The Right Perspective

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Toddler-Talk Test

As I've mentioned before, my two-and-a-half year old has some speech problems. Thankfully, with a lot of prayer, time and a wonderful new speech therapist, Emily is starting to talk and it can be quite interesting. She is trying all kinds of new words every day which is tremendously encouraging, but sometimes those words don't quite come out with the traditional pronunciation, leading to quite the battle to figure out the word before she gets so frustrated that she quits trying to say it. (Thankfully her stubborn persistent nature is an asset in this.)

So I thought that I'd list a few of the more unusual words and see if my readers can guess what they mean. I'll spell them phonetically to help.

~peetee (not what you're thinking)
~pint (short "i" sound there)
~mitch (our personal favorite)

Good luck!


Here are the answers to yesterday's toddler-talk test. Thanks to all who played...Many of you got a few correct, so kudos to you~! The highest scorer was Skyepuppy with 6 correct and Bekah in a close second with 5.

~beebe........Blankie, but it sounds very similar to her version of Baby too
~sad.....Slide (like sliding board) but can also mean Sad (that one confused daddy pretty badly one night!
~peetee....Cookie. (Yeah, that one took us quite a while, but she can't say hard "c" or "k" sounds yet, so she substitutes.)
~bid....Big ("g" sounds are tough too)
~rotting....Rocking. Sometimes she tells me "done rotting, mama" before bed. So Chris wasn't far off...
~boo...Blue. Blended sounds are hard too.
~otay...Okay. Yep, we have our own little Buckwheat!
~fah-tsa...Pizza. Sometimes if a sound is hard for her, she'll make the hard sound, but substitute an incorrect sound for one she can usually make like "f" for "p".
~chichen...this is usually Chicken (sometimes paired with "nunnets" or nuggets), but can also be Kitchen
~mitch....Book. Why? We haven't a clue, but it's pretty funny to hear her running around looking for her "mitches"!

Now, who's ready to come babysit?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Merck to Halt Vaccine Promotion

Finally, parents' voices have been heard.

Merck, the maker of Gardasil, a new vaccine that helps prevent some times of cervical cancers by preventing the spread of the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus or HPV, has decided to back off from their heavy-handed push for the mandatory vaccination of all school-age girls. From LifeSite:

"Growing opposition among family and medical organizations, along with allegations that the vaccine was inadequately tested and had produced serious side effects, together convinced the massive drug conglomerate to pull back from campaign efforts promoting the Gardasil vaccine, Bloomberg reported Feb.20.

Among the groups opposed to the campaign was the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta."

Family and medical groups have been lobbying to stop the push for the mandate of the vaccine, in part because HPV is spread through sexual contact and is therefore preventable, primarily through simple abstinence. HPV is not a highly contagious disease like the mumps or measles, both of which have vaccines which are required for all school-age children. For this reason, parents and medical groups have concerns about requiring the vaccine for all girls who will attend school. Add to those concerns that the vaccine is still very new and needs more testing to truly be declared safe.

"In a statement to the press June 27, 2006, the NVIC criticized the Food and Drug Administration for “fast-tracking) the vaccine without adequate tests of its safety for young girls, and accused Merck of obscuring side effects that resulted from clinical trials of the vaccine.

'Merck and the FDA have not been completely honest with the people about the pre-licensure clinical trials,' said NVIC president Barbara Loe Fisher. 'Merck's pre and post-licensure marketing strategy has positioned mass use of this vaccine by pre-teens as a morality play in order to avoid talking about the flawed science they used to get it licensed. This is not just about teenagers having sex, it is also about whether Gardasil has been proven safe and effective for little girls.'

In particular, the use of aluminum in the vaccine and placebo used in trials raised concern, since studies have linked aluminum to brain cell death and joint inflammation. About 60 percent of those participating in trials experienced headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, or diarrhea, the NVIC reported. Among those who received Gardasil, more serious side effects included gastroenteritis, appendicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, asthma, bronchospasm and arthritis."

These are serious concerns, not to mention the fact the article mentions that previous studies resulted in 102 serious adverse side effects and 17 deaths. Clearly, more testing needs to be done before this vaccine is widely marketed, much less mandated, yet that is not what was being done.

