Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Junie B. Jones and a lesson in parenting.

I was quite bothered this morning. Kat was trying to sound out the word: brains. Then I heard her say something about bashing brains. And then fist was being thrown into the mix. I'm thinking to myself...WTF?? She says it's her Junie B. Jones book she had gotten from Adora. I started reading, trying to figure out what was going on in this book. This all happened while we were getting out of the car for daycare. I did take the book in question with me to work...so I could do some "research". Below is my post in the Parent Forum:

"How'd you like me to bash your brains in, you 09/26 08:42:28

Ummm, this is a sentence in my daughters Junie B. Jones book. "Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth"
I don't care for this language but what do I do? Not let her read it? Is it that big of a deal?

What are your thoughts?????

I got some interesting feedback. http://forums.craigslist.org/?ID=49841718

"Talk about what she is reading. Ask her 09/26 08:48:13

if she feels what that person said was nice or right. Ask her if she has said anything like that to anyone or if anyone has ever said anything like that to her. Ask her how she thinks if feels to both say something like that and to have it said to her. Books with themes or dialog that make us uncomfortable are great jumping off points for conversations with our kids."

Duh, why didn't I think of that?? I ALWAYS seek different perspectives. Always.

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Monday, September 25, 2006


This article is from ParentCenter.com

Do I really need to worry about pesticide residues in the foods my preschooler eats?
Yes. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of your preschooler's diet, and pesticide residues are often found on produce. Pesticides help make groceries more affordable by saving crops from damaging pests. But research shows that pesticides contribute to some cancers and respiratory illnesses. Animal testing also indicates that pesticides can cause permanent changes in brain chemistry that may lead to anything from behavioral disorders to learning disabilities to long-term damage to the brain and nervous system. Pesticides may also block a child's absorption of nutrients that are important for healthy growth and development.

Young children may be especially vulnerable to pesticides because their organs and nervous system are at a crucial stage of development, because they may absorb pesticides more easily and break them down less easily, and because they eat more food relative to their body weight than adults.

Aren't there regulations that protect my preschooler from pesticides in foods?
In the United States, there are regulations that intend to do that. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets limits on how much pesticide may be used on crops — based on how toxic the particular pesticide is, how much pesticide is left on the crop (residue), and how much of the crop a person is likely to eat. In 1996, the Food Quality Protection Act tightened food safety laws by requiring that the residue levels of pesticides be safe for infants and children, taking into account children's special sensitivity to pesticides.

While these regulations have been gradually eliminating use of some of the worst pesticides, more remain, and tests have found that some produce contains high levels of dangerous pesticides that have long been banned in the United States but are still in the soil. Even though farmers are no longer actively using the pesticides, when they plant in contaminated soils they often end up with contaminated produce.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, more than half the produce currently tested is free of measurable residues of pesticides. But that leaves plenty of produce that isn't. Besides, the testing isn't yet complete.

So should I cut down on the fruits and vegetables I feed my preschooler?
No, don't avoid produce out of fear of pesticides. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet for your child. And there are things you can do to reduce the amount of pesticides your preschooler consumes without reducing the produce in his diet.

Which foods are most likely to contain high levels of pesticide residues? Are any foods safe?
Consumers Union, an independent, nonprofit testing and information organization based in New York, has rated various foods based on the frequency of pesticide detection on a crop, the levels of residues, and the relative toxicity of the residues. By rating them on a scale on which a score of over 100 is considered grounds for concern, they've provided consumers with a meaningful way to choose safer foods for their children.

According to their analysis, the foods with the highest pesticide residue scores are:

# Fresh peaches (U.S.)
# Winter squash (U.S., fresh and frozen)
# Strawberries
# Grapes (from anywhere but Mexico)
# Spinach (fresh and canned)
# Apples
# Green beans (fresh U.S.; canned and frozen from anywhere)
# Pears
# Cantaloupe
# Tomatoes
# Potatoes

Even if you don't eat the peel (of a cantaloupe, for example), you don't necessarily remove all the pesticides. That's because dieldrin, an especially toxic insecticide that was banned years ago, persists in the soil and is absorbed through the roots and into the flesh of produce from the melon and squash family.

