Posted in Parenting

V.I.Q. (Very Important Questions)

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I have a very distinct memory of my 10 year-old self walking to the convenience store with my best friend one afternoon.  At one point, we happened to pass a house with a child playing in the front yard; a little boy.  I was talking with my friend when the (by my estimation at the time) 3 year old decided to interrupt our conversation.

Boy: what are you doing?

Me: taking a walk.

Boy: why?

Me: because my friend and I are going to the convenience store.

Boy: why?

Me: because we’re going to buy some candy.

Boy: why?

Me: because we feel like eating some.

Boy: why?

Me: because…well because that’s the way it is

Boy: why?

And on that, my friend and I decided to continue our walk despite the fact that the little boy persisted in asking (and eventually shouting) the word “why” to us as we walked away.

I remember feeling completely overwhelmed by the questions.  I remember feeling frustrated by the fact that my answers only brought on more questions and, perhaps even more so, that I wasn’t able to find an answer that would satiate his curiosity.

I often think of this situation because Charles is at an age where he is just full of VIQs, all of which need answering, immediately.  Most of the time, they come when I’m driving him to or from daycare.  Unfortunately, I can’t walk away from a string of questions anymore (or at least, I can’t while I’m driving – perhaps that’s why he decides to let the loose during those moments).

I try very hard to answer his questions when I can and to be patient with him because I know that it’s a very important part in his development.  I sometimes have to answer “I don’t know” and have usually concluded with a “what/why do you think?” and sometimes, when he asks a question, he’ll answer it with one of his on hypothesis instead of waiting for an answer from me.  More often than I would like, I just say “because that’s the way it is” because sometimes (ok, often) his incessant string of questions just drives me nuts, especially because most of his questions come at moments where I need to really focus on my driving.

Here is the most recent string of VIQs that Charles has had with me:

Charles: Why don’t polar bears like the snow?

Me: They DO like the snow.

Charles: Ok then, why aren’t there any polar bears here? (Remember, we’re in the middle of winter here)

Me: Oh, well, because it gets too hot here once there isn’t any snow anymore.

Charles: Why don’t they like it when it’s hot?

Me: Because their bodies aren’t made to tolerate the heat.

Charles: Why?

Me: Well…um…because their ears are too small to let the heat escape properly and their fur is too thick.

Charles: What’s over there? (Pointing to a clearing between the trees where a row of electricity pylons is leading away from the road)

Me: Electricity pylons.

Charles: No, but after the electricity pylons is that South over there?

Me: I have no clue.

Charles: You know, South like the jungle!  What animals are in the jungle?

Me: Well, um, there are antelope and gaz…

Charles: What are antelope?!?

[…]

I’ll spare you the last 28 minutes of questions that followed ;).

How do you deal with the VIQ period?  What’s your interrogator’s favorite moment/place to ask his/her string of questions?

Posted in Blogging

Maybe I Should Just Try Benadryl

Usually, Amélie goes down for bed at 7.

Usually, after our short bedtime routine, I just pop her in her crib with a kiss, leave her room, close the door and spend the next 2-3 hours before my own bedtime picking up the house and having some me time.

Sometimes, she’ll be overtired and will start crying as soon as I put her down.  Usually, all she needs is for me to rub her back for about 5 minutes before she falls asleep.

But tonight, oh tonight.

It’s now 9:15 and she’s still not sleeping.  The dada and I have formed a tag team.  None of our strategies have worked.

Not one.

Rocking? Nope.

Walking? Nope.

Nursing? Nope.

Singing? Nope.

Holding? Nope.

Nope. NOPE. NOPE!

I put her down, she cries.

I rub her back, she squirms.

I try to apply a bit of pressure on her hips to stop her from moving, she screams.

I pick her up, she puts her thumb in her mouth and puts her head on my shoulder.  *Yes!*

NOPE!

Ten seconds later she’s squirming, pulling my hair, pinching me, headbutting me.

I seriously tried everything short of giving her Benadryl to make her drowsy.  (I almost seriously considered it)

The last time the dada came up to take over, I all but threw her in his arms.

Then, I went outside, on the balcony and closed the door.

Silence.

The dada managed to put her down, by the way.  It’s now 9:20 and she’s alseep…for now.

Dads are awesome like that.

