Sunday, December 28, 2008

Beads for the Forest Mimosa

I got the beads today! I cast-on tomorrow!

click on the pic to enlarge

Christmas Celebration

Our Christmas celebration is over. Alex is sleeping/nursing, he fell asleep about ten minutes after the last person left. He was so tired!

We had a great time, 11 people packed into my little bitty apartment. I cooked a feast for my family which included: Black Forest Ham, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Stovetop Stuffing with Gravy, Yum Yams, Cranberry Sauce, and a Chevres Cheese Ball.

My Grandma brought a Green Bean Casserole, olives, cookies, and fudge. My Mother and Aunt brought crackers for the cheese ball and milk. For desert, I made a Chocolate Chip Pudding Cake with Chocolate Glaze.

Gifts were exchanged and we had a wonderful time visiting with everyone. I really enjoyed this Christmas. I liked having everyone come to my house instead of going to someone else's house.

A Tearful Farewell to Co-sleeping Continues

December 26, Alex fell asleep on my lap, and I decided that rather than put him in his own bed and risk him waking up shaking again, that I would just let him sleep with us.

December 27, I layed down with him in his bed and nursed him to sleep. I tried several times to get up and move to my own bed, but every time I tried, Alex would wake up and latch back on or snuggle up to me and grab my shirt tightly. I ended up sleeping the whole night with him in his bed. When I woke up this morning at 9am, I was able to get up without disturbing him. He slept two more hours.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Tearful Farewell to Co-sleeping Begins

Alexander is 22 months old, and has been co-sleeping with us since the day he was born. I have always read and have heard that when a child is ready to move to his own bed, we would know. And contrary to the grave admonitions of some who claimed that if we didn’t move him to his own bed by the time he was 1 year old he would never leave our bed, the time has come on its own.

For the past week or so, Alex has been climbing out of bed in the middle of the night and lying down on the floor next to the bed. Shortly he would realize where he is, and will climb back into bed. We have decided that, since he is showing the initiative to leave the bed, we won’t hinder him.

We moved the mattress from his crib (He broke his crib months ago, jumping on it... we disassembled it and threw it all out except the mattress, which has been living in a play tent in his room.) into our room and put it on the floor on Christmas Eve. Alex had fallen asleep on my lap during a movie. We moved him to his new bed and climbed into bed ourselves. The new found space was a little unsettling, but we managed to *gasp* cuddle each other till we fell asleep.

About two hours later, I woke up and could not get back to sleep. I looked over at Alex and he was sleeping soundly and hadn’t moved at all. I went over and checked on him, and came back to bed. It seemed like I was having more trouble than he was with this new arrangement! I fell back asleep.

An hour later I bolted awake; Alex had rolled off of the crib mattress onto the floor and was sitting up shaking and crying. I can imagine his surprise at not being in bed with us, or on my lap where he fell asleep! I reacted. I scooped him up and brought him back to our bed and we snuggled and I nursed him back to sleep. We slept the rest of the night comfortably, our situation back to normal.

Christmas Day, I decided that Alex should spend some time in his new bed during the day so that he could get familiar with being there. We spent some time in the bedroom playing, Alex jumped on his bed and played in the corners, I tickled him, and we had a playful pillow fight.

Christmas night, I decided that the best thing would be for him to fall asleep in his bed, rather than for me to put him to sleep and move him to his bed. I watched for signs of him getting sleepy. When he was starting to get tired, we went to the bedroom and repeated our pillow fight from earlier. He was beside himself with laughter and a little too worked up to fall asleep immediately. Perfect!

I lay down on some couch cushions that Shawn had stuffed between Alex’s mattress and the wall. We thought this was a wonderful idea, it gives me a place to lay down with Alex, and prevents Alex from rolling off the bed and startling himself awake. Alex lay down next to me and nursed, wandered over to our bed where Shawn was laying, wandered back over to me to nurse, investigated his new bed area, kicked at the walls... It went like this for about 45 minutes till he fell asleep. I moved back to my bed and snuggled with my husband again. I could get used to this!

About an hour later, I woke up to Alex patting my hip. He was asking to come into our bed. I pulled him up and he sleepily rooted for my breast. We fell back asleep. About two hours later, I woke up to find him back in his own bed. I didn’t notice him getting out of our bed, but there he was! I smiled and went back to sleep. Sometime during the night he climbed back into our bed and remained for the rest of the night. I woke up with him snuggled into my armpit.

I will write more as the nights wear on...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Acknowledging God's Hand in My Life

Last week, I wanted to knit a pair of socks using two circulars, but... alas, I only had one of the necessary circulars...

My husband informs me three days ago that I need to organize my knitting needles and crochet hooks, before Alex loses them for me...

I get a coupon to JoAnn's, but I throw the coupon away, thinking "I'll never get to use this..."

Yesterday I got an anonymous gift card to JoAnn's in the amount of $25 for Christmas...

Today, I decide to go to JoAnn's to see what I can find.

While I'm putting on my shoes my son comes running in with a piece of paper which turns out to be a valid 40% off coupon to JoAnn's

I get to JoAnn's and wander back to the needles thinking that I can at least get the other circular I need... they were 25% off

Right next to the needles is a knitting needle and crochet hook organizer that is not on sale, meaning I could use the coupon on it! I think to myself, "if I get to the register and don't have enough money, I'll just pick up a couple skeins of yarn instead...

I get to the register and my total is $24.69

God is definitely looking out for me! I know it is a simple thing... going to the store is nothing spectacular, but it just seems a little convenient that all these things just fall into place. God is reminding me that He is there and that He loves me and wants me to be happy!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Secret Santa

I received a letter today, the return address block simply said "Santa". The Secret Santa wrote my address in a deliberate choppy block style that completely precluded identifying the penmanship of the author. I opened it, curious to see if the secret Santa would reveal themselves, but no luck.

Inside was a single piece of paper that simply read, "For fun." Wrapped carefully in the letter, were two gift certificates, one for me, to JoAnn Fabric and Craft Store... and one for my son, to Toys R Us.

I have no idea who would do such a wonderful thing! It was completely unexpected! We have a very tight budget, and to receive such an unexpected gift was wonderful! Our Bishop stopped by last week and gave us some money for Christmas, but it went directly toward things we needed for the house instead of just having some fun. These unexpected gift certificates can't be spent on things like food or bills... as the letter knowingly stated, it will be used "for fun".

Thank you to whoever it was who sent such a wonderful Christmas gift!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Boobs

We just took my almost 2 year old son outside to play in the snow... his first time as last year he was too young.

We have 3-4 inches here in Poulsbo, WA. and he was eating as much as he could hoark down! He had a blast!

Then he got cold and decided it was time to come in to warm up and eat sugar cookies and milk... momma's milk...

BRRRRRR!!!!! Cold little hands and an even colder mouth on my breasts! BRRRRRR!!!!!

Here is a video of him frolicking in the snow...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Our first snow of the season! We are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful area.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A (not so) Silent Night

Carolers just came to my door! It was wonderful! They were a bunch of the youth from my church and their teachers. They brought cookies and sang Silent Night for me. I gone caroling with my family, but I've never been caroled before... it was a new experience!

