Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunny With A High of 72

Hello there! I am writing this post from the comfort of my backyard. It is 71 degrees with the sun shining bright. There is the slightest breeze that is absolutely glorious! I have been out here for almost an hour reading and doing my best to expose my pasty white legs to some sunlight. (Its bad. Trust me.)

Anyway, I just wanted to drop in and let you know that my legs and I are taking advantage of this gorgeous weather. We may not be blogging every day this week. I don't think I will have a recipe post. I may skip on my vaccine post too. I DO have an MSG post that I have halfway done. I will need to finish that sucker up. So besides the MSG post, you may be out of luck as far as content is concerned. Have no fear, I still have plans to post some funny pictures of Zachariah. All is not lost after all!

Seriously though, as soon as the temperature hits 85 and above, I will be back inside complaining about the heat. Then my blogging will be back to normal.

Have a nice sunshine-y day!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Diaper Box Robot

Zachariah has this new obsession with diaper boxes. He will put them on his head and declare, " I a robot!" then walk around the house running into walls and furniture. He has a blast and we have a good chuckle. That is what we call a win-win scenario.

As we were heading out the door this morning I happened to look down and notice that Zachariah was walking out of the house with the diaper box on his head! I laughed, he declared his state of robot-ness and we walked towards the car. But not before I grabbed my camera.

Your welcome.

Now you see him...

...now you don't!

Peep holes are VERY important for robots. How else are they supposed to see where they are going?

Yes, Zachariah The Robot came with us on our morning errands. Yes, this box was on my sons head the ENTIRE time we were in the car. And yes, I am pretty sure people were calling DFACS as they passed us on the street.

And just so you know, it took everything I had i me to talk him out of walking around Target like that.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Come back Monday to see what other quirky thing my son has up his sleeve. Or on his head.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

MSG Free!

I like salads. And I like raw veggies. I do not eat either of those things without ranch dressing. Its a staple! And much to my surprise, I recently discovered that Zachariah will eat raw carrots, broccoli, celery AND salad... as long as he has ranch dressing on the side. (He loves to dip foods.) Here is the kicker. Ranch dressing has MSG in it. MSG is incredibly bad for you. And it is in SO MUCH of what we consume. (I will try and do a whole post on MSG sometime in the future. Your welcome.) Since I care about my son and the things he is consuming, I have tried to drastically cut out foods that contain MSG. Salad dressing is one of them.

That obviously caused a problem with the salad/veggie consumption, so I decided to make my own salad dressing! I found a super easy recipe and ended up loving it. The ingredient list, while not extremely healthy, contains no MSG. So I am a happy camper!

Here is what you need to make you own MSG free dressing. Mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, ground pepper, dried parsley, dried chives, dried dill weed, onion powder and garlic powder. I had every one of these ingredients in my pantry with the exception of sour cream. That is the only thing I had to buy. Not to shabby for a spur of the moment ranch dressing recipe!

I obviously have no rhyme or reason to the purchasing of my spices. I mean, seriously here folks. There is not a single brand that has a friend in that picture. Sad. I need to go through my spices and figure out which brand is dominating my cabinet. I'll be sure to keep you posted on this pressing matter.

Take a whole cup of mayo and half a cup of sour cream and dump them in a bowl.

Then throw in 1/2 teaspoon dried chives, 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper.

Whisk them together and then, wala! You have some nice homemade ranch dressing. Seriously, it takes like five minutes. When eliminating MSG out of salad dressing is that simple, why would you not give it a try?

And just so you know, I ate a whole entire head of broccoli immediately after I whisked these ingredients together.

And I enjoyed every



Homemade Ranch Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Keep in airtight container in the fridge.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Unfortunately for my sister, today happens to be a vaccine post day. She finds my blog a complete drag when I post about stuff like this. But have no fear, Amanda! I have included a few pictures of Zachariah to make this a little more interesting for you and the rest of you who may doze off during this rather lengthy post. Your welcome.

Ok, so over the past couple days I have been reading up on the MMR vaccine and the diseases themselves. I was quite shocked to find out that the diseases are NOT very serious at all. The way people stress getting the MMR shot you would think that there are deaths every day from the measles, mumps or rubella. But shock of all shocks, that isn't the case. Below I have listed out some facts about each disease that doctor Sears shares with us in his book.

