Prefense Review

I recently had the opportunity to try a new alcohol free hand sanitizer called Prefense. 

Disclosure: I did receive a free 1.5 oz size hand sanitizer to try. I was not compensated in any other way.  This is my opinion of the product.

What the company wants you to know: Prefense is a Silica Based Hand Sanitizer that smooths, softens, and protects.  It is effective for up to 24 hours and active through 10 hand washings!  This product is safe for adults and children.  This products has a patented formula that adheres to skin forming a proactive antibacterial barrier, wet or dry.  It contains moisturizing silica complex with soothing organic botanicals to prevent drying, redness and chapping.  It has been tested against strains of Staphylococcus aureus including drug resistant MRSA strains.  Has an easy, rapid, foam application.  It is colorless and invisible on application; will not stain skin or clothing.

Other sanitizers more often than not are alcohol based, only lasts for seconds, can be toxic and flammable (not safe for kids), washes off easily, and dries out the skin. 

My  Opinion!:  It took me awhile to actually use the product because I kept forgetting to use it.  I also have a lot of experience using hand sanitizer in the hospital which does in fact dry out my hands so I think psychologically I blocked my intentions of wanting to use the product without realizing it.  So, I was traveling for business this past week and was in and out of the car, eating on the road and of course pumping gas regularly.  I hate the thought of eating right after pumping gas so I gave the hand sanitizer a whirl.  It is fantastic! The foam was light and airy, it was not sticky, it absorbed quickly into the skin.  My hands felt clean.  There was minimal scent which was great.  The light scent that it did have dissappeared quickly.  I love it and I love the fact that it lasts for 24 hours because there are times when I am on the road for up to 5 hours and rarely get out to wash my hands.  Its great to know that I can use the product and not contaminate my stearing wheel, seat belt, beverage, or any other item I may touch in the car.  Im definitely keeping this in my purse from now on. I have no reservations about using this product. 

You can check out their website at

If you sign up to receive emails you will be notified of free samples when available.  Currently they are offering a drawing for free hand sanitizer wipes.


Doomsday Insight

WARNING: Very controversial religious discussion following. I am not posting this to irritate people but mearly sharing an article that I agree with (well, most of it). When I heard about this doomsday phenomenom this morning, I laughed. I think it’s hilarious that people are worked up over the possibility that everyone in the world will die tomorrow. Okay, hilarious is not exactly the word Im trying to express, maybe sad and pathetic is more appropriate. I figure, if it did happen, which I hightly doubt, then why worry? Everyone will enter the same fate and no one will be left to grieve. If it doesnt happen (most likely scenario) then the following article/opinion holds a lot of validity. I appreciate the fact that the author points out that the people who truly believe and fall for this nonsense should not be held responsible for their following but recognized as people who were fooled into a belief that is sought out to better themselves…please read on, Im sure Ive peaked your curiousity.

My Take: Doomsdayers show what’s wrong with all religion

Editor’s Note: David Silverman, an atheist since age 6, is president of American Atheists.

By David Silverman, Special to CNN

Let nobody doubt that religion hurts people. Good, intelligent, caring people suffer every day and everywhere at the hands of religion, the happy lie.

Religion is used by dishonest people who claim to know the way to the one thing humans want most: immortality. To combat fear of death, religious people ignore their intellect, believe the lie, and follow the preacher, usually blindly and sometimes to the point of insanity.

We are witnessing one very good example of this right now, as a group led by Christian ministry leader Harold Camping prepares for the end of the world this Saturday, May 21.

Of course, the weekend will pass without incident and thousands of Camping’s followers, having spent or donated huge amounts of money on his behalf, will be gravely disappointed. Victims will be broken. Families will be damaged. Lives will be ruined. All because someone made a good pitch, and followers believed.

Opinion: May 21 Doomsday movement harms Christianity

I am not sure if Camping is a liar, but I think so. He realized that religion is a great way to make tax-free money off the backs of well-meaning people, through donations to his ministry, all without fearing eternal damnation. You see, I suspect that he, like many others of his ilk, doesn’t believe in God at all.

It may seem odd that I would accuse this man of being an atheist like me, but rest assured that he is nothing like me.

