Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Breastfeeding War

7 Myths About Breastfeeding - Click for Fullsize

I may regret this later, I sort of acted on impulse and emotion. But people like this guy really get to me.

Alex Andrews writes: "This is as stupid as saying if you don't like public deification, put a blanket over your head. Nobody should be publicly forced to witness breast feeding because they were looking where they were going, or finding a seat. People claim lots of things are natural, that doesn't mean that it needs to be a public spectacle."


I write: "If you think comparing breastfeeding in public and defecating in public is okay then I feel very sorry you.

No one is "publicly forcing" anyone to look. In fact, there are LAWS protecting women from harassment against feeding their babies in public that sometimes result in fines (including just a stare). If there are laws that protect BFing women in public in every community, how is the online community different?

I assume you think women should seclude themselves to their home and become recluses until their child isn't nursing anymore. Women have to get out of the house. And since feeding a baby in a dirty bathroom isn't an option, I suggest you get your mind out of the gutter about breast feeding and look away.

Do you think a child screaming it's head off because they're hungry, or a woman meeting the child's needs is more of a "spectacle"?

Lastly, while I may not agree with your opinion, I still fight for your right to say it. How dare you say our opinions (and the LAW) is "stupid"."

Input your opinion below. Or not.

I am always open to questions, tactful comments and constructive criticism.

Why Sprint Sucks and What I Reported to the BBB (Better Business Bureau)

I have really come to loathe Sprint after my 4+ years of having them as a cellphone service provider. I have no love in my heart for them.

After multiple attempts over 2 years of trying to figure out how their customer service works and why it seems like they're always trying to stab people in the back I filed a complaint with the BBB.

Here is a what I wrote and what I have so far from the BBB:

COMPLAINT ACTIVITY REPORT Case # 300056273 Better Business Bureau

Consumer Info: (NAME OMITTED) Business Info: Sprint
(address removed for privacy) 1010 S 120th St # 300
San Diego, CA 92111 Omaha, NE 68154-4208
- - 402 491-2100

Location Involved: (Same as above)

Consumer's Original Complaint :
(NAME OMITTED) - Sprint Account #------813. I entered a Sprint 2 Year contract two years ago. I set up for auto pay with my checking account. Every month since signing up I have had to call their customer service with billing issues. That was the least of my problems. I set my brother up with a phone attached to my plan a year ago. Four months ago he dropped his uninsured phone in the toilet and it broke. We went in for a new one, but Sprint would not replace or fix it since it was uninsured. The sales representative named Manny Cardoza (his name tag says Leo) said that if I added two more lines, my brother would have a new phone, and I would save 20% on my bill every month. I had been paying $140 every month beforehand and Manny said my bill would be around $112 a month. This sounded really good to me. I asked if there were additional fees. He said no. Until I received my Sprint bill that month for almost $400! There WERE hidden fees, set up fees, activation fees and more. I went into the store to straighten this out, because I was on an auto pay system and it would come out of my account in two weeks, and would OVERDRAW my account. Manny and his supervisor assured me this wouldn't happen and that the extra amount would be credited to me. After leaving I also contacted the customer service line to explain what happened. Since the sales reps in the store never write notes about customers who come in, I had to explain everything to the customer service rep. They said that Manny and his supervisor were wrong. That the amount would still come out of my account, but I could be credited the extra amount. I said they better send me a check in the mail ASAP. Which they did, but it took almost a month to get there, sending my checking account overdrawn and giving me several overdraft fees. I later went into the same store to address these overdraft fees and have the store pay for them, which they did. I then told them to take me off the auto pay, which they said they did, but would take 3 billing cycles. NOW, 4 MONTHS LATER my bill is at $180 a month instead of $112. STILL. AND my account is still being auto paid. I discussed this in the store months ago with Manny, who assured me he would fix it. He told me to "email him later so he would remember to do it". How is that MY responsibility to get you to DO YOUR JOB? I emailed him the reminder at the email address on his card he gave me ( He never got back to me, OR fixed my bill. So I am out $204 over the course of three months in overpayments. I am sick of dealing with these people who don't know how to communicate and don't seem to care about their customers OR customer's financial problems. I am going into the store again today to give them a copy of my complaint and hopefully then they'll do their jobs, take me seriously and fix their mistakes.

