Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Vaccine / Autism question has not been answered...

This link will take you to - to hear a 5 minute video clip.   The woman speaking is Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the NIH (Nat'l Institute of Health), and most recently head of the Red Cross. 

Click here to watch.

Dr. Healy is a very well respected mainstream doctor and leader in the medical community who has had the COURAGE to speak out against our government's health agencies' refusal to thoroughly study any links between vaccines and autism.

Her point in this clip is that there is most likely a group of children who are more susceptible to vaccine injury than the general population.   She believes (or rather, says that she knows) that government health officials won't study this subset of affected children, because they fear the vaccine program as a whole will suffer, when they can identify the susceptible group.

It's worth watching.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

CUTEST card table playhouse!

Oh my goodness.... if my kids were a little younger, I'd put this on the grandmommy wish-list in a heartbeat!

It's custom made for whatever sized card-table you have - with your house number and child(s)' name.   That little mailbox opens and the house comes with 4 felt letters to put in!

It also comes with 6 removable velcro apples you can "pick" from the tree, and a removable watering can, to water the flowers.

You can even choose the colors!!

Okay, I know it's $75.... but I think that's a steal, considering how much use I'm guessing this would get.   Check out her store on Etsy - she also has all kinds of variations on this - a garage, ballet studio, beauty shop, post office.... seriously - what if you had her make one for the dining room table?   I'd get in there in a heartbeat.   Just sayin'.

Cutest.  Idea.  Ever.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Alternative Vaccine Schedules

Hello all!   I've had so many people asking for alternative vaccination schedules, so I'm posting a couple of them.   These are both pretty "middle of the road" - not mainstream, but not drastically different, either.   

I would personally lean toward Dr. Cave's version (since that's what Tom's doc in Florida recommended), over Dr. Sears', but either one is more sensible than the AAP one.

Click here for Dr. Robert Sears' recommended schedule.

I know, I know... it's that crazy mom again - but there is plenty of real science questioning the safety of our vaccine schedule (despite what Amanda Peet says!) and really, except for the inconvenience, there's no harm.   They still get vaccinated by school age.

If your child is on an alternative vaccine schedule, or if you're not vaccinating until the child is older, you may need the exemption/waiver form for preschools, day cares or elementary schools.  Public schools are required to accept the waivers, and I've submitted these to three different private schools and no one's ever even mentioned it to me.

Here's the link: Vaccine Exemption Form .    See how easy that is?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fruit of the Spirit Fun!

My boys love to listen to those "Hide 'Em In Your Heart" songs by Steve Green, and one of their favorites is the "Fruits of the Spirit" song.    It's become one of their great party tricks - naming all 9 fruits of the Spirit.    Impressive!   

But as I listened to them belt out the song, I realized they pretty much didn't have a clue what they were talking about.  

Hmm... sort of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

So I got to work.  I have this awesome software program we used with Tom called Boardmaker, which is an amazing picture symbol program used to teach language to children with autism.  We (thankfully) don't have to use it much any more, but I thought it would be a GREAT way to explain what the fruits of the Spirit actually mean!

We talked about how, when we have Jesus on our heart, we show the fruits of the Spirit in our words and actions.   

We bought a tree from the teacher supply store, taped it to their bedroom door, and each week we're putting a new apple on the tree and focusing on that fruit of the spirit in their behavior with each other.  It seems to be sinking in.   

I even considered doing some kind of token system whenever they showed that week's behavior, or even writing the "fruitful" acts on individual leaves and filling up the tree with them, but alas, I'm a half-done Polly!  

Anyway, I thought I'd share it with y'all in case you wanted to do it with your kiddos!

I saved the 3 pages as pdf files, which can be downloaded here:

Print, cut them out, and get started!

Monday, October 6, 2008


A really neat quote from a friend at CR:

Humility is not 
thinking less of ourselves, 
thinking of ourselves less.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Make Way for Ducklings

I just returned from a fabulous trip to Boston to see my good friend Elisabeth. Although it rained the entire weekend, we still had such fun catching up, walking, shopping, eating (lots) and, most of all, obsessing over the book, Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey. I am sure my hip, single-with-no-kids friend thought I was the biggest nerd ever, but I had more fun wandering around her neighborhood finding all the places Mrs. Mallard and her family are in the book. 

Now- I want everyone to get their copy of Make Way for Ducklings out right now....I can wait...if you do not have one, go buy one immediately because everyone should have one of their very own in hardback! 

Now that you have your copy in hand, turn to the second page where they are flying over the Public Garden. Other than the trees getting bigger on the island, things have not changed a bit!
OK- it is raining, so it is hard to see...but the lamp posts on the bridge are exactly the same. (That huge bushy part is the Mallard's island.)

Now turn a few pages to where Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are over the Charles River. The bridge and island are still there...