Like most atheists, I’m a pretty nice person and would never scam someone out of his or her life savings or convince someone to quit a job just to line my pockets. The truth is that religion and ethics are completely independent of one another.

Follow CNN’s Belief Blog on Twitter

Consider how Newt Gingrich could campaign against President Bill Clinton’s adultery as the darling of the Religious Right while actually being an adulterer himself. Consider how evangelical superstar Ted Haggard could preach against homosexuality, in God’s name, while hiding a gay lover. And consider Camping, who can get donors to cough up what appears to be a lot of money in God’s name while ruining his followers’ real lives on Earth.

These are not people who fear God or hell. In my opinion, they know very well that gods are myths. They are just bad people. Atheists have bad people, too, the worst of whom feign religion for their own personal gain.

Next week, Camping’s victims will ask our forgiveness for being so foolish, and we will forgive them, because we’ve all done stupid things. They will ask for money and we will help them, because most people are charitable.

And then Camping victims will ask us to forget all about this whole ugly scam. That is something we must never do.

We must remember that Camping, atheist or not, is no different from any other preacher. Religion thrives on fear–the constant threat of any-time-now Judgment Day coupled with eternal punishment in hell for those who don’t believe strongly enough.

Since rational minds question irrational things, believers constantly have doubts, and therefore fear that they don’t have enough faith to pass muster during the eventual Rapture, when the righteous will be saved and the unrighteous will be damned. Fear of hell makes believers desperate to ease those doubts so they can be sure to get into heaven. It’s a recipe for fear-based obedience, which is exactly what religion craves.

It’s the method used by Camping, and by the rest of Christianity, too.

If we forget about Camping, this apocalyptic madness will happen again. Next year is 2012 and, just as was supposed to happen in 2011, 2004, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1997, 1994 and other years that the world is supposed to end, according to one religion or another.

What will we do in 2012? Will we sit still while preachers take advantage of the gullible again? Will we refrain from confronting the fools and continue to revere religion? Or will we, as a society, demand that people use their intellect and pay attention to their preachers, priests, rabbis or mullahs and see them as the scammers they really are?

This weekend, preachers from coast to coast will talk about why they are right and Camping is wrong, and I ask you all to listen closely. They will try to justify why one interpretation of the Bible (theirs) is right while the others are wrong. In the end, they are all interpreting the “perfect word of God” in their own imperfect way so that God agrees with their own agenda. It’s obvious if you look for it; no preacher ever says “God disagrees with me.”

Yes, this weekend we will giggle at the fools who follow the preachers that earn their living spreading happy lies. Religion will have been proven wrong yet again.

But we all must remember that people have been hurt this weekend. We hope the victims of this year’s end-of-the-world will lift themselves back up, dust themselves off, and come out of this as better, less gullible people. Hopefully, they will use their experience to help others avoid future scams by shouting loudly at tomorrow’s victims, without fear of being irreverent about something which deserves no reverence at all.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of David Silverman.

Posted by: Dan Gilgoff – CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Prenatal Exams took away the beauty of being Pregnant~ Sound familiar

Another fabulous article I found on

I found that I was always very excited to go to my appointment to learn about my little one growing inside my belly but I also found myself very dissapointed with the level of care I was receiving.  Maybe I had rediculous expectations for an OB but I still felt that the doctor should spend more than 10-15 minutes answering my questions and reassuring me that I was strong and capable enough to labor efficiently…oh,  yeah, I never did get that reassurance.  I think women just need to feel empowered by their decisions and have support from the people who accompany the birth.  Happy Reading.

“Prenatal Exams Took Away From The Beauty Of Being Pregnant”

Posted by MonicaBielanko on May 15th, 2011 at 12:15 pm
freebirth Prenatal Exams Took Away From The Beauty Of Being PregnantAn unassisted childbirth. No doctor, no midwife, no nothing…

I come from a long line of pioneer women who routinely gave birth alongside the wagon trail, or in the back of a wagon, for that matter. It wasn’t a choice, it was how it had to be done.

Now, hundreds of couples around the world are choosing the experience. Not necessarily in a wagon, but alone. No doctor, no midwife, no medical intervention, a completely unassisted childbirth, and they call themselves freebirthers. They say it’s healthier physically and psychologically for the baby to enter a calm environment without the glare of hospital lights and intrusive doctors.

