Copyright 2016: Who, What, When, Where, How?

So, here is where people can make guesses on Copyright 2016’s birth stats.

Categories are Time, Date, Weight, and Length.  We already know the sex of the baby.  He was cooperative when we went searching.  Though I suppose you are entitled to make a prediction if you think he will surprise us and be a she…

Anyone may make a guess in a comment on this here page (this is better for record keeping than facebook), so that we will know a winner, or as close to a winner as possible.

For some background info that may make this as “informed” of a guess as possible:

Marcia the elder was born July 12th was due on August 12 (but my mom said she knew I would be born in July), born at 4:55 pm, 7 pounds 3 ounces, 19 1/2 inches long, girl.

Jacob was born July 18th was due on July 5th, born at 11:39 am, 7 pounds 5 ounces, 20 inches long, boy.

Mar©ia the younger was born December 3rd was due on December 7th, born at 7:17 am, 6 pounds 7 ounces, 20 inches long, girl.

Hin©kley was born November 20th was due November 22nd, born at 5:56 pm, 8 pounds 4 ounces, 19 3/4 inches long, boy.

Copyright2016 due April 9th.

Oh, and the most recent belly picture.  At 37 weeks then again at 39 weeks:

37weeksbelly big belly

What say you?

(There will be a prize for the person who guesses closest without going over.)

Can You Believe Your Eyes

28wks

If you would have asked me 28 weeks ago if I thought we’d see this, I’d likely have laughed at you.  And probably cried a little inside.

Yet, here we are, officially third trimester.  It has not been easy.  At my check-up yesterday, I’d finally gained some weight. I imagine we’ll see more of that happening.

I have been afraid to jinx things, so I have avoided taking pictures and talking much about this pregnancy.  I am trying to keep the anxiety at bay.

Here is the other picture I have taken, at 20 weeks or “half-way” there.

20wks2

In two weeks we go in for another in-depth ultrasound.  Keep checking on us.

Of all the health challenges of the summer, this was the worst

My body was not interested in cooperating.

I became pregnant anyway.

We got our hopes up.

Our baby was due February 4th.

We had our hopes smashed.

Our baby died and we have had a miscarriage.

We were almost 11 weeks along.

It is sad.

We are recovering and surviving.

This is the short story. We will be sharing the long version of the story in multiple parts.

Book Review: The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande

One of my personal goals for 2014 is to read a new book every couple of weeks. This is the second book I’ve read this year. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, by Atul Gawande.

Why did I read this?

I read this because I first read Atul Gawande’s article The New Yorker, titled simply The Checklist. The article was surprisingly captivating, so when I found out that Gawande had expanded the article into a full book, I had to read it.

Summary

The Checklist Manifesto is subtitled “How to get things right,” which is  a good summation of the book all by itself. It examines scenarios that are prone to human error, even when those humans are experts at the top of their fields, and how the simple use of a checklist can greatly reduce the error in those situations.

Drawing on examples from aviation, construction, medicine (the author is a surgeon “in real life”), investment banking, and other fields, Gawande shows how checklists have been used to eliminate error.

He describes being recruited by the World Health Organization (WHO) to come up with a plan to improve surgical outcomes worldwide. They decide to experiment with a checklist, asking surgeons in some hospitals to use a pre-surgery checklist in their operating rooms. After Dr. Gawande tries using the checklist himself in his own practice, he finds it cumbersome, confusing, and impractical. He takes a trip to Seattle, where he visits with Daniel Boorman, a Boeing technical fellow, who is responsible for the creation of checklists used by pilots flying Boeing’s airliners.

(Checklists as a tool for professional discipline were born from aviation, even from Boeing: In 1935, a pilot demonstrating Boeing’s newly designed bomber to the Army Air Corps crashed on takeoff, killing himself and two others. He crashed because he had forgotten to release a lock on the airplane’s elevator and rudder controls. The airplane was dismissed as “too much plane for one man to fly,” and the military nearly ended the project. Test pilots, however, thought the airplane was marvelous, and worked together to solve the “too much plane” problem. Their solution was to create a simple set of checklists: One for before takeoff, one for flight, one for approach, and one for landing. With checklists in hand, the test pilots then flew the airplane more than 1.8 Million miles without a single accident. The army ordered 13,000 airplanes, and dubbed it the B-17, now one of the most celebrated bombers in military aviation history.)

