Thought of the Day
I used to argue in defense of circumcision. I admit, part of my reasoning was simply that circumcision was normal to me. I didnt know what an uncircumcised penis looked like and I was carrying around a lot of false myths about cleanliness. My biggest reason for arguing in defense of circumcising boys was that it was Biblical. When I heard activists call circumcision mutilation, It made me really angry and threw me even more into defense. God would never command people to mutilate their babies! As time went on and I learned more and more about the actual purpose and functions of the foreskin, I started leaning further and further away from my support of it. Putting newborn babies under a knife for a cosmetic purpose definitely didn’t sit well with me. My only hang up still was the history of the Old Testament. That when I discovered that circumcision has changed over years. It is not the same procedure as it was 2,000 years ago. Circumcision did not mean removal of the entire foreskin during biblical times but actually meant to nip the tip of it, which would make a blood sacrifice and cause a scar to form but the foreskin remained intact! From that moment on I knew I never again would be in support of circumcision in baby boys.
for more info on what the Bible says about circumcision and the history and development of what circumcision entails Click Here.
While talking with my family doctor we got into discussing medications, effectiveness vs negative side effects. He looked at me and said, when using any kind of medication, whether pharmaceutical or “natural”, the more effective and well working of a product it is, the more one has to worry about what other consequences it will have because the more effective the drug, the more effective the negative consequences too.
I really appreciated this perspective and it wrapped up my feelings so well on vaccines. Yes, vaccines may work. They really do keep the “oh so dangerous” chicken pox rates down to a minimal but what does it cost us? What will the penalty be for injecting a foreign object into our bodies? That’s why, again, we need to weigh it. Is the vaccine worth the risks it comes with? Is the illness it protects from worse than the consequences the vaccine could cause?
When it takes a minimal of 20 years of a vaccine on the market just to get a slight insight of it’s true effectiveness and side effects, there are a lot of unknowns out there right now. With 4x more vaccines given to children now than in the 1980’s, we just have to sit and wonder. We may not have many cases of mumps, measles or rubella but what will we end up with? Maybe it will be nothing… maybe it will be huge spikes in autism, or adhd, or seizure disorders, or autoimmune disorders.
It’s no secret that the misuse rate for carseats is of a skyrocketing percentage so here is some info on how an infant bucket seat and how to properly use it.
1) Every seat is different with the handlebar rules!
It once was pretty standard that all infant seats needed the carrying handle positioned back while the seat was in the car. That is now no longer the case. While some infant seats still require the bar all the way back, some seats give the option of it being in either position and some *require* the handle up forward as a rebound bar in an accident! Make sure you check your carseats specific manual on what is the safe way. Do not just assume whatever way you’ve been doing it is safe and will be effective in an accident as different seats are designed to react in different ways in an accident and have been tested with the bar in the spot required by the manufacturer.
2) Never use an infant seat on a shopping cart!
I know you are all tired of hearing this but it truly is not safe and is going against the manufacturers instructions. Many infant seats have that ability to “click” into a cart but that metal snapping device is not designed for a cart. It is the device that securely attaches the infant seat to it’s base and it can be damaged or worn down by shopping carts, which will prevent it from working properly in the car. While placing an infant seat on top of the cart may not feel like the biggest crime, babies have died from this common misuse. If the infant seat absolutely needs to be used in a store put in in the body of the cart, where it is slightly more protected if the cart takes a tipping. Better yet, when able, wear your baby in a baby carrier.
3) Don’t use it as an all around infant seat
I know how much we want to let the sleeping baby sleep and use that infant carrier as a way to bring the baby into any and every place but Carseats are for cars! The less you use the seat outside of the car, the better. Babies left in their seats for extended periods of time have even had their oxygen levels diminished, which can carry some extreme consequences including death.
4) Outgrowing an infant seat does not mean time to Forwardface!
We know that infant seats are NOT made to forward face but what not everyone realizes is that being past the infant seat stage does not mean it is time to get a forwardfacing seat. The next stage after an infant seat is a convertible seat (preferably one with a nice, high rearfacing weight!). a 12 month old has a very immature spine and the force put on his or her neck in a forward facing crash can be severe enough to cause some major life long injuries and even internal decapitation. The longer a child can rearface, the better!
See in this video (below) how the forward facing infant is violently thrown forward. Imagine how much stress that is on a neck that is not strong and able to handle any real force yet? I mean, these kids haven’t even been supporting their heads very long! Meanwhile, the rearfacing child, in the same impact, experiences very little movement. His seat takes on the impact while he stays safely cradled within it. This is what we want for our children! The best chance possible of walking away free of injury in an accident. So move into a convertible carseat that will allow your child to continue rearfacing until at LEAST 2 years old or until he meets the max weight/height restrictions of the seat.
