megan's blog

In the News

Vaccines are in the news again.  Here's my view on why vaccines are such a hot topic:  There are "some reports" of detrimental events/diseases that are caused by vaccines, BUT what about the MILLIONS that have lived healthy, long lives because of it?  If you Google -medical journal autism vaccines- you get 180,000 results.  If you search without the medical journal part, you get 506,000 hits.  It is in the news because of a case involving Hannah Poling.  You can just read the story if you're interested, but basically the family is receiving "compensation."  But, here is a statement from the article in CNN.com today  

"The government has made absolutely no statement indicating that vaccines are a cause of autism," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a conference call with reporters.

"This does not represent anything other than a very specific situation and a very sad situation as far as the family of the affected child."

Parents should continue to get their children immunized, she said: "This is proven to save lives."

As a parent, it is actually a sad story.  I can't imagine Harry very suddenly showing severe signs of autism as Hannah Poling did.  It would be heartbreaking!  That is the problem with things like this-there is a LOT of emotion involved.  Everyone wants to do the best for their children.  What I found in doing my little research fling is that this is a complicated issue.  Take two hot topics, put them together and POW you've got the news reading public engaged.  I really wish I knew more about Autism!  I have a very limited knowledge of it.  But, the more I read, the more studies I found that show there is NO link between the MMR vaccine and Autism.  It's all very interesting reading, though, and anyone who is interested in this kind of thing can read any of the following sites.  I tried hard to look up credible sites, not just the average "hypochondriac.com" site.  I know many people are very against vaccinations, and sure there is evidence against it.  I believe it is hard for people to see the good of vaccines, because a parent may never know the exposure of diseases.  It's like saying, "my child was immunized, and I can definitely see evidence of a wonderful, happy, and extended life because of it."  It's just hard to pinpoint things like that.  So now you probably know my view....get your kids immunized.  I welcome any comments for or against!     

MMR vaccination and autism 1998 -- Roberts et al. 316 (7147): 1824 -- BMJ

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Misconceptions about Immunization

ABC News: Vaccine-Autism Fear Fallout Hits U.K. Kids

Autism Speaks, Statement by Dr. Geri Dawson, Chief Science Officer, Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks, In the News, Current News, Parents Speak Out on Vaccine Settlement

CNN.com - Paging Dr. Gupta Blog

Autism Information Center, DD, NCBDDD, CDC

Mitochondrial Disease

Birthday Celebrations

We celebrated our friend Lauren's birthday on Saturday and I thought it was a ton of fun!  Dave made the dinner portion and I made the dessert.  Dave did an AMAZING job on dinner.  It was one of the best meals he's made, I'd say.  At one point in the preparation, he had pans on all five of our elements!  He made a pasta with a lemon/clam/onion sauce, steak prepared in a special way with a creamy dipping sauce, fresh green beans provided by the Stacey's (thank you!) and some yuuuumy chicken wings.  Dave made the sauce, of course without a recipe, and it was such a hit!!  Seriously, they were probably the best wings I've ever had.  We went back and made it a couple days later to actually measure out amounts and stuff so we could make a recipe.  The recipe will be coming in a future post.  Here's a picture just to get your mouth watering!  You will want to make it!

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  I made a cheesecake in the new springform pan that David got for me on half off!  I have been wanting one for a long time, and one day he just came home with it as a surprise!  I must admit, the cheesecake turned out pretty dang yummy.  I just followed a recipe from the Philadelphia Cream Cheese website.  Here is the recipe. 

 

1-3/4 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs

1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted

1-1/4 cups sugar, divided

3 pkg. (8 oz. each)  Cream Cheese, softened

1 cup Sour Cream

2 tsp. vanilla

3 eggs

PREHEAT oven to 350°F if using a silver 8- or 9-inch springform pan (or to 325°F if using a dark nonstick 8- or 9-inch springform pan). Mix graham cracker crumbs, margarine and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Press firmly onto bottom and 2-1/2 inches up side of pan; set aside.

BEAT cream cheese and the remaining 1 cup sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour into crust.

BAKE 1 hour to 1 hour 10 min. or until center is almost set. Turn oven off. Open oven door slightly. Let cheesecake set in oven 1 hour. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Loosen cheesecake from rim of pan; remove rim.

  I just crush up graham crackers in a plastic bag, but you can buy them already crushed if you want.  When it was baking, it puffed up pretty big, but then it does go back down just fine-if this happens to you, no need to worry!  I topped it with thawed out frozen strawberries, and that tasted just great-no extra sugar needed!  It looks pretty too with all the strawberries on top.  You could also use pie filling if you wanted.  

 

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The Staceys are some of our greatest friends!!  They are the kind of people that will always make you feel truly happy, and your worries seem further away after you spend time together-and we ALWAYS have a good laugh together.  Andrew and David served in Italy together, and they were also in our married ward back in Provo for a few months before we all moved out here!        

 

Harry actually went to sleep pretty early (before we ate dinner), but here are some pics just for fun!DSC03322 DSC03323 DSC03324 DSC03325 DSC03326 DSC03329

Harry thinks it's really funny when we put this bowl on his head and lightly tap it with a spoon! 

