In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Monday, March 31, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms March 30, 2008

News you need to know:

Congratulations to the latest celebrity Mommy-Come-Lately!

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis, 37, is a first-time mommy-come-lately. She and her husband Todd Thompson, 44, welcomed their daughter Jade Marie on Sunday, March 31.

Prenatal omega-3 may aid babies' brain development
Pregnant women who eat enough omega-3 fats late in pregnancy may give their babies a brain-power boost, a new study suggests.
Researchers studied 109 Inuit infants and found that those whose umbilical-cord blood was higher in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 acid, at birth did better in tests of infant brain and eye development at the ages of 6 and 11 months.
The new findings, reported in the Journal of Pediatrics, highlight the importance of DHA in the mothers' diet during the third trimester, when fetal brain development accelerates.

Moms, tots argue 20 times an hour
Mothers and their toddlers argue 20-25 times per hour on average, according to a new study. Sixty moms and their children were studied twice: when the children were 30 months old and again six months later.
When the children were 30 months old, the moms and toddlers were videotaped at a research lab during a session that was set up for conflict. The kids couldn't get certain toys they wanted, and a puzzle task was designed to be frustrating. Six months later, the moms tape-recorded their interactions with their toddlers right before and during dinner times.

HRT 'might ward off Alzheimer's'
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may protect post-menopausal women against memory loss and Alzheimer's disease.
A British study found women's memories are affected when their bodies stop producing the hormone estrogen, which happens at menopause.
However, the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London found memory recovered when hormone supplies were restored - the effect achieved by HRT.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Just a Bit Worn Out

"Rest when you're weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work." ~ Ralph Marston

Okay, I admit it.
I am a worn out mommy-come-lately.
Life has been over-the-top busy the past few weeks. Actually, it's been busy since I turned the calendar to 2008.
So, I am going to take advantage of my caboose kiddo's spring break and take a breather from blogging for the rest of the week. I'll focus on being a mom. And I'll focus on getting a deep breath of fresh air that will refresh all the corners of my mommy-come-lately life. Our planned trip to the mountains should help.

See you in a few days!


Monday, March 24, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms March 24, 2008

News you need to know:

FDA to consider HPV shot for women up to 45
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will consider whether to expand use of Gardasil, a vaccine intended to prevent cervical cancer, to women aged 27 to 45.
The vaccine currently is approved for use in girls and women aged 9 through 26 to block four types of human papilloma virus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer and genital warts.

Flu vaccine safe for egg-allergic kids
Two new studies suggest that the flu vaccine can be safely given to children with egg allergies. Because the vaccine contains egg protein, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) does not recommend it for anyone with severe allergies to eggs. Many doctors hesitate to give the vaccine to anyone with even a mild allergy to eggs.
Researchers suggested testing children to determine the severity of their allergy--and then giving the vaccine in three to four smaller, escalating doses until they received the full dose.

More women succeeding at pregnancy after cancer
An increasing number of women are having safe and successful pregnancies after being diagnosed with cancer, according to a CNN report. There are no specific guidelines or timetables for women wanting to get pregnant after cancer treatment, the article said. It is important that a woman talks with her doctor right after diagnosis if she wants to preserve fertility.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Easter!

I wish you and your family a wonderful time celebrating Easter together. May you experience God's gift of hope and joy!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Life With A Curious Caboose Kiddo

I blame my son Josh for Christa's control-driven curiosity.
Christa is so like Josh was at 7 years old--especially when she looks at me and asks, "Mom, what are we doing after school today?"
Mind you, it's only 7 A.M. and my immediate goals are to get her ready for school and get myself a shower. But Christa's nimble mind is 8 hours ahead of me, wanting to know The Plan.
I have no plan. I am barely awake at 7 A.M. Sleeping in ended when my late-in-life child was born.
Josh was also a planner--wanting to know the next day's activities the night before. He also wanted to pack for camp a full week before he left. Then, after I oh-so-carefully coordinated his t-shirts and shorts, he wore the the same black t-shirt the entire week. But that's a guy-thing and another blog.
Josh is grown up and married now; he and Jenelle figure out their own schedules. Meanwhile, I'm doing life with a first-grader who keeps better track of her activities than I do. It's Thursday. Christa's already asked about the weekend. What are we doing? I'd love to do nothing. Nothing at all. But Christa doesn't comprehend the beauty--and sometimes the necessity--of doing nothing.
Next week's Spring Break. I am woefully behind the power curve when it comes to planning how I'm going to keep Christa busy--and I know she'll be asking me what's on the schedule.
Any suggestions?