"More than 20 states are considering legislation that would make the vaccine mandatory for all girls entering high school. Texas Gov. Rick Perry earlier this month bypassed the state legislature to push through a requirement that girls aged 11-12 receive the shot, with an opt-out clause included for parents who object."

I for one, do not appreciate the government interfering in my life any more than is absolutely necessary, and I most certainly do not want them to force me to make medical choices that may or may not be safe or appropriate for my family. In the case of Texas Gov. Perry, there was an opt-out clause for objecters, but many parents don't take the time to educate themselves on the risks of certain medical interventions, and if mandated, the vaccine could pose very serious risks to their daughters' future health. Wouldn't it just be easier and safer for everyone to heavily promote abstinence?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Lost Girls

I've tried so hard to ignore it. I didn't want to give in and take up space in my blog with a post about it. But I had to do it. The time has come to comment on the out-of-control nature of young female celebrities.

Allow me to first say that I have never been a big fan of pop culture. I don't personally care one bit about celebrities. I don't buy the miriad of magazines focused on catching celebrities in compromising positions. I don't agree with the tactics of the paparazzi who stalk certain mega-stars and basically make their lives miserable. I've also never been a celebrity (in case you were wondering), so I'm sure it's harder to live in the public eye than I can imagine...but still, sometimes these celebrities we claim to "love" need someone to tell them "Get a grip!".

Case in point: Britney Spears. She began her career as a wholesome Mouseketeer on the Disney channel. Then her career took off and she became famous for her school-girl vixen looks in her now-famous music videos. Men of all ages found her attractive and young girls thought she was pretty. Then her videos (and concerts) became more risque and overtly sexual in nature, using skimpy clothing and prop like live snakes. Next came the kiss with Madonna (hardly a wholesome role model for a young woman). All of these things show a pattern of escalation that couldn't possibly end well, and as feared, it doesn't look good.

Britney went on to get married and then have that marriage annulled in a record number of hours. Most people attributed this "mistake" to being young and in love and, quite possibly, drunk, but no one really thought too much about it. Then Ms. Spears married Kevin Federline, a young male who had already sired several children by another woman, with one more on the way. We all knew this would not end well. Britney got pregnant, had her baby and then made some mistakes that, unfortunately were caught on camera. (For this, I can feel some sympathy, since new moms make a lot of mistakes.) She got pregnant again very quickly, which probably wasn't her plan, and that's when (I think) things got out of control. Britney had her second baby and lost control. She was frequently spotted in nightclubs, very drunk, with her "friends" Lindsey Lohan (now herself in rehab) and Paris Hilton (caught on tape having sex, among other things). She was photographed not once, but twice, exiting her limo in a very un-lady-like manner, wearing no underwear. And now, Britney has shaved her head a la Sinead O'Connor. It's not pretty and a part of me thinks she has gone off the deep end.

Which begs the following questions: Where are her parents? Where are her true friends? Where are her children? Why do we continue to accept (and eagerly eat up) this kind of behavior? And last, but certainly not least, when will girls like Britney, Lindsey and Paris realize that unless they change their dangerous ways now, they will end up just like Anna Nicole Smith?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Check Your Peanut Butter!

This is probably old news for most of my 6-or-so readers, but just in case you've managed to miss it...the FDA is recalling Peter Pan and Great Value (Walmart) brands of peanut butter due to the risk of contamination by Salmonella.

"The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to eat certain jars of Peter Pan peanut butter or Great Value peanut butter due to risk of contamination with Salmonella Tennessee (a bacterium that causes foodborne illness). The affected jars of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter have a product code located on the lid of the jar that begins with the number "2111." Both the Peter Pan and Great Value brands are manufactured in a single facility in Georgia by ConAgra. Great Value peanut butter made by other manufacturers is not affected.

If consumers have any of this Peter Pan or Great Value brand peanut butter in their home that has been purchased since May 2006, they should discard it.

Symptoms of foodborne illness caused by Salmonella include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. In persons with poor underlying health or weakened immune systems, Salmonella can invade the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections. Individuals who have recently eaten Peter Pan and Great Value brand peanut butter beginning with product code 2111 and have experienced any of these symptoms should contact their doctor or health care provider immediately. Any such illnesses should be reported to state or local health authorities.

