World Diabetes Day 2007

If you drove to work (before sunrise) today, you may have thought that the monuments around the city were lighted in blue to support the Colts. But they aren’t. Today marks WDD in a very special way. Buildings across the world are being lighted to show awareness in the face of this pandemic.

Click here to see an interactive map of those monuments that will be lighted.

Diabetes isn’t a sensational disease like avian flu or mad cow disease. But these diseases have affected far fewer people; today, over 246 million people have diabetes. This year’s WDD focuses on the effects on children:

Diabetes has a unique impact on children and their families. The daily life of children is disrupted by the need to monitor blood glucose levels, take medication, and balance the effect of activity and food. Diabetes can interfere with the normal developmental tasks of childhood and adolescence, which include succeeding in school and transitioning to adulthood. To help the child and family cope, and to ensure the best possible physical and emotional health of the child, care should be delivered by a multidisciplinary team with good knowledge of paediatric issues. Support must also be given to caregivers and to school personnel. In this way, children with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can reach adulthood with as little adverse impact as possible on their well-being. For children with diabetes in developing countries the situation at present is bleak.

There are lifesaving medicines to control the disease, but there is no cure. For type 2 diabetes, the type with the largest growth rate, people can make changes to help decrease the risk. If you consume too many calories, eat less. Walk more. Dedicate the first 246 steps of every day to the millions who are affected.

Do something!

Baby Wise Book Review

Finding new blogs is a really fun treasure hunt. I’ve found a lot of parenting blogs; they range from individual parents posting an online diary to collaborative sites with multiple contributors and sound advice.

The largest group of parenting bloggers are the moms. That’s no surprise- most of the links I follow are from other women’s blogs. One theme I’ve found among new moms is that they are really frustrated with their child’s sleeping and eating patterns. Trust me, I feel your pain. I have two words that may help: Baby Wise.

My sister was a new mom three years ago and she called a friend of hers, frustrated and tired. The friend told her to immediately obtain a copy of the book. From that day forward, my sister’s parenting woes became a lot easier. She had another baby and this one was started with the Baby Wise philosophy. My sister can tell of the enormous difference it made for her second child.

As a result, I bought my own copy of Baby Wise and read it cover to cover about four times before Ainsley was born. In the early days, when I was often emotional and tired, I read sections of it while she slept or nursed. I can attest that it works! My baby has slept well from the very start. Don’t let me fool you…it’s been rocky, but it has worked. After the first couple of weeks, Ainsley moved to a 2 to 2 1/2 hour schedule for feedings. After 5 weeks, it was every 2 1/2 to 3 hours, with one 4 to 5 hour stretch every night. Since the age of 9 weeks, she has a very predictable schedule of 8 hours of nighttime sleep and feedings every 3 hours during the day. (again, I say “predictable,” but of course it isn’t 100% perfect.)

I had read that some parents think BW expects parents to ignore their child’s cries. Not true! The book states over and over that hunger is always a legitimate reason to feed earlier than scheduled. It emphasizes a need for family and for nurturing. It’s not a book about how to love your child, it’s about how to give the gift of peaceful sleep to your baby. For a few days, I slept in a bed in her room, next to her crib. I learned her fussy cry and comforted her to sleep; I learned her hungry cry and fed her. When it was time for me to sleep in another room, she didn’t have to be moved so it didn’t disrupt her.

Because of the Baby Wise routine of feeding-waketime-naptime, Ainsley learned how to go to sleep, not be nursed to sleep. This has liberated me and has also meant that Ainsley is happy in the arms of other caretakers. She’s been put to bed by three different grandparents, her aunt, and especially her dad. She has been able to enjoy the love and comfort of not just Mommy, but also all of those other people who love her.

The best thing that BW did for me was to give me the confidence to assess the situation. Food is not the only thing Ainsley needs when she cries- sometimes she needs a new diaper or just some cuddling. Sometimes, she just wants to fuss for 5 minutes before she drifts to sleep!

Baby Wise worked so well for me that I recommend it to anyone who’s frustrated over their infant’s sleep (or lack thereof).

Realization of Banality

As NaBloPoMo marches forward, I am guessing lots of blogs are starting to have one-liner posts that say “this is hard” or other fluff.

I felt like I was running out of what to say, too.  Then I realized that I can be chatty with the best and worst of them.  But there are no topics I want to fling into cyberspace for everyone to see.

While I do have my bad days, I try to keep the whining to a minimum on my blog.  Yes, blogs are basically serialized whining, but I do try to be more positive than negative.  I just don’t see a need to fling negativity into the world.  I also do have some need for privacy.  I noticed with amusement the other day that there are topics I won’t discuss with people in person but that I feel comfortable declaring to anyone seeing my link on NaBlo.  There are yet other topics that I don’t really ever discuss.

