Happy Valentines Day!!!

The month of Love!  Photos, candies, flowers, hugs, kisses, and the gift of time make up many of my favorite Valentines Day gifts!!!  What are yours?  Take a little time and think of the three things that bless you most!   Then think of what your significant other enjoys most.  Plan a few fun activities that include the things you both love.

With children or a new baby in the house time is of the essence.  It will take effort to make something special happen to show your love.  Do you know your loved one’s love language?  There are several books written on the Five Love Languages.

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate is a 1995 book by Gary Chapman.[1] It outlines five ways to express and experience love that Chapman calls “love languages”[2]:

There is a free online test you can take to determine your most desired love languages.  Share it with those in your family to help them understand how to best express their love to you.  Have them take the test so you know what pleases them most.  There are also books on how to figure out the love languages of your children.  This is a great tool in meeting the psychological and emotional needs of the children you love.

Chapman’s categories include the following:

Examples are given from his counseling practice, as well as questions to help determine one’s own love languages.

The Five Love Languages
Author Gary Chapman
Original title The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate
Country United States
Language English
Subject Intimate relationships
Publisher Northfield Publishing
Publication date
ISBN 9781415857311

Written in his book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, Dr. Gary Chapman reveals that each of us primarily speaks with one of five love languages: quality time, physical touch, gift giving, acts of service, and words of affirmation.

People tend to give love the way they naturally prefer to receive love. Knowing your love language, you can better express your needs to your partner while also understanding how to make them feel loved in return. This not only helps in romantic relationships, but also improves the way we interact with anyone, whether in the office, with our family, or when meeting new friends. By understanding we give and receive love, we can show people we care and make them feel loved and appreciated.

Description of the Five Love Languages:

Words of affirmation

One way to express love emotionally is to use words that build up. Solomon, author of ancient Hebrew Wisdom Literature, wrote, “The tongue has the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21, NIV). Many couples have never learned the tremendous power of verbally affirming each other.

Verbal compliments, or words of appreciation, are powerful communicators of love. They are best expressed in simple, straightforward statements of affirmation, such as:

“You look sharp in that suit.”

“Do you ever look incredible in that dress! Wow!”

“I really like how you’re always on time to pick me up at work.”

“You can always make me laugh.”

Words of affirmation are one of the five basic love languages. Within that language, however, there are many dialects. All of the dialects have in common the use of words to affirm one’s spouse. Psychologist William James said that possibly the deepest human need is the need to feel appreciated. Words of affirmation will meet that need in many individuals.

Quality time

By “quality time,” I mean giving someone your undivided attention. I don’t mean sitting on the couch watching television together. When you spend time that way, Netflix or HBO has your attention — not your spouse. What I mean is sitting on the couch with the TV off, looking at each other and talking, devices put away, giving each other your undivided attention. It means taking a walk, just the two of you, or going out to eat and looking at each other and talking.

Time is a precious commodity. We all have multiple demands on our time, yet each of us has the exact same hours in a day. We can make the most of those hours by committing some of them to our spouse. If your mate’s primary love language is quality time, she simply wants you, being with her, spending time.

Receiving gifts

Almost everything ever written on the subject of love indicates that at the heart of love is the spirit of giving. All five love languages challenge us to give to our spouse, but for some, receiving gifts, visible symbols of love, speaks the loudest.

A gift is something you can hold in your hand and say, “Look, he was thinking of me,” or, “She remembered me.” You must be thinking of someone to give him or her a gift. The gift itself is a symbol of that thought. It doesn’t matter whether it costs money. What is important is that you thought of him or her. And it is not the thought implanted only in the mind that counts but the thought expressed in actually securing the gift and giving it as the expression of love.

But what of the person who says, “I’m not a gift giver. I didn’t receive many gifts growing up. I never learned how to select gifts. It doesn’t come naturally for me.” Congratulations, you have just made the first discovery in becoming a great lover. You and your spouse speak different love languages. Now that you have made that discovery, get on with the business of learning your second language. If your spouse’s primary love language is receiving gifts, you can become a proficient gift giver. In fact, it is one of the easiest love languages to learn.

Acts of service

Michelle’s primary love language was what I call “acts of service.” By acts of service, I mean doing things you know your spouse would like you to do. You seek to please her by serving her, to express your love for her by doing things for her.

