Live long… Laugh often… Love always.
Will the risks of the H1N1 Flu Vaccine outweigh the benefits? In the 1976 Swine Flu outbreak the CDC quickly created a flu vaccine to control the Swine Flu outbreak and rushing the process had dramatic neurological effects like the Gullain Barre Syndrome on children. Will this new vaccine protect the population since today’s vaccine was created based upon the current strain, not the possible mutated version the medical community believes will spread this winter?
I am actually grateful my children were part of the first wave of H1N1 cases that swept across the country back in June. I will not be getting the H1N1 vaccine for my family because the vaccine is being created to fight the strain that we have already contracted.
Do the research before getting the H1N1 vaccine for your children! Keep in mind that the reason you put your signature next to each vaccine your child receives is you are saying you understand the risks and side effects each vaccine poses to your children. Don’t let your pediatrician or Doctor pressure you into agreeing to a vaccine you are not sure of! The ultimate responsibility lies on your shoulders if something horrible happens to your children.
I sit here and watch my son play with his Elmo drill I remember how loud children’s toys can be. Children’s toys have increased in noise level dramatically in the last ten years, and with the close proximity that babies and toddlers play with their toys to their heads, they can actually cause irreparable hearing damage such as Tinnitus or actual hearing loss.
As a child after being somewhere loud like fireworks or a concert, I remember laying in bed hearing my ears ring all night long, and I am grateful every time the ringing stops. Due to the loud level of toys some young children have damaged their ears so bad that the ringing never stops, which is called tinnitus. My mother has this condition and it is actually debilitating to her on some days she can’t focus or relax because the ringing is so loud, so I am very aware and cautious with noise levels around my children. I carry ear plugs with me in my diaper bag in case the noise levels are too high like at an indoor activity with lots of screaming kids or a children’s concert.
I had a friend who saved her original Tickle Me Elmo doll from when her 14 year old daughter was a toddler and she gave it to me. I was playing with both the Tickle me Elmo TMX and the original doll with my children on the floor and the new one is so loud that it actually drones out the normal volume of the original Elmo doll. When the TMX is not playing you can hear the original Tickle Me Elmo just fine and a child can actually hug it and put it next to his face without risking hearing damage. Why are toy manufacturers making everything so loud? Some toys when produced have higher decibel levels than a rock concert. Is the insanely loud noise level to attract attention for children to pick the loudest toy off the shelf? Maybe but it is unnecessary. Elmo’s high pitched voice at too high of volume can actually do more damage than a jet engine to a child’s ears, then you give it to them to play while they sit on the floor and lean over it like toddlers play.
Since I am so aware of these high noise levels every single new toy my children receive gets the noise treatment. If you walk around my house, every toy that makes noise has tape permanently pasted over the speaker to lower the damaging levels of noise. If the tape does not control the noise level down to a safe level I will open the toys and disconnect or permanently quiet the sound box. Just looking around in the living room, each of the books with buttons has tape over it, the ride on car, the activity tables, the Tag reader, the Barbie Cinderella Walking Horse and of course the Elmo talking Drill.
Not only do we have to worry about the lead paint used in creating the colors on the toy, make sure it is not leak hormones that can feminize our boys and develop reproductive health problems in our girls like in vinyl toys, make sure it does not have any small parts that our children can choke on, we also need to make sure that they are at an appropriate noise level to protect our children’s ears. Hearing damage is not only something grandparents need to worry about anymore!
I have had a few people ask me why I did not change my last name when I got married. I ask them back why did you agree to change your name?
Before I got married I had a career, I was an established Human Resources Manager and I had recruiters calling me. I was known as Jessy Clifton, not Jessica Clifton, and certainly not by my boyfriends last name. I liked my name, I was never teased as a child because of my name, I have never ran into another person with the same name and I was not in a hurry to get rid of it because I disliked my last name. I don’t agree that women have to change their legal identity while men don’t have to change their identity when they get married.
I did not want to have to change every bit of identifying information when I got married, credit cards, ID, Social Security, Bank Accounts, E-mail addresses, Business Cards, ugh the list is endless at how many things are personalized with your full name.
I do not agree with the fact that historically slaves took on their owners last names and became a piece of their owners property. I see changing last names as an archaic tradition where women are now owned by their husband’s family. Should you take your husbands family name because you now are owned by them? Lets look at historical marriage ceremonies where the woman’s family gives 4 cows and 1 sheep to the husbands family to take care of her because women were not worth much more than animals. I chose my husband and my family did not give my husbands family any cows to get rid of me. I believe we need to question this tradition! It is archaic and unnecessary. I am still legally married but with my own name. When the priest announced us he said I would introduce the new husband and wife. I did not want to be introduced as Mr. and Mrs. John Johnson! Are you kidding me, not only does a woman loose her last name now she looses her first name and is just Mrs. John Johnson? Ick! How demeaning!
Basically there were more reasons why I refused to have my name changed than why I would ever consider changing it to keep my husbands family happy. Before we were married my husband and I talked about the complications that might happen with separate last names, we have no problem having both of our names on bank accounts, house, insurance, cars. I agreed to allow our children to have his last name.
Now here is where we have had problems. One time my husband was in the emergency room and I had to give them my name and ID to be allowed back to see him. The nurse gave me a hard time because I had a separate last name, she actually told me that I needed to have my marriage license to prove I was married. I told her I would have her job if she did not allow me to see my husband. Jon had tickets held at a will call and he was parking the car and told me to go in and get the tickets. The woman at will-call would not give me the tickets because I did not have the same last name. I said would you give the tickets to his sister? Not that it helped but hopefully I made her think about her process and I will make sure that he gets tickets in his name not me. Now that we have children, I have had a few moms question why my children have separate last names and if I am married to their father. I also tend to write on paperwork that I am their mother next to my name and next to my husbands name I write that we are married with different last names. I don’t ever want my children to be discriminated against because it appears their parents are not married by last names. I will make sure that does not happen.
