Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Poor Chickpea

I knew our luck was eventually going to run out. Just in case you are wondering, I am referencing the lucky streak my family has experienced this cold and flu season. Ironically I was chatting it up with a girlfriend who was on her third round of her kids being sick this cold/ flu season. "Yeah, I can't believe that we have not gotten sick and it is almost March" I remember saying. I think it was at that moment when karma (that bitch!) had to rear her ugly head.

So there I was last Wednesday taking my usual 9:30 am spin class, when all of a sudden I noticed one of the child care teachers coming into to class. I didn't think anything of it until, she approached me, and asked me to leave the class to come get Chickpea. Of course my heart sunk while I thought the absolute worst. When I got outside of the spin room, the teacher shared that it wasn't anything terrible; she just felt that it was best that I come get Chickpea since she was not acting like her normal self.

After getting Chickpea home from the gym, I couldn't help but notice she was not herself, and I did notice that she was sounding a little "stuffy". I fixed Chickpea her lunch, which she hardly touched. I knew something was up for sure when she wasn't even touching her beloved sippy cup of warm milk. I placed Chickpea down for her afternoon nap, only have her wake up an hour later with a nose that I can only describe as a "hot crusty yellow/ green mess" (gross I know). It was official my girl was sick.

After cleaning my poor girl up, I called my pediatrician. After what seemed a lifetime in the waiting room, we finally saw the doctor. Following a thorough exam the doctor shared, "The good news is it looks like she has a good old fashioned cold, the bad news is there is nothing we can do for it but let it ride its course.” She might as well have said, "Suck it up, the next seven days are going to suck, and there is a 99.9% chance that you and your husband are going to get sick too". And guess what? We did.

I know when I started this blog, I posed the question "What was worse than being on a plane with a screaming child?" and I replied back "Being the parent of that screaming child." Well we can also add "Being the parent of a sick child".

It's been about a week since the onset of Chickpea's (who I temporarily re-nicknamed the Ebola Monkey) cold and she is getting back to her old self again. As far as the hubby and me, we have a couple more days left of this crud. So in true fashion I am sharing some helpful tips to get through this not so fun part of parenting. I hope you enjoy.

1. Stock up on Tylenol or Motrin (I prefer Motrin since it lasts longer)

2. Hydration is so important especially since your toddler may not have much of an appetite; I really like fruits, popsicles, and Pedialite if your little one does not like to drink water.

3. Invest in a Nose Frida (target online carries them for $15 or at it will be the best $15 you spend. You might ask what is a Nose Frida. It is a hygienic way to suck the boogers out of your toddler's congested nose. They don't call it a snot sucker for nothing. Sounds gross but when your child can't breathe or sleep at night you will do ANYTHING. My husband now nicknamed me the "Boogie Bounty Hunter" because of this lifesaving device.

4. Invest in the softest tissues you can find to keep from giving your toddler (and yourself) chapped red noses from constant wiping. Also while you’re at it stock up in lots of hand sanitizer and use it liberally.

5. Be aware of Germ Hot Spots: Note bacteria and viruses can lurk just about anywhere, but they really love to hang out on some of the stuff parents and kids touch constantly.

Grocery-cart handles A University of Arizona study found that 55 percent of them were contaminated with fecal matter. "Carry hand sanitizer in your purse and use it when you've finished doing your shopping," says Dr. Charles Gerba.

Playground equipment When researchers from the University of Arizona College of Public Health examined various playgrounds, they found feces, urine, and even blood on the equipment. Always wash up when playtime's over.

Your kitchen sink It's covered in germs -- 500,000 of them per square inch. Why? When you rinse some foods, particularly raw fruits and veggies, bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella wash down the drain and accumulate there. Scrub the sink with bleach and water at least twice a week.

6. Lastly, don't forget to give your toddler extra TLC even though he or she is a total crank monster keep in mind they don't feel good, and remember this too shall pass.

Bookmark and Share

Become a Fan on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
Watch our videos on Youtube

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What was I thinking.... How to Survive a Hangover with a Toddler

What a weekend, for the girl who rarely goes out on the town anymore. I sure did seem to make up for it all in one night. I guess this is why my sister has nicknamed me "One Night Sally". I seem to avoid going out, but when I do, watch out.

Saturday Night

It was my good friend Shawn's 40th birthday. Needless to say, I was not missing this for the world. Shawn, and his partner Gary throw the best parties, in fact they are rather infamous for great food, drinks, music, dancing and even sometimes entertainment (drag shows like you wouldn't imagine). So Saturday rolled around, and I could not wait to get dressed up, and have a great night out with hubby and with good friends. It almost felt like the old days before Chickpea came along. You know what I am talking about, life before baby, when you could be spontaneous, stay out all night, sleep in the next day. Ahhhhhh those days long past.

Well we got to the party, and in true fashion the party was amazing. Amazing food, great music, great friends, and to top it all off alcohol flowed like the Missippi river. In fact I think it was around my third cocktail, that I started to wonder how I was going to manage Chickpea the next day. See this is where most people would make note of reality, but no, not I, "One Night Sally" was on a roll and she wasn't slowing down anytime soon.