FDA's warning is based on a just-completed epidemiological study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the states and local health agencies, which links 288 cases of foodborne illness in 39 states to consumption of varying types of Peter Pan peanut butter. This report was provided to FDA on February 13."

As a result, I will now be throwing out the remainder of the Great Value brand peanut butter from my pantry. (I normally buy Peter Pan, but Walmart was out...go figure!) No one here got sick, thank goodness, but I'd still rather not play with fire on this one.

Now go check your peanut butter before you forget!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Funny Valentine

She's stolen my heart for two and a half years going on forever!

Blowing kisses to her family (above and below)!
I love you too, Emily! Happy Valentine's Day!

Emily's Snow Gear

As you can probably tell from previous posts, Emily has been enjoying the snow this winter, so I thought I'd post a few pictures of Emily "gearing up" for the snow. be a kid again!Emily's fancy snow boots...They light up, so she delights in walking around the house in them....with or without snow! Emily wearing Momma's snow boots. They're not nearly as neat (no they don't light up) but they're still fun to try on.
Emily, a tall, skinny normal-sized toddler, before all the snow gear.
"Super Emily" - Twice her normal size, but warm and toasty!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Punishment Too Harsh for Border Patrol Agents

Former El Paso border patrol guards Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean are in a dangerous situation. Both are currently serving 11 and 12 year prison sentences for the non-fatal shooting of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, who was attempting to smuggle drugs across the border into the U.S. The agents shot Davila in the rear end as he tried to run away from the agents who were attempting to arrest him. The agents then allegedly tampered with the evidence and records involved in the altercation.

As a result, the border agents were put on trial and sentenced to grossly innappropriate prison sentences based, in part, on the testimony of Davila. According to a Fox News report, "In exchange for his testimony against the two agents, Davila was granted immunity from prosecution by the U.S. government for attempting to smuggle nearly 750 pounds of marijuana, which had a street value of more than $1 million, into the United States on the day he was shot. He was treated in a U.S. hospital and is now suing the federal government for $5 million."

So basically, the drug runner, caught red-handed trying to smuggle drugs into the U.S. while also illegaly crossing the border got off scott-free, while two agents who were simply trying to do their job, got in serious trouble with the government. Now admittedly, the agents made some mistakes. No one is disputing their wrong-doing, but the punishment does not fit the crime in this case. In fact, it's a very unfair punishment. But the story doesn't end there.

On Saturday, border agent Ramos was beaten by other prison inmates (who just happen to be illegal immigrants of the Hispanic variety). Ramos' family reports that the inmates were yelling "Maten a la migra" which translates to "kill the border patrol agent". The conservative political action group has been actively involved in this case, calling on President Bush to pardon the two agents.

"Our government has betrayed these agents," said Grassfire president Steve Elliott. "And now they have put these men in mortal danger. I am frightened for the lives of these two family men. This is beyond outrage, and I am calling on grassroots Americans to express their outrage directly to the White House — demanding the president pardon agents Ramos and Compean before it's too late."

Representative Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) has also been involved. On Jan 17th, Hunter requested that both agents be placed in isolation from the rest of the prison population for their own safety.

"The assault against agent Ramos clearly demonstrates the severe risk involved with incorporating Border Patrol agents into general prison populations," Hunter said in a statement Tuesday. "An overwhelming number of federal inmates are non U.S. citizens who have been apprehended by the Border Patrol. The danger to agents Compean and Ramos was immediately apparent and the attack against agent Ramos could have been prevented."

Hunter went on to say, in response to the assault on Ramos,

"Placing these two agents in general population, especially when assuring Congress it would not happen, constitutes an enormous dereliction of duty by the Administration and the Bureau of Prisons," said the Feb. 6 letter to Bush. "The families of agents Compean and Ramos deserve an immediate response. Further, please ensure that segregation from general population occurs immediately."

