We are having a party tomorrow night. A big potluck thing with adults and kids and neighbors and friends and acquaintances. If it doesn't rain, I expect at least 40-60 people.

I love throwing parties. I come from a proud tradition of party-throwers. When I was growing up, my parents were always having 5 or 50 extra people over. My mother taught me that the house/food/decor/silverware doesn't have to be perfect before you can have people over and everyone has a good time. It's all about the mix of people. I aim for the most eclectic mix possible, combining my various subgroups of friends: journalists, horsey friends, musicians, parents of my kids' friends, slacker artistes, politicos, neighbors in our funky neighborhood...the key is to have enough of each group present so that no one feels uncomfortable. Mingling happens best this way.

My kids love parties, too. I always encourage them to help get ready and to invite their friends and their parents. We have a good time. And it forces me to clean my house ;-)

i've decided...

to let my husband NAME THE BABY.


at the circumcision

I oppose circumcision, even for religious reasons. I think the decision is one a man should make on his own, not have his parents make for him as an infant.

But I've always wondered how I would handle it if my husband were Jewish and felt really strongly about having our son circumsized. And I wondered what it would be like to watch my baby be circumsized, as people do every day.

This is a very MOVING ACCOUNT of one mother's reluctant agreement to allow her son to be circumcized in a traditional bris out of regard for her Jewish husband's wishes.

baby (girl) names, redux

So help me out here. Where do you live, in general, and what are the baby girl names you are hearing a lot in your area/ What are your friends naming their little girls?



I have always loved it, always planned on using it, but of course it's THE most popular name per all the lists. Jon loves it too. It was his favorite before we realized how popular it is.

But is it so classic that it transcends popularity lists? Or is every little girl you know named Emma?

(I actually don't know a single young Emma personally)

yes, freaky

I love The Bugaloos, so I was pleased to see them make the cut on this list of the FREAKIEST CHILDREN'S ROCK BANDS OF ALL TIME.

I'll bet Jon doesn't know of the Bugaloos or Sigmund and the Seamonsters or HR Puffinstuff, 'cause he's, uhhhh, considerably younger than I ;-)

mother's little helper

Like Lindsay, I, too, luuuuuurved the percocet they give you AFTER YOU HAVE A BABY. It made the pain go away, as well as all my troubles. Temporarily, anyway. They only give it to you for a few days, which is, of course, a Good Thing.

children don't walk

It's true: kids today aren't allowed to WALK OR BIKE ANYWHERE because parents are afraid they will be snatched.

the baby is a.....



So says ultrasound this morning :-)

Told you I'm always wrong.

Can't wait to tell H,J and E when school lets out today!

Go and CONGRATULATE JON and offer him your words of wisdom on raising daughters.

Girl clothes are SOOOOO much cuter!

damn, i am tired

Yesterday at about noon, I started having what felt like Braxton-Hicks contractions. Painless, but quite definite. They picked up all afternoon until they started feeling pretty uncomfortable, and I was feeling quite a bit of pressure with each one. At about 4:30 pm, I called my doctor's office from my office. They told me that since they were about to close up shop for the day, they wanted me to head over to the hospital to be checked out at L&D.


So I met Jon over there (he kindly picked the children up and took them to their Aunt Betsy's for playtime with cousins and a good supper) and after a short time in the ER, they took me up to the maternity floor, where I spent the next 4 hours hooked to a monitor.

The monitor showed I was having about 4 definite contractions each half hour (duh, I could have told them that), which meant I was "having some preterm labor."

I had a GREAT nurse who was really attentive and communicative all night. She told me this is not that uncommon with 4th and subsequent babies and while it's not something they want to see in someone in the second trimester, it's not necessarily that worrisome unless they can't make it stop or it happens repeatedly. The good news was that I wasn't dilated at all, and the baby's heartrate and movement looked excellent.

My bloodwork determined I was dehydrated. Dehydrated? I drank, like, 56 glasses of ice water all day. But whatever.

So they hooked me up to an IV bag of fluids and gave me a shot of brethine in the arm and told me these treatments should stop the contractions. WIthin an hour they had and we were finally back home at about midnight. I was exhausted and sore, but the brethine, which is technically a stimulant, kept me up all night.

So this morning I am very, very tired and sore, but now it's time to get the kids up and off to school, and me to work. My doctor wants to see me in his office sometime this morning, so I guess I will somehow now squeeze that into an already jam-packed work day.

When I am tired like this, I find it's important to not think about it or give in to it all day. You just have to pretend you are NOT actually tired and proceed through your day that way.

I work until 8 tonight (THursday is the day I tape the TV show I produce, and the children spend the night with their Dad). So after I get off at 8, I will come home and collapse. I'll bet I'll sleep like a log tonight.

And keep your fingers (and legs) crossed that I don't have any more preterm labor.


bring. them. home...NOW

A brave Marine and his fiance BEFORE HIS DEPLOYMENT.

And after he came home, THEIR WEDDING PHOTO.

Bring them home, now.


current reading

I profiled INA MAY GASKIN for a few years ago. It was one of my favorite things I've ver written.

breastfeeding: a pain worse than childbirth?

New mom Lindsay over at Suburban Turmoil says yes, the first few weeks of breastfeeding HURT LIKE HELL -- worse than giving birth.

My response in her comments section:

Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt the way Lindsay is describing. Even in the first ten days. If it does, something is likely not right and likely, can be fixed with the right guidance and support.

If breastfeeding hurt that bad for that many women, the species wouldn't have survived. Some discomfort in the first few weeks is common, but the type of worse-than-labor-and-delivery pain Lindsay describes is not normal. It's pathological - meaning, something is wrong and can be fixed.

I am sure, just as with every aspect of the human body, there are unique individuals for whom early breastfeeding really hurts even when positioning is right, the baby is latching on right, etc (Lindsay may be one of these unique individuals). But seriously, if breastfeeding is causing that level of extreme pain, something is almost certainly wrong - something that can be fixed.

I have breastfed three children. It never hurt. In the first few weeks, I would get a little engorged and my nipples were tender a bit, but "pain" would be far too strong a word. Especially the kind of pain L. is describing.

So if you are considering breastfeeding, please don't resign yourself to horrible pain in the arly weeks. It isn't inevitable and many women will tell you it isn't even very likely.

But I am really, really sorry for those of you who have had this experience of hurting that bad. It sounds awful.

goodbye cinco

J., who is 11 years old, has had the good fortune to ride and show a wonderful small pony, "Cinco" for the past two years. He belongs to some friends, who bought him for their daughter a few years ago. He was too green (untrained) for their child to ride, so they have let J. ride him and show him ever since.

