Piper’s 7 Months!

Piper turned seven months and she’s just been going going going. She is one of those babies that’s very engaging, very smiley, very excited and very on the go. In fact, she will seldom lay on the changing table long enough for us to change her diaper. Most of the time we can lay her down to take it off and wipe, but then we have to stand her up to put a new diaper on and put her clothes back on.

She’s progressing quite quickly as far her mobility goes as well. She loves to pull herself up on anything possible. She went through a phase for a week or two of not being able to hold herself up once she got up or crawling so fast she would run into stuff. That was a very difficult couple of weeks because no one likes Piper bruises. It seems that time has come to an end though. Every time she pulls herself up she stays up and she knows how to let herself down more gently. She’s also letting go sometimes and standing for a few seconds, which is very exciting. While no parent wants to hover, I find it very difficult to not be ready to catch her when she’s exploring like this.

Piper’s also been experiences the same “teething” Ellie did around this time. I put “teething” in quotes because there aren’t actually any teeth. Ellie was the same way – there are spurts of massive salivation, gnawing on pretty much everything, some fever and discomfort. It’s no fun at all, but we’re done with the most recent teething event, so nothing to complain of for the time being.

Piper’s still not sleeping through the night, although she has gone for long stretches. She sometimes won’t wake up until 3:30 or so, which means 7-8 hours of straight sleep. The problem is, it’s straight sleep for her, but not us, since we don’t go to be until 11ish usually.

Ellie’s also still joining us in the middle of the night every night. We pretty much gave up on trying to take her back to her bed because it just caused us to lose more sleep. So instead we get kicked and woken up by crying almost every night. Oh the joys of parenting. I know I’ve said it before, but it really is all worth it. To see these cute little faces every day, to see them giggle and grow and play and sleep is totally all worth it.

7MoPiper

 

 

 

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Natural Solutions Instead of Drugs

I’ve never been a fan of curing all my pains with drugs, but let’s face it, I went through my fair share of Ibuprofen in my ’20’s; I’m not sure how I would have made it through some days without it! As I’ve gotten older and become a parent I’ve learned a bit about moderation – and also a bit about medicine and medicine alternatives. Especially when our little babes get sick we want to find the quickest solution to make them feel better. I’ve learned over the past 20 months or so though that some things can be done without turning to Western medicine solutions. Below are just a few of the little tricks I’ve learned along the way. The big caveat is: I’m not a doctor and sometimes you just need a doctor. Hopefully some of these things help you need a doctor a little less though.

    1. Congestion/Cold:
      1. Elderberry Syrup: This has easily become my favorite natural immunity booster. When I feel a little dryness in my nose or soreness in my throat, I take a little of this. When Ellie gets a little runny nose we give it to her in the morning. I think it’s shortened her colds and prevented a few from coming about.
      2. Eucalyptus Oil: Our midwife told us about this recently. When Ellie gets congested we put a little of this in her humidifier at night. It’s a natural cold fighter. We just did this last night and Ellie woke up a little more dried out.
      3. Home-made “tea”
        • This Korean gal I used to work with told me about a tradition of honey and lemon tea. Here is a “recipe” – it’s pretty dang easy: http://catherineboley.blogspot.com/2009/08/preparing-for-winter.html
        • I made a tea once when Ellie and were sick and I swear it worked wonders. I minced about 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, boiled water and steeped the garlic in it covered for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I strained out the garlic and added a bunch of fresh lemon juice and honey. It surprisingly did not taste like shit and Ellie actually drank some of it.
      4. Elevation: put a pillow under one side of the crib mattress and lay babe down with her head on the high side
      5. Bone Broth: I haven’t tried this yet, but a local naturopath recommends a homemade bone broth. It seemed a little time consuming for me to be honest, but I bet it works great. I also wonder if picking some broth up at your local Pho restaurant would work just as well: http://www.jadeinstitute.com/jade/bone-broth-health-building.php
    2. Fever:
      1. Apple Cider Vinegar: It’s a natural fever reducer. Put a cup in a warm bath or soak a washcloth in it and put in on the forehead or the feet.
      2. Calcium Lactate: This is what your body naturally uses to fight a fever. Using a supplement will make your little one recover quicker and not be as achy during the process.
      3. Egg Whites: Soak a pair of socks in them and put on feet. You can also soak paper towels and put them in the socks
      4. Garlic: Blend fresh garlic cloves and mix with a little olive oil or coconut oil. Smear on the bottom of the feet and put socks on over. Test out a small amount first to see if your little one experiences any burning sensation.
      5. Warm baths: Once when Ellie had a fever we put her in a warm bath and her fever dropped three degrees within 5 minutes. Cold baths are not the way to go, warm baths are.
    3. Ear Pain: Garlic Mullein: I haven’t used this yet because Ellie hasn’t had any ear problems since I discovered it. Basically this stuff is supposed to be put into the ears when babies have ear infections. I would recommend trying this very early on if you are suspicious of an ear infection.
    4. Baby Probiotics: I began taking probiotics myself during this pregnancy and then found out they’re actual great for little ones as well.
      • They’re great immune boosters, which help to fight against colds, flu, strep throat and stomach bugs.
      • They’re good for the belly, so they can either keep the digestive tract balanced or help to fight off things like diarrhea, etc.
      • They also help if your child has a dairy intolerance, which can cause Eczema.
    5. Teething: Hyland’s Teething Tablets: These are a good alternative to fever reducers when children are teething. The trick is really getting the babe to take them.
    6. Colic: With our newborn, our midwife recommended Dr.Ohhira’s Probiotics to address her apparent tummy discomfort. They are gel capsules so she recommends poking a hole in them and either trying to feed to the baby on a finger or rubbing some on the nipple for consumption during feeding. Baby should have some twice a day and a capsule should last about two days or four doses. 