Posted in Random thoughts

Dear [Insert Name] – Short Letters From A Frustrated Sleep-Deprived Mama

Dear SUV-driving stranger that parked beside my car yesterday morning,

I know that sometimes it is hard to find a parking spot.  Trust me, I do.  For instance, yesterday morning, I had to park on the outer edge of the parking lot and walk a good 5 minutes with my heavy 6 month old in her bucket seat and tantrum-prone toddler instead of right beside the medical clinic because, well, there were no more parking spots right next to the clinic.  So you see, I totally understand that when you find a spot, you take it.  However, it would be nice in the future, if you could just park a liiiiiiiiitle further away from my car because, quite frankly, it was hard as heck getting my toddler into his seat in the minimal space that was left once I opened my car door.  It was also hard as heck getting enough of my arms inside of the car to manage to buckle him up.  I also wanted you to know, dear driver, that I made sure to keep my fingers between my car door and yours just to make sure that you very lovely SUV didn’t get dented.  I cannot, however, guarantee that I will be able to safeguard the bump-free surface of your vehicle when my kids are old enough to open their doors all by themselves.

Sincerely,

The mama who had two kids to juggle and a tiny space to juggle them in

***

Dear Yahoo,

a couple of nights ago, after battling it out with my infant daughter to get her to fall back asleep for over an hour and a half, I decided to hang out in my living room with my iPad to pass the time as I waited for her to wake up for the umpteenth time in a minimal time frame.  To be quite frank, I was past the zombie-tired stage and was wondering how I was even still standing (truth be told, I was sitting, but hey, what difference does it make?).  As I was looking through the photos of my kids on my iPad and deciding which ones I would upload to my Google+ page, I noticed that there was an icon that allowed me to upload them directly to a Flickr account.  I thought it was the best idea ever so I prepared myself to create a Yahoo address to get the job done.  I was stoked until I saw that I had to insert a mobile phone number that would be used in case I forgot my password (emphasis on had to).  Let me tell you, dear Yahoo, that I do not own a cell phone.  I’m sure there are others that live in the Stone Age that choose not to have one like me.  You probably don’t care that I won’t be a Flickr user, but I wanted to let you know that I will be staying with Google+.

Sincerely,

The mama who doesn’t own, want or need a cell phone (and who can remember her passwords like a big girl all on her own *gasp*)

***

Dear pediatrician,

I know that you care for the well-being of the kids that come through your office.  Really, I do.  I also know that you are swamped in paperwork, an ever-rising workload and are likely feeling more and more unappreciated by parents who are frustrated with the healthcare system.  However, it would be nice (like really nice) if you could update your knowledge of introduction of solids just a liiiiiitle bit.  I was, to be honest, a bit disheartened when, upon mentioning that we were doing baby-led weaning with Amélie, that you had absolutely no idea what I was talking about (it was apparent when you concluded that it meant I was doing veggies and fruits with my baby girl).  I was equally disheartened when you ignored the fact that my daughter was exclusively breastfed for 6 months before any solid food got into her mouth (instead of getting rice cereal as early as 3 months as seems to be the custom here) while looking at her curve and telling me that I had to give her iron-fortified cereal and veggie purees twice a day because she had dropped (barely) under her growth curve.  Perhaps, even, if you don’t have time to read the new research that is starting to show that the only foods that are off limits until the age of one are fresh milk, egg whites and honey, you could at least keep an open mind when I tell you about the variety of foods that my daughter has had (including cooked egg yolks, avocado and toast strips).

Sincerely,

the mama who has successfully raised a two year old who is an awesome eater and is attempting to do the same with her 6 month old daughter

***

Dear itsy bitsy spider,

I’m so sorry that, upon reading a story to my toddler that included a dog who was afraid of a spider, I giggled like crazy and concluded with my son that the doggy was silly to be afraid of spider.  I’m sorry that, I told him how unscary spiders were because they were so much smaller than us humans.  When I saw you this morning, squashed between the nimble fingers of my triumphant toddler (“look mama, a spider!!!!!!”) I was very sad that my desire for my son to remain unafraid of your kind resulted in your death.  I promise that the next lesson will be that we must be gentle with spiders.  May you rest in peace.

Sincerely,

the mama who didn’t want her toddler to be afraid of spiders

Posted in Parenting

OMG Ones!

So, I trust that by now, you’ve all heard about the terrible twos and threes, probably even about the f***ing fours.  I’m willing to bet, though, that no one’s ever told you about the OMG ones.

That’s because I just coined the expression.

Just now.