Consider actions such as cooking a meal, setting a table, emptying the dishwasher, vacuuming, changing the baby’s diaper, picking up a prescription, keeping the car in operating condition — they are all acts of service. They require thought, planning, time, effort and energy. If done with a positive spirit, they are indeed expressions of love.

A willingness to examine and change stereotypes is necessary in order to express love more effectively. Remember, there are no rewards for maintaining stereotypes, but there are tremendous benefits to meeting the emotional needs of your spouse. If your spouse’s love language is acts of service, then “actions speak louder than words.”

Physical touch

We have long known that physical touch is a way of communicating emotional love. Numerous research projects in the area of child development have made that conclusion: Babies who are held, stroked and kissed develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long periods of time without physical contact.

Physical touch is also a powerful vehicle for communicating marital love. Holding hands, kissing, embracing and sexual intercourse are all ways of communicating emotional love to one’s spouse. For some individuals, physical touch is their primary love language. Without it, they feel unloved. With it, their emotional tank is filled, and they feel secure in the love of their spouse.

Implicit love touches require little time but much thought, especially if physical touch is not your primary love language and if you did not grow up in a “touching family.” Sitting close to each other as you watch your favorite television program requires no additional time but may communicate your love loudly. Touching your spouse as you walk through the room where he is sitting takes only a moment. Touching each other when you leave the house and again when you return may involve only a brief kiss or hug but will speak volumes to your spouse.

Once you discover that physical touch is the primary love language of your spouse, you are limited only by your imagination on ways to express love.

Dr. Gary Chapman is a family counselor, radio host, associate pastor and author of several books, including The Five Love Languages and One More Try.



Life in the Fast Lane…..

Somehow life takes on more and more until we are in a state of exhaustion!  How is it that no matter how I try there is always more to do than time to accomplish it in????  This scenario continues to replay itself again and again.  We who live in Southern California say it is because of the place where we live, yet even here, there are those who maintain peace and decorum.  How do they do it?  How, in the midst of jobs, kids, extended family, etc. can sanity be maintained?

It is a choice!  Ouch!  You mean I do not have to be on someone else’s treadmill? Right.  Your home can be one of the rare ones where peace prevails.  This requires you and your significant other intentionally discuss your thoughts and plans and stay in sync.  It demands humility, being able to recognize when you are the problem, and pulling yourself up short to correct it.  We all contribute to the insanity in some way.  Being able to self-evaluate goes a long way to maintaining a calm environment.


In Zen Habits, Leo Babuta, discusses ten pointers on how to take back control of your life.


Here’s how to do it.

1. Do less. It’s hard to slow down when you are trying to do a million things. Instead, make the conscious choice to do less. Focus on what’s really important, what really needs to be done, and let go of the rest. Put space between tasks and appointments, so you can move through your days at a more leisurely pace.

2. Be present. It’s not enough to just slow down — you need to actually be mindful of whatever you’re doing at the moment. That means, when you find yourself thinking about something you need to do, or something that’s already happened, or something that might happen … gently bring yourself back to the present moment. Focus on what’s going on right now. On your actions, on your environment, on others around you. This takes practice but is essential.

3. Disconnect. Don’t always be connected. If you carry around an iPhone or Blackberry or other mobile device, shut it off. Better yet, learn to leave it behind when possible. If you work on a computer most of the day, have times when you disconnect so you can focus on other things. Being connected all the time means we’re subject to interruptions, we’re constantly stressed about information coming in, we are at the mercy of the demands of others. It’s hard to slow down when you’re always checking new messages coming in.

4. Focus on people. Too often we spend time with friends and family, or meet with colleagues, and we’re not really there with them. We talk to them but are distracted by devices. We are there, but our minds are on things we need to do. We listen, but we’re really thinking about ourselves and what we want to say. None of us are immune to this, but with conscious effort you can shut off the outside world and just be present with the person you’re with. This means that just a little time spent with your family and friends can go a long way — a much more effective use of your time, by the way. It means we really connect with people rather than just meeting with them.

