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You're Just F*ing Crazy

Holistic Parenting, otherwise known as “You’re just F*ing Crazy” by grandparents, some friends, neighbors and the occasional acquaintance...

In the beginning, I didn’t even know that there was a name for this kind of lifestyle or that there were other parents out there that felt as passionately as I do about the inherent connection between our spirit, our minds, our bodies and our overall wellbeing and happiness.  

For me and many other parents, this holistic belief has us choosing parenting choices that might abandon convenience and common practices (choices such as co-sleeping, cloth diapering, natural childbirth, home schooling, etc).

There are many diverse paths we all travel in our lives and each person’s journey we encounter contains a lesson to impart on us – this is mine and here are the aspects of why I use a holistic (“crazy”) parenting approach.

Connection to the Self

The focus on personal growth is the foundation of what I find holistic parenting to be. Fostering your own curiosity, confidence and happiness has tremendous effects on children.

When I know who I am and what my purpose in life is, I can help facilitate that in my children – empowering them to choose their own course in life.

One way I do this is making purposeful decisions - to educate myself and make informed parenting decisions around such issues as childbirth, breastfeeding, healthcare/wellbeing, communication, nutrition, and education.

Connection with Others

It is important as a parent to appreciate human dignity – it’s about learning the values of respect, simplicity, sharing and cooperation. How can we expect our children to share and be kind to others if we don’t on a daily basis?

We can do this by learning to be sensitive to differences, to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence (emotional or physical), and to learn tolerance and acceptance of others.

We are all, indeed, connected to a greater Whole – more then we will ever be able to imagine in our current state of humanness. How can we attempt to learn more about our interconnectedness?

Spread good.

Give something good to every person you meet; a smile, a thank you, a positive thought.

Through our connection and interactions with others is how we learn and grow in our own selves (while helping others as well!).

Connection with Nature

Children seem to be the best teachers when it comes to their connection with nature - their innate curious spirit on how the world works. Being a parent, we are blessed to have a glimpse of the world through their eyes.  

It wasn’t so long ago that humans and nature closely coexisted – meaning that our very survival depended on listening to and feeling our connection with nature (relying on plants for medicine, navigating with stars and tilling the land with help from animals to plant our food).  

Our advances in convenience and technology aren’t necessarily bad (there have been some truly remarkable things we’ve accomplished), though we need to keep things in perspective: we are part of nature and can not be removed from it without consequences (be-it physically, mentally, or emotionally).   

Looking at parenting through a holistic scope starts with walking the path of discovery with our children and participating in their investigation of the mysteries of life.

(picture origin here)

Why I Don't Use Sunscreen

Last week at the pool...

Mother-in-Law: “You or the kids need any sunscreen? We’ve got some in our bag.”

Husband: “Uh, no – we’re good. Everything’s taken care of mom.”

Truth be told – we don’t use sunscreen.

Now, would I willingly divulge that information to ‘Grandma’ – hell no. Sometimes it’s just better to pretend your ‘normal’. Though, you can’t trick everyone.
- - -

As is stands, the majority of experts (including the FDA in 2007 and the National Cancer Institute) admit that there is no solid proof that using sunscreens can protect against skin cancer.[1][2][3][4]

According to research, it may do the opposite.[5][6][9][10]

Say what?!

Let me clarify exactly what is known and you determine if using sunscreen is a suitable option for you.

Type of Cancer Matters

According to an editorial published (Feb 2006) in Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI):

“Solar radiation is a well-established skin carcinogen, responsible for more cancers worldwide than any other single agent.”

Now, this is true (from what we currently understand). But wait - the type of skin cancer is not clarified.

Why does that matter? Well, it matters for two reasons:

Reason One: True, solar radiation (aka, being out in the sun) may cause you to develop benign tumor cells.

The cancer that solar radiation causes is not melanoma but rather other types of benign tumors.

Reason Two: Blocking solar radiation may cause you to develop malignant tumors/cancer called melanoma.

Melanoma is the most serious and deadly form of skin cancer – it is malignant and can quickly spread to other parts of the body which often leads to death.

Melanoma is caused by lack of sunlight. This is because vitamin D (which our bodies are able to produce from exposure to UVB rays emitted by the sun) is very important in preventing melanoma.