In the book Get Me Out by Randi Hutter Epstein some freebirthers explain their choice:

Matthew Jasper had never heard anything about do-it-yourself deliveries, but after the relatively easy births of his first two children, he said to his wife, “Next time why don’t we do this by ourselves.” And so they did. Athena Burke, another freebirther, moved from Boston to Rural Petersburgh, New York, to give birth to her first child in a ten in her backyard so he could “be born among the big hug of the mountains and listening to the birds and water flowing as his first sounds”. Natalie Picone-Louro said she “opted out of prenatal care because I trusted my body. I didn’t want the whole peeing in a cup, doing the heart rate, it all seemed so unnecessary. Prenatal exams took away from the beauty of being pregnant and I wanted to be in control.” Her toddler, Trinity, watched.

Such a warm cozy affair, no? Wait! Did she just say “prenatal exams took away from the beauty of being pregnant”? An odd statement considering millions of women all over the world are desperate for access to maternity healthcare.

Do-it-yourself deliveries are not illegal because it’s impossible to prove a woman intentionally chose that path. In fact, according to Get Me Out, in some states, like New York, it’s illegal to give birth with an unlicensed midwife but not by yourself.

As explained by author and doctor, Randi Epsein, M.D., the fundamental philosophy behind freebirthing is that women would give birth more easily if they just relaxed and weren’t surrounded by all the medical monitoring madness of doctors and yes, even midwives.

A simple search around the web shows a preponderance of freebirther websites where women write about the rush when a baby hits their G-spot. In an article on Ruth Claire writes how she was shocked by the “sensation of sexual ecstasy, the voluptuous feeling of penetration….Crouched on my knees on a little afghan, I caught the infant who rushed from my vagina into the small world between my legs, in the midst of an extraordinary orgasm from the inside out.”

Not all freebirthers are having orgasms, but a popular theory among them is that the baby should be brought into the world the same way it was conceived – between two lovers. I don’t really see the connection, but Epstein says freebirthers explain it thusly: “Think of it the other way around. Try making a baby in a hospital bed with physicians and medical students watching and commenting. Or imagine having sex in a hospital surrounded by hospital personnel and machinery and having sex at home in a candle-lit bedroom. Take away the drugs and the machinery, take away the watchful concerned eyes, take away the fear, and a whole new world opens up to us.”

Although some freebirthers just see no reason for doctors or midwives others in the do-it-yourself movement have made the choice as an indictment of maternity care as a whole. Sick of medical interventions, these women are willing to go to extremes to have the kind of birth they want. But that’s just it – the kind of birth THEY want. What about the baby?

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists is against all home births, even with a midwife. Freebirthers would reply that stress and doctors cause problems and prenatal visits are useless. So the real question becomes how often do things go wrong when doctors and nurses aren’t around? No one knows. There aren’t reliable statistics. But if there is a small risk, wouldn’t you want help nearby?

Laura Shanley, a freebirther and author of the book Unassisted Childbirth, had a baby five weeks premature that died after delivery. She believes the baby, who had a congenital heart defect, would have died despite hospital care and suggests the baby was better off dying peacefully at home rather than hooked up to hospital machinery for a few extra weeks of “life”.

From Shanley’s website:

Over the course of the next several hours, he nursed and slept. My boys woke up, David came home, and everyone was excited to meet our new baby.

At some point I decided to change his diaper. I picked him up, laid him on my bed and realized something was wrong. His eyes stayed closed and he didn’t move at all. We called the paramedics but they were unable to revive him. Efforts by the doctors in the emergency room were also unsuccessful. Our little one was gone.

An autopsy was done, and several days later, the coroner explained to me that our baby’s body had never developed properly. He had a congenital heart defect, influenza, pneumonia, and sepsis. The coroner also said that the defect was severe enough that he didn’t feel Nicholas would have survived regardless of where he had been born.

Are freebirthers onto something? Are they trailblazers sticking it to a medical community trying to interfere and milk mothers out of every last cent? Or are they taking unnecessary risks with their child’s life to chase some crunchy, hippie fantasy of their own? Do their children have a right to have access to medical care?

What do you think?

