Thursday, October 30, 2008

Go visit a friend

I am not able to write the post I want to today, so I suggest you all go visit Rebecca's blog-- Life in Fast Forward-- and check out some information on medical care in the US compared to other contries. Specifically, why We Are So Third World!

Dear Red States,

While over the top a bit, I still got a good laugh out of it. Thanks Kara for sharing!

Dear Red States,

We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, New York, and all of the Northeastern states. After this election, we'll be adding Colorado and New Mexico. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, especially to the people of our new country - Nuevo California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states; we get stem cell research, the best beaches, and the best ski resorts. We get Elliot Spitzer; you get20Ken Lay. We get the Statue of Liberty; you get Dollywood. We get Intel and Microsoft; you get WorldCom. We get Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Cal Tech, MIT and Columbia; you get Ole' Miss. We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs; you get Alabama. We get two-thirds of the tax revenue; you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than that of the Christian Coalition, we get a bunch of happy families and you get ...

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we'll need all of our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They apparently have kids they're willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't mind if you don't televise their kid's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq and hope that those Weapons of Mass Destruction turn up for you, but we're not willing to spend any more of our money in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States, we will control 80 percent of the country's fresh water, 90 percent of pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 97 percent of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at your state dinners), 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, and all the League and Seven Sister schools. We also get New England, the Great Lakes and Yosemite, thank you very much.

In the Red States, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans and their projected health care costs, 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, 100 percent of tornadoes, 94 percent of hurricanes, 99 percent of Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, and Clemson.

Additionally, in the Red States, 38 percent actually believe Jonah was swallowed by a whale; 62 percent believe life is sacred unless it involves the death penalty or gun ownership; 44 percent claim that evolution is only a theory; 53 percent insist that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11; and 61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you have higher moral standards than those of us on the left.

By the way, we're taking all the good pot, too. You get that dirt weed from Mexico and Kansas ditches.

Peace out,
The Blue States

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mamas Worldwide is giving away shoes!

Mamas Worldwide (yet another blog I write for) is giving away a free pair of pediped shoes! If you've wanted to try them out, been wishing for a new pair, or have a lucky friend in mind, stop by and enter the contest! All you have to do is leave a comment by Friday! I know I'd do it if I were eligible.

 

Monday, October 27, 2008

Some thoughts on Co-sleeping

I've been meaning to blog on co-sleeping, or the family bed, for quite some time. Other than a single mention back in June, I don't think I have ever written outright about co-sleeping and our decision on this blog. I allude to it on numerous occasions, but never discuss. I'm not sure why, as I believe firmly in the benefits-- as much as I do on nursing or anything else I blog about-- and am not ashamed that my son shares our bed...or rather his bed these days (more on that later). Anyway, Christina wrote a bit about co-sleeping on Mamas Worldwide, so I thought I'd give it a go.

We stumbled upon co-sleeping, and quite honestly, it was first done at the urging our my midwife. I have since learned that many of my friends from co-sleep. Some stumbled in to it. Others have always done it.

Anyway, the midwife encouraged me to bring the baby to bed, so often times I would sleep on the couch while Kevin was in the bed, because he was afraid of rolling on the baby. No matter how tired I was, I never once rolled on to my baby, and I was keenly aware of his presence. As time passed, he would sleep some in his crib and some with me in a smaller bed. When we came to the US, we gave in to the pressures and tried to transfer him to a crib. It was a miserable experience that I would never do again.

Then Kevin left to play overseas leaving me alone in the US with an infant that had no one else to lean on (save for a few friends who would give me breaks). At the same time, I was starting him in daycare, and I was going back to work. He needed me more than ever, and with his sleep schedule (12 plus hours total), we reconnected through night-time parenting (i.e. co-sleeping and reverse cycling).

By the time Kevin came home in November of 2007 (The Boy was 11 months), we were a full-time co-sleeping family. All three of us were in one bed without a problem. Kevin left again, and The Boy and I were once again alone in bed.

I thought I would try transitioning The Boy to a bed in May (18 months old), but with Kevin coming home, it failed miserably! The change in sleep arrangement, plus adding daddy back in to the equation was too much, so back to co-sleeping we went. However, now, I sleep with The Boy most of the night and Kevin in the king sized bed in our room.

It works for us. Without co-sleeping, I don't know how I could have gone back to work (successfully anyway) and continued to nurse so long. I love it. I realize it is not for everyone, but it is for us. It might be for you too... if you open your mind to it.

There are a lot of reasons to co-sleep, but for now, I'll leaving you with the words of the Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative, "bed-sharing encourages intimate contact between mother and baby, which facilitates a close and loving bond. Successful breastfeeding and better sleep are more common among mothers and babies who share the same bed. Evidence suggests that bed-sharing is common among parents with new babies both in hospital and at home."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Favorite pictuers.

There are a ton of pictures available of the candidates, but this one really resonates with me. In spite of everything, some things are the same.


More photos here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Colin Powell calls out his own party



I think Mr. Powell does a great job of putting it all out there. I especially liked that he called out the Republican party for fear-mongering when it comes to Sen. Obama.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Successful Breastfeeding.

