Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Black Infant Mortality Rate Crisis

Did you know that African American infants die at 2x the rate of white infants? In our country now, today. They die at a greater rate than Latino or non-US born black families. The statistics hold across educational and socio-economic lines as well as race.

Tonya Lewis Lee, who co-authored one of my favorite baby books ever, just released a 30 minute documentary about it. Checkout the compelling article at ColorsNW.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

We're Approved!!

Our homestudy is officially complete and approved!

Moving on to stage 2: agency choices, medical forms and family portfolios.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Eat a Duck

Last week, Bill came home with a frozen duck. Sigh.

I put off baking it for 7 days because I find duck difficult to do right. Finally, though, it was defrosted long enough that I had to do something or else throw its $20 self in the trash. After reading through most of my cook books, Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Dinners offered a recipe that sounded easy and good enough to try.

By the time I had it in the oven I was salivating and wishing the 2 hour cooking time would hurry by. In the end, the house smelled great, the meat pulled away temptingly from the bone and the skin had a flavorful crunch to it.

Go Jamie! His book also includes my favorite ever recipe for roasted chicken.

A poem to honor our happy duck eating moment!

Eat a Duck

Eat a duck, quack-quack,
eat a duck, quack-quack,
when you're hungry and you really need a snack, quack-quack.

When you've fizzled and you're knackered
and they're calling you a slacker,
there's nothing like a quacker on a cracker.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Gentian Dog

Maggie the delightful, patient, frumpy, labradoodle suffers from an on-going low-grade yeast infection on her doggie bottom and chin (or as Rosie says, "geesed"). We've pursued may solutions: herbs, homeopathics, high quality raw foods, tons of probiotics, plenty of supplements and all the accompanying visits to several highly recommended holistic vets.

Having other things to do besides worry about my dog's back end, time passes between various solutions. I can watch her itch for only so long before I'm once again spurred in to action to find another vet who might come up with the final answer for Maggie's discomfort. Last week, reviewing all our thus far failed solutions and thinking about what relief might look like for the dog, I came up with a new idea.

When Rosie was wee, she and I developed thrush. It's a sort of yeast infection in the baby's mouth and mama's breast. Hoping to avoid pharmaceuticals for our baby, we treated it very effectively with gentian violet. What's gentian violet you ask? says:

Gentian violet is an excellent natural remedy. It can be found in health stores. The yeast protocol for gentian violet is application once a day for 4 to 7 days. However, if the pain is gone, the mother should stop using it on day 4. If pain continues, she may use it until the seventh day, but it should not be used for longer than that. It is important to note here that gentian violet has a deep purple hue and it will stain everything it comes into contact with -- skin, clothing, etc. Mothers are clothed and can hide that aspect of it, but babies will have purple mouths for a while.
Drunk on my my moment of brilliance, I figured it couldn't hurt to try it out on the dog. It's non-toxic and applying it to the rear end would insure it's spread to the licking end. Maggie wasn't keen to having it painted on (not that I can blame her), but it was quick and relatively easy. I figured doing it right before bed would allow for it to dry overnight while she slept.

What I hadn't counted on was the after-effects. Remember the line "it will stain everything it comes in contact with"? We now have bright violet spots on the carpet. Spots on the dog bed. Spots on the sidewalk out back. Spots on my jeans where she tried to wriggle away from me.

Today we got smarter and applied it in the morning - outside - and then left Maggie to dry, and lick, for several hours. This afternoon she's looking smart in a pair of underwear that cover and embarrass her simultaneously.

Hopefully 4-7 days of this will end the persistent yeast. In the meantime, we're really enjoying our gentian dog.

(if you're reading this on an RSS feed, you really have to click-through to the picture!)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Do Pugs Run?

Rosie and I have a love affair with pugs going, due in great part to the neighbor's dog Pickle. Today she announced that when she gets a dog, she's going to get a pug. And that she's decided it will be complicated because we'll have to walk 2 dogs.

Not that there is even a remote chance that we'll be adding a pug to our household anytime soon, but could we really take a pug on our morning jog?

I'm not sure I've ever see a pug run.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Almost Waiting

As we get closer and closer to actually being in "waiting" status for our new baby, I find my emotions around the event ratcheting up. Because honestly, if we're this close it means that out there right now at least one woman/family is in total crisis, and I'm about to benefit hugely and delightfully from what may be the most heartbreaking moment of her/their lives.

To be part of that system saddens me. Oh to have a magic wand with which I can set everything in the world right RIGHT now. Wouldn't it be lovely if suddenly there were no babies left needing families? Really. Still here we are with babies needing families and our family wanting to welcome more children into our home.

I found it affirming this morning to find the same idea already written in somebody else's blog. Issycat expresses it coming from a different point of view and a different emotion, yet the idea and the problem are still the same.

(PAP stands for prospective adoptive parent)

2. ADOPTION is not natural. It isn’t. A person giving their child to an agency to be given to complete strangers to raise. Not natural. PAP’s wriitng “Dear Birthmother” letters trying to pimp themselves to women in crisis pregnancy situations in the hope of obtaining said baby… not natural.

You know what is natural? Babies going home and being cared for by the mothers who carried them in their bodies. That is natural. Anything else is just a little sad.

Lunch Thought for the Day

Santa Barbara brand olives taste like the smell of my grandparents' horse corrals.

Happy memories, but not in my lunch.