But I’m running out of interesting, positive stuff.  I will be back to my regular posts soon, but for now I have writer’s block.  Little Ainsley was up very late last night and that doesn’t mean she slept late today!  So I’m sleep-deprived and not very creative.

OK, it’s time to stop writing.  I have begun about five sentences that were so boring I deleted them.

Good night.

Bristleworm and Snail Friends

Arrow points to the bristlewormWhile watching the reef aquarium with A tonight, I watched as the enormous turbo snail padded along the front glass.  He’s grown a lot since he was added to the tank; he’s at least 2.5 inches across.  Then I noticed- there is a small bristle worm living in his shell!  I tried to take a picture that would really show the two, but my stupid camera would not focus on the right spot and by the time I went to read the owner’s manual, the snail had shuffled off elsewhere.  Too bad, or I would have found a cutsie interspecies picture page and posted it.

Hopefully the tank’s not too infested; bristleworms can either be harmless or can grow to be a giant nuisance.  Speaking of infestations, my tank is so full of Aiptasia that I’m considering giving up on keeping any other sessile animals.  The remedies I have tried are either ineffective or they require injecting each anemone.  Anyone with an infestation can tell you that it would take hours to inject all 300+ of them, and who knows if it will work, or just release stinging cells into the water and poison the tank.

Buying a copperband butterfly (Chelmon rostratus) to eat them just seems irresponsible, as the butterflies often die soon after their natural food is gone.  I recently read that the seagrass filefish (Acreichthys tomentosus) is hardier, plus they are such unusual fish.  I can’t find anyone who sells them though.

Does anyone have any bright ideas?

Fridge Friday Part I

Main RefrigeratorI jumped on the Fridge Friday bandwagon thanks to Amy. I actually took the pictures on Wednesday so I wouldn’t have time to clean and stage my fridges!! When I took the photos, I had to resist the complusion to turn all of the labels outward so it would be prettier.

I didn’t do a fridge post on last Friday, so let’s start with the main fridge. Top left is dairy/soy; top right is homebrew for cooking, cooking wine, and big pots of leftovers (no leftovers this week, though!). The two small open shelves on the left are cheeses and eggs; the larger open shelf on the right is tofu and leftovers that are ready to be taken to work for lunch. The left drawer is “mire poix” (carrots, celery, green onions/shallots/whatever) and the right drawer is other fresh fruits and vegetables, currently packed full of hand-picked apples. The huge bottom drawer is unopened dairy and soymilk. It’s extra cold, so the stuff stays fresh for a long time. I can buy lots on sale and it doesn’t spoil!

If you haven’t already stopped reading this very boring post, I’ll tell you what’s on the door by shelf, starting at the top: baking (e.g. yeast) and meds; butter; condiments; jellies; homemade hot sauces and jalapenos; and the bottom shelf is tall stuff and perishable, opened condiments.

Main FreezerStill with me?? How about the freezer? Top shelf is, left to right ice (duh), limeade (for delicious margaritas not from a box, Mymsie!), frozen bagged vegetables in the back row, and frozen homegrown produce in the front row. Most of the homegrown stuff is from other people’s garden. Homebrew is a powerful bartering tool!

The bottom shelf is soymeat (crumbles make a really yummy marinara additive), Extra frozen veggies, frozen fish, lots of frozen milk for Ainsley, an ice cream maker, and a big chunk of charred wood. Wha? What idiot puts charred wood in the freezer? Well, it’s my salmon grilling plank and although I rinse and scrub it after use, I just don’t think plain water can rinse off all of the bacteria that could fester before the next time I use the plank.

I guess I didn’t realize the large amount of insanity that goes into my fridge. It is a very small refrigerator, so I really have to be creative with the space. It is not very deep, which is really a big advantage; it’s much harder to lose a container of leftovers, only to find it six months later covered in fuzz. The biggest thing I noticed was that I am doing a pretty good job of keeping it neat. I used to throw away a lot of rotten food- what a waste of money and resources. Having everything organized has helped me use everything before it rots and also feels less cluttered.

I hope this post isn’t as boring as what I had for lunch.  Next week: different fridges from around the house! Stay tuned…

Woodworking with Doctor Sawbones

My dad and I were discussing making a very simple toy that wouldn’t require plans. Somehow, the discussion moved from the kitchen table to the wood shop and we were both working away!

I haven’t been in the shop in years. I haven’t worked with my dad in the shop in a decade. We used to work in his shop a lot, starting from when I was about six. It was a wondrous place full of dangerous stuff that was off-limits for years. But even when I was too little to work, my dad would suit me up in protective equipment and let me watch. It was so incredibly fun. I will have to find the picture of me in a girly-girl dress and safety glasses and ear protection.