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

TV Interview On My Web Site

And now for something different ...
My wonderful web guru over at DigitalPicnic put my Fox 21 television interview up on my Web site. I was interviewed about Baby Changes Everything bright and early New Year's Day--a fun way to start the new year!
The video is posted on my Web site's home page. Just click on the video and you'll get to see and hear me chatting about being a mommy-come-lately.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The View Out My Window

You're seeing what I see when I look out the window in my breakfast nook. That's my son's dog, China, sitting on top of our patio awning/covering. Yesterday was a snowy day, so China sat in the snow, watching the cars go by--and the horses running around in the corral across the street.
Sometimes when I look out my window, I see China staring in at me. I think she likes the eye-to-eye view.
China's been staying with us since Josh and Jenelle moved back to Colorado. Their cat Munchkin resides in our basement, usually on the top stairstep, waiting for someone to come downstairs and visit.
Josh and Jenelle are commuting back and forth from Boulder to Colorado Springs. Jenelle's working, Josh is job hunting--and the animals eagerly await their arrival every Friday night.
Me too.
Of course, my caboose kiddo is over-the-moon happy to have her older brother and her sister-by-love around so much more. Life is good, good, good now that Josh and Jenelle are no longer on the East coast.
I don't mind China's odd habit. She was an apartment puppy before this, so I think she is enjoying the wide open--and up--spaces of Colorado. And so far she hasn't enticed my dogs to join her up there on her unlikely perch.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms March 17, 2008

News for Mommies-Come-Lately:

Halle Berry gives birth to first child
Halle Berry, 41, joined the Celebrity Mommy-Come-Lately Club on Sunday. Her publicist announced she gave birth to a daughter. The father is 32-year-old model Gabriel Aubrey.

Breastfeeding may curb type-2 diabetes later
Breast-fed babies appear to be less likely to develop type 2 diabetes when they reach adolescence, according to findings published in the medical journal Diabetes Care.

If pregnant women stop smoking, babies are happier
British reseachers reported that mothers who stop smoking while pregnant tend to have cheerier, more adaptable babies. Meanwhile, babies of women who continued to smoke while pregnant were notably grumpy.

Drinking plus hormones may up breast cancer risk
New research suggests even moderate drinking may raise the risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women on hormone replacement therapy.

Glass baby bottles making a comeback
Concerns about a chemical in hard plastic makes old-fashioned new again. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a manmade chemical used in polycarbonate plastic, the material used to make most baby bottles and other shatterproof plastic food containers. Americans are widely exposed to BPA, but opinions on its safety are mixed.
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a manmade chemical used in polycarbonate plastic, the material used to make most baby bottles and other shatterproof plastic food containers. Americans are widely exposed to BPA, but opinions on its safety are mixed.
Some pediatricians advise families to use alternatives to polycarbonate bottles to be on the safe side.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mom: right or wrong?

Motherhood is all about choices--beginning with the choice to become a mom.

And the choices keep on coming.

We've all heard horror stories about parents--moms and dads--who left their toddlers in the car. Often times, the parent somehow forgot the toddler--until too late.

A mom is going on trial for deliberately leaving her 2-year-old daughter in the car.

According to news reports, last December 8, Treffly Coyne, 36, took her two older daughters and a friend to put money they had collected in a Salvation Army Kettle. Her 2-year-old was asleep in her carseat. Rather than taking her daughter out of the car and into sleeting weather, Coyne pulled up in front of the store, turned on her emergency lights, locked the car, activated the alarm--and then walked the other girls over to donate the money. Coyne said she could see her car--and her daughter at all times.

After taking a couple of pictures of the girls, Coyne returned to her car, where she was confronted by a community service officer. Although Coyne explained that she never went into the store, she said the officer refused to listen. Ultimately, Coyne was handcuffed and arrested. She faces misdemeanor charges of child endangerment and obstructing a peace officer. If convicted, she could be sentenced to a year in jail and fined $2,500, even though child welfare workers found no credible evidence of abuse or neglect.

Did Coyne make the right or wrong choice? Some would say police over-reacted. Others would say the mom never should have left her toddler in the car--for any length of time.

I think it's all been blown out of proportion and should have never gotten to the courts ... I certainly don't think Coyne is a criminal. Maybe she would do things differently if she had it to do over again. But I think her choice was to protect her youngest child from the bad weather while letting her older daughters have fun donating money to the Salvation Army. Maybe she should have waited until another night, when the weather was better.

But hindsite is always 20-20.

I'll be taking Friday off while I'm speaking at the Hearts at Home Conference. See you Monday!

