Thursday, May 29, 2008

i'm so excited because in the next week or two we are getting our house painted, which has been a loooooong awaited adventure... pretty much since we painted it when we moved in.... and we just bought this couch

we're in the market for pillow covers or fabric to make some, a rug and maybe a coffee table or side tables from a thrift store.... i'll post pictures when everything is done :)

cesarian sections and premature birth

my friend posted this article on her blog... and obviously i like it... check it out.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

sister bellie

so the other day ara was following me with her arms up saying 'bebe, bebe!' and i thought she just wanted me to pick her up (cause when she's usually talking about babies she calls them boo) so i was like 'one minute' and she got more frustrated yelling 'bebe! bebe!' and then i realized what she wanted and i said 'oh! you want the baby??' and she nodded and made a very very excited face... so i knelt down, she lifted up my shirt and hugged and kissed my belly....

then today she climbed into my lap and said 'bebe' and hugged and kissed my belly then pat it and said 'bebe nigh nigh' i was like 'oh is the baby night night?' and she nodded yes and said 'bebe nigh' and i said 'do you love the baby?' she made her bashful face and nodded yes..... its crazy how she somehow understands there's a baby there....

Saturday, May 24, 2008

music into marriage

there have been a couple instances lately concerning seth doing music that have finally brought me closure....

when we found out we were having another baby we decided that what would be best for our family as a whole would be seth not doing music full time like we had planned.. which was really hard because not only for the first time was i seriously feeling like i could handle it but he finally had a band together and was getting pumped and getting shows booked... we decided he would finish what was booked and do conerstone, then play shows that are close and maybe do some short like 1 or 2 week tours.... we decided that for the future a couple short tours a year would be the perfect compromise where he could still do what he loved but our family would be together and have a steady income.....

although it made so much sense it was really hard to see him sad and see him really let go of something he thought would always be a certain way. it wasnt that he was giving up the dream of music either, which is what was so weird, it was him giving up this idea in his head of music being the 'it' and the idea of full time tour as a lifestyle... it didn't take long for him to stop feeling sad, and he would say how he knew it was right all the time and how he was caught up in what he thought it was supposed to be like that there wasn't room for it to be different.... i felt better, but deep inside i still had that feeling that seemed it had been there since we got married, that i was the one keeping him from his 'calling'.... he was never the one to make me feel that way. he would say that he chose us and our family and that would chose that over and over... but since we had never had a compromise until this it always was either us or music.... at least this time there was a compromise, but i still felt like the thing he was losing was my fault.

then he went on the little 2 week tour they did and when he came home in the middle for a day he told me how hard it was to be away from ara and that he would totally feel like he was missing out on her life if he did tour full time.... that helped me feel a little bit better again....

but the other night is when i finally got my closure and felt peace. he went to a show of his friends downtown and afterwards he came home and said 'that was the first time i went to a show and felt like that is not what i want to do' (tour full time, not playing music) i was shocked. before every time he went to a show he'd say how he missed doing music. this time we just talked for a long time and he just said how he felt like the life he has is perfect our family, a way to make money and music can be for fun... we talked about how when he was younger touring forever seemed great cause he was a single guy, but now he wants our family..... this doesn't make a whole lot of sense... but basically it was the first time i really truly saw that he was at complete peace and he knew deep in his heart that we were in the right place and this was the best possible outcome that could have been, even the guys in the band were telling him how he was so lucky to be in the place he is. when you are married to a musician its like there is another person in your marriage.... i've heard so many people say music is the other woman, and it really is... until the two who are in that marriage can take control of it together and find where it fits into their live together, not where they can fit into music. this has been a 3 year long battle of trying to feel peace and feel like both of us were getting what we needed and what we wanted. it was the single big thing we fought about.... i never wanted to take it away from him, and he never wanted to make me live a life i didn't want.... to know that we have finally overcome this hurdle is a feeling i can't even describe....

and this feeling is something i have felt a lot in our marriage lately, its so full and so rich. i feel like my whole life is so full of love, learning, peace, hope, happiness, forgiveness, understanding.... and nothing in my life is more overflowing with these things than my marriage. i never knew something could be this good... i feel like we have really come to a new grown up place in our marriage, its not that super crazy newlywed romance, trying to get to know what marriage means, fights about stupid stuff and learning who we are together place anymore, not that that phase wasnt necessary and fun at times... now its a warm deep romance thats full of understanding and talking, we know what we have and who we are, we know we can take on anything and talk about anything without fear or fighting, a place where we can rest in knowing that whatever or who ever comes our way, as one, the two of us can take it on and overcome, and be better than before. i'm more in love with my best friend than i ever have been.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


seth's vespa got stolen. he's super sad... it was an old one he loved that he bought from a friend he loves very much, we rode it away from our wedding :(... it was broken and we kept meaning to get it fixed...i know it wont be the same but i'm gonna start a vespa fund for him to get a new one. if you would like to contribute.... message me. thanks :)

viva la vida

i dont know if anyone has listened to coldplay's new title track viva la vida... but its INSANE. me and seth (and i hear jason too) have been listening to it on repeat.. haa.... but when i listen to it i feel like 'no wonder i'm not passionate about hearing new music' because its never as good as things like this, and when i hear this i'm blown away and i dont even want to listen to other music after it. i'm not the kind to get super crazy about a band, but coldplay is the exception for me. they're geniuses and when people dont like their stuff i can't let it surprise me because this band is so far ahead there are lots of people who aren't ready for what they can do.
here's they lyrics, but if you can go listen to this song, and listen to it really loud.

