Thursday, December 11, 2003


Not much time to post due to the holidays, so here's a little humor to keep you going...

The Symphony Orchestra was playing a concert in the park and was in the middle of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. The basses, in the back of the orchestra, decided they had a few minutes to spare before being asked to play anything so they ran across the street to grab a beer and a shot. It was a windy day, and they found some string to wrap around their music stands to secure their music sheets. Once at the tavern, they could hear the music and keep up with the progress of the piece.

After one, two, and then three rounds, they decided that they had to hurry because the 4th, and final, movement was progressing rapidly. They stumbled back onto the bandstand and were fumbling with the string, trying to get it loose, but not having much success.

The conductor saw what was happening and instantly realized the situation: It was the bottom of the ninth, the score was tied, and the basses were loaded.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003


The For Counsel catalog has "products and gifts for lawyers and other professionals". You must see the bibs and t-shirts for babies and toddlers that say "attorney work product".

Despair, Inc.'s Demotivator Collection has been around for a while, but still good for a laugh - and a great gift for the unemployed sales person or mid-level manager in your life.

And for the person who has everything, its Origami Boulder. Now think, people, what is an origami boulder? That's right, this guy is selling A WADDED UP PIECE OF PAPER. Check out the "Performance Art" option. HI-larious.

Stressed out about the holidays? Go visit the Flylady and download her Holiday Control Journal.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003


The Austin Chronicle's November 12, 2003 issue featured the cover story, Will Women Have a Voice at the New Women's Hospital? The fight for midwives and reproductive choice at Brack. Though the article deals mainly with local Austin politics, the online version of the issue features some great articles (some new, some reprinted) on midwifery and homebirth. A couple of these I clipped out of the Chronicle when I lived in Austin ten years ago and still have in my file. Don't miss Midwives: Certified and Direct-Entry, Midwives and the Law in Texas, Our Midwife, High Tech vs. High Touch, and Midwives: From L.A. to Santa Fe.

Also, the nurse-midwifery practice at the University of Chicago has been eliminated. Read stories about it from the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Maroon, and the News Release from the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Sunday, November 23, 2003


Blogger now lets me backdate or postdate a blog entry. For instance, all of the Florida travelogues were written out by hand on the trip, and then posted when I got home. Anyway, I have just added a 9/03/03 blog entry, a travelogue from Iowa which I finally located.

Also, I am thinking of adding a hit counter to this page. Does anyone have an opinion about which is the best or the most useful? Must be free, of course. Email me please - mommyblawger AT

German and Israeli Police conducted criminal investigations of Humana (the manufacturer), and Remedia Ltd. (the distributor), but no criminal charges were filed. The Remedia soy formula was lacking sufficient amounts of Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin), which resulted in the deaths of 2 infants and the hospitalization of at least 7 others, many in severe condition. Thiamin deficiency can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, spasms, respiratory problems, encephalopathy, brain damage, and ultimately, death. The formula had been missing the vitamin for nearly 6 months.

Related articles:

Doctor's hunch led to end of baby-formula deaths in Israel (International Herald Tribune)

Breastfeeding boon follows Remedia scandal (Jerusalem Post)

Company Says Baby Formula Lacked Vitamin (FindLaw/AP)

Formula for disaster (Jerusalem Post)

Humana Error (Food Production Daily)

What to do when mom finds your blog? Blogger has some suggestions.

Saturday, November 22, 2003


Burger King has announced a new corporate policy on breastfeeding after a nursing mother in one of its restaurants was asked to "either go to the bathroom to breast-feed or leave" when another customer complained. In the future, employees are told to inform complainers that "breast-feeding is permitted in the restaurant and suggest to that customer that he or she relocate to another section of the restaurant." See story from Yahoo/AP.

The only problem I have here is with the tone of the article: "Burger King adopted a corporate policy Friday allowing women to breast-feed their babies in restaurants" (emphasis added). BK is not "allowing" anything. The right to breastfeed anywhere (as long as the mother has the right to be there) is statutory law in most states, including Utah, where the incident took place. Here is a guide to breastfeeding legislation. So by publishing its new policy, Burger King is not really giving breastfeeders any rights, merely protecting itself from a planned "nurse-in" scheduled to take place.

