Sunday, June 29, 2008

Char-broiled chicken, anyone?

So, we decided to do a couple of roaster chickens on the barbecue today. Cut up some vegetables, shoved a can of ginger ale into the bird, and put the on the nifty chicken vegetable barbecue cooker trays we have. Stuck them on the barbecue, and went about out business. Keith was playing outside, and Ed kept checking on the birds. After they had been cooking about an hour or so (Ed had *just* checked on them) I happened to glance out the window and saw the barbecue, on fire, and Keith standing next to it waving the smoke away. Note to self: Keith didn't quite absorb all the fire training he's had. I yell for Ed, yell out the door for Keith to GET AWAY FROM THE BARBECUE, and go into the kitchen to get water. Did I mention it's a propane barbecue? Lucky it didn't turn into a rocket barbecue, seeing as we had just filled up the tank not too long ago. Ed runs out, pulls out the grease tray thingy with the tongs and dumps it on the grass (scorching the hell out of the grass in the process), and watches it burn. On the grass. While the barbecue also burns. Note to self: Ed didn't quite absorb all the fire training HE'S had. I grab some water, go out and dump it on the grease tray thingy and the fire goes out. However, the chickens are now pretty engulfed in flames. With the vegetables. Ed shuts the barbecue lid and fortunately after a moment or two the fire went out. Unfortunately, looking back on it, I didn't get any pictures, because they would have been funny! But I did get pictures of the aftermath!!
The grease trap - see the scorched grass?

The barbecue, sans chicken and vegetables.

The grease tray and the barbecue.

And my favorite picture, the vegetables. Ed was surprised that no one wanted to eat them! Here's a hint - they started out as potatoes, onions, and carrots. Yup. I swear.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Best Twenty Dollars I Have EVER Spent

I had to go to Target today to get cat food and litter and some outlet adaptor thingys for the air conditioner - we don't have any grounded outlets in this house other than in the kitchen. While I was there, I found this for $19.99. And you know, I didn't even thing twice about getting it. I had to spend a few extra bucks to get the snocone holders (according to Keith you can't have a snocone unless it's in one of those annoying paper cones) and the flavoring, but even just plain ice is WONDERFUL. Manna from heaven, I'm telling you. Think I can pass it off as Ed's birthday present?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm due in 30 days

That's not very many days at all. So I decided that I should really get my act together, since I've done nothing since the last time I decided to get my act together. Fortunately this isn't my first child, so I know what I need and what I don't, and the 'what I need' list is pretty short. I have to get the supplies for the homebirth (note to self - look at the list of supplies I need!), the clothes and diapers from my mom, the car cleaned out, the carseat installed... I think that's it. But I feel like I'm forgetting something really important. Diapers, carseat.... what else would I need? Oh, and a short list of possible names might be a good thing. I think I can get all this done relatively soon, especially if I put my mind to it! So hold me accountable, PLEASE!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ricki Lake on Good Morning America

How Safe Are Home Births?
Watch the video!

I must say, I think I love the OB they interview!

Update: And on Access Hollywood

66 Ways to Save Money on Gasoline

From Treehugger:

While the rising cost of oil has the price of gasoline skyrocketing faster than global warming is melting glaciers, people everywhere are preparing for cross-country road trips to Grand Canyon National Park and summer camps in Maine. We can't really argue with that innate desire to get closer to nature and out on the open road, and whether you're a die-hard cyclist or a still driving an SUV, chances are you plan to get in a car to go somewhere this summer. So whether you're packing up the Prius for some close-to-home camping, towing the boat to far-away shores, or merely fighting the crosstown traffic, these money- and gas-saving tips are designed to help you squeeze every last bit of power out of that precious petrol--and cause fewer CO2 emissions, too. It's a comprehensive list--several tasks should be done before even starting your car; others require minor adjustments to your driving style. All of them aim to help you drive a little greener.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Speaking of cribs

Keith has been spending a few days with grandma and grandpa. They just bought a new house on Wednesday, so he went over there on Thursday to help them pack. From what I hear, they're paying him $10 a box to pack for them. Maybe I should go pack!! Anyways, yesterday he asked my mom "If I'm not home, who is going to get Henry out of his crib??" I think he was truly concerned that I'd just leave Henry in his crib until Keith came home! Which, by the way, hasn't happened yet.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Speaking of the Business of Being Born and the AMA

I just got this in my email! Seems like Ricki Lake has been scaring the AMA - go figure!

June 18, 2008

Dear BOBB Friends and Supporters:

We wanted to make sure you are all aware of the news story that has exploded over the last 24 hours regarding the recent AMA Resolution against homebirth and Ricki's response to being named in it.