Jane and Cinco - April '05

The original plan was for him to do the "smalls" division, but after about a year, it became clear that Cinco was a little too small, even for the smalls, and maybe just a little poky. He's very lazy ;-)

Sleepy Jane at summer '05 horse show

But J. has won some really good ribbons on him in Children's Pony, and most of all, she's learned a huge amount from bringing him along from green little stinker to "made" pony. She also got lots of "A" horse show experience on him.

J. and Cinco:


She is almost too big for him now, and about six months ago, Cinco was leased to a younger girl at the barn, but our trainer, who is always so good to J., made an arrangement with the new lessees to allow J. to ride him at least once a week to keep him "tuned up" for this younger kid.

Yesterday we learned that Cinco will likely be going to a new barn in North Carolina for a little girl to ride in the short stirrup division. It's a lease, not a sale, so he won't be gone permanently, but still, J. is really sad. She knew this was coming, but she really loves Cinco. He is a very sweet, funny little pony - the kind you would love to have living in your backyard as a pet.


He will probably go to his new home later this week.

J. now has to give her full attention to the 100% green medium pony that her trainer has her riding. The idea is that J. will work really hard with "Sloane" over the next year and have him ready to do the medium greens next spring. Right now, she is working on not getting bucked off every time she gets on him ;-)

J. and Sloane:

Jane and Sloane

Once again, our trainer and my dear friend has made it possible for my child, who can't afford a pony of her very own, to keep riding and keep improving as a rider. I appreciate her more than she will ever know.

And we sure will miss little Cinco.



the secret

I haven't read the hokey-sounding, Oprah-endorsed book "The Secret," but I have been following its steady rise to bestsellerdom in awe.

Aparently the book basically suggests that the "law of attraction" means that if you envision good things happening in your life, they will. If you envision negative things happening, they will.

As this REVIEWER sharply points out, this is wildly insulting to people who have been the victims of disease, crime, torture, oppression, or even plain old bad luck. Tell the parent of a very sick child that "positive thinking" will shring that tumor, and you will likely get a very "negative" response.

stuff i am looking for

Some items I'd like to find cheap/used/free in the greater Knoxville area. If you have any of these items and want to get rid of 'em, e-mail me at

-Sturdy (baby) changing table
-Full-size box spring and/or mattress
-Nice, mission -style full/queen size futon couch frame - dark wood
-Maclaren or Bugaboo stroller (Will drive out of Knox area to pick up extra good deal on either of these)
-Amby baby bed (would drive to pick this up as well)


I feel very relieved now that I have a general birth plan in place that is what I want.I was very anxious about giving birth in a hospital I don't like under conditions that felt wrong to me. I had a feeling I would end up with a c-section if I gave birth in that hospital.

Now I will have a midwife with me the whole time, and I can have a birth tub - for just laboring in or actually giving birth if that's the way things go. I will be having the babt at my favorite hospital (two excellent experiences giving birth there) which happens to be less than one mile from our house, so we can wait to go to the hospital until labor is well underway. Because it's a hospital and not a birth center, I can get an epidural if I end up wanting one, and I won't be sent home 6 hours after birth (I like resting up and having people look after me for 24 hours after birth. Plus - since my last baby had pulmonary problems - I'll feel better having him/her looked at a bit more carefully for the first 24 hours before we are at home and on our own.) It's a good plan!

(Now watch the baby refuse to turn head down or something and me end up with a scheduled c-section ;-)


on the turntable today

current reading

Yes, I am the last person in America to read this book.

I have, however, enjoyed Savannah (and Charleston, too) for many years.

In 1987, I went to Savannah for Spring Break with friends. We ran out of money and had to earn enough to get back to school in Virginia by selling green beer and hot dogs at the legendary Savannah St. Patrick's Day celebration. I have a funny picture somewhere of me working the hot dog booth in Savannah...

I'd love to live in Charleston or Savannah. Downtown.


etta's doll

THIS STORY made me alternately furious and so heartbroken I am literally weepy.

It seems a little girl, Etta, took her beloved doll, "Gracie" to the superfancy "American Girl" store to have Gracie's hair styled. This is a service the American Girl store offers, and little girls love it. They also offer doll "teas" and other special events for little girls and their dolls. My niece, Anna, went with her doll to the Chicago store as a very special treat.

Well this little girl's doll isn't one of the very expensive American Girl (TM)brand dolls. Gracie cost $29.99 from Target. And when Etta arrived at the story with her mom and Gracie, she had a terrible experience. The staff was rude and other parents and children were rude, all because Etta's doll wasn't a "real" American Girl doll.

It's a heartbreaker :-(

baby gender

All of a sudden, I am extremely eager to find out our baby's gender. If he/she cooperates for the ultrasound technician, we'll find out on April 2, which is pretty soon, but seems a long way off.

For months, I wasn't that interested in finding out the sex. I even toyed with the idea of NOT finding out (which Jon never would have gone for. He can't wait to find out.). But until all the first and early second trimester screening tests came back with good results, I felt like worrying about the baby's gender was somewhat superfluous.

Yesterday I got the results of my AFP TEST, and they were excellent, basically the best the results could be. That was the last of this sort of screening testing I will be doing.

In my first trimester, I chose to forego the more invasive CVS TESTING in favor of the newer FIRST TRIMESTER SCREENING test. The results were excellent for that test as well. Basically, on all the testing, my results for various genetic defects were assessed to be far lower than the statistical average risk for women my age (39).

So now all this testing is done and I feel like I can really relax and assume things are well. I know there are many problems a baby can have beyond these most common genetic problems, but I feel really good about the pregnancy and baby; I think everything is good.

And with that sense of calm has come this sudden desire to REALLY, REALLY want to know the baby's gender.

I am guessing boy, though I am generally wrong.

What's your guess?

the creeping crud

Poor Jon woke up yesterday morning with a vicious stomach virus. He's been laid flat ever since, and unable to keep any food in his body. He also has bad aches. I feel terrible for him. Nothing seems to help.

I guess it's good that the children will be gone on their beach trip until tomorrow afternoon. Otherwise, everyone would probably get it, which would be unfortunate.

But it certianly is quiet around the house, with the kids gone and Jon in bed, mostly asleep...

I should do something productive, like work on my book, or weed the yard or clean the house. But I seem to lack motivation today...


foodstuffs rant

There is a certain one year old I know (almost two) who has a powerful family history of obesity and diabetes. If this were my toddler, I'd be veeeery vigilant about getting her started in life with a good, healthy diet.

