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Why Kids Are Better Than Cyberspace(And Most Adults)

July 9, 2010

So I guess I’ve learned, AGAIN, in the past 5 months since I last blogged that it’s WAY more fun to hang out with Ian than it is to try and play catch-up with emails, twitter, blog posts, Facebook, reading articles that interest me, etc.   Who knew.  I spent 6+ years before Ian was born typing vigorously nightly, replying to posts on domestic skunk rescue-related yahoo groups ( Jon and I are Ohio reps for http://www.skunkhaven.net ).  I spent time being aggravated to tears, bored to tears, saddened to tears.  I provided and received advice and education.  I am still the primary nutrition consultant for any and all pet food questions that arise in our sector of the domestic skunk community.   I was a mad internet FIEND while I was pregnant, reading, researching, emailing like a mad woman about everything from vaccines to midwives to home birth.   I had a 2nd yahoo email address, created specifically for the 7 vaccine groups I was on.   I was going through about 800 emails a day between skunks and baby reading.   But, shortly after Ian was born, I got off the skunkinfo group.   The first time I found myself so engrossed at being angry with someone(it was a political post inappropriately sent to the skunk list, this was pre-2008) that I felt like Ian was disturbing my emailing, I quit.  Just like that.  Cold turkey.  I quit all yahoo groups(with the exceptions of a few lists I’m still on, mostly unschooling lists, though I RARELY send emails).  And amazingly, with the weight lifted off my shoulders, I became even more engrossed in Ian.  It was SO nice to not have to explain why packaged pet food and kibble is garbage 900 times a day.   It was nice to not read about all the atrocities vaccines cause every single day around the globe.   It was great not to read about yahoos complaining that their baby skunks bite or aren’t potty trained(they are BABIES, get a clue, ALL species of  pups and kits nip and they ALL take time to train).   Admittedly, I had a major increase in wrist pain just before I made the decision, that made it all that much easier(it was quickly and easily cleared up by an anti-inflammatory diet for a while).

To try and get a quick cyber re-connect that might not take up too much time, I decided to start a facebook page.  That proved to be a horrible disaster.  It was fun at first to find “friends”(I use that term loosely) from school, and to learn what everyone was doing.  But not too long after, “friends” were telling me to keep my kid the hell away from the rest of the world, because, being non-vaccinated, he was, of course, a carrier for every disease on earth.   I was also told I was lucky my kid’s head hadn’t popped off during delivery at home, that it was the most insane, ignorant choice anyone could make to have a baby at home.   I was even told my kid was going to die, since he had no shots.  These comments came from so-called ‘adults’/’friends’(/humans?????)!!  For a while I posted replies and retorts.   I thought if maybe I could enlighten just a few people, so that one day I don’t log on to find someone’s child had been diagnosed with this or that vaccine-related ailment, or that another pointless, harmful c-section had been performed on an uninformed mother.  I posted articles and evidence.  When my(childless) very best friend from school found me on there, I was SO excited to be in contact with him again!  We tried to catch each other to chat, sent some direct messages back and forth, it was great.  Then suddenly he replied to one of my posted articles(vaccine-related), told me my beliefs were frightening,  that he never wanted to talk to me again, then he un-friended me.  I was beyond hurt…  Then, I noticed him replying to another friend’s comments, and he said he didn’t remember her, even when she tried to refresh his memory(the average size of a Lordstown graduating class is 50, FYI), but he was “friends” with her ANYWAY.  I was hurt SICK.  So, again, I cut it all off.

I actually originally started this blog because I thought I would document Ian’s progress regularly along the way.  Then I realized that it was more my ‘thing’ to aid/inform/educate.  After so long, it’s really what I’m most comfortable doing.  Besides, does anyone really want to read about my kid every day?  Maybe my family(many of whom fall into the category of “THEM”, so here we go again)…   Fortunately I’m among the living with a brain who realize that there’s no better thing to do with your time than to spend it with your kid.  Now that he finally enjoys being read to, and he’s becoming more interactive with each passing day, it’s becoming more and more enjoyable.  How do people end this wonderful experience and send their kids off to school?  I’ll never know.  I wouldn’t dream of it.

After UWWG earlier this year, I joined facebook again, on the advice of Faith, friend and UWWG “roomie”.  I started a whole new account, and I am not friends with ANYONE that is not an unschooler.  It is the sole reason for my account.  I’m not even friends with Jon, because then ‘THEY” would FIND me.  I have little to no use for ‘THEM”. I had grown tired enough of defending my thoughts/actions/beliefs.  These people FINALLY understand.   I’m on twitter as well.  Though I’m not on there much, I have myself surrounded by ‘safe’ people.  Some people would call it taking the chicken easy way out.  But I spent enough hard time NOT enjoying my cyber-time.  I need all my time, emotions and patience invested in my kiddo(and Jon, whose ailing back is finally showing promising signs of healing now that we’ve found the magical mystical healers.  We don’t know what they do, and don’t WANT to know.  Important thing is they are NOT allopaths).   I can’t help it if there are people who wish to remain blissfully ignorant about things that can endanger the lives of their offspring.  Just today I received an email from a friend who, after reading my blog, has some substantial evidence that her now grown child suffered vaccine damage at a young age.  This is what I hope to try and prevent in ANY way I can!  But, some ‘adults’ already know everything, and don’t need to be taught.   I guess I just answered my own question in the above paragraph…  If a person doesn’t have the desire or curiosity to learn, explore or read about things they don’t know about, and they don’t have the innate desire to give their kid every advantage and ensure their safety from the moments surrounding birth until they’re on their own, they don’t really have what it takes to become engrossed in helping a curious little mind blossom.  I’m sure the children of some of those ‘adults’ will grow up knowing everything as well, just like their parents.  Oh well…  At least I’ve changed to a ‘choir’ who won’t blatantly insult me…

