Saturday, December 03, 2005


I love knitting. I love being able to design something and then knit it and end up with a permanent (well, relatively speaking) object. I love being able to design my own patterns instead of following someone else's. I love creating things that are uniquely my own.

My sister suggested that I sell my knitted items, but a) I'm not sure I can knit fast enough and price things reasonably enough to make it worthwhile and b) I find it hard to part with items I've knitted. I grow very attached to them.

If any of you are recipients of anything I have knitted, please don't ever get rid of it. I won't have my feelings hurt if you don't like it, just please give it back to me if you don't want it anymore.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've got my first bird in the oven, the pies on the cooling rack and the sweet potatoes are in the fridge, waiting to be heated up while the gravy is being made at the last minute. We have so much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for the safe arrival of my daughter into the world. I am thankful that we have a reliable car, a roof over our heads, enough money to run the heaters and buy whatever food we feel like eating that day. I am thankful that my father is able to be here for the first Thanksgiving dinner I've cooked. I am thankful for all of our wonderful family and friends and all of the support they have given us. I am thankful for my mother, who worked harder and gave more than I ever knew until I had my own child. I am thankful for my husband who helps me anytime I need it, who works so that I can stay home, and who is the perfect match for me. I am thankful that we have a beautiful, healthy daughter. I am thankful that I was raised in a Christian home and I am thankful for my God and His forgiveness.

We are blessed.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I missed it!

Apparently every November 19th is World Toilet Day.


...some people have less of a life than I do. I, for instance, do not cry when there is a murder attempt on a radish. I have better things to do.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Humpty Dumpty

Why is Humpty Dumpty always portrayed as an egg? I don't get it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Dying again

According to research, having sleep apnea doubles your risk of death.

Monday, November 14, 2005


At least, I assume that's the opposite of insomnia.

My daughter has started sleeping through the night. Hallelujah! While I am catching up on my sleep, I now have more time to wonder: is it okay for such a small person to go without eating for so long? Should I wake her up to eat?

My mother tells me that I will worry and wonder if I've done the right things for the rest of my life. I suspected as much.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Aggregated diamond nanorods are a girl's best friend

Maybe the rest of you actually care about the news and know this already, but as of August, diamonds are no longer the world's hardest material. I just heard about it a day or two ago.

I have no life.

I keep up with an online journal of someone I don't know. I am always telling my husband about things her kids did or said or whatever. For example, read the first two paragraphs here.

How boring am I?

News flash!

Smoke is pollution!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Shaped pasta

When I was young we always had angel hair, spaghetti, or those tricolored spirals. I don't know why my mother never bought the pasta that was in the letters of the alphabet or little stars or whatever, but I always wanted them. Now that I am an adult I love buying bowtie pasta, shells, wagon wheels, and all the other neat shapes. I recently bought some shaped (rice) pasta and had it for dinner last night. It was full of cars, trains, shooting stars, flowers, rabbits, teddy bears, airplanes, and more.

It was fun.

Monday, November 07, 2005


My husband and I watched Wasabi recently, a French film set in Japan starring Jean Reno. I liked it. It was a very straightforward action/comedy with very little gore. The only gory part was in the beginning when someone got beaten up (and they didn't even show most of that, just the result with the black eye, teeth knocked out, etc.). It was very unusual in that there were no suspenseful surprise twists at the end. Recommended.


So I lost the Gymboree outfit and the toys. Sigh. But I did win a brand-new pair of Stride Rite shoes and three pairs of tights (two brand new). I am pleased.


I have not done any formal scientific testing, but I have determined through observation that the timing and quantity of spit-up directly correlates to the cuteness of the outfit being worn by the child and the niceness of the outfit being worn by the mother.

If the child is wearing an adorable outfit, the spit-up always occurs after leaving the house but before reaching the destination. This is particularly true if we are destined to see the person who purchased the outfit.

Again, if the mother is wearing a nice outfit, feeling attractive that day, and especially if a garment is dry clean only, the spit-up will come in great quantities. As for timing, it will happen after you reach your destination, about an hour or so before you notice it.

But Easy Mac doesn't have MSG!

This came up in a conversation this evening with my younger sister. I bet her 50 cents and an apple that it did. She bet that it didn't. Here is the list of ingredients in Easy Mac, from the Kraft website:


Don't see the MSG? Try whey, modified food starch, corn syrup solids, milk protein concentrate, citric acid, artificial flavor, and enzymes. These ingredients virtually always contain MSG.