In February of this year, one month after the premiere of BOBB, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reiterated its long-standing opposition to home births. In an obtuse reference to The Business of Being Born, ACOG stated, "Childbirth decisions should not be dictated or influenced by what's fashionable, trendy, or the latest cause célèbre." If that wasn't enough, ACOG, this past weekend, introduced a resolution to the American Medical Association (AMA) at their annual meeting. The resolution commits the AMA to "develop model legislation in support of the concept that the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital...". The reasoning for this resolution begins, "Whereas, There has been much attention in the media by celebrities having home deliveries, with recent Today Show headings such as "Ricki Lake takes on baby birthing industry: Actress and former talk show host shares her at-home delivery in new film...". (Resolution 205).

Since when did Ricki become an evidence-based data point? What are they so afraid of?

Just last week, Medical News Today reports that "about 8.2% of infants born in the US in 2005 had low birth weights, the highest percentage since 1968." US infant mortality rates continue to rank us below 30 other countries, 22% of pregnancies are induced, and most worrisome of all, in the last 4 years, the maternal mortality rate has risen above 10 per 100,000 for the first time since 1977. To us, these seem like the troubling trends, not home birth.

News outlets including the AP quickly picked up this story yesterday as it hit TMZ, E! USA Today, Daily News, FOX.

Ricki will be featured on Good Morning America this Saturday discussing the controversy. (If you Google "Ricki Lake, AMA" you will see the bloggers are all over this!)

Filmmakers Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake teamed up with journalist and Pushed author Jennifer Block to pen the response (following at the end of this email) for the Huffington Post.

Late yesterday, the AMA changed the final wording on resolution 205 to omit the mention of Ricki. (Hmmm...) The AMA says that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) drafted the initial statement so any issues should be taken up directly with them.

Stay tuned for more news to come...

The BOBB Team


Ladies, the physicians of America have issued their decree: they don't want you having your babies at home with midwives.

We can't imagine why not. Study upon study have shown that planning a home birth with a trained midwife is a great choice if you want to avoid unnecessary medical intervention. Midwives are experts in supporting the physiological birth process: monitoring you and your baby during labor, helping you into positions that help labor progress, protecting your pelvic parts from damage while you push, and "catching" the baby from the position that's most effective and comfortable for you-hands and knees, squatting, even standing-not the position most comfortable for her.

When healthy women are supported this way, 95% give birth vaginally, with hardly any intervention.

And yet, the American Medical Association doesn't see the point. Yesterday it adopted a policy written by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists against "home deliveries" and in support of legislation "that helps ensure safe deliveries and healthy babies by acknowledging that the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital" or accredited birth center.

"There ought to be a law!" cry the doctors.

The trouble is, they have no evidence to back up their safety claims. In fact, the largest and most rigorous study of home birth internationally to date found that among 5,000 healthy, "low-risk" women, babies were born just as safely at home under a midwife's care as in the hospital. And not only that, the study, like many before it, found that the women actually fared better at home, with far fewer interventions like labor induction, cesarean section, and episiotomy (taking scissors to the vagina, a practice that according to the research should be obsolete but is still performed on one-third of women who give birth vaginally).

Which is why the American Public Health Association supports midwife-attended home birth. The British OB/GYNs have read the research, too, and have this to say: "There is no reason why home birth should not be offered to women at low risk of complications... it may confer considerable benefits for them and their families. There is ample evidence showing that labouring at home increases a woman's likelihood of a birth that is both satisfying and safe"

The other trouble with the American MDs is that they seem to have lost all respect for women's civil rights, indeed for the U.S. Constitution - the right to privacy, to bodily integrity, and the right of every adult to determine her own health care. The "father knows best" legislation they are promoting could indeed be used to criminally prosecute women who choose home birth, say, by equating it with child abuse.

Research evidence be damned, the doctors want to mandate you to go to the hospital. They don't want you to have a choice.

We think they're spooked. The cesarean rate is rising, celebrities are publicizing their home births (the initial wording of the AMA resolution actually took aim at Ricki for publicizing her home birth on the Today Show!), people are reading Pushed and watching The Business of Being Born, and there's a nationwide legislative "push" to license certified professional midwives in all states (The AMA is against that, too, by the way).

The docs are on the defensive.

After all, birth is big business-it's in fact the most common reason for a woman to be admitted to the hospital. And if more women start giving birth outside of it, who will get paid? Not doctors and not hospitals.

"The AMA supports a woman's right to make an informed decision regarding her delivery and to choose her health care provider," the group said in a statement. But if it really supported women's birth choices it wouldn't adopt a policy condemning home birth and midwives.