Consumer's Desired Resolution:
I am seeking a refund in the amount of $208, the amount I have been overcharged over the course of three months as well as my bill being immediately taken off of the auto pay system. I also am going to take the number of phones on my plan from 5 to 2 and want the cancellation fees of the three phones I DON'T EVEN USE (but was pressured into getting under false pretense of a lowered monthly bill), WAIVED.

BBB Processing

03/17/2010 web BBB Case Received by BBB
03/17/2010 web BBB Forward to Another BBB - OTTO
03/17/2010 Otto BBB Inform Consumer Case Transferred to Another BBB
03/17/2010 Otto BBB Inform other BBB Case Transferred


I am now on my way to print this and go into the store. Hopefully now they'll take me seriously, do their JOB and fix their blunder.


It has now been nearly four months later. I am still on auto pay, but don't really care anymore, since I'm tired of dealing with it. My monthly bill is still $140. When my contract is up, I'm NOT renewing.

I am always open to questions, tactful comments and constructive criticism.

Is Eating Healthy on a Budget Possible?

With the health food craze, I've been hearing people say that the poor are the majority of obese people. Well, the poor are the majority of EVERYTHING. Because we are so many! It just doesn't stick when people say you can't eat healthy on a budget. My family and I are NOT rich by ANY means and we still eat healthy. We don't eat out, I make all the lunches for when we might be tempted. We don't eat meat unless we can afford grass-fed organic, but I do put a ham hock in a crock pot of beans every week.

We eat a lot of salads, fruit, veggies and potatoes. I can get very creative in my dinner plans. My parents grow some food in the yard, even my four year old helps out. Strawberries fresh off the stem can brighten even the dreariest of days.

The "trick" is, to NOT spend $2 every day on a burger (even when you're at work!) and instead, save that money for the grocery store! We only go out to eat once or twice a month (more, if someone else offers to pay...) As a country, we all need to start cooking more. With a little creativity, you can make healthy meals for $.50 - $2 per person.

Limit your intake of junk food and alcohol, you don't need to be spending $100 a month on booze that ruins your liver. Give up smoking; your body and wallet will thank you. Drink lots of water (at least 8 cups a day), you'll feel fuller, it helps you detox and you may even lose some weight; your stomach, bladder and teeth will thank you for drinking water instead of sugary juices, sodas and energy drinks. Limit salty and sugary foods like processed and pre-packaged foods and opt on simple ingredients; making your own meals and lunches is not only economical, it's healthier! Avoid eating many foods that are high in saturated fats like fast food. Make a shopping list, stick it to your fridge so you can update it when you run out of certain things, then stick to it at the grocery store; self-control FTW!

Plan out your daily meals weekly. Recruit the kids to think of new meal ideas. It takes practice, perseverance and dedication to stick to it.

True, a lot of people are lazy... But adults today have forgotten how to cook, sit down and eat with their families. They've even forgotten how to SAVE money for necessities and rainy days. No, you don't need that new Margaritaville 3000.

If needed, some areas offer free financial and culinary classes. Bring the kids, too!

I am always open to questions, tactful comments and constructive criticism.

Homeschooling Micah

I made this decision a long time ago. Before Micah was even born. When I was in home school, as a matter of fact. I wasn't always in homeschool. I have had my fair share of the public school system. And I still stand by my decision, probably even more so today.

First, I'd like you to read this article about the American public school system.

Now, here are my reasons, listed in order of importance to me:
1. Too many students:teachers ratio. The average classroom accommodates 50 students now. And one teacher. Can you imagine trying to learn something with 50 other students? There's no one-on-one time. And you wonder why IQ scores are down...

2. Association and socialization. Do I really want Micah in a place where there is unsupervised conduct with worldly kids for hours a day? Kids as young as 8 now learn about sex, drugs and alcohol on the playground. Not to mention the presence of bullies and disease.

3. American schools are almost last in science and a few others. Take a look at this PISA chart.

4. In order for any child to attend public school it is required by the state that they have 19 vaccinations! Vaccinations that have been proven to be harmful and in some cases, cause autism. (I.E. My brother.) Few know that the requirement was helped put in to place by powerful pharmaceutical companies. Companies who made their product a state requirement.

I love my son. And all the facts point me to only one conclusion. That home school is the best option for Micah.

They even have public home school. That's right. This online school is paid for by the government. They send you a computer, a printer and any other supplies you will ever need. It's tuition free K-12. Part of the schooling is done online and the rest is done with books and paper.

