My CheckOut Lady
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Needs to read this:

Woman banned for birth control advice

Every. Single. Grocery Store Clerk I've ever given money to, it seems, feels qualified to dole out birthcontrol advice as well. It's interesting that I probably know most all of their personal "choices" - tubes tied, vasectomy, pill, patch and shot. Generally there is a brief medical history attached in an apologetic sort of way.

When the 'advice' includes the line, "My boyfriend can't stand children, so after our second was born I had my tubes tied so he wouldn't worry anymore". Where do you even start with that one? That statement is so wrong in so many ways...


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/30/2007 07:28:00 PM | Permalink | |
Random Ramblings
Friday, June 29, 2007
Posting will be light today - we're doing the walk-through and moving tomorrow.

Also, I really want to let you know how I saved $140 on my car insurance... but I need to post pictures, and the card reader disappeared. (How? It was attached to the computer!) And yes, it did involve lizards and cavemen, in that our car insurance was Geico to begin with.

I need to change electricity, water, trash, phone and cable over to our new house. The phone company has informed me that I cannot take my phone number with me, as the neighborhood I'll be moving to is long distance from my local number. What?!! It's ten miles away, in the same county and area code. Long distance is a racket.

I have determined who the internet providers are not, but have yet to determine who they actually are. I think it might be TimeWarner Cable, which stinks because their website is less than comprehensive and I'm an online kinda gal. Have you ever tried to sort through cable plans with a telemarketer while 7 small people ask for nursing, diaper changes, milk, Transformer aid, whether clouds are lighter than balloons, and demanded you observe their toileting habits? No? Well, you'd do everything online too.

At some point we'll need to talk husband dear into decide about home schooling, and figure out if we're bussed to the public one or not. In our new home, the elementary school is about a quarter mile as the crow flies, but due to the labrynthine street layout, is more like 3/4 mile to actually walk it - and there are no sidewalks. There are also no yellow stripes in the road, which is an improvement from our current house!

I might give Geico a look to see if they do renter's insurance yet - when we moved here in August we couldn't get anyone to write us a policy (hurricanes and mold and all - they claim that the home office forbid them from writing new policies). I tried the big guys - State Farm, Allstate, and Farm Bureau. Time to look for alternates, especially since on of my secret fantasies, is for the house to burn down and send all that clutter to the ash pile.

Perhaps a hurricane can wash it all away... and we can buy new stuff... a girl can dream, can't she? ;)

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/29/2007 08:38:00 AM | Permalink | |
It's Hard to Be Objective
Thursday, June 28, 2007
When your worldview is so narrow it only includes yourself.

US News is covering the fabled Motu Proprio, which is supposed to allow the celebration of the Latin Mass without Diocesan approval, on the Pope's own authority.

Eric Ferkenhoff, the writer of the article, can't hide his bias, though this is not an Op/Ed.

He writes:
Given the fierce fight that preceded Vatican II—the liturgical and doctrinal reforms of the mid-1960s that sought to make the church more accessible—a similar war would seem needed to overturn them. But a movement is building at seminaries nationwide to do just that: In addition to restoring the Latin mass, young priests are calling for greater devotion to the Virgin Mary, more frequent praying of the rosary, and priests turning away from the congregation as they once did. Perhaps most controversially, they also advocate a dimished role for women, who since Vatican II have been allowed to participate in the mass as lay altar servers and readers.
Such changes would seem to aggravate the church's growing attendance problems(in 2003, 40 percent of Roman Catholics said they had attended church in the past week, down from 74 percent in 1958) as well as enhance its air of exclusivity—the notion of Catholicism as the only true faith.
Aside from the appalling lack of editorial review (he misspells Tridentine and diminished in the article, for starters), notice the wording. "The priest turns away from the congregation" - no, actually, the priest faces the same way as the congregation, as they assist Mass together. It's not a stage production, after all. It's all about intention and nuance.

Additionally, what 'doctrinal reforms' were enacted at Vatican II specifically? Granted, I'm probably very ignorant of all of the details and documents issued forth... but I don't remember ever hearing that church doctrine was changed.

There's a little critical thinking problem too: if attendance at Catholic churches has fallen 34% since Vatican II reforms were introduced, why assume that by going back to the Mass celebrated in 1958 (ok, it's 1962, actually) would cause even MORE decline?

And really, the "notion of Catholicism as the only true Faith"... what's the difference between "notion" and "Constant and consistent teaching from the first century onwards, even unto the death of the martyrs that Catholicism is the True Faith"? He's not trying to diminish Catholic beliefs or anything, is he?

