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Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease – Every (Working) Mom’s Nightmare

Okay, it’s really every mom’s nightmare, working or not, but being employed full-time makes it extra challenging.  You see, when the doctor told me that Hazeline might miss the entire week of school my very first thought was – “That CANNOT happen.”  Who was I going to get to watch my highly contagious child for a day, let alone a week?  Five whole work days.  I had already missed a ton of work from Hazeline’s pneumonia last month and Greenleigh’s never-ending stomach virus earlier this year, that I just couldn’t miss any more days.  Plus, I had clients that had flown in and events that had been scheduled for months on the books.  What’s a working mom to do?

Maybe I should back up a little.  About a week and a half ago, we were in Atlanta at my in-law’s house getting ready to leave for the airport and catch our flight back to Florida.  Before we left for the airport, I decided to change Hazeline’s diaper one more time, because I have no love for public changing tables and try to use them as sparingly as possible.  When I was done changing her diaper I went to put her shoes back on and noticed several bumps all over the bottom of her foot.  As a kid, I used to get similar looking rashes when the weather would become too hot, so I automatically chalked it up to it being summer and the fact that I’ve been putting her in shoes with no socks out of convenience.  I scooped Hazeline up, thought nothing more about it, and off we went to the airport.  But things only got worse from there.

As we sat on the plane for what seemed like an eternity (they had to reroute us and change all our paperwork due to weather), I noticed similar bumps were forming between her fingers.  It was only two or three though, so I figured maybe it was a fluke.  It was at that point that Erajh decided it was chicken pox and went into major crisis mode.  The worst place to have a panic attack over a contagious, airborne virus?  Thirty-five thousand feet up in the air.  Tends to get the people around you to freaked out.  Good thing we were taking up an entire row and no one in the other rows were paying much attention to us.  By the time we landed the bumps had multiplied and were covering both of her hands.

Within a half hour of landing, Hazeline and I were on our way to the doctor (thank goodness for Sunday hours – open until 8pm!) where she was diagnosed with Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease.  There’s no vaccine to prevent it and no medicine to clear it up.  It’s passed through direct contact with an infected person, or something that they’ve touched, which seemed a little odd in our case since Hazeline had been out of school for most of the estimated incubation period.  It typically affects kids under the age of 5, although the doctor didn’t seem concerned that Greenleigh would get it.  I nodded through all of this information, not realizing what was coming next – “She might not be able to go to daycare all week.”  Why do doctors always act like that kind of news isn’t a big deal?  Because it is a big deal.  Huge.  Denial set in quickly though – My kids rebound fast; she would be in school by mid-week, I assured myself.

But her condition was getting worse, not better.  The rash was continuing to multiply and was covering her hands, feet, face, and body.  Although she never ran a fever during the whole ordeal, she was warm to the touch and cranky.  I secured a sitter for the next day and conceded that she might be out of school until Wednesday…at the latest.

Monday, the day after the rash first appeared, was probably the worst for us.  Hazeline was cranky and wanted to be held constantly.  She slept often but only wanted to sleep on the babysitter and not in her crib.  She scared the sitter to death when she refused to eat anything all day and turned down her bottles (if you know Hazeline, you know how much she loves to eat).  She looked out of it.  And of course the rash had spread to her face and her body.  Poor baby.

But lucky for us, Monday was the worst of it.  On Tuesday my good friend that graciously agreed to watch her for the day reported that she ate and slept like a champ.  She was happy and played with her toys.  But the rash stayed.  And with the rash, she couldn’t go to daycare.  And so the days went on, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – No daycare.  Happy, but quite possibly contagious and had a rash.  In case you’ve never seen Hand Foot & Mouth, this is what can look like, although these pictures were taken on Wednesday, when she was getting better.  These pictures were definitely an improvement over what she looked like on Monday and Tuesday.And it’s hard to see, but there are a few small bumps on the right side of her face around her mouth in this picture:By Friday, the rash was significantly better and she probably could have gone to school, but Erajh had nothing planned for that day so he ended up staying home with her.  And by Friday, we had spent enough in sitter fees (as reasonable as they were) that sending her to daycare for one day just didn’t make financial sense.  Hazeline seemed a little stir crazy, but we kept her home anyway.

