land, but we're okay with that if it means that we'll have a house to live in through the duration of our stay here.

I was also looking at the fact check from last night's debate, as I was so annoyed when I finished watching it that I immediately called my parents to ensure that my dear old dad wasn't losing his mind and supporting McCain...I was assured that he is not. I wonder how many messages from new clients old Joe the Plumber has this morning?

I am constantly reminded that our lives, like this country, are a work in progress. Much like a crazy quilt, or something knit from stash yarns, you have to constantly re-examine the materials that you have on-hand. How will the fibers work together? Do you need to increase the tension to make it all stronger or loosen up a little to have the desired effect? Do you need to invest in some new yarn to make it all work? The last material you used will help dictate the next.

In the end, after all your hard work and consideration, it would be really sad to end up with the ugly sweater that nobody wants to wear.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cascading Colors


I have a TON of baby-esque yarn that needs to be put to use. Too many hours spent browsing the yarn aisle with babes in utero, and not enough time with that yarn on the ole sticks leads to quite the stash. I'm casting the Cascading Colors Baby Blankie from Lion Brand on tonight as it looks quick and easy...and just in time for tomorrow night's meet-up!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

'Reach Out' to BlogHer Boston

As I crept into bed and used my LightWedge to set the alarm for 6am, I thought 'Do I really need to set an alarm? Surely H will be up before then...' but set the alarm I did, because for the first time in over a year, I had to be up and ready to go before 7am. I've never been a morning person, but I was so excited I woke up almost every hour just to make sure I didn't oversleep. At 5:30 I nursed C, then went into the bathroom to shower and get ready. I was done with my daily ablutions before the designated time, so I quietly closed the front door and did a celebratory dance down the hall.

It felt so good to not just be leaving the house for the day, but to be doing so for 'professional' reasons. What was the reason, you may ask?

Yesterday I attended the BlogHer Boston Conference as part of their national 'Reach Out' tour. It was my first BlogHer event and I have to say, I feel like I finally found "my people". While there were several times throughout the day that I looked around at the sea of laptops then back down to my own conspicuously empty lap that I felt like I'd arrived naked, it only made me realize how much I like being a part of this community as my fingers were virtually itching to type.

I got a ton of great information, some cool swag, and my first full-day sans C. J was home with the boys so I was completely relaxed in being away from them, and even felt a little gleeful while pumping in the bathroom.

I could not have a day without embarrassment, of course, so it was appropriate that after a day free from any major pitfalls, I would be talking about a time that I got 'stomach pains' on a drive from Eastern Oregon to Portland with only myself and a sleeping, one-year old H. It was apropos that I was at the rest area of 'Dead Man's Pass', and had no choice other than to stop and go to the bathroom with my child on my lap...yes, it was as awesome as it sounds.

Just as the phrase '...and I was thinking, If I get murdered while having diarrhea with my kid on my lap...' escaped my lips and received raucous laughter, my friend Alex and I (along with a new friend) turned to see that we were being taped by one of the videographers for the conference.

Luckily, I have one of the loudest voices known to man so will most assuredly be captured at my first professional conference in some time having one of the most unprofessional conversations. If you ask any of my co-workers, that's probably not so abnormal after all.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Card-Carrying Member

Like many families, J and I are making efforts to reign in some of the extraneous expenses incurred in the knitty household. I love to look at, browse through and ultimately purchase (too many) books. In Portland, I had become fairly good at going to the library as opposed to purchasing my own copy of a book that I would most likely only read once. My sisters and I have also started a chick-lit exchange and will frequently put together care packages that include several of the latest from Jennifer Weiner, Sophie Kinsella and a few of our other favorites to try and off-set the cost of our obsession which has been really fun.

In remembering the good ole days in P-town when the library was a walk (a longer walk granted, but a walk nonetheless) away, I realized with shock that I didn't even have a library card for any of the Massachusetts public libraries! I've not taken H to a story hour here! I've been buying every book I've read here thus far, and there has been A LOT of reading when you consider not only the ones I read on my own but my monthly book club books. Those are getting to be some costly care packages!

Ashamed of myself, I decided to drive to the labyrinth that is downtown Worcester in my quest for the public library as I'd heard it had a wonderful children's room. After about thirty minutes longer than it should have taken me to get there, thanks to failed leadership from my friend google maps (thirty minutes filled with H asking "What did you say to him, Mommy?" after I'd used yet another of my not so polite terms and phrases that inquire as to another driver's intentions on the road) we pulled into an empty slot and I fed the meter. I swear, I should be thanking my lucky stars that the dreaded Gd phrase is all that he's repeated after witnessing my road rage for three years.

