Fun Friday: Recipes I Will Never Try
Friday, March 30, 2007
They ate some weird things in the good old days. Sometimes, just for entertainment, I'll peruse the "wild game" section of The Joy of Cooking. It tells you how to skin a squirrel and make armadillo casserole. Jethro would be proud.

My mother has a copy of the worst cookbook in the world. It was published in the 70's and involves as much canned food as possible. I'm not even sure where I could find some of this stuff, even if I ever wanted to try the recipes! Way too many recipes feature ALL of the following ingredients - canned asparagus, weiners, and cream of mushroom soup. One particularly industrious dessert, for the serious hostess, calls for canned grapes.

Kind of like Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee, but without the color coordinated draperies.
(I mean really, would you make this? I'm sure it's easy, with the canned cherries, instant rice, chocolate chips and all... but do chocolate covered cherries really go with chili powder? I think not.)

If you are not sufficiently grossed out, check this out.

The Gallery of Regrettable Food

It comes with pictures. I like vintage... but I'll leave the Carrot and Cabbage Jello Entree in the past.

Just a friendly, neighborly warning: the site is published by James Lileks, the acerbic commentator on Hugh Hewitt's radio show. You might want to preview the prose before little eyes read it.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/30/2007 08:29:00 AM | Permalink | |
Say It Ain't So!
Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hancock Fabrics has filed bankruptcy, been delisted on the New York Stock Exchange, and plans to close 240 stores while it restructures.

What does this mean? First WalMart is ditching it's craft department, now Hancock Fabrics? I know not many people make their own clothes; but there's always going to be moms making costumes, and budget decorators creating their own draperies! What's an amateur seamstress in a small town to do?

Internet ordering is just not the same.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/29/2007 11:04:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Menu Planning Online
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Today's Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Rocks in my Dryer, is a link:

Weekly Grocery Ads

This site gathers and updates links to the current grocery and sales ads for almost every major store in the US. Actually, it has categories for restaurant specials, department stores, office supply stores, grocery stores... all of the ads without the stack of glossy paper all over the living room!

I can sit at my computer, browse the ads for all of my neighborhood stores in a snap. If I need some inspiration in meal planning, I can go here, type in my ingredients, and get some recipes (I love this when I'm running low on groceries and have no idea what to make with wilted spinach, 3 eggs and a jar of Ragu!)

It is also wonderful if I know I'm going to visit my father-in-law in a big city, about 40 minutes from here... they have stores that I don't have in my town, and that I don't get flyers for in my paper or mail. I can still take advantage of a 29 cent chicken quarters deal by looking up his local grocery and making a stop on the way home.

Works for me!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/28/2007 11:05:00 AM | Permalink | |
What A Dumb Idea
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I recently started subscribing to the Sunday paper. Actually, they don't just sell the Sunday edition, I had to buy the weekend delivery, which is Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I think I should get a job there, if they get a four day weekend as a standard! To tell the truth, I just wanted the coupons and the Sunday ads. Maybe the gardening section.

The Charleston Post and Courier is a sorry little paper - especially coming from Denver, where there are not one, but TWO big city papers.

Anyway, Sunday's edition gave me tons of blog fodder - had I known, I'd have subscribed months ago!

First up- Parade Magazine.

Parade magazine is in almost every American Sunday paper. They always feature a celebrity, feel good stories, random semi-useful health tips, weird recipes, and Marilyn Vos Savant, the smartest woman in the world who answers your questions. (I usually love her - this week, not so much. She claims that a married woman taking her husbands name steals her identity and damages her heritage. Because, you know, heritage is all about your name and not who you actually are.)

Feature article for March 25? Do You Have a Better Idea. The premise of the article is that great ideas are born from taking the current status quo and turning it on it's head. Unfortunately, the 6 featured ideas range from bad to mediocre. There ain't no cure for cancer here, folks - there's not a better mousetrap either.

Idea #1: Organ Transplants

The premise is that too many people die waiting for organ transplants (A snarky aside - how many is too many? If we hadn't killed 47 million Americans in the last 30 years, would there be a shortage? Huh? Okay, prolife rant over).

The solution? Copy Europe (Yeah. That's always a good idea) and have an opt-out system instead of an opt-in system. Currently, the organ donation system relies on people checking a box on their driver's license saying, sure, I'll give up my liver if I die. However, it's not enough. The author posits that if people had to check a box refusing organ donation, by default all of the lazy people who aren't paying attention will become organ donors. Sounds great, right?

Except...we live in America. The founding principles in America is that GOD gave US (not the State) the right to life, liberty, and happiness (and by extension, the right to our own body). The State does not own our "software" - we do. By going to an opt in system, it is basically turning the Constitution on its head; it is an attitude that the State owns our bodies but will deign to respect our wishes, should we want to opt out. Bad idea. (Another, related bad idea - SC is actually considering a bill that will take prison time off of inmates if they donate a kidney. Who comes up with this stuff?)

Idea #2 - Staying Motivated to Lose Weight
It's no surprise that in January and February lots of people head to the gym, pay a fortune for monthly memberships, registrations, and sign up fees. Then they sit at home and occasionally, wistfully gaze at their membership card while eating Twinkies and watching Desperate Housewives.

The author's solution? Overpay the gym, and have them give you a check or rebate every time you show up to work out. It's your money, they're just administering a financial incentive plan, funded by you.

Why is it a bad idea? The health clubs count on people paying money and not coming. Why would they want to encourage people to come and use the equipment? They already have your money. Health clubs are not in the feel good business of making the world healthier, sacrificing to make sure the poorest of the poor are able to exercise and donating treadmill time to disaster victims. They are a business - in the business of making money. If they can get your money without getting YOU taking up space and wearing out the equipment, bonus for them!

Not to mention, administering this program would be a nightmare (there's that inner office manager of mine surfacing again!). The sales tax filings alone would cause hours of administrative work, plus the cost of processing checks and employee training, all causing even higher membership fees.

Again, this is also a socialist thought process. We aren't capable of motivating ourselves or administering our own incentive plan. We need someone else to do it for us.

Idea #3 - Postage Stamps

When postal rates go up, you can use the same stamps. The stamps will all look the same, and the new rate will be charged for new purchases of stamps.

Actually, this isn't a bad idea, but I post it as mediocre - since the USPS has already published a month ago they'll be taking a vote on the matter. Not exactly cutting edge, there.

BTW, I'll be buying 200 rolls at current prices, then selling the rolls on eBay when the price goes up. Nothing like a neat, tidy profit to make writing a letter more enjoyable!

Idea #4 - People Talk Too Loudly On Their Cell Phones

That problem's self explanatory. The author's solution? A "traffic" light style warning in public places that will light up if you're too loud.

