Baby Teething Woes

Teething children, is there anything worse?  I’m sure there is.. but not in the middle of the day when you’re alone with said screaming baby, and certainly not at night when they’re having a rough one and nothing seems to work!

I believe (in my mommy expert opinion haha!) that D1 began having teething pain around 4 months of age.  Just because he had pain, however, did not mean that there were any teeth to be seen in our near future.  His first big beautiful tooth finally broke the gums at 8 1/2 months on the dot, which actually fell on his daddy’s birthday.  Anyway, we endured months of nonspecific pain with a child who was already fussy due to reflux, and he was at times, completely inconsolable.

At first, the screaming and fussing baffled me, until I saw that chomper come through his gums.  OUCH!  They are sharp, I mean I guess they have to be- they cut through their little gums.  It broke my heart to watch D1 (and later D2, although thankfully less severely) endure this pain.  But since he cut his first tooth through 2 year molars all in the course of 11 months, we became experts of sorts on how exactly to ease some of the pain for our little munchkins.  So today, I share my expertise!

  • Let them chew!!!  Our favorite teethers for the boys were Tommee Tippee, of all stages.  There were 3 or 4 on the market when D1 began teething, and I bought one of each.  They are funky looking teethers, but they’re made for baby’s of each stage to hold onto well, and they hold up extremely well to all of the slobbering and chomping.  Plus, they went in the dishwasher and steam sterilizer with no issues!
  • Again.. let them chew!  This means on your (clean) fingers, on their fingers, on the rubber coated baby spoons if they’re eating solids.  If they’re eating solids, you have even more options for chewing!  Biscuits, and all types of other baby food items are made just for little ones cutting teeth.  Seriously, take a walk down your supermarket aisle and find some fun things for them to chew on, or (even better) hit up Pinterest and make a few of them yourself!
  • Orajel.  I know, i know, not everyone is a fan of this stuff.  But their nighttime relief meant nighttime relief (and finally some sweet sleep) for mommy and daddy.
  • Hylands Teething Tablets.  For real fellow supermom, these things are the bomb!  I don’t know why or how they work, but I do know that they’re all natural and that they do work.  So give them a try.. and then go back and pick up 2 more bottles for fear that you might run out in the middle of the night.  Go ahead, I won’t judge ;)
  • Baby ibuprofen.  Advil, Motrin, take your pick.  Be advised that before 6 months, baby’s can only have acetaminophen!  But if you’re past the 6 month mark and you can see those little razors teeth coming through the gums, I would absolutely recommend giving your little one the recommended dose before bedtime.

It feels like the teething stage will last forever, but the pain usually subsides for them once the tooth has broken through the gums.  And I feel for you mama, I really do!

What is/was your go to teething pain remedy for your little one(s)?

Date Nights

With two toddlers and a baby on the way in just a few months weeks, it’s not always easy to make time for the adults in the household.  Our summer has been full of working on fencing in our yard, maintaining the garden, preserving fruits and vegetables from said garden, and lots of playdates and family picnics of course! Now that the fall is here, we are in the midst of 5 weddings all within 7 weeks (it sounds like a lot but each of those 5 couples, either the bride or groom of each was in our wedding 4 years ago, so it’s fun to be there sharing their special days now).

It’s easy to unload the dishwasher and slump onto the couch with a Friends rerun once the kids are in bed, but that routine gets stale after awhile.  Of course, most nights that’s all a lot of parents have the energy for, and we are no different.  The problem is that even when grandparents or aunts have generously offered to take the kids for an overnight visit, we usually end up doing the same thing because we are so darn tired!

I’m here to declare that it must stop!  Parents of the world.. we deserve to have a kid free evening full of fun- whether it be dinner or a movie or ice skating (ok maybe not if you’re pregnant like I am now).  And so I beg of you to take up that relative on watching the kids- drop them off fed and bathed, with a bag full of clothes and entertainment, and try your best not to worry.  Get dressed up and stay out past your bedtime.  You’ll thank yourself the next morning when you wake up to the quiet.. and rush off to squeeze the little ones you already miss so much!

SuperDAD!

I talk a lot on my blog about “our” kids and how “we” have dealt with something.  But my husband never seems to get himself into the spotlight.  I think it’s time we change that!

When I met my husband, our romance wasn’t all at once free falling.  It was more steady, even, and reliable.  After our first few dates and evenings out with friends, I had a pretty good feeling about this guy.  Our lives just seemed to mesh together; it was fun and there was simply no forcing to make any of it work.

But when I saw this smart, handsome, sweet man with his nieces and nephews, it was all over for me- I didn’t stand a chance at walking away.  I was 23 and about to graduate from college in just a few weeks and I had known my whole life that I wanted kids.  And here was this 22 year old guy that I had only known for a few weeks, playing and caring for these kids- I saw my future in him that day.

I could go on all day about the reasons I love my husband and the things he does for me, but it would take me even longer to tell you all the reasons he’s a great daddy.  He has been ever present throughout all 3 of my pregnancies, rarely missing a simple check-in with our OB.  He was an incredible labor coach, and one of the only reasons I made it through the way I had intended (you can read about D1 and D2‘s birth stories).