Vitamin D production is blocked by sunscreen over a SPF of 8 

In the same editorial mentioned above, the authors admit:

“Evidence is beginning to emerge that sunlight exposure, particularly as it relates to vitamin D synthesized in the skin under the influence of solar radiation, might have a beneficial influence for certain cancers.”

Vitamin D, Sunscreen and Cancer

Why does sunlight exposure benefit us and reduce the rate of the more deadly cancer – melanoma? This is because sunlight (UVB rays) stimulates production of vitamin D in the skin.

Vitamin D has been
shown to prevent all cancers in women (breast cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, brain tumors, multiple myeloma…etc). The use of sunscreen with as little as SPF8 blocks up to 95% of vitamin D production.[7][8]

Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D is attained primarily through ultraviolet exposure alone. Although some foods such as anglefish liver, cow’s blood (no joke) and high-vitamin cod liver oil (HVCLO) do contain the highest sources for vitamin D – I’m going to go out on a limb and say most of us aren’t eating these foods regularly.

Combine the lack of intake in vitamin D foods and the habitual use of high-SPF sunscreen and you get a recipe for increasing your risk of cancer.

Carcinogenic Ingredients in Your Sunscreen

Vitamin A

Approximately half of all sunscreens on the market contain vitamin A (derivatives such as retinol and retinyl palmitate). According to studies completed in 2009 by the FDA, these ingredients are photocarcinogenic. This means that they become toxic when exposed to sunlight - causing tumors and lesions over 20% faster than if you are lucky enough to have a sunscreen without these derivatives.[9][10]

Other photocarcinogenic ingredients used in sunscreen are PABA, benzophenones, cinnamates, salicylates, certain fragrances such as musk and 6-methylcoumarin.[10] [11][12]

The Key is Moderation

The idea that sun exposure may have a beneficial effect on certain cancers is nothing new (dating back to as early as 1988).[13]

Where does this leave us exactly? Should we abandon the use of sunscreen and burn ourselves to a crisp? To do so would be clearly foolish because while some sun exposure is a good thing, excessive amounts can still burn us.

Clearly, our relationship with the sun is a paradoxical one: Sunburning initiates melanoma whereas long-term moderate sun exposure inhibits it.

‘All things in moderation’ is the advice of a Geek poet Hesiod (dating back as early as 700 BC). The evidence is mounting that this is very sound advice when it comes to sun exposure.

As we enjoy our summer, my advice would be the following:

1. Apply ample amounts of common sense as that what moderation is.

2. Use caution during peak hours (
10am-4pm) by covering up with light clothing, wearing a hat, using sunglasses, etc.

3. Check the local UV Index at the EPA website.

4. Use an internal sunscreen – astaxanthin. This antioxidant is more than 500 times stronger than vitamin E and 10 times stronger than vitamin A. It can enhances the immune system, helping to reduce the inflammation that leads to sunburn.[14]

5. Throw away your sunscreen. It contributes to cancer.


[1]Sunscreen and Skin Cancer – the Science. 2012 Environmental Working Group 

[2]Rachel Haywood, Peter Wardman*, Roy Sanders and Claire Linge. Sunscreens Inadequately Protect Against Ultraviolet-A-Induced Free Radicals in Skin: Implications for Skin Aging and Melanoma?. Journal of Investigational Dermatology. Vol 121; 862-868.Jan 2003

[3]Harri Vainio*, Anthony B. Miller, Franca Bianchini. An international evaluation of the cancer–preventive potential of sunscreens. International Journal of Cancer. Vol 88, Issue 5; 838-842. Dec 2000

[4]Johan Westerdahl, Christian Ingvar, Anna Måsbäck, Håkan Olsson.Sunscreen use and malignant melanoma. Internaional Journal of Cancer. Vol87, Issue 1; 145-150. Jul 2000

[5]Philippe Autier, Jean-François Doré, Eugène Schifflers, Jean-Pierre Cesarini, Anne Bollaerts, Klaus F. Koelmel, Olaf Gefeller, André Liabeuf, Ferdy Lejeune,Danièle Lienard, Marie Joarlette, Philippe Chemaly, Ulrich R. Kleeberg. Melanoma and use of sunscreens: An EORTC case-control study in germany, belgium and france. International Journal of Cancer. Vol 61 Issue 6 749-755. June 1995

