Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ham, Egg and Cheese Crock Pot Casserole

I made this up, a hybrid of a couple recipes online and what was in my fridge. I didn't really measure anything. It's in my crock pot now so we can make it to the early summer church service on time — or at least so breakfast isn't the reason we're late.

8 slices of bread, torn up
1 cup chopped ham
2 T. diced green pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 T. diced onion
1 t. parsley

Grease inside of crock pot. Layer bread, ham, green pepper and cheese. (I made 4 layers.) Beat eggs with milk, onion and parsley. Pour egg mixture over top of layers. Cook on low overnight.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I have the prettiest place in the country.

My parents subscribe to a magazine with a standing feature called "Prettiest Place in the Country." It showcases farmsteads that are beautifully landscaped, often with gorgeous water features, elaborate flower beds, stately gazebos and lush lawns.

My backyard would never qualify for the magazine feature. Nonetheless, I think I'm the one with the prettiest place, and for reasons that wouldn't meet anyone else's standards. Here's why:

  • There are holes throughout the yard. That's where Addy dug up worms to add to her collection. The collection, by the way, is an ice cream bucket that sits as a permanent yard ornament over by the rhubarb patch.
  • Dirt paths are worn into the grass under each swing and the trapeze bar — a sign the swingset is well utilized. And we've only lived here four months.
  • The clothesline dips low in the middle, so low that clothes hang on the ground as they dry unless I prop it up with a metal bar. I thought about fixing it, but then Dori wouldn't be able to reach. For some reason hanging clothes on the line is the girls' idea of a good time and — don't tell them — it's mine, too.
  • A plastic sword lies in wait near the big pine. I'm a pacifist when it comes to children's toys (and only children's toys). While I don't allow my own kids to own these fake weapons, this one came from the boys one house over and is a sign that our yard is the neighborhood place to be. I like it that way.
  • Four odd flip flops grace the grass near the slide, telling me the girls found something interesting outside to distract them.
  • The pear tree has a gnarly stub toward the bottom where a branch broke off. Apparently some little boys in the neighborhood came over while we weren't home and climbed the dwarf tree, snapping off the branch. The old man next door scared them away, then his wife called us later to report their shenanigans. I'm just glad the kids found something interesting in the tree. And I hope it was fun.

My backyard may never appear in a magazine, but it's beautiful to me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My baby has had a very bad day.

7:15 a.m.—Dori wakes up 2 hours earlier than normal.

7:30 a.m.—Uncle Dale offers to take her on an errand in his truck, then locks her and the keys in it after buckling her securely in her carseat. She can't get out. It seems like an hour, probably more like 30 minutes before Luke arrives with the spare.

9:15 a.m.—Dori's swimming lesson is cancelled. Too darn cold.

1 p.m.—Addy gets to try on a flowergirl dress and pretty red shoes at the shop downtown. Dori does not. She is ticked. We throw a jumper over her clothes and call it good, then whip it off and leave the store, nearly late for the dentist now.

1:29 p.m.—On the way to Dori's 1:30 p.m. dentist appointment, her mother (that's me), realizes she has forgotten her wallet at the store. Quick call: They'll hold it.

1:30 p.m.—Time to rush into the dentist, just in time. Dori poops. Needs a diaper change. Bad. In the parking lot. No wipes.

2 p.m.—The root of the tooth in question is dying. It needs to be pulled.

2:30 p.m.—Cavity filled, tooth pulled, not so bad. Except for the missing tooth. And blood. And now no one will let her have any gum.

4 p.m.—Back to the farm. Wants to play. Mama says no, we must get in the car and get to sister's tee-ball game. Forced into carseat against will.

7:30 p.m.—Attempting to climb the playground ladder at the ballpark, Dori falls backward from a couple rungs up and lands flat on her back. Wind knocked out of her. Mama picks her up and thinks she's fine until her eyes roll back into her head, her body tenses up and flails backward (ER doc later tells us she passed out momentarily). Mama freaks out. EMS tech happens to be at game and reassures us, directs us to drive her to the hospital. Everything OK, CAT done because she had a concussion earlier this year. Scan was normal. Apparently she has a short vasovagal response and passes out with head injury.

9:30 p.m.—Back home.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Update from Arizona Pizza

I received this official response today. The restaurant is claiming the mother misrepresented the actual events. I dunno.

This is probably the best perspective, from There have been some reports that this story was made up, and that the pizza place has video proving that it did not happen as reported. I cautioned earlier that it had not yet been properly vetted, but that businesses in states with breastfeeding laws should review them, as this type of incident does occur.