Okay, I guess. But who's going to enforce it? I'm guessing the consequences of talking too loud will be... a red light will appear. I don't think that's enough to deter anyone. Sometimes, there is a good reason for talking loudly - bad connection, someone is hard of hearing, your son calls you to ask which is better for his lip ring, stainless steel or gold...

This idea is mediocre at best.

Idea #5 - Taxes are too Hard to Prepare

The solution? If you are simply taking the standard deduction, let the government fill in the form for you and simply pay the bill.

First, if you are taking the standard deduction, taxes are not hard to prepare. Second, you really want the government filling out your tax forms? Give me a break!

Another snarky aside - all of you drooling at the proposition of Universal Healthcare administered by the government, next time you're at the DMV, reflect on whether you want a similar experience when you need a PET scan to determine if you have a spinal tumor, after a 6 month wait. Then call the Social Security Administration to ask a question, and relect upon whether you want a similar trip to voicemail hell the next time you need to access your benefits. There's a reason Canadians come to America and pay out of their own pocket for surgeries and medical treatment.

Idea #6 - Too Many R-Rated DVD's

The author posits that the solution to R rated movies is to buy versions produced for prudish, overseas countries like Saudi Arabia.

I've long thought it would be great if instead of "regular" and "wide screen" editions, the DVD's would include "Full Release" and "Family Release" versions. However, making a movie appropriate for children is more than just deleting a racy scene, or bleeping out a cuss word. R-rated movies are movies for adults - in theme, topic, references, and world view. Are they going to be able to cut the entire story line of the protagonist's wife committing adultery with the villain? The scenes where the hard hit hero slams down a drink to gather courage before battling the zombies? The zombies themselves? I mean, often they can't even make a 30 second trailer for these movies that is appropriate for children.

Let's call a spade a spade, and leave R-rated movies out of the lives of children altogether.

A better idea? If we really object to the violence, sex, and cursing so much we would watch a censored DVD, maybe we could NOT SEE THE MOVIE at the the theater and WRITE TO THE ACTORS, DIRECTOR, and STUDIO. Actors care about public image. If they got 10,000 letters from angry moms, they might think twice about starring in Tarantino's next film. The studios keep making these movies because they make money. That's your power - if you don't spend to go see it, they'll change. Stop whining that you have no choice - that's all that's showing. Skip the movie then! You won't die. Read the book it's loosely based on instead.

This wasn't an official idea, but it's mentioned in the conclusion of the article, and it's really, really dumb. Eating too many potato chips is bad. Why not take the Lay's slogan, "Betcha can't eat just one" and turn it on it's head? How about making a potato chip that you CAN only eat one of? (Sounds like a great way for FritoLay to make a profit, huh?)

Yeah. They have that. They're called brussels sprouts.

Do you have a better idea? Let's hear your ideas for changing the world.

Art for this post by Norman Rockwell. Veggies from morguefile.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/27/2007 07:31:00 AM | Permalink | |
Garlic Oil
Monday, March 26, 2007

A health tip AND Montessori Monday!
Aren't you the lucky one!

I make my own garlic oil. I'm not sure how long fresh garlic oil is good for, but I keep it for about a month or so.

I put maybe 1/4 c. olive oil in a pan, and put it in a slightly bigger pot of boiling water. Be careful the water doesn't get into the oil pot.

I take a few cloves of garlic, smush them with the end of my ice cream scooper (because we're fancy like that around here - use a garlic press if you're Martha Stewart gene can't handle improvisation) and put them in the cold oil, skins, stems and all. Oh, you're garlic doesn't have green shoots? Well, maybe our garlic sits around for a little while... (Note: Garlic powder will not work)

Let the oil warm up in the double boiler for about an hour, more or less. I don't know how hot the oil gets; it gets hot but not boiling hot. You don't want to actually cook the garlic, you'll kill the good stuff called allicins, that do the healing.

I strain it through a coffee filter into a little bowl or coffee mug (use a glass one - so much easier to clean the oil out of and won't absorb the garlic smell!) You know, whatever's clean in the cupboard.

The I put it in one of these bottles, which I order when I order my kids' vitamins. I use natural vitamins because Super Spiderman chewables are full of fake food coloring. This site has the cheapest vitamins and supplements I've found anywhere! The Coromega Mr. R takes costs $19.98 for 90 packets - it's over $40 at the health food store.

I've also heard of people make garlic oil by cutting an onion in half, scooping out the middle to form a bowl, and placing in a small pan of water. Fill the onion hollow with the oil and garlic, and simmer (add more water if needed). Throw the onion away when you're done.

Anyway, these little glass dropper bottles cost less than $1.50 each. I have one I use for the garlic oil, and a couple of others I use for the kid's school work. This Montessori exerise will entertain them for hours, and help them develop handwriting muscles! Use a baster first, the eyedropper next. Another favorite activity is putting drops of water into indentations - I use those suction cup shapes for the bottom of the tub, but turn them over so the suckers are facing you - Mr. S puts one drop of water in each suction cup. Water crackers, Ritz crackers, or other dimpled food works as well.

And don't forget the old "markers on a coffee filter, put drops of water on it" art project!

I also have some links to several home remedy sites for your general education (just remember that these are tried by amateurs at home - you might take it with a grain of salt) but please e-mail me if you want them, because several of these sites support themselves with advertisements that are NOT family friendly, so I won't directly link with my blog. I get enough of that stuff in my spam folder, thank you very much.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/26/2007 04:25:00 PM | Permalink | |
Great New Show!
Sunday, March 25, 2007
The Discovery Channel has an 11 part series called Planet Earth. They ran 3 hours of it tonight.

The footage is AMAZING! They had a high speed camera film a shark capturing a fur seal - slowed it down to 47 seconds. It's truly beautiful and has lots of footage that's never been seen on TV before. It almost makes me want to get a DVR just to record it (a DVR is probably cheaper than buying all 11 episodes from the Discovery Channel store).

Although, it's narrated by Sigourney Weaver and she must mention "Because of new technology...", "advances in technology", "technological advances" about 400 times per show. I've only seen two episodes (Pole to Pole and Mountains) before my husband was forced to turn to the Sci-Fi network, unable to resist the pull of a new Battlestar Galactica episode, but they were great.

Might be a little too natural in a predator way for little kids though.

Even with only two shows under my belt, I've learned plenty of new things, including the fact that Pakistan has glacier so big it could be seen from space and the Matterhorn is not the highest mountain in Europe. Also the Red Panda is considered to be a bear now, not a fox. Who knew?

(Hey, before you laugh, at least I knew where the Matterhorn was, even if it's not the biggest!)

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/25/2007 10:13:00 PM | Permalink | |
Because I Know You Care
Thursday, March 22, 2007
A health update.