Basement Renovations

Dave has been doing a lot of work on the basement in order to make it a little closer to a workable space.  It's looking great!  Dave spent a lot of time leveling out the existing dirt patches to get them ready for cement.  We are almost 100% sure that one of the patches was a coal bin back in the day, because there were black remnants of coal in one corner.  Kind of cool!

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Does anyone know what the little loop on a stake is?  In the next picture you can actually see the dust in the air.  This was only the beginning of the dusty fun!  Luckily I had a TB mask left over from when I worked at the hospital. 

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Dave found some cool little trinkets in the dirt, too!  A funky ring, a chunk of coal, an old belt buckle, an old (probably handmade) nail, and who knows what that little circle thing is, but it looked interesting.  We bought a couple bags of cement from Home Depot, and Dave went to town mixing, pouring and leveling a thin layer of cement over the areas that were just dirt.  We ran a hose through the basement window, and I controlled the water outside while Dave mixed it all up and set it.  

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Here is the cement.  It was a LOT of work for Dave!  There is also another patch of dirt that is about 2/3 this size that was also cemented.  Then began the sweeping.  This created so much dust, it is almost unbelievable!  Luckily we learned from the earlier leveling that we needed to turn off the heating system so our whole house wasn't a dust bin!  Dave worked his tail off sweeping the downstairs and did a great job of getting the floors about as clean as they could get-I'm sure it was the cleanest they've EVER been.  But check this out-this is the amount of dirt/dust that was collected by our shop vac.

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Seriously, that all came from our basement.  After the dust had settled from that, there was quite the layer....over everything!  We spent a while dusting everything off down there.  I don't like dust.  Not a bit.  I can't complain though-Dave was down in the dust like 10 times longer than me doing all the hard work!  Not only did he install cement, but he also installed a shop light down there that is hooked up to an existing light.  I told him he could do whatever he wanted with the electric system as long as he didn't burn down the house.  He studied up in the Home Depot book we got on basic household repairs, and it was actually a pretty easy process!  I have the coolest husband.  He is a carpenter (builds tables), mason (lays cement-is that a mason?), electrician (installed the light), and maid (dusting...he he).    And that's only what he's done in the basement!  He is the best!  He is very excited to be that much closer to a space that he can tinker with paintball guns, his bow, his tools....etc.  It is very exciting!  I know I have been somewhat of a slacker in blogging lately, but this week I'll be posting pretty much every day!   DSC03306

I just took care of Bug (one of Harry's nicknames) while Dave did all the dusty, dirty, heavy lifting.  Pretty lucky. 

Who does Harry look like?

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I didn't really search too long for these pics, and they are the youngest ones I could find of David.  I still can't decide who Harry looks like!  I think Dave and I look so similar that it's hard to tell.  What do you think?

Updates on Harry

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Look at those blue eyes!  Looks like a Mueller to me!

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Harry really likes bath time!

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Harry can sort of sit, up, but not for long!  Dave made this little fort for him, and Harry loved it!  We'd put a pillow on the front part, and he would kick it down and giggle really loud.  It was so cute!  He loved his little fort.

On a side note, my mom's hard drive just suddenly died-they tried to recover anything they could, but it was only 6%....and not really important stuff.  It was pretty much a total loss.  Luckily she had most things backed up, but still a lot was lost.  It was a good reminder to me to BACKUP all pictures, files....anything important.  If you need help just call us, and we'll tell you how to do it!

The Ten Commandments

Our Sacrament Meeting on Sunday was focused on the scouting program, I think in an effort to get members of the ward involved in helping out the scouts.  It was a nice meeting!  I liked one story, because it made me act.  Mike Little (just a few years older than Dave and I, 3 kids) was telling a story of when he was sitting in the cafeteria on OSU campus, and a random man came up to him.  The man offered to buy him lunch if he could answer some questions for him.  Mike said he was poor and would've loved free lunch (who wouldn't!), so he said yes.  The man said-write all ten commandments within 5 minutes.  The point of Mike's story was that he was thankful for good leaders and teachers when he was growing up.  In early morning seminary he had learned a clever way to remember the ten commandments, in order, and so within one minute he had written them all down.  The man was amazed and said that he was the only one that was able to do it that day, and the only one to ever do it in order (The man did this little quiz often, I guess).  This made me think, could I do that?  I gave myself a good review of the ten commandments!  Although I may not have been able to complete this man's assignment...well, maybe within 5 minutes I could have, but not in order! I too am grateful for leaders that helped me as I grew up and learned things not only within church doctrine, but for life in general.  After the meeting, Dave immediately offered to help out the scouts, which I thought was awesome!  He'll probably take them paintballing ;) 

Brrrrrrr!

Harry sure knows how to say "it's cold!"  He he....

Actually, it has been very chilly here.  It snowed yesterday and now it's just icy all over the place.  Life is good....we're all getting better from our colds and I've been able to catch up on the housework a little bit!

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