Wednesday, September 17, 2014

They say

I am about to start reading a new book, when it comes back into the library,  called 10 Mindful Minutes. The descriptor in the jacket talks about learning and giving our children the social and emotional skills to reduce stress and anxiety. We could definitely use this in our lives right now. But before I read it, I would like to ask my friends and family to stop me if I start in on the "they say" route I so often find myself on. I, like many parents I'm sure, read a lot of books, articles, blog posts, etc. on parenting tips and techniques. Once I finish, I attempt to incorporate what I have learned into my day-to-day parenting. I also offer suggestions ONLY WHEN ASKED (I hope...) and often find myself "they say"ing. And I sound like a dick. I know it. But I can't seem to stop myself. With all the information available to us from both medical professionals and industry experts, it feels as though we're moving further away from the village and more towards Dr. Google. I get it - we now live in a time where we can access medical studies with the tap of a thumb and see 10 reviews of the Happiest Baby on the Block to know if it fits with our parenting style. That's nice, but when I ask someone what solid food they started with first for their baby, I want to know what they picked, not what the World Health Organization recommends. I want to know how YOU got your baby to sleep, not what Dr. Feber touts. 

So if I start going off, friends I give you permission to give me a light flick on the arm or a gentle nudge. Remind me that you asked what I did, not what I read. Because I will be honest and say that we started solids with carrots and then moved on to applesauce with cinnamon, only to have a skin reaction which completely freaked me out. I will be honest and tell you that I cannot, for the life of me, remember to brush The Babe's teeth so there is no regular routine we follow for that one.  And you know I will be honest because I write this blog ;)

On a completely unrelated note, I'm losing the battle with hand washed dishes having a greasy film afterwards - is it my soap? The brand? Not enough in the water? Water too hot? My using a crocheted cloth instead of a sponge or brush? I cannot figure it out, so tips and tricks are welcome also. As long as it's something you've done, not just something you've read :p

~ H

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Curve balls

You know, those things life throws at you when you have everything planned right to a T. You've heard of them? Well, this past week life threw us a huge curve ball in the form of a very curable, non life-threatening, short-lived illness. Rewind to the holiday Monday and I was leisurely waking up as The Babe and my husband were at his parents' house after assisting on a weekend project. I chose to stay home as we had not one but two out-of-town getaways coming up over the next two weekends and I needed the long weekend to rest, get prepped and not drive too far with a 6-week-old who hates the car. As Baby Macaroni and I slowly got up and started our morning, I noticed I was feeling extremely sluggish, as well as feverish, and had pain in my left breast. I knew immediately that this was the dreaded mastitis and that I was right in the thick of it. I messaged my husband to come home when they could, as I needed to rest and hydrate and hopefully nip it in the bud. In the meantime, I called in one of those favours people throw out when you have a baby, "call me if you need anything", and I asked a friend to come over and hold the baby while I slept. She did, and I did, and then The Babe and husband arrived home soon after to take the next shift of baby-holding.

Twenty-four hours later I was no better, and after a visit with our family doctor and a confirmed diagnosis of mastitis, I arrived back home with antibiotics and a growing concern that we may not be able to attend the out-of-town wedding we were scheduled to this weekend. But with rest, hydration and drugs, the chances were still good. I took the drugs, stayed fairly hydrated, and probably didn't rest as much as I should have. That's when life decided to turn that curve ball into a fast/curve ball as Thursday afternoon I developed a case of the chills and fever aches I couldn't shake as well as pain in the other breast. I called my husband, who was working close by, and asked him to come home. I have never experienced anything more freaky than having to put the baby in the bassinet and get the toddler set up in the event I might pass out while waiting for my husband to get home. The worst part was feeling unsure if it was all in my head. Did I really need to go to the hospital? I know the doctor said to if I wasn't better in two days, but really? The Scottish part of me screamed out that if we went to the hospital, we probably couldn't travel to the wedding which would mean we would most certainly lose the money for the hotel reservation because it was that same Scottish part of me that booked the promotional room rate which may have been non-refundable... The masculine part of me told me to buck up and put on a third sweater. The mom part of me was terrified to take out 6-week-old into a germ-infested hospital before she has had her vaccinations. But in the end, my husband just said we were going and I was too sick and too smart to disagree. Friends watched The Babe for us and we were off.

The thing about curve balls is you don't see them coming, so you can't prepare for them. And when you can't prepare for them, you may find yourself in the emergency room waiting room with a newborn who just had a diaper explosion (damned Huggies) and you have no spare pants in the diaper bag (my mommy friends are not shocked by this, I am often out of something) and you use up all the wipes you have in the diaper bag (there are extras in the stroller though, ha!) and you then spend the next three hours taking shifts between walking and nursing the baby to keep her quiet in the assessment area of the emergency room. All of this was happening as I was waiting to eventually find out that I need a 3-day course of IV antibiotics, which meant our out-of-town trip was most certainly cancelled and I had a 7pm date at the hospital for the next two nights. Hurray for curve balls! Not really.

We are out of the thick of it now, having finished my treatments and enlisted the help of family with laundry, dishes and child-minding. There was a silver-lining to it all, which I managed to find: for half an hour I was forced to sit in a chair away from my family and I got to read a book. Which was pretty nice. Except for the needle in my arm part ;)

~ H