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DIY-Make Your Own Flu Vaccine

Firstly, I would like to cap up this week with thanking my husband again for letting me interview him for my Interview With a Crunchy Dad post. Thank you hun, I love you!

Also, check out my cloth diaper review that I posted on Tuesday.

Ok, to the fun part!

Here is the funniest thing I’ve seen all week. It’s from our friends up north (Canada)  - Enjoy!!

Interview with a Crunchy Dad

Crunchy dads play
with tigers for fun
There are so many natural mamas out there spouting their views, experiences and information – but what about their other half? When searching for a “crunchy” dad’s perspective, I came across one current blog – yeah, only one! How sad is that?

Those natural mamas must be keeping those papas extra busy.

Last night, I gave my husband a break from my grand ideals to see what his thoughts were on some matters. Here is what transpired….

Do you consider yourself crunchy?

Dad: No.

Me: Is that all?!

Dad: It’s a true or false question, right?

Me: (giving a disapproving look)

Dad: Ok, just say yes since I go along with your schemes.

(I nod approvingly)

Crunchy dads sometimes put green
painters tape on kids mouths.

 Do you ever read this blog?

Dad: No.

Me: Be truthful now!

Dad: Ok, once or twice.

(I shake my head)
Crunchy dads are so slick that kids
don't even mind it

When reading an ingredient list, what non-acceptable ingredient do you look for first?

Dad: Partially hydrogenated oil, mono-di glycerides, MSG, artificial food coloring, high fructose corn syrup …

Me: Wait – I said the first thing.

Dad: Ok, partially hydrogenated oil then.

(I nod, and write down response cheerfully.)

Would you consider using my non-fluoride toothpaste?

Dad: No (very firmly)

 (I’ve been trying to get him to use my toothpaste for over 5 months now)

Sometimes crunchy dads even read
directions when putting things together

Do you think you’ll ever eat fast food again? (If so, when?)

Dad: After you Die


(I laugh)

Do you think it will make you poop?

Dad: I know it will; it did last time. I pooped six times after eating a Big Mac. You can put this on your blog.

(We enjoy talking about poop in our household. It always makes any problem or dilemma seem less serious)

Would you ever admit to watching the Business of Being Born?

Dad: Sure, I have.

Me: Wow

Dad: I only watched half of it though.

Me: Two-Thirds.

Crunchy dads use strollers to carry
pumpkins, not babies

What was you biggest concern over home birth?

Dad: Your jackass midwife

Me: That was your biggest concern?!

Dad: Yes.

(Curious about the response – read my Would I Choose Homebirth Again post)

Which cloth diaper do you prefer to use out of our stash?

Dad: The ones that leak all the time

Me: What?!

Dad: Ok, then say Grovia.

Me: Those don’t leak!? You mean the Bumgenius??

Dad: Yeah.

(we’ve had issues with the Bumgenius repelling, hence the leaking reference)

Crunchy dads enjoy giving hammock
swing rides

Why do you decline vaccines for your daughters?

Dad: The ingredients.

(hmm… interesting)

Did you ever think you would be fired from a doctor’s office before you met me?

Dad: No.

(he didn’t think this was funny, but I did)

crunchy dads let babies swing from
ceiling lamps

>>Break to tend to a two year old that wanted me to write her name over and over again with a purple pen.<<

Have you ever “worn” a baby?

Dad: No.

(I tease him a lot to wear the baby when mowing the grass. He never has to wear a baby since I’m the one that loves to anyways.)

What do you think about cosleeping?

Crunchy dads secretly like to cosleep

Dad: I disagree with it, for personal reasons.

Me: Personal reasons?!?

Dad: It has its benefits though.

(I bet the ‘personal reasons’ my husband lists for not promoting cosleeping is the same reasons why I enjoy it so much)

Do you know what BLW stands for?

Dad: No?

What’s the craziest thing your wife has ordered in the mail?

Dad: That booger sucker thing

Me: Ahhh, a Nose Frida. (laughs)

Dad: You should put a picture on of it on your blog by this answer.

Me: I already do – though its on my ‘Things I Love’ page

What’s the best parenting advice you have?

Dad: I don’t have a good answer for this.

Me: That’s honest. I like that answer.

