You Might Be a ‘Crunchy’ Parent if….

1.You know what an amber teething necklace is and you own one.

2.You own one of the following: “How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor” or “The Vaccine Book” by Dr. Sears.

3.You would happily breastfeed someone else’s child if they asked you to.

4.You have a load of laundry in the washer that consists of Bumgenius, Grovia, or prefold diapers.

5.You know that Hypnobabies is not hypnosis for babies.

6.You know more then 5 herbs that help increase milk production - and your husband knows at least 3.

7.You’ve asked the Crunchy Mama’s birth board about sperm friendly lubricant.

8.You visited a chiropractor more often during pregnancy then an OBGYN office.   

9.You check hand sanitizers to make sure they do not contain triclosan.

10.Your child’s birthday cake was an organic homemade banana bread recipe.

11.You insist on not wearing sunscreen purely for the benefits of getting as much vitamin D as possible.

12.You refuse to consume cow's milk unless its raw and organic.

13.You own a Nose Freda and have given one as a baby shower gift.

14.You’ve eaten and know the benefits of grass fed beef.

15.You know that the Diva Cup is not a fancy woman chalice.

16.You’ve written a nasty letter to the water company for adding fluoride in the water and then charging you for it.

17.You have considered going the day without antiperspirant because of what you’ve learn the day before about aluminum.

18.You own more then 3 baby carriers and have made your own ring sling.

19.You use honey, eucalyptus and saline solution for cold 'medicine'.

20.At least one of your children was born on the floor of your living room, intentionally.

21.You’ve seriously considered sending your children to a Waldorf school that’s 50 minutes away.

22.Your birth control method consists of NFP.

23.You are an Intactivst and you don’t have a son.

24.You know what Elimination Communication is even though you’ve never done it.

25.You co-sleep, willingly... to a toddler.

26.You have an account with Rose Mountain Herbs.

27.You know your local farmers by first name.

28.You’ve gone No Poo.

29.You have a link on your favorites tab for homemade cough lollipops. (Thanks Brittany
30.You’ve breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life and have employed the BLW technique.
31.You make your own shampoo, mouthwash and multi-purpose cleaners.

32.Your children are on an alternative vaccination schedule.

33.You could add 5 more bullet points to this list  

Adult Bullies

When you are little and someone bully’s you, you are instructed to tell an adult. But what happens when you are an adult?

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of witnessing a grown man morph into a 12 year old bully at the self-check out line. After huffing and puffing for 10 minutes, he proceeded to cut me in my line and yell across to the woman attempting to use her several gift cards that she had no common sense. The woman had apologized several times for being slow and tried to reason with the man.

No one said a word to defend the woman.

After I got to my car, I vowed to myself never to be silent in the case if that ever happened again. Which, knowing the kind of people Walmart attracts, I’m sure I’ll have the pleasure very soon to speak up.

But I might not have to wait that long.

If it’s not a grown man harassing  an old woman in the check-out lane, then it’s someone with a bad case of road rage, or a grown adult making deplorable statements about others behind the safety-net of a computer monitor.

Seems to me that bullies are a very apparent part of adult life, just as much as child’s life.

Makes me wonder why we all can’t get along. Why does it always have to be a battle going on – if it’s not the war on terror, then it’s the fight against cancer. If you put in ‘the fight against’ into any search engine, you’ll be able to find an uncountable number of things we are fighting against these days; from malaria to depression to each other.

Not that any of these things are enjoyable, but is it human nature to turn things into a crusade?

But I digress.

I think it’s important to realize the power we posses in situations where bully and harassment occurs, whether it is at the supermarket, at work or on some social network.

Power #1 - It’s not about you.  

Bullies project. In the case of the woman at the check-out, the man was feeling tremendous anxiety. He was dancing around like he was in a boxing ring. Once the anxiety became so unbearable, he decided to throw his items down in front of me and yell at the woman.

