Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: The Almost 2014 Edition

TTT

  1. Oh dear, we’re on the eve of 2014 already, whatever happened to 2013?
  2. Is anyone else like me and choose to not do any resolutions?
  3. I finally remember what I’ve been meaning to write in the past month!  My tendonitis is gone!  I had mommy’s thumb for months and I realized about a month ago that I hadn’t had to wear my brace for a while.
  4. Tomorrow morning we’re having brunch at my in-laws’ and supper at my parents’.  It’ll be yummy!
  5. Oh!  Yesterday I went out and bought some fresh goat cheese at a farm near my house.  It.  Is.  Delicious!
  6. Little Dude has so many toys (he got quite a few for Christmas too!).  We split them all into three big boxes.  One is upstairs in the living room, one is in the family room in the basement and the other is put away.  We’ll be doing a monthly rotation of the boxes.
  7. I bough a cookbook filled with cold lunch ideas (because cold cut sandwiches are rather uninspiring, not all that healthy and expensive).  We tried one recipe yesterday and it was really good.  I’ll likely post a few of the best over the coming year.
  8. Though he’s not really using words yet (he can say “mom”, “yes”, “no”, “byebye” and “what”, but babbles them rather than use them consciously), he understands a LOT.  I am thoroughly impressed by his understanding of what I tell him or ask him to do.
  9. These days, Little Dude’s favourite activity is climbing onto things (with or without help) and then proceeding to climb back down on his own.
  10. Happy New Year everyone!  See you in 2014!
Posted in Parenting

Getting Ready to Wean

I’m ready.

It’s not because I “want my body back”.

It’s not because the little guy will supposedly start STTN once he’s weaned.

It’s not because I’m eager to stop watching what I eat.

It’s not because others feel that I’ve already been at it for too long.

I simply feel like it is the right time.

At first, I had planned to go for six months and then wean.  However, at the 6 month mark, I was nowhere near ready.  Nursing was going great, it was practical and there was just no way I felt like it was a good idea to wean.

Then, I had planned to stop at 9 months, because I knew that I would be away for my son for 4 days.  Except, I couldn’t do it.  I pumped and pumped and pumped like mad to try to get enough milk out for him for when I was gone and felt comfort in the fact that I would be able to put him to my breast when I returned from my trip to New York.

After that, I started to wonder whether I should wean once I returned to work.  Pumping became real old, real fast and I wasn’t sure about the logistics of returning to work and continuing to nurse.  However, again, I was not ready.

But now, a few days shy of my son’s first birthday, I feel ready.  To be honest, I think he’s rather ready too.  I mean, for the past two months he has never once asked to be nursed.  I was always the one to initiate.  He’s down to nursing three times, when he wakes up, before his bath and during one of his night wakings (when he has more than one NW, he’s only nursed once).

I’m planning on doing this gradually, starting by taking away his evening nursing session (seeing as he’s already getting a bottle two nights per week while I work).  Then, after a week, I’m planning on taking away his night feeding.  For this, I’ll be requesting the help of my partner who’ll be getting up to calm the little man down if and when he wakes up.  Then, on the third week, I’m planning on removing the morning nursing session.

I don’t know how well this plan will work, or even if it is a good idea, but it feels as though it’ll be easier on my body and on him to wean him over the span of 3 weeks to a month.

I would love to have some insight from experienced mamas!  How did you approach weaning?

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers
 

Posted in Parenting

Write for me Wednesday: The Basics

I touched on this subject about a month ago in a TTT, but it is time to make it official.

I’ve been blogging for a little over 10 months now (already!) and I love it.  Over the past few months, I’ve encountered some pretty kick-a** blogs and have made some bloggers who I consider friends.  I am totally blown away with the talent that is out there and I would love to feature some awesome bloggers here on my little ol’ blog.

Here are a few of the subjects that I would love to see ’round here, whether it be because they are subjects I have not touched upon (or have barely skimmed) or because I am looking for alternate view points on subjects I am passionate about:

Family life

  • Whether you are a stay-at-home parent, a work-at-home parent, a working parent or a single parent, I would love to hear about how you took the decision to do what you do and how you.

TTC / fertility treatments / adoption

  • Did you have trouble conceiving or was it a breeze?  Did you decide to opt for adoption?  Help others know that they are not alone by recounting your story.
  • Are you an adopted child?  Can you give us some insight into how being adopted has affected you?

Food and nutrition

  • Do you have simple, yummy and quick recipes that are a hit every time?  Please share!
  • How and when did you introduce solids and why?
  • Did you choose formula, breastmilk or a combination of the two (or something different for each child)?  Why?
  • Does your child have food allergies?  How did you learn about it and when?  Did you have to go on an allergy-elimination diet?

Birth story

  • Were you induced or did everything go naturally?  Did you make a birth plan?  Did you follow it? Who was there for support?
  • Did you have a home birth, a hospital birth or a birth in a birthing center?  Did you have a c-section?  Did you opt for a VBAC?

The post-partum period

  • Did you go through PPD?  What did you do that helped you?  How did you realize that you had PPD
  • Was it love at first sight or did your bond with your baby build over time?
  • What are some of the things that happened during your post-partum period that no one had warned you about?

