Monday, November 16, 2009

Something Big Was Gone

My friend lost her father last week, after an unexpected and cruel illness. He walked me down the aisle at my wedding, raised one hell of a woman and always made me laugh. I will miss him and I know he's somewhere causing trouble and getting a lot of laughs. I hope I can get my friend to come play on the swing set soon.

They say you can't take it with you, but I think that they're wrong
'Cause all I know is I woke up this morning, and something big was gone
Gone into that dark ether where you're still young and hard and cold.
Just like when they built you, brother, they broke the mold
- Springsteen
Rest in Peace, El Greato.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

H1N1? R2D2?

When Robby was about 18 months old we went to Arizona to spend Christmas with my family. Two days before we left for the trip he went to the pediatrician and he got his first flu shot. Within 12 hours of landing in Arizona he was already showing flu symptoms and by the second day there we were at an urgent care in a strange city seeking help. He had never been that sick. He had fever, chapped face, congestion and double ear infections.

I was convinced it was the flu shot that had made him sick. I was still convinced when our pediatrician insisted that the shot did not make him sick. That feeling I get at my core, my "mama sense" just knew that flu shot did not go well with my kid. I know my son better than anyone, even if I don't have a medical degree. I know that anyone who has had a child develop autism after a vaccination will understand that statement. John, and most members of his family, have all gotten the flu right after receiving a flu shot. Not every child reacts well.

When I read Jenny McCarthy's book, it moved me beyond words. I believe in vaccinations and Robby has received all of his vaccinations. People who do not vaccinate their children rely on the rest of the world to vaccinate theirs, preventing an outbreak where their child would be vulnerable. When a mother says that her child was completely fine and then after a vaccine unable to communicate and the light was gone from their eyes I believe her. Completely.
More research needs to be done. I can understand the CDC does not want mass hysteria to stop parents from vaccinating their children. Clearly, the greater harm lies in not vaccinating. But when the CDC flat out discounts these mother's feelings and stories, I call bullshit. As a parent, I reject recommendations being presented as facts. Give me the facts, then give me your recommendations. Help me by giving me the information I need to make a decision for my child.
Telling me what to do while not giving me all the information is manipulation.

Has anyone else noticed how swine flu has become H1N1? Suddenly the media is only using H1N1 when referring to this strain of flu. I can't help but wonder why and how this all came about. There is a short supply of this vaccine and everyone is scrambling to get one. I have to ask myself if this "shortage" and the coverage of it was planned. In our area, there are long lines of people lining up outside of clinics that announce it has the vaccination available. I've seen news footage of it here locally and in other parts of the country. I went with my mother to her cardiology appointment and when she asked if she should get a flu shot her doctor said that she most likely could not get one as even he and his colleagues at the hospital could not due to the shortage.

I try not to be a conspiracy theory lunatic (like my husband). At the same time, I don't want to be a sheep either. Clorox and Lysol are even using this flu scare to sell more of their products. I can't wait to see what other ways this flu scare will influence advertising. So much media input is bound to influence us in some way. I've actually decided against indoor public playgrounds for a while. I use hand sanitizer more. People have gotten ill. People have died. I don't want my child to get this flu. No of us do.

Ultimately, the decision whether or not to get a flu shot for your child falls to you, the parent. More than one parent has asked me what my decision is. I've told them that we decided against a flu shot but that they should get as much information as they can and make the decision they feel is right for their child. I tell them to get as much information as they can. Here is what the CDC says. I also tell them not to buy into the guilt either way. If they do not get a flu shot and their child develops flu, don't blame yourself. If you do give your child a flu shot and they get sick, don't blame yourself. Easier said than done.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shame on Maine!!!

This is why the Founding Fathers insisted on separation of church from state. This is how this country was founded. They left England for this very reason.

I do not feel secure in my freedom, my basic rights or my child's future today. I am mad and I am scared. I think you should be too.

Equal rights, for all. PERIOD. Let's evolve as a society. Don't you people watch Star Trek?

If you think that these religious leaders are doing anything but selling fear and hate all tied up with a pretty red bow that says "Jesus" on it, you need to pay attention because they will come after you next. They've already started coming for women and their rights. All in the name of God.

And what about the children you say? Read this. I can't say it any better.

Please. Please. PLEASE! Do something today. Talk about this with someone; with everyone!
The time has come. Let's take the gloves off and stand for what is right and what this country was meant to be. My child, your child, their children all deserve the best world we can give them. If you can stop using Styrofoam, you can at least quit buying into all the hate and fear!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Spies Like Us

(This adorable picture of Robby all dressed up and ready to go trick-or-treating will hopefully make up for the next picture you will see.)

Every year my brother, Uncle Mike, and his lovely wife Aunt Jeanette throw the most amazing Halloween party. Every year gets better and better and the decorations gets more elaborate every year. This year, the bathroom had an evil clown theme that will give me many nightmares in the coming months. Uncle Mike LOVES zombies. In fact, one of Robby's first words was BRAINS! in a monsterly voice. I knew our costumes had to be worthy of this party because this is the guy who would be hosting:

Again, I apologize. Note the bloody mouth from the blood capsules. Like I said, NIGHTMARES!

I started making costumes for The Papa and I a week before the party. With my schedule, this is serious planning. I paper mache'd and glued myself into a frenzy most nights. I want to go on record right now that black duct taped saved the costumes and my life. Thank you black duct tape!

Can you guess the costume? First the props:

And then...



Make this!


John was the black spy and I was the white spy. We had a great time at the party, mostly because it is hard to eat bloody fingers and drink ghoul punch with a big cone on your face.