Brain, Child...on vaccines...it's a toughy!

in this months Brain, Child magazine they tackle the very difficult question of vaccines. this is such a hard question for most parents and the way it is posed in their article is 'real life' and I can't help but applaud the fairness in that. the decision to vaccinate or not to vaccinate is one of the back and fourth questions of raising children and I feel as though I could go either way, we felt that as we are a family that travels quite a bit, we decided to vaccinate on a longer schedule, but hey...each person has to decide this for themselves, and this article will highlight the issues. I really liked the way that Sari Weston poses the question and then takes on each point, identifying the concerns for a new parent who has not yet made the decision and offers the space for them to delve into it further. I think that this is what parenting is all about, give me the idea and use your intuition to either take it further or trust what you feel is right, it's why I like the approach of most of the writing in Brain, Child...it takes a serious subject, condenses it into 'mommy time' (Sari put it best by saying " there is only so much science that a non-science magazine can cover").

I think that if you need more information a terrific book is the Robert Sears "The Vaccine Book" will give you a chance to look more completely into much of the subject. if you have read something that was helpful please share it with us! and thank you Brain, Child for taking on a difficult subject and bringing awareness to a controversial subject! (as always!)

click here to request a subscription, it's a good magazine and a good read, you will be happy you did!


salmon pasta!

with all of this talk about omega 3's I had a hankering to make my famous salmon pasta for my family tonight...this is one of those things that I vowed I would not share with anyone because it's so easy and every time I bring this to a party everyone goes crazy and loves it and thinks it's really complicated...but it's certainly NOT! so here goes....

SALMON PASTA - al'la nonchalant mom
preheat oven to 350 degrees

cook pasta as suggested on box (I like to use bow tie for some reason?)

chop a whole leek and put in bottom of an oven safe dish
take a small piece of salmon (we like wild salmon) and place on top of chopped leeks drizzle with olive oil (and just rub to make sure it's all coated) and add a bit of shoyu (or tamari) about 1-2 tablespoons. and then just move around your pan so that the olive oil that has slid off your salmon also coats the bottom of dish to avoid sticking. place in oven and cook however long your fishmonger suggests for the piece bought (usually about 20 mins, but could be more for thicker pieces).

when salmon is done, flip over and take off skin. flake apart with fork, but keep some nice chunks (the above is not my photo, I keep mine with much bigger chunks, but you get the idea!), and combine with the leeks. now toss together with the pasta and drizzle with some nice high grade olive oil, and a bit of salt...there you go!

you can also add a bit of broccoli for some more greens (I would suggest to steam separately) and add with salmon.

don't make too much pasta so it's kind of even with the salmon.

you won't believe how fast your kids will eat this...tonight my son ate his and then proceeded to eat mine...and then had a race to eat his sisters!! wOW!


more about kragh rosenberg....

I decided it's time to tell you a little bit more about kragh rosenberg as you see their collection on nonchalant mom so often and I just don't seem to get to talk about them enough! Mette Louise Kragh and Anne Rosenberg started their company in 2004, using their first few patterns and mixing them into amazing items for the home, womens, kids and accessories. Their ming/mingus patterns seem to have an endless life in remixes and flips of color. The influence is definitely Scandinavian, in both their print and styling but there is also a Japanese influence that clearly comes out throughout their collection, in both pattern and styling. Both Scandinavian and Japanese design are very essential and do not usually give way to needless frivolities...just the way we like it!

I don't know either Anne or Louise very well, which is unusual for me...I am pretty good friends with most of the designers that I carry on nonchalantmom, but somehow it just fits with who they are...through reading their press in most of the swank danish design magazines I have the feeling that they are a pretty sophisticated and playful duo...which gives way to their genius! whatever or where ever, their collection for Summer 2008 is much more colorful than ever before...and I really love it! ...and I guess you can say, we just can't do without them!!

thank you Kragh Rosenberg!

Tips and Info: Lyme Disease

this comes to us by way of a friend who has had some trouble with ticks and lymes disease, so I asked her to write something to help out when this question arises...thank you lisa!

Of course this dreaded disease is not common to many parts of the USA, or the larger world. But, it does continue to be a problem for many. Just in case you are in a region that has this problem - we thought we might share some basic information. Unfortunately, we know how painful and debilitating it can be. And, the history of the disease's recognition is also quite an interesting tale of struggle, should you wish to search out more.

Lyme Disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks (also called Deer ticks).

Your best bet is to avoid areas with lots of ticks especially in May, June and July when these ticks are at their most active. Ticks are most common in wooded and bushy areas or areas with high grass or leaf litter. They can also be found lurking about in rock walls.