So, as it turns out, my child really did miss a full day of daycare as a result of this awful illness, but was back to her normal self just in time for the weekend.  Maybe I should have listened to that doctor when she said that 5 days before.  Either way, I’m happy to report that the virus has left the house…for now.  Of course we just need to wait the normal 2 week delay to see if Greenleigh gets it.  I’m crossing my fingers that the answer is no.

You Want to Get Rid of What?!

There’s a heated debate going on in my house.  It’s over this:Someone ::coughMyHusbandcough:: wants to get rid of this gem.  But the problem is, every time I look at it, all I can see is this:

Greenleigh, 3 weeks old

How could I get rid of that?  That swing was my extra set of arms for the first few weeks/months; the happy place that my kids hung out for hours on end.  Okay, scratch that, Hazeline spent hours on end in the swing, with Greenleigh it only bought me 5-15 minutes to change the laundry from the washer to the dryer and maybe make a sandwich.  I swear, that child didn’t want me to eat.  But no matter how long they stayed in it, there was no doubt that they loved it.  And now, even though we don’t really “need” it, I’m a bit emotionally attached.

The problem is, my husband has a point.  Shhh…don’t tell him I said that, but it’s true.  Our house is overcrowded.  Like I’ve said in the past, we easily have 2500 square feet worth of stuff crammed into a 1700 square foot townhouse.  And whether I like it or not, we need the space for other things that the girls can actually use right now, like the kitchen set that Erajh and I bought for Greenleigh or the baby doll highchair set that Hazeline got for her birthday.  I’m sure that both girls would get way more use out of those than the swing that they no longer fit into, and yet, I just keep seeing this:

Hazeline, 7 weeks

I can’t get rid of it.

But it’s not just the swing, there are tons of other things that need to be gone and I just can’t quite pull the trigger.  The jumperoo, exersaucer, and snap-n-go stroller all top the list, but there are so many more.  Just the other day, Erajh asked if we could get rid of some of our old small bottles that Hazeline doesn’t use anymore.  I said fine, but when he actually went to move towards them, I freaked out a little.

We do plan to have another baby (eventually), and there are things that we will hold on to for that child – the bouncer that’s in great shape, the new Evenflo Bebek bottles I got recently, and several rubbermaid tubs overflowing with clothes – but much of what we have, has seen better days.  For example, the bottles in question are stained, labeled, and scratched up.  Erajh and I agreed a while back that for the next baby we will just get new ones.  And yet they linger in my home.  I was never a huge fan of the exersaucer (it was great in theory, but not in actual use) and it’s missing a few parts.  That jumperoo that I spent hours scouring craigslist to find because it was the one at Greenleigh’s school and the only one she ever really liked?  Well, it turns out that Greenleigh never loved it in our house as much as she loved it at school.  And the fact that it refuses to collapse, makes it a prime target for the Goodwill/donation pile.  Oh and that swing I can’t get rid of?  The motor is just about done and it makes a weird clicking noise from time to time, depending what speed you put it on.  And yet they are all still in my house, each a memento of the time when they were so little.

Sure the idea of having more space in my house is appealing to me and now maybe you understand why my house looks like an episode of Hoarders, but please tell me that I’m not the only one attached to my “baby’s” things.  Anyone else unable or find it difficult to part with them?  Anything that you kept because you just couldn’t part with it?

Getting Back Into Shape After Childbirth {Guest Post}

Many new moms find themselves wanting to lose a few pounds after giving birth. The time it will take to loss those unwanted pregnancy pounds will depend of a number of factors, including how much time a new mom has to devote to exercise, nutrition and how much weight has to be lost.

