Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Putting your best foot forward?

Women Dress Best When Ready to Mate

Morning Edition, October 11, 2006 · A UCLA study says women tend to put their best fashion foot forward when they are most fertile. In the study, a panel of men and women looked at photos of college students taken during their most and least fertile phases of the month. Researchers say the judges picked the photo in the fertile phase 60 percent of the time. Other animals release powerful scents, or change color, when they are ready to mate. Apparently, women just need to go shopping.


I am really interested in your responses to this post. Gretta's 4 month check up is coming right up, and I have been doing some thinking about vaccines.

I had thought that I would just go along with the recommended vaccination schedule, but after seeing how hard it was on Gretta (no extreme reactions, just hard), I began rethinking the vaccination schedule.

I know that some people do all the vaccinations, but just at different times than those recommended or not all at once. I would love to know what you all do, and how you decided on which vaccinations to get and when.

I have found the Department of Health and Human Services' recommendation schedule and an interesting article on whether or not multiple vaccines overwhelm the infant's immune system. Here is also a link to get a personalized immunization schedule for your baby (free).

The above article seemed to be pretty convincing on why vaccines are good and okay at this point in Gretta's life.

The only question I still have is on whether or not it is good to get them all at the same time. This article was arguing that it was perfectly okay, but there was a comment in the article that gave me pause. And so I though perhaps I just didn't understand why they thought this was okay:

"Achieving similar immune responses by giving vaccines at the same time at different sites may be more easily accomplished than by combining vaccines in the same syringe. Challenges to giving many vaccines in a single injection are based partly on incompatibilities of agents used to buffer or stabalize individual vaccines."

So my question is: Why do they think that these agents that are used, that would be incompatible when put together, would not be incompatible when injected at the same time?

My doctor friend responded: "My guess is that because the vaccines are prepared differently that a solution used for one vaccine would inactivate another vaccine. This isn't a problem in the body because the vaccines injected at different sites will be locally taken up into the lymphatic system and wont have a chance to interact with the vaccines at other sites."


I thought I would include some (particularly good) brief exerpts from the article:

On the infant's immune capacity:
"...then each infant would have the theoretical capacity to respond to about 10 000 vaccines at any one time (obtained by dividing 107 B cells per mL by 103 epitopes per vaccine).

"Of course, most vaccines contain far fewer than 100 antigens (for example, the hepatitis B, diphtheria, and tetanus vaccines each contain 1 antigen), so the estimated number of vaccines to which a child could respond is conservative. But using this estimate, we would predict that if 11 vaccines were given to infants at one time, then about 0.1% of the immune system would be 'used up.'"

On the number of vaccines given today:
"Although we now give children more vaccines, the actual number of antigens they receive has declined. Whereas previously 1 vaccine, smallpox, contained about 200 proteins, now the 11 routinely recommended vaccines contain fewer than 130 proteins in total."

On whether or not vaccines weaken the immune system:
"Vaccines may cause temporary suppression of delayed-type hypersensitivity skin reactions or alter certain lymphocyte function tests in vitro. However, the short-lived immunosuppression caused by certain vaccines does not result in an increased risk of infections with other pathogens soon after vaccination. Vaccinated children are not at greater risk of subsequent infections with other pathogens than unvaccinated children. On the contrary, in Germany, a study of 496 vaccinated and unvaccinated children found that children who received immunizations against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, Hib, and polio within the first 3 months of life had fewer infections with vaccine-related and -unrelated pathogens than the nonvaccinated group.

"Bacterial and viral infections, on the other hand, often predispose children and adults to severe, invasive infections with other pathogens. For example, patients with pneumococcal pneumonia are more likely to have had a recent influenza infection than matched controls. Similarly, varicella infection increases susceptibility to group A ß-hemolytic streptococcal infections such as necrotizing fasciitis, toxic shock syndrome, and bacteremia."

Cute Baby Shoes

literally. Cute Baby Shoes are supposedly very good for the babies too.

