In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Picture Me!

I've been tagged to share a picture (or two) of me and then write about it. (Thanks, Tiffany!) Then I tag three blogger friends in the game of Picture Me!

The two photos are from my son's wedding, which was this past May. The first one is of my husband and I enjoying being the parents of the groom. It was a day of much laughter--and a few tears and even a few snowflakes.

The second photo was taken at the end of the mother-of-the-groom dance. I was hugging my son after we'd danced to "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts. You can read a bit more about that experience here.

I'm off to play tag!

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms

Pediatricians Urge Autism Screenings
The American Academy of Pediatrics is now advising that all children be screened for autism by age 2. The call for early screening happened this week during the Academy's annual meeting and is aimed at helping both parents and physicians spot autism sooner.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

So Much for Simplifying

I gave up on New Year's Resolutions years ago. I just don't do them because well . . . I just don't do them, if you know what I mean. I'd make my list. Then I'd lose my list and forget what all my good intentions were for the year.

So a few years ago I abandoned the whole resolution thing and focused on a word for the year.

For those of you who are wondering, I do know that it is not January 2008. I also know most people aren't even thinking about resolutions on October 30th. Just go with me on this, okay?

My word for 2007 was Simplify. See the beauty of the word system? Almost 11 months into the year and I still remember my word!

As some of you know, I had a fairly normal January, followed by an extremely not normal February through May. I spent those four months sick. Really sick. In some ways, life was pretty simple for me. It was all about getting well.

But here I am looking at the last 2 months of 2007 and feeling like I didn't quite accomplish the Simplify concept. These days I'm living under the "Better Late Than Never" mantra, playing catch up because of those 4 months I lost back at the beginning of the year. I plan on pushing the re-set button on January 1, 2008. Maybe I'll give Simplify another try. Or maybe not. I'll see if another word shows up as I ponder and pray about it for the next few weeks.

Monday, October 29, 2007

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms October 29, 2007

Docs Pour Cold Water on Egg-Freezing Promises

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) issued new guidelines for fertility specialists that concluded freezing eggs remains a highly experimental procedure, even though it is increasingly offered.

Hysterectomy Raises Incontinence Surgery Risk

A 30-year Swedish study found that women who had a hysterectomy are at a higher risk of urinary incontinence that needs to be corrected by surgery.

FluMist Gets CDC Nod for Use in Toddlers

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) confirmed that children as young as two can safely receive the intranasal influenza vaccine FluMist. The CDC recommends that all children ages 6 months to 5 years receive an influenza vaccination.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Grateful Day October 26, 2007

Still going against the flow, I know. I found myself caught between choosing "Thankful Thursdays" or "Throwback Thursdays"--and I couldn't decide! Next week, when the calendar flips from October to November, I'm jumping into NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). Call me an overachiever and crazy--but who knows what new blogging options I'll discover!

Today I am grateful for:
  • a slower day, thanks to Christa being off of school. No need to chant, "Eat your breakfast. Brush your teeth. Make your bed. Grab your bookbag!" Taking it slow and easy today.
  • a great babysitter!!! Yep, I'm back to needing a babysitter now that Christa's sisters are way-too busy with their grown-up lives. Talk about desperate. But I've got a wonderful babysitter now--and I am not giving out her number!
  • the Rockies playing in the World Series--but I sure would like to see them win it!
  • my kiddos being healthy and happy. Mostly I am grateful they are pursuing their dreams. Sure, their lives aren't always a dream-come-true experience, but they have the freedom to pursue their wish-upon-a-star goals. For Christa right now life is all about first grade and friends, but that's the life of a 7-year-old!