Boorman teaches Gawande some of the important things Boeing has learned about checklists: They should use natural breaks in the workflow. They should be relatively short (5-9 items). They should be printed in black & white in a sans-serif font….And more. Boorman then takes Gawande into a hyper-realistic flight simulator, helps him taxi the airplane to a runway and take off, all using the same checklists that pilots use. Then, as their flight ascends through 20,000 feet, a warning light comes on in the cockpit. Gawande’s airplane has a door that appears to not be latched properly. This situation can be deadly (In 1989, this exact situation led to an “explosive decompression” of a United Airlines 747, killing 9 passengers). Gawande, remembering his few minutes of pre-flight training, grabs an emergency procedures book, turns quickly to the checklist for the DOOR FWD CARGO warning light, and follows it. Their simulation flight is able to land safely.

(As an aside, I’m totally jealous that Gawande got to “fly” a full motion 777 simulator. I would LOVE to do that.)

Gawande takes his newfound understanding back to the WHO, where they redesign their surgical checklists following Boeing’s principles, and run a test in 8 hospitals around the world. The results are astounding. They achieve double-digit percentage reductions in complications, infections, and other scary surgical by-products, including death. By his calculations, during the three-month trial in 8 hospitals, the checklists prevented 27 unnecessary deaths.

In the end, Gawande describes an incident in his own operating room where, by his own description, he tore a patient’s vena cava (the largest vein in your body, which bring blood from most of your lower half to your heart). The bleeding was, in Dr. Gawande’s own words, “terrifying.” In seconds, he had opened the patient’s abdomen and chest completely, and was holding his heart in his hands, pumping blood through it while another doctor put pressure on the torn vein. The patient was losing blood a rate measurable in gallons.

One of the items on the surgeon’s pre-incision checklist is to discuss with the operating room team the possible blood loss in the operation. Then, the head nurse calls and confirms that the hospital’s blood bank has enough blood ready to use to cover the worst case scenario (the blood bank is supposed to do this already, without the nurse having to make the call). Gawande’s team had followed the checklist. When the nurse called the blood bank, it was discovered that the blood for this operation was not ready, so the operation was held up a few minutes while the blood bank prepared.

Now, Gawande has the patient’s heart in his hands, and can feel it emptying out like a deflating balloon, and in seconds, the blood from the blood bank is being transfused into the patient. The blood that wouldn’t have been ready to use if the team hadn’t followed its checklist.

By the time the vein is repaired and the patient’s heart is beating on its  own again, 30 “units” of blood have been transfused (keep this in mind: an adult body holds about 10 units: This patient bled 3 times his own blood volume). The patient lived, and while there were some side effects of the incident, recovered. Dr. Gawande is 100% certain that without the checklist, the patient would have died on the operating table while they waited precious minutes for the blood bank.

What did I think?

It’s hard to imagine a subject duller than checklists. Yet Gawande is a good writer, and fills the book with powerful narratives. Whether recounting incredible medical recoveries, telling what happened in the cockpit of USAir 1493 as it crash-landed in the Hudson river, or describing the qualities of a well-written checklist, his writing is engaging.

As for the book’s subtitle “How to get things right,” we’re given a few insights into how to get things right in our own worlds, like the difference between simple, complicated, and complex tasks, and how checklists can (and can’t) help with each (For example, there will be no checklist for raising a child, but there can be one for making sure a child has good nutrition), but I would have liked a little more of the “how to” material.

Ultimately, I was surprised that I found The Checklist Manifesto hard to put down, and when I turned the last page, I wanted to read more.

Would I recommend it?

Here’s the test: Go read The Checklist. If you enjoy it, you’ll like The Checklist Manifesto. I did.

Book Review: The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg

One of my personal goals for 2014 is to read a new book every couple of weeks. I started the year off with Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit.

The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

Why did I read this?

I first became interesting in this book after hearing two interviews with the author. The first from NPR, and the second from Ramit Sethi. I think psychology is interesting, even more if I can use an understanding of that psychology to help reach my goals, or help others reach theirs.

What did I think?