But her parents don't seem to get this. Every time I see this kid eating, she's eating yellow, white or beige food (and I don't mean yellow squash). It's all macaroni and cheese, french fries (always with the french fries) and white bread. I have never seen the child consume anything green. And all th efruits and veggies she does get are heavily processed and come in a jar labeled "Gerber Graduates" or something.

I have always been way too cheap and lazy to buy jarred baby food for my babies. I figure babies can eat mashed up bits of whatever happens to be on my plate. And feeding solids is such a pain that I really sort of put it off 'til they were literally asking for it bt grabbing things out of my hands or off my plate. At that point, I figured they wanted some solid food. So I gave them some.

Feeding babies a steady diet of store bought baby food seems to me a bit like feeding a ten year old nothing but canned soup and beefaroni. It's not fresh. It;s heavily processed. And frankly, it's mostly gross.

I know you can buy some yummier looking organic and additive free baby foods now, but if that's all you want, why not just mash up some peas with your fork or smash the bananas with a spoon and feed the baby that? Steam some spinach or broccoli, add a little melted cheese, and voila!

But this poor kid, I swear she has never seen a fresh piece of fruit. When she gets fruit, it's "Gerber Mandarin Oranges" in a jar (read: in sugar) or "First Foods Toddler Dessert Fruit Dinner," or some such junk like that. No wheat breads. No green beans. She drinks loads of juices "from concentrate." And her parents brag about how much she loves those chicken nuggets and fries. They say she just "won't eat" certain healthier foods. Well, at age 22 months, your child will eventually eat whatever you consistently feed them. I assure you, they will. Of course all children develop favorite and not-so-favorite foods - that's natural - but if the majority of the foods you offer her are pretty healthy, the favorites are going to be stuff that's good for her, even if some of her least favorites are too.

I worry about her. I really do. There's nothing wrong with the occasional Happy Meal, but it shouldn't be a tiny child's entire diet.

Rant over.

fern care?

Every year I buy pretty hanging ferns for my front porch, and every year, they die.

I just loaded up on ferns again and this year, I am determined for them to live long and prosper.

Have any of you had good luck with ferns? If so, what is your watering schedule? What do you use to feed them and how often?



an unsuccessful evening

I think I've mentioned before that I am the proud owner of the world's two worst behaved dogs. Yeah, I am. Anyway, last night one of them decided to pee on our bed. Why? I have no idea. Because that's the sort of obnoxious stuff my obnoxious dogs do. Although, even for Fiat and Mabel, this was unusually foul.

Then, I was taking a bath and Jon tried to hand me the cordless telephone. In the bath. My hands were wet and the phone slipped away and fell into the water. I shrieked and hopped out (okay, hopping might be an exaggeration. I am pretty clumsy and big these days). But I got out fast, with visions of all those movies where someone throws an electrical appliance into the tub to kill someone else racing through my head. I wasn't electrocuted, but the phone is, of course, destroyed. That's $80 we didn't need to spend.

cutting the cord

Apparently there are MAJOR BENEFITS to babies in waiting a few minutes to cut the cord.

ted & sylvia

I've always been (like most smart,literary girls - it's a bit of a cliche, I know ;-) been very interested in Sylvia Plath. I became even more interested in her relationship with Ted Hughes when my own marrage fell apart in a way that was reminiscent of their own ending - sans me sticking my head in the oven - and at the same time I read "Wintering," by Kate Moses (who was my editor at Salon).

I just finished "Her Husband" by Diane Middlebrook and was reminded yet again of how divided people are on how their relationship ended and where the fault lies.

In my opinion, Sylvia was no picnic to live with. She was driven, bipolar, somewhat controlling, and a genius. But she was also a loving wife and mother who never did anything to deserve the way TH ended their marriage, with astonishing speed and cruelty.

(My own family has been deeply marred by male infidelity. We've had several instances of it over a couple of generations that have really caused deep wounds, so I admit to a bias against men who deal with their marital dissatisfaction with emotional or sexual infidelity.)

I do also think that if people had had a better understanding of mental illness at that time, no one who cared for her would have left SP to stay alone for the winter months following his betrayal in a freezing London flat with no telephone, no washer and dryer and two babies in diapers. It was a disaster waiting to happen.

I've yet to read Ted Hughes' parting shot in "Birthday Letters," but that's up next.

So what are others' thoughts on these two, their writing, their marriage, and the nasty end?


just 'cause i miss them so damn much

recent photos of H.:



of J.:

jane and sydney 14

and of E-money with H.:


a plan

Good news on the birth front.

I turns out that I can have the midwives from THE FREESTANDING BIRTH CENTER work together with a perinatologist and deliver the baby (with a waterbirth if I want it) at St. Mary's Hospital, right up the street from my house.

The midwives have a formal relationship with another perinatologist in town (meaning, not the one I see currently) to do this, so this won't require any effort on my part aside from changing perinatologists.

So I would see both the midwives and the perinatologist for my prenatal care, then the midwives would be the ones attending my birth in the hospital. I can bring my own birth tub into the hospital (my sister did this at the same hospital with her OB).

Maybe I'll even get really wacky and bring one of those DEADLY BIRTHING BALLS!



choosing a baby sling

When J. and E. were babies, I carried them in a trusty NOJO sling. It worked just fine. I loved the sling and highly recommend slings to everyone. I wrote about how great slings are in my book, "Attachment Parenting."

Since E. was a baby, almost a decade ago, babywearing has gotten very popular (yay!), and now there is a huge selection of slings available. In fact, there are so many slings available, I can't figure out which one to get.

I'm loving the idea of these supersimple-looking HOTSLINGS and KARMA BABY slings. Have any of you tried one of these brands? What did you think? Is there another brand/style you really love? Why?

Comment below, puhleeze.


When my first child was a baby, I worked full time and he was formula-fed. His grandmother took care of him while I was at work (thanks BKG!) and then he went to preschool.

With my younger two children, I worked from home when they were babies and toddlers. Yes, I definitely worked, but since I did it at home (as full-time freelancer) on a flexible schedule, I was free to mother on their schedule. There were never worries about which parent would miss work when a child was sick, and neither of them ever took a bottle of anything. I nursed them when they needed nursing, often while I did phone interviews for my work, or wrote. When I needed to go somewhere, they came with me. When one of them needed to go somewhere, I took them. Occasionally I needed a few hours of childcare, and then I could rely on grandparents (thanks BKG!) or my wonderful next door neighbor. When each of the children turned three, they started part time preschool.

Now, fifteen years after child #1 was a baby, and 9 years after I last had a baby, I am expecting baby #4. This time, I have a very demanding, fulltime, outside-the-home job that I cannot quit. I won't even get much of a maternity leave. Probably only about 8 weeks. Plus, I drive about two hours a day on the days the children are with me and not their father to get them all where they need to be (school, lessons, etc).

