As if picky eaters, artificial colors, trans fats, excessive sugar and sodium content weren't enough to stress out any nutrient conscience mother, now it's mercury. That's right, mercury in our foods. Granted, in trace amounts that probably won't do significant damage unless ingested in alarming quantities, but it's there. Scientists recently tested high-fructose corn syrup and discovered as much as 0.570 micrograms of mercury per gram. The average American consumes roughly 50 grams daily, give or take depending on diet. However, pregnant mothers should be wary of what they eat since mercury passes to the baby and there is no "safe" level determined for developing fetuses.

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade published their own research findings along with a list of foods and beverages high in HFCS that top the list. View the complete list here.

What's the top ten on the list?
1. Quaker Oatmeal to Go
2. Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Sauce (Heinz)
3. Hershey's Chocolate Syrup
4. Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce
5. Nutri‐Grain Strawberry Cereal Bars
6. Manwich Bold Sloppy Joe
7. Market Pantry Grape Jelly
8. Smucker’s Strawberry Jelly
9. Pop‐Tarts Frosted Blueberry
10. Hunt's Tomato Ketchup

Scientific journal publishing one study in Environmental Health
Institute for Agriculture and Trade report

We took Joshua to an ADHD Center on Friday to get a second opinion on whether he's ADHD/ADD. Joshua likely has ADD or ADHD. Although the doctor we met can't officially diagnosis him as such until he starts public school, he felt confident that Joshua would be, so we're going to treat him as though he does. We'll let his teachers know in kindergarten next year that he'll have an attention deficit and higher energy than his peers and may be a distraction to others. It also explains his pants wetting. The doctor told us that children with ADHD/ADD tend to take longer with potty training (i.e. they wet themselves more frequently) because they don't listen to their bodies, they're so distracted with the surroundings. I know you're thinking, "Josh is hyper? Surely you jest!" But it felt good to get some official confirmation so we know what we're truly dealing with and can respond effectively. The frequent wetting seems less of a choice now so I'm a little less mad when he wets himself and a little less discouraged about how long it's taking to get past the frequent wetting. We both agreed no drugs until he's at least in first grade, and then we'll carefully evaluate the options. The center offers play therapy and we may consider that later on. But for now we're content to have a specialist for extra guidance.

I've added ads to my blog near the bottom of the sidebar. If you ever feel compelled to click on something I get paid a small amount for that click. Of course you're not obligated to do anything, buy anything, join anything or anything.

I'm playing with new backgrounds. I haven't 100% settled on one yet so it may change in the next few hours/days. If you have opinions, let me know!

I start my new part-time job next Monday morning. I'm prepared and excited. I even filled out a W-4 form online from irs.gov. I love the internet!

Tonight I'm heading out for a Mom's Night Out with some friends. Then I get to come home to a new episode of Project Runway. This is MY day, my last free day for a little while. I've become a bit less motivated, less go-getter in the last several months of dwindling freelance work and added freedom of kids being in pre-school. I'm looking forward to re-entry into working life.

"Are these pickles?" Josh asked of the sauteed squash and zucchini.
"No, they're zuu, uh yeah! they're zukes! Zukes are cooked pickle slices and are really yummy."
He reluctantly nibbles a bite then tells me he doesn't like them. Oh well, I tried.

My birthday was this weekend. I got flowers, books, circuit board earrings and digital cash for new music. I also got a massage that Rusty scheduled for me at the massage place up the road. The best part about my birthday was a surprise visit from our friend Dave who decided to drop by randomly after dinner. He didn't know it was my birthday but it was a nice end to my day. We drank wine and talked about various topics ranging from politics to weight loss.

Then I woke up early and cranky this morning no thanks to two noisy needy kiddos.

Joshua got a haircut this afternoon. He looks very handsome again. We're planning Elliot's fist cut for his second birthday. His hair grows slowly like mine. Next week Friday we've made an appointment to take Joshua to a clinic for a second opinion concerning his attention deficit. We're thinking he has or will have ADD. In preschool he doesn't always participate with his classmates, he zones out easily, in karate he has a 2 second delay in following commands, and he continues to wet himself. We're now wondering if he's wetting himself so frequently b/c he's not able to focus on what his body is telling him. Another theory Rusty holds is the possibility of him having diabetes but I doubt he does. We don't want to put him on medication, we want some guidance in how to effectively handle his excess energy and lack of focus. Perhaps with a bit of direction, he'll be better suited for school next Fall.

