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What To Do About the Tooth Fairy?

by Amelia on July 23, 2009
category: 5 – 12 years (kid),Health and Fitness,Practical Tips

2361445339_1a0f638f9f Every kid goes through the rite of passage of losing their baby teeth and growing into their adult teeth.  They also go through that awkward phase of having big and little teeth cluttering their mouths.  My oldest discovered his first loose tooth today and I find myself thinking back on my own childhood.  

My mom made a tooth fairy pillow for me.  I remember her doing all the needlepoint and sewing the pillow together.  She kept it all these years and gave it to me last year anticipating that I may want to use it for my own children as they go through this particular rite of passage.  Seeing the pillow brought back memories of falling asleep excited that I would wake up with the tooth gone from the pocket in the pillow and that it would be replaced with some money.  I don’t remember exactly how much money I got back then but I do remember pulling out a few quarters from the pocket.   I remember that I tried as hard as possible to will myself to wake up and wait for the tooth fairy to come.   I thought she might be as pretty as tinkerbell and I wanted to get a glimpse. 

I know that some parents pretend that the tooth fairy is real and make the tooth fairy exchange a lot of fun for the kids.  We’ve never gone down this road before so I am currently figuring out how I want to approach the tooth fairy mystery.  I’ve read that some parents forego giving money to their kids and instead give crayons, pencils, or some other treat.  

Possible Choices:

  • Money
  • Special Coins (Like a dollar coin, half-dollar, Sacagawea)
  • Crayons
  • Stickers
  • Pencils
  • Candy–sort of ironic since you really have to start paying attention to teeth cleaning!
  • Dentil Floss–although I doubt that would be as appreciated as money :)

After doing some research, I found that there are several websites where you can buy a special tooth fairy boxes, banks, books, pillows, and baby tooth memory albums. (You have to check out that last link!!) I had no idea there were so many products that parents can purchase!  I even found a website that has sample letters you can leave your child from the tooth fairy that encourages him/her to keep doing such a great job brushing his/her teeth because she loves collecting nice shiny teeth.  

What fun memories do you have of the tooth fairy as you grew up? What traditions do you have with your children?  Are you going to pass on the tooth fairy tradition?  Tell me what you thought about that baby tooth memory album!


**photo courtesy of sappymoosetree

How to Treat a Wasp Sting

708647_wasp_hive_wasp_eggs_2 Last week, my son was stung by a wasp on his hand.  He didn’t cry and he didn’t have a reaction until about two days later.  His entire hand was swollen and red.  I called my pediatrician and the nurse told me to just keep an eye on it and to bring him in if it became hot to the touch.  It cleared up after about two days of redness and swelling.  The day after it cleared up, he was stung by another wasp!  (We found the nest and my husband has reclaimed our backyard from those horrible creatures!)  Again, we didn’t notice any reaction at all and he didn’t cry or act like it hurt.  Two days later, his entire arm was swollen and this time, incredibly hot to the touch.  There was a huge red spot covering his entire bicep.  While the reaction was similar to the first sting, it was a lot more intense.  So, I called the doctor and he wanted me to bring him in.  I shamefully told him that my son had been stung by wasps twice in the same week and reassured him we found the nest.  The doctor thinks it is at high risk of becoming infected, so we were given instructions to prevent infection, which could turn to a staph infection.  I didn’t know that wasp and bee stings could lead to infection.  It makes sense when I think about it, but I thought allergic reactions such as breathing difficulty were the only real risk of wasp or bee stings.

So, until my son’s boo boo heals, we are to do the following:

  • Use ice to relieve pain or discomfort
  • Apply hydrocortisone cream to it twice a day
  • Take over-the-counter Zyrtec instead of Benedryl because our doctor thinks it works better and my son becomes hyper and wirey on Benedryl, which is opposite most children.
  • Clean it twice a day with a clorox/water solution.  I have never in my life heard a medical professional direct someone to use clorox bleach, so this was interesting to me.
  • Fill a prescription for a steroid cream and have it on hand in case the red spot becomes streaky or asymmetrical and call or take him to the hospital right away.

