Archive | March, 2007

Day Care Isn’t Doom

29 Mar

I’d like to reach out and give the author of this article a big old virtual hug.

The Kids Are Alright: What the latest day-care study really found.
By Emily Bazelon

The headlines blared this week. “Does Day Care Make Kids Behave Badly? Study Says Yes” (ABC). “Child Care Leads to More Behavior Problems” (Fox). “Day-care Kids Have Problems Later in Life” (NBC). “Poor Behavior Is Linked to Time in Day Care” (New York Times). And, ironically, “Bad Mommies” (Slate).

It’s useless to rail at the press for leading with the bad news and for ignoring the researchers’ caveats that no cause-and-effect conclusions can be drawn from their data. Still, coverage like this feels designed to twit working parents. And it turns out that in the case of day care, the headlines and the stories really were alarmist—even wrong.

Read entire article

Don’t Get Hacked

28 Mar

I just discovered a great article (thanks to Web-Goddess) about password hacking. After reading about how the author would hack a hypothetical account, I realized why I was such a sitting duck when my Gmail account got hacked last Fall.

Many of my accounts had the same user name and password, and were all tied to that email. Once the hacker was into my email, he could easily access my financial information and other sensitive data.

I just used that author’s advice and changed all of my user names and passwords following his guidance for strong passwords.

This probably means I’ll persistantly not be able to get into accounts, but the data in those accounts will be safe!

Now go, read the article and protect yourself!

I Give you Permission to Give Them Permission to Give Them Permission…

28 Mar

Little Miss has a cough that is causing asthma, yet again. The nebulizer, which I put away for a total of two weeks, is back out again. I stayed home from work on Monday so that I could ensure Little Miss got all of her treatments and some good long naps (which are nonexistent at daycare).

And finally, it hit me that I should ask daycare if they would administer treatments during the day. I knew that they have a policy against administering medications, but I thought I’d ask. And they said they could, if I got them a doctor’s note giving them permission to administer the nebulizer (my permission isn’t good enough evidently).

I then contacted my doctor’s office, who said I had to fax over a letter granting them permission to give the daycare permission to give her nebulizer treatments.

Seriously?! Is this what our sue-happy culture has come to? There really isn’t a wrong way to administer this treatment, so it really boggles my mind that it required so much of a paper trail.

But now that we’re all set up, daycare is administering two nebulizer treatments a day. I can’t tell you what a load off of my back that is. I don’t have the guilt factor, wondering if I should be leaving work twice a day to administer treatments, and then wondering how that would be perceived by coworkers. Little Miss evidently likes to get the nebulizer treatments from the daycare workers, as she takes it like a champ with them. At home, after about 5 minutes, she starts crying and trying to get the mask off of her face.

But the important thing is that now we can all breathe easy. And that is a good thing.

Can You Help Trevor?

27 Mar

This is Trevor.

trevor_kott.jpg.jpg

It breaks my heart to hear about sick children. My brother works Trevor’s dad. Trevor was born with leukemia, which was discovered the day they were going to check out of the hospital after he was born.

I think these types of situations hit home a bit more now that I’m a mother. Imagining what it would be like for my precious baby to have a life threatening disease is something I don’t even want to contemplate.

In times like these, people should bond together as a community, even if it is an online community. Trevor needs a bone marrow transplant. There isn’t a facility in my area to test for bone marrow compatibility, but you can donate to cover the fees associated with those tests. I donated, and would appreciate it if any of you would either spread the word or do what you can to help.

Here is an excerpt from Trevor’s story, and you can learn how you can help at the Trevor Austin Kott site.

Trevor was born full term on October 14th, 2006 and was given a 9 Apgar score. He was 8 pounds 6 ounces. We were discharged the day after he was born with the hospital giving him a clean bill of health. Just before we were leaving (He was actually in his car seat) a nurse informed us that the little t-shirt the hospital had put on him needed to be returned. While taking it off mom noticed small dots on his arms and asked the nurse if it might be a rash from the sweater he had on over the t-shirt. The nurse practitioner took him away for a closer look under better lighting and ordered a complete blood count (CBC) to get some answers. Turns out he had a white count of over 190,000 and they knew almost instantly it must be leukemia.