The Power of Habit is easy reading. It is largely anecdotal, sharing its message in narrative form. When the book tells of someone who acquired, broke, or changed a habit, it tells their story. When it talks of the psychology/neurology behind the habit, it tells the story of how the science was conducted and the conclusions discovered. When it speaks of powerful organizational and social change that can happen because of habits, it tells stories of companies, churches, and nations who have done exactly that. Some of the stories include:

  • How a woman gave up smoking and drinking in one day
  • How another woman slowly acquired a multi-million dollar gambling addiction over the course of years, encouraged by a casino that understood the psychology of her habits far better than she did
  • How an alcoholic learned about the principles of habit formation and used them to start the largest organization dedicated to positive personal change in the world
  • How Alcoa aluminum multiplied its profits 5x by focusing on an organizational habit that had nothing to do with sales, margins, shareholder value, or even profit
  • How Michael Phelps set a world record in the 200-meter butterfly at the 2008 Olympics despite an “equipment malfunction” which left him blind for most of the race
  • How the habits of individuals and groups contributed to the Montgomery bus boycott, and ultimately the civil rights movement of the 1960s
  • How Target knows what products to advertise to you before you even know you want them
  • …And a lot more

In my opinion, the book started strong, and then lost momentum towards the end. I think, though, that it’s because the ideas of personal habit formation and change strike close to home for me – they are things I can do. I don’t run a large organization or have any major social cause to champion, so the sections on organizational and social habits were a little less interesting (though I did find Alcoa’s story, and Target’s, to be absolutely fascinating). The book concludes with an appendix that teaches an actionable system for habit change, and walks through how the author discovered, diagnosed, analyzed, and changed an afternoon snacking habit that was causing him to gain weight.

Would I recommend it?

If you’re interested in psychology, behavior, and things like that, then YES, I would absolutely recommend it. Also, if you’re a parent, or you run an organization like a business or church, you and your family/organization could gain a lot from you reading this book.

tl;dr

The Power of Habit explores how habits work, how we can change them, and how we can use them to our advantage. If you want to change something about any aspect of your life, you should read it.

Not that I want to sound whiny or anything, but that was disgusting

So a year and a half ago, a month before Mar©ia was born, there was a great baby shower.  It was fun, my sister put a lot of hard work into it and it was awesome.  Lots of people showed up.  I felt loved.  There were some much needed gifts and we appreciated them, we still do.  One of them was a Fisher Price Cheer for Me! Potty.*  We left it in the box.  Not because we didn’t want it, but because a newborn does not need it yet, and it takes up less space in the closet when still in the box.

For the past weeks (months?)  Mar©ia has been curious about mee using the toilet.  She likes to walk in the bathroom while I go, she seems excited to hear my pee hit the bowl, and wants to look in there after I stand.  I narrate what I am doing and am trying to be candid about the fact that this is just the way we do it when we do not wear diapers.  Sounds kind of like this, “First I lift the lid, then I pull down my pants and underwear and I sit down.  Listen, that is my pee.  I pee in the toilet.  Right now you wear a diaper and that is where you pee.  I do not wear a diaper, so I pee here.  (If I have to poop, I talk about pooping in the toilet too, same basic phrases.) I am done peeing (pooping).  I will use toilet paper and wipe so I don’t drip on my clothes.  Now I pull up my pants and flush the toilet with this handle.  I can watch the pee (poop) go down the drain.  Now I wash my hands with soap.  I am all done, now it is time to get out of the bathroom.”  She is curious and I am happy to have her learn.

Mar©ia has also been doing OKAY about telling us when she has pooped.  She in the last couple weeks has said “poop” to mee, I take her to change her diaper and she has only peed, then in a couple minutes after changing her diaper, she poops.  She tries to help clean her bottom when she has a poopy diaper, not that it really helps, at all.  She will grab a diaper or say diaper and go right to the changing station.  Most of the time she is cooperative.  I am glad she stopped trying to get away EVERY time we had to change her.

I am not saying that she is ready to be toilet trained.  Time will tell.  But she is interested in learning about it.  So, Monday I got out the box with the training potty.  I figure it won’t hurt for her to become familiar with it.