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sweep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing:
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
Once you go there was never, never an honest word
That was when I ruled the world

It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in.
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become

Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter will call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter will call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

let me pencil you in

i made myself a 'chore chart' because i feel like my house is eternally un-clean (not messy, CLEAN) even though i am non stop cleaning... ahhh. so i decided to clean the house from top to bottom and organize a lot of spaces and then set up a schedule that is totally manageable but will keep our house clean all week long... it goes as follows

water flowers
sweep all floors

sweep all floors
mop all floors
completely clean kitchen

water flowers
sweep all floors

water flowers
sweep all floors
mop all floors
completely clean bathroom

water flowers
sweep all floors

grocery shopping

obviously this includes everyday doing the dishes, which i've been doing all day long or once in the morning and once when we go to bed so it never gets piled up... its cool because having this schedule makes everything soooo much faster and easier, just knowing what exactly i need to do that day makes it go by so fast, plus shopping saturday morning is so much better than during the week cause i usually let seth sleep in anyway and then he's here to help me bring it up... plus since i wake up early and in the morning ara is always just wanting to play with her toys alone, i get the assigned cleaning done, do any dishes there are and wipe down the kitchen counters and i have the rest of the day to do whatever i want... it feels so nice to constantly be walking on clean floors and to feel free to run other errands, do the laundry, just be with my friends, be able to help my friends and feel like everything else is already in place.... its a new life for me.

*my house is not very big so sweeping and mopping consists of like 20sq feet... ok maybe not that small, but very small.

Monday, May 19, 2008

velv elv

i just wanted to write on here to anyone that is interested in the things i've said about God or my relationship with him, or has felt the same way as things i have written that i want them to read velvet elvis... particularly chapter two... i love the whole thing so far, but chapter two is something i've felt inside for a long time and didn't know how to express... i really do feel like he's the first 'pastor' i have ever even remotely related to... and i relate to him a lot actually, i have related on most things except i am still not at a conclusion about whether or not jesus is God, which i dont think really matters anyway... i dont consider myself a christian, but i think aside from that i see religion and relationship and the bible a lot like he does. i love the freedom that being unsure brings. i am not sure of what is true, but there are things i choose to believe are true... very few things... but i feel very open because i feel like we are all wrong, we are all missing it and at the same time we are all getting parts of it and we are all speaking truth everyday and if we can understand that we need each other in order to find God and to find more and more of what is true, thats when we will really find it. we need people around us who dont agree with us, people who agree with us, we need people who understand us, people who dont but want to because that's what makes us grow and that's what shows us who God is. we can see God in a way we never could have on our own in another person because we are so different. i'm just really excited about this book because its the kind of christianity i find inspiring, whether i am a christian or not this kind of christianity inspires me.... there are kinds of faith in any religion that inspire me but it has been hard to find that for myself in christianity. ... i have no idea if i made one single distinct point in this or if i even made sense... there is so much in my mind. this is good.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

chap my ass

i am so outraged about a lot of the commercials for fast food and frozen dinners i've seen lately. they have some cute song playing in the back round with kids sitting down to eat and a mother bringing them frozen dinners while the narrator talks about how the chicken is all white meat and they have veggies... or the Macdonald's commercial where the adorable girl dresses up in her boa and gloves but her mom doesn't care what she wears, she only cares what goes in her tummy that's why she takes her to Macdonald's! its one thing to even promote the sale of such destructive food, even to make it seem healthy for adults who can make their own choices... but to use children in that way its unreasonable. it makes me so so so mad. i dont even have words to express this because it just infuriates me.....

Friday, May 16, 2008

who would even take the time to read this much? (besides you flo)

my friend and i were talking about how we dont get why people freak out about women having any amount of alcohol when they're pregnant but its no questions asked when putting narcotics into your body to make life easier for yourself. .... how does this make any sense? i get if you're completely opposed to both, but if you're to pick one that's safer to me the more reasonable thing is small amount of alcohol not a drug
that causes paralysis of your entire lower body, potentially forever, not to mention numerous complications etc. i guess i do get it... i mean i think it makes no sense but i could see thinking that way if all i knew was what doctors say... cause they act like alcohol will kill your baby but epidurals are "completely safe", when they have never been proven to be, in fact proven more often to be the opposite.

this is info from a frequently asked questions website about epidurals....