Forest Mimosa - Finished Swatching

I have swatched for the Forest Mimosa... can't wait to get the beads, and get started!

This swatch was done with size 8 needles... I love the fabric and the way it lays, but the guage is not right... it is too small. But I swatched to the right guage with size 10 needles, and I don't like the fabric. So my solution? I will add one chart repeat to each side of the center stitch of the pattern! It will be bigger, and I will get the fabric I like!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Building Blocks

Alex came running out of his room with a single block. He layed it carefully on the floor in the kitchen and ran back to his room, grabbed another single block and brought it back and stacked it on the first.... one by one he brought out enough blocks to build a tower almost as tall as him!

This is the first time Alex has done this, so we got the camera and quickly turned it on him. Lately though, he hasn't been wanting to be caught on camera... he wasn't pleased when he discovered we were filming him.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Henna, Act III

Today, my friend hennaed my hair again. This time with lemon juice as the activator.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fire Department Christmas

Every year our local fire department drives around the city with "Santa" and his sleigh on top of the big red engine. They toot their horn and have all the flashy lights on and play Christmas carols and people walk along with the truck giving out candy canes to all the people who come out of their houses.

This year Alex got to see it for the first time! He was a little scared by it all and snuggled into my shoulder as we stood outside our apartment singing along with the carols as the truck went by. A very nice lady came up and gave us some candy canes and wished us a Merry Christmas. It is wonderful to see this every year, even though we don't celebrate Santa... People singing Christmas carols like "Silent Night" and "Oh, Come All Ye Faithful" and wishing people a Merry Christmas rather than a Happy Holidays.... it warms the heart.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's official... and really sad

I am diabetic. Mildly.

I am not insulin dependent, though, so that is a bit of good news. Diabetes tends to run (I mean gallop) in my family, so it was really only a matter of time. Now I really need to remember to take my glucophage and watch my sugar/carb intake a little more closely.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A talking fool

Alex got to talk to his Grandma today, he has recently learned that he can actually talk into the phone and get a response! It was hard to get a clear pic because he is so animated when he talks...


Do you remember in the Asimov tale I, Robot where all the robots are "automatically updated" and begin attacking the people?

Last night, or early this morning... whichever way you prefer to look at it... Microsoft had a massive update which included the XBOX 360. Our phone and internet were disabled for the automatic update.

Just to let you know, I am not a conspiracy theorist... I am not worried that "Big Brother" is watching my every move... I am not paranoid...

But the update reminded me of how "connected" our lives are. Through the Internet, our computers and some other electronics can be updated or monitored by Microsoft, our ISP, the government, and hackers galore... notice I said CAN BE, not ARE...

I find it mildly interesting to think about how much we value our freedom and independence, but for many, the idea of not receiving the newest/shiniest/biggest/baddest/latest whatever it is that they love so much is the stuff of nightmares! We are slaves to commerce!

How would our society function if we no longer had electricity? If we could no longer play our XBOX or watch our TV or access the Internet... what would we do?

Would we panic and sit in our darkened houses waiting for someone to come and fix the problem? Find the nearest landbased phone and call in the special forces to repair our world? Drive, shakily to the store and buy generators and battery packs to power our lives?

Or would we step, blinking, into the sunlight outdoors and meet our neighbors? Take our children to the park and have a picnic? Take a drive on a Wednesday afternoon instead of waiting for Sunday? Lose weight by getting off our couches and moving our bodies?

Something to think about....

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Kitchen

I have a Blog dedicated to food, and my obsession with it.... many of you know already, but I just wanted to throw this out there....

You can always reach it from my sidebar here on this blog, and conversely you can come back to this blog from the sidebar on my kitchen blog. Here is the link to it anyway:

A Day in the Kitchen of a Choice Spirit

Happy eating!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Barack Obama is the President of the United States of America

The LDS faith has something called "The Articles of Faith". These are some of the basic tenets of our faith, and one of them is:

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

To me, this means that even though I didn't vote for Obama, I am subject to the laws of the country I live in and I should support him, pray for him, and not badmouth him....

I just wanted to say that I WILL be praying for our new President. I will support him in any way I can. I will NOT badmouth him. That doesn't mean that if he misuses his authority or breaks his Presidential Oath that I will still support him, I do not have blind faith in him... I would have voted for him if I had complete confidence in him... But I DO TRUST GOD! I trust that God is there for me. I trust that God will hear my prayers.... so I will pray for our leaders and leave the rest to God. We may not understand the reasons for all that happens in the world, but...

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God...

On the spur of the moment

We took our car in for maintenance today, then I dropped my election ballot off at the fire department, it was pretty ordinary... getting things done...

Then we decided to walk on the ferry and go to Seattle today! It was so refreshing to just GO. We had nothing else to do, so we just decided to go! We drove to the Bainbridge Island Ferry, parked the car, walked on the ferry, had lunch at the Crab House on the waterfront in Seattle, then came home.

I know it doesn't sound very exciting to the average person, but it was fantastic for us. We don't have a lot of money, we are on SSI... so it isn't very often that we just go out to eat or do something that costs money like taking the ferry, we are so careful with our budget... we don't have a lot of wiggle room. But today we decided to just go... we needed it so badly. When you live a life that is the same day in and day out, a wild and crazy spur of the moment adventure is required to keep one's sanity intact.

I just felt the need to share and to write about our adventure today.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is over... we didn't get any trick-o'-treaters... we stayed home and watched 10,000 BC, it was good!

Next year, Alex will be old enough to enjoy the holiday.... that will be fun!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm home!

The surgery went well, of course, the blessing I received said it would.... I was released home this morning, still on bed rest for a couple of days, but all is well. my husband and son had a rough night without me, the hospital said they could stay with me overnight but Alex was too rowdy and Shawn decided to go home so I could rest.

The surgeon removed the hernial sack and put a plastic backed mesh patch under the hole and sewed it in place. Apparently, the muscle was too thin to sew up, so he had to leave it open. Hopefully I wont have another grand mal seizure before the area heals.

Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes!

Monday, October 20, 2008

ANOTHER surgery

I am having surgery tomorrow, 4pm, to repair a hernia. Nothing major... but thought I'd post it anyway...

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Mimosa is finished

I swatched... and swatched... and reswatched.... and checked and measured and did everything right, and it is too small. The pattern says it should be much bigger.... oh well, live and learn.... I guess I will sell it and recoup my money and make another one with bigger needles!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mimosa update

I'll be wearing it this week!!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Rules of Life

I am on a question and answer board called Sodahead, and a rather interesting question was posed the other day: What are YOUR 8 rules to live by?

I thought about it for some time... What 8 rules do I live by? I thought about the Articles of Faith, the truisms that I had learned over the years, the anecdotal stories of faith, all of the things I was taught as a child, the Lessons of the Gospel.... all of it boiled down to one thing: Free Agency.

God gave every human being the right to decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong, what is valid and what is not, what is true and what is false.... He has let us know what He expects, but He doesn't force us to obey. So what 8 rules could I say that I live by? Well, I finally figured it out.... so I will share them with you here.