[6]Johan Westerdahl, Christian Ingvar, Anna Måsbäck, Håkan Olsson.Sunscreen use and malignant melanoma. Internaional Journal of Cancer. Vol87, Issue 1; 145-150. Jul 2000

[7]Holick MF . Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Dec 2004

[8]Sayre, Robert M.; John C. Dowdy . Darkness at Noon: Sunscreens and Vitamin D3. Photochemistry and Photobiology 83 (2): 459–63.2007

[9]Sonya Lunder, MPH

. What Scientists Say About Vitamin A In Sunscreen. Environmental Working Group (EWG). June 2001

[10] Harmful Sunscreen Ingredients, Sunscreen Ratings. 

[11]Sarah Malburg. Hidden Sunscreen Dangers, Causing Cancer?. Environmental Working Group (EWG). May 2011

[12] Liz Witter. Sunscreen Ingredient May Cause Cancer.Your News Now (YNN). June 2010

[13] Matsuoka LY, Wortsman J, Hanifan N, Holick MF. Chronic sunscreen use decreases circulating concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. A preliminary study. Arch Dermatol. Vol 124(12);1802-1804. Dec 1988

[14] Sunscreen in a Pill. ScienceDaily. Nov 2007


"You're Fired!" - When Doctors Refuse to Treat Kids

 I have personally dealt with being 'fired' from a pediatrician’s practice. Here is some background on the prevalence, my experience, what you should do when (if) it happens, and why it ultimately may be a good thing.

Prevalence and Background  

According to the American
Academy of Pediatrics, 70% of pediatricians in America will deal with vaccination refusals.[1]

Although the AAP does not recommend exclusion of patients for refusal of vaccinations, as vaccine refusal becomes increasingly more common, many pediatricians have begun releasing children from their care who are unvaccinated.

A more recommended approach focuses on addressing a parent’s concerns and reasons for refusal and providing parents with information about the risks vs benefits of vaccination. [1]

If you have concerns about vaccines or any medication your doctor suggests, it is important to find a pediatrician who is willing to take the time to discuss any issues. In general, parents should consider the information that is provided by the doctor and if you have concerns your doctor can not answer reschedule the appointment until all of your concerns have been alleviated.


In general, doctors can fire patients for the following:

            Consistently missing appointments

            Refuse to pay bill

            Patient is non-compliant (refuses the recommendations by doctor)

            Seeks drugs for recreational use

Pediatricians or family practitioners that fire patients for differences of opinion may seem a bit extreme, especially in the case of caring for children. The doctor-patient (-parent) relationship has the potential of being very powerful. However, I do think there can come a time when the doctor and the patient (or parent) should have a frank chat whether they are right for each other. Why let it escalate to “firing” someone?

Personally, I think I should have had this discussion with the first pediatrician my daughters had. Sometimes the attitudes and beliefs a doctor holds is not compatible, creating an insurmountable barrier to the doctor-patient relationship. There are many other doctors to choose from – might as well move on to someone who will be supportive (not dismissive) of your concerns.

My Experience

Not to go into too much detail, but I had concerns originally with vaccines when my first daughter was born. At the 2 month-well-baby visit, I had asked the doctor what she thought about a delay schedule. She never asked why I might be considering one or if I had any questions – instead, she said she didn’t recommend it because it would mean (1) I would have to make extra trips to the office and (2) the child may become more fearful.

That should have been first tip-off that our relationship might get a bit rocky.

I obediently agreed with her and got all of the injections.

However, since that time 4 years ago, I became more confident in my understanding of the immune system. We decided to decline vaccines completely after that first round at 2 months. The doctor would say at every single visit that “she is vaccinating against diseases that can kill our daughter”.

Never once did she provide any medical literature regarding vaccines, information on the diseases themselves or other ways to enhance a child’s immune function – it was vaccines or nothing. Period.

After getting a very abusive voice message and letter from an office assistant at the doctors office. I wrote them a certified letter. I was done being treated like a zealot.

See the actual letter - 

Although the AMA informs doctors to clearly communicate verbally to the patient in a compassionate and support way when dismissing them from their practice – that didn’t happen in my case…we did not receive that courtesy. 

What To Do Now?