5. Appreciate nature. Many of us are shut in our homes and offices and cars and trains most of the time, and rarely do we get the chance to go outside. And often even when people are outside, they’re talking on their cell phones. Instead, take the time to go outside and really observe nature, take a deep breath of fresh air, enjoy the serenity of water and greenery. Exercise outdoors when you can, or find other outdoor activities to enjoy such as nature walks, hiking, swimming, etc. Feel the sensations of water and wind and earth against your skin. Try to do this daily — by yourself or with loved ones.

6. Eat slower. Instead of cramming food down our throats as quickly as possible — leading to overeating and a lack of enjoyment of our food — learn to eat slowly. Be mindful of each bite. Appreciate the flavors and textures. Eating slowly has the double benefit of making you fuller on less food and making the food taste better. I suggest learning to eat more real food as well, with some great spices (instead of fat and salt and sugar and frying for flavor).

7. Drive slower. Speedy driving is a pretty prevalent habit in our fast-paced world, but it’s also responsible for a lot of traffic accidents, stress, and wasted fuel. Instead, make it a habit to slow down when you drive. Appreciate your surroundings. Make it a peaceful time to contemplate your life, and the things you’re passing. Driving will be more enjoyable, and much safer. You’ll use less fuel too.

8. Find pleasure in anything. This is related to being present, but taking it a step farther. Whatever you’re doing, be fully present … and also appreciate every aspect of it, and find the enjoyable aspects. For example, when washing dishes, instead of rushing through it as a boring chore to be finished quickly, really feel the sensations of the water, the suds, the dishes. It can really be an enjoyable task if you learn to see it that way. The same applies to other chores — washing the car, sweeping, dusting, laundry — and anything you do, actually. Life can be so much more enjoyable if you learn this simple habit.

9. Single-task. The opposite of multi-tasking. Focus on one thing at a time. When you feel the urge to switch to other tasks, pause, breathe, and pull yourself back.

10. Breathe. When you find yourself speeding up and stressing out, pause, and take a deep breath. Take a couple more. Really feel the air coming into your body, and feel the stress going out. By fully focusing on each breath, you bring yourself back to the present, and slow yourself down. It’s also nice to take a deep breath or two — do it now and see what I mean. 🙂


Now breathe!!!  These pointers really helped me to consider the moment and enjoy it!  Type them up and keep them with you during the day.  Put them on the bathroom mirror to help you remember them!  Talk them over with those in your home.  As they become a part of your life discuss them with those at work.  Encourage yourself to reflect on your quality of life.  You will be amazed at the way such easy principals affect you!

Let me know how they help!    JUDY








Biding Farewell to 2018

As we look ahead to a New Year, resolutions, dreams and hopes we close the previous year.  I always appreciate remembering the challenges, failures, and successes of that year.  It is with a tear in my eye that I watch the TV dedications to those who passed in the closing year.  Most of them I never knew or met, but their contributions to our lives can not be ignored.  Steven Hocking passed this year.  His brilliance in scientific reason and his fortitude to continue despite unimaginable odds demand respect.  Both George and Barbara Bush passed this year.  This is common in long term marriages, the connection is so deep that life comes to an end for both in a short time.  My adopted parents were married 60 years and passed with in two months of each other.  I am sure there were many others who touched your lives and are no longer with us.

Now, on to the hope and excitement of the New Year.  If you are pregnant there will be many wonderful joys and challenges in coming months!!!  If you have already delivered you are experiencing the transition from ‘individual’ to ‘parent’.  In coming years you will be known as So and So’s Mom or Dad.  In a very short time you will have a hard time remembering life before your precious little one arrived.  It is amazing how quickly we acclimate to new roles in life.  It is truly an adventure!!  And it is individual.  No one will experience your life the way you will.  No one else will be the Mom, Dad, Wife, Husband, Sister, Brother, Aunt, Uncle, Friend….. you will be.  Embrace this, enjoy it, be your very best you, you will not regret it!!!!


Merry Christmas Eve!!!!

How can it already be Christmas again?????  This year flew by for most of us!  Our family is blessed with another beautiful granddaughter, Amanda Corine.  She was born in July, right between her two older sisters: Felicity, June, and Danielle, August.  Yes, three granddaughters, what precious gifts!!!  Right now two of our kids are returning from two weeks in Antarctica.  Yes, our kids are world travelers.  Ha!  Look what you have to look forward to!  Enjoy them while they are stationery, because once they start moving you are no longer in total control!  Ha!

