I am expectantly looking forward to life. What will happen in the coming weeks? Won't you join me on my journey.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Milkyway Milk Sharing Stories.

check out all the wonderful stories on this blog.

Monday, December 13, 2010

What is Eats On Feets and milksharing really about?

I would like to point out that there have been many errors printed and broadcasted about Eats On Feets.  Eats On Feets, is a play on the name of the organization, Meal on Wheels, which delivers nutritious meals to house bound people.  Unlike Meals on Wheels where there is active participation from the volunteers,   EOF pages are simply a place for mothers and families to come together and get acquainted. The pages merely serve as a place for the first contact.  The volunteers who help administer the pages are there to re-post needs, requests, and other information that may be of interest to the “likers” of the page. They also insure that the page stays true to the mission statement. They are not there to give advice or opinion, or to facilitate any matches. It is up to the families to private message each other and begin to the process of getting to know each other and sharing milk if they so desire.

It is evident that EOF is monitoring news articles and blogs to counter concerns and misinformation brought up. There was a fine example of this on December 10, 2010 in an article on health.usnews.com. (http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=647203 ) There was an error printed in it, EOF administers saw it and upon notification, the author promptly corrected it. On the other hand, many news organizations choose to sensationalize milk sharing with headlines like those that say FDA warns against, CPS calls it dangerous, the ick factor.  Regrettably, many reporter and bloggers have not bothered to investigate the EOF website or Facebook pages fully or to understand their purpose.

 Dr. Lawrence states, “If these [donors] are your best friends and they're in good health with no underlying diseases, then fine.”  This was part of the concept of the local chapters. The idea of the chapter pages is that participants get to know each other. Recipients can ask questions of the donors in regards to life style choices- what are your eating habits, do you consume alcohol, is there any exposure to second-hand smoke or any other health concerns.  Recipients can ask for health information on the donor mother/child dyad to insure that they are healthy. The best match would be one where the babies/children are close in age so it is likely that these children will know each other and become friends as well as milk siblings.

I believe that part of the appeal of EOF is this personal connection. Donor mothers want to know where their milk is going and to able to watch another baby thrive on their milk. Recipients get a chance to see the [donor] baby that is receiving the milk first hand and see how that baby is healthy and happy. Many of the articles make it appear that strangers are meeting in dark alleys opening a trench coat to show their wares at the request of a mom saying, “Do you have the goods?” This is very far from the truth. Typically, the family receives the milk personally, as opposed to it arriving informally via the mail. This again allows for face-to-face time between the donors and recipients. It also facilitates the families in getting to know each other on a more personal level.  Again, Eats on Feets is not about connecting strangers, but about creating communities and relationships.

The FDA and Health Canada keep putting out warning about informal milk sharing. Eats on Feets asserts that is not about informal sharing, but rather it is about IN-formed sharing.  As questions arise, they are answered with evidence-based information on the FAQ page.  The FAQ page is a living document, similar to the living milk families are sharing.  The chapters of EOF are helping to create communities where families help families. Perhaps the health agencies would be better serving their communities by offering evidence-based information instead of the fear mongering that they are doing.

The health agencies need to be giving out information about proper techniques for pumping and storage of milk, instead of implying that even mothers who pump for their own child might be putting them at risk. They should be presenting facts on the risks, instead of implying that every mother out there might be a living factory for AIDs and other bacteria. They would do better with giving information to the families on what health risks there really are with accurate percentages. What questions they should ask in regards to health and lifestyle to ensure the safety of using donor milk. They could present information about flash pasteurization as a viable option if there are still concerns about bacteria. Perhaps they should be encouraging develop of more home tests for alcohol and drugs or perhaps a test for bacteria.

With all the research out there pointing to the health benefits of human milk to human children, along with the research pointing to the money saving aspects, the heath agencies should be doing everything they can to help promote more babies receiving breastmilk. Insurance companies would also serve themselves well to be assisting with the costs. This is particularly important to the United States as we move towards universal health care.  How much money will we save ourselves if we insure that children, up to at least the age of two, receive the benefits of human milk?

Friday, November 19, 2010

In Defense of Breastfeeding

This is a story written by one of my best friends, one of the sisters of my heart. It tell a story of a time when as an eight year little child she realized that all was not well with the world. 

by Wendy Shapard on Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 11:07pm

This week many of my friends, and others in Facebook Land, have been raising awareness of breastfeeding and its rightful place as a natural, normal, and (should be) publicly accepted part of our society.  As a non-mom, I wasn't sure what I had to add to the discussion, besides "Well, that's obvious!" and a general sort of "Go, moms, go!" encouragement.  After all, others have already mentioned the endless scientific research that clearly demonstrates that science cannot replicate that which Mother Nature has designed, and the blatant hypocrisy in a society which objectifies the female form but all too often finds the natural purpose of the female form somehow objectionable.  What more, I thought, could I possibly add?

And then I remembered something: the first day I learned that some people actually considered breastfeeding inappropriate for public (if you"ll pardon the pun) comsumption.

