When Are the Appropriate Times to Take Your Child to the Pediatrician’s Clinic? When Should My Child Use Urgent Care/Immediate Care? When Should My Child Use the Emergency Room?

Photo Credit The Bub Hub, the bub hub crew. (2013).

Does your kid have the sniffles? Does your kid need stitches? Does your kid have a high fever that won’t come down with medications? Does your kid have a possible broken bone? Does your kid have a nagging cough that won’t go away? What about if they have a sore throat? What if your child is coughing and can’t catch their breath?

Can you guess which scenarios belong in the pediatrician’s office, the urgent care/immediate care office, and the emergency room?

Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate when and where to take your child when they are sick or injured.

One of the most common things I see working in the medical field is parents feeling the need to take their child in to the urgent care/immediate care office for the sniffles. Did you know it’s always cheaper to take your child to see their PCP (primary care physician), or pediatrician. Your insurance is less likely to pay for something that could have waited for you to go to the Doctor’s office. Also, when you call the office it has built in empty time slots for sick visits. I am guessing there is a lot of people who did not know that.

When to Take Your Child to the Primary Care Physician/Pediatrician Office

Things that merit a visit to your primary care physician/pediatrician include the sniffles, colds, coughs, rashes, sore throats, and anything else that can wait until the morning or when the weekend is over to call and make an appointment. These are non-urgent medical complaints. If there is nothing else going on in a generally healthy child these things can wait until the morning, or merit an appointment to the doctor’s office.

Please do not take your child to the emergency room for a sore throat. I understand if it’s after hours or the weekend and you are desperate (like if it’s gotten worse over the weekend), then that is okay to merit a trip to the Urgent Care/Immediate Care Clinic. I am not talking a young babies. Young babies use your best judgement. Babies are more apt to die of something simple due to their lack of immune system.

When to Take Your Child to the Urgent Care/Immediate Care Clinic

Speaking of the Urgent Care/Immediate Care Clinic, what kind of things merit an urgent care/immediate care clinic visit? These include stitches, x-rays, broken bones, and anything else that needs immediate attention.

When to Take Your Child to the Emergency Room

Remember when you were a little kid and adults taught you about emergencies? Remember they told you to never call 9-1-1 unless there was an emergency? Take those lessons and apply them to what merits trips to the emergency room. When would you call 9-1-1? These are things like breathing problems, heart pain, severe injuries, etc. These are emergency situations. These are situations when you should take your child to the emergency room.

I hope this information helped you today. Please note that you should use your best judgement when deciding when and where to take your child.

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New Baby Food Guidelines Parents Aren’t Following But Should

Photo Credit Tori May. (2018).

Hi everyone! Please help me welcome our next guest blogger Tori May! When I met Tori she is so energetic and on que with her articles. Her articles are so informative and filled with a lot of great information for parents, first time moms, and anyone who wants to know more about different life style articles. You can follow her on her website at themonthsofmay.com, on Facebook, and Pinterest. Thank you for sharing Tori! 🙂

Tori months of may ownerHi! My name is Tori May, owner and operator of TheMonthsofMay.com. On the Months of May blog, you will find my best parenting advice, plant based recipes, and healthy lifestyle tips. I love to share the experience I’ve gained as a mom to a sweet baby boy. I am also passionate about yummy and healthy vegetarian food, living the healthiest life possible, and Oreos (It’s all about balance, right?) I would love to have you follow along!
DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert. Please consult with your child’s pediatrician and do your own research before following any advice.
Before the birth of my son I did as much research as my shrunken pregnancy brain could hold. That’s how I know that your brain actually shrinks during pregnancy. SHRINKS! I filled my head with breastfeeding facts, birth stories, baby product reviews… you name it. One thing I neglected to research, however, was starting solids or complementary foods. Babies start eating solids at 4 months, or so I was always led to believe and I never questioned it. That is until my pediatrician recommended that I wait until 6 months to start solids. Six?! I was immediately motivated to become educated so as to make an informed decision about my little one’s eating habits. What I found was not only has the recommended age for complementary foods changed, but the guidelines for the type of food have changed, as well.

