Kids Can’t Identify Tomatoes

This is a serious problem in America. This isn’t about mass farming versus local farming. This isn’t about organic versus traditional.

I could go on for days and days about those topics.

But this isn’t about that.

This about kids being so out of touch with food; so removed from the entire process.

It doesn’t matter if you work minimum wage for your entire career. It doesn’t matter if you have a personal chef. Everyone in this country, regardless of education, economic status, or anything else–everyone, should know how to identify the ingredients their food. They should know what they look like, where they come from, and how to cook them a differently.

I’m not saying no processed foods ever. I’m not saying if you can’t pronounce don’t eat it (I have a minor in chemistry, you’d be surprised what I can pronounce). What I’m saying is there are sometimes foods and their are everyday foods.

You, and your kids, should know what everyday foods look like, how to cook them, how to buy them, and mostly, you should be eating them.

Watch this video from TEDPrize winner Jamie Oliver and when the kids don’t know what a tomato is, you should either be horrified or disgusted. Personally, I was both.

Mail Order Disease

Sometimes a story so shocking comes along, I have to share it.  Usually, it’s a case of good shocking. This time, it’s a case of oh-my-gosh-what-are-they-doing shocking.

Pox parties; you may have heard of such a thing. Parents get kids together to play with one another when someone in the group has chicken pox. Chickenpox can be a pretty nasty disease–particularly in adults, but is usually not too bad in children. In fact, for many, it seemed a right of passage to get the pox and the associated fever.  I remember my case of chicken pox, despite it being maybe 25 years ago.

The idea of the pox party is that all kids in a group get chicken pox at the same time, and by getting it as children, they don’t face the wrath that comes with pox in adults. It’s not a bad idea in theory, but we’re not talking about giving everyone soda at the same time so they all crash and take a nap together. We’re talking about an extremely contagious disease being forced upon kids by their parents. If this doesn’t scream human rights violation, I don’t know what does.

Now, what happens when parents don’t know someone with chickenpox? It seems some moms have been linking up through Facebook to find pox across the country. Live disease is being sent through the mail to moms. Of course, not only does no one know the viral load being sent, since these are strangers even the disease itself can’t always be known or trusted. Parents unknowingly getting hepatitis or meningitis through the mail and giving it to their children is just around the corner.

The biggest kicker here: there’s a vaccine for chickenpox. That’s right, a safe and effective way to build immunity to chickenpox is a doctor’s visit away.

What these parents are doing is dangerous, not based on facts, and most likely illegal.

Read more at Mike the Mad Biologist (PG-13 for language) and Aetiology (includes video)

A Little Flicker

Yesterday (not really–at the end of July), we went in for our first ultra-sound. They stuck the thing up there and we saw AmoebaJr. He/She was smaller than they expected–because if you don’t know, they measure a pregnancy by weeks since the beginning of the last cycle. This is because most people don’t know the date of conception. We could see a little flicker on the screen–the heartbeat. The ultrasound tech was able to isolate the heartbeat aurally. 107 bpm. We’re told this is good for the age of the critter but that it will increase as AmoebaJr grows. A couple of printouts later, we go in for “education.” Of course, we’ve been trying to conceive so diet, exercise, medicines–all that–we already have figured out. After we got home and had some dinner, it was time to make a phone call. To the only family members we could trust to keep their mouth shut and the info off of Facebook. The ones that really, really wanted us to have kids but weren’t going to push it, because they’d been there themselves.  Needless to say, they were quite excited. Then today (not really, again), I found out one of my twitter buddies is expecting as well. It’s her second and our first, but we’re due right around the same time. Isn’t that kind of exciting?

Making Babies

This post was written 8 months before we actually made a baby. I anticipated getting pregnant right out of the gate. Not wanting to keep the beautiful flashback from you, I present the story as I wrote it originally.