These are just a few of the tricks off the top of my head. I’ll continue to update this as I hear more from friends, midwives and blog posts, as I think it’s super helpful for those desperate sickness times.  Good luck braving the winter with your little ones and remember, sometimes rest is the best cure for our mommy busy bodies.

Little Miss Sassy-Pants?

As you all know, we love our Ellie boo so incredibly much. She is the light of our lives and makes us smile ten times more than before (and we smiled a lot before). She is however, starting to develop quite a little personality.

Most of this new personality comes with all the excitement we could possible bear. She’s starting to color, which is so fun to watch. She listens for the most part, when she puts the crayons in her mouth, and I tell her that we don’t eat crayons because they will make us sick. She’s really enjoying reading her books, especially the dog ones. She loves playing peek-a-boo, especially when she’s the one raising something up over her eyes and dropping it down. She’s really starting to get some coordination when it comes to playing her little musical instruments too. Her aunt Ashley got her some musical toys for in the tub and she’s really starting to be able to play the drum well. Tonight when we were in the bath, she gave me a piece of the xylophone and the stick. I showed her how to play it and then gave it to her and she did it perfectly – well, as perfectly as you would expect from a one year old!

The part of her personality that’s starting to come to light that isn’t as adorable is her slightly sassy side. It baffles me where she gets this from, but she really does know that she doesn’t always have to listen. Don’t get me wrong, Ellie listens for the most part. For example, she holds her sippy cup over the side of her high chair and we say “Ellie, hold on tight. If you drop that cup, you won’t get it back.” Lately she responds so well by pulling the cup back over onto her tray, to which we give strong encouragement. I suppose there really is just one thing Ellie cannot resist: Max’s dog dish. 

Ellie frequently hangs out in the kitchen with us, playing with whatever spoons and kitchen tools tickle her fancy. Lately though, she can’t resist meandering on over to Max’s dog dish. We say “No Ellie, we don’t touch Max’s dog dish. Max doesn’t like it when we touch his food. We don’t eat Max’s food.” Nothing really gets her attention though and she remains focused on the prize. A part of me wonders if it’s because she snuck a few of Max’s kibbles into her mouth a couple of times and she happened to like it. Regardless of the reason though, we must find a way to stop it.

The other thing is that she’s been quite the challenge with sleeping lately and I’ve started to read articles that suggest it might just be her way of acting out. Some of the articles are saying that she now knows what she needs to do to get our attention. I definitely agree; when she screams bloody murder, I do whatever I can to stop it.  The question is now, at age one, whether this is helping her or not. Also, some articles say she could be going through a bout of separation anxiety. She definitely has been more clingy in the past couple of weeks. Also, when I try to put her to sleep, she screams every time I lay her in the crib, but Brian has the magic touch. In the back of my mind though, I wonder if she’s just teething and in a ton of pain. She’s gone through similar sleeping spells in the past when she’s gotten teeth in. They’ve lasted for weeks on end, even though most of the articles say teething only lasts a few days on average. I just think Ellie might be outside of the average when it comes to teething. Is that naive of me? When I went in tonight after she cried and screamed for a few minutes, she calmed down a bit and started chewing on her binky and then her finger. I went to put my finger in her mouth and she started screaming bloody murder again.  It seemed obvious to me, but how long do I let that be the excuse, if that’s what it is?

This being a parent stuff is tough. I took Ellie in to her annual appointment a couple of weeks ago and the doctor asked me how things are going. I said “They’re totally awesome when she’s not sick or teething.” He chuckled.