Why do I bring this up? I am surprised at how few women even consider keeping their last name and happily give up their entire identity in order to get married. I think hyphenated names are very 1992, but still give those women some credit for being forward thinking. I want women to think twice about why they are changing their last names just to get married when you will legally are still married with your own name.
A friend was looking at my son’s baby book and laughed because I took a picture of the positive pregnancy test and put in the book. She said “I can’t believe you put that in there!” I said “Why not? I did not save the one I peed on, just a picture of it.” I am so grateful I took that picture, it was the first message I ever received from my little guy. That picture reminded me of all of the wonderful emotions that I experienced when I found out I was pregnant with my 2nd and most likely last baby. It occurred to me that not everyone looks at pregnancy tests as a wonderful notice that a new life has been created and that they have a joyful life changing event happening in their life.
The pregnancy test has such strong emotions either way for women that it is a very powerful image. I think about the commercials on tv, advertising pregnancy tests are generally shown in the positive light. They are usually being marketed to women who want to get pregnant, not the women who would dread a pregnancy at that point of their life that are only looking for a concrete sign relieving them from the chance that they might be pregnant.
When I look at the photo of my positive pregnancy test I remember thinking that I felt different. I was falling asleep when I was reading my daughter her book at night, I was starving at lunchtime and I felt a little bit crampy, I felt like I was pregnant again. I waited until I missed my period by 1 day, drove to the store and bought a two pack, took a pregnancy test right before bedtime, washed my face while I waited for the results, and looked down to see the digital display clearly saying the word Pregnant. I was surprised, and thrilled!
I had been on the birth control pill up until I decided I wanted to have a baby and never purchased a pregnancy test to rule out pregnancy. I think if you had to take a pregnancy test if you were afraid that you might be pregnant, then seeing a photo of one would have a very different feeling. You might look at the photo of this pregnancy test as dirty and something you want to avoid. I could not imagine having to go the store after missing your period, buying a pregnancy test, going home, peeing on the stick, waiting for the test results, the agonizing wait to determine your destiny. When you finally see the negative pregnancy result you have a huge sense of relief. You would then and quickly eliminate the horrible pregnancy test from your view in order to get over that scarred feeling.
I will continue to see pregnancy tests as a wonderful exciting messenger that can deliver great news. I hope that good women who dread looking at pregnancy tests because of a horrible scare in their lives will one day be able to have a wonderful experience with a pregnancy test when it tells them the news that they are thrilled to read.
I recently had an experience that made me question how parents are raising their sons. We were at a party when a boy repeatedly bullied her, no matter how many times I tried to interfere. My daughter is not used to people being mean to her, she is used to playing well and sharing with others because that is what I expect of her. I want my daughter to play with nice kids, I want her to know that all boys are not mean, and I don’t want my son to learn this type of negative behavior.
Is it just that these boys are “All Boy”? I don’t think so at all. I think that parents allow for more slack in their parenting with boys and don’t correct their children’s behaviors with the excuse that they are just boys being boys. I guarantee right now that I will expect the same level of appropriate and kind behavior out of my son as I do out of my daughter. I will not let him be mean.
I think many parents are confusing mean bullying style children with being tough. They don’t want their boys to be looked at as sissy’s so they instead turn their heads to ignore mean behavior so their son learns how to be tough. No that is not a tough kid, that is a mean kid. Tough kids, have not been coddled and their parents have taught them when they are not really injured how to toughen up and not to melt down over a scratch. A tough kid is the kid that can fall down have two skinned knees, skinned elbows and scratched forehead, spit on their injuries to get them clean and go continue to play.
The good thing that came out of my daughter being bullied was that I had a teaching conversation with her to help her to deal with this type of behavior. By the time we were ready to leave she was telling him when he was being mean, “Please don’t be mean to me, that hurts my feelings!” I got to explain to her that if this happens at a school it is never OK for people to hit you and that you should tell an adult so they can correct their behavior. My daughter is going to preschool in a month and hopefully this experience will help her deal with mean children.
You know what else drives me nuts when parents say something but don’t follow through with what they are telling their child. Here is an example, “No, no, Frankie, don’t tease. Don’t steal toys. You need to share.” These parents are just saying these things and doing absolutely nothing to correct the behavior. These parents need to walk up to their kids, look them in the eyes, make sure they are listening give the message and give them a consequence for their actions. If my kids take a toy from another kid, I tell them, “Don’t steal toys, it is not nice.” I make them give it back. If my kids tease they will get a time out, no question. I am still trying to figure out if these parents without follow through are spineless parents or lazy parents? I would rather sit down, socialize with my friends and yell from a distance to pretend like I am correcting their behavior, but really it does no good to just pretend. I will stop my conversation, and risk not being able to relax, in order to teach my children the correct and kind way to behave.
Sometimes people want their children to be popular and allow them to be mean to others, allow them to exclude others, allow them to snub others and generally not be kind. If this is what popular kids do I would rather my children be geeks and have a few, quality friends that care about each other.
I want my children to be kind, and I do not sit aside and just hope that they will figure out how to be kind on their own, I will constantly correct their behavior and teach them how to be good, kind, thoughtful people. I also raise my kids to be physically tough and not sissy’s but that does not mean they can be mean. I will never stand aside and allow my child to bully another child. I want my children to play with nice kind children, I want them to understand that a quality friendship is made with people who care about you and are kind. If children are bullies and are mean are becoming what is considered appropriate behavior, I will do whatever I can to protect my children even if that means private or home schooling.