CDC hits back: Vaccines do work and save hundreds of thousands of lives

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new report seemingly to promote that vaccines really do work and parents shouldn’t be skipping them.

From USA Today:

“Vaccines given to infants and young children over the past two decades will prevent 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vaccines also will have saved $295 billion in direct costs, such as medical expenses, and a total of more than $1.3 trillion in societal costs over that time, because children who were spared from sometimes-devastating illnesses will be able to contribute to society, the report shows. These calculations may underestimate the full impact of vaccines, the study notes, because authors considered only the early 14 routine childhood immunizations typically required for school entry. Authors didn’t include flu shots or adolescent vaccines …

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Teens and hair dye: A-OK or no way?

My oldest daughter asked to have her hair dyed red for her 13th birthday present. I told her I had to think about and talk to her father but I honestly couldn’t come up with a reason to say no.

I think as long as the dye isn’t permanent and is tastefully done and actually suits her skin tone then I can’t think of how this could be detrimental to her.

I did tell her I would like to have our hair stylist do it because I trust her to pick the right tone and to use a demi-permanent, which will last longer than a wash-in but won’t leave her with roots. Also I told Rose I thought she should do it before we move so her hair will be back to normal to make a first impression on people in the new town. People already know her here and I don’t think she would be judged negatively for dying her hair.

I remember dying my hair in high school and college.  I used to always try to go red and finally figured out it didn’t really suit my skin tone. Red is tough to pull off, and I guess every …

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Michael leaves today; very depressed

It was heartbreaking to watch Michael kiss Lilina through the fence at school this morning. He is flying out in about an hour and we won’t see him again until school is out and we are ready to move. We had walked her to school and he had hugged her and kissed her before she went into the school yard. It was so sad. But then she came back again to the fence for one more good-bye. Oh my goodness. We had to hurry home so he could say good-bye to Rose, who is last to leave in the morning.

On the bright side the separation is almost over. On the negative side, we have another month apart and no clear plan on how we are moving forward. We have to sell the house here to be able to buy there so everything hinges on this house selling. We don’t know if we will head directly to New Jersey when they get out of school or head to Atlanta to wait for the house to sell so we can buy. We’ve decided though come July 1 we either need to have bought or go ahead a rent a house so the kids can …

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What role can parents play in controlling impromptu social media parties?

As you may have read, a giant impromptu party broke out on Sunday thanks to a few clicks on a bunch of smart phones. The party was hash-tagged “BigAssCookOut,” and police estimate about 1,500 young people showed up to a park near Stone Mountain. Here’s more from the AJC.

From the AJC: (I will try to link to the latest story as I see updates move)

…“This came really as a surprise to us,” the county’s public safety chief Cedric Alexander told reporters on Monday.

But Alexander vowed that they would be prepared in the future.

“We’re going to monitor social media going forward so that we can try to get ahead of them as quickly as we can and intervene,” he said.

Two women were shot Sunday evening as DeKalb County police broke up about 1,500 youth at the Wade Walker Park party near Stone Mountain.

“There was underage drinking and some drug use there,” he said. “Often when we have things like this, things go awry.”

Party organizers did not get the required permits to have a …

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Would you die within hours of your spouse?

The Associated Press reported a sad but very sweet story about a couple who had been married for 70 years who died within 15 hours of each other. The husband just didn’t want to be on earth without her. It’s like “The Notebook” but for real. (I weep through that movie every time.) Here’s the story.

From the Associated Press:

“NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) — A couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.

“Helen Felumlee, of Nashport, died at 92 on April 12. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died the next morning.

“The couple’s eight children say the two had been inseparable since meeting as teenagers, once sharing the bottom of a bunk bed on a ferry rather than sleeping one night apart, the Zanesville Times Recorder reported (

“They remained deeply in love until the very end, even eating breakfast together while holding hands, said their daughter, Linda Cody.