I told Mar©ia that we were going to open the gift from the baby shower for her.  She came over got excited and I got through the tape on the end.**  She started to reach in and at first I let her.  Then I noticed that it looked dingy.  There was dust and scuff marks.  I figured it would be no big deal if it had just been on display and I wiped that off.  Then I noticed there were some other “stains” on it that took more elbow-grease to wipe away, so I left the rest.  I pulled the box out of her reach and pulled out the toilet.  Sure enough, there are scratches on the lid and seat where they have been worn.  The paint is worn off the handle where it has been “flushed.”  There are urine spots on the inner rim of the seat.  There are “stains” on the underside of the seat, which I can only assume is poop.  The removable bowl is grimy looking.  Obviously this has been used with some kid and returned to the store, which they then put back on the shelf!***

         

There is no way I am letting her sit on a stranger’s pee/poop.  There is no way my friend would be comfortable even knowing that this seat came used.  If you are reading this story, I apologize; please do not puke on your computer.  I almost did when I opened it.  (Pregnancy can have that effect on a person.)  We decided the thing to do is take it back to the store; we still have the gift receipt.

I called the store to explain what happened and to see if the gift receipt is still acceptable.  There are no notes on the gift receipt with an expiration date, or anything to indicate there would be a problem, however it is 18 months old, so I wanted to check.  The lady on the phone said that they will not take it back if it is over 90 days old.  My “only option at this time is to call the company”, Fisher Price.****  I almost laughed, that is ridiculous.

I rolled my eyes and did what any other person would do, if they had the “connections,” I asked one of my friends that works at this store and is a little more in the know, and a whole lot friendlier, for advice.  I explained the whole situation and she told mee how to go about it.  So later after we were fairly certain it was a different service desk person, we went in and exchanged it for a new, never-been-opened-clean one.  And we made sure they took note of the used-ness of it and mark it down, I hope they do not try to re-sell that thing, again.  It is just nasty!

After we got it home and opened  we realized that a few things were missing from the dirty one.  There was no instruction manual or warranty card, the sound system (it plays songs and cheers when peed in) was missing, and the splash guard was missing (which may come in handy if our next one is a boy).  It was obvious that whoever did this had had the potty for a while since they could not remember how it was packaged, they had the parts disassembled, whereas the new one came mostly assembled other than the sound system had to be attached and the back had to be inserted.

 

*This was a fun gift because at Girls Camp I was so grossed out by our toilet options that I took a bucket and an emergency preparedness toilet seat with bags to camp.  I may have been made fun of (maybe not) but I had a clean place to sit, free of bugs, when I had to go.

**The friend that got this normally would only have purchased the perfect-never-been-opened box, but it was the only one on the shelf, and was led to believe that it was just a display model that was put back in the box and taped closed.

***What makes a person so dishonest to use a toilet, even a training kind, not clean it and then return it as if there is nothing amiss?  I really do not understand.  And what possesses a store to let that go back on the shelf and be resold?  I know they want to make as much money as they can, but com e on have some decency!  I can only assume it means they do not look over the items that are returned to make sure they are good before selling them again.  (My friend that told mee how to go about the return told mee another gross story about how someone came back mad because a diaper disposal system they had purchased came with a dirty diaper already installed…that means it was on the shelf with a dirty diaper inside it!  She said she wishes she could make all the returns people check over the items before they let the products go back on the shelf.)

****I have yet to understand why I would need to call Fisher Price and have them do anything with a product the store allowed to be returned, with poop and pee still on it, and returned to the shelf and re-sold.  I can only imagine the person on that call telling mee that they cannot do anything about it because it was not used when shipped to the store in the first place.  And I would agree.  I have not called Fisher Price, I do not know how their customer service is, and they may be wonderful for all I know.  I would like to believe that since they make stuff for kids.

Many things on my mind

One of the biggest right now has to do with online interactions.  Specifically the category of cyber bulling.

I know the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear that term is teenagers.  But I am here to remind us all that it is not just teens that are on the receiving end of this bad behavior.  There are many adults who participate.  Both those who bully and those who are bullied.

I would like to extend this invitation to everyone:  Please do not bully.  Not in virtual reality, not in real-life reality either.

Let us just get along.  If you do not wish to interact with an individual, just do not do it.  There is no need or benefit in going up to them and specifically ignoring them, or acting like they do not exist.  When a person is standing next to you and you believe they do not exist, does that mean you do not exist either?  Likewise, going into a person’s space on the internet (even if it is simply where the person may see it) and talking about them, or saying rude things to them is bullying.  Do not do it! 

Public versus private.  If you are planning or simply talking about private events, do it privately!  Or in the least do not be offended when “public” people ask for details because it looks like a fun thing. *

I believe one of the biggest reasons people do this on the internet is they don’t see it as real.  People who if you asked them in person if they are a bully would tell you they are not.  In person they probably would not perform the actions that hurt.  Why then does s/he feel differently about typing bullying words?  I do not know the reason, nor do I want to dwell on that, I am tired of trying to find out. 

