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Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
click the volcano for the due explanation
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." — Gordon B. Hinckley
Exaggeration is the spice of life

Book I am Currently Reading: Peter and The Shadow Thief

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Feel Good Friday, Letters Of Intent, and a new development.

This is the explanation of my Letters From Listeria, and is NOT my most current post on it, which happens every Thursday. Please feel free to grab my Letters From Listeria button at the left of the screen to share in the joy of pregnancy sarcasm, and then don't forget to click on my header to refresh my blog and get to the newest installment of Letters From Listeria.

First, The New Development:

Love Letters From Listeria

(Look for this on Thursdays)
Yes, this IS in fact a sick joke. Many women who read this may be appalled. Especially pregnant women who were told by their doctors or the all-knowing women they have met on their birth boards to stay away from anything that can possibly cause Listeria.
What is Listeria? The tag on my delightful little Giant Microbe states:

Facts: In 1867, English surgeon Joseph Lister published a scientific paper proposing that his fellow surgeons clean their hands and instruments before operating on patients. While overcoming scientific skepticism regarding novel ideas can sometimes be challenging, when post-surgical infection rates took a nosedive, Lister was vindicated.

In 1927, on tthe 100th anniversary of Lister's birth, scientist Harvey Pirie was looking for a name for a food-borne bacterium he had isolated from a dead gerbil found in South Africa. As Lister had also had an interest in the isolation and growing of microorganisms, Pirie chose to honor the bacteria, and Lister, with the name Listeria monocytogenes.

In addition to dead gerbils, Listeria can be found in raw meats and vegetables, unpasteurized dairy products, and processed meats like hot dogs and cold cuts.

While everyone is vulnerable to Listeria, the consequences are particularly dire for pregnant women and their unborn children: if Listeria spreads from mother to fetus, it is fatal to the baby 20 percent of the time. (For other with weakened immune systems, Listeria is fatal in one of every four cases.)

the best way to avoid the bacterium is to make like Lister and keep things clean. Cooks should wash their hands and cooking instruments carefully before operating. And at -risk individuals should monitor their diets for at-risk foods.

And after the meal, you might try a little oral hygiene: the mouthwash Listerine was named for D. Lister in 1879.

So, why in the world am I, a pregnant woman, joking about this?

Well, to be very honest, it's a long story that spans the last 4 months of my life, in and out of morning sickness, absolute exhaustion, violent bouts of dramatic eruption between those who claim to be "No Drama Mamas" and the "Drama Mamas" about cupcakes, pies and rainbow pissing unicorns on my own birth board. (You all know how I feel about birth boards. But I can't help it. It's a train wreck I can't avoid. Blood and guts everywhere. Very disturbing. And I can't break away.)

For the most part, it really just started out with so many of us being told that we, essentially, can't eat ANYTHING for fear of food borne diseases. No, I mean for real.

A list of things that we can't eat because it MIGHT contain listeria:

Lunch meat (gung ho mamas say it's okay if heated to steaming, but for reals, who wants to eat nice crunchy lettuce and tomatoes on a steaming heap of greasy turkey?)


Sunny Side Up Eggs

Raw Veggies- including salads

Hot dogs

Rare steaks

Soft Cheeses


Soft Serve Ice Cream (which, since it is due to the possible lack of cleanliness in the machine also includes fountain drinks, Slurpee machines and other such situations.)

Okay, that's really a lot of things to have to avoid. On top of that, there's a new thread on the forum every single day about something that isn't safe- for example, today's bigge: Ice burg lettuce. really? I mean, maybe Ice burg lettuce doesn't have the kind of nutrients Romaine lettuce has, but aren't there worse things I could be stuffing my face with? Like Ramen noodles, or frozen prepared meals (two of the other things on the latest list along with the ice burg lettuce.)

And don't even get me started on the number of women who insist that any mother who drinks a can of caffinated soda is going to give birth to a child with an opposable tail, crossed eyes and bat teeth, or that having even one tunafish sandwich will give them Mercury poisoning and make them miscarry their baby. OH! Never forget the whole group of them that are honestly convinced that the ingredients in SKITTLES CANDY causes Autism. Yes. That logic is so perfectly sound. (Insert irritated eye roll here.)

The point is, the list is endless. We are constantly told that we are to eat double what our bodies are physically capable of holding at any given time because we are eating for two, and we need proper nutrients to grow our little parasites, while in the same sentence, we are given a list that eliminates anything that might be even remotely healthy or available for us to eat. Not only can we not eat a fresh salad, but we need to stay away from frozen foods, sugars and salts.

Looks like bread and water are the only things on the menu. (unless you have a problem with glucose, in which case, you may fill your belly with water only.)

And all it took was one thread full of pictures of pie, cookies and cupcakes for some smart alec to make the remark that we should be careful because cupcake batter will give us listeria (raw eggs) which turned into cupcakes giving us listeria, which turned into listeria being a hilarious, overused, under appreciated and severely denied possibility in our pregnancies.

Yes, I was involved. Yes, i think it's devastatingly hysterical. I won't deny it.

In fact, even Brandon is involved, and he isn't even ON the birth board- though he IS subject to having to listen to everything i find funny, debatable, stupid, uneducated, dimwitted, or far to serious to contemplate on my own.

