Friday, December 14, 2007

Another Reason Formula Sucks

Yeah, we all know 'breast is best' etc etc and that formula is a 'perfectly fine' alternative (well, no, the WHO says it's fourth on the list of baby nutrition options), and we know that there are some things that breastmilk offers that formula never can....and here's another thing that formula offers that thankfully breast milk never will! If you've ever read the ingredient list on a can of formula, you'd wonder why so many people think it's 'the next best thing'. I just don't understand why anyone would rather feed that crap than breastmilk....breastmilk never gets recalled :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Real Men Wear Babies

Scroll down for the most horrifying yet adorable babywearing picture I have ever seen!

Question of the Day

How come I can fit into a size 10/medium pant, but for 'control undergarments' I need an XL?!

I don't know why the comment function was de-activated, but it is back now :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thought for the Day

Kindness is a gift anyone can give; and everyone needs.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

We Survived!!

We survived our first kid's birthday party!! On Friday (Nov 16), we had Lucy's birthday party. We had bought a pack of 10 invitations, and started filling them out when we realized that there are 11 other girls in the class besides Lucy. So, do we only invite senior kindergarten girls? But Lucy sits at a table with several juniors. And if we invite those kids, how does she decide among the others? So we invited all eleven; hoping that a few wouldn't be able to come on a Friday night--it was a PD Day (day off school) so I thought some kids might go away or something.

Only one girl could not come!

So, 11 girls, aged 3 (almost 4) to almost 6, plus Megan, and Huey, and Johnathon, the boy next door. Whew. It started off a little wild, with the girls all chasing each other through the racetrack of our downstairs layout. One girl was nervous, one girl wanted to see Lucy's bedroom, and one girl would only stay if her mother did (this was NOT her first party). The other girls all knew this mother, Kelly, cause she helps in the cloakroom alot. She helped here a lot too!!

It was supposed to be a non-sleepover pajama party. I cleaned up the basement, and we put up the big tent, and I had planned for them to have pizza and cake down there, but Rob said no. He wanted to bring in the outside table and put that up in the family room. He realized he couldn't get it through the door though. Just as well, cause the girls were much more active than I thought they would be!! I also wasn't expecting that some of the girls wouldn't join in the group, and that many just wanted to play with the toys that I had 'hidden' in the other room. LOL.

Lucy's cake was the showpiece. I had planned to make a 13x9 pan, and cut off some of it to serve for Megan's birthday on Saturday. But when we went to Bulk Barn to get stuff for the pinata, we decided to rent a Cinderella cake pan. It's a $20 deposit and $1.99 per day fee. I baked it Thursday morning before taking Huey to school (Megan had been getting up early all week), and started decorating it that afternoon. I finished around 3pm on Friday!

Mmmm, the bodice of the dress looked lighter than that. Here's the picture that came with the pan:

My lettering is a little uneven, but so is most of the girl's at the party! Do you know how confused I got cause the picture is reversed to the layout of the cake?!

The eyelashes and pupils were supposed to be black, but I was forking out the money for the proper Disney Princess dye set so I didn't want to buy black as well. The skin colour is called Copper and was way too peachy. I think I should have smoothed her lipstick like the instructions said, LOL.

Lucy got upset when Megan blew out the candles while we were singing! There was only two small pieces left at the end. So, now you know, Cinderella can easily feed 13 young kids, LOL.

No one threw up, only one girl cried, no one smashed the wall during the pinata (they have pull ribbons now), and amazingly, not one cup of juice was spilled! So I guess it was a success. The great thing was Saturday morning though. Huey and Lucy played for hours quietly in their room!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Why Can't You Own a Canadian?

Why Can't I Own a Canadian?
October 2002

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a east coast resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted fan,

Possible Source

I got a call from the Public Health Department today about the Giardia and where it might have come from. The most likely source was probably from one of the farms when we did the farm tour at the end of September. I didn't touch the animals too much but at the dairy farm there were some baby cows out in their igloos. The farmer girl was talking to people, and one of the calves was sucking away on her whole hand. Megan and/or I got slimed a bit I think. Ick. We also bought corn on the cob from our regular roadside seller; it's possible it was contaminated from manure....although corn gets boiled for 7 minutes and if you're supposed to boil water for 3 minutes when camping I think 7 would also work, LOL.

Still having some pain today. The diarrhea has changed but my poops still float (giardia blocks the absorption of fat so it all comes out in the poop!).