This is why my online presence has been very scarce for the last months.  Do not ask details, I will not share names, I likely will not even tell the story with names changed.  This is part of my resolve to choose to not be offended any more.  And, yes, I do recognize that being offended is a choice; even if a person intends to offend mee I still can choose not to be offended.  I am human and probably will find offense at times, but I am working on decreasing this occurrence.

Just let’s remember what we do online is the same as going into another person’s home and saying/doing these things.  It stirs the same feelings in your own self.  The biggest difference is that in person, you can use body language and tone of voice.  When a person reads a message, it is open to interpretation based on what mood they are in, health, what they were just doing, etc.  Personally I do not like feeling like a “friend” has come to my home and started being rude, It would make mee want to kick them out.  So essentially that is what happened, I logged out and kicked them out of my personal space. 

Then, one day I was talking to a friend, she noticed I had not been online in a while (we were talking about facebook specifically) and asked if I was okay.  This is a real friend.  In the course of the conversation she asked if I missed it.  I understood the question to be about missing facebook.  I said that honestly no I do not.  As I have reflected on that conversation it occurs to mee that perhaps she was asking if I missed people.  I suddenly realized that while I kicked out the bullies, I also kicked out the not-bullies.  And I found that I missed out on a lot of great things.  (Things that I would know if I were “present” in the conversations.  I know some people have sent mee info/messages on facebook.  I know because you have told mee to go look and reply.  Slowly I think I will get to them.) So do I miss facebook?  Not necessarily.

Do I miss people?  Yes!  The positive ones.  Those who uplift, and bring a smile to my face.  I miss the fun conversations that I am sure have taken place among my siblings and cousins.  I miss being able to laugh with friends when they laugh or being able to shed a tear when a friend relates bad news.  The years and miles have separated many people.  The internet offers to be a gap connector.  Though the distance is great, we can enter each other’s’ homes and share our lives.  That is why I still have hope.

So, If you are worried that you are a bully, step back read what you type (listen to what you say) and think about how that would sound/feel if directed at (or excluded) you.  Only you can know your intentions.  If you can better/more clearly/less offensively state something, try.  Let us all work together to become a better society.  I know we can do it together.

 

* This brings up another point:  Stop whining because “Amy” and “Sally” are friends and hang out.  If you want to do things with Amy, invite her to get together, instead of crying because she invited Sally.  Do you want a friend that only whines and tries to make you feel bad?  I most certainly do not, I cannot think of anyone who does.  And even if a person does want that, do you really want to choose that kind of negativity for your life, or your family’s life?  I do not.

Friends are good to have.  They are great to have.  We can learn from each other.  We can have fun together.  And people can have friends that are other people.  Just because I enjoy walking with one friend and cooking with another, does not mean I can’t do something else with yet another person.  No one can be everybody’s everything.

 

Family Bike Ride!

This morning we decided to go for a family bike ride. Marcia Holland’s first. I think she enjoyed it. She took a nap in her bike trailer.

First we had to see if her helmet would fit her yet.

Still a little loose, but we decided it was close enough to go for a short ride.
After the ride she and Jacob had matching helmet-hair.

Next time we will have to set up the camera on a timer so we can get a shot of all three of us out for a bike ride.

We were all relaxing, Marcia on the floor, Me in the recliner and Jacob on the futon with the iPad. He fell asleep, and Marcia saw this as her opportunity. She crawled over, stood up, realized she could not reach, and put her xylophone in place as a step. Sadly for her, Jacob woke up in time to rescue it from her.

Then we decided to let Copyright take a turn at the piano. I hope you can get an idea of how much she likes the piano. Unfortunately, this video turned out odd. I recorded it with my phone. Now, watching the playback, it has the full three and a half minutes of video with audio, though somehow it un-synced. I don’t know how or why. When I uploaded it to youtube, it sped up part of the video and cut it short, and so there is only 25 seconds of audio. I (as her mother) still enjoy it, I hope you can too.

Another interesting fact…Marcia Had tooth number 8 break through the gums. Four on top and four on bottom! (Part of mee thinks this is unfair. I know all people are different and what not, but I know of kids that don’t start getting teeth till their first birthday. I wonder why she is in such a hurry.)