You see, everyone, in order to live a fruitful life, must ultimately be able to acknowledge and accept their own innate vulnerability. While the other people in line had come to terms that it might take longer then expected to check out, the man rejected his own awkwardness and inadequacy – using the woman as a scapegoat, rejecting himself, acting on self-loathing and self-destruction.

While on the surface it might look like an act of domination, bullying is actually an act of desperation.

Power #2 – Understanding the Source

You may have heard that bullies have a low self-esteem, but this is not always the case. Most bullies have an excellent self-esteem. They may have a sense of entitlement and superiority over others.

A bully might explode over little things because they lack the social skill set and the ability to think in depth about a conflict. Acknowledging the bully’s shortcomings, focusing and forgiving these bestows great power over your thoughts about the situation.

Power #3 – If you’re a bystander, step in – or step out.

You have great power to help change the climate when someone is displaying control over someone else. In many cases, bullying is sustained simply by the silence of those who are witnessing it.

Removing yourself isn’t always possible, but its important to remember you have the option at times.


I think it’s imperative to by mindful of how we interact with others and if we falter we should realize it and ask for forgiveness. This is not only beneficial to others but our own health and wellbeing.

"Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life."

What to Expect When You Delay/Select/Decline Vaccinations: The First Year (Happy Birth Day)

This is a series dedicated to what to expect that first year when deciding to go off the CDC’s recommended vaccine schedule.  Also, check out the first and second post in the series, Before Baby Arrives and Discussing Vaccines with Your Partner.

Happy Birth Day

When I think back to the birth day of my first daughter, I can honestly say vaccines were the last thing on my mind. I had delivered her in a hospital and they administered the Hepatitis B vaccine, the vitamin K injection and the antibiotic eye ointment all without consent….though I imagine I had signed somewhere in the initial paperwork that the routine administration of these could be done (the fine print isn’t something you tend to pay attention to when you are in active labor and expecting your first child).

Though, to be fair, what did I expect? For someone to ask me if it would be acceptable? To list the possible the risks, the potential gains? Why it was being done. I guess that’s a bit silly – I mean, they have better things to do with their time then that, huh? To give them a bit of slack, it was my responsibility to be informed.

If that’s the case, why didn’t any of the other mothers tell me about it? Instead the prenatal period was all about the baby shower, decorating the nursery and picking the most adorable baby name.

who is at risk for Hepatitis:
-Healthcare workers and public safety workers with
 reasonably anticipated risk for exposure to blood

-Men who have sex with men

-Sexually active people who are not in long-term,
mutually monogamous relationships

-People seeking evaluation or treatment for a
sexually transmitted disease

-Current or recent injection drug users

-Inmates of long-term correctional facilities

-People with end-stage kidney disease, including
 predialysis, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis,
 and home dialysis patients

-Staff and residents of institutions or group
 homes for the developmentally challenged

-Household members and sex partners
 of people with chronic HBV infection
Hepatitis B – Your Baby’s First Vaccine

To begin with, hepatitis is a viral disease associated with precarious lifestyle choices (check out the side bar to see who’s most at risk). The virus has the ability to cause an infection of the liver that can have long-lasting effects. Though its important to note that approximately 50% of people that contract Hepatitis B develop no symptoms at all – with an  additional 30% only developing flu-like symptoms (after natural exposure lifetime immunity is acquired).

Now, for infants – this disease can be exceptionally serious and this is (normally in all cases) found when the mother is positive for the disease.  Now in countries that have a much better infant mortality rate, such as Sweden and The Netherlands, they only administer the vaccine to mothers who test positive for the disease, not all newborns.

It’s also important to note that the World Health Organization only recommends vaccination of newborns for Hepatitis B in areas where the carrier prevalence is greater then 2% - this does not include the United States!

You might say that the vaccine is safe, so why not be extra sure? Do you know how many safety studies have been performed on the Hepatitis B vaccine for infants?