So, to yack for a moment about the one who has interrupted my cyber-ing(thankfully) and altered my life like no other…  What a wonder my kid is.  I can totally see how people have like a zillion kids(though we are have NO more, EVER, until Jon can give birth).  He’s a month shy of 3 years old, and every day contains a surprise, we just don’t know what it is until it happens.  Last week, he was a MANIAC on Tuesday.  I mean an uncontrollable animal, which is extremely rare for him.   Then Wednesday morning he woke up and said, “What’s Daddy doing?”!!!  And he’s speaking in whole sentences, just like that!  Amazing!  Lucky for me he decided to do it during the week of my vacation, so I got to witness the whole thing.   Unfortunately, as in all things, the bad comes along with the good.  He can now ask to go to our favorite Mexican restaurant,  a request my mother is all too happy to oblige way more often than is sane or reasonable.   But hey, if she’s buying…  He’s a comedian just like his father and grandfather, for SURE.  He says and does the most hilarious things, and I SWEAR he loves to perform. That is, until you actually try to show someone something he commonly does, then he acts like we’re idiots and he has no idea what we’re talking about.  The things he says and does are such a wonderful addition to our lives.  We laugh hysterically at him several times a day, and he laughs back at us.  Everything is great, everyone is good, it’s all perfect.  I’m gonna do the best I can to ensure he doesn’t become an adult.

Why We Didn’t Vax(no mention of autism,I swear)

February 27, 2010

In the interest of any credibility I might have, or wish to ever have,  and the fact that this is a very touchy topic, I will keep this as concrete as possible.  You will find no mention of autism here.  Not because I do or don’t believe vaccines are or aren’t a cause, but because frankly autism did not factor into our decision.

This is probably the first post I use ‘we’ in a lot.  My husband, of course,  had a hand in the vaccine decision.  He let me decide on the home birth issue because it’s MY body, but Ian is OUR son.

In 1995, I started working for the US Army in Japan on base at a combination kennel/quarantine facility/vet clinic.  At that time, the Major I worked for went to the U.S. for a AVMA(American Veterinary Medical Association) seminar.  There were 2 major decisions announced at that seminar.  1 was that the preservative ethoxyquin was officially recognized as a carcinogen.  The second was that due to an alarming number of tumors, malignant and benign, appearing in dogs and cats, the protocol for where vaccines were administered was changed.  Shots used to be given in the scruf of the neck.  They decided to change it to administering them intra-muscularly, Rabies in the Right leg, and combo shots in the left(easy enough, “R”abies, “R”ight).   The reasoning behind this was so that if the appearing tumors were malignant, the leg could be amputated quite easily, and any cancers would be gone with it if they appeared to be spreading.  It’s not as easy to amputate a neck.  That was the solution.  That was the very beginning of my leery feelings toward vaccines.

I didn’t know a single thing about humans and vaccines, and we had never intended on having a child(oops).  As I do with EVERY decision I make in my life anymore, I research it from the beginning to the end.  My husband loves and loathes this at the same time.   When we learned we were pregnant, I joined about 100 groups and lists(gee, I remember when I had time to deal with all that e-mail…) for everything baby.  I joined several vaccines groups, and bought several vaccine books.

There are a few family history facts I need to mention because they played a role in our decision.  Jon’s paternal grandmother and his father had both been diagnosed with parkinsons, and his mother with rheumatoid arthritis.  These are both auto-immune disorders(so are eczema, psoriasis, asthma, allergies, type 1 diabetes and a host of other things that pop up in children rampantly now with “no known cause”).   I learned enough about immunity as a vet assistant to know how vaccines ‘worked’, and what they did to the immune system.  Stimulating it on purpose with a chemical additive designed to ‘agitate’ the immune system, repeatedly, did not sound like a good idea for an immune system that could already be pre-disposed to disorders.  Turned out my thoughts were correct.  There are many studies confirming vaccines cause auto-immune disorders, here is the most recent:  http://bit.ly/6t2vZ9

There has been a study published comparing vaccinated and non-vaccinated children.  It was done in the Netherlands in 2004.  Here http://bit.ly/cwcwev is the link. I apologize that it is from Age Of Autism, but the original location of the charts and info is on a site that is in dutch!! Not useful for me… Here’s a description of the study, with the lengthier site at the bottom:

The survey:
The NVKP survey was conducted in the Netherlands
in the latter half of 2004 with the parents of
635 children, and involved both members and
non-members of the NVKP. The survey was
geographically distributed over the entire
country, and the postal codes of the respondents are
known. We asked the parents to fill in a
questionnaire with questions about the health of their
child or children. All parents were subsequently
approached for supplementary information and
were asked to answer control questions. The
personal details of all the participating parents and
children are known. Questionnaires that were not
filled out properly or questionnaires from
parents who did not react to our request for
supplementary information and/or control questions
were not included in the results.

Questionnaires from the parents of children that
were not vaccinated in the normal way ­ that is,
not entirely in accordance with Dutch Vaccination
Programme (RVP) ­ and questionnaires from
the parents of children that were not entirely
unvaccinated were also excluded from this survey.
Roosendaal, 1 December 2004
see website for charts
http://www.ageofaut ism.com/files/ denmark_vacc_ vs_unvacc_ results_survey. pdf

We read about mercury, and how it was replaced with aluminum, also a toxic metal.  Here is the most recent study I could find addressing the total amount of aluminum a baby would be exposed to in just the first 6 months of aluminum-containing vaccines: http://www.nature.com/jes/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/jes200964a.pdf  It is far above the safe point set by the EPA.  Here is a quote from Dr. Robert Sears book on vaccines:

“”A 12-pound, two-month-old baby could safely receive at least 30 mcg of aluminum per day. A 22-pound one-year-old could receive at least 50 mcg safely…..
……..a newborn who gets a Hepatitis B injection on day one of life would receive 250 mcg of aluminum. This would be repeated at one month with the next Hep B shot. When, at two months, a baby gets its first big round of shots, the total dose of aluminum could vary from 295 mcg (if a non-aluminum HIB and the lowest-aluminum brand of DTaP are used) to a whopping 1,225 mcg (if the Hep B vaccine is given along with the brands with the highest aluminum contents). If the Pentacel combo vaccine is given along with the Hep B and Pneumococcus vaccines, the total aluminum dose could be as high as 1,875 mcg. These doses are repeated at four and six months. With most subsequent rounds of shots, a child would continue to get some aluminum throughout the first two years.
But the FDA recommends that premature babies, and anyone with impaired kidney function, receive no more than 10 to 25 mcg of injected aluminum at any one time.
As a medical doctor, my first instinct was to worry that these aluminum levels far exceed what may be safe for babies. My second instinct was to assume that the issue had been properly researched, and that studies had been done on healthy infants to determine their ability to rapidly excrete aluminum. My third instinct was to search for these studies. So far, I have found none…….I can find no references in FDA documents that show that using aluminum in vaccines has been tested and found to be safe.
………The toxic threshold of aluminum in the bloodstream may be lower than 100 mcg per liter. The buildup of aluminum in tissues has been seen even in patients with healthy kidneys who receive IV solutions containing aluminum over extended periods.””