Research on the Effects of Epidural
The summary to follow in this FAQ is from a book: "Obstetric Myths versus Research Realities" by Henci Goer, pub. Bergin & Garvey, 1995 ISBN 0-89789-427-8. (send me email if you want ordering info - I love this book, but do not wish to abuse the net with advertisements!)

Ms. Goer has written medical pamphlets and magazine articles for 10 years, and is an ASPO (Lamaze) certified childbirth educator and labor support person (doula). She has read through the literature, given overviews and abstracts as well as the citations for those who wish to read the original research. She starts out with a section on how to understand the statistics and read the literature with an eye to a well-designed study. The amount of work in this book could only be appreciated by seeing it - I have included only a few of her citations and this is only one of many topics covered... This book was written for birth professionals, but a consumer-oriented version is coming soon (est. early 1999).

Here is the summary from the section on epidurals:

Epidurals substantially increase the incidence of oxytocin augmentation, instrumental delivery, and bladder catheterization. (21 studies cited) [Saunders, NJ, et al. "Oxytocin infusion ... primiparous women using epidural..." BMJ 1989;299:1423-1426]

In first-time mothers, epidurals substantially increase the cesarean rate for dystocia. (12 studies cited) [Thorp, JA, et al. "The effect of intrapartum epidural ..." Am J Ob Gyn, 1993;169(4):851-858]

Epidurals decrease the probability that a posterior or transverse baby will rotate. Oxytocin does not help. (7 studies)

Having an epidural at 5cm dilation or more eliminates both excess posterior/transverse and excess cesarean for dystocia. (2 studies)

Epidurals may not relieve any pain or may not relieve all pain. (3 studies)

Innovations in procedure - lower dosages, continuous infusion, adding a narcotic - have not decreased epidural related problems. (13 studies) [Naulty, JS. "Continuous infusions of local ..." (this is a literature review) Int. Anes. Clin. 1990;28(1):17-24]

Delaying pushing until the head has descended to the perineum increases the chances of spontaneous birth. (a time delay of 1 hour is not really delaying - it needs to be a positional not timed thing...) Evidence is divided as to whether letting the epidural wear off before pushing increases spontaneous delivery. (4 studies)

Maternal complications of epidurals include: [Uitvlugt, A. "Managing complications of Epidural Analgesia" International Anesthesia Clin. 1990;28(1):11-16]

* Maternal hypotension(5 studies). This reduces uteroplacental blood supply and can cause fetal distress. (8 studies)
* Convulsions (4 studies)
* Respiratory paralysis (3 studies).
* Cardiac Arrest (6 studies)
* Allergic Shock (2 studies)
* Maternal nerve injury due to needle injury, poor positioning, forceps injury, infection, hematoma, or subarachnoid injection of chloroprocaine. The last three usually cause permanent injury. (9 studies)
* Spinal headache (3 studies)
* Increased maternal core temperature. (2 studies)
* Temporary urinary incontinence. (1 study)
* Long-term backache (weeks to years), headache, migranes, numbness, or tingling. (2 studies)

Serious complications occur despite proper procedure and precautions. The epinephrine test dose can cause complications. (12 studies)

Epidural anesthetics "get" to the baby. (5 studies)

Epidurals do not protect the fetus from distress. In fact, they cause abnormal fetal heart rate, sometimes severe, which may occur with or independant of maternal blood pressure (11% - 43% depending on the study and type of medication used - the 43% was found with Bupivacaine, the most common drug for epidural.) (15 studies) [Stavrou C, et al. "Prolonged fetal bradycardia during epidural analgesia" S Afr Med J 1990;77:66-68]

Epidurals may cause neonatal jaundice. (2 studies) [Clark, DA & Landaw, SA. "Bupivacaine alters red blood cell ... jaundice associated with maternal anesthesia" Pediatr. Res. 1985; 19(4):341-343]

Epidurals may cause adverse neonatal behavioral and physical effects. (these are both direct effects and indirect effects from the increased rate of labor complications and interventions.) The importance of this is debated. (4 studies)

Epidural anesthesia may relieve hypertension, but hypertensive women are at particular risk of epidural-induced hypotension, which reduces placental blood supply. (2 studies)

the book's author is henci goer check it out.

and this is just many different opinions about what women do in europe... where overall people tend to be healthier, happier and less stressed....

Do European women give up drinking?
January 2004

I am currently pregnant with my second, and just as with my first, I am missing wine with dinner. I was so careful in my first pregnancy to avoid alcohol altogether, except for a very occasional sip. I always felt, though, and still do, that the prevailing no-amount-is-safe orthodoxy in this country is a little extreme, and probably inaccurate. I know that we have a number of European women in this network, and I would like to ask them about how drinking and pregnancy are viewed in Europe. I am especially curious about France and Italy where wine is so much a part of the dining experience. Do women in France and/or Italy stop drinking altogether when they get pregnant? Or do they continue to drink a glass of wine with dinner? What do French/Italian doctors and midwives tell their patients about drinking wine (or other alcohol) during pregnancy? How do French and Italian women view the no-alcohol-at-all approach in the U.S? Any French femmes out there with views to share?

