30 January 2009

CPSIA Delayed!

At least there was some good news this week!

From the Etsy Blog:

Breaking News: The CPSIA Mandatory Testing & Certification Proposed 1 Year Suspension

"The action taken today provides breathing space to get in place some of the rules needed for implementation, but it should not be viewed as a full solution to the many problems that have been raised." —U.S. Consumer product Safety Commission

You'll find the press release below:

CPSC Grants One Year Stay of Testing and Certification Requirements for Certain Products

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously (2-0) to issue a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products, including products intended for children 12 years old and younger. These requirements are part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which added certification and testing requirements for all products subject to CPSC standards or bans.

Significant to makers of children’s products, the vote by the Commission provides limited relief from the testing and certification requirements which go into effect on February 10, 2009 for new total lead content limits (600 ppm), phthalates limits for certain products (1000 ppm), and mandatory toy standards, among other things. Manufacturers and importers – large and small – of children’s products will not need to test or certify to these new requirements, but will need to meet the lead and phthalates limits, mandatory toy standards and other requirements.

The decision by the Commission gives the staff more time to finalize four proposed rules which could relieve certain materials and products from lead testing and to issue more guidance on when testing is required and how it is to be conducted.

The stay will remain in effect until February 10, 2010, at which time a Commission vote will be taken to terminate the stay.

The stay does not apply to:

  • Four requirements for third-party testing and certification of certain children’s products subject to:

    • The ban on lead in paint and other surface coatings effective for products made after December 21, 2008;

    • The standards for full-size and non full-size cribs and pacifiers effective for products made after January 20, 2009;

    • The ban on small parts effective for products made after February 15, 2009; and

    • The limits on lead content of metal components of children’s jewelry effective for products made after March 23, 2009.

  • Certification requirements applicable to ATV’s manufactured after April 13, 2009.

  • Pre-CPSIA testing and certification requirements, including for: automatic residential garage door openers, bike helmets, candles with metal core wicks, lawnmowers, lighters, mattresses, and swimming pool slides; and

  • Pool drain cover requirements of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act.

The stay of enforcement provides some temporary, limited relief to the crafters, children’s garment manufacturers and toy makers who had been subject to the testing and certification required under the CPSIA. These businesses will not need to issue certificates based on testing of their products until additional decisions are issued by the Commission. However, all businesses, including, but not limited to, handmade toy and apparel makers, crafters and home-based small businesses, must still be sure that their products conform to all safety standards and similar requirements, including the lead and phthalates provisions of the CPSIA.

Handmade garment makers are cautioned to know whether the zippers, buttons and other fasteners they are using contain lead. Likewise, handmade toy manufacturers need to know whether their products, if using plastic or soft flexible vinyl, contain phthalates.

The stay of enforcement on testing and certification does not address thrift and second hand stores and small retailers because they are not required to test and certify products under the CPSIA. The products they sell, including those in inventory on February 10, 2009, must not contain more than 600 ppm lead in any accessible part. The Commission is aware that it is difficult to know whether a product meets the lead standard without testing and has issued guidance for these companies that can be found on our Web site.

The Commission trusts that State Attorneys General will respect the Commission's judgment that it is necessary to stay certain testing and certification requirements and will focus their own enforcement efforts on other provisions of the law, e.g. the sale of recalled products.

Please visit the CPSC Web site at www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html for more information on all of the efforts being made to successfully implement the CPSIA.

26 January 2009

Negative - I don't know if I can go through it all again.  What if it's not meant to be?

22 January 2009

Now We Play The Waiting Game...