Most doctors recommend that an expectant mother gain no more than 25-35 additional pounds. If this is the case, it will normally take only two to three months to drop the extra pounds. However, for those who were already overweight or gained more than the recommended amount during pregnancy, it could require more time to get down to a healthy body weight.

Consulting a Doctor

Just as a woman consulted her doctor during pregnancy for her delivery plans, like pain management and umbilical cord blood banking, a mother should share her post-delivery diet and exercise plans with her doctor before beginning them. Regardless of how enthusiastic a new mom is to get back into her favorite clothes, it is important to give the body enough time to fully recover before embarking on a vigorous weight loss plan. A physician can also recommend a nutritionist who can work with a new mom on a healthy menu that will provide her with the nutrients she needs, while allowing her to lose a reasonable amount of weight per week.

Realistic Goals

One of the main reasons that many of those who try to lose weight don’t succeed is that they don’t set realistic goals or give themselves the time necessary to achieve their goals. Also, no matter how disciplined we are, sometimes we fall of the wagon and indulge in the occasional candy bar or have more daily calories than was allowed on our meal plan. The plan should take these occasional slips into account.

Diet

Dieting in the traditional sense is never a good idea. First, because cutting out too many foods rarely has a lasting impact. Secondly, because it can be dangerous, especially for new moms who are breastfeeding. A better approach is to eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Also, drink plenty of water. Drinking water has been demonstrated to help people lose weight.

Finding Motivation

Creating a list of reasons she wants to get back into shape can be useful to a new mom. This list may include having more energy to spend with her kids or taking her new baby out on excursions to the park. The list might also include the fact that she will feel better about herself because she is taking the time to take care of her health.

Get Some Sleep

Getting enough rest has also been shown in studies to have an effect on weight loss. New moms who are up all night and sometimes sleep less than five hours a night tend to have a more difficult time losing weight. In part, this is due to bad food choices they make throughout the day as a way to make it through on too little sleep.

With the right mindset, goals and help from her a doctor, a mother can soon be feeling comfortable in her own body again. Caring for baby is always the number one concern for mothers, but tending to herself is equally as important to properly care for baby. With a healthy mother, a baby will grow and thrive too.

This article was written by Katie Moore. Katie is an active writer within the blogging community who discusses maternity, motherhood, prenatal health, childbirth and other topics within this niche.  If you have any questions or would like to connect with Katie please contact by visiting her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter @moorekm26.

 

Evenflo Bebek: Feed. Snuggle. Bond. {Review}

Hazeline is over a year old, but she’s yet to show the sippy cup any love, so it appears that we are stuck with bottles for a while longer.  [Insert heavy groan here.]  It’s not that I want her off of the bottle.  Actually, quite the opposite, I kinda like that she still loves her bottles.  It reminds me that she’s still the little one and that she has so much growing left to do.  Maybe it’s my way to keep her a baby just a little while longer.  But cleaning and constructing them are a bit of a pain.

Hazeline’s bottles consist of six parts, including the cap.  That’s a ton of cleaning.  I’ve bought dishwasher racks and done everything I can to make it easy, but still, it’s a ton of work.  It’s also a ton of parts…that often get lost.  Toddler hands find them on the bottle shelf and carry them all over, meaning I find them in weird places in my house and don’t have them when I need them.  Such a pain.  But all those little parts are supposed to reduce discomfort and gas for the baby, so how could I not put up with them?  And all the bottles I’ve tried that have fewer parts tend to leak.  I really felt that there was no other option, but it turns out, there is – Evenflo Bebek.

A collection of bottles, nipples, training cups, and pacifiers, the Evenflo Bebek is specially designed to be more like mom.  The wide nipple intended to ease transition from breast to bottle, and provides an easier latch for newborns.  The rapid venting nipples are made to vent air into the bottle and not into baby’s stomach, which reduces gas, fussiness, and colic.  By taking these precautions, feeding will be a stress-free, pain-free experience, allowing time to connect.  We were lucky enough to get a chance to try these bottles, and can’t say enough good things about them.