I am an American who spent her first pregnancy in Paris. My OB was an American, though she had been there for quite a while. In my experience, the ''no-amount-is-safe orthodoxy'' you described is particularly American. At restaurants, waiters would be routinely surprised, even shocked, when I would pass on having a glass of wine, even when I was visibly (very visibly!) pregnant. In fact, a few times my OB even directed me to have a glass! During that pregnancy I drank wine fairly often (a couple of glasses a week? My memory is rusty), but I did not drink hard alcohol nor did I drink during the first trimester (but that part is just personal superstition, not based on medical evidence). I'm now pregnant again (in the Bay Area this time) and, although my opinion on the! subject hasn't changed, I've found that I drink less -- though it may simply be because we go out to dinner less frequently!
I am not a European mother, but I have been in the health information field for several years and I can tell you this: no health education or prenatal care expert will go on the record saying that any amount of alcohol during pregnancy is okay. Alcoholism is such a problem, and the effects of binge drinking so devastating, that the safe public health message is to abstain completely. No one knows what a ''safe'' amount of alcohol is either, as scientists are loathe to run those kinds of studies on pregnant women, for obvious reasons. Privately, you might get your obstetrician to say that a drink or two in the last trimester is okay, or don't worry about that Tom Collins you drank before you knew you were pregnant. Probably there is a big c! ultural difference in the approach to alcohol in pregnancy, between here and Europe, but it is based on true concern about problems caused by alcohol abuse in pregnancy. a health writer
I'm neither from Italy or France, but from Spain, where the wine culture is also very extended. The tendency I've seen while visiting pregnant and have heard from friends who leave there is that, in general, the attitude it more relaxed with regards to wine and other alcoholic beverages. I think the believe is that as long as it's not in excess and accompanied by food it won't harm the baby and it may help the future mom!

While I cannot give you the French view, here is my personal European perspective. I am German and spent the first few months of my pregnancy over there. ! ; I asked my very experienced OB/GYN (he's been caring for pregnant women for about 30 years) about alcohol. He thinks that there is no evidence that the occasional glass of wine harms the baby. His general recommendation about nutrition was to eat/drink what you really crave, and to leave out anything that you have to force yourself to take - with the following precautions as far as alcohol is concerned:

1. No regular drinking (i.e. every single day).

2. No binge drinking (i.e. having quite a few drinks in one session).

3. Not hard liquor; stick to wine or beer.

Having said that, a German friend of mine strongly craved wine throughout part of her pregnancy, and had a small glass of wine almost every night over dinner for quite a few weeks (I believe this must have been in the second trimester). Her little boy is gorgeous and perfectly healthy. I also have a friend who had a hard time calming down! and going to sleep during pregnancy. She had a glass of beer virtually every night before going to bed, deciding that sleepless nights or medication would be more harmful to the baby than the beer (her baby is also bright and healthy).

Most of my European friends probably went the moderate route I took. I cut back on my 'wine every night with dinner' habit but continued to have the occasional glass throughout my pregnancy. It's a very personal decision, and only you can decide what you are comfortable with. Whatever you choose, though, don't let others make you feel guilty!! Many women around the world drink some wine during pregnancy and have perfectly healthy babies. You clearly care, and you'll find the right middle ground that works for you and your baby.

Having just reviewed some of the literature on the effects of alcohol during pregnancy for the pediatric theory class I teach to nurse practitioners students, I would have to say that drinking during pregnancy is a very bad idea. They are still studying this issue and there may be periods of increased susceptibility, or genetic susceptibility, but they don't know enough to say how these variations affect the fetus. There was an article about this research in the NYT a few months back. You might want to go back and read it. I was surprised to learn how small amounts of alcohol can have subtle, but nasty, effects on some fetuses, see citation below:

''Adverse behavioral effects in children exposed prenatally to risk levels as well as low and moderate levels of alcohol have been reported by many researchers. Neonatally, habituation to stimuli (lessening of response to repetitive stimuli) was most affected and at 8 months, significant effects were observed by using! the Bayley Mental Developmental Index and Pyschomotor Developmental Index scales (global scales of infant behavioral functioning). 17 Furthermore, infants have longer reaction times when exposed prenatally to low to moderate levels of alcohol. 18....These findings suggest that alcohol teratogenesis can affect academic and social functioning even with prenatal alcohol exposure at social drinking levels.''