One of our kids worked as personal assistant to Tony Robbins and his wife half the year.  That one put on literally hundreds of thousands of air miles!!!  Another, won his second term in the State House of Representatives where he lives!  A third became a Staff Sargent in the United Stated Marines.  There were many other incredible achievements this year, with five adult children there are way too many to mention.

We are grateful for a year of peace in America, for the improved economy for all, for the massive improvement in international relations.  It is with heartfelt thanks that we look to our creator as the provider of these many blessings.

Have a wonderful Christmas Day, what ever religion you follow.  Celebrate the joy and blessing of living in the greatest country on earth.  Enjoy those close to you and find peace.



Exercise for Pregnant Mommies

As the holidays gin up and you have less time to take care of you I encourage you to keep exercise in your schedule.  The YouTube videos below help you keep moving and feeling good.  Two or three – fifteen minute sessions a day will make it easy for you to keep exercising.  This is great preparation for delivery and will help your body recover after labor.  Do not do more than you are comfortable doing and keep walking on a regular basis.  You will be glad you did!!!



Prenatal Yoga


2nd Trimester Prenatal Workout Video



More Prenatal Yoga





December is Here!!!

Baby’s First Christmas/Hanukkah  will have all kinds of wonderful memories for you and your family.  I encourage you to take as many photos as you are able.  As time will show, finding a good photo with more than one person, especially if baby is involved, can be quite a feat.  I have a darling photo of my granddaughter from her first Christmas.  She was 6 months old.  Her mom and dad said it took 1,000 tries to get it!  Ha!!!  I laugh, but it actually could take that many.  Now they have three darling girls ranging in age from 3 years to 6 months.  Now it will take even more to find one they love……thank God things are digital now!!!!   They will save a fortune!!!

In our last entry we talked about photo ornaments and other ways to remember the season including your new family member.  I really encourage you to take a family photo each year.  It doesn’t have to be formal or professionally done, but looking back to those first holidays will fill your heart with so much joy!!!  This year during the after Christmas sales purchase a lovely album and save this year’s photo and a copy of your holiday card or letter.  Next year add another.  You will be so glad you took the time to set this up.  Your children and family members will love seeing mom and dad in their younger years!  You will remember that precious little bundle of joy who has grown up!!!  You can not loose on this one!!!

Also, take an individual photo of each child each year.  These are my very favorite ornaments.  Remembering my 33 year old on her first Christmas at 10 months of age.  There is truly nothing like it.  If you have a family member who understands how important this is to you and takes photos you like, ask them to do this for you each year.  I can be a bit of a planner, so I don’t know that I would trust someone else with this one.  But you know who you can depend upon.  Remember, an individual photo of each child.  Again during the after Christmas sales purchase the mini photo frames for that year and put babies photo in it.  You are set for next Christmas when you pull down the ornaments to decorate the tree.  So much fun!!!

More later,  JUDY

Christmas Gifts From Baby

Each Christmas I provide suggestions for gifts from you and baby for your relatives and close friends.  Having a new baby can make it difficult to even and sit down and think of things you could do.  So I send out some rather sentimental and definitely time sensitive  ideas.  These gifts require preparation, you should be ordering and preparing them this month, NOVEMBER, in order to have them ready to send for your celebration.  Preparing them now will free up time for your holiday.


Personalized Gold Plated Bell Ornaments

Engraved Silver, Gold, or Rose Colored Bells with baby’s name and birth year

Add 2 Bell Ornaments to Cart, Get $2 Off each!



Photo Ornaments:

Purchasable online or at most stores selling ornaments.  Put a photo of baby’s first Christmas in, be sure to put the date in the photo.  A lifetime keepsake of baby as a baby!




Photo Books, framed. photos, pillows with photos, on more.  SHUTTERFLY makes it incredibly easy to arrange photos of baby in many gifts your family and friends will love. I encourage you to check it out.  Right now they have most items on sale at 40 – 50% off!!! Create and order them now.  They arrive at you home in days and you give them as gifts!!  So much fun.  Another precious reminder of baby’s first holiday season.