He predicts that other old practices will be restored as the Vatican tries to impose the conservative values of Benedict on a more liberal world.

Vatican tries to impose... or the Pope tries to shepherd his flock away from the pitfalls of the liberal world? Why does Mr. Ferkenhoff assume that the liberal world is the one we should embrace?

My favorite line:
The Latin movement also has its detractors outside the faith

What?!! Catholics are criticized by non-Catholics? Master of the Obvious, he is!

I am eager to hear the Motu Proprio. I don't think it will make much difference at my church, where the priest seems awfully suspicious of priests who know Latin, but perhaps there will be a valid Latin Mass within driving distance once it's published. My chapel veil is getting dusty.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/28/2007 09:03:00 AM | Permalink | |
Not to Beat A Dead Horse...
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
But a survey shows that vaccinated boys are more likely to have neurological problems and/or ADHD than non-vaccinated.

A good analysis here.

Now, this could be caused by the vaccines, by the sheer number of vaccines, or by environmental factors - after all, communities and households who do not vaccinate tend to do other things differently as well. In our particular house, however, it is interesting to note that the boy who is fully vaccinated has the neuro problems. The boys who have recieved fewer vaccines do not. The are being raised in the same environment.

A good question is raised, however - how come private non-profits are looking into this, but our government, charged with the health and well being of its citizens, is not? Where are the FDA studies, the CDC epidemiological charts?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/27/2007 10:45:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Sibling Rivalry

Mr. R and Miss E do not get along. They do not like each other in the car, they do not like each other near or far. They do not like each other on a boat, they do not like each other with a goat.

These two children fight more than all of the other five children combined. Although Baby X doesn't really fight so much as cry a primordial scream of infant affrontation.

What to do? For most sibling rivalry offenses, the Slavery Technique works well. Harass your brother, you owe him a chore. Depending on the level of harassment, and the respective ages of the combatants, it could be a chore or a day of slavery.

However. Mr. R and Miss E fight about that, as well. If Mr. R is not actively pouting, complaining, and projecting verbal spewage, Miss E will conclude that he is not miserable enough. No misery = not enough punishment. Not enough punishment = whine at Mom. Whine at Mom = more punishment (Miss E's turn this time). Ah, the circle of family life... it's enough to make me break out the duct tape.

Until I heard Dr. Ray's thoughts on the matter. He's my favorite parenting expert - a psychologist and father of ten children. He knows what he's talking about.

His suggestion? Make them sit at the table across from each other. No one gets up until the other one gives them permission. Brilliant! We'll be seeing if this works for me... quite soon, as the battle stations are already being manned.

Visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for more tips!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/27/2007 09:30:00 AM | Permalink | |
Evolution in Action
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Some species are having no problem adjusting to global warming.

These guys aren't waiting for hell to freeze over, they've adapted and migrated.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/26/2007 09:27:00 AM | Permalink | |
We're Moving!
Monday, June 25, 2007
We got the house. Money has changed hands and no one has given it back.
We'll sign the actual lease today - they gave us a copy to read over the weekend.

It does have a clause I'm a little iffy about - that the tenants are responsible for all repairs needed inside and Landlords will take care of all repairs outside. We would be responsible for the first $25 of any service call made. Since we are renting for a year, and we haven't had any kind of inspection or anything, I don't know what condition the furnace, hot water heater, or anything is in. So I think I'm going to ask to change it - we'll be responsible for repairs excluding appliances and fixtures. I don't want to pay to repair someone else's dishwasher or fridge, and it seems every single house we've ever moved into ends up having toilet problems and needing parts replaced.

Husband dear is pretty handy, and he can repair most things, I just don't want to be financially committed. I suspect the clause is there because the owner is in the military, just got back from a tour in Iraq and is heading to Japan next month. His wife probably doesn't want to deal with repairs and such while he's gone.

Now on to packing. We're supposed to be out of here by the weekend, and I have a grand total of three boxes done!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/25/2007 09:36:00 AM | Permalink | |
Where Has He Been...
Saturday, June 23, 2007
For The Last 9 Years?

Mr R: Mom, can we go to that place on Sunday?

Me: What place?

Mr R: You know, the place. The Place!

Me: What place?


Me: What does the place look like?

Mr R: You know, it has windows.

Me: no response. I have no idea what he's talking about and I'm not about to commit to going there this weekend.

Mr R: With the green carpet?

Me: You mean CHURCH?

Mr. R: Yeah.

