21 December 2006

And I am a Lutheran...

I found a link to this neat quiz over at Random Musings:

You scored as Calvin. You are John Calvin. You have a Nestorian Christology and separate the Divinity and Humanity of Jesus. You believe only those who have faith are united to Christ, who is present spiritually, yet you call this "Real."











Eucharistic theology
created with QuizFarm.com

Ironically, Rebecca tested out as mostly Lutheran. :)

14 December 2006

Does Nestle Own an Airline?

There has been some news lately about air travel and breastfeeding.

Most of you have probably heard about the woman kicked off an airplane for nursing her young toddler. Apparently we are in such a state these days that offending the oh-so-delicate sensibilities of some uptight stewardess is now considered a threat to national security. After a huge uproar, it was disclosed that the rest of the crew had tried to talk some sense into said stewardess, and that she had been 'reprimanded', whatever that means.

And of course there is the dilemma of pumping Moms. For a variety of reasons, many Moms pump milk. Well, now that some nutcases hatched an ill-conceived and nearly impossible plan to use liquids to blow up a plane, you can kiss your breastmilk goodbye. Literally. Unless you have a baby with you, which in most cases would mean you did not need to pump, you will be asked to toss your liquid gold into the trash before boarding the plane. Yes, you can check it. But if you have been away from baby for a day or two, that is a whole lot of milk for the airline to misplace with the other baggage.

And checking the milk bags may not be an option in airports that require a trip through security when changing planes under certain circumstances. So all that milk you pumped on your 18 hour flight before changing planes? Trash it dear, would not want to risk national security. Quite a few chemists, you know, the people who actually know this stuff, have come out to say it would be virtually impossible to damage a plane using liquids. But since when has reality dictated airport security procedures.

And don't get me started on trying to get a flight attendant to provide enough water to keep a nursing mom hydrated on a long flight. I am surprised the airlines have not started charging for beverages. A recent change now allows you to bring a water bottle purchased at an overpriced concourse shop onto the plane. Oh yeehaw.

Hey, but we are keeping the terrorists at bay, since their goal is to so disrupt our way of living that we forgo our values and liberties. Oh wait...

04 November 2006

Get Off Your Butt

As you read this, millions of Americans are without healthcare even at its most basic. This number grows every day.

Our schools, instead of being great equalizers of opportunity, provide a huge boost to some while offering little more than crappy babysitting to others.

We are debating, vicously and mostly through the courts, the question of abortion.

Our national debt represents a huge burden to be passed on to our children. We have no plan on how to pay for Social Security in the future.

Our economy is dependent on oil, much of it obtained from unstable, unfriendly, or undemocratic countries.

Not so long ago, in a country half way across the world, over three fourths of the eligible population braved bullets and bombs in order to cast a ballot. One of the great questions of our current time is how involved we, the US of A, should be in the shaping of that country. Whatever you think if the war that got us involved, or any of these other things, you need to make your opinion known. Without the participation of the people, the great experiment that is Democracy is doomed.


22 October 2006


On the first of October, at 1:13 pm, Baby E entered the world. He did so at home, on the bed that his father and I share. The birth was attended and assisted by a very proud Daddy, our midwife R, and our birth attendant H. He was 8.75 lb, and 20.75 inches long.

I am struck by the contrasts of a hospital birth and a home birth. H2 was born in a hospital, with much of the accompanying intervention typical for the area. Most of these were unwanted, forced on us by mediocre hospital staff who cared only about what was easiest for them. Ridiculous things, like an episiotomy to birth a less than 7 pound baby because that is just how it is done. I wonder how much is also the hospital wanting to make money. I did not hold H2 for at least an hour, the doctor needed to repair the damage and his time was far more important than us. Recovering even partially from that birth took weeks, and complete physical and emotional recovery took months. Our joy rested solely with the amazing little girl our love and God's grace had granted us.