Look, the first picture! This giraffe is one that he received when he was still in my tummy. He has some control issues, so he loves that he can control when the music comes on by pulling it.

Gotta start the post out right. Now that you have had your first dose of cuteness, lets move on to the interesting stuff.

***Disclaimer: The information about vaccines in this post came from The Vaccine Book by Robert Sears. I am in the process of reading the book and I am simply sharing as I learn. I strongly recommend doing your own research before deciding if vaccines are right for your child.***

Is a virus that travels throughout the body and causes a fever, rash, runny nose, and cough. Transmitted like the common cold and infection usually creates lifelong immunity.

Is not common anymore. In the early part of the twentieth century there were about a million cases every year in the United States. Now there are only about 50 to 100 cases each year.

Is no longer considered endemic in the United States (constantly present in a specific population or area at considerable levels). It now occurs only as isolated outbreaks.

Usually not serious. Most cases (especially in children) pass in a week or so without any trouble. However, approx. 1 in 1000 cases is fatal.

It can infect various internal organs and cause a number of complications. There are all extremely rare. The possible complications from measles, mumps, or rubella are very similar to the side effects of the vaccines themselves. Rarely, measles can infect the brain and cause brain damage.

Is not treatable. The illness must run its course. If a child becomes seriously ill and is hospitalized, high-dose vitamin A therapy can be used to lessen the duration and severity of the disease.

Is a virus very similar to measles. Causes fever, rash, and swelling of the saliva glands in the cheeks. The swelling of the cheeks is usually the most telling sign of mumps, and a blood test can be done to confirm the diagnosis.

Is not common. Only 250 cases have been reported each year throughout the last decade in the United States. In the early twentieth century there were several hundred thousand cases each year.

Is not serious. Most kid who have mumps have some fever and a slight rash but not enough for anyone to worry about or even make a diagnosis. For teens and adults mumps can be more serious. Males may have sore, swollen testicles, and me or women can have arthritis, kidney problems, heart problems, or nervous system dysfunction. Very rarely, the disease can make adults (both men and women) sterile.

Is not treatable. Like the measles, it must run its course.

Like measles and mumps, rubella is a virus that causes a fever and rash. It can also cause aching joints and swelling of the glands behind the ears and in the neck. The disease is so mild in children that it often goes unnoticed. A blood test can confirm the diagnosis. It is transmitted like the common cold and a person catches rubella only once in a lifetime.

Vaccines for rubella are given to protect pregnant women. If a pregnant woman catches rubella (she would be susceptible if she'd never had the disease or if the rubella vaccine she got as a child had worn off), it can infect her fetus and cause birth defects. So the vaccine is mainly given to protect teachers and mothers and their soon-to-be-born babies. Rubella is most risky to a fetus during the first trimester.

Rubella is not common. There used to be 100,000 cases a year, but with universal vaccination it decreased to about 250 cases each year. In the past few years only about 20 cases have been reported each year in the United States.

** Interesting fact: Over the past two decades, about 10 babies have been born with CRS (congenital rubella syndrome) each year. In the past few years, this has declined to only about three babies each year. In 1990 there was an unexplained jump in rubella to 1125 reported cases. This resulted in 34 babies born with rubella birth defects each year for the next two years. (Doctor Sears explains this in the book to illustrate what could happen if rubella came back as a common disease.)

Rubella is not serious. Its virtually unrecognizable in children, and usually harmless for adults. It is not a fatal disease. However, some of the birth defects in a fetus are permanent (hearing loss, heart, eye, and brain defects, and growth problems). Rubella can also cause stillbirth.

No treatment is given to infected people. The virus just has to run its course.

Is everyone still awake? Good. Now, you may take a brief brake and look at this picture of my son giving his elephant a kiss. (This elephant was given to him at the hospital by three of my friends from highschool!)

And now you can see a picture of Zachariah making his giraffe give his elephant a kiss.

Fun, huh? Ok, break over! Now onto the second part of this post.

The MMR Vaccine:
It is given at twelve or fifteen months old, with a booster dose at five years.

It is a live virus vaccine. The viruses in the vaccine are whole and living.