Me: Yes. We will go to church on Sunday
(Just like every other Sunday of your life. Do you really need to ask? Especially when I'm usually dragging you to the car telling you that you WILL go?)

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/23/2007 09:57:00 PM | Permalink | |
Don't Mess with His Mama
Friday, June 22, 2007

China has been in the news quite a bit lately, as people decry antifreeze in their toothpaste, lead in their toys, and who-knows-what in their other food products. The US buys so many goods from China, we sometimes forgot they are still a Communist country. They are not "on the cusp of democracy". Their people are not free.

Their current Constitution guarantees the right -and duty - of family planning, and citizens can engage in "normal religious activities" that are "not subject to foreign domination." Take that, Romanists! ("Normal religious activities" are not defined.) I would also assume that Chinese Mormons have similar problems, since they look to Salt Lake City, but I have no idea of the state of the LDS church in Asia.

Now their playing with fire, however. The Chinese government has decided that a shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is a site of illegal religious activity (in China, any religious activity is pretty much illegal) and they are going to blow it up. And perhaps build an office building.

Don't they know better than to mess with a boy's Mama? We'll see how this plays out on the world stage. Remember the outrage when the Taliban blew up the Buddha sculptures? I wonder if a Catholic shrine will garner the same amount of criticism.

St. Francis Xavier
, missionary to China, pray for us!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/22/2007 09:13:00 AM | Permalink | |
No Place Like Home
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Well, our last two places both fell through. We found another one that looks promising, however. It's not new, and has a couple of add-ons that give it an odd layout - but the layout is perfect for our family, and includes a converted garage/playroom and large laundry room. It's also got three toilets - ooh, the luxury!

The downside to it was it is in the next town over, and would add about 20 minutes on to husband's commute. Also, I assumed since it was in the next town, and the next town over is in a different county, that we would have to change school districts. This is a Big. Deal. because of special needs son, who has his IEP signed and sealed for next year, and is doing quite well in the program. The thought of starting the whole process over again, and hoping to get a program that's even close to the one he has now, was daunting.

Oh, happy day! I just Googled the elementary school listed for the house... it's in our current district! The other kids will have to switch schools, but Mr. R can remain in his program, with the same teacher, at the same school.

And I don't have to fight the school request appropriate accommodations at another mind numbing IEP meeting with 5 other adults who don't want to be there either.

We'll know tomorrow if we got the house.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/21/2007 03:12:00 PM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I would like to share something that has enhanced our lives tremendously: Fish Oil.

Also known as Omega-3 Fatty acids, found in flax seeds and oily fish such as anchovies, mackerel, tuna and salmon, Omega-3's have been clinically shown to reduce depression, reverse heart disease, and enhance moods.

Researchers have found that people with high Omega-3 intakes actually show changes in their brain structure - with more volume dedicated to regions controlling positive emotions and mood regulation.

Mr. R won't take capsules, so I buy Coromega, which is orange pudding in a packet. Link is to the best price I've found. We pay about $60 for 90 days of supplement supplies (zinc, fish oil, multivitamin, choline, inositol) The antipsych meds we were on cost $185 for a 30 day supply. Works for me!

Need more convincing? Read these:
Omega 3's and ADHD
Fish Oil and Nursing Moms
The Mayo Clinic weighs in
Newstarget has lots of news about Omega-3's

A side note:
Bipolar and schizophrenic patients should not get Omega-3's from flax oil. Flax contains ALA, which can induce mania; BP'ers should stick to DHA and EPA. Those Omega-6 and Omega-3 combo supplements you see on the shelf? Skip them - Americans are not deficient in Omega-6's!

You can read the origins of our path to nutritional supplements instead of antipsychotic medication here.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/20/2007 06:00:00 AM | Permalink | |
Big Idea Productions
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fascinating tale from Phil Vischer relating how VeggieTales got sent to the compost bin.

Sorry. Couldn't resist the pun.

Check out the other, more recent posts though - he's doing a series on "So You Want to Make Christian Videos".

H/T to Homemaker's Guide to the Galaxy for this one!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/19/2007 02:04:00 PM | Permalink | |
Morning Math at Mama's House
Monday, June 18, 2007
What does one 18 pack of eggs, mostly empty, left on the counter plus one stepstool left unfolded next to the counter equal?

Factor in an 18 month old daughter and it equals an excellent opportunity to see if the household trick of pouring salt on a broken egg makes it easier to clean up.

It does.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/18/2007 09:40:00 AM | Permalink | |
Nothing's Safe Anymore

What is the world coming to? There is quite a round up of toy recalls out there. Now, I would expect to see a few Dollar Tree recalls - their toys are cheap and I've never seen one that wasn't a choking hazard. I previously posted about Magnetix, a good brand name, but perhaps just a fluke.

