Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Swine Flu

Just a few facts about why we will not vaccinate against the swine flu.

The number of regular seasonal flu deaths out numbers swine flu deaths to the EXTREME. The media has severely over done this threat and has caused panic as a response. Even the CDC backed down.

there have been less than 500 confirmed
H1N1 deaths worldwide compared with between 500,000 to 1,000,000 deaths each
year which human influenza is credited with causing(1)

The vaccine may be more dangerous than the swine flu itself. It is being rushed into production with very limited testing. This is a list of side effects listed on the informational sheet of the vaccine. Here is the link to the entire insert

This is a list of some of the side effects that the insert is admitting to:
*Local injection site reactions (including pain, pain limiting limb movement, redness, swelling, warmth, ecchymosis, induration)*Hot flashes/flushes*Chills*Fever*Malaise*Shivering*Fatigue*Asthenia*Facial edema.*Immune system disorders*Hypersensitivity reactions (including throat and/or mouth edema)*In rare cases, hypersensitivity reactions have lead to anaphylactic shock and death*Cardiovascular disorders*Vasculitis (in rare cases with transient renal involvement)*Syncope shortly after vaccination*Digestive disorders*Diarrhea*Nausea*Vomiting*Abdominal pain.*Blood and lymphatic disorders*Local lymphadenopathy*Transient thrombocytopenia.*Metabolic and nutritional disorders*Loss of appetite.*Arthralgia*Myalgia*Myasthenia*Nervous system disorders*Headache*Dizziness*Neuralgia*Paraesthesia*Febrile convulsions*Guillain-BarrĂ© Syndrome*Myelitis (including encephalomyelitis and transverse myelitis)*Neuropathy (including neuritis)*Paralysis (including Bell’s Palsy)*Respiratory disorders*Dyspnea*Chest pain*Cough*Pharyngitis*Rhinitis*Stevens-Johnson syndrome*Pruritus*Urticaria*Rash (including non-specific, maculopapular, and vesiculobulbous)

Doctors and other health care workers who are telling you to get the shot often aren't getting them themselves. Why do you think that is? I am trying to find a more reliable source but that same article says that voluntary vaccination led to only a 30%-50% vaccination rate of health care workers. Not even the doctors believe enough in the shot to go get it!

Nurses and other health-care workers said they shouldn't be forced to get a vaccine that they don't believe has been tested appropriately as a condition of keeping their jobs.
"There's no proof this vaccine will protect us from swine flu or protect us from spreading it to others," said Sue Field of
Poughkeepsie, a registered nurse who works in a hospital maternity ward and a primary organizer of the rally. (2)

At the end of the day I am not against vaccines. However I do think we all need to be researching what we are shooting into our children's and our own bodies and weigh the risks and rewards carefully! Knowledge is power. Be sure to look at sites not sponsored by the vaccine manufacturers as well!

Whether you chose to get the vaccine or not just some common sense will help cut down the likely hood of illness. Wash hands regularly, keep sick children home, eat healthy and consider probiotics and a vitamin supplement if you aren't eating properly.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Christmas Traditions

We have decided to start a new tradition that will cut down the rediculous amount of presents my kids get at Christmas, at least from us. We are doing something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read as our shopping theme this year. We are splashing out a bit cost wise this year because we are getting the girls American Dolls, but this will also double as part of their Birthday gift. I wanted the dolls before Brianna's birthday since she has asked to go to American Doll with a friend this year for her "party". So I am still filling the blanks but here is my list so far:


Want-American Doll
Need- Probably a school related item
Wear- Probably Pajamas
Read- Subscription to Zoobooks

Want-American Doll
Need-school related
Read-Still deciding but maybe highlights for kids or a new TAG book


Want-He wont care so I will get him some sort of small toy
Need-still deciding
Read-a board book of some sort

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Momma has left the building

I need a break and I am feeling guilty for it. I need an extended period of not having to be mommy. Just a few hours. Why am I feeling bad about that? Aren't I supposed to be that super homeschooling mom who loves spending time with her kids so much she just can't bare the thought of being apart? I am not that quasi-attatchment parent who thrives on having a kid on her back and two under foot 24 hours a day? Why am I so burnt out right now?! This has nothing to do with wanting to send my kids to public school BTW :) It has to do with working the equivilent of a 92 hour work week + a part time job and NEVER getting a break. I am always on duty. Even when hubby is home. Not that he doesn't want to take some of the load because he does, but the kids naturally call my name when they need or want something so I spend just as much time saying "go ask your daddy" as I do if I just get up and take care of it. I spend every moment, even those asleep, being mom and I am just tired! /vent

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shopping Smart: SwagBucks

A friend of mine recently introduced me to a search engine called swagbucks. Basically you use it to do your searches and you randomly earn between 1-5 swagbucks. Swagbucks can be traded in for a number of prizes including gift cards for places such as! Swagbucks now offers a toolbar that gives you easy access to the search engine and has a mail feature that delivers swagcodes good for extra swagbucks. I have been signed up for 4 days and have already collected 16 swagbucks. I plan on trading in at 45 to get my $5 amazon gift card!

Search & Win

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Shopping Smart:Gymboree

I have been saying I was going to write this for ages and finally after enough people asking me here it is, a how to on how to shop at Gymboree for Walmart, or even cheaper than Walmart prices.

So who doesn't LOVE the clothes at Gymboree? They are fashonable, hold up well, resell better, and lets not forget super expensive. I have never and will never pay $40 for a pair of pajamas my 4 year old will out grow within the month. However, all of my children have Gymboree clothing and my son wore nothing but Gymboree for the first year of his life. How you ask? Well here are my tips:

1. Don't shop "in season". Gymboree lines go in and out of style quickly. Once the new line for that season comes in, the old lines are marked down and sent to the sale racks. The older the line, the better deal you will get on it. I promise your toddler does not care if the tag on his shirt says spring '09 during the spring '10 season.