DOES IT REALLY MATTER?

I already know what you’re probably thinking and I have heard plenty of parents say it. What’s it matter? My sweet little perfect angel didn’t follow these “new” guidelines and they turned out fine! I am sure your little ones are fine, and in fact, I started having rice cereal in my bottle before I was four months old. As far as I know, I don’t have any detrimental health consequences as a result. So, most likely, if you don’t follow the new feeding guidelines for your children, they will be “fine,” but is that what we want?
Do we want to ignore the research and have our children just be fine? Think about it; our grandparents, even some of our parents, as babies rode home from the hospital in their parent’s laps. They obviously survived, or we wouldn’t be here. Just because those babies were “fine,” doesn’t mean that our generation has abstained from using car seats. Parents listened to the research, that babies in car seats were better off than babies not in car seats, and acted accordingly. Personally, I want to do whatever it takes for my child not only to survive, but to thrive! A combination of following guidelines supported by research and being intuitive to your baby’s own needs is what I believe is necessary for optimizing your child’s health and potential in their life.

RECOMMENDED AGE FOR STARTING COMPLEMENTARY FOODS

New Baby Feeding Guidelines Parents Aren't Following but Should The World Health Organization recommends that infants begin consuming foods (other than breast milk or formula), otherwise known as complementary foods, at 6 months and beyond. More specifically, they recommend that:
“…infants start receiving complimentary foods at 6 months of age in addition to breast milk, initially 2-3 times a day between 6-8 months, increasing to 3-4 times daily between 9-11 months and 12-24 months with additional nutritious snacks offered 1-2 times per day, as desired (Nutrition: Complementary Feeding).”
If you previously never heard about the complimentary foods guideline switch, don’t feel bad! The American Academy of Pediatrics only changed their recommendation in 2013. Further, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention study found that nearly half of all parents fed their babies something other than breast milk or formula prior to four months. The study further inquired about the parents reasoning for giving their children complimentary foods prior to four months, which many replied “a doctor or health care professional said my baby should begin eating solid food” (Vossenaar, Doak, & Solomons, 2014).

SIDE EFFECTS OF NOT FOLLOWING NEW AGE GUIDELINES

The complimentary food guidelines deviated because, upon analysis, experts found that waiting until 6 months is best for baby’s health. What exactly makes holding off until 6 months more suitable for your baby? First, breast milk and formula are very rich in nutrients and contain beneficial properties for your baby. Diluting your baby’s diet with other, less nutrient-dense, foods can cause malnutrition.
Babies who are introduced to solid foods prior to 6 months are at higher risk of suffering from gastroenteritis and diarrhea because they may not have yet developed gut bacteria that is crucial in the breakdown of such foods. Further down the line, and this is where your child could suffer long-term, but appear “fine”, studies have found feeding complimentary foods too early to be associated with a higher possibility of obesity, eczema, diabetes, and celiac disease (Vossenaar, Doak, & Solomons, 2014).
On the contrary, introducing baby to complementary foods too late can have adverse consequences for baby’s health. My son’s pediatrician informed me that there is a short window of time for baby to properly learn to use a spoon. Further, providing baby with solids belatedly has been linked to allergies and nutrient deficiencies (Huffpost, 2018).