“We knew when one went, the …

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Painted baseboards, broke the internet, celebrated 20th wedding anniversary, child’s 13th birthday and Easter and that is why there were no posts

After our open house two Sundays ago, my real estate agent suggested that my baseboards didn’t look clean enough and that the wires hanging down from our television were distracting. We had 10 agents touring the house last Thursday so I got to work to try to remedy these items. So I spent Monday, Tuesday night and Wednesday of last week cleaning and painting baseboards on my hands and knees (among all the regular tasks). I also put together a TV cabinet to try to conceal all the electronic equipment and all of the wires. When I installed the TV cabinet, I had to disconnect all the wires from the router, wifi and the satellite and I couldn’t get all connected back up correctly. So I lost internet. I wrote to MJG on my phone to ask her to tell you guys that so you would know what was going on. (Every time I tried to pull the cabinet out to adjust the wires, I knocked off plaster from the nook that holds it so then I had to repair the plaster and paint it.)

I spent Thursday …

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Should schools develop relationships with universities?

Today I am chaperoning my daughter’s seventh-grade science class trip to the Arizona Statue University’s Marston Exploration Theater where they are going to see a 3-D planetarium show and tour the schools of Astronomy and Geology with ASU students.

Earlier this month, engineering students from ASU’s Barret Honor’s College came and taught a robotics lesson to her class.

And a few weeks before that her class went to the ASU Engineering School to participate in another engineering experiment.

I LOVE all the exposure our middle students are getting to college science programs. I love that they are working in a university-level laboratory and participating in college-level experiments. I love that they are able to observe how the college students are experimenting and learning what those programs are all about.

The university is just down the road from our school, and I am so glad the middle school science teachers have cultivated this relationship and are making the extra effort …

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Do you give your kids spring allergy meds?

I was helping in Lilina’s classroom the other day and the entire class was sniffling and sneezing. So many of their little eyes had allergy shiners and were swollen and teary. The teacher said she was out of tissues because everyone was suffering from allergies.  She said she mentions it to parents if the kids are suffering but a lot of parent don’t want to medicate for allergies.

I try to give Lilina half of a Zyrtec pill in the mornings before school. She often fights me but I know she needs it. The last few days she’s been taking it willingly because she realizes how bad it is right now. She always willingly takes her preventative inhaler.

My other two kids take Zyrtec too. They never fight about it. They know they need it.  The allergist says it’s a pretty benign drug.

Do you medicate your kids for allergies? Do you only do it if the pollen count is above a certain level? Do they fight about it or are they happy to have relief from sneezing and itchy eyes?

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Would you name your child for a ‘Game of Thrones’ character?

Somebody finally took some time to dig through last year’s Social Security Baby Names chart (2012 was released in May of 2013) and they noticed that three “Game of Thrones” names were rising in popularity.

Arya rose 298 spots from 711 in 2011 to 413 in 2012. Arya is the youngest daughter of Ned Stark and has been kicking major butt the last two seasons.

Another name that is showing up on the list is Khaleesi. A far more unusual name, it is the name of the Mother of the Dragons on the show. She is building an army of freed slaves to take over the throne. Her unusual birth name also is now showing up.


“According to data from the Social Security Administration, in 2012, there were 146 female babies born named Khaleesi — the title given to Emilia Clarke’s character in Game of Thrones after she marries a Dothraki leader in season 1. This trumps some more common female names such as Brandy (130) and Alex (128). Khaleesi’s given name, Daenerys, wasn’t quite as popular …

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Pregnant at 42 with six other kids: A mom shares her story

My friend sent me a great article from The Ladies’ Home Journal written by a 42-year-old mother who already had six kids and all of a sudden found herself pregnant. She was pretty panicked as I think most 40-year-old women with many other kids would be but her kids and her husband were thrilled. She shares that the experience has changed them all. I can only pull a few graphs so please click the link and read the whole story. She really did a lovely job on it.

From The Ladies’ Home Journal:

“In the summer of 2011 Jack and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with a trip to Europe. Leaving the kids with our parents, we spent eight dreamy days traveling from Barcelona to the French Riviera, finishing up in Florence and Rome. Our actual anniversary was the week after we arrived home, so although we were in Tennessee now, not Tuscany, we partied on. Could it be that, amid all the fun, I lost track of the calendar? Calendar, you ask? I’m afraid so. After baby number six, my …

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