Sokol, Robert J. MD. Delaney-Black, Virginia MD, MPH. Nordstrom, Beth PhD. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. JAMA. 290(22):2996- 2999, December 10, 2003

''Fetal alcohol exposure (even at ''social drinking'' levels) is associated with developmental difficulties in adolescence that are consistent with problems seen earlier in life. Clinicians should understand the potential role prenatal alcohol exposure plays in behavioral and cognitive problems'' J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Phsychiatry, 1997, 36(9):1187-1194.

I'm not European (sorry!) but I am an epidemiologist and toxicologist. We obsess about finding the lower limit of toxicity/effect. Yes the research says that one drink a day is within the acceptable limits but we are notoriously poor at measuring things in people who vary so greatly. Believe me, the epidemiology is not that good. I say, why take a chance? that is your child. Buy some pomagranate juice or the best grape juice you can find and get some peace of mind.

Hi! I'm French, just returned to France after a year in Berkeley. I've never stopped drinking a little wine with dinner during my 3 pregnancies, and I felt OK with that. Important for me was not to drink without a meal, no strong alcohol, only wine (French wines have less alcohol that Californian wines)a! nd never more that one small glass. I was a little more careful when nursing my baby than when I was pregnant.

I think the no-alcohol rule is reasonable, but I don't feel like being reasonable all the time, it's important to be happy !

As an American mom who enjoys a glass of wine with dinner -- or two ... or even three ;^) --as much as any of those bon vivant French femmes out there, here's my unofficial & personal opinion for which the Berkeley Parents Network cannot be held legally responsible or liable: Hold off until after the first trimester, then go ahead & uncork that lovely merlot & sip in moderation. Since you'll only be having one small glass with dinner, do consider treating yourself & upgrading to a finer-than-usual vintage. I did do a bit of research on the wine & pregnancy issue. It's hard to find information on this since doctors, nurses, midwives, & publishers of pregnancy information *have* to stick to the ''no amount is safe during pregnancy'' orthodoxy for legal as well as professional reasons. Since nobody knows the exact point at which alcohol consumption crosses the line from harmless to posing a hazard to the baby's development, it's better to err on the side of caution & try to avoid negative outcomes & the accompanying potential for lawsuits. However, it really *is* better to avoid alcohol & other potentially harmful environmental factors (paint fumes, dangerous falls, serious illnesses, etc.) during the first trimester, because that's when the baby's central nervous system & other vital organs begin developing. Those four margaritas you quaffed before you knew you were pregnant are probably okay though (as long as this isn't a normal habit), since humans are pretty resilient & it takes a week or so for the egg to implant in your uterus & begin sharing your blood supply.

You can also find more honest & open perspectives on email newsgroups like this one & online message boards hosted by medical & women's Web sites.

I got pregnant while we were traveling in Italy in 2001. We had friends in Milan who arranged for me to visit their OB, and it was very interesting. He scoffed at the idea of having to give up wine, and said that a glass at lunch or dinner was fine. However, he was very concerned that I understand the widespread problem of toxiplasmosis in Italy, due to the number of feral cats in the fields where produce was growing. He told me to absolutely avoid rare meats and uncooked vegetables--no salad! (He also had a very fancy ultrasound machine with two viewing screens, so that my husband could watch the results sitting at a desk rather than leaning over me at the examining table. And he gave us a video of the ultrasound! But it was in the European video format, so we never watched it.)

Here's an affirmative response re: alcohol while pregnant. In both my pregnancies, I had episodes of strong early contractions, and guess what? My doctors (two different practices) both times suggested that I lie down and have a glass of wine or two. Of course I was very apprehensive about this. But they assured me that it was safe and might very well help slow down the contractions. In both cases, I was past the first trimester, and in both cases they also urged me to make sure that I was well-hydrated. So I think it's safe within reason, but I should also clarify that I never had more than a glass or so of wine a week. My kids show no ill effects (and neither was born early).

I'm sure you will get lots of comments on this one! Wine has been an important mutual interest for my husband and I for more than 20 years ! (wine groups, vacations to wine regions, collecting, etc.). During my first pregnancy, I had maybe 3-4 SIPS of wine the entire pregnancy. My second pregnancy I had a heart to heart with my OB (tops in the field) and asked whether it would be truly harmful if I occasionally had a 1/2 glass of wine with dinner. My OB said that her insurance wouldn't allow her to say it was okay, but in fact especially after the first trimester, a little wine with dinner wasn't going to do any harm. A pediatric MD friend of mine agreed. My European friends say that their doctors allow up to TWO GLASSES per day!! Personally, I was very happy to be able to have a half glass now and then. It certainly added to my quality of life during my pregnancy and while I undertand the dangers of fetal alchohol syndrome - its beyond belief that an occassional glass of wine with food after the first trimester could do harm. The syndrome w! as associated with alcoholic or heavy drinking women but given that a link was made between alcohol and birth issues, the medical community (really, the insurance companies) began preaching a ''zero tolerance'' rule. On the other hand, I did completely give up shellfish during my pregnancies!! By the way, both of my children were born totally healthy!