The Rules of Life
By Jennifer Blythe

1. Every person on Earth has free agency.

2. There are consequences to every choice. Some consequences require that you give up your free agency.

3. Every person on Earth will have to live with the choices they make and the consequences that come from them. You may temporarily avoid the consequences, but they will always come eventually.

4. Every choice you make matters, whether you believe it or not.

5. There are only two choices for any situation
a) to act
b) to be acted upon

6. We learn from our choices.

7. Other people may also learn from our choices. Whether you believe it or not, someone is watching you make your choices.

8. It is never too late to make another choice.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My cute kid....

We went to a park today to let Alex play, it was very busy.... and there was a group of teenagers eating pizza at one of the tables.... Alex kept eyeballing them, and finally we decided to leave and get some lunch. My husband let Alex know we were leaving and said, "Let's go get some food!" so Alex promptly runs full sprint over to the table with the teens and climbs up on the seat next to one of them, looks up at one of them and says "Bite?"

They were all laughing hysterically and thought it was really cute, my husband was embarrassed and went over and grabbed Alex and we left, I was laughing so hard...

We went to Papa Johns and got pizza for lunch...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The best is yet to come...

I am truly grateful for my eternal marriage to my one true love.

Last week we nearly lost it. It began several weeks ago when we stopped doing the little things... a kiss on the cheek, a kind word spoken when the other has done something nice, a smile, encouragement.... Next, we stopped praying together and reading our scriptures together....Then it progressed to selfishness, we both thought that we were right and we were unwilling to see the other person's point of view on any issue...It then progressed to the inability to compromise, and led to arguments that left both of us feeling angry.... Then I withdrew to do my own thing and he withdrew into his electronics, we avoided each other so that we would not have to argue. As we did so, we both began to see all the little things that the other had done as personal offenses.

We had lost our eternal perspective. Satan had led us away carefully, making us believe that we were being wronged and that the other was no longer worth our time. We had lost sight of our goal to be an eternal family and had started to focus on things that really don't matter in the grand scheme of things.

Thank GOD for the Temple. My grandmother agreed to drive us to the Temple and watch our son while we went in to try and rescue our foundering marriage. We were able to remember our sacred covenants, the promises that we made to God and to each other. We were able to leave behind all the silly arguments and hurt feelings, and focus on what really mattered.

In the Doctrine and Covenants 121:7, God spoke to Joseph Smith while he was incarcerated at Liberty Jail and He said: "Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment." Joseph Smith endured tarring and feathering, the death of his young children, friends betraying him, persecution till he was murdered by a mob, and many other things... and God tells him that he should have peace... that all of these woes would be but a small moment. And here we were, about to throw away our eternal marriage because of some perceived offenses, a few paltry arguments that we wont even remember six months from now....

That hour we spent in the Temple was healing. We saw each other for the eternal people we truly are. All those offenses, annoyances, arguments... they don't really matter. All we will be able to take with us when we leave this world is our knowledge and our relationships. We have resolved to always remember this.

That is not to say that we will never argue again. That we will never have disagreements or hurt eachother's feelings. That we will never speak in anger to each other again... that is life, the human condition prevents us from being perfect.... but we will always remember that we have something bigger than ourselves to work for, to strive for, to become better people for.... and we have to do it together.

During General Conference this weekend, we heard that "The best is yet to come..." no matter how much we have to deal with in this life, there is an eternal goal to work for.... if we can keep that perspective, when the rains come and the torrential winds beat about us, when Satan tempts us, when we feel like there is nothing to work for.... we can look to that as a comfort and have peace to our souls and know that the best is yet to come....

Friday, October 3, 2008

On Palin

Wow... I watched the VP debate and, wow... just wow... how can we be anywhere NEAR comfortable with EITHER OF THEM in the copilot's seat?

Anyway, check out this Palin flow chart on Adennak's blog... it is freaking hilarious!

it is in the blog post "Moosehunter" at

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Reproductive Choices

I am confused. Perhaps someone can explain to me why lawmakers are so willing to give a woman the power to control her reproductive system in some things and not in others.

Why are lawmakers willing to uphold Roe v. Wade and give women the right to terminate their pregnancies, but there is no federal law or court case granting legal authority to all women the right to choose to have a vaginal birth after having a cesarean.

In some states, such as Washington, it is illegal to have a VBAC in a free standing birth center. This puts women in a position of either birthing at home, or birthing in a hospital. And to add insult to injury, many hospitals do not allow VBACs in their facilities, and many midwives are not willing to take on VBAC clients. This is a multifaceted problem for them, as malpractice suits can cost a midwife more than money, it can cost her the right to practice in her state. And the final blow, some insurances, like Medicaid, do not cover VBAC if it is not preformed in a hospital.

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with choosing to birth at home or in a hospital, but to be told where you cannot birth your child, to have an entire option just wiped out for you, simply because you have had a cesarean section in the past is criminal, in my opinion.

Sure there are ways to fight it. But let's examine these options....

1. You can have a home birth, assisted or unassisted. Effectively avoiding the issue entirely, taking the power out of the hands of the medical establishment to make the choice for you... passive resistance.

This is the option many women take, however some states have made it illegal to have an out of hospital VBAC by statute or legal precedence... or by making it so uncomfortable for the family seeking out of hospital VBAC by threatening negligence or abuse that it is not feasible to proceed.

2.You can simply, or not so simply, refuse to undergo a repeat cesarean with complete open communication with your provider and your chosen hospital.

Make your birth a legal statement in this one place at this one time. Fight for however long it takes to be heard, and sometimes be ignored... birthing your child in a less than hospitable climate because you know that it is illegal to be forced to undergo a surgery against your will.

3. You can conveniently not show up at your chosen hospital till it is too late to preform the cesarean.

Many women choose this option and then end up having their children before getting to the hospital, or they misjudge their progress and get to the facility too early and have to fight head on with a staff that is dead set against it. Some hospitals that I spoke with actually stated that they would have me taken by ambulance to another hospital rather than allow me to have a VBAC in their facility... Can you imagine? Some other hospitals stated that they would "act in the best interests of the health and saftey of the mother and child" regardless of the wishes of the mother. This of course is illegal and can bring about heavy litigation, but savvy lawyers who are retained by said hospitals could argue that the woman was endangering the life of her unborn child or that she was incapable of making rational decisions and that the hospital stepped in to make the decision for her.

In any of these cases, your pregnancy is fraught with stress and worry about the decisions you face. And who wants to make their baby the next Roe v. Wade?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mimosa update

... it's getting bigger

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ode to the Hand-Knitter

EVERY knitter needs to read or listen to this book.... it is HILARIOUS and quite true to life... I am listening to the audio book, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women who Knit Too Much by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, and this quote is my favorite!

We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.
- R. D. Laing

We live in a world of machines, our world moves faster, bigger, and better with every moment. Machines replace humans and often do our jobs better. When you are knitting socks and sweaters and scarves, you aren't just knitting.... you are assigning a value to human effort, you are holding back time, you are preserving the simple unchanging act of handwork. I will remember that knitting is more meaningful than it seems.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


This morning, Alex rolled over to nurse, I popped him on and started to drift back to sleep.... normal morning routine.... then out of the clear blue sky he sits strait up, ripping off the boob (OUCH), and screaming bloody murder. HE WAS TERRIFIED!

