Friday, April 3, 2009

Loose Ends

I've got 10,000 random thoughts rattling around in my tiny mind, so this is going to be one of those annoying, disjointed posts. However, I promise a healthy mix of funny kid stuff with random rattling stuff.


I am funnier when I'm not on Zoloft.

Yes, I'm off the Zoloft. It tried to kill me. This does NOT mean that you are exempt from taking me seriously. It does mean that you should be a little bit nicer to me, and more cautious around me, for a couple of weeks until I even back out. And maybe send chocolate or wine, just to be safe.

If we're going to have a third baby, I need to get clean. The data has changed since I became pregnant with Claire, and although she's fabulous (so far) I'm not willing to take the risk, again, of taking Zoloft while pregnant (your mileage may vary, talk to your doctor, this blog is not meant to be taken as medical advice. In fact, it would probably be safer to refrain from taking any advice you read in this blog, just on general principle. Void where prohibited).


Tonight before bed, Claire wanted to use the potty (she's ready to potty train, I'm not) before bed. "Potty! Please, potty!" she said. However, her diaper was poopy. So, I cleaned her up in the hallway, then left her, naked, in the bathroom while I went in her room to throw away the diaper. I could hear her saying, "Potty! POTTY!" kind of urgently, but I figured she was just excited (Casey, who is having a hard time potty training her kids, is not going to love that comment - yes, she's excited to use the potty. Yes, I'm discouraging her. Looking gift horse in mouth. I know. Sorry). Well, I get in there and she's standing in a puddle. "Oh no, Mommy," she says, "I spilled."


I had a really nice day today. Claire went to "school" with MG (Mommy's Time Out program), and Casey and I had coffee and chatted for two and a half hours!!!! It was lovely!

I also got a lot done at work. Woo hoo!


"When are you going to learn that you need to listen to me the FIRST time, not the SEVENTH??" I yelled*.

"Thursday," Mary Grace said, with complete sincerity and repentance. I had to walk away so I could laugh.


I'm finding it very difficult to consume all the media that I'm interested in. I have piles of books that I intend to read, eventually, and it seems like for every one I finish there are three more that I want to start. I'm following an embarrassing number of blogs, Twits, and Facebookians. We've been getting the newspaper (for the coupons) and it gets tossed without a glance most nights (I'm going to cut it back to weekends only as soon as I finish this post, actually). I'm so far behind on movies and television shows, not to mention Podcasts, that I will never, ever catch up. I wonder if it's part of being the parent of young kids, that I just don't have hours and hours to sit and read like I did B.C. (Before Children), or is it because the amount of media that's available is growing exponentially, and it's really impossible to keep up with it all?

I'm going to have to go through and cull my blogroll again. Generally this means that I read through it, and if I don't immediately recognize the blog name as one of my friends, I'll read the last couple posts... If nothing sounds familiar, it means that I've been skimming, and it's time for that subscription to go. I hate to do it, because there must have been some reason why I started following that person to begin with... Some gem of a post where I said, "Who is this person? I must read more!" It makes me feel judgmental and snobby to cut them off... but there are just only so many hours in a day.

I've already culled the Podcasts. And I've gotten much better about stopping reading a book when it starts to feel like work instead of pleasure. There have been several that I've started, thought, "Why am I wasting time on this??" and quit midway through. I used to be sort of obsessive about such things, and if I started it I had to finish any given book. I've gotten much more protective of my time.


An article came out today and got buzzed through the blogosphere, which said that they've found "rocket fuel" in baby formula, and OMG won't someone think of the BaBiEz!!!11!!

Um... Yeah. A couple of months ago everyone was having the vapors (pun!) because they found the same "rocket fuel" (ammonium perchlorate) in breast milk.

Do not panic. This is just another way to incite panic in our woefully science-illiterate and innumerate culture. Now, I'm not saying you should go feed your baby a whole bottle full of perchlorate, but it's everywhere, for crying out loud, and we can't get away from it no matter how we choose to feed our kids, so let's quit with the fearmongering.

Should we be concerned about industrial pollution? Sure. Should we buy the ultra-expensive organic soy formula that's pre-digested and pre-screened and pure as the driven snow (if such a thing actually existed) to avoid this chemical? Probably not.