If you could tell my readers one thing about me, what would you tell them?

Dad: That you are very passionate about your beliefs which makes you a pain in my ass.

Me: Hmm (smiling)

my other half

>>Break to bounce Charlotte up and down, do some tickling, and draw a few more letters with Elizabeth<<

Let me give you a word or phrase and you tell me what comes to mind first –


Dad: Common place

(Me: making weird looks)

Diaper Sprayer

Dad: Weird

Me: These are the first things to come to mind? You aren’t doing this right.

Crunchy dads don't mind being forced
into photo-ops


Dad: Yucky

Me: I don’t think you understand

Oil Cleansing Method

Dad: Wacky

Me: Ugh.

Homemade Deodorant

Dad: Crazy

Pox Party

(me laughing)

Dad: Stupid

Crunchy dads love nature walks

(I do not promote ‘pox parties’ – for me, personally, I would not purposefully seek out ill children to subject my kids to, but I do understand why some parents do it.)

Cow’s Milk

Dad: Yum!

Me: What?! !!

My husband has always been there to support me, even when I come up with some pretty wacky holistic ideas and plans – he has the courage to man up and take one for the team (though, there may be some whining involved at the beginning).

I want to take this time to say thank you and that I love you.

My Cloth Diaper Review

I love cloth diapers! Here are my reviews on the top picks out there – Bumgenius 4.0, FuzziBunz, and Grovia.

Bumgenius 4.0 (Aplix) 

The Bumgenius diaper is a pocket diaper which makes it nice to adjust the absorbency – which I never do. I only ever use one insert.

These aren’t the cheapest or the most expensive – they are a pretty good deal. I own about 20 of them, so it’s been an investment at a near 18 bucks a pop!

The fit is good on these because of the aplix – though they are not the most trim compared to the Grovia.

Drying Time
These dry good – but you have to re-stuff the inserts with is what you have to expect with pocket diapers…not too time consuming. I stuff all of my diapers after they come out of the dyer so I don’t have to mess with them later.

No stains! Though.. I admit, I haven’t been using these for longer then my other diapers.. so time will tell. Until then, no stains!!!!

When I purchased my staff, they didn’t have the most impressive colors – but now Bumgenius just came out with new prints that are pretty darn cute. I think I would still say that FunziBunz has a better selection of prints though.

These diapers are well made and I believe have a lifetime warranty – I like the snaps better then the aplix because it will last longer and keep a better look to them. I think I have heard where the leg elastic might come out of these, but it’s a sized diaper – I don’t think you would be using them for so long that you would have this problem, unless you use them on other children.

Best For: The Middle of the Night Change
I got all of my bumgenius diapers in the aplix (aka velco) which I kind of regret, but it does make changing diapers in the middle of the night its best attribute.


These are super, super soft and fluffy and absorbent. I use these as my nighttime diapers. I don’t even have to double-stuff them!

I spent around 13 bucks on my FuzziBunz – I got a deal on the old prints. Woot! 13 Bucks is a deal. Thank you Breastfeeding Center of Massillon!

The fit on these is a bit wonky. Since these are a sized diaper – not a AIO, I went with a medium which is somewhat big on my 7 month old. They are also pretty huge to fit under a onesie or pants. I use them at night, so I don’t have to put pants over them.

Drying Time
Super fast and easy. These are again, a pocket diaper – which is kind of a pain, but nicer to handle because they are so soft and fluffy compared to the bumgenius.

These aren’t bad for staining – I think it might be because they are not made from organic, natural fibers..i’m not sure. But it’s weird because the insert will stain slightly, but the diaper itself won’t stain. Weird.

Absolutely adorable prints – love this!

The aplix makes these diapers look more worn then they really are – other then that, they are made pretty well.

Best For: Nighttime Go-to
You can’t beat how super soft and absorbent these ones are.


These are probably the least absorbent – but I rarely ever have any leaks or have to deal with repelling on these natural, organic fibers. It’s just when I leave them on too long, the diaper inside gets really wet  - so my daughter gets fussy because she can feel it more.

The most expensive of the bunch – but you can sometimes get a deal on them if you wait for it. They run about 24 bucks each – that’s pretty steep, but in my opinion, they are well worth it.

The best, hands down. Super trim-the fit is the most like disposable, paper diapers.