I'm a little behind in blogging, but I've seen this posted a few times and think it is time to share my own thoughts especially after the post I wrote yesterday. In early October, Pediatrics published an article on the Effects of Maternity-Care Practices on Breastfeeding. The study's goal:
Our goal was to assess the impact of "Baby-Friendly" hospital practices and other maternity-care practices experienced by mothers on breastfeeding duration.
The analysis was based on the Infant Feeding Practices Study II, which surveyed just under 2000 women who initiated breastfeeding on the care they recieved and their breastfeeding success rate. The results are distrubing. Only 8.1% of women recieved care that met all six of the "Baby-Friendly" hospital practices (breastfeeding initiation within 1 hour of birth, giving only breast milk, rooming in, breastfeeding on demand, no pacifiers, fostering breastfeeding support groups) the analysis looked at. (The Baby Friendly Hospital initative actually lists ten practices, but the analysis presented looks only at six. ) The women who did not recieve care that met all six practices (almost 92% of those surveyed) were thirteen percent more likely to terminate breastfeeding early (defined as six weeks).
The results are especially disturbing when you look at the short and long-term benefits to baby and mother of breastfeeding and the positions/recommendations of medical groups. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics (who published the results in their magazine Pediatrics) recommends breastfeeding EXCLUSIVELY (no solids, only breastmilk) for the first six months and that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months (and thereafter as long as mutually desirable). The American Academy of Family Physicans positions paper says:
"If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned."
The World Health Organization:
As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Exclusive breastfeeding from birth is possible except for a few medical conditions, and unrestricted exclusive breastfeeding results in ample milk production.
I've written quite extensively on my ongoing breastfeeding experience, and come December, we'll reach two years. It is upsetting to me to watch my friends and family quit early because of the "medical" advice they receive from their doctor or pediatrician. I was livid when a friend's husband told me that breastmilk was no longer needed after one. I was equally livid after watching my friend give her soon to be one son a bottle of undiluted apple juice before nap time, because her ped said that their child should be weaned by one. The worst part-- it's the same ped that my son sees, yet he has always been supportive of my continued breastfeeding. Perhaps, due to my lactivism and constant questioning, he keeps his parenting opinions to himself. (Rightfully so, because sometimes I ask just to see what he will say rather than truly wanting his advice.)
Furthermore, until women are treated with respect when receiving medical care for themselves or their children, we need to be advocates. Doctors threaten women with removal of their child and calling child protective services in order to manipulate women in to following their care guidelines when they are using out of date information (i.e. forcing formula on a jaundice baby, etc). This practice needs to end NOW. Doctors need more ongoing education on breastfeeding and its benefits. They need to provide better service, or they need to back down.
More at:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lactivism

Why do I continue to fight the good fight re: nursing? Because of doctors who do crap like this:

My friends OB (I don't know his name) told her that breastfeeding was "3rd world" and he does not recommend his patients do it.
My friend posted that on her blog about one of her friends, and I just about jumped through the computer to strangle the unnamed OB. GRR...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why Homecoming kept me down

I've had several questions about why Homecoming kept me away from blogging, but I cannot blame Homecoming alone. Yes, it played a part. Afterall, TU's Homecoming 2008 brought back many former student-athletes/Letterwinners for our first All-year, All-sport reunion.  The TU Lettermen's Association (TULA) put on a weekend of activities-- golf tournament, reunion, tailgate, silent auction, etc. What many of the readers of this blog might not know is that I am on the TULA Board, so I spent my weekend working hard to help make sure things went off without a hitch!
I'm also taking six hours of graduate school this semester in order to finish next semester. My writing might be a little sparce between now and then, but I miss blogging enough to know I'll be back to more regular writing...some now, some later. :)

I've been tagged... 7 random facts

 
 I've done the five random things meme before, but when Rebecca tagged me to post seven random facts, I thought I would go for it. What do I have to lose? To add to the challenge, I am going to post seven unique random facts.

1. I love traveling, especially internationally, and I would live in Europe in a heartbeat.

2. I am obsessed with information. If I don't know something, I will read about it until I feel like I understand the topic. This includes random facts.
 
3. I have problems saying "no." In other words, I over-commit.
4. Hair is for experimentation.
5. I tend to go for long periods of time without shaving my legs. Like three or more months at a time.
6. My middle name should be "bake."
7. I love to entertain. Nothing is more fun than cooking for a large number of people...or small group of friends.
I'm going to break the rules and not tag anyone, but if you want to do it, go on ahead and let me know! :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm coming back!

I can't believe it's been three weeks, but I will be back posting this week! Homecoming 2008 is over, so I can have at least one portion of my life back. I've been absent, but I haven't been thinking. There are a million things I want to post on-- the wage gap, the election, the fear-mongering, swift-boating bullshit that has been going around, the lack of intellectual debate amongst the population, breastfeeding, nursing beyond one and nearing two, Breast Cancer Awareness Month (Squish a boob, save a life people!)... the list goes on and on and will begin after tonight's test! I've missed my blogs.

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