But Easy Bake Ovens?

Thomas the Tank Cars? We have the Skarloey car. It has teeth marks in it. Wonder how much damage that's done to the kids? How will I ever know?

Polly Pockets sent three kids to the hospital?

Spending more on the big names doesn't guarantee safety. Keep an eye on the kids when they are playing. Know how to do the Heimlich maneuver. Pay $10 to Red Cross and learn CPR. It's money well spent.

See a full list of toy recalls here.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/18/2007 09:14:00 AM | Permalink | |
Woo-Hoo! Date Night
Friday, June 15, 2007

Due to circumstances beyond our control (lack of a trustworthy individual to watch the children, namely) my husband and I have gone out one time in the last 14 months (I'm not counting the night I picked him up at the airport - technically, we were alone but we spent all night packing up the house.
Yes, we had a 'date' last year on my birthday (in March), and this year on my birthday (still in March).

Husband left right after Easter 2006 for SC. Didn't see him again until halfway through July.
In our new town, I had trouble connecting with others.

One day, a girl showed up at my door. She was 16 years old, just moved in, saw we had kids, and wanted to let us know she was available to babysit. This was two weeks before Baby X was born, and I promised to call her when we got around to an outing. Hooray! A babysitter in walking distance!

The next week she came over and told me, she didn't care what her foster mom said, she was going to babysit and I should still hire her. Her foster mom had no right to interfere with her work... and on... and on... I'm not sure what was going on, since no one had come over to tell me not to hire her. However, there was no way I was going to let her sit with the kids now, since her attitude was "I won't listen to the adult in charge of me. I will do what I want. If she doesn't like it, I'll just run away again."

We have finally found a sitter though. She goes to our church, I know her mom (she was Mr. P's teacher this year), and I know they are 'normal'. So we are going out somewhere to do something tomorrow night! It will probably involve Spiderman 3, but that's okay. And it will involve a little nursling, who tags along everywhere I go. That's okay too.

Maybe I'll go wild and dig out some mascara!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/15/2007 11:27:00 AM | Permalink | |
Six of One...
Thursday, June 14, 2007
...Half a Dozen of the Other.

We're still looking for a rental, and suddenly, by the grace of God, we have two possibilities. Each requires a $30 non-refundable application fee; we probably only have time to apply for one before July 1, and each has it's own pros and cons.

One is a house, and one is a doublewide trailer.

The trailer is larger than the house. It has 3 bedrooms, but huge closets. The master bath has a garden tub - big! It's also in a lake community, so we would have free lake access and you can even see a sliver of blue water from the kitchen window. The kitchen is huge, and is eat-in - our table will fit, no problem, on a hard surface floor. The kids would stay in the same school (one in a different town for sp. ed. son, and the other three at the school they went to last year). It is closer to husband's work, and in the same town we live in now. We can sign a six month lease, which we prefer because we want to buy a house, but can't pull it all together before July 1. This will give us enough time to save up a bigger down payment and look for the perfect place. The kid bathroom is spacious, and the toilet is not right next to the bathtub, so you wouldn't be staring at the porcelain throne while trying to unwind. Did I mention the garden tub? The carpet is not new, and the walls already have nails and such in them. This is a plus when you have 7 kids... if it's already "broken in", we won't have to be responsible for like new condition in order to get our security deposit back.

The house has 4 bedrooms and a fireplace. The yard is shaded and fenced, all the way around. The front porch is nice, and large enough for a couple of chairs; the backyard boasts a patio large enough for a grill and toddler vehicles. The school is the same one my oldest already goes to (where the special ed. program is housed), so all of the children would attend the same building. The carpets are clean, but very, very stained. Again, for us, that's a plus!
The neighborhood has sidewalks and seems like a family place. No one runs a car repair business on their front lawn, unlike our current neighbors.

Each property also has a downside.

The trailer is on a dirt road, with an unpaved driveway, so if we get it, my name will be MUD. Most of the other properties are rentals or summer homes (due to the lake, I'm sure). It is fenced on three sides, so we'd have to construct a barrier of some sort before letting the little kids in the yard. There is no dishwasher. There is lots of cabinet space, but the lower cabinets are weird, with a non-functional half shelf thing going. The fridge opens backwards, and with only three bedrooms, the spacious closets will be taken up with toys, bookshelves, and probably our computer desk. It's a trailer, and we are in hurricane country. Although, at times, I have wicked fantasies about a tornado passing through, picking up all of our clutter treasures, and taking it away forever...