A manufacturer's representative was asked in a 1997 Illinois Board of Health hearing to show evidence that the Hepatitis B vaccine is safe for a 1-day old infant.  The representative stated:
"We have none.  Our studies were done on 5- and 10-year olds." 
[The Congressional Quarterly, August 25, 2000, pg. 647.]

I know the vaccine schedule my family follows is not going to fit every, or any, family. If anything, deciding to delay the administration of the hepatitis vaccine until a child is closer to potential risks would be more mindful. In the very least, read something about it before agreeing to it!

Here are some great links to learn more:

Erythromycin Eye Ointment

Now, this is not a vaccine but it is something I would like to touch upon regarding the very first few minutes of life of your little bundle.

You might think I’m nit-picking but why not at least be a bit informed about it first since we’re doing all this other reading and research? Let’s have at it then-

Here’s just the bare-bones of it:

What is it?
Silver nitrate or similar, antibiotic ointment applied just minutes after birth

Why is this routine?
The administration is required (though is waive-able, but could include a fine of $5.00) in most states. This is on grounds of preventing blindness from exposure to maternal gonorrhea. Keep in mind that it is common practice to screen mothers for STDs during their prenatal care so if you don’t have an STD I’m not sure why they are administering it –doctors might be assuming you are sleeping around while pregnant I suppose)

Is there risk?

-the silver nitrate binds with the membranes of the eyes which causes irritation, swelling, redness and blurred vision.

-The antibiotics in the ointment enter the bloodstream through the eye – the potential for diaper rash, thrush, and digestive problems are all present when this happens.

The bottom line-is it necessary and effective?

According to the medical studies listed below (and in more detail here), that answer is no:

Bell TA, Grayston JT, Krohn MA, Kronmal RA.  Randomized trial of silver nitrate, erythromycin, and no eye prophylaxis for the prevention of conjunctivitis among newborns not at risk for gonococcal ophthalmitis.  Pediatrics 1993 Dec;92(6):755-60.

Chen JY.    Prophylaxis of ophthalmia neonatorum: comparison of silver
nitrate, tetracycline, erythromycin and no prophylaxis.  Pediatr Infect Dis J 1992 Dec;11(12):1026-30.

Krohn MA, Hillier SL, Bell TA, Kronmal RA, Grayston JT.  The bacterial etiology of conjunctivitis in early infancy.  5: Am J Epidemiol 1993 Sep 1;138(5):326-32.

Black-Payne C, Bocchini JA Jr, Cedotal C.  Failure of erythromycin ointment for postnatal ocular prophylaxis of chlamydial conjunctivitis.  14: Pediatr Infect Dis J 1989 Aug;8(8):491-5.

These studies “prove that the eye ointment routinely applied to newborns does not significantly alter eye infections as opposed to no ointment of any kind.  Also, there is evidence that the bacteria which cause these infections are not passed to the infant in the birth canal, but after birth.  Also, it has been found that a significant number of infants develop an infection even though they HAVE received the ointment.” (

Of course, it’s important that we all make our own decisions regarding the health of our children. I hope this little section here helps regarding the prophylactic eye ointment. With my second daughter, who was born at home, we declined this.

"Vitamin K shots are completely unnecessary
 for your newborn."
- Dr. Cees Vermeer, PhD, Associate Professor of
 Biochemistry at the University of Maastricht, the world’s
 leading specialist in vitamin K
Vitamin K

The injection of vitamin K to every newborn infant was a practice that began1950’s. The reasoning behind this injection is the attempt to alter the naturally occurring level of vitamin k in the baby and to promote blood clotting. You see, there is a rare liver disease (called Hemorrhagic Disease) that occurs approximately about 5 out of 100,000 births – the answer the CDC has come up with to tackle this rare bleeding trauma is to inject all infants with 20,000 times the newborn level of vitamin k.