Eh, the waiting game sucks, lets play Hungry Hungry Hippos.  
My transfer was last Wednesday and I don't get to take my office pregnancy until this Monday, so needless to say, anything I can do to keep my brain busy is a blessing.  Ever since I became a Mom I've been making things.  There's a cute Winnie the Pooh rug outside my son's room that I started years earlier, but I didn't finish until shortly after he was born, I guess you could say I had some free time on my hands.  It's evolved some since then.  I think since I don't work anymore my making things is my own way to contribute to the family in a way that's just for them.  I've made both my husband and son cross stitch Christmas stockings and have been in the process of making a tree skirt since last year that I'm hoping will be done by next Christmas.  I've also been making my family's Halloween costumes since we moved to Pa.  
With my new search for things too keep my brain busy, I've been on blogger.com a bunch thanks to all my blog feeds being here.  I got to read all that Threadbanger.com and BurdaStyle.com had to offer.  Those two fantastic website have led me to crafty bloggers by the tons.  [Not to ignore my two great friends whos blogs I also get to read, but we're talking about crafting here =) ] So I've been led to some great blogs like, Just TutesThe Purl Beepurse-onality, Kender Crafts, and Cotton Monster News.  All of these sites have really got my juicing flowing!  So although I've been making stuff for awhile, it's time to start blogging about it.  I've already blogged a little bit about the only Christmas presents I sewed this year.  I'm happy to report that not only did they fit the girls pretty good, but they loved them!
So with the Winter strongly with us, I've been pushing fleece to the max!  I don't know if you've ever tried to buy gloves or mittens for a three year old, but it's virtually impossible to find ones that actually fit.  So thanks to Just Tutes I made my son some awesome mittens, that I can actually get on him and he likes to wear!  But I just couldn't stop there.  For sometime I now I've been making my son monsters.  


There really is no better toy than one that comes from your own sewing matching.  Well, he loves them so much it got me thinking, how about Monster mittens?  So on BurdaStyle I found a pattern for mittens, and me being me, I had to make test mittens first.  And as a semi first, I made them for me.

Good thing too, since they boys were a pain since they were so much smaller.  Unfortunately, the pictures don't do them any justice, and they look a little ragged at this point since my son has been enjoying wearing them so much, but he's constantly getting compliments on them, and if there's one thing my son likes, it having a reason to talk to people.


I should never have made myself the cammo mittens, because I started a, "what can I make for myself next?" kick.  
Christmas three years ago, I made my husband and two of his brothers, fleece pj pants.  Then I edited the pattern a little and made myself awesome Trix flannel pj pants.  So I knew the pattern was usable for me, and with the Eagles game coming up, I knocked these out in an evening.

Too bad the Eagles lost, but we won't talk about that.
And lastly, well most recent I guess, I found this great tutorial for glittens.  I luckily found some cool fleece at Jo-Ann's, and my new glittens were born.

I did things a little different than she did.  I made my thumb slits in the side seams so there would be more seam allowance to sew the thumbs back on with, and I handstiched my top piece to the bottom piece rather can cutting a slit in the mitten.  I also haven't really decided on my closure for keeping the top up, but I'm sure it'll come to me one of the days I'm wearing them.
Oh, I almost forgot.  I added a new monster to my son's posse!  I can't go making so much for myself without giving a little love to the boy.


Well I hope you enjoyed looking at all the stuff I've been making to keep myself busy as heck.  There's more to come, I promise! =)

13 January 2009

Retrieval Day

So yesterday was my retrieval day and it went really well.  They were able to get 13 eggs from me!!!  We got to the office at 7, with me packing Tom's contribution inside my coat - gotta keep it warm.  The whole thing is such a surreal experience - Thomas coming into existence didn't involve nearly as many people.  We barely had to wait at all before I was brought into the suite where the retrieval was being done.  They asked me the usual pre-surgery questions and I finally got to meet head of the Lab - a very nice man - who walked me through the process again and we firmed up exactly how many eggs we would try and fertilize, 3.  Then the anesthesiologist came in.  Now we were trying to be as grown up as possible, but as soon as he left I mouthed to Tom, "Hans Moleman."  We both almost completely lost it.  I guess Tom and I were among the more talkative people that go through this process.  The nurse kept going on about how nuts we are, and all we were doing was talking about names.  Of course Tom's favorites are names like, Donovan, Brian, Quintin Michael, Joselio, picking up a theme?  Then it was one more bathroom trip for me, I got to kiss Tom goodbye, and off to the room with the fancy stir-ups.  This was my 6th surgery where I needed to be put out and every time they do it they make you count down or up or something, I got nothing.  All of a sudden I saw this opaque white stuff go into my IV, and moments later I utter, "I guess I'm going out now, huh?"  Next thing I knew I was waking up and it was all over.  The nurse was surprise by how well I was doing after I woke up, but honestly after they told me they got 13 eggs I could have jogged home.
Later in the afternoon they called to tell me, of the three eggs they didn't try to fertilize, how many were mature and they were going to freeze.  Turns out 5 of them were mature and are being frozen.  This number actually made me a little nervous since we were told that none of the little ones might be good which is why we did three to try and fertilize - but all we could do now was wait and see.  I don't think I slept at all last night.  I had the most vivid dreams of all the possible outcomes of the ones they were trying to fertilize.  We knew it took about 14 hours for fertilization to take place and they would call us before 8am this morning to tell us how many of the three fertilized.  7:45 this morning the phone rang and I think I gave myself whiplash getting up to answer it.  Two of our eggs fertilized!!!!  
Now there are only a couple of more things to pray for - one, that the two eggs that fertilized continue to divide and grow properly and that at least one of them implants after tomorrow mornings transfer.  Then the waiting game really starts.  I'm pumped up with so many pregnancy hormones at the moment, I can't take my pregnancy test until 2 weeks after the transfer.  I feel a very clean house and a lot of sewing being done over the next two weeks to make time fly.
I keep reminding myself, God never gives a cross to bear larger than we can carry.