The house costs $200 more per month, and borders the entrance to the subdivision, so all of the traffic in the neighborhood will pass our house - with a chain link fence. I hate living on corners with chain link fences, I am always paranoid that someone will see the children playing in the yard and reach over and snatch one. The 4th bedroom is actually a FROG - finished room over garage, and has a window AC unit since it's not part of the house's ventilation system. In addition, you have to go through the laundry room, off the kitchen to access it; the wall next to the stairs is too short (it's up to my knees) and I wouldn't let the kids up there without an adult because I'd be afraid they'd topple over the short wall into the stairwell ten feet below. Husband dear says he thinks it'd make a great room for Mr. R - the one who has suicidal tendencies when he's not stable and prone to impulsive decisions. I'm Maybe it could be a library or storage. The dining area in the house is carpeted (!!!) and the kitchen is a tiny galley style that lacks a fridge (we'd have to buy one).

So, small kitchen plus appliance purchase and $200 more on one hand; no dishwasher, mud, and not-quite-fenced yard on the other. Any thoughts?

On a side note: I mentioned the lack of dishwasher to husband dear, who responded with the eloquent and thoughful "So?" I mentioned that as it stands, I am perpetually behind in the housework department and that is with running our dishwasher twice a day. His response? "It's not worth $200 a month" (the difference in the cost of the house, and the cost of the trailer. This from a man who desperately wants to purchase super cool front load laundry appliances? (Believe or not, I'm dragging my heels... I'm a cheapskate at heart, and I can't see dropping $1600 on a set when a $500 set will do.)
How much is a dishwasher worth in your households?


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/14/2007 03:16:00 PM | Permalink | |
It's NOT Rocket Science
I read an interesting story today about a mom whose baby monitor is picking up Nasa transmissions.

I was distracted from the story by the incredibly poor writing, or rather, reasoning. Here's a sample, in case you don't feel like following the link:
Live video of the mission is available on NASA's Web site, so it's possible the monitor is picking up a signal from somewhere.
Really? If you can watch something on the monitor, it's picking up a signal from somewhere? Perhaps they meant to write "somewhere else", or "somewhere over the rainbow", which might be a good place for NASA to research next, now that Pluto's not a planet and we've been to Mars. The solar system is shrinking, time to branch out?

Equally confusing is the last paragraph:
Meilinger silenced disbelieving co-workers by bringing in a video of the monitor to show her class on Tuesday, her students' last day of school.
What? She silenced her co-workers by showing video to her students, who somehow telepathically transmitted the veracity of the NASA video claims to the other adults in the building? Meilinger should have just saved the effort, and showed the video to her coworkers to begin with.

Interesting, all the same.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/14/2007 02:47:00 PM | Permalink | |
No one has ever accused me of lacking imagination, and it is quite evident in what I call my children.

My first child's given name is mundane, named for both his grandfathers. We got a little more creative with our second son- his middle name is a family surname and Scottish clan. Our fourth child, also a son, has 22 letters in his name, including 4 S's and 3 T's. I'm lucky the boy never developed a lisp.

Our 5th child's initials are V.R., and our new baby, #7, is saddled with XQS for life.

My goal was to name them for saints, make sure no one else in their class had the same name, and give them all different first initials so that I am only required to Sharpie one letter on cups at picnics. Efficiency at all costs, you see.

Nicknames should be efficient as well. Generally, they are a shortened form of the given name so that a child will be able to easily discern when they are in Big Trouble, judging from the number of syllables their Mom yells.
For example, if she calls out "Betsy!", one might get to lick the spoon upon coming in from playing. If she yells "Elizabeth Millicent Johnson!", one had better run and hide, and think up a good excuse for writing on the walls with lipstick.

I have never been one for conventions, however, and nicknames tend to be longer than the actual given name, incorporate initials and/or middle names, or have nothing to do with the actual name at all. I have at least 4 different names for each of my children that they will answer to.

My husband answers to "Joe", for example, although his given name is Thomas.

Our 3 year old girl is called "Tatoes" by her father. Once I asked him why he called her that, and he helpfully explained it was short for "PO-Tatoes". It's all clear now.

My one year old will answer to Bug and/or Pretty Bug. (She crawls in filthy places and then heads to the kitchen to eat.) (She also sneaks out of the woodwork at night, suddenly appearing in our midst and scattering when the lights are turned on and she might get caught.)