You may remember the health problems my husband had because he wouldn't go to the doctor insisted he was fine.

We met with the surgeon on Monday. He's a hernia specialist with 30 years of experience. He has declared my husband's diaphragm whole and intact, no surgery needed! Unfortunately, the diagnosis is a rib fracture. I say unfortunately, because there isn't much you can do for a rib fracture except wait for it to heal.

Husband dear has been put on light duty for work. However, his work won't let him have light duty so he's home, at least until he Monday when he will try to convince his regular doctor to give him clearance for regular duty, then he'll go to work and slave drive his helpers.

So, he went to my doctor's appointment with me yesterday, which was good because it took 4 HOURS and I would have been there with all the littlies. This appointment was much better than the last one - I saw my "real" doctor - and let her know what happened with the last one. She told me to definitely keep checking my blood sugars and to come every week. Then I had a non-stress test and an ultrasound. Baby is still a boy and they estimate him at 6 lbs. 9 oz. I got hives on Monday (hmm... maybe from stress?) and Benadryl just knocks me flat. My doctor told me to take Zantac for hives - a non-drowsy antihistamine. Yeah, Zantac, the one for ulcers and acid reflux. It works, too (not as well as the Benadryl, but good enough!)

Then Mr. R started complaining about his ears - there was also a note on Monday from his teachers saying he'd been complaining of ear pain. Two nights of my old reliable home remedy (pour peroxide in, say the alphabet (about 20 seconds), then use garlic oil and plug with cotton for the night) and he's cured now, though! Another plus, because I can't even begin to imagine the horror of trying to get him to take antibiotics (not to mention, they don't make them in a dye free form). So far this home remedy has worked on three different children, and we've never been on antibiotics for ear infections, so I think there is really something to it!

BTW, I make my own garlic oil with olive oil and 3 or 4 smashed up cloves (skins and all). Heat over a double boiler ( I put a smallish saucepan in a bigger saucepan filled with water) for an hour, then strain out the garlic (I use a coffee filter). The key is to start out with cold, not hot oil. If you heat the oil first and then drop in the garlic, you'll end up with fried garlic.

Thank goodness our taxes came in a couple of weeks ago!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/22/2007 08:26:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Itch No More
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Monday night I got hives - which reminded me about one of the miracle products I wouldn't be without. Seriously, I've got a bottle in the bathroom, a bottle in the car, and one in the hurricane box.

What is it?

Caladryl Clear

This little bottle is a clear gel (you can get it in a generic for less than $3, and I'm all about the generics!). You apply it to the skin - no trying to convince a crying child to take some sort of concoction. It dries quickly. There are no artificial colors.

It will cure any itch - mosquito bites disappear within minutes. It works on hives or any itchy spots. It doesn't make a pink, powdery cakey mess like Calamine lotion. You can use it on kids or pregnant ladies.

Works for Me!

Added tip:
In addition to the classic itch relief of baking soda pastes and oatmeal baths, if you are desperate and need relief RIGHT NOW, run a washcloth under very hot water, as hot as you can stand, and put it on the area. My children insist slapping a mosquito bite repeatedly also makes it not itch, but I think they just want an excuse to help each other in the name of first aid.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/21/2007 10:01:00 AM | Permalink | |
Fun Friday: Et tu, Mama?
Friday, March 16, 2007

With all the furor over the latest Papal encyclical (it goes too far! Except when it doesn't go far enough!) I'd thought I'd leave you all with some handy, everyday Latin phrases sure to come in handy.

Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.
It's not the heat, it's the humidity

Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris.
If Caesar were alive, you'd be chained to an oar.

(At a poetry reading)
Nullo metro co
mpositum est.
It doesn't rhyme.

Non curo. Si metrum non habet, non est poema.
I don't care. If it doesn't rhyme, it isn't a poem.

Antiquis temporibus, nati tibi similes in rupibus ventosissimis exponebantur ad necem.
In the good old days, children like you were left to perish on windswept crags.

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materia possit materiari?
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Have a little Latin lesson today with the kids. Call it Classical Education.

Here's a handy pronunciation guide.

Here's a free, online Latin course.

Here's a guide to the Latin Mass, for those serious types among you.

Here's some stuff to buy. (Not necessarily kid friendly. Then again, can they read Latin?)


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/16/2007 10:54:00 AM | Permalink | |
Because I'm Your One Stop Shop on Gardasil info
Thursday, March 15, 2007
The lead researcher in the clinical trials of the G-shot came out today saying it is a grand public health experiment to give it to young girls.

Legislators misguided about vaccine, researcher says

Researcher: Untested Vaccine Could Harm

Kim Stagliano has more info.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/15/2007 03:23:00 PM | Permalink | |
Oh Yeah! That's Why I Read

Science Fiction.

I used to be a huge sci-fi fan (and not of the network, of which only Stargate SG-1 is worth watching and that's cancelled this year).

I haven't really read sci-fi books in a while. The last one was when I was pregnant with Baby C, and it was a great book called Kiln People, but I lost it when we moved and don't remember the author. I suppose could help me out with that, but I'm avoiding that site because every time I go there, it tells me I should buy a book called "Get Your Act Together" and damages my self esteem. Darn those cookies, anyway!

Yesterday I found myself with some errands to do, (underwear to buy), and every good shopping trip sans kids starts at the used bookstore around here. Some ladies hide shoes and purses from their husbands - I tuck away old paperbacks.

This particular store, here in town, is small. They rearranged it recently, so the first rack by the door holds the science fiction section. Selection was limited, but I picked up a book I hadn't read just for kicks. It's by Larry Niven and Jeffrey Pournelle, who wrote a series of books I loved so much I moved them 4 times before I threw them away (had to. Missing covers and innards. It was more traumatic than flushing a goldfish down the toilet, let me tell you - I don't part with books lightly!)

It's called Fallen Angels, about a future (2010-ish, not so far away now!) in which ecologists basically hold the world hostage, since an ice age has come and science is to blame. Society and culture is slowly regressing backwards since the new "Green Party" government blames the environmental ills on technology. Sound familiar? Yeah. It was published in 1991, though, long before Al Gore started ranting.

I'm only in 30 pages, but I remember now why I love science fiction novels. They aren't just about space ships and aliens, but actually are satire, commentary, and warnings about us, humanity, our foibles and our weaknesses. They also tend towards the wry side of the humor wagon, perfect for me.

Some excerpts:
Some of us are even crazy enough to rescue [them], before they...disappear into protective custody. Which could be dangerous. The government could declare you mentally ill, and help you.
[It] wasn't exactly outlawed. There was still Freedom of Speech; still a Bill of Rights, even if it wasn't taught much in the schools - even if most kids graduated unable to read well enough to understand it.
See what I mean? Right up my alley! I might have to start reading such things on a regular basis.