Pediatricians recommend that babies and toddlers not wear hard-soled baby shoes as much as possible until they are two years old. Babies feet start off nearly flat, with little arch. Our soft-soled crib shoes not only let baby's feet breathe, but they build up the arches and strengthen the ankles and allow baby to grip the floor when learning to walk. Our infant shoes offer all of the benefits of going barefoot combined with the warmth and protection of soft leather.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


From GR:

" you Virginian's, I found the following website extremely helpful as I was researching different canidates platforms.


"Unlike many in this area, I don't stay on top of canidates quite as much as I would like. Rather, I'm afraid I cram a little before elections."

GR, I don't think you are alone in this! Thanks for the tip. For those of you who are not residents of the Promised Land, you can follow the link and find your state's info too.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Mummy Tummy

I have wanted to write about this for quite some time, and am now finally sitting down to do it. As some of you may know I have/had severe diastasis from my pregnancy. It is the stretching and separating of the abdominal wall. According to my research most women who have had children actually have diastasis to some degree or another, but most don't realize it. This is why women say that they "show" much more quickly with their second and third pregnancies. Julie Tupler is an RN and physical therapist who has written extensively about the "mummy tummy" (Maternal Fitness), and seems to be one of the only medical health professionals to really take it seriously. Most doctors treat it as merely an aesthetic misfortune. However, having diastasis does affect your strength and ability to lift things, as well as increasing your lower back pain.

Tupler explains how diastasis happens and what you can do to remedy it. She claims to have a very high sucess rate, and also maintains that her routine can help women, no matter how long ago you had your baby.

I bought her work out video and her book. Both are helpful, but if you just get one, get the video. I have found the excercises to be very easy, and so far very successful.

Check and see if you have a mummy tummy! Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. As you lift your head off the floor, with your fingertips, measure the width of the separation between the muscles. If you can place more than two fingers in the muscle gap, you have a diastasis recti.

ps. You can get this from weight gain and/or improper excerce technique.

A Mouthful

A great quote from Roger "nimble minded" Kimball:

"Our avant-gardist artistic establishment preens itself on being 'transgressive,' 'challenging,' 'provacative,' etc. But it prefers to exercise its anti-bourgois animus within the coddled purlieus of bourgeois security."

Kimball is the editor of The New Criterion and is author of many books including The Rape of the Masters: How Politcal Correctness Sabotages Art, Arts Prospect: The Challenge of Tradition in an Age of Celebrity, and The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America. TNC is, according to the Times Literary Supplement, "is probably more consistently worth reading than any other magazine in English."

Be sure to check out Arma Virumque, the TNC weblog, and their list of "other sites".

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Office

For all you Office fans out there, I have just discovered that there are deleted scenes and webisodes available online!


A podcast can consist of audio or video and can be thought of as a downloadable radio program, or TV program. You can listen or view on your computer or upload to a mobile device such as an iPod or other MP3 player. Listen while you drive to work, do the laundry, or work out at the gym.

The San Francisco Opera is now reaching a worldwide audience thanks to podcasting. You can stay up to date with the Opera wherever you are, with informative lectures, previews, and insights available on-line.

In addition, now many museums offer free podcasts to accompany exhibits. It's a great way to "tour" the exhibits, even when you can't make it to see everything.

What are some of your favorite podcasts?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Moonspoons are beautiful handmade wooden utensils. Check out the Gallery Collection.

They are a collaborative effort by designer Betty Bergmark and wooden spoon maker Jonathon Simons of Jonathon's Spoons in Pennsylvania. These spoons are made of cherry wood and have laser-cut designs of stars and moons with flame-blackened edges that create a dramatic effect. Moonspoons are whimsical and fun, but at the same time fully-functional.

The North House

For my Grandma's 80th Birthday we are all meeting up in Grand Marais, Minnesota. I am so excited! We are all going to stay at the North House Folk School and take courses together. Among those offered are making a Finnish knife, various cooking courses, raku pottery, sailing lessons, making a long bow, and many more.

For all of you whose Scandinavian heritage is calling... this is a great place to visit (they have cabins and dorms to rent), and the North Shore is one of the most beautiful places in America. And while you are there, visit Duluth!