Drying Time
Well, you win some and you lose some. Even after 2 hours in the dryer, these diapers can still be damp near the elastic.

These stain like crazy for me – and because I live in NE Ohio where the sun never comes out, I don’t get a lot of chances to use the sun to bleach the stains out. When I do get the chance, I definitely take it.

The new prints are just being released, and I think they have some good choices – I think they beat Bumgenuis but not FunziBunz in this department.

For the amount of money I spent on these, they should last forever. But they are getting somewhat worn where the leg elastic is, just a little – I think this is because I use them so often. These are no doubt my go to during the day.

Best For: Daytime diapering.
These are the diapers I use during the day and even at daycare. The side snaps are super easy in my opinion and you can’t beat the fit and trimness.

You can see that cloth diapers have their own quirks – and once you start to use and expand your stash, you we learn which works best for you and your routine.

If I was going to be stranded on an island and had to only take one diaper with me – I would probably take my Grovia’s – overall, I love the fit and the colors I have.

Hope this review helps!!

Crunchy Advocacy, Illustrated

If you've been hiding under a rock and have never read or seen Crappy Pictures-Illustrated go over there right now and check it out. That woman is amazing!

Here are some illustrations of my own ; )

Stealing baby from circumcision

Breastfeeding stranger’s baby

Stashing carts full of non-organic cow’s milk in the hunting and fishing section at Walmart

Giving newborn prefolds away for no charge at Babies-R-Us

Baby Ear Piercing-No Thanks!

Ok, first off – I know many loving, beautiful mothers that choose to pierce their daughter’s ears at a young age and they are fantastic parents - I don’t think any less of them as a person or as a parent if they choose to do so. I hope my choices in life don’t make them think less of me either – but here are my reasons why I say F-that to piercing my daughter’s ears.

1 - Numero Uno, Body Autonomy

Ok, I’m going to start off with my biggest problem with this – the issue of consent.

If you were to ask a baby whether or not they would like to get their ear’s pierced, the baby would most definitely respond with ‘NO’.

Now, parents do things to babies that they object to all the time, like changing a diaper or giving a bath – but the difference with these events and piercing a baby’s ear is that the piercing does not enhance the infant’s quality of life, it’s painful and carries significant risks over, say, just changing a diaper.

The decision to pierce or modify the body should be left up to the individual, especially if it involves pain and risk.

There is great benefit in waiting until a child is old enough to grasp issues of the cost, that there is pain involved and the required aftercare – they have the potential to learn personal responsibly!

Involving children in their own health care can teach them to be active participants instead of passive recipients of their parent’s desires.

2 – They Allow Guns in the Mall?  

Ok, I’ve had many, many piercing in my life (tongue, lip, eyebrow, nose, bellybutton, etc) and I know one thing – piercing in a professional shop with a needle is a lot different then at the mall with a piercing gun.

The piercing gun is antiquated and causes a different wound then a needle does - via a blunt end forced through the skin.

Not only is this much more painful, but it takes longer to heal and has a higher rate of infection. Infants have an immature immune system as it is. Why take the risk?

Piercing guns cannot be fully sterilized. Hello! These piercing guns are used hundreds of times – yuck!!

3 – Claire’s is for Accessories NOT Piercings

I’m sorry, but there is no way in hell I would take my infant daughter to Claire’s or some random kiosk on a Saturday morning, subjecting her to what a 17 year old girl’s weekend training certificate deems worthy of a piercing debauchery.   

Piercing should be done by a reputable expert who follows aseptic procedures. Period.

4 – Gender Recognition

Don’t give me this crap about how I want my baby to look like a girl. Babies are perfect and beautiful the way they are.

If you want your baby to look like a girl, use a head band. There are many fun and safe alternatives then a piercing.


A lot of my friends that are moms who have daughters eventually get their ears pierced before their 1st birthday – and I think these mothers are fabulous.

I just could not do it. It doesn’t make me right and them wrong – it just means I don’t get it.

Ear piercing of babies and young children cannot be claimed to be in the immediate best interest of the baby and causing unnecessary pain to a baby so they can look a desired way makes me scratch my head.

