Friday, November 13, 2015

Cold & Flu

I am not sure if I have ever shared that Sammy has some respiratory issues. They are minor in the grande scheme of problems like that go- but still something that requires constant vigilance. Waking up to your kiddo not breathing well is something I really hope few parents ever really have to experience. I felt like I really wanted to talk about homeopathic remedies and my feelings regarding medical care. Hint: I think this goes against popular/trendy opinion here.

First of all- if your child is having labored breathing get actual medical help. Don't google- don't call around to your mom friends. Call 911 if it is severe. Get help. Don't mess around with breathing.

Sammy first got croup when he was around three. We'd had no problems with colds or viruses and anything we'd experienced was mild. No cause for alarm at all. That changed really suddenly one morning when I heard a barking cough. He had the stridor breathing and I thought he may have whooping cough. We went immediately to urgent care as it is right down the street. They listened to him and he seemed to get better during the visit and we got some steroids and went home. I stayed home with him for a couple of days and he was much better. We just used a humidifier and some vicks on the feet.

The second time was scarier. We went to urgent care and they sent us via ambulance to a local hospital. He received a breathing treatment en route and then another when we got to the ER room. After you aren't stabilized with one treatment they often require an overnight stay so after the second one we went by ambulance again to the children's hospital. We stayed overnight and his levels were fine. We followed up with his ped and she said it was just croup and he would grow out of it. I of course googled everything and was very worried. I decided to change peds because I felt like I really didn't need another go round of this.

The third time we went directly to his new ped and they gave him a breathing treatment in the office. We were sent home with a nebulizer and enough albuteral for a year. This basically made our croup struggle a non-emergency and things are much easier in this department now. Sammy gets this stridor breathing/croup thing every single time he's sick and we do treatments until he's well. We're managing and I really hope as he gets older and his airway becomes larger that this is a thing of the past. Now for the natural/homeopathic angle to this story.

I was invited to an essential oils party a few months after his hospital stay. Of course being a mom who realizes things like antibiotic resistance and over medication of our children are things that happen- I was interested in a more natural solution. Maybe even something to get us help before it escalated into actual breathing issues.

That party was an eye opener for one reason. Be careful who you get advice from and check for credentials. They were touting some breathing mixes for my son and after further review- those fixes and potions could have killed him. Some oils in there can cause breathing distress in children. The person selling that sure didn't know that but I don't think it would have ever occurred to them that their knowledge and lack of education could be deadly.  With the rise of homeopathic medicine there is also a rise in people making a profit from you and your choice to not use traditional medicine. Be wary of their education, credentials, and expertise. Get medical information from trained medical professionals. Everyone has a bias. My bias is that I  think breathing issues are best treated with medicine like albuterol. I view it as an emergency and we need the best care possible.

Look also for well respected brands in your treatments. Use the name brands so that you know the support items you are buying will stand the test of time. I really don't want to get a nebulizer or humidifier that stops functioning when we really need it. We love crane for the humidifiers. They are cute for kiddos and really stand the test of time. We use braun thermometers because we really need to know if a cold or virus is coming on. We just were sent the newest one that reads above the forehead with no touching and I have to say- it is amazing. We can check in the middle of the night without waking Sammy and I can trust the reading to be accurate and consistent. I need all products to function that way because I am not messing around with the safety of my child.

I made this little pinterest board to lighten the subject a bit from snake oil salesmen and respiratory issues. Check it out :)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Time to Buy....

I decided I am going to start a new series here on the blog called "Time to Buy..." Mainly because I always have a friend or two that are scrambling at the last possible minute to buy some weather/gear related essential and missed the popular buying season.

Right now- buy a coat if you have not already taken my advice and gotten one on clearance in the Spring. Gap has a Friends and Family discount for 40% off.

Get a few pairs of gloves and mittens and a few hats. Find a a sale. Hanna Andersson has 20% off and Boden is 25% off today as well. Go forth and find a deal!

Now is for sure the exact time to buy winter boots. They are going to be sold out soon. Sorel has a couple of nice options, Gap has two decent pairs, and Nordstrom has a few as well. Hunter is a good option for a rainboot/ cold gear combo if you get the fleece inserts but they're pricey if you don't catch a sale. I prefer a duck boot option myself :)

Happy Shopping!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Wrap Up

Halloween! It is my favorite holiday usually. I love dressing up and handing out candy. Aside from giving things to kiddos- Halloween is a stress free holiday because really no one expects anything from you. This feels like a huge break right before Christmas and Thanksgiving where my obligation list gets very long.

I woke up in a horrible mood which really isn't like me. We did some housework and I made breakfast. Sammy had a roll up which are about 100% of his daily calories most days. Thank goodness I buy the healthy stuff so it is better for him.

