Friday, May 22, 2009

Bissell Little Green Machine ProHeat Turbobrush 1425-1 Canister Vacuum

My husband Chuck decided that we needed to steam clean the upholstery. We looked into renting a steam cleaner and decided that it was more economical to just buy a little one. After hours of research on Chuck's part, he concluded that we needed to get the
Bissell Little Green Machine ProHeat Turbobrush 1425-1 Canister Vacuum.

It was the greenest little steam cleaner that we could find. It is made from 75% post consumer recycled plastic and even packaged in recycled and recyclable cardboard. The cleaning solution is biodegradable, and free of phthalates and other ickies. So far so good.

Chuck is now cleaning the kitchen chairs and I am happy to report that they are cleaner then I've ever seen them. The only downside is that Chuck couldn't figure out how to empty the dirty water and inadvertently wound up spilling it on the floor the first time, while Talia gleefully yelled, "Daddy pooped!"

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Measles to vax or not to vax?

Here is a recent article on a Measles outbreak.

The fatality rate from measles for otherwise healthy people in developed countries is 3 deaths per thousand cases, according to the Vaccination News. What they don't tell us is if these cases were in immune compromised people, the elderly or if they had been vaccinated or not.

Also from the Vaccination News:

Clients (and those who have contacted us) have reported to us a number of problems with the vaccine. To date we are aware of more than 800 instances of side effects following the MMR and MR vaccines. The figures in [square brackets] give the numbers reported in respect of side effects so far Note that some children will have more than one adverse reaction. The side effects include:

Symptoms [number]

Autism [926]

Bowel problems [309]

Epilepsy [199]

Other forms of brain damage (including meningitis, cerebral palsy, encephalopathy, encephalitis etc.) [107]

Behaviour and learning problems [175]

Arthritis and arthralgia (including crippling juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) [81]

Deafness in one or both ears [49]

Diabetes [29]

Behavioural and learning problems (in older children) [110]

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue [41]

Guillain‑BarrĂ© syndrome [9]

Idiopathic thrombo­cytopaenic purpura (and other purpuras) [6]

Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis (SSPE) [3]

Wegener's Granulamatosis [2]

Leukaemia [1]

Multiple sclerosis [3]

Deaths [22]

My pediatrician refuses to administer the MMR and will have parents not only go elsewhere to get it but she has them sign a waiver saying that she advised against it. I personally review the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization websites weekly to keep abreast of contagious diseases, their symptoms and mortality rates. Then my husband and I discuss what we feel the safest choice is for our family.

It is *my* belief that kids without compromised immune systems can weather the Measles, gaining a natural immunity, much more safely then the MMR. Whatever parents decide to do about vaccinating their kids or not, I hope it's a well researched informed decision, not based on their doctor's orders.

***Disclaimer. I am obviously not a doctor and this is my opinion only

Below is a comprehensive list of research, studies and experts on the subject. Please make informed decisions.

Immunisation against infectious diseases (the green book)
1996 edition

the MacMillan Guide to Family Health 1982
The Theory and Practice of Public Health Edited W Hobson. 5th Edition. Oxford University Press 1979.

Immunisation Awareness Society Incorporated. PO Box 56048, Dominion Road, Auckland, New Zealand. (ISSN 1170-7208). Vol. 4 No 3. Page 7.

Live measles vaccine: a 21 year follow up.

The British Medical Journal.
1987 Jul. 4. 295(6589). pp 22‑24.

Immunizations and brain damage.
Iannetti‑P; Spalice‑A; Terenzi‑S; Raucci‑U; Parisi‑P. PEDIATR‑OGGI‑MED‑CHIR. 14/3‑4 (31‑36) 1994

Justice Awareness Basic Support; a support group to help families with vaccine damaged children.

Complications of Rubella vaccination. From: "Rubella in Pregnancy" by Nick Sidle MB BS BSc. Pages 63-65.

Chronic rubella vaccine‑associated arthropathy.
Mitchell‑LA; Tingle‑AJ; Shukin‑R; Sangeorzan‑JA; McCune‑J; Braun‑DK. ARCH‑INTERN‑MED. 153/19 (2268‑2274) 1993

The Complete Family Health Guide.