Ultimately, I exceedingly look forward to the day when my daughters come up to me and say, “Mom, I REALLY  want to get my ears pierced.” and then we can make a plan together to get it done.

Would I Choose Homebirth Again?

Let me first preface my response with supreme gratitude for two healthy little girls; my first was welcomed in a hospital, under the effects of an epidural and aid with an obstetrician - my second was welcomed at home, naturally with a midwife and my husband.

For me, I deeply believe that birth does matter (for mom, babe and family) and I will defend that. It seems illogical to think contrary.

With that, I can not say that I think every woman should birth at home. I do think the majority of ladies would be better off with midwifery care regardless of where they push (and research confirms this).

I would unquestionably choose a natural birth again and suggest others try for one as well if I was asked my opinion.  

With that, I have to say that am unsure I would choose a homebirth again.

The main reason I would be slightly apprehensive of choosing to deliver my baby at home for a second time is because although CNMs legally practice in all 50 states, I gave birth in one of the handful of states which does not regulate or license Certified Professional Midwives. (The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings.)

Because of this, I had to find a midwife that would attend a home birth through word of mouth and a few personal testimonies. The midwife I did choose was, in hindsight, was not the ideal option and I am positive I would not use her again.

Two other reasons I might consider home birth less rapidly- one, I would be pushing mid 30’s by then, where I might not be in the same low-risk category. Secondly, the nearest hospital that I would be able to transfer to is about 30 minutes away (and this hospital is known to be very accommodating to more natural labors).  

While I value the ways that obstetrical science has made birth safer for women with high-risk pregnancies, the thought of having another baby in a hospital is not something I would consider easily though.

If I did happen to get pregnant again, still living in this great state of Ohio, I would ideally want to go to a birth center with a midwife and doula.

I have the confidence that I would be able to advocate for myself and my child somewhere other then my home now (whereas I didn’t before) and I think a birth center would be an acceptable environment.

I am appreciative that I was able to have both experiences, in the hospital and at home.

I feel I understand better now then I did before that all women deserve to have access to knowledgeable birth professionals and they should have the ability to make an informed choice about where and how they choose to give birth.

"You are constructing your own reality with the choices you make...or don't make. If you really want a healthy pregnancy and joyful birth, and you truly understand that you are the one in control,
then you must examine what you have or haven't done so far to create the outcome you want."

Kim Wildner-Mother's Intention: How Belief Shapes Birth

Image Map

Outstanding Package Insert Quotes 1

I’m sure I have said it a million times, “read the package insert, read the package insert, read the package insert!”

Here are a few excerpts from the DTap, Gardasil and Varivax package inserts. All indented material is quoted directly from the insert which you can find a link to at the bottom of the page. Enjoy! I know I did.

If using a combination vaccine, such
 as Pediarix, then your baby will likely
 get three shots and RotaTeq, an oral
 vaccine, at her/his two- and four-month-old
 well child checkup.

 Photo © Vincent Iannelli, MD
DTap -  Pediarix (GSK)

(The pediatric DTap is administered to children at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 months, 4-6 years old. The Tdap vaccine is then administered at 11 years old and for pregnant mothers- check out this new 2012 recommendation here. The Td vaccine is given every 10 years.)

"The role of the different components produced by B. pertussis in either the pathogenesis of, or the immunity to, pertussis is not well understood. There is no established serological correlation of protection for pertussis."

14 Clinical Studies

The efficacy of the pertussis component, which does not have a well established correlate of protection, was determined in clinical trials of INFANRIX.

This could explain why there is a large population of vaccinated individuals acquiring pertussis. (this post gives several examples ‘So an Unvaccinated Child Got Your Kid Sick?) . The vaccine does not even attempt to lay claim in endowing “immunity” to pertussis. What a crock.


Now that's what I call a shot!

The number one warning and precaution listed in package insert (Quoted directly)

5.1 Syncope

Because vaccines may develop syncope, sometimes resulting in falling with injury, observation for 15 minutes after administration is recommended. Syncope, sometimes associated with tonic-clonic movements and other seizure-like activity, has been reported following vaccination with GARDASIL. When syncope is associated with tonic-clonic movements, the activity is usually transient and typically responds to restoring cerebral perfusion by maintaining a supine or Trendelenburg position.