RECOMMENDED COMPLEMENTARY FOODS FOR BABY

New Baby Feeding Guidelines Parents Aren't Following but Should

As aforementioned, babies should start eating complimentary foods at 6 months, but what should they eat? The World Health Organization recommends mashed, pureed, or semi-solid foods to begin with. As time progresses, babies can move onto “finger foods” and eventually can eat most of what the adults are eating at about a year old, if your baby is developmentally prepared. Of course, make sure you are being careful with tough foods, large foods, or anything that could be a choking hazard, such as uncut grapes. In terms of the variety and type of food, the World Health Organization encourages a diet for infants rich in all the necessary nutrients, including protein, Vitamin-A, and healthy fats (Vossenaar, Doak, & Solomons, 2014).
Many parents choose baby cereals as a first non-milk/formula food for their babies. Baby cereal is a good option because it is a liquid-like consistency and easy for your little ones to eat, without any overwhelming flavor. Many pediatricians recommend that baby’s first meals consist of rice cereal, despite recent studies that show rice cereal has been found to contain six times more arsenic than other non-rice baby cereals (Vossenaar, Doak, & Solomons, 2014).
When in doubt, vegetables and fruits are always a great option when served properly. Just make sure your baby is getting a variety of nutrients and vitamins that include all their necessities. Fresh foods are best and if the food needs softened, try simply steaming it. Beware of foods that might look healthy for your baby, but are not. For example, canned vegetables, while convenient, are extremely high in sodium content. Also, many “fruit” juices are just as sugary as a soda. Raw avocado, steamed carrots, steamed sweet potatoes are all wonderful and healthy baby foods, but don’t stop there, the options are numerous!

SIDE EFFECTS OF NOT FOLLOWING COMPLEMENTARY FOOD GUIDELINES

New Baby Feeding Guidelines Parents Aren't Following but Should As mentioned above, rice cereal has been proven to contain extremely high levels of arsenic. Will arsenic negatively impact your baby’s health? The answer is complicated, because even if rice cereal is cut out, your little one will be exposed to arsenic in another matter. It is important, however, to minimize the amount of arsenic your child intakes as much as possible. Small amounts of arsenic will have a larger impact on infants, as the arsenic will be less diluted through a baby’s tiny system. Arsenic has been linked to lower IQ levels, cancer risk, and neurological development issues (Houlihan, 2017).
Without a doubt, rice cereal is responsible for most of baby’s arsenic intake. Babies who consumed rice cereal had urine with 3.3 times more arsenic than those who didn’t. Plenty of other options exist! Oat or quinoa cereals are great alternatives, or just skip baby cereal and make sure your little one is getting all of their nutrients from purees, mashes, and soft foods (Houlihan, 2017). Cereals are bland and boring anyways, so I wouldn’t recommend making them a staple in a baby’s diet unless your pediatrician specifically recommends it. Seriously, would you want to eat that mush? Some even suggest that children being introduced to these bland cereals can cause them to be pickier eaters later in life.
In conclusion, the new regulations regarding complementary foods for infants are simple. Wait until 6 months to feed your little ones anything other than breast milk or formula, and don’t feed them arsenic-rich rice cereal. Despite such simple guidelines, many parents are still resorting to outdated recommendations. Lack of education about proper infant nutrition, generations of feeding customs, and even pediatricians who don’t follow the new recommendations are to blame for the trend of improper feeding habits. Hopefully, with competent education on the subject, more parents will become enlightened to the best ways to feed their children. Hey, it even took years of educational campaigns and even legislative measures to make car seats the constant they are today!
New Baby Feeding Guidelines Parents Aren't Following but Should
RESOURCES
  1. Nutrition: Complementary Feeding. (n.d.). Retrieved April 03, 2018, from http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/complementary_feeding/en/
  2. Vossenaar, M., Doak, C. M., & Solomons, N. W. (2014). Challenges in the Elaboration of a Field Interview Instrument to Capture Information for the Evaluation of Adherence to the WHO/PAHO Guiding Principles for Complementary Feeding of the Breastfed Child. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 35(3), 338-350. doi:10.1177/156482651403500306
  3. Vossenaar, M., Doak, C. M., & Solomons, N. W. (2014). Challenges in the Elaboration of a Field Interview Instrument to Capture Information for the Evaluation of Adherence to the WHO/PAHO Guiding Principles for Complementary Feeding of the Breastfed Child. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 35(3), 338-350. doi:10.1177/156482651403500306
  4. Houlihan, J., MSCE. (2017, December). Arsenic in 9 Brands of Infant Cereal. Retrieved April 3, 2018, from http://www.healthybabycereals.org/sites/healthybabycereals.org/files/2017-12/HBBF_ArsenicInInfantCerealReport_EnglishSummary.pdf
  5. F. (2018, January 11). American Parents Are Giving Babies Regular Food Far Too Soon. Retrieved April 04, 2018, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/american-parents-are-giving-babies-regular-food-far_us_5a563f60e4b0baa6abf1632b

