Sex, Vaccines and….. Our Children?!?

With all the news surrounding the Gardisil vaccine and associated uproar I feel like there is a subject that needs talked about. I know that this is a very touchy subject for most of you, but lets talk about our children’s sexual health. This is not necessarily the same thing as their sexual activity although the two may be related.

Being a healthcare professional we are thoroughly trained in patient privacy and who we can and cannot share patient information with. You can imagine my surprise when learning that a parent does not have a right to their child’s information as regarding sexual health from twelve years old up. At first it seems to go against everything right and true, it struck me as a slap in the face to parents everywhere. How can you be an effective parent when there is a potentially huge part of your child’s life that is off limits. Even though I wasn’t a parent at the time it took a while for me to digest the necessity of this law.

As hard as it may be to accept, these laws are in the BEST interest of children everywhere. Just because you may be a loving understanding parent whose children are comfortable talking to about even the touchiest subjects, don’t mistakenly think that all, or even most, parents can say the same. Also, if your children are NOT comfortable talking to you then the legal system is NOT to blame.

Now let’s talk about the vaccine specifically. This vaccine is less about promiscuity as it is about protection. You are not only protecting you children from what they may do but more importantly about what could be done to them. I have witnessed first hand the emotional wreckage left behind when a woman is dying from a cancer that was caused from a virus contracted from a rape. This is not a disease that kills quickly. It’s is a long and excruciating way to die. Were her attacker found I would find his crime tantamount to torture and murder. This is the potential eventuality you are protecting your daughters from.

Now I know none of us want to think of our babies as victims, we do everything in our power to protect them from all the evils in the world. But assuming that you will ALWAYS be there is not only unrealistic but also foolish. I feel that if you are unwilling to protect your child in this way, and your child has the emotional maturity to make this decision, then they should have every right to the vaccine with or without your consent or knowledge.

I welcome any and all comments as long as they are kept respectful.

Thanks for reading:)

Wordless Wednesday: storytime in the big boy bed

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Wordless Wednesday: Cheeeeese!

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Thyme, mint, and Basil OH MY! ….. (but mostly Basil)

 

 

 

We survived hurricane Irene without a hitch. It was the first time our area had been threatened since Max was born and truth be told I was very anxious. We prepared as good as we knew how and hunkered down. I am so thankful that we had no real damage, nor did we lose electricity. We were truly blessed.

What was left of my garden fared nearly as well, the peppers are still standing and promising to give me a few more before calling it quits for the season. I had grown basil between my tomato plants and when the tomatoes were finished and removed, the basil took over. It was waist high and resembled a shrubbery rather than an herb. It did not weather the high winds quite as well as the rest of us. Upon going out and assessing the damage I found the basil laying on its side. I had meant to harvest it for some time so now was as good as any.

Have some basil....

Preserving herbs is very easy and very rewarding during those winter months when everything outside is brown and dry. The more hardy herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano) do well tied into bunches and hung to dry. Once all the moisture is gone seal them in an airtight container and they will keep for up to a year. The more delicate herbs (basil, mint, tarragon) do best frozen. You can place whole or chopped leaves in a ice cube tray, cover with a little water and freeze. Once frozen pop out of the tray and place in freezer bag, thaw as you need.

My favorite way to preserve Basil is homemade pesto. I love being able to add that summertime freshness to meals in the dead of winter.

All the measurements are approximate. This recipe should really be adapted to you personal taste. Remember, I was working with an ungodly amount of basil, so you may have to adjust the portions according to however much you have.

Homemade Pesto

yummy

8 cups washed basil leaves, stems removed. (makes about 2 cups chopped basil)

1/2  cup pine nuts

1/2 cup Olive oil

1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese

4  medium cloves Garlic

salt to taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pulse basil and olive oil in food processor until coarsely chopped.

Add Pine nuts, Parmesan, Garlic, and Salt.

Process until desired consistency.  If it seems dry, add more oil.

At this point TASTE, TASTE, TASTE. Make needed adjustments, I always end up adding more salt and cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spoon into ice cube tray and freeze.  When frozen, remove and place in freezer safe bag.

Now you have homemade pesto in convenient portions that will be approximately 1 oz. each.  Ready to used to season chicken, accompany pasta, or spruce up sauces.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I bet you’re wondering what I did with all the left over basil (yes, there was left over basil). Turns out it makes a very fragrant, if not colorful centerpiece!

Thanks for reading:)

Cuckoo for Coconut Oil

I really am, I love the stuff. If I could get away with slathering myself with it on a daily basis I would. But alas, until my financial situation improves I’ll have to stick to using it in more…. conventional ways.

Why coconut oil you ask? What makes it so great? Truth is the more I learn about it the more impressed I am with all its properties. Nutritionally, it’s made up of whats called a Medium-chain fatty acid. Yes I know I said the “F” word, I’m even going to add the “S” word too. Truth is these are actually Saturated Fats *gasp*. Now before you get all pseudo-nutritionalist on me, these are not the same fats that McDonald’s was using to expand our waistlines. The fatty acid in Coconut oil actually is proven to help kick start your metabolism, and in moderate amounts can help you work off those french fries. It is also known to increase HDL (good cholesterol) and help decrease LDL (bad cholesterol). Try getting that out of a stick of butter! It’s high in vitamin E, and is naturally anti-microbial and anti-fungal, that’s why I use it when I make Max’s baby wipes. (I have also been known to use it as a moisturizer myself from time to time)

It is solid until about 75 degrees and it’s smoking point is about 350 degrees making it great for cooking. I use it instead of butter to scramble eggs, deeelish! I don’t recommend using it in dressings or marinades due to the fact that it solidifies at relatively high temperatures. It can however, be used as substitute for butter or shortening in most baking recipes. A good rule of thumb is a 3/4 to 1 conversion although I have used a 1 to 1 conversion without any problems.