Jon and I have started talking about how this whole babycare thing is going to work, given my schedule. It's clear it's going to be a very, very different experience for me and for the baby. For starters, I will be separated from the baby many more hours than I would like each day. I am hoping that Jon's mother will help with childcare (she says she will but we have yet to discuss specifics). And Jon works for a family business, so he has far more ability to create a much more baby-friendly, flexible work schedule than I do, so I expect that Jon will be as involved - if not more involved - with babycare as I am.

This all means, of course, that our baby will have to learn to take bottles of pumped breastmilk, and that I will have to make pumping and storing breastmilk a regular and major part of my daily life. I cannot say that I am looking forward to this. The only time I have pumped regularly was for the few weeks E. was in the NICU and couldn't yet nurse. I did not enjoy it.

I am getting pretty nervous about all of this. I know lots of women work full time outside the home and manage to be wonderful, attached mamas, but I think I am going to find it very hard to leave the baby each day. And I do sort of dread all that pumping...

for the record

When I die:

-I want to be cremated. Family can keep some of me around if they like, but please sprinkle the rest of me around Bell Buckle. I especially like James and Julie's backyard.

-I want my organs and every other part of me that is use-able to be donated to people who can use them. (NOTE: Avoid giving anyone my eyes or my ankles. I see like a naked mole rat, and my ankles frequently give out when overtaxed).

-Please play some Big Star at my funeral. And some Ben Folds. No organ music. No funereal-type flowers, though nice collections of gerber daisies and irises would be good.

-Please do try to contact me with a Ouija board. I love word games, and I've always wondered if it would work.

congrats to bee!

Congrats to my friend, fellow writermama BEE LAVENDER, whose terrific memoir "Lessons in Taxidermy" is being released in the UK today TO GREAT ACCLAIM.

i miss my kids

My children have gone to Florida for five days to enjoy the beach with their father and their stepmother's family. I am happy for them to go, and my two eldest were looking forward to it. All of my children love the beach. But E., my littlest, did not really want to go. He was afraid he would be homesick staying with people he doesn't yet know well (stepmother's family) and had just basically decided he would rather stay home with mama this time. But plans had already been made and his father was, of course, very much looking forward to taking him on the trip, so I told him he had to go.

The moment of me leaving him yesterday was very difficult. E. was a very, very unhappy child. This made me a very, very sad mama. I felt really sad and blue all day long yesterday after leaving him, and I didn't sleep well last night. Of course he will be fine, and will probably end up having a great time. And of course he needs plenty of time with his father, just as he does with his mother.

But none of that made it easier to leave a sobbing child yesterday. He was clutching his favorite purple blanket and just howling. Big, salty tears were rolling down his cheeks. This was some serious sad.

I drove away from his father's house, but had to stop after my car was out of sight to pull myself together. For the first time in a long time, I had a good, long cry about how hard it is to be away from my children a lot of the time because their father and I are divorced. In some ways, it never gets easier for me. As I've said before, I often feel as if I am missing out on a huge chunk of their childhoods. But of course, there is no better solution, given that their father and I are divorced. You do the best you can.

I hope the kids call me today and tell me that E. has cheered right up and is happily playing in the sand with his father.


worm care instructions

In case you were wondering, THIS IS HOW TO CARE FOR A PET WORM, should you ever be lucky enough to be left in charge.

more on fear of the big, bad birthing ball


I am going to write a letter to Fort Sanders Hospital. The more I think about the issue, the more irritated I get.

i miss my supershorthair

I am growing mine back out, for the man I love.

But dang, I sure like THIS HAIR CUT.

a little bitter

I can't help but feel a little bitter when I read stuff LIKE THIS, in which a San Francisco couple is complaining that their kid got into their second-choice public school. They admit that the school is wonderful, with great teachers, students, and classes, but it's three whole miles away! Oh my!

Okay, I realize three miles seems a lot farther (further?) when you live in the city and maybe don't have a car, but damn! In Knoxville, Tennessee, we have extremely limited public school choice. In effect, we have none. You go where your kid is zoned. And on the whole, the schools suck. So many people come up with the money to pay for private schools. My kids go to private schools and I drive - get this - 15 miles EACH WAY to get to their schools. That means that most days I drive at least sicxty miles just getting them to and from school. It's a huge hassle and honestly, if I could wave a magic wand and change one thing about our family life, erasing all that driving would be that thing.

So for those of you with true public school choice, and good neighborhood public schools (I define three miles away as in the 'hood), feel grateful. Feel lucky. Do not complain. It's bad karma ;-)

further indulging my sylvia plath obsession...

Current reading:


Me to family at supper: "I found out today I've gained 15 pounds so far."

Henry (snarky tongue firmly in cheek):"Wow. The baby weighs 15 pounds already?"

Me: "Uh, no, smartass child. The baby weighs, like, 9 ounces."

Henry: "So that means you're gonna gain, like, 200 pounds by the time this is all over?"


falling off the dangerous birthing ball

So today I met with my doctor and talked with him about the fact that I would like to be able to labor in water. He said that he would be fine with me laboring in water, but doesn't feel comfortable doing an actual waterbirth, because he wouldn't know what he's doing.

This is a big disappointment to me. I would like the option of birthing in the water, but if I can't do that, I know that I MUST have water in which to labor until I am ready to give birth. he said this was fine.

We talked about the fact that the hospital where he delivers only has two bathtubs on the maternity floor, and if you happen to get there at a time when someone else is in one of those two rooms, you are out of luck.

So I suggested that I rent a birthing tub and bring it with me to the hospital, as my sister did with her birth at another (much more progressive) local hospital. My doctor said that sounded fine with him, but I would need to talk to the head of nursing at his hospital to get her okay.

So I called her today and talked with her about it. You would have thought I was suggesting that I give birth on the moon strapped upside down to a crane or something. Her tone was incredibly rude and dimissive. She explained about ten times that they "don't do waterbirths." I explained about ten times that I understood this - that I just wanted to be able to labor in the water - either in one of their rooms with a tub - or in a tub I would bring in myself.

Finally she said that they only allow women to labor in water "if their water hasn't broken and they aren't dilated."

Meaning, that if you are IN LABOR you cannot labor in the water at this hospital! It's insane!

I asked her if I could e-mail her some information about the benefits of laboring in water, and about how some hospitals without tubs are allowing patients to bring them in. She said okay, but added that she sincerely doubted that this would be allowed.

"We just can't have women doing things like that," she added. "Like, we don't allow those BIRTHING BALLS at our hospitals."

