Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sweet of them

ACOG, my very favorite organization, has released a new policy statement on "oral intake during labor" (committee opinion #441). You'll be very happy to know that women will now be allowed to drink clear fluids while laboring.


Amazingly, this is actually a relaxation of the previous ACOG guidelines, which restricted women to ice chips only.

How did we so completely lose the concept of a woman's bodily autonomy?

Thanks to Dr. Fischbein for bringing this to my attention. He has a good article in response, a portion of which I'll quote here:
Policies restricting food and liquid intake date from an era when laboring women were routinely given general anesthesia and risked aspirating food into the lungs. Modern anesthetic techniques have virtually eliminated this risk, which is further reduced by the fact that only a tiny minority of laboring women, even among those who deliver via cesarean section, actually receive general anesthesia.

"The women I care for eat when they are hungry and drink when they are thirsty, all without asking for ACOG's permission first," said Elizabeth Allemann, MD. "Women deserve to be fully informed about what the evidence actually shows, and it's time that the medical profession abandoned policies based on the outdated and paternalistic idea that patients should play no role whatsoever in the decision-making process."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Target coupons - baby supplies!

Target just released some new printable coupons for baby supplies. These coupons can be stacked with regular manufacturer's coupons for extra savings. Check out Deal Seeking Mom for a list of match-ups with available coupons!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Seaworld (part two)

After the sea lions we went to see the killer whale show. For some reason it is called "Believe." I think they wanted me to believe in...um...harmony with nature? myself? mother earth? The whole show was designed to make you feel a lot without thinking at all. Blech. But the orcas were incredible.

We were seated up high this time, well out of the splash zone, but I think Thomas was a little worried anyway. That, or trying to figure out what he was supposed to be believing. :)

Afterward Gabe went to retrieve our stroller and I let the boys run around on the grass. Here they are being killer whales with very big teeth:

And because I can't resist, here is Thomas being his own sweet self.

More to come...!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Music and neuroscience: the pentatonic scale

What is it about the pentatonic scale that is so embedded in our brains that we can sing it without even knowing what we're doing? Bobby McFerrin gave this amazing demonstration at the World Science Festival this year. He has the entire audience singing along, following his body movements and correctly matching pitches, hearing only a few of them sung in advance.

If I had three lifetimes, I think I'd go back to school and study this. And composition. And conducting. And after that I'd know one tiny little corner of the world of music.

When most people think of "improv" they tend to think of jazz improvisation. Here is a wild new take on the idea. I've never heard anything quite like it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Starting early

Last night Gabe and Jonathan went out to get dinner for us all at Pick Up Stix. As they were heading out the door, Jonathan suddenly stopped and asked worriedly, "wait, Daddy, did you bring the coupon?"

Train 'em young. :)

I was quite happy he asked because Gabe had, indeed, forgotten the coupon!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Josiah has discovered that he can initiate peek-a-boo games. This morning he pulled his blanket over his head, pulled it back down, grinned and said "ahh!!" This was repeated, with giggles, multiple times. He was awfully pleased with himself!

Sometimes it is easy to forget that Siah is growing up - the little milestones that were so huge in Jonathan's early life are easy to miss in the daily chaos now. I'm trying to remember to cherish them the third time around, too. They're just as incredible, and just as sweet.

Seaworld (part one)

We are not one of those exciting families who take off on one trip after another. We especially are not prone to taking off on a whim. Within a week of said whim. Oh my, no.

But this time that is exactly what we did, and I am so glad. Sometimes even non-spontaneous people need some spontaneity!

We found a hotel through priceline, which I really can't recommend enough. Instead of spending hours trying to find a hotel that had an empty room (tricky to do on your own, in August) that didn't cost three arms and a first born child, I simply told priceline where I wanted to go, how many stars I wanted on my hotel, and how much I was willing to pay each night. Ta da! Hotel, per specifications, in less than ten minutes.

The boys absolutely loved the fact that we were on the 26th floor. We were right next to the harbor, and they had a perfect view.

