Category Archives: Health

Mason Rocks at the Dentist – (Not So) Wordless Wednesday 9/26

Last week was Mason’s 2nd visit to the dentist. At his first visit, he cried while I held him in my lap and the dentist counted and brushed his teeth. This visit, my BIG BOY sat still for an x-ray and layed in the big chair all by himself and watched Cars while they brushed and POLISHED his teeth. He was pretty much amazing.

Playing before his appointment

Waiting for his x-ray

Little toofs

Mason still is missing 3 of his 2 year molars (boooo) but otherwise they were super impressed AND gave us their blessing (again) for bedtime pacifier usage until 3 – 3 1/4, so that’s nice. They loved our minimal juice rule, so it was nice to have SOMEONE not think we’re crazy….

Such a big (little) boy!

Getting them polished

Holding mommy’s hand

Plaing with his first iPad while we check out

He did SO good that the hygienist was bringing all sorts of other staff members over to show them in total awe that a kid only 2.5 was laying in the chair all by himself (while his nutcase mother fluttered around taking pictures LOL) Everyone was super impressed at how still and cooperative he was, including me!

I totally recommend going to a pediatric dentist. From having an entertaining playroom to having staff that is patient and knows how to talk to kids, it’s definitely the way to go. Heck, I wish I could lay and watch a movie at MY dentist appointments!

What have your kids done lately that impressed you?

This time last year – 18 Months / Help Me Feed My WeeMan!

Two years ago – Tag! I’m It!

Mononucleosis

Well, my new blog got postponed for another two weeks and I couldn’t bear the thought of being silent for an entire MONTH, so here I am again!

On the 31st, I woke up with a 103º fever and ended up leaving work early. Over the (holiday, of course) weekend I felt worse and worse and even Tylenol was not stoping my 104º fever and finally SuperDad convinced me to go to Urgent Care on Labor Day. Of course, Urgent Care has “convenient” new hours and is now only open a few hours a day on weekends and holidays, so it ended up being Emergency Room visit. Ugh. After running some tests and pumping me full of fluids, I got my diagnosis – mono! Apparently most people get it between junior high and college and I’m just lucky enough to get it when I’m nearly 30. Yee haw!

Fortunately Labor Day weekend was SuperDad’s weekend off and then during the week, an awesome combination of him, Auntie Sarah, and the Grandmas took care of Mason in the evenings while I laid in bed, miserable. I seriously do NOT know how single parents or people who have no family near by do it!! Even Joe helped keep Mason company, as you can see from his excitement over a rousing game of trains…. 

After missing a week of work, I’m slowly re-joining the real world. I expect I’ll have a few more entries up here in the next few weeks before we make our big blog move, but just wanted to let everyone know that we’re still alive. Hope all my bloggy friends have had a better last few weeks than me!

Poor Red Butt Boy

On Thursday, we got the call that every parent dreads. Daycare. “Mason has had some diarrhea today and is running a very slight temperature. You don’t have to come pick him up, BUT if he has another diarrhea diaper, you’ll have to come get him and keep him home tomorrow as well.”

Being that it was 1:30 in the afternoon, I decided we would much rather have Mason miss the rest of the afternoon than miss this afternoon and all day tomorrow, so I went to school and picked him up. Since I was pretty sure the few days before that that he was coming down for an ear infection, I had my mom (who was going to watch him for the afternoon) take him to the doctor.

Verdict? Seemed super healthy and his ears looked great. Crap.

By Saturday, he was still acting totally normal but still had diarrhea and a raging diaper rash on top of that. Like, worst diaper rash I’ve ever seen.

We tried naked time (why oh why does he have to take a poop within 2 minutes of his diaper coming off?!), tried special Desitin oatmeal bath, tried Desitin, A&D, and Butt Paste creme and noting seemed to help. Even worse, he stopped proudly announcing “I pooped!!” (which I was sure was a very early step of being ready for potty training) and instead would start crying the second you asked about his diaper. Screams of “No Mommy! No!!” would fill the house at every diaper change, along with long wracking sobs. Saddest. thing. ever.

Yesterday, we took him back to the doctor again, this time to get his butt looked at. His pediatrician was pretty horrified (never a good sign) and said it was quite bad, which we had kind of figured. My poor little guy. She prescribed us something called “Magic Butt Paste” (the price of which? NOT so magical) and said the diarrhea would just have to run it’s course.

This morning, his butt looked 50% better. Pretty amazing considering we’d only used the Magic Butt Paste twice and he woke up with an icky diaper as well.

Here’s to hoping that the paste keeps working it’s magic AND this diarrhea crap (no pun intended lol) clears up soon. I miss my crazy-feeling good little boy!

This time last year – Bath Time / Plagio Update

First Trip to the Dentist

Last week (on Valentine’s Day!) we took Mason to the dentist for the first time! It’s recommended by most of the big associations that children go to the dentist by their 1st birthday and this was something we’ve struggled with – it seemed like Mason didn’t really have that many teeth then, we couldn’t imagine him cooperating for such a thing, and most dentists around here don’t see kids before age 4 unless there is a problem. One of my friends told me of a recent trip to the dentist with their 27 month old where they were charged $90 for an “exam” that involved the child spinning in the exam chair and get a toy. And while I see the point of making the clinic a “friendly” place for children, I wanted more than that for Mason.