I initially felt silly even being concerned about my son’s wasp sting, especially since I had already called the pediatrician last week about the same issue.  I tend to write off what I consider small medical issues because I have three children who all carry their own set of more major medical issues as it is.  But I am glad I listened to my gut that this reaction was worse than last week’s reaction.  I have learned in parenting and medical care for my children is that medical professionals are paid by me (and my insurance) to answer my medical questions and treat my children, so I have given up on feeling guilty about using the service that I am paying for.  Besides, what a parent may think is minor, may actually end up being serious, so it’s always better safe than sorry!

Have your children had a reaction to bee or wasp stings?  Am I the only one whose never heard of cleaning an infected area with a clorox/water solution?

I’m Talking About ‘Mommy Time’ on ABC News

by Amanda on June 29, 2009
category: Health and Fitness,Humor/Random,In the news,Inspiration

abcnews Two weeks ago I filmed a segment for ABC News show “Moms Get Real” with Juju Chang. The episode aired last week on ABC’s website. You can watch the show by clicking on the photo of it here on the right. In the show Juju Chang, Romi Lassally of truuconfessions.com, Anonymous Mom, and myself talk about Mommy Time.

The first question that Juju asked me was, “Was there a time that you realized that you needed mommy time?” I actually had 2 answers to this question. I told the producer on the phone that it is more of a day to day need. There are days when everything goes wrong. A day where the kids have misbehaved all day, have been whiny or very needy, or you just can’t figure out what they need. A day where you are just exhausted at the end of it. I also told the Producer that Summer has increased my need for Mommy Time, because I am with my kids 24/7. In the interview, I brought up a funny anecdote about how I had gotten blood, throw up, and poop on me in the span of 30 minutes (true story!) There are times when I just feel plain disgusting. Have you ever had a moment when you realized that you needed Mommy Time?

I don’t remember the next question that Juju asked me, because I was trying to remember to smile and not look like a doofus when they were talking. It was also difficult to pay attention, because I could only hear Juju and and Romi speaking through a static-y connection. I couldn’t see them. I totally freaked out when I realized that I hadn’t heard what Juju just said. I think she asked about why we need Mommy Time. I really believe we need Mommy Time because we pour ourselves out with all our heart, body, and soul all day long. We need some time to fill our cups, so we have something to pour out again. Our energy, patience, and compassion dries up and we need time to refill and rejuvenate ourselves. Why do you think we need Mommy Time?

Finally we discussed how we get Mommy Time. I feel very lucky that I am able to work out a schedule with my husband to find the time. Taking 2 to 3 hours by myself on a Sunday afternoon works for my family. My husband is completely off work and is able to watch the kids for me. I have tried to do every Monday night, but I found it hard to pull myself away from the house after a full day with the kids. I also needed time that wasn’t late at night, so I could be alert to work on my blog and do other fun things. I am not a morning a person at all. I have a friend that takes Saturday mornings off.

In the video they also mentioned a mom who confessed that she sat on the toilet for a break. I know I have sat down in the shower when I have felt overwhelmed. The important thing is that we take some Mommy Time to do whatever the heck we want without having to worry about our kids. How do you get Mommy Time?

Amelia recently wrote a blog post titled, How To Take Care Of Yourself (as the mom). The article has some good ideas to take care of yourself. iVillage published 31 Mommy-Time Ideas for Busy Moms which includes, chatting a with a friend as a way to relieve stress. There are many creative way to take Mommy Time.

Is Mommy Time realistic? Do you actually take time for yourself to do whatever you want? When was the last time you had a minute to yourself?

What Do You Do When Mom Is Sick?

by Amanda on May 31, 2009
category: Health and Fitness,Inspiration

sneeze I woke up Saturday morning with a horrible cold, sore throat, aches, and the general feeling that I felt like crap. Why do I even have a cold? I thought cold and flu season was over! I am thankful that it happened on the weekend and my husband was able to help. We didn’t do much this weekend but hang out in our pajamas and watch movies while I rested.

Tomorrow is Monday and I can’t call in sick. My husband is a small business owner and when he doesn’t work we don’t get any money. I like money, so off to work he goes while I care for the kiddos. Tomorrow we are staying home while I continue to kick this cold. What are moms to do when they are sick?

My first concern is that I am nursing my little 3 month old boy and I am taking some Tylenol cold medicine. I read on Dr. Sears:

“Most drugs taken by the mother are of less concern while breastfeeding than if she were taking them during pregnancy. If a drug is safe to use during pregnancy, it is probably safe during lactation. There is more reason to be concerned about the effects of a drug on a growing fetus than on a fully developed infant.”

