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Friday, March 15th, 2013
Emmett never stops. He is a tank, a brute of boundless energy. At his 1-year check-up the pediatrician, who has been with him since birth, reiterated again that my dude may need Occupational Therapy to find ways to Slow.Him.Down. He is the most active child she’s seen that’s not on the spectrum or that has any mental or health issues. Even changing his diaper has been a challenge since he was, oh, 5 months old. Thank god for his amazing temperament or I might consider selling him.
“You are going to have to run him twice a day. For at least an hour each time. He is the kind of kid who will need to be worn out. Every-single-day,” she said.
I pictured a horse let out to pasture. Or a dog during off-leash hours in the park. I then pictured Emmet’s face on both beasts. Yup. That’s my boy. I decided I needed to find an activity for us to do together. One that wasn’t awful. Or disastrous (like Fia’s ballet class).This time I was smarter. I decided on Toddler Gymnastics. I should have thought of it sooner, since Fia goes to the same gym. I know the coaches, the facility, the drill.
He was the youngest one but kept up with the best of them. He loved the trampoline the most. He giggled incessantly. Of course he wouldn’t sit still and wait his turn. I had to pull him away and run him (yes, my horse) until it was his time. He hated the balance beam. It took both me and the coach to try and hold him upright. He kept doing the “baby flop”–you know, when they go limp. I’m sure because it would take too much concentration to walk slowly. I had no time to stare at the clock or dream about my lunch like I did in other mommy and me classes. But that’s a good thing. I hate being bored.
I took him early and we left late. I really thought I “ran” him good. Then we came home and he slept for 30 minutes. Should I put up my For Sale sign yet? WTF??
Three nights this week he has shrieked off and on for 3 hours. Phil and I have taken turns going in when we can’t take it anymore. He’s not sick. He’s not teething. He just wants to be held. He is one strong-willed little dude. And he knows it. I think in a test of wills he will win. Actually he already has. But man, he’s so damn cute and snuggly at times. He knows just when to turn on the charm to keep that For Sale sign at bay.
You all know I am a sleep training guru, but even I know when to throw in the towel. Since he won in the cry-it-out category, last night we switched tactics. I went in on the first wail around midnight. In less than 20 seconds I put his paci back in and laid him down. I said in a fairly stern voice, “Emmett, it’s night time.” I closed the door. He didn’t peep until around 3 am. I did it again. He slept until 7:15.
I think he just needs reassurance that we are there. Even when he’s running he pauses and looks back to check that I’m still with him. I’m usually a few paces behind, sweating. I am soon going to need a cane. Boys. Men. It’s hard to keep up with them. They are needy little f–kers. But impossible to resist.
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active toddler, ballet class, CIO, cry it out, Ferber, gymnastics, hyperactive, mommy and me, music class, Occupational Therapy, Pediatrician, sleep training | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Fia Friday, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Moving to Los Angeles
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
I have such a breakthrough to report. I wrote about Fia’s chronic cough a couple months ago. This is a cough that lasted for 5-6 months and nothing was working. I was at my wit’s end and annoyed at my pediatricians for chalking it up to a “thing” that toddlers get with various cold cycles. “But she hasn’t had a cold!” I’d say with exasperation. “Well, you know, the mucus can irritate her throat and the cough is the last thing to go. “But she has no mucus!” I’d say, pleading with them to hear me. I asked for them to send her for an X-rays or something. They thought it was unnecessary because her lungs sounded fine. I went in multiple times to make my case.
Finally after my sitter and her teachers at school started to say how much the cough was wearing her down, I took matters into my own hands. I got all the paperwork together to get her into a pediatric pulmonary specialist at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
While I was awaiting approval for an appointment, a miracle happened. I was at a little Xmas gathering with Fia and there was another mom there. Fia started coughing. Of course. I told the mom how exasperated I was by her cough; how I was pulling my hair out over it. She said, “You need to put Vick’s Vapor Rub on her feet.”
What? Huh? It sounded like a piece of voodoo to me. I must have looked skeptical. So she continued.