From the moment my little boys came into this world, they have been blessed with the best daddy in the whole world, and our little girl couldn’t be luckier to have his arms to be held in once she’s here.  He’s involved in taking care of our kids and has been since day one, with everything from feeding and diapering, to playtime and bathtime.  He’s present for preschool activities, and knows just as much about our kids likes and dislikes as I do.  He cuddles and kisses boo boos.  He’s incredibly supportive and an amazing teacher.

In choosing the person with whom to spend the rest of my life with, I also couldn’t have possibly picked a better man to father my children.  So here’s a big thank you from all of your kids and me today- we love you superdad!

My Baby Had Reflux

*I am not a healthcare professional, simply a mom who is sharing her story and experience.  Please seek professional medical advice if you have any concerns!!

Even that title still stings a little when I read it.  My baby had reflux.  Up until a few months ago, I could have said “my child HAS reflux.”

When I was 10 years old, my brother was born.  I don’t remember a ton of details, but I do remember that he cried a lot.  I joked with my parents when we brought D1 home that if they had a baby that slept like he did, they would’ve had at least 4 more!  I continued that joke for about 4 more weeks, until it bit me in the you know where.

It started one day and got much worse over the course of a few days.. the sleeplessness started- at nap time and at night.  He didn’t want to be held, but he wasn’t comfortable being laid down.  I hadn’t heard of the gloriousness that is the rock n play sleeper at that time, so he was sleeping in his crib.  We tried the bouncer seat and the swing, which helped some, as did swaddling.  But nothing seemed to relieve the pain that my little guy was having and I couldn’t pinpoint the cause.

I called the doctors office and they were all but helpful when I described his symptoms (thank goodness we switched pediatrician’s when he was 4 months).  So I turned to Google while my little guy napped on my chest one afternoon and I came up with quite the list of symptoms that all matched acid reflux in infants.  There was one problem- the biggest symptom, the one the doctors relied on most heavily, he wasn’t experiencing.  Failure to thrive.  Here is what he was experiencing:

  • Crying.  A lot of it.  Usually at predictable times- this was because he was feeding at regular times by this point in his life.
  • Inability to sleep.  Laying on his back made him incredibly uncomfortable.  He was better if he was held, in the swing/bouncer, but not completely.
  • Hated the car seat.  This isn’t a symptom you’ll find if you Google, I am sure, but this poor baby couldn’t be in his car seat without screaming.  Turns out, it was the angle of the seat- it caused him to reflux.
  • Pulling him his legs when crying.
  • Throwing back his head when crying, and while eating.
  • Gulping and crying while eating.
  • Occasionally (although this is some baby’s main symptom) spitting up.

Many of these things could, I’m sure, be attributed to another cause.  But all together, there was no doubt in my mind that he was experiencing pain from acid reflux.  To make matters even worse, he would sometimes continue to eat the tiniest bit after he was full, because the liquid (I assume) would help the pain; but this would cause him to be too full, which would result in the occasional spitting up.

After crying with my little baby because there was nothing I could do, I finally fought with his doctors and they prescribed Zantac liquid.  It was slow goings at first to try to get this medication in him at the recommended time (30 minutes before eating, 3 evenly spaced out doses per day), but it most definitely helped!  Other things that helped were:

  • Swaddling
  • Tummy sleeping
  • Enfamil AR formula
  • Once we started solids, oatmeal cereal

Once we started solids, I have to say, it got even easier with controlling the reflux.  But even as he aged, I could tell if he missed even one dose of his Zantac, because it would affect his sleeping at night (he became restless), as well as his appetite and eating habits (he wouldn’t eat if his reflux wasn’t well controlled).

Our pediatrician kept a close eye on his weight and adjusted his medication as he grew older, and eventually we dropped to 2 doses per day.  Then, right after his third birthday, we took the medication out of his routine for a trial period.  (One of the great things about Zantac is that it can be used regularly or as needed, for adults and children!)  He actually began eating more, and he was continuing to sleep well.  So it’s been over 3 months and we are, dare I said it, reflux free!

It’s so exciting to know that he outgrew this condition, but it’s something we will always need to watch for a return in his future.  My heart breaks when I hear about other babies and parents who are experiencing undiagnosed tummy troubles; I know how hard it was for me to endure the time until he was treated, and how hard it was to receive the treatment he needed.  So I wanted to share my story in hopes that there would be even one other supermom out there who might say oh my gosh, this could be the answer!

Reasons To Make It Fresh!

It’s no secret from my posts on summer preserving (parts 1 and 2 so far!) that I am pretty passionate about preserving every part of summer that I can.  My friend Ella over at Ellaphant Eats is a huge inspiration when it comes to eating healthier, and we share a passion of making things at home rather than eating processed and pre-packed foods!  A lot of people present me with one big question when I talk about the time I spend in the kitchen preparing dinner, freezer meals, or preserving while canning or blanching- WHY?

The most obvious of answers is that it’s healthier, and that makes a huge difference to me when it comes to the food I am feeding to my family.  This is something I’ve actually been argued with about- whether the difference is really worth it.  To me, that answer is always yes.