I was 8 years old, and my youngest brother was 7 months and two days.  It was the Fourth of July, and my family had gone out to watch a parade. Bands, floats, people on stilts and horses, the whole bit.  Now you'd think as an eight year old, the parade is what I would remember, but I don't, and here's why:

My baby brother began to fuss.  He was hungry, and he wasn't enjoying the marching band nearly as much as the rest of us, so he probably needed some comforting, too.  My mom did the rational thing, and tried to get him to nurse, but the marching band was really quite loud, and he was wiggling all over the place, so my mom told my dad, "I'll take him over there in the shade and see if that helps."

This was nothing new to me, and barely registered over that marching band.  You see, I was the 8 year old veteran of three younger siblings, all of us breastfed.  I could sing a lullaby and change a diaper with the best of them, but I knew that 4 times out of 5 the best thing to do with a cranky baby was for Mom to nurse them.  I also knew that sometimes it took a little while to convince the cranky baby of that fact so it didn't surprise me that Mom didn't come right back, but after a few minutes, I started to wonder what was taking so long.

I looked back over my shoulder, and there, standing what seemed like a long way off, in the shade of a tree, was my Mom with a contentedly nursing baby.  "Well, this is ridiculous," I thought, with an 8 year old's clarity of purpose. "Mom's going to miss the horses!"  I told my dad that I would go stand with Mom, and went over to ask why she was still standing so far away from the parade.

"Well," my mom said it the extra even tone that I knew meant she was going to tell me something because I was oldest and could understand it.  "The parade is a little loud for the baby, but also... some people are actually a little uncomfortable about seeing a baby nurse in public."

I was flabbergasted.  I did not understand this bombshell.  Looking back, I can only assume that my mom saw someone in the crowd who disapproved and decided hang back out of sight, but I certainly didn't see anything that would make someone uncomfortable.  All I saw was my baby brother happy and nursing, with his long eyelashes resting on his cheeks and the soft curls around his head.  Instead of the clamor of the parade passing by, I heard the soft, quick rhythm of his breath interrupted at random intervals by an extra eager slurp.  I smelled that wonderful smell that a baby must give off all the time, but that you only get the chance to notice when they are quiet and happy.  I looked back at my mom.

"Why?" I asked. She shrugged.

"They just are." The universal answer for the vagaries of the world. "I'll just wait until he's done nursing and then go back."  She meant it to be reassuring.

I looked at the backs of the crowd watching the parade and wondered if all the horses had already passed.  It didn't seem fair.  There were horses over there and my mom had to miss them just because she had a hungry baby and some people were silly?

"I'll wait and go back with you," I decided.


We stood in the shade and watched the nursing baby, and for me that moment held more of the true meaning of "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" than a dozen Fourth of July parades.

Even ones with horses.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Expired Mixes

I have been meaning to start writing for days now. I have several pages in my documents file that have information that I want to write about. I have even started and stopped several times. Yet I continue to  be lured away by the next “shiney” that passes before me as I explore and travel through the various sites and blogs  I visit. Yes, adult ADD is alive and well in my world. Actually I just have a hunger for knowledge and tend to jump around looking for more information to back up what I might have read.I guess you could say that along with being a birth junkie, I am an information junkie.

I received an email from my mom today. Or maybe it was yesterday, possibly even a few days ago. I tend to open them when I am trying to avoid something else. You know how it is. There are dishes in the sink, dust on the living room tables, any number of things I should be doing, did I mention my blogs. At any rate, she tends to forward any email that she receives that fall into one of several categories.  
1)    Funny. Some of which have me ROTFLOL and I can’t help but pass them on myself. Others not so much, at least to me, and I have to wonder, “Really…MOM?”
2)       Political. We won’t even go there.  It wouldn’t be pretty. And besides this isn’t a political blog.
3)       Cute. As in “ahhhh, don’t you just want to squeeze them, kiss them, love them. Yeah, I pass some of those along too.
4)        Information that she feels is imperative for me to have. It might help me to get organized, perhaps just useful tips for coffee filters (BTW that one was great and you find it here in my blog). But the best ones are the ones that will potentially save my life. Mind you some of these are very good advice. Others well, let’s just say, I don’t always believe the reference to snopes. 

Anyways back to the one that made me think, “Hey here is a topic I could sink my teeth into.”  You see I am having several people over on Sunday, and I needed an excuse to avoid the above mentioned things. No, really, I had found a couple of cake mixes in the cupboards that are just a tad bit out of date.  Not by much, mind you. I have a wanna be pastry chef in my mists, ah but that is another topic. Did I mention adult ADD?
You might guess which one, as you have probably received this same alarming email. You know that one about the toxic pancake mix, ; the one where the mother  killed her son by forcing the pancakes down his throat. Okay it doesn’t actually say she forced him. There are a few versions of the story, including the one that holds the most weight as being true.  I mean, how could it not be true? It was in the Dear Abby column. And we all know that is like the gospel.