I was so stunned by this bizarre statement that I finally sort of lost my cool. I think I giggled a little as I asked why in the WORLD they wouldn't allow this very mainstream birthing helper-tool (birthing balls) in the hospital.

"It's a liability issue," she said. "You might fall off."

I SWEAR TO YOU that she told me they do not allow birthing balls in their hospital because WOMEN MIGHT FALL OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

I then asked her what percentage of her patients give birth without an epidural. She told me they have an epidural rate of over 90%, but that they "want to support women who choose to not have one."

I asked her how they offer this support.

"We don't give you one unless you ask," she said in an irritated tone. "You have to ask for the epidural. We don't just hand them out without anyone asking."

Clearly, this hospital is a VERY, VERY bad fit for me.

I may want an epidural. I may not. But I know without question that I want to be able to labor in water and in whatever positions and places in my room that feel right to me. And I also know that nurses with this attitude are going to put me in a foul, combative mood, which will not be conducive to the peaceful, low-stress birth I am aiming for.


lindsay's birth story

Talk about an EASY CHILDBIRTH!!!


Jon's wonderful family is quite different fromthe one I grew up in. Jon describes ONE DIFFERENCE on his blog today.

Apparently his family doesn't approve of children having sleepovers with friends very much, while growing up at my house, we pretty much always had extra kids staying over and/or one of us was gone sleeping at a friend's house.

We have the same situation at my house now that I am a parent of school-age/teenage kids. We generally have at least one extra kid staying at our house on weekend nights, and at least one of my kids spends at least one weekend night sleeping over at a friend's house. I think this is good for children. And I like having their friends over.

belly update

Due to my high risk issues, I see the doctor every 2 weeks. I went today.

I have gained 15 pounds so far. Yikes!

After talking with MY PERINATOLOGIST further, I've decided I need to bite the bullet and give birth AT THIS HOSPITAL. He feels strongly that this is the safest place for me, given the various risk issues I am dealing with.


I told him I would like to labor and maybe birth in water. He said he's got no problem with me laboring in water, but he wouldn't want to deliver the baby in the water because, as he said honestly, he'd have "no idea what he was doing."

Unfortunately, that hospital only has two bath tubs on the maternity floor. If you don't happen to get one of those rooms, you won't have access to water for labor.

So I suggested that I get a birthing tub, like THIS ONE and set it up in my hospital room. That's what my sister did at when she had her waterbirth at St. Mary's Hospital in Knoxville. They had no problem with her doing this. My doctor said it sounded fine to him, but I would need to talk with the head nurse at his hospital, because he feels sure they have never had anyone do anything like this before. He gave me her name and number and said to give her a call.

So that's what I plan to do this week.


nicu nightmares

I tend to block out the several weeks my youngest child spent in the NICU. After a totally normal pregnancy (except I felt really tired and sick the whole time), I went into labor three weeks before my due date. He seemed fine at birth, and weighed 7lbs 6 ozs, but about 3 or 4 hours after he was born, one of the nursing aides noticed he seemed a little blue. She called a nurse, who tested his oxygen by sticking a little monitor on his finger. The monitor showed he wasn't getting much oxygen at all.

After that, all hell broke loose.

He was rushed to the NICU from our shared hospital room, and they told me I couldn't see him for the next hour while they ran various tests. I had to wait in my room for the neonatologist to come tell me what was wrong. That hour was among the longest of my life.

The doctor came back in about two hours and told us he had persistent fetal circulation syndrome, a life-threatening pulmonary condition that would require NICU treatment. E. was hospitalized for the next several weeks.

I have to say that this was among the most painful experiences of my entire life. I assumed they would let me sleep there in the NICU, but they wouldn't. We had to leave for an hour evry 6 hours during the nurses' shift change, and there was no place for me to sleep, so eventually, I had to leave the hospital to sleep for a while before coming back to sit next to E. in his little plastic box, covered with en oxygen tent.

Leaving that hospital the first time without our baby was really one of the worst moments of my life. I cried constantly the entire time he was there. Seeing them put an IV in his head and his tiny feet about did me in. We couldn't even touch him for the first week, and there were several days where the doctors told us he might not make it through the night. One nurse told me that even though he was the biggest baby in the NICU at that time, he was the sickest. I was constantly pushing thoughts of leaving the hospital with a dead baby from my mind, but when I slept, I had terrible nightmares that he had died and no one would tell me.

It was also really hard to be away from my older two children when I was at the hospital. J. was only 2 years old at the time and still nursing. She also came down with the worst case of chicken pox I've ever seen the day E. was born. She had pox (or "pops" as she called them) EVERYWHERE, including inside her mouth and in between her toes. She wanted her mama, and I was unable to be at home. My parents and sister and grandmother had to take care of the kids while C. and I were tending to E. in the NICU.

After the first two weeks, E. turned the corner. The day we took him home, healthy, was the best feeling in the world.

Like I said, I really try not to think about the whole experience. It was just too horrible, scary and traumatic. But now that I am pregnant again, I find fears and worries of something happening again bubbling to the surface of my consciousness. Last night I had a very vivid dream that I was back in the NICU with the new baby, who had died, but no one would tell me.

I never did really talk to anyone - like a counselor or other NICU veteran parents - about how mindbending I found this whole experience, but I am thinking now that maybe I should before New Baby makes his/her arrival.

hot mom

My thought: if you feel the need to wear A T-SHIRT READING "HOT MOM", you probably aren't one.

I can say that if I wore this shirt, I could probably succeed in causing permanent psychic damage in my older children, who would be mortified.

awesome vintageness

Oh! I love this woman's STUFF!!!


clooney to adopt

George Clooney says HE WANTS TO ADOPT, just like his pal Brad Pitt.

Clooney says:

"I'm going to adopt a good looking 24-year-old girl with some cash."


Big congrats to Lindsay at Suburban Turmoil on the both of her GINORMOUS BABY BOY yesterday.


how i parent

THIS ARTICLE, which appeared in MOTHERING MAGAZINE when my first child was but a wee thing, is prehaps the best articulation of how I happen to parent that I can imagine.

This mother, in talking about her own views on childrearing, articulates the idea of "benign neglect" and "creative boredom" for children far better than I have ever been able to.

maternal thrombophilia and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn

The more I learn about this genetic thrombophilia problem that I have, the more it occurred to me that logically, it could very well have something to do with why Elliot was born with a completely unexplained (they told me it was "just one of those things") pulmonary disorder (persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn) after a perfectly normal pregnancy. Thrombophilia is A LEADING CAUSE of pulmonary disorders in adults and children, so could maternal thrombophilia have any impact on a developing fetus?