They told us he had congenital leukemia which is “exceedingly” rare and has a very poor prognosis (less than 5 percent survival rate). They told us he probably only had days or weeks to live. They immediately took him to the NICU and put in a Broviac catheter (central line) and he had two total blood exchanges, medications, etc. Basically the prognosis was so poor they put us in contact with Hospice and sent us home. He developed a fever at home and we took him back to the hospital after only 4 days. At that point we decided to go ahead and treat him because he seemed to want to fight. Then he had a bloody spinal tap and barely came out of the sedation. They sent him home again to die. The next day at home, he was bright-eyed and acting like a normal baby. We just couldn’t sit there and let him die without a fight. He seemed to be speaking to us and saying, “I want to LIVE! We brought him back to the hospital and he’s been there ever since for his chemotherapy treatments.

Trevor relapsed after his third round of chemo and his ONLY chance for a cure is a bone marrow transplant. He also has a very rare bone marrow typing and has no available donors. We are currently undergoing a grassroots bone marrow drive effort to find him a donor. Time is of the essence. Please read the journal on ways you can help.

No Reason to Tough it Out

26 Mar

I went for my annual appointment with my OB-GYN appointment today. (Don’t worry, boys, no girly graphical descriptions here). My doctor is moving to Virginia. I contemplated postponing the appointment and just seeing another doctor because Little Miss is sick today, but I wanted one last chance to talk to the woman that saw me through pregnancy and a c-section.

And on a side note, goodness, is it challenging taking a sick 1 year old to the doctor with you.

Anyway, I started talking to the doc about the c-section, and told her how I had talked to many women that said they didn’t feel a thing. I, on the other hand, felt like I was being gutted alive. It was a really freaky experience. I asked her if this was because I had a “conservative” anesthesiologist. She took one look at my chart and saw who the anesthesiologist was for my surgery, and said, “oh, yes, he is conservative.”

She then went on to tell me that I shouldn’t have felt nearly what I described, and said that men anesthesiologists tend to have bigger “egos” and tend to make women tough it out.

Excuse me?! What man in the history of the world has ever toughed it out during child birth?!

My doctor then told me that for scheduled c-sections (like I would most likely have for kiddo #2), you can request a specific anesthesiologist. She then gave me a list of women anesthesiologists that serve both hospitals in the area.

Things all make sense now. I couldn’t figure out why other women weren’t bothered by the experience of a c-section. I couldn’t figure out why no one had ever told me how much you feel. That’s because you’re not SUPPOSED to feel anything. Grrrrr…

This time last year, I was on a mission to tell other women what a c-section is like (as I wrote the Birth Story and told it verbally time and time again). Now, my message has changed drastically. If you’re in an unplanned c-section, and you have a “conservative” anesthesiologist, shout it from the mountain tops that you need more drugs.

And if you’re having a scheduled c-section, by all means, talk to your doctor about what anesthesiologist you should have attending to you. You can bet I’ll be doing that.

I really liked my OB-GYN. She’s the first doctor I ever felt an attachment to, as she saw me through pregnancy and birth. She made me feel even better today by gushing about how I had returned to my pre-pregnancy weight, and wanting to know how I did that, as most women can’t. Man, I’m going to miss that woman.

So now the search for a new doctor begins. I have a few good leads, but not to be sexist or anything, the referrals I’ve received have been for men. For the past 10 years, I have had women OB-GYNs, as I first want to support women in medicine, and secondly, I think they are more empathetic to the conditions they are treating. And now after hearing about manly anesthesiologists making women tough it out, I’m not so sure I want a man delivering my next baby.

Any thoughts?

Note: I am not pregnant. I do not have immediate plans to become pregnant. I’m just planning for the future here, people. No one get all excited now…

My New Favorite Picture

25 Mar

There is something about a baby’s belly that is completely irresistable. I just love this picture!

bellybutton.jpg

There’s A Reason We Call Her Duckie

22 Mar

Many kids have “cuddlies” that they take to bed with them.

For the past three nights, my daughter has taken a rubber duckie to bed with her. The night before that, she took a block to bed with her, but that’s besides the point.

She is a bit obsessed with duckies. Luckily, we have several, and she lights up when she sees them, saying “da!”

OK, she calls almost everything “da”, but anyway… Here is a picture illustrating the obsession. There is a reason why her Dad and I call her Duckie.

eating_duckie.jpg