When blanching vegetables, as I’ve done with broccoli, green beans, peas, and corn this summer, there is nothing that is added to the vegetables.  They are simply heated and cooled rapidly, and then frozen.  I have also canned vegetables, such as green beans, and here is a comparison in only the sodium content- in a can of green giant cut green beans (14.5oz) there is roughly 1400mg of sodium vs 1180mg of sodium per home canned pint (16oz) of green beans.  That may not seem like a lot, until you count up the extra amount that’s consumed over the course of a week, month, year, or even a lifetime.

Next in line of the health benefits of eating fresh are that you eliminate preservatives.  I home can or blanch (or buy fresh) most of the fruits and veggies that we eat, which reduces the amount of preservatives in our food.  I think that point speaks for itself when you consider the detrimental effects of so many of the preservatives that are in our foods.

And of course there’s the cost.  In only one small example.. I buy Purdue chicken from Sam’s club- vacuum sealed with 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts per package, in a larger package that I believe sells for around $16 per 12 pieces (don’t quote me on that price or size, it’s been a few weeks since I last filled my freezer).  You can’t feed a family of 4 anything even remotely decent for dinner for $16, and that will be the focus of our dinner for a minimum of 3 (if not 4-5) meals.

It’s incredible the list of things you can make at home to eliminate preservatives, reduce the salt or sugar content, and I am telling you- it just tastes better!  Sending my kids to school with a lunch that looks something like- homemade bread for their peanut butter sandwich (maybe that’s something I can learn to make this fall, peanut butter!), homemade applesauce or home canned peaches, and a few other items to round out the selections, just makes me feel better.  I know what’s going into their little bodies and it’s all good stuff!  I just can’t beat that :)

Preparing For A New Baby

As the weeks are counting down for me and this third pregnancy, I’m becoming hyper aware of the fact that our family that has been 4 for what seems like so long is about to become 5.  I’m excited for this expansion, as are the boys and my husband, but we have quite a lot of adjusting to do before litle G makes her entrance.

We are moving the boys into what is now D1’s room (as I mentioned in this post).  This isn’t something we have to do because we actually have 4 bedrooms, but we’ve decided to keep my office as an office for the time being.  The office is a very small room with 5 windows that I would want replaced before making it into a bedroom; there is no ceiling fan right now, and I would want the carpet replaced as well.  Plus, if we use this as a bedroom, I am literally left with nowhere that makes sense for my office to move to.  So we figured- the boys are young and D1’s room is actually as big as our bedroom, so it’ll be one big fun sleepover for them.  And in a few years, when we add onto our house, a master bedroom will be included; at that point D2’s can take over our current room!

Anyway, I have picked out a theme for the boy’s room with D1’s help and I am super excited about it.  He saw the Circo Build It collection one day as we were browsing in Target and he wanted it on the spot.  I told him we would have to talk to daddy, and he has been asking about getting a “truck lamp” every single day since then.  I have all of the items to complete their new room stashed in my office closet, and I’m pretty sure I’ve picked out the paint (a grey color) that we’ll be using.  Now if only I can find the energy to primer and paint the walls!  We are planning to send them for a weekend with a relative so we can make the transformation a dramatic one- do a big unveiling and all of that!

Once the boy’s room is complete, we have to put together G’s room.  This will actually be simpler since we are just converting D2’s toddler bed back into a crib and using all of the same furniture.  But it’ll need to be painted and set up with all of the baby things.  The baby things

It’s overwhelming to think of the swing and bouncer and all of the other little items we’ll be getting out for her use (and our convenience no doubt).  But these days I am thinking about what we should do ahead.  It’s my plan to have the boys in their room 2-3 months before her due date, so that they feel settled before the chaos of a newborn comes into their lives.  But other adjustments, like moving car seats around in the van, I just can’t decide if those should be done ahead of time, or if they just won’t mind moving to another spot if that’s where their seat it.

We talk a lot about the baby as a family- I tell the boys how much she will love them, and they tell me how much they love her.  It’s incredible seeing how a 2 and 3 year old can love their little sibling that they’ve never laid eyes on, that they know at such a young age that they’ll be so important to each other the rest of their lives.

The more I think about all there is to do.. the setting up, the cleaning.. the more I think I need a nap ;)

Cookie butter mug cake

ReinventingSupermom.WordPress.Com:

This sounds absolutely incredible- I can’t wait to try it!!!

Originally posted on write meg!:

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It poured yesterday. The rain fell in heavy sheets, flooding the streets and parking lots and mailboxes left accidentally ajar. I watched it all from my office with damp shoes, damp hair, damp slacks . . . and by the time I got home to an empty house, I knew I needed dessert.

Spencer gets home from a business trip tonight — which means my solitude in the new house will finally end! I’ve been alone before, of course, given I’m 29 years old and not physically sewn to loved ones. Solitude is inevitable. But the last few days have been my first time by myself in our new place, and I had to really psych myself to fall asleep alone in a (somewhat) unfamiliar house with its creaks and groans.

But I did. It wasn’t awful. And I didn’t have any panic attacks, unlike the last time my…

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