Monthly Archives: August 2007

Deserving of a digression… Recent Toy recalls

I am a member of a group called I haven’t participated much beyond signing petitions at this point. But that’s the beauty of You do what you can do. They are working moms dedicated to the true issues of motherhood and making sure that women and children are taken care of. With all of the recent toy recalls, I’ve been receiving a slew of emails asking for petition signatures, etc. I am sharing the most recent email with you in the hopes that you will sign and pass it on to another mom and so on and so forth. It’s ridiculous that we now have the added stress of wondering if the toy that’s been sold to us as “safe” is really safe or not. And NOW they’re saying there’s lead in baby bibs too? Come on! When will this stop?!??! Someone somewhere needs to take responsibility and we need to rise up and demand truly safe toys for our children!

Here’s the email I received:

Dear MomsRising Member,

Is it just me, or are you starting to get freaked out about all these toy recalls too? Just yesterday, I sat down for a peaceful breakfast (well, as peaceful as you can get with a Cheerio food fight going on), and on the front page of the New York Times there was an announcement of yet another massive recall of toys–and in the Business Section there was a story about lead in bibs for babies. What’s next?

This must stop! There are already over 15,000 signatures on our “No Toxics in Toys” petition from last week. Let’s double that number. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) needs the tools and authority to ensure our children’s safety. We can provide Congress with the political capital they need to pass legislation that stops toxic toys.

SIGN THE PETITION & SEND IT TO 5 FRIENDS: Help us build a massive national movement that can’t be ignored. Sign the petition at:

*Once you’ve signed the petition, please forward this email to friends, family, your book group, coworkers, school and sports lists, and favorite Big Bird fan. Let’s make a strong statement together by getting as many signers as possible. 

 *Please forward this email to friends and family!

THE LOWDOWN: CPSC is an under-funded agency with an outdated regulatory authority. It needs the resources and authority to keep our children safe. It’s time to pass legislation to make sure CPSC can do its job to keep dangerous products out of our homes. Congress can take several steps to keep children safe:
1) Give real teeth and authority to CPSC to keep toxics out of toys and set firm toxic limits (since there are only guidelines now);
2) Create a third-party testing system and increase the fines for those companies who put toxics in toys;
3) Fully fund the CPSC, which has had a stagnant budget since 2005, so it can enforce the laws;
4) Increase staffing at CPSC since their current staffing is at its lowest level since the 1980s;
5) Give authority to quickly release safety warnings about imminent hazards without manufacture approval.
Two recently introduced bills in the Senate propose to do just this. Let’s make sure that Congress hears our strong support for this legislation. Our children need safe products NOW.

PASS IT ON–KEEP TOXICS AWAY FROM KIDS: Can you think of any list you have not yet posted this petition on? Any friends who have been sneaking into their children’s rooms late at night to confiscate that special Big Bird toy? Get them involved and pass the petition on so we can get as many signers as possible!

You can find the petition at

Together, we can keep our kids safe from dangerous toxic products and focus on more important things, like protecting them from flying Cheerios.Best –Donna, Katie, Joan, Mary, Kristin, and the MomsRising Team

P.S. GET THE LATEST RECALL NOTICES VIA EMAIL: CPSC has an easy and handy service that will email recall notices right to your inbox! Just go to their website – – and simply provide them with your e-mail address.

P.P. S. For more information:
* Coverage in the New York Times:
* Bib Recall information:
* CPSC Info on the Fisher-Price recall:
* CBS News story on Fisher-Price recall:
* Center for Disease Control web site about lead poisoning:
* List of recalled children’s products:

PACE Meeting

Here I sit at a PACE meeting, the only one present, yet again. But hey, it’s guaranteed time out of the house and if someone needs the support, I’ll be here. Plus it gives me time to think and accomplish PACE/PPD things that I have been meaning to do but just can’t get to while caring for a 3 1/2 year old and and an 18 month old! (Like write Senators and design publicity items!)

Preggo brain has officially taken over though – I came here last week even though there wasn’t a meeting. No wonder NO ONE showed up! hehe!

On a plus side, I did the Maternity Fair this past weekend. The interest was great, I nearly ran out of brochures! I also got a primo spot – right up front so that when people walked in, I was one of the first booths they saw. I was very very happy with that lovely surprise. Suppose it helps that I know the woman who Coordinated pretty well but I certainly didn’t ask for a primo spot. Just lucked out!

I had some great conversations with a lot of moms and with quite a few professionals. Managed to network more than anything. Plan on following up with that this week. My approach towards folks was just to let them peruse the table and if they picked up info, I thanked them, if they had questions, I answered them. I had one husband pick up info for his wife and also had quite a few women thank me for my work which was a reward in itself. I don’t feel that being pushy about PPD is something that is necessary, especially when dealing with the pregnant population. Certainly don’t want to add to their fears at all. When pregnant moms approach me, I tell them about the group and always add that hopefully this will be the only conversation we have, but if they need me down the road, I am here for them. That line always gets a giggle or two.

I have another fair coming up in October, sponsored by the place we have our meetings. The table/spot is free, so of course I’m going to take advantage of it. I’m also going to try and get home to my parents’ house sometime soon. Mom wants me to take two weeks but with the way the PACE meetings are between now and December (and um, factoring in that I’m nearly 5 months pregnant now), it’s just not possible. Plus if my mom and I are together for more than oh, three or four days, things get um, tense. I love her dearly, but we do better at a distance and we both know it. Even with nearly 400mi in between us sometimes things still get tense.