“”We need to know the answers to many questions: Why does one brand of HIB vaccine require aluminum to make it work while another brand does not? Why does one brand of DTaP vaccine contain four times as much aluminum as another? Why does one brand of combination vaccine contain three times as much aluminum as the sum of its parts?””

Thimerasol has not been entirely removed from vaccines either.  It is now in ‘trace’ amounts. So TRACES?? What does that mean?…Why am I typing blue? Maybe the kid on my lap… Anyway, how much is that to a baby? Well 1-3 mcg per shot. But if you give five shots and three contain traces that’s 3-9 mcg in one injection. How does that factor when you only weight 10 pounds? Or worse 6 pounds. The EPA daily safe UPPER limit for mercury is 0.1 mcg per kg of body weight. Heres the math, it isn’t pretty. A 7 pound baby is 3.2 kgs and would recieve 3-9 mcg of mercury. That means .32 mcg is the EPA limit for that day…NOT 3-9mcg. I kept asking…how much is a trace?? I finally have my answer on this. Trace mercury is 2,000 ppb (parts per billion). The EPA limit for drinking water is 2 ppb. Twenty ppb cause neurite membrane structure destruction, .05 ppb kill human neurblastoma cells (nerve cell death). Anyone see a problem here? 2000 ppb can certainly damage something. Current vaccines are still exposing our babies to dangerous levels of mercury. The swine flu vaccine contains no less than 25,000 per cent the amount of mercury considered safe. Combination vaccines(often deemed as ‘safer’) are given as one injection but contain three or more antigen vaccines. This is a delusion, as addressed in Dr. Sears quote above. You think your receiving one vaccine, but your getting the metals of multiple vaccines and toxic chemicals. It adds up, these are cumulative poisons. Today’s vaccines contain less mercury but a whole lot of aluminum.  Here’s a an interesting site discussing how aluminum has been ‘exempt’ from safety testing by the government(though we know it’s linked to alzheimers: http://www.hbci.com/~wenonah/hydro/al.htm So I guess no one knows the ‘safe’ level of aluminum…

In case you have doubts or need something more concrete, here is a site that lists all vaccines package inserts so you can read for yourself: http://www.vaclib.org/chapter/inserts.htm

Kiddo left and I’m still typing blue, don’t know how to fix it…  Jon was still on the fence for a while, until we met with our midwife for the first time.  We brought up the topic of vaccines, and she shared her personal experiences.  She has 8 kids, and got shots for the first one, a son.  By age 2 he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.  She didn’t give the other 7 kids a single vaccine, and now she has to live forever with the guilt that the vaccine caused him a lifetime of suffering.  Here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1005209/?page=2 is a government report confirming her fear.  Yes, the rubella vaccine does cause rheumatoid arthritis, you heard it from the government, and can read about it on Pub Med.  That story was the turning point in the argument for me and Jon.  He, however, had one more hang-up.  He felt that the polio vaccine was very important.  Our midwife had an answer for that too.  The last polio outbreak in the US happened a few miles from her house, in Canton, Ohio at a day care facility.  This was back when oral polio was still given, and the staff had been less than hygenic while changing diapers.  All the adults at the facility came down with polio.  This proves 2 things.  One, vaccines SHED and can sicken others.  2, the adult’s  polio vaccines apparently didn’t work.  I, of course, cannot find a single thing on the web about that outbreak…

Like I said, Jon felt that polio might(Why am I no longer typing blue?  Who the hell knows…) be a crucial vaccine.  After what we surmised about polio, we looked into stats on other childhood diseases and their death rates.  When Jon’s parent’s moved, we found his oder brother’s baby book.  There is an entry in it from when he had mumps.  Mumps is supposed to cause deafness and sterility.  Jon’s brother is now a principal with 3 kids.  He is neither deaf, and apparently not sterile either.  In fact, after talking to many older relatives we found that they had all had mumps.  And measles.  And whooping cough.  And chicken pox(Jon and I had this<I had it twice>, so did most of you reading this I would bet).  There is an entry in Jon’s family’s compiled family history from his grandfather of the summer that “all us kids had whooping cough, and spent half the summer doing nothing but lying under a tree”.  Jon’s grandfather would have been 94 this year.  He passed away a little over a year ago, and it wasn’t from ANYTHING that can be vaccinated for.   He had his inflamed, almost ruptured appendix removed on his own kitchen table when he was 10.  It burst just after they removed it.  Apparently the lack of ‘medical innovation’ in his life, from birth(at home of course) to death(in a hospital of course) didn’t affect him in the least.  If anything, it may have made him stronger, I mean, he’s the only person I know who lived to that age?!  My grandmother is 86, and she had zero vaccines as well.  Go grandma!!