Baby X has been quite fun to nickname. The current favorites are Baby Squishy (XQS spells Squishy in Mama's house) and Cricket (he makes noise all night).

My favorite nicknames belong to my first daughter. I call her by at least ten different names, and she'll answer to Imi-tator (more with the potato theme), Millie, Mila-nator, and Mims. Her name doesn't start with M, though. She was named after the patron saint of orphans (a man)... any guesses to her given name? (Aunties and uncles reading, no fair answering!)

Interestingly, my boy Patrick is the only one who has gotten the comment "What an unusual name!" I guess that person lives under a rock, or doesn't notice the green beer that flows freely every March.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/14/2007 10:30:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Crud Cutter
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I don't use a lot of chemicals to clean - the smell gives me headaches, I'm too cheap to pay Mr. Clean for a job vinegar will do, and there's lots of small children around.

There is one product I won't be going without - it works a thousand times better than any home remedy.

It's Dawn Power Dissolver. You spray it on burned or scorched pans, wait half an hour while you do the rest of the dishes, and then just spray and rinse the black crusty stuff right off! Well, you can't just hit it with water - I did swish my nylon scrubbie around on it - but I wouldn't call it actual scrubbing. The only drawback is that you have to remove any food that you can - it's not dish soap, it works on the black greasy stuff.

I've tried soaking burned pots with dryer sheets, boiling them with baking soda, scrubbing with salt or rice... Power Dissolver works better, faster, and with less effort.

Works for Me! Check out Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer for other tips!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/13/2007 09:09:00 AM | Permalink | |
More with the Vaccines
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Interesting story today - a family is suing vaccine manufacturers because they claim their child has autism caused by a measles vaccine. They want compensation from the fund set up by our government to care for their child, who will probably never be able to care for herself.

I had forgotten about the Vaccine Injuries Compensation Fund. The FDA, always so wonderful at taking money from Big Pharma protecting the public, has definitively declared there is "No Evidence of Harm". This was something I couldn't quite wrap my mind around - what did our government have to gain by denying an autism/vaccine link? Now I know, at least part of the story. Evidence of Harm, BTW, is David Kirby's take on the whole matter.

The case is the first of over 5,000 that have been filed - no evidence of harm, indeed. Even if these 5000 families are improperly blaming thimerosol, it behooves our government to find out why autism is increasing, despite advances in healthcare, better educational opportunities and early interventions, and improved nutrition. Okay, scratch the improved nutrition - and don't feed me the line "We're just better at diagnosing it". You really think doctors 40 years ago just didnt' notice children who developed normally, then suddenly couldn't communicate, dress themselves, or interact with others? Give me a break.

The story in the paper blames thimerosol, a mercury based preservative widely used in older vaccines but no longer used in modern children's vaccinations. It is still in use in flu shots, however.

Vaccines often also contain aluminum, not normally something people worry about, until you start injecting it into your body along with fluids designed to send your immune system into overdrive. Metals do affect your health, and some people are more sensitive than others. My son's behavioral disorder is helped by decreasing extra copper and heavily supplementing zinc, for example; there is a nutritional deficiency, called pyroluria, that involves zinc and B vitamins; very many mental patients have this deficiency, and studies have shown they are helped immensely just by normalizing their zinc levels.

It will be interesting to see how the trial pans out, and what it could mean for families harmed by vaccines.

NOTE: I am not against vaccinating children. Vaccines have been very useful in saving many lives. However, I don't think they are necessarily the right choice for everyone, based on personal circumstances, and I don't think the risks and adverse effects have been properly disclosed to parents.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/12/2007 08:44:00 AM | Permalink | |
How Boring People...
Monday, June 11, 2007
... spend their weekend:

Now with helpful Homeschool Paperwork Categories!

Vocational training/Business Math
Today's Lesson: Fix Your Own Car to Save Money

Science and Anatomy
Today's Lesson: Looking at Baby Feet
Caution - may cause you to lose hours of valuable time, making you wonder where the day went.

Lesson 1: Point the camera the other way

Lesson 2: Don't look down

Lesson 3: Don't look up

Lesson 4: Digital Cameras are good training devices, you don't have to pay for film/ There is no shame in trying again another time.

Religion and Cultures Class
Today's lesson: Infant Baptism

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/11/2007 02:28:00 PM | Permalink | |
Summer fun with Kids
Friday, June 08, 2007

Don't know what to do with the kids this summer? Here are some websites to the rescue - make your own fun!

We'll be doing more of these around here. Recently, a strange phenomena has been occurring around here. Cartoon Network mysteriously appears on the television, and at the same time the remote control disappears completely. Mama's had enough of that!

