In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Monday, September 29, 2008

Announcing the AVEDA Gift Certificate Contest Winner

Jeanne T. won the $200 AVEDA gift certificate!

Jeanne subscribed to my Mommy-Come-Lately® e-newsletter for a chance to enjoy some pampering.
Her story about becoming a late-in-life mom by adoption at 35 and again at 37 is included in my book Baby Changes Everything: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood after 35. Jeanne and her husband Wendel have two boys, Caleb, 5 1/2, and Connor, 4.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest. Watch for your first newsletter coming to your inboxes soon!


Friday, September 26, 2008

Mommy-Come-Lately Contest Winners

Mommy-Come-Lately® Contests

Naomi, a.k.a. Urban Mummy, won the copy of The S.O.S. for PMS: Practical Help and Relief for Moms by Mary Byers. All I need is an address to send you the book, Naomi!

$200 AVEDA Gift Certificate

I selected a winner for the AVEDA gift certificate and sent her two e-mails since midnight on Tuesday letting her know she'd won the prize. So far, I haven't heard back from the winner. If you've subscribed to my e-newsletter in the past month or blogged about the giveaway, your name was entered in the drawing.

Please check your inbox and/or your spam filter and make sure you haven't missed an e-mail from me.

If I don't hear anything from my winner by 1 P.M., I'll draw another name.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Win a copy of The S.O.S. for PMS by Mary M. Byers

**Contest celebrating new Mommy-Come-Lately® website continuing until Wednesday, Sept. 24th. Go here for details about winning a $200 AVEDA gift certificate!**

"Some people say that PMS is a woman's issue, but it's not. It affects the people around her, including her husband (if she is married), and her children. It affects all relationships. It influences how we model coping skills for our children. It can interfere with care-giving responsibilities. Yes. PMS is a family issue. How we handle PMS, whether we deal with it or ignore it, has an impact on family dynamics." ~ The S.O.S. of PMS

Why review a book about PMS on a blog dedicated to late-in-life motherhood? Older moms are living life on the hormonal edge: having babies while their bodies teeter on the brink of menopause.

Consider this fact revealed early on in Mary Byers' book The S.O.S. for PMS: Practical Help and Relief for Moms:

"PMS can come and go during the reproductive years, and symptoms may worsen as a woman approaches perimenopause in the late 30s or 40s."

Thank you very much!

While that might not be what you want to hear, there is hope--and you'll find it in Byer's book. The S.O.S. for PMS is a concisely written, highly practical book. I read the book in one sitting. I could see myself handing it off to a friend and saying, "Here, read this. It's got great information in it--and it doesn't read like an encyclopedia or a medical textbook."

That said, Byers has done her research. She talks about:

  • the physical symptoms of PMS

  • the behavioral & emotional symptoms of PMS

  • the physiology of PMS

  • diet triggers

  • medication options

Byers recommends that women chart their physical and emotional symptoms for several months, and includes blank charts in the book.

She even included a chapter titled "A Letter to Husbands," which was written by her husband. Addressed to "Fellow PMS Survivors," Byer's husband recommends that other husbands:

Plan for the monthly PMS symptoms

Maneuver into a better position to deal with PMS

Sympathize with your woman

Byers is a national speaker and has also written How to Say No ... And Live to Tell About It: A Woman's Guide to Guilt-Free Decisions and Mother Load: How to Meet Your Own Needs While Caring For Your Family. To learn more about Byers, go here.

To win a copy of The S.O.S. of PMS, post a comment on this blog post. I'll draw a winner at the end of the week.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms September 19, 2008

**Contest celebrating new Mommy-Come-Lately® website continuing until Wednesday, Sept. 24th. Go here for details about winning a $200 AVEDA gift certificate!**

News to know:

Pregnant women who receive flu shots can protect their unborn child from the infection, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers studied a group of 340 Bangladeshi mother-infant pairs from 2004 to 2005. Some received the flu shot, others did not. The study found that babies born to vaccinated mothers had a 63 percent lower risk of influenza compared to the babies whose mothers did not receive the vaccine.