Another thing that STUNNED us while we were researching is the 260% increase in the amount of vaccines given since we were kids.  This PDF file compares the years 1983 and 2008 (I apologize again for the mentioning of autism on the site, but it’s the only place I can find a side-by-side comparison without having to type it all up myself, ugghh….).   The difference is staggering.  Most of the diseases in the right-hand column have about 20 different strains, while only 4 or 5 are in the vaccine(Gardasil, for one).  Some of them are just plain IGNORANT.  The CDC its self claims that prior to the introduction of the chicken pox vaccine there were 100-150 deaths per year from chicken pox: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/varicella/dis-faqs-gen.htm Holy cow, call out the troops. PLEASE!  This pointless vaccine is causing more serious outbreaks of shingles in older folks: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15960856 .  Not only is it causing that attrocity, it is also ‘wearing off’ once these vaccinated kids reach adulthood, and they are catching pox from THEIR VACCINATED children.  This happened to our neighbor’s son.  He was 24, received the pox vaccine when he was a kid.   He had a son, and when his son was given the varicella vaccine at 1 year of age, he got the pox and had to take weeks off work.  Having chicken pox as an adult is incredibly debilitating:  http://www.cogforlife.org/chickenpox.htm

There are other factors to consider about the pox vaccine, this page sums up quite a few: http://www.cogforlife.org/chickenpox.htm

BUT WAIT!  There’s a vaccine for shingles now!  Lets read what the FDA has to say about it:  “At the conclusion of the studies, researchers found that overall (in persons age 60 years and older) the vaccine reduced the occurrence of herpes zoster (shingles) by about 50%. The vaccine effect was highest at 64% in people between the ages 60-69, but its effectiveness declined with increasing age; to 41% for the 70-79 age group, and 18% for those 80 years of age and older.
In those who were vaccinated with Zostavax, but still developed shingles, the duration of pain was a bit shorter for them versus those who received a placebo. Specifically, the pain of those in the Zostavax group lasted on average for 20 days and for those who received placebo, it lasted for about 22 days. The severity of the pain did not appear to differ among the two groups.” So, essentially, you get a vaccine for a 50% or less(10% less every 10 years, in fact) chance that it moght cause your shilgnes pain to be slightly lessened, and it might be only 20 days instead of 22.  Well, sign me up…  GIMME A BREAK…  Ugh…  They made a crappy “vaccine” to counteract a problem that they cause with another crappy, pointless vaccine!  It just gives me a headache…  One useless vaccine that causes much worse problems than it prevents.  And that’s just 1…  I won’t get into vaccine recalls, or the fact that the Rubella vaccine was originally given to pregnant women to prevent german measels from killing infants, and then some brilliant wonder decided to start giving it to men too.  Just like gardasil…  Though it “prevents cervical cancer”, they now want FDA approval for boys too.  That would be one ABSOLUTELY effective vaccine, as I don’t know a single man who has ever contracted cervical cancer.  There are some similar dumb stories in the history of vaccines, those are just a few of the more interesting ones.

Even the non-vaccine vaccines given to children are insanely dangerous.  The ‘vitamin k shot’ is a true insanity(wash the vernix off the baby, which contains high amounts of vitamin k, then inject synthetic vitamin k into them, good.  Real good.)  AND it’s dangerous!  From:  http://www.drbenkim.com/vitamin-K-shot-baby.html

“The downside of this practice however is a possibly 80% increased risk of developing childhood leukemia. While a few studies have refuted this suggestion, several tightly controlled studies have shown this correlation to be most likely.(4,5) The most current analysis of six different studies suggests it is a 10 or 20% increased risk. This is still a significant number of avoidable cancers.(6)
Apparently the cell division that continues to be quite rapid after birth continues to depend on precise amounts of vitamin K to proceed at the proper rate. Introduction of levels that are 20,000 times the newborn level, the amount usually injected, can have devastating consequences.

The downside of this practice however is a possibly 80% increased risk of developing childhood leukemia. While a few studies have refuted this suggestion, several tightly controlled studies have shown this correlation to be most likely.(4,5) The most current analysis of six different studies suggests it is a 10 or 20% increased risk. This is still a significant number of avoidable cancers.(6)
Apparently the cell division that continues to be quite rapid after birth continues to depend on precise amounts of vitamin K to proceed at the proper rate. Introduction of levels that are 20,000 times the newborn level, the amount usually injected, can have devastating consequences.”

Rhogam?  Also bad.  One of it’s ingredients, polysorbate 80, causes infertility: http://infertility.suite101.com/article.cfm/polysorbate_80_causes_infertility Not only that, but if you google it on the ‘net, you’ll find hundreds of women who were RH+ who gave birth without it, and had no issues.  It would make sense, because if it were as bad as the doctors would make it seem, our species would have been affected by the number of RH- babies and + mothers.  They would have all died!!!  Funny, how many years ago was it now we even LEARNED about RH factors in the blood?  Just another money maker…  Don’t believe it?  Read this: http://community.babycenter.com/post/a10412935/update_on_rhogam_fiasco…argh. And if you look around, you can find similar stories of mothers being monetarily RAPED for something that is potentially dangerous, and quite pointless.   It is my opinion that ALL vaccines are mere money makers.  The more I read about them, the more I believe I’m right.

THEN we learned about the NVIC, or National Vaccine Information Center.  This is a government agency whose job it is to determine if a vaccine-damaged person deserves monetary compensation or not for their suffering.   Since we lost our ability to sue the vaccine industry thanks to some certain individuals, this is supposed to be the determing factor now for reports of side effects, and the ‘court of law’ for determing vaccine company guilt or innocence.  $2 of EVERY vaccine sold goes into a fund for the NVIC payouts.  I could go on and on about the NVIC, but I’ll spare you.  Suffice it to say, it’s like asking a candy maker whether or not sugar contributes to cavities.  It’s his JOB to ensure you keep buying his candy, because he has a monetary stake in it.  Being honest would harm his bottom line.  Only a fool would endanger their own income.

I’ll stop bitching now :-D

I have sites and sites and loads and loads and lists and lists of vaccine info.  If there’s any specific question that anyone might have, I probably have the answer buried somewhere in my e-mail folders.  The book I recommend is “The Vaccine Safety Manual” by Neil Z. Miller.  It has EVERY vaccine, it’s history, efficacy, side effects, etc.  It’s all in there.

Once I found out that there is no vaccine mandate for  getting kids into school(before we decided that there’s no way in hell Ian will ever attend school), that set our mind in concrete.  You can find laws for your individual state, most require only a written waiver for a non-vaccinated child to attend school.

Well, that’s pretty much our story.  It started a long time ago, and it ended for sure the very second we laid eyes on Ian.  Nothing so precious will ever be touched by someone as irresponsible as a common doctor…


Being Positive

January 24, 2010

“Is the glass half empty or half full??”

That depends…  Is it the Wednesday before my pay is deposited, while Jon is laid off, and I’m trying to figure out how to keep the cell phones and cable/internet from being shut off, or is Jon working, bringing in plenty of dough, so there is not as much to worry about?