It has been about 2 months since his last nightmare, and we thought that he had finally moved past them, but this morning was awful! My husband and I took turns trying to calm him down with every method at our disposal, I tried to nurse him, we tried walking with him, we tried to sing to him, we tried putting on Starfall to distract him, NOTHING worked. For 45 minutes, he cried like he was absolutely terrified.... then, we gave him some Tylenol....because he was all red and his temp was going up and he was going to make himself sick if he kept crying like that..... and started singing the abc's and twinkle twinkle little star (his favorite tune)... and about 5 minutes later he was calmed down and hiccuping from distress, teary eyes wide with fear, and glued to my chest (still wouldn't nurse) cuddling, with handfuls of my shirt clenched in his fist....

THIS CAN'T GO ON! My poor child has these terrifying nightmares and I feel so helpless! Is there counseling for 18month old kids? What can I do?

We have been with Alex his whole life, he has never been abused physically or mentally, never been left alone with a sitter, he doesn't go to preschool...... We practice Attachment Parenting and Gentle Discipline. We NEVER spank, hit, scream at him, or disrespect him, he has never had a time out. He has never witnessed violence, other than his birth by c-section and my seizures. We don't have television, we do watch movies and he loves Baby Einstein videos. He gets plenty of social interaction with other children, he loves visiting with family.

I really can't wrap my brain around why a child so young could have such terrifying nightmares.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vaccinations hit another low point.....

CLICK HERE to read about GlaxoSmithKline's new low....

it isn't enough that American's poison their own, now we have outsourced our experimental vaccinations to other countries!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Aikido and Fiddle

For the past few years, I have really focused on my marriage, education, and my and my husband's disabilities.... and then when I got pregnant, I focused on becoming healthy and bringing a child into this world.... and then when my son was born, I focused on being the best mommy I could be. Now, I need to take a little time and focus more on ME as a person, who I am and who I can be. I am NOT a disability, I am NOT just a wife, I am NOT just a mother, I am NOT just a scholar, I want to find out more about this person that I am.... So I have been trying to get a few hobbies and expand my horizons.

I have decided to take up fiddling and aikido.

I bought a violin in 2003 or so and tinkered around on it for a while before we moved out here to Washington in 2005 and my bow broke in the move.... I am going to buy a new bow and take fiddling lessons.

Aikido has been an interest of mine for some time. I have read about it and tried to start practicing it a while back, but I got pregnant and the dojo master said I should wait... plus I have to get a doc's statement saying that it is ok for me to practice aikido with Non-Epileptic Seizures...

Step by step, I will weed out the things that are not so important in my life, focus on making me a better person, improve my health and general wellness, and then I will be better equipped to take care of my son and my husband.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Starting over

I had a seizure last night... not a big one, but it was there....I was asleep and my arms shaking woke me up.... still haven't figured out what caused it....

25 days was really great! My record was 42 days.... except when I was pregnant, and I went the first 6 months without one..

I can either let it depress me or I can move on... it happened, I can't change that, but I WILL NOT LIVE IN FEAR OF THEM EVER AGAIN!!!! Let's see how long I can go without another!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Henna Tattoo

The same friend of mine who hennaed my hair has gotten into henna body art... and she is rather amazing! I have seen some of the art she has done on pregnant bellies and let me tell you.... WOW!

She can do some pretty complex designs, but I went for something simple. I may see if she can do something more complex down the road.

The Beach

We took a family outing to Point No Point, and went to the beach and lighthouse there... it was a really fun outing!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

pseudo seizures

I have had pseudo seizures since 2002. It is a fact of my life. It invades every aspect of my life and prevents me from doing many things that I would normally do. I have learned to do some things to lessen the frequency of them. And when they do occur, my wonderful husband can help many times to lessen the intensity or duration of them.... I don't know what I would do without him.

The worst part of having these pseudo seizures is that many people, friends, family, doctors, acquaintances.... think that I am making it all up to get attention or that it is an effect of depression and that I should be able to just "snap out of it".... it is heart breaking. And there was a point when hearing all of these people tell me that it is all in my head made me think that I was a worthless person who wasn't strong enough to deal with stress, or even worse, to actually entertain the thought that somewhere in my head I really was just making it all up..... thank GOD that I have a support network who believes in me and knows that I couldn't make this stuff up. People who were there for the whole thing and can tell me objectively that super ventricular tachycardia can't be faked, that the discoloration on my heart could not have been the result of a person who was "faking it", people who have seen me have seizures, who have been there to see me get knots worked out of my muscles from the involuntary spasms that sent my body into contortions that could not possibly be faked. Pseudo seizures are scary and absolutely REAL.

A friend of mine gave me a link to a website at the University of Michigan that talks about pseudo seizures and dispels many of the myths and misconceptions that people have about pseudo seizures. I think that every person who thinks that pseudo seizures aren't real should read this before they hurt someone by telling them that they are faking it.

also, please visit

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Thanks for the advice!

I have been increasingly unhappy with my waistline and lack of energy, I have been eating well and my overall health has improved greatly, but I still had little energy and am not losing weight. I have also been getting cabin fever and have been wanting some time alone....

So I decided to kill two birds with one stone. For the past couple of days I have been walking from my home to the Waterfront Park in Downtown Poulsbo (about 1.5 miles one way) to knit while my son is napping. When my son wakes up, my husband drives downtown to pick me up. So I get about 2 to 3 hours to get off my butt and get some exercise and fresh air, time alone to think and to knit, and a break away from my husband and son.

It has been recharging! Physically, mentally, spiritually, recharging and refreshing. I should have thought of this a long time ago! Actually, I have my older sister to thank.... she has always been there to tell me when I need to pull my head out of my butt and get moving in my life, and now is no different. She observed that I rarely, if ever, get time by myself and that this could be dampening my life.... and after thinking about it, I realized that she was right. I needed change, a new outlook on life, a new perspective. So I wanted to tell her:

Thank you for your wisdom!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Counting my blessings

I am starting to feel a little overwhelmed..... I know there are people out there who are doing much more, but going to school, raising a 17 month old, and being a good wife and housekeeper is a lot for me to handle! I have been starting to have more frequent seizures because of the stress... So I figured it was time to count my blessings so that I can see how much I am blessed rather than dwelling on how hard my life is getting, which always spirals into depression.....

I am grateful for family and friends close by that care for me

I am grateful for food on my table, a roof over my head, and a warm place to sleep at night

I am grateful that my husband finally got approved for social security, it nearly doubled our cash income from just under $600 per month to just over $1000 per month, even if our food stamps did get slashed to 1/4 of what they were....

Because our cash income went up, we are able to get a new car...
our old car, a 2-door Ford Escort, was 16 years old the e-brake never worked, the horn never worked, we replaced the head just before our son was born and then the clutch went out, the tires were getting bald and we had no money to replace them, the brakes were shot, and the miles had rolled over at least once before we bought it in 2004 and in 2005 we drove it to Washington from Indiana, after my dad paid for us to have the muffler fixed and a window replaced that had been broken.....
our new car is a 2008 Kia Rio and it had 9 miles on it when we bought it, it has a 10 year bumper to bumper warranty, it gets really good gas mileage, and it has 4 doors, which makes getting Alex in and out much easier

I am grateful for the opportunity to go to school and retrain to be able to work from home as a legal transcriptionist, this way I can stay home with my son, and be able to bring in some money.... because my seizures are uncontrolled, I can't work outside the home, so this is really a great blessing because I love working, doing something that helps my community...