Ever wonder where the US stands on best/worst places to be a mommy?

Another great article from  You will find the rankings of many countries.  US is #31 under the worst places to be a mommy.  Read the article below for more details.

Where’s The Best Place To Be A Mother? And Where’s The Worst?

Posted by ceridwen on May 3rd, 2011 at 9:57 pm

SOWM2011 Photo Home 254x300 Wheres The Best Place To Be A Mother? And Wheres The Worst? Save The Children has released this year’s State of the World’s Mothers report which ranks countries according to where it’s best and worst to be a mother. Number one? Norway. Number two? Australia. The last place you’d want to be a mother? Afghanistan. In fact, women in Afghanistan are 200 times more likely to die giving birth than as the result of gun fire or bombing. The US ranks #31 of 43 developed countries and comes in last place for maternal mortality in the entire developed world. Sigh.

The overall rankings are based on factors such as women’s health and life expectancy, educational, economic and political status, as well as children’s health and education. Specifically they looked at things like maternal mortality, maternity benefits, percentage of women using modern contraception, under-5 mortality rate and ratio of male to female earnings.

Here’s the list:

These are the 43 Developed Nations included in the report, in order from best to worst:
New Zealand
United Kingdom
Czech Republic
United States (#31)
Russian federation
Moldova, Republic of
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Here are the ten lowest ranking countries in the world:

Central African Republic
DR congo

I want to quote extensively here because it’s important for Americans to understand why we’re so far behind other developed countries. Here’s the FAQ section from the report that addresses the US:

“Why doesn’t the United States do better in the rankings? The United States ranked 31st this year based on several factors:”

One of the key indicators used to calculate well- being for mothers is lifetime risk of maternal mortality. The United States’ rate for maternal mortality is 1 in 2,100 – the highest of any industrialized nation. In fact, only three Tier I developed countries – Albania, the Russian Federation and Moldova – performed worse than the United States on this indicator. A woman in the U.S. is more than 7 times as likely as a woman in Italy or Ireland to die from pregnancy-related causes and her risk of maternal death is 15-fold that of a woman in Greece.

Similarly, the United States does not do as well as most other developed countries with regard to under-5 mortality. The U.S. under-5 mortality rate is 8 per 1,000 births. This is on par with rates in Latvia. Forty countries performed better than the U.S. on this indicator. At this rate, a child in the U.S. is more than twice as likely as a child in Finland, Greece, Iceland, Japan, Luxembourg, Nor- way, Slovenia, Singapore or Sweden to die before reaching age 5.

Only 58 percent of children in the United States are enrolled in preschool – making it the fifth lowest country in the developed world on this indicator.

The United States has the least generous maternity leave policy – both in terms of duration and percent of wages paid – of any wealthy nation.

The United States is also lagging behind with regard to the political status of women. Only 17 percent of congressional seats are held by women, compared to 45 percent in Sweden and 43 percent in Iceland.

The report comes out in time for Mother’s Day and in conjunction with a huge, important awareness-raising campaign involving several organizations, including the Gates Foundation and Every Mother Counts, about the risks mothers and children are facing all over the world. Obviously there are many, many countries in far worse shape than America, but given all of our resources it’s disturbing that we rank so low. Maybe this Mother’s Day, after we treat the mothers in our own families to some extra love, we can all donate even a small amount of money to Save The Children or another organization seeking to help conditions for mothers and babies all over the world. This report also shows that countries receiving aid do show improvement. As for how to solve our problems back home, that”ll require another post….or a hundred posts. And a prayer.

GVSU MSW Graduation Hooding Ceremony

I wanted to share this very special speech my friend, Dianna wrote for our graduation hooding ceremony.  It is slightly referenced in my Tiny Prints post.

Welcome Grand Valley MSW students, a special welcome to those from Soo Saint Marie. We welcome our families, babies, and friends. We welcome Dean Grant, and members of the Grand Valley faculty. We also welcome anyone else who traveled to God’s country on this gorgeous day to be a part of this hooding ceremony. whew–I think that should cover everyone. there are a few things that are possible in the next five to ten minutes. Usually, when I perform as a public speaker, I often have, what my friend Dolly calls, “a gratitude attack” because I cry with tears of joy. Sometimes I swear…though I don’t do that as often since I left construction and began studying social work and if it does happen, it will be spontaneous, because I took all the swear words out of the written copy. Most importantly, I promise not to talk all afternoon. Brevity, as my classmates know, is difficult for me at best when I am the center of attention. I am well aware that on such a day of celebration, that you would like to hear is a speech that is inspirational,…yet short. There are a total of 935 words in this talk, and you have already heard 210 of them.

