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Archive for May, 2009

Ear Tubes? I Say Yes!

May 20, 2009 Author: Jessy | Filed under: Family Management, Health & Safety

My daughter had so many ear infections by the time she was 15 months, that I stopped counting at twelve.  I spent so many nights sleeping sitting up in a recliner with my daughter sleeping in my arms, because she could not lay down with the ear infection pressure and pain. She had her first ear infection at two months and continued having them until they were not healing in between antibiotics treatments, and she was quickly becoming immune to all antibiotics. I am someone who only takes antibiotics when it is absolutely necessary, and my daughter was on them so much she was becoming immune. I had to do something!

We got an appointment to see our pediatricians favorite ENT Doctor and had her hearing tested and a consultation.  The ENT recommended we get her tubes because she thought she was a perfect for the procedure and that her life could be improved.   We asked tons of questions, did the research, and weighed the pro’s and cons of the the surgery for tubes.  We were worried about my daughter having complications and having to be put under during the process of the surgery.

I did not only consider tubes and antibiotics, I also was looking into alternative therapies.  I researched elevated sleeping, chiropractic care, eliminating dairy, natural ear drops and massage but there were questions, difficulties and risks for each of them.  I was weighing my ear treatment options and was working at the high school career center at the time.  I  spoke to a 17 yr old who’s was sharing the story of why he wore two hearing aids.  He said his mother wanted to be natural and avoid surgery for tubes when he had chronic ear infections as a toddler.  He ended up needing hearing aides in both ears for the rest of his life, because of the significant scar tissue that formed, he only had 10 % hearing remaining in each of his ears.  His experience and lifetime disability helped me make up my mind quickly.

She was 16 months old when we arrived at Children’s Hospital day surgery center.  We had to arrive two hours in advance for her 10 AM appointment and she could not eat or drink anything before midnight the night before.   I chose to not eat or drink anything either, so I would know she felt and not be eating or drinking in front of her.  All she wanted was some milk and she was hungry and thirsty while we sat in the waiting room.  When we arrived we checked in, they put her in a little yellow gown and booties, and took a Polaroid picture of her with us.  I look at my face in that picture today, and I as so nervous.  We did everything we could to distract her from her hunger as she in the waiting room with the other little kids wearing the cute little yellow gowns, until it was her surgery time.  Jon and I carried her into a private room connected to the bright lights of the surgery area.  I held her on my lap and held her arms down while they blew bubbles and hooked her up to monitors, and put her to sleep with a sedation gas mask.  The creepiest part was feeling her body go completely limp.  I laid her on the wheeled hospital bed and they wheeled her away to surgery.  We went back out into the waiting room and watched the monitor nervously to see when her surgery status was changed to recovery.

The procedure took less than 15 minutes, and we were called back to the recovery area, told that when she woke up she might be really confused and scared.  She woke up and was a little wobbly, but she was fine, all she wanted was apple juice and graham crackers.  They observed her for a while and we were released before noon. We drove her home gave her Tylenol and were told to give her antibiotic drops in her ear for a week.  The rest of the day of the surgery she was normal, playing and she did not seem to have any ill effects from the tubes or the anesthesia.

Since that day she had only one ear infection, and with the antibiotic drops that we already had, it was healed within 24 hours.  No more pain, no agony, and she was able to sleep in her own bed that night. I had an ear infection about a year after her surgery as an adult and it hurt unbelievably bad, and I felt guilty for letting my child go 16 months with ear infections when tubes were such a fast fix to her pain.

Tubes changed our lives for the better, she could sleep at night, and she was not in pain anymore.  I don’t know if getting the tubes put in helped her to hear and speak because she was right there developmentally but she did start speaking clearly very soon after the surgery. I believe tubes are a wonderful way to improve a child’s quality of life.  If my son had ear infections like she did I would not hesitate at all to get tubes put in. If your child has chronic ear infections I would highly recommend speaking to an ENT and getting tubes to ease your child’s pain and avoid possible hearing damage.

Today was the last day of ECFE for the summer. I walked out the door with happy tears in my eyes and was trying the whole last song not to breakdown in front of the other parents when I was reliving the memories and changes in mine and my children’s lives. It was also such a great year for my daughter and my son, and such a great experience for myself.

My son who was just 9 months when we started ECFE was having trouble leaving me when he was in the sibling care during my daughters class.  He was still having some bottle refusal issues when we started and had just started to master crawling.   Now he is 16 months old, can drink out of a regular cup by himself, runs instead of walks, and is learning how to talk.  His life is totally different and he is a comfortable happy boy.

My daughter was so anxious when we started the class because she had just had the trauma of separating from me at a daycare center and now we had to ease her back into trusting that she can be separated from me without being afraid I would leave her there.  She had to relearn how to trust adults and get corrected by someone other than mom without breaking down into tears. She was just learning how to sit and follow directions, she was just learning how to join in imaginative play with other children and make friends that she chose herself.  Now she can be separated from mom without blinking an eye, or even pausing from her play with her friends at school.  She simply says, “Bye Mom!”  instead of clinging to me in tears when I had to leave the room.  She has learned how to trust other adults again and has regained her funny, outgoing personality, it was wonderful for her.