Homeschooling

  • Why did you choose to homeschool?  Do you plan to do so throughout the schooling period or for parts of it (ex: only grade school)?  What are some good resources for parents that are thinking about this?

These are just some of the subjects that I could think of.  The bullets under each category aren’t meant to be restrictive, but rather to give an idea of some of the things that could be touched upon.  I’m looking for submissions of any form whether they are personal stories, research-based posts or other.

If you are interested in writing a guest post for me (pretty please!!!!) just shoot me an email at mommytrainingwheels (at) gmail (dot) com

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Cheers!

Posted in Parenting

I Support You

There’s a movement going online in the realm of parenting.

The “I support you” campaign was launched in an effort to stop the “mommy wars” with regards to the breastmilk -vs- formula debate.

The way I see it, motherhood is hard enough without having to feel and be judged by others.  We actually do a good job of judging ourselves without outside help.

The parent section of the Huffington post has launched a slideshow with photos containing the “I support you” message.  You can read the article here and submit a photo to the slideshow by simply clicking “add a slide” at the end of the article, tweeting a picture to @HuffPostParents including the #isupportyou hashtag or shooting an email to formulafeeders@gmail.com.

I decided to submit my own message yesterday via twitter.

I support you

Anyone else on for the ride?

 

 

Posted in Parenting

Where Have The Last 8 Months Gone?

Both the baby AND the dog are napping right now.

That’s a good thing, by the way.  A REALLY good thing because after being woken up by a choir of wails this morning at 4:45am and being denied a restful nap this morning by Mr. I’m-too-cranky-and-tired-to-sleep-more-than-25-minutes, I was starting to feel as though I wouldn’t live through my day.

But it’s all good now.

I am slowly catching up on the piles of unread posts that litter my reader and, in the midst of all the excitement over the royal cervix, I am slowly realizing how quickly my son has changed over the last 8 months.  Because today, he is eight months old.

Really?  Someone pinch me.

Starting today, Little Dude is going to be joining us for three meals.  Since we started solids exactly two months ago, he has become more and more adept at eating.  Seriously, he does not waste any time at the table anymore.  He KNOWS exactly what to do with the toys-become-food that are placed upon his tray.  We have shifted from the quinoa-covered-baby who tentatively dipped his hands in his first meal before putting them in his hands.  Today, he ate (not played with, not threw on the ground) 1.5 lebanese cucumbers, 1/4 toast and 5 spoonfuls of non-dairy ice cream.  This is what his tray looked like afterwards:

Those are some serious skills!  He is now able to handle more and more foods: slippery foods, smaller pieces, soft foods.  It never ceases to amaze me!

Of course, that’s not where his skills end.  You see, he is also definitely getting ready to crawl.  It’s so cute: he’ll get on all fours, bring on hand forward and then kick out the opposite leg repeatedly to try to go forward.  When he has his legwarmers on, he’s able to move forward like this.  Otherwise, he just gets stuck and frustrated.  He’s also recently discovered how to sit up on his own.  It was quite the surprise when I went to get him when he awoke from his nap the other day and discovered him sitting up.

P1030553

One thing’s for sure: his motor skills have developed very rapidly over the past month and it’s awesome!

Posted in Parenting

Allergy Elimination Diet, Part 1: Dairy

After finding out that my son is currently allergic to dairy and that his bad eczema is most likely caused by the dairy (and/or something else) in my own diet, I’ve started an allergy elimination diet in hopes of controlling his eczema without the use of prescription creams.  I decided to start with eliminating dairy first because that is something I am certain his body can’t handle now that he’s started solids.

To help me with this, I went to see a dietician last Saturday.  I needed to make sure that my body had everything it needed (emphasis put on vitamine D and calcium) even though I’d be removing a whole food group from my diet.  The dietician I met with was really nice and had a lot of resources to share with me.

Among the food other than dairy that contains a decent amount of calcium that is well-absorbed by the body, there is:

– Enriched soy beverage (except we agreed that I should try to stay clear of soy as it is very common for children who are allergic to dairy to also be allergic to soy);

– Sardines (with bones);

– Pink and Sockeye salmon (also with bones)

I also told her that I had been drinking almond milk and rice milk (which are both very yummy) and she suggested I check if they contained decent amounts of vitamin D and calcium (which they do so yay!).

She also told me to check the list of ingredients in things such as cold cuts, bread products, cereal, mayonnaise and chips because they are all things that could contain milk ingredients.

Speaking of milk ingredients, did you know that there are a whole bunch of hidden names for milk protein?  I found this pdf document that lists them all from kidawithfoodallergies.org an awesome site full of ressources on food allergies.  They also provide a list of hidden names for other common allergens such as eggs and wheat.

I’ve been at it for a little less than a week now and though it is hard (as I LOVE dairy) it’s not as bad as I though.  There are so many great products out there after all.  The hardest part is thinking before I order something while eating out.  For instance, having the cheese sandwich at a local sub shop is not a good idea when one is not allowed to eat cheese.