Sometimes I really miss my dad.  He passed away in 2000.  Perhaps he was just really good at hiding it(now that I’m a parent I know this stuff LOL), but I never saw negativity in him.  Even in the midst of divorce proceedings, custody battles, fights between his girlfriend and me, he always seemed to have positive advice, and never had a bad thing to say about anyone.  Is that who he was, or is that who he was to his daughter?  Either way, the older I get, especially as a parent, I strive to remember his attitude and outlook, or at least what I knew of it.   He was in his mid-thirties when he had me, so perhaps he had just mellowed with age…   Having Ian has really given me reason to improve myself as a person.  And I’m actually finding it quite easy to do, surprisingly.  It’s like, when I became a parent, something went off in my head that said ‘there is only one thing on earth now that’s worth investing in emotionally now, let the rest roll off”.  And I have.  Admittedly, I used to have a road rage habit.  That did not improve once I purchased my dream car(quite the ‘race car’).  When people tailgated me, cut me off, etc, I could FEEL the adrenaline and anger, and I left a token of my regards in the form of rubber laid on the pavement on more than a few occasions.  Wow, I miss driving a stick sometimes :)  But then, like a switch, the habit of road rage is gone.  Of course, it’s a matter of safety whenever Ian is in the car.  But, during my sometimes frustrating morning commutes, the anger and the urge just doesn’t rise up anymore.  Not even when I drive the ‘race car’ in the summer months, and the most annoying idiot tries to get me to race.  It’s just gone, seemingly overnight.  I used to have major tangles/issues with and hatred and intolerance for certain co-workers.  No more.  It’s just like one day, POOF.  Sometimes I’d have a hair-trigger temper.  Never anymore.  I think I’ve been what I would call PISSED once so far this year(damn the hockey black-out, I hate being SO mad at something SO stupid, but…), and probably a total of 3 times last year.  I used to be a monthly event, or more like several times a month.  Sometimes, when replying to an e-mail pertaining to a touchy subject, I could feel the adrenaline welling up.  The anger.  I’d be seething with rage, typing away, doing my best to stay nice.  Or a conversation would come up with someone, and I could feel the anger coming, my voice would start waivering… UGGGHH!!  But now…  Never.  How did this happen? Is it the mothering hormones(I haven’t breast fed since Ian was 9.5 months old, and he’s 30 months now)?   Did I just finally grow up and mature at the age of 34?  And if that is the case, when the hell is Jon going to grow up and mature? LOL  How is it that I can see and understand that anger serves no function and is just a big waste of time and energy and he can’t or won’t?

Jon is the captain of scream-bitch-whine-yell-throw-a-fit-break-stuff-and-regret-it-later.  I realize that he gets stressed out being the laid off  ‘bread winner’, and I try to take that and all the man-feelings that come along with it into consideration, but sometimes I get frustrated with his attitude and list for him all the things HE should take into consideration when being so mad…  There are SO many things we have that lots of other people would just love to have, can’t have, have no way of getting, etc, and Jon can always find things to bitch about incessantly.  I spend more time telling him to focus on the positive…  It seems to have only a temporary effect.  Is it a guy thing?  Is it a testosterone thing?  Is it just that men mature more slowly than women?  What is it?  Mostly he is the best, sweetest, most aweome dad and best friend, and other times he’s so angry and negative.  It’s like he’s not even the same person sometimes. Does our roof leak, is our bathroom a bio-hazard in need of total replacement?  YES, but being pissed doesn’t do a single thing about it.  When money is tight, does anger help?  No.  When the car breaks, does it help to beat the hell out of it?  No.   Does it help to blame the dysfunctional inanimate object during the moment of user error?  Not usually.

There’s a part of me that used to think that Jon could just flip a switch and be more like me in the anger/stress department.  But the more I watch Ian growing up, the more I think that might just be something in his family’s DNA.  Though Jon has never thrown ‘one of his fits’ around Ian, he some how has the same temper.  If he’s, say, trying to retrieve a toy from the toy box, and it’s stuck, IMMEDIATELY comes the screaming, yelling and crying.  He’s been that way since before the terrible 2s.  I’ve tried to give him instruction from afar on  how to accomplish what he’s trying to do, and when he does it successfully I CHEER and clap and hoot and holler with delight.  He gets a big smile.  Then, 2 minutes later, he’s back to having a ‘daddy fit’ again.  Jon claims he was the same way when he was a kid, and that he got it from his dad, though he never saw his dad have a fit either.  His dad has mellowed a lot with age, I hear.  I guess that maybe I’ll just have to wait for Jon then, huh?  I wish, for his sake and for the sake of his happiness, that he could just flip the mommy switch, like I apparently did.

Overall, I am an incredibly happy person. My glass is more than half full.  Jon, on the other hand, will never be a happy person.  His glass is broken because he threw it across the room and now it won’t hold water at all.  I have my best friend as a spouse, have an incredible kid, a super dog, a house, lots of land, own my dream car, have a job I don’t loathe(and actually have fun at), and I feel that I’m well informed in things that matter to me, am capable of educating others about those things, and strive each day to be the change what I’d like to see in others.  My house is FAR from perfect, my dog misbehaves sometimes,  my cars have rust spots and are not getting any younger, I work only part time now and don’t have the financial ease I used to have,  often there are bad things in the news that negatively affect things I strive for, but through it all I am HAPPY.  Maybe escaping from an emotionally abusive marriage 11 years ago makes happiness easier for me, I don’t know.  But Jon…  he’s a ‘thing haver’.  Ever hear the song “all that I needed” by the white stripes??  His theme song.  His cars aren’t fast enough, he’s not a good enough musician, his job sucks, the house sucks, the pets all suck, all the decisions he’s ever made are bad, the yard sucks, eating out always sucks, eating at home sometimes sucks(but sucks less because there’s less money involved) there is no end to the number of things in his life that suck.  The only way I could possibly be a happier person(besides winning the mega millions) is if I could somehow share with Jon whatever it is that’s happened to me to allow me to just be calm, cool and collected, take things as they come, and only get mad at things that matter.  It takes too much energy to be pissed to waste it on a bunch of little things.  Especially when that energy could be put to use being a daddy :)

Books I Am Somewhere In The Middle Of Reading

January 11, 2010

The Case Against Homework- Sarah Bennet & Nancy Kalish

Totally bummed me out, yet excited me at the same time that I have already made the choice to ensure my kid is free of the issues and insanities that homework brings with it.  This book actually gives a play-0by-play of how to tackle the homework problem in your own school district.  I stopped reading there because it doesn’t apply to me,  and because I have a zillion other books to read.

