Saturday, January 26, 2008

Be careful eating fish when you are pregnant.

When I was pregnant with Thia, my doctor gave me this important information about mercury in fish and shellfish. I'd like to share it with you and hopefully it useful.

According to FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency):

Fish and shellfish are an important part of a healthy diet. Fish and shellfish contain high-quality protein and other essential nutrients, are low in saturated fat, and contain omega-3 fatty acids. However, nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury. Some fish and shellfish contain higher levels of mercury that may harm an unborn baby or young child developing nervous system.

- woman who might become pregnant
- woman who are pregnant
- nursing mothers
- young children

1. do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish.
2. do not eat more than 12 oz of total fish each week.
3. do not eat more than 6 oz of albacore white tuna per week.
4. eat fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury: shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish.

Here are the complete list of fish and shellfish and mercury contamination in them:


Enjoy these fish:

Crab (Domestic)
Croaker (Atlantic)
Haddock (Atlantic)*
Mackerel (N. Atlantic, Chub)
Perch (Ocean)
Salmon (Canned)**
Salmon (Fresh)**
Shad (American)
Sole (Pacific)
Squid (Calamari)
Trout (Freshwater)

Eat six servings or less per month:

Bass (Striped, Black)
Cod (Alaskan)*
Croaker (White Pacific)
Halibut (Atlantic)*
Halibut (Pacific)
Mahi Mahi
Perch (Freshwater)
Tuna (Canned
chunk light)
Tuna (Skipjack)*
Weakfish (Sea Trout)

Eat three servings or less per month:

Mackerel (Spanish, Gulf)
Sea Bass (Chilean)*
Tuna (Canned Albacore)
Tuna (Yellowfin)*

Avoid eating:

Mackerel (King)
Orange Roughy*
(Bigeye, Ahi)*

* Fish in Trouble! These fish are perilously low in numbers or are caught using environmentally destructive methods. To learn more, see the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Blue Ocean Institute, both of which provide guides to fish to enjoy or avoid on the basis of environmental factors.

** Farmed Salmon may contain PCB's, chemicals with serious long-term health effects.

Sources for NRDC's guide: The data for this guide to mercury in fish comes from two federal agencies: the Food and Drug Administration, which tests fish for mercury, and the Environmental Protection Agency, which determines mercury levels that it considers safe for women of childbearing age.

About the mercury-level categories: The categories on the list (least mercury to highest mercury) are determined according to the following mercury levels in the flesh of tested fish.

  • Least mercury: Less than 0.09 parts per million
  • Moderate mercury: From 0.09 to 0.29 parts per million
  • High mercury: From 0.3 to 0.49 parts per million
  • Highest mercury: More than .5 parts per million

According to NRDC:

Over the years, many companies have used mercury to manufacture a range of products including thermometers, thermostats and automotive light switches. Although the metallic mercury in these products rarely poses a direct health hazard, industrial mercury pollution becomes a serious threat when it is released into the air by power plants, certain chemical manufacturers and other industrial facilities, and then settles into oceans and waterways, where it builds up in fish that we eat. Children and woman of childbearing age are most at the risk.

Exposure to mercury can be particularly hazardous for pregnant women and small children. During the first several years of life, a child's brain is still developing and rapidly absorbing nutrients. Prenatal and infant mercury exposure can cause mental retardation, cerebral palsy,deafness and blindness. Even in low doses, mercury may affect a child's development, delaying walking and talking, shortening attention span and causing learning disabilities.

In adults, mercury poisoning can adversely affect fertility and blood pressure regulation and can cause memory loss, tremors, vision loss and numbness of the fingers and toes. A growing body of evidence suggests that exposure to mercury may also lead to heart disease.

- FDA's seafood information and resources
- NRDC's mercury contamination in fish and shellfish

Friday, January 25, 2008

Thia, Benny and I have colds

A week ago, Thia got a stomach bug or stomach flu and vomited all night long. The disease is gone and now she has cold. Usually she coughs so hard and it will make her vomit. She couldn't sleep well because of that. It means I couldn't sleep well either, helping her out. Poor girl. And poor Mama .... ;)

Two days ago, Benny got the same bug as Thia: stomach bug or stomach flu. He is feeling better now, but he has a little cold.

I have a cold. Fortunately, mine is not too bad. Even though I am dizzy and my nose is stuffed up, I still can do the housework.

Everyone but Gus, is sick. Usually I am the one who almost never gets sick. Alhamdulillah! Here, mothers are not allowed or are not supposed to get sick, otherwise the world will stop spinning. ;)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Funny story of the day

I was in the kitchen doing some stuff. Benny and Thia were in the living room watching TV. Suddenly Benny ran into the kitchen and said to me: " Can I see your face, Ibu?" I was wondering why he was doing that. Finally Benny said: "Ibu, you need a Pro Active!"