A bath and a tooth

Ellie has never been a fan of water. From the day she was born, we conjured the best way to get her in the bath and out as quickly as possible. It was a huge relief for us to know the doctors only recommend you bathe your baby once or twice a week. We opted for once.  We thought we should take her to swim lessons to get her more used to the water. She was okay, but probably because there were other babies and people to look at.  By okay we mean she cried and fussed mildly the entire time.

We were pleasantly surprised when we went to Hawaii and she enjoyed the pool. Now, at nine months old, Ellie has officially come in to her own and is LOVEing her bath. It’s such a relief and now we want to give her a bath all the time; it’s so much fun.

 

In other exciting news, I could actually feel Ellie’s first tooth this morning. I took a picture, which is posted below. You probably can’t see the tooth, but it’s there alright. Brian and I feel like we’ve earned our stripes on this one. The last few nights one or both of us have been up for hours at a time. She’s been incredibly clingy and fussy lately. It’s not good enough for her to be sitting right next to you, touching you; no, she has to be on you or you have to be holding her.

It’s been difficult because it makes me feel like a bad mom because I can only see her a couple of hours a day. I start to think she’s acting that way because I get so little time with her, but then “TADA,” the tooth comes and I know it’s just a side effect.  Today was my work from him day and it’s so meaningful for me to have that extra hour to an hour and a half with my little peanut. It’s such a treat!

Okay, here are the bath and tooth pics!

It’s the lower left one – believe me, it’s there.

Warm and cozy towel and blanket combo

Doesn’t that just look like the face of a happy girl?

Baby Orajel = No Bueno

Ellie’s been having some trouble sleeping lately and since it seems like she’s potentially teething, we thought we’d try Baby Orajel off a few people’s recommendations.  When we say we think she’s potentially teething, she’s been drooling like nobody’s business and gnawing on everything she can get her hands on. We had some Orajel, but it said not to use it on babies under 2 years old. When we were at Fred Meyer, we saw Baby Orajel and that it was okay for babies over four months.

Like I usually do with products like this, I started googling the ingredients. It just seems like it might not be a good idea to me to put things I can’t pronounce into my Ellie Belly’s mouth – call me crazy.  I googled all the inactive ingredients and nothing really seemed to scare me too much, some sweeteners, bonding agents, etc.  We were all clear.  One thing about the active ingredient, benzocaine, that sounded concerning to me on Wikipedia was this:

“Over-application of oral anesthetics such as benzocaine can increase the risk of pulmonary aspiration by relaxing the gag-reflex and allowing regurgitated stomach contents or oral secretions to enter the airway. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified healthcare professionals and patients that FDA continues to receive reports ofmethemoglobinemia, a serious and potentially fatal adverse effect, associated with benzocaine products.[8]Because it may be used in topical creams with a concentration as much as 20%, it is not difficult to administer a dose sufficient to cause this problem.”

Hmm, that sounds not so great, but when I looked on the package, there was only 7.5% benzocaine. Brian and I talked about it and only because Ellie seemed like she was in so much pain and we felt like we had tried everything else, we thought we’d give it a shot…bad idea! Brian put the ointment on her gums and she went ape. She was screaming and crying like nobody’s business. I was really concerned at this point because theoretically this product should be making my daughter feel better.

Brian was tending to Ellie and I went and googled “baby orajel crying” and came across more concerning stories from other parents. One, which sounded legitimate was found here: http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/orajel.asp

I went into the room to spell Brian and had him come out and read the article. After that, he thought it would be best for us to keep her up for an hour and make sure everything was fine. Everything was fine.  We automatically through the bottle away and wanted to share the information, so it’s hopefully helpful to others.

Time Flying

Now time is really starting to fly by. Every day it seems like Ellie is doing something more exciting than the last and I just can’t believe how much she is really growing up. She’s definitely crawling now and she is very interested in standing all the time. She’s working really hard on the balance things and getting better every day.  We had an awesome Labor Day weekend and really most weekends should be three days in my opinion.  We work way too much in this country!

For Labor Day weekend we celebrated cousin Addie’s second birthday, where I snapped the pic below. Then we went on a hike with the fam up Rattlesnake Ridge. It was extremely crowded, but more on the way down than the way up, which was nice. There’s a video and photo (from the top) below. It was pretty funny to pull over on the path to breastfeed her! You gotta do what you gotta do though.  Speaking of eating, this child is eating like a champ! After trying so hard to find a quality selection of organic baby food, I did what I usually do and turned to Amazon – hello?!?!? I ordered apples, sweet potatoes and string bean and sweet pea Sprout Organic Baby Food.

I also think Ellie might be teething, as she’s been salivating incredibly and wants to gnaw on everything.  We tried something fun today, which was to put frozen blueberries in these mesh food feeders and she loves it – gnaws and gnaws until there’s hardly anything left!

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