When walking in the woods stay in the center of the trail to avoid contact with bushes, grasses and leaf litter. If your children are young and apt to toddle off to the side, make a game out of it. You, of course know your child best so depending on their world-view you may want to simply tell them where the ticks hang out and caution them to avoid those areas.

Wearing long pants and tucking them into socks is recommended when you know you will be in a tick-y area. As is wearing light clothing so you can spot ticks more easily and using an insect repellant with DEET. Of course you may want to research DEET before using it on your children. There are many new studies that are worth looking in to, we don't like to recommend it but sometimes it's really necessary and you have to decide where you are on this question.

If you have been in or live in an area where ticks are prevalent, make a point of doing a tick check at bedtime. Most children will gladly submit to this if you include a little bit of tickling along with the checking. Ticks like warm areas and seem to be found often along the hair-line and behind ears and knees, we have found them in belly-buttons! but anywhere is fair game, so check the whole child.

If you find a tick, breathe, chances are if you’ve been checking fairly often and if the tick has not been attached to the skin for more than 24 hours and is unlikely to have transmitted the disease.

Use fine-tipped tweezers to remove the tick by firmly grasping the tick very close to the skin and steadily pull the ticks body away. Throw the tick away and gently clean the bite spot with soap and warm water. Sometimes the tick’s mouthparts remain in the skin, but this alone cannot transmit the disease. Do not crush the tick or use petroleum jelly or any other products to remove the tick. If you’re out without tweezers you can carefully pull the tick off with your fingers.

Of course getting the tick out is the easy part, now you have to worry. Symptoms begin to occur within 3-30 days and in about 70% or cases begin with a rash called erythema migrans which is more commonly known as bulls eye rash. Other common symptoms include headache, fever, chills, fatigue and muscle and joint aches. In some cases Bell’s palsy can occur which is a loss of muscle tone on one or both sides of the face (look for a crooked smile).

Your doctor will most likely recommend an IFA test that occasionally gives a false positive but rarely a false negative result. In its early stages, Lyme Disease is fairly easily treated with a several week course of antibiotics. there are a few homeopathic doctors around that have some good results without antibiotics but you have to find or know of a very good one that has worked with positive results with lymes disease. so many people ask what do they actually look like so we included this pretty good image which shows you how small they actually are!

The Center for Disease Control has great information and resource guides here


new in design...nine to nine

there are so many exciting blogs reporting on the Milan Salon de Mobile, and I found this wonderful post on a new baby furniture collection from Spain called 'ninetonine' and as they are new you can visit a limited website here, for now they are not available in the US...but not for long I am sure you will see them at the swank shops around town. I just thought it was a playful way to look at a babies room, just like big blocks! they also focus on the longevity of a kids room and making sure the furniture grows up with your kids...it sounds so obvious but so often overlooked, and also a sense of humor...also too often overlooked!

this post comes to you from my visit to the blog:
kris's color-stripes, visit kris's blog here.

just one more note on mothers day...

I received this email from a customer, and I am sorry that I have posted it this late but maybe it's a good thing...in this way we can look at how we, as moms, want to take charge of next years mothers day and make it a day that we could be proud of and make our one voice sing together with moms from all around and stand up for something we strongly believe in. I cried when I read this, as you may as well, and not for shame of my day in the garden but for what this day could have meant for me and my kids.

This is the complete message that I received...thank you so much Margaret!!

Mothers' Day Proclamation: Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870

Mother's Day was originally started after the Civil War, as a protest to the carnage of that war, by women who had lost their sons. Here is the original Mother's Day Proclamation from 1870, followed by a bit of history (or should I say "herstory"):


Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!

Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says "Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

Julia Ward Howe


Mother's Day for Peace - by Ruth Rosen.
Honor Mother with Rallies in the Streets.
The holiday began in activism; it needs rescuing from commercialism and platitudes.

Every year, people snipe at the shallow commercialism of Mother's Day. But to ignore your mother on this holy holiday is unthinkable. And if you are a mother, you'll be devastated if your ingrates fail to honor you at least one day of the year.

Mother's Day wasn't always like this. The women who conceived Mother's Day would be bewildered by the ubiquitous ads that hound us to find that "perfect gift for Mom." They would expect women to be marching in the streets, not eating with their families in restaurants. This is because Mother's Day began as a holiday that commemorated women's public activism, not as a celebration of a mother's devotion to her family.

