Bath Tub Safety For Your Toddler

Here are a few simple and creative ways to provide safety and comfort for you and your infant or toddler while bathing.  Hope you find them helpful!!!    JUDY

Never leave baby alone anywhere near a body of water.

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Summer Infant My Bath Seat

Available at Target for $40

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This gismo adheres to the sides of the tub to hold baby in safely.  Put a few inches of warm water in the tub and baby has a fun time sitting in the chair playing with his toys.  (Never leave baby alone anywhere near a body of water)

 

 



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Mommy’s Helper Inflatable Bath Tub Froggie Collection, White/Green, 6-24 Months

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Tummy Time is Great Developmental Tool for Your Baby!

Tummy Time is a must for the timely physical development of your baby.  You can begin tummy time as early as you wish.  It is not a negative.  It will help develop your baby’s core muscles, neck strength, and roll over capability.  Baby’s who practice tummy time consistently will roll over, sit up and crawl earlier than babies who do not.

You can put your immobile baby on her tummy on a sofa while you sit on the floor.  Your faces will be at the same level.  You can talk and laugh with baby, encouraging her to lift her head and enter act with you.  Quickly she will understand the game and participate.

Another way to have tummy time is for the two of you to lay down on the floor while baby is on her tummy on a blanket.  Again, you are at her level.  The two of you can participate together.  Baby will want to see you and will work on her neck muscles to lift her head.  So much fun!!                   JUDY

8 Tummy Time Tips for Your Baby

WebMD Feature.    By Barbara Brody.   Reviewed By Roy Benaroch, MD   WebMD Home  Health & Parenting Center  Health & Baby Center A Guide to Your Baby’s Sleep and Naps                                                               A Guide to Your Baby’s Sleep and Naps

As a new parent, you have no doubt been told by your doctor to always put your baby on his back every time he sleeps or naps. So you might not realize that it’s also important for your little one to spend some time on his belly while wide awake.

“Tummy time is when your infant lays on his (or) her stomach while supervised,” says Wendy Wallace, DO, a pediatrician at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Care Network.

If your baby is always on his back, he might get a flat spot on his head. That’s mostly a cosmetic issue, and one that tends to go away over time. But it might also mean that his head, neck, and shoulder muscles aren’t getting enough exercise. Tummy time is the fix.

When your baby is on his belly, he has to look up, left, and right to see people and objects. Moving his head around helps his skull round out, as well as strengthens his neck, shoulders, and trunk. Later on, these muscles will let him sit up. Eye muscles also get stronger as your little one looks around during tummy time.

Some tots seem to love playing on their tummies. Others might act like they can’t stand it. Keep trying! There are many things you can do to help your baby get comfortable and even have fun in this position.

  1. Go slow.   Some infants will only tolerate a few minutes of tummy time in the beginning. That’s perfectly normal.
  2. Move to his level.   “Tummy time can initially be scary because it’s new,” Wallace says. “Getting down on the ground and doing face-to-face encouragement will reassure a baby that he can do it and it’s OK.”
  3. Use plastic mirrors.   Your baby will probably lift his head to admire his reflection.
  4. Put the baby on your tummy or chest.   Newborns love to lay on a parent and gaze up at their face, Wallace says.
  5. Involve a sibling.   If you have an older child, encourage him to get down on the floor and play with his little brother or sister (while an adult is supervising).
  6. Work it into other activities.   Put your baby on his tummy while you dry him after a bath, smooth on lotion, or burp him (across your lap).
  7. Sing or tell a story.   He’ll raise his head and move around when he hears your voice. Remember to make eye contact, too.
  8. Offer extra support.   Make a bolster out of a thin towel or blanket. Roll it up, put it under your baby’s chest, and stretch his arms forward and over the roll. Be careful to keep his chin, mouth, and nose away from the bolster.

Ten Lessons I Want to Instill in My Kids

As life pushes ahead there are often things along the way we see as valuable.  I found this on Facebook this morning.  These are important lessons.  Save them somewhere for a refresher when you need it.  Your babies will be learning from you the moment they are born.  Keep what you believe to be significant close.  Live what you believe.   You will be glad you did.