Hand or foot modeled patterns of baby this year:

Pearhead Babyprints Ornament By White

$9.99 nearby·In stock


Available online


These are just a few ideas you may enjoy.  There are tons more.  Please forward your favorites so we can share them.

Have a ball preparing and repeating each year.  I so wish I had done this when my kids were small.  I was just so overwhelmed!  If you have someone in your life who would be willing to help you, a sister, grandma, dear friend, ask them to take care of preparations for you while you are simply too busy mothering.  You can take over later, their help could make it possible for you to begin now.






Helping Your Little Ones Adjust to the Time Change

As we “Fall Back” for the time change there are many thoughts to consider.  As adults we realize we loose an hour of sleep in the morning.  We take what ever steps necessary to adjust.  Maybe we make an effort to go to sleep earlier for a few nights.  We are, at least, mindful that change is in the air.  With babies not so much.  Our kids are not aware of the change.  Their internal clocks are set.  For most of them it will be dark at 5:00 when they wake.  It has been dark until 7:00 for a while, so they won’t even notice.  How can you constructively help your baby adjust?

Below find an article I think will help.  Let me know how you like it!!



Helping Your Baby Adjust to the Time Change

Doulas of Orange County

Remember the pre-parenting days when the days would get shorter, the nights crisper and the urge to get cozy would hit? When we didn’t spare a second thought about the end of daylight savings time except that we’d get an extra hour of sleep?! Those were the days!

Then your baby arrived and you started obsessing about sleep. If you’re like most new parents, you aren’t getting enough sleep, so the end of daylight savings time may be daunting. Why? Because your baby can’t tell time and doesn’t know that 6am is now actually 5am. All your baby knows is that she got the sleep she normally gets and is wide-eyed ready to take on the day! If you’re a seasoned parent you know that this can easily disrupt naps and bedtimes for days or even weeks to come as you struggle to get adjusted to the time change.


If you’ve ever traveled to another time zone, you know how jarring the time change can be. Your brain knows that it’s not “time for bed”, but your internal clock is screaming for you to go to sleep! The end of daylight savings time can have the same affect. To ease the time leap, gradually adjust your baby’s sleep over the course of a week which eliminates the abruptness and helps him get used to the changes.

About 4-5 days before daylight savings ends start your bedtime routine 10 min later each day. If you normally start bath time at 6pm, start at 6:10. Once the time comes to turn back the clock, your baby will have adjusted to the routine being one hour later than usual, so that when she wakes up on Sunday morning she’ll be on track with the new time.

Every baby adjusts differently and some babies are more adaptable than others. If your baby is not as sensitive to schedule changes, different nap times or bedtimes, then you can probably shift things in 2-3 days by pushing everything back by 15-30mins each day. The concept is the same with just less time needed to adjust to the hour time change.


Black-out shades are one of those sleep tools that we swear by. If you don’t already have black-out shades in your baby’s room – GET THEM. Just like adults, your baby has a circadian rhythm or internal clock that responds to light and dark. Babies don’t fully develop this until 3-4 months of age, but it’s never too early to utilize the shades. A dark room assists in melatonin production (the “sleep” hormone) helping communicate to your baby’s body that it should stay asleep a little longer. These can be utilized for naps as well as bedtime.


Babies LOVE consistency and routine. Trust us on this. So, other than adjusting the nighttime time gradually, do your best to keep everything else the same. The same bedtime routine, the same timing between naps, etc. This will help reduce any confusion and keep your baby none the wiser!


If your schedule as a family isn’t super structured and you don’t have a regular bed time, that’s ok. The time change may not affect you too much. But if it does, it’s important to be patient. If you find yourself reacting instead of avoiding, don’t stress. It may take anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks for your baby to adjust to the time change and for things to get back on track. Make sure your baby’s last nap isn’t ending too late into the afternoon and try implementing some calming activities before bedtime to prep body and mind for falling asleep at a new bedtime. Know that within time your baby’s internal clock will adjust to this new change and things will go back to normal.


If things have completely gone of the rails it can never hurt to reach out for help from a sleep expert.