 

10 Sure Ways on How to Choose the Right Daycare

Choosing the right daycare can be tedious, scary, exhausting, nerve racking, sticker shock, a reality check, and terrifying all at the same time. I am going to tell you how to make searching for a daycare easy and rewarding.

Okay, so no one wants to go to work and leave their child with someone. Daycare facilities get a bad wrap. Home daycares get an even worse wrap. Let’s talk about some things to look for when it comes to picking out the right daycare for your sole reason for existence, your child.

1) First and Foremost

MAKE SURE THEY ARE A LICENSED FACILITY!

agree-1728448_960_720Okay, I know a lot of you are going to disagree with me about this one. YOU ARE WRONG! Let me just start that off right now. You are wrong….plain and simple. A place that is a licensed facility will be forced to follow safety laws. They will be forced to follow certain guidelines with food and nutrition. They will be forced to have certain academic standards. It makes it a much safer environment when the facility is licensed. If you knew what unlicensed places were doing when you aren’t there to check in on them you would freak out and never take your child back again. I promise! I don’t care that you know someone who isn’t licensed and you take your child there. The place may look spotless and you might think they are taking every safety precaution. I promise you they are NEVER following state guidelines because they don’t know how because they are NOT LICENSED.

NEVER TAKE YOUR CHILD TO AN UNLICENSED DAYCARE!

2) Check Inspection Records

businesswoman-571153_960_720The very next thing you will want to do is check inspection records. If they are a licensed facility you will be able to see any and all inspection records and visits. You will be able to see if they have any write ups, or have done major things that are total deal breakers. Keep in mind what they are getting written up for. The laws are very strict (as they should be) so look and see how severe the offense actually is.

3) Check Credibility

You will want to make sure your provider (center or home daycare) has proper credentials. Do they have a degree? What is their degree in? Do they have any other qualifications? What certifications have they gotten to expand their understanding of care? What extra steps have they taken to keep up on education. YOU WILL WANT TO ASK ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS!

240_F_141285320_18meGMKbKdi6Q63RKQOZRBHL1xmCbprSYou will want to make sure your provider has a degree in early childhood education. You will want to make sure they have taken the classes to get extra certifications and taken extra classes to keep up on their knowledge. This will also help them keep up on the latest research findings with growth and development. This will in turn make them better suited to caring for your child.

4) Drive Around the Neighborhood

female-driving-car-vintage-filter-260nw-282033554I promise you aren’t a stalker for checking out the neighborhood. Is the neighborhood safe? What is the activity going on around the home during the day? Is the provider outside with the kids? What are they doing with the kids? Are the kids in a gated play area that is safe? Are there random people showing up during the day that aren’t clients? There is so much you can learn about the environment if you just drive around the neighborhood a bit.

5) Cleanliness

bacteria-62993_960_720
bacteria disease

Make sure the facility (center or home) is CLEAN. They should have a special bleach mix they are using that ensures killing germs and prevention of spreading infectious diseases. ASK THEM ABOUT IT! It’s a law. Is the place cluttered, or clean? There is a difference. Is the facility’s floors stained? Are they shampooed/mopped regularly? Are the walls clean? Go to the bathroom. Is the bathroom clean?