This time, love and caring surrounded the labor and birth. I drank, ate, showered, bathed, sat, stood, walked, cried, yelled, laughed. I was constantly reassured that everything was okay, that the baby and I were doing just fine. And when E joined us, he came out gently, causing barely a scratch. He laid on my chest until, a good long time later, I felt the desire to get a shower. Daddy got him then, and only after everyone was clean, well fed, and comfy did the weighing and measuring start. This happened right on the bed too. Big sister came home from the neighbor's house and crawled into bed, to cuddle us and meet her little brother. In fact, E did not leave our bed until I felt like coming downstairs the next day. Our joy was spread throughout the experience, extended to our whole family and the dear people who assisted us.

If only our country could come to its collective senses and make sure that this type of birth was available for any woman who wants it...

13 September 2006

Poor, Neglected Blog

Prolific I'm not. At least not at the keyboard. Yes, we have gutted 2 rooms and redone them, have a third in process, painted two more, and, oh yeah, I have a baby due in less than two weeks, but hey isn't that what everyone spends their summer doing?

Anyway, the crazy pregnant decorating lady is just about done with interior design. So hopefully the computer and the sewing machine will get a bit of attention in the next couple of weeks. Unless, of course, the baby comes early. . .

15 July 2006

Ezzo, Ezzo Everywhere

It is officially Ezzo week, many thanks to Tulip Girl for bringing so much good information to light. I wanted to take some time to discuss several things about BabyWise and the Ezzo method that have bothered me for a very long time.

I need to preface this by pointing out that we never even considered using Ezzo's methods to raise our children. One of the advantages of coming late to the parenthood party is that you get to see how the other folks that have been there are doing. The Ezzo method is quite popular in the military community, so we watched quite a few families using it. And everything we saw convinced us that BabyWise was not wise, not in the least. I did read the books from a morbid sense of curiosity. I just had to know what it was that was so attractive to so many, especially when it was obvious that it really was not working. I honestly still do not get the attraction. The books are poorly written, contradictory, and seem designed to make a parent feel like a failure. Why do parents pay good money and follow something like that, when so much sadness can result?

There is the faith thing, at least for me. We are a 'mixed' religion family. I am Lutheran, my husband is Roman Catholic. Gary Ezzo has nary a kind word for the Catholic religion. While I certainly disagree with many of the Catholic Church's teachings, I do so respectfully. And I also see that I agree with far more than I disagree with, and find that I have much common ground with my Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ. Why would those whose religion is belittled by Mr. Ezzo take his advice on parenting?

What about following the path of someone who is a successful parent? By most accounts, the Ezzos have two adult daughters. Neither daughter has a good relationship or significant contact with the elder Ezzos. I don't know about other people, but I hope to have a strong relationship with my children permanently. I don't think the job of parent ends. Some may say that the current situation has nothing to do with the way the Ezzo girls were parented as babies, but really, how do we know? Why are people willing to take that chance?

All this is nibbling around the edges of what REALLY bothers me. The harm caused by the Ezzo method to many families is well documented. A small sampling of this harm can be found at www.ezzo.info. Yet the Ezzos and their defenders explain it all away. Comments like 'oh they followed it too literally' or 'oh that is not what BabyWise says' or 'oh come on, you can't blame a book for bad parenting' are thrown about. HELLO!! Can we think about this here? If you were hooking up your new dvd player would you accept an instruction book that could not be taken too literally? If the person teaching you how to ride a bike gave you contradictory information, is it your fault that you, being inexperienced, did not know which advice to take? If you were trying to learn geometry, and you studied hard, did everything the book said to do, did all the homework exactly how you were supposed to, but failed miserably, would you accept that it must have been your fault alone? Come on, that is ridiculous. No one would accept these sorts of arguments in any other aspect of their lives, why does anyone accept it from an instruction book on parenting?

Maybe it is because I am a scientist, but to me if a method has a high failure rate, you look at the problem with the method. This is even more true when some of the failures are catastrophic. But in Ezzoland, all success is credited to the method, and all failure is blamed on the practitioner. That is not where I want to live as a parent, and it is not where I want my children to live either.

15 June 2006

Virginia is for Lovers. Of Vermin

One of the nice things about this area is that despite being in suburbia, we have farms fairly close by. So I joined a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Co-Op. My brother has done this for years in Chicago, and I figured I would give it a go.

