Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Weirdness of Having a Belly

I always wondered what being pregnant would be like. I want to make sure, now that I am, that I ponder and document its wonderful strangeness. Things that I've noticed:

My belly button is disappearing. This sounds weird, but when I put my finger in there (come on, don't you ever put your finger in your belly button??), it doesn't go as far. As in, it's getting shallower. As in, soon I will have an outie.

That weird brown line. Whatever that thing is called, I have one. Below the belly button and starting very faintly now above it. What's that for? What's its name??

Getting up is hard. Especially with the new memory foam mattress cover Rob got for Christmas. I seriously have to heave myself to one side and kind of roll our of bed. I actually couldn't take it anymore, so we folded it in half. Now Rob has a 6-inch mattress pad and I'm just on the mattress. It's more comfortable, I swear. I got in his side the other day and I COULD NOT GET OUT. It was beyond frightening. I need one of those medic alert things made famous by the "I've fallen and I can't get up" lady.

My back is sore all the time. My midwife suggested a chiropractor, and while I'm sure that might help, we don't exactly have the extra money for that. I think I'm just carrying around too much bulk up front, if you get my drift.

I misjudge how much room I have or need. I keep running into things, like tabletops and doorframes, thinking that I only need enough room as my pre-pregnant body did. Nope. Wrong. I need more.

Working out is harder. I'm used to working out pretty heavily in the gym, but now I'm on like a level 1 on the elliptical going 108 strides per minute (that's slow, btw), and yet I'm sweating like a pig and my heartrate's going up. So...I work out with less intensity, and yet am somehow working out harder? Huh?

There are parts of me I can't see. I can still see my feet and most of my body, but the other day while in the shower, [***WARNING! APPROACHING TMI!!***] I went to give my bikini area a little shave, and I COULD NOT SEE IT. This really freaked me out. It's not like I spend a lot of time looking at it or anything, but I kind of need to see it when using a razor.

And the BEST thing...

There is a little person moving inside me. There is nothing to describe this feeling if you haven't had it. Lately the little one has been doing flips or turns or something where there is a huge shift in there. Maybe she/he's having a dance party, or learning acrobatics, or performing some kind of prenatal yoga. Sometimes it's just a little kick or punch, which I know is really his/her way of saying, "Mom, I love you!" (Now if he/she is still kicking or punching as a five-year old, that's a different story.) Whenever I feel that movement, it's a great feeling to know there's someone in there that I'll get to know in a few months for real.

So, in case you were wondering, THAT'S what it feels like to be pregnant. At least, if you're me.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How Cool Is This?

I've been trying to figure out what to do with my photos. I got really bad at uploading pics to the blogs because I had 900 photos on my camera. I couldn't delete them, because I hadn't printed them (even though they were also on my computer) and every time I went to upload new photos to the computer it took like an hour because it had so many photos to read. I finally decided to delete them all once they were on the computer. I'm terrible at printing them anyway, and then when I do, I don't put them in photo albums, so they sit in boxes or stacks all over the house.

But now I know what to do with them! At this site called Blurb, you can upload photos and have an actual book printed. They look really amazing, and the pricing seems to be pretty good. How much more would I love this than trying to fill yet another photo album??

I Have Arrived

So, this whole time I've been waiting (and waiting) to get the big baby belly. Lo and behold, it's come. (See pictures below if you don't believe me.) It happened so gradually, but at the same time I felt like I woke up one day and was like, "Hello? Where did YOU come from?" What's been really funny is to hear people's reactions to me now.

Woman at the checkout counter in Kroger: You haven't had that baby yet?
Me: (attempting to smile brightly) Um. I still have two and a half months to go.

Man at the gym shouting at me from an elliptical machine:
That's baby's ready to pop out!
Me: ...

Dick Tater from South Side Roller Derby: Do you know what you're having yet?
Me: No. We're going to be surprised.
Dick Tater: You're having a boy. Because you're way too big. Definitely a boy.
Me: ....

Rob, last night as we're getting ready for bed: It looks fake.
Me: What? My belly?
Rob: Yeah.
Me: Like, it looks prosthetic?
Rob: Yeah.
Me: (laughing maniacally) Cool.

Really, now I'm scared. Because if this is what I'm getting to hear NOW, what are the next two and a half months going to look like?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

HiLARious Site!

My friend and blogger Tricia over at Reston Mom posted a link to Baby Brewing, a site with great and funny T-shirts and onesies. Through that I found the founder's blog, which is called Mommy Needs a Cocktail.