For myself, I started out the year shell shocked from just becoming a stay at home (professional mom) mom, trying to re-identify myself and feel confident about my decision, instead of the initial embarrassment I felt about it.  I had to figure out how to balance maintaining myself, my home, and my children without the break you get while at work.  I know I have become a better parent, more patient, more present, and enjoying my time with my children.  I went from being frazzled and disorganized on outings to scheduled and prepared when I leave the house.

I am a different person, more comfortable in my parenting, my daughter is older, more self confident and happy, my son is no longer a baby, he is adjusted and comfortable leaving me. What a year, what wonderful changes, and I am glad I got to be here full time to experience each of them.  *Happy Tears*

Soliciting Should Be Illegal!!!

May 18, 2009 Author: Jessy | Filed under: Health & Safety, Think About It

I had a problem with a solicitor this morning.  I was 8 AM, I was just making the kids breakfast and drinking my coffee, when someone ruined my peaceful morning, and started pounding on the front door.  He knocked and pounded and stood there for at least five minutes.  I refused to answer the door because I did not know him, and I have no soliciting signs on both of my doors.  Finally, after five minutes of waiting while he was waving at my kids through the window, he gave up, wrote something down on his clipboard and started to walk down my driveway.  I thought I cant let this guy just get away with being disrespectful and knock even with a no soliciting sign staring him in the face.  I opened up the side door as he was halfway down my driveway, I said “You really should be respectful and not knock on peoples doors that request no soliciting!”   He replied.  “Screw You!”  I then went off on him, I am sure I threw out a few F bombs and finally told him to get off my property before I called the police. As he walked away he was laughing at me, laughing!  Now I am livid.  This creepy sales guy is laughing at me and making me uncomfortable in my own home!  I watched him walk to my neighbors house, she is another stay at home mom with a minivan parked in the driveway, and he coaxed her out of the house and away from her children and talked to her. He completely skipped the old peoples houses, and only targeted the houses with signs of children.

I called the police non-emergency number and asked if there is anything I can do to protect my rights to not have some creepy guy pounding on my door for 5 minutes at 8 AM?  They informed me that all solicitors in our town are supposed to register themselves with the police department before they go door to door, I asked if this guy was registered to which she replied he was not.  I then was directed to leave a message for the Police Sargent asking for his input on my rights, which I happily did. At this point the guy left so I did not ask for police response.

I called and shared my solicitor experience with my sister who lives three blocks away, when I was on the phone with her the guy came back to my court to talk to my neighbor again.  This time I took down the make and model of his truck, license plate, and his physical description, and waited until he left to ask my neighbor if she had a business card.  My intention was to call the parent company, complain and then contact the BBB. Unfortunately this neighbor said he did not give her a card, and did not show her any of his materials, he just wanted to talk to her about his educational program he was selling.

My sister called me three hours later because this same guy who I described to her on the phone, just came by and was pounding on her door and bypassed her no soliciting sign. She had her daughter sleeping  in the house and to keep him from waking her baby, she opened the door and yelled at him to go away, and not to bother people who request no soliciting.  He then repeatedly asked my sister to come outside and talk to him or just to look at his map and give him some information about our town.  She replied, no go away.  She had a minivan in the driveway and a swingset in the backyard. She watched this guy walk down her street and completely avoid the two old people who live on both sides of her, with no hint of children in the house.  Now she also called the police.  Not only was he harassing me, he was also trying to coax people with children out of their houses.

Why was I so defensive?  I believe that your home is the one place you can be yourself and do not have to be polite to strangers.  You should never feel that people are scoping out your house and walking around looking into houses or at your belongings.  The time of day that solicitors usually happen to come is during the day time  and in the summertime when school children are home alone, elderly people are home, or women with young children are home alone.  Door to door sales people are targeting the vulnerable people in the world.   I believe these door to door solicitors are the people who cant get any other jobs and often are people that avoid jobs that may require background checks.  Every time one of them comes to my house, I envision them as a convicted sex offender or a thief who was just released from prison, and now they are knocking at my door when I am home alone with my kids.  The most precious time of my day is when my kids are quietly sleeping, the worst is when one of these sales predators bangs on my door during nap time.  I might go postal on a solicitor who wakes up my kids.

I have had some very strange experiences over the years with solicitors. I had one guy who saw the no soliciting sign on my front door, walked to my side door and pounded on that door because there was no sign.  I pretended I was nice got his business card then yelled at him with all of my might until he left.   The next day I put a sign up on the side door after calling that solicitors parent company and contacting the BBB. On another day a very frightening and large man walked into my backyard when I was swimming with my kids.  He was trying to pet my dog who was going nuts barking because he was trying to protect us, and this man was trying to pet him to calm him down.  He walked through my gate and into my secluded fenced in backyard!  I have never been in a more vulnerable feeling position,  swimming with two wet kids and a strange man inside of my fence.   That was the first time I realized I needed to do something about solicitors for my safety, and I will never swim again without my phone by my poolside.