BTW, the picture is from a lesson on Satun in a school textbook from the 1850's. Seen anything even approaching that level of detail in your kid's school books? Drives home that last quote, doesn't it!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/15/2007 09:35:00 AM | Permalink | |
Another One of Those Days
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Sorry I've been out of the bloggy loop lately. We've had A Week.

Have you ever had A Week? We get them every 18 months or so... you know, when the car dies, the washer breaks, and you cat goes missing just as your five year old's goldfish dies, causing an elementary school existential crisis?

Yeah. One of those.

Fortunately, it is being weathered by heavy doses of leftover birthday cake and Baby C's charm.

Sunday, we finally made it to church - after missing 5 weeks in a row. (Four of those weeks were due to various maladies, including colds, coughs, stomach bugs, and blood pressure crises. Week 3 out of the 5, our priest was sick and cancelled Mass).

Sunday was also the day the time changed - weeks earlier than usual. I thought we were 15 minutes early. We were actually 45 minutes late. The kids were very well behaved for Mass though - all 20 minutes of it!

We learned our little chapel is having a crisis. It is a very small church, just a few families. It is also perfect for us, in part because the pastor used to work with counseling and testing patients and prisoners for the exact disorder that my son has. He "gets" Mr. R is a way that not many other adults do, especially not authority figures, and I like that I can go to him for advice and knowledge, especially since most mental health providers aren't always Christian-friendly.

Right now Mass is held in a donated trailer that has been converted, but our chapel is growing, slowly but surely (an adult baptism in November, a wedding in December, another wedding in May, plus 3 more babies this spring!). And so a Presbyterian church was purchased in the next town over, and renovations commenced.

In January, the pastor AND the driving force behind the renovations and great benefactor of our church were both in (separate) car accidents. The number of able bodied men at my church is very few; almost all have full time jobs and families, so it was really these two that were making a go of it. Work on the new church ground to a halt.

However, it was not in the budget to have two buildings, utility bills, etc. at the same time for months on end. We've lost some financial benefactors as well. We might have to close the doors to the chapel.

The stove went out Monday. Luckily, our landlord is a retired Sears appliance repairman, so I just needed to wait until he could come over and fix it. Actually, that wasn't too big a deal - I've lived in hotel rooms for weeks and can turn out almost any meal with a microwave and a crockpot.

I lost my shoes. That was a big deal, because I can't walk without them. Luckily, they were found, eventually, about 12 hours later. Unfortunately, my blood sugar monitor is nowhere to be found - I probably should be checking it more frequently in light of all that leftover birthday cake.

I discovered that our hallway used to be painted yellow. Don't ask, and I won't tell... but involved multimedia art projects.

While taking advantage of the killer deal Life in A Shoe told me about, OfficeDepot mischarged my card. They fixed the mistake (hopefully, haven't been able to check my bank statement yet) but I did have to suffer through Voice Mail Hell, made all the more pleasant when small people talk to you about important things like the relative heat of volcanoes and sun, while you are straining to hear whether you need to press 1, *, or 9. (I did get my order today though! Next day shipping -for free- rocks!) (If you go to the website to order, search for "clearance". I found several sets of luggage/tote bags/duffel bags for $3-4 each! I ordered a set that is a carryon bag plus tote bag that I'm going to use for the hospital. Also I got a set of 4 dry erase markers for less than a dollar.)

Then husband dear hurt himself. He's been recovering from this nasty cold for a while, and coughing for about two weeks. Monday morning he hurt himself coughing - I thought maybe just pulled a muscle. I knew it was bad this morning when he told me to make him a doctor appointment (which I wanted to do LAST WEEK) and told me he'd call me at 10 am to find out the details. He didn't call, because he forgot our phone number. (Don't laugh too hard. I've done the same thing - I'm home all day long, I never call myself. Why would I have that number memorized?) He did show up around noontime.

A long, last minute doctor's visit ensued, in which I kept all 6 children in the waiting room for an hour and a half while husband dear consulted with the medical establishment.

A woman asked me if all of the children were mine. (No, I just borrowed some because waiting in a doctor's office designed for adults with small children is So. Much. Fun!). Then she asked my how did I keep from going crazy? I didn't answer, as I was busy losing my mind.

An X-Ray, 4 prescriptions, and $186 later (our copay is 50%, so it could have been much worse!) we were on our way... until tomorrow, when we have to consult with a surgeon because husband dear's coughing tore a hole in his diaphragm and there's some internal organs where there shouldn't be. I'm hoping it will be a straightforward, simple procedure involving less hospital stay and more laparoscopy, since I'm having a baby in three weeks, and it just won't do to have BOTH of us laid up and unable to lift anything or anybody.

Not to mention how scary it is when you are a one income family, and the provider's job security depends on face time at the jobsite. He has managed to ingratiate himself a little by selling candy bars and Pepsi out of his tool box. Maybe that will count for something.

The first pharmacy didn't have all of the medications (gotta love the small town life) so I also had to make a stop at Walgreens. $75 later and husband dear seems better. We've got a prescription cough medicine that seems to be working much better than Tussin.

I suppose we'll see what the future holds tomorrow. Thank goodness we got our tax refund in last week. We might be waiting on the carpet cleaner, but at least I'm not selling one of the children on Ebay to pay for the meds!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/13/2007 10:26:00 PM | Permalink | |
Gar*dasil update
Saturday, March 10, 2007
It's Not Just About the Shots Anymore

The Big M's "let's pay for Vioxx litigation" campaign for mandating an HPV vaccine for girls is still in full swing, despite "not publicly campaigning". (See my thoughts on this here. You may recall that one my main objections is the usurpation of parental rights.)

The Virginia legislature passed HB 2035, mandating all of the vaccines for VA children, including the new HPV shots. I noticed that they mention getting Oral Polio Vaccine as an option, ironic because I was told that was recalled quite a while ago. Seems some kids who received the OPV also got polio itself so they went exclusively to IPV.

I read the text of the bill (even though I'm not in Virginia), and noticed something that was quite disturbing. Here's the text:

...any physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, licensed institutional health care provider, local or district health department, the Virginia Immunization Information System, and the Department of Health may share immunization and patient locator information without parental authorization , including, but not limited to, the month, day, and year of each administered immunization; the patient's name, address, telephone number, birth date, and social security number; and the parents' names. The immunization information; the patient's name, address, telephone number, birth date, and social security number; and the parents' names shall be confidential and shall only be shared for the purposes set out in this subsection
(emphasis mine).