The name should say it all. I cannot stress enough how HILARIOUS this blog is. Please go read it even if you don't have children. Here's a little excerpt to get you excited:

The Boy: MomMomMom. Why don’t you have a bag?

Hmmm. I glanced over to see him pointing at the sea of purses, sachels, handbags, pocketbooks, diaperbags, ect. There were five women at Chick-fil-a and there must have been 70 bags. Easily.

K: Yeah, um. I don’t carry a purse.
TB: But what about a bag for Nate’s stuff?
K: Am I supposed to carry stuff for Nate (looking around frantically). Does he smell? Did he poop? Nate, did you poop? You already pooped an hour ago. You can’t poop again. I don’t have a diaper. Damn it, I don’t have a diaper.
TB: He didn’t poop, Mom. I just ask because those OTHER moms have bags.

Whatever. Why we gotta be keeping up with the Jones’s when the kids are 1 and 3? Seriously. I have, on occasion, carried a purse. But why would I carry a purse if my husband can hold my keys and my wallet? Hello? Why did I get married? I mean, other than for his hot bod?


It's safe to say that I have a blog crush. Thanks for introducing this site to me, Tricia!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Roller Derby Moms

Sara and I went to see the opening bout for the South Side Roller Girls last night. There are more pictures on our photo blog, but one thing I loved that relates to motherhood is a sign I saw a little girl holding up. It read: "My Mommy Is A Roller Derby Diva!" Aw. That's, like, my dream. I'm totally going to be skating around the neighborhood behind a jogging stroller. I really love that a lot of these women are moms who may not fit the "traditional" mom look (they certainly don't wear Mom Jeans!), but are great moms nonetheless and share their passion with their kids.

Click on this photo for a better, bigger picture. It's two jammers starting off the line.

Tough Love

I remember worrying before my ultrasound that our baby would have two heads or four arms or no arms. (He/she seems to have all appendages intact.) Every mom-to-be probably wonders or worries at some point about whether or not her baby is going to be healthy and "normal," or if the pregnancy will continue as it should. I read two stories this week about wild and hard circumstances and how families have made tough choices and face tough daily living that involves serious sacrifice. I was simulatneously encouraged, saddened, and touched by these stories. (And you know I'm not sappy.)

The first is about British mother Lorraine Allard, who chose not to abort her baby when she discovered she had cancer. She gave birth to son Liam (her fourth) and began chemotherapy immediately, but died just a few months later. With elections, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and the recent National Sanctity of Human Life Day, abortion has been the topic of lots of conversations and debates lately. This is one of those extreme cases every mother fears where abortion is recommended for the sake of the mother's health. Her choice was by no means easy on her, or the family she left behind, but she took joy in being able to give her son life, even if it meant losing her own. The story really wowed me.

The second story is about the Kirton family, who has six autistic children. The article was in People, but they have a site and blog that I would recommend checking out. What really touched me about the story was the honesty with which the family admitted struggling to make it--both financially and mentally/emotionally. What really struck me was the attitude they learned to adopt, shown in this tagline to the article: "Coming to terms with raising six children with neurological disorders nearly tore their family apart. Then Robin and John Kirton realized why they were put on this earth: to love them." Man.

I hope that no matter what kind of baby I have or whatever circumstances our family is faced with, I will keep this in mind. Jesus said the greatest commandments are to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and to love others as yourself. We so often measure successes according to things that you can point to or see--awards, rewards, titles. Love doesn't have those kinds of accolades, but it does have rewards, both now and in eternity. But real love is costly. These stories reminded me both of the cost and rewards.

Whatever that will look like for my family and in my life, I want to be a great lover, in the purest sense of the word, accepting the costs and the rewards.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Look at Me! I'm Growing!!

Here I am at 26 weeks and a few days. My, I'm getting round. It's fun to have a baby belly!

Okay, it's a little scary, too.

Creating a Birth Plan

I think I mentioned the book Creating Your Birth Plan a while back. It's the first one my midwife gave me to read and now I'm pulling it back out again to actually write my birth plan.

What is a birth plan? Basically, it's a written list of things that you hope to have or wish not to have during birth. Birth is kind of wild, so flexibility is needed for sure. But a birth plan gives the best-case-scenario for your birth, and is a place to state your wishes if complications arise. It's good to have whether you're planning a hospital or home birth. Give copies to your caregivers as well as other people who will be there during birth so that from the start, they know what your desires are. A throrough birth plan covers everything from the start of labor to what happens in the moments following birth to you and your baby.