Eventually we tore them away from it, however, and headed out to SeaWorld. I think I was at least as excited as the kids. :) I went to SeaWorld once as a child and loved it. I remember it in surprising detail and have always wanted to go back. Not sure why it took me this long to do it!

Here are Gabe and the boys waiting for the first show: dolphins. The boys weren't so sure about sitting in the "splash zone", but it worked out well (we were at the top of it, so we just got sprinkled a bit).

Then we headed over to the sea lions, to watch their feeding. Those are noisy creatures.

Jonathan was fascinated. I think he might have stayed there all day if we hadn't reminded him that killer whales were next on the agenda!

Siah thought they were hilarious.

We didn't exactly plan it this way, but remember how Jonathan has been so interested in learning about orcas, walruses, penguins, etc. lately? I think he got so much more out of our SeaWorld adventure because he already had some educational "pegs" to hang the experience on. Listening to him tell others about what we did and saw has been amazing - I think I can safely place this spur of the moment vacation in the "homeschooling" category. :)

More tomorrow - the kids are about to get up from their naps!

Day 8: it has been too long

I'm sure you've all been waiting with bated breath to find out how our long road trip ended. No? You've forgotten that I was posting about that?

Me too.

And now I have a new trip to post about. So unless someone wants to really seriously object, and follow up the objection with an offer to come over and play with my kids, I'm going to fast forward a few months. :)

Reducing waste

While I wouldn't classify myself as an uber-environmentalist, I do care about taking care of creation. Today I noticed that Amazon is promoting "frustration-free packaging". Intriguing, yes? Take a minute and go read their FAQ page (it isn't too long).

I think it is very cool that they've come up with something that simultaneously A) reduces their costs for packaging/shipping, B) reduces plastic and other not-easy-to-recycle waste, and C) makes the consumer happy (I can't be the only person to have cut myself on those silly plastic clamshells, right?)

This is the kind of win-win-win solution that I would love to see more often! Way to go, Amazon.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lullaby Slings giveaway

Lullaby Slings is sponsoring a giveaway! To participate, go visit my friend Meg at Sew Liberated. To enter, leave a comment there (NOT here.) Sew Liberated is a great place to hang out for awhile. Take a few minutes to look at Meg's patterns, Montessori resources, and her beautiful little boy!


Isaac Timothy Rothell
born Monday, August 10th, 4:43am
7 lbs, 5 oz
20 inches long

I spent the weekend immersed in Ingrid's 47 hour labor. Monday my dear sister-in-law Libby came to be with the kids while I slept. Today I'm staring at my life, trying to figure out how to pick up all those balls I dropped and re-enter "normal".

It really is kind of disorienting. How midwives do this all the time!!!

On the other hand, it is so utterly incredible! Why am I not a midwife???

At some point I'd like to blog some of the experience, but I'll talk to Ingrid first to get the ok on that. :)

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Who ever said that women can't give birth normally after multiple c-sections? This woman had three prior sections, and gave birth unassisted on the side of the freeway. Not the way I'd want to do it, true, but it certainly can be done! :)

I'm on a birth kick right now because my friend Ingrid is about to have a baby. She's due on August 5th, and I am SO EXCITED because she's asked me to be part of her birth. Did I mention that I'm SO EXCITED??? And honored and amazed and so incredibly excited?

I love birth. I really can't think of anything more incredible. Now that I've done it three times myself, all in wildly different situations, I am really looking forward to this chance to experience it from the other side, in an assisting role.

So Ingrid, thank you for this opportunity. I can't wait. And now that I'm back from vacation, you go ahead and go into labor any time you want. :)

BBC News: Home births as safe as hospital births

A new study from the Netherlands:
The largest study of its kind has found that for low-risk women, giving birth at home is as safe as doing so in hospital with a midwife.
This isn't surprising, but it is awfully helpful to have a large study (530,000 births!) confirm it.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) said it supported home births "in cases of low-risk pregnancies provided the appropriate infrastructures and resources are present to support such a system.
If only ACOG could be so reasonable...

Thanks to Jen at VBACfacts for the link!