The story is wonderful, actually. Brandon came across a website called where you can buy cute little plush germs that look just like the real thing. (My favorite, by the way, is the chickenpox one.) So, being the wonderful, involved, supportive hubby he is, he ordered me a stuffed listeria germ, thus proving that he does, in fact, listen to what I ramble off in reference to my pregnancy and my birth board.

For the record, I am careful about my lunch meat and cannot resist a subway on occasion. But I don't eat it regularly. I don't eat soft cheeses, and hot dogs are only a problem if they're not cooked. But I'm not going to cook my salad. I mean, really. what are our options if everything healthy contains a possibility of listeria?

When it comes down to it, about 2500 people in the US catch listeria per year. Out of those cases, about 500 of them are pregnant women. Yes, that's 1/4, which is high in THAT scheme of things, but when you take into account the fact that, in the US, somewhere over FOUR MILLION babies are born PER YEAR, 500 cases of pregnant women having listeria is really LESS THAN MINUSCULE.

It's a scare tactic, and we're tired of it.

So, in honor of my delightful, spunky, and ridiculously entertaining friends on the Due In January 2011 Baby Center Birth Board, I give you

"Love Letters from Listeria", where our dear friend Lister the plush Listeriosis will write us letters about all the delicious things he is infiltrating.

Enjoy friends!!!!


1. Today, I'm feeling good. And that's that. I mean, after 4 months of morning sickness and severe exhaustion, that's saying something.

2. My daughter (scarlet...did you need to ask?) swallowed a penny yesterday...and didn't choke on it and die, by the grace of God. (Yet another patch of gray hair)

3. My cute puppy, Molly, our new little black lab, is doing SO WELL! When we got her, a lot of people warned me that she'd be a hyper, naughty, chewing thing for 2 years...and THEN she'd be the best dog we'd ever have. But she's not all that hyper, and she has an excellent grip on which toys are hers and which toys are the kids. I also think Hunter is a mellowing influence on her. Apparently, even with dogs, peer influence is priceless.

4. I can feel the baby move. It's my little rock star.

5. I have fallen in love with The Office. I love Jim and Pam. I love Phyllis. Michael makes me want to throw up with every racist, bigoted, sexist comment he makes. At first, it horrified me. And now, I can't miss it. Yes, I know they're reruns, and not in any particular order. But I love it nonetheless.

Foursons src="">

Dear Health Guy On TV.

I did not watch much of your show, but I simply HAVE to address the part I did see.

You stated that studies show that children who are given any kind of sugar every day demonstrate more violent tendencies when they become older.

Forgive me when I call your bluff on this one. I really would like to know where you got your "study" from. Really, in order to find any kind of outcome for the idea that children who eat sugar may or may not be violent as adults, one would require a fairly detailed and extensive study on a vast group of continuous and permanent subjects. Somehow I doubt that this happened, and if it did, I'd love to know exactly where you found the 5 children in the WORLD who have never had sugar and were able to study them in a valid, controlled way in comparison to other children who DID eat sugar on any given basis. And that's the real reason I don't think this statement is valid in any way. How could there possibly be a valid study about this?

I'm all for healthy eating. And no, I'm not perfect. But my kids get their fruits and veggies and while they do get candy, they don't gorge themselves, and are very healthy. They're not violent either. But then, I feel that that has more to do with environment and parenting than it does with sugar. (Not that I'm denying sugar's involvement with behavior AT ALL, just not to the extent you imply.)

Anyway, maybe I'm sensitive, though, why this would really matter, I don't know. It's just really irritating to hear scare tactics that make no sense at all.



Cindermommy said...

I was drinking a diet coke one night in grad school when I was pregnant with my first child. Someone came up to me horrified, stating that she would surely be born blind. She was so freaked out that it freaked me out. Thankfully Savannah was born able to see- apparently a post-Diet soda miracle! =P

Foursons said...

Yeah, I'm not buying that study either. Seems a bit far-fetched to me.

Thanks for linking up!

Melanie said...

Considering the current existence of the human race, it may be possible that we've become just a little excessive on pregnancy concerns! LOL! Glad you're feeling better and I hope it continues. Thanks for linking up.

Melissa said...

It's my experience that children who do NOT have sugar are more violent! I know my daughter is when she wants a cookie and is told no! ; )

Glad you are feeling better! As a fellow preggie (I think we are due around the same time), I feel your listeria related pain. So far, I've had hot dogs, lunch meat, ice cream with raw eggs, salad, soda, and jalapeno ranch dip from Chuy's among other things I'm sure. I sure hope my baby looks cute with the prehensile tail!

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

What a fantastic post! I felt the same way about Michael in the Office when I first started watching too! Now I just shake my head and laugh.

OH and the listeria. That is so funny! People get really weird about that kind of stuff. I loved what you said!

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

Oh and we have a new black lab puppy too and she is SO good!!!!!

Stacey said...

Amen about a thousand times over!! I can't stand it when ladies on my pregnancy boards start listing all of the things you can't eat. According to that, all of my children should be mentally retarded with physical deformaties galore! Blah on them. If drinking a Pepsi gets me through the day, so be it!

And Amen again on the healthy guy. Seriously? Sugar makes violent kids? Maybe if that's all the eat EVER. Extremists drive me nuts!

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