Elliot, in other news, has become our little parrot. He's making 2-3 word sentences, repeating words and phrases, and now trying to sing. His singing is only two or three notes worth, but it's so adorable to hear him. He tries to sing "row row your boat", "bring back my bonnie", "daisy daisy" and "twinkle twinkle little star". He LOVES it when we sing. If you count along with him, he can count to ten. But all is not so adorable. His latest thing is to shout "MOM!" repeatedly to get my attention. And usually it's for something seemingly inane like to say he's got his cup or there's the cat or to demonstrate the sound of thunder. That part is cute, but being yelled at in rapid fire succession for attention: MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM!... is not cute. It's annoying and I look forward to him growing out of that quirk.

I must make a confession. I bought ground turkey flavored like Italian sausage then cooked it into a lasagna. When Rusty praised me for cooking with sausage for once (he really likes sausage in his lasagnas as opposed to ground beef) I didn't correct him. I smiled and hoped he won't inspect the meat packing too much. The kids loved it, I loved it, Rusty loved it- so who's to complain! I feel like if I had told him up front that it was turkey instead of pork sausage he would be more iffy on the meal, perhaps more critical or chide me for trying yet again to be stealthily healthy. So why bother telling? It's my little secret until he reads this posting.

I left a birthday message for my cousin Alysia this morning. Joshua over-heard the call:

Josh: "Is she having a birthday today?"
Me: "Yes, today is my cousin's birthday."
"Yay!! That's great! Oh boy! When daddy comes home we can go see her and-"
"Oh Josh, no, she lives far far away. We aren't going to a birthday party."
"She lives far away?"
"Yep. We'd have to take a fast plane to go see her."
A thoughtful moment then, "I have an idea!! When Elliot takes his nap, then we can take a fast plane and go to her birthday!"

This kid sure likes a party. Maybe some day he will make a flying car like he says he wants to.

Yesterday we spent the day at Fossil Rim Wildlife Park in Glen Rose, TX. Unlike most zoos, this is a free range environment where visitors drive through the park in their cars on a designated (bumpy) road. This was a first for all of us. For anyone planning to go, be prepared to see lots of variety of deer. There's more types of deer than any other species combined. We did see the cheetah, the rhino, emus, ostriches, yaks, buffalo, zebras and giraffes. And TONS of deer. The kids loved two things: feeding the animals and riding in the front of the car with us. It was a novelty that never grew old.

While there, at the half-way point where the kids hung out with goats and kids, I managed to drop my phone and crack the screen. I can receive calls, make calls and text, but I can't read the screen entirely. I'll go to the Sprint store today to see about a new Palm phone. The thing that sucks the most about this is that I brought my old phone to the park, which was somewhat working despite a mechanical glitch (two buttons on the key pad didn't work), to be recycled in order for us to get in half price. It sucks that the very day I finally decide to get rid of the spare phone is the very day I destroyed my good phone. >:-/

Today will be a day of chillaxing, as the new slang goes. Mowing the yard, get a replacement phone, laundry, bake a chicken, and clean the floor. Doesn't sound much like chillin' or relaxin' to be honest!

It seems that the days I go to counseling are the days I'm more tired at the end of the day. Today wasn't as emotionally charged as some other meetings have been, but I did get sad a couple times thinking about my dad's death and that I'll miss him. I'm miss his company and being able to call him and share snippets of my life with him. We didn't have a close relationship but I'll miss him anyway. I'm more at peace now with some of the stress and anger I felt before and after his death. I don't regret any of my actions, I won't play the "should've could've" game, I'm not going to simmer on negative thoughts. He had a better parental relationship with me than he had with his own parents, despite his own shortcomings. Now that I see him within this context, I understand him a little better and why he did some things the way he did.

I'm much lighter without this weight. Even Rusty noticed that lately I'm a little peppier than I had been.

I'll end on that note, I'm really tired. Besides, someone has to keep on ear on Josh who is still awake!

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