I stayed away from absolutely everything when I was pregnant the first time. However, when I went into early labor, I was given a combination of drugs to stop the labor that were horrible. When the same thing happened with my second pregnancy, my new O.B. told me to go home and drink a glass of wine. I was surprised, and she pointed out that the glass of wine was far less harmful to the baby than the combination of drugs I had been given to stop labor the last time. I continued to drink a glass of wine, or a beer, almost daily for the rest of my pregnancy, which not only prevented my early labor, but also tasted good, too! BTW, my babies were both over 8 pounds, and as healthy as could be. I would say that certainly in your last trimester, there is no medical reason w! hy you can not have a glass of wine here and there. For the record, ask you O.B. Mine (who is very well respected) said it was fine.
My wonderful OB told me that I could have a drink a day, more or less, when I told him I missed my after-work glass of wine or beer. Both my sons are big, bright, handsome fellows. I didn't have a drink every day, but many days I did have one. I suppose no alcohol is a good goal, but the level of puritanism now tied to pregnancy is sort of out of hand, IMHO. Use your noggin -- that's all it is.

I found the attitude to drinking while pregnant in this country to be a bit silly. I am British and the general consensus in the UK is that it is perfectly fine to have a few glasses of wine per week, but o! f course, that binge drinking should be avoided. While I was pregnant I encountered women here who were rude enough to criticise me when I drank in public. I find this very offensive, and puzzling too, given that many of the same women were perfectly happy to take drugs during childbirth! Incidentally, I gave birth to a very healthy nine pound baby, so I say go ahead and enjoy your glass of wine!
Here's a voice from Italy. Our doctors recommend moderation with alcohol, however an occasional glass a of wine at meals is OK. I was living in Scotland when I got pregnant and there the rule was maximum 1 unit of alcohol per day (1 unit= a glass of wine or a pint of beer!). It always seemed like a lot of alcohol to me and since it didn't appeal to me while pregnant I avoided it altogether for the first trimester, but I had a half a glass of wine a few times during the rest of the pregnancy.

While I was pregnant I had a pregnancy book from the U.S., Canada and France. Interestingly they said different things about alcohol. The U.S. book recommended to completely stop drinking alcohol, the Canadian book said that once in a while wine was fine and the French book suggested that one glass of wine a day is fine but to watch out for hard liquor. So I made up my own rule of one glass of wine a day on the weekend only.

Both my children were born in Europe - one in Switzerland, the other in Belgium - where the extreme precautions taken in America are viewed as exactly that. Of course I asked my OB/GYN in both countries about wine during pregnancy (and hair coloring as well - go ahead, but perh! aps wait until after the first trimester) and was told to enjoy a glass of wine, if I wished, with my dinner. As long as I was in otherwise good health and the pregnancy was going well, there were no major precautions given (obviously a glass of wine is different than a gin and tonic - use your judgement!). No raw fish, no soft cheeses (Brie and the like) - and that was it (one will often see French and Belgian women enjoying Steak Americaine/Steak Tartare, a popular dish consisting of finely minced raw steak mixed with raw egg and capers - a health nightmare for us cautious Americans!!!). Take my doctors' advice and enjoy your glass of wine - of course stop at one, and drink a glass of water with it perhaps, but there is no reason to avoid it completely. In Denmark they might tell you red wine is good for your breastmilk; in Belgium, dark beer! I enjoyed a glass of wine when I felt like it and both my children were b! orn healthy and enormous. Be prudent about your consumption and enjoy your pregnancy!!!!

my American-born cousin who has lived in Italy all her adult life says beer is great for breast milk production and they believe it helps with colic. For pregnancy she said you don't want to drown the baby but a glass or so of wine is considered normal in her region, she lives in the town of Perugia (1 or 2 glasses of wine may in fact be considered none at all.) I am not European but have several friends and family members who are, and I did drink occasionally during my pregnancy. I don't think I felt like it in the first trimester, but after that I would have a half glass of wine occasionally and on a handful of occasions had a full glass. A good friend of mine is European and is now the head of the pediatric clinical education program at Cornell University, as well as the mother of two children. Her opinion is that drinking in moderation is absolutely fine. My daughter was 9 plus pounds and was completely healthy at birth, and she's now 19 months and has met every developmental milestone early. The thing that I found surprising was that even after you have the baby the sanctimonious attitude continues. Although there have ! been no reliable studies showing that moderate drinking has a negative impact on breastfed babies, and even a few studies that show the opposite, you will read in many U.S. baby books that you should not drink ANYTHING while breastfeeding. Once again, I have drunk in moderation since having our daughter, who is still breastfed, and I have not noticed any impact on her. A mom who believes in everything in moderation