No but seriously… Oh.  Em. Gee.  (*Shudder*, I hate seeing it spelled out like that.)

Focus Sophie, focus.

Ok so, let me start from the start.

You see, my very adorable son is, quite frankly a pretty easygoing little dude.  I mean, besides the fact that he’s been teething for the better half of his life (which, for the record is not cool), he’s cuddly, smiles easily, can play on his own for long periods of time and is a champion pooper.  Wait, ignore that last one, pooping most definitely does not have anything to do with him being easygoing.

But!

For some reason, over the past month or so, the little guy has his (rather predictable) moments where he gets pissy.

Let me make my point by citing a few examples.

#1.  The “I like to be covered in urine” situation

Yesterday morning, Little Dude woke up at 6am screaming.  Seeing as the last times I’ve gotten out of the bed in a rush to see what was wrong I found myself waking up a sleeping baby (seriously, who screams in their sleep?), I decided to try to catch a few more minutes of Zzzzzs before extracting myself from my bed.  About 20 minutes later, I got up and went to see my happily chattering son in his room.

When I picked him up, I immediately realized that he was wet.  I mean, not a little wet.  His pyjamas, sleeping sack, comforter and fitted sheet are soaking wet…with urine…that was also on me.  My first thought was “oh s***, that’s probably why he woke up screaming”.  It was quickly followed by “I should probably change him, it mustn’t be very fun to be covered in urine”.

And so, I started stripping off the items of clothing that were clinging to him and throwing them in the hamper.  Then, I put him down on his changing table.

Holy crap!  He was pissed (no pun intended).  He looked at me with his why-are-you-doing-this-to-me-woman look and screamed and screamed and screamed as I took off his dry diaper (yes, the diaper *was* in fact dry), put a fresh one on him, wiped the urine off of his body with a warm washcloth and put another pyjama on him.

Of course, because his day started off badly, he was in a foul mood the whole day!  And so, I thought to myself ‘I’m so happy he was at daycare today’, when I went to pick him up.

#2.  The “I want to freeze to death” situation

It’s winter in Canada.  You know, 35cm of snow and -35C with windchill winter.  It’s a great season, I love it.  But, dressing a stubborn completely adorable baby in winter gear is the part I don’t particularly love.  When Little Dude sees me take out his coat and boots is laugh and play a game of catch-me-if-you-can.  Because, obviously, there’s no better game when I need to actually get out of the house and get to work.  Then, when I finally catch him, he gets into kicking-Banshee-ragdoll-worm mode.

Here’s how it goes:

Step 1 (rag doll mode): Get all limp when mom wants to put the coat on me.

Step 2 (Banshee mode):  Scream at the top of my lungs while mom gets the coat on me and zipped up.

Step 3 (worm mode): Start wiggling like a worm and attempt to turn on my tummy when I see the boots.

Step 4 (kicking mode):  Kick my legs wildly as mom tries to get my boots on.

Extra-credit step: If mom tries to stand me up to get my feet in my boots properly, revert to step 1.  If mom tries to put on my tuque before my coat, remove it by pulling on the velcro and revert to step 2.

He’s definitely got all of his bases covered…

#3.  The “I won’t take no for an answer” situation

“No” is a word I try to avoid using when interacting with my son.  I usually prefer to redirect his attention and then make use of positive reinforcement when my attempt to do so works.  Most times, though, he can see my attempt coming from a mile away.

I do however use the “n” word in certain situation that require me to act quickly.  Like that time where he wanted to help me with supper and tried to go check out the oven as I was taking out the piece of meat that had been cooking for the past half-hour.  Or the time where he thought it might be a good idea to put his hand in the toaster.  I think you get the picture…  The word also slips out once in a while (hey, what can I say, I’m not perfect! ;)).

My son has two reactions to the word “no”:

1.  He starts crying because he was frightened by the tone used.

2.  He starts whining and whining and whining (it actually sounds like some kind of siren and I have to supress a laugh each time he does it) because he didn’t get what he wanted.

Tough luck, Charles, tough luck.

#4.  The “I prefer wearing a full diaper thankyouverymuch” situation

This is in the same realm as situation 1.  My son does not like to get his diaper changed.  He wiggles and screams the whole way through usually, despite the fact that I try to distract him in a million possible ways.

It’s not that he doesn’t like to be in a clean diaper.  It’s that I need to interrupt his very important play session to do so.

He, of course, reminds me of this almost every time I change him.

