Friday, June 27, 2008

What's Been Going On Around Here

Sorry for the long absence from blogging. I've been sick.

Yes, morning sick. At least as bad as my second pregnancy, maybe as bad as my first--and at least twice as bad as either of the last two.

Plus I developed a severe headache that comes and goes but gets worse when anything touches my neck--including my pillow. So I've not been sleeping well, which makes it all worse. Tension? A sinus infection? It would be more convenient to find out if I had it is, I have to look up the clinics in town that do "Pay on a sliding scale based on income", find proof of our income (where did I put those pay stubs?), and pray the care is half-decent, in English, and respectful of human dignity (none of which have been my experiences with welfare clinics).

To make things more convenient, I am exhausted and cry over everything. Everything. Harry Potter counting down to his eleventh birthday? General Conference address that says mothers should develop their talents but not surf the internet? Tim singing "Stand By Me" in the show? News articles? Recipes...oh, let's not go there. Put together the phrases "emotional" and "train wreck," and you have me.

Oh, and it gets better. I have all the strong cravings a first-time pregnancy gets. For a week all I wanted was pizza--and now I can't stand to even look at it (not since the one we bought to bake at home came out moldy....) Then I just HAD to have a couple of tacos from Jack in the Box, which I've only tasted one other time in my whole life--ten years ago, the day I met my parents at the end of my mission. Then the other day I had to have Arby's ham and swiss melt. The next day it was steak and mushrooms. And I'd pay a lot right now for a toasted turkey-and-avocado sandwich, but I don't even know who makes those. Oh, and when we ran out of nectarines I thought I would die. I actually ate a whole Juan Canary Melon the other day. HAD to have it--and I'd never even tasted one before! (It's a lot like honeydew, if you wondered).

I also have food aversions. Don't make me drink soda. Or eat candy. Even ice cream looks nasty, and I barely tasted Tim's birthday cake and didn't even touch Anda's. And I can hardly look at tuna without gagging. This is only significant because Tuna is everyone's favorite lunch meat lately.

So, to make things worse, my usual distraction, working on my novel, is tied up in writer's block. Everywhere else I look there are messes because I feel to tired to fix them, and Tim is already handling all poopy diapers, his regular jobs (performing, composing, working on school, etc), the dishes, the laundry, and feeding kids.

Plus it's now 107 degrees in the shade every day, so going outside brings on waves of nausea. Apparently the local roaches are opposed to the heat, too--they've decided to come into the house.

Then the kids got ahold of an old sleeping bag and ripped a big L-shaped tear in the bottom. The would be no big deal, except it happened to be an honest-to-goodness down sleeping bag and they happened to be in the room where toys are spilled all over the floor, so vacuuming up the mess in time was impossible.

You wanna know what sleeping bag down blowing in the air conditioner looks like? Roaches.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Vitamin D in babies

The latest study to hit the news wires today was that 42% of babies and children are vitamin d Deficient, especially nursing babies because breast milk contains no vitamin D.

I read the reports and was fairly shocked. I am a strong believer that mother's milk is perfect for babies. If God didn't make it with vitamin D, then babies don't need dietary vitamin D, and taking supplements is a bad idea. Further, who set the amount of vitamin D infants need? What constitutes deficient?

The thing that shocked me most was that doctors only gave passing mention to the cause of the deficiency--the Doctors themselves! For years they have been telling parents to keep their children out of the sun and, if they MUST go out, do it when there is no direct sun and even then wear sunscreen (which interferes with Vitamin D production, according to the article I read). My doctor told me to put sunscreen on the kids every day, like we brush teeth every day.

When my doctors first told me that 6 years ago, I smiled and nodded and came home and said, "God designed humans to work outside. They've been doing it for centuries healthily. We aren't made to stay out of the sun completely. Someone is going to discover in a few years that this is a BAD idea, and they will have damaged thousands of kids' health over it." Besides, I have always worried about exposing kids to chemicals every day--and slathering on the sunscreen as part of the daily routine would certainly count as chemical exposure every day.

I, personally, have always encouraged my children to play in the sun every day. Not excessively, but kids need to play outside! It helps regulate their sleep, it keeps their skin healthy and cures eczema, it awakens their brains and keeps their muscles and lungs healthy. For all our playing outside, we've never had a sunburn (which, I understand, is what leads to skin cancer, not simply exposure to sunlight). And we've only used sunscreen when sunburn was a real risk--at swimming pools, when hiking, etc.

Instead of doctors saying they were wrong and now thousands of kids have weak bones and immune systems and are at risk of type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis (linked to weak immune systems caused by lack of Vitamin D), the doctors said, "It's because ALL children need vitamin D supplements!"

The problem with that is other studies I've read indicate bodies don't process dietary vitamin D the same way as sunlight vitamin D--and it doesn't have the same health benefits. Of course, it benefits the drug companies--why would they want you to get free vitamin d?

Doctors are not people to admit mistakes, generally, so I predict it will be years yet before they say, "That stupid previous generation of doctors hurt lots of kids--send your kids out in the sunshine every day!"

Granted, I do understand that sunshine can cause skin cancer. Our bodies were made to work in the sun outside. They were not made to suntan or to have massive amounts of skin exposed. I wonder if someone has done a study on whether the amount of skin you have tanned (ie is your belly and back Tan? upper limbs as well as lower limb?) is related to the chances you'll develop cancer. Is a farmers' tan healthier than a bikini tan?

Mowing the Lawn

We finally went and bought a lawnmower that works, since the one the landlord left leaks gas, sends out blue sparks, and won't shut off unless it feels like it. And that's when the pull cord doesn't stick!

Dan hopped up this morning to watch Tim mow. This is the first time in his memory that he's seen a lawnmower in action. He was IMPRESSED. The lawn was knee-high in some places, so it was a dramatic change.

First he said, "Dad's making pools for us to play in!"

Then he said, "Dad's shaving the grass!"

He ran from window to window watching and yelling, "Hi, Dad!"

It was all very exciting.