10 January 2009

IVF 1.1

So it seems that try 1.1 was a semi-success and Monday morning is my retrieval!  What a long road it was to get her though.  I mentioned in an earlier post, what I went through for attempt number 1.  Well, now it's January 2009, and as promised, we've started again.  
Late in December, I had my first appointment and they checked to make sure that all the cysts were gone so we could start again with a clean slate.  Thankfully, everything was all clear and I got my instructions to stop the pill in a few days and come in for my first of many sets of blood work and ultrasound.  January 2 they took my baseline blood and ultrasound and the next day I finally started the stimulation phase.  I should probably take a step back here and explain the new method they were trying since my body didn't react to Lupron at all the way it was supposed to.  Usually they shut everything down with Lupron, then start your stimulation and then they do the retrieval.  However, in my case, they started the stimulation first.  During stimulation you get the wonderful pleasure of spending every day or every other day, going to the doctor to have blood work and ultrasound done.  So, after my second day of two injections a day, Low dose HCG in the morning, and Gonal-F in the evening, I go for my first check-up.  Low and behold, the drugs are working!  I was so afraid that something was horribly wrong with me, and none of these hormone altering drugs were going to have any effect on me.  About those wonderful drugs - I have never felt worse in my entire life, then I did the first 24 hours on those drugs.  Here I was worrying about the menopausal effects that the Lupron would have  Those were NOTHING compared to thee hell of the HCG and Gonal F.  Also, I was supposed to behave as if I was pregnant.  That meant none of the drugs I usually take, especially my migraine medicine, Imitrex.  Well the problem with that is that one of the main side effects of both those medicines is migraines and by 5 o'clock the first day on them, I had one of the worse migraines of my life!  I tried all my old drug-free migraine remedies and none of them worked.  Crying hysterically in a hot shower, I finally broke down and gave myself an imitriex injection.  The doctor had said that I would "do what you have to do"  and honestly I would not have survived the last week without my imitrex.  I couldn't, in good conscience, torture one child with his mom strapped to the sofa, trying to make another one.  Thankfully, as the week when on I did feel much better, headache wise anyway.  I feel like someone strapped a spare tire to my belly, but that's what yoga pants were made for.
So, I go in for my first check-up and the drugs are working, but already, one of the follicles in my right ovary had pulled ahead of the pack.  My nurse said we'd watch it, but worse case, we wouldn't be able to use that ovary.  I had my next appointment on Wednesday, and that's when things started to head down hill.  During Wednesday's ultra sound, the big follicle in the right was bigger and now there was a pack leader in the left one too.  After checking my blood work and checking with the doctor they decided to keep me day-to-day but to add in my new "lupron" called ganarelix. (for you playing at home, we're now up to three injections a day)  And, to add insult to injury, I now have to go to the doctor every morning.  Have you ever tried to wake up a thee year-old at 7 for 4 days in a row to go to the doctor with you?  It's not pretty.  Thursday's appointment Tom decides to come with me, since we're no longer in the routine check-ups that we thought we'd be having at this point.  Usually, I only see a nurse in these check-ups, but Thursday my doctor walked in, so I knew I was in trouble.  After looking at the day's ultra sounds, we discussed our options.  Since I had a giant follicle in each ovary I could stop and start all over again, which would then mean we'd have to pay again for some of the process, which, by no stretch of the imagination would be cheap, or we could continue with the possibility of only retrieving 2 eggs.  We collectively decided to continue since we have no intention of freezing any embryos and all the eggs that we get to fertilize will be transferred.  But, we're still playing it day-to-day.  If the big guys get too big, we won't be able to use them either, because they would be over mature.  By Thursday night my husband and I are both a disaster.  This whole process has been so trying on us both, which has made us irritable and moody and not a whole lot of fun for our angel of a little boy to have to deal with.  Thankfully, by Friday things were looking up.  During Friday's ultrasound, our doctor said, "I amend yesterday's number, I think we'll be able to get at least 6."  The big ones weren't any bigger and the little ones were starting to catch up!  Go Ganarerlix!!  We now, tentatively, had a retrieval day of Monday!  Here's where my side of the story will differ from my husbands.  I had a different nurse and doctor this morning then I have had all week.  This is a doctor whom I have a little history with and it's not good.  Compared to the AMAZING doctors in my practice, she is mediocre.  Her bedside manner is harsh and she doesn't seem to care that having to be at an infertility doctor is one of the worst places people want to have to be, but I digress.  In talking with my Mom about today's events I do feel a little better about the whole thing, but basically the doctor I saw today said that she thinks we're only going to be able to get three.  So which is it, I ask?  I'm trying not to freak out until after the retrieval, but she told me some other upsetting news.  They will not be able to tell if an egg is mature until after they try to fertilize it.  But we were only planning on trying to fertilize 2, which could very easily mean that there could be no embryos to transfer. 
Today left me feeling less than excited that this whole ordeal is ever going to work.  Hopefully, they get three good eggs from me, hopefully, 2 of those eggs fertilize, hopefully 1 of those eggs implants in me and we get a healthy little baby.  The math teacher in me is rolling the numbers around in my head, and they don't feel good.  I can only hope that a few months from now, when I'm nice a pregnant and eating ice cream for breakfast, that I'll laugh about how I was freaking out about my odds, as I'm carrying twins....is that too much to hope for?