6) Academics

240_F_80397099_dQzBrguVSCponUdSxCxtnAarbt3p6RCZLike I mentioned earlier you will need to ask about academics/curriculum. What program does the facility use? What are the statistics and success rates on using that program? How do the children fare when they leave the daycare and enter in to an elementary school?

Do they use several pieces from several different accredited programs for their curriculum? That is what you would ultimately want by the way.

What kind of things will they be learning about? What kind of social skills will they be working on? What kind of large and small motor skills will they be working on throughout the school year as well? These are all very important questions to ask.

7) Ages

kids-learning-numbers-count-fingers-260nw-1006985776What ages does the facility accommodate? If it is a center they should be separated based on age. There should be an appropriate amount of teachers in the rooms as well. There should be individual rooms for the individual ages.

An at home daycare is different. They are only licensed to have a certain number of children, and not only that. They are only licensed to have a certain number of certain ages in the daycare as well.

MAKE SURE YOU ASK THEM WHAT AGES AND NUMBERS OF CHILDREN THEY CURRENTLY HAVE!

8) Center-Based Learning

kids-2293835_960_720When you walk in there should be a noticeable classroom. There should be centers, a table for school work, and chairs that are age appropriate. The centers should be child level with age appropriate activities for the children. It’s pretty simple. Just make sure you see an academic setting, and not a clutter of toys all over the room. There should be structure. This is what you are looking for.

9) Price Check!

credit-squeeze-522549_960_720If you think it might be a good fit so far you will want to find out how much they charge. Do you need full time daycare? Does your child only need preschool/pre-k? Do you just need to drop them off every now and again. Every licensed and legitimate daycare facility (center and home) will have 3 different rates. They are: 1) full time price/week, 2) part-time price/week, and 3) drop in rate/week. Figure out what you need. Figure out if you can afford it as well.

I want to also point out that you are NOT limited if you need government funding. You will be required to send your child to a licensed daycare, but they will also need to be CCDF certified. This means the daycare provider has had even more training to take on these clients. Do not think you are limited to standards just because you need extra help with funding.

 

10) Look Over the ENTIRE Contract

binding-contract-948442_960_720We are on the last step. You will be required to sign a contract. If you are not required to sign a contract with the facility (center and home) then RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN OUT THE DOOR!

Anyway, look over the entire contract. What are you responsible for paying per/week? What are you responsible for if you leave for vacation. Most facilities require you still pay for the weeks your child is not there (if they’re full time spots). The provider also may put in the contract that you are required to pay them while they are on vacation too for so many weeks. How many weeks is the provider allowed to take per their contract? Be sure to know this kind of information.

There should also be a list of holidays/special days that they are closed, or closed early.

There should be a discipline policy in place as well. Find out how they discipline the children. Do they do time outs? Do they want to spank your child. P.S. NO ONE SHOULD EVER SPANK YOUR CHILD EXCEPT YOU.

FVL: What is it? And Why is The Medical Mama Writing About it?

Photo Credit factorv.org

I would like to introduce you to my biggest nightmare-Factor Five Leiden, or FVL. “What is it?” you are probably asking. I’ll tell you, then I’ll tell you why this has impacted myself and my family so much.

So…What is Factor Five Leiden (FVL)? “Factor V Leiden is a mutation of one of the clotting factors in the blood called factor V. This mutation can increase your chance of developing abnormal blood clots (thrombophilia), usually in your veins” (Mayo Clinic Staff., 2015). It is an inherited gene. I happened to inherit it from my dad and his side of the family.

The Clotting Process

clotting process
Photo Credit World Federation of Hemophilia, http://www.wfh.org. (2014).

When you are injured, or have surgery, you have special proteins that work together to heal the blood vessels in your body. These proteins are your clotting factors. You also have platelets that send signals to other cells to come and clot together to repair this injury. This is called a platelet plug. After that you have coagulation factors (labeled by Roman numerals, like Factor V) that come and help with the clot. Note the image located to the left side of this section.