Syncope is a fancy term for fainting – but don’t forget “other seizure-like activity”. The CDC made Merck add this to their package insert after being on the market for several years.[1]


Recipients of Gardasil should be closely observed for 15 minutes after vaccination. 

This minor change took Merck three whole years to put into place.

Merck has stated that these seizures are not epileptic in nature, however, even they have to admit that a faint followed by tonic-clonic movement and seizure like activity, which ever way they dress it up, is really saying in the broad sense, a child could have a seizure after having a Gardasil vaccination.[2]

The Epilepsy Foundation describes a seizure, in the same way as Merck is now describing on their new labeling as “seizure-like”.[3]

Vaccines have been linked to seizures as far back as 1950.[4][5][6][7]

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

12.1 Mechanism of Action

…safety was evaluated using vaccination report cards (VRC)-aided surveillance for 14 days after each injection

That’s what I call a long term safety study.  

8.1 Pregnancy

There were 45 cases of congenital anomaly in pregnancies that occurred in women who received GARDASIL and 34 cases of congenital anomaly in pregnancies that occurred in women who received AAHS control or saline placebo.

For pregnancies with estimated onset within 30 days of vaccination, 5 cases of congenital anomaly were observed in the group that received GARDASIL compared to 1 case of congenital anomaly in the group that received AAHS control or saline placebo.

(congenital anomalies included pyloric stenosis, congenital megacolon, congential hydronephrosis, hip dyplasis, and club foot)

8.3 Nursing Mothers

In a post-hoc analysis of clinical studies, a higher number of breast-feeding infants whose mothers received GARDASIL has acute respiratory illnesses within 30 days post vaccination of the mother as compared to infants whose mothers received AAHS control.

Friggin’ crazy.

11 Description

Each 0.5mL dose of the vaccine contains approximately 225 mcg of aluminum (AAHS), 9.56 mg of sodium chloride, 0.78 mg of L-histidine, 50 mcg of polysorbate 80, 35 mcg of sodium borate.

Interested to learn more about aluminum adjuvants? Check this out.

12.1 Mechanism of Action

HPV only infects human beings, Animal studies with analogous animal papillomaviruses suggest that the efficacy of L1 VLP vaccines may involve the development of humoral immune responses. Human beings develop a humoral immune response to the vaccine, although the exact mechanism of protection is unknown.

Hello! Might as well state, “We’re not sure what the hell is going on.”

14 Clinical Studies

CIN 2/3 and AIS are the immediate and necessary precursors of squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma of the cervix, respectively.  Their detection and removal has been shown to prevent cancer; thus, they serve as surrogate markers for prevention of cervical cancer. …CIN 2/3 and AIS were the efficacy endpoints to assess prevention of cervical cancer.

Gardasil does not prevent cancer, instead it was shown to decrease CIN 2/3 and AIS. Most cases of CIN regress and are eliminated by the immune system without intervention. Most (90%) regress within 2 years.[8][9]

Interestingly enough, the majority of women who develop CIN are 25 to 35 years old.[8][9]

Progression of CIN typically takes 15 (in some cases 40) years.[9]

Risk factors that have been shown to increase a woman's likelihood of developing CIN, including poor diet, poor personal hygiene, multiple sexual partners, lack of condom use, and cigarette smoking.[10][11]

14.8 Immunogenicity

The duration of immunity following a complete schedule of immunization with GARDASIL has not been established.

According to the National Cancer Institute’s website, Gardasil might only protect against HPV for four years. The duration of immunity is not yet known. Research is being conducted to find out how long protection will last. Studies thus far have shown that Gardasil can provide protection against HPV 16 for 4 years.”

The vaccine is administered at the age of 9 years old. Again, the majority of women who develop CIN are 25 to 35 years old.

Varivax Merck & Co., Inc.

No placebo-controlled trial was carried out the VARIVAX using the current vaccine

That’s reassuring.

no placebo-controlled trial was carried out in adolescents and adults

More reassuring information.

A boost in antibody levels has been observed in vaccines following exposure to natural varicella which could account for the apparent long-term persistence of antibody levels after vaccination in these studies. The duration of protection from varicella obtained using VARIVAX in the absence of wild-type boosting is unknown.

Please read that excerpt again – hello!