That's right, Virginians! Any Physician's assistant, nurse, or health department worker can get a list that includes the name of your child, their social security number, their address and phone number. I realize that it is "only supposed to be shared for the purposes of immunization tracking" - but how many child molestors and other baddies are going to care about that? Apparently, becoming a clerk at the local small town health department could potentially be quite lucrative to anyone in the side business of identity theft or with dark procilivities.

Why so disturbing?

Well, nurses nowadays aren't always sweet middle aged ladies in white caps:

Christopher Irvin molested a 4 year old girl in his care last year - that's just the FIRST case that popped up when I googled "Nurse + m*o*le*st". (The stars are there because the last thing I want is for someone to stumble on MY site googling that phrase!)

I'm not saying all nurses are bad, not at all. I am saying that it is not uncommon for someone to choose a profession that would give him or her access to victims, and slip in as wolves among sheep. And now they can get your personal information.

The Virginia Department of Health has openings for hourly workers with no benefits. Their employees are, I'm sure, on par with employees anywhere else - mostly people just wanting to make a living, but all it takes is one bad apple.

Legislation is pending or going to be introduced soon throughout the country. Make sure you know what it says, even the non-medical details, and make sure your legislators know how you feel. Recently, legislation in Colorado that would require a "vaccine registry" was scrapped due to public outcry (based on privacy issues like this one). You can make a difference!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/10/2007 10:58:00 AM | Permalink | |
Happy Birthday
Friday, March 09, 2007
To Me!

I won't tell you the year (although I'm still this side of thirty), but since we are still sick, (read: not sleeping) I'll just leave you with some important things that happened in history today:

1440 - St. Francis of Rome died. A wife and mother, she later became a nun. Two of her children died of the plague, and her surviving son and husband were kidnapped in all of the uproar about the Pope, Avignon, and the Western Schism. She founded an order of nuns that weren't cloistered because most of the established orders wouldn't take widows.
1916 - Pancho Villa got his groove on and invaded New Mexico. The Mexican raiders killed 17 (ish) soldiers and civilians, and lost 80 of their own troops. Then the US sent 6000 more soldiers to finish them off.

1959 - The Barbie doll debuted. Whee.

1986 - The Challenger debris is found, including the remains of the astronauts, by Navy divers.

2005 - Dan Rather's last broadcast. Happy Birthday to me!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/09/2007 06:51:00 AM | Permalink | |
Thursday, March 08, 2007

I came across this story today:

Woman Sues Doctor After Failed Abortion

In 2004, Planned Parenthood didn't actually kill her baby. So now the mother, instead of loving her daughter and thanking God for the gift of a living child, is suing the doctor for the cost of child rearing. Lord help that poor baby whose mother is trying to cash in on the fact she was not wanted.

The overwhelming response I've seen in the Blogosphere is, "Why didn't she put her up for adoption?"

I don't have an answer for that, but I've seen it before. I worked as a counselor at a crisis pregnancy center, and more than once a girl would be set on getting an abortion; when adoption was mentioned, she would reply, "Oh, no, I could never give my baby away".

Planned Parenthood and their accomplices have done a wonderful job of convincing women that a pregnancy is a disease to be cured, prevented, and treated; a baby is what you have after giving birth.

On a related note, please keep this man in your prayers. Life is short. Eternity is long.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/08/2007 12:10:00 PM | Permalink | |
A Lenten Reflection
At the Cross her station keeping
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

Through her Heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Lo! the piercing sword had passed.

O how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother, highly blessed,
Of the Sole-Begotten One.

Mournful, with Heart's prostration,
Mother meek, the bitter Passion
Saw She of Her glorious Son.

Who on Christ's dear Mother gazing,
In Her trouble so amazing,
Born of woman, would not weep?
Who on Christ's dear Mother thinking,
Such a cup of sorrow drinking,
Would not share Her sorrow deep?

For His people's sins rejected,
Saw Her Jesus unprotected.
Saw with thorns, with scourges rent.

Saw Her Son from judgement taken,
Her Beloved in death forsaken,
Till His Spirit forth He sent.

Fount of love and holy sorrow,
Mother, may my spirit borrow
Somewhat of your woe profound.

Unto Christ with pure emotion,
Raise my contrite heart's devotion,
To read love in every wound.

Those Five Wounds on Jesus smitten,
Mother! in my heart be written,
Deep as in your own they be.

You, your Saviour's Cross did bare,
You, your Son's rebuke did share.
Let me share them both with Thee.

In the Passion of my Maker,
Be my sinful soul partaker,
Weep 'til death and weep with you.

Mine with you be that sad station,
There to watch the great salvation,
Wrought upon the atoning Tree.

Virgin, you of virgins fairest,
May the bitter woe Thou bearest
Make on me impression deep.

Thus Christ's dying may I carry,
With Him in His Passion tarry,
And His Wounds in memory keep.

May His Wound both wound and heal me,
He enkindle, cleanse, strengthen me,
By His Cross my hope and stay.

May He, when the mountains quiver,
From that flame which burns forever,
Shield me on the Judgement Day.

Jesus, may Your Cross defend me,
And Your Mother's prayer befriend me;
Let me die in Your embrace.

When to dust my dust returns,
Grant a soul, that to You yearns,
In Your paradise a place.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/08/2007 08:54:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Kitchen Edition
Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Today Shannon is hosting a special edition of Works for Me Wednesday - all about the kitchen.
I usually share recipes and how-tos, but since today I thought I'd share my kitchen cleaning techniques.

Spring Cleaning? How the heck did that happen? I'm still working on the Autumn Scrub...

I have a schedule in my homekeeping notebook. I started it with Flylady, but I've found that working a zone room each month just doesn't work for me. I get bored to easily, and some rooms (kitchen) really need to be worked more often than once a month.

I also have good days and bad days, with all the littlies and preterm contractions, so I needed a schedule that is flexible.

Here's what works for me!

I laid out my week Large Family Logistics style. Monday is office day, Tuesday is errand day, Wednesday is Kitchen day, Thursday is Laundry day, and Friday is clean the house day. I do laundry every day but Thursday is catch up day (and often I end up swapping the days around. The only one set in stone is Wednesday Kitchen Day.) I picked Friday for Clean the House day because husband dear is home early from work and he helps with the bigger stuff and the kid room cleaning (which, being a yeller by nature AND 9 months pregnant isn't pretty when I do it!)

Wednesday is Kitchen Day because Thursday is trash pick up day! I used to clean up - but put off the fridge stuff or really grungy stuff until "trash day" and then it never happened.

The first step is to keep up with the daily kitchen stuff. I have a daily schedule that includes stuff like, "unload dishwasher", "clean up lunch dishes", "wipe table", stuff I do throughout the day. Yes, I actually write down fixing lunch, planning dinner and taking out meat, and so on or it wouldn't get done!