The Biology of Autistic Syndromes; Christopher Gillberg and Mary Coleman; Mac Keith Press; 2nd Edition (ISBN (UK) 0 901260 92 4) Page: 57.

Autistic Spectrum Disorders an aid to diagnosis
by Lorna Wing MD FRCPsych. 1995. P7. Available from the National Autistic Society. (Our under lining)

Children with Autism
by Colwyn Trevarthen and others. Publisher Jessica Kingsley (1996)
AUTISM THE FACTS by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen and Dr. Patrick Bolton. Oxford Medical Publications 1993: Page 27.

The Biology of Autistic Syndromes
; Christopher Gillberg and Mary Coleman; Mac Keith Press; 2nd Edition (ISBN (UK) 0 901260 92 4) Page: 22

Vaccine-Induced Autoimmunity.
Arnon Dov Cohen and Yehuda Shoenfeld; Journal of Autoimmunity: (1996)9, 699-703

Dysregulated Immune System in Children with Autism: Beneficial Effects of Intravenous

Immune Globulin on Autistic Characteristics
by Sudhir Gupta et all. Journal of Autism and Development Disorders Vol 26 No 4. 1996

Commons Health Committee: Second Report. The Specific Health Needs of Children and Young People;
Volume 1; 10 February 1997;

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Re-Usable Food Industry Products-A Call To Action

I am of the opinion that it overwhelm es some people to "go green", especially restaurant owners. Lately my eyes have been wide open to the needless waste that we as a country are seemingly addicted to. Just the other day I was at my favorite wing restaurant ordering a family pack when I looked around. Diners were eating on Styrofoam plates with plastic utensils, all thrown away after being used. Really? I don't have the statistical information but it seems to me that the cost of constantly buying single use items would be greater then investing in something that is reusable.

I suggest that ALL restaurants try to do the following:



Change light bulbs to energy saving light bulbs

Nix the Styrofoam

An example of an Eco-Friendly restaurant is Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay, CA.

Sam’s is committed to the environment and ecological systems from where our food is sourced and grown – and we’re working hard to meet today’s needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Rooftop Solar Electricity
-their newest addition is a solar electric system, which covers our rooftop. It adds about 13.8 mega watt hours of electricity annually for the restaurant, saving lots of energy!

Biodegradable Packaging
For to-go items, we use 100% biodegradable and compostable boxes made from sugarcane. After the sugarcane stems are crushed and the juice is removed, the dry fibrous material leftover is called bagasse – and that’s used to create the durable, disposable to-go boxes.

Oil Recycling

We recycle all of our rice-based, trans fat-free vegetable oil from our fryers. Given that we are an East Coast-style seafood house with many fried seafood items on the menu, this represents about 300 gallons a week. The oil is picked up weekly by Dave Eck of Half Moon Bay Auto Repair. He filters and heats the oil, to produce “diesel” fuel for up to 10 of his vehicles.

Eco-Friendly Lighting

We have replaced all of our incandescent lights with fluorescent, which are known to outlast up to 13 incandescent bulbs, consuming far less energy.

Sustainable Seafood Practices

At Sam’s, we choose seafood to eat or sell that is caught or farmed in an environmentally sensitive manner, which protects the long-term health of individual fisheries and our ocean ecosystems as a whole.

Whenever possible and practical, we source fish using the Seafood Watch recommendations published by the Monterey Bay Aquarium (

The good news is that seafood that is harvested or raised more carefully often has superior taste, freshness, and purity. And better managed fish farming operations use few if any antibiotics and other chemicals.

rooftop solar panels on Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay Rooftop Solar Panels at Sam's Chowder House harbor view towards Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay sunset with boats

I'm sure that there are some restaurants in your city striving to be better, waste less and recycle. Let's support these businesses, even if it costs a little more to the consumer I'd be happy to pay now then pay the price in the long run for our excessive lifestyles.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

LolliDoo Eco-Pockets

LolliDoo Eco-Pocket Diapers: The Eco-Friendly One-Size Recycled-Recyclable-Reusable-Organic Diaper.

The outer layer is made entirely from recycled fleece. This fleece is spun from PET (beverage bottles). The skin layer is available in either certified organic cotton or recycled StayDry. Just stuff them with your choice of absorbency layers, we recommend LolliDoo Stuffins.