The Last Child in the Woods- Richard Louv

I am just past the middle of this book, and it seems like every time I read some of it again, it freaks me out and angers me.   Further proof that society its self is destroying us as a people one little person at a time.   I had a MESSED UP childhood, and an emotionally abusive  first marriage, but have managed to somehow drag myself through it all, improving myself along the way.  I know now I can credit the sandstone quarry I spent years 5-14 almost LIVING in.  Thank goodness for that.

Summerhill-A.S.Neill

I just googled this to ensure proper spelling of the author’s name(too much work to go grab the book and look LOL), and I’m thrilled to see that it does indeed still operate!  Wow!  Summerhill is so shocking and so surprising that it almost seems like it has to be bunk.  It’s amazing!  I always hope to gain a little parenting knowledge from everything I read, and this book provides no shortage of that.  Most of it, though, seems quite obvious–don’t nag your kids about dumb things and they won’t become neurotic.  Too bad that almost 100 years later we still haven’t caught onto that as a society… I also have Neill’s autobiography, “Neill Neill Orange Peel”, and another book of his, “Freedom– Not License!”.  I’ll be dabbling in those soon since I’m almost done with Summerhill.  I like his straightforward no crap attitude, so I got other books of his.  Hopefully they provide as much advice and info as Summerhill.

Bev Bos’s Don’t Move The Muffin Tins and Before The Basics-Creating Conversations With Children

I’m SO glad I picked up these books, especially the Muffin Tins.  All the points it makes are SO OBVIOUS, yet I had no clue whatsoever.  Don’t show your kids what/how to do things with art supplies.  Give it to them and LET them BE.  Don’t provide an example of what they’re supposed to make or draw, otherwise they will feel TOTALLY inferior.  DUH?!  I’m thankful to that book for keeping me from making my kid feel like he might suck at art.  As far as Conversations, I can’t wait for Ian to start talking more so that he can actually respond to all the silent hypotheticals I’ve been asking him.

How Children Fail-John Holt

I searched many used book stores for ANY Holt book, and finally got one.  I’m not too far into this, but it is all as good as I had heard, read and was promised.  This particular book is sort of a journal of classes he sat in on and taught.  Again, I already feel relieved that my kid will be FREE of the stymies of a classroom.  I have no one to thank but myself for reading all these books BEFORE education begins, to save myself any guilt feelings.  I can become neurotic about anything, given enough time.  Standard education would really have killed me, had I not read things like this first.   Hooray for pre-emptive strikes!

Trust The Children-Anna Kealoha

This was actually one of the very first books I got ON homeschooling(another Goodwill score, as many of these are believe it or not).  I love all the theories in it, and I love the specific games and tactics mentioned.  I love it!  $1 well spent!!

Science Of Education And The Psychology Of The Child-Jean Piaget

I am not too far into this book.  I have to wait until it is like totally quiet so I can really concentrate to read it.  There’s a lot of terminology, things I’m not familiar with.  I think I read a sentence 4 or 5 times before I finally comprehend it.  I always heard Piaget was great reading, I just didn’t know I’d have to have a PhD as a prerequisite.

Pocket Full Of Pinecones-Karen Andreola

This book is different than what I thought it was when I bought it(lesson learned).  It is a fictional tale based on the homeschooling experiences of a current family, but it’s set in the early 1900s.  I bought this during a period when I was rather taken with Charlotte Mason and her teachings(now if I could just find curriculum sans the religion).   I have since gotten over that, but I really like the idea of nature study as a regular event.

Handbook Of Nature Study-Anna Botsford Comstock

Again with the Charlotte Mason stuff :)  This book is actually INCREDIBLE.  Ian enjoys flipping through it even now.  In the beginning of the book, the author apologizes for the size of the book(almost 900 pages), and then goes on to say that there is no more in that book than the average 12 year old should know about his surroundings.  I am WAAAY behind.  I’ve been 12 almost 3 times over, and I probably know a third of the things in the book.  Fortunately, as they say, teaching is learning.

Keeping A  Nature Journal-Clare Walker Leslie & Charles E. Roth

If I learn to draw from this book, it will be a miracle.  Hopefully Ian does.  He doesn’t already know he can’t like I do  LOL  :-D

Teaching Montessori In The Home: Pre-school years-Elizabeth  Hainstock

I was on a Montessori kick when I learned there were some around here, that is, until I learned of unschooling.  The theories behind Montessori still interest me, but not enough to pay $900/yr for Ian to be exposed.  Still, there are some fun activities in this book, especially for ‘concrete’ learning, like numbers and letters.

Homeschooling: The Early Years: Your complete guide to successfully homeschooling the 3- to 8- year old child-Linda Dobson

There are a lot of different stories in here about a lot of different families with a lot of different examples of ways they teach.  I love reading stories about things that worked for people, and what they learned about their kid from trying this or that.  It amazes me.  My favorites were how many kids learned to read just by being read to for hours every single day.  imagine it– no  books on phonics?!!?!

Well, I think that’s most of what I peek into now and again.  I’ve actually got a box next to a chair in the living room, and I pick out whatever looks good on a particular night.  I also stop for a while in many books until Ian gets to a point that it’s more age-appropriate.  I doubt I will retain much of this up until Ian would be ready to benefit from it.  So I’ll just dig it back out when it’s time.