May your day--every day of the week!--be anchored in gratefulness.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

That's a Good Question

The snow was not helping matters.
Don't get me wrong. I like snow--when I can enjoy it from inside my house while I'm drinking hot chocolate and watching it fall oh-so-quietly outside my window.
But last Sunday morning I was driving around in the snow, trying to find my church. We'd switched locations and I was confident I knew where the new building was. Confident but wrong.
So I ended up in front of the building where I thought everyone would be and it was deserted.
I do not like being lost.
So I call my ever-faithful husband on my cell phone and tell him I'm lost. (Rob was already at the new location setting up for service.) He recognizes the sound of frustration in my voice and asks me, "Where are you?" By this time, I am driving again. I can't tell him where I am because the oh-so-beautiful falling snow is covering all the street signs.
Now I am really not happy.
My caboose kiddo is along for the ride--silently watching her mother get more and more lost--and more and more frustrated. Her older siblings could have told her this is never a fun experience.
I finally manage to find my way to another church parking lot. It's only the biggest, most-mega-church in Colorado Springs. I couldn't miss it even if I'd been in a blizzard. Rob tells me to park my car and wait for him. He is coming to find me so that he can lead me back to our church.
And so Christa and I wait, listening to Adventures in Oddyssey.
When we finally make our way to the right church, I hear Christa say, "We're here, Mom! Aren't you excited?"
"Yes, I am excited," I tell her.
"Well, don't you want to act more excited?"
She's right. I'm definitely not acting excited. So, I wave my hands and shout "Yippee!" and ask if that's better.
"Yep!" she says. "What would you do without me to help you get excited?"
What indeed?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Top 8 Health Tips for Late-in-Life Moms

Be Healthy. Stay Healthy.

If pregnancy is postponed until your mid-thirties or later, it is advantageous to take care of yourself. Here are the basic things you need to do to maintain your health:

1. Maintain a healthy weight and Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is the measure of body fat based on height and weight. Being overweight can exacerbate medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. (Check out the BMI calculator at

2. Exercise. Being in good physical condition benefits you during your pregnancy, as well as during labor and delivery.

3. Take folic acid. Nutritional guidelines now recommend that any woman of childbearing age take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid to help prevent neural tube defects. The neural tube is the precursor of the central nervous system that includes the brain and spinal cord. Because the neural tube closes within weeks of conception, a woman should definitely be taking folic acid several months prior to getting pregnant. Folic acid has to be well established on a cellular level to ensure that the tube closes correctly.

4. Don’t smoke. If you do smoke cigarettes, stop—preferably before you get pregnant.

5. Don’t drink alcohol if you are trying to get pregnant and during your pregnancy.

6. Do Kegel exercises. They help maintain the strength and tone of your pelvic floor muscles.

7. Check your immunizations prior to conception. Ensure you are immune to rubella and chickenpox (varicella). If not, be immunized at least three months for both chickenpox and rubella before getting pregnant.

8. Have your thyroid checked prior to pregnancy because if you are hypothyroid—when your thyroid is not functioning well—it is usually easily treatable. Doing so will help prevent maternal and fetal complications during pregnancy.
~Excerpted from Baby Changes Everything:Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood after 35 by Beth K. Vogt, Revell, August 2007

In the News October 22, 2007

News of interest for late-in-life moms:

California Bans Plastic Toy Chemical
California is the first U.S. state to ban toys and baby products containing more than a trace amount of phthalate, a chemical used to soften plastics. Phthalate, which has been linked to health problems, is used in baby bottles, teething rings, plastic bath ducks and other toys.

Can New Diet Help Kids with Autism?
Some parents believe a gluten- and wheat-free diet helps their autistic children.

Web Site Shows Autism Videos
A new web site offers dozens of video clips contrasting autistic children with unaffected children, The site, which is sponsored by the nonprofit advocacy groups Autism Speaks and First Signs, hopes to promote early diagnosis and treatment of autism.

Cold Medicine Safety in Spotlight
After infant and toddler cold medicines were pulled off store shelves because of safety concerns, advisors for the FDA are questioning their safety for older children up to age 5.

U.S. Touts Studying Postpartum Depression
The House of Representatives urged health agencies to expand research into postpartum depression, which can affect up to one-fifth of new mothers. The bill now goes to the Senate.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Grateful day October 19, 2007

It seems I'm out of sink with the rest of the blogging world. Fridays are my Grateful Days, while other bloggers do Thankful Thursdays. HHHHMMMM. I'll mull over changing versus maintaining my end of the week tradition.