Why make a birth plan? I think there are two main reasons. The first is that in making it, you will actually have to think about what could go on during birth. There are a great number of possible interventions that may take place routinely in a hospital--EFMs, episiotomies, IVs, forceps, epidurals. Reading a book (like Creating Your Birth Plan) and creating your own plan educates you and helps you to really think about what you want in an ideal situation. You want to know the benefits and risks before you are faced with them during labor. The other benefit I see is that you will be more in control of what happens during birth if you communicate in a clear and positive manner what your desires are. Hospitals have to give you informed consent before performing operations, but how likely are you to really care about being informed an episiotomy when you're dilated to 10cm? Not very, I'd imagine.

We talked about birth plans in my Bradley class this week and I'll be working on mine. As soon as I have it up, I'll post a copy, but if you're interested in reading more about birth plans, check out this site!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

New Car!

We have been needing a new car with working seatbelts in the back for the incoming little one, and the Lord graciously provided us with a great car--a 97 Honda Accord with under 100K miles (my camry has 230K) and lots of little pluses like keyless entry, a sunroof, and CD player. Yay! I really like driving it and am happy to feel like we now don't have to worry about safety and such. I still like the drive of the Toyota better, but we love our Japanese cars! Sorry, Ford.

If I were more energetic this morning, I'd take it out of the carport for a better picture. But I'm not.
Aw, isn't she cute? Or he. Whatever.

Babysitting Dogs

We're watching a dog for our friends Freddy and Kristen while he's out of town and she's with friends waiting for her newest baby to pop out at any minute. Is this what it's going to be like with multiple children? The toys strewn along the rug, the barking, the running and the smells?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What I'm Reading Now

Today I woke up with a sore throat, so I'm lying in bed with a heating pad on my back and Tex on my feet. Rob has run out to get me soup and sherbet, even though he's not feeling so hot either. What a great day to get some reading done!

My friend Stacy G has long been extolling the wonders of the Sears books, and I got this one from my midwife yesterday, Christian Parenting and Child Care. As with breastfeeding, I want to be reading up on things I need to know once birth has taken place and I'm suddenly holding a newborn in my arms, wondering, what am I doing?? This book is great in that it encourages parents to be discerning, as EVERYONE has something to say about how to parent. The Sears encourage attachment parenting, which is sort of the opposite of the rigid schdules, cry-it-out camp. They encourage bonding with your little one by responding to his or her cries and needs.

There is a lot to think about, and there is lots of Scripture, which I love. I also like that the Sears have their recommendations, but also spend lots of time telling parents to be discerning--think and pray before just assuming someone else's ideas of what to do. So far I'm really enjoying it and it has me super excited about being a parent!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Midwife Checkup

I had my appointment today with Cathy and everything looks great! My belly is now 29 inches--4 more since my last visit! Sounds like a lot to me, but she said that my measurements and weight are right on track. I had a lower weight gain, which is good. All baby, hopefully! The heart rate was strong and fast and Baby O is hanging out up high. I've been feeling little kicks near the bottom of my ribs on the right side all day. All is well and now I'll be seeing her every two weeks--time is really flying!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Since We're Talking about Shopping--The Perfect Layering Tanks

I'm often scrambling for the perfect tank to use for layering. I used to buy little boys Haynes ribbed wife-beater types, but they're not really long enough and come up too high. Then I moved to the Old Navy ribbed tanks, but they're too thick to really work underneath other shirts. The other issue is that often they're a little lower than I'd like, since I'm wanting them to both layer at the bottom AND cover any cleavage at the top. And none of those ribbed types work for dressy occasions anyway. I have found two tanks since being pregnant that I think are almost perfect and would work for anyone. One is maternity and the other not, but both are working great for me now and I plan to use after as well.

The first is from Walmart. I can't find the exact picture online, but this one is almost the exact tank. Online it's the Metallic Scoop Neck, and is now on sale for $4. In the store, I saw the white one this week for $7 or so.

The second is from Motherhood, as part of their seamless collection. It comes up fairly high, but not too high, and works well with dressier outfits. It's the Seamless Tactel Tank and runs from $9.99 to $15. Totally worth it!

I Am the Ultimate Bargain Shopper!

So far, I've probably only spent about $100 on maternity clothes. Partly because I buy really cheap things, and partly because I have some nice hand-me-downs from friends and my sister in law. I also wear the same five shirts every week, but hey--I'm pregnant. Give me a break!

Today I was in need of a few new things for my ever-expanding belly. (Seriously, are they SURE I'm not having twins???) Let me tell you what I got. Be prepared to be amazed.