I've started digging around to find more and so far it appears I am on to something.


I am going to have to have a very big talk with my doctors about this. I do not think that have been connecting these dots AT ALL.

Does this make sense to anyone else?

angelina jolie tries to one-up me

Damn that Angelina Jolie! Always trying to OUTDO ME! I mean, I announce I am having a 4th baby, so she runs out and adopts a 4th child! So obvious and sad on her part.

But seriously...

Can those of you who know more about adoption tell me whether it's normal for someone (Angelina Jolie) to succeed in legally adopting three children in under five years? Isn't the process of adopting a healthy baby or young child from another country generally fairly lengthy? Don't most people wait for years?

Or have I got this wrong?

one of many reasons i will never be a southern baptist

Prominent SB theologian Albert Mohler writes on his blog that he now accepts that there is strong evidence that homosexuality is indeed a biological human trait, like skin color or congenital blindness.

He says that if this is determined to be true, and genetic testing can reveal which babies are gay in the womb, the Christian response should be to avoid aborting these pre-sinners, but instead to utilize the medical treatments he belives will one day be available to CHANGE sexual orientation in fetuses. If no treatment is available, and a baby is "born gay," Mohler says that's no reason to accept that person's inborn sexual orientation. Instead, Christians should work hard to help that gay person in his/her strggles with this lifelong, inborn sinfulness.


This makes me ill.



I just realized I am basically halfway through my pregnancy now.

We are utterly unprepared for a baby. We have done nothing to get ready. You would never know from looking around our house that are expecting a baby...except maybe from the dog-eared pregnancy book lying by the bath tub.

I've started A LIST OF STUFF I figure we'll need from my beloved SuperTarget.

white & tasty

Last night E. and I were talking about ramen noodles. I told him that all my friends who lived on ramen noodles in college became "white and pasty."

He thought about this for a minute before asking, "You tasted all your friends?"

(He thought I had said they became "white and TASTY.")


"now, most like breastmilk!"

The British equivalent of the U.S. FDA is cracking down on claims by infant formula companies marketing the stuff as "like breastmilk."

Read about it RIGHT HERE.

An excerpt:

Claims currently being made on products and marketing materials, which will have to be removed, include: "Now even closer to breast milk" and "Helps to support immunity" on packs of SMA Gold; "Closer than ever to breast milk" on Cow & Gate and Farley's products; and "Supports your baby's immune system" and "The closest to breast milk" on Aptamil First.


are we crazy?

I am trying to convince Jon that we can renovate our kitchen and master bathroom all by ourselves. Well, maybe with some help from friends and family on the really hard parts.

In the case of the kitchen, all we need to do is pull out the nasty old cabinets, sink and countertops, and replace them with new cabinets, sink and countertops in the exact same configuration, then repaint the whole room.

The bathroom needs to be gutted, so we would have to learn a lot of new skills, but I'll bet we could of most of it ourselves....

Am I insane?

Doing ot ourselves as we can afford it as opposed to hiring someone to do it for us will mean the difference between living with a nasty old kitchen and bathroom for a year or two or years.


Over the weekend, Jon and I:

-Walked several miles over both weekend days (we both like taking walks)
-Replanted irises
-Mulched one large flower bed
-Dug out another flower bed
-Put up new smoke alarms and tested old ones
-Shopped for and replaced chair cushions
-Folded and put away mountain of laundry
-Took bag of handmedowns to sister
-Ate with his family
-Generally cleaned and straightened downstairs
-Went to Home Depot and had new slats cut for Elliot's saggy bed

I also got a lot of work done on the freelance piece I have due for on Thursday. I still need to give it my full attention this week. I need to hear back from a couple of interviewees.

This week is going to be crazy-busy. Soccer practice starts for Elliot. Henry has a doctor's appointment. Elliot's class has their "reader theatre" program. Jane needs to get to the barn as many days as possible because horse show season looms and she is not getting enough opportunities to ride the pony she's supposed to be getting ready.

At least we have daylight savings turned on now. This makes a big difference for our family. as we often don't get home until 7pm.

I can't wait until summer.


separate bedrooms

Apparently, separate bedrooms for married couples are BECOMING MORE POPULAR. But couples who have separate bedrooms tend to keep it a big secret because they feel like others will assume they have a weird or troubled marriage.

I think it's too bad that people are judgmental about how people choose to sleep at night. If some couples sleep better in separate beds, so what? It's the same as with people sleeping with their babies; whatever gets you and the rest of the family the most, best sleep is the way to go.


at suburban turmoil today

Lindsay at Suburban Turmoil (who is 40 weeks pregnant) says she got nuthin' out of her NATURAL CHILDBIRTH CLASSES.

I love Lindsay's writing - she's hilarious - but really, what she's describing doesn't really sound like real preparation for unmedicated chilbirth. Instead they sound like halfass, stupid childbirth classes at a hospital where the nurses actually find the concept of unmedicated birth little more than an amusing flight of fancy for birkenstock-clad nutcases.

As it turns out, Lindsay already knows she wants an epidural, so the classes aren't a biggie for her, but I hate it for the women who might have actually believed the hospital when they told them that their maternity staff actually support and are knowledgeable about natural childbirth for those women who really want that.

giving birth

I believe I've done all the research I can do about my genetic mutations/clotting disorders. I have come to these conclusions:

-The issue raises my risk for miscarriage in the first trimester quite a bit

-Women with this disorder have a notably higher rate of stillbirth after the first trimester, but that risk cannot be quantified. It is a low risk, relatively speaking, but still there.

-Women with this disorder are at notably higher risk for various late pregnancy complications like pre-eclampsia and placental abruption, but these risks cannot be quantified and are quite low.

-The fact that I had three normal, completely uncomplicated pregnancies may or may not have any bearing on my risk factors.

-It is wise for me to be seen every two weeks and watched carefully by a perinatologist (which is what I am doing) for the duration of my pregnancy.

-Most importantly: I do not believe that the MTHFR or PAI gene issues that I have present any specific risks during labor and delivery. However, it would probably make my husband and everyone else I know crazy nervous if I were to give birth at home. Also, dealing with finding a homebirth midwife and arguing with my insurance company over paying for the homebirth midwife seems a bit overwhelming at the moment. Still, giving birth at home would be my first preference and I have not completely ruled it out.