And then we found Smiles in Motion – a pediatric dentist that JUST sees infants, toddlers, and children.  We were pretty impressed with their website and the information they sent us in the mail and the trip did not disappoint.

A view of the kid’s lobby area right when youw walk in. Mason played in here and I read him books (including “Teeth” by Dr. Seuss) while we waited for a few minutes.

We started off with a complete tour of the clinic, from the x-ray room to the exam room and then started off with an x-ray. We didn’t think Mason would sit patiently enough for the two second x-ray while wearing the x-ray “bib” so he got to sit in my lap instead.

After that, we went into the doctor’s office. Had Mason been a bit older, we could have went to an exam chair where he would have had his choice of over 20 movies to watch (Including Cars 2, Tangled, and Rio!) on his very own video screen. Instead, he had a room with his very own slide to play on while we talked to the dental assistant.

She was very happy to hear that Mason’s teeth get brushed 3 times a day (Thank you daycare!), that he doesn’t drink chocolate milk, and that he has less than one cup of juice a day. She also gave us their blessing to not be concerned about him still sleeping with a Nuk and as long as we get rid of it by his 3rd birthday, we’re good. I’ve been waiting until he was a old enough to understand the concept of “the binky fairy” or making a trade, but had always heard the rule of thumb was age 2, so this made me feel a bit better.

Dr. Spitz came in next and we got started on his exam. He sat on my lap facing me and then the doctor and I sat knee to knee and he laid back into her lap. From that vantage point, she cleaned his teeth, checked his gums, took a look at his tonsils, and applied a fluoride treatment. He held his daddy’s hand through the whole thing and was a trooper and Dr. Spitz said everything looked great! She figures his final four teeth (those evil back molars) should come through in the next 2-3 months, which I’m not too excited about, but what can ya do!?

He got to pick out a toy afterward and was pretty proud.

All in all, the appointment was a great success. Despite some of the older folks we know telling us that taking a kid his age to the dentist was a waste of time and money, I’m very glad we went and it’s always good to hear that the things we’re doing are the right things and that everything is looking good!

He played in the play area while SuperDad and I took turns using the restroom before the drive home.

We’ll be seeing Dr. Spitz again in 6 months. We asked Mason if he liked the dentist and he shouted “Yeah!!!” so I think it was a success!

This time last year – 11 months / Tantrums Before Two?

This post was not sponsored or prompted by Smiles in Motion in any way. We just had a great experience there and totally recommend them if you’re in the Chippewa Valley!

So Much for the Quick Flu….

After our sad night Monday, Mason woke up Tuesday morning bright eyed and bushy tailed. Jumped up and down in his crib, played happily in his surprise morning bath, and chattered away on the way to daycare.

Knowing he wasn’t feeling 100%, SuperDad picked him up early and his teachers said he had had a great day.

Half an hour after he got home, things went downhill. He just wanted to cuddle on the couch, which as everyone knows, is unheard of with an active toddler! Supper time rolled around and he didn’t show any interest in his food (scrambled eggs, which are usually a favorite) and was struggling to stay awake in his high chair, which definitely isn’t like him. Soon, he had a fever and Tylenol didn’t do anything to bring it down.

With half an hour left before Urgent Care closed, we decided that we were better safe than sorry and SuperDad took him in. Upon checking in, they were the only ones in the waiting room and a quick visit seemed promising.

An hour and a half later… a doctor finally came in to see poor Mason, who had long ago lost his patience. As you can see in the picture, his eyes are red from all the crying he’d been doing.

After listening to him breathe, they declared he should get an x-ray. That happened fairly quickly, and then the waiting began again. He spent a lot of time playing with his new Leapfrog Phone (and basically destroyed the display by throwing it on the ground and stomping on it… so bummed about this) and wondering when the results were coming back. At one point in time, he even tried to put on his coat, picked up his diaper bag, and went to the door. He was d-o-n-e.

Thankfully he discovered a jar of Teddy Grahams in his diaper bag, so that cheered him up. He also found his old daycare Nuk (which he hasn’t used in 6+ months) and latched right on to that. Which normally I’d say no way, but it cheered him up during what was getting to be a three hour urgent care visit (if this was “my” blog and not Mason’s, you’d see a long rant about how it’s possible that we as a society continue to consider a 3 hour wait at the doctor’s acceptable, but 5 minutes in line at Wal-mart is just too long…)

They got home at 11 pm, 3 hours passed Mason’s bedtime, which I felt horrible about that because obviously sleep helps sick little boys.

Diagnosis?
Ear infection in both ears
Upper respiratory infection
Beginnings of pneumonia
Crap crap crap. My poor little guy.

 

Famous Last Words

We celebrated Christmas with my family on Saturday (pictures coming soon… maybe) and while we were eating lunch, Mason accidentally hit his milk cup with his elbow and it spilled. My mom sort of freaked out and instantly began running around and apologizing for the mess.