It was in the wee hours of the morning when hubby and I made it back from the party. I don't remember much of the details, but according to my husband the babysitter had a good laugh seeing me out of my normal character. The next thing I recall was waking up because the bedroom would not stop spinning (bad sign, very bad sign). I decided to get out of bed and go downstairs to grab some Motrin and a glass of water. I knew things where bad when I couldn't even open the baby gate at the top of the stairs. After a few humbling attempts to open the gate, I just decided to climb over (bad idea, really bad idea since I still have the bruise to show for it). So I basically missed the step and went down the first flight of stairs on my bum (OUCH!). After finally making it down stairs, I attempted to hydrate and medicate myself; in hopes of minimizing what I already knew was going to be a painful morning.

I think it was ten minutes after 6:00 am, when I heard Chickpea. Note to all of you parents out there, do not go out drinking with the expectation that your little one will take pity on you and sleep in. No, for me, it was a very early wake-up call. When I finally came to, all I could feel was a pounding in my head that rivaled a jackhammer breaking up concrete. The only thing that could be worse was the way my mouth and tongue felt (imagine dryness like the Sahara, and feeling like you licked pavement all night long). Or as my dear friend Mimi says, "It feels like a cat just crapped in my mouth".

Needless to say it was a very rough morning, and an equally rough day. So in my misery I thought I would try to come up with a how to list. So here it goes.

How to Survive a Hangover with a Toddler:

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate (if you hate drinking water like myself try Gatorade, it works great and was invented at my alma mater GO GATORS!)

2. Enlist your husband, partner, or any willing human being to help take care of your toddler, while you recover from your very bad idea to indulge in alcohol.

3. Follow the B.R.A.T. diet until your bowels decide they are no longer pissed off at you (and no this is not a reference to your child) B for bread, R for rice, A for apples/ applesauce, T for toast.

4. Resist temptation to sedate your child, instead wait until his/her naptime, and follow suit, sleep and rest will help you through this rough time.

5. Avoid taking common pain killers like aspirin, Tylenol and ibuprofen. There affects can be magnified when alcohol is in your system, so it is best (even though it may be the first thing you reach for) to avoid them to kill the hangover pain. Aspirin is a blood thinner, just like alcohol, and can intensify its effects and Tylenol (or acetaminophen) can cause more damage to your liver. Ibuprofen can also cause stomach bleeding. So be cautious when going for the quick relief.

6. When all else fails, Hair of the Dog that bit you (preferably a Bloody Mary).

In all reality if you are going to tie one on, be sure to have the grandparents or someone you trust take your toddler for a couple of days. That way you can relive your old college days of sleeping in, eating crappy food, and lying on the couch all day in efforts to nurse your hangover.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Warm Milk vs. Cold Milk Game On.

Hello again. I hope everyone had a great week and enjoyed watching the "Big Game" on Sunday (Congrats to the New Orleans Saints, job well done). So like most Americans- me the hubby and Chickpea participated in a football party. In fact, this was Chickpea's first official football party. We were invited by some great friends of ours to come over, and enjoy the game and some traditional football food. It was really perfect since our friends have a little boy named Tucker who is a little older than Hayden.

We got to their house around 5 pm, and were immediately greeted by a very excited Tucker, who could not wait to play with Chickpea. Things were going great, everyone was having a great time, the kids got along great, and I even had a chance to enjoy some game day cocktails and catch up with some great friends.

I t was around 6:30pm and we decided to sit the kids down to eat some dinner. The kids where so cute sitting in their respective highchairs (they looked like they were having a little mini date with a table for two). I got Chickpea all set up and Tucker's mom asked me about this cow printed sleeve over Chickpea's sippy cup. Of course I immediately shared all about this super cool bottle/ sippy cup warmer that I never leave home without. Tucker's mom laughed and shared that Chickpea would most likely drink her bottle regardless whether it was warm or cold. And in true game day fashion a bet was on. Would Chickpea still drink her milk if it was cold rather than warm?

Now knowing my very particular child, I knew I had this one in the bag, so I was sure to bet big. The wager was set, the loser had to treat the winner to massage and babysit her child. As they say "Game On"! I quickly removed the adorable cow printed sleeve warmer from Chickpea's sippy cup and handed her the cold milk. Like true fashion, she handed it back to me with a look in her eyes that read " Woman have you lost your damn mind, you know I only drink warm milk, now get with the program and stop playing games before I real cranky, real fast". No more than 10 seconds after tasting the cold milk in her sippy cup, Chickpea immediately handed me the cup and looked and me again with those eyes that read "Handle this situation, please".
Tucker's mom could not believe what she was witnessing, and was also not happy that she had lost the bet in record time. I joked with her, and asked when would be a good time for me to schedule my massage so I can drop Chickpea off. Tucker's mom laughed and commented that she can't believe she got hustled by a 20 month old and her mommy.

After we got home that night, I got to thinking why did Chickpea love her warm milk so much, and if there were any benefits to giving her milk warm vs. giving cold. So as you can guess I turned to my trusty computer and fired up the internet once again.