When my sister-in-law was pregnant in France, she was told to limit herself to a glass of wine with meals, no more than 2 cups of coffee, and no more than 5 cigarettes. Recommendations for baby care are different too. Those recommendations have a cultural basis, not just a scientific one. In all probability, the greatest health risk to drinking an occasional glass of wine during pregnancy is that someone might see you drinking it and attack you. Still, I w! anted to mention the information about smoking, since I suspect many people in this area would have a very different reaction to a pregnant woman smoking 5 cigarettes/day. Jennifer

I've also read the NYT article and other reports on the latest research on alcohol and pregnancy. It's reported that alcohol, even a very small amount, can actually cause more damage in the baby's brain than drugs. If you wouldn't do drugs ''occasionally'' or ''just a small amount'' while you're pregnant, you certainly wouldn't want to drink alcohol either. It's probably better to be on the safe side and not drink, for just 9 months. Chris

Regardless of what doctors here or in Europe advise, they can't guarantee everything that goes on inside our bodies. Ultimately, we are responsible for our bodies and their intake. Please ask you! rself if you want to risk guilt, if something goes wrong and live with the feeling that something may not have happened "if only you did something differently". I'm actually not much of a disciplined person myself, but when I was pregnant I considered it an honor and chose to change my nutrition from one day to the next (in practice of learning how to serve my baby's needs - not a bad time to start) and as soon as I had my entire body back to myself, I went back to wine, beer, french fries and the occasional junk food. (I guess, it also helped in just gaining 30+ lbs instead of 50-60). I just knew I had given it my best intentions and the rest was up to fate - I was at peace with that. another European mom

I appreciate the diversity of opinions expressed regarding drinking while pregnant. I am concerned that in the responses it would seem that the main danger to exposing a fetus! s to alcohol is fetal alcohol syndrome which may sound extreme to folks who do not have a great deal of information. There are many other possible devastating outcomes: in my family of origin, one of my siblings ended up with the condition of hydrocephalus which translates to a whole variety of health problems, not the least of which is life long developmental disability. Was this due to my mother's drinking while pregnant? While I cannot say for sure, there is much evidence (both anecdotal and from medical professionals)to suggest that the drinking was a primary cause. This has impacted our family immeasurably, both in direct ways (the life long care for my sibling, for instance) as well as the less tangible ground swells of unspoken guilt and blame.

When I was pregnant, I read the literature carefully and determined that a very few glasses of wine in my final trimester would be acceptable. My baby is healthy and fine- but I think it is imperative that women know as much as possible about the dangers- and that for those nine months, what we don't know (and after reading the variety of responses, it is clear that we do not know definitively)can have devastating effects. I would urge- no matter what evidence you have from other cultures- that you make a glass of wine the rare exception until your body is no longer the nest of the growing baby. anon

and i think this is the article they are all talking about in the new york times, but i can't be sure....

either way, there's not much research on drinking lightly while pregnant and even if there is, its up for grabs... but there is a lot about epidurals.... more than what's on this blog if you want it.... anyway, so silly.

all i can do is ask for your help

it has come to my attention in the recent months that trader joes has taken a dive for the worst. they are the kind of store that chooses what they keep in their store based on how much the public buys and lately they're discontinuing ALL my favorites, (ie whole grain tortelloni gorgonzola pasta, brown rice medley, whole grain bean and cheese burritos for lunch on the go... ), which i guess means the consumers have taken a dive for the worst ha. ive asked them about this and i guess the public would rather buy the white flour options and its stressing me out... i was so happy to finally find fresh pasta that's whole grain and sooooo delicious with the gorgonzola... now they only have white pasta and most of them have meat in them... i was so happy to find a lunch on the go that was fresh, not frozen and whole grain with freshly made salsa... now the only other option is white flour tortillas and meat... and soooooooooo happy to find the brown rice medley.. there is nothing like that texture in a rice... anyway, after investigation i have come to find that on my own i can do absolutely NOTHING. so the only way that there is even a possibility of those things coming back or hopefully stopping more of my favorites from disappearing is to ask all of you around here to ask them to keep more whole grain things in their store and buy whole grain things... they said if this stuff is requested enough they will order it again...

lets try this again....

we have a new strategy ....

(this post was from yesterday and she LOVES her bed and it helped her sleep later this morning, i think she was waking up early cause she'd get cold by the morning and not keep any blanket on... she has warm jammies but the heater doesn't get her room that warm.... but on this bed she keeps her blanket on. she just wants to climb into it and lay down all the time)