Right now, my son’s eczema seems to be under control (I must grudgingly admit that the prescription creams are doing wonders in that department) and hope that the fact that I’m not having dairy anymore will have a positive impact once the creams run out.  Changes don’t happen overnight and I know that I have to wait at least two weeks until I see changes caused by my change of diet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed so that I don’t have to eliminate another major allergen from my diet.

I’m also happy to say that we have not had any allergic reactions since my son’s smoothie last week so I’m hopeful that his other reactions were just caused by his immune system being on high alert from the dairy he’d consumed.

Now, I just have to find a dessert that I can have when my friends come over this weekend.  Hey, I don’t suppose anyone knows a good dairy-free recipe eh?  (You know, the kind that doesn’t contain milk, butter, cream, chocolate or the like…)

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.

Posted in Parenting

Nursing A Teething Baby

A couple of weeks ago, I encountered on of the many bumps that come along with breastfeeding: nursing my teething son.  Now, you see, I’d already gone down the road of having a teething baby at the breast, the difference is that last time around, my son hadn’t already cut teeth.  This means that while he was nursing (for comfort or for hunger) and gumming down quite hard, it didn’t really hurt.  This time around, though.  Oh.  My.  God.  Ouchies!  He would be happily nursing when all of a sudden…pain.  Two little daggers digging into my tender skin (and I had the teeth marks to prove it!).

I would break the seal forcing my son to unlatch and say “no, don’t bite mommy”.  Then, I would wait until my son realized what was going on (meaning, I would wait the few seconds it took him to get frustrated because he wasn’t attached to my breast anymore) and then let him latch on again.  I did this every time he bit me for three days.

To be honest, at the end of the three days, I was sore, afraid to nurse and pretty much ready to give up on breastfeeding because it didn’t seem like the message was getting through to my son.  Remembering, however, reading about someone else’s woes regarding her breastfeeding situation where someone suggested that it was never a good idea to decide to quit when you were feeling annoyed, I decided to see if there was something else I could do to help things along.  I figured that I would make up my mind when I felt rested and relaxed and could really think through the pros and cons.

I therefore turned to the wonderful ladies in the breastfeeding support group of Baby Center.  They offered many suggestions which I would like to share with you!

1.  Once you say “no” and latch your baby off, give him something to chew on for a couple of minutes.

2. Give her something to chew on 10-20 min before nursing.

3. Don’t act like you’re in pain because some babies find that funny.

4. Put him in his crib or on the floor when you gt him to unlatch and walk out of the room for 30 sec or so that way he doesn’t associate biting with getting extra attention and a fun reaction from mommy.

5. Be consistent with what you say and do when she bites, chances are she doesn’t even realize that she’s biting the first times.

6. Instead of breaking the seal yourself, bring his face close to your breast so that he unlatches himself.

I suspect that what works depends on your baby’s age and personality.

Ironically, since posting that thread, my son has stopped biting (and his top teeth have finally cut today!).

How did you handle nursing a teething baby?

Posted in Parenting

Oh No, Not Again!

Guess what?

Yeah, my son had another reaction to something he ate.  *Pulls out hair*.  I swear, I’m going to have to invest in benadryl stocks…

Of course, now I’m getting paranoid, so, naturally, I’ve been doing some reading on food allergies.  Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

–  It generally takes a few exposures before the body has an immune response to a food that was consumed (which explains why my son seemed fine the first time but then broke in to hives the second or third time).

– 90% of food allergies are caused by an item from the “top 8”: cow’s milk, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, crustacean shellfish and wheat

– Don’t assume that a reaction to a certain food will always present itself in the same way (which means that “just” because my son has been breaking into hives, doesn’t mean his body can’t eventually have a more severe reaction like anaphylaxis).

– Symptoms might appear a few minutes (hives) after eating an offending food, or many hours after (eczema).  This sent off a light bulb moment in my head.  You see, my son has had eczema pretty much from day 1.  Therefore, it is entirely possible that he’s been reacting to what I’ve been eating through my milk!

– If a parent has a personal history of allergies (seasonal allergies, eczema, food allergies, asthma) their child has a greater risk of developing an allergic condition.  In our case, dad has no allergies but I have seasonal allergies and have developed an asthmatic reaction to cats when I was in my preteen years.  It has mostly disappeared now, but I still keep my inhalers just in case.  This surprised me, because I thought that he would only be at risk if either his father or I had food allergies, which we don’t.

– Many children outgrow their allergies to foods other than peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.

Now, I’ve been communicating with a couple of mommas on a food allergy board, both of which suggested that I get my hands on an epipen for my son after seeing how widespread his reaction was when we initially went out to buy some benadryl.

So, where does that leave me?

1.  I need to call his pediatrician’s office again to see if she can write Little Dude a script for an epipen.

2.  Keep up the food log and take note of the other more subtle signs of an allergy.

3.  Keep a food log for myself and see how what I eat affects his eczema.

4. Call the allergy department of the hospital again to see if I can convince them that my son is more important than all of the other children that have an appointment before him to move up my son’s appointment before I run out of things to feed him.

5.  Become “that annoying mom that’s always calling” until I get answers.

Sound like a good plan?