#5.  The “I am looking at the tractor right now” situation

My son is in an in-home daycare with four 4 year olds.  Two boys and two girls.  One day, my son was standing and looking at the tractor out of the rather large living room window.  One of the boys, who adores Little Dude, decided to come stand next to him to watch the tractor too (because, y’know, Dudes like big trucks).

Then, it happened.

Mr. Hyde came out of my son.

Not content to share the view, my son decided to take matters into his own hands and yell at the little boy and push him.

Yeah, my then 11 month old son pushed a 4 year old.

*Facepalm*

Of course, the boy wasn’t hurt, merely surprised and the sitter had to suppress a laugh when she sat down in front of my son to tell him it was not ok to push…

#6.  The “This toys isn’t cooperating” situation

When Little Dude isn’t able to do what he wants to do, he throws mini-tantrums.  This usually happens when he’s trying to put some Duplo blocks together but has them facing the wrong way.  He’ll try for a bit and then let out an exasperated scream and throw his toys on the ground before going up to them, picking them up and trying again until it works.

The way I see it, this is akin to hitting a piece of electronic equipment when it doesn’t work.

#7.  The “I think you get the picture” situation… 😛

But seriously, things aren’t that bad.  Charles just has his…moments, moments during which I don’t know whether I should laugh, cry, pull out my hair or do all of the above.

The good thing is that is is definitely expressing himself.

What do you remember about the OMG ones?  What age have you found to be the hardest so far?

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Posted in Friday Photo Recap, Parenting

Friday Photo Recap: The Video Edition

Today, I’m breaking the “rules” and posting a video instead of a few pictures.  It was taken on Tuesday, but I feel it a very accurate representation of our week at home.

This ^ is what happened every time I put my son down on the floor since Monday.  Every.  Single.  Time.  At first, I thought it was separation anxiety, but he doesn’t burst into melodramatic tears when I drop him off at daycare.  Nope, he just does it when he’s at home and it is driving me bonkers!  He seems to find it particularly annoying that I am unable to have him in my arms at all times and he is very good at expressing his annoyance towards me.  It’s actually pretty funny (except when it’s been going on for half an hour), he’ll start by sitting there and looking me as he screams bloody murder.  Then he’ll crawl towards me and hang on to my legs and continue to scream and cry if I don’t pick him up.  I try to distract him, but the distractions are usually short-lived (although 5 minutes of calm are better than none).

Usually, his fussy periods last a week.  We’re on day 5.

I will not survive this.

Posted in Blogging, Parenting

Sleep & How To Find It.

**Warning: this isn’t a how-to post.**

I wish it were, but is isn’t.

No, instead, it’s more of a question.

Or an accumulation of many questions.

And thoughts.  Yes…those too.

Let me lay it out for you (no pun intended).

I’m tiiiiiiiiiiiired!

Seriously.

The little guy is starting to make me question my parenting.  I suppose it’s a good thing because it means that I actually care about the quality of my parenting.  Of course, it also means that something is amuck. Or perhaps it isn’t.

*Sigh* why can’t parenting be easy?

Here’s the thing.  Little Dude is ten months old.  He eats three nicely-sized meals per day at daycare on top of nursing from three to five times in a 24h period (more on the disparity of nursing frequencies in another post).  On a typical day, he sleeps  45 min. to an hour in the morning and about 1.5 hours in the afternoon.  He’s generally up by 6:30am and down for the night at around 7:30pm.  I think we have a good routine going that is conductive to sleep.  He seems to disagree.

You see, I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that he has slept through the night.  And by slept through, I’m not talking about the theoretical “in the books” definition of 6 consecutive hours.  I’m talking about going to bed at 7 pm and waking up for the day around 6:30 or something along those lines.

The fact is, the Charles wakes up minimally once every night.  On some nights, he wakes up twice.  Now, I know that some of you must have it worse than I do and, in all honesty, it didn’t bother me for a while as I was on maternity leave.  But now?  Now I’m back to work AND I actually need to function.  Of course, when the little guy wakes up, the big guy is usually fast asnore (for those of you who are sleep-deprived like me asnore = asleep + snoring).  He generally stays that way too unless I let Little Dude try to sort himself out for more than 15 minutes.