When you have a coagulation disorder, or blood clot disorder, this is when things get complicated.

How FVL Affects Clotting

When our bodies need to clot we have something called activated protein C (APC). This initially tells the blood clot to not grow too large enough for complications (i.e. deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, etc). This directly tells the fibrin (clotting factors mentioned above) to not grow and get out of control. When someone has FVL it is a gene mutation in which is can not help but grow too large to the point of blood clots in the body that become harmful (World Federation of Hemophilia., 2014).

How Has This Impacted My Life?

I am not perfect (hard to believe I know. Haha). I have Factor Five Leiden. I have this horrible gene mutation that affects my daily life. If I get injured in any way I am at risk for developing blood clots or hematomas. When you are injured the clotting process is still the same (even in organs). Both of my pregnancies I have had to be on blood thinners (self injections twice a day for 12 months). When you become pregnant your body produces more blood for the baby. More blood=more blood flow. Your heart and blood vessels have to work twice as hard to pump this blood throughout the body. This increases your risks of clotting. Clots will undeniably kill your unborn baby. It’s a fact, not a “maybe”. When I have surgeries (like my two c-sections) I increased my risks for clotting. Patients can throw a clot and die from surgeries if they have FVL.

dad and elexys
Photo Credit The Medical Mama, themedicalmama.wordpress.com. (2012).

Not only do I have FVL, but my father and sister have it as well. This puts both my daughters at risk for it as well. My father almost died from it. We were not aware it “ran” in our family. He fell on ice one day and it went untreated by several doctors (Don’t get me started on that.). He had a deep vein thrombosis in his right leg. The clot broke off and traveled to his lungs leaving him with several pulmonary embolisms. The clots from there then traveled to his heart. He had about 5-7 clots in his heart. This left his heart damaged in some areas permanently. This is something that can not be reversed when damage has been done. He almost died sitting in an ER room waiting for doctors to figure out how the heck it got this far to a life or death situation. With the grace of God and God’s love my father is alive today.

There are two types of gene mutations: heterozygote and homozygote. I have the heterozygote gene mutation. I have the heterozygote gene mutation. This means if a parent with one copy and a parent with no copies has a baby that baby will have a 50% chance of carrying the FVL gene. That is 1 in 2 babies. I have 2 children and that fact just hit me hard in the face…like a pile of bricks. That means AT LEAST one of my beautiful daughters is carrying the gene (maybe both).

FVL and Pregnancy

carrying high or low
Photo Credit Emily Sadler, todaysparent.com. (2017)

As I mentioned above pregnancy increases your risks for blood clots. When you become pregnant your body produces more blood for the baby. More blood=more blood flow. Your heart and blood vessels have to work twice as hard to pump this blood throughout the body. This increases your risks of clotting. Again, clots will undeniably kill your unborn baby. It’s a fact, not a “maybe”.

“The factor V Leiden mutation is associated with a slightly increased risk of pregnancy loss (miscarriage). Women with this mutation are two to three times more likely to have multiple (recurrent) miscarriages or a pregnancy loss during the second or third trimester. Some research suggests that the factor V Leiden mutation may also increase the risk of other complications during pregnancy, including pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (preeclampsia), slow fetal growth, and early separation of the placenta from the uterine wall (placental abruption). However, the association between the factor V Leiden mutation and these complications has not been confirmed. Most women with factor V Leiden thrombophilia have normal pregnancies” (Genetics Home Reference., 2010).

FVL and Surgery

When you have an injury your blood vessels will dilate to keep blood inside your body. This will slow down the rate of blood flow through the blood vessels. This increases the risk of blood clots.

“Injury to your veins or surgery can slow blood flow, increasing the risk of blood clots. General anesthetics used during surgery can dilate your veins, which can increase the risk of blood pooling and then clotting” (Mayo Clinic Staff., 2015).

If you think you have a blood clotting disorder please talk to your doctor right away!