The story begins in 1858 when a community activist named Anna Reeves Jarvis organized Mothers' Works Days in West Virginia. Her immediate goal was to improve sanitation in Appalachian communities. During the Civil War, Jarvis pried women from their families to care for the wounded on both sides. Afterward she convened meetings to persuale men to lay aside their hostilities.

In 1872, Juulia Ward Howe, author of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic", proposed an annual Mother's Day for Peace. Committed to abolishing war, Howe wrote: "Our husbands shall not come to us reeking with carnage... Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs".

For the next 30 years, Americans celebrated Mothers' Day for Peace on June 2.

Many middle-class women in the 19th century believed that they bore a special responsibility as actual or potential mothers to care for the casualties of society and to turn America into a more civilized nation. They played a leading role in the abolitionist movement to end slavery. In the following decades, they launched successful campaigns against lynching and consumer fraud and battled for improved working conditions for women and protection for children, public health services and social welfare assistance to the poor. To the activists, the connection between motherhood and the fight for social and economic justice seemed self-evident.

In 1913, Congress declared the second Sunday in May to be Mother's Day. By then, the growing consumer culture had successfully redefined women as consumers for their families. Politicians and businessmen eagerly enbraced the idea of celebrating the private sacrifices made by individual mothers. As the Florists' Review, the industry's trade jounal, bluntly put it, "This was a holiday that could be exploited."

The new advertising industry quickly taught Americans how to honor their mothers - by buying flowers. Outraged by florists who were seling carnations for the exorbitant price of $1 apeice, Anna Jarvis' duaghter undertook a campaging against those who "would undermine Mother's Day with their greed." But she fought a losing battle. Within a few years, the Florists' Review triumphantly announced that it was "Miss Jarvis who was completely squelched."

Since then, Mother's Day has ballooned into a billion-dollar industry.

Americans may revere the idea of motherhood and love their own mothers, but not all mothers. Poor, unemployed rmothers may enjoy flowers, but they also need child care, job training, health care, a higher minimum wage and paid parental leave. Working mothers may enjoy breakfast in bed, but they also need the kind of governmental assistance provided by every other industrialized society.

With a little imagination, we could restore Mother's Day as a holiday that celebrates women's political engagement in society. During the 1980's, some peace groups gathered at nuclear test sites on Mother's Day to protest the arms race. Today, our greatest threat is not from missilies but from our indifference toward human welfare and the health of our planet. Imagine, if you can, an annual Million Mother March in the nation's capital. Imagine a Mother's Day filled with voices demanding social and economic justice and a sustainable future, rather than speeches studded with syrupy platitudes.

Some will think it insulting to alter our current way of celebrating Mother's Day. But public activism does not preclude private expressions of love and gratitude. (Nor does it prevent people from expressing their appreciation all year round.)

Nineteenth century women dared to dream of a day that honored women's civil activism. We can do no less. We should honor their vision with civic activism.


mothers day...what will you do?

I had some ideas about mothers day, because we usually like to spend it outside, and although there are always grand ideas, the best way is usually spending the day working in the yard or at the park practicing my t-ball game (ha!)... I always thought it would be fun to take a sailboat ride, do yoga all day, or even go fishing, but alas we are human so we keep it to reality! last year we went to the Brimfield flea market (this year it starts on the 13th of May instead, darn!) and that was quite an event, and I got a swank 3-piece 1970's denim suit...sweet!

this year we are planning on planting flowers all over our yard...just in case bee's need more flowers from our land! and then the big job...a garden! we have been part of a local CSA for the last 5 years but this year, I am going to attempt a garden on my own! yikes! (ok, we have the CSA in our back pocket just in case!) so that's my mothers day wish....kiDS...hoNEY...are you LISTENING!!

I sincerely wish a very happy and simple happy mothers day to all of you mom's and friends!! take a deep breath and just relax (even if there is not the time!!). I have noticed a peak in Margaret Solow necklace purchases...so I KNOW that some of you are getting something special...please share with us how you are planning to spend your mothers day!!


it's the small things...

sometimes it's the small things in life that make you laugh and smile the most! and when I visited 'the small object' that is just how I felt. I am sure you will see her things very soon on nonchalantmom but for now, check out her shop and give your day a lift! the small object is the cottage industry of a wonderful artist and crafter Sarah Neuburger, she is working out of her 'cottage' in savannah, georgia....and the more you read about her the more is sounds like a dream. there are some wonderful stamps for kids to play with, clothespin dolls, stickers, so why get scooby doo when you can have wonderful stickers from the small object! one more person that is just working on the small things in life!
visit her webshop and be careful you will want to small-ify your life!
her story is a wonderful one so don't be afraid to read the long version. my cart is full so I have to go and finish shopping!