Monday, December 17, 2007

children and vaccines

These two words don't go together in our family. After much research before our son was born, we decided that we would selectively vaccinate our children. After our son was born, and much more research, we decided that we would delay all vaccinations until such time as our son could decide for himself. Why, you ask?

Besides the ongoing vaccine recalls, the questionable ingredients in vaccines (including mercury and other harmful toxins), the debate about whether vaccines truly work as well as reported, and the massive numbers of people with reactions to vaccines, some including irreversible damage or death... my son has a healthy immune system; he was exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of his life and will continue to be breastfed until the benefits are no longer sustainable or he decides to wean; and on top of all that, he is not likely to contract any disease that there is a vaccine for that is life threatening.

Right now, in the USA, the choice to vaccinate children is left solely up to the parents. This means that parents have an obligation to educate themselves about this choice and not to blindly accept the advice or pressures from outside sources, including healthcare professionals, the school district or other parents... This education should cover some specific bases... one mother I know said this:

"I wrote down all my questions in a Word doc. Made a list, something like this:
What is the disease?
Who is most at risk?
What percentage of people who get the disease die?
Who do those people tend to be? (old, children, etc.)
Is there a geographical component?
What are the known risks of the vaccine?

Go on from there. then under each question I went to the CDC site and gathered data until I felt like I could answer that question.

If you choose to vaccinate your children, you DO have options and you DO NOT have to follow any schedule set forth by any organization, you may choose to follow the CDC schedule, or an alternate schedule agreed to by your doctor, or one that you decide on yourself. Two things that you should always do, if you choose to vaccinate are
1. always break up combination vaccines, such as the MMR and the DTaP. Yes they can do this, although you may have to insist on it before your doctor admits it. Because it is more hassle for them to order them separately, they cannot bill you for the cost above what the insurance company pays them, and insurance companies do not compensate them for the added expense.
2. do not get more than one vaccine per healthcare visit. By doing this, you are better able to watch for side effects and to report any reaction to your doctor or healthcare professional immediately.

If you decide that you do not want to vaccinate your children, you cannot be forced by any authority to do so. People often say that " fill in the blank said it was a law to vaccinate my children, I had no choice!" this is not true. THERE IS NO LAW REQUIRING A PARENT TO VACCINATE THEIR CHILDREN.

For more information, check out these links:

http://wonder.cdc.gov/vaers.html - The CDC's database of reported adverse reactions to vaccines. A doctor told me that this database only contains about 10% of the actual reactions to vaccines because doctors often fail to report, death is attributed to other causes, or parents don't see a connection and don't report to the doctor.
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/mmwr_wk.html - The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

http://www.marytocco.com/questions.htm - Questions every parent should ask about vaccines.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/alston/alston33.html - A website about the flu shot and other vaccines. Contains information questioning the efficacy of vaccines in general.

http://www.generationrescue.org/vaccines.html - A website dedicated to the research of the link between vaccines and Autism in children. The link listed goes to a page on this site that lists things every parent should know before vaccinating their children on the CDC schedule.

http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/package_inserts.htm - Package Inserts and Manufacturers for some US Licensed Vaccines

http://www.lewrockwell.com/miller/miller15.html - A doctor's take on vaccinations


http://www.vaclib.org/exempt/washington.htm - WASHINGTON STATE - IMMUNIZATION EXEMPTION INFORMATION

I hope that the above information can help someone come to a decision regarding vaccinations and the children in their family.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What Christmas is all about... for me

Christmas gifts are sometimes the hardest to come up with on a tight budget like ours, but we seem to manage very nicely year after year... Last year we made fudge for everyone...

This year I am making crocheted and knitted gifts for all the people on my list. As I make each thing, I think about the person that I am crafting for and I put all my heart and soul into making the best thing I can... I have discovered that this is a very selfish thing to do, because, as I make each stitch, I feel such a warmth wash over me that I never felt when combing through Wal-mart for a gift that fits each person, while trying hard not to exceed my tiny budget, feeling bad about having to cut corners or go to the dollar store to finish shopping....

It may seem a bit cliche-ish, but sometimes I wish that people would take the time to think about what Christmas is really all about. I sometimes cringe when I hear Christmas carols on the radio talking about how many presents a child will receive. When I see so many people shopping for the perfect gift for that special someone, they often they overlook the most precious gift of all: the gift of love.

