Vaccines aren’t the enemy…the diseases are!

Here’s yet another story about the high number of Measles being reported in the U.S. Why, oh why are so many parents rejecting these life saving vaccinations based on unsubstantiated theories and media hyped fears? This story is quick to point out that most cases of Measles have been reported in children who weren’t vaccinated. Why let your kid suffer and possibly put others at risk? Just recently there was a sign on our gym’s child center that a case of Pertussis(Whooping Cough) was reported in the center. I think sometimes you can do too much internet research and get all caught up in the misinformation floating around in cyberspace. If you want the facts…talk to your doctor instead of some woman named “Kelly mom” with no face or medical background.

Mom’s don’t get to call in sick

So I feel just aweful and I’ve felt this way for the past few days. I finally went to the doctor and I’ve got a sinus infection. It’s interesting how we rush our children to the doctor for the slightest cough or smallest scrape, but it’s easier to move mountains than get OURSELVES there! Anyway, I’m laying on the couch, savoring a precious 30 minutes when both my 3 year old and 5 month old are asleep, and it occurs to me that Mom’s don’t get to phone it in….ever. Oh sure, there are days when the television is on too long, or your feeling lazy so the laundry that’s been piling up for weeks isn’t finished. Yes. Even I have days like that…it’s rare, but it happens(LOL!). I remember when I was working in pharmaceutical sales(pre-children) and I got 5 sick days, 2 weeks paid vacation and 4 floating holidays for the year…that’s like a whole month of NOT working: of blissful nothingness. You remember those days right? Back when your biggest concern when you were feeling sick was, “Ugh. There is nothing good on television between 9 and noon.” Of course, pre-kids, you rarely used those sick days because you were “sick.” Let’s face it, before you had a little petri dish to bring home every possible cough, cold, flu and pox, you were actually pretty darn healthy.

So now here we are, a few years and kids later thinking, “If I could just have those sick days back I’ll never waste them on a day of shopping and Starbucks again! Please!!!” But it’s impossible. You can’t have those sick days because you’re a parent and every time you turn around(slowly, because your head is so stuffed that it’s in grave danger of exploding), someone is demanding something of you. Now, this is where I’m suppose to mention that if having sick days back means I couldn’t have my kids then it’s worth all the sneezing, coughing and fevers in the world. Yeah. That’s what I’m SUPPOSE to say and any other day I would. But with how I’m feeling right now, ask me again tomorrow.

BPA. If ain’t one thing, it’s another!

So, there’s something else to worry about…BPA in bottles. I remember this story came out back in 2004 or 2005 and it was a big deal in the media, but, as it always goes with media, something better and more terrifying came along so we never heard anymore about BPA until recently. I found a great website that has some really great information on the topic as well as a list of Non-BPA products for baby. I think this is just a good site to have in your bookmark folder. The site is safemama.com and here’s the list of non-BPA products available.

I copied this from safemama.com because I thought it was a good summary of the topic:
For those who don’t know, BPA is Bisphenol A is a hormone-mimicking chemical used in polycarbonate plastics and resins commonly used for items such as shatterproof baby bottles. Bisphenol has estrogenic properties which, in animal tests has shown to cause a bevy of health problems such as an increase in prostate and breast cancer, uro-genital abnormalities in male babies, a decline in semen quality in men, early onset of puberty in girls, metabolic disorders including insulin-resistant (Type 2) diabetes and obesity and neurobehavioral problems such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Research is showing that when plastic containers, mostly those used to hold liquids and foods, are leeching Bisphenol into the foods and liquids they are holding. Heating food and liquids with these plastics is shown to increase the leeching of this contaminate.
Many companies use this chemical in their packaging including cans, soda cans, and plastic food containers. There is a risk of absorbing this chemical through the use of containing foods and liquids but can also leech into our water systems through landfills.
Many leading experts argue that the use of Bisphenol is safe to the human public but research may begin to further prove otherwise.

The second time around

I know that a lot of first time mom’s can relate to my experience when I had my son almost 3 years ago(shesh, time does fly!). I found out I was pregnant, got all the necessary and unnecessary baby gear, joined a prenatal yoga class and started my research on hospitals and cord blood banking. Being pregnant for the first time, I was so excited and basked in all the attention from strangers, family and friends…”when are you due?” “do you know what you’re having?” “picked a name?” Then came the big day, I couldn’t wait to meet the little peanut who had been kicking me for the past 9 months. An induction, breaking the water, epidural and c-section, and 14 hours later he was finally here…and pissed off!