Motherhood Maternity
2 dressy shirts
Total: $33.15

Old Navy
2 shirts, 1 tank, 1 pair of jeans, & 1 pair of nice black pants
Total: $29.54

Now, the Old Navy deals were really deals, while Motherhod sounds more expensive. But both shirts are fancy dressy types, and one of them was actually a $185 shirt. I didn't realize that til I got to the register, but knew it was over 90% off, so figured whatever it was, I could afford it. When the sales associate said it was $10, I actually thought that sounded expensive, and only then did I see the huge original price. Overall, I think I scored.

Also, for the record, Motherhood has some great new pants that have the most comfortable and flattering elastic panel ever. The panel has been the biggest source of frustration, as some are so low that it's hard to hide them (plus my belly likes support), some are so thick that you see them through your shirts (and they're uncomfortable), and some don't have panels in an attempt to be cool, but end up being so low rise they don't work at all. At least for me.

The American Star Dark Wash Boot Leg with the Secret Fit Belly (my faves)

What's nice about them is the fact that the panel is very high, so it supports the whole belly, but it's a very thin material, kind of like seamless panties, where you don't see it at all from the outside. I'd already spent my limit for today, but these are my next purchase for sure!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Names, Names, Names

I just read a funny little blurb on The Poop about baby naming etiquette, specifically about name sharing or stealing. They make reference to the Seinfeld episode where George comes up with the name Seven (among others, like Soda--Dad, is this where you get it??) and his fiance's cousins steal it.

It's weird how big of a deal this whole naming thing can be, isn't it? Rob and I have kind of decided to be hush-hush now about our short list of names, even though we've been open with it up until now. Not because we're afraid of having someone steal a name, but more because it seems that no one thinks it's rude to say things like, "Oh, I HATE that," or, "Really? Ugh. You're going to use that as a name?"

Let's think about it--I just gave you my top four names, as in, my FAVORITE names, and you don't think it's rude to say you hate it?? I don't like the idea of being secretive, but at the same time, as much as I appreciate people's input, I would prefer not to have my favorite names be judged. Suggest names, sure. Shoot down my top four? No way.

The comments on The Poop post were interesting, ranging from people suggesting etiquette for baby names to others saying how dumb it was that people are sensitive. What do you, my readers think? Anyone have any funny or not-so-funny name-stealing stories? Horror stories? Think the whole thing is dumb?

The Drano Test


So, the other night at our housewarming party, we heard of something really crazy. Lee Williams told us about the Drano Test. Basically, you add Drano crystals to a urine sample and it will turn bright green if you're having a boy and brown if you're having a girl. She insists that it worked with both of her children, even when the sonogram technician insisted her girl was a boy.

Rob and I are waiting for birth to find out, but this intrigued us. Frankly, it sounds crazy. Because it sounds crazy and we don't really believe it, it doesn't feel like cheating. Then later we can look back and say whether it's right or not.

So we tried it. And the water turned a color. According to Drano, we are having a....SURPRISE! We're keeping it to ourselves, because it's probably not true, but it's fun having this little secret, which may or may not be valid. Let's just say that according to Drano one of us was right about what we thought we were having, and one of us was wrong.

Now we all just have to wait and find out for sure!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Nursery BEFORE

Our house is clean for our better-late-than-never housewarming party tonight, so I thought I'd take some before pictures of the nursery. Before, as in, I haven't started getting it ready yet. Also, there is the small issue of the flooding we had yesterday, but we'll hope that was a fluke and not our foundation. (Please, Lord, let that be the case!) Here is the nursery in all its clutter!

This is a view from the doorway, looking left. There's a table and chairs from my old days painting kids furniture. I'll probably repaint it when Baby is old enough to know what he/she wants. Lynn (Rob's mommy) is going to help make curtains for the window.

This is looking to the right from the doorway. I'm super excited to use the changing table/dresser that my mom used with my brother and, I think, me. You can see a neat wall hanging that my mom made when I was a baby. It's great to be able to use those kinds of things! There is also a glider under all the books that I bought years ago. Even without kids I knew that $25 for a glider is good! Lynn's going to help recover this as well.
And here's a view from the closet door. I'm not taking a picture of the closet because basically I just pushed everything in there before the party tonight. It's scary.