Folks, you are not going to believe how fast they dry. Not only do they dry fast on the line or in the dryer; but while your baby is wearing them.

Read what people are saying:

  • LolliDoo® ROCK!!! Jocelyn just wore one for 3 hours which included awake time, a nap and a poop with NO leaks. These diapers wick away moisture like none other. She can pee, and I can wait 10 minutes and check the diaper and it's BARELY, BARELY damp feeling. These are amazing!!! –Mary Frame, Florence, AZ

  • He woke up dry. John changed his diaper and said 'his skins not even damp, maybe he didn't pee last night'. I told him to check the inserts and sure enough they were soaked.-Wendy

  • I've been impatiently awaiting my first LolliDoos and have to say the wait was definitely worth it! I've been cloth-diapering my son Ike since shortly after he was born in August 2008. In that time, I've mostly used pocket diapers with PUL outers and have been pretty pleased with the results.

    LolliDoos, however, are wonderful because even on my bigger-than-average baby they are soft and comfortable. The breath ability of the fabric also is great -- Ike's bum is nice and dry when I change him. They weren't kidding when they said they dry super fast, either. We're talking maybe a half hour to line dry the pockets that I've got.

    One size is a hit with me, too. I had to sell my husband on cloth diapers by saying they're all we'll need from birth to toilet training. He's a total convert now, after 8 months. We'll never buy another disposable diaper again.
    –Pamela, Austin, TX

  • Lollidoo customer service rocks my socks! -Sarah, Idaho

Friday, May 8, 2009

My First Trip Without Kids in Four Years

I am leaving tomorrow to go to Houston. Talia, age two, is staying home with Daddy. It's a quick trip, I leave at 7am Saturday morning and come home at noon Sunday so that I can celebrate Mother's Day with my mom and kids.

I've left Talia twice at my sister-in-laws house overnight recently and she's done just fine. My sister-in-law lives less then a mile away so I know that if Talia needs me I can be there in a minute. This time it's different.

I'm sure she will be fine. I don't want to take her to a funeral because well I'd have to focus on her and not letting her run amuck. Also, I want to be fully present for my friend whose husband passed.

But still, I'm leaving my baby.

I'm sure it will be fine, but the anxiety is overwhelming.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Zoe Ellen Is a Riot

Zoe has eclectic taste in music, she loves Smashing Pumpkins (lovely for a three year old, I know), 3OH3, Elton John, Dora the Explorer and lately the Beatles. Her new favorite song is, "I am the Walrus". She thinks it's so funny and giggles every time they say cu cu cachoo. According to Zoe, this is how the song goes...

I am the Egg pan. You are the Egg pan. I am the Walrus. Cu Cu Achoo (like a sneeze)

Here is my little sprite climbing a tree while waiting for her turn to ride a horse. That's tree sap she's showing us folks.

Monday, May 4, 2009


One of my sisters, yes I have a group of friends that I consider sisters, lost her husband yesterday. He had an unexpected stroke and she lost him. Just like that, her world as she knew it drastically changed. I can't imagine what she is going through. She is strong and she is a survivor. She is having a party to celebrate her husband, a party! I know that people talk of having a party to celebrate the life of a loved one, but I've never known anyone who has done it before. Chanda is remarkable, she lost her soul mate and instead of spiraling into depression and hiding away, she is creating a send off that her children will remember fondly.

To My Beloved
By Celia Wenig

You had a talent for bringing special meaning to life,
It was such a pleasure to be your wife.
You helped me to grow and to realize
The fullness and the beauty in our lives.

Every day I counted my blessings.
Then God called, and you went away
Out of this world to a brighter day.
Suddenly my life of gladness
Turned to utter sadness.

My grief wears me down, I shed so many tears,
As I recall your love and devotion through the years.
For your sake and in memory of your name,
I pray for strength to do things the same.

To reach out, to fill the hours with useful ways,
To comfort, to cheer and have no more empty days.
I try to console myself -- it was God's greater plan,
So I must accept it, if I can.

You moved away to His splendid home above,
If there is life after death,
I know you will be waiting there for me,
With love.

Though Heaven and Earth divide us, and the distance is so great,
I count my blessings for the years you were my mate.
I will live my life remembering, while you wait, slumbering.
My beloved, may you rest in peace.