2. Look ahead. Shop in bigger sizes when you find a bargain. Who cares if they can't wear it for another 2 years if you only paid $.79 for that pair of pants (yes, this has actually happened for me)! I have a general rule that I stay within 2 years unless it's just a fantastic deal. That way I dont forget what I have because its been sitting in a box for a decade waiting for my child to grow into it.

3. Shop during Gymbucks. Pretty regularly Gymboree has periods of time that you can aquire Gymbucks by spending more than $50. The key with these is to shop the clearance racks and try to hit the $50 mark as close as possible. When you spend $50 you will get a $25 Gymbuck good on a $50 purchase made in the future. If you spend $100 my suggestion is to do it in 2 transactions so that your Gymbucks are in the smallest increments possible. Check the dates carefully on your Gymbucks and be sure not to forget to spend them! Yes this does take an initial investment but, shopping the sales racks during this time can average out the clothing to less than $3 per item easily. Redeem your Gymbucks on sale items.

4. Hit several stores. Now this wont work for the Gymbucks. You have to spend the entire $50 in one store to get those, but if you are out and about and can hit more than one store it can be worth the effort. No two stores are going to have the same selection. I will list my favorites at the end of the blog.

5. Set a limit on what you are willing to spend and stick to it. I personally don't spend over $3.99 on shirts, $5.99 on pants, or $8.99 on sweaters and overalls. Setting a price limit allows me to rationally put a cute item back on the shelf, knowing that I can get a better deal on an equally cute item later. Yes, on the rare occassion I do grab something that is special and I pay a bit more (for instance I found a monkey shirt that my son wore during his monkey 1st birthday party), but for the most part I stick to it.

6. Gymboree has just issued a new loyalty card. For every $1 you spend you get a point and the points can then be traded in for a gift card. I will update this after I have had a chance to look at it a bit more.

Ok so here are just a few quick tid-bits. Feel free to post questions and I will answer them if I miss it here.

*Girls clothes are harder to find cheap. They tend to leave the racks quickly and are not marked down as much or as often as the boys clothes. You may have to increase your price limit if you dont have a boy to shop for. I just mix it in with what I purchase for my son. My girls dont have quite as much Gymboree but then again they really dont care.

*If you return an item that you used or got Gymbucks on, the store will deduct the Gymbucks from the purchase. Be sure that if you return something you replace it so that you can still use your Gymbucks.


The deals that I got at Target:

So you will see my lists get shorter since we are cutting out the processed food, or at least trying to minimize it, but here is what I got at Target yesterday:

5 Kashi products (4 cereal and 1 granola bar) x $2.88=$14.40-$7 in coupons-$5 gift card for purchasing 5=$.48 each.

coupons for this deal can be found at :

Monday, September 14, 2009

My name is Anna...

and I have been canned veggies free for 7 days. Yep thats right! I have not only been steering clear of the canned veggies, our first step into eliminating the processed food, but I have also cooked dinner 5 out of those 7 nights. I am very pleased to also announce that only once has my daughter gone to bed with no dinner because she refused to eat what I cooked.

What I am finding out is that shopping for unprocessed or even limtedly processed food at Walmart is practically impossible. There are maybe 5 healthy food choices in the whole store. Its rediculous. I am also finding that its practically impossible to use coupons for much of what I get. I did manage some egg, almond milk and Kashi coupons but that seems to be about it.

I dehydrated bananas and am going to do grapes soon. Brianna loved the bananas so I am excited to see if she likes the grapes.

Anyways, we will keep at it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Swearing off birthday parties

That's right. We are not longer hosting huge birthday parties, and will from now on only be attending parties of those we are truly close to. Sorry if that offends, but after the hassle and heartache that went into my son's party I have come to realize just how over the top these things are.

From now on we will have small celebrations with only family (and by family I mean those actually involved in my children's life regularly) and close friends(again those actually involved in my kids lives regularly).

I was reading yesterday and read some things that really hit home. When we get invited to a party do you know what my 5 year old asks? What's going to be in the goody bags? Yep. Not what can we get or do to make the day special for the birthday child, but what am I going to get out of this. Who can blame her though? Isnt that part of what these parties have become? Who can have the most guests, who can spend the most on party supplies, who gives the best goody bags, look how many presents my child got? When did it become ok to spend $200+ on a birthday party for a child who wont remember it the next day? Then family that is there splits into groups and no one is actually in the same room for the majority of the party. Oh and the presents, and this isnt just a birthday thing, I remember Brianna's first Christmas. She had so many presents she fell asleep before even half of them were opened. Out of all the toys she got that year, there were maybe one or two that she actually played with regularly.

The same presure exists when attending the party. Who can get the best gift, and who spent the most money. I admit this probably happens more among family members than friends but seriously anything over $15-$20 (with the exception of maybe shoes?) is rediculous.

I have thrown quite a few parties by now, between all of my children. Do you know which my children talk about most? The $300 ASI party? Nope. The $250 Build-a-Bear? Well that came in second but nope. They talk about the $75 party I threw for Keira's 3rd birthday. We had a total of maybe 10 guests including family, I made the saddest looking castle cake I had ever seen, and I ordered crafts off of Oriental Trading as our activity. They took the crafts home in place of goody bags. My daughter to this day asks me when I am going to make her another castle cake, and pretty regularly tells me a story about her "best birthday ever".

So from now on my family will be taking that $200 and celebrating in style with just our closest friends and family. I am not particularly bothered about who gets offended for not getting an invite, you probably weren't going to come anyways.

For Christmas this year, something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.