Surprised? I was when I started really reading labels. For more on MSG, the MSG Myth website has some great information. Be sure to read the information on hidden names for MSG.

I hear my Granny Smith is in the mail.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Since my dear brother regularly posts about what he's bidding on, I thought I'd do the same. I bid on a great Gymboree goldfish outfit, complete with dress, shirt, sweater, socks, shoes, and hat. (We have the Gymboree goldfish overalls and I love them, but they are growing shorter by the minute, it seems.) Alas, it has now gone out of my price range. I'm also bidding on (and still winning) a lot of about six or seven baby toys. And a Christmas gift about which I will not go into detail.


For those in the greater Seattle area, I just discovered a great place to have breakfast (and, I'm told, other meals). The Pomegranate Bistro in Redmond. The food I had was excellent, though the portions were a bit stingy for the price. Highly recommended.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Oh, grow up.

Barbie clothes for adults? How juvenile do they think we are?

Thursday, October 13, 2005


At times I wish that I hadn't told my friends and family that this was me writing this stuff. If no one knew who I was, I could write about things like finances and Christmas gifts. For example, I could report progress on the pair of socks that I was knitting for my little sister for Christmas (no, none of you are getting socks... at least, if you are I haven't planned it yet). Or I could just vent some of my frustrations and not worry about people getting offended or offering help.

But why do I hate to be helped? I usually need help, and always appreciate receiving help. I suppose it's because I tend toward perfectionism and I want to be able to do it all myself.

I have become one of those weird crunchy granola people.

I avoid MSG, artificial coloring and flavorings, gluten, dairy, soy, and I may cut out eggs as well. I read labels like a hawk. My only redeeming factor is that I do this not for myself but for my daughter. I suppose I ended up like this because I used to scorn people who were concerned about buying organic, unprocessed foods. Sigh. Now I just have to try not to analyze all my friend's diets and to keep quiet about their food choices.

But should I speak up, if I truly believe that something they are eating is harmful?

Because real fish just aren't good enough.

A London aquarium now has robotic fish on display.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Check this out. I found it on "I Need a Life!"


My sister found this very interesting website about spiders, mostly dispelling various myths regarding them. I apologize for my earlier post about spiders coming in from the cold. I was wrong.

Excuses, excuses

1) I have a seven-month old.

2) My life consists mainly of feeding the baby, changing the baby, playing with the baby, and putting the baby to sleep. How exciting is that?

This is why I rarely post anything.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Graffiti displayed at an art museum?

While I do agree that yes, graffiti is art, it seems to me like there is some art worth displaying and some that is not. I also must admit that some of these artists are quite good. Check out Cosa, Fate, Suiko, and Zys.

Make your own Art Tower Mito!

Here is a link to instructions to make a paper sculpture of the Art Tower Mito (located in Mito, Ibaraki, Japan). For all of you who are into paper sculpturing.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

'Tis the season

When the weather gets cooler so all the little creatures in the world start finding their way into your house to hunker down and keep warm for the winter. I don't even want to talk about how many spiders we've killed over the past couple of weeks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Here we go with the complaining...

So I got my Motherwear newsletter and catalog in the mail the other day. For those of you who don't know, Motherwear is a company that makes and sells clothing for breastfeeding mothers. They also, not surprisingly, promote breastfeeding. Here is a quote from the newsletter, Parenting from the Heart:

Remember, women in traditional cultures have a lying-in period during which all they do is rest in bed and feed their babies.

What the heck is a "traditional culture", and why don't they consider my culture traditional? Just because I grew up in a city instead of a dung hut in Africa? It's like they're afraid to actually mention any specific countries or races for fear of offending someone. Though, in our litigious (I think that's the word I want) society, I guess I can understand.


So I was thinking the other day about what sort of theme my blog should have. I think I could do an entire blog just on making fun of others and pointing out people's mistakes, but that wouldn't be very polite of me. I will probably end up having quite a few nutrition-related posts, since that's what I seem to be researching a lot lately, with some random family updates and links to interesting things. Okay, I'll make fun of some people too. But I promise to try not to do it too much.

Waiter, there's fluoride in my eggs.

Environmental groups petition EPA to retract fluoride pesticide tolerances on food

Two national environmental organizations, Environmental Working Group and Beyond Pesticides, joined today with the Fluoride Action Network in challenging the safety of new food tolerances issued by the EPA for the fluoride based pesticide, sulfuryl fluoride. This action marks growing concern among mainstream scientists and environmental organizations that total exposure to fluoride, from water, food, and dental uses like toothpaste and rinses, is not safe for vulnerable populations, particularly young children.