I am grateful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whithout which I can't imagine how my life would be. I am grateful for the knowledge that families can be together forever, the knowledge of who I am and where I come from and where I can go after this life, I am grateful for a community of loving people who care about me and my family and would never let us go hungry or without basic human needs

I am grateful to live in such a beautiful place, where I can look out my back door and see the bay and the trees and let my son play in the clean grass

There really are so many things that I have to be thankful for... I could never list them all... I feel much better knowing that I have things to be grateful for, it makes the world seem a little brighter!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Could you live without your car?

This website is dedicated to scoring cities and neighborhoods on how walkable they are. As it says on the website, it doesn't take into account aesthetics such as how pretty a place is, it only scores based on how convenient it would be to live your life on foot..... how easy would it be for you to walk to get your groceries, to the park, to the movies, to the library...etc... It also doesn't take into account things like public transportation, safety, or topography.

Take Silverdale, Wa for example.... my old childhood stomping grounds... got a 94%... "A Walker's Paradise".

Silverdale is a relatively small place, and as such doesn't have the crime rates of larger cities, so it is a "safe" place to walk. As long as you live in Silverdale, proper, and not on the outskirts, you could do very well without a car! As the website states, there are LOTS of things to do and see in Silverdale and you are never far away from refreshment, relaxation, entertainment, or work. And although Silverdale is located in a valley surrounded by hills that would not be friendly to walk up carrying a load of groceries, the public transit system is really great and can transport you to neighboring cities and even to a ferry to visit Seattle. Plus a bonus..... Silverdale is gorgeous! It boasts views of the water, a robust historical downtown area, several parks, and even a dedicated walking path that winds through the city.

How does your favorite city rate?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A compromise

Everyone in my family seems to think that I look great with long hair, but I HATE having long hair! It is so hard for me to manage and I end up just throwing it up into a ponytail.... I promised my husband that I would not go back to my favorite hairstyle, which is close to a pixie cut, but since I can't stand having gobbs of hair, I worked out a deal, I will maintain it at shoulder length....

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Kitchen is Open!

I have been listing my favorite recipes here on my personal blog for some time now, but the page seems to be getting longer and longer...... and I don't know about you, but I hate browsing pages that take forever to load because they have no end, so I have created A DAY IN THE KITCHEN OF A CHOICE SPIRIT to post my favorite recipes.... enjoy!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Beloved Wife, Mother, and Friend

My Step-Mother, Serena, passed away this morning. I cannot express how much she meant to me and my family. Words, simply aren't enough... they seem hollow, inadequate, and anything I say would necessarily be missing some important part of who and what she was, but not to say something of what she meant to me would be even worse.... so I will try....

To me, she was a mother who cared for me when my own mother was not able to be there. She was a friend who listened to me when I cried and cried with me. She explored knowledge, whimsy, spirituality and hope with me whenever I needed a companion on those journeys. She kept me grounded when I began to float to high, and she encouraged me to spread my wings when I felt lead in my soul. She fought my stubborn streak with a love that I didn't deserve. She cried when I made mistakes, but she tried to let me learn from them. She beamed in pride when I accomplished the impossible. She tempered my father's protective nature.... there really is no end to what she was to me. Even now, she is a source of strength to me.

She found out she had Lou Gehrig's Disease in July of 2005 and suffered for 3 years before succumbing to the diseases ravaging effects. She went from walking to work daily to lying in a bed in a nursing home, unable to command her body to do the simplest task. But she always comforted those around her rather than engage in pity over her situation. She was a pillar of strength to all those who knew her, and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to have been her daughter.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independance Day 2008

The city of Poulsbo, WA. had their fireworks display this evening and we got some gorgeous pictures of it from our back yard....

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008


Since Alex was born, he has always needed me to nurse him to sleep, or my husband to rock him to sleep, or at least one of us to hold him....

Yesterday we were all watching Star Trek and Alex disappears into his bedroom to play with his toys... we usually don't think much of it, his room is kid proof and we moved all of his toys in there last week because he seemed to go in there often for some time alone. Well an hour goes by and I checked on him frequently and he was quietly playing with some toys, then all of a sudden he starts crying! I rushed in to find him sitting in his rocking chair shaking from head to toe as if he had been sleeping and was suddenly jolted awake, I scooped him up and he promptly fell back asleep before I made it back to the living room. I thought, "Wow, he must have been really tired and just fell asleep!"

Well about half an hour ago, we were all sitting in the living room watching a movie and Alex was nursing contentedly. Then he got down and went into his room to play. Then it got quiet, so I just now went in to see what he was up to and he is curled up on the floor sleeping!

Without us even realizing it, I think my baby has outgrown the need to have us help him go to sleep!

Maybe it is this heat we have been having lately.... he hasn't been wanting to be in the wrap, he has been refusing hot foods, when he nurses it is brief and he sometimes asks for water after nursing..... He has also been running around the house naked... we have the deck door open and his kiddie pool is filled to about his ankles and he frequently goes out to play in the water....

*sigh* I think he is growing up too fast....

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More on the Vaccine Controversy

On my Parenting group, an article was posted concerning the AAP's action against parents who are not meeting their expectations for vaccinations, the article can be found at a blog called Vaccine Awakening. I would suggest that every parent read this article and many of the other articles on this blog. In this article, Barbara Loe Fisher says:

"Educated parents of America attempting to make informed, voluntary vaccination decisions for your children be warned: your pediatrician is out to change your mind about vaccination or teach you a lesson you will never forget.

Hang on to your child because the doctor you have trusted with your child's life might just try to make you out to be a bad parent and not only throw you out of the office but notify state officials to charge you with child medical abuse if you don't agree to give your child every one of those 69 doses of 16 vaccines that doctors working for the Centers for Disease Control say all children from birth to age 18 must get.

Be prepared that the doctor, who you pay to keep your child well, may dutifully obey recent orders given by the AAP leadership to implement one-size- fits-all government vaccine policies: no questions asked. The next time you visit your pediatrician and attempt to ask a question about vaccine reactions or suggest your child get fewer or no vaccines (especially if your child has already suffered serious vaccine reactions your doctor refuses to recognize) be prepared to be humiliated, harassed, threatened and thrown out of the office.

The message from the AAP leadership to vaccine-educated parents is: you WILL give your children every vaccine that industry produces even it brain damages or kills them. You DO NOT have the human right to protect your child from vaccine injury and death because you MUST sacrifice your child for what AAP and government officials have decided is the "greater good." Your child does NOT belong to you and if you don't agree to do exactly what we say, we will make sure your family is denied medical care."

This is the letter, referenced in the blog article above, written by All Star Pediatrics, a medical office in Lionville, PA. This letter is being disseminated by the American Academy of Pediatrics as a template form to fight the growing number of parents in this country who find that the vaccines are unsafe and are choosing not to vaccinate or choosing to alter the schedule of the CDC.