Paper Toys -fun with printers!

Science toys - for a little older kids. Includes how to make a rocket engine, and an article called "Fun with High Voltage". I'll let husband dear handle that one!
***You've got to check out this project! ****

Draw with Uncle Fred - simple cartoon style drawings.

- have your kids make puzzles for each other.

Coloring Sheets
- more sophisticated than the preschool sites, with lots of pages with state birds, flags, and art. Here's one of Vermeer's Milkmaid. Color and practice shading - this one just cries for colored pencils or pastels!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/08/2007 10:49:00 AM | Permalink | |
Floating on Air...
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Sonic Drive-In is giving away free Root Beer floats tonight, 8pm - midnight.

No purchase necessary - I'm all about the free stuff and Sonic is a happenin' place to be when you live in a town with 7000 people.

Have fun!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/07/2007 05:45:00 PM | Permalink | |
The Entertainment Pipeline

Last fall, I started writing for the entertainment website Cinema Blend. My job? Write up quick recaps of breaking news in the TV sector. I figured it would be a good "in" for later freelance jobs, and might just get me some contacts in the entertainment arena. I was hot and heavy in the process of churning out my first draft of - you'd better sit down - a horror script. I also needed (and still do) to practice my professional writing skills. Writing a coherent article is much different from writing dialogue.

A quick aside...
Why horror? It is the last genre of movies that accepts an absolute evil, and that evil has a personality that wants to hurt humans. Also, I was just a little tired of trite demon possession movies in which every single priest was a) a drunk, b) had lost his faith, or c) both. I thought I'd write a more... Catholic... horror movie, as it were. My movie doesn't contain a single blonde girl running in terror or cowering in her panties, either. I'm turning the movie world on its head!

I also have a children's one in the works, based on a series of stories I tell my kids in grocery store lines to make them be quiet. It is along the lines of Nanny McPhee. See, I haven't totally lost my mind!

I haven't worked on my scripts at all for several months - since Thanksgiving, actually. I just had a lot of other things going on, and I didn't feel that this was the right season in my life to be devoting a ton of time to it.

I've found that writing reviews and critiques of other people's scripts was much more satisfying and up my alley. I'm the annoying lady in the movie theater that finds the plot holes and wonders about them aloud.

(....I'm still wondering why Peter Petrelli didn't just take himself to the moon or wherever, instead of making his brother do it in a giant "This Is True Love Glurgefest". If you understood that sentence, you're a nerd like me...)
So anyway. When I wrote for this website, I had the duty to trawl various other entertainment sites for tips, leads, and their take on a story. The stories were meaningful, too. I just Googled myself and one of my gems is still up on the website. It's about David Bowie providing voice talents for SpongeBob Squarepants.

I also watched too many Bravo reality shows. Too many being more than one.

Reading over the coverage of Dawn Eden's recent awesome career move, and the coverage provided by Gawker, I remember why I stopped doing that. Calling them a "scatalogical gossip site" is just plain charitable. (I'm not even going to provide a link. If you feel a pressing need to read that site, use Google.) I had to read this site, and a few others like it, every day. Several times a day, in fact.

I generally stuck to the more benign stories - covering new shows, new trends, upcoming debuts, and skipping the DUI arrests - in an attempt to stay out of the confessional. After all, it is basically gossip, even if it is printed under a masthead - or web banner, in this case. I have to say, I don't miss any of these sites at all.

Okay, maybe Go Fug Yourself, just a little.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/07/2007 09:10:00 AM | Permalink | |
Having a Rough Day
Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The cat died today, very suddenly. I think he was poisoned - maybe accidentally, maybe on purpose.

My oldest is quite anxious, and although we will bury our kitty tonight when husband dear comes home, we are moving in 3 weeks (where? I don't know. Still have nowhere to go.) and I know he's going to worry about leaving the cat behind.

It's a sad day around here.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/06/2007 09:50:00 AM | Permalink | |
The Discovery Channel
Tuesday, June 05, 2007 closing their brick-and-mortars and going to concentrate solely on online purchases.

Know what that means? Clearance sale at the coolest store in the mall! Whoo-hoo!

Unfortunately, here in Podinkeyville, SC the nearest store is in Ye Old Tourist Trap (Myrtle Beach), about 3 hours away.