Includes the following ingredients in the final vaccine solution:
  • The three viruses
  • Saline solution, sugars, and gelatin
  • Human albumin (blood proteins)
  • Residual cow fetus serum
  • Neomycin (an antibiotic)
  • Traces of chick embryo proteins
  • "Other buffer and media ingredients" (details are not listed in the product insert)

It causes common reactions (general aches, milk rash and fever) to about one in twenty children. The book has a very long list of other rare complications. For fear of putting you all to sleep, I will not be listing those out. :)

There are some VERY controversial ingredients involved in the making of this vaccine. If I try to paraphrase what Dr. Sears explained in the book I will end up just confusing everyone. So I am going to just type it all out word for word. That way if you are confused it is Dr. Sears' fault, not mine. :)

"Hold onto your seats. This may be the most complicated manufacturing process so far.

I could not determine where the measles and mumps viruses originally came from, but they probably came from infected individuals many decades ago. The rubella virus was originally taken from an infected aborted fetus in the 1960's.

The measles and mumps viruses are nourished for years in a culture of chicken embryo cells. The rubella virus is nourished in a culture of human lung cells. Each of these tissue cultures is contained in a solution of saline, amino acids, vitamins, serum from a cow fetus, sugar, gelatin, neomycin (an antibiotic), and finally, human albumin (a protein filtered out of donated human blood units).

The cell cultures, cow fetus serum, and human blood proteins are tested to make sure no errant infectious germs are present. Then the three viruses are removed from the cultures in batches and put into the vaccine solution. They are alive but weakened so they won't (usually) cause an actual infection when injected.

Why is the process so complicated? The numerous nutrients are needed to keep the chicken embryo cells and human lung cells alive so that the viruses can keep using the cells to multiply."

Did you all catch the whole thing about the rubella virus being taken from an infected ABORTED FETUS? Um... yeah.

Reasons to get this vaccine:
Measles is a disease with some possibly serious side effects and its fatality rate is something to consider (about 1 in 1000 cases). Rubella, while harmless to children and adults, can cause birth defects or stillbirth. Vaccinating children limits the exposure to pregnant women.

Reasons some people choose not to get this vaccine:
Measles is now extremely rare and in most cases harmless. The chance that a child will catch measles and be one of the rare fatalities is extremely low. Mumps and rubella are mild diseases in children, and both are rare. Some parents don't worry about vaccinating for diseases that are both mild and rare.

The main reason some parents worry about this vaccine is that the potential side effects, although rare, can be considerable when they do occur. The human and cow blood products used in manufacturing may also concern some parents. (Um, I would definitely be one of those parents.)

Closing paragraph from Doctor Sears:

Although there are three diseases involved in this vaccine, parents do have the option to get each component separately, so it makes sense to consider each disease individually. Measles can be serious at any age, but it usually isn't and its very rare. Mumps is serious mainly after childhood, and its a little more common than measles. Rubella is a completely harmless to disease to children and adults alike, but it would cause more and more birth defects if allowed to escalate in our country.

While each disease is very different, the separate vaccines are quite similar. The unusual manufacturing process and potential side effects (though very rare) of each vaccine understandably give some parents pause. Given the bad press for the MMR vaccine in recent years, I'm not surprised when a family, especially one with a history of autoimmune or neurologic disease or with one autistic child already, tells me they don't want the MMR or at least want to split it up or delay it. Since the fatality or complication rates for these childhood diseases are fairly low, I don't have much ammunition with which to try to change these parents' minds. I do point out that the mumps can be serious when their kids grow up, and rubella may be an issue for their older daughters someday, and I urge them to do blood testing to determine the need for these shots later on. I also warn them not to share their fears with their neighbors, because if too many people avoid the MMR, we'll likely see the diseases increase significantly."

My opinion:
Oh boy. Where do I even start? The ingredient list horrifies me. The side effects make me nervous. The link between MMR and autism scares me (which Dr. Sears touches on in the book, but not much.). This has been a long post, so I wont ramble on for too long. But I will say that after reading this chapter I am SO glad I decided to not let Zachariah get this vaccine at the age they wanted to give it. I probably wont allow him to have this vaccine until he is about to go to school. I am very glad I did not listen to other people when making my choice about Zachariah receiving the MMR. I am thankful that I listened to my "mommy gut".