The first 4 months are a haze of screaming, poop, crying(him and me), frustration, doctor’s visits and more crying(mostly me). I remember thinking, “what the hell did I do? I wish I was pregnant again….ah, sweet, sweet naivety.” For the first 4 months of my son’s life, he was gassy, colicky, fussy, intense and just generally pissed off with his new circumstances. It occurred to me why people only have one child….once is plenty thank you. So when I found out I was pregnant again, I was a bit apprehensive to do it all over again.

Well, we’re 4 months into my daughter’s life and I’m happy to report that I’m having a blast! It’s so much easier the second time around…even WITH a demanding toddler running around. I’m calmer and she’s calm and happy and easily predictable. I think that with the first child, we mothers spend our time worrying about when are they going to roll over, when will the colic end, when will they sit up, when, when, when. So much worrying that we forget to have fun and enjoy our babies. I’m enjoying it so much more the second time around and every tim I look at her I think, “I’m going to kiss, kiss, kiss you all the time because soon, you won’t want me to.” Now, don’t get me wrong, my son is awesome. His full of spirit and life and he’s smart and hilarious and challenging and all those things that I complain and love about him….the little quirks that make up the fabric of “him,” and I wouldn’t trade a thing. But, as far as actually ENJOYING and taking more time to appreciate the second one, well, I’ve made it a point, no, my mission to do it better the second time around.

A different way to look at the suction bulb

Okay, my 9 week old has had aweful congestion for the past two weeks. I was just letting it run it’s course but decided I needed to take her in since it hasn’t gotten any better. I absolutely LOVE my pediatrician! He’s always got these great techniques to get stuff done. He taught me “the move” which made giving my son medicine much, much easier(I’ll describe “the move” at a later blog…if you have a bad medicine taker then it will change your life!). Anyway, I took my daughter in and he asked me, “What are you doing for the congestion?” I said, “Well, I’m dropping saline and suctioning it out.” He proceeded to tell me, “No, no…you gotta blow the saline up into those sinus cavities that need to be cleaned out. Let me show you.” I’ll give you a step by step of what he did. 1)Depending on how old or how strong the baby is, you may want to swaddle the arms down. 2)Tilt the head back a bit and flood the nose with saline, and I mean FLOOD it. I’ve always put a few drops in each, but this is where you just dump their nose with saline. 3)Take the bulb and push air into one nostril, the opposite of suctioning it. What this does is blow that saline all up in the places that just using drops won’t get. 4)Leave the bulb in and keep slowly blowing and the mucus will either come out the other nostril or they’ll swallow it. It took me a few times to get it down, but once I did…it worked great! Especially now with all the new regulations on cough/cold medications for kids under 2, this new way of clearing out a baby’s congestion works great!

Bruisers…gotta love ’em

Okay, I don’t know if any one else out there has a “bruiser” for a child…my son certainly is! In two short years this child has managed to chip his two front teeth, bust open his lip requiring stiches, and fell less than 2 ft. and broke his elbow. Yes, be BROKE his elbow! The ER doctor said that it was a very uncommon break for a 2 year old and, as a matter of fact, he’s never seen this type of break in a toddler before….ever. We are taking him to the Orthopedist tomorrow to find out if he’ll need a cast or, hopefully not, surgery. Watching my son constantly fall, trip, hit his head, run into walls makes me wonder how I possibly got through childhood without so much as an ankle sprain? Why do some kids just bounce right back up and some just happen to fall on that one spot, in that one place that breaks a bone? Ugh! It’s going to be very difficult to not wrap him in bubble wrap the next time he goes outside.

Autism: Epidemic or Underdiagnosed

I just read an article on msnbc.com that addresses the hotbutton of Autism and the incidence rate that has been recently splashed around the media. A few months ago, the experts said that as many as 1 on 150 children suffer from Autism and that statement sent parents into a hysteria! Every little quirk, off behavior, display of anger was and is scrutinized as we look for that “Autism” red flag and mom’s everywhere agonize over little things like, “My kid DOES line up his toys” and “Sometimes my 2 year old DOESN’T respond to her name!” Then you’ve got all the parents who refuse vaccinations because they think the Thirmisol causes Autism. Here’s what I think….Get A GRIP People!!!!! There is no medical link between vaccinations(more specifically the MMR) and the rate of Autism, despite how hard we’ve tried to find a link. Instead, what is considered to be Autism, which now includes a “spectrum” of behaviors and different degrees, has changed over the years. Doctors and experts have started to 1)better diagnos the disease and 2)increase what they consider to be Austisic. Now, if you’ve got a disease that has widened the parameters and has much more information surrounding it…then yeah, of course it’s going to be caught and diagnosed more. That doesn’t mean the incidence rate has gone up, it means that we are recognizing it more and labeling it faster.