I wrangled H inside, C securely in the sling, and proceeded to the membership desk. After walking away with my shiny new card, I headed toward the end of the library said to house the illustrious children's wing and expected something like the Iowa CityLibrary's Children's Room all shiny walls, high ceilings and toddler play centers. While it was certainly a nice space for elementary aged children, I have to say I didn't love it for H. There was a very small table with some Lego's on it, which had older kids playing at it, but there weren't many things that felt geared toward pre-schoolers. Darn. H must have been expecting the same, as he continually asked when he'd get to play at the train table...which are only at the IC library and every Barnes and Noble we've ever been to. Double Darn.

After reading a couple of books to H, we headed out and I saw a display of current fiction which included several of Jodi Picoult's books. I checked out My Sister's Keeper, secretly hoping it would be as much of a Debbie Downer as Nineteen Minutes. While Ms Picoult is phenomenal at character and plot development, they're pretty much suicide on a stick; do not read if you're feeling melancholy or are experiencing "the baby blues".

Speaking of card-carrying members...and the baby blues

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Name Is...(not) Slim Shady

I was reading That Girl today, or should I say Timber Challenger, and decided to try my own name on the Hockey-mom express.

Sally HP, "if you were born to Sarah Palin, your name would be: Shank Piston Palin. Who knows, Shank Piston Palin you just might be president one day!" Even better, J would be Loin Falcon.

Give it a whirl here!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Woman of the Cloth

After trying out gDiapers for a little while now, I've decided that I'd like to take it one step of crazy further and use cloth while at home and g's while out and about. My reason for this is much more economy than ecology, but the biggest concern I have was reinforced when I suggested it to J and got the following response; "Have you ever been to someone's house who uses cloth diapers? Their whole house smells like our diaper pail." Yeah, I know. BUT that could just be that they didn't really know what they were doing.

I was confident that was the only reason, so put a message out to my mom's group talk loop as there was at least one woman who cloth diapered four times over, and she is not the type to have a stinky house, so I set out to pick her brain.

I cc'd my mom and sisters as I knew that my mom cloth diapered the four of us. Since there is that large age gap between the two sets of sisters, I knew "The Big Girls" would have some insight as well, as they would definitely not have forgotten a stinky house. My mom wouldn't have known, as she has no sense of smell.

I got some great responses from my mom's group which were very encouraging, and one mom even offered about 3 dozen diapers. From my family, however, that's another story.

Here's what I got from my sister, Sherri:

Hello Sally,

Ok, I'm going to present a theory about handling cloth diapers I'vebeen carrying around for years but have been reluctant to share. Butstay with me for a moment and see if you don't agree that this is alittle strange. I'll walk you through it:

Consider that all four of us girls were raised in the same household,in the same town, with the same diet and general lifestyles during ourformidable years. Now, think about our relative health histories,thinking first about the "big girls" and then the "little girls."There have been marked differences in the health histories of thesetwo sets of siblings.

Little girls:
Gall bladder surgery
Routine orthodontia.


Big girls:
Ovarian cysts
Blood clot
Hysterectomy
Asthma
Hay fever
Cardiothoracic teratoma
Mental illnesses including depression and mood disorder

After taking into account all of our background characteristics, only one thing can explain our disparate health issues: Exposure to andrepeated handling of cloth diapers. The big girls had to change thelittle girls' diapers, which involved "dunking the diaper" in thetoilet to remove solid waste before placing them in the diaper pail. This exposure occurred over a sustained period of nearly five years (especially for one of the big girls in particular who will remain anonymous due to HIPAA issues). I'm surprised we're not both on dialysis.

Love,

A "Big Girl"

Nothing like a little familial support when undertaking an endeavor that I'm not quite sure I'm not too squeamish for. Afterall...who really wants to handle their kids' poo that intimately? I think I'll just have to be encouraged each time I want to dry heave as I open the pail to do a load of diapers by the shit load of money I'll be saving by staying home, nursing and cloth diapering while at home. But will the pocket book win out in the end? Stay tuned...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Full of Hot Air

This morning I was sitting with my coffee, staring at the wall while H watched PBS kids. Lost in thought, a little exhausted (is there such a thing) and contemplating dozing off, I was jolted into awareness when I realized that H was talking to me as he looked out the window saying "Look at that balloon, Mommy!"

Expecting to see someone with a balloon bouquet at the most, I turned to see a full-sized hot air balloon right in my line of sight, less than 50 yards away. It was vibrantly colored with blues, red and yellow, and it kind of made my stomach lurch. I realized that I'd never seen a hot air balloon in person that close. It was such a neat thing to see, and the colors were even more vibrant given the gray day outside.

I'm not sure why it was there, as it had to have been taking off from my complex parking lot. It was so unexpected that I even went to shake J awake and have him look out our bedroom window. It felt like when I was little and my mom would come into our bedrooms early in the morning to announce the season's first real snow fall.