-This leaves me with a couple of options. I could give birth at the freestanding birth center here in town. My perinatologists are longtime supporters of this birth center -staffed by midwives - and would likely be willing to work with the birth center in the last trimester to provide cooperative care and get things ready for a birth there. The birth center is only a few blocks from the hospital where my doctors practice. The birth center has birthing tubs, and I really want to be able to at least labor in warm water, even if I do not give birth there. The down side of the birth center is that they send you home 6 hours after giving birth. I do not want to move after giving birth. I want to stay in one place for at least 24-48 hours. The idea of packing up and going anywhere 6 hours after giving birth sounds very unappealing to me.

-I could give birth at the hospital where my doctors practice. I had one baby there previously and had a very bad experience. It is known as a very medical hospital. They do not even have the LDRP rooms that most hospitals have now, and they certainly do not have birthing tubs. I love my doctors, and I feel certain they would work with me to have the kind of birth I want at this hospital, but I want water. Plus, let's face it, if you go to a hospital with a 90% epidural rate, you are going to have a hard time getting nurse support (and its the nurses who matter while you are laboring) for laboring without a lot of interventions. My husband's preference is that I just go to this hospital and do whatever they tell me. he doesn't see the process of birth as that important - only the outcome. Some days I feel so tired by this decision-making process that I think it would just be easiest to go to this hospital and have a fully medicalized birth there and just not worry about it. Sometimes having an epidural sounds really good - then I remember the back pain I had for several years after the last one.

-I could have the midwives from the birth center attend my birth at my favorite local hospital, where my current doctors do not practice. The midwives have hospital privileges there. This hospital is only a few blocks from our house. They do not have birthing tubs there, but you can bring your own (which is what my sister did). I had great experiences at this hospital with Baby #1 and baby #3 (though these births were medicated and had the full complement of interventions).

-I could wait until near the end of my pregnancy and transfer to my previous regular OB, who delivered both my sons and is a supporter of natural birth. he practices at the hospital near my house, and encourages women to bring birthing tubs to the hospital and labor/deliver in the water.

So there's the deal. It's a lot to think about and I feel really overwhelmed. I believe that if I decide to shoot for an unmedicated birth this time, I will need to make that decision in the next month and start preparing myself mentally, emotionally and logistically. Jon and I will need to take the right childbirth class together and I will need to believe that he is committed to it and supportive of it.

But right now it all just seems like a lot to think about.

I need a nap ;-)

And a taco salad. I could really use a taco salad right about now...

salma hayek pregnant

I totally guessed Salma was knocked up after I SAW THIS PHOTO.


Only three more weeks 'til my fave pop band's new record is released. That'll be a big week for me, with the new FOW CD out and fnding out our baby's gender and all.

Hey! Maybe we could name the baby...WAYNE!!



I think I am getting some taps from the baby now. Mostly when I am sitting at my desk.

I can't wait until I can really feel him/her moving around.

This has been such an easy pregnancy thus far. If I weren't dealing with the, uhhhh...drooling issue, it would be pretty much perfect. I am just too busy to worry much, and things seem to be going along swimmingly.

I feel bad, though, because my sister, who is due about the same time, has been miserably sick for 8-9 weeks. She's a little better now than she was a few weeks ago, but she still gags and vomits all the time and feels wiped out and horrible.

hollywood farm girl

I don't know too much about Melissa Etheridge except that I think she's exceptionally brave and inspiring for coming out of the closet as clearly and as early in her career as she did. Being a power pop fan myself, her music isn't really my cuppa, tho' I recognize that she's very talented at what she does.

And I knew nothing about her wife, Tammy, except that she looked really cute in the photos of their wedding that ran in People magazine.

Somehow, though, I stumbled on Tammy's blog and I love it. It's called HOLLYWOOD FARM GIRL and it's a very honest accounting of what it's like to be married to a super famous rock star (whom she calls "Honey" on the blog), and also be the stay-at-home mother of infant twins. She's funny and self-effacing and very, very cool.

I wish she lived on my street.

an extraordinary life or, my grandmother kicks it with erik estrada, john denver, julie andrews, and that guy from welcome back kotter

My grandmother, who lives in Bell Buckle with the rest of my clan, is 88 years old and feeling poorly lately, so she's been on my mind a lot.

She has had a truly incredible life. She was born to well-to-do parents in Nashville, graduated from the University of Missouri College of Journalism when girls just didn't do that, and eventually became one of the top entertainment reporters in the country. She was for many years editor of PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE, which was the People magazine before there was a People magazine, and she had a syndicated entertainment column for many years.

Anyway, I am starting to pull together a lot of photos and things from her life, and here is a sampling of some pix of her at work over the years, with everyone from Elvis to Bette Davis to Jack Nicholson. It's pretty cool.


or as slideshow, RIGHT HERE

Even Mork from Ork and Erik Estrada make an appearance in these photos from my grandmother's life. I think my fave photo, though is the one of her drinking a Coors Light with Julie Andrews...

with Julie Andrews

with Mork

with Bette Davis

with Jack Nicholson

with her secretary, Linda, and Priscilla Preseley and P's then-boyfriend

color me jealous

Due to the exceptional generosity of a good friend's parents, Jane gets to spend TEN DAYS HERE this summer. Jane's friend is an only child, so she would be bored without a pal along on their family vacation, so they invited Jane to come along, with a (considering the nature of the trip) minimal investment from her father and me.

She's really excited and I'm really excited for her :-)


me and the sibs

Organizing some old photos.

This is my brother and sister and me. I am the oldest, on the right. I guess I am about 3 or 4 in this photo.



What do you think of the name Walter for a BoyBaby? It's sort of growing on me.

a good man

You know when you were a teenage girl, and you would watch those romantic comedies - with Tom Hanks maybe? And in the movie, the wife would be pregnant, and the guy would be just wonderful to her? He'd rub her feet, and bring her pickles and ice cream in the middle of the night, and offer to let her take a nap in the afternoon while he did the dishes? Remember that kind of cute-movie-hero-guy-with-a-pregnant-wife?

Well guess what? I'm married to that guy.

Now don't go throwing up or anything, or attacking your own worthless husband or boyfriend in frustration, but I have to tell you that there is one real, flesh and blood man alive today who actually treats his pregnant wife that way.

Let me give you just a small sampling of nice things my man has done for me in the past week:

-Rubs my feet and legs every night without me ever asking

-Cleans up every night after supper without mentioning he is going to do it or has done it

-Lays out my slippers (which he and the children bought me) next to my side of the bed so I don't have to step on cold hardwood floors when I get up one million times each night because my belly has shifted onto my bladder

-Tells me I look wonderful several times each day, but not in a smarmy or obnoxious way.

-Actually reads the baby-related articles and websites I send him

-Brings the dogs in and out of the house when they need to, and feeds them, and lets them sit on his lap when he's reading, even though they are my dogs, not his, and really, he'd prefer we had no small, yappy dogs

-Helps kids with homework I don't know how to do

-Fixed the upstairs bath tub

-Has fetched me cold, carbonated drinks on more than one occasion at inconvenient times because I just told him I really had to have one.