Again, hard to see in the rain...but trust me, it is there. (By the way, the locals call this the "Salt & Pepper" bridge because the columns look like salt & pepper shakers.) Turn forward to the page where Mrs. Mallard has the ducks swimming in a line and you can see why they call it that! Here is a close up:

Now turn to where the ducks are walking from Mt. Vernon Street past the "Corner Book Shop" onto Charles Street. What was once the "Corner Book Shop" is now a 7-11.

Now turn to the page where they are lined up and marching "right into the Public Garden." The now famous bronze statues are headed in this same direction in the park today.

What fun it was to follow the footsteps of Mrs. Mallard. I was just so sad that I did not get a ride on a swan time I will pray for no rain. 

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Great Blog

OK- I just happened upon this blog. (I am sure all you regular blog readers out there already know about it.) It was such fun to rediscover some old favorites in the way of classic children's books. She also has some from the 1970's that I remember but have not seen in years.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

AACK! Flu Shot Fever!

Okay, so here goes the crazy mom again.   Give me a second to hop up on my soap box.


My (not) favorite person, Julie Geberding, CDC Director, was quoted as saying she "has a smile on her face this year because we are looking at a wonderful supply of flu vaccine this year."

I just read that the CDC is recommending not just one (mercury and aluminum-laden) flu shot for babies, but TWO flu shots, only one month apart, for the youngest children.

The CDC states that 86 children died from the flu last year.  That is a tragedy.

There are approximately 1.5 million children in the U.S. with autism.  That is a national crisis.

If you feel you MUST get a flu shot this year, for you or your child, please request the Thimerosal free version.   This is the one without the mercury, though it still contains aluminum, another known neurotoxin.

And if you are pregnant, please please please - choose the Thimerosal free version.  Wish I had.  I'm not saying the flu shot in my first trimester caused Big T's autism, but it certainly can't help.   Plus, when there's an option, why take the risk?

Okay, off my soapbox now.  By the way, if you have a chance to read Jenny McCarthy's new book Warrior Mothers, you'll be glad you did.  It's filled with autism recovery stories!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Muffin-Tin Munchies - with Book themes!

This is such a cute idea!   The Sycamore Stirrings blog does a weekly Muffin Tin Mondays theme, and one of the themes was children's literature!   Such a clever idea for an after-school snack - sort of an ode to the bento box craze - plus, you read a book together while they eat, and our picky kiddos might actually try a new food or two!  Here are a couple of my favorites from the books "Mouse Mess" and "Pinkalicious":

Check all the others out here.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Simple Fun

OK- I was feeling like I needed to contribute something more practical than that previous is an activity that is a huge hit at our house. It involves those cardboard fans on a stick that they hand out at the 4th of July Parade and balloons (not helium). My kids will spend all morning playing "tennis" with these things. If you don't have any fans, just blow up a balloon and play "volleyball" with it. You will be amazed at how long it will keep their attention! You can see my kids in action (still in our pajamas, as you can see) loving every minute of it!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Yearbook Yourself

OK- this is my first time to finally you would think I could come up with something a bit more maternal or wise than this...but...I am having so much fun with this website I just discovered! 
You can upload a picture of yourself or someone you know and it will morph it with an old yearbook pic from the 50's, 60's, 70's or 80's. Here are the ones I made of me and my sweet husband...his is hilarious!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Just to Make You Feel Better

I loved this article by Nancy Wilson. She talks about how being over-organized is maybe a bit over-rated. Music to my ears!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gardasil - Risky Business

Haven't posted a lot lately... the summer's been crazy!   I'm actually glad school will be starting for my little one next week and we'll all be back to our routines.

For now, I wanted to share with y'all that none other than the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine came out with an article criticizing the lack of safety and efficacy research on Gardasil, which the American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends for young girls.   Sad that the NEJM is more concerned than the AAP.

"Despite great expectations and promising results of clinical trials, we still lack sufficient evidence of an effective vaccine against cervical cancer. Several strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer, and two vaccines directed against the currently most important oncogenic strains (i.e., the HPV-16 and HPV-18 serotypes) have been developed. That is the good news. The bad news is that the overall effect of the vaccines on cervical cancer remains unknown. 

How will the vaccine affect preadolescent girls, given that the only trials conducted in this cohort have been on the immune response?  

Vaccinated women may feel protected from cervical cancer and may be less likely than unvaccinated women to pursue screening.

How will the vaccine affect other oncogenic strains of HPV? If HPV-16 and HPV-18 are effectively suppressed, will there be selective pressure on the remaining strains of HPV? Other strains may emerge as significant oncogenic serotypes." 

For the full text of the article in the NEJM, click here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Feeling excited and overwhelmed!