Haaaa....haaaa.... I couldn't stop laughing. Pro Active is one of the most popular acne product in America. He must be got it from the TV commercial. Benny .... thanks for telling me the truth! (snif ... )

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Global Warming

Another homework from a dear friend. This one came from Jeng Sili and it's about global warming. Okay, here we go:

How do we stop global warming:
1. Take the bus or car pool.
I have to take my car everywhere. I don't have a choice. I live in the middle of nowhere and there is no bus. Car pooling might be a good idea, but of course it happens only once in a while.

2. Use my hair dryer less
I think I can do that. I will wash my hair in the evening and let it dry by it self. The next morning I'll just use a straightening iron to straighten my hair. I still need my hair dryer sometimes. But I can't live without my straightening iron. I can't help it. Otherwise my hair is going to be huge like cotton candy!

3. Use less hairspray and deodorant
I can use my hairspray only when I need it, such as going to parties (almost never). But deodorant? Come on ... who doesn't need it? Omigosh, now I remember there are people that I know who never wear deodorant. This people should get an award for saving the earth from global warming, but should also get tickets from the fashion police because they make other people faint. Haaaaa...hahahaaaa....

4. Planting trees
Gardening or planting trees is not my thing. I don't know what is wrong with me but every time I try to plant something it'll die quickly. Caterpillar and worms gross me out. Gus can help to plant tress. He planted a peach tree in our back yard two years ago, and it is still alive! Hooray!

5. Use less air conditioning and play fewer video games
We don't have these things. So, we're safe ;)

6. Use the computer less
Our computers run 24 hours a day. It's impossible to use it less because Gus's business is using computers all the time.

7. Use the microwave, dish washer, washer and dryer less
Okay, from now on we are going to eat cold food, use only paper plates, wear the same clothes for one week. Just kidding!!!

8. Less trash and do recycling
I think we good with recycling, so far. Less trash? I don't know about that because we still have a toddler who wearing diapers everyday!

9. Use paper bags
I forgot to ask the bag person to put my groceries into paper bags. The grocery store should use only paper bags from now on, but then ... oh no ... are they going to increase the prices to cover the paper bag costs?

10. Use lights less or get energy-saving lights
We have started to use energy-saving lights every time we change a broken lightbulb. I also taught Benny to turn off the lights every time he leaves a room. The result: Benny is lazy to turn on the lights every time he goes into some rooms especially the bathrooms. I can't stand he does that because he never knows his urine goes straight into toilet. Actually his father does the same thing too. It drives me nuts! Like father like son ... (Grrr!@#$%^&*)

That's it! Hmm ... Elyani and Icha now it's your turn to do the homework, girls!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Peanut Allergy

In December last year, Thia was diagnosed with Peanut Allergy. Peanut allergy is common in the states, but not in Indonesia. I didn't know anything about it and I thought peanut-free sign at almost every day-care or school was strange. But then I found out that peanut allergy can be dangerous. It can be deadly!!!

Allergic Emergency Care Plan:
Mild reaction:
-Mouth itching and swelling of the lips, tongue, mouth
-Skin itching, rash, hives, swelling
-Gut nausea, cramps, diarrhea, vomiting
Benadryl 1.5 tsp by mouth

Severe reaction:
-Throat: itching, tightness, hoarseness, hacking cough
-Lungs: shortness of breath, repetitive cough, wheeze, tightness
-Heart: "thready" pulse, faintness, passing out, low blood pressure
- inject EpiPen immediately and call 911 or go to emergency room immediately

Extra careful:
Thia had mild reaction, but her doctor said that was possible for her to have a severe one. Now I have to be very careful with the food she eats. I have to check food labels at the grocery store every time I want to introduce new food to Thia. In a party I have to ask the host which food contains peanuts. If you are not sure about some food, you better avoid it.

The chance:
The doctor said that people with peanut allergies have a 15% chance to be outgrow the allergy. This is a good news for Thia even though the possibility is small. I hope and pray someday Thia will be free from her peanut allergy.

Be ready:
I have Benadryl, an Epipen, a cell phone and allergic emergency care planl( see above) in my pocket book. I carry those around everywhere Thia and I go. The most important thing is when you are helping people with severe reaction, do it as fast as you can: inject epipen firmly into outer thigh immediately and call 911 or go to emergency room immediately.

Take seriously:
Now I take all allergies seriously. Gus is allergic to bee stings. The reaction was pretty bad. So I suggested that he get it checked out, he might need an epipen too.

- Dartmouth Hitchock Clinic
- The Peanut Allergy Answer Book: 2nd Edition by Michael C. Young, M.D.
Thia's doctor recommended me to read this book. It's a great book. It has all the answers you need to know about peanut allergies.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Congratulations Benny!

Benny and his hockey team won the Jingle Bell Tournament in Marlboro, Massachusetts. Go Monarchs! You guys are awesome!

We are so proud of you, Benny! Good luck in the rest of your season!