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Fearless Feisty Mama ’ Category
Sunday, January 26th, 2014
You hope it never happens to you–but if God forbid you or whoever is driving your kids were in a car accident, rescue workers wouldn’t know how to identify the children. Adults at least have driver’s licenses, etc. Even if your babies were conscious, a toddler probably wouldn’t know her home address, phone number, etc.
A mom wrote a blog post about putting a sticker on your kids’ car seats that gives basic information. (For some reason, her blog URL won’t come up now.) Basically she said to put your child’s name, birth date, parents’ names, number, pediatrician’s number, and emergency contact information on it. If you have an older child who doesn’t have a car seat but is still too young to have an identification card, put the sticker somewhere obvious in your car.
There is a site–The Ohio Insurance Institute–who made the sticker shown above (called the TIKE emergency info car seat sticker) for people to print out. It’s on their website, along with the following explanation for why they made this sticker:
“In 1995 a six-month-old boy was involved in a head-on traffic collision while riding with a relative. The driver was left unconscious and the boy suffered a life-threatening head injury that required immediate surgery. Police did not know the child’s identity and were only able to trace his parents because an address book was located in the wreckage. Valuable time was lost due to this delay. The boy was airlifted to a nearby hospital for emergency brain surgery. He has since fully recovered. This sticker is to be placed on the bottom of your child’s car seat to assist emergency personnel in identifying your child should an accident occur which disables the adults in your vehicle.”
It’s such a no-brainer to do this. One of those things where I think, Why didn’t I think of that? Anyway, pass this tip along.
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car accident, car seat sticker, car seats, emergency contact information, Pediatrician, TIKE sticker, Toddler Info For Emergencies | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Moving to Los Angeles, Must Read
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
I hate to see my kids sick. Who does? I hate it even more when they are diagnosed with something “rare,” which is exactly what happened to Fia after the Wednesday doctor visit. I left my last post off with Em’s pneumonia and the removal of Fia’s alleged tonsil stone, which was followed by a 105.5 fever.
Thursday morning I had to take them both back in. Emmett’s lungs were still “wet,” but they thought he sounded a little better. One down, one to go.
Fia however, now had a huge patch of white on her left tonsil, and it was really swollen and red. A different doctor saw us and said she had a peritonsillar abscess– something that is uncommon in a young child. She said that Fia now needed the hospital-grade antibiotic shot–the same one Em had the day before.
Note to self: Never tell your kid they won’t get a shot before taking them to the doctor. Technically, I told her she probably wouldn’t need one, so I didn’t swear it. But that didn’t help the wailing. Now she had to endure what she gleefully witnessed her brother getting the day before. A butt shot. She walked out limping–which the doctor said happens. However, Fia managed to dramatically limp for the next 36 hours. She’s my girl.
The pediatrician said we had to come back the next day to see if the swelling was down. She seemed worried. She also said the white stuff we thought was a tonsil stone was actually pus. She said this could turn into a serious infection that would require an ENT to surgically drain the abscess. If it got worse, she would need to be hooked up on antibiotics at the hospital with an IV line. You know when you are on a flight with turbulence and you look to the flight attendant for reassurance and she looks just as frightened as you? Well that is how I felt.
I don’t know what it is, but I somehow worry about Fia more than Emmett. Maybe because he’s such a wild boy who is capable of large-scale destruction while remaining indestructible himself. Fia is so lithe, and while tough and fearless, has a fragile, ethereal way about her. And she’s so damn sweet. Her latest thing is she wants to be a Superhero so she can help people. She has an empathy that I think is pretty remarkable for her age. Sometimes I think she’s too good to be true. Self-indulgent and narcissistic, I know. But it’s how I feel. I was really worried with this infection.
I went home and Googled the abscess. Why is it rare in children and what causes it? Leukemia is what came up on one site. I felt a sinking, sick feeling in my stomach. I stopped Googling. We all know Google is the devil at a time like this.
I watched her like a hawk. I bribed her with television then, 6 hours later, with a lollipop, to look twice in her throat. The swollen, pus-covered bulge wasn’t changing. Neither was her fever. I kept hoping the antibiotics would work.