Ten Lessons I Want to Instill in My Kids

If you made a mistake, apologize

If you are thankful, show it.

If you are confused, ask questions.

If you learn something, teach others.

If you are stuck, ask for help.

If you are wrong, fess up.

If you love someone, tell them.

If you trip, get back up.

If someone needs help, help them.

If you see wrong, take a stance.

One of Tim McGraws songs, ‘Humble and Kind’ fits this bill beautifully.  Find it on YouTube

Enjoy!                    JUDY

Exercising During Pregnancy

As with so much of life, pregnancy is simply another stage.  Pre-pregnancy and postpartum (after birth) are steps in the process.  If you plan to be pregnant, doing exercises to prepare your body is a wise move.  After your baby arrives continuing to stretch, do light walking, and stress reducing exercises are a great help.  Many community centers offer mommy and me classes that provide these kinds of exercises.  This kind of time with other new mommies proves to be wonderful both physically and emotionally.  You do not feel like you are the only one dealing with whatever today’s challenge turns out to be.  Life as a new mommy can be a wild ride, doulas, friends, and family should be a big part of the fun!

What most doctors will tell you is continue exercising at the level to which you are accustomed (through most of your pregnancy).  This means, if you are already a regular tennis player, continue, carefully.  I remember with my third pregnancy, it wasn’t that I was ready to stop playing tennis at eight months, it was that no one else wanted to play with me for fear of causing me to fall.  Do not take up a possibly injurious sport like tennis or biking after you become pregnant.  Leave that for later.  However, continue what you are already doing.  If you have questions talk with your OB, midwife, or physical therapist.  The goal is to keep moving.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Go slow, but keep moving.  Walking is the best. Swimming is the same kind of opportunity, very low risk for injury, exercises your entire body, feels great!  Keep cool…..  enjoy!

JUDY

 

Exercising During Pregnancy

https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/exercising-during-pregnancy

Doing regular physical activity has health benefits during pregnancy and also helps to prepare the body for childbirth. However, it is important to modify or choose a suitable exercise program because pregnancy affects the body’s response to exercise.            Exercising during your pregnancy doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial.                 Be sensible about the level of exercise that you do. Consult your OB, midwife, physiotherapist or healthcare professional to make sure the exercise routine is not harmful for you or your baby. If the pregnancy is complicated (such as expecting more than one baby, high blood pressure, heart disease, pre-eclampsia, or risk of premature births) it is best to talk with your specialist.

Exercise tips

Don’t exhaust yourself – a light to moderate exercise program should be the aim. You may need to slow down as your pregnancy progresses or if your maternity team advises you to. If in doubt, ask questions. As a general rule, a light to moderate level should allow you to hold a conversation as you exercise when pregnant. If you become breathless as you talk, then you’re probably exercising too strenuously.

If you weren’t active before you got pregnant, don’t suddenly take up strenuous exercise. If you start an aerobic exercise program, tell the instructor that you’re pregnant and build up say begin with no more than 15 minutes of continuous exercise, 3 times a week. Increase this gradually up to 5 30-minute sessions a week.                                          Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial.

Exercise tips when you’re pregnant:

  • Always warm up before exercising, and cool down afterwards.
  • Try to keep active on a daily basis; 30 minutes of walking each day can be enough, but if you can’t manage that, any amount is better than nothing. If you haven’t been active or are overweight, start with 3-4 days spread across the week.
  • Avoid any strenuous exercise in hot or humid weather.
  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids.
  • If you go to exercise classes, make sure your teacher is properly qualified, and knows that you’re pregnant and how many weeks pregnant you are.
  • You might like to try swimming because the water will support your increased weight. Some local swimming pools provide aquanatal classes with qualified instructors.
  • Walking is a great exercise — it is a moderate aerobic activity but will have minimal stress on your joints. Other good choices are swimming, low-impact aerobics and cycling on a stationary bike.