One more time: the BPA controversy
There have been dueling headlines this past week about the safety of chemicals in plastic. No one can seem to agree about the the hazards posed by bisphenol A, or BPA, an estrogen-like chemical used in plastic, including baby bottles.
For a nice, rational take on the controversy, read Dr. Walt Larimore's Health Blog.

The National Institute of Mental Health dropped plans to test a controversial treatment for autism.
The agency stopped the study of chelation, saying the money would be better used testing other potential therapies for autism and related disorders. Chelation removes heavy metals from the body and is used to treat lead poisoning. Its use as an autism treatment is based on the fringe theory that mercury in vaccines triggers autism — a theory never proved and rejected by mainstream science.

As the first generation of "ISCSI babies" reach puberty, scientists wonder if they will inherit the infertility problems their fathers' struggled with.
“ICSI babies” are children conceived with the help of intracytoplasmic sperm injection and in vitro fertilization, or IVF. For the daughters born to these dads, there appears to be little problem. One of the main concerns for the sons centers on the possibility of chromosomal abnormalities leading to male infertility.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Girls will be girls

**Contest celebrating new Mommy-Come-Lately® website continuing until Wednesday, Sept. 24th. Go here for details about winning a $200 AVEDA gift certificate!**
I love girls.
Really, I do.
After all, I am a girl.
But there are times that I have to admit: Boys are so much easier.
Yesterday Christa was munching on her after school snack when she asked, "Mom, can we sit on the couch and talk about something?"
"Uh, sure."
Hhhhhmmmm. Moving to the couch. Must be serious.
After we settled on the couch, Christa shared her dilemma: It seems there's one girl at school who wants to play with Christa at recess. And when Christa says, "Not today, thanks"--or something along that line--the girl cries.
And then the girl tells the playground monitor that Christa has been mean to her.
And Christa gets in trouble.
And then Christa has to run a lap around the playground or she has to sit out from recess for 5 minutes.
That hardly sounded fair to me.
Time for some detective work.
So I made sure Christa was being nice to the other girl when she said, "Not today, thanks"--and it seems she is being nice. She just doesn't want to play with this one girl every day.
So, what's a 7 1/2 year old girl to do?
What's a mom to do?
Well, first, I told my daughter I understood. And then I asked if we could pray about it. And then I asked her what kind of choice she should make.
"A wise one."
"That's right. And how should you treat someone else?"
"The way I want to be treated."
"That's right too. Do you think that just for tomorrow--just tomorrow--you can be kind to this girl? And if she asks to play with you, that you can say yes?"
Christa thought for a minute.
"But what if she wants to play the next day?"
"Let's just think about tomorrow. Can you make the wise choice for tomorrow and be kind tomorrow?"
"Yeah, I can do that."
"Okay. Let's do that. Just for tomorrow. Let's see how it goes."
The report after school?
The girl asked to play with Christa during recess. Christa said yes--and they had a fun time together playing animals in the jungle.
And that was that.
To be continued ... I'm sure.
Because girls will be girls.

Monday, September 15, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms September 15, 2008

**Contest celebrating new Mommy-Come-Lately® website continuing until Wednesday, Sept. 24th. Go here for details about winning a $200 AVEDA gift certificate!**

News to know:

Baby bottle chemical draws mixed messages from U.S.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reopening the debate over bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical used in many plastic products -- including baby bottles.
An FDA panel of outside experts plans to review the agency's draft report issued last month saying that BPA is safe. Critics argue the FDA ignored strong evidence in animal studies that BPA is harmful.

