Archive for the ‘
Mom Situations ’ Category
Monday, June 17th, 2013
Am happy to report all went textbook smoothly this morning at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Emmett is now home with some swelling around his eye and some blue dye still draining. But his tear duct is now open. I don’t have to obsessively clean his eye 11 times a day. He is probably more thrilled than I.
When I first got there at the brutal hour of 5:45 a.m., I spoke with the anesthesiologist. He explained that first they give babies an oral sedative, so they don’t freak out when the gas mask goes on. It makes them fall gently to sleep. But he did give me the option to skip that step and go straight to gas. Thinking the less medicine the better, I said no to the oral stuff. I knew a cousin of Emmett’s had a reverse reaction and became very agitated.
However, that meant either Phil or I had to go back with him to keep him calm when the mask went on. The doctor warned me that he might start breathing really heavy, with his eyes rolling back. He wanted to make sure I could handle it. I quickly elected Phil. I know my limitations and if I had to, I could do it. But I knew Phil would have an easier time keeping calm.
Phil and Fia showed up at 7 and by 7:30 Phil was back there while Emmett went down. He came back shrugging his shoulders. “He’s fine.”
“But how did it go?” I asked.
“Fine,” he said again. Typical guy response. No details.
About 20 minutes after that the little man was in post-op. That’s when things got a bit ugly and I began to doubt my wisdom of skipping the oral sedative.
What the anesthesiologist didn’t tell me was that the oral sedative often allows them to come out of the fog a little more gently. At least that’s what the post-op nurses told me. Instead, Emmett was a mess. He was screaming, writhing his body around, and crying. His legs kept getting caught in the IV and blood pressure tubing and Phil had to mostly take over and just hold him tight, as I kept losing my grasp. Much of the time Em was doing it in a half-sleep daze, with his eyes partially shut. It took the better part of an hour for the gas to wear off enough for me to take him in my arms. I just brushed his hair with my fingertips and sang him into a deep sleep. Then we went home.
Once awake again, he remained agitated and irritable until he had his bottle. Things started getting back to normal then.
Now he is taking his usual afternoon nap and I’m decompressing. I’m so glad this procedure is over with. I’m lucky it was a simple and smooth operation. I can’t imagine having a chronically ill kid. Being at a hospital for children gives you great perspective.
So now he looks like a tough guy. I’ve always said he’s a bruiser. This is proof.
Add a Comment
Saturday, June 15th, 2013
Well, I guess technically it’s not called the heimlich with a toddler. It’s a back manuever. But regardless, I did it today. And dare I say, now that the shock is over, I feel like a rock star mama? The fact that I remembered what to do from a CPR class 4 years ago and that I stayed calm and focused is nothing short of monumental. I don’t think I’ve ever been calm, maybe focused, but not calm. If I didn’t believe in the mom instinct before, I certainly do now.
Here’s how it all went down. Literally:
I was feeding Emmett a burrito–shredded pork, cooked until it falls apart. Melted cheese was part of the mix, as was the soft tortilla. I broke it into little pieces on his highchair like I always do. I didn’t think twice. These are soft, small foods. But it goes to show a child can choke on anything. Especially a young one who maybe doesn’t understand the importance of chewing. My guy has almost a full set of teeth. But apparently if he puts too much in his mouth and doesn’t chew long enough he can choke. This is some scary shit my friends. Because I get complacent and often walk away while he’s eating. I don’t go far, but I’ll do some dishes, etc with my back to him.
Luckily today Phil and I were eating lunch with him when it happened. I had him strapped into his highchair. Phil said, “Look, he is choking.” Well you know kids often have choking/gagging issues but it rarely amounts to a full-on choking experience.
I stood up and patted his back. It was then I could see down into his mouth–which was wide open as he was gasping. I could see the shredded pork and burrito just beyond his uvula. It was way too far back for me to scoop it out. At that point we both knew he wasn’t just gagging.