Here's my plan:
-Paint (I've got great ideas for this and can't wait to start!)
-Recover the the glider and make curtains (with Lynn)
-Make bookshelves (designed by me, made by Robbie--master craftsman)
-Get crib (Mom and Dad offered to buy this for us)

Now that the novel's all sent off, this is next on my list. I'm all excited to nest, so be watching for photo updates!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hotel Oliphant is Officially Closed!

This morning my parents left, and I was lonely in my empty house. Even Tex got depressed and stayed in bed all day. But I feel peaceful now that I'm done with my travels, my visitors, and have sent off my novel. Now I have three months to get ready for baby and catch up on my long list of things I want to do.

Today I started at the top of my list. My friend Molly and I agreed to trade paintings--she sent me one of hers in August and has been waiting patiently for me to send one back since. So I watched The Family Stone and painted all afternoon. I'm actually really pleased with what I ended up with and think that I've found a new series to start, juxtaposing my love for peppers with the Texas skyline.



Next up: the nursery! That will be a much longer work in progress and I'll send pictures as I go.

Thanks to MaryBeth!

Thoguh I haven't had any showers yet, I've gotten some really fun baby gifts from friends and family and my Mom's friends. Today I got a great gift from MaryBeth--a onesie for baby and a shirt for me! My pregnant body doesn't quite fit in the shirt, but I look forward to wearing it later. The onesie is one of the cutest I've seen--just my kind of humor! They came from Mama Monkey.

Porn for Women

Every month I get a catalogue for Uncommon Goods, which has some neat and funny and unique gifts. Today I almost died when I saw this on the first page.

Porn for Women
She walked through the front door and stopped dead in her tracks, overcome with desire. There he was - shirtless, his muscles flexing as he vacuumed the carpet...and she hadn't even asked him to.

Women everywhere will laugh out loud and completely relate to this sexy and smart Porn For Women book...With photos of strapping young men doing housework strewn across the pages and accompanied by quotes such as "Have another piece of cake. I don't like you looking so thin" or "Want to snuggle?" this book is a fun gift for women everywhere - and will give the menfolk a little insight into what women really want.

This book contains no nudity.


Rob seemed disturbed by this and asked, "Is this really women's fantasy?" In the words of Bilbo Baggins, no....and yesssss. But either way, it's ingenious.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What I'm Listening To Now


I got to hear this recently signed band with my friend Molly Brose (check out her painting blog!) while in DC over Christmas. She went to school with the songwriter/guitar player/backup vocalist Chris. They're fantastic and all I'm listening to these days. Really amazing stuff. My favorite song is "Bag of Bones." Check them out!


Here's a shot of me and Molly after the show. It was COLD!

Baby Bump at 24 1/2 Weeks!

Man, I feel like my belly has really exploded in the last month! I'm about to move into the third trimester. The baby is right at this moment kicking me, which I think means he/she wants me to say hi for him/her. Hi from Bo!*

*In case I haven't explained it, the nickname Bo is a shortened version of the word Bohicket, which is a marina near Kiawah Island. My dad suggested it as a name for the baby (along with other "names" like Tractor) and we shortened it to Bo. Which also works as a shortened version of Baby O.

Monday, January 14, 2008

How to Do It

With regards to my last post, here's a helpful diagram from one of my favorite sites, I Can Has Cheezburger.

I didn't need to read books after all.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

What I'm Reading Now

I never really thought all that much about breastfeeding--have breasts, will feed. Right? Not quite, it seems.

This was a GREAT book and I think will be a real help to me in the coming months, giving very specific diagrams and techniques. I'm also reading the La Leche League Bible, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, which is super informative and encouraging. I feel really good preparing for things way early so that when I'm faced with the reality, I know what to expect. I like to know what to expect--it keeps me calm. I really had no idea how much there was to know about something that seems so natural, but I'm really glad to have read these books now! Definitely great to check out if you have ever considered breastfeeding.

What I'm Eating Now

These have become one of my favorite snacks. They're baked vegan soy crisps with 7 grams of protein and really solve those salt cravings. Delicious! I guess they're not as good for you when you eat the whole bag, but I can't keep my hands out of them. Yum!!

Thoughts, Articles, Opinions

Thursday's USA Today had an interesting article about the rising rate of the C-section, now at 31.1% of women. Eek! Now let me say that I am not against C-sections when necessary. I have several friends and family that had very needed C-sections. The problem with the rising rate is the fact that it's hard to believe 31.1% (almost a third!) of women NEED them. What also made me sad was the fact that the pregnancy-related death rate rose higher than it has been (13 in 100,000 live births) since 1977. We have more technology--shouldn't we be safer?