A night-waking usually looks something like this:

  • Charles wakes up.
  • He starts stirring and semi-chattering.
  • He moves into whiney mode.
  • Whiney mode turns into yelling-at-his-parents mode.  (Ahem: “RA-BA-BA-BA-BA-GA!  RA-BA-BA-BA-BA-GA!…“)
  • Yelling mode turns into semi-crying mode.
  • Semi-crying mode either turns into whiney and then sleep mode or FULL-BLOWN CRYING mode.

Generally, when he wakes up twice during a night, he’ll be able to put himself back to sleep during one of his night-wakings.  Generally.  Sometimes, however, both night-wakings require that I get out of bed (because, of course, the big guy is certainly not going to take the initiative and get out of his toasty bed to try to calm down a screaming baby in the middle of the night – of course, can’t really blame him for wanting to stay in bed ;)).  So, I leave the comfort and warmth of the bed, blindly grab my bathrobe and pull it on before I freeze to death, make my way to my son’s room, pick him up, sit in the rocking chair, stick a boob in his mouth and let him suck his way back to sleep.

Right now, I want him to sleep more.  But I don’t know if I have reasonable expectations.  I mean, is it reasonable for me to expect my son to be able to go through the night without nursing and without waking?  Is he waking up because he knows I will come in and nurse him or is he waking for another reason?  And if he is waking because I created this habit for him, what do I do about it?  Do I kindly wake my snorer and ask him to take care of the little man or do I just let my son banshee himself back to sleep?  I mean, how am I supposed to know if he actually needs that nursing session in the middle of the night or not?

To be frank, if I knew that he needed one MOTN feeding I would be fine with it.  I’d go with the flow.  But if he doesn’t need it…well..I’ll take my sleep.

Insight?  Anyone?  Please?

Posted in Parenting

WTF Charles?

Last night was horrible.

Seriously.  Ho.  Rri.  Ble.  Argh!

Yesterday was a normal day.  My son had two good naps, he ate well at all three meals, had his fill of mommy milk and was out for the night with barely a whimper by 7.

But then, out of the blue, he decides to wake up three hours later.

This is unusual for him.  Granted, he still has 1 (sometimes 2) night wakings these days, but never that early.  When we first heard him, his father and myself did what we usually do, we gave him some time to see if he could sort himself out.  As the minutes passed though, instead of calming down, my son’s cries became more and more intense.

We’re not just talking loud here.  We’re talking a Banshee-like-scream-that-would-make-any-neighbour-wonder-if-we-were-torturing-our-son loud.

Knowing that he couldn’t possibly be hungry, my partner went up to his room to work his magic and calm him down.  As soon as he was out of the crib and in his daddy’s arms, he calmed down…and then proceeded to start squirming wildly around like mad.  So, back down to his crib he went.  Enter Banshee.

Now, I’m all for letting our little ones learn to self-soothe (we put our son through sleep training at 5 months to regain some sanity, after all), but last night seemed off.  After another quarter hour of screaming-his-head-off-for-no-apparent-reason, I caved and decided that I’d nurse him back to sleep.

But here’s the kicker: It Did Not Work!

Damn

Not only did he not fall asleep nursing, he was pinching and prodding and kicking and slapping me and squirming while attached to my breast.

And so, I tried to rock him.  I sang him his lullaby and put him up over my shoulder like I usually do when I want to help myself him fall asleep more quickly.

Guess what?  It Still Did Not Work!

He was still squirming like mad.  Seriously, he could have given a worm a run for his money.

Since he clearly wasn’t hungry, the room temperature was fine, he didn’t feel hot, his diaper passed the sniff test and he wasn’t falling asleep in my arms, I put him back down in his crib.

And then…

The banshee came back…and I left his room, closed the door, settled in my own bed and tried to fall asleep…except I couldn’t because Mr. Banshee just kept screaming and screaming and screaming.

After another 15 minutes or so, I had an epiphany.

TEETHING!

I mean, it had to be that right?  He cried when on his back and stop crying while in our arms.  I asked my partner if he would kindly get the Advil.  He, of course, wanting nothing more than to sleep being the wonderful partner and father that he is, kindly obliged.  I gave Charles the medicine as daddy went back to bed and then let him comfort suck his way back to sleep.

Except he didn’t!

Oh he wasn’t crying anymore.  He was still squirming wildly though.  So I tried rocking him in a different way, by sitting him on my lap.  But he continued to squirm and squirm.  Except, I then realized that this wasn’t random squirming.  No, this was my 8.5 month old trying to turn to face me and climb on me.

The little turd oh-so-wonderful baby was wide awake!  To confirm my suspicion, he even started to chat merrily.