Elevated antibody levels are not from the vaccine, but instead from the exposure of wild, natural chicken pox!?!

And who knows how long protection will last in the absence of wild-type varicella.

Does anyone else read this stuff? I don’t get it.

Post-marketing experience suggests that transmission of vaccine virus may occur between healthy vaccinees who develop a varicella-like rash and healthy susceptible contacts. Transmission of vaccine virus from vaccinees who do not develop a varicella-like rash has also been reported.

Ok, so you could get chicken pox from someone that has received the vaccine whether or not they have a rash or not. Ugh.

Vaccine recipients should attempt to avoid, whenever possible, close association with susceptible high-risk individuals for up to six weeks.

(immunocompromised individuals, pregnant women, newborns)

Six weeks!

Varicella (vaccine strain)

What a joke. Aren’t parents administering the vaccine to avoid varicella. Not only did they get chicken pox, but they caught it from the vaccine!

Reye’s Syndrome

Clinical Pharmacology; One-Dose Regimen in Children

Physicians advised varicella vaccine recipients not to use salicylates for six weeks after vaccination.

Salicylates occur naturally and artificially. Aspirin, of course, is a salicylate – but also strawberries are extremely high in salicylates. Other foods extremely high in salicylates are: raisins, oranges, honey, and all varieties of tea.[12]

Indications and Usage

The duration of protection of VARIVAX is unknown.

Again – does any manufacturer have a clue?  

In highly vaccinated populations, immunity for some individuals may wane due to lack of exposure to NATURAL varicella.[emphasis added]

The hell with herd immunity – if you reach high levels of vaccinated levels then you might not be protected. So, in part, this is saying we need unvaccinated people around to keep kids who have been vaccinated protected! What a friggin’ joke!

Links to package inserts:


[1]FDA-Vaccines, Blood & Biologics. Information Pertaining to Labeling Revision for Gardasil

[2]England, Christina. Merck admits the vaccine Gardasil, can cause faints and seizures. American Chronicle. Jun 14 2009 The  

[3] The Epilepsy Foundation.Website. Glossary Page

[4]Baraff LJ et al (1988). Infants and children with convulsions and hypotonic-hyporesponsive episodes following diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis immunization: follow-up evaluation. Pediatrics 81(6):789-94 1988. Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine.

[5]Cizewska S, Huber Z, Sluzewski W, "[Prophylactic inoculations and seizure activity in the EEG]," Neurol Neurochir Pol 1981 Sep-Dec;15(5-6):553-557. [Article in Polish]

[6]Coplan J, "Seizures following immunizations," J Pediatr 1983 Sep;103(3):496

[7]Jacobson V et al (1988). Relationship of pertussis immunization to the onset of epilepsy, febrile convulsions and central nervous system infections: a retrospective epidemiologic study. Tokai J Exp Clin Med 13 Suppl:137-42 1988. Department of Neurology,
UCLA School of Medicine.

[8]Kumar, Vinay; Abbas, Abul K.; Fausto, Nelson; & Mitchell, Richard N. (2007). Robbins Basic Pathology (8th ed.). Saunders Elsevier. pp. 718–721.

[9]Bosch FX, Burchell AN, Schiffman M, Giuliano AR, de Sanjose S, Bruni L, Tortolero-Luna G, Kjaer SK, Muñoz N (August 2008). "Epidemiology and natural history of human papillomavirus infections and type-specific implications in cervical neoplasia". Vaccine 26 (Supplement 10): K1–16.. 18847553.

[10]Murthy NS, Mathew A. (February 2000). "Risk factors for pre-cancerous lesions of the cervix". European Journal of Cancer Prevention 9 (1): 5–14. 
[11]Hogewoning CJ, Bleeker MC, van den Brule AJ, Voorhorst FJ, Snijders PJ, Berkhof J, Westenend PJ, Meijer CJ. (2003-12-10). "Condom use promotes regression of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and clearance of human papillomavirus: a randomized clinical trial.". Int J Cancer 107 (5): 811–6.

[12]Adams, Maria MS,MPH, RD. Low-Salicylate Diet. Aug 11 2011  

The following adverse reactions have been reported since the vaccine has been marketed:

Clinical Pharmacology; Two-Dose Regimen in Adolescents and Adults