Find your nearest store here.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/05/2007 02:54:00 PM | Permalink | |
I'm not Surprised...
Monday, June 04, 2007
You scored as Roman Catholic, You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Neo orthodox




Modern Liberal


Classical Liberal




Reformed Evangelical




What's your theological worldview?
created with

The shocker is not that I'm 100% Catholic, but that I'm 75% Wesleyan at the same time. I don't even know what that means! (I'm guessing it's different from Methodism? I've never heard of Evangelical Holiness.) I think the test is incorrect - how can I be NeoOrthodox and Modern/Classical Liberal? Or maybe I'm just a muddy mix of theological trends.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/04/2007 09:47:00 PM | Permalink | |
Democrats wanted...
Anyone know of a good independent source for review of the Democratic candidates? I tried to watch the debate last night, but just couldn't stomach it (John Edwards seriously thinks Medicare for All is going to help ANYTHING?!!) and finally had to turn it off when they started to talk about gays in the military (it got a little graphic and several people in my house are Rated G only).

Not to mention, the question was actually, "Was it right for Bill Clinton to sign 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell?' " Really, with all of the current issues, we need to revisit that policy? Give me a break. I want to hear what Democrats are going to do about our problem with Chinese imports - they just recalled Chinese toothpaste, it contains antifreeze. Or how about how our trade deficit with China is hurting the military? I worked in the metal industry - and it is hurting our soldiers!

I know I'll probably never vote for a Democrat (unless it's Zel Miller running against The Governator, then, maybe...) but I would like to keep abreast of what they are saying.

Without actually having to hear them say it.

BTW, I'm a registered Independent... but I don't seem to have a problem keeping up with the Republican side of things!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/04/2007 04:48:00 PM | Permalink | |
The Pursuit of Happyness - Rave
We signed up for a free trial of Blockbuster online. Husband dear's longstanding feud with BB seems to have passed, mainly because in our town we can rent from Blockbuster or a tanning salon.

So far, I'm liking it. We go online and rent movies, put them in our queue - so handy for NOT forgetting the name of that movie we really want to see - and then, we can return them to the local brick and mortar building and get more right away! We're still in a free trial, so I'm not officially recommending it yet. There does seem to be an unreasonable bias by the online folks, shipping out the newest movies first. I've yet to get my Thin Man movies, which were the first things I selected! To be fair, most people probably want to watch the newest and flashiest. I'm just nerdy in that I put Auntie Mame in line before Stranger than Fiction.

So. We got The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith - and it was fantastic! It's a true story about a man doing whatever he can to make a better life for his son - even though he ends up homeless at points in the meantime. It's inspirational without saccharine sweetness.

Another thing that struck me, is how much a wife's attitude and faith in her husband really does matter to a man, which is something rarely heard in our society right now.

I found myself contrasting it with last year's Fun with Dick and Jane. Dick and Jane stick with each other, through thick and thin - and attempted larceny (not a family film. You've been warned). It wasn't Jim Carrey's best movie, but I liked the message that families stick together. Although I'm still wondering why they didn't fire the nanny after Mom and Dad both lost their jobs and became stay-at-home parents.

Throughout the film, there is an optimism - he can, and will make life better, no matter what. He also emphasizes the value of education to his son over and over, and there are several scenes of him reading to his boy. The title, spelled with a "Y", comes from a scene where he protests a graffiti mural outside his boy's daycare - the mural's fine, but he's appalled it's misspelled.

There are a couple of bad words, but no sex, nudity, or gratuitous violence. The extra commentary with the real Chris Gardner, who the story is based on, is well worth a viewing too.
Interesting note - Will Smith plays Chris Gardner, and his son, Jaden Smith, plays his boy in the movie. No wonder they have such a comfortable presence together onscreen!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/04/2007 09:00:00 AM | Permalink | |
Saturday, June 02, 2007

:: E L I N O R ::

You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Ah yes, more practical than pretty with every passing year...

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/02/2007 06:55:00 AM | Permalink | |
I'm Sure the Irony Eludes Them...
Friday, June 01, 2007
I spotted a sign taped to the Burger King window (BTW, their new Mocha Joe is WAY better than Starbucks and costs two bucks for a 20 oz. cup. Yeah, I'm addicted now.)
"We are sorry for the inconvenience, but in order to better serve our customers..."
Because better service always involves inconveniencing your customers, right? I think the banking industry figured that out years ago.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/01/2007 02:44:00 PM | Permalink | |
Just Curious...
Who else watched the Spelling Bee, rolled their eyes when Laura Bush asked them to spell "gubernatorial" (it's long, sure, but easy to sound out) and would have been eliminated by that silent "D" in fauchard?

Am I the only nerd in America?


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/01/2007 12:48:00 PM | Permalink | |