AT 11 EFFING 30 PM!

Well, now that I knew that he wasn’t dying of pain from “teething” – because, obviously Mr. If-You’re-Happy-And-You-Know-It had decided that it was a great idea to be wide awake when you’re supposed to be sleeping – I decided to put him back in his crib and get back in my own bed.

Well, he screamed and screamed and screamed and screamed…while I hoped he’d calm down and the dadster was sleeping blissfully.

After an hour of screaming (yes yes, I know, I am a TERRIBLE mom for letting my son scream like that for so long) I got out of bed again to try to soothe my Banshee baby back to sleep again because I couldn’t take the screaming anymore and wanted to sleep I’m an awesome mom who loves to be awake in the dead of night.

Turns out he just wanted to climb all over me and chatter a storm up with me again.  By this time, it was 1am.  He had been screaming on and off for three hours now and I was pretty much ready to give in and just put him back in his crib, get a pair of earplugs in and go sleep in the shed.  But I decided to try one more thing.

A couple of months ago, I purchased a white noise machine that also had the option of projecting some images on the ceiling.  We never use this for nighttime sleep as it is much too stimulating for the little man.  But I figured that it couldn’t hurt to try given that my son was already wide awake.

It worked!

Oh the joys of being able to sleep!

Of course, Little Dude decided that 5 am was a goo time to wake up this morning, meaning that I got about 3h of sleep last night and he got about 6, but hey, 3 is better than none, right?

And for those of you who may be wondering what kind of mood he is in today, think Jeckyl & Hyde…

Please tell me I will sleep wonderfully tonight!

P1040063

Posted in Parenting

I’m Allergic to Dairy.

Actually, I’m not.

But it feels like it.

Here’s the thing though, I’ve been dairy free for a little over a month (I think) now.  As hard as it was in the beginning, it has now become normal for me.  I don’t look longingly at cheese anymore.  I don’t miss milk or ice cream or yogurt anymore.  I’ve become adept at recognizing the hidden milk names in the ingredient lists and am starting to know which products are safe to eat.  Instead of looking at what I can’t eat, I look at what I can eat.  And there is PLENTY that I can still eat.

However, I wonder when I will be eating dairy again.  You see, as you can imagine, I’ve been reading a lot on food allergies since I first “diagnosed” my son when he was six months old (need I remind you that he hasn’t been officially diagnosed because our appointment with the allergist is at the end of October?) and there is a lot of research.  Among this research there is – you guessed it! – contradicting information.

Some sources say to try again after a few weeks.  Others say to do so after a couple months.  I’ve also read to wait until the age of 1.  And then there’s all of the other foods that I’ve opted not to try yet.  This includes nuts and strawberries, to name a few.  A part of me is afraid that he’s going to have a severe reaction but a part of me wants to try the foods out anyways.  Although “common knowledge” dictates to wait until the child is 2 to introduce peanuts and tree nuts (some say to wait until the 4th birthday for kids who have allergies or who have parents with allergies) new research has revealed that the sooner you expose your child to a food, the less likely they are likely to develop an allergy to that food.

I was thinking of reintroducing dairy in my own diet first to see how my son reacts to it.  If his eczema doesn’t come back and his stools stay nice and solid (I’m sure you’re all very happy to read about my son’s bowel movements haha), it would be a good sign that he’s on the right track to eating dairy himself.

What to do, what to do?

I’m reluctant to speak to our pediatrician about this.  I’m also reluctant to reintroduce dairy in my own diet lest my son develop bad eczema again by his next appointment at the end of the month and she indirectly accuses me of being a bad mom again.  Perhaps I should just wait and talk to the allergist about it at the end of October.

Thoughts?

Posted in Parenting

Dairy Elimination

A little under three weeks ago, I wrote about how I had eliminated dairy from my diet to see if it would have an impact on my son’s eczema after finding out that he was allergic to dairy when we started solids.  At first, I considered just weaning my son, but I have become very attached to breastfeeding and so I decided that taking milk products out of my diet was a small price to pay to provide my son with free milk that is adapted to his needs (even though I really, really love dairy, especially yogurt and cheese!).

To help me make sure my body got everything it needed despite removing a whole food group from my diet, I went to see a dietician who not only helped me figure out what I could and couldn’t eat, but also gave me some great tips on nutrition in general (especially with regards to snacks).  To read more about smart snacking, you should definitely go check out my guest post on Valerie’s blog over at atlantamomofthree!