CNN Report: Why infants still die from SIDS
Story Highlights:
Fewer than 2,500 infant deaths this year will be classified as SIDS
SIDS may be underreported because causes of infant deaths are mislabeled
Babies who begin daycare before 4 months of age may be at increased risk

Study: Kids of Privileged Working Moms Fare Worse
A Newsweek article highlighted a study that reported kids from high-socioeconomic-status families have difficulties when their moms work outside the home.
According to economist Christopher Ruhm, at ages 10 and 11, kids perform more poorly on cognitive tests and are also more likely to be overweight than those whose high-status mothers leave the workforce.
Children from low-status families, on the other hand, don't seem to suffer as much when their moms work.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms September 11, 2008

News to know:

**Contest celebrating new Mommy-Come-Lately® website continuing until Wednesday, Sept. 24th. Go here for details about winning a $200 AVEDA gift certificate!**

FDA: Infant formula from China tainted by chemical
Tainted infant formula from China may be on sale at ethnic groceries in America, even though it is not approved for importation, the Food and Drug Administration warned.
The domestic supply of infant formula is safe, the FDA said.
Officials recommend U.S. consumers avoid all infant formula from China, after several brands sold in that country came under suspicion of being contaminated with melamine, a chemical used in plastics. There have been reports from China of babies developing kidney stones as a result, officials said. There have been no reports of illnesses in the U.S.

Nine million children die worldwide before age 5
UNICEF reported more than 9 million children globally died before their fifth birthday in 2007, down slightly from 2006. A huge gap remains between rich and poor countries, especially in Africa.
Promotion of breastfeeding, immunizations and anti-malaria measures helped decrease child deaths to 9.2 million from 9.7 million a year ago and 12.7 million in 1990, according to the UNICEF figures.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

In Memory: 9-11-01

May we never forget

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

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

**Contest celebrating new Mommy-Come-Lately® website continuing until Wednesday, Sept. 24th. Go here for details about winning a $200 AVEDA gift certificate!**

News to know:

Kids truly are little germ factories, study proves
For the first time, vaccination is being pushed for all children--not just those under 5. Why? New evidence suggests children are key flu spreaders. Over four winters, Harvard researchers matched ill adults' visits to Boston-area emergency rooms with Census data for 55 zip codes. Flu-like symptoms struck first and worst in the zip codes that were home to the most kids.

Woman, 59, gives birth to healthy triplets
A 59-year-old woman in France has given birth by Caesarean section to triplets--two boys and a girl. All three babies are said to be in good health, according to the Paris hospital that is treating them.
According to news reports, the woman reportedly went to a private Vietnamese clinic willing to overlook the 45-year-old age limit for egg donation and in-vitro fertilization.

Newest Celebrity Mommy-Come-Lately: Minnie Driver
Actress Minnie Driver, 38, gave birth to a son, Henry Story Driver, last Friday. The baby weighed 9 lbs., 12 oz.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms September 8, 2008

News to know:

Woman, 59, preparing to give birth to triplets
A 59-year-old woman is due to give birth to triplets in a Paris hospital, accoridng to the French newspaper Agence France-Presse. The woman's husband is in his 40s.
The woman went to a private Vietnamese clinic willing to overlook the 45-year-old age limit for egg donation and in-vitro fertilization, the newspaper said.

Study: Kids of older dads have higher bipolar risk
Children born to older fathers face a greater chance of developing bipolar disorder, according to a recent study.
Scientists theorize that older men's sperm may be more likely to develop mutations. The study's authors maintain the odds of a person becoming bipolar are so low that it shouldn't dissuade older men from becoming fathers.

Natural birth 'may aid baby bond'
Women who gave birth naturally were more responsive to the cry of their baby than those who chose to have a Caesarean, research suggests.
A Yale University team carried out brain scans on 12 women two to four weeks after they had given birth. Half had a Caesarean, the other half gave birth naturally.
The differences in brain activity were found in regions that not only appeared to influence a mother's response to her child, but also to regulate her mood.

Early ear infections may pack on pounds later
Chronic ear infections may damage a vital taste-sensing nerve in kids, causing a preference for rich foods and making them prone to weight gain later, according to researchers.
Preliminary studies from the University of Florida College of Denistry in Gainesville said people with a serious history of childhood ear infections appear to be about 70 percent more likely to be obese than those with no history of infections.