Business owners be forewarned: no matter how pro-family your establishment is, if one of your employees harasses a breastfeeding mother, that mother will most likely get on the Internet and within a week you are likely to have hundreds of women show up at your place of business and nurse their babies. Kind of the La Leche version of a flash mob.

Also see my November 13, 2003 post "American Baby" on not breastfeeding in restrooms.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


Last weekend, the Little Champion (9 1/2 mos) took his first steps. This completely surprised us, as his brother, the Big Champion, did not walk until he was a year old. LC is still a long way from actually walking, but this just highlights the difference in personality between the two boys. BC waits until he knows he can do something before trying, then does it with a high degree of proficiency. LC is not afraid to try and fail. And of course, he is quite fascinated by his big brother and therefore motivated to mobilize as soon as possible. It will be interesting to see if this difference continues as they get older.

Thursday, November 13, 2003


Last weekend, we had another couple over for dinner. They are suing their doctors for medical malpractice which occurred pursuant to the birth of their 12 lb. baby which resulted in a brachial plexus injury. After interesting dinner conversation about broken ultrasound machines, discrepancies in medical records, mismanaged shoulder dystocia, and excessive lateral traction, we took them on a tour of our house. It came up in conversation that our 9-month old was born at home in the bedroom. At which point the wife turns to me and says, "my, you are brave."

Hey Mom, if you are reading this, check out this article from The Onion.

November's issue of American Baby includes the results of a Playtex survey on the question "Where have you breastfed in public?". The top answers were: Inside a parked car (82%), A ladies' room (58%), Outdoors in a park (44%), and A store or restaurant (41%).

Interesting. However, I'm not sure I would consider breastfeeding in a car or in a restroom "in public." Based on the likelihood that someone will either 1) realize what you are doing, or 2) see some part of you that normally remains covered, breastfeeding in your own living room while persons who are not members of your immediate family are present seems, to me, to be much more "in public" than in the back seat of your tinted-window minivan.

Please, please, never, ever breastfeed a baby in a bathroom stall. I don't care what. It is nasty and dirty and crawling with germs. You would not think of eating your own lunch in there so don't feed your baby her lunch in there. Plus, it sends a message to others that breastfeeding is dirty, shameful, etc. Modesty is all fine and good, but a bathroom stall is going overboard. The only exception I make to the "no breastfeeding in the restroom" rule is when there is a lounge-type restroom that has a couch or a big comfy chair a good distance away from the toilets.

Monday, November 10, 2003


From Israel Today:

"Israel is stepping up efforts to halt the outbreak of a mysterious brain disease caused by baby formula, that has taken the lives of three babies. The Health Ministry is planning to order 5,000 injections of Vitamin B-1, which was found to be missing in the German-made baby formula "Remedia." A total of 19 babies who took the non-dairy formula have been hospitalized, including the three who died. Health officials say the disease was caused by a lack of Vitamin B-1, though it's listed on the packaging as an ingredient. The injections will be provided free of charge. The formula is widely used in the ultra-Orthodox community."

Sunday, November 09, 2003


The FAA is considering institute a policy requiring car seats on planes for infants and children. However, critics say the new policy could backfire, since more parents may choose to drive rather than pay an additional fare for their infant. And, as we all know, there are more auto accidents than plane crashes. See article here.

For those of you without young children, a baby under the age of 2 may sit on an adult lap with no restraint whatsoever. If you bring an infant seat, gate agents and flight attendants will usually try to accommodate parents with lap children by placing them in a row with an extra empty seat. Turbulence during flight is the #1 cause of injury and death to lap children. Check out the Baby B’Air flight vest, approved for use during the cruise portions of the flight. We keep ours in the diaper bag for added peace of mind when the flight is full, or if the flight is bumpy and baby needs to come out of the seat to nurse.

From Israel Today's News From Jerusalem (November 9, 2003):

"Ten babies in Israel have come down with a brain disease that the Health Ministry blames on a baby formula made in Germany called "Remedia." Symptoms include nausea and convulsions. Two of the babies died, so health officials have pulled the product from the shelves. The non-dairy formula is widely used here by ultra-Orthodox Jews. The Health Ministry has been flooded with 10,000 calls by worried parents.

