Thursday, August 1, 2013

It's Not Just Diabetes that Has Me Down

So, I'm feeling sad today.  Was so hoping to get our boy back to Higgins Armory again before it's gone forever.  It closes up shop in December, and I don't know if we're going to have the money. In the last two months, things have gone from hopeful to disastrous on the cash front, and right now we're doing the "calls to stave them off" shuffle until we can catch up.

Higgins Armory--have you never been?   If not, you want to get there while you still can--come end of the year, it's the end of a treasure.  An incredible adventure for kids and adults.  If you're into history, knights, armor, Danes, jousting, European and Asian military, weaponry, etc., Higgins is THE place in North America.

For just a little while longer.

Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester (that's WOOSTAH), Massachusetts


Came across an oddity today, directed by my older sister.  She's researching Supreme Court Justices, and has hit a snag with Justice Arthur J. Goldberg.  See, some biographies have him married to a Dorothy Kurgans, while others Wanda Tompkins, and some?  Some have him married to both.  Apparently at the same time.

Arthur J. Goldberg-portrait in the U.S. Department of Labor "Hall of Secretaries."  Artist Gardner Cox
Now, seeing as Justice Goldberg (later Ambassador Goldberg) wasn't a secret Reformed Latter-day Saint, and likely wasn't a closet polygamist in the public eye, I'm going to run with one of three theories:

One, his marriage to Wanda Tompkins was short, embarrassing, and has been quietly dropped from the historical record. 

Two, someone at some point at Wikipedia or some like place made a mistake.  They made a mistake, threw the name Wanda Tompkins in there, and the rest is referential history.  You know, nobody does research anymore, they just quote someone else? Who quoted someone else?

Three?  That "art student" Wanda Tompkins converted to Judaism to marry Justice Goldberg, and when she did, she changed her name to Dorothy Kurgans.  You know, the ARTIST Dorothy Kurgans.  I'm personally acquainted with folks who've done that very thing--converted to Judaism and changed their names to more "traditionally Jewish" monikers.  

There's got to be some way to find out.  To borrow from Duchovny, the truth is out there.  If you know, if you can shed some light, drop me a line.  My curiosity is piqued.


Caught some crappy story today about Kate Middleton and breastfeeding.  Specifically about how her fashion purchases of late indicate she's breastfeeding.  From some classy news source whose name escapes me.  Was it  . . . Totally Vapid News-ish?  No, no.  Perhaps Holy Cow, What Trivial Garbage?  Or maybe . . . Stylelist?  

Ah, yeah, that was it.  Whew!

Anyway, I don't normally read that sort of thing, but it came across my feed and, being something of a "lactivist," I was drawn in.

Drawn in, only to be pissed off.

It's a common misconception that women are advised to breastfeed for six months.  A common misunderstanding, really.  See, it's "exclusively for the first six months, then with solid foods for at least the first year, preferably longer."  The World Health Organization is even more expansive, calling for a minimum of two years (six months exclusive, then to at least two years with solids).  Not breastfeeding?  Sad and inferior, nutrition-wise, in modern, industrialized countries with adequate healthcare and access to clean water.  Sad, inferior, linked to numerous ailments and all-around increase in risk for various diseases and disorders, costing our governments a fortune, but usually not deadly.  Usually good enough.  But in third world countries?

A death sentence.  No, that's not an exaggeration.  Millions of infants die every year because they aren't breastfed.  Simple as that.  So when I see a story, even in some dippy rag like Stylelist, talking about a famous woman who is widely respected and likely choosing to breastfeed?

That's good.  That's good news.  And it's being shared in a format/venue likely to attract a crowd not usually given to deep thoughts about infant nutrition.

Sadly, Stylelist got it wrong, stating that breastfeeding is "recommended for the first six months of the baby's life."  No mention of that first six months being exclusive nursing, to be followed up by nursing PLUS solids for at least the first year.  And there you go--crappy information sprayed at women who will take it as gospel because, gosh, they read it on a star-stalking site.

A star-stalking site that goes on to get in a dig about nursing in public.  A dig that will, no doubt. discourage more than one woman from breastfeeding her child.

I feel I need to repost this.  It's important.

And before anyone throws a tizzy, remember this--I'm not saying that women who don't nurse are bad mothers or inferior parents--I'm saying that they're providing their child inferior nutrition known to contribute to a variety of physical ailments.  That's not a judgement call, that's science. All parents make bad calls or lesser choices--ALL of us.  No such thing as perfect out there.  However, I see zero reason to whitewash the truth or soften the science to spare feelings.  I don't see anyone nodding indulgently and saying, "Oh, it's okay, it's just as good" to moms who smoke, or who drink during pregnancy.  Don't say it's not the same, don't say it's a poor comparison--not breastfeeding is associated with everything from increased risk of diabetes to dental caries, cancers (in mother and baby) to GERD.  Look up Necrotizing Enterocolitis some time--a cruel killer of pre-term babies, and almost unheard of in exclusively breastmilk fed preemies.  Formula fed babies of non-smoking mothers are more likely to suffer chronic ear infections, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and other ailments than the breastfed babies of smoking mothers.  Not because smoking is okay, but because breastmilk is just that awesome.  Obviously, the best route is not smoking AND nursing.

Anyway, point is this--a good mom might wind up not nursing, and a not-so-good mom might breastfeed.  It's not the determining factor.  But to hassle a woman for nursing in public while nodding and smiling at someone putting a bottle in a baby's mouth?  It utterly screwed up from every angle.  How about we just keep our mouths shut when we see a mom feeding her baby in public, REGARDLESS OF HOW SHE'S DOING IT?  A smile, a nod, and then move the hell on.
Nothing to see here, folks.


Blood sugar's been out-of-whack these past couple of weeks.  Actually clocked 220 the other day, which, for me, is really high.  REALLY high, though not a shock, considering what I'd had to eat.  My big concern, though, is the sudden spikes upon waking.  Normally, I'm below 100 when I wake up, but the past couple of weeks I've been at 110-140.  Doubly concerning because, when I go to bed, I'm around 103.  I know about the "Dawn Phenomenon" and the "Somogyi effect," but it's not normally a problem for me.  My fasting blood sugar isn't ALWAYS high--I came in at 98 yesterday before napping.  My post-dinner reading last night was 141, but that was after a pasta dinner with a lot of veggies, so I'm not surprised by that.  I don't like to be surprised by blood sugar.  141 after pasta isn't surprising.  138 after six hours of sleep?  That's a surprise.


And that's about all.  I was going to post a horrible house picture, but I found this, instead:

Now, this photo was voted absolute WORST/UGLIEST in an online contest comparing awful decor.  But I think it's BRILLIANT!  I mean, folks filming Harry Potter would have paid someone thousands to come up with exactly this!  It's amazing!  No, I wouldn't want to live there, but I'll bet a character from Dickens, Order of the Phoenix, or The Golden Compass would be right at home! How can you not love it?


Oh, yeah--new reviews up, if you're looking for a new hand mixer, curious about Burt's Bees Foot Cream, or in the market for some Honestly good shampoo, have a look! 

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