The foods that got the lowest pesticide residue scores are:

# Milk
# Corn (canned and frozen)
# Broccoli (from the U.S.)
# Winter squash (from Honduras or Mexico)
# Orange juice
# Bananas
# Canned peaches
# Peas
# Grapes (from Mexico)
# Fresh green beans (from Mexico)
# Single-serving pears (from Chile)
# Apple juice
# Grape juice

Why do fresh peaches get a caution if canned peaches get a green light? Processing a food (making it into juice and/or canning it, for example) sometimes makes it a lot safer to eat. That's because foods grown for processing don't need to be cosmetically appealing, so they normally aren't sprayed as much just before harvest. This gives more time for the residues that do remain to break down into safer components before the product reaches the market. Also, when foods are processed, they're often peeled, washed, or heated, which removes a lot of the pesticide residues.

What can I do to protect my preschooler from pesticides in food?

These simple steps can greatly cut the amount of pesticides your family consumes:

• Peel fruits and vegetables, or remove the outer leaves (on lettuce and cabbage, for example).

• Wash fruits and vegetables that you choose not to peel, using a produce wash product.

• Serve a wide variety of produce. This will limit repeated consumption of the same pesticide.

• Choose produce that's free of mold, bruises and decay (these are likely to harbor more pesticides).

• Trim the fat off meat and the skin off poultry. Pesticides are also found in these foods, and they're concentrated in the fatty parts and skin.

• Buy organic produce, especially when buying foods in the higher-risk category, like cantaloupe, winter squash, green beans, strawberries, pears, or tomatoes. According to Consumer's Union, children who eat non-organic tomatoes, strawberries, pears, green beans, or winter squash have odds ranging from 2 to 66 percent of getting more than a safe dose of at least one pesticide.

Is organic produce really worth the price difference?

You decide. A 2003 University of Washington study found that children who ate a diet of organic food had a level of pesticides in their bodies that was six times lower than children who ate a diet of conventionally produced food. And even if you're not convinced of the dangers of pesticides, you may want to consider the benefits of organic foods for your child. A 2003 study at the University of California at Davis found that organic fruit has up to 58 percent more antioxidants (which may help prevent heart disease and cancer) than non-organic fruit.

If you love puttering in the garden, you might consider growing some of your own organic fruits and vegetables. Or look for organic growers at a local farmer's market, farm stand, or food cooperative. Many grocery stores now have organic produce sections, too.

If you like the idea of fresh produce from the garden, buy locally grown fruits and veggies. Produce grown far away requires after-harvest pesticides and waxes to help it survive the long trip. And produce that has to travel is often picked before ripening, which decreases flavor as well as nutrients. It's wonderful to buy avocados, lettuce and tomatoes in the dead of winter, but keep in mind that food grown out of season usually comes from another hemisphere. So consider buying out-of-season produce in the organic section as well, or make sure you know which countries have lower pesticide residues.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Where were you?

  • Citymama, Thank You.

  • Where Were You

    Alan Jackson

    Where were you when the world stopped turnin'
    that September day?
    Out in the yard with your wife and children;
    Or working on some stage in L.A.?
    Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
    Rising against that blue sky?
    Did you shout out in anger in fear for your neighbor
    Or did you just sit down and cry?

    Did you weep for the children
    that lost their dear loved ones?
    Did you pray for the ones who don't know?
    Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
    and sob for the ones left below?
    Did you burst out in pride for the red white and blue
    And the heroes who died just doin' what they do?
    Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer?
    And look at yourself for what really matters?

    I'm just a singer of simple songs;
    I'm not a real political man
    I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference
    in Iraq and Iran
    But I know Jesus and I talk to God
    And I remember this from when I was young
    Faith, Hope and Love are some good things He gave us
    And the greatest is Love.

    Where were you when the world stopped turning
    That September day?
    Teaching a class full of innocent children;
    Driving down some cold interstate?
    Did you feel guilty 'cause you're a survivor
    in a crowded room did you feel alone?
    Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her?
    Did you dust off that bible at home?

    Did you open your eyes hope it never happened;
    And close your eyes and not go to sleep?
    Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages;
    Or speak to some stranger on the street?
    Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow;
    Go out and buy you a gun?
    Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watchin'
    And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns?

    Did you go to a church and hold hands with some strangers?
    Stand in line and give your own blood?
    Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
    Thank God you had somebody to love?

    I'm just a singer of simple songs;
    I'm not a real political man
    I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference
    in Iraq and Iran
    But I know Jesus and I talk to God
    And I remember this from when I was young
    Faith, Hope and Love are some good things He gave us
    And the greatest is Love.

    I'm just a singer of simple songs;
    I'm not a real political man
    I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference
    in Iraq and Iran
    But I know Jesus and I talk to God
    And I remember this from when I was young
    Faith, Hope and Love are some good things He gave us
    And the greatest is Love.
    And the greatest is Love.
    And the greatest is Love.

    Where were you when the world stopped turnin'
    that September day?

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