It was difficult at first because I had to remind myself that I couldn’t eat certain things.  I have also gained a new respect for those of you who have food allergies.  Wow!  I’ve been reading every label to make sure there is no dairy and when I ate out, I always have to ask whether there is dairy in a certain food or not.

The first week or so was also rather discouraging as my son’s eczema didn’t seem to let up.  The creams we were prescribed worked great, but when we forgot to put some on my son, we would notice it quickly.  I started wondering if I would have to remove other foods from my diet (because he has had reactions to things other than dairy so far).  I knew that I had to wait a good two weeks to start seeing results, but we only really noticing a change a couple of days ago.  The thing with dairy is that it takes a loooong time for everything to get out of your system.  According to what I read, I need to wait a full three weeks for all traces of dairy to be out of my system then another two weeks for it to be out of my son’s system!  So far, so good though.  I think I really hit the nail on the head when I decided to remove dairy.  Too bad I didn’t know beforehand that this is what was likely causing his bad eczema…

Posted in Parenting

Waaaay Past Annoyed

First off, I apologize in advance because I am about to launch into a rant.

Those of you who have been following this blog for the past month, will probably have an idea of the issue I am about to address.

I just got back from the pediatrician’s office.  We went back in two weeks after his previous visit because Charles has had more allergic reactions to food.  My goal was to at least get a script for an epipen in case his next reaction turned into something worse than hives.  I also wanted a RAST test (which requires blood to be drawn) to be prescribed so that I could know exactly what he is allergic to right now.  That way, I can be more certain of which foods (besides dairy) to avoid.

Here are the salient points from our appointment…

1.  The pediatrician won’t prescribe an epipen because he’s too young.  To further argue her cause, she cites that he has “only” had hives so far.   “Just don’t give him the foods he’s reacted to (duh!), keep some benadryl with you at all times (double duh!) and bring him to the ER if his reaction is more severe (triple duh!)”.  So if my 7 month old stops breathing on me after eating something then I have to drive 20 min. to the nearest hospital.  Excellent.

2.  We’re also not getting a blood test done.  I can’t really cite the reasons; by that time, I had decided to learn from her and ignore what she was saying.

3.  When she asked me to repeat which foods he’d had a reaction to, I recited them again.  Mentioning that I was certain about an allergy to dairy, tomato and cantaloupe and was still unsure about wheat, eggs, fish and blueberries.  She nods her head and asks me how old he is (what, you mean you didn’t take a few minutes to read his file before calling us in?!?).  7 months.  And then she goes on to scold me because supposedly he’s too young to be having fish, eggs and dairy.  WTF?  Since when?  It’s not like I gave him nuts.  And it’s not like I had any idea that he’d have a reaction in the first place because neither my partner or I have any food allergies.  Besides, I didn’t know when I started solids that his eczema was most likely a sign that he was reacting to something that was in my milk (more on that in the next point).  In her opinion, my son should be on cereal, fruits and veggies.  Good thing she doesn’t know we’re not doing purées!  Also, the introduction of solids, much like every other aspect of parenting, has many many many schools of thought.

4.  I told her that I’d read that his eczema might be a result of an allergic reaction to the lactose he gets through my breastmilk because I eat dairy.  I went on to add that I was meeting with a dietician tomorrow so that she can help me with an allergy elimination diet starting with the removal of all milk products from my meals.  The pediatrician tells me that I should definitely be removing not only dairy but anything else that my son has reacted to so far as though it was the most obvious thing in the world (let me remind you here that the last time I went – two weeks ago – she had asked me if I’d had to remove anything from my diet since giving birth and when I said ‘no’ she didn’t suggest that dairy was one of the things that was probably causing my son’s bad eczema).

5. As seems to be the case with our recent appointments, she kept focusing on his eczema.  So, I ended up getting a prescription for a moisturizing cream, another prescription for a cortisone cream for his body, another one to control his itchiness and a reminder that the cortisone cream we already have at home is for his face…

Basically, we’re going to be treating the symptoms instead of the cause until our appointment with the pediatric allergist comes up in October and hoping that his hives stay “just” hives to avoid a trip to the ER.

I’m really hating our health care system right now.  I know that the grass only looks greener on the other side of the fence and that no matter where I’d go, I’d have to face different challenges, but the grass is looking pretty yellowish to my eye on my side of the fence right now…

OK, rant over.