If your doctor fires you – you have a 2 options:

Try to mend the relationship:

If you want to go back and attempt to repair the relationship with your doctor, you will need to know what reason you were dismissed (which may or may not be apparent). Schedule a time to talk or you could try to do this over the phone.

Move on:

Make sure to get copies from the doctor who fired you first.

Regarding vaccines - before scheduling any appointments with new doctors, try calling prior and asking them if they support parental choice with vaccinations.

What NOT to do

Don’t get overly argumentative or aggressive.

Don’t ask the doctor that dismissed you for a referral. Your best bet is to find another doctor on your own, someone completely independent from the practice that you were at.

Don’t complain about the old doctor. It does nothing to move you forward. You may very well find someone much better suited for you. A total blessing.


I eventually did find a very supportive doctor, by referral of a friend following a similar vaccine schedule. However, I think I’ve grown into a better patient (we’ll mom of the patient) as well. For example, if the doctor wants to write a prescription for antibiotics, I let them and never fill it – instead of asking for the reasons why they think it might help. I don’t ask (as many) questions anymore. If I do have concerns, I research it for myself. If I did these things with the first doctor, my daughters may still be in their care.

But I’m very glad it didn’t work out. Funny how things in life don’t work out – and that’s a good thing!

If your doctor can’t (or won’t) take the time to alleviate all of your concerns, find someone caring enough that will. Don’t let the relationship escalate to a letter in the mail stating ‘irreconcilable difference’.

In the sick room, ten cents worth of human understanding
equals ten dollars worth of medical science.  ~Martin H. Fischer


[1] Rhonda Patt. Some pediatricians ‘fire’ unvaccinated patients. Charlotte
Observers. May 27 2012

[2] Steven Harris. “Take care when firing a patient”. American Medical News.  Feb 4 2008

Image Map

And The Winner Is...

Thank you everyone for commenting and taking part in the giveaway yesterday!

Here is the scientific way I used to draw the lucky winner....

Carefully place all names in hat

Close eyes

Viola! C'est Michelle Duquet!!

If you would like to purchase a bottle of N O U R I S H lotion - please check out my esty store - Or email me anytime

Pricing for each bottle is $7 delivered, $9.25 via mail order.

NOURISH Lotion - GIVEAWAY! Just Comment Below

Giveaway includes 4oz lotion -your choice of scent

In celebration of opening my esty store (NourishLotions), I want to invite my most precious readers to partake in a free giveaway!

Simply comment below to enter, show that *like* button some love over on my facebook page or follow me on Pinterest

Our lotions are made completely by hand in small batches. We never use pre-made bases or artificial ingredients.

Our lotions are ideal for sensitive skin, including infants. Just check out the ingredients: Distilled water, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, plant based emulsifying wax, vegetable glycerin, calendula oil, vitamin e oil, fragrance (optional)

Scents Available:

Southern Belle
        As rich and juicy as the juiciest peach picked straight from the tree in the Georgia peach orchard

Hollywood Starlet
        A blend of floral, apple, and fresh citrus

Noble Empress
        A blend of vanilla cream and juicy Bartlett pear

Tranquil Spirit
        A cool, fresh blend of apricot, geranium, cucumber

Barefoot Hippie
        Unscented. Great for infants, toddlers, or sensitive skin types.

I want to say *thank you* to my husband for his most awesome support and encouragement! Without him this would not be possible. He is my biggest fan - I love you.

Mirena - What Your Doctor Might Not Tell You

Mirena may appear to be the perfect birth control solution (and for some mamas out there it may very well be). I would urge you to research your options on birth control, ask around and gather personal testimonies – it’s a serious decision and there are very real risks and side effects associated with this medication.

Tight-lipped Patient Information

There is concern out there that patients are not receiving appropriate counseling before using the Mirena device.

Currently there is a FDA petition (click here: Mirena Awareness Petition) urging Bayer to publish more common side effects which are only listed in the physician information not the patient insert. This means that you depend on your doctor to be completely forthright with all of the information prior to usage (if you do not do your own research before hand). 

The patient information for the device contains the following side effects only:

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, infection, embedment, perforation, discomfort during placement, expulsion, missed menstrual periods, changes in bleeding, ovarian cysts.