And for the record, I will be doing a separate post on the dangers of animal and human tissues/blood in our vaccines. It is definitely cause for concern. *gag*

Monday, March 22, 2010

FYI: I am loving this weather

First things first. I apologize for my blog slacking last week. I try to get a post up every day and I definitely skipped. The weather has been so fabulous here lately, so Zachariah and I have been spending quite a lot of time outside. And if the weather keeps being this amazing, I will probably be a slacker this week too.


Anyway. I just wanted to check in and let you know that I am hoping to do a post on the MMR vaccine this week ( I was supposed to do that last week, but alas, the weather got to me) along with a recipe post and an organic vs. "normal" food post. So keep your fingers crossed! I am going to try to stay on track!

And since most of you come here for either the recipes or to see pictures of my cute kid, I will leave you with a some pics of Zachariah in his big boy bed that I have taken over the past couple weeks.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love sleeping baby/toddler pictures? Well, I do. I love them a lot.

And yes, this is how he sleeps sometimes. It started back when he was a wee little baby and it still continues. I still crack up when I come in his room to find him asleep with the blanket covering his face. :)

And he still loves his big boy bed. He wakes up so happy every morning. I think he has been really enjoying the freedom to get up and read books in the morning. Being enclosed in that crib was kinda cramping his style.

Alright. That's all I got. Hope everyone has a great Monday! And for those of you who aren't being affected by random snow storms, get outside and enjoy the sunshine! :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Potato First

A while back I saw that The Pioneer Woman had a recipe for Potatoes au Gratin. I have never in my life made this dish, and a week or so ago I was craving some potatoes, so I decided to give it a whirl.

Much to my delight, it turned out to be absolutely wonderful! My husband is not a huge fan of potatoes (unless they are sweet potatoes), so he didn't try them. But trust me. If you enjoy potatoes, you will love this.

And I don't know why I even bother doing recipe posts for The Pioneer Woman's recipes. I mean, you can just go to her site and see better pictures and better directions. I know! You people need to start giving me recipes to try so I can stop taking stuff off Ree's site. Ok?

Great. Now that we have that under control, lets move on to the potatoes.

Here are the ingredients you will need. Potatoes, garlic, butter, flour, cheese, salt, pepper, heavy cream and milk.

Ok, so first you want to clean four potatoes. Don't just rinse them. Scrub them. Potatoes are obvious grown underground, so you want to make sure to wash off ALL the dirt/pesticides that decide to leech onto their skin. (By the way... The Pioneer Woman says not to peel the potatoes. So, being a Pioneer Woman follower, I listened.)

Once the potatoes are washed, start slicing them. And be careful not to make the slices too thick. You want to basically cube the potatoes. Put a few in a stack and slice them one way, then the other. That way you end up with four pieces.

After you repeat those steps for all four potatoes, you will end up with a nice heap-o-potato pieces!

Pour 1.5 cups of heavy cream into a mixing bowl.

And then add 1/2 cup of whole milk.

Now add two tablespoons of flour...

One teaspoon of salt...

and two cloves of minced garlic.

Now whisk it all together!

Butter a baking dish with two tablespoons of softened butter...

And then start layering! Put 1/3 of the potatoes in the baking dish.

Then pour 1/3 of your cream/milk mixture over the potatoes.

After you do that two more times, it will look something like this.

Then you want to wrap it in foil and pop it into the oven (which has been preheated to 400 degrees) for 30 minutes.

After half an hour, remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are bubbly and golden brown.

Here comes the fun part. Add grated cheddar cheese and bake for three to five more minutes.

Can we say yum?

Yeah. We can.

Seriously. This stuff is GOOD. I had never really cooked with heavy cream before, but I am now an addict. I am going to use this stuff in everything. Delish!

Welp. That concludes another segment of "Amy Lynn lives off The Pioneer Woman's recipes" post. :) Hope you enjoy!


  • 4 whole Russet Potatoes, Scrubbed Clean
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • 1-½ cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ cups Whole Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Freshly Grated


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Smear softened butter all over the bottom of a baking dish.