Eating For Nutrition

January 5, 2010

My years as a vet tech got me paying attention to nutrients and food ingredients(food allergies are a HUGE problem in pets).  Feeding domestic skunks also taught me a lot about nutrition.  There is no ‘skunk chow’ available, you have to formulate a complete diet, or else you get skunks with health problems, which leads directly to vet bills.  Unfortunately, this interest took quite a few more years to make its way over to the food >I< was eating.  But now, there is a complete LIST of foods that don’t enter the home, and every label is thoroughly read(sometimes undesirables ‘sneak in’ at the end of labels).   We actually started eating really, really well in spring ’07.  We both lost a lot of weight, exercised, got a little TOO healthy, and ended up pregnant December of that year…  But I guess that all turned out for the good :)

Right, wrong or different, I never let Ian eat anything that I wouldn’t be upset about if that was all he decided to consume for a while.   That way, fights are avoided.  Not to say he doesn’t get junk food, he just doesn’t get TOXIC junk food.  Not much goes into his mouth<for consumption> that hasn’t had a whole load of fore-thought(on MY part of course).   My adventures in skunk food had led me to a human supplement called brewers yeast.  I prefer Lewis Labs for taste and texture.  It is even GLUTEN FREE.  you can check out the extensive nutrient list here: http://www.lewis-labs.com/products/facts/brewers-yeast-facts.htm You can practically LIVE on the stuff!!!  It can be added to baked goods, smoothies, cold and hot cereals, yogurt, pasta sauces, really just about anything.   It has a slightly nutty flavor, which Jon and I like, and Ian even likes I think.  At least he has no complaints about his sippys containing it.  Ian gets more than a full dose of this every day, because I am NOT a believer in man-made artificial vitamins and minerals, OR fighting over food.  Brewers yeast is a complete food, with actual bio-available nutrients.  It’s super stuff.  I highly recommend it, especially for picky kids whose nutrient consumption you’re concerned about.  It does NOT, however, flow through bottle nipples.  I had to wait till Ian was onto sippys or sneak it into his other foods.

Another thing we’ve switched in our kitchen: we cook with lard.  REAL lard, not the hydrogenated lard found in the stores.  You CAN find sources for local, real lard, it took us about 3 minutes to find a place in Cleveland that sells it.  Lard contains:

More monounsaturated fats (“good” fats) than sunflower oil and corn oil

More polyunsaturated fats (also “good” fats) than olive oil

Thirty percent less saturated fat than butter

No trans fats at all(IF you get it from a non-hydrogentaed source)!

While exploring the world of fats, we also discovered unrefined coconut oil.  Super!!!  Not only is it great for ALL sorts of cooking and baking, it’s also useful as a health a beauty aid.  Moisturizer, lip balm, conditioner, diaper rash, whatever you think you want to use it for.   The greatest thing about it, aside from the fact it is about the only other substance on earth besides human breast milk that contains lauric acid(SUPER immune booster), is that it NEVER goes rancid!  Heat and light exposure do not affect it like they affect other fats.   Some people buy it by the gallon bucket, because there is no fear that it will go rancid.  We’ve used it for about everything– baking, on toast, in oatmeal, it’s tasty stuff.

Another thing we just recently discovered is sorghum syrup.  I was so impressed with this at a local fall festival this year that I bought 6 quart jars.   Apparently, not unlike the 2 previous “wonder foods” above, sorghum syrup used to be quite popular, but it was replaced by the nutrient-deficient white granulated sugar.   Here’s a little sorghum FAQ:

http://www.ca.uky.edu/NSSPPA/sorghumfaqs.html

The sorghum syrup I got was made right in front of me– the sorghum was ran through a ‘pulverizer’ powered by a horse, then the juice was cooked down over a fire, and bottled up right there.  Conveniently, they had a nutrient composition list near-by, and they sucked me right in. 1 tablespoon contains:

Protein- 300 mg, Magnesium-20.00 mg, Carbohydrates-15 gm, Phosphorus-11.00 mg, Calories-62, Potassium-200 mg, Calcium-30 mg, Sodium-1.60 mg, Copper-0.03 mg, Zinc-0.80 mg, Iron-0.76 mg, Riboflavin (B2)-0/03 mg

That may not seem like a lot, but when you compare it to other sweeteners, it’s a goldmine.   We’ve used our sorghum syrup in baked goods, hot cereals, Jon’s thrown it into his homemade pancakes and waffles, and he even made a sorghum pecan pie for Thanksgiving.  It was super!

We also discovered a nutrient called CLA, or Conjugated linoleic acid.  It is found in meats, fats and milks from grass-fed ruminants, and in pasture-grazing(insect-eating)chicken’s eggs.  We learned about it, then immediately found a source for grass-fed beef.  We also found ‘pastured’ butter, and ensured our raw milk source is grass-fed cows.  This nutrients is anti-cancer, and it keeps joints ‘lubricated.  Interestingly enough, cancer and arthritis rates sky-rocketed at about the same rate during the same time that it was becoming cool to feed cows grains.  Even a little grain can deplete CLA in beef and milk.  This nutrient is non-existent in the average American diet(but aren’t they all?? LOL)Read ALL about it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjugated_linoleic_acid

Well, hopefully at least 1 person learns something from this, we’ve learned A LOT over the past few years about nutrition, and I keep looking to learn all the time, mostly for Ian, of course :)


JSW 2.0

January 2, 2010

No doubt he is his father’s son.  He already looks cool with a guitar.  I do not.

Local Raw Milk: Better for you, AND Everyone(except Big Ag)

January 2, 2010

Hi, and thanks for your continued interest if you’ve been here before.