I had taken a similar Tylenol cold medicine when I was pregnant, so I felt better about taking my medicine after reading this. I also monitored my temperature so I could nurse.

I am doing practical things to avoid spreading my germs like that washing my hands constantly, using hand sanitizer and trying my best not to breathe on my kids.

Here are some tips about staying home with you kids while being sick:
Heather Cabot at the Huffington Post first suggestion is to Call for Backup.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it is your husband, neighbor, friend or mom, there is no shame in admitting you need some support. And for the future, it might be a good idea to figure how who your back-up is before you find yourself in the midst of a breakdown.

When I had my morning sickness I called my friends for backup many times. I would lay on their couch sick as a dog while they watched their kids and mine.

Stayathomeparents.suite101.com recommends Forgetting the Housework.

Be willing to let certain things go when you are sick. Now is not the time to worry about dusting the furniture. If you have small children who you have to keep with you when you are sick try and stay in one area. This way you are limiting your mess. Wait for hubby to do the dishes when he gets home.

Ha! I often wait for my husband to do the dishes anyway. But I do have to let go my concern of how a room looks. I like her suggestion of staying in one area. I either hunker down in the living room or in my bed room and I bring some toys.

Brit’s plan at BabiesOnline.com is to Let the Usual Rules Go.

Safety rules… stay. Things that make the house untidy meet feeble resistance from me, but I figure if they are happy and occupied I can rest and clean up when I feel better.

I know I have certainly let my little girl unload the tupperware cabinet a few times. She was quiet and not hurting anything. It got cleaned up eventually.

Staying home with kiddos while being sick is not fun. The sickness will pass and things will get better. As moms we can only do what we can do when we are sick and that is okay.

How do you manage when you are sick? Do you actually plan ahead for it?

The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

41p0vy8-3ml_sl500_aa240_ Imagine yourself living in post WWII England. There are buildings that have been condemned due to safety hazards with people living in them anyway.  There are bomb shelters and buildings that have been damaged by bombings.  You live in London’s East End and you work with people who you have been sheilded from your whole life.  You are a nurse, training to be a midwife and living in a convent with nuns and other nurses.  You aren’t too big into religious things so living in a convent with nuns is interesting. You are thankful that you don’t have  to go to the services, and yet thankful for living in community with these fascinating women.  You go out on a bicycle, your only means of transportation, on daily calls to the people in the East End–mostly in the tennements (otherwise known as slums)–even in the rain.  You do prenatal care and help to deliver babies.  Sometimes you help the other nurse nun who you don’t get along with too well do patient care visits to the older, sick people in the community. You discover that a family with 10 children can live in a two bedroom flat and that laundry can be hung anywhere and everywhere. 

Jennifer Worth, a midwife from the 1950′s did all of these things.  This book, The Midwife, is a biography of her life as a midwife. She went to live in the London Docklands to serve a wide community of people as a nurse-midwife. The area she served dealt with fighting, drunkenness, and poverty.  The overcrowded area seemed to welcome crime.  The people were also hard working, trying to make a living and the men trying to provide for their families.    

Her memoir is definitely an interesting read.  The chapters are story clips of women whose births she attended, difficult births, families with domestic violence, families with great love for one another, a prostitute, and nuns she worked with.  She paints an amazing picture of what life was like back then. I enjoyed learning about some of the history of London and especially enjoyed learning about the Cockney dialect.  Her stories are engaging and easy to read.  

You don’t have to be a midwife or even particularly interested in “birthy things” to enjoy this book.  This book helped me to appreciate some of the modern day conveniences we have as mothers.  Indoor toilets, running water, washing machines!  Can you imaging having 10 children with no running water in your house and no washing machine?  Can you imagine how much of your day would be spent simply washing clothes?  It helped me to appreciate the amount of space we have for our own living quarters and that there aren’t abandoned bomb shelters nearby with people doing all sorts of terrible things while my children are outside playing.

One of my favorite chapters is about a woman from Spain, who only speaks Spanish, who is married to a man who only speaks English.  Oh, and they have 25 children!!!  25 children!  Can you imagine?  Their story is heartwarming and leaves you with your jaw dropped.  

If you go on Amazon and read the other reviews of the book, I think you’ll want to find your own copy to read.

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