So I decided to have a little look about on the internet. Very interesting things, I did find. First off, my email had a link to snopes.com. So I checked. At the top of the page it does indeed say this is TRUE, but as I read further down, it also said “its inherent  warning is overblown.” I find it interesting that the email doesn’t point this out.It did however warn about any and all baking mixes: Cake, brownies, Bisquick, pancakes, did I miss any? No, that about covers the pictures at the bottom of the email page.

The snopes site does go on to say that there was a death, but that the boy had a very severe mold allergy.  Urban legends  says pretty much the same thing. Hmmm, so what does that all mean. Upon further investigation I found that other people who consumed the “killer pancakes” did not have any reaction at all. The truth of the matter is that, for most people, the worst that can happen is that the pancakes, or cake, brownies, etc. will be stale or not rise properly. There are a few people with severe allergies that should take precautions, but that applies to much in their lives.

If this was truly such a risk, I am sure that the manufactures of baking products would have HUGE warnings on them. After all, my blow dryer has a tag that says “DO NOT use in the shower”, my lawnmower sticker warns me not to put my hand on the blades while it is running, even my paper coffee mug from “unnamed” source says “caution! liquid is hot”. So it stands to reason that there would be a warning on my mixes, something like “WARNING!! This product may cause death if consumed after expiration date.”  After all we are a litigious people, always looking to be the victim of some greedy corporation.

I did check the Pillsbury, after a Google search directed me to questions posted there. Again, there was no mention of toxic risk. Another answer site with answers from various people had no mention of ill effects from using expired products, but did offer suggestions on what to do if you thought the cake mix needed a little uplift. 

The one that I found most useful, although obviously not recently updated, was from University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County. http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/ftjan05.htm , on a page about Decoding Food Product Dates.  Although this particular page has not been updated recently, I found that the links I tried were working and had current information.  I am rubbing my hands together in delight as I realize I have hit pay dirt for my unending quest for information.  But for now, I guess I have delayed that kitchen clean-up long enough.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Not enough hours in the day

Just a quick note for now. I am trying to finish up my friend Michelle's cookbook today. Well at least the transfer of all the information. Then on to editing to make sure all the fonts match. It is going to be a great little cookbook. She does Civil War Re-enactments. The title is The Kentucky Reb's Cookbook. It is full of great southern recipes, many of them date back to the American Civil War. Michelle is the main cook for the re-enactment group, 2nd Kentucky Cavalry, Co B. I will post more on the progress and when it will be available for purchase.

Here are a few of the recipes titles:
Buttermilk Pie
1880 Sugar Cookies
2nd Kentucky Granola
Confederate Cush
Shoofly Pie
Corn Rivel Soup

It is making my hungry.

Along with this I am working on things for E.L.F. I will post more on that later today. My mind is going a million directions with all of it. There are so many things that I what to do with it.

Stay tuned. :-)

Friday, October 8, 2010

March of Dimes and Military moms

This article is about a shower that was given in Washington D.C. It also give a little information about Operation Shower. I am very excited about this. Not sure yet how I will help with it as I just came across it. I would love to have my cookbook be one of the gifts that the new moms receive. Of course that means getting it all together and making my dream a reality. Here is a little more on Operation Shower.

Operation Shower is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that hosts joyous baby showers for military families to ease the burden of deployment. For more information or to learn about how you can get involved through the organization’s “Operation Give Thanks” campaign please visit operationshower.org.  

Wondering Mind

So this is just a quick little note. I started this journey a few days ago and am not making the progress that I would like. It seems that my mind sometimes goes at a faster pace then I can put to paper. Or rather to keyboard/blog. I have been exploring several sites and at times feel like I am super ADD. Of course one of my favorite sayings is "Did you see that rabbit?" This became a catch phrase for me several years ago at a small Renaissance Fair. There were occasionally sweet little bunnies hopping around and well.. being easily distracted... I think you get my drift. LOL I just read back what I had written. Boy, talk about distraction.  

So one of the main purposes for this site and this time is to get going on my cookbook. I started a Facebook page last night and sent out invites only to have one of my BFF, sister of my heart, point out that I don't know how to spell. She really was very gentle about it. A private message, pointing out that I had forgotten the second "t". So like me. At any rate, it was late and I was tired so I deleted it and need to get back to it. So why am I here, instead of on Facebook? Did I mention ADD, procrastination, and only having two cups of coffee this morning. Okay so back to Facebook and the starting point.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The Friends of the Library recently held a silent auction. One of the books was a first edition of Alice's Adventure in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass. Two books in one. My oldest daughter, Gabby, wanted it. She fretted and tried to decide when would be the best time to bid. Well, actually to have me bid for her. She has a fondness for books. This is not one of her favorites, but she became obsessed with winning the bid on this book. Unfortunately it was also desired by another collector of books. While we never did actually place a bid, we did worry the young man so much that he bid $75 for a $32 book.