That said, I am grateful for:

  • a stunning Indian summer day, with 71 degree weather, warm sunshine and a slight breeze
  • the chance to read In an Instant, Lee and Bob Woodruff's account of how their life was forever changed when Bob, an ABC News Anchor, was injured by an IED explosion in Iraq. Yes, Woodruff's recovery is miraculous. But, the story of this family's love and faith through an unimaginable "for better or worse" experience is emotionally riveting.
  • my writers group, Inkspired. Linda, Tiffany, Colleen, Gaylyn, Scoti: you are some of the bravest women I know, daring to write honestly about real life!
  • a bubble bath at the end of a busy day. Need I say more?
  • finally getting to chat with my twin sister after we played phone tag for several weeks. I puttered in my kitched, she walked along the sidelines of the football field--her husband is a high school football coach--and we caught up with each other's lives.
  • precut veggies and Sonic cherry cokes. I love the easy snacking of the first and the oh-no-I-shouldn't indulgence of the second.
  • a surprise phone call with my friend Pamela, who is back in the States for a month. Pamela and her family moved to Uganda over a year ago. When I saw her name show up on my cell phone, I told myself it couldn't be my friend Pamela. But it was--and our conversation made me feel like Christmas came early this year!
May your day be anchored in gratefulness.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

So, How's the Book on Late-in-Life Motherhood Doing?

Thanks for asking.

Baby Changes Everything launched 2 1/2 months ago. I've found out that people like to ask, "So, how are sales doing?"

My answer: I don't know.

It's not that I don't check my Amazon stats every now and then. And I've got a writing comrade who keeps up on sales stats and lets me know how my book is doing too. (Thanks, Shellie!)

But I've decided to not focus on sales--at least not this early in the game.

Instead, I'm focusing on the feedback I'm getting from people who've read my book--other than my family who have to tell me they like my book. (Thanks, family.)

Here's what Jane, a repeater mommy-come-lately, said:

Three days ago Luke started up the stairs, for the first time, laughing, drooling and loving his new found independence. It looked just like your book cover. Today, I read the first chapter of your book, I cried. Luke 15 months, me 46. A miracle meets menopause. Your book meets a real need; I pray it gets into the right hands.

Lee Ann wrote:
" . . . there really is something about you and your "real"ness and
genuineness that touches people on their level. In fact your book
ministered to me "just because"--I'm not really a late in life mom or a young
mom who had babies young then a caboose on e--and it still blessed

From what my readers are telling me, Baby Changes Everything is meeting a need and encouraging late-in-life moms--and dads too!--to embrace their lives as late-in-life parents.

And that's why I wrote the book!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Baby Changes Everything "Blook" Tour

The oh-so-wise "They" like to say that writing is a solo occupation--and sometimes it is. But, I'm thankful for my writing comrades. I love all the friends I've made along the writing road. So many other people have encouraged and advised me--a few treasured mentors, as well as editors, agents, and fellow writers.

That said, let me introduce you to author Trish Berg, a writing mom like me. She's lots of fun! (That's me with Trish in the middle and our friend and fellow author Jane Jarrell when we were at the MOPS Convention.)

Trish's books include Mom, You Make a Difference, The Great American Supper Club, and her upcoming 2008 release Rattled.

On Monday, October 15th, Trish was interviewed by ABC News for a story about moms who blog. You can read about that at The Ladies Who Blog: Moms on the Net.

This week, Trish is highlighting Baby Changes Everything on her book blog --a.k.a. "blook"--Books for Moms. If you post a comment on the blog--or one of her other blogs--you have the chance to win an autographed copy of my book!

Trisha's other blogs are: Simplifying Motherhood and SupperSwapping, which offers a recipe of the week.

Drop by all three blogs! You'll be glad you did.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Big Sisters-Little Sister Fun

I promised Christa that we'd redo her bedroom the summer between kindergarten and first grade.

That would be this past summer.

What did I accomplish? Well, I bought her a new comforter and matching sheets.

Not much of a redo.

And, of course, the purple comforter and sheets didn't match the rest of the room, which was decorated in snowmen.

Christa is my Christmas Eve baby. And I like to collect snowmen. So, it made sense to decorate her room with my extensive collection of snowmen. Of course, I didn't ask then 1-year-old Christa if she wanted to have her room filled to overflowing with dozens and dozens of Frosties. But, about two years ago, she informed me that she was tired, tired, tired of snowmen.