Heavy teens run risk of severe liver damage
Some overweight teenagers have severe liver damage, called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, caused by too much body fat, and a handful have needed liver transplants, according to experts.
Two percent to 5 percent of American children over age 5, nearly all of them obese or overweight, have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, according to The American Liver Foundation.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms September 5, 2008

News to know:

Autism, measles vaccine link further debunked
New research further discredits any link between measles vaccine and autism.
Years of research with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine or MMR, concluded that it doesn’t cause autism.
However, one 1998 British study linked the vaccine with a subgroup of autistic children who also have serious gastrointestinal problems. That study reported that measles virus lingered in the children’s bowels.
Researchers retested that finding, taking samples of youngsters’ intestines to hunt for signs of virus with the most modern genetic technology. There is no evidence that MMR plays any role, according to the international team — which included researchers who first raised the issue.

Brain protein may hold key to fertility
Scientists have discovered the crucial ovulation-triggering role played by kisspeptin, a small protein molecule in the brain. Kisspeptin helps kick-start puberty, as well as being involved with activating nerve cells that initiate ovulation.
The study's findings may change how researchers approach infertility.

Child vaccination rate hits record levels
Toddlers in America got the recommended vaccinations against childhood diseases at record levels in 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A record 77.4 percent of children ages 1 1/2 to 3 years received the full recommended series of vaccinations, the CDC said.
Ninety percent of children got all but one of the six individual vaccines in the series, the CDC said.
The one exception was the four doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis or whooping cough vaccine, received by 84.5 percent of toddlers, the CDC said.

Three questions can spot possible postpartum depression
Three simple questions were just as good as conventional screening for identifying potential postpartum depression among new mothers, according to a study published in September issue of Pediatrics.
New mothers were asked to answer "Yes, most of the time," "Yes, some of the time," "Not very often" or "No, never" to the following statements:
I have blamed myself unnecessarily when things went wrong.
I have felt scared or panicky for not very good reason.
I have been anxious or worried for not very good reason.

Researchers found that fewer questions were better at diagnosing depression than the standard longer test used to screen for postpartum depression.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Straddling the Parenting Spectrum--With My Heart

Late-in-life motherhood caught me unawares.

I was 41. The oh-so-busy mom of three teenagers.

And then I found out I was pregnant.

Since that day--May 2, 2000--I've felt like I'm living life in reverse and fast forward as I straddle the parenting spectrum.

I still recall waving goodbye to my 17-year-old son Josh as he left for college--as I held my six-month-old baby daughter Christa in my arms.

Fast forward.

I remember celebrating my daughter Amy's graduation from high school--knowing that Christa would start kindergarten three months later.

Fast forward.

My daughter Katie Beth moved out on her own--and I sat on my bed with Christa. We both cried.

Fast forward.

Josh fell in love and got married--and Christa escorted him to the front of the decorated gazebo during the outdoor ceremony in Colorado.

Fast forward.

I've experienced all these "growing up" moments with my three older children in the company of my caboose kiddo. Her presence has made the moments all the sweeter--and sometimes all the more poignant.

Like the moment-to-be I'm facing in six days.

My daughter Amy leaves for a 9 month mission trip to Nicaragua.

It's what I call a 'wonderful-horrible' moment.

It's wonderful because I know it's the next right thing for her.

And it's horrible because I can already feel in my heart how much I am going to miss her.

And as I make my way through this moment, I'm holding the hand of my 7-year-old daughter and helping her through the emotions too.

She's going to miss her big sister.

She doesn't want her to go.

I understand. I understand.

And I'm trying to help her understand.

That's part of straddling the parenting spectrum.

It's not just the emotional and physical exhaustion of raising toddlers, teens and twentysomethings all at the same time.

It's living life out loud--loving your family with your whole heart--and holding on to each other through all the moments--wonderful, horrible--and everything in between.


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