Slice potatoes, then cut slices into fourths.

In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, milk, flour, minced garlic, salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes.

Repeat this two more times, ending with the cream mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and really bubbling. Add grated cheese to the top of the potatoes and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Be Still My Heart

A few weeks ago a kid came to our door selling chocolate. He couldn't be any older than 10 and he was FULL of personality. I don't generally buy things from door to door salesmen, and honestly we haven't had many kids coming to our door selling stuff, so I didn't quite know what I was going to do. We don't keep candy/chocolate in the house on a regular basis, so I knew I didn't NEED any. But he looked so hopeful at the fact that I was considering it that I just couldn't say no.

As I was browsing through the pamphlet trying to decide which kind to buy, I mumbled to myself, "Hmmm. I have no earthly idea which one I want". The kid opened his eyes real wide and suggested the Mint Meltaways. He said that he and some friends tried some a few days ago and they were really good. I enjoy mint/chocolate combos, and I thought it was so cute that he gave me a recommendation, so I went for it.

Let me pause this story to tell you that this kid made THE perfect recommendation. I have literally made myself sick eating these things. They are amazingly delicious.

And they are just small enough that it leaves you wanting one more. And then another.

And don't you think that I didn't eat three more after taking this picture.

Ever since having Zachariah, my body has NOT tolerated sugar very well. Needless to say, my body hates me right now.

Ok, now back to the story...

I handed the kid $5.00 for the chocolates and started filled out my info on the paper. As I was finishing up he said, "Oh man! Thank you so much! I prayed right before I walked up to your door that you would say yes. And God answered my prayer!!! No one else has bought any from me today and I was just praying that you would!". I smiled and told him it was no problem at all. Then he told me that he was selling these chocolates for his friends sister (who was 6 years old, I think). She was sick and couldn't go out and sell them for her school fundraiser, so he decided to help out. Then he happily skipped down the walk and went to another house to sell more chocolates.

Am I the only one that is taken aback by this? This elementary school kid acted as if I had just made his day because he was able to sell me some chocolates. He was selling chocolates for his FRIENDS little SISTER. He got nothing out of this. He was spending his afternoon walking around the neighborhood selling stuff for someone else. And he was excited to be doing it!

What?!?! We should be excited to help others???

What a novel idea.

The world would be a kinder and better place if we could all learn a little lesson from this mystery kid. I mean, I don't think I can remember the last time I was truly excited about putting someone elses needs before my own. I will do it, but more often than not I will complain about doing it. How sad is that?

Anyway. Just thought I would share with you the wake up call that was given to me by a spunky, selfless kid.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Looking Back

This is Zachariah at 3 weeks old.

Somehow, how my baby went from this...

... to this. And it literally happened overnight.

I mean, seriously folks. We need to figure out a way to stop this growing up thing from happening. It makes me sad. *sniff sniff*

Friday, March 12, 2010

Polio Virus and Vaccine

Ok, at this point I am tired and have spent way to long typing this post, so I am not going to worry about a friendly/entertaining intro and I am just going to jump on in. Is that ok with everyone? Good.

As usual, if you need a refresher or you missed a previous week, click on the links below.
Hep B

***Disclaimer: The information about vaccines in this post came from
The Vaccine Book by Robert Sears. I am in the process of reading the book and I am simply sharing as I learn. I strongly recommend doing your own research before deciding if vaccines are right for your child.***

Polio is a virus that is transmitted like the common cold or an intestinal flu. Most cases don’t show any symptoms, but some people have a minor sore throat and fever. One in every 250 cases develops muscle weakness and paralysis. Polio can be caught only once in a lifetime.


- is not common. There haven’t been any cases in the US since 1985 (that was the year I was born. FYI.) when an immigrant came in with the disease. No U.S residing citizen has contracted wild polio since 1979. The last case of wild polio in the entire Western Hemisphere was in 1991.

- can be serious. Most cases are harmless, but unfortunately some individuals become paralyzed. It is usually temporary, but two thirds of them suffer permanent muscle weakness. Most often it is not fatal.

- is not treatable. The person is supported with breathing machines in an ICU for several weeks until the paralysis wears off.

