Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day everyone

Has it been a whole year? I remember that last year I did an article on Memorial Day and it's history.
This year we had two family cookouts to attend. One was a birthday cookout, and the other one was a Memorial Day cookout. Here are some photos of the day's events.
<---Baby X just couldn't stay awake
There was a lot of jumping

<---Go Jenny!
The birthday boy

On another note, it's also time for T-ball and baseball again.
T-dogg started T-ball at last and she is proudly the only girl on her team.
Pink bat--check
Pink glove--check
My grandson is also playing and this year the coach (or pitching machine) is pitching to the batters and he has been getting those hits! Congrats on the good work, guys!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Another "switched at birth" story......

I just read a story about two women from Oregon who are now 56 years old. It seems that after they were born, nurses took them to bathe them; but they were returned to the wrong mothers.
Obviously, when people were born in the safety of their own homes, these errors couldn't take place. After women went to hospitals to have their babies, a lot more people were involved in their care and also the chances for slip ups increased.
My daughter was also switched in the hospital and although I protested, I also was "brushed off" by the nurses. This seems to be a recurring theme when hospitals are up against any questions of a mix-up.
It was January of 1975 and my daughter was born in Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, MA. We were in rooms with other moms and we were not afforded the privacy that hospitals routinely provide today. After spending time with your newborn, it was hospital policy that the babies were returned to the nursery where the nurses watched over them during the night.
Some relatives came to see my baby girl right away and saw the actual Lori. Other relatives came the next day and saw some other baby in her little clear plastic crib in the nursery. Some told me that she was almost the image of my first baby, all blonde and pink. I couldn't understand what was wrong with them. My new baby had dark hair and didn't look very much like my first one. Privately, I thought they were nuts!
Here's what happened: The mothers were encouraged to feed their babies in what was called the "rocking room" at that hospital at that time. It was a small room with rocking chairs where we fed our newborns and chatted. The first day, I sat next to a woman whose baby really looked familiar to me. She had blonde hair and it even swirled just like my son's hair had done. She really matched me. My baby had dark hair, dark eyebrows, and favored my husband. As we fed the babies we chatted and admired one another's baby. We both were very aware of how the babies looked.
The one safety factor at the time, was that after we were assembled in the rocking room, the nurses would walk up to us to hand us our baby and there was a requirement. You had to read off the number from your wrist band, and the nurse would then read off the wrist/ankle band from the baby in her arms. After they matched, she would hand the baby to you to feed. She would return later and take the baby in her arms and head back to the nursery, while the mothers would walk back to their hospital rooms. So, this woman and I had quite a chat and became familiar with the looks of both babies.
The next day when a feeding was due, the nurse came into the room with my baby, which I recognized immediately, and went over to the other mother. As I was saying "Hey, that is MY baby!" The nurse finished comparing wrist bands with the other mother, then left. A few minutes later she came back with the blonde baby, they read off the wristband numbers, and she placed the baby in the mother's arms. She returned again with my baby... this time, heading towards me. Of course, our wristbands matched. When I protested that she had tried to give MY baby to the other woman, her answer was, "We don't make mistakes like that here!" Oh yes, they did. Fortunately, the tags were secure on the little wrists. And fortunately, both mothers had been fully awake during the births and recognized their own babies. Can you imagine trying to protest and fight a hospital during that era with no DNA practices like they have today?
The Aha moment came when relatives came back to see baby Lori again and some saw the real baby Lori for the first time. During their previous visit, they had stood at the hospital nursery window and admired a little blonde girl who was sleeping in Lori's little crib, with all of Lori's information on it. Right crib, wrong baby. The switching occured late afternoon and the babies slept peacefully in the wrongly labeled cribs until feeding time the next morning. I explained the situation to the pediatrician and he believed me. He also noted a heart defect in my baby and kept her separate in an isolet which was maintained at a constant temperature and she stayed in that during nursery time.
The safeguards of the 70s seem sadly inadequate now, by today's standards. But can you imagine that there are even today, people in their 30s who may have been switched? Scary.
The Oregon women in today's news story have become friends; and both grew up in homes where they enjoyed their lives. They are mothers and grandmothers now. But they're not whom they were led to believe all of these years.

P.S. A few weeks ago, while I was babysitting my grandchildren, Markie asked me out of the blue, "Nana, do you think that God sends the right babies to the right families?" I didn't have to think twice. "Yes, I'm sure of it!" I answered.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Uniblogger's grandson.....It begins early.

First Communion at St. Andrew the Apostle Church

We found the right pew!------(left to right) Mark, baby Xander, Taylor, Uncle Chad, Auntie Jen, Grampa, Nana & Kellee

The sun broke through and we had to squint

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Cat Whisperer

I am somewhat of a self-proclaimed Cat Whisperer.
I watch that program on TV sometimes about the Dog Whisperer and I marvel at his understanding of those animals and how he seems to get them to do what he wants so easily.
Well, seriously, I have been "understanding" cats ever since I can remember. I swear I pick up their thoughts. A lot of their thoughts go something like this: "Can I have some of that? It smells good!" or "Huh? No, not the nail-clipping today, I said NO!"
I can also decipher what cats are saying to one another!

One of my cats, Tabby, who wants to be an only cat, just can't adjust to other people and cats. Let's see, she's lived here ...about 9 years now. When she sees one of the strays outside, looking in through the sliding glass doors, waiting for a meal, she hisses "Get LOST, LOSER!" at them and stomps away.
My other girl, Angel, who is such a kind soul, will whisper to them through the window: "Hi, Mom is getting the food. How's your sore ear/foot today? I'll come out to play in a few."

Well, anyhow, I thought that since I really understand cats and they really understand me, why not try to get them to pull their weight a little around here? I mean, I wouldn't ask them to go out and get a job or anything; but they could at least show some initiative with helping me.
Yesterday I answered the phone and it was for my husband, in another room. Look, people, it's not like we live in a 15,000 square foot home! I sweetly asked Tabby if she would take the phone to Daddy. She just blinked at me. Now, some people might mistake that for a regular, old-fashioned blink. But....Oh No...I could read that blink. She clearly refused, saying "Just how am I supposed to carry a phone into the next room for you?"
This is the same cat that sped through the house a few weeks ago, with my Coach sneaker. She was running and racing, and all I could see was a black blur with her. I said "What the heck is that on Tabby?" My husband told me that it was my shoe! How could that happen????
Somehow, in playing with my laces, one lace wrapped around either her tail, or her leg....I'm not sure. But she spent 5 minutes racing all over, and ended up hiding under my bed. That's where she and the shoelace separated for good.
Now, if a cat could carry/drag a shoe with her, why can't she take the phone to her father for me?

She said she just "didn't feel like it".