The challenge was directed at the maximum legal limits for the fluoride-based pesticide in foods, which have been set at levels that dwarf the amount allowed in tap water. In just one case, the EPA is allowing 900 parts per million of fluoride in dried eggs, as opposed to the maximum 4 ppm allowed in tap water. One third of the nation's eggs are sold and consumed in dried, reconstituted form.

The groups noted that 900 ppm set for dried eggs is extremely close to that used in toothpaste (1,000 ppm), a level that is considered toxic if consumed in greater than pea sized portions. "How can the EPA consider 900 ppm in eggs safe, while the Food and Drug Administration directs parents to call poison control centers if their children consume more than a pea sized portion of toothpaste with fluoride at 1,000 ppm?" asked Paul Connett, PhD, Executive Director of FAN. "Unlike toothpaste, eggs are meant to be eaten, not spit out."

The precise FDA required label on toothpastes with fluoride levels of 1000 ppm is:

"WARNING: Do not swallow. Use only a pea-sized amount for children under six. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately."

The EPA has set fluoride tolerances for over 200 foodstuffs ranging from 5 ppm in cheese all the way up to 900 ppm in powdered eggs. The groups warn that at the maximum level of fluoride a serving of scrambled eggs made with as few as two egg equivalents could make a child vomit and a four egg omelet could have the same effect on an adult.

Source: Environmental Media Services

Monday, September 12, 2005

Blueberry pie

So I made my first gluten- soy- and dairy-free blueberry pie this evening, and it turned out rather well. I need to use a little more thickening in the filling next time, because apparently rice flour does not thicken quite as well as wheat flour. The crust was - well, it was about as good as you can expect a crust without wheat flour or butter to be. The texture was actually very tender, fall-apart-in-your-mouth, but I generally like a little chew (little, mind you, none of this have-to-tear-it-off-with-your-teeth crust) to my pie crust. I really missed the butter flavor. But it sure is nice to have a pie.


No, it's not "kangaroo". It's kan-ga-e-ru. Get a Japanese dictionary.

The Diaper Project...

...has been put on hold, for the simple reason that my daughter doesn't yet meet the lower weight limit for the diapers (yes, they're sized nowadays), and so we had leaks galore. We'll try again in a month or two.


Okay, I am going to post book reviews like my husband, but as you will see over time we tend to read very different books.

I recently finished Little House in the Ozarks: The Rediscovered Writings by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I love all the Little House books, and was thrilled to find this one among many books that my mother gave me. It is a collection of her writings for farm and community papers, articles that she wrote long before her books. Many of the articles are editorials-type, telling people The Way Things Should Be. Some are recollections of her childhood, and those are fun. I agree with a lot of her viewpoints and I really enjoyed this book a lot.

I also read Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy. I don't usually read novels, but my mother gave me this one since she was through with it. It was nice, easy reading, and while it was enjoyable it was also rather predictable. Typical estranged-father-and-son-miss-each-other-but-neither-wants-to-give-in-first, sweet-girl-has-jerk-boyfriend-that-she-is-sure-is-just-misunderstood, etc., stories weave throughout. Get it from the library before you buy.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Now that I am over the literally-falling-over-from-exhaustion period of new motherhood, I suddenly can't sleep. I find myself lying awake at night, listening for my daughter to wake up and need me. She often makes noises in her sleep, and I am instantly on alert, waiting to see if they turn from "sleeping" noises to "awake" noises.

Perhaps it is because she is still so tiny and vulnerable; perhaps I am paranoid; perhaps I need her during the night more than she needs me. Is it possible to be too attuned to your infant?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Home-grown tomatoes

Just thought I would mention that I got my first ripe tomatoes today (three, to be exact) off of my plant on the patio. They were cherry tomatoes, and they were gone in about five seconds. It's been years since I've had home-grown tomatoes.

Ordered photos online for the first time yesterday

Yesderday a friend told me that you could upload photos to and could either have them mailed to you or you could go pick them up. Since we have about a million pictures of our daughter and I've had, oh, ten or so printed, I decided to give this service a try.

So last night I signed up, uploaded about fifty pictures and chose which size prints I wanted (you can order wallets, which I think is great). The prices are very reasonable, and the charge for shipping is minimal; I chose to pick up our prints since I needed to buy groceries anyway. This morning I got an e-mail saying that my order had been processed and to pick them up whenever.