Thursday, October 30, 2003


We returned from vacation to find our vaccine exemption affidavits had arrived from the Texas Department of Health (see Sept. 28, 2003 entry). They are sequentially numbered in the 3800s, which leads me to believe at least 760 people have requested forms and possibly as many as 3800 (max. 5 forms per child). They also included a one-page chart of "Benefits and Risks of Vaccination" and my original letter and envelope (remember, they are not supposed to retain this information). The operative part of the affidavit states:

"I have read and I understand the attached, Benefits and Risks of Vaccination information. I understand the risks of not vaccinating my child. I further understand that my child may be excluded from school attendance in times of emergency or epidemic declared by the commissioner of public health."

Saturday, October 25, 2003


Some Daytona highlights:

The Ponce DeLeon Lighthouse on Ponce Inlet (the southern tip of the island on which Daytona Beach is located). My 2 ½ -year old son climbed all 206 steps to the top (but Daddy carried him down).

There are no less than four miniature golf establishments on the west side of Daytona’s main strip.

And – don’t miss the Daytona Beach Drive-in Christian Church. Yes, it’s an old drive-in movie theater remade into a church.

Thursday, October 23, 2003


Compare the following two articles from The Daytona News-Journal – one on Biketoberfest ("Officials, participants laud annual event") , the other on the Cher concert ("Cher Fan: Beating Goes On At Concert") . Apparently drunk middle-aged women caused more problems in Daytona than drunk bikers. Go Figure.

Monday, October 20, 2003


Sure am glad we planned our trip to start on the last day of Biketoberfest, not the first. Based on the number of motorcycles and bikers still here, this place would have been unbearable last week. Between 60,000 and 100,000 bikers were expected for the four-day festival.

Links of interest:

Rue & Ziffra, P.A. are "attorneys for bikers".

And, sadly, an URL I spotted on a truck in Daytona,, as far as I can tell, has nothing to do with the law. It's just a bike shop. Maybe they are implying that they are "illegal" bikers.

Sunday, October 19, 2003


From "See Daytona Beach" :

"A new law in Volusia County stipulates that it is now illegal to sunbathe next to your car. Due to limited parking spaces, sun worshipers are only allowed to tan in front of or behind their car – but not on either side."

Friday, October 17, 2003


Next week we will be headed for a much-needed family vacation to Daytona Beach, Florida. So I don't expect I will be able to blog while I'm gone, but I will have a lot to say when I get back. We will be there on the tail end of Biketoberfest. This is not by design. Ironic, three things that my husband dislikes with a passion are: Harley-davidson motorcycles, NASCAR, and golf.

This week I have done several things that I have not done since lawschool: stayed up half the night to work on a brief, refer to the principle of contra proferentem, cite to the Restatment (Second) of Contracts (fondly known as "R2K"), and use my well-worn Bluebook.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003


A study which appeared in a recent issue of Pain Management Nursing indicates that music can "reduce the sensation of labor pain and delay the emotional distress that may accompany childbirth". According to HealthDayNews, the study notes that better pain management during labor may speed a woman's recovery after childbirth and improve the mother-infant relationship. See article here.

Speaking of music, I would like to recommend Ravel's Bolero. It completely got me through my last labor.

Monday, October 06, 2003


Last Saturday, there was another suicide bombing in Israel, in the seaside port of Haifa. In addition to the bomber, nineteen people were killed, including a baby, three children, and four Israeli Arabs. Ironically, the restaurant where the attack took place was jointly owned by a Jew and an Arab.

The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombing, and identified the bomber as a 27-year old female law student from Jenin.

Stories from Israel Today and Jerusalem Post.

Thursday, October 02, 2003


I have often been amused, when viewing my own blawg, to see that the banner ad at the top of the page changes to reflect whatever I've written about. I'm sure it's some keyword search that generates ads... So now, after a few rants about baby formula and the benefits of breastfeeding, we get ads for Similac and Nestle Carnation... DON'T get me started.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003


Kate Langbroek, An Australian talk show host, breastfed her newborn son live on her program "The Panel." Read "Australian breastfeeds live on TV".