My schedule pages are in plastic sheet protectors, and I write on them with Expo dry erase pens.

I also have a checklist for cleaning the kitchen after dinner. It has exactly 20 steps, because I'm weird and having 19 steps seemed, well, just wrong. Lately husband dear has been cleaning the kitchen after dinner, but I haven't been able to get him to look at the list. Personally, I usually get about 15-18 things done from the list, rarely all 20, but something's better than nothing!

(Click on the pictures to see them better)

We also assign the older kids (age 8,7, 6) a room that they are in charge of - either the living room, play/school room, or kitchen. They get their room for a week, and we switch on Saturday. The kitchen person usually ends up only unloading the dishwasher on weekends, because we run it at night and I unload it during the day while they are at school. Baby C loves to help by handing me one fork or spoon at a time. It can take a really long time!

Here's what my "Wednesday" page looks like:

I have a list of tasks to be done each week of the month - the "extra" part of kitchen day. But, again, I'm all about the flexibility! This is what my sheet looks like so far this month. I'm not afraid to work ahead, depending on what's going on. So, if someone spills a glass of milk in the fridge, and I end up washing all of the shelves, I'll check it off for the month even if it's only the second week.

Here's what it looks like so far this month:

Works for me!

On a related note, every kitchen I've ever had has it's own special quirks. Our kitchen right now has uneven counters, which results in puddles of standing water on the counter unless it is constantly dried off. Also, our refrigerator door is 33 inches wide. The space between the fridge and the wall is 25 inches. So, we can only open the door halfway. What are your kitchen quirks?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/07/2007 07:13:00 AM | Permalink | |
We Really ARE Boring
Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I've mentioned before that we are very boring people. What do boring people do with an influx of cash? (Thanks Uncle Sam! Can't wait to get that tax refund!) (Random side note: if you have lots of kids, the government will actually PAY YOU at the end of the year!)

Buy a carpet cleaner.

Yes, we have 6 kids, a cat, and my husband works construction. You can imagine what our carpets look like! I'm in the market for a good carpet cleaner - so far I'm leaning towards the Bissell 9400 ProHeat 2x model which is - gulp - $239 but apparently does a fantastic job unless you happen to get a quality control reject.

I'm open to suggestions - if you own one, which one do you have? love it? hate it? would you buy it again?

I really want one that is not too hard to push. If it weighs 80 pounds and has 1 inch wheels, that's not going to work for me.

I want it to heat the water. I'm not going to be boiling water on the stove to get throw up out of the carpet - what is this, Little House on the Prairie? Do I have time to boil water if there's people throwing up? No, I don't think so.

A long cord would be nice, and an upholstery handle. Our van seats are... well, let's not go there.
cheap A good value for a quality machine is always appreciated too! We don't have huge rooms, but I don't want to have to refill it three times to clean the living room (15x10 ish) or a bedroom (12x12'). I'd like it if it left the carpet dry, or almost so.

Any suggestions?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/06/2007 12:15:00 PM | Permalink | |
What to Do on an Eeyore Day
I have a great book, called "Holiness for Housewives (and other working women)" from Dom Hubert Van Zeller. It's very slim, easy to read, yet profound.

When I was doing Flylady, I put some quotes and prayers on the cover page of my Control Journal. Now I do my own system of zones/tasks/works for me scheduling, so I think I need a new page. I don't like "Control" journal, maybe it'll be my "Homekeeping Helper"? I bought some pretty paper from the dollar store, which sells scrapbook supplies now, and I want to make some nifty dividers for my notebook. Someday. After I check my e-mail.

I thought I'd share it, since I was reading it today for encouragement after yesterdays really bad, no good, day. Oh, forgot to mention that the doctor's appointment came AFTER the kids' bus was late (which means they stand by the side of the road until it shows up, usually whining and/or snake hunting in the ditch the entire time), the other child missed his bus because it was early, Baby C decided to eat her brother's raisin bran with milk right after I dressed her in her last clean outfit to go to the doctor, and the batteries went out on the phone. Baby C went to the doctor's office in her Christmas dress.

Then, Mr. R had a meltdown in the afternoon. If you've never seen an 8 year old BP meltdown, suffice it to say, it ruined what was left of the day. I was a little surprised, because we've had no rages or major problems in months. However, he has been sick and the only medication he'll take must be chewable - no liquids or pills for him. So I've been giving him those fabulous Triaminic cough medicine strips, which I love so much I buy them even if I don't have a coupon! Now that's the highest product recommendation Mama gives!

Further scrutiny of the label reveals - you guessed it - Red Dye #40. Why they have to put red dye in a strip that melts in two seconds on your tongue, I don't know. But I think I might need to be prepared for a few more episodes until he kicks this cough. He's been coughing to the point of throwing up on more than one occasion - so I'll stick with the cough meds.

On a random product warning note, DO NOT give cold medicine to your babies under age 2.
Another random product rant: I really hate buying INFANT Tylenol and having the label say "Not for children under age 2". Isn't that the definition of an infant?

Anyway, this is my spiritual Paxil for days like that:
Prayer when in a Bad Mood
Lord, I am in a shocking state of mind. I fell as though I ought not be praying at all: I am too disgruntled for recollection and generosity and good resolutions and all those things that are necessary for Your service. But it is better to try to pray now than merely give in and indulge my poisonous humor. Lord, show me how to deal with myself when rebellion and bitterness well up in me and make life seem far more of a burden than it is. Show me the remedy that lies in submission to You and not in wallowing in self. Amen.
I also have one of my favorite quotes from him on that page:
The only thing that matters is doing the will of God. So if God wills that you should be bowed over the sink instead of over the pew in your favorite church, then washing the dishes is for you, now, the most perfect thing you can possibly do.
Some other quotes I have on my cover page:
The lay faithful must see their daily activities as an occasion to join themselves to God, fulfill His will, serve other people, and lead them to communion with God in Christ. - Pope John Paul II
God does not ask us to be perfect. He merely requires us to be faithful in our duties. - Mother Teresa

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. - Colossians 3:17
It gives me encouragement and perspective!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/06/2007 07:24:00 AM | Permalink | |
I Don't Mean to Complain....
Monday, March 05, 2007
But, can't you just do your job?

I hate my doctor. Actually, I hate the OB/GYN practice. I've never seen the same doctor more than twice, although I have seen the midwife about 4 times

Seriously, I'm so ready to just have this baby at home. Alone. And never darken their doorstep again. It's a good thing I pretty much know what I'm doing, and what to expect, because I have no faith in them at all, but at this point I'm pretty much stuck. This particular office has branches in the three towns surrounding me, and they are the only ones covered by my insurance within 30 miles.

This is the worst prenatal care I've ever recieved (and, it's my 7th baby and 10th pregnancy, so I think I'm qualified to judge!)