The Controversy Over the MMR Vaccine

My educational background is counseling.  I took statistics at UCI, learning that anyone can massage statistics to say what they want.  Later, the uproar about the MMR causing autism came to light.  Tens of thousands of parents in the US refused to have their children inoculated against Mumps, Measles, and Rubella (German Measles).  Those fatal and destructive diseases had been literally irradiated in the US through the MMR inoculation given to infants (around a year).  Due to the refusal of inoculations children began dieing.  Any medical professional would recommend the inoculation because the possibility of severe damage and death from the diseases far outweighs the possibility of autism from it.
I agreed, and, of course, inoculated my fire children with no reaction.  I researched the root of this information.  The attached article explains clearly that the original research on MMR vs autism was done in England.
As explained in the attached info, the research included 12 children already predisposed to autism.  Yes, only 12 children.  As far as I am concerned that is entirely worthless.  How could anyone consider a study including only 12 subjects definitive research?   What happened is: lazy authors and researchers looking to prove their point referenced this study/experiment w/o even reading it.  It was referenced to the point where it became the founding research for not inoculating children… totally ridiculous!!!!  Thousands of children worldwide died, went deaf, or were permanently crippled because of it.  The medical community never supported the research against the vaccine, yet, through the internet, it became Gospel.
What you choose to do regarding inoculations for your children is up to you.  I encourage you to research the information.  Talk with your pediatrician and OB.  Question friends and relatives.  This can be a life or death decision for your kids.


Lancet retracts 12-year-old article linking autism to MMR vaccines

Laura Eggertson

Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer



This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Twelve years after publishing a landmark study that turned tens of thousands of parents around the world against the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine because of an implied link between vaccinations and autism, The Lancet has retracted the paper.

In a statement published on Feb. 2, the British medical journal said that it is now clear that “several elements” of a 1998 paper it published by Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues (Lancet1998;351[9103]:637–41) “are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation.”

Dr. Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, declined through a spokesperson to speak to CMAJ about this issue.

In the original paper, Wakefield and 12 coauthors claimed to have investigated “a consecutive series” of 12 children referred to the Royal Free Hospital and School of Medicine with chronic enterocolitis and regressive developmental disorder. The authors reported that the parents of eight of the 12 children associated their loss of acquired skills, including language, with the MMR vaccination. The authors concluded that “possible environmental triggers” (i.e. the vaccine) were associated with the onset of both the gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression.

In fact, as Britain’s General Medical Council ruled in January, the children that Wakefield studied were carefully selected and some of Wakefield’s research was funded by lawyers acting for parents who were involved in lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers. The council found Wake-field had acted unethically and had shown “callous disregard” for the children in his study, upon whom invasive tests were performed.

When the original article was picked up by the general media, the findings were fuelled by speeches and public appearances in which Wakefield recommended single vaccines rather than the combined MMR. Many parents seeking a cause for their children’s illness seized upon the apparent link between the routine vaccination and autism, say Canadian researchers who laud the retraction.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield speaks to media in London, England on Jan. 28 after the General Medical Council ruled that he acted unethically in doing his research into a link between Measles Mumps Rubella vaccinations and autism.

“I think a lot of families were looking for a reason, so they were extremely vulnerable (to this explanation),” says Jeanette Holden, a geneticist at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Holden, whose brother is autistic, heads the Autism Spectrum Disorders —Canadian–American Research Consortium.

“The problem is that this had dramatic health consequences, which was that people just didn’t vaccinate their children,” she adds.

In the United Kingdom, the Health Protection Agency attributed a large measles outbreak in 2008 and 2009 to a concurrent drop in the number of children receiving the MMR vaccine. Pockets of measles — which can be fatal —have also cropped up in Canada and the United States as a result of parents’ refusal to vaccinate.

“In the course of my discussions with families it’s almost invariable that the measles question comes into play,” says Dr. Suzanne Lewis, a pediatrician and clinical professor of medical genetics at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

“I was quite thankful to see the retraction — it’s long overdue,” she adds.

Both Holden and Lewis, who is also a member of the Autism Spectrum Disorders — Canadian–American Research Consortium, questioned the article’s original heft, given its small sample size.

“Why The Lancet published it is completely beyond me,” Lewis says. “The risk-versus-benefit equation was really tipped the wrong way by this research that was so egregious.”