Here is a simple cookie recipe that is out of this world!

Coconut Oil Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the coconut oil and sugar until smooth.

Beat in egg and vanilla.

Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.

Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden.

Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

When finished dust cookies with a little extra sugar.

Variation- Consider adding 1/2 tsp lemon zest to batter, or dusting with a flavored sugar like vanilla or rose.

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading:)

Wordless Wednesday: I brush my teeth back and forth, I brush my teeth!

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Momma’s Soapbox

*WARNING! STRONGLY WORDED PERSONAL OPINIONS TO FOLLOW!*

I refuse to devote an entire post to the superiority of breastfeeding over formula feeding. It’s been proven time after time by the scientific community. Every time you turn around some new study is published expounding on its benefits ranging from increased  heightened IQ, to the reduction of childhood disease. These things are not opinions of mine, they are verified scientific fact. If somehow you’ve been living under a rock and have missed all that, then feel free to google it, that’s not what this rant is about. This is about how we, as a country, continue to  over  sexualize the human body. Even some so-called supporters consider nursing something that should only be done behind closed doors. Recently a male friend compared my breastfeeding photo (from an earlier post) to the “lewd” pictures sent out by a certain congressman of his “package”. The next time I have some random jerk say that if I am allowed to nurse in public he should be allowed to whip out his junk I may explode. If you lack the mental and emotional maturity to differentiate between nourishing a child and the sexually  explicit, or worse yet between nursing and the elimination of waste then chances are you should keep your uneducated opinions unvoiced. You will only make an ass of yourself.

*rant over*

I am thankful that these people are few and far between because sadly, not all new moms have the self confidence to stand up to that kind of harassment. For these women the chiding they may receive (friendly or otherwise) may be enough to discourage them. To them I say, you are beautiful! What you are doing is beautiful! It is NOT lewd, unsanitary, or inappropriate. Those terms are more aptly applied to persons who would try to make you feel uncomfortable. It is your legal right and more than that it is filling the needs of your child at the most basic level in the most loving way possible!

Now that I have all that off my chest let just say the positive feedback I have received while nursing in public FAR outweighs any negative.  There have been times when it has flustered someone and they didn’t seem to know how to act, but a smile is generally all that is needed to set them at ease. Remember, for the most part people will follow your lead, if you act as though it’s the most normal thing in the world they will follow suit. Also, every time you nurse at the mall, in the Dr.’s office, at a park, you are making it easier for the next mother to do the same thing.

Stay beautiful ladies:)

Wordless Wednesday: giant orange pillow… Cat

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HOT today CHILI tomorow

Wow, what happened to the summer?!? Can you believe it’s the middle of August already? With the temps reaching record highs over most of the country I’m sure there have been thirsty gardens everywhere. Between my sad tomatoes and my lettuce bolting and dying, this year has certainly been a learning experience. However, there is one member of my garden family that has produced leaps and bounds over previous years.

CHILI PEPPERS!

so many chilis so little time

Hot, sweet, bell, it didn’t matter they did wonderful! Leaving me scratching my head wondering what to do with these mounds of green and red gems. Different chilis, require different preserving methods. Some are best dried or smoked, some frozen or canned.

Lets start with old faithful Jose Jalapeno (not on a stick;).  I found a fantastic salsa recipe that is easy enough for a beginner and will last all year long.  It’s adapted from a recipe found in the Ball Blue Book of  canning.  (For those of you unfamiliar with home preserving it is important to familiarize yourself with a few techniques.  Find the basics here.)

This recipe makes about 3 pint jars, however, my three jalapeño plants produced enough peppers to double the recipe, and make it twice!

Hot Jalapeno Salsa

3 cups tomatoes peeled, seeded, and chopped

3 cups jalapeño chopped (I removed the seeds and membrane from about half of the peppers and it is still quite spicy)

1 cup chopped onions

1 1/2 Tbs minced garlic

1 cup vinegar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp rosemary

2 Tbs fresh cilantro chopped

1/2 tsp cumin

WARNING! When preparing the peppers, WEAR GLOVES AND DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE!!!

After seeding the selected number of peppers, place them in food processor and pulse until desired size.

Note- some of my jalapeños had turned red on the vine. I don’t know if that makes them hotter or takes away some of the heat, in my opinion they add nice color to the salsa so I left them in.

Combine ingredients in large pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes till all flavors are melded together.

Processing

The basic water canning necessities are a large stock pot, wide mouth funnel, magnet (on a stick;) for removing lids from boiling water, and tongs for placing and removing jars from water bath.

Fill hot jars with finished salsa. Wipe rims clean with damp cloth and assemble 2 piece lids.

Place in a “Granny bath” with one inch of water covering jars. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes.

Carefully remove and leave undisturbed till cool. Check lids for seal and for the tops to be concave.

They can be stored in a cool dry place for up to a year and must be refrigerated after opening:)

ENJOY!

Wordless Wednesday: chicken wiiiiings

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