Hazeline really likes the curved design, which is funny, because when I first saw the bottle, I didn’t give it much thought.  Turns out, it gives her a better grip.  She also likes the size of the bottle.  We received 5 oz bottles for the purpose of this review, and it was the perfect size for her two afternoon bottles.  The smaller size means that she can easily hold and carry the bottle, whereas she will sometimes get a little lazy with 8 oz bottles.  I would have loved to have a 5 oz bottle when my girls were newborns, it seemed that they always needed more than 4 oz but less than 6 oz.  The 5 oz is just perfect.

I like that the nipple and vent is one piece.  Fewer parts means less cleaning and less of a chance of finding random bottle parts in strange places throughout my house.  Construction of the bottle is quick and easy (’cause Hazeline may be patient, but she’s not going to wait long for a bottle), and they are dishwasher safe.  They just so happen to fit perfectly in the dishwasher racks I already have.  Most importantly, I love that these bottles were completely leak free.  Not so much as a drop has escaped in the entire time we’ve used them.

The only problem that we had with this bottle was that Hazeline is somewhere between the two nipple levels that we tried.  She isn’t quite ready for the fast flow nipple, but the slow flow nipple was too slow.  This resulted in her lifting the bottles and taking small sips instead of drinking consistently.  Surely there is another level between the two, we just need to go shopping and find it.

I highly recommend these bottles and will definitely be holding on to them for when we (eventually) have baby #3.  To learn more about these bottles, check out the Evenflo Bebek web page.This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

 

 

I Blame the Pediatrician

When Greenleigh was about 9 months old, I was out shopping (for baby clothes…shhhh, don’t tell  Erajh) when I ran into her pediatrician.  Greenleigh wasn’t with me at the time, but we stopped and chatted a few minutes.  I really like Greenleigh’s pediatrician; you couldn’t ask for a more personable doctor.  She even offered me a coupon that she had for the store that we were in.  As we were parting, she casually mentioned, “I hope that I don’t see you again in the next couple days.  It seems that when ever I see someone out of the office their kids end up in my office with an emergency very soon after.”  Of course, Greenleigh was in the ER a few days later.

Early this morning, I walked into Hazeline’s room to hear her gasping for air.  It was an awful sound.  It was dark and I couldn’t tell if her nose was plugged or if it was just the way she was laying, but it was bad enough to cause alarm bells to go off in my head.  I quickly got her up and brought her into our bedroom.  I gave her the bottle I had prepared for her, but she couldn’t drink it.  Then I was really freaked out.  That little girl loves her bottles.  The decision was made to go to the ER.

So off we went.

Naturally, this was the day that Erajh had dressed Hazeline before bed and her pajamas (tops/bottoms) weren’t even close to matching.  You know that thing about wearing clean underwear, just in case?  Make sure you dress your child in matching jammies, just in case.  Of course, the hospital staff was great and pretended to pay no attention to the pajamas as they treated her.  After a breathing treatment, a shot of epinephrine, and a little bit of rest, they were able to get Hazeline’s airway back to normal again.  Or, well, close to normal.  Her breathing was labored, but she wasn’t making that terrible noise anymore and for me that was a great improvement.  It was scary and overwhelming at the time, but we were released a few hours later and she’s almost back to her normal self.  Of course, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been in her room to check on her a dozen times tonight and the baby monitor is set to its loudest setting.  But over all we’re improving and that’s a good thing.

So who’s to blame for this scary experience?  The pediatrician.  We happened to see her out having lunch with her family on Sunday afternoon.  Clearly, this is the curse of the pediatrician.  It’s a real thing.  We need to get some sort of GPS locator for her or something.

Napping in the ER