Real Simple magazine, which I wrote about in the August 25, 2003 blawg entry, did not print any of the many letters it received about it's "time saving" tip not to breastfeed, but did post a very small selection on it's website. Read them here. I wrote them but have not yet received a response.

Mommies Esq1 of Mommies at Law (Sept. 10, 2003) wonders: "I was intrigued by the idea that breastmilk has over 300 'ingredients' and most baby formulas contain only about 40. I'm curious to know what the components of breastmilk really are." She doesn’t get a satisfactory answer to her question, but posts some good links she found on her search.

One ingredient I know for sure is in breastmilk but not formula: caffeine. You wouldn't think an 8-month old baby would be so sensitive to the stuff, but I cut out my morning cup of tea, and all I can say is: HE NAPS!

Sunday, September 28, 2003

As of September 1, 2003, Texas has become the 19th state to enact a "conscientious objection" exemption from vaccinations. Previously, Texas only provided for religious and medical exemptions.

This new law will not only allow for exemptions for non-religious persons, but it will also make things easier for parents who have objections to vaccinations based on religious grounds, but who do not belong to a religious organization that prohibits vaccinations per se. Previously, Texas law stated that in order to obtain a religious exemption, parents had to state that vaccinations conflicted "with the tenets and practice of a recognized religion, of which we are adherents." This conflicted with constitutional case law on the subject, which required only a sincerely held religious belief, but try explaining that to a school administrator who doesn't like the wording of your exemption letter.

Now this is strange: in order to obtain an exemption form, you must write (no email or online forms) to the Texas Department of Health and provide your childrens' names and birthdates (even though they are not allowed to retain this information once the form is sent), and the number of forms you want (copies are not accepted), sign it and have it notarized. Previously if you wanted a Religious exemption, you just wrote a little letter following the wording of the statute and signed it. The new form will be used for both the religious and conscientious (but not medical) exemptions.

According to the TDH, "The Texas Department of Health and the Texas Education Agency are providing school districts with guidance for implementing a new law intended to make it more difficult for parents to exclude their children from vaccinations required for school enrollment" [emphasis added]. Huh? The purpose of the law is to make it more difficult for us to exercise our constitutionally protected religious freedoms? They said it, I didn’t.

Another provision of the law prohibits a health and human services agency (including the Health Department and Child Protective Services) from taking punitive action against a parent for not immunizing their child. Here the definition of punitive action includes "the initiation of an investigation of a person responsible for a child's care, custody, or welfare for alleged or suspected abuse, or neglect of a child." In other words, CPS cannot come take you kids away for "neglect" just because you do not immunize.

And now for a little rant: Folks, vaccinations are not mandatory. No one can force you or your child to undergo any medical treatment or procedure without your consent. If they were, the government and health care provider would be civilly liable for any adverse outcome, and possibly guilty of civil and criminal battery as well. Shots are, however, required in order to enroll you or your child in a public school, and in some private schools, unless of course you take one of the aforementioned exemptions. I am amazed at the number of people who do not realize that they have choices when it comes to health care. Recently, a pregnant friend learned from an LDR nurse that the hospital where she will deliver her baby "requires" that all laboring mothers be confined to bed, and given a catheter and I.V. I just about hit the roof when I heard this. I explained to her that it was her right to refuse any medical treatment she did not want.

The purpose of this blawg entry is not to convince you to not vaccinate your children or to become difficult hospital patients, but to alert you to your constitutional, legal, and moral rights when it comes to drugs and medical procedures, on your own or your childrens' behalf. The phrase "informed consent" has no meaning if we do not have the option of "informed dissent." YOU are ultimately responsible for your health and your child's health; not your doctor, the government, the CDC, the drug manufacturers, or your state or county health department.

The new exemption process explained here.
Sample letter for obtaining an exemption form.
Texas vaccination info from P.R.O.V.E.

I really ought to link to the text of the new law, but I am too tired to look it up. Maybe later. Most of the people who read this are (I assume) lawyers anyway, so go look it up yourself.