 

 

Resources:

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2015). Factor V Leiden. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/factor-v-leiden/symptoms-causes/syc-20372423

World Federation of Hemophilia. (2014). The Clotting Process. Retrieved from https://www.wfh.org/en/page.aspx?pid=635

Dictionary.com. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.dictionary.com/

Genetics Home References. (2010). Factor V Leiden Thromophilia. Retrieved from https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/factor-v-leiden-thrombophilia#resources

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014). Factor V Leiden. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/factor-v-leiden/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372428

My Best Day as a Mom/My Worst Day as a Mom

Photo Credit Clipart Panda, clipartpanda.com. (2018).

We’ve all had bad days and good days as a parent. More so true for at home moms I think. We are the sole providers for our children and as an at home mom it is our job to raise the children until our husbands come home from work. We cook, clean, pick up after everyone, raise the babies, and make sure the house runs smoothly.

I have days where I’m ready to rip the hair right out of my head, or put the kids on a  tether and tie them out back (not that I would actually do that). I also have days where I relish in the play and joy of being a mom and being there for my children.

My very best day as a mom were the days when my children were born. I think every mom would choose that answer though.

If I’m being completely honest the best days as a mom for me are the days when I feel like the day has been a complete success. The days where my daughter does something nice out of the kindness of her heart for another human being are the best days. The days when my daughter shows me how smart she really is by doing a 100 piece puzzle (she’s 5 years old by the way) by herself, or she spells out a really hard word while she’s writing are the best days. The days when we sit around and play games and she understands the concept of the game are the best days. The days when we can just “chill” and snuggle in front of the t.v. are the best days. The days when we get out of the house and do something one on one are the best days.

What are your best days as a mom?

Every parent is going to have a bad day too. We all have bad days. Days when I just can’t seem to get anything done because the baby is crying and my daughter needs my attention preventing me from putting food on the table is a bad day. The days when everyone is sick and has a fever with vomiting are bad days. I sit there feeling helpless as I watch my children sit there feeling helpless. I can’t help them except with medication and snuggles. The days when my house is a disaster from all the play time and “living” going on from being a family, and I can’t get it clean because of my children needing me every second are bad days. The days when I can’t get myself out the door on time because I feel the need to take care of everyone else first are bad days. The days when my daughter brings home a “negative square color” from school because of her making poor choices at school are bad days. I sit there and wonder what I am doing wrong as a parent and how can I help my child be a better person.

We all have good days and bad days.

What are your good days as a parent? What are you bad days as a parent?

Fun Valentine’s Day Ideas to do With Your Kids

We all love Valentine’s Day (or at least the thought behind it). It’s even more fun when you have children to share it with. Valentine’s Day is not solely about romantic love. It’s also about other types of love (no….not the “new” equal right that this country is so obsessed with right now). I am talking about love that a mother has for her kids, and vise versa.

1) Surprise them with a Valentine’s Day themed breakfast.

stack-breakfast-pancakes-topped-strawberry-260nw-140478487Find your favorite silicone shaped heart and make some heart pancakes. Use lots of red colors, like strawberries, strawberry syrup, red food coloring for things, etc. Find some grapefruit juice to go with breakfast as well.

240_F_33100102_7TYBi1Kd9HGKA4KPDJP1qg4zrNHCPXDN

2) Put together a special gift box for them.

If you don’t have time in the morning for breakfast, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered too. Put together a box for them to open when everyone gets home in the afternoon or evening. Put together a box full of new jammies, a movie, and a bag of popcorn. Then everyone can

3) Make a special dessert to go with dinner.

cake-55922_960_720I love this one! I am at home, so I am able to bake throughout the day. Baking special heart shaped cookies, or baking a heart shaped cake is a great idea. If you are not that is okay too. You can always buy a yummy treat to go with dinner on your way home from work.

flowers-2496072_960_720

4) Pick wild flowers and put them in a vase.