06 January 2009


Since I've become a stay-at-home Mom I've rediscovered my love of sewing.  My Mom taught me how when I was about 12 and she was sick of making me my Halloween costumes.  After making that first Halloween costume with her, a dog costume, my need for sewing waned.  I became an obnoxious teenager and making an animal costume wasn't really the in thing.  Back then, without the Internet, I didn't realize all the cool things that people make for themselves.  If I knew then when I know now, I would have spent a lot of time sewing in my teens!  Thankfully now, my little boy allows be to have some precious time in my sewing room, while he plays in his room.  And since his birth not only have I made things for him and my family, from elephant and clown costumes, to hats and pants, but I've also made things for a few of my friends as gifts.  I make a mean baby bib, cute layette and adorable hats and mittens.  But soon, I will be breaking the law. 

Due to all the problems with lead and other horrendous things put in children's toys The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act has been established and takes effect at the end of this month.  Now, it's all in legal-ease but to the best of my understanding it mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number. Which is beyond fine and understandable for all the mass marketed toys that are made in China, which is most of them.  I was one of those Moms checking all of her sons toys against the list of recalled toys last year, and he has 40 Pixar Cars!!  (Thank goodness I never allowed any Thomas The Train crap in my house!) It was scary and the fact that it became such an epidemic is insane!  The act covers more than just toys too, it regulates all products for children under 12.  Clothing, school supplies, cloth diapers, car seats, --everything.  But what the CPSIA has ignored, is all the individuals out there that make wonderful things for children with their hands.  The irresponsibility of  mass-market toy makers is being solved with a one-size-fits-all solution for dozens of industries totally unrelated to toys.  I really don't even mean myself here, there are thousands of people out there who help to support themselves and their family by making things for children.  I know what joy I get from making things for my son, friends and family, and this one blanket of an act should not be fixing the huge and incompetent by effecting the small and heartfelt.  

If you're better at reading legal-ease here's the CPSIA's website, and here's the Handmade Toy Alliance.  And here is were you can Vote for a change!!

So it's a good thing I'm all done with these because if I was giving them to the girls any later, they're be black market night gowns! 

Thanks for listening to my rant.  I'm not even sure if I made any sense, but the whole thing just gets my nerve up!