Thursday, September 30, 2010

If you have an infant you need to know.

First Candle issued this today:

[Baltimore, MD – September 30, 2010] First Candle joins the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in warning consumers to stop using infant sleep positioners. Infant sleep positioners are devices intended to keep a baby in a desired position while sleeping. Infant sleep positioners can be purchased over-the-counter at retail stores or on websites. They are marketed for use in homes and medical facilities.

In the last 13 years, the federal government has received 12 reports of babies known to have died from suffocation associated with their sleep positioners. Experts warn this figure is likely a minimum, as it is not uncommon for these types of deaths to go unreported. Most of the babies suffocated after rolling from the side to the stomach.

Consumers can be misled by marketing that makes claims such as ‘can reduce the risk of SIDS’ or ‘as recommended by’ First Candle/SIDS Alliance or the AAP. “The reality is that these products have not been tested for their effectiveness at keeping babies on their back or safety for use with newborns and young babies,” says Dr. Rachel Moon, Chair of the SIDS Task Force of the AAP. “Parents should never use wedges or positioners to prop babies up or keep them on their back.”

According to Laura Reno, Director of Marketing and Communications for First Candle, parents need to understand that learning to roll from back to tummy and tummy to back is an important part of normal infant development. “Newborns are not yet strong enough to be moving around during sleep so positioners are not necessary. Once your baby does start moving around during sleep the positioners can become a suffocation hazard.” First Candle recommends putting babies to sleep on their back right from birth and never using positioners or similar products to position or restrain babies, especially once they start moving around during sleep.

First Candle reminds parents and caregivers of the following lifesaving safe sleep practices to help protect babies from SIDS, suffocation and accidents during sleep:

The safest place for babies to sleep is in a crib or play yard that meets current safety standards. The mattress should be firm, fit snugly and be covered with only a tight-fitting crib sheet.

For at least the first six months, place this separate, safe sleep space in the room near where you sleep.

Use a wearable blanket or layer sleep clothing to keep babies warm without the use of loose blankets.

Do not add any soft bedding or other items to the sleep space, this includes blankets, quilts, soft or pillow-like bumpers, pillows, stuffed animals or any other soft bedding or other products.

Never use positioners or wedges to prop babies up or keep them on their back.

Bed sharing is dangerous! Breastfeed and bond with your baby in bed, but when it’s time to go to sleep place your baby in his own separate space alongside your bed.

Always place babies on their back to sleep; side and stomach sleep positions are not safe.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Superstar Is What You Are

At almost three and one half years old, the girls have great imaginations - very often they play games with each other for hours. One of their favorite games is SCHOOL where one of them plays teacher and teacher tells the class what they will do next. Circle time means they sit in a circle and do pad-a-cake or sing a song or something else. They also play MOMMY and DOCTOR as well. Although, with fewer doctors appointments as of late, they haven’t been poking each other with the stethoscope much!

Allie, Anna and Emily also love to sing and dance so we are thinking of getting them into dance or ballet. This video clip shows just how much fun they have singing a song from one of two CDS they insist on listeing to when we are in the van. The words are something like “skill a wink a dink a do, skill a wink a do… I LOVE YOU…I love you in the morning, I love you…”

Friday, September 24, 2010

Good Luck to Mike Lowell.

Mike Lowell. Dustin Pedroia. Kevin Youkilis. Tim Wakefield. These Red Sox players are synonymous with past Sox names such as Carlton Fisk, Carl Yastrzemski, Rick Burleson and Dwight Evans in that they come to the ballpark to play baseball. Period. There are no antics. There is no “Manny being Manny”. These players don’t complain about their contracts or moan that the Red Sox brass doesn’t care about them.

Mike Lowell announced he is retiring this season after playing 13 seasons in Major League Baseball.

Mike is a fan favorite and will be missed. How can you not like Mike? So it is no surprise that the Red Sox announced that their October 2, 2010 game against the Yankees has been designated "Thanks, Mike Night."

I bet we will see Mr. Lowell in some capacity for years to come – whether it be as a coach or analyst for ESPN or one of the major networks. Good luck Mike.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cutest Patriot Fans Ever!

In 2007, the same year Allie, Anna and Emily were born, the Patriots had the NFL's first perfect season since 1972. The Pats had a great run which, as we all know, ended with the Super Bowl. During the Patriots reign that year, Sarah’s brother John sent some cute pink caps with the Patriots logo on them and one day we somehow managed to get a couple of pictures of them before they pulled them off their heads! This picture is great because they look like they are giving a “Let’s Go Pats” chant!

Left to right - Allie, Emily and Anna

With the great weather the last few weekends the TV hasn’t even been turned on during game time. However, I do wonder sometimes what the girls reaction would be if I turned the game on instead of one of their “bideos”. Ha!

Friday, September 17, 2010


I need to remember how much the girls have developed, how much "easier" it is to care for them and most importantly, how much joy they bring to our home. The last few weeks have been extremely trying for Sarah and I - exhaustion and life stressors are wearing on us both. At times like this it is important for me to be reflect on what I have in my life. And believe me, I have a truckload of reasons to be grateful.

I dug up this clip from when the girls had yet to talk. Yes, I have gratitude today.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Chicken with the Crazy Hair Smells.

I had a couple of days off a few weeks ago while Sarah was working (after our Storyland trip) so I had the girls to myself. Yes, they wore me out, but we had a lot of fun! This funny clip is from a visit we made to one of our favorite spots - a local park/petting zoo:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The cow's name is Elmo.

Watching my daughters react to animals has been amusing. They either laugh hysterically, try to engage the animal in conversation, or cling to Sarah’s leg or my leg! Without leaving our house, they have seen deer, rabbits, fox, wild turkeys, chipmunks, birds, and all sorts of insects (“Get the SPIDER Daddy!”).