Why do I need to feel unsafe in my own yard because of solicitors?   There is a no call list and I am on it!    Why is there not a no soliciting house to house list that I can put myself on to protect my family?

I should feel safe and secure in my house and not fear that one of these strangers pounding on my door is scoping out my house for a robbery or to abduct one of my children.  I will continue to call my police department whenever I get someone who bypasses my no soliciting sign. I truly believe door to door soliciting should be illegal!

Today I spoke with the police sargent who told me that he has been getting an unbeliveable amount of calls the last two weeks about solititors harassing people and he advised me that because there is no city ordinance there is nothing they can do to stop solicitors in our town. I quickly contacted my mayor and city council members asking them to enact a similar city ordinance as our neighboring towns so that we can monitor solicitors.  I have also asked everyone I know that lives in my town to contact their city council members as well.  Hopefully my passionate dislike for being harassed in my home will make a difference in my community.

The True Miracle of Life

May 15, 2009 Author: Jessy | Filed under: Family Management, Think About It

I was just pondering how wonderful and fragile life is.  How amazing it is to be able to get pregnant, carry a baby and experience the joy of hearing a new baby cry and becoming a mom. Today I am trying to remember how wonderful my children are and how much I appreciate the fact that I have them.

I have a friend who spent five years and upwards of $50,000 trying to conceive a child. They tried every type of fertility treatment, tried every test, and read negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test.  When it took me 4 months to conceive my daughter and experienced the frustration of people asking me constantly if I was pregnant yet?  I thought about my friend and how frustrating it would have been to try to get pregnant for years instead of a few measly months.

I have a good friend who miscarried while I was pregnant with my second baby, she experienced the excitement of finding out she was pregnant, she got to see the baby on the ultrasound and was able to share her happiness with others, but it ended up that she miscarried right before her 2nd trimester.  I was so careful to never complain about feeling nauseated, pain or discomfort of my pregnancy, because I know she would have done anything to change places with me.

I am so grateful for having two healthy babies be delivered and listening to them cry for the first time!  I have a wonderful neighbor who has been so excited to have her first great grand child. Every time I saw her she has been sharing details about her grand daughters pregnancy, and showing me the little things she bought in anticipation of the babies arrival. Today she told me that the baby was delivered yesterday, and everyone was at the hospital excited to meet him.  Once the baby was delivered they noticed that he was not pinking up, they tried to intubate him but they were not able to get the tube down his throat because his throat was not developed.  He was born alive but only lived 10 minutes without air. They never got to hear their baby cry.

Think about how lucky you were to be a Mom, think about how different your life would have been if you would have not been able to have them.  From the amazing feat of one healthy sperm fertilizing one healthy egg, the cells dividing perfectly, the placenta attaching right, the fetus developing perfectly for 9 months, having a safe delivery, and hearing your healthy baby cry.  What a miracle!

Book Review: It Hurts When I Poop

May 14, 2009 Author: Jessy | Filed under: Product Reviews

Potty training was one of the most stressful things I have experienced so far in raising my daughter. She was potty trained by 2 1/2 but we continued to have pooping problems for a whole year.  She would only poop in a pull up or she would refuse to poop at all and hold it for days.   We used poop rewards, children’s suppositories, children’s laxatives, prune juice, probiotics, whole grains, cutting holes in diapers, but nothing worked; her will to hold it in was winning. When she finally could not hold it any longer, she would scream and cry when her giant poop would come out.

The fight to make her poop on the toilet or just simply poop at all, peaked one day we had been trying for 4 days every one of our methods, on the 10th day she was crying in pain and agony and I finally broke down and brought her to the emergency room.    When I got her to Children’s Hospital they did an x- ray to rule out blockage, and they found no blockages, just a ball of poop that was so big it was now impossible to pass naturally.  She ended up having to have a mineral oil enema and when that poop came out, it was so large it blocked a hospital commercial grade toilet.  When we got home from the hospital we started her on poop training.  She had Miralax laxative daily to keep her poop soft and impossible to hold in, and she had to sit on the toilet after each meal.  After the seven days of Miralax laxative was over, she started to go back to her old habits of holding it in, and we needed to try something else. No external rewards, or internal pain was going to make her poop.

I started researching and found many wonderful reviews about a book called It Hurts When I Poop!: A Story for Children Who Are Scared to Use the Potty. The Book is about a little boy named Ryan who is afraid to poop in the toilet.  He tries to hold it in because he is afraid it will hurt, he meets with his Dr. who tells him a story about a coyote who does not clean his house or throw things away, and eventually the trash has to come out somewhere.  The Dr. teaches him how food turns into poop and which foods will help make his poop softer and which foods will make his poop harder.  My daughter loved this book so much because I believe she felt like someone else understood exactly how she felt, the book even touched on pooping in pull ups.  We read this book over and over and over again multiple times each day.  Now, I can proudly say that her pooping issues are a thing of the past, she is a super, duper, toilet pooper now!

I highly recommend this book to other parents who are going through this horribly stressful poop holding experience with their toddler. Try buying this book and read it to your child and hopefully it can help empower your child to poop in the toilet, and not hold it in. 

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