-Asks me how I am feeling

-Suggests that I should go take a warm bath and relax after work

-Did I mention he rubs my feet and legs every night?


waiting for daisy

Peggy Orenstein sent me a review copy of her new memoir (below) and it arrived today. I love the title, and am really looking forward to reading it. After I finish, I'll have an interview with Peggy featured here on the blog.

on the turntable today

current reading

My grandmother gave this to Henry for Christmas. I started it last night.

It's a true story about a U.S. commercial sailing ship - the Commerce - and how it was shipwrecked on the edge of Africa in 1815. The crew was taken captive, sold as slaves, traded all over the contienent and miraculously, some of them eventually made it back to the U.S. alive.

It's very, very good so far.

baby hair and heartburn

A new study says that the old wives tale about pregnant women with heartburn giving birth to babies with a HEAD FULL O' HAIR may actually be true.

If so, I suspect that this baby may be well-tressed. I never had much heartburn in my previous pregnancies (although all three babies had hair - Jane had tons of black hair), but this time I am already suffering with heartburn, particularly at night.

I was bald as an egg as a baby until 12 months or so. Then I apparently developed some wispy blond hair. Jon was also a bald-then-blond baby. Odds are low that we will have a newborn with a head full of hair. But we'll see...


next time, i will stop to help

I cannot tell you how bad I feel about this.

Last weekend, Jane and Jon and I were driving home near dusk. At the end of our street, we saw a woman staggering into traffic, obviously drunk. I suggested we call 911, but Jon pointed out that she had already made it across, so we let it go and went home.

Apparently she was HIT AND NEARLY KILLED within the next 15 minutes and is now in critical condition. They had to ID her using her fingerprints. I feel absolutely terrible.

I live in an urban neighborhood where we see drunk and homeless people all the time - every day. It's sometimes hard to know when to intervene, or how. I knew I should have called the police. Maybe I should have stopped to help her. I don't know. I just know I shouldn't have let that happen :-(

kids in the (knoxville) 'hood

Since moving to our new house last September, my children have not had the chance to meet very many other kids/parents in our neighborhood. My kids attend private schools in West Knoxville, so they also haven't met friends through the neighborhood schools.

I would really like for my kids to have some similar-age friends within walking distance. I'd also like to get to know other parents in the neighborhoods in and near Downtown Knoxville.

For this reason, I am starting an informal group for parents and kids in Old North Knoxville, 4th and Gill, Parkridge, and the other neighborhoods in and near Downtown Knoxville. I am envisioning get-togethers every month or so, as well as networking on the best neighborhood parks, babysitters, pediatricians, activities, etc.

If you would like to join the group, you can subscribe to our e-mail list here:

No one can subscribe without my approval, and I hope this will keep the e-mail discussion list spam-free and family-focused. When you subscribe, please share your name (first name only if you are more comfortable that way) and the first names and ages of your children.

Let me know if you have any questions, and feel free to forward this message to other parents whom you think might be interested in our group.



it got me

Whatever this virus is that sideswiped the children caught up with me late Saturday, and I've been bedridden ever since. Missing work today, which is not good.

I think it's the flu, although I don't feel quite as bad as I have when I've had the flu in years past. Still, it's bad enough. I am pretty sure I slept about 20 out of 24 hours yeaterday - no exaggeration. Thank goodness Jon has been so helpful about taking care of the sick children and feeding everyone. etc while I've been in bed.

Today all 3 children are home from school sick and I am sick too. JOn went to work.

Oh joy!


new shins record?

Have you heard it? Bought it? What did you think? Do I need to own it?


My first trimester lethargy is morphing into a second trimester sense of anxiety over the state of our house. It's messy. It's disorganized. We need to get some painting done before the baby comes. We have to get ready. That's beginning to be my mantra: we have to get ready.

I always get this way when I am pregnant. When Henry was born, my water broke in the middle of the night. I called the OB, who said to come to his office at 9am, so between middle of the night and 9am, I scrubbed the bath tub and folded abd refolded baby clothes, all the while weeping to my husband that WE HAD TO GET READY FOR THE BABY!!!!!!!


Jane was really sick for three days this week. Now Henry and Jon have it. The pediatrician told us Jane's was just a bad cold, but I actually think it's a pretty classic case of THE FLU.

So far Elliot and I have escaped, but I am sure we'll get it next - probably just when it's time for me to go back to work Monday. My boss, who is generally a great guy, has been rather irritated lately with people taking sick leave, so I really don't need to miss work this week. And of course I hope Elliot is spared because I hate to see the kids feel that bad. Poor Henry has hardly moved all day and even take-out Chinese for supper couldn't tempt him to eat more than a few bites.

i heart marshall crenshaw

I still love this record as much as I did when I was 15.

the filthiest wal-mart

No, really, check it out FOR YOURSELF



I have to stay up another hour to go pick Henry and his friend Max up at the THE UMPHREY'S MCGEE concert at THE BIJOU. I have been unable to stay up past 11 in months, so this is challenging. Pregnancy makes me sleeeeepy.

(And to think, last June at Bonnaroo I stayed up all night - literally all night - dancing at an Umphrey's McGee show, followed by more dancing at the silent disco...)

Henry almost didn't get to go to this show due to, ahem, academic issues, but he pulled the iron out of the fire with last minute grades the last two days this week. So I hope he and Max are having a very good time.


twins are the new third-world orphans!!

I think Madonna's rough experience with her Malawi adoption has convinced celebs that TWINS ARE THE BETTER OPTION.

this name might give the kid an attitude

My friend Betsy just sent me this baby name possibility from a high school football recruiting bulletin:

Recruiting is just now starting to pick up for Bushnell (Fla.) South Sumter linebacker prospect Yourhighness Morgan. The 6-foot-2, 218-pounder recently started getting letters from some Division I-A programs

UNICEF says:

"Malnutrition is called an “invisible” emergency because, much like an iceberg, its deadly menace lies mostly hidden from view. Each year malnutrition is implicated in about 40% of the 11 million deaths of children under five in developing countries, and lack of immediate and exclusive breastfeeding in infancy causes an additional 1.5 million of these deaths. However, contrary to popular belief, only a fraction of these children die from starvation in catastrophic circumstances such as famine or war. In the majority of cases, the lethal hand of malnutrition and poor breastfeeding practices is far more subtle: they cripple children’s growth, render them susceptible to disease, dull their intellects, diminish their motivation, and sap their productivity."