We’ve also brought Allie, Anna and Emily to Southwick’s Zoo a couple of times and Roger Williams Zoo where they have had fun watching giraffes, rhinos and chimps. I think visits to the local petting zoo have provided the best entertainment, though!

The girls, however, had never come face to face with a cow so I was a little curious to see how they would react when we decided to take them to a local dairy for an ice cream and cow viewing.

The ice cream experience was very disappointing, but the girls’ reaction was not at all disappointing. (Check out Sarah’s blog post for more on why it was such a let down.)

After a few bites of ice cream Allie went right up to the cows, said hello and starting asking the cows what their names were! I found it quite entertaining. Check out this video clip:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Should Labor Day be renamed?

I had more than one post planned for today, but I decided to post a article by Kevin Cullen instead. It, in many ways (unfortunately), sums up the problem with America. I'll return to more "cheery" posts tomorrow. This is the article as it appeared on the website:

They had a demonstration outside the downtown Hyatt the other day, to commemorate the anniversary of the firing of 98 housekeepers at Hyatt hotels in and around Boston.

You probably didn’t hear about this because, well, there was this alleged hurricane barreling up the coast, and everybody was too busy preparing for the end of the world to consider the fate of a bunch of hard-working women who got treated a lot worse than the weathered shingles of the quaint shops on Nantucket.

Wanda Rosario was standing on the sidewalk outside the Hyatt. She suffered more than the indignity of losing her housekeeping job of 23 years there; she unwittingly trained her replacement, a woman who is being paid a lot less to do a lot more.
The demonstration was bittersweet for Rosario. She saw a lot of old friends and former coworkers.

“Some of them looked so skinny,’’ she said.

She attributed the weight loss to stress. Or maybe some of them aren’t spending as much on food.

Rosario’s had to cut back on everything. She gave up her cellphone, which is no small thing because she’s never needed it more. After she was out of work for six months, she got a job at the Park Plaza Hotel. On the bright side, unlike the Hyatt, it’s a union shop, Local 26, and the hotel can’t just fire her on a whim. But she was number two on the seniority list at the Hyatt. She’s number 93 at the Park Plaza. It’s as if her 23 years of work history didn’t happen.
So she has to settle for irregular shifts, and she’s always on call. She’s happy to have a job, but lucky to get two shifts a week. And so she sits by the phone in her East Boston apartment, waiting, hoping for it to ring.

A few days ago, a bunch of degenerates killed a pizza deliveryman, a Dominican immigrant named Richel Nova, for a hundred bucks. Nova’s funeral will take place tomorrow in a church a few blocks from where another Dominican immigrant, Wanda Rosario, will sit by the phone, waiting for a call so she can work.

It’s funny how we look at things. Everybody looks at what was done to Richel Nova, a man’s life for a few measly bills, and agrees it was a moral obscenity. How many look at what was done to Wanda Rosario, in the name of maximizing stockholder profits, and think it’s immoral?
The bean counters didn’t kill Wanda Rosario, but they wounded her soul, they turned her life upside down. And for what? To save what for a huge corporation is the equivalent of the chump change Richel Nova was carrying in his pocket when he made his last delivery the other night in Hyde Park.

Hyatt is hardly the only company increasing stockholder profits as it cuts jobs and pay. In this, the recession that won’t end, it’s becoming the American Way. Hyatt’s stock price has jumped 50 percent since the company went public last fall. The Hyatt owners pocketed almost $1 billion with the initial public offering. Stockholders have seen their portfolios grow.

And 57-year-old Wanda Rosario, at a time when she was just starting to think about retirement, had to start over and make due with far less.

We were sitting in her apartment the other day when the phone rang and her son handed it to her. It was the Park Plaza, and she brightened because she thought it meant more work. In fact, it meant less. A scheduled shift fell through.

Wanda Rosario chuckled ruefully at the idea of celebrating Labor Day. She doesn’t even think they should call it Labor Day anymore, because American workers aren’t valued the way they used to be. We should be more honest, she says, and acknowledge whose interests dictate what happens to working families.

“They shouldn’t call it Labor Day,’’ Wanda Rosario said. “They should call it Stockholder Day.’’

Kevin Cullen is a Globe columnist.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Watch out for Team Triplet!

Sarah and I ran another 5K last weekend and I think if Sarah was not a runner and hadn’t pushed me to run this one, I would have bagged it. The race was on a morning after a few nights of not so great sleep, so my motivation come race day was running low.

The route for this local 5K was the exact same route as a 5K we ran back in May. What was great about this race was they had a fun run for kids 12 and under which Allie, Anna and Emily participated in.

The girls were extremely cute (of course) and also serious about the run. They definitely understand what a “run” is from all the running Sarah and I do. The best part of the kids race was when I was holding Anna (remember she has Spina Bifida) for a minute and she said “…put me down, I want to run, daddy!” After we ran our race, Allie insisted that she wanted to run again so off we went to the track for a second lap. And they ran:

I must say I am impressed with both of our times in the 5K when you consider our ages and how sleep deprived we are! There were less than 400 registered runners (and walkers) and Sarah was able to do a 9:17 pace to finish in the upper 1/3 of her age group. I managed to push out an 8:51 pace for the 3.1 miles and finished in about the middle of my age group – not bad considering I was pushing close to 80 pounds in a stroller!

By the way, I have been running road races fairly consistently for over ten years and up until last week thought I had seen it all. That changed. If you are a runner you know that after the race runners generally hang out, hydrate and re-fuel while they exchange post-race stories. The runners do NOT spark up cigarettes or cigars. On Saturday, as Sarah and I were moving through the crowd of runners, I spotted a woman smoking a butt! And she was wearing a running bib! We will have to assume she walked the race, folks.