Interesting fact: In 2005 an Amish person from Minnesota got an oral live-virus polio vaccine overseas. (that live-virus vaccine is no longer given in the US) The live polio virus from the vaccine then spread from that person to a few unvaccinated children within that Amish community. Since these cases were caused by the vaccine and did not occur naturally, the United States is still considered polio free since 1985.

Polio Vaccine…
- given at 2 months, 4 months, 18 months and 5 years. (Just in case you were wondering, Zachariah has had two of these doses.)
- is an injected vaccine. It has been around for many decades.
- cannot cause paralysis. That was true of the old vaccine, which was given as a live-virus liquid by mouth. Thankfully, that was taken off the U.S. market in the early 2000s. Now we only use the injected, inactivated form, so there are no longer any paralytic reactions to the vaccine.
- has one of the safest side effect profiles of all vaccines. The standard side effects occur, and the only unusual reaction that has been reported is Guillain-Barre syndrome, which has been reported after various vaccines.
- has the following controversial ingredients:
- Baby cow blood serum
- Human albumin (blood proteins). This is also in the vaccine solution
- Glutamate. Which is a component of MSG.
- Formaldehyde and 2-phenoxyethanol. These two chemicals do have some toxicity when used in high amounts.
- Monkey kidney cells. This is probably the most controversial. (Hmm. I wonder why?)

Reasons to get this vaccine:
Universal vaccination against polio has eliminated this disease from North America, Europe, south America, Australia and Antarctica. Until polio is eliminated from the whole world, there is always a chance that polio could take hold in our country again if people do not receive this vaccine. Also, some people worry about immigrants bringing in polio (although this hasn't happened in twenty five years), so they feel better if their child gets vaccinated.

Reasons why some people choose not to get this vaccine:
The use of monkey kidney cells, cow serum, and human blood proteins gives some parents reason for concern. Since polio doesn't exist in our country, some parents feel safe about skipping this vaccine. The chance that an unvaccinated child will catch polio while living in the US is very close to zero. Some parents do want to give their child the vaccine, but they worry about adding this shot to the massive list that are given to newborns, so they choose to vaccinate their kids as they get older.

Closing paragraph from Doctor Sears:
Since polio was eradicated from the United States more than twenty years ago and isn't even found on this half of the planet, it is safe to say that we don't give this vaccine in order to protect each individual child from catching polio. Rather, we do it to protect our nation as a whole in the event an outbreak does occur. Although the ingredients may seem a little odd, we don't see many side effects from this shot. If we stop using this vaccine, polio may come back. Anyone who is over fifty knows just how scary that would be. For younger people, polio might not seem like a reality. When parents tell me they want to skip the polio shot for their child, I tell them, "Okay. Your child is almost guaranteed not to catch polio. You better just pray that not too many of your neighbors make the same choice, or in ten years we may all be in trouble." While I realize some parents think it isn't critical for infants to receive the polio vaccine during the early years (compared with the vaccines for diseases like pertussis and meningitis), I consider this vaccine very important from a public health viewpoint. Until the whole world is polio free, ongoing vaccination will help keep our nation protected.

My opinion:
The more I research these vaccines, the more I realize that I am NOT horribly opposed to all of them. I just think it is a very bad idea to inject all of these shots into such a young baby. That being said, I do not think this is a "must" vaccine. I do think it probably would be good for my kids to receive this vaccine at some point though. If for no other reason than to make sure polio does not come back into the United States. The ingredients are gross, and I am not a fan of freaking formaldehyde being in so many of these vaccines, but the older my kids get the less worried I will be about the effects they may suffer from these psycho ingredients. So yeah. I am not opposed to this vaccine as long as my kids are out of the baby/toddler stage when they get it.

Thanks for coming back and reading what I have been learning! Next week I will be reading/blogging about the controversial MMR vaccine. I'm not gonna lie. I am pretty dang pumped about researching this one. :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Zachariah has a pair of jeans that has a hole in the knee. He wore them the other day while playing outside and scraped his knee. The following conversation took place once he realized he had a boo-boo.

Z: Mamma, I need daidaid. (toddler for band-aid)
Me: Ok baby. Lets go get one from the bathroom. I think all we have is sponge bob. Is that ok?
Z: Oooo yeah. I yike dis one.
Me: Well good!