Since then, we've talked about decorating her room--and she's repeatedly changed her mind. One day she wants a butterfly room. Then she wants a horsey room. Or a puppy room. Or dolphins. Or fairies. Finally, I convinced Christa to just pick some colors and not worry about a theme.

She chose pink and purple. Every girl that ever lived at some point in her life had a pink and purple bedroom--or wanted one. I bet Cleopatra had a pink and purple bedroom!! The purple is a nice, deep purple. The pink is . . . well, vivid. Bright. Think Pepto-Bismal. After mixing the paint, the guy at Home Depot opened the can and muttered, "Oh, my, my . . ."

This past weekend was all about getting rid of the snowmen and turning Christa's room into a "big girl's" room. Rob was hunting, so there was no need for regular meals. We could focus on painting and rearranging. (Truth be told, we don't do regular meals when Rob is home.)
Christa's older sisters, Katie Beth and Amy, promised to help out. As far as Christa was concerned, that was the best part of getting a room makeover: her big sisters were involved. She told me the three of them would design the room. I was basically the "walking wallet." That's fine, since I am not the creative one in the family.

We painted. Rearranged furniture. Bought a new rug and a new lamp. Put Christa's collection of stuffed animals up on the shelves where the snowmen used to be.

The room isn't done yet, but Christa went to bed with a huge smile on her face. The best part? Hanging with her sisters. Planning a fun design for one wall with them. Wrestling with them on her bed in her fun pink and purple bedroom. She thanked them over and over again. And I know I couldn't have gotten as much done without all them too.

This past weekend, love was displayed by the hard work of Christa's older sisters as they created a fun room for her. We have some fun memories tucked away in our hearts--and they're all wrapped up in love.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Infant Cold Medicines Pulled Off Stores Shelves Because of Concern About Accidental Overdoses

Infant Cold Medicines Pulled Off Market
Less than two weeks after the Food and Drug Administration warned of potential risks to infants posed by infant and toddler cold medicines, drugmakers pulled the medications off store shelves.

Products aimed at children 2 and under are being removed from stores because of concern about accidental overdose.

Cold medicines being withdrawn include:
  • Johnson & Johnson Pediacare Infant Drops
  • Tylenol Concentrated Infants Drops
  • Wyeth’s Dimetapp Decongestant Infant Drops
  • Novartis’ Triaminic Infant & Toddler Thin Strips
  • Prestige Brands Holdings’ Little Colds Decongestant Plus Cough

The "Mixed-Bag" of a Late-in-Life Mom

With three mostly-grown children, some days I almost forget I also have a 6-year-old.

Almost--but not quite.

My life is a mixed bag of mothering experiences--and I'm learning to enjoy them all.

There's a red paper heart stuck to my computer monitor with the words "i love you, c." scrawled on it in pencil. A little love note from Christa.

Just a few moments ago, my nineteen-year-old read me her essay on cloning--an assignment for one of her sophomore college classes. Earlier, Christa wrote out her spelling words and read a chapter aloud to me and then worked on her Bible verse for the week.

Earlier, Christa and I enjoyed an after school Slurpee run, while chatting about her day. And then my cell phone rang, and it was my son Josh, who lives in New York with his bride of five months--five months! He called to say hi, good son that he is, and to update me on his corner of the writing world.

And then it was time to pass the cell phone off to Christa, who sat in the backseat shouting, "Hi, Josh! Hi, Josh! Hellooooo, Josh!" until she got what she wanted--control of the conversation. She ended it by saying, "Hug Jen for me--and China and Munchkin!"
Jen is her sister-in-law. China is Josh and Jen's dog. Munchkin is their cat.

I managed a quick e-mail with my twenty-one-year-old daughter, trying to set up some face-to-face time this weekend. She only lives 15 minutes away.

It's a flexible mothering life I live these days.

And I'm not complaining.

Sometimes I don't know whether I'm coming or going. But I'll take motherhood however it happens.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

News of Interest October 9, 2007

News of interest for late-in-life moms:

Single Embryo Transfer Cuts Multiples
New research suggests that transferring one embryo instead of two or more to minimize the risk of multiple births is a viable option for some infertile women over 35 utilizing in vitro fertilization.

Eat Fish While Pregnant, US Experts Recommend
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat at least 12 ounces of fish and other seafood a week, according to a group of U. S. experts. The group of 14 obstetricians and nutritionists say the benefits for infant brain development outweigh any worries about mercury contamination.