Because if U.S. women are to have real birth choices, everybody needs to be working together to provide them, not engaging in turf wars at their expense.

By Ricki Lake, Abby Epstein and Jennifer Block for The Huffington Post

Why I have children

So Henry takes two naps a day. In the morning he naps for two hours, and in the afternoon for one hour. I figure it's great - a good way for me to keep my sanity (what little there is left). So this morning he only slept for an hour. So he got up, ate lunch, was playing with Keith, and then started getting a bit, um, tired acting. Like throwing his toys, stomping his feet... you know. The "it's nap time kiddo" stage. I was trying to finish up something before I put him down, but Keith must have thought I was moving too slow. Next thing I hear is "it is time for you to take a nap Henry" then a thud and a door shut. I asked Keith what was going on and he said "it's Henry's naptime so I put him in his crib." I haven't quite figured out how he gets him in and out of the crib, but he definitely had Henry in the crib, and Henry wasn't a bit too happy about it.

Outdoor Fun

We went and hung out in the backyard for a little bit this afternoon, until it started raining. The boys had a blast on the swingset... well, Henry did. Keith said he wasn't having too much fun pushing Henry on the swing, but every time he'd stop Henry would say "More! More, Keith!" and who could turn that down?!?

The Business of Being Born

I thought I had posted about this, but all I can find is a mention of the screening that the Birth Fund put on back in November. So, I guess I DIDN'T really post about it! Go figure. Anyways. If you're pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, have a wife/girlfriend/daughter who is pregnant, you need to watch this movie. It's the documentary by Ricki Lake which just came out on DVD not too long ago. If you're in the area, I know someone you could borrow it from (hint hint). Or, if you are one of the unfortunate people who do not have a Mac, you can watch it on demand or whatever they call it on Netflix. Or add it to your Netflix queue. Anyways, my point is, WATCH IT!!!! It's not just a movie trying to convince people to have their babies at home. It's a movie about the sad state of maternity care in the US. And trust me, it is one sad state.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Father Knows Best Meets Big Brother Is Watching

Father Knows Best Meets Big Brother Is Watching
Physician Group Seeks to Outlaw Home Birth—Is Jail for Moms Next?
To

Just in time for Father’s Day, at its annual meeting last
weekend, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a resolution to introduce legislation
outlawing home birth, and potentially making criminals of the mothers who choose home birth with the
help of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) for their families.

“It’s unclear what penalties the AMA will seek to impose on women who choose to give birth at home,
either for religious, cultural or financial reasons—or just because they didn’t make it to the hospital in
time,” said Susan Jenkins, Legal Counsel for The Big Push for Midwives 2008 campaign. “What we do
know, however, is that any state that enacts such a law will immediately find itself in court, since a law
dictating where a woman must give birth would be a clear violation of fundamental rights to privacy and
other freedoms currently protected by the U.S. Constitution.”

So, I guess midwifery is sort of like that two steps forward, one step back thing. I have to say, though, it's a bit scary that the AMA feels that it can outlaw homebirth. Aren't they just the American Medical Association? Like, not the lawmakers?!? Start raising my bail money!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! We're just bumming around the house today, but yesterday Grandpa got to spend a day with the boys (I guess when you're a grandpa that sounds like a lot of fun?) and mom and I went shopping leaving Ed to do whatever it is he wanted to do. I think he slept all day, but, hey, whatever. So anyways, mom and I went up to the outlets in Lancaster for a day. And went SHOPPING! If you own stock in Pottery Barn, you can just thank us now. First we went to Pottery Barn Kids where I found some adorable white and pink crib bumpers. AND, instead of being the regular outlet price of $72.99 (marked down from the regular store price of $102.00), they were just $14.99 and then an additional 30% off. So, of course, we got them. Just in case. Then we went to the regular Pottery Barn outlet. First off: rule number one: don't go to the outlets on a Saturday. Really. Especially when you're pregnant and not a crowd person. I was ready to kill someone. I need my space! But, we were there, so.... we shopped. I found a great rug for my dining room, as well as a couple of lamps which are either going to go in my dining room or my bedroom. They just need shades, depending on which room they go in. Not a great picture, but you can see a bit of the rug (it's brown) and the lamps on the table here...

Then I got some new plates, and a new shower curtain (it's brown, too, because our bathroom is, wait for it, pink and brown), and, my favorite find, two new red dressers for my bedroom!!! They wouldn't all fit in the car, so my mom is going back up today to pick up the second one. We also got a new duvet cover and shams for my room - it's going to be so cute!
Oh, and I almost forgot - Ed's Father Day gifts. He got a beer chicken cooker thingy for the barbeque (yeah, that's the technical name) and a battery operated adjustable wrench. Everyone needs a battery operated adjustable wrench, don't they?!?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I had a baby!