Exercises to avoid

Don’t lie flat on your back, particularly after 16 weeks, because the weight of your bump presses on the big blood vessels and can make you feel faint and reduce blood flow to your baby.

  • Don’t take part in contact sports where there’s a risk of being hit, such as kickboxing, football or rugby.
  • Don’t take part in horse riding, downhill skiing, ice hockey, gymnastics and cycling, because there’s a risk of falling.
  • Don’t go scuba-diving, because the baby has no protection against decompression sickness and gas embolism (gas bubbles in the bloodstream).
  • Don’t exercise at heights over 2,500m above sea level until you have acclimated. This is because you and your baby are at risk of altitude sickness (a decrease in oxygen).  If you live at a higher elevation you are already acclimated to the altitude.
  • Don’t do repetitive high impact exercise, or with lots of twists and turns, high stepping or sudden stops that cause joint discomfort.
  • Don’t do exercise where you get too hot. Your body’s temperature is slightly higher when you are pregnant. Intensive exercise may cause your core temperature to rise to an unsafe level for your baby. Limit your exercise to moderate intensity, drink plenty of water, wear lightweight clothing and only exercise in cool, well ventilated places (no spas or saunas).

Exercises for a fitter pregnancy

If you are pregnant, try to fit the exercises listed below into your daily routine. They will strengthen your muscles so that you can carry the extra weight of pregnancy. They’ll also make joints stronger, improve circulation, ease backacheand generally help you feel well.

Stomach-strengthening exercises:  (cat and cow yoga positions)

As your baby gets bigger, you may find that the hollow in your lower back increases and this can give you backache. These exercises strengthen stomach (abdominal) muscles and ease backache.  Use a towel or small pillow to support your back if needed:

  • Start in a box position (on all fours) with knees under hips, hands under shoulders, with fingers facing forward and abdominals lifted to keep your back straight.
  • Pull in your stomach muscles and raise your back up towards the ceiling, curling the trunk and allowing your head to relax gently forward. Don’t let your elbows lock.
  • Hold for a few seconds then slowly return to the box position.
  • Take care not to hollow your back; it should always return to a straight/neutral position. Do this slowly and rhythmically 10 times, making your muscles work hard and moving your back carefully.
  • Only move your back as far as you can comfortably.

Pelvic tilt exercises

Stand with your shoulders and bottom against a wall.

  • Keep your knees soft.
  • Pull your tummy button towards your spine, so that your back flattens against the wall; hold for four seconds and release.
  • Repeat up to 10 times.

Pelvic floor exercises help to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, which come under great strain in pregnancy and childbirth. The pelvic floor consists of layers of muscles that stretch like a supportive hammock from the pubic bone (in front) to the end of the backbone.

Read more on pelvic floor exercises.

Sources:Mayo Clinic (Pregnancy and exercise: Baby, let’s move!)

RANZCOG (Exercise during pregnancy)

The Royal Women’s Hospital  (Active pregnancy)

 

 

 

Recognizing Stress Points During Pregnancy

Stress and Pregnancy

https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/stress-and-pregnancy

Being pregnant can bring up a range of emotions for you, including feeling anxious or stressed, but this is completely normal. Stress is a normal reaction to a major change (such as pregnancy). In some cases, stress may even be good for people because it can push them to take action in the face of new challenges. However, too much stress can be overwhelming and could even lead to health problems both for you and your baby.

Make sure you take some time to do what you enjoy, such as reading, watching TV or your favorite hobby.

What can cause stress in pregnancy?

For some women, finding out that they are pregnant can be a stressful experience in itself. You could feel like you have lost control or don’t have enough resources to manage what you’ll be experiencing. Other things that could cause stress in pregnancy include:

  • waiting for the results of your antenatal tests
  • previous negative experiences with a pregnancy, birth or motherhood such as a miscarriageor death of a baby
  • having a pregnancy that is unplanned
  • dealing with the physical changes of pregnancy
  • having a complicated pregnancy
  • being a single parentor teenagerand wondering how you will cope
  • experiencing difficulties in your relationship, which could include family violence
  • being overloaded with advice from other people
  • experiencing financial difficulties
  • moving house
  • changes in your job
  • grief, such as a death in the family
  • drug and alcohol problems
  • past anxiety, depression or other mental illness

If more than one of the above are happening to you at the same time, you could experience even more stress.