Antidepressant Use Drops in Pregnancy
A marked decrease in antidepressant use occurs when women first learn they are pregnant, according to a new study released in Canada. Researchers recommend a careful evaluation before a woman discontinues antidepressants, citing the risks of untreated depression during pregnancy.

Mom Can Pass Bird Flu to Fetus
Researchers reported that the H5N1 bird flu virus can pass through a pregnant woman's placenta to infect her unborn child.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Grateful Day October 5, 2007

"The people who make a difference are not the ones with the credentials, but the ones with the concern." Max Lucado

I love author Max Lucado. I've never met him--but I love the way the man writes. And I enjoy getting UpWords, his weekly devotional published on

Here's a link to this week's devotional. It's worth reading. It will give you lots of reasons to be grateful.


I really do want you to take the quiz, but here's a sneak peek at the second part. My answers became my reasons to be grateful this week:

Think of three people you enjoy spending time with:

In no particular order: Tiffany, Scoti, Linda, Gaylyn, Gloria, Tami, Beth J., Beth L., Fran, Pamela, Faith, Cheryl, Terry, Wendy, my mom, my sisters, Chris, Susie . . . I'm way past three and I'm just on my girlfriends--and I'm no where near finished!

Name ten people who have taught you something worthwhile:

I could just duplicate that list. Let's see: my parents (that's 2), Doug, Ron and Marty (early writing mentors), Kathy T. (another writing mentor), Fran, my children--and I'm over 10 already!

Name five friends who have helped you in a difficult time:

I will insist that I not go over 5--but I could! Fran, Pamela, Faith, Sara, Barbara--sorry, got to add my husband, Rob!

List a few teachers who have aided your journey through school:

My fifth grade teacher, whose motto was, "Tell it to the Marines!"--i.e. Take responsibility for your actions!; Mr. B., my high school journalism teacher; Kathy Tyers, my Christian Writers Guild mentor

Go ahead, take the quiz. Realize all the reasons you have to be grateful.

May your day be anchored in gratefulness.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Japanese Late-in-Life Mom-to-Be Making Headlines

Japanese Woman, 60, Pregnant with Donated Embryo

A 60-year-old Japanese woman is expected to become the oldest single mother in Japan to give birth from a donated egg, according to medical officials.

The unidentified woman is 15 weeks pregnant and had traveled to the U.S. for in-vitro fertilization.

Both surrogate births and artificial insemination are extremely rare in Japan because of ethical concerns, a lack of donors and few doctors are willing to provide such treatments. Also, births from donated eggs are limited to married couples, causing many single women and unmarried couples to seek treatments in the U.S. or other countries.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Best Mom

"You're the best, Mom!"

I love it when Christa tells me that. Usually it doesn't take much to get a verbal pat on the back from my caboose kiddo.

I received my most recent "Best Mom" praise because I took Christa and a friend to see a movie. (We went to see The Game Plan, a harmless, family-friendly, positive movie. Why it was rated PG, I dunno. Maybe the producers figured no one would go see a G movie these days. Sorry. I'm rambling.)

Christa rates me the best when I drive through Sonic and buy her a grape cream slush. Or when I rub her feet "real soft so it tickles." Or when I buy her pretzel nuggets at the mall. Or when I let her friends come over and have popsicles.

See? It doesn't take much and it doesn't always take money.

I'm a mom and I like doing things for my children--even the ones that no longer live at home. I do it whether I get any verbal praise or not. I'm a mom. It's what I do.

Okay, now let me throw a little monkey wrench into this blog.

Woman Gives Birth to Own Grandchildren

The news article is about a 51-year-old Italian woman, Rosinete Serrao, who served as a surrogate mother for her daughter, who is unable to have children. On September 30, 2007, Serrao gave birth to twin boys, who also happen to be her own grandchildren. Four embryos that had been fertilized by Serrao's daughter and her daughter's husband had been implanted in Serrao's uterus in January 2007.

So, you tell me: does this woman deserve a "Best Mom" award for helping her daughter have children? Or did she cross some sort of unseen ethical/moral line? Is there something wrong with this scenario or is it a beautiful picture of a mother's love?

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