Month: August 2015

Listeria “Mysteria” & Pregnancy


OB/GYN – “So now that you’re pregnant, you should stay away from alcohol, illicit drugs, caffeine, swordfish or tilefish, raw fish sushi, cigarettes, deli meats and soft cheeses… gain 25-35 lbs throughout your last two trimesters, try to eat healthy, exercise regularly, take a folic acid supplement, also a DHA/Fish oil supplement, a prenatal vitamin, ….”

Newly Pregnant Woman – “Sure, yeah, ok, got it” 

Somewhere along that whole spiel of overwhelming information, the deli meats and soft cheeses point may have been lost. Sound familiar?

I mentioned in this week’s WSDW post that I was considering writing about listeria poisoning (& its relevancy with pregnancy precautions) because of a family friend who recently died of listeria poisoning. If you want to read about it, the FDA recall of his suspected exposures is described here. It’s been an extremely awful and painfully devastating experience that this family has been through. And who would’ve even guessed that it could come from a popular ice cream distributor that sells to nursing homes, hospitals, and schools? It’s absolutely frightening. Mom and Dad, this post is dedicated to you. 

So let’s talk listeria. Continue reading

#SummerofDad 14: (Almost) Everything I Learned in the Last 12 Weeks

Gabe and I will see you a little further down the line!

Gabe and I will see you a little further down the line!

And the last installment of #SoD finds me posting from my actual home, in Baltimore, after driving ~3,300 miles and flying cross-country to Seattle and back all in 12 short-but-sometimes-long weeks. All told, Gabe and I visited or traveled through nine states (Maryland, Delaware, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, and Washington). What’s odd though, is that on Wednesday I was relieved of the primary parenting duty and I’ve gone primary-parenting cold turkey. (Jenny and Gabe stayed in New York,  as I had school meetings on Wednesday and Thursday). Some observations about going cold turkey:

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What’s She Doing Wednesday: What’s She NOT Doing?

IMG_9142It’s so hard to keep track of all the new things Jia’s learned and done over the past week or so. I barely have any time to write it down somewhere before we are off tempering a tantrum or figuring out where in our new neighborhood we should explore next. Since #SummerofDad is coming to an end soon, I really am going to have to step up my blog game and get back into the groove of doing some real posts here.

A (non pregnant, non female) family friend recently died of Listeria poisoning so I was considering writing about pregnancy and listeria warnings, but I am also considering a post about the hormonal triggers for pregnancy cravings, the physiological readiness of potty training, the link between otitis media and pacifier use, and a couple other interesting topics. Let me know if you lean one way or another. All I can say is, let’s not get into a controversial topic this time! Continue reading

#SummerofDad 13: Coming in Loud and Clear

Rrrraaaaaaawwwwwwrrrr! (Photo credit: Julie Miesionczek)

Rrrraaaaaaawwwwwwrrrr! (Photo credit: Julie Miesionczek)

Week 13 finds us in Seattle, staying amongst family and long-time friends, at the tail end of our summer-long trek. We’re here for another couple of days, enjoying the Pacific Northwest’s amazing sunny, cool summer. For touring, we’ve been to Discovery Park, Pike Place Market, the Chihuly Art Museum and the Central branch of the Seattle Public Library—all of which are great (except that Pike Place Market, which was a bit infested with tourists at the moment, but is probably great on a grey October day).

In the world of Gabe, you don’t have to be his primary parent to know that this is the week that he discovered his voice. And that he can be loud. And soft. But mostly loud. Fun!

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What’s She Doing Wednesday: Greetings from Sunny CA!


Lined up duckies: Jia duck, Daddy Duck, and Mommy Duck

Sorry for the delay, we just got internet up and running today. 

We have packed up our cozy 4000+ sq foot home in Maryland, traveled 3000+ miles to California, unpacked, re-organized, and gotten “comfortable” in a short 6 days! It seems like it should’ve felt like a whirlwind, but really it feels like it has been a steady pace of chaos. I don’t even know where to begin this post, but basically we are living in Torrance, CA with a 1 mile trek to the beach (plus about 5 blocks of walking to the beach access) and have found ourselves in a really great apartment complex that is smack dab in what I feel is the best spot in the neighborhood. I’m sure there are plenty of neighborhoods in Torrance, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Hermosa Beach that feel similarly, but I’m really pretty happy with where we ended up. One block away is a big playground and even bigger park with a public library right next to it, a grocery store, pharmacy, and even about a half mile walk away are a bunch of restaurants and quick food spots. There’s some healthy hippie salad/smoothie joint I am eager to check out eventually. Why Torrance? The school district. And prices are reasonable considering it is in a great school district.  Continue reading

#SummerofDad Week 12: A Week of Many Surprises


Gabe manages to spread his food everywhere. Notice the lack of rice on his face.

Gabe manages to spread his food everywhere. Notice the lack of rice on his face.

Greetings from Leavenworth, WA, for those of you keeping track of our whereabouts on your Rand McNally US Atlas and/or Google Map. It’s a quaint, German-themed touristy town about two-ish hours East of Seattle, nestled in a small valley in the Cascades. It’s gorgeous and warm (highs in the 90s-100s). We’re at another theater-based retreat, on the grounds of the lovely Icicle Creek Center for the Arts. Unfortunately, I have little or no babysitting help out here, so I am the de facto parent all day. And this week Gabe has made some spectacular developmental leaps—mostly in the psychological sphere.

And by “psychological sphere,” I mean he’s either been deliberately sabotaging my efforts to keep things somewhat clean/orderly or he’s really hitting his stride as a toddler. I think, based on the smirk and twinkle in his eyes and the cackling laugh, it’s the former and not the ladder. Also, I’m basing this on the fact that he’s now got some opinions and is being “difficult” at times, generally about what he wants to eat and when. The answer to this week’s question What does Gabe want to eat? is: berries. Of only the blue-, straw-, or rasp- varieties. And everything else might as well be poison or a toy. In any case, these two facts point to what I’m fairly sure is a growing craftiness of the practical joke variety—which I would normally wholeheartedly endorse. But it’s been a long week and it’s only Friday. How long of a week?

Here’s an incomplete list of Gabe’s exploits in the last 24-hours, complete with attempted silver linings:

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#SummerofDad Week 11: Small Moments and Part 2 of an Interview with Ben Bui, SAHD

Gabe enjoying some fresh-picked, Maine raspberries.

Gabe enjoying some fresh-picked, Maine raspberries.

We wrapped up a week at the Jenny’s parent’s house, sadly departing our lovely lakeside retreat in Maine. Which is all to say, we’re on the road again, this time to NYC and then Seattle for almost two weeks. But the time in Maine was relaxing, as Gabe’s schedule was split between three adults (a great ratio for childcare), and I reflected a bit on my time being the primary parent.

One of the best parts about being the primary parent is that you get to witness, and sometime be the agent of, the small changes in your child’s behaviors and actions. They might start using a spoon as a tool (like, to eat) instead a toy (like, a yogurt catapult). Or maybe they learn to close a door or can identify their head (shoulders, knees, and/or toes).

And for some reason, I really love these small moments. I find them precious. And I mean “precious” in the literal meaning, “of great value,” not like how some creepy adults say it, He’s just so precious!, with its Gollem-like undertone of I’m-going-to-steal-your-baby-now. In any case, these small moments are the most special to me because they’re all around and constantly happening with young kids, if you keep your eyes open. The problem is that they’re so fleeting and near impossible to grasp and hold on to in any meaningful way.

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