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.