“I have five kids. Every one of them has had a chronic cough. I kid you not. Put the Baby Vicks on her feet at night. Rub it in and make friction to get her feet warm with it. Then put some on her chest and put a warm towel (not damp) on for 30 seconds. Repeat a few times. Then put her to bed. I promise you, it will work.”
I agreed to try it, but felt like rolling my eyes.
That night I didn’t do it. I mean, what was the point?
Then, I happened to tell one of my girlfriends about this mom’s suggestion. My friend got really excited. “Oh my gosh! Someone else told me about that! It’s totally supposed to work. People swear by it.”
So now my curiosity was piqued. I Googled it and sure enough there are claims all over the internet about the magic of curing a chronic cough by putting Vicks on your feet.
That night I did as instructed with the Vicks. I kid you not: for the first time in 6 months straight, Fia didn’t cough once. I was simply dumbfounded. I did it a second night and at nap times. No cough. I stopped doing it on the chest and only put it on her feet. Still no cough.
I did this for about a week. Then I stopped entirely. That was early January. There have been a few nights where I hear her hacking and if it gets bad, I go in and put the Vicks on her feet. But those nights are few and far between. Other than that, there has been no cough. I repeat: No Cough.
Children’s Hospital called to make an appointment. I told them that for the moment, the problem has subsided.
I honestly can’t believe how something on your feet could cure a cough, but it does and it did. Apparently it works on adults too. I looked it up on Snopes.com–the site that debunks urban legends. Their verdict is “undetermined.” You can check it out if you want to see their report.
Needless to say, I am thrilled, but am still so surprised by the results. Has anyone else heard of this? Any theories to why it works on the feet?
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Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
Emmett had his 6-month appointment this week. I told the doctor about how hyper/active he is. It’s even hard to change him or put on pants. She observed for a few minutes as he kicked and laughed and did his high pitch cooing. God he is cute. I’ve said it before, thank the universe that at least he is happy with all his hyperactivity or I’d be committed.
I also explained how nights have become horrendous, or I should say, horrendously funny. He wakes up, starts to kick around, typically seems to have a gas bubble (I wrote about his 31 farts in a row), then starts to laugh and laugh and laugh. But without holding him or swaddling him, he won’t calm down on his own.
She was somewhat concerned with his extreme level of activity. Not only from a sleeping standpoint, but also weight. He is dipping back down again, off the curve. She isn’t overly worried, but suggested I take him to an occupational therapist to see if there are some things we can do to calm him. She used the word “sensory” which of course scared me. When I hear “sensory” I think “spectrum” and “autism”. But she reassured me that I need not worry. He is so alert, makes eye contact, loves to be held and hugged that perhaps we just need to work on ways to calm him more.
I spoke to the OT and they can’t get us in until end of August. But she did recommend the swaddle and baby massage. My pediatrician said the swaddle is okay too, as long as he can’t get out of it. Her main concern was if it was a loose one, he could wriggle out and get the blanket over his face. I told her about the Halo Sleepsack Swaddle I have that is zippered, as well as the miracle blanket. As long as he’s in a swaddle that he can’t get out of and that won’t tangle him up, then he will put his head to the side.
So we’ll see. In the meantime, here are his 6-month stats:
Weight: 15 lbs, 13 oz (18%)
Height: 26 inches (40%)
Head Circumference: 17.5 inches (70%)
(By the way: isn’t the kimono hilarious? It’s from our good friend Delia who buys all our stuff at Lucky Wang.)
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baby, baby massage, gas pains, hyper, hyperactive, occupational therapist, Pediatrician, reflux, sensory, sleep, sleep training, swaddle | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Newborn Care
Monday, June 11th, 2012
I don’t think I’ve ever sat on a public toilet. I squat, but I don’t let my legs touch. My quads get a good workout. So does my brain. I will myself not to look at or think about the grime, the hair, and god-knows-what-else that is lurking. I have already been in hypnotherapy for my compulsive cleaning addiction. But training Fia to not only go into a public toilet, but to SIT on one, is going to be tough. However, doctor’s orders: Get over it!