The next morning she was no better, though I felt calmer for some reason. It was also Friday. Once again, I took them both back. Em was still on the right track, though he had now developed an ear infection, despite being on oral antibiotics. Cue yet another butt shot. This time Fia didn’t grin. She grimaced. She even got her limp back–for dramatic effect perhaps?
The pediatricians sent us to the head ENT doctor at Children’s Hospital. They wanted us to see a specialist before going into the weekend. I scrambled to get a sitter for Emmett in case Fia needed surgery on the spot.
I have never been so happy in my life to hear the beautiful word: tonsillitis. That’s what he said it was. He said it was swollen more on one side, which could have made the pediatricians think abscess. But the white stuff wasn’t pus–it actually was a tonsil stone. It had just grown. He said it would go away in time. Now whether my pediatricians had averted an abscess by injecting her with antibiotics or not, we won’t ever know. I stand by everything they did, but I was gleeful to hear the words, “Go on home.”
We celebrated with ice cream. Doc said it was okay.
“Just the girls,” she said as she licked her “icing-on-the-cake-with-sprinkles” cone.
Em would still barely eat and only take a bottle. Of course this meant diarrhea. Which meant diaper rash. So I found myself back in the throes of newborn territory. I have given them both Culturelle like candy. The doctors told me that right now probiotics are my best friends.
Despite all this, by Sunday, both kids were doing much better. We decided some fresh beach air would do them good. Off we went.
We played in the sand and splashed at the edge of the tide. Phil and I exchanged looks of relief. But fate wasn’t done with us yet. We changed Emmett’s diaper in the back of the car. As I went to put his pants on, the wild-child-who-can’t-sit-still turned around and flung himself forward, falling face first onto the seat back. He stood up shrieking. Blood was streaming from the outer corner of his right eye. We thought he sliced his eyeball. We threw them both in their car seats and rushed to the closest ER. He missed his eyelid by 1/8th of an inch.
When the boy is sick, he’s super cuddly. When he’s not, you have to be on a constant death watch. He would find danger in a padded room.
Ending the epic week in the Marina Del Ray emergency room begs the question: How many gods did I piss off in my previous life? I am burning 7 twigs tonight, one for each day of the week. I will recite “Ill luck is broken as these words are spoken.”
Yes, I’m resorting to fairy-magic, hippie-dippy crazy crap at this point. Why not? Of course if my luck doesn’t turn around, my twigs could catch fire and burn the house down…
Cartoon pic of sick kids via Shutterstock
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ENT, high fever, pediatric ENT, Pediatrician, peritonsillar abscess, pneumonia, pus on tonsil, shot, toddler, tonsil, tonsil stone, tonsillitis, wet lungs | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Must Read, Newborn Care
Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
Remind me to never make a New Year’s resolution for as long as I have kids under the age of 18. My resolutions were reasonable and tangible. For 5 minutes. At the top of my list: getting back on the blog. Posting at least twice a week. Followed by running 2 times a week and doing yoga at least once a week.
Then came the proverbial thunderstorm that sucked me into its vortex as it wreaked havoc on my week. Here is part 1 of my war story.*
Wednesday at 3 a.m.: Em coughs to the point of barfing. Fia wakes up complaining of something in her throat.
Em eventually falls back asleep, propped up in crib, humidifier at full speed, slathered in Vicks Vapor Rub, particularly on his feet (click here for more on this cough tip).
For Fia, I see a white “thing” almost like a skin tag on her tonsil. I give her Motrin.
Wednesday 9 a.m.: Em is doing awful. He can barely breathe because the cough is relentless. Fia is saying it’s hard to swallow. I rush both kids to the doctor. Em is diagnosed with full-blown pneumonia. They give him a hospital-grade antibiotic shot in the butt to try and avert an emergency room visit. I guess this is a super painful shot, and he screams bloody murder as big fat tears roll down his face. Fia can’t wait to tell everyone about this. She is almost giddy.
Meanwhile, she is diagnosed with a “tonsil stone“…which is when debris of food and bacteria build up on your tonsil, causing a hardened, white, almost scab-like spot. The doc doesn’t think it’s hardened yet though and is able to put a long Q-tip in her throat and knock it off. Or so he thinks. Problem solved.
Wednesday 4 pm: Fia spikes a 105.5 fever. I’m suspect that the stone wasn’t the only issue. Problem not solved. I give her Motrin, she seems fine and I am so preoccupied with Em, I don’t call the doctor. Em just wants to cuddle and sleep. For once the world’s most active (almost) 2-year old boy is passive.