I went to band practice last night. I got cornered by the director who asked if I had gone to school in town ".......or where did I study music?....." so I had to fess up and say I had indeed studied at university. I was hoping to be a big slacker in this group. In the Guelph Concert Band, the repertoire was very challenging and slacking was not possible. But this group is more at the advanced high school level, and as the director is a high school music teacher too, I thought there'd be a million flute players like usual.
But no....there's a grade 11/12 girl and her aunt (average), and a young boy (grade 8?) who seemed a little different and I found out last night he came to Canada from Russia only a couple years ago. Can't tell from his speech, but when the sign up sheet came around, he had to take it to his father, and sometimes he doesn't seem to understand some directions. He's a very early beginner player though and most of the music is too hard for him, but he's trying. And last night there was another grade 10 student, but she wasn't outstanding.
I've been reflecting back to when I was in grade 10 and I would have played my buns off to get a good position/chair and this music wouldn't have been too difficult. But then again, I'd practice at least two hours/day. It was surprising though how I could seem to be so good at one level, but once I got to university (and not even the top music school in Ontario by far), I was way down the ladder. And where are those players today? Not too many who graduated with a B.Mus have careers in music.....Anyway, it's fun being back in a concert band, even if I don't get to slack off and he wants me to be a pillar of timing, tuning, and articulation, LOL. I was feeling pretty beat by the time we finished last night!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Last week was hell. I went to the doctor's on Tuesday, Oct 30 and that's when she said my liver function was high. I complained about now feeling feverish and chilled. The next day I woke with a whopping sinus infection on top of my tummy troubles. Thursday was horrific; I spent the day on the couch (snuggled with Megan who was also oozing green snot), watching TreehouseTV because I couldn't get myself together enough to get the kids to school. I went to bed early on Friday and Saturday morning my tummy felt okay while I manned the table at the "Stiches and Chain" show that the Georgetown group put on at the library gallery. But Saturday night was terrible and Sunday and Monday weren't too much better. Rob got a little ticked last night when I mentioned I had a sinus infection (like, couldn't he tell from my voice? and the piles of green tissues?). So this morning, when the diarrhea started again I gave in and called the doctor again and was able to get an appointment this morning!

She genuinely felt bad for me, which was nice to see. Pity when you're sick won't cure anything, LOL, but when a medical person says "You've had it really rough" you feel somehow like you're getting good care.

It turns out I have Giardia. Yup, beaver fever. But also can be caught in public pools and food sources--the parasites can survive even the chlorination of city water supplies! It blocks the absorption of fat, resulting in the horrifically smelling gas and diarrhea. I'll be on antibiotics for 10 days and will still feel sick and 'unwell' for at least two weeks (so much for going to the Royal Winter Fair again). My stomach will need several months to heal and I need to avoid dairy. Many people become lactose intolerant after Giardia.

So, it's not Crohn's Disease, and it's not viral, and it's not even bacterial I think. Hopefully my Giardia are not anti-biotic resistant which is becoming a big issue with them. And hopefully I can keep this weight loss off!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Stomach Story Part Two

So, I took the six doses of anti-biotics and was feeling much better. I did get a call from my dr's office that she wanted to see me about the bloodwork. I made the appointment for yesterday (Oct 30). On Sunday (October 28), I had diarrhea again. But on Monday and Tuesday I felt strangely constipated. I still have no appetite. My biggest concern is that my symptoms match Crohn's Disease--an Irritable Bowel Disease; which is common with Ankylosing Spondialysis--the type of arthritis I think I have.

So the doc felt my tummy, it didn't hurt this time, and said my liver results were high, probably from being dehydrated. She thinks it's viral but if it doesn't clear out soon, she thinks I should have a colonoscopy and she wanted some more bloodwork done.

I pretty much scratched Crohn's off the list on Monday night as Huey was quite sick with diarrhea! Then, on Tuesday morning, he threw up. The doc looked at him too, he had no fever and no pain when she felt his tummy (despite having had tummy pains on the weekend). For the rest of the afternoon, we drove around, went to the lab but it was closed, went to the bulk food store where he suddenly perked up, especially after a handfull of candy corn. We dropped off a bag of baby hats (including two pumpkin hats) to the hospital, and went up to Camilla Valley Farm for some yarn. By the time we got Lucy he was fine, and after school we cleaned out the pumpkin guts, but I could feel myself getting worse.