My Dad had given me the article and we had a long discussion about data, hospitals, medicine, etc, and after having a nice phone call with my friend Jenna, I thought I'd post a little about both conversations. My Dad and I talked about the fact that with data, it's hard to make an evaluative judgment without more detail. While both the C-section and death rate have risen, the article and the research can make no correlation between the two. Were those increased pregnancy-related deaths related directly to C-section? Or a number of factors? Either way, I think it's disturbing that we have so much technology and are 30th or something in the world for safe births. (For data on that, check an old post of mine on Gentle Birth Choices.) Part of the reason for the increase is the fairly new idea of planning your C-section, as many celebrities seem to do.

Jenna and I were discussing something totally different--the whole vaccine issue from my post this week--but let me bring these two conversations together. She had just vaccinated her son, Liam, when she read my post about allergies and the comments on it and got freaked out. She had read up on vaccines and spoken with her doctor and felt very assured that she was doing a safe and good thing. But there are a growing number of people who say that vaccines are not safe and not good, at least not all of them, and not so young.

The key to all of these things I think is that YOU need to do your research and come up with a decision--about birth, vaccines, etc--that YOU feel is the best decision for you and your baby. My midwife says to read, pray about it, and make the choice you are comfortable with, and I think that's the best we can do.

I personally find it very difficult when for every book or article taking one position, there's another one taking the opposite. Who do you trust? When you read research and base your decisions on what other people say, you are putting your trust in that person. It's a little scary! I will continue to post about issues and articles and my thoughts because I do think that these issues are important to think about. I hope they make you think. And then I hope you read more, pray, and make the decision you feel is best for you and your baby.

Let me also give a little plug for my friend Tricia Morgan, who writes the Reston Mom blog, linked to the right. Several times we have posted similar things in the same week and she has GREAT information on mothering and resources, whether you're in the Reston, Va area or not. So check her out!

Friday, January 11, 2008

One of These Things Is Not Like the Other...


Lately I've been stepping into the shower to find some unexpected items. This isn't a great photo (my shower's too small to really get it all in), but can you tell what two items don't belong here?? Click on the photo to get a larger view.

Also, I'm about to (at long last) do a post on our photo blog of our house. It's been clean lately, so I have pics of all the living areas. The bedrooms are still a mess, and people are staying in them, so those will come later.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Source of Food Allergies?


Tonight while waiting for a friend in Starbucks, I picked up someone's castoff NY Times and found a really interesting article on food allergies. I have talked to several people recently about the seemingly huge increase in people (especially children) with food allergies. My mom recounted a story of her friend's six-month old granddaughter, unknown allergies, and an ambulance ride over Christmas. Two weeks ago at a wedding, one of the guests had to run to Walgreens for a shot after eating a sauce with peanuts. It seems to be so much more common than when I was growing up!

The article talks about a mother who started a website after discovering allergies in one of her four children. Robyn O'Brien founded AllergyKids.com, where she sells stickers with a universal symbol for food allergies that can go on kids' lunch bags or even their shoes. What's interesting is her take on the cause of the increase in allergies: the increase in processed and genetically modified foods. That's right--food allergies are caused by our food. There seems to be scant support (at least in the article) for her theory, but after throwing out everything processed and non-organic, her children behaved better and had better health. To me that makes sense rationally--put less junk in your system and you run better--but I don't know about the whole allergy thing. She has quite a following and has (obviously) gotten some great publicity for her cause.

I never buy into things I read straight away, but my interest was piqued. I thought I'd mention the site and link it here, at least for the sake of those of you who may be looking for a way to ID your child as having allergies. I'm definitely interested in reading more about this idea, as I would love to avoid the whole issue of food allergies--IF there is some way to avoid it.

College Reunion!

This past weekend, the stars aligned in just the right way so that my old suitemates from college and I could get together. Ginny, Sarah, and Laura flew out to Houston where we had a great time hanging out at my house together, going to an authentic Texas two-steppin' bar, and lounging in the hot tub while watching My So-Called Life. It was so great to all be together, but so strange thinking that the next time we'll all get to see each other, I'll have a baby and Ginny will be getting married. It's hard how complicated friendships can get when we start getting older and having things like jobs and families, but it was a real treat to have this weekend together! I love you girls!

Here we are back in our glory days at Mary Washington College (now University) during a snowstorm. I like to think we're still just as much fun.

Here we are outside of Borders in Fredricksburg, our favorite haunt.
And, here we are this weekend at Wild West in Houston.

(I'll be posting more photos from the weekend on our photo blog.)

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