I spent the morning at TCA's Orientation for Peyton! I had a mix of feelings as it was almost surreal sitting in the auditorium . . . it took me back to when I was a student and I could literally remember how I felt sitting there 20+ years ago! I'm so excited for Peyton as she will start half-day Kindergarten on Wednesday. I'm also feeling overwhelmed . . . overwhelmed with how many volunteer opportunities there are, overwhelmed with how I'm going to manage getting her to school and picking her up everyday, overwhelmed with managing a new school year for two little ones as well as taking care of two babies! BUT, I am thankful for our group (as always) for preparing me for such tasks . . . and for the encouragement I will receive from you all during our meetings. This is a fun time . . . yes a little sad as one chapter of Peyton's life is coming to a close, but there are so many wonderful times ahead! And, she is excited and ready . . . ready for the adventure! So, here we go . . .

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Some random tid-bits

I can't believe I'm doing this . . . but I had to join in the fun and offer some info (hopefully helpful)!

1. Story-time at the library with Miss Katy was AWESOME! I'm embarrassed to say how amazed I was at the downtown library (it's been ions since I've been there). What a treasure it truly is! They have SO many incredible children's books - I was blown away. I could have spent hours just looking through books! I would encourage all of you to try it out.

2. Jason's Deli . . . what a deal for kids! Their kids meals are $1.99 and healthy for the most part. AND, they have free ice cream. I was able to eat there with the girls for about $11 and I love their "healthy" approach to all of their meals - no trans fat, etc. - so much better than your typical fast-food place.

3. My new favorite drink (and I created it on my own). Mix decaf iced-tea with Ocean Spray's White Cran-Peach juice. It's refreshing, peachy and the best part is that it doesn't have any high-fructose corn syrup!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Paper Source at NorthPark

Paper Source... LOVE this store & it just opened in NorthPark (near the Gap).  Grand Opening was yesterday.  I think it's the first Texas location although they have stores all over the US.   Their tag line is "Do Something Creative Everyday."   How cute is that?  They offer fun, creative classes (paper flower making, book binding, calligraphy, stamp making, wrapping, etc.)  along with their neat inventory of stuff (paper + other unique things.)   One of the workshops might make for a fun girls night out.  Anyhow... visit their website and plan to check out their new store!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Inspiring Words...

As I perused a site called Grace Gems today, I came across this excerpt from "Home-Making" by J.R. Miller from 1882. It inspired me, so I thought I'd share it.

Four walls do not make a home

Four walls do not make a home—though it is a palace filled with all the elegances which wealth can buy! The home-life itself is more important than the house and its adornments. By the home-life, is meant the happy art of living together in tender love. We enter some homes, and they are full of sweetness—as fields of summer flowers are full of fragrance. All is order, beauty, gentleness and peace. We enter other homes, where we find jarring, selfishness, harshness and disorder. This difference is not accidental. They are influences at work in each home, which yield just the result we see in each. No home-life can ever be better than the life of those who make it.

Homes are the real schools in which men and women are trained—and fathers and mothers are the real teachers and builders of life! Sadly, the goal which most parents have for their home—is to have as good and showy a house as they can afford, furnished in as rich a style as their means will warrant, and then to live in it as comfortably as they are able, without too much exertion or self-denial.

But the true idea of a Christian home, is that it is a place for spiritual growth. It is a place for the parents themselves to grow—to grow into beauty of character, to grow in spiritual refinement, in knowledge, in strength, in wisdom, in patience, gentleness, kindliness, and all the Christian graces and virtues. It is a place for children to grow—to grow into physical vigor and health, and to be trained in all that shall make them true and noble men and women.

A true home is set up and all its life ordered—for the definite purpose of training, building up and sending our human lives fashioned into Christlike symmetry, filled with lofty impulses and aspirations, governed by principles of rectitude and honor, and fitted to enter upon the duties and struggles of life with spiritual wisdom and strength.

Pioneer Woman Cooks

Okay, so, I really don't cook much.   Shh.... don't tell the other Creative Homemakers!   Really what I do these days is "prepare" or "assemble."  Yes, again, I'm mother of the year.

Anyway, there's a website I'm semi-obsessed with, called The Pioneer Woman.   She has this incredible love story all chronicled on her website, but today we're going to talk about her cooking.    She's a really talented photographer AND cook, so the combo is, shall we say, delicious.

While I must confess I've never made anything on this website, it looks simple, beautiful and delicious, so maybe it'll be inspiring to all of you GOOD mommies!

There are photos of all of them and it's just the kind of cooking I'd do if I cooked more!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Check this out:. It tells you how to simplify text messages with something called Jott. I have to say that no one ever texts me. Is that a generational thing or am I just not very popular? Anyway, this is fascinating!

Stacking Toys

Finding out that a classic toy benefits my child makes my day! This post from Conscious Play tells how a stacking toy helps children from a motor perspective. Interesting!