But not worse in the tummy way! A cold or something was settling in. Monday night I was hot and cold and had bizarre scary dreams--very unusual for me. Tuesday morning I still was fluctuating hot and cold. By the time Rob came home Megan was clearly sick with a runny nose and the two of us were flaked out on the couch. Rob took Huey and Lucy to the school Fall Fair, and Megan fell asleep on the couch. I vegged, sweated, talked to my Ma, shivered, watched TV, etc until bedtime. It was not a good sleep, and I slept in this morning and Huey was late for school. He didn't eat all his breakfast.
Once home, I was trying to take some vitamins and my meds, when I started having trouble drinking the cold water. I started gagging and then throwing up. And up. And up. That's so odd for me. I so rarely do that, but that's the second time this year! I think the anti-nausea medication on the ship must have really helped keep me from puking! For awhile after that I felt worse, but now I'm feeling not bad, except for this cold. So hopefully I am getting better--or at least my stomach is.

Stomach Story Part One

(Totally copied from my knitting blog, so if you read it there, skip to part two!)

Over (Canadian) Thanksgiving, I became ill---nausea, stomach pains, and then the lovely diarrhea. I RARELY get issues like that. On October 4th, I had an eye exam, and the usual drops to dialate my eyes. But they took forever before they began to contract again (the drops went in around 2:40 and at 6:30 I was still very dialated) and I was getting nauseous--from the extra sun, I thought.
Thanksgiving Monday was really bad, but then I felt better for a few days. But on the Thursday, it all came back. We had to leave for the airport at 2:30AM Saturday Oct. 13 (we were going to leave at 3AM but Rob forgot to pay the hydro bill). I was nauseous and couldn't eat.Over the week, I was all shades of green. The diarrhea would come and go, slowed by Imodium which I hated using but I wanted to enjoy our trip!
But by the time we got back on Saturday, there was no stopping it. I couldn't eat, or drink, and could feel myself getting dehydrated. I'm usually a big water drinker, so I was feeling BAD.
Yesterday I got in to see the doctor, who thinks it's a bacterial gastrointeritis. Similiar to a 'stomach flu' but bacteria instead of viral. I guess viruses have fairly short lifespans (well, except for HPV and HIV), and bacteria love to multiply. I took one antibiotic late Monday night and one Tuesday morning, and had NO bowel action until about 4:45pm on Tuesday! I'm less nauseous, and most importantly, I can get fluids down again.I'm the only person I know to go on a cruise and lose weight. But my clothes are still tight; I guess from bloating (oh, the gas has been horrible. Totally horrible. Imagine my fear with a 3hr plane flight?).

Monday, October 29, 2007

Which Would You Rather Have?

This was published two years ago, but is even more relevant now. Hearing about young adults with shingles is becoming very common, but I was stunned to hear that a 6 year old boy in Huey's class had the shingles!

Chicken pox vaccine associated with shingles epidemic
Medical Research News
Published: Thursday, 1-Sep-2005
New research published in the International Journal of Toxicology (IJT) by Gary S. Goldman, Ph.D., reveals high rates of shingles (herpes zoster) in Americans since the government's 1995 recommendation that all children receive chicken pox vaccine.
Goldman's research supports that shingles, which results in three times as many deaths and five times the number of hospitalizations as chicken pox, is suppressed naturally by occasional contact with chicken pox.

Dr. Goldman's findings have corroborated other independent researchers who estimate that if chickenpox were to be nearly eradicated by vaccination, the higher number of shingles cases could continue in the U.S. for up to 50 years; and that while death rates from chickenpox are already very low, any deaths prevented by vaccination will be offset by deaths from increasing shingles disease. Another recent peer-reviewed article authored by Dr. Goldman and published in Vaccine presents a cost-benefit analysis of the universal chicken pox (varicella) vaccination program.

Goldman points out that during a 50-year time span, there would be an estimated additional 14.6 million (42%) shingles cases among adults aged less than 50 years, presenting society with a substantial additional medical cost burden of $4.1 billion.

This translates into $80 million annually, utilizing an estimated mean healthcare provider cost of $280 per shingles case.

After a child has had varicella (chickenpox), the virus becomes dormant and can reactivate later in adulthood in a closely related disease called shingles--both caused by the same varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It has long been known that adults receive natural boosting from contact with children infected with chicken pox that helps prevent the reactivation of shingles.

Based on Dr. Goldman's earlier communications with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Goldman maintains that epidemiologists from the CDC are hoping "any possible shingles epidemic associated with the chickenpox vaccine can be offset by treating adults with a 'shingles' vaccine." This intervention would substitute for the boosting adults previously received naturally, especially during seasonal outbreaks of the formerly common childhood disease.