On my first week, I was making a salad from the baby lettuce that had arrived. I dropped lettuce into the salad spinner basket, then rinsed and added and rinsed and added until I though I had enough. Then I spun vigorously to dry and started to transfer the lettuce to plates. About that time, the spinner went sailing across the room. It seems that three days in the fridge, multiple water dousings, and a vigorous spin is not enough to disable, let alone kill, the average Virginia arachnid. Neither was an improptu sail across the kitchen. It took a spouse, an in sink disposal, and a toddler with no fear of things creapy crawly to dispatch the spider romping about in the arugula.

This is not my first tangle with vermin. Last fall I reached into my potting soil bag and annoyed the rather large rat that had taken up residence. Mosquitos here form posses. And the spiders. How I hate spiders. They are everywhere here: in the shower, in the closet, in the flowers. And just last week a large, hairy, juicy one was delivered, complete with egg sac, along with my weekly magazines and telephone bill.

When we moved back east, many folks commented on 'escaping' from all the poisonous creatures in the Southwest. Well let me tell you, there may be black widows, tarantulas, scorpions, and Mojave green rattlers, but at least they have the sense to stay where they belong. Outside, and as far from humans as possible.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go see about picking up some diatomaceous earth and praying mantis eggs. At least it may cut down on the spiders. . .

16 May 2006

It's Not What You Think

I am not one of those women that walked blissfully away from my paycheck and into stay at home motherhood. I miss work. I miss chatting with my coworkers of every age, ethnicity, and political persuasion. I miss the mental gymnastics. I miss the acknowledgement, in bonuses and higher than average raises, that I am really, really, REALLY good at my job.

Mostly though, I miss the coffee.

No, not that terrible swill you find in the community pot. Coffee. My love affair started in grad school, in the coffee town of Columbus, OH. Small, independent shops abound, a short walk from anywhere I happened to be on campus. But my favorite place was Stauf's Coffee Roasters. That was a drive, but oh so worth it. Coffee from around the world, shipped in green and roasted in 50 pound batches. My friend J and I would take a trip before seminar on Thursdays, with a pocket full of money and a list of orders from half the department.

A move to the southwest, and I had to lower my standards. Great restaurants abound in Las Vegas, but coffee, not so much. The local places were rude, overpriced, or just plain served bad coffee. That green-awninged behemoth, Starbucks, became my coffee oasis in the desert. And at work I made 'coffee friends.' Those of us that could not tolerate the office swill chipped in and got our own. It was not fresh roasted or anything, but a heavy cut above the stuff that comes in a large metal can. We always sipped the first cup around a small table in T's office. I also kept a personal stash of liquid gold, which I would French press in the afternoon on the really tough days. Or J-H and I would make a coffee run to Starbucks, stating our location as 'Building 13' on the sign-out board. We always got away with it too, probably because we never failed to bring back an iced coffee for our phenomenal admin.

Then, California. RURAL California. We did not even have the ubiquitous Starbucks. Another dry desert, again in more ways than one. After about 6 months, I found CA Coffee Roasters, a mail order coffee shop located in Los Angeles. Roast to order, ship the same day. Ah, bliss. And I had several work friends that also craved a decent cup o' joe. N would make the morning pot. In the afternoon M and I would argue, happily, over the cube wall about who would actually make the afternoon pot. I usually 'lost,' though once the coffee was done I would have a fresh cup delivered to my desk, mug pre-heated so as not to cool the coffee.

Now back to my current situation. East coast suburbia, not an independent coffee shop in sight. And no office coffee buddies this time either. I find myself high and dry. The deprivation is made more difficult by the fact that my current, about-to-bear-young condition keeps my coffee habit to a single, mediocre cup a day.

So have a cup for me. I'll join you when I can.

11 May 2006

While you were sleeping

H2 fell asleep in my arms tonight. This is not a regular occurrence. She is deciding that she is too big for all of that. The question is, am I?

In her short life, I have stayed home, worked part time, worked full time, and moved 2600 miles. Maybe I should not be surprised that at just over 2, she seems so old. And of course there is the whole becoming a big sister soon thing. She wants a little sister. Named Bob.

So here I sit, while you sleep. I don't know where all of this will lead, when or how or if I will go back to working for a paycheck. How, exactly, I feel about all of it. For now, I have found my way home, and I am going to stay a while.