Well, here we are. Wow. Did you know that you can buy graduation speeches on the internet for $ 20.00? Of course, not one of them said what I want to say today, and none of them could describe what has happened to any of us in the last three years. So I decided to write my own.

In our first class, Fall of 2008, there were 27 new master’s of social work students in the Traverse City cohort. Professor O came the University Center from Grand Valley’s campus to teach Cultural Competency. She taught us about the “lens” that we see others through, how diversity is a blessing, about the similarities and differences between cultures and the importance of being aware of them. These are all very important lessons to learn as future social workers… to be sure,…but the one thing that she said that has stayed with many of us is “this program is going to change you. You will go through many life experiences together during the next three years.” Now, being on the other end of that, I would say she was right.

There have been external changes–many of our families look very different than they did when we started. In the Traverse City cohort, there have been seven babies born. SEVEN. BABIES. You were in grad school people, how the heck did you find the time to make THAT happen?

Two very strong women that were not yet aware of that, became empowered and left unhealthy marriages and filed for divorce. Two of us have exchanged wedding vows with our beloveds. Three of us are engaged to do the same thing in the future. Did I mention SEVEN babies?? There are only 18 of us and one is a male…seven babies is extraordinary! Some of us, on the other hand, have faced an empty nest. Others have bought and sold houses, vehicles and businesses. I for one haven’t cut my hair since I started grad school…and neither has Adam. A lot has changed, and we’ve gone from 27 students to 18 Traverse City students who are being hooded today. 36 total MSW students when we count SSM. 36 very different people from those who started in 2008.

Alisha said recently in her blog, “I expected to show up for class once a week and learn about social work theory and practice.” We all did that, of course, but I’m not sure that any of us were prepared for the internal change that has occurred. Graduate school has showed us what we are made of, whether we are nursing a baby with one arm and typing a paper with the other, pushing through exhaustion beyond our wildest expectation in order to finish a project, or continuing this program despite the deaths of family members, births of babies, cancer or other medical trauma…, and change. For some of us, a Masters degree seemed out of reach, and yet here we are. For others, they’ve known always that they wanted to be social workers and this is an end goal. For others, a doctoral program is in the future. Regardless, this journey, this program and brought us to this time, this place, right now. Somehow we have juggled jobs, internships, children, school work, and managed to sustain relationships. Somehow we still have some…, and I repeat SOME,…semblance of sanity. Some of us have even had some fun. (Seven babies.) This program has changed me. Sitting in class once a week with classmates and Grand Valley instructors has changed all of us.

I used to be afraid of change…because I had a fear of the unknown. Fear. I have learned that where there is fear, there is no faith. Change is happening and will continue to happen regardless of whether we meet it with fear or with faith. That is something I learned in this program…and I don’t believe this meets any of the specific competencies!

After we graduate and don’t have papers to write or powerpoints to put together, there will be change. Instead we will be writing case notes, grants to justify our jobs, and treatment plans. Our external circumstances will change because we won’t meet once a week to learn from each other, instead we will be using the skills that we learned while we were all together to create and empower change in others. So I challenge you, classmates…and faculty, to continue the changes that have occurred in you as a result of this program. Be the change you wish to see in the world. That IS why we have become social workers, is it not? We will never reach “graduation” when it comes to change. We can always strive to learn, to know ourselves better, to know others better, to treat others better. We can always change for good. That is my challenge to you, to always strive to be better people, better practitioners and better social workers.


17 Habits of Very Happy Moms

17 Habits of Very Happy Moms.

Pregnancy Myths Debunked

I found some great debunking of many myths on and I plan to post more related to pregnancy soon.  Stay tuned.

11 Pregnancy Myths Debunked                                           

The facts about drinking, epidurals and more

by Amy Soukup | May 2, 2011

Myth: Pregnant women should stay away from caffeine.