Saturday, September 20, 2003


The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has abolished the doctrine of common-law marriage. According to the opinion, "[t]he circumstances creating a need for the doctrine are not present in today's society. ... Access to both civil and religious authorities for a ceremonial marriage is readily available in even the most rural areas of the Commonwealth. The cost is minimal, and the process simple and relatively expedient." It is not clear whether the abolition applies to existing common-law marriages or from what date future common-law marriages will be void.

Read article here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003


One of my favorite jokes:

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. "Watson, look up and tell me what you see."

Watson replied, "I see millions and millions of stars."

"And what does that tell you?" Holmes asked.

Watson pondered for a minute. "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is about a quarter past 3. Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Why, what does it tell you?"

Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke: "Someone has stolen our tent."

Don't overlook the obvious.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003


The American Film Institute recently rolled out it’s list of the 50 greatest film heroes and 50 greatest film villains. The #1 film hero of all time – according to a panel of jurors – is a lawyer. That’s right, a lawyer – Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. This guy has inspired countless men and women to go to law school; and I've never even seen the movie (or read the book for that matter). When I told my mother this, she lamented "I've failed you as a parent". Oh well.

I was also glad to see quite a few women heroes (heroines?). Erin Brockovich, for one. And who can forget the scene from Norma Rae where Sally Field goes into the factory and holds up the sign and everyone turns off their machines. But I’m not sure how Thelma & Louise made the list.

My son is now in the Cheerios stage of baby development. Buy stock.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003


Dr. Green's Daily Dose reports that "Children born by C-section to allergic mothers are more than 4 times more likely to develop proven egg allergies than are peers born vaginally" … and more than 7 times more likely to develop an allergy to fish or nuts, according to a "fascinating study" in the August 2003 Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Zachary Sanders was refused entrance to the New Jersey Bar because he, on three occasions, traveled to Cuba in violation of federal law, and twice smuggled in Cuban cigars.

Charles McKinley, 25, shipped himself in a crate from Kentucky to his parents’ home in Desoto, near Dallas, Texas.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003


We are home. Sorry for the infrequent logs. Everyone had a great time, especially Big Brother who got to ride on Uncle Jerry's "big big big big green tractor." And I should give Little Brother equal time; he is standing up easily now and occasionally lets go with one hand. Many babies his age can get up but can't get down; he is fearless and lets go even though he hasn't figured out how to bend his knees to sit down. You can tell he wants to take off and run after Big Brother.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003


One of the more interesting reads in Monticello is the Monticello (Iowa) Express. Like many community newspapers, the Express prints a police blotter, where we can read, for example, that police were called out to 338 N. Pine Street at 6pm on August 26 to "remove bat from house" and again at 9:30pm to remove bat at 420 E. 3rd Street (sounds like a banner day for the bats). Note: these are the only entries for August 26th.

But the Express' Courthouse Brief page is far more detailed than that. The Express reports on the issuance of marriage licenses and the dissolution of marriages; lists all civil filings and final disposition of civil cases; all traffic tickets, arrests, charges, pleas, convictions, and traffic accidents to which the sheriff responded. This makes for some great reading.

Do Donald Robert Randalls' friends and neighbors feel differently about him since he was fined $30 for having a defective muffler? What on earth did Tom Allen Wagner of Delmar do to net himself a $49.50 fine for "camping area violation"? And poor Larry P. Brislawn struck a deer on Highway 151, doing about $3500 damage to his 2000 Nissan Altima. Just let his insurance company try to argue otherwise.

Reminds me of Matthew 10:26: "there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known." Would there be less crime if all of our misdeeds were printed for everyone to see?

Tuesday, September 02, 2003


Check out Iowa Farmer Today's Corn Cam and Dairy Cam.

Yesterday we visited the Wapsipinicon State Park in Animosa.


I am making this entry from the public library in Monticello, Iowa (pop. 3,678). When we were here in July, there was only a single public access terminal with dial-up internet connection. Now there are four brand-spanking new computers with high-speed access. We are here in Monticello visiting the in-laws (a/k/a my children's grandparents).

