Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Another Green Argument

Recently at work, i listened in on a conversation about bisphenyl-A (BPA) leeching out of plastics. Specifically, baby bottles. This chemical is similar to estrogen and it may (or may not) have estrogen-like effects on people who ingest large amounts. You can ingest large amounts by ingesting food or drink from plastics that have BPA, for example avent bottles (that are made in england, by the way!).

I have heard of this debate before and thought, "I can't be worried about everything, there is a limit. The bottles are made in freakin' england, afterall. Europe is way more cautious with safety standards than the USA." Then i started reading. Basically, what i learned is some studies have found concerning health effects of BPA, but government-lead investigators have found problems with the studies done and aren't able to repeat the studies (in lab mice), but they're 'investigating the issue.'

Should that be enough to change the type of bottles we will use with the new baby? I'm not sure yet. My brief readings about plastics in general has already changed the way we heat things in the microwave (we do glass now, not plastic). And i changed my nalgene water bottle for a metal one. Should we throw the avent bottles out (to sit in a landfill) and buy glass as a result of inconclusive research??


But Where Is It Made?

For many years, my husband has been fairly anal about buying products made in the USA (or other western society that regulates factory working standards). It was a little annoying to try to shop for clothes or gifts for him. Our friends would chalk it up to his crazy engineering ways and shake their heads...and so would i. In the past year or two, i have come to realize the importance of this. For our daughter, we have tried to buy toys made in the USA (or europe) for safety reasons (this has come in handy, especially with the recent recalls). If traveling, we try to buy gifts and mementos made in the country in which we're visiting. It's almost a challenge. Recently, i wanted to buy some wooden kitchen spoons, a cutting board and a spatula. It took a while, but i found spoons made in france, a cutting board made of recycled materials in the USA and a spatula made in germany. I'll admit: We can afford to make these decisions when buying certain products. It's an option not everyone can do. But it's an important gesture that more people (who can afford it) should think about and try to do.

It's a bit mind-boggling to think of all the factories in china making the zipper on your clothes, the plastic cup for your chilled coffee, your underwear, and that toy that came with the happy meal. The people working in these factories get paid pennies a day, have dangerous working conditions and they are responsible for a lot of pollution in our world.

I am not a purist. The majority of my clothes are made in china. It's been on my mind a lot lately and as i flip things over and see 'made in china' on the bottom, i wonder what the future holds for american manufacturing. Isn't it patriotic to buy things american made? I think about these things too much and want to live in a commune and sew all my clothes and raise barns.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

NPing My Pants Off

I am gradually getting used to the new job. It's extremely challenging, but fun. I have a constant feeling that i've done something wrong or that something that i diagnosed or prescribed will backfire...Sort of like that dream you keep having in school where you show up and you didn't prepare for the big exam. I'm guessing this feeling will come and go with the career. For now it's a constant and i often go to bed with thoughts of the patients i saw that day floating in my head.

I have found the transition of working 3 days a week and being a mom very smooth. Although i'm not working too much more that i did as a RN, i thought working during the work week (versus weekends) would be more difficult. With 2 1/2 year old toddler-hood in full swing, i find it much more frustrating on my days home with the toddler than the days i'm at work. Learning how to be an efficient NP and learning how to be an efficient mother works two very different parts of my brain and i have less patience with the latter. Then again, none of my patients have responded to a request with, "NO! ROAAR" and and an occasional smack--This being her current way of telling me she doesn't want to do something.

I need it

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I was looking on the internet for a ribbon magnet i saw on a car once that said, "Support our ribbons," and found this one. I think i need it.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fall is Here

It seems like in years past, i have blamed fall's quick invasion on starting a new school year. This is the first fall in many many years (the first fall without school...ever?!) that i haven't started school in september, yet fall came just as quickly and suddenly. For some minnesotans, the cooler temperatures are a welcome change. Although the last streak of 90 degree weather wasn't exactly comfortable (i *am* pregnant), i try to grit my teeth and enjoy it because i know that winter is long. Unfortunately, winter is not as long as it used to be. For the most part, it's dreary, dark and 32 degrees, leading to slushy snow (if we even have snow) and greenless dirty lawns and streets. Thank you, global warming.
The random pic above is of my FIL with the lissyjo fam at one of his favorite places in mpls: the sculpture garden. He is backpacking in italy and will return in oct to a different season. Hopefully he won't miss the changing leaves and beauty that mn fall has to offer (for about a day).

Speaking of things that make her happy...

She consistantly reminds me that eryn is sharing and it's not her bike. She absolutely LOVES it. I have a feeling that in our house, fall will be observed from a little red tricycle.

"...She'd be boring!"

My mother knows that my husband nor i would ever buy our daughter certain things. Fluffy purple dress up clothes, "play" high heels and earrings are among the list of these things. My mother also knows that my daughter is of an age that she understands that boxes with yellow duck stickers are for her and that we, as her parents are losing our abilities to filter gifts to her without a big toddler fit.

When i called my mother for an explanation, she said, "If your daughter only got stuff you and her father bought her, she'd be boring!"

Sunday, September 2, 2007

MN Get-together

My father-in-law and partner arrived from australia to mpls a full 24 hours late after a layover in hawaii due to mechanical problems. We picked them up from the airport at 7am and took them to the state fair. I manage to go to the fair every year, and my fair-going experience has changed through the years. When i was a kid, i went to the fair several days in a row with my mother who was "man-ning" the 3rd District Nurses Association booth (which was always fun because it was right next to the MN AIDS project booth where they gave out free condoms!). As a childless adult, going to the fair meant going through several buildings, eating lots and seeing all the animals. With child, we are lucky if we find Martha's Cookies. I realize now that everything at the fair is aimed at children. Even the roofing and siding booth has a spinning wheel with prizes for children (DAMN you whistle prize!!).
Here is the aforementioned child working on a lowe's toolbox.

Here's mommy finishing the lowe's toolbox while the toddler looks longingly at the birdfeeder next seat over.
Ah, but she found her love again for the toolbox...Here is several hours after the fair with beloved toolbox and gear.

Other highlights of the fair included the carosel, the kids farming exhibit and the SCSU 'tattoo' (My husband: "Like hell she's going to scsu...").
The australian visitors managed to muster up some excitement for the fair through a jet-lagged haze. They also managed to avoid anything on a stick (despite your video, scooter), and actually found real, frozen, fresh grapes. Not fried. Or stick-ed. Or fried. At the fair.