This Halloween we visited the neighborhood party and Sammy got to bounce in the bouncehouse for a while. That was adorable. It is awesome to see how confident he's getting with climbing up those giant play structures. We then visited the fire dept for a similar event where there was more bouncing. I figured that was a decent plan before naptime!

We got ready for Trick or Treaters and Sammy got up and handed out candy. It was cute to see him race towards the door from the dinner table to give to other children. After some delicious mac & cheese Sammy and I headed out to hit the mean streets and get some candy. It was such a nice night and Sammy did a great job running to the houses and figuring out based on the porch lights who actually was handing out candy. Tim manned our house then we switched. All in all it was a great time - we were thrilled to have it be just our own family and focus on Sammy for this holiday.

I do have to mention that there is a big trend away from Trick or Treating in my area. A lot of moms with smaller kiddos take them to the church trunk or treats or park hikes - which those are really cool. But it is sad to see the tradition of people handing out candy waning. There were many fewer homes with porch lights on this year. Maybe 10 on our street total and it used to be almost everyone. One house a few doors down even accidentally left their porch light on and that was pretty confusing for the small kiddos just learning how this goes.

I've really tried to be community minded this year- and it was a little sad to see so many people not handing out candy. Hopefully as Sammy gets bigger this trend reverses itself because it is such a fun right of passage to ring those doorbells and get your big bag of candy. (We swapped out the candy for some legos because Sammy is the only kiddo I know that actually doesn't care for candy.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday! Finally. Tips for Sizing Up!

Happy Fall!!

I wanted to share a few tips that keep us sane when changing seasons and cycling through the stored up wardrobe.

Sammy is going through a growth spurt and we're breaking out more and more of the next size and putting away the 4T. I usually don't put away a size run at once. I find that everything is sized just enough differently to make some things work a few more months than others. Carters is really bad about this! I thought I would share our process for working new things into the cycle and for putting things away.

The process of marking an item for retirement is as follows for us. I usually notice an item is on the last wearing as we get dressed in the morning. All dirty clothes are folded in the dirty clothes hamper and they go into the washer/dryer once a week. When I take everything out for cleaning things that are being put away get a special once over for loose threads, stains, rips, or anything else that might need attention. If the problem cannot be solved usually the item is thrown away. (We don't donate things we would not wear ourselves).

Storing clothes that we're saving is a pretty easy process after we've had a few years practice. I use space bags for clothing. I just fold the clothes like usual and when I am putting away clothes in closets- outgrown clothes go into the space saver bag. When I am done with a size run I mark the bag and seal it up.

I store the clothes that are too big in the closet on the far rack. I coordinate by item type- pants go with pants and so on. I try to store by length. Pants go from shortest to longest so I don't miss anything. If I need a new pair of pants I can guess that the ones that are smallest are the better bet. Same with shirts. I wash before storing so everything is ready to wear. Eventually it is all mixed in because we need a shirt to wear and I just put three away. That is our general process.

As a mom I notice I have a process for everything. Everything. I just have to have them in place to keep myself together and everything accounted for- and not just in my mind. I rely on systems because I can't rely on myself to remember everything. Find your systems! Don't be afraid to over complicate something you think is simple if the end result is a smooth way to accomplish your needs.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Time for Fall Pics!

I know everyone is going to be getting their pics done for Fall! And they will be gorgeous. Who doesn't love changing leaves and plaid with layers. Pumpkin everything is my motto!

We're having a lovely photographer friend do Sammy's Fall pics this weekend. Of course I am stressing because I am not 100% sure what he'll be wearing on his feet. We're smack in the middle of a growth spurt and I am cheap. And it may rain. Hunter boots maybe FTW? I do love them that is for sure. I was thinking lovely buttery moccasins. (When am I not thinking that right?!) With the rain and orchard location I am thinking our best bet may end up having to be waterproof. First world problems right!

I am in love with the cooler mornings and crisp nights where we can leave the windows open. Maybe mainly because it gives the house some good air. Our Pug Archie is stinky and it helps! Real life. The weather needs to cool down finally because I am tired of sweating. I am not a Summer person really. I do love the fun adventures that Summer brings, but really love being outside in comfort.

Sammy is working on turning 5! Mainly we're working on how to accept no with grace and being more patient. Adults struggle with these lessons as well so he's in good company. This morning he came into my room after my husband jetted off to work and wanted to snuggle. I decided that was probably the best thing I could do right then because he's going to get older and want nothing more to do with that. He is such a little love and I pray he always stays so sweet. I'd always hoped that my kiddos would be kind and sweet and I just won the lottery with that little guy!

I will update with pics soon! I can't wait until it's picture day.

Fall Pics!

Fall Pics!