At her 2.5-year check up last week he really set me straight.
“How’s she doing with potty training?” he asked.
“She does great with the poops, but we haven’t worked on pee as much.”
“Why not?” he asked.
“Because she will pee a lot more frequently, which means I have to deal with public bathrooms. And I’d prefer diapers to kneeling on a disgusting floor with her on a disgusting toilet. So I’ve been putting off the inevitable. With poop, it’s only once a day and usually in the evening, so we’re at home.”
“Ahhh…. this is very important to discuss then,” he said.
The short of it is: if you don’t train your children to go the bathroom–#1 or #2–in every scenario, then they will develop an aversion to using the bathroom outside of the house. He knows people who are prisoners to their own potty. They literally won’t leave their dwelling until they’ve shat.
“There’s a fire? Sorry, I can’t evacuate. I haven’t pooped yet.”
Basically, if I don’t teach her to go everywhere and anywhere, she could end up with a bathroom obsession. And lord only knows she probably already has many obsessive tendencies/genes. She doesn’t need anymore.
My next meditation will consist of positive imagery. I will envision us walking into the bathroom, dressed in fatigues, my head held high. I will properly line her toilet seat with paper. I will cheerlead. A cockroach might run past with a pubic hair in its mouth. “Look Mama look!” she’ll shout with excitement. “Wow, how neat!” I’ll say through clenched teeth. “Are you finished yet?”
My face will never show disgust.
We will sit for 15 minutes. She will pee a teaspoon. And damn it, I’ll enjoy every minute and drop.
Another good example Fia’s pediatrician gave:
He hates salmon. Every time they have it, his girls whine, “Daddy, do we have to eat the salmon?” He replies, “Of course you do. Salmon is yummy!” and puts a forkful in his mouth (even though he is cringing inside). If he took a different approach, i.e.: “I don’t like salmon either,” they may never eat that fish again. If they end up disliking it, fine. But don’t let it be because of you.
We all know kids are little mimes. As parents, we are asked to do the impossible: show them the way, even if it’s not our way, our preference. But when it comes to bodily functions, there really isn’t a choice.
For me, I want to travel the world with my kids. She’ll have to learn to squat over dirt holes in India, on bushes in Africa, and in outhouses in South Dakota. And I get to lead the way. From now on, I will see the filth and squat right next to it. I will smile at it.
In short, I will embrace the gross.
Grungy toilet via Shutterstock
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addiction, clean freak, cleaning, compulsive cleaning addiction, germs, hypnotherapy, milestone monday, obsession, obsessive, Pediatrician, pee, poop, potty training, pubic hair, public bathroom, public toilet | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Milestone Monday
Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
I can’t believe my little man is already 9 weeks old. We went to the pediatrician today and I didn’t hate them this time. Probably because nothing is wrong and I’m not getting mixed messages on advice. Today he was there for his two month check-up, which meant his first round of shots. Bleh.
I really do hate seeing him cry like that, and he’s been fussy all day. But I know that it’s a necessary part of our world and I’m a believer in vaccines, even though they make me shudder a bit. I can’t help it. I’m a mom. And even mercury-free, you still have that little bit of angst.
I’m happy to report his head circumference is now 40%, up from 25%. I’m sure he’s now 15% smarter. He is 11 pounds (45%), and almost 23 inches long (50%).
He rolled over two days ago, but I think it may have been a fluke. He does have a super strong neck though and can pick it up to about 70-degrees and turn it from side to side.
His diaper rash is gone. He is pooping less. His gut is maturing. He will sleep for a 4-5 hour stretch at night. So we’re getting there.
I’m finding that juggling the two kids, even with full time help, leaves me exhausted most of the time. So I’m going to end now because my brain is a bit mushy. Sorry to bore….
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diaper rash, full time help, gut, head circumference, mercury free, nanny, newborn, Pediatrician, poop, vaccines | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Newborn Care