Saturday, May 10, 2008


one of my oldest, actually i think definitely my oldest friend, got married today. when she told me she was getting married i was a little shocked and i wouldn't say 'worried' but yea kinda worried... it was just so fast, not that i didn't get married fast... which probably made me that much more worried because i know how hard it can be when its done fast... anyway as time went on and the wedding got closer i just started to feel peace about it and then today as i was helping her get ready i just felt soooo happy for her and so excited for her... their wedding was so beautiful, and it wasn't anything the pastor said, it was just seeing the truth in their eyes, the sincerity and love in their hearts.... they meant what they said... i go to lots of weddings and i always think 'ok, this is nice' but that's about it... but her wedding just reminded of the amazing splendor that marriage really is and how wonderful it is to see two people in love vow their hearts and trust to each other in front of all the people who love them, to hear them speak those words just reminded me of how strong and beautiful marriage can be... to watch two people say to each other that no matter what happens and how hard it gets they the only thing that matters is that they want each other, they love that other person... deep inside, they know who they are and that's why they want to promise to be with them, support them, forgive them, take care of them forever. carissa and i used to lay in her bed and talk about when we'd get married someday and have kids, how our kids would be friends, all those girl things. carissa always dreamed so much of being in love and i'm just beyond thankful that she has found that love. i'm so happy for her.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

if you ever told me to read velvet elvis...

thank you.

there were a lot of you.

seth and i have made it our 'potty book' and both of us feel like we have found our soulmate.

its so good to finally feel understood, yea he doesn't know me, but i can tell by what he writes that he would understand me, because its exactly the things i've been thinking and saying all this time. its like a huge sigh of relief for me, just to feel like i'm not alone.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

i've got a question for anyone and everyone

this is going to be a little graphic... so if you can't handle poop talk, dont read this and you probably should also never hang out with me.. hahah.... but seriously...

so ever since i started eating really healthy i've been able to see almost everything i eat in my poop, i've tried to look this up online but no one has answers and i haven't even seen anyone saying it happens to them. when i say i can see what i eat i'm not talkin the occasional bean or piece of corn its like if i eat chocolate cake one night, the next morning LITERALLY my poop is the SAME texture as chocolate cake, and a lot of times the same color, its so close i want to take a picture because i really dont think people understand just from me telling them (but its shit, so i dont). its sooooooo weird. i see peppercinis, salmon, spinach.... i dont know if this means i'm getting what i need and the rest is getting passed or if it means i have bad digestion.... the thing is, when my poop is like this i feel great, i'm poopin a lot and fast and i feel healthy and good, plus my poop looks exactly like dr. oz says it should, only with stuff in it.... so i dont really worry about it too much, but since its been like this for so long and anyone who i've told thinks its super insane i thought maybe i should look into it a little. i wouldn't pay money to go see a naturopath or doctor unless something else was going wrong, and the internet had no answers... so i'm asking you. does anyone else have this issue or does anyone have info about it that i dont?


so myspace had to delete my photo i just put up of arabella with her diaper... i dont really get why because it was the same as if there was a picture of her IN a diaper (which there are many of on my myspace) since i censored it, its kind of ridiculous when they can keep sick girls taking pictures of themselves with gnarly cleave or no clothes except tiny tiny pieces of crap covering their nipples, not to mention whatever the hell that 'booty shakin' video is on the enter page.... but some idiot must have 'reported' it.... to whoever did... LAME.

Monday, May 5, 2008

i'm awesome

i got inspired while talking to flo today because she was making chili and since i'm not eating dairy i especially wanted to have some good beans and rice.... so i went to the store and got some things i needed and i made a recipe for vegetarian chili and it was AWESOME. plus i made homemade whole wheat corn bread because we always want cornbread with chili but its sooooo bad from a box.... anyway mine was awesome it wasn't as sweet and it didn't have that chemical after taste.

my chili had... (all my recipes for dinner are just ingredients, no measurements)
diced tomatoes
half a can of tomato paste
kidney beans and pinto beans
brown and wild rice
bell pepper
veggie broth
chili powder
salt and pepper

corn bread (i'm still going to eat eggs cause i dont think they make me feel bad)
1 cup corn meal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup soy milk
1/3 cup veg oil
1 egg

mix the dry, mix the wet, add them together bake for 20 mins on 400.

it was sooooo good. i really feel like its hard to find a really good vegetarian chili so i'm super super excited that i made this one. it will definitely be repeated.


so when i was sick i was only eating veggie soup with tofu everyday and only like one bowl, just because most of the day i was asleep and also i felt like crap so i wasn't very hungry.... anyway first of all my stomach COMPLETELY shrunk not only on the outside (i lost somewhere between 2-5 lbs) but the amount i eat also.... plus since the whole week i ate absolutely no dairy, the first time i ate dairy i got sick and ended up having the weirdest stomach ache i've ever had and diarrhea for the next two days. i wasn't sure what exactly it was at first because it didn't feel like morning sickness but it didn't feel like i was sick... anyway i finally felt better when i ate some thai food with no dairy in it and ever since then anytime i eat ANY dairy, like a tiny bit of butter on toast i feel sick, and its this weird sick that i used to feel anytime i had like a glass of milk and then took a nap but i have never felt it just eating a tiny bit of dairy without falling asleep.. i dont know if this whole blog makes sense because i'm on the phone with flo while typing this... anyway all this to say, i think i have to be a vegan now which is kind of stressful because it will be even harder to get enough protein, which is especially important while i'm pregnant cause low protein can lead to Preeclampsia.....