Earlier today I was asked questions about it in a way that made it seem I would be doing Micah a great disservice if I homeschooled him.

I don't want anyone to think I am doing Micah a disservice by homeschooling him. I'm not offended or angry that some people don't agree with me. I just hope they do their own research and don't rely on third party information and then pass judgement on a parent's decision.

I sent them some information. I hope they read it in it's entirety.

Homeschooling is the single fastest growing educational trend in the United States, and that trend is expanding worldwide. Dr. Brian Ray, one of the leading homeschool researchers, estimates that homeschooling has increased 15% per year over the past several years. While accurate statistics regarding the number of families homeschooling is difficult to come by, Dr. Ray’s estimates are supported by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Household Education Survey program.

In 1999, the Department of Ed estimated that there were about 850,000 homeschoolers nationwide, and had increased to about 1.1 million by 2003. Ray’s estimated that there were between 1.7 and 2.1 million homeschoolers at the end of that period, and that currently, there are between 2.5 and 4 million homeschoolers nationwide.

It is not hard to see why. Every day there are reports about how our traditional education systems are failing to keep pace with business and industry, and indeed, worldwide education systems, in preparing our nation’s youth to enter the workforce. (In San Diego, for instance, there are up to 30 children per teacher. You can't learn that way. Too much distraction. Too much violence in the schools as well. Not including rare but there teachers who have inappropriate conduct with their students.) Students in Japan, India and China spend more time in school, and far surpass our nation’s youth in Math and Science. So how do homeschoolers do, comparatively?

Socially: There is a common myth that homeschooling produces social misfits. This myth partially arises from an assumption that traditional education systems provide “normal” socialization activities. Dr. Raymond Moore, in his book Better Late than Early writes that “The idea that children need to be around many other youngsters in order to be ‘socialized’ is perhaps the most dangerous and extravagant myth in education and child rearing today." There is ample research that indicates that because home schooled students are exposed to a wider variety of people and situations, they learn to get along with a variety of people, making them socially mature and better able to adjust to new situations. Since Micah has friends of ALL shapes, sizes and ages, he will be more well adjusted and socialized than public school kids. We aren't hermits. We go outside. We just have class at home.

In their Communities: Many non-homeschoolers believe that homeschooling can turn out better students, but because homeschool students are educated in greater isolation from the world, they are less politically and socially involved. This concern comes at a great time, for homeschoolers at least. The first generation of homeschoolers has now grown up and entered the workforce. Dr. Ray surveyed over 7,000 adults who had been home schooled and compared them against their more traditionally educated peers. His research found that:

Ninety-five percent of homeschoolers had an adequate comprehension of politics and government, compared to 65% of U.S. adults.
Seventy-one percent of homeschool graduates participate in ongoing community service activities, including politics, compared to 37% of adults in similar ages.
Eighty-eight percent of HS graduates are members of organizations (community groups, church, or professional organizations) compared to 50% of U.S. adults.
Significantly, 76% of homeschool graduates voted in a national or state election within the past 5 years, compared to 29 percent of similar U.S. adults.

In college: Many homeschool families are concerned whether their child will be able to do well on the SAT/ACT’s and get into college. Every year, colleges across the nation and around the world are opening their doors to homeschoolers. Many of the most prestigious colleges around the nation have accepted homeschoolers: Brown, Georgetown, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, the United States Military Academy at West Point, UC at Berkeley, University of Michigan, Notre Dame, and Yale, just to name a few. Homeschool Facts has compiled a list of over 1,400 colleges that accept homeschoolers, and that list grows longer every day.

Colleges and Universities all around the nation have realized the positive benefits of attracting homeschoolers. Research indicates that homeschoolers who have gone to college have no social skill deprivation, exhibit greater leadership skills, demonstrated stronger work ethic and had higher moral values, integral in their college success.

Homeschooling is obviously not for everyone. However, it is also an education option that should be considered for any family that does not feel their student’s needs would be met in traditional educational systems. I'm not anti-public education, I'm pro-education choice. I support the parent’s right to choose which educational environment will work best for their child.

Hope I've been helpful in showing any reader out there that I have decided homeschooling is the best option for Micah and to not question or berate my decision. It's insulting.

I am always open to questions, tactful comments and constructive criticism.