The physician information for the device contains the following side effects:

abdominal/pelvic pain, vaginal discharge, nausea, headache, nervousness, vulvovaginitis, dysmerorrhea (cramps), back pain, weight increase, breast pain/tenderness, acne, decreased libido, depressed mood, cervicitis (vaginal infection), hypertension, migraine, vomiting, anemia, dyspareunia (painful intercourse), alopecia (hair loss), eczema, pruritus (itchiness), rash, urticaria (hives), abdominal distension, altered mood, hirsutism (abnormal hair growth), edema (swelling).

Although doctors are instructed by the manufacturer to disclose this information with the patent, they often do not. This is one example of why it is valuable to take the time to learn about medical procedures/interventions/drugs prior to use. 


If you weren’t already aware, Mirena is a hormonal contraceptive device placed in a woman’s uterus. This T-shaped polyethylene frame contains a steroid reservoir which holds 52 mg of levonorgestrel. Exactly how it works is unknown. [1][2]

Levonorgestrel is released at a rate of approx. 20 mcg per day.

Interestingly, levonorgestrel is also categorized as a pesticide.

Levnorgestrel holds the highest level of concern in Reproductive or Developmental Toxin category.

Per the State of California under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65), Proposition 65 requires the Governor to publish, annually, a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. Lovnorgestrel was added to this list in was proposed to the list in 1986 and was confirmed in May 15th 1998.[4]

Nursing Mamas

Levonorgestrel passes into breast milk and carries the potential to harm a nursing baby.[3]

If you are nursing – opt for something else.

Common Side Effects
(Info taken directly from Mirena website)[5]

Pain, dizziness, bleeding or cramping may occur during placement. If these symptoms do not stop 30 minutes after placement, Mirena may not have been placed correctly.

Mirena may come out by itself. Symptoms of partial or complete expulsion may include bleeding, pain and an increase in menstrual flow.

About 2 out of 10 women stop having periods after 1 year of Mirena use.

Your period becoming irregular and bleeding and spotting between menstrual periods (or heavy bleeding during this time), periods may remain irregular. Pelvic and/or abdominal pain can occur.

A little over 1 out of 10 women using Mirena will develop a cyst on the ovary. Cysts can cause pain and may sometimes require surgery.

Between 5% and 10% of Mirena users may experience:

Depressed mood
Heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding

Less than 5% of Mirena users may experience:

Vaginal discharge
Breast pain or tenderness
Inflammation of cervix, vulva or vagina
Pelvic pain during your period
Back pain
Weight increase
Decreased sex drive
High blood pressure
Pain during intercourse
Unusual hair growth or loss
Skin irritations (such as hives, rash, eczema or itching)
Feeling bloated
Swelling of hands and/or feet

Other Concerns

Long-term effects and congenital anomalies
Some observational data support a small increased risk of masculinization of the external genitalia of the female fetus following exposure to progestins at doses greater than those currently used for oral contraception. Whether these data apply to Mirena is unknown.

Breast Cancer
Women who currently have or have had breast cancer, or have a suspicion of breast cancer, should not use hormonal contraception because breast cancer is a hormone sensitive tumor...

Obviously every individual responds differently to medication. If you or a friend has Mirena and would like to submit a complaint online – click here.


[1] Pharmacists Coffee: Mirena.

[2] – Levonorgestrel.

[3] – Plan B

[4] Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment of California. Proposition 65

[5] Offical Mirena Website:

[6] Label Changes for Mirena.

Life is Beautiful. Notice It.

I don’t normally do personal posts, (you never know what weirdo’s lurk out there) but I thought I would invite you to have a sneak peak at my family.

We enjoyed an afternoon at the Akron Zoo. We had a beautiful time. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer! (Makes it hard to write blog posts AND work on your start-up etsy business on such awesome days)

Life is full of beauty. Notice it.
Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential and live your dreams.

Stroller free!

trying to decide what to check out first

Elizabeth's favorate - on the tiger of course!

not often do I get to capture Mr. Blinded by the Light

Feeding goats is hilarious, I guess ; )

Follow me Papa

Luckily this isnt' a real turtle, I doubt he's like it very much if
I sat on him if he was - not to mention Charlotte in tow.

Silly frog

very serious

This thing was creepy

Checking out the Lama-drama

Elizabeth's favorate

Charlotte passed out afterwards