I leapt up, unbuckled him from his high chair, turned him face down over my knee and bam bam, right between his shoulder blades. All in a matter of seconds. The piece of burrito came flying out. Emmett was still gasping for air so I pounded again. Then he started to cry. What a perfect noise.
Phil took him in his arms where he quickly barfed all over him. I’ve never been so happy to see barf. We laughed and held him until he calmed down. He is now sleeping gently. I think Phil is more impressed with me than he’s been in months.
As scary as it could have been, it actually wasn’t. I just knew what I had to do. I never panicked or doubted myself. I always thought if I were put in that situation I wouldn’t function. However, I am going to take a refresher CPR class. Here are the steps I went through today.
I do know a mom’s instinct exists. I’ve known it since my babies were born. Today was just further proof.
Pic of baby via Shutterstock
Add a Comment
baby choking, barfing, choking, choking hazards, cpr, cpr on baby, heimlich, toddler chocking | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Must Read
Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
In light of the Hepatitis A outbreak from the frozen berries I bought at Costco, along with my disdain for the food chain and lack of oversight, I decided to take food matters into my own hands. Literally.
We took the kids blueberry picking this weekend. There is a great farm less than an hour from Los Angeles where you can pick your own stuff. Blueberries are in season until July and we hit the jackpot. So many bushes. We must have collected at least 10 cups in just over an hour. I could feel my OCD behavior coming out. I had to keep picking until I was dragged away. I think Fia and Emmett each ate a cupful. Good antioxidants.
A few weeks prior we went to another farm, owned by the same people. There we picked lettuces and tons of strawberries (picture above and below). It made me want to own a farm. Sort of.
When we got home from the blueberries, Fia and I decided to bake! We made a blueberry pudding type recipe that is top secret from my friend Courtney. So while I can’t share that one, I found another equally delicious one.
It’s from Williams-Sonoma. It has a crumble top but it is in a pie shell. And now that Fia is 3 1/2 she can actually help measure and mix. Here is the recipe.
- 1 recipe Basic Pie Dough (see related recipe at
left) *I would just do store-bought.
- 3/4 cup plus 5 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 5 cups blueberries
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.
Line the chilled piecrust with a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Fill with dried beans, uncooked rice or pie weights. Bake until the crust dries out, about 15 minutes; to check, lift an edge of the foil. Carefully remove the weights and foil. Reduce the heat to 350°F. Continue to bake until the crust is lightly browned on the edges and dry-looking on the bottom, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the crust to a wire rack.
Increase the heat to 375°F.
In a large bowl, stir together the 3/4 cup flour, 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, the 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp. of the cinnamon and the salt. Scatter the butter pieces on top and toss with a fork or your fingers to coat with the flour mixture. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, work the ingredients together until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of large peas. Set the topping aside.
In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, the remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, the remaining 1 tsp. cinnamon and 4 Tbs. of the flour. Stir gently to coat the blueberries evenly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 Tbs. flour and the 1 Tbs. granulated sugar over the bottom of the prebaked crust. Pour the filling into the crust, spreading it evenly.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the blueberry filling. Bake the pie until the topping is golden brown and the blueberry filling just begins to bubble, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Serve at room temperature. The pie is best served the day it is baked. Makes one 9-inch pie.
Pie recipe Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Baking, by Cathy Burgett, Elinor Klivans & Lou Seibert Pappas (Oxmoor House, 2003).
Add a Comment
Monday, June 10th, 2013
At the risk of freaking myself out, I am asking those of you who have had to put your babies under general anesthesia what to expect. Luckily for Emmett it won’t be for long–maybe 15 minutes. But the thought of him limp on the table could take me to a really dark place. I am trying not to focus on it. Nor do I want to get dramatic for what is to be a very simple, routine surgery.
One friend of mine said to just be prepared that I may lose it unexpectedly. She said she was completely cool leading up to her son’s surgery for tubes in his ears. But as soon as she saw him on the table not moving and being wheeled away she lost it.