Back to the maternity fair… hopefully I will soon be doing training/educating with some local breastfeeding counselors as well as a local hospital’s L&D staff. I also managed to meet & greet with some local doulas and ran into an old college friend who is a child photographer now. Pretty cool! (We last ran into each other here when my husband and I were just getting ready to move to SC so it’s been awhile!)

I gotta run, it’s 40 minutes into the meeting, I’m still solo, and I have some specific projects I would really like to get done this evening if no one shows up.

Remember… if you are suffering from PPD:

You are not alone

You are not to blame

You will be well with help!

The Invisible Woman

My mom emailed me the following story and I feel compelled to share it as it is quite meaningful:

Perspective: The Invisible Woman

It started to happen gradually. One day I was walking my son Jake to school.  I was holding his hand, and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, “Who is that with you, young fella?”

“Nobody,” he shrugged.

Nobody?  The crossing guard and I laughed.  My son is only 5, but as we crossed the street I thought, “Oh my goodness, nobody?”

I would walk into a room and no one would notice.  I would say something to my family—like “Turn the TV down, please” – and nothing would happen.  Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote.  I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, “Would someone turn the TV down?”  Nothing.

Just the other night my husband and I were out at a party.  We’d been there for about three hours and I was ready to leave.  I noticed he was talking to a friend from work.  So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I whispered, “I’m ready to go when you are.”  He just kept right on talking.

I’m invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.  Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?”  Obviously not.  No one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I’m invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more:  Can you fix this? Can you tie this?  Can you open this?

Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being.  I’m a clock to ask, “What time is it?”  I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?”  I’m a car to order, “Right around 5:30, please.”

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude—but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She’s going¸ she’s going¸ she’s gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England.  Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in.  I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well.  It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean.  My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it.  I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, “I brought you this.”

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe.  I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription:  “To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”

In the days ahead I would read—no, devour—the book.  And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

·         No one can say who built the great cathedrals—we have no record of their names.

·         These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

·         They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

·         The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam.  He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof?  No one will ever see it.”

And the workman replied, “Because God sees.”

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.  It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you, Charlotte.  I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.  No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.”

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction.  But it is not a disease that is erasing my life.  It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness.  It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder.  As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.  The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself.  I just
want him to want to come home.  And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, “You’re gonna love it there.”

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals.  We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right.  And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Top 10: Parenting advice you don’t get while pregnant

10. Listening to a baby scream can become your new pet peeve.

9. If you breastfeed, your sweet innocent baby will eventually bite. And that hurts.

8. Sleep will become a distant dream. And most likely interrupted by your infant screaming or your toddler trying to put a PB&J sandwich in the DVD player.

7. You will no longer have privacy when you go to the bathroom. No, you will have the pleasure of someone always there, watching you do your “business”. (And eventually, your toddler may cheer for you when you DO go!)

6. Poop smeared on walls is not funny especially if it’s your kid and YOU have to clean it up.

5. One single parenting book will never apply completely to YOUR kid.

4. If you’re not good at quick thinking, you have until your kid starts talking to perfect the art. Once the questions start, they don’t ever stop.

3. You think strangers touching your belly was rough? Wait until they start oohing and ahhhing over the baby and POKING. (and yes, they will do this even if the baby is asleep!)

2. Unsolicited advice will be received almost every single time you’re in public. There’s nothing you can do to stop the stream of suggestions either. I suggest practicing retorts at home. Even if you don’t use them, it’s a good way to release!

1. Speaking of release, the last but final thing no one tells you is that once you become  a parent, your biggest decision of the week will be whether or not to jump on the saddle for a wild ride or under the covers for a good snooze.

Strange Dreams

Most women who have been pregnant are familiar with the vivid dreams that come along as part of the territory. The first time I had a vivid dream, it scared me quite a bit. Now, I’ve learned to expect them but they still surprise me occasionally. Last night was one of those nights. I can’t even tell you what the dream was about because it was so jumbled… but it was a WEIRD one, I can tell you that much. I woke up in the middle of the dream and realized I really did have to go to the bathroom. At least I woke up, right?? :-)

I have been physically sore the past few days – my upper back, neck, and shoulders have all been killing me. I worked my butt off this past weekend cleaning the house and I think I overworked myself. I’m also horribly out of alignment in the pelvic area and can’t quite get it to re-align.  I have PT on Monday – you better BELIEVE I’m looking forward to that. And normally I would take a hot bath, but um, the high temps here in GA have been in the low 100’s and our back porch (where the bathroom is) has no AC. I think a hot bath back there might do more damage than good to my already ravaged pregnant body. (And just an FYI,  it’s nearly 10a here and already 86 degrees)

On a funny note, Alli stood and shouted at my stomach this morning … “GOOD MORNING CAMERON!” I laughed.

And upon being licked by the dog, she promptly wiped it off and said, “Dog spit! GROSS!” I laughed again.

Charlotte was full of kisses this morning and has officially learned the sign for “Thank you” and used it whenever I would put her sippy cup back down on the tray. She sits in my lap when she eats her meals. It’s my way of bonding with her because we weren’t able to bond via breastfeeding. Her EI therapist comes today and I’m looking forward to the visit, if for no other reason than to tell her that Charlotte now has two signs! It does get frustrating to not really have her talking yet but she is great at communicating her needs. If only she could learn words! Still, she is doing things in her time, and I have certainly learned the meaning of patience from her.