I’ve been told that the best part of having kids is making them.  I have to admit, there are worse ways to spend 37 seconds an evening.  It’s rare when parents can plan and anticipate making a baby.  MrsAmoebaMike and I have been pretty lucky and between that and some smart decisions on our part, I’m sitting here in early October writing about making babies before I know if one’s been made.

Yesterday we performed an action that may–or may not–have resulted in conception of AmoebaJr.  Planning started a while ago, though.  Here are the highlights…

[[hazy flashback sequence]]

GYN: *excited we’re talking about pregnancy* Have sex every other day from day 10 to day 20 in your cycle.

One of and/or both of us: Okay!

Allergist: You should really be at maintenance dose before you get pregnant.

Mrs AmoebaMike: *counts shots out on calendar*

[[fast forward to late September]]

Mrs AmoebaMike: I’m at maintenance!  This is my last pack of pills. *counts to day 10 of cycle*

[[end flashback]]

So yesterday was day 10 of cycle 1 off pills. *yada yada yada* And now we play the waiting game.  Actually before that, we need to have sex a few more times.  You know, in the interest of doing a thorough job.

Does anyone have any good stories regarding conception and/or finding out about a pregnancy that don’t involve threats or tears of sadness?

Here’s a pregnancy announcement I like: i am… with a nice follow-up. Your turn to share.

How I Found Out

Now that I’ve made the announcement, you want the story.

I was awakened by my wife, which is not uncommon for a weekend morning–I like to sleep. :)

I was still pretty much asleep when she said something like “How’s my daddy-to-be this morning?” That’ll wake you up!

Good news is that we were trying, so I knew it was coming. It wasn’t a shock.

But I believe my response was “I need to go back to sleep.”

lol

That was too big of a life changing moment to process in my state of wake.

Well, that was it. No big show or production. No crying. No yelling. No, “are you sure?”

There’s something to be said for expected pregnancy.

It was a relief in that Mrs AmoebaMike got what she’s been waiting for.

The due date will be shortly after my birthday and unless anyone in the family has a secret they need to share, this will be the first grandkid on my parents’ side and Mrs AmoebaMike’s dad’s side.  Also, the first great-grandkid on my dad’s side and Mrs AmoebaMike’s dad’s side.

The Day The World Changed

You didn’t realize it, but the world changed on July 16th. It changed for me, anyway. You could say my world changed, but that wouldn’t be enough.  I just finished watching Jurassic Park and Dr Ian Malcolm, played by (pause) the, (long pause) um, (pause) the great (long pause) Jeff Goldblum, explained the butterfly effect. According to this idea, it could have been anything that sparked this turn of events.

Back to the Future‘s alternate 1985 Biff-controls-Hill-Valley, or Mr Destiny’s strikeout-turned-homerun, or any of a dozen other scenarios played out in Hollywood, describe this day.

Flux CapacitorI have done it.

I was standing on my toilet, and I was hanging a clock, and I fell, and I hit my head on the sink. And that’s when I came up with the idea for the Flux Capacitor…

…which is what makes time travel possible.

I put it in a DeLorean. I figured if you’re going to build a time machine, why not do it with a little style?

But it doesn’t run on regular unleaded. It needs something with a little more kick–plutonium! Which, I’m sure will soon be available at the corner grocery store, but is currently a little hard to come by.

…Oh, wait that’s not it. We have an AmoebaJr on the way!

That’s big news. In addition to the 2 furry critters we currently take care of, and the worms that eat our vegetable scraps, and the birds I feed in my backyard, we’ll have our own little bundle.

Amoebette or AmoebaJr?

AmoebaJr rolls off the tongue better, so I think I’ll stick with that for a while. At some point, we’ll know the actual gender, but it’s really pretty inconsequential for now.

Well, since I had to get the plutonium from some Libyans by promising to build them a bomb, and I instead gave them a case of old pinball machine parts, I imagine they’ll start looking for me soon. I better go for now.

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