I was thinking about all the benefits, health- and other-wise from our consumption of local raw milk.  For starters, I’ve been using the same glass quart jars to get milk since Ian started on it just before his 1st birthday.  We’ve probably purchased maybe 15 containers of milk from the store since then(goats dry up when its cold).  That is a MAJOR reduction in trash, just from ONE family.  The farm we purchase from now is a pasture-fed herd.  No additional feed is used(unless it’s a hard winter and hay runs out).  Aside from the energy they use on that specific farm to cut and bail hay, no other feed is trucked in, no additional packaging for grains, ‘feeds’ etc.  These cows (and many on small, family ‘pastured’ farms) are not given routine meds of any kind, so consumption of drugs, or run-off from drugs is not an issue.   Because they are pastured, they naturally fertilize their own pastures, so there is no huge problem with “where do we put 7,000 metric tons of cow poop???!?”.  We visited an all-pastured beef farm in Steubenville last year(where we purchase all our beef from), and the farm literally did not smell like a farm.  It was a warm, rainy, mucky day when we toured the farm, and there was no disgusting smell to be detected.   The cost of organic, pastured beef there was actually less than that from the store.   Same with the farm we get our milk from now.  Aside from the cows coming to the fence to see who’s come for a visit(a must for me, I like to know that animals I consume from are treated like family, as these are), and a few barns, it doesn’t much resemble a typical ‘farm’ in the sense of the word anymore(I saw Food Inc., and though I knew a lot already, that additional info made life much worse for me… Ugghh…).   Then there’s the product its self. Aside from routine sterilization of the 2 tanks in the milking parlor, energy consumption from beginning to end is nil compared to milk you buy at the store.  It’s not trucked anywhere– customers come to the farm.  It’s not treated, heated, homogenized, pasteurized, none of that, nor the energy consumption that goes along with it.  Any milk they have leftover goes to feed animals on their farm, from the chickens, to their pigs, to their cows.   No waste.   We pay $2 a half gallon now, soon to be $2.50 a half gallon because we have to switch to a different farm for the winter months.   At the store, half a gallon of organic milk is almost $4.

From RealMilk.com: http://www.realmilk.com/rawmilkoverview.html

Economic Potential of Raw Milk:

CONVENTIONAL SITUATION: Thirty cows in a confinement situation; high-protein feed to increase milk production; cows produce 190 hundredweight of milk each year; farmer sells milk to co-op and receives about $12 per hundredweight:

*Income is about $1.50 per gallon or $68,400 per year

*Farmer receives no subsidies (only corporate farms get these)

*Farmer has high cost of feed, vet bills, replacement cows, artificial breeding, interest on equipment loans.

In 2002, dairy farms in the U.S. went out of business at the rate of 16 per day.

DIRECT SALES OF RAW MILK FROM PASTURE-FED COWS: Thirty cows on 100 acres; cows are fed grass, hay and silage from the farm; cows produce 100 hundredweight each per year.

*Income on raw milk or raw dairy products is $4 – $8 per gallon, or $150,000 – $300,000 per year.

*If the farmer is making cheese, cream or butter, he has whey and skim milk, free food for pigs

*Additional farm income from pork, beef, eggs, chicken, produce, etc., possible in a diversified farm based on dairy, could be $50,000 – $100,000 per year.

*Total gross income to farmer $200,000 – $400,000 per year

*Costs for feed, vet bills, interest are much lower; no replacement cow costs.

RURAL REVIVAL: Every $1 earned on the farm = $5-7 for the local community; if 10 percent of the population would buy raw milk and other products directly from the farm, we would need 75,000 farms, all making at least $200,000 per year. Raw milk sales hold the potential for a huge rural revival.

CURRENT SITUATION FOR RAW MILK SALES Retail Sales of Raw Milk:

*Allowed in 8 states (CA, WA, AZ, NM, SC, ME, PA, CT)

*On-Farm Sales of Raw Milk: About 28 states.

*Raw Milk as Pet Food: Available in 4 states (GA, NC, FL, ND)

*Raw Milk widely available through cow-boarding or farm-share agreements in WI, MI, TN, VA, CO, OH, IN.

*Raw milk easily available in about 35 states. Worst States for raw milk: HI, MD, RI, NJ, NV, ID, WV, IA, MT, WY.

*SITUATION IN EUROPE: Raw milk sales legal in England, Wales and most of Europe; sold in vending machines in several European countries.

Many farms like theirs focus on a few specific items, and do them well.  We get pastured eggs from them as well, and they are SPECTACULAR.    We always go say ‘hi’ to the chickens, Ian says hi to them in his own personal chicken language now.   The weekly trip to the farm is something he looks forward to.  In March, when the calves are born, Ian will get to hang out with ‘little cowwies’ his size.  How neat is that?  He really enjoyed seeing all the little baby goats the first year we got goat milk, and so did we!  Talk about cute…

Many states have specific legislation that allows for the sale and purchase of raw milk and raw milk products.   In Ohio, you have to buy a share in the farm you choose, and that allows you to legally purchase and consume raw milk from that particular farm.  In PA(where I get my milk now), the farm must be registered with the state(registration includes regular checks by local govt to ensure product is pathogen-free), then they can sell to anyone.  Here is a list of states and regs for raw milk production and purchase:

http://www.realmilk.com/where1.html

The most amazing thing to me is that in Europe, you can get raw milk anywhere.  There are no strict regulations or anything like that like there is here in the US.  Europeans on lists and groups I’m on are amazed at the hoops we have to jump through here to get raw milk.  If that isn’t proof enough that there’s a health/money conspiracy, I don’t know what is…  And that’s where I will go next;  health benefits.

For those that are afraid of raw milk because it ‘spreads disease’, I’ve got to tell you this…  On the rare occasions that for one reason or another Ian had to have store-bought milk in his night-time sippys instead of raw milk, the difference is astounding.  When raw milk sits on the nightstand overnight, in the morning, it is merely separated, and has no odor.  In fact, Ian drinks it willingly, whether we know about it or allow him or not.  Now, the store-bought milk…  8-9 hours on the nightstand makes it a night mare.  It’s clumpy, it smells AWFUL, and we fight over who will wash the sippy.  It’s disgusting.  The natural anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-bacterial properties are destroyed during pasteurization.  Essentially, it ruins milk.  The process of pasteurization alters some proteins in milk considerably.  Many who are allergic to milk do not have symptoms, or the same severity of symptoms, when they consume raw milk.  Personally, I find that it does not give me the sticky, cloggy throat that store-bought milk gives.   I have a huge glass with my breakfast before work each morning, and it keeps me full longer, and I don’t feel like I have a phlegm hair-ball for half the day.  Too much information?  I apologize :)  For the record, it really doesn’t taste that different(less plastic-like if anything), and a few shakes of the jar mixes the cream back in.  No biggie.

There is a lot of info about raw milk consumption on-line.  Like anything else on-line, “you can use the facts to prove anything”, and there are probably as many sites against- as for-.  However, looking at the over-all picture, from beginning of process to end, there really shouldn’t be any other choice BUT raw milk.  Take it from my raw milk-raised 2 year old.

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