Fear makes us buy stuff. When someone tries to make you afraid, particularly of something that's difficult to understand, or difficult to avoid, always ask yourself what they are trying to sell you.


Ok, thinking about toxicity totally reminds me of the time a friend of ours, John, was presenting a paper at a conference and he called a substance "non-toxic." Someone asked him how he knew that it was non-toxic, and he joked, "If you cut it 100 to 1 with water, and you can drink it and not die, it's non-toxic."

Cue: Crickets.

Friends don't let friends joke during professional conferences. I laughed, though, when I heard about it later.


BJ just shared this video with me:

This was a factory that made ammonium perchlorate for the Space Shuttle, and some genius decided that they should put it on top of a 16" high pressure natural gas pipeline.


When the Shuttles stopped flying after the Challenger tragedy, the factory kept cranking out AP, so they had it all over the place. 4000 tons of it all over the place, to be specific, and it was stored in containers that helped it blow up, once a spark from a welding torch started the whole thing going. Two people were killed. You can read more about it (and everything else on the planet) on Wikipedia.

I think we know how the ammonium perchlorate got into everything. Check out how long it takes for the sound of the blast that you see at 0:19 to get to the camera at 0:29. That's how far away the camera was from the fire. It takes sound about 5 seconds to travel one mile, so the camera is about two miles away from the source. Now when he pans out, look at the ginormous plume of smoke. All that went somewhere, kids.

It went into the clouds, it got into the rain, it got into the ground water, it got into the cows when they drank the water and ate the grass that had been rained on, and that's how it got into the formula (which is made of milk). It also got into the crops, animals, and milk that grown people eat, and that's how it got into the mommies. It washed downstream, got into the oceans, and into the fish we eat. Women all over the U.S. have tested positive for perchlorate in their breast milk (and I'm not saying it was this SINGLE incident that caused it, although that would make a really interesting class action lawsuit if you could prove damages - how about the increased incidence of autism? Hmmmm...


See what I mean about there just being too much interesting stuff on the planet? I could surf Wikipedia for days. I could go from one Youtube video to the next, or get caught up in looking up information about ammonium perchlorate, and what was meant to be a 10 second, "Hey, isn't this dumb?" in a blog post becomes a 20 minute research project.

I don't have time to research, I need to go to bed!

Seriously, I need a media manager or something to filter out all the junk and send me only the most awesome stuff, or something, because this is getting silly.


Claire calls everyone Jane. Especially people who are not named Jane. She calls Allison, someone she has known her entire life, Jane. We think she gets her ability to remember names from Bumpa.


Is it hard for you to find my links because of the color or the formatting? Do you have to hunt for them? Is there anyone out there who wants to help me move this blog to a new domain (as in "" instead of and wants to help me with a new blog design? I'm completely sick of this one and want something more interesting and professional (and .com) before BlogHer. Besides, my pretty babies aren't babies anymore. I have a name in mind... I just have no idea where to begin. I can haz halp??


Allison reports that Mary Grace asked Claire, "Claire, do you think I'm a loser?" the other day.


Ok, folks, that's enough for tonight. I'm going to go to bed, read a book, listen to a Podcast, and watch a TV show all at once. Relaxing is suddenly a lot of work!!

*Yes, I yelled. I am not perfect.


Larry Ladd said...

It's very important that the public understand that perchlorate does not just affect the thyroid, it affects the cd34 stem cells that form thyroid and connective tissue. See York et al 2005 pubmed id 16393938 and Jendelova et al 2005 pubmed id 15929552.

Amy said...

Larry - thanks for the link. It's no surprise to me that Rancho Cordova has problems with perchlorate - there's a large aerospace community there. I'd imagine that they have a lot in Huntsville, too. And in Florida near Kennedy Space Center...

I agree, the public should be informed. However, putting out a poorly researched "news" article saying, "OMG formula has ROCKET FUEL in it!!! What about the babiez???!?" only serves to cause fear, it doesn't inform. The original news article that was reposted all over was very high on the "OMG" and very low on the "informing." And none of the news articles I saw mentioned the recent scare about breastmilk containing perchlorate all over the US.

I agree that toxic fuels are of great concern. In fact, my husband and I have spent the last 6+ years working on non-toxic fuels for the aerospace and defense industries.

You're welcome. :)