We firmly believe in the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent serious illness and to save lives.

We firmly believe in the safety of our vaccines.

We firmly believe that all children and young adults should receive all of the recommended vaccines according to the schedule published by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

We firmly believe, based on all available literature, evidence and current studies, that vaccines do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities.

We firmly believe that thimerosal, a preservative
that has been in vaccines for decades and remains in some vaccines, does not cause autism or other developmental disabilities.

We firmly believe that vaccinating children and young adults may be the single most important health-promoting intervention we perform as health care providers, and that you can perform as parents/caregivers. The recommended vaccines and their schedule given are the results of years and years of scientific study and data-gathering on millions of children by thousands of our brightest scientists and physicians.

These things being said, we recognize that there has always been and will likely always be controversy surrounding vaccination. Indeed, Benjamin Franklin, persuaded by his brother, was opposed to smallpox vaccine until scientific data convinced him otherwise. Tragically, he had delayed inoculating his favorite son Franky, who contracted smallpox and died at the age of 4, leaving Ben with a lifetime of guilt and remorse.

Quoting Mr. Franklin’s autobiography:
In 1736, I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the smallpox…I long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it, my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.

The vaccine campaign is truly a victim of its own success. It is precisely because vaccines are so effective at preventing illness that we are even discussing whether or not they should be given. Because of vaccines, many of you have never seen a child with polio, tetanus, whooping cough, bacterial meningitis or even chickenpox, or known a friend or family member whose child died of one of these diseases. Such success can make us complacent or even lazy about vaccinating. But such an attitude, if it becomes widespread, can only lead to tragic results.

Over the past several years, many people in Europe have chosen
not to vaccinate their children with the MMR vaccine af ter publication of an unfounded suspicion (later re tracted) that the vaccine caused autism. As a result of underimmunization, there have been small outbreaks of measles and several deaths from complications of measles in Europe over the past several years.

Furthermore, by not vaccinating your child you are taking selfish
advantage of thousands of others who do vaccinate their children, which decreases the likelihood that your child will contract one of these diseases. We feel such an attitude to be self-centered and unacceptable.

We are making you aware of these facts not to scare you or coerce you, but to emphasize the importance of vaccinating your child. We recognize that the choice may be a very emotional one for some parents. We will do everything we can to convince you that vaccinating according to the schedule is the right thing to do. However, should you have doubts, please discuss these with your health care
provider in advance of your visit. In some cases, we may alter the schedule to accommodate parental concerns or reservations. Please be advised, however, that delaying or “breaking up the vaccines” to give one or two at a time over two or more visits goes against expert recommendations, and can put your child at risk for serious illness (or even death) and goes against our medical advice as providers at All Star Pediatrics. Such additional visits will require additional co-pays on your part. Furthermore, please realize that you will be required to sign a “Refusal to Vaccinate” acknowledgement in the event of lengthy delays.

Finally, if you should absolutely refuse to vaccinate your child
despite all our efforts, we will ask you to find another health care provider who shares your views. We do not keep a list of such providers, nor would we recommend any such physician. Please recognize that by not vaccinating you are putting your child at unnecessary risk for life-threatening illness and disability, and even death.

As medical professionals, we feel very strongly that vaccinating
children on schedule with currently available vaccines is absolutely the right thing to do for all children and young adults. Thank you for your time in reading this policy, and please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about vaccines with any one of us.

I found the full letter at the AAP website on "Helping parents who question vaccines"

I find it appalling that the AAP is now attacking parents for becoming informed. For making decisions about their child's health that is not based on lining the pockets of Big Business, we are now being forced out of doctor's offices across the country and are being denied basic health care for our children. These people claim to be acting in the best interests of our children, but they refuse to treat and care for those children who do not meet their standards!

Please do not allow yourselves to be bullied into compliance, there are good doctors out there who believe in the rights of parents to make informed choices about their children's health. For more information on how you can fight this newest attack, please visit

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Making Focaccia

This is a fantastic visual walkthrough on how to make Focaccia.

I top my dough with olive oil, basil, and crushed garlic instead of the fresh rosemary and salt they use here.... toppings are a matter of taste, there are no set rules for making Focaccia. I have heard that topping with cheese before baking can lead to over browning of the cheese and a bitter taste. I sometimes add Feta cheese before the final baking though with great results.

This Focaccia is great by itself, with Bruschetta, or just about any thing really. I have used Focaccia in place of pizza dough in my Mediterranean Pizza recipe (listed below in the recipe section). Simply prepare the Focaccia as directed, but before taking it off the pan to put directly on your oven rack, top with the pizza ingredients.

Focaccia freezes well, so it is easy to make several "personal size" Focaccia at one time and freeze them for future use, but since they are so easy to make, I prefer to make them up as needed.

Here is the basic recipe for the Focaccia that is made on this video, transfered into American terminology.... I did not list any of the topping ingredients, because tastes vary. And of course you will need extra olive oil for drizzling on top.

NOTE: He uses the sugar to "feed the yeast" however, the sugar is not can omit the sugar and let the yeast proof in the warm water for 5 minutes, then gently stir the yeast to dissolve completely.


2 tsp. dry yeast and 1 tsp honey or sugar
3/4 cup warm water
3 3/4 cups white bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mimosa - Update 2

Finished with the Mimosa Border Chart.... starting on the body next...

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Alex has recently discovered the fun that blankets can provide.... he loves to play in the blanket tents that Daddy builds for him and he loves to play peek-a-boo when he wakes up in the morning...

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I have cast on the Mimosa Wrap from Big Girl Knits (pictured above). It is a challenging pattern.... at least for me.... I learned to knit last September as a birthday gift to myself.... I have tried to start this shawl 4 times, and each time something has gone awry, and I have had to frog the entire thing. I feel like it is doing quite well this time, and I have finished the lower edging and have started the first row of the mimosa border. I will keep posting about the shawl as I complete more of it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

a little overboard....

Dunkin' Donuts stopped airing an add featuring Rachel Ray expounding the wonders of the massively popular donut chain because her stylist chose a rather lovely scarf with fringe on it for her to wear during the shoot and someone thought it resembled a keffiyeh, a traditional headdress worn by Arabs that has come to symbolize terrorist jihad...

I just don't see it...

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Okay, so it's not a huge project, but I feel such a sense of accomplishment for having finished this. It is a drawstring bag for my sister, who is getting married. She asked me to provide the "Something Blue" for her wedding... you know the old wedding good luck rhyme.... "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a penny in your shoe"

Obviously she wont want to carry this down the aisle with her, but I wanted to put a little effort into making something for her to keep for a long time to remember how I was a special part of her wedding. So I have put a little garter, inside for her to wear down the aisle... of course, she probably wont come home with the garter as it is tradition for the groom to remove it at the reception and throw it to the guys like the bride throws her flowers to the girls.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Husband, The Gamer

This is so true... I have heard the "I just have to finish this area/level/kill this boss" routine before, and my husband did "buy me" an XBOX for Christmas a few years back...