It's times like this that I remember how fortunate I am that I get to re-discover the world through H and will have C to enhance the experience even more. It took me a second for all my thoughts to click and realize I should take a picture, so this is the closest one I got. It was so close that we could hear them firing it up. This is taken from my porch and the roofline is just the next building over.

Jooners Review

Read my review of the new FREE organization and planning program Jooners over at KnittyReviews.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Aunt Flow Has Come To Town

Double click on the flow chart so that it's big enough to read...
I think that the most disturbing part of the past month is that I get sick to my stomach every time she starts to talk because I can just feel that she is utterly unprepared to answer the majority of questions that are asked of her. I couldn't identify it until I realized that I had the same feeling you get when going for a job interview that you're not sure you'll get or when you walk in the room to take a final and realized you studied (aka crammed) the wrong material.
In reading my sister's post today, it clicked. That's exactly it! It is such a slimy move by the McCain camp, and if you say it wasn't intentional, then he has the most unobservant advisers known to man.
Yet, the reality that she could be #2 on the short list of people to lead our nation is utterly terrifying. While the SNL skits are hilarious, it's sad that there is really not that much that the writers have had to do in order to make us titter at the ridiculous statements made by the faux Palin. My friend Tyson has been known to say on several occasions while dying of laughter "It's funny because it's true." Well this, my friend, is not so funny.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Morning Sickness


Last night, as I was watching the debates, I realized just how upsetting it would be to wake up in November to find that McCain/Palin would be leading our nation for the next four years. I swear, if she brought a question that she didn't want to answer back to energy or the "Great State of Alaska" one more time, I was going to put a pillow over my face and scream.

I understand that by completely ignoring questions that she didn't know the answer to she was technically being a good debater, but what does that say about how she will be as a Vice President? I don't feel at all confident that she would be capable of holding herself accountable. All the 'darn it alls' and shout outs to the "Joe Six-Packs" of the world do not make up for the fact that she did not answer the majority of the questions to which I would have liked to hear her answer.

One of my personal pet peeves is when someone is not able to answer the "what is your weakness question." You do not respond to 'what is your Achilles' Heel?' with a strength.

I secretly loved that she continually referred to General McClellan (a civil war general) when she meant General McKiernan. Then she tried to contradict Biden by saying "Well, first, McClellan did not say definitively the surge principles would not work in Afghanistan. Certainly, accounting for different conditions in that different country and conditions are certainly different. We have NATO allies helping us for one, and even the geographic differences are huge but the counterinsurgency principles could work in Afghanistan. McClellan didn't say anything opposite of that. The counterinsurgency strategy going into Afghanistan, clearing, holding, rebuilding, the civil society and the infrastructure can work in Afghanistan."

Huh, we'll here's McKiernan's quote from The Washington Post as found on factcheck.org:
"The word I don't use for Afghanistan is 'surge,' " McKiernan stressed, saying that what is required is a "sustained commitment" to a counterinsurgency effort that could last many years and would ultimately require a political, not military, solution."

Maybe she shouldn't be so smug in her challenge to people that they could try to 'stump the candidate' because it looks like they already have. If you haven't seen at least part of the Katie Couric interview with Governor Palin, check it out on YouTube as there are several clips. It's really interesting to see what happens when you take away the comfort of a script.

And now, a word from Matt Damon:






Matty, you can rest assured because I'm talkin' about it!



Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sock It To Me!

Last month, tired of knitting solo, I decided I'd find a group of like-minded folks with whom to hang. Enter meetup.com and Greater Worcester Area Hook and Needlers (notice it's not Needle and Hookers), and have since met with them twice, and it's so much fun!

When I went to my first 'meet-up' (sounds a little risque, huh?) I spotted what I thought was my group and my stomach dropped. It was exactly what I was hoping the group wouldn't be...old ladies knitting doilies with acrylic. Since I was already there and had been spotted, I swallowed my snobbery and introduced myself only to be barely acknowledged. Sweet. 'I've been rejected by someone I wasn't even interested in.'*

It wasn't until about twenty minutes of awkward silence later that they asked how I'd found out about them, and I realized I was with the wrong group! Seriously, what are the odds that there would be two groups of about thirteen knitters at one Barnes and Noble? When I walked to the back, I found a group of mostly young, hip and "happy hookers" working on fun projects and engaging in laid-back conversation. Internal sigh of relief; now this is worth getting a baby-sitter for.

Yes, I realize it's totally dorky to be excited about knitting. In public. Laugh it up, Chuckles. Pretty soon I'll have a whole wardrobe of homemade socks. Again, I refer to Napoleon Dynamite; "Luuucky."

*Stanford to Charlotte at the 'Real People' fashion show.