The procedure is to open up his clogged tear duct. This thing has taunted us from birth. It’s fairly common–but usually the duct opens on its own before your child turns 1. Emmett’s didn’t. After consulting two different specialists and waiting until he turned 16 months, I threw in the towel and scheduled the procedure. There is a window of time when the surgery is far more likely to open up the duct. I am right in that window. If I wait much longer I could chance him having a leaky eye.
The only risk really involved with this is the general anesthesia. That is the only reason I have put it off this long. I kept hoping it would open on its own. But as it stands now, there is constant goop in the corner of his right eye. He often has tears running down that cheek no matter what mood he is in (which is mostly happy). It hasn’t changed since he was born. I know how sick he is of me constantly cleaning it out. There are some mornings when we wakes up with it gooped shut. Poor guy.
We have an excellent pediatric eye surgeon and it will be done at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. We are scheduled for Monday morning, June 17. I will keep you posted. Also, how long will he be drowsy for afterwards? Surgery is less than 30 minutes. In fact, to open the duct it can be done in 2 minutes. So I think he will only be under for avery short time. Any pointers or insight is much appreciated.
Add a Comment
Thursday, June 6th, 2013
It figures the one time I decide to tag along with a friend to Costco I end up buying tainted berries. I swear whenever I try and save money, it bites me in the ass. Though this would be hard to avoid. Plenty of grocery chains besides the Costco giant have been hit with recalls. It’s really hard to know where your food comes from. That pisses me off.
This morning I was on the phone with my pediatrician breathing a big sigh of relief that my kids are vaccinated against Hepatitis A. This after googling all the symptoms late into the night and having a near heart attack that my kids (or Phil and I) contracted it. I think Phil and I were vaccinated before going to Africa in 2007, though I’m not sure. My pediatrician recommended if we’re not to do so. I will.
Here’s the skinny: Townsend Farms out of Oregon imported pomegranate seeds from Turkey that are believed to be contaminated with the virus. So far, 49 people have been affected in 7 states, including California. Sure glad I bought organic berries from a quasi-local Oregon farm. I mean seriously. The food chain here in this country is so f-cked. In looking at their label, in small print, they say “Product of USA Chile Argentina & Turkey.” We have a pomegranate tree in our back yard. Why did they have to go to Turkey? Oh right, because it’s probably cheaper. Uh-huh.
On their label they describe themselves as, “A six-generation family owned operation.” In the second paragraph they state: “…We also work with berry farmers around the world that have the same values as we do about food safety…”
Wonder what they are thinking about that today. I’m not trying to pick on them. They have enough to deal with, as lawsuits are already being filed. For all I know, they may be super nice people who are just trying to run a business and make a buck. The overall problem is with our lack of oversight and regulation.
I think the only way to avoid this problem is to grow your own food and raise your own animals. I actually have been obsessing about having chickens. Maybe now I will. Martha Stewart apparently has beautiful chickens. Though I think some may have been genetically tweaked, or “developed” as they say.
Maybe now is also the time for me to start buying beef from my rancher relatives in South Dakota. I know them and trust them and if it comes directly from them, chances are it’s not tainted. It’s also a good reason to go with the CSA’s—Community Supported Agriculture. Basically they’re local farmer cooperatives that bring you baskets of fresh vegetables and fruits every week that they have grown. Personally. Not imported from Turkey.
Seems the chances are higher of someone not washing their hands if it’s from 18 states or an entire continent away. You certainly have less control when you don’t know who you are buying from and how that company is packaging them. Like Townsend Farms in Oregon.
On that note, my orange tree is blooming. I’m off to pick some. I know exactly where they came from. And that’s a relief.
Photo courtesy of Malerblog.com
Add a Comment
Townsend Farms of Fairview, Ore., said it was recalling its Organic Antioxidant Blend, a mix that includes pomegranate seeds imported from Turkey, which the company said might be the source of the virus that has affected 49 people in seven states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.
agriculture, contaminated, CSA, CSA's, FDA, Hepatitis A, pomegranate, recall, townsend farms, Turkey | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips