Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lip/Tongue Tied and Nursing

I had a EUREKA moment yesterday almost five years to late.  A friend of my sister and mine had a baby two weeks ago.  Yesterday she took him in to see if he was tongue tied.  He was and they immediately sent her to a pediatric dentist to have his lip and tongue frenum (the skin that connects the lip to the gums and the little piece that connects the tongue to the bottom of your mouth) snipped.  It made me think about my own lip frenum which I had to have snipped when I was a teen before they put the braces on to close the gap between my fromt teeth and my niece's that got ripped last year when she fell and hit her face.  I was sitting next to Peach on the couch and I asked her if I could look in her mouth.  Sure enough she has a class four just like me.  Then last night our friend posted this A Step-By-Step Guide to Diagnosing Tongue/Lip ties.  I was up at one thanks to call and the fact that I find it nearly impossible to sleep when my husband is not in the bed next to me.  I clicked on the link, read through it and had my moment.

You see five years ago when I had my darling baby Peach my milk didn't come in fully for two weeks.  It was horrible.  Here I was having my third kid, I'd easily breast fed two previous children and I figured this one would be cake, but for two weeks my milk just was not there.  I took her in to the lactation office ever day.  They'd watch me nurse.  They'd weigh her and her diapers.  They made a million and one suggestions.  We tried everything.  During this time we had to supplement her with a bottle because we learned our lesson with Captain E.  Better not to starve your child if you can.  I'd nurse her first and then offer her a bottle which she almost always took.  Finally after two weeks the supply was in and I put all the bottles away but even though we'd spent so much time with the consultants her latch always felt wrong.  Always.  There was not a time in the next 21 months or so of her nursing that wasn't painful and that after she finished my nipples didn't ache.  Twenty-one months they hurt!  But for 21 months I persevered on.  I think it was due to the fact that I'm partially a hippy wearing, breast feeding, midwife loving, hippie following girl and partially because breastfeeding was so hard for us to get to I never wanted to take a second for granted.  That being said I always recognized something had to be lousy about her latch because of the persistent pain of the whole thing.  Since the lactation consultants didn't have a way for me to change it though I just continued on the best I could.  Those two years you could find me rubbing or icing my boobs a lot. 

I realize now after reading the guide that her bad latch, the time it took for my milk to come in, and the almost two years of pain may very well have been the fault of that super low strong frenum I passed on to her.  Genetics at it's not best here people.  Wish I would have known to check that five years ago.  I would have had it clipped then rather than having to have it done some time in the next ten years by her orthodontist.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Removing a pea from a toddler nose - at home ER

Now before I start this post I want to point out that while my husband is almost done with his third year of medical residency in Med/Peds and is a licensed physician, I am just a stay at home mom writing about an experience that we had at home.  This is not medical advice and if anyone should chose to use this information they do so at their own risk.

Yesterday evening we had peas with our dinner.  It was a safe choices because every child in my family loves peas.  It started a year or so ago when Dr. J instituted the "lets see who can eat the biggest bite of peas challenge".  I think Captain E holds the record with 55 peas, which actually is a huge spoonful of them.  Try it out if you don't believe me.  We had two competitions of this and ever since the kids just can't get enough of them.  So yesterday we were just all eating when I looked over at Cheetah and noticed that she kept touching her nose and that she had part of a pea hanging on her face right underneath it.  "Come here girl," I said as I pulled her toward me.  I sat her on the table and looked up her nose.  Sure enough I could just see the green of a pea stuck up inside her right nostril.  "J," I said, "she's got a pea up there."

"No problem," he tells me.  He comes around to her side of the table, puts a finger on the left side of her nose (the side the pea isn't on) to block off her left nostril, puts his mouth completely over her mouth creating a seal and gives a mighty blow.  The pea just flies out right into his hand completely intact.  The whole family cheers.  Cheetah makes a funny face and jumps into my arms for a second, not really in pain or fear but in confusion over what just happened.  Then she gives us all a big smile and starts to laugh.

"That was amazing," I say, "where the heck did you learn that?"

"An ER doc showed me that.  Had the mom do it right there in the exam room and we were able to send the kid home."

So there you go.  Crisis averted.  No shoving the pea up higher, breaking it apart, or scratching her nose attempting to get it out using tweezers.  No ER trip.  No 150 copay.  Sometimes it is nice to have a doctor in the house :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I have two new books on my kindle.  The first one starts, "We live with ghosts.  We live with thugs, dodgers, punkers, needle ladies, pork knuckle.  We live where there's no place else to go."

Book two, "There are too many bodies," I said under my breath.  "Of course there are," Laney called from the other side of the wall.

Which to choose, which to choose.

Friday, April 4, 2014

March Book Reviews 15-18

Water Wars - Cameron Stacher
Product DetailsIn a time in the future the most precious thing on earth is water.  Countries have come apart and corporations now rule the world.  Fresh water has been dammed at the source and very few people have access to it.  Most people are forced to drink a desalinated water that it is rumored makes people sick.  Most of the food eaten is fake.  Vera and Will, teenage brother and sister live with their sick mother and their father who struggles to keep the family clothed, feed, and most importantly hydrated.  One day on the way to school Vera and Will meet a mysterious, rich stranger Kai who they realize has the ability to find water.  After Kai is kidnapped by pirates Vera and Will go after him, hoping they can save Kai and find enough fresh water for everyone.

It was a fast read, a little bit of romance, nothing dirty, a very current literally topic, but it just didn't really catch me.  For me this book was just OK.

Children of Paradise: A Novel - Fred D'Aguiar 
This novel follows Joyce and her daughter Trina and their lives in a commune in South America.  Their preacher is extremely charismatic and spends a lot of money paying off government officials so that his Eden will stay safe and unmolested by the authorities.  Joyce was an educated woman before joining the commune and is often asked to go to town to be the face who meets with these officials.  Back in the village though they live very simple lives.  Food is strictly regulated as is work and free time.  To the outside world the community may seem very calm but so much darkness is happening.  People are asked to report each other for violations.  Children are beaten for taking food when they are hungry.  Parents are asked not to show to much affection for their children.  The preacher teaches of the avoidance of sin but uses drugs, alcohol, and sex to excess.  When people don't comply to his plans they are punished.  Sometimes by being put into a cage with Adam the communes gorilla.

This actually leads to what I think is one of the most interesting parts of the story, the fact that Adam is actually the narrator of some of the chapters.  It has been a long time since I've read a book where an animal was narrating...this maybe Charlotte's Web, although the difference here is Adam isn't some type of humanized animal, he's just a gorilla trapped in the middle of this crazy commune giving you his thoughts on what he sees.  So I think I was half way through the book before I realized that not only did this story sound just like Jones Town, the community set up by Jim Jones in Guyana, but it actually was the story of Jones Town, at least the imagined story of two of the people living there.

The author is actually from Guyana and spent much of his life wondering about what happened in those last few weeks of Jones Town.  For me though when I realized this I got a pit in my stomach because I know what happened in Jones Town and it was not good.  D'Aquiar throw you for a loop though.  In the weeks leading up to the suicides Joyce becomes dissatisfied with the group and starts considering leaving with a river boat captain.

This story had me guessing until the very end.

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure  - William Goldman

I adore this story.  I actually picked it out for my book group.  If you are a fan of the cult classic movie you will love it.  Reading it made me want to watch the movie again so much.  Goldman writes this story as if he is abridging a book which is weird and awesome all in one.  Definitely recommend it!  There is romance and sword fights.  Lots of villains are beat and even some turn out to be not so bad.  Seriously funny stuff here.

Clever Girl- Tessa Hadley
A story about a girl who just isn't that clever.  Stella is being raised by a single mother in the 1960's.  Stella is a little bit spoiled but otherwise ok.  Then one day she realizes her mother still enjoys the company of men and she isn't the only person in her mother's life.  When her mother gets remarried has another baby Stella spends a lot of time trying to separate herself from the family.  She gets into drugs, gets pregnant right after high school, gets job working, and then eventually moves to a collective group house where she gets pregnant again.  She is about to leave her lover for the brother of one of her other commune friends when a stalker obsessed with one of the girl's in the house kills her lover.  Eventually Stella goes back to school, has some success, and marries an older lover who was married when she first met him.  Stella is seriously unbearable.  You think a clever girl would not get herself into so many spots.  You also think I'd have felt bad for Stella at least once, but nope I never did.  Even when the seriously nice father of her second child is killed you just don't feel bad for her because she is such a JERK!  I swear if I wasn't trying to get my books read for the year I would have dropped this sucker.

A book I only got half way through and do not recommend to ANYONE!
After Auschwitz: A Love Story
I hated this book!  I pushed through about half way because I feel some stress to stay committed to these books since I have a book goal for the year but I just couldn't take it anymore.  I was hoping for a sweet story and what I  got was the story of a self serving womanizer who married a young survivor of Auschwitz.  After a multitude of affairs kicks her to the curb after twenty years of marriage and then when he is too old to take care of himself anymore moves back in with her.  Maybe there was something heart warming but I just wasn't willing to keep looking for it.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April 1st - When Daddy is in Charge

There are some years when I go through elaborate April Fools gags on my kids...mainly involving trick food but this year I just didn't have any new ideas so I just didn't worry about it.  I did get a good kick out of Gigi's choice of homework sites.  She still has a few pages of her massive homework packet left to finish and while she is not thrilled about it, she is still chugging along.  Doesn't she looked thrilled about it?  She keeps telling me this packet is not worth one lousy piece of pizza (the reward for finishing your packet).  I keep telling her keep working girl.  I probably border on the mean side of mean mom.

I also got a good kick out of this picture of Captain E and Cheetah.  This was during school work time.  E doesn't have a homework packet to work on so he just has reading to do.  Last night though he stayed up until two in the morning reading.  That has pretty much been the layout of the vacation.  Play all day.  Watch movies until ten pm.  Go to bed and read books until long after midnight.  Sleep in as late as mom will allow.  Going back to school next week is going to be rough stuff!  So since he's been doing all his reading at night he got some ipod time.  Cheetah loves the ipod so it wasn't hugely surprising that she hopped right up on his lap to watch some angry birds and plants versus zombies.  She is constantly trying to steal my phone so that she can watch the little movies these games put out.  Current gamer and a future gamer.  Guess that's what happens when your dad is a gamer.

Last night was a Relief Society Enrichment.  Dr. J was actually home and it was about gardening so I decided to head over.  That meant daddy was in charge.  The girls were of course thrilled with the idea.  Well at least all of them were until Peach's pants fell off.  Then she was embarrassed.  "Oh my goodness, that was so embarrassing," she said as she pulled her pants back on.  But it must not have been to embarrassing because guess what story I heard when I got home.  Apparently Dr. J let the kids out to play in the backyard while he was cleaning up after dinner.  When he came out to gather them Peach's pants and underpants were down.  "What are you doing?" he asked her.  "Dad," she says, "I really, really, really had to pee."  This is what I get for letting her pee on the side of the highway on Monday!  Then Peach says, "Dad watch out, you almost stepped on Cheetah's poop."  Because guess what people, Cheetah was out of her pants as well.  Oh boy, never a down moment with these kids.  

By the time I got home those messes were all taken care of (THANK GOODNESS) and this is what I found.  Guess who needed her dad to lay in her toddler bed with her to fall asleep last night.  This is how I found them.  She is such a daddy's girl and I think it is fair to say he is this girl's daddy!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ruler Height Chart Project for Under $20

I finally finished it!  I've been wanting to put together a ruler growth chart for a long time now.  The kids love measuring themselves and seeing how much they grow but marks on the wall can't be taken with you.  When I first saw these on Pinterest I thought, "HELLO PERFECT!"  I actually ordered these vinyl numbers off a craft web site, but it has been a few months so I'm not sure who it was.  I've seen them on Etsy though or if you have a Cricut or a friend with one though you could easily cut your own.  I've also seen people just write the lines and numbers on with permanent markers or paints.  I don't think I have those skills but if you do that would make this project even cheaper!  This piece of wood I got at Home Depot. It is called common board.  I like it because it isn't as rough as some of the other "outside" woods they have there.  I looked for a piece that was relatively straight.  It is going to be on the wood so I don't want a lot of curve.  This pieces was 1 inch, by 6 feet, by 8 inches.  When I first told Dr. J it was 6 feet he said, "Wait what if Captain E is taller than that."  Hello wishful thinking :)  Dr. J is 5'10", I think hitting six foot is maybe a top off for our son, but since my brother are both 6'2" I guess it wouldn't kill us to have a little extra room on there.  The thing is I'd already planned for that.  Because almost every house in the world has floor boards these growth charts are started at six inches.  That way you can put them up six inches from the floor and they will sit flat without bumping over the floor boards.  The board cost me less than 5 dollars.

Even though the board was in my opinion pretty darn sooth my hubby took a few minutes to sand it down.  Thanks baby.  Then we wiped it down and I set to work on the stain.  Originally I wanted to paint it dark or white because I love all those colors furniture wise but when I was looking for stains I didn't want to buy a ton of stain because I knew it wasn't going to take much.  I found this color 716 Cedar Natural Tone at Menards in a sample size.  It was a stain and sealant in one, semi-transparent Pittsburgh Paints.  The 8 oz cost me less than $4 and I still have plenty left in the can.  Dr. J (who loves oak and pine colors...blah) loved this color and I even though I usually prefer other colors I think it looks pretty darn nice.  It kind of reminds me of a antiqued ruler color.  After the stain dried I put a coat of fast-drying Minwax polyurethane semi-gloss.  I don't know that it was really necessary after the two in one but I had it on hand so why the heck not.

After the wood dried (over night) I put a measuring tape on the wood and used it to put the vinyl on.  At first I was getting all stressed out about the placement, then I thought, "Glenda, settle down this is for your enjoyment."  So maybe my lines are as straight as they should be, but it went relatively fast, and I'm happy.  Then I put the numbers on.  Originally I put them really close to the lines but then I realized I'd probably prefer to have more space there to mark the kids heights, names, and dates, so I moved them closer to the other side and I LOVE IT!  Seriously can't wait for Dr. J to get home so I can get it up on the wall and start marking the kids heights.  They are super excited.                 
Cost Break Down
Vinyl -$10
Stain -$4

Mom of Four

Monday we had a very scheduled day and I needed to be able to travel from the gym to Costco but when I got to child watch to pick up the kids one of the child watchers was walking out the door looking for me.  "Hey I was just going to get you, Peach peed her pants on the playground and we couldn't find anything bigger than a size 12 months in our stock."  Argh, I hate when this happen.  More than I care to admit I have a kid who is playing so hard and having so much fun that they just "forget" to go to the bathroom until it is too late.  You think this would make it so I'd always have extra pants on me or something but it doesn't happen so often that it makes it worth the aggravation of carrying on extra outfit for each of my four children so of course I had nothing for Cheetah to change into.  I was feeling a little annoyed about the whole thing because we had a schedule and driving home first was going to really put a kink in it.  Then I remember we were going to pass right passed a kid consignment store.  I made Peach sit on a diaper until we got to the store.  Then I ran in and grabbed her skirt with shorts for 1.50.  One change in the car later and we were back on our way.

At Cosco we went spending crazy.  Does this ever happen to anyone else, one full cart an hour later you are $300 poorer...and you still have to go to another store to get all the little bits you didn't get at Costco.  I swear this is why I only go there every two months.  We also ate lunch there.  Hello Costco pizza.  With four kids now though it has gotten cheaper to just buy the whole pizza rather then buy by the slice.  Still feeding five people for under ten dollars, can't beat that.  While we were eating lunch an older couple came up to us.  "Wow, you've got your hands full.  Although I have to say these are some mighty well behaved kids you got here.  What did you do to them?"  "Well," I said, "that is because they are refueling.  If you stick around a few more minutes you'll see them at full capacity."  "They are adorable, God bless you."  Growing up in a family of six, being married to someone who is one of five, spending lots of time with Mormons who have four or want more than four, four kids just doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me, but when people see us together it must be sort of a shock because it seems like I can't run a single errand with the whole family without having someone mention the kids :)  Then on the way home guess who had to pee AGAIN!  Peach was banging her head, wiggling around, bouncing in her seat.  "Mom I have to go to the bathroom, NOW!"  Of course we are going 65 mph on the freeway at this moment.  Finally we reach a turn off but there is no way we are making it home or to a restroom.  I pulled the car over, put on the hazards and Peach jumped from the car.  I held her up while she peed on the side of the road.  Welcome to being a mom of four.  It isn't all pee though.  Look at this cute picture Peach drew for me.  "Mom, I drew this picture of me and you in front of the house.  This is our house.  These are our windows.  This is our tree.  This is a bright sun and grass because it is a happy day.  This is me with the straight hair.  This is you with the curly hair.  This is a heart because we love each other."  I love stuff like this!


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