(After the band-aid is applied)

Z: Tank you mama.
Me: Your welcome baby.
Z (rubbing the band-aid): It feels aw better.

I heart him. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Play Set

We recently acquired a rather large play set for our backyard. Our neighbors GAVE it to us before they moved off to Texas. Needless to say, we were pretty pumped. We had been holding off on buying one due to the cost, and thank goodness we did!

Now, I (foolishly) assumed that the play set would be too big for Z for at least another year. I mean, he can slide down the slide and swing on the swings, but I just assumed he would be to little to do the rest.

Boy was I wrong! He practiced climbing on the "rock" (climbing wall) until he was able to do it all by himself. Now he won't even let us near him while he is climbing up.

Another thing I just assumed that Z would not be able to do was hang on the triangles. I mean, he couldn't even reach them three weeks ago. But while I was taking pictures of the play set for this post I saw him just reach up and grab them! How the heck?!?! I have no clue how he did that.

But he was SO incredibly proud of himself. He ran up to me and said, "Mama! I did it by self!" and he hasn't stopped swinging on them since.

Just about every time he hops down he will put his hands up like this, shake his head and say "oh well. I tried." I was very confused about that, because obviously he did it just fine! But I realized later that Daniel had done a back flip while hanging on them a few days earlier and Zachariah was apparently trying to do it like Daddy. How adorable.

Anyway. I wrote that post for two reasons. 1) To show you our awesome play set, and 2) to show you that I really underestimate what my two year old can do. I really need to stop that. :)

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Crock Pot Dinners Rock My Socks

I don't know about you, but I love me some crock pot dinners. They are so stinking easy to make and they usually taste great! (I say "usually" because there are some really bad slow cooker recipes out there. Trust me, I know from experience. *shudder*)

My favorite time to have a crock pot meal is Sunday for lunch. I throw some stuff together when I wake up in the morning and then by the time we get back from church our lunch is ready! Talk about perfect. This Sunday we had crock pot chicken and rice and I decided to show you how to make this super simple meal! That is, if you don't already make it on a regular basis. In that case you may want to find another blog to read for today. This may be a yawn. :)

You will need four ingredients. 3 "cream of" soups, water, rice and chicken.

* The original recipe calls for 1 cream of chicken, 1 cream of celery and 1 cream of mushroom. But my hubby will die a horrible death if he is forced to eat anything with the word celery or mushroom on the package, so we use three cream of chickens.

Poor in all three "cream of" soups

and 1/2 cup of water into the crock pot.

Give it a little stir to mix the two together.

Then add 1 cup of long grain rice. I prefer to use brown rice, but you can use whatever floats your boat.

And this is where you can stir your rice into your water/cream of mixture. Sometimes I do that, sometimes I forget. This time I happened to forget. The meal is just fine either way, just know you have the option.

Now plop the chicken breasts on top and plop on the lid.

Sorry. The word plop should never be used twice in one sentence. I just cant help myself sometimes.

You can cook it on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. It all depends on how much time you have. I can never get my act together in time to cook it for 8 hours, so mine is always set on high.

Four hours later, this is what it looked like. You might notice that it is a tad bit soupy looking. Have no fear. That only happened because I forgot to stir the darn rice into the mixture before hand. If this happens to you, you can go ahead and give it a little stir a five or so min. before serving.

See, I told you the meal is fine either way. :)

Ring the triangle and let everyone know that dinner is ready, because now you are ready to serve this super easy meal. Just add a veggie and some bread and you should be good to go!

Unlike me, Zachariah likes his chicken completely separate from his rice. And yes... that is a Christmas plate. He just wont let me put it away with the other Christmas stuff. Trust me, I have tried.

And just in case you were wondering, here is what Zachariah's full plate looked like. Chicken, rice, broccoli casserole and a muffin. Not to shabby for a picky two year old. He ate every bit of it too. That is actually the main reason I love this meal. If my toddler will scarf it down I am a happy camper.

Enjoy! :)

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
(if you have a picky eater, use three cream of chicken)
1/2 cup water
1 cup long-grain rice
4 lg chicken breasts

In a slow cooker, combine the soups, water and rice. Place the chicken on top. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.