Fact: It’s safe to drink up to 200 mg of caffeine per day (equivalent to one cup of coffee or one soda), but any more than that has been shown to increase the risk of miscarriage.

Myth: Once a Cesarean, always a Cesarean

Fact: The safest option for the majority of women with a previous Cesarean delivery is labor and a vaginal delivery when possible.

Myth: All doulas have negative opinions on hospital births.

Fact: Most doulas attend births in the hospital and have a great amount of respect for the technology we have when it comes to life-saving situations.

Myth: Epidurals have no risks or effects on mothers and babies.

Fact: There are several risks, including the possible side effects of shivering, backache, and nausea as well as maybe making pushing more difficult.

Myth: Hospitals are the safest place to have a baby.

Fact: For many women hospitals may be the best option, especially if they are in the high-risk pregnancy category, but more information and studies are coming out that prove home and free-standing birth centers are as safe as hospitals when it comes to low-risk patients.

Myth: Pregnant women cannot drink any alcohol.

Fact: Studies show that children of women who drank 1-2 units of alcohol per week throughout pregnancy were not negatively affected in any way. (Still don’t think I could do it with a guiltless conscience)

Myth: Mothers of young babies are spacey and absent-minded.

Fact: Though new mothers may feel forgetful with things not baby-related, studies show expanded areas of activity postpartum in several areas of the brain, meaning women actually become “smarter” in the early stages of motherhood.

Myth: A bigger baby always means a more difficult labor.

Fact: There are many factors involved in what makes a labor more or less difficult, one major factor being the positioning of the baby.

Myth: If your diet isn’t very healthy, it’s better to use formula.

Fact: Unless you’re taking drugs or dangerous medications, breastfeeding is always a healthier option for the baby than formula.

Myth: Episiotomies reduce the risk of perineal tearing.

Fact: Evidence shows that routine use of episiotomy offers no benefits but rather increases women’s risk of experiencing perineal injury, stitches, pain and tenderness, leaking stool or gas, and pain during sexual intercourse.

Myth: A full moon triggers labor.

Fact: Evidence shows that a full moon has no effect on labor, but women are more likely to go into labor during a sudden change in barometric pressure.

Consider Tiny Prints for your Graduation Announcements

I am excited to say that I will be attending my own graduation next week!  I will be graduating with my Master’s Degree in Social Work and this has been a long-awaited victory/accomplishment.  Over the last 3 years, I have learned so much about my field of study, the world we live in, and most importantly myself.  I remember during the first semester, a very wise professor told us that as a  cohort (then approx. 40 students, now approx. 17 left), we would go through significant life events together  but it is the most accurate statement anyone could have made.  I expected to show up to class once a week and learn about theory.  While, I did in fact do that, there was so much more to this experience.  We have experienced births (8 to be exact – I think), a handful of divorces, a couple of marriages, death of a spouse, supported a member with a cancer diagnosis (and she is in REMISSION!), and I’m sure at one point in time all of us have sought some form of counseling for ourselves.  We embarked on a journey that most of us never imagined but it has brought me so much pride and many new friendships.  Remembering previous graduations, they didn’t really seem this “big”, this time, I feel like I actually accomplished something out of reach.  With my high school diploma it was a breeze.  With my bachelor program, I felt a huge sense of relief to have finished a four-year degree while working more than one job but I always knew that I would seek a higher degree so I wasn’t actually done yet.  Now, I feel that I have come to the finish line.  Best of all, I just got offered a fantastic position working for the state! After two years of unemployment, I feel like everything is coming together.  What a great reason to celebrate! And, what a great reason to send out announcements for all of these accomplishments.  Check out Tiny Prints for your printing needs:

Tiny Prints provides stylish, modern and unique graduation stationery including graduation announcements, graduation invitations,and thank you cards for teens. When graduation season has come and gone Tiny Prints will still be here to fill all your stationery needs with their exclusive designs from the nation’s top designers. You’ll find summer party invitations, personalized greeting cards, thank you cards, business cards, and even custom wedding invitations. Come try the easy card personalization, powerful preview engine and top-notch customer service and paper quality for yourself! With Tiny Prints by your side commemorating every holiday and momentous occasion is a cinch!

Twitter Updates