Arizona Pizza restaurants were created to provide a casual, family oriented atmosphere where people gather to enjoy great food in comfortable surroundings and where all customers are treated with respect and dignity. Our corporate policy is to make sure all guests are treated fairly and can comfortably enjoy their experience at any and all times while also abiding by all state and local laws. In a situation where a guest became offended by a nursing mother, it is our policy to relocate that guest to another area of the restaurant, as the mother has the right to nurse. Any transgression of this policy is taken seriously by the franchisor as well as the franchisee, as was the recent case in Ft. Myers, Fl. After the franchisee at the located reviewed the security tape of the entire episode, there appears to be a misrepresentation by the mother of the actual events, which have been noted on her interview with FOX. However, we have launched a training session on this topic and have incorporated new material into our training manual to prevent any future incidents of this nature.

We hope you have an opportunity to visit our restaurants so you are able to witness for yourself the type of customer service we always strive to deliver.

William L. Stevens, President

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nursing mother harrassed at Arizona Pizza

As long as this keeps happening, I'll keep writing letters.

Dear [Arizona Pizza management listed here],

I read an article about an incident at Arizona Pizza at (summary pasted below) that disappointed me a great deal. I’m writing to ask you to clarify your policies and train your staff on the laws protecting babies’ rights to breastfeed in public. I also respectfully request that you offer a sincere and personal apology to Nicole Newland and her child.

I understand that your server harassed Ms. Newland as she fed her baby in your restaurant. Please tell me this was an unfortunate case of a single, poorly trained worker and not reflective of your company’s policies.

I look forward to your response.

Thanks for your time,
Sue [last name]
Breastfeeding mother

Told to stop breastfeeding at Arizona Pizza
Posted on: Jun 7, 2008 at 9:45 PM EDT
"Tonight my sister, her boyfriend, my three month old daughter Catalina, and I all went out to dinner at a local restaurant, Arizona Pizza in Fort Myers (off of Winkler). Catalina got hungry and so I discreetly began to nurse her. Within moments, a server, Irene, came over to me and asked me to stop nursing or cover up, and then she TRIED TO COVER MY BABY WITH A NAPKIN!! I told her several times, as politely as possible that I would not do either of those things as Florida law didn't require me too and in fact protected my right to breastfeed in public. She tried to cover Catalina a few more times and then asked me to nurse facing the wall, which I also refused to do. Afterwards, she went behind the bar and began pointing at me and getting all of the wait staff to turn and stare at us."

Can I eat this while breastfeeding?

I just read a poor article called "Eating for Breastfeeding" on another blog. Here's the comment I sent to correct its gross misinformation.

Thank you for addressing this important topic; however, your information is seriously incorrect. Most women do not need to drastically change their diets or fluids intake to successfully breastfeed. It almost seems as if this article was written with the sole sources being hearsay and folktales. I would be happy to provide accurate information to replace this. Feel free to contact me for details.

In short:
  • It is no longer generally accepted that women use 500 calories per day for lactation. That number may be closer to 300 calories, but what's more important is that the woman look at her own nutrition needs as she consider how much and what she eats. A woman who has some weight to lose may not need to consume any extra calories to breastfeed successfully.
  • A breastfeeding mother should drink to thirst. Artificial guidelines about amounts to consume are not helpful. It's a good idea to keep a bottle or glass of water handy throughout the day as a reminder to keep well hydrated.
  • While it is theoretically possible that chocolate could bother a nursing child, most women eat a varied diet with no problems. Chocolate would be much lower on the list of foods to consider should food intolerances or allergies be suspected. (The caffiene may be the more likely culprit in caffiene anyway.)
  • There is no need to issue a blanket edict against eating anything during breastfeeding. What a woman can eat during lactation is highly variable by culture. In some cultures, women are encouraged to eat lots of things that other cultures forbid entirely! It is based on tradition and not fact. (Consuming illicit drugs, smoking, or taking in large amounts of alcohol or caffiene, on the other hand, are universally accepted as poor choices.)
  • Go ahead and avoid greasy foods because they aren't part of a healthful diet, but not because they'll have the kind of impact on the baby that this article suggests.
  • It is an old myth that breastfeeding mothers should not eat spicy foods. Consider what women in Thailand, Mexico or other cultures regularly eat while successfully breastfeeding their babies!
  • The article is correct in its assertion that it is best to avoid large amounts of caffiene. The drug does pass into the infant's body and affects the child. Reasonable amounts are acceptable (a cup of coffee in the morning, for example, is just fine; a pot may not be).

For up-to-date, accurate information, I suggest mothers look to La Leche League, the breastfeeding support organization. They can find a local Leader by visiting Read FAQs about nutrition while breastfeeding at