Having a child of our own this year, my husband and I have been looking at things a little different... do we want to spread commercialism and make Christmas about Santa and presents, or do we want to focus on the spirit of Christmas as it was meant to be? For us, that means a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. A celebration of the fact that, although we are not perfect, because of Him, we can hope for a better life.

This year, we wont be setting up a Christmas tree or stringing lights all over our home, we will set up our Nativity and read the Christmas story, and spend time with loved ones and focus on what Christ did for us and what we can do for others...

Monday, December 3, 2007

Bad weather

The weather has been, to say the least, HORRIBLE! It snowed, then it rained, then it snowed, then we got wind... all of which are wreaking havoc across the area!

http://kitsapsun.com/news/2007/dec/03/storm-closes-roads-major-flooding-expected/

some of the effects of the storm:

Kitsap county declared a state of emergency
at least 2 deaths
massive flooding of roads AND homes
road closures / washouts
downed trees
power outages
bridge, school, and business closures

I know that there are masses of people out there working to fix the problems, I have family who work in the flagger business and who are probably going to be pulling double or triple shifts making sure that roads are cleared and people are safe...

These people who are working round the clock to fix these problems while we sleep need our prayers and well wishes to make it safely through the night, I pray that all will be safe and these hard working people can make it home to family soon....

I also want to pray for those who have lost loved ones in this storm, or who have lost homes... may you find shelter from the cold and may your lives be set right soon.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Roseola

My son has had his first illness.

Tuesday night he felt warm so we took his temp... 102.5 (under arm) we were a little worried, but not panicked.... he's been teething pretty badly and we know that a mild fever can be associated with teething.... so after giving him some Tylenol, I went online to see how high a teething temp should go and found that it is usually not above 101.... so I went to my parenting group for advice and they all said that he was probably fighting a virus, give him lots of love and plenty of fluids to keep him well hydrated... I called my grandmother to see what insights she had and was reassured.... so we tried to go to bed.... tried being the opportune word here.... we finally managed to get our screaming, miserable child to sleep around 2am and he slept fitfully for about a half hour before waking up to nurse, falling asleep nursing and repeating the process... around 5am my husband got up with the baby to let me get a little sleep, but as any parent out there knows, it's kind of hard to sleep with a sick baby in the house.... around 8am I got up to relieve my husband from babywatch and he tried to get some sleep but had the same problem I did, so I dressed my son and put him in the wrap and we went for a walk... he fell asleep and slept for about an hour and a half, and so did my husband...

At this point, I was pretty sure that his temp was from some sort of illness, so when he woke up we gave him a bath, which usually calms him down, but did not this time... we took his temp again 103.6 (under arm)... going up! we called the doc and explained the situation and they said to bring him in.... off we go... Doc looked him over and said that besides the fever which was pretty high he had no other symptoms that would warrant the usual suspects (Flu, Meningitis, ear infection...etc) so he said it was Roseola and that we should expect his high fever to break Friday night or so at which time he will develop a rash and start to feel better.... he said there isn't anything we can do about this very common childhood illness except to try to keep his fever down and to keep him comfortable and well hydrated.... he told us to administer Tylenol if the fever went over 103 and if it didn't come down to administer Ibuprofen... so we went home and gave him the usual dose of Tylenol around 2:30pm (I say usual dose because we read the dosing instructions on the bottle for his weight and it said to give him a half dropper full... which we later found out was an insufficient dose)....

For the next few hours he slept in the wrap, nursed, slept in my arms, nursed.... and seemed to get hotter and hotter and more and more lethargic, so we took his temp again and found it was 104.6 (under arm)! My husband called our home teacher at around 6pm, because we had no Ibuprofen... our home teacher rushed to the store and got some for us, rushed over to our house and helped my husband to give our son a blessing and urged us to take our son to the ER.... we called the doc's office and he said to take him in so we took his temp again 104.3(under arm) and went to the ER....

At the ER they took his temp again and it was 104.9 (rectal).... they flipped out and ran to get some Tylenol and Motrin and gave him both.... within 45 minutes his temp was down to 101.5 (rectal) and holding... he had regained his usual cheerful disposition and was playing happily....they told us that the amount of Tylenol we were giving him was the recommended dose for a three month old and that he should get 1 1/2 droppers full...as I said earlier, we were following the dosing chart on the side of the Tylenol bottle... that is why we could not get his temp down so they gave us a crash course in infant pharmacology for fevers, a prescription for Tylenol and Motrin (to be administered, Motrin - wait 5 hours - Tylenol - wait 3 hours - repeat) and sent us home....

