I’m talking kids, books, & diarrhea on Capitol Hill with [email protected]

If you’re new here, you might not know that I LOVE to talk about diarrhea.


Thanks to my volunteer work with [email protected], I am able to help future little readers all over the globe grow up to be healthy readers.  In the photo above, I talk to new [email protected] champions about how to find their platform by looking inside themselves and seeing where their passion lies. Turns out, mine happened when my toddler became dehydrated from a case of rotavirus and we had to take him to the ER. Twenty three years later, he is a grown man, all because we had access to health care. But there are many mothers who don’t have access to care for their infants. And that knowledge hurt me. In all my inexperience raising my first child, I knew one thing: when all else fails, call a doctor. A doctor is just a 10 minute car ride away.


But as I learned through [email protected], a doctor visit is often 3 miles away. On foot. In the heat. That knowledge tore me up.  No child should die from dehydration caused by diarrhea and the rotavirus. That’s why I love to talk about diarrhea; I want everyone to have the same options I do. And so I will discuss diarrhea with anyone who will listen. Children who are sick can’t read.

Thanks to [email protected] I can make a difference.


Ask me how you can too.


Books [email protected]

Garden Parties are the Perfect time to discuss #diarrhea #Blogust

I recently had the chance to share my love of books and tea parties with a lovely group of littles in an outdoor garden party!

gardenteaparty Collage


Aren’t these little partygoers adorable??? Many thanks to my friend Darla at HeartWork Organizing for opening her home and sharing her littles and their friends with me. We raised money for [email protected] which I’m proud to say will help protect children by providing necessary vaccines so they can have a shot at life.

Wouldn’t it be FABULOUS if I could travel the world and have tea parties for kids all over the globe?

Give a kid a [email protected] Parties by donating.

Thanks, from the bottom of my teacup!


Books [email protected]

Looking Back at my Kids’ Vax Schedule #Blogust

All this month of Blogust, the [email protected] Champions have been talking about vaccines, which is a great way to get your littles (or not so littles) ready for school.  Many of my little friends have already started school which made me think back to the days when my littles were little.  As you know, I collect information and I’ve kept all of my babies’ shot records! I dug them up out o f the file and leafed through them with a cup of coffee. How fun it was to see my Pumpkin’s weight when she was 3 weeks old and how wonderful it is to know that even my firstborn, my #1 son, got all of his shots on time. As a new mother, I wanted to do everything perfectly and right so I adhered to the vaccination schedule like a BOSS.

My littles are now 22 and 17 and my Pumpkin is entering her last year of high school.  How did that happen? Let’s take a minute to remember that many children all around the globe don’t make it to high school. And that hurts my feelings.

As a brief reminder of the importance of vaccines and Blogust, here’s a collage to remind you of some of the highlights of my month.


What’s inside: A visit to Dr. Offit’s office, the inventor of the Rotateq vaccine, against the yucky rotavirus. A pic of my kids’ shot records from when we lived in Texas, and a pic of my littles on the first day of school, circa 2003.

Are you a hoarder, er collector like me? Do you still have all of your kids’ vaccine records? If so, why?

Books Children [email protected]

An Unconventional Librarian at the Hospital: A Visit to Dr. Offit’s Office #Blogust

Recently a group of [email protected] champions and I got the chance to visit with Dr. Paul Offit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).  Who is Dr. Offit, you ask? He’s a doctor who has written the book, Autism’s False Prophets, which discusses the history of vaccines and why they are necessary and that they do not cause autism.

Autism's False Prophets
Cleo helping me read Autism’s False Prophets


The other cool thing about Dr. Offit? He helped invent the Rotatek vaccine! Yep, the very vaccine that your little ones get to help prevent the nasty ugly Rotavirus vaccine. Did you know that dehydration caused from diarrhea kills many of our littles around the world? Giving babies the Rotavirus vaccine helps save lives and I was thrilled to be able to meet Dr. Offit.

During our visit, we chatted about the state of vaccinations and what can be done about getting the word out to more people about getting vaccinated. I was amazed that he wanted to hear about us and our thoughts; who knew someone so smart and passionate about child health could be so friendly?

After our chat we personally took us on a tour of CHOP, showed us some labs with real petrie dishes (see? I did pay attention in 9th grade physics) and lab technicians, and showed us his office.

Here’s a collage of our visit.


This is just a small portion of our day! Stay tuned for more about this FABULOUS day!

I wanted to wear my lab coat but my kids said NO but I thought it lended a sort of Patch Adams feel.  I later found out that there is a library INSIDE CHOP! More about that later…



[email protected]

Every Child Needs a [email protected] To Read.

It’s no secret that I love books. The only thing I love more than books is kids. As a mother and an educator I’ve dedicated my life to kids and keeping them safe, happy, and healthy.  That’s why I partnered with [email protected] and am proud to say I am a 2014 [email protected] Champion!

Shot at life Collage.jpg


Earlier in March I traveled to Washington DC and learned to become a global vaccination lobbyist. I am completely comfortable discussing diarrhea and you may have seen me discuss it in tweets, Facebook posts, on the radio, or in real life.  I’m all about diarrhea!

Why? Think about it: as a mother, I want the best health for my children. When they are sick, you’d move heaven and earth to make them well.  I think all moms around the world feel this way. So, what do you do when your child has Rotavirus and diarrhea? Well, you take them to the doctor and eventually they get better. You don’t have to worry about your child dying, yes DYING from dehydration caused by diarrhea. That’s unheard of, right?

Not even close in developing countries.  Imagine being a mother and watching your baby die from malnutrition and dehydration. They can’t just run to the nearest doctor’s office.  That clinic might be 12 miles away. On foot.

But you know what? It’s totally preventable.  By vaccines. Did you know:

Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among infants and young children.

  • Each year, more than half a million children under age five die as a result of rotavirus, and almost 2 million more become severely ill.
  • In July 2011, Sudan became the first GAVI-eligible African country to roll out the rotavirus vaccine. GAVI will support the introduction of rotavirus vaccine in more than 40 countries by 2015. GAVI aims to focus its support on the world’s poorest countries. GAVI-eligibility is therefore determined by national income.

This is the kind of information I learned while attending the [email protected] Summit in DC.  BTW, GAVI stands for Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations.  Groups like this and the UN Foundation work to educate people and to get necessary vaccines into the hands of the countries that need it the most.

A sick child can’t read, can they? If they’re dehydrated from diarrhea there’s no way they can focus on much else except getting better. That’s where I come in! I want to spread the word that vaccines are important to child health and vaccines don’t cause Autism.

Let me repeat that.


Vaccines don’t cause Autism.

Vaccines don’t cause Autism.

Every child needs a chance to enjoy the things that children need to grow up. Like reading a book.  They can’t do that if they are sick. Or dying.

But I can make a difference.  And so can you.

Wanna talk about diarrhea? Hit me up on Twitter with the hashtag #vaccineswork and join the conversation. I’m HAPPY to talk about diarrhea!

And how to eradicate it from the world.  Think of me as the MoJoJo of diarrhea. Er, you know what I mean.