My sister-in-law said “Oh no, it’s okay! It’s okay! No big deal! We’ve spilled LOT worse on our floors!”

She then looked at me and said “Have you ever tried cleaning puke out of old wood floors? Or caught puke in your hands? Ugh!”

And here it comes, folks…. My response – “Actually no, we’ve been really lucky, Mason’s really never thrown up since he was a tiny infant!”

Cue chimes of doom.

Mason came down with a horrible cold on Sunday, much expected as one of the daycare girls said on Friday that the crud was going around. Lots of coughing and a runny nose, but otherwise, totally fine.

Then came last night…. He was eating a cracker and started coughing and ended up throwing up on himself (and the couch) He was so sad and I felt really bad for him, but it was clear that it was mainly caused by coughing while eating and didn’t think too much of it.

He asked to go to bed about 15 minutes early and we oblidged. Shortly thereafter, he started crying and SuperDad came in his room to discover him covered in puke. As soon as we got his bed changed and him in new pajamas, he was more than happy to go back to bed, but soon the crying began again. And… he’d puked again.

Despite a 2 am and 4 am wake up with lots of crying (but no more puke thankfully), he seemed to be feeling a lot better this morning. Poor little dude.

So far, between Mason & Cole, 2012 has been “The Year of Vomit”  And maybe it should be the year where I resolve to not make such ridiculous declarations….

 

6 Month Post-Helmet Plagiocephaly Update

It’s been 6 months since Mason got his helmet off. For those who are new around here, Mason was diagnosed with severe plagiocephaly and tort when he was 3 months old. This would have been the optimal time to get him into a corrective helmet, but the doctor encouraged us to try repositioning and physical therapy instead. We made slight progress over the next few months, but between 8 and 9 months, his progress stopped. We made the choice to put him in a corrective helmet at 10 months old and he wore it from January until June. While the helmet did help his head shape, we didn’t have nearly as much success as we would have had we done it when he was much younger.

I meant to update a week or two after he got it off to tell you all how the adjustment was going, but looking at the archives, I apparently never did. The first few weeks were a bit of a rough learning curve for him as tapping his head on objects to hear the sound the helmet would make was a favorite passtime. Falling on his back and hitting his head on the floor use to be no big deal, but he quickly (but not quickly enough) learned that that was not fun at all anymore. After that first month or so of being helmet-free, it was like he had never had it at all. Helmet-free looked normal and new routines were quickly created. His helmet is topping his diaper cake (that was just too adorable to ever use, sorry Jayme!) on his book shelf and he never even gives it a second glance.

Since graduating from the helmet, Mason’s hair grew in leaps and bounds and if you’re not actively looking for it, you can’t tell that his head isn’t perfectly round. But, when his hair is wet or you’re feeling his head, you can definitely still tell that it’s a bit odd shaped. While it’s disappointing that the helmet didn’t “cure” his problem entirely, this past 6 months have made it clear that it was the right choice for us. With absolutely zero change to his head shape in 6 months (many doctors preach “Leave it alone and it will round out on it’s own”), it’s obvious that his head shape would definitely not have corrected itself at all. Baby heads grow the most between 0-8 months and continue growing some between 9-18 months. Now, at 21 months, it’s pretty safe to say that Mason’s head shape is the way it will always be and I’m okay with that. We did what we could and I’ll never regret that and like I said earlier, unless your his mother or his grandmother (or someone reading this and then studying him carefully when you see him LOL) you’d never notice that his head is a bit flat in the back. I no longer worry that he’ll be teased in school or that sports helmets and glasses won’t fit right. Thank you, little blue helmet.

If you feel that your baby has a significant flat spot on any part of their head (most common on the back side of the head due to the “back to sleep” campaign, but also can be on the side), here’s what I recommend (FYI I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on the internet)

  • Immediately begin actively repositioning your baby. Keep them off their heads as much as possible – tummy time, baby-wearing instead of car-seat lugging, and encourage them to look to the “rounded” side by placing attractive objects (shiny things, mirrors, toys) that way, and yet more tummy time.
  • If your child has not seen significant improvement in their head shape by 4-5 months, get a referral to an specialist that deals with helmets. The average 4 month old is in a helmet 6-8 WEEKS and sees nearly 100% correction, but the older the child, the slower the correction and the less chance it will be as significant (case in point – Mason spent 6 months in his and got the same amount of correction many young babies see in a few weeks  – the younger they are, the faster their heads grow!)
  • Remember that whatever you choose to do – it’s way harder on YOU than your child. Yes, at times they may cry and seem sad, but they also cry and seem sad over a toy puppy being taken away. They will never remember this time of their lives, but they will remember being teased in school or being excluded from wearing “one size fits all” hats, helmets, etc if left uncorrected.

If you ever need any repositioning tips, would like to know about internet support groups I found helpful, or just need support if you think your child has plagio, I would be more than happy to talk to you! It seems like such a scary thing to face when you’re right there in it, but Mason and I are living proof that 6