So it turns out that warm cow’s milk mimics mother's breast milk temperature and is naturally easier for babies/ toddlers to digest. In addition warm milk is rich in tryptophan like breast milk which can aide in sleep and relaxation for babies and toddlers.

Now understanding this, it is also important to know we need to be careful when heating pumped breast milk formula, or cow’s milk. If you heat milk, breast milk or formula in the microwave it can change the milk's composition which cause the loss certain anti-infective properties and nutrients, even when microwave for a short amount of time. For years experts have been saying that microwaving baby's milk causes horrible heat distribution creating hot spots that can burn babies' mouth's. Although most people shake bottles to avoid this - it always does not work because heat tends to re-conglomerate immediately. Experts do recommend that pumped breast milk, formula, and cow's milk be warmed with even slow heat in order to retain nutrients.

Lastly, I have some news about a great giveaway.  Tell your friends to join facebook, and my blog to be eligible for "Onthe Fly" product giveaways.  Be sure to check Facebook this week, and look for the words" Baby Love" promotion code to get $30 worth of FREE product ( the value of one small starter kit, or only $5 for a large starter kit).  Please note promotion does not inlcude shipping costs.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ladies Who Love to Lunch (Great tips for Dinning out with your toddler)

This past week Chickpea and I got a lovely invitation to have lunch with the girls. Alright, let's be honest here. Yes, I got an invitation from some of my fabulous single girlfriends ("The Singletons" as I call them) to get together for lunch, but the invitation was not extended to Chickpea. I was dying for some great food and juicy dirt regarding "The Singletons" latest escapades around town. Knowing I did not have a sitter available for when they wanted to get together, I decided to do the right thing (I am a mother now, and have to lead by example or at least start trying) so I was honest and told them  that I did not have a sitter but, would still like to come, I would just have to bring Chickpea in tow. Now as you could imagine "The Singletons" where very reluctant to accept my offer, as they imaged a 23 pound terrorist holding there perfectly fabulous lunch hostage with screaming fits, temper tantrums, smelly diapers, and bad table manners. But somewhere deep in their hearts they took pity on me and agreed to still have lunch even if Chickpea had to come along.

So it was official Chickpea and I where ladies who lunched with other ladies without kids. I was so excited, but at the same time so anxious that Chickpea would have a poor showing at the lunch, proving to "The Singletons" that toddlers and lunch go together as well as suede Manolo's and a rainy day. So the big day finally arrived, I figured that my first plan of attack was to make Chickpea look so damn cute, that even if she waged a full fledged assault on lunch, how could they resist the adorable outfit she was wearing. I was sure to arrive early and get "camp Chickpea" set up with plenty of time (you know, the high chair, the cover for the high chair, the kid friendly placemat, the bib, the sippy cup, the snacks, etc.) as well as secure the best table. No sooner do I sit down "The Singletons" arrive one by one, and every one of them commenting on how adorable Chickpea looked. As I thought to myself, "My first plan of attack to win them over with adorable charm  is working, I simply prayed for divine intervention to take over for the rest of the lunch".

Lunch was great, catching up with the girls, and all the juicy gossip. At one point I even remember thinking that Chickpea is handling herself like an old pro, she even seemed to be paying attention to everyone's conversations (it's a good thing she has no idea of what we where talking about). It was about two hours later that we were starting to wrap things up and pay the bill when one of "The Singeltons" commented on how well behaved Chickpea was, and that she is always welcomed to future lunches. I have to admit; nothing makes me prouder than when someone compliments my daughter especially when it is regarding her behavior. Now you’re probably thinking that divine intervention thing worked out in my favor, but actually here are some practical tips to ensure meals out with your toddler are fabulous and not disastrous.   
(Thanks Parents Magazine for these great tips)

1. Pick kid friendly restaurants whenever possible, if there are no kid friendly options choose a table outside that way if your little one gets a little loud it is less obvious (plus kids love the fresh air).

2. Know your toddler's schedule; don't plan a lunch/ dinner date close to their nap/ bedtime.

3. Avoid restaurants during peak times, because they are busy service is likely to be slower leaving more opportunities for your toddler to meltdown.

4. Order your toddler's meal right when you sit down in order to avoid having to wait a long period of time for his or her food.

5. Understanding that it is natural for toddlers to have a short attention span and the urge to explore, don't expect them to sit for long periods of time. Give in temporarily and talk a brief walk outside, or wander around an empty part of the restaurant.

6. Plan ahead and bring some of your toddler's favorite toys/ snacks to keep them entertained. As a last resort you can ask the server to bring a bread basket to keep little hands busy and mouths occupied.

7. Include your child in conversation, engage your toddler about her surroundings, and make eye contact. Hopefully this will help your toddler from getting bored or antsy. Remember if your toddler feels ignored or bored they will do whatever it takes to get your attention- and everyone's in the restaurant.

8. Lastly, don't forget to praise your toddler for how well they are sitting or eating.

P.S. I over heard the On the Fly girls planning a HUGE GIVE-AWAY to the followers of my blog.  So get the word out, and tell all yor friends so they can potentially get some FREE STUFF!