5) Never buy or use a USED or EXPIRED carseat
This goes for ANY kind of carseat. What is wrong with a carseat from a yardsale or consignment shop? Who knows! That’s exactly the problem. We do not know the seats history, if it has ever been in an accident, if it was stored improperly, washed in a way not permitted by the manual, ect. And sure, we can ask a previous owner but how well do you know them? It is nice to believe that every owner out there is honest about their carseats condition but the fact is, THEY may not even realize that they misused the seat in a way that permanently damaged it. Expired seats can never be trusted for use because it is beyond it’s years of what it has been tested to last. Do not forget that it is just a hunk of plastic and plastic warps and distorts with time. Not to mention that harness straps wear and stretch and become less reliable with age. You do not want to trust an unknown or expired carseat with your child’s life.
6) Do not Wash the harness straps unless Manual permits it!
Most carseat manuals tell users not to wash the harness straps! That even includes very mild soaps at times. Harness straps can be deteriorated or weakened when they have outside agents and chemicals added to them. Even a natural solution like a simple Distilled White Vinegar is an acid that could do a lot of harm to the harness and keep it from holding up under the stress of an accident.
In the end, the biggest rule is to read your infant seat manual. Never assume that your last infant seat will be a reflection of your current one’s rules. The carseat is the main thing protecting your baby in a crash so properly using the seat 100% of the time gives them the best chance of never being hurt in an accident. If you need help with installation or understanding your seats manual, find a seat check or CPST in your area to help you. CLICK HERE and HERE to find a seat check near you
-Bess Bedell/A Warrior Mom is a Safekids Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician
I know Ive been too quiet lately. Honestly, I’m surprised every time I log on and see I’m still getting blog views. Thanks people, for checking in still! Lately I have been…pre-occupied. And a bit scatter brained.
I’ve decided to make more changes and those changes have kept me from blogging. For one, I’m getting my kids out a lot more. We fill our mornings just with getting ready, getting dressed, a million diaper changes, feeding everyone, getting shoes on everyone, fighting toddlers over brushing their hair..ect. It’s amazing how *long* it takes just to get ready to leave the house when there are 3 kids who totally need your help. Eve had been putting her own socks and shoes but is, annoyingly, going through a stage where she says she forgot how and wants me to do it. By the time I just get the kids in a condition to leave the house, Ive run a marathon and a half. So, I’ve been bringing them to the library, parks, the indoor play options (the very few we have), playdates, my LLLi meetings, free trial Karate classes. We’ve been keeping busy. It’s been nice to not be in the house so much.
On top of that I signed up for a 5K. No biggie for runners like my husband who thinks of a 5K as a lil fun run but for me- itrequires a lot of prepping and.. well.. running. I don’t run. I’m not good at running. But I’m working on it. I have untill May 11th (Mothers Day Weekend) to get properly prepared for it. So far I’m FAR from 5K distance. My last run was 1.36 miles so I need to get myself doing that x3 in the next 5 ish weeks. I also joined a (2wk free trial) muay thai kickboxing group. I’ll probably be using my birthday money to try to keep going for at least a couple months, when the funds I’m sure will run too low. but that’s life and I’m excited just to have the experience even if just for a short time. And maybe I’ll get some muscles.
My husband and I have also been busy planning our next few months. We have quite a few plans for runs and camping trips. I got a new tent for my birthday and I cant wait for the weather to warm up enough to take it out. If it was just us grownups, I would now, but it’s WAY too cold out there for itty bitty girlies. So we are waiting for some more mild weather and then we will be off and traveling around to campground and state parks that have camping areas. Cannot wait!
I plan to start blogging about some of these adventures since they all add up to part of who I am, and, while Im sometimes inspired to write an “educational” post, This blog is really about what I do and who I am. and write now, I’m busy trying to make myself a better, stronger, woman.
Grace is doing awesome with food. She loves to eat and gets pretty mad if any of us eat and are not prepared to feed her as well. She also loves having her seat pulled up at the table with the entire family and eating with us at meal time. She is all smiles during that time. We are on baby number 3 with no purees and we still love this form of food introduction and find it a quick and easy way to get her fed. Plus, she just seems so happy for every meal. For more information on Baby Led Weaning (skipping pureed foods)- Click Here
Yesterday we took a family hiking trip on a 4 mile trail in the woods. We really enjoyed ourselves and loved the time outside in the fresh air. Eve practically ran the entire thing! She was really impressive. Ariel rode on Jason’s shoulders for most of the walk and I had Grace in my Ergo Carrier. We had great, mild weather for hiking in January. We spent a lot of the time talking about how much more we want to do this and talked about how much we want to go camping this summer. I have a wishlist of a tent and sleeping bags and basic gear but just going out to the North Jersey state campgrounds and “roughing” it as simply as possible is my goal. I’m hoping we keep getting enough mild weekends that I can work on my hiking skills all winter, though. The Ergobaby carrier was FANTASTIC. I have had it for 4 years now and it’s a little worn and stained from use over the years but it has held up magnificently and was really supportive. The weight of having someone on me for a 4 mile walk started to hit me around mile 3, though! My lower back and shoulders are still a bit sore today. I plan to keep going on hikes with her and build up my strength for this kind of activity.