Wednesday 11 pm: Em’s fever is 103 (love my thermometer because I don’t have to touch him to take his temp) and he is panting in his sleep at a rate of 70 breaths per minute. I speak to the on-call doctor. She said if we can give him Motrin and get his fever down, his breathing should slow to 30-35 bpm. If not, then we have to get him to the ER for oxygen.
Emmett is the worst child with taking medicine. Even at the doctor’s office the nurse gave up on helping me with Motrin when he barfed all over her. He is so stubborn, and he gargles it at the back of his throat until he pukes. But Phil and I had to get it down. So we get him up and pinch his cheeks so his mouth is open and the cheeks are between his teeth. That way the nurse said he can’t bite down because he’ll bite his cheeks. I get 1/5th of a dose in before he projectile vomits on us both. Fia is awake now screaming with a 104 fever.
I get Emmett in a cool bath, then try again once he’s dried off and a little calmer. I manage to get down about half a dosage. I decided not to push my luck, because I’d rather him have a little bit than barf all of it up.
Phil is with Motrin-medicated Fia, whose fever is down again. I’m with Emmett, waiting for him to fall asleep so I can count his breaths. 30 minutes later he is panting, but at a rate of 35-40 breaths per minute. I put him back in his crib and go to sleep on the spare bed.
It’s only been 20 hours since this all began…and that was just the beginning of my perfect shit-storm. And the end to my New Year’s resolutions. I’ll post the rest tomorrow.
*I realize in the grand-scheme of things, this is just a bad day/week. We are not battling a chronic illness or worse. But I like to put it all out there in case anyone else has experienced these same conditions or others. It’s parenting in the trenches. Thankfully I don’t have to do it often. Tell me your tips/stories. It feels good to write it all down.
Yoga pose via Shutterstock
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asthma, barfing, chronic cough, cough induced asthma, high fever, humidifier, motrin, New Year’s resolution, panting in toddler, pneumonia, thermometer, tonsil lith, tonsil stone, Vicks vapor rub, vicks vapor rub on feet | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Must Read
Monday, January 13th, 2014
Finally the Catholic Church is getting some sense knocked into it via Pope Francis. It’s a long way from redemption, but this new Pope has been nothing short of impressive. On Sunday he baptized a bunch of babies and told the moms to feel free to breastfeed. In.The.Church. That’s a remarkable statement; especially considering the church bans women and gays (allegedly) from the priesthood and has too many settlements to count for child molestation by priests. Nevertheless, progress is progress. Or, as my late alcoholic mother would say when reciting AA doctrine, “Progress not perfection.”
I think Joe, my guest blogger, should tell his church to take a page from this Pope’s rulebook. In Joe’s church, toddlers are virtually banned from Mass. I’m sure moms would be kicked out for any boob action (I’m still confused as to why you go to that crazy place, Joe. But I’m also glad because your posts on it are beyond hilarious.)
So for the Pope and the members of the Catholic Church, I say keep moving forward. You may actually get out of the dark ages in Francis’ reign.
It’s probably pretty clear by now that I’m not Catholic. I wouldn’t push religion on anyone. But I do wish the Muslim country of Afghanistan could hear the Pope’s message. Or have one of their imams embrace it. The headlines from the war-torn country last week were heartwrenching. There is a crisis of malnutrition, mostly in children and babies. Doctors are baffled. But one strong theory is that with the conservative Muslim culture so ingrained in the psyche–to the point where if you don’t follow the doctrine you could be killed–mothers aren’t breastfeeding their babies. I mean, it’s baffling. And this certainly isn’t the only country. There are plenty of places where there is a stigma to breastfeeding even when it means the difference between life and death. Hell, even in the first world country of England, Hollie McNish became an overnight sensation with her video poem, Embarrassed.
Women: if there is a gospel we need to spread, it is the one the National Health Service in the UK coined (ironic given the above video from McNish), The Breast Is Best. Granted there is controversy even with that, but the bottom line is, I don’t care how it happens or what country coins what slogan. If women across the world were proud to provide food to their babies via their breasts, there would be a lot less death, heartache, suffering. Not to mention billions spent in aid to help babies survive, mostly against the odds.