She also decried the “millions, if not tens of millions of dollars” that have been spent on additional studies to validate or disqualify the original Wakefield study.

The Lancet first investigated the paper in 2004, after allegations of misconduct by Wakefield and the other authors came to its attention. But after an investigation, the Royal Free and University College Medical School and The Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust published a statement in the journal saying that they were “entirely satisfied” that the children in the Wakefield study “had been subjected to appropriate and rigorous ethical scrutiny” (Lancet 2004. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(04)15711-5).

At that time, The Lancet said its editors found no evidence that the authors intended to deceive them, including about the way the children were selected. However, the editors expressed regret that “aspects of funding for parallel and related work and the existence of ongoing litigation … were not disclosed to editors.” But the journal did not withdraw the paper, citing the “public interest in the issue.”

Despite the retraction, many autism advocacy groups and parents continue to defend Wakefield, as they are making clear on blogs such as the Age of Autism, in electronic comments responding to articles about the retraction, and on the website of Generation Rescue, a group founded by actors Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey.

The “conspiracy theory” that vaccine manufacturers are hiding the truth about MMR and autism is fuelled by parents’ need to know what is causing autism, says Margaret Spoelstra, executive director of Autism Ontario, despite the fact that no large study has replicated Wakefield’s findings.

“We know that autism has a genetic cause and that there are environmental factors that we don’t understand yet,” Spoelstra says. “There’s enormous pressure in the field to come up with those answers.”

Articles from CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal are provided here courtesy of Canadian Medical Association


link to article:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2831678/


The Holidays Are On Their Way….?

When we talk about the holidays many shutter.  There are expectations, traditions, places and events you are expected to attend.  How do you manage all that with your new little person?  How do you make everyone happy?  How do you maintain your sanity?

The place to start is in your own home.  Talk with your mate about what you want to do.  Listen to what is the most important to him.  Come to an agreement on what means the most to the two of you.  Then spread out to the other expectations looming out there.

Understand that most likely everyone will not get exactly what they want.  That is OK.  Some times a holiday will need to be celebrated on a day other than the holiday itself to accommodate all needs.  I have a dear friend who arranges a catered brunch for her extended family at Christmas each year.  Sometimes it takes place on Christmas morning.  Other times it is the day before or later in the week.  No one is bothered by the fact that they can not always be together on the exact holiday.  They enjoy the time together, the great food, and the Gift Box Game….more later.  Know these same ideas apply to Hanukkah, Quanza, or what ever your holiday of choice may be

With a little planning and consideration you can come to an arrangement that pleases most.  For those who are not able to go with the flow, make an effort to spend individual time with them at another opportunity.  Maybe your effort to meet their needs will soften the blow.

Most often the arrival of your first child brings changes in the ways holidays are spent.  Prior to this it is just the two of you.  You could pick up and go easily, even travel if need be.  Where as the arrival of a baby complicates the matter.  If you think ahead, consider your own needs first together, then offer your suggestions to others you will not be torn, as much.  Of course you want to make everyone happy.  Over the year this hopefully will happen.  Maybe Thanksgiving is spent with one family group while Christmas or Hanukkah with the other.  And the holiday can be reversed the following year.  Either way, your own family comes first.  Creating a peaceful holiday tradition for the future will smooth over complications and misunderstandings.

THE GIFT BOX GAME:  My friend, Carol, developed this game as her kids grew into adulthood.  She decorates beautiful boxes each year, putting cash in them.  The cash is the money she would have spent on gifts if purchasing them.  It varies each year.  The clincher is that one box has the bulk of the budget, maybe $200!  The remaining boxes have anything from $1 to $50.  They play a game to see who gets to choose the first box from the pile. (You can create you own game).   With out opening any boxes each of the boxes is selected.  If you want to choose a box someone else had you may, one time.  Otherwise you select a box from the pile.  After all the boxes have been removed from the pile each player opens his box.  Their family goes crazy realizing the first box they had was the BIG ONE!  Ha!  Ha!    Be sure to take lots of photos.  It can get crazy!!!

Disclaimer:  Ha!  Clearly this is a game for adults, or mature teens.  Little ones receive individual gifts from Grama and Grampa or you!!

Enjoy!!!  JUDY