We used to live in the country, and one of our favorite things to do was to go wild flower pickin’. Okay, I know in February where I live there are probably NOT any flowers. However, if you live in a part of the world where it’s warm in February and there are flowers growing you should go wild flower pickin’ with your little one. It’s a lot of fun.

5) Write a bunch of “Why I love you” notes and leave them all around the house for them to find.

writing-3230708_960_720This one is a fun one too. Write as many little sticky notes as you can for your children and on each one write one thing about them that you love. Then leave them lying around the house for them to find. It’s a great self-esteem booster, and it takes little to NO effort on your part as a parent.

C-Section and a Toddler/Child: What its Like Having a Toddler/Child After a C-Section

I just had my second baby (March 5th), and just had my second c-section. What’s it like having a toddler after having a c-section you ask? I’ll tell you.

 Knowing What to Expect During Deliver and After

pregnant lady with nurse
Photo Credit Clipart Library, clipart-library.com. (2018)

First, let’s talk about knowing what to expect during your second c-section. I think this is a big one for me. I already had a c-section with my first born. I knew what to expect walking in to the delivery room (well the operating room), and I knew how I was going to feel afterwards. This gave me an ease of mind (for the most part). C-sections are so routine and as long there wasn’t any complications prenatal everything will go smoothly during surgery. If this isn’t your first rodeo you can expect the same thing. Same “drill.” That’s helpful with my anxiety.

Going in to surgery was crazy for me. It is so intense. I had to walk to the OR (operating room) and mentally prepare myself with every step. I had to get on the table and not freak myself out. I have major anxiety issues.

How are you feeling about your second c-section?

 Dealing With New Pain

c-section pain
Photo Credit Clear Passage, clearpassage.com. (2018)

Any new moms out there who just had a c-section but are step-moms to other little ones? I can’t relate to this, but I just wanted to give a shout out to you for being awesome! If you’ve never had a c-section until now you are experiencing grueling pain. It hurts to go to the bathroom, cough, sneeze, and even lay to one side. Every movement hurts like knives stabbing at your incision.

Don’t worry, it gets better. Rest and make sure you walk around the house for small increments at a time. Don’t over do it. I can’t imagine being a first time c-section mommy and then having to come home and take care of a whole household on top of that. Rely on other people for help for sure. You got this!

 Support and Anticipation

excited sibblings
Photo Credit clipartbest.com. (Unknown)

My daughter is 5 years old. She has been anticipating her baby sister’s arrival for 9 whole months, and I’ll tell you I’ve never seen a child more thrilled about not being an only child anymore. She has done nothing but be supportive. I would like to think that has everything to do with how my husband and I handled the situation. We introduced her to the idea right away and kept her involved (I have an article about this coming out on March 16, 2018. You can find it here).

With that being said the transition from having a second c-section to coming home and taking care of a whole household isn’t without it’s appreciative atmosphere. When I got home my 5 year old did nothing but help me around the house. Every morning when I get up she holds her baby sister for me while I get a minute to take care of myself. My husband and daughter both were so appreciative of all the things I did before I had the baby, and everything I do while the baby is here.

 Extra Hands Equals Extra Help

helping hands
Photo Credit Clipart Library, clipart-library.com. (2018)

Since my daughter is 5 years old she is a fantastic helper. She is at the perfect age where all they want to do is help whoever and with whatever they can. I’ve been so lucky because she helps with all the chores around the house…willingly. She helps me with the baby. She brings me things from upstairs and around the house so I don’t have to put extra exertion on my incision.

She does a fantastic job being calm and quiet around the baby. She reminds others to do the same as well. She is so aware of what’s going on around her baby sister that she puts her needs first. It amazes me the “little mommy” helper I have. We are so blessed.

If this is your first or second or even third c-section I would love to hear from you in the comments section.

Resources:

Dictionary.com. (2018). C-Section. Retrieved from http://www.dictionary.com/browse/c-section?s=t