I think that in the next 10 or 15 years, what we’re going to find is that Autism is a genetic mutation and it’s as simple as that. Genetics and environment…that’s what we’ll find and all this vaccination talk will finally be laid to rest. Genetics. The key to many diseases like Cancer, MS and Heart Disease(to some extent).

It’s a great article…check it out: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21600784/

FDA says no Cough/Cold Meds for under 6 years old!

I don’t know about anyone else, but when I first heard this, I almost ran to the store and stockpiled my favorite cold medications for my son(personally, I like Triminic thin strips and the Little Noses brands)! I was a bit panicked to think that the FDA was going to pull these meds when it’s only a few, overzealous mom’s that drug their kids longer and more often than they should. Seriously, I was panicked….because the next time my son had a bad cough, the FDA was seriously handicapping my ability to make him feel better during such an aweful time for parent and child: the common cold. It can drag on for weeks making everyone’s life miserable.

But then, I actually stopped to think about the effectiveness of these meds on my son. Really think about it….do they really help or does putting our kids on these medications just make us THINK it’s helping. My son(who is 2) just got over his first cold of the season and he was taking the Triminic thin strips during the day and night. I stopped giving them to him after about 4 days because it seemed that he was doing better. He still had a cough that hung around, but the reality is…it wasn’t the Triminic that made him better, it was the cold just running it’s course. He still coughed and had a runny nose when he was on Triminic, but I kept giving it to him anyway because I thought it would help. When I think back on the other colds, I find similar outcomes. And the only medications that have helped were the prescriptions I’ve gotten from the pediatrician.

So, what are mom’s to do now that we don’t even have the “appearance” of something that makes our poor kids feel better? Here’s what I’ve done and found to be helpful:
1)Cool mist humidifiers work great.
2)Cracking a window, especially in the winter. It sounds counter-productive, but for “dry coughs” it’s the BEST remedy. AC/Heaters drain the rooms of moisture which can aggitate a cough. Putting fresh air/humidity back into the air and keeping the room cold actually helps! Try it!
3)Claritin also helps dry up a runny nose, even if it’s not just allergy related.
4)Vicks plug-ins help a bit for lots of congestion.
5)Saline and bulb the nose. Kids HATE this, but it really can help clear that little nose.

“Deceptively Delicious” by Jessica Seinfeld

Jessica Seinfeld was on Oprah promoting her book with a great idea: vegetable puree’s in everyday foods like mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, brownies, cookies etc. It all looked so good and they taste tested on a bunch of 1st and 2nd graders….all the kids loved the food and were shocked to find spinich and broccoli in the pizza and nuggets! It looked promising and, like many of you out there, my son and I have HUGE battles over vegetables!

She sets aside an hour, once a week and purees diffferent veggies. She steams, purees and then bags them and puts them in the fridge labeled. Then, she uses them throughout the week. The good part is that the cookbook has all the proportions in it so nothing tastes different and you don’t have to guess. She even has a reciepe for chocolate cake using beet puree!!! Yuck! But Oprah and the audience loved it.

I just thought I’d share since I’m inspired. The book is called “Deceptively Delicious” and I’m going out to get the book now and keep you posted if it actually works! I’m excited!

P.S. She did also make a good point in that it’s important to continue trying to get them to eat veggies normally and always included them with the meal…..

Sesame Street, Old School Style

My 2 year old son LOVES Sesame Street! The more I watch it, the more I see small glimpses of MY childhood staring back at me from the television. It’s in the little cartoons that they show; it’s in the old segments they still edit in; it’s in Maria and Mr. Hooper’s store and Snuffleupagus. Of course, by now, they’ve added more characters and the segments are computerized…but it amazes me everytime I see old pieces that were such a part of my childhood and made such an impression that I remember it 20(or so) years later. Just the other day I saw the old segment where they show how Crayons are made. There’s no talking, just images of big, industrial machines, happy factory workers(circa 1982) and music. Today they just showed the old bit with Kermit helping Don Music compose “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Remember? Doesn’t it take you back? I can’t remember a lot from 3-2-1 Contact or The Electric Company(both of which I spent just as much time and energy watching), but I still remember Sesame Street. I just searched it on Wikipedia and here are some interesting facts:

-One of the longest running television shows in US history
-As of 2007, has aired 4, 151 episodes (38 seasons)
-The original has been aired in 120 countries and more than 30 international versions have been produced
-Has recieved 109 Emmy Awards, more than any other television series
-Estimated 75 million Americans have watched it as children
-Many educators criticized the show when it first debuted because it emphazised “cognitive” learning rather than play and activities like other shows at the time. It was also believed it would worsen children’s attention spans

Take THAT Dora and Yo Gabba Gabba!!!

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