You might ask yourself, is there an apparent reason why babies are born with a practically low level of vitamin k? Well yes, there is. The newborn’s tight regulation of vitamin k levels control the rapid rate of cell division (which is useful during fetal development). It has been shown the high levels of vitamin k may lead to cancer due to uncontrolled, rapid cell division. (This may explain the link to the prophylactic use of the vitamin k injection and a rise in childhood leukemia.)

If you opt out of the vitamin K injection, the baby will gradually raise their levels after birth by breastfeeding (colostrums is extremely high in vitamin k). You can also give vitamin k drops orally (liquid vitamin K9) which is a significantly lower dose then the 20,000x level of the injectable vitamin k.

If you are mother at higher risk of having a baby with Hemorrhagic Disease or if your baby is at a higher risk, then you may want to consider the vitamin k injection more thoughtfully. Those mothers and babies would be:

-Women on anticonvulsant drugs during pregnancy (for epilepsy)
-Babies that had premature clamping or cutting of their umbilical cord (this deprives the baby of up to 40% of their blood volume which includes platelets which aid in clotting)
-Women who had a vacuum extractor assisted birth (this often causes bruising and internal bleeding)
-Women/newborn on antibiotics

The administration of any injection into the blood stream of a newborn carries risk particularly infection; especially in an environment that contains the most hazardous germs (the hospital). It has also been known that trauma from injections during the first moments of life can jeopardize the establishment of the breastfeeding relationship. Breastfeeding assists vitamin k levels and absorption more then the synthetic vitamin k injection has been alleged to do. If you do decide on the injection, it may be good to decide to wait a few days until your baby has learned to nurse.

So, in a nutshell – I would recommend assessing your risks and your babies risks of Hemorrhagic Disease. The most important decision to avoid this disease would be to make sure your baby receives all of its blood by keeping the cord attached until pulsating stops, having a natural or low intervention birth and, of course, breastfed (just one of the countless reasons to breastfed).

I imagine there is a very delicate, complex relationship between blood clotting levels and a newborn’s cell growth. To go all ‘willy-nilly’ (sorry no other term applies here) and inject a synthetic vitamin in the blood stream (20,000 times higher then normal, a level chosen with no rhyme or reason) to alter something we don’t fully understand seem reckless.

Personally, I choose a system that has been in place for thousands of years, instead of opting on one that’s been in place for less than a hundred. This is your child and you have the right to be informed and to make your own choice – please exercise it!

Great sites to visit when looking for information on vitamin k injections:

Stay tuned for the next posts in this series!

References used in the Hepatitis B section:  (This site was used to gather ‘at risk’ group listed in the Myth versus Fact blurb)

References used in the Erythromycin Eye Ointment section:

Bell TA, Grayston JT, Krohn MA, Kronmal RA, Eye Prophylaxis Study Group: Randomized trial of silver nitrate, erythromycin, and no eye prophylaxis for the prevention of conjunctivitis among newborns not at risk for gonococcal ophthalmitis.  Pediatrics  92: 755-760, 1993

Krohn MA, Hillier SL, Bell TA, Kronmal RA, Grayston JT, Eye Prophylaxis Study Group: The bacterial etiology of conjunctivitis in early infancy.  Am J Ophthalmol  138: 326-332, 1993

References used in the Vitamin k section:

Linda Folden Palmer, DC. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association Newsletter, September/October 2002 Issue. Found on this link: (This site was used to gather ‘at risk’ group listed in the Myth versus Fact blurb)

Thank you

I have taken it upon myself to delete some of the prior posts due to insignificant citing. Please know this was not done to be deceitful or hurtful in anyway. My only goal is to continue to correctly spread information regarding vaccine awareness, home birth safety, and holistic family lifestyle choices.

I am excited about the future of this blog, as it will be completely backed by scientific sources, accurate citing and personal experience. Thank you all for your support.

I believe every single moment in life happens for a specific reason. It is up to us how to react to these moments.

Thank you for making me better.