How can stress affect my baby and me?

Chronic (ongoing) stress can affect your own health or wellbeing, and can include experiencing:

  • headaches
  • problems sleeping
  • fast breathing and a racing pulse
  • obsessive thoughts
  • worry or anxiety
  • anger
  • eating problems (too much or too little food, or the wrong types of food)
  • trouble relaxing or winding down

Chronic stress could also cause problems for your baby. These can include effects on your unborn baby’s growth and the length of gestation (your pregnancy). They can also increase the risk of problems in your baby’s future physical and mental development, as well as behavioural issuesin childhood.

Reducing stress while you are pregnant

It’s important to look after your mental wellbeingduring pregnancy, just as it’s important to look after your physical health. When you are feeling well, content and happy, you are better able to manage stress. When your stress is managed, it is not likely to have any serious effects on you or your baby.

To reduce stress, you could try the following:

  • Pay attention to the triggers that make you stressed and notice what happens when you feel stressed.
  • Try to slow down, rest and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to help keep you and your baby healthy.
  • Talk to someone you trust about your concerns and how you’re feeling.
  • Take part in regular exercise, suitable for pregnancy.
  • Do yoga, meditation, breathing, or relaxation through classes, or using apps, videos or podcasts.
  • Engage in a favourite distraction activity such as reading, watching TV or a hobby.
  • Accept people’s offers to help you.
  • Spend time with people who make you feel calm and ask for help when you need it.

Further help

If you need more help to manage your stress, you can contact:

Sometimes the health professionalsyou talk with may not have enough time to answer all of your questions or talk through all of your concerns. If you need to discuss any issues further, call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to speak to a maternal child health nurse for advice and support.

Sources:American Pregnancy Association(How to treat stress naturally)

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Australian Family Physician(Chronic stress)

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beyondblue(What to expect during pregnancy)

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Centre for Community Child Health(The First Thousand Days – an evidence paper)

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Centre of Perinatal Excellence(Stress in pregnancy)

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Centre of Perinatal Excellence(Relaxation strategies in pregnancy)

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Raising Children Network(Stress and pregnancy)

Please Consider Not Changing Your Residence In The Last Trimester of Your Pregnancy!!!

Over the past year I have worked with several new mommies who delivered weeks or even months before their due dates!  For those of us in the infant industry, due dates are a fluid thing anyway.  A due date is a guess as to when your baby is due.  There is the formula derived from when you last menstruated, etc., but for the most part a due date is simply a guess.  Two weeks either side is normal.  Going much past two weeks after your due date is frowned upon because your placenta and amniotic sack begin to deteriorate.  Yet, I have a close friend who went two weeks over with each of her pregnancies. Her average pregnancy is forty-two weeks. Two weeks early is not a big deal, in 99% of cases.

Anyway, as I started to say, several of the families I worked with over the past year, who delivered several weeks early, had one thing in common:  They had recently changed their residence.  One was due to a flood in their home, others simply chose to change their domicile.  They wanted more room, to be closer to family, etc.

My take on the matter:  Moving is very high on the psychological stress table. #3 in the attached studies.  We rise to the occasion, doing what we need to do to get the job done, without realizing how greatly we are taxing ourselves.  The exhaustion, decisions, confusion, and on and on take way more out of us than we realize.

When you are pregnant you are in a compromised state.  This does not mean you are weak or sick, however you are more vulnerable in many ways.  You are building another human being.  This other being takes what they need from you physically.  They have to in order to survive.  Emotionally you are gearing up for the biggest change in your life; total responsibility for another human. Everything in your life is affected.  It is huge.  To add more stress to this simply is not wise.