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The "Other" Relationships

Christa's relationship with me is very important to her. I know this because she is clinging to me as I try to pack for my trip to the Hearts at Home Conference this weekend. I also know this because she keeps saying--in her most pitiful voice--"I don't want you to go!"

Ah, it's nice to be wanted.

But I know I am not the only significant person in Christa's life. She loves time with her Dad. He's the one who rides bikes to the park with her. He's the one who puts her to bed at night and tackles science projects with her.

She's also over-the-moon happy when she has time with her much-older sisters, Katie Beth and Amy, or with Josh and Jenelle. The smile on her face is non-stop when they turn their attention to her.

Relationships with anyone--be it a friend or a family member--don't just happen. They are made. And as a mommy-come-lately straddling decades of motherhood, with children of all ages, I need to be intentional about my relationship with each of my children. And I need my children to be intentional about their relationship with each other. I especially need my older three children to remember their 7-year-old sister needs them.

And they do, for which I am so, so grateful.

I'm not asking my older children to slow down and wait for Christa to grow up. And I certainly don't want Christa to skip her childhood and catch up with her brother and sisters. Life is what it is for each of them. But I do want them to relate to each other in their here and nows. It can be simple things: phone calls, hugs, an e-mail card. Or it can require a little more effort like a walk to the park or a sleepover at big sister's apartment.

Such things make memories--and relationships.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

One Unexpected Benefit of a Late-in-Life Child

I can let life overwhelm me.

Sometimes I'll be driving in the car, mentally rehearsing my ever-expanding To Do list. Christa sits in the back seat, a spectator to my increasing anxiety as my time decreases in proportion to all that needs to get done.

"Breathe, Mom," she says," Breathe."

I glance in the rearview mirror and see her lifting her arms and circling her hands in an in-out motion as she inhales and exhales.

"Like this. Breathe in and out. In and Out."

I laugh out loud.

And I breathe.

In and out.

In and out.

Christa reminds me to relax. To not let life be so overwhelming.

I don't know how my 7-year-old caboose kiddo got so smart--but I'm thankful that she's along for the ride--both literally and figuratively. She's brought an unexpected balance to my life. When I first found out I was pregnant at 41, all I felt was off-kilter. Out-of-whack. It took me quite a while to think of this as being normal.

It's no longer just normal to have Christa in my life--it's right and good and a reason to be thankful.

Sometimes my caboose kiddo is the voice of sanity from the back seat of my car.

Imagine that.

Monday, March 10, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms March 10, 2008

What's in the news for moms and kids:

Vaccine for 'strep throat' may be near
Researchers said it may be possible to make a safe vaccine against the type of bacteria best known for causing ”strep throat” and rheumatic fever. It has been tricky to try to design a vaccine against GAS because the antigen — the piece of the bacteria most easily recognized by the body’s immune system — is also the most dangerous part.

Group A streptococcal (GAS) infections affect more than 600 million people each year and kill 400,000 globally. Most infections cause throat inflammation known as “strep throat,” which is easily treated with antibiotics.

Study of hormone of therapy shows some risks persist
A follow-up analysis of women taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) found their heightened risk of breast cancer persisted even after they stopped taking the drug combination.

Friday, March 07, 2008

A Short List for Friday

It's Friday and I feel like offering all of you a list!

Essentials for Happiness

1. Something to Do

2. Something to Love

3. Something to Hope for

So, if I asked you to fill in your answers, what would you put on your list? Do you have the Essentials for Happiness?

Something to Do: I bet this means more than just my daily To Do list, which is extra long today! My Something to Do could be doing a random act of kindness or doing a specific act of kindness for someone in my family. Or my Something to Do could be my writing ministry.

Something to Love: This one is easy! My Something to Love is my family, which is really an electic assortment of someones.

Something to Hope for: My Something to Hope for? I hope I'm kind today, instead of being impatient with others. I hope somehow I show others the grace that God has shown me. I hope and I pray that my friend who had surgery and my friend's son who is undergoing chemo find the strength and healing they both need.

May today's list cause you to stop and think about the things you have to do, the people you love, and the reason you have hope.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Late-in-Life Moms and Babies and "Stuff"

So, what kinds of stuff did you make sure your babies had? I blogged a few days ago about "8 must-have gadgets for busy parents." That list included things like a hi-tech stroller that cost $1,000 and a tuba light that cost $200. Anybody out there own one of those?

Jennifer Lopez is the newest celebrity mommy-come-lately and it sounds like she's lavishing lots of stuff on her twins, Max and Emme.