On Being Mom

Mothers throughout history have been admired and respected in many ways. Here we celebrate mothers on Mother's Day by giving gifts, our time, and our love; but many cultures revere women throughout the year and in many different ways. From honoring those women who cannot bear children in this life, to holding ceremonies to honor women who are about to give birth, to honoring women in their roles as grandmothers, women are loved and cherished by those that know them.

One of the most awesome powers that women posses is that of co-creator with God. Robert M. Bowman said it this way, "Conceiving, carrying, and giving birth to a human being is as close as any person can come to the act of creation. That is the beginning of motherhood. But it is far from the end." I believe that the sacred power to bear children is reason enough to revere women.

Bowman continues: "Motherhood is also nurturing, sacrificing, loving, and ultimately letting go." It is humbling to me because I know what an awesome responsibility I have as a mother to nurture and rear my children in righteousness and love. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has said that "Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels.

I am only just beginning my journey into motherhood, I have one child and he is only 15 months old. I pray daily that I will have the strength to be the best mother that I can be. I know that I will stand in triumph, that I will falter, that I will be proud of my children, that I will be saddened by their choices. I know that I will work my hardest to give them the tools they need to become the best that they can be. I know that when it is finally time to let them go out into the world and stand on their own two feet that I will do it with sadness. I can only hope that they will be better people than I am.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Another article questioning the safety of vaccinations...

By Byron J. Richards, CCN

April 10, 2008

It is a colossal failure on the part of our government to not warn parents of the actual risks associated with vaccines. The blind insistence that vaccines are safe and effective is not supported by science, at least for a significant number of our children. There are now 25,000 children per year developing autism (1 in 150), a problem that has expanded in direct proportion to the increase in vaccinations. How do you know if your child is at risk?

The government's primary goal appears to be to prevent parents, en masse, from refusing to vaccinate their children. To prevent such a "run on the public health bank" all caution is being recklessly thrown to the wind. American children are now the most vaccinated people in the world. What are we actually doing? The vaccination problem needs to be objectively solved so that public health is maintained, yet needless vaccine injury is avoided.

It should not be of any great comfort to parents that scientists hardly understand how the immune system works. The simplistic idea that vaccines offer protection against disease has an element of truth and a significant element of risk. This article explores the risk in greater depth. I will first explain what is known about the nature of the risk and follow with some natural options that can really help out.

Vaccine Adjuvants - A Double-Edged Sword

Giving a fully active virus as a vaccine would obviously cause the disease. On the other hand, a weakened or deadened form of the virus may not produce much of an immune response thereby making the vaccine worthless. This problem has been "solved" by combining the weakened disease with an immune activator called an adjuvant.

An adjuvant does not contain the disease; rather it is intended to initiate the first step in fighting an infection - the inflammatory response. This is like giving a general wake up call to the immune system. This can be done with an irritant or a more specific toxin the immune system is likely to recognize based on eons of exposure.

In the irritant category the most common adjuvants used in vaccines your child will get are salts of aluminum (aluminum phosphate and aluminum hydroxide). The safety of aluminum salts has been called into question following the poor health of many Gulf War Veterans who received multiple aluminum adjuvant vaccinations. Many scientists consider that their poor health was caused by the adjuvants in the vaccines they were given. In 2003 French researchers identified aluminum hydroxide vaccine adjuvants as the cause of a new disease consisting of pain and chronic fatigue; noting similarities to problems in Gulf War soldiers.

In a recent study mice were given aluminum hydroxide at doses comparable to Gulf War soldiers. Extensive testing was done of their cognitive ability as well as analysis of the nervous system upon sacrifice. The results showed that aluminum hydroxide caused nerve-related motor defects. Analysis of brain tissue showed 255% increase in inflammatory markers along with 35% loss of motor neurons.

It has been over a year since this study was published. Why isn't the CDC doing the same experiment with the adjuvant load from their recommended vaccine schedule? Any substance that is adversely neurotoxic in an adult is likely to be more neurotoxic in the evolving nervous system of a baby. Not following up on this is gross negligence on the part of the CDC.

Another common adjuvant is bacterial endotoxin (the outer membrane of the cell wall of Gram-negative bacteria), also known as lipopolysaccharide or LPS. Since we have been battling bacteria since the beginning of our evolution, our immune systems recognize LPS as an invasion - setting off a powerful inflammatory immune system reaction. The toxicity of any bacterial infection relates to LPS.

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health freely acknowledge that the proinflammatory effects of adjuvants in vaccines "underlie many of the observed toxic effects." What the new science shows very clearly is that all the inflammation that is generated by adjuvants is actually not necessary for activating the immune response.

This means that our government is sticking by a vaccine program that relies on firing a toxic shotgun at the immune system even though they know a laser-guided approach would have much less risk of vaccine injury from direct toxicity. The problem for our government is that they don't currently have the ability to make safer vaccines; thus they blindly defend the safety of a very crude approach and refuse to conduct tests that would easily show the current vaccine program is not safe. It is quite clear that an inflamed nervous system is an undeniable feature in autism.

What Does NF-kappaB Have to Do With It?

Nuclear Factor kappa-B is the "brain" residing within every cell of your body, including cells of your nervous system. It is a gene transcription factor, meaning that it tells your cells how to behave depending on what is happening. When everything is running smoothly, NF-kappaB has its feet up on the lawn chair in a relaxed mode of operation. Under stress NF-kappaB initiates survival strategies. NF-kappaB is the main regulator of all inflammatory and immune responses, and is intimately involved with the healthy function of your nervous system. NF-kappaB is an active intelligence within your cells. The last thing you would ever want to do is mess up NF-kappaB.

Adjuvants, due to their intentionally inflammatory mode of operation, activate NF-kappaB. This is done to ramp up the immune system so it can "see" the weakened virus in the vaccine. The million dollar question is: "How much NF-kappaB activation can a child take before their NF-kappaB system overheats and sets a fire in their brain called autism?" When NF-kappaB overheats it generates large amounts of inflammatory immune system messengers (like TNFa and IL6) and massive numbers of free radicals that damage nerve cells.

If a child is already acutely inflamed then the NF-kappaB pump has already been primed and the risk for vaccine injury is greater. Acute inflammation is caused by illness, injury, surgery, poor diet, and stress at home. This problem is magnified if the child had a history of inflammation while in the womb, was born prematurely, or had health struggles during the first few years of life. Even a previous round of vaccines can prime the inflammatory NF-kappaB pump. Environmental toxicity is another factor that cannot be ignored, as is the health of the mother prior to and during pregnancy. A mother's obesity and eating habits have a significant effect on the nerve health of her child.

The main point to understand is that if the NF-kappaB system is already on the edge of overheating due to other factors, then the intentional pushing of this system with vaccines poses a serious risk to the child. Multiple vaccines given at one time, with multiple pro-inflammatory adjuvants, obviously increase the risk. Any person objectively reviewing the science on this issue could reach no other conclusion.

The issue of NF-kappaB is so important that the next generation of vaccines will utilize it in an attempt to make less toxic vaccines (the laser-guided approach rather than the shotgun). While NF-kappaB-targeted vaccines will be less blatantly toxic, making them free of adverse side effects is another story altogether. Manipulating NF-kappaB is playing with the essence of the life force of a cell. At any given time there are numerous ons and offs relating to how NF-kappaB is naturally working to maintain health. The new vaccines will turn on the inflammatory aspect of NF-kappaB - which could easily upset the applecart in some other needed aspect of health.