Streamline your life when you are pregnant.  When planning  to become pregnant put other major life changes on hold.  Focus on this one.  Enjoy your pregnancy, rest when you are able, remove as much stress as possible for the mix.

There will be times when pregnant women have no control over their move.  It will just have to happen, ie. the family with the flood in their home, they had to move out for repairs, an essential job change, an emergency, etc.   If this is you, do all you can to find peace.  Hire others to lift boxes, etc.  Do what ever you are able to delegate.  Leave the unnecessary decisions and jobs until after your baby arrives.  For a planner like me this sounds excruciating, so I can totally relate with the difficulty.  However, delivering too early brings another whole set of difficulties, some even life threatening.  You are choosing the lesser of two evils.  Choose well.

JUDY

Stress Evaluation Tools

The Top 5 Most Stressful Life Events

https://www.uhhospitals.org/Healthy-at-UH/articles/2015/07/the-top-5-most-stressful-life-events

Everyone experiences stress, but many don’t know how to manage it. When major life stressors come up, it’s important to handle them properly to avoid getting hurt. The top five most stressful life events include:

  • Death of a loved one
  • Divorce
  • Moving
  • Major illness or injury
  • Job loss

It might feel like stress is an emotional issue – something that lives strictly inside your head. But stress can become a physical issue as well, especially when dealing with the most stressful things in life.

 

Dartmouth University stress affecters

{These are not specifically for pregnancy.  However, they are good indicators of what adds stress to our lives.  Don’t freak out, just look over the list and be aware of which issues are obvious in your life.  Take steps to remove those that are unnecessary. Enjoy your pregnancy and the first year of your baby’s life.  Leave the stressors for later on.}

https://www.dartmouth.edu/~eap/library/lifechangestresstest.pdf

Life Change Index Scale (The Stress Test)

Event

Impact Score

page1image2887616

My Score

Death of spouse

100

Divorce

73

Marital Separation

65

Jail Term

63

Death of close family member

63

Personal injury or illness

53

Marriage

50

Fired at work

47

Marital reconciliation

45

Retirement

45

Change in health of family member

44

Pregnancy

40

Sex difficulties

39

Gain of a new family member

39

Business readjustment

39

Change in financial state

38

Death of a close friend

37

Change to a different line of work

36

Change in number of arguments with spouse

35

Mortgage over $20,000

31

Foreclosure of mortgage or loan

30

Change in responsibilities at work

29

Son or daughter leaving home

29

Trouble with in laws

29

Outstanding personal achievement

28

Spouse begins or stop work

26

Begin or end school

26

Change in living conditions

25

Revisions of personal habits

24

Trouble with boss

23

Change in work hours or conditions

20

Change in residence

20

Change in schools

20

Change in recreations

19

Change in church activities

19

Change in social activities

19

Mortgage or loan less than $20,000

17

Change in sleeping habits

16

Change in number of family get-togethers

15

Change in eating habits

15

Vacation

13

Christmas approaching

12

Minor violation of the law

11

Total

Directions If an event mentioned above has occurred in the past year, or is expected in the near future, copy the number in the score column. If the event has occurred or is expected to occur more than once, multiply this number by the frequency of the event.

 

Scoring The Life Change Index

The body is a finely timed instrument that does not like surprises. Any sudden change stimuli which affects the body, or the reordering of important routines that the body become used to, can cause needless stress, throwing your whole physical being into turmoil.

The previous chart will give you some idea of how to informally score yourself on Social Readjustment Scale. Since being healthy is the optimum state you want to achieve, being sick is the state of being you most want to avoid.

 

Life Change Units.                                   300+;                      150-299;                   less than 150

Likelihood Of Illness In Near Future: about 80 percent, about 50 percent,  about 30 percent,

The higher your life change score, the harder you have to work to get yourself back into a state of mental and physical good health.

T.H.Holmes and T.H. Rahe. “The Social Readjustment Rating Scale,” Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 11:213, 1967.