According to news reports, J.Lo's twins sleep on 600-count Egyptian cotton cot linen, suck on diamond-engraved rattles and already are the proud-but-unaware owners of two small Shetland ponies. Max and Emme also have their own baby masseuse, who visits once or twice a week.

An unnamed source also said J.Lo employed a color therapist to paint the babies' nursery in health-enhancing tones--aquamarine and light blue - colors which are supposed to have intelligence boosting properties.

If you've got the money, you can spend it however you want to. But me? I'd prefer my diamonds displayed on a nice bracelet or necklace ... not anywhere near my baby's mouth.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Here I go again.

I was up way-too early this morning, thanks to a combination of a sinus infection, congestion and a bad dream.

My husband, bless him, administered meds and handed me tissues, encouraging me to go back to sleep. I decided to read for a while--the memories of the bad dream were still a bit too close. I do not like things crawling in my hair, even if they are imaginary.

It would be one thing if I could go back to bed when exhaustion finally wins out over congestion. But that's not possible when my caboose kiddo will be bounding downstairs in less than an hour, ready to start her day.

My only hope is for a 2 hour school delay, thanks to the snow falling outside. Then I could collpase on the couch while Christa watched television. But, so far, that's not happening.

Insomnia and me--we've got a long-standing love-hate relationship. I've endured bouts of sleepless nights for years. I refuse to stay in bed, staring at the ceiling, wishing I was asleep. So, I always get up and get things done. Usually that means I'm at my computer, reading my e-mail or blogging. Like now.

I always know I'll have a clean desk and an empty inbox by the time the sun comes up and everybody else in the family "rises and shines." I manage to do pretty well until about high noon, when my body finally rebels and insists on going back to bed.

Sometimes I can. Sometimes I can't. We'll see what today brings.

I'll be up, but I won't be shining.

And if you want a glimpse of what else I did while I was up-too-early-in-the-morning, visit my "Living Your Life" blog entry over at

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

What are Your Mommy-Essentials?

I was wandering the Internet and came across an article about the "8 must-have gadgets for busy parents." I decided to scroll through the list and see how many of the must-haves I actually had for my caboose kiddo.
  1. Voice-activated crib light ($13) - Nope.
  2. Hands-free diaper pail ($50) - Nope. I don't think they made diaper pails with motion sensors on the lids back when Christa was born. I used the old fashioned foot pedal.
  3. Super-efficient changing table ($119) - Nope. By the time Christa was born, I used anything and everything as a changing table. The floor. The kitchen counter. The bed. The couch. And, yes, I was ve-ery careful not to let my baby roll off of the counter or the bed or the couch.
  4. Tuba light ($196) - Nope. Never heard of it. I agree kiddos like lights--but $196?
  5. Glowing pillow ($40) - Nope. More light. I did use a pillow to cushion Christa when I nursed her. It was handmade by her two big sisters--no lights included.
  6. The best high chair ( Tripp Trapp Chair $229 plus cushions $40) - Christa did have a high chair. And it was a good one. I don't think you should skimp here--but I didn't spend close to $300 for Christa's high chair.
  7. High -tech stroller (Orbit Stroller $900) - Nope!! At $900, and with the "high-tech" label, I expected this stroller to have wireless connectivity and mabye a flat-panel HDTV. I confess, I bought a good stroller for Christa--barely used--at a garage sale.
  8. Handy blender ($100) - Already owned one by the time Christa came along!

I figured I saved myself at least $1600 by foregoing these "essentials."

I'd love to know what you think are "Mom Must-Haves." Did you indulge in a tuba light or a special crib or high chair? What one thing have you used over and over again as a mom?

Monday, March 03, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms March 3, 2008

In the news:

Kids vaccine linked to fever, seizures
Children suffered higher rates of fever-related convulsions when they got a Merck & Co. combination vaccine instead of two separate shots, according to a new study.
In the study of children ages 12 months through 23 months, the rate of seizures was twice as high in toddlers who got ProQuad, compared with those who got one shot for chickenpox and one for the three other diseases. There were no deaths in the new study.

Crowded cribs linked to baby deaths
From 2002 to 2004, 241 children under age 5 died in incidents involving nursery products, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. About 40 percent of the deaths involved cribs, with soft bedding cited as the leading contributing factor. Many of the children suffocated when lying face down on pillows or other bedding, the agency said.

Rise in midlife stroke in women linked to obesity
The rapidly rising incidence of stroke among Americans is primarily due to the increasing number of middle-aged women having strokes. The increase is also associated with abdominal obesity, according to a report given at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2008.

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