I made lots of projects in high school and on through college. I spent many hours playing with different blades on the bandsaw and figuring out how to thread a jigsaw blade through a drilled hole.  But lately, I have been too busy and it’s a shame. We worked together as seamlessly as always, even using our nicknames from long ago. He was Dr. Sawbones; I was Nurse Sawdust. It was so cool how we just started working and the tasks divvied themselves as we worked. We both stayed busy and tried new things. Smelling the faint burning wood smell again was so relaxing!

I also learned to use a router table today, and made friends both chamfer and forstner. The forstner drilled through wood like it was butter and felt very smooth.

We finished the bandsaw, drill press, and router work; all is sanded and sanding sealer applied. Now, for paint and the toy will be finished! All from scrap wood in my dad’s shop. I saved about $40 and I spent a priceless afternoon with my dad. You can’t beat it with a stick.

Work plus Home plus Baby

I survived!

I’m back to work.  I thought I would ease into it, but I am going full speed ahead.  The first time I went to the office, I was pretty miserable and just wanted to go home and watch Ainsley take a nap.  After a couple of days, I started to really enjoy working again.

My new role means a new schedule.  I arise and feed her at 5AM, then put her back to bed until her normal wake time of 8AM.  I can scurry home early and still manage a full day’s work by working while she naps.  I only miss about 3 hours of waketime!  In the meantime, she’s receiving a great Montessori education.

I am reeely tired at the end of two days of this schedule.  However, I’m learning to power through it and I am actually functioning better than before Ainsley was born.  I know that my time for work or for housework is very limited, so I make the best of it by scurrying around like I’m on Supermarket Sweep.  I bet watching me clean is amusing.  It’s aerobic; I’m sweating and breathless by the time I’m finished.  My house is actually in better shape than it was a year ago!

Life has a different rhythm.  But it’s a fantastic challenge.

Saving Money and Gas and Time and the Planet: Carpooling

As usual, there’s a nerdy spreadsheet to visually aid! I was very conservative on my estimates for fuel economy (I usually am at 29-31mpg). The first column also includes the miles of the commute- first, the daily miles if I don’t carpool, then the daily miles if I do. My carpool means I actually backtrack about 7 miles, so I wanted to be sure to include that increased distance in the calculations.

I have a relatively short commute, but look at the savings for carpooling and Working From Home (WFH)! That’s $181 in my pocket, and a reduction of fossil fuel consumption by 58 gallons. This spreadsheet only accounts for my savings; my carpool partner, who does not WFH, saves $85 and 28 gallons of fossil fuel. On top of these savings is another benefit: I’ve met a new person and we have some great conversations during the commute.

Imagine if everyone tried this…fewer cars, less congestion; less stress for the driver due to decreased congestion, less stress for rider- no driving! I am using my extra cash as my annual contribution to the South Side Animal Shelter.

My company has a carpool message board, but there’s one for Indianapolis as well. Give it a try!

Seven Meme

I was tagged by Mymsie, so here it is! All Seven and we’ll watch them fall….
>>Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.

  1. I have a weird food disorder- I eat in my sleep. I don’t remember doing it until I see the remnants of my feasts the next day. I saw a 20/20 special on Sleep Eating and was horrified by the hidden camera shots of people eating- they were stuffing their faces. The interesting thing is that people never make healthful choices: 100% of people choose high fat and/or high calorie foods. “Choose” might be a misnomer. I have eaten some seriously random things: the worst was when I took out a stick of butter, dumped dry chocolate cake mix on it, and ate it with a fork. The next day, the butter was still stabbed with a fork and there was cake mix everywhere.
  2. I love Barbara Mandrell.
  3. When I was in first grade, I would walk to school. On the way home, I picked up litter I found on the sidewalk (I was already environmentally conscious!) and my mom would be horrified by the junk in my hands. First graders have no concept of germs!
  4. One of my favorite things to do is to be unexpected. I like to defy people’s expectations of who I am. For instance, I brew beer and I like to play nerdy D&D-style games. I think my paternal grandma started this. In her eulogy, they mentioned that she was so proper as to wear a hat and gloves to the grocery, but she was also an avid NFL fan.
  5. I’m in a Backstreet Boys video for about half a second…and yes, there is a story behind it.

  6. I am simply unable to eat baby food. From formula to milk to pureed peaches, I think it’s all disgusting and I can’t even try any of it.
  7. If I could rewind time, I wouldn’t. I used to think I would really like to take back some regrettable actions (see number 5 above), but I now I really feel like they helped make me better because I learned from them.

>>Tag seven random people and include links to their blogs. Let each person know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

  1. Amy was already tagged- no fair!
  2. Hey, Oz? Up for a meme?
  3. GBHII probably won’t do it.
  4. CGB has become too tech-focused for such tomfoolery.
  5. ChubbyChick might do it, if she’s not already tagged.
  6. Sherri might be busy tending sheep.
  7. I don’t have any other friends. I think this is a sign. Waahhhh 🙁