What the Medical Establishment Thinks About Marijuana Use During Pregnancy & Lactation

In an effort to provide you the most comprehensive information on what the medical establishment  believes about pregnancy, lactation, and the use of marijuana here is a second article on the subject.  If you are considering the use of marijuana as you are carrying a child or breastfeeding please research this information and more.  The general consensus is there simply is not enough definitive research on the topic to legitimize safely using it.  Long term studies have not been conducted to the satisfaction of the medical establishment.  Read, think, speak with those whom you respect, come to your own decision.

JUDY

Marijuana Use During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/prenatal/Pages/Marijuana-Use-During-Pregnancy-Breastfeeding.aspx

As more states legalize marijuana for recreational or medical use, a growing number of women are using the drug while they’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Some even seek it out for severe morning sickness after seeing internet claims that it can ease nausea. But, is it safe?

The Risks: What We Know Now

No amount of marijuana has been proven safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Research is limited, but the studies that have been done provide enough cause for concern.

Where we stand

Therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) clinical report, “Marijuana Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Implications for Neonatal and Childhood Outcomes” recommends women who are pregnant or breastfeeding avoid marijuana use. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) also recommends that obstetrician-gynecologists counsel women against using marijuana while trying to get pregnant, during pregnancy, and while they are breastfeeding.

FACT: With marijuana now legal for medical or recreational use in more than half of U.S. states, statistics show its use rising. Marijuana use among pregnant women rose from 2.3% in 2002 to 3.84% in 2014, nationally, representing a 67% increase.

Marijuana and the developing brain

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)―the compound in marijuana mostly responsible for its psychoactive effects―has been shown to cross the placenta and enter the brain of the developing fetus during pregnancy. Once in a baby’s system, according to the AAP clinical report, it can “hijack” normal nerve cell growth that happens in the developing brain.

Possible effects of prenatal marijuana use

In some studies, prenatal marijuana exposure has been linked with increased tremors and startle reflexes in newborns and a possibly higher risk of substance use disorder and mental illness among teens and adults. Other studies identify possible links between marijuana exposure and a child’s neurodevelopment and cognitive functions such as problem-solving skills, memory, visual perception, behavior, attention, executive function, and impulse control.

The AAP is calling for additional research so that we can better understand how prenatal marijuana exposure affects our children―at every stage of their lives.

Today’s marijuana: stronger than before

  • Another concern is that child growth and behavior differences possibly linked to marijuana use during pregnancy are largely based on studies conducted when the average THC concentration in the drug was much lower than it is today. Samples studied have more than quadrupled in THC levels since the 1980s. Whether marijuana is smoked, vaped, or consumed in edibles and drinkables, the amount of THC reaching a fetus and newborn may be a lot higher than in the past.

Marijuana use and breastfeeding

  • If you are breastfeeding, don’t use marijuana. You may pass the chemicals from marijuana to your baby through breastmilk. A study in the September 2018 Pediatrics confirms earlier findings that THC can transfer into breastmilk. The AAP also reminds that a mother’s ability to care for an infant may be impaired while using marijuana.

Other Considerations:

Marijuana vs. tobacco

  • Studies show that between 48% and 60% of marijuana users continue during their entire pregnancy, thinking it’s safer than tobacco. However, research also shows that when marijuana is smoked, carbon monoxide blood concentrations in the pregnant woman are 5 times higher than those when tobacco is smoked. This can mean less oxygen to be available for the fetus.

Passive or secondhand smoke can be as much a concern with marijuana as it is with tobacco. Studies show infants can be exposed to marijuana by inhaling it when the drug is smoked near them.

Marijuana and morning sickness

  • Chemotherapy-related nausea is a qualifying condition in most states with legalized medical marijuana. Although many women experience nausea during pregnancy, the use of medical marijuana in this specific case has never been studied or determined to be safe.

Child welfare law

  • The Child Abuse and Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) requires all states to have reporting policies and procedures for when newborns and other children are exposed to illegal substances. Because marijuana is still illegal under federal law, CAPTA applies to marijuana exposure in all states regardless of the legal status of marijuana use by adults in each state.