Here’s an excerpt from the article in the New York Times in regards to the Afghanistan article:
Nearly every potential lifeline is strained or broken here. Efforts to educate people about nutrition and health care are often stymied by conservative traditions that cloister women away from anyone outside the family.
In a country where access to clean water is difficult, and most milk is powdered, that is often a recipe for diarrhea and other conditions that can worsen malnutrition…Ahmed Wali, the 2-year-old Bost Hospital patient with kwashiorkor, is the ninth of 10 children of his mother, Baka Bebi, who is in her mid-30s. She weaned him onto powdered milk mixed with stream water as soon as she could.
So while the outlook from Pope Francis should be celebrated and embraced, and we can hope for change….
“Today the choir will sing but the most beautiful choir of all is the choir of the infants who will make a noise. Some will cry because they are not comfortable or because they are hungry,” he said in a familiar, relaxed tone to the parents.–Yahoo New Service
There is still preventable tragedy on a large scale that needs to happen:
Ahmed, at just 3 months old, looks bigger than his emaciated brother Mohammad, who is a year and a half and weighs 10 pounds…
“The main cause of malnutrition in Afghanistan is lack of breast feeding,” he said. “They see beautiful pictures of milk cartons, and they think it’s better.”–New York Times
Pope baptizing via 10News/CTV
Malnourish pics of baby via The Bronx Papers
Malnourish pics of children via Shutterstock and Gary Yim
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Afghanistan, Baptism, baptize, Breast is Best, breastfeeding, Catholic Church, church, Iman, malnourish, Muslim, Pope, Pope Francis, poverty, religion, third world | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Must Read
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
My good friend Courtney is pregnant. When I was pregnant with Emmett, Fia was only 2 years old, so she didn’t really “get” what it all meant. In fact, the first time Fia came to the hospital and saw Emmett, she looked like she had been hit by a bus. Bewildered would be an understatement.
Now she’s 4 and can actually grasp the concept (perhaps too much) that her best friend Teddy is going to have a sister. The other night we were lying in bed. Here’s how the conversation went:
“Mom, how did the baby get in Courtney’s belly?”
“Well, Courtney and Brian and God (threw that in on the fly) made the baby,” I said.
“Mom, I know that,” Fia replied indignantly. “I mean, how did the baby actually get IN the belly?”
“Um, well, it’s hard to explain,” I stammered.
“Why is it hard to explain?” she persisted.
“It just is,” I said, hoping to change the subject.
“Well then how does the baby get out?”
Oh dear. My brain was being taxed on this one.
“Courtney pushes it out of her belly,” I said matter-of-factly. Then held my breath.
“She pushes it out???” Fia says quizzically. “Where does it come out?”
“Of her stomach,” I replied, knowing this conversation wasn’t getting any easier.
“But there isn’t a hole in her stomach!! Silly Mama,” she says.
At this point baby was put in a corner. As was I.
I had the choice to make something up–like the baby comes out of her bellybutton–or, try harder to change the subject, or explain all about Courtney’s vagina. The latter of which frankly felt a little weird.
I told her it was bedtime and we would talk about it another day. I think she was tired of not getting answers, so she let it go. For now.
I want to be as open as possible with my children. We don’t call her body parts a “lady bit” “minnie” or “vajayjay”. We don’t call Em’s a “willy” or a “wee wee.” We use vagina and penis. At first that felt strange to me. But in researching, they say it’s best to use the clinical name, for various reasons. One is to help prevent your child falling victim to a sexual predator. It indicates to these criminals that your child is comfortable with openly talking about their body parts, including sexual parts.
So when Fia was asking about Courtney’s future baby taking a trip down the canal, it’s not that I didn’t want to use the word vagina. It was more because I suspect it’s a hard-to-imagine concept. I didn’t want her to get freaked out by the power of the vag or start obsessing about how something other than pee could come out of it. Maybe I’m wrong on this. But you tell me. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the subject comes up again. I need to get my birthing bullet points in order.
How tall will your little one be? Take our Height Predictor Quiz and find out.
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birth canal, c-section, child birth, child predator, lady bits, penis, pregnancy, sex talk, vagina, vaginal birth, vajayjay, wee wee, willy | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Milestone Monday, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Moving Mid Pregnancy, Moving to Los Angeles, Newborn Care