"Using a shingles vaccine to control shingles epidemics in adults would likely fail because adult vaccination programs have rarely proved successful," said Goldman. "There appears to be no way to avoid a mass epidemic of shingles lasting as long as several generations among adults."
Goldman's analysis in IJT indicates that effectiveness of the chickenpox vaccine itself is also dependent on natural boosting, so that as chickenpox declines, so does the effectiveness of the vaccine.

"The principal reason that vaccinees in Japan maintained high levels of immunity 20 years following vaccination was that only 1 in 5 (or 20%) of Japanese children were vaccinated," he said. "So those vaccinated received immunologic boosting from contact with children with natural chickenpox. But the universal varicella vaccination program in the U.S. will nearly eradicate this natural boosting mechanism and will leave our population vulnerable to shingles epidemics."

For decades it was thought shingles increased with age as older individuals' immune systems declined. However, Goldman's new research shows this phenomenon seemed primarily due to the fact that older people received fewer natural boosts to immunity as their contacts with young children declined.

Gary S. Goldman, Ph.D. served for eight years as a Research Analyst with the Varicella Active Surveillance Project conducted by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LACDHS). The project was funded by the CDC.

About Gary S. Goldman, Ph.D.: Currently serves as Founder and Editor-in- Chief of the peer-reviewed medical journal Medical Veritas ( Has recently authored five manuscripts concerning varicella, herpes zoster, and capture-recapture published in the European journal called Vaccine.

Research published in the International Journal of Toxicology, 24(4):205-213, Universal Varicella Vaccination: Efficacy Trends and Effect on Herpes Zoster. Also, Vaccine, 23(25):3349-3355, Cost-benefit analysis of universal varicella vaccination in the U.S. taking into account the closely related herpes zoster epidemiology.

I found this report on Children of God for Life; a fairly militant pro-life/anti-vax website. While I don't support much of the website, it has an interesting perspective on vaccines--particularly the ones (13 at present) that are cultured onto aborted human fetal tissue. No matter what your 'pro-life/anti-choice/pro-abortion/pro-choice' stance, it's still something to think about.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cruising and Food

This came in an email newsletter Rob signed up for when we were cruise shopping. The Freedom of the Seas is basically the same ship we went on, except that one has a rollerblading track and ours (Liberty of the Seas) had a mini-golf instead. And of course, ours was newer, LOL.

What is it about cruising that attracts so many travelers to the seven seas? Is it the opportunity to see the world? The remarkable cultures waiting to be experienced in exotic ports of call? The promise of a perfect family vacation?Or is it the 1,400 lbs. of lobster?Cruising has long been associated with delicious, abundant food, so just for fun we asked what it takes to supply a typical week-long cruise on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas, the largest ship afloat. Here's what is consumed every 7 days:
234,000 appetizers; 105,000 meals and 300,680 desserts
20,000 lbs. of beef, including 69,000 steaks
12,000 lbs. of chicken
4,000 lbs. of seafood; 2,500 lbs. of salmon and 1,400 lbs. of lobster
65,000 lbs. of fresh vegetables and 35,000 lbs. of fresh fruits
5,800 lbs. of cheese
28,000 fresh eggs
18,000 slices of pizza
8,000 gallons of ice cream
1,500 lbs. of coffee and 1,500 gallons of milk
11,500 cans of soda; 19,200 bottles and cans of beer and 2,900 bottles of wine Weighing in at 158,000 tons, the 5-star Freedom of the Seas currently offers alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries out of Miami. For more information on upcoming Freedom of the Seas cruises, click here.

How much of that did I eat? Not too much! Rob had several slices of pizza...every day!

Getting Better?

So, I took all my anti-biotics and am feeling much better. I didn't make a follow up appointment with my doctor because I noticed a huge improvement right away. But today, they called and want me in to discuss the bloodwork. It was a pretty standard work up, including TSH (thyroid), postassium, sodium, and lipase (pancrease functioning). I expect the sodium/postassium will be off due to the dehydration, but I think she'd take that into account. I'm actually hoping something is up/down with the TSH. I have complained for years about low-thyroid symptoms, but the tests have been 'normal' (although the normal had changed and my other doctor didn't seem interested in acknowleding that). I'm really curious as to what's the concern. Even back in June when I was at the ER every night, I never got a call from the doctor's office. I wonder if the Lipitor has caused some issues. I never got around to taking the 6 week blood work for that.....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The First Post!

So, I'm setting up this blog to host all the other aspects of my life, other than knitting. Yes, there is more to me than yarn :) This will be a mix of kid stuff, family stuff, babywearing, etc. Very eclectic, but I'd like to get my knitting blog back to knitting. I'm hoping to start with cruise pictures. Stay tuned!