My Genius Idea

By Moriah on May 31st, 2008

(***I’m going to re-post/link this to WFMW in case it might be a helpful idea for another mom of youngish kids.)

(I don’t know why this took me so long to figure out!)

When we were driving up to the airport to fly home after our recent trip, I stopped in at Wal-mart for some last-minute snacks, small toys and books to keep the kids entertained. (Since there would be no movies. Traumatic, I know.) One of the books (which has turned into Drew’s current favorite) was an activity board book that came with its own dry-erase marker. It’s about cars, trucks, and boats, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Anyway, over the last week the kids have LOVED marking up their books and wiping it off. And then the light bulb went off in my head! I promptly ran to Target and bought them each their very own dry-erase board and a set of markers.

First day:


Getting the hang of it:


Art school, here we come.


Cleanin’:


Drew: “Look, Mom, I’m drawin’ a snake!”


Keeps ’em occupied. For several minutes in a row, even.

And the best part is, unlike a coloring book that gets used up and pages ripped out, this is reusable and is one sturdy piece.



Bits of Randomness

By Moriah on May 30th, 2008

Afterall, what’s a blog for?

As I was folding laundry this morning, the thought occurred to me: how many white tank tops does one woman need? Several, apparently.

Madeline has an accent that’s sort of a Bostonian/New Yorker mix. We have no idea where it came from but it provides us with an endless source of amusement.

I had run out of my asthma med. samples two days ago and finally got around to calling for a real prescription last night. No wonder I was so tired yesterday! Today I’m feeling much better. Breathing is sort of, you know, useful.

Did I ever mention we’re going to another cousin’s wedding? This one is in Florida. I KNOW! I feel like the Priceline Queen, too. I used their “name-your-own-price” feature and scored a hotel for $45-a-night and a minivan rental for $25-a-day. Oh, and the Southwest airplane tickets were only $49 per way, per person. So it really has turned into the bargain hunter’s dream vacation. I mean ‘wedding trip.’ Ahem.

Adelaide has taken to using the back of her neck as a napkin. I never know what I’m going to find back there. Spaghetti sauce, anyone? She also likes to hold toys behind her head and drop them behind her back and then she’ll turn around to look and see if they’re still there. She’s an odd one.

And, finally, look what happened to me yesterday, mid-stride:


Yes, in case you’re wondering, those are the same ones that were chewed on. (I had cut off the, uh, ragged part.) They were obviously destined for the trash bin. The same thing happened to me last year with a different brown pair. Good thing they’re so cheap! (Literally.)



Playtime with Adelaide

By Moriah on May 30th, 2008

And please excuse the loud banging noise in the background. (Ahem, Drew!)

Yep, she’s their sister.



Here’s the Why

By Moriah on May 30th, 2008

I’m not going to turn this into my new blog platform or anything, don’t worry. But I do think we need to be more aware. So, here’s another good link on the effects of cow’s milk: www.milksucks.com.

The short explanation:

“In one study, funded by the National Dairy Council, a group of postmenopausal women were given three 8-ounce glasses of skim milk every day for two years, and their bones were compared to those of a control group of women not given the milk. The dairy group consumed 1,400 mg of calcium per day and lost bone at twice the rate of the control group. According to the researchers, “this may have been due to the average 30 percent increase in protein intake during milk supplementation. … The adverse effect of increases in protein intake on calcium balance has been reported from several laboratories, including our own” (they then cite 10 other studies). Says McDougall, “Needless to say, this finding did not reach the six o’clock news.” This is one study that the dairy industry won’t be repeating any time soon.

After looking at 34 published studies in 16 countries, researchers at Yale University found that the countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis—including the United States, Sweden, and Finland—were those in which people consumed the most meat, milk, and other animal foods. This study also showed that African-Americans, who consume, on average, more than 1,000 mg of calcium per day, are nine times more likely to experience hip fractures than are South African blacks, whose daily calcium intake is only about 196 mg. Says McDougall, “On a nation-by-nation basis, people who consume the most calcium have the weakest bones and the highest rates of osteoporosis. … Only in those places where calcium and protein are eaten in relatively high quantities does a deficiency of bone calcium exist, due to an excess of animal protein.”

Harvard University’s landmark Nurses Health Study, which followed 78,000 women over a 12-year period, found that the women who consumed the most calcium from dairy foods broke more bones than those who rarely drank milk. Summarizing this study, the Lunar Osteoporosis Update (November 1997) explained: “This increased risk of hip fracture was associated with dairy calcium. … If this were any agent other than milk, which has been so aggressively marketed by dairy interests, it undoubtedly would be considered a major risk factor.” (And it goes on…)

The short version of how this happens is:

“But what is the mechanism for this process? As food is digested acids are released into the blood, and the body attempts to neutralise the acid by drawing calcium from the bones. This calcium is then excreted in the urine (the calciuric response). Animal protein from cow’s milk and dairy products as well as meat, fish and eggs has a particularly bad effect because of the greater amount of sulphur-containing amino acids it contains compared to plant protein. As the sulphur content of the diet increases so does the level of calcium in the urine. Studies reveal that an animal protein diet (with the same total quantity of protein as a vegetarian diet) confers an increased risk for uric acid stones (Breslau et al., 1988). Furthermore the animal-protein induced calciuric response may be a risk factor for the development of osteoporosis. The traditional Inuit (or Eskimo) diet is made up almost entirely of animal protein. Inuits potentially have one of the highest calcium intakes in the world (up to 2,500 milligrams per day) depending on whether they eat whole fish, including the bones, or not. They also have a high rate of osteoporosis, even higher than white Americans (Mazess et al., 1974; Mazess et al., 1975; Pratt et al., 2001).” (Taken from the VVF website.)

Boning Up on Calcium, is another good resource.



Readin’

By Moriah on May 29th, 2008




Sure to be unpopular with dairy farms everywhere

By Moriah on May 29th, 2008

If you are interested (and I know there’s at least a few), here’s the milk research (also why we’ve gone completely vegan and not simply vegetarian). You can click on all the tabs, starting with “Part One.”

(Otherwise known as everything you ever wanted (or didn’t want) to know about cows milk!)



Life Changes

By Moriah on May 28th, 2008

I never, ever, EVER thought I’d say this.

EVER.

Did I mention ever?

But, Andy and I (and the kids) have started following a vegan diet for our day-to-day living.

I KNOW.

The decision was fairly easy after we stumbled across a video of a lecture from a doctor who has spent his medical career studying nutrition and the long-term effects of consuming animal products. (That includes meat, dairy, poultry, and fish.)

I can elaborate if you’re interested but basically the studies show the relationship of meat/dairy consuming countries to their corresponding rates of things like heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.

(Have you ever thought it weird that American women are among the biggest consumers of calcium (i.e. dairy) in the world, yet they have one of the highest levels of osteoporosis (Frassetto et al., 2000)? Thai and rural Chinese woman, on the other hand, consume little or no dairy and have virtually no rates of osteoporosis.)

Here’s the full list of diseases linked to animal product consumption from the Vegetarian and Vegan Foundation website. (You can click on “scientific reports” tab for more information.)

And I think both Andy and I would honestly say we’ve never felt physically better.

I know! I’m full of surprises!



Memorial Day – Sure to wear you out.

By Moriah on May 27th, 2008

We took the kids to the beach today. (Adelaide stayed with the grandparents, oh yeah!)





And now we’re all tired and bright red.

What did y’all do?

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