I went to Costco about four hours later, and the girl couldn't find my envelope of pictures. After looking in vain for a few minutes she found that they were still being processed. Thankfully they were done in about ten minutes. Needless to say, I was unimpressed with the fact that my photos weren't ready after I had been told they were, but other than that I am very happy with the quality, the price, and the fact that I could get wallet-sized photos. I feel very comfortable recommending this service to people.

Oh, one more thing: I couldn't figure out how to alter my pictures (reduce red-eye and all that good stuff) on their website, but I must admit I didn't look very hard. But I think they should make it obvious.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Cloth vs. Paper

Since before my daughter was born, I have considered the pros and cons of cloth versus paper diapers. Disposables certainly seem like the more convenient and less messy option, but cloth are cheaper and create less waste. When my sisters were younger I helped diaper them in the old-fashioned prefolds and pins, but cloth diapers now are much more confusing. There are prefolds and flats, of course, but added to the mix are all-in-ones, pocket diapers, contour diapers, something called a Snappi, and the list goes on. What's a mother to do?

Well, to start off, I decided to use disposables for the first few months, until we got more into the swing of things.

I just received the Deluxe Tester's Package from Baby Cotton Bottoms and am looking forward to trying all the different types of diapers. I must say that the hemp prefolds feel like they would be incredibly comfortable to wear, and the velcro on Kushies all-in-ones is not as strong as that on Bummis covers. I will give another update on ease-of-use and my favorite(s) in a few weeks.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


I never paid much attention to soy until we learned that my daughter is severely allergic to it. Have you read any food labels lately? Soy (aka guar gum, food starch, natural flavoring, vegetable oil, broth, vitamin E, lecithin, and on and on and on) is in everything. Yes, I'm exaggerating, but only slightly. It's in things you would have never thought of, like tuna, chocolate bars, and nearly every vitamin or mineral supplement on the market. I finally found a chocolate bar yesterday that doesn't contain soy and it tastes good. Only problem is it costs about $3.50 for a three ounce bar.

While researching soy allergy, I found this very interesting and informative article. One of the things I found most interesting was this:

The increasing amount of "hidden" soy in the food supply is undoubtedly responsible for triggering many allergic reactions not attributed to soy. French researchers who studied the frequency of anaphylactic shocks caused by foods reported that the food allergen remained unknown in 25 per cent of cases. They noted the prevalence of "hidden" and "masked" food allergens and stated that they saw "a strikingly increased prevalence of food-induced anaphylactic shock in 1995 compared to a previous study from 1982".21 This period coincided with a huge increase in the amount of soy protein added to processed foods. (In fact, the amount has continued to rise. Per capita consumption of soy protein increased from 0.78 g/day in 1998 to 2.23 g/day in 2002, according to industry estimates obtained by the Solae Company which, in March 2004, filed a petition seeking FDA approval of a health claim for soy protein and cancer reduction.21a)

Here is my favorite (though perhaps a bit morbid) excerpt:

Some of the most allergenic fractions appear to be the Kunitz and Bowman–Birk trypsin inhibitors. Food processors have tried in vain to deactivate these troublesome proteins completely without irreparably damaging the remainder of the soy protein (see chapter 12). Having failed to accomplish this, the soy industry has decided to promote these "antinutrients" as cancer preventers. To date, its proof remains slim, although cancer statistics might improve if enough people died from anaphylactic shock first.

Whatever happened to survival of the fittest?

Here is an interesting story that mentions the fact that scientists are working on helping endangered species by means of cloning. I think it is a wonderful thing to have elephants in zoos and whales in aquariums and such; I want my daughter to be able to see these animals in real life. I also believe that we should be good stewards, use our resources wisely and not "trash" the planet on which we live. However, I am fairly certain that most of the scientists working on projects like these subscribe to Darwin's theory of evolution. How do they square environmentalism with survival of the fittest?

I was thinking about this several months ago when I read an article in Natural History Magazine about some trees (I think they were cypress trees) being killed off by some sort of fern. If those ferns are meant to survive and the trees are not, why are humans intervening? Shouldn't we just let nature take its course?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Who knew?

Someone should hurry up and determine a daily value for buffalo liver concentrate.

What is wrong with this sentence?

d-ALPHA GEMS are small, soft gelatin capsules containing vitamin E derived from soybean oil in the highest concentration possible, making it naturally soy-free.

My husband said that the subject and the final pronoun do not agree. I say that "derived from soybean oil" and "naturally soy-free" do not agree.

Testing 123

Okay, so I've decided to start a blog. My husband has told me on many occasions - usually when I'm ranting about something - that I should do this. So here it is. Posting will probably be rather sporadic, but I doubt many people will care.