My older son (2 1/2) has been in love with tractors ever since our July visit. In Monticello alone, there are 3 tractor dealerships - New Holland, John Deere, and Case/International Harvester. Not to mention various farming implements along the highway being used for farming purposes (unlike in Texas, where little actual farming is done). In my son's mind (and 2-year-old vocabulary), every piece of heavy equipment is now either a "tractor", a "combine", or a "bulldozer".

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Monday, August 25, 2003


Recently, a relative passed along a copy of the August, 2003 issue of RealSimple magazine. In general, I was not too impressed. For one thing, the magazine is filled with advertisements of more things to buy, as if that will make our lives simpler, not more cluttered (have too much clutter? Visit ). However, I was amazed (astonished, perplexed, aghast) by the article on p.137 which is heralded by the cover headline "20 time-wasting rules to break now." Among the time-wasting rules to break: Don't breast-feed your child.

So I was glad to see that Mothering Magazine included the RealSimple article as a recent Action Alert. There is even a boycott organized, and Promom is hosting a letter writing campaign.

There are some valid reasons to feed formula. There are good reasons, bad reasons, and sad reasons. But feeding formula is never simpler. Once, in a tent at an airshow, I saw a young woman with a crying baby trying to fix a bottle. She held the screaming baby with one hand while, with the other hand, opened a bottle of water, poured the water into the baby bottle, replaced the lid on the baby bottle, and shook it. All the while the baby was crying and she had the attention of the entire tent. She was sitting in the back corner and, had she been breastfeeding, she could have been feeding her baby before he had even worked up a fuss and no one would have even noticed.

Here are some good links as to why breastfeeding is better. And I could not end this blawg entry without mentioning my favorite breastfeeding site,

Sunday, August 24, 2003


While wasting my time doing vanity searches on Google, I found Mommies at Law, a similarly-themed website. In fact, I was going to write a bit about the woman in Ohio arrested for breastfeeding while driving, but mommiesesq2 (August 9) has covered the legal issues surrounding that incident more than adequately. You can read about the incident at Yahoo!/AP and MSNBC.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003


The first free-standing birth center in the country, New York's Elizabeth Seton Birthing Center, announced that it will be closing September 1, 2003 as a result of the "current malpractice insurance crisis in the United States". Read the story at Midwifery Today or a related story at the New York Post Online.

Monday, August 18, 2003


On last night's 60 Minutes (“The Biological Clock”) Lesley Stahl reports that our biological clocks aren't ticking any more slowly. Despite advances in fertility medicine, "virtually no women over the age of 44 are able to have a baby using their own eggs." Unfortunately, many young women are concentrating on their careers and delaying childbearing, under the impression that they will be able to get pregnant when they are in their early 40's, then finding out too late that it is no longer possible (or is very, very difficult).

It’s time for us to wake up and realize that we can't have it all. I'm not saying that women can't have careers, shouldn't have careers, or shouldn't work while raising children. I am saying that you can give 100% to your career, or 100% to your family, but not both. You will have to make a compromise somewhere. What is most important to you?

Today’s Daily Dose from Dr. Greeen reports that "Women who take aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, etc.), or naproxen (Alleve) during pregnancy or just before may have an 80% increased risk of miscarriage, according to a study in the Aug. 16, 2003 British Medical Journal."

Thursday, August 14, 2003


Well, not really. But if you run a Google search on "mommy blawg", this site comes up first.

My sympathies with those who have no electrical power this evening. Although we don't know yet what caused the blackout, my money is on a computer virus or cyber terrorism. Check out this article from World Net Daily about INS computer problems.

Lehman's has a unique selection of non-electric products. And a website. Think about that for a minute.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003


This blawg has been briefly mentioned on Inter Alia and the Internet Legal Research Weekly, to which I am gratuitously linking back. Also I received my first blawg-related email, which means that definitely somebody besides me has been reading this. Seriously, I don't even think my husband has been reading this. Honey?

I also updated the description of the Mommy Blawg in the first post to include "breastfeeding advocacy"... duh, how did I forget that one?

Enough drivel, let's go find some real news to talk about.

Monday, August 11, 2003


It was a busy week in the life of my 6 1/2 month old son. He started crawling and cut his first tooth. He does an "army crawl" and is actually quite fast, considering it is a newly acquired skill.