He played happily on the floor the rest of the evening... we went to bed and slept till around 1am, when he woke up and was completely inconsolable... we gave him some Motrin, danced around till around 3 and went back to bed.... Today he is normal, we have not given him any medicine since the Motrin at 1am and he seems happy, though wanting to nurse more frequently...

I am glad that we learned a few things, and didn't hurt our son too much in the process... but most of all I am glad that our son is starting to feel better...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving

Well, Thanksgiving Day 2007 has come and gone and the shoppers are gearing up for Christmas (some have already started) We had a lovely Thanksgiving celebration at my mother's home, and most of the family was there. The highlight of the evening (at least for me) was when my 9 month old son, who was walking with my assistance, looked up at my mother and said "Grandma" just as clear as day.... it was a Kodak moment... he also had many firsts: his first turkey, first cranberry sauce, and first cranberry-apple juice (all major traditional foods in our family)...

Speaking of traditions, I really missed one tradition this year that we have done EVERY year that I can remember, the telling of the things that we are thankful for... so I will just do it here: I am thankful for a family that is so rich in love and spirit, and for my marriage that has lasted the last 5 1/2 years...going on forever, and for my son - the new addition to our family, and for the love that is so abundant this time of year in all the world... Let us pray that we can have this love for our fellowmen all year round!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Henna: Act I



well I did it...

Valerie started at about 2:30pm (thank you Heather for watching my son) and finished applying the henna at around 2:45pm she used:

2 cups henna
equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and red wine vinegar
10 drops carrot oil
8 drops chamomile oil
about a tbs. of pumpkin pie spice

I thought that the paste would be red or at least orange but it was a brownish/greenish mud color, and about the same consistency of clay mud too... Valerie wrapped my head in a towel, then in plastic wrap and I went home... at 7:30pm I rinsed out the dried caked on mud using a little conditioner (Valerie told me not to use shampoo till at least 24 hours after rinsing it out) and washed the tub out... and waited (impatiently) for my hair to dry...


I think it turned out beautifully!

BEFORE henna

ok, so I have decided that a small change is in order, so I decided to henna my hair... my friend Valerie is a pro at henna and she has graciously decided to bestow her talents on my hair... wish me luck...

Monday, November 19, 2007

9 month well-baby

Alex had his well-baby checkup today and weighed in at 21 lbs 2 oz. and is 28 3/4 inches tall... doc said he is doing fantastic! He is more advanced physically and mentally than many babies his age... he can do everything that 10-11 month old babies can do and Doc was pleased... in spite of us ignoring almost all the parenting advice he gave us in the beginning... Then he said we had to get his iron levels checked..... for those of you who have never had to stand there and watch them draw blood from your precious baby, all I can say is you can't understand till it's your kid screaming!

We went to the pediatrician's office lab and they would not allow me to nurse Alex during the draw so we decided to go to another facility to have the blood drawn... I was nursing him just fine... the phlebotomist stuck him with the needle.... he looked at her like "what'd you do that for" and went back to nursing... then, because she did not get the vein on the first try, starts moving the needle around and trying to get the vein... that was it! he started crying at the top of his lungs tried to get his arm away from her, but daddy was holding his arm still and he could not move it, I tried singing to him, tried nursing him, nothing worked... finally it was over the EVIL woman got the blood she needed and put a cotton swab on his HEMMORAGING arm (okay so the lady was doing her best and it wasn't really bleeding much, maybe I am exaggerating, but he's my baby!) and let me rock him, she then tapes the swab to his arm and I gave Alex to his daddy who danced around the room talking softly to Alex till he was calmed down and snuffling from the AGONY of it all.... I hope Daddy's back doesn't pay for that later....

so all in all it wasn't so bad, but it was the first time Alex has had a needle touch him since his PKU test when he was 2 days old! I hope his other firsts go smoother....

Friday, November 16, 2007

I did it...

I finally created a blog.... been thinking about it, reading several, and generally just wanting to brag about my baby.... so I did it.... enjoy!