I challenge you all, get active and go for some hikes. Push yourselves and teach your kids to love nature and being outdoors. It’s so good for our bodies and our minds and is a great, affordable way to spend some time together.
I feel it’s time to explain why we have converted to a flexitarian diet. For anyone who has not heard of flexitarianism, that means we eat a mostly vegetarian diet (in our case, a mostly vegan diet, really) but we are flexible about it. We are not anti ever having meat but only have it on those occasions where we eat at someone elses home or go out to eat and there are no vegetarian/vegan friendly options. We do not beat ourselves up over having meat now and then because the occasional meat product is built into our defined dietary lifestyle. If you go to our home, though, we are vegetarians 99.9% of the time here.
So why? First, I have seen myself moving in this direction for years but just was not willing to cross the line and accept it. We are very concerned about the hormones in food. Yes, I know Tyson claims that their chickens are hormone free. They’re lying. They do not administer it directly to the chicken so they are able to say that but it is in the chickens food. Plus, if you have ever seen how these chicken are raised, you would know they aren’t healthy animals. Free range my booty. They aren’t smashed into individual cages, they are free to roam a shelter that they are crammed into so tightly together that it’s rare for one to make it to the entrance of the little outdoor area they are given. Many of these chickens are so overweight they cannot even walk. We eat morbidly obese chickens and then wonder why we have an issue with obesity. Trying to buy all truly organic, healthy chicken is no easy challenge where I live. The one corner that they keep the organic meat in may or may not have any and if they do it costs an arm, a leg and your first born child to eat it more than a few times per month. It just was not practical to be an every day meat eater who avoided growth hormones in the meats.
I went on to read all about Dr. Joel Fuhrman and his “nutritarian” lifestyle (he’s pretty much a vegan). He is pretty cool and has awesome information. I learned a lot about nutrition from him and just how much protein we get from sources not meat. I learned about making the majority of our diets out of nutritionally dense foods. In his book “Live to Eat” he acts like he’s all chill. He puts out the challenge, specifically for weight loss, that you only have to go 6 weeks without meat. He knows a 6 week commitment is a lot easier for people than a lifetime commitment. He also knows that the person following his plan will get pretty used to eating meatless during that 6 weeks. It’s amazing how little you miss meat once you break that barrier of going weeks without it! In his book he eases you in but when you get deeper into his lifestyle, the man is not nearly as chillaxed about foods. He believes just one unhealthy meal could kill you (and he is probably right) and he is not a fan of ever veering from this strict diet. While I love him and his teachings, I’m a bit too human to commit to them 100% of the time. He is great for getting started, though. He did a fantastic job giving me the tools I needed to want to eat healthy and feed my family healthy. I also really love his book on getting kids to eat healthy too. He gives fantastic tips and it has helped me work with my ultra picky eater so much.
Then I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives. This was a total mind blow for me. They go into detail on cancer study’s with meat and the results were insane. Whether eating organic or non organic meat, meat always lead to growth in cancer cells in the body and the removal of meat from a diet REVERSED the effects and shrunk the cancer cells. This study was repeated and performed several times amongst different groups (and mice) and it was always the same. More meat meant more cancer. That wasn’t all they had but the only way to fully grasp the awesome revelation of this documentary is to watch it. It’s on Netflix and free on Amazon’s instant demand thing if you have amazon prime (not sure for those without prime memberships but i’m guessing it’s still cheap). It’s worth the watch!
After all of this, we decided it was best to cut it. It was hard at first. We had to relearn how to eat and even change our expectations of what a meal looks like. We started with committing to “meatless Mondays” just to get a grasp on the entire meatless concept. It quickly grew into doing most our week meatless to most of the month meatless to us going months without having meat in the home. We get plenty of protein through broccoli (my kids favorite), peas, kale, spinach, beans, lentils, occasionally some tofu- though I’m not big on “replacement meats” because we expect them to be like meat too much. You have to learn to eat foods for what they are and not expect a bean burger to taste like a meat burger. My kids love to drink Silk almond milk, which is B12 fortified, as well as full of calcium and protein and tons of other vitamins. While we do a lot of dairy replacements instead of having cows milk products- my kids still get organic yogurt and cheeses and the very occasional pack of organic chicken nuggets or organic bacon to go with a breakfast.
And there is no guilt about having meat when we do. As a flexitarian its built into my acceptable diet to have meat sometimes. I desire to be healthy and raise kids to love healthy eating but we also only live once. So that is our so far story. We’ve been on this road for about 8 months now and still really happy with it. I rarely crave a meat product and when I do.. I eat it. It usually leaves me feeling like it wasn’t worth it and its a good while before I crave it again.