Thursday, August 07, 2003


A couple of news stories popped up recently regarding vaccinations, with my comments:

CDC Focuses on Late-Vaccinated Toddlers

The CDC reports that about 75% of all toddlers are vaccinated on time, and is making efforts to improve that number to 80% by the year 2010. The report opens with a story about a pregnant woman who was exposed to Pertussis (whooping cough) by an unvaccinated toddler. She was sick when she gave birth, and her newborn baby became seriously ill and spent several days in PICU as a result. On the surface, the anecdote seems to make a good case for vaccinating children. But wait – let’s dig a little deeper.

First, the Toddler in question was unvaccinated because his parents had objections (religious or philosophical) to all vaccinations. However, this is not the group that the CDC is focusing on according to the article. It is aiming to improve vax rates of children whose parents forget or neglect to complete the vaccination schedule. Presumably the CDC is not going after the 10% or so of parents for whom vaccination goes against their sincerely held beliefs. So why was this particular incident chosen to introduce this particular news story?

Second, the toddler in question had an obvious whooping cough. So why were his parents taking him to a playgroup with other children, let alone a pregnant woman? Part of the decision not to vax is the realization that you will have to stay at home for a week or more with your chicken-poxed child, etc., and will be careful about not exposing others.

Third, how did the pregnant woman get pertussis? Hadn’t she been vaccinated against it? And if she was, did the protection of the vaccination wear off? If she had been allowed to be exposed naturally to pertussis as a child, she would have been fully immunized against the disease for the rest of her life, and would have passed on some immunity to her unborn child. Not so with the vaccination.

Mothers lose MMR battle: Two mothers have lost their fight to stop their daughters being compulsorily vaccinated with the MMR jab

Somewhat disturbing, the BBC reports that two women in Britain have lost a court battle to prevent their daughters from getting the MMR vaccination against their wishes. In both cases, the fathers of the children brought suit to force the vaccinations.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003


I've been added to the Lawblogs webring. You will notice the new little symbols at the bottom of the box on the upper right hand corner.

Maybe now someone besides myself will be reading this :).

Friday, August 01, 2003


There is a movement underway for states to rewrite jury instructions in “plain English” so as to make them clearer and more understandable. This does not seem like such a bad idea, as those jury instructions can be confusing even to me, and I went to law school for 3 years in order to understand legalese. But I am genuinely concerned when a jury believes that “malice aforethought” means that the murder was committed with a mallet. The low level of education of the general public in this country is truly astonishing. See related article at The National Law Journal.

Conventional wisdom (me) says: If you are not guilty, choose a bench trial. If you are guilty, let a jury decide. It is hard to get 12 people to agree on anything.

Monday, July 28, 2003


Recently I was watching Frontier House. It is PBS's version of reality t.v., quite good. Three families agree to live on the Montana frontier as if they are 1883 homesteaders. One of the interesting things I noticed about the show is that all the women are running around in their chemises and skirts - apparently modern standards of modesty still apply.

But the show got me thinking. There are some people who have the romantic notion that they belong to “a different era”, that they were born in the wrong time period. Maybe they were Joan of Arc or King George in a past life (how come no one ever claims to have been Jack the Ripper or Hitler?). Never mind that “the good old days” weren’t always so good, or “a simpler time” wasn’t necessarily so simple. But I believe that we were all born in this era, in this generation, to fulfill a God-given purpose that could only have been fulfilled now, and is desperately needed in our time, and our time alone. So if you love to run around dressed up like a Civil War soldier or a knight in shining armor like those SCA folks, give a hard think about why. What values do you admire from that bygone era that are needed today by our society? What does our culture lack that it is searching for in a fantasy world?

I have come to realize more and more that I need computers, especially the Internet, to help me fulfill my purpose. I don't think I could do research nearly as effectively sitting in a library (and not with 2 little ones, either) as I can online. I was made for this age.

More on Purpose in future postings…

Thursday, July 24, 2003


Yahoo!Health/AP reports Part of Newborn's Toe Cut Off in Hospital while a hospital employee was removing a security tag.

The head of the pediatrics department is quoted as saying, "Clearly we are as bothered as the family is. We all feel terrible for the family and feel terrible for the child."

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