No matter how good research scientists are at developing new vaccines, there will always be a percentage of at-risk-already-inflamed children who are likely to respond in a poor manner. Vaccine safety is not just about better vaccines; it's also about protecting those who are most likely to poorly react to them. It is not possible to have a good public health policy for disease prevention that fails to take this fact into account.

Nutrients that Can Help

Mother Nature has provided an array of NF-kappaB modulating compounds. Unlike drugs, nutrients are far more compatible with genes as we evolved using nutrition to assist survival. When we provide our cells needed nutrients, NF-kappaB seems to know what to do with them. It is very clear that NF-kappaB uses nutrition to help cool itself off - like a tall glass of ice water on a hot day.

A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables is the foundation for NF-kappaB anti-inflammatory nutrition. When a mother eats this way during pregnancy and while nursing she is passing tremendous benefit to her child. It is now clear that such good health habits are passed along, a type of fetal programming of the taste system, wherein the child is now more likely to eat healthfully and consequently have better function of NF-kappaB.

On top of a good diet there are certain "super nutrients" that significantly help NF-kappaB behave in a healthy manner. These help NF-kappaB not get overheated or too bent out of shape. The following list of nutrients is by no means complete; I've selected them because I've used them for years and I know they work. There is plenty of science to support their common sense use, for young and old.

Such extra nutrient support can be used as needed to:
1) Calm down nerves from existing life stress or a pattern of wear and tear,
2) Calm down nerves following an inflammatory event, such as vaccinations,
3) Stabilize nerves that are struggling,
4) Generally improve cognitive function and nerve development.

The five nutrients I've selected for discussion are the tocotrienol form of vitamin E, the herb silymarin, grape seed extract, lipoic acid, and acetyl-l-carnitine. This is a treasure trove of NF-kappaB modulating nerve and energy support nutrients.

Tocotrienols are a special form of vitamin E with unique antioxidant properties that are in many ways superior to plain vitamin E. For example, a recent study showed that tocotrienols offered superior protection to the nervous system from methylmercury - a potent nerve toxin. It is very clear that tocotrienols work by modulating NF-kappaB, are a superior brain protecting nutrient, and are also helpful for inflammation in the circulatory system by reducing NF-kappaB.

Silymarin or Milk Thistle is an herb that is commonly used to protect the liver as well as to help the liver clear toxins. Silymarin also works by modulating NF-kappaB to turn down inflammation. One study showed it was able to stop the LPS induced toxicity in brain cells. Another study showed it stop the autoimmune-driven damage to nerves (demyelination) while reducing inflammation.

Grape seed extracts contain proanthocyanidins that have also been shown to directly turn off LPS toxicity by turning down NF-kappaB. Taking the extract before damage to the nerves, as from alcohol consumption, helps prevent brain damage. Taking the extract after damage to nerves is already in progress helps stop the damage. Grape seed extracts are another top choice for nerve protection.R-Alpha Lipoic Acid and Acetyl-L-Carnitine work synergistically to restore mitochondrial energy production in nerve cells. It is now believed that one factor involved with vaccine injury is poor mitochondrial function. Lipoic Acid is another nutrient now proven to lower NF-kappaB and reduce the inflammation associated with LPS toxicity. Acetyl-l-Carnitine has been extensively studied for its role in memory and cognitive function. It also exerts powerful nerve protection by a variety of different mechanism.

As you can see, there is plenty of science to support the use of nutrition to help out the brain - and this is just a sample of some of the better options. These nutrients are typically quite easy to mix into juice, apple sauce, or yogurt. The tocotrienol oil can be squeezed from the softgel capsule directly into the mouth. Powders can be mixed in water and administered with a dropper during nursing. Moms can take any of these nutrients which will transfer in her milk.

Nutrition excels at the safe and natural regulation of inflammation, including nerve inflammation, primarily by helping NF-kappaB work normally.

© 2008 Truth in Wellness, LLC - All Rights Reserved


When I saw my Bradley Method instructor carrying her child in a blue ring sling, I thought to myself, "Huh, that's an interesting way to carry a child...." Over the next 12 weeks, as I learned about the art of birthing, I watched them.

I watched as she secured her daughter in the beautiful fabric, thinking that it was very nice to have your child close to you. I watched as the little girl cuddled against her mother, and fell asleep. I watched as she astutely observed her mother teaching and gazed questioningly at the world around her. I watched as they naturally looked into each other's eyes often without missing a beat in the conversation around them. I saw how she would adjust the tension on the sling to allow the child to lay down or sit up. I watched as she nursed her child with only a slight movement to get her latched on. I remember thinking that it seemed so natural, it seemed to me that THIS was a perfect way to nurture a child. But I never asked her about it. I didn't know what it was called, so I had enormous trouble trying to look it up on my own, and finally gave up on it.

I started going to my local La Leche League just a couple of months before my son was born because I wanted to build a good support network for breastfeeding. Several of the women there had their children in slings, wraps, mei tais, becos, and ergos.... I never even imagined that so many ways to carry a child existed! Finally my curiosity got the best of me and I waddled up to the nearest momma and asked about this amazing invention. She told me about a group of mommas who got together to support each other in babywearing and to learn more about the subject. She gave me a phone number to the amazing lady who ran the Nine In Nine Out meetings from her home.

(The NINO organization was an organization dedicated to the art of babywearing and introducing new moms to it. The official organization has since disbanded but our local leader is still an amazing resource for babywearing)

I went to the next meeting and was finally introduced to the concept, the miracle, the wonder that is babywearing and the women who have kept this ancient tradition alive in Kitsap County. I tried on several different types of carriers and decided that I liked the SPOC wrap best. I purchased a length of material suitable for babywearing at the local fabric store and a wonderful momma from the NINO group sewed the edges up for me. I showed the invention to my family who all urged me to stop with the "natural kick" I was on and to just get a stroller and be normal. My mother even told me that only people in third world countries carried their children in such a manner. I was disappointed that they were not as excited as I was, but I was undeterred in my resolve to carry my child close to me.

My son has been carried in this manner since he was about 5 days old. I have convinced my mother and many of my family members that babywearing is a fine thing. Many people I have run into think it is really neat to be able to freely go wherever I want to go with my child. They think it is fantastic how I can do two-handed tasks without having to find a place for my child. They think it is wonderful that I can nurse my child discreetly.

All of these things are wonderful perks to babywearing, but I find that the reasons I carry my child this way have nothing to do with these things. I love how happy and content my son is, how engaged he is in the world around him. I love that I have helped to create a bond with my child that will last throughout his life. I love that when he needs comfort or closeness that he comes to me or to his father to be held rather than to a stuffed toy or a blanket. Babywearing is an ancient practice that can be found in every culture, in every part of the world. Different cultures use different methods to secure their children to them, but the concept is the same. They all know that carrying your child with you has benefits that can't be measured.

Here are a couple of websites that offer information on the benefits and history of babywearing, you can also browse around these sites to find information on how to start babywearing: how to use different carriers, how to choose a carrier that works for you, where to buy or how to make different carriers..... and much much more.