HA! Did I scare you? Well, *I* didn't have a baby, actually - one of my doula clients did. Born at 3:15 this morning, two hours after I got there. Wonderful, calm homebirth. After attending (and having!) homebirths, I don't understand why healthy women with healthy pregnancies choose to have their babies in the hospital. Anyways, bright and early this morning my last baby was born - I'm not on call anymore! I am free to relax, turn my cell phone off, not have gas in my tank... you name it. And wait. For a couple more months until I REALLY have a baby.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The heat finally broke!

Well, it's not 70, but it isn't 100 anymore, either! Thunderstorms came through last night, and if you live in the northeast you know that thunderstorms=the end of the heat wave. I LOVE thunderstorms! So I was able to go outside today and not sweat like a stuck pig! How exciting! Life is pretty boring around here today. I should turn the computer off and do something productive, like, clean my house, get ready for a baby, find out where exactly all of Keith's shorts have gone to, but so far I haven't been motivated to do much of anything. My mom said she was coming over today, tomorrow and Friday to "get me organized" and I didn't have the heart to tell her that she's been trying for 32 years now so it might just be time to give my organization skills up as a lost cause. And maybe she has, because she isn't here and she hasn't called! Which is probably a good thing - I don't feel like getting organized! There's a bulldozer digging up my yard *again*, but apparently it isn't really my yard, it's just my yard when there's something wrong with it. Ummm... okay.... who needs to get out of their driveway? Certainly not ME!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What is UP with the gas prices?

OK, I've tried not to complain too much that a gallon of gas costs more than a mocha, but really. This is getting ridiculous. I had to go up to Exton yesterday and I passed not one but TWO stations where the cheap gas was over $4.20/gallon. And the SuperWawa around the corner which is usually the cheapest in the area? $4.03 $4.05. Every day I'm getting Breaking News Alerts from CNN saying "Gas prices have topped $_____" like this one. So my question is WHY isn't something being done? I remember when I was pregnant with Henry (so, oh, TWO YEARS AGO) gas prices were high and they were pushing $3.00/gallon. Why is a 25% (or is it 33%? anyways, A DOLLAR!) increase in two years acceptable? And if the demand is SO high that the price has to be so high, why isn't there a shortage like there was in the 70s? I mean, really, they had it bad, but they weren't paying over half of the minimum wage (don't get me started) on a gallon of gas. Gas was, on average, 53 cents/gallon, which, when adjusted for inflation, is equivalent to $2.12 in 2008 dollars. How are people expected to live? I mean, think about it. Say you make minimum wage (which in PA is currently $7.15/hour - it's going up to a whopping $7.25/hour in 07/2009). If you work 40 hours a week (the standard workweek), you make $286.00 a week. Yeah. That's $1144 a month. Before taxes. You know how much Ed spends on gas driving 20 miles round trip to go to work (which isn't that bad of a commute - I used to drive 40 miles one way to work in college)? About $60/week. In a little sedan - not even a huge SUV. So in a month, that's about $240. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty happy we don't make minimum wage!

Oh, and the oil companies? They can afford it.
Exxon Mobil's Profit in 2007 Tops $40 Billion
Shell unveils £1.5m-an-hour profit
Chevron posts record $18.7 billion profit

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I am a wonderful mother!

Today is a hot one. According to, it is currently 93, but feels like 106. Otherwise known as hotter than hell. So, being the good mother I am, I said screw the water bill, lets get the slip & slide out!

I think it finally hit me

I'm pregnant. Scratch that, I'm REALLY pregnant. In a couple months or so, I'm going to be having a baby! Do you know what I've done for this impending arrival? You got it - zilch. Nada, nothing, not a thing. Heck, all of our baby crap is still in the attic at the old house. Maybe I should get my act together so I don't pull a "well, I think the diapers are in the attic still" when the midwife asks like I did the last time. Hmm.

Friday, June 6, 2008

And another hospital trip

So, since 2008 appears to be the year of medical emergencies, my mom felt like jumping on the bandwagon. She ended up in the emergency room (yet another, different, one) yesterday suffering from stroke symptoms. It seems that she has had a mild stroke, and they kept her overnight last night to run more tests. I talked to her last night and she sounded pretty good. She was worried because they were watching Keith when this ER run happened, so she thought that he'd be worried about her. I asked if he wanted to talk to her and he got on the phone and said "Hi Grandma. How many days until we go to Wyoming?" so I'm thinking he wasn't too concerned. She should be home today or tomorrow - I'll keep you updated!