Hunter and groups like are absolutely right. The punishment for these two border patrol agents does not fit the crime. It is excessive and based on the testimony of a criminal caught in the act. Yes, mistakes were made. But now it is time for President Bush to stand up for these two agents and pardon them, or at the very least request a far less severe sentence, while insisting on the protection of these two federal agents. It's the right thing to do and it's already been too long. It may be a matter of life and death.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Christianity Played Part in Super Bowl

Well, as my loyal readers know, we most definitely watched the Super Bowl last night, but it was not in high definition as our "nice" tv is still at the repair shop. (We've heard no word...I have a feeling that's not good news in this case.) We did however, bring the old 27" tv downstairs so that we didn't have to squint all night. The game was great and the win was wonderful. The evening was a success. Andrew is having a particularly good sports year as two of his teams have now won the top titles in their respective sports, the St. Louis Cardinals and now the Indianapolis Colts.

We obviously enjoyed watching the game, but it was the post-game interviews that struck me. I have enjoyed being a fan of the Colts because they are a classy organization amongst a sometimes pretty "thuggish" NFL. Players like Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison are hall of fame-worthy players, yet are clean cut, well-spoken, intelligent and humble men who are team players when so many others around them are in the game for glory and fame. The owner of the Colts, Jim Irsay and Head Coach Tony Dungy are also classy men who aren't afraid to express their faith in Christ in front of millions. And they did just that.

In the post-game interview, CBS sports reporter Jim Nantz asked Coach Dungy a question regarding the social significance of his win as the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl. Below is the question and response:

"Jim Nantz of CBS Sports: This is one of those moments, Tony, where there is also social significance in this victory, and to have your hands on the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Tell me what this means to you right now.

Tony Dungy: I'll tell you what. I'm proud to be representing African-American coaches, to be the first African-American to win this. It means an awful lot to our country. But again, more than anything, I've said it before, Lovie Smith and I, not only the first two African-Americans, but Christian coaches showing that you can win doing it the Lord's way. And we're more proud of that."

What a great testimony that is. But not everyone wants the world to hear it. According to a WorldNetDaily article:

"The Associated Press reported Dungy's comments about God in stories it moved on its wire service, but the Bloomberg News Service only published the portion regarding African-Americans, and edited out the mention of Christian coaches."

So much for free speech.

From the Mouth of a Mad Man....

According to a Fox News report, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is preparing to announce that Iranian scientists have found an "herbal cure" for AIDS, known as IMOD. According to Iran's Minister of Health Kamran Bagheri Lankarani, the drug has no known side-effects and is completely safe and effective.

That's not the only announcement Ahmadinejad has planned for his upcoming press conference on February 11th. The Iranian president said,

" 'The Iranian nation will celebrate stabilization and establishment of its nuclear rights during the Ten-Day Dawn [the anniversary of the revolution]...' "

Now unless I am sorely mistaken, Iran doesn't have any nuclear rights, so what they will be celebrating doesn't exist. Perhaps the announcement should have read that the Iranian nation will celebrate its persistent defiance of the Wests' regulations on nuclear weapons. That would be more accurate.

As for finding a cure for AIDS, I don't believe a word of it. I'm not sure what Ahmadinejad is up to with this claim, but he's far from a trustworthy source. In fact, the only thing I do trust coming from his mouth is the fact that he intends to destroy Israel and anyone else who dares to stand in his way. That, you can take to the bank. The rest is just the ranting of a mad man.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Bowl XLI -GO COLTS!!!!!!!

Classy Players
Classy Coach

Classy Organization

Very Classy Trophy
GO COLTS!!!!!!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Super Bowl Saga: Day Two

Well, I started off the day with a call to the repair shop. Sure enough, they had received the work order fax from Samsung. However, the repair schedule is not looking good. The lady I spoke with told me she would try to fit us in, but when, she didn't know.

So, since the roads are finally somewhat cleared, I took Emily to the mall for lunch and to play in their play area as we've been a little stir crazy this week. As we were heading out the door, my cell phone rang and the repair lady asked me how far we were from home. I told her about 15 minutes. She informed me that the repairman was at my front door, but she'd see if he would be willing to wait....and he was. So we flew home as fast as I dared and the TV is now in the hands of the repair shop. Emily was rather disturbed that the men took "her" TV "way!" In fact, she told me she was "sad". (It's pretty pitiful around here right now, if you couldn't tell!)

So now, we wait.