The practice is big. It's difficult to get an appointment. I'm really just a number. I have had to remind the nurse to listen to the baby with the fetal doppler. They've forgotten to take my blood pressure (even though it tends towards the high side and the doctor requested that I take it at home!).

They offer botox and eyebrow tinting, along with other assorted spa services, with flyers and brochures in the waiting room, bathroom, and every examination room. I'm not sure why this irritates me so much... oh yeah, because it's an OB/GYN office! Seriously, eyebrow tinting?
And they have the nerve to scoff when I say I don't think it's healthy to eat Nutrasweet, but they offer aromatherapy and ear candling?

The staff, especially the midwife that I always get stuck with, range from indifferent to mean. Actually, I like my "official" doctor, but I've only seen her twice. And the second time she forgot to mention to me that she wanted me to have the Rhogam shot, so I didn't remind the nurse and it didn't get done until someone else caught it 3 weeks later.

Earlier in my pregnancy, I asked the midwife if they could do a thyroid test when they took my blood. Ok, she says, and orders it. Doesn't bother to ask me why I would request the test, if I have had problems before, if it runs in my family...she also never bothers to give the result. I called a couple of weeks later to learn that it's 'normal' but the person on the phone doesn't have the actual number for the results.

No one has asked me if I'm taking my vitamins, given me any nutritional advice at all, mentioned my weight gain (is it good, bad, ugly? They didn't even say anything when I LOST 3 pounds in a week). I don't know which hospital I'm supposed to deliver at, if I need to preregister, what phone number to call first or if I just show up? I don't really get a chance to ask since the practitioner breezes in and out within 5 minutes.

I've mentioned the last several appointments that I have been having contractions. Finally, last visit at 33 1/2 weeks pregnant(with that darn midwife again), I ask if maybe I should have a cervix check? Nope, not necessary she says. Doesn't ask me how often the contractions are, how long they last, how long do I have them? This is despite a long history of bedrest, terbutaline meds, and a preterm baby (he was 35 weeks). I mean, when a pregnant lady tells you she's having contractions, wouldn't you at least want to know that it is 2-3 times a day, 5-7 minutes apart, and lasts for 3-4 hours? I haven't gotten around to mentioning (again) that they are very often accompanied by chest pain - I get very short of breath and it feels like someone is sitting on my chest during them which pretty much makes me wiped out and useless by the time my husband gets home from work. I mentioned it around 30 weeks (they weren't that often, but I did get that chest pain) and she shrugged it off.

I've been on weekly appointments for the last three weeks, to review my blood sugars (which are generally good and almost always within range.) I was supposed to go last Wednesday, but I had to postpone due to sick children. The midwife wanted me to see an actual doctor that time, (you don't see a doctor every time, only if the nurse or midwife orders a physician appointment) because, although she said my blood sugars looked fine and were within range, she was concerned because my fasting sugar was not even - one day it is very low, 58-60 range, the next, borderline high, 110 range. So, it is always up and down to extremes within the guidelines.

So, I see a random doctor today - a woman not much older than myself. She had pictures of her with her three year old son in the exam room, so I was hopeful to get a caring practitioner.

Instead, she tells me I'm wasting my time coming in every week. She tells my blood sugars are "half a**ed" because I don't always do a one hour post after every meal (I always do a fasting, but sometimes I end up with a 2 hour post meal, instead of a one hour. And, since the babies nap after lunch, I try to nap too. So I'm sometimes asleep when I should be poking my finger). (Furthermore, she uses that word in front of my little kids). She calls me "Babe" and says I would be better off not doing my blood sugars at all. Why do I do a fasting everyday? She can't tell anything from a fasting blood sugar. They're meaningless to her. She says she'll just throw away my logsheet, unless I want it back. And come back in two weeks. I mention I've been on weekly appointments, I get a short sigh, then again "Nope. Two weeks". And she 's gone.

I've been sick for a couple of weeks. Today, at my visit, I can barely talk (sore throat), caught pink eye from the kids (oh, goody). I'm hacking and coughing. I mention I just finished a cough drop and took some medication. No one takes my temperature, asks how I'm feeling, or even inquires as to what meds I might be on. I don't even get those nifty little prenatal education flyers - "Your body at 30 weeks, 34 weeks, etc."

I hate my doctors.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/05/2007 11:57:00 AM | Permalink | |
Ultimate Blog Party
Friday, March 02, 2007

Starts today! Don't forget to go to 5 Minutes for Mom and sign up. They're always running a contest over there... this should be fun!

What is it? What to bring, what to wear? Answers here.

The Ultimate Blog Party is also a way to network the net if you are a homebased working mom. They'll promote you for free! Here's some of the great prizes.

And I'll be showing up to Homemaker's Guide to the Galaxy Ultimate Blog Post. She wants to know who's expecting - well, I am! 6 weeks to go, although I think it will be more like for (I'm an optimist you know).


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/02/2007 10:35:00 AM | Permalink | |
More on the G Shot
Virginia becomes the first state to require the vaccine through the legislature.

They seem to have struck a good balance, though. The requirement will take effect for the 2009 school year, and parents will simply have to review literature from the school regarding the vaccine and sign a form to opt out.

I wonder who's in charge of writing the school literature, and how objective they'll be?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/02/2007 08:48:00 AM | Permalink | |
Thoughtful Thursday: Curing Cancer or Meddling Moneygrubbers?
Thursday, March 01, 2007

Mama wants to talk about the cancer vaccine.

First, some background in case you've been living under a rock! (Also, this post is not meant to be read by children. Not that they'd bother to browse my site.)

This vaccine
(I'll call it the G-Shot) is marketed by this company (hereafter referred to as The Big M, because I'm a paranoid freak and also, it sounds cool.) that will prevent 4 types of HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer. Originally, the commercials promised "the first ever cancer vaccine" (not true, there is evidence the Hepatitis B vaccine prevents liver cancer) and as an all around Good Thing. It is marketed primarily at girls and women between the ages of 9 and 26.

Clarification: I'm not a paranoid freak in a vacuum. I have heard of certain pharmaceutical companies spending a LOT of time on bloggers websites after googling keywords and finding unflattering opinions.

It is brand new on the market and The Big M is pushing quite heavily to make it a mandatory vaccine, along with the usual DTap, Hep B, and other series of shots required for public school attendance. The shot is actually a series of three shots, which costs a total of $360. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, and is not contagious from sitting next to someone in algebra or sharing a locker in gym class. The G shot will prevent, usually, four strains of HPV, which cause 70% of cervical cancers. Smoking increases your risk of contracting HPV induced cancer (you won't hear that in the commercials, though); also, vaccinated women will still need to get annual Pap smears.

Here's the prescribing information, straight from the horse's mouth.

I am not opposed to the vaccine in the abstract, although I think it has not been tested enough to be given to children or to a large population. I am hopping mad, though. A good portion of my outrage is due to the Big M's misleading advertising, their underhanded business practices, and their attempt to foist their product on our children while eroding parental rights. I have at least 10 problems with it, though.

1. The HPV vaccine does not protect the general population from infection, as HPV is not easily transmissible (as opposed to, say, measles. You can get measles if someone breathes on you, thus it is a concern for a public classroom. Since girls are not having sex in a public classroom with all of the other students, it does not protect the public health in the same way.)

2. I have not seen or heard of a single study proving the long term safety of this vaccine for prepubescent girls (they are advocating giving it to children age 9-13). Adults were followed for 14 days for adverse reactions. According the Big M's website, only the effectiveness of the vaccine (whether subjects became immune) was tested on 1471 girls age 9-17; there is not a breakup of pre- and post-menarch girls. In fact, the official prescribing info on the The Big M's website states that the G shot has not been tested for carcinogenicity or genotoxicity (cancer causing or DNA mutation causing effects). The Big M's own information indicates it may cause or bring out arthritis - 5 cases in G shot patients vs. 2 cases placebo; 1 case of juvenile arthritis vs. 0 placebo. I really wish I could get at the info aimed at doctors, but I'm not prepared to lie on The Big M's website so I can't. Any doctors out there who've read it, what do you think? Is this vaccine safe for developing girls? How about their future children?

3. The methodology of the placebo has been questioned (it contained aluminum, just like the vaccine) Aluminum is the reason you get those hysterical e-mails touting a breast cancer-deodorant link; while that particular cause is false, aluminum is a metal, and does cause side effects in the human body. The placebo, containing aluminum, was not entirely inert and harmless and may have skewed results.

4. The Big M paid for all of the studies. There has been no independent data from entities not connected financially to The Big M .This is a huge problem with big Pharma - and this is how Vioxx and other unsafe drugs made it to market. Come to think of it, the Big M was responsible for the whole Vioxx debacle too.

5. Many, many people suspect they have been harmed by vaccines; one should carefully weigh the benefits vs. risks before taking any medication or shots. The numbers from the CDC regarding vaccine injury are not accurate; no one is required to report vaccine injuries and it is a passive system. I myself was harmed by a vaccine at the doctor's office, and watched in disbelief as she told me my symptoms were not caused by the injection I had received minutes before (despite having just gotten a clean bill of health).

6. The Big M is pushing HARD for this to be mandatory and the states are jumping on the bandwagon awfully fast. In the past, some vaccines have been shown to have unintended side effects, such as fatal twisting of the intestines. The vaccine was only invented a little while ago and now suddenly there are all of these laws and pending legislation, pushed through in haste. I really think we need to step back. There's a big difference between making a new medication/therapy/vaccine available and requiring it by law. (More about the above linked rotavirus vaccine - it was made and marketed by The Big M, endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and pulled after less than a year because it was killing children.)

7. Three injections, over a 6 month period, are required. This could be an huge burden on families without health insurance or in families where it is difficult for a parent to take time off of work. Yes, I know there is FMLA - and I also know first hand how that works for low level employee or small business!

8. The Big M is engaging in questionable business practices promoting this vaccine. The same day Texas governor Rick Perry sidestepped the legislative process and signed an executive order requiring the vaccine for Texan girls, the Big M made a contribution to his campaign fund. The Big M contributed $40,000 to politicians in Virginia, where legislation is proposed also mandating the vaccine. In fact, the Big M has publicly pulled out of lobbying states to promote their new money maker (no word on what they're still doing privately).

Some more random thoughts on the Big M's concern for their patients vs. their concern for their profits:
The aforementioned Vioxx recall.

Children dying after receiving the rotavirus vaccine, again linked in previous paragraphs.

Lawsuits pending due to Fosamax (apparently, it kills your jawbone. Who knew? Not the public, those side effects weren't documented in a published study before the Big M flooded the market.) Link here. Oops, wrong link! That one goes to the pesky FDA memo requiring the Big M to stop their false advertising. Here's the right one.

Hepatitis A vaccine recalled, the Big M didn't bother to fill the syringes with the actual vaccine.
9. The Big M has completely sidestepped parental rights and duties, and headed straight for quick legislation to require their product be given to our kids. 94% of private health insurance companies will reimburse for this vaccination, but corporate greed has decided not to leave the decision in the hands of parents and guardians.

10. Female populations are only half of the equation. As far as I can tell, the vaccine wasn't even tested for effectiveness in males, who are the ones giving the HPV to the girls. HPV infects men as well, although there is not a test for males. The only way to tell if a man has HPV is if he has genital warts. HPV has been implicated in anal cancers and penile cancers, and the specific strains prevented by the G shot are directly linked to anal cancers in men. It seems to me that it would be even more important for men to be vaccinated, as there is really no way to tell if they are at risk for HPV cancers (women have Pap smears to alert them).

What can you do?
Protest, of course! Don't get the shot unless you have decided the benefit outweighs the risk.
Let your elected officials know you are concerned about legislating health care and eroding parental rights.

I am Catholic. I have a burden for proving religious exemption (in my state, I had to take a class and get a notarized document for my children, even the one not school aged, to be exempt. Apparently, in South Carolina, you are not allowed to exist if you have not been vaccinated). There is a church document called "Familiaris Consortio", by Pope John Paul II in 1981. It is an official document of the church (full text from Vatican website here.) It states that the right and duty of parents to direct their children's education cannot be entirely delegated or usurped by others.

Canon Law 1136 states that "Parents have the ...primary right to ensure their children's physical, social, cultural, moral and religious upbringing".
These are what I cite when a bureaucrat tries to tell me Catholics don't object to vaccines. The point being, Church Law specifically relegates those decisions to parents and specifically states that they can't be usurped by the state. So, Catholics believe it is the parents decision - that's our "religious belief".
Usually, if you start bringing out page after page of papal documents, the bureaucrat will just stamp you through and not even look at it. In America, as well, you don't have to be part of a big, mainstream denomination to be exempted - it is your personally held religious beliefs.

Here's another link to a Vatican document prepared specifically for parents wanting to opt out of vaccines created using aborted fetal cell lines:

It came out before the G shot, so that is not addressed. I couldn't find out if the G shot was created using human cell lines, but I'm working on it. The Big M is notorious for using the MRC-5 diploid human cell line, created from aborted fetal tissue, so this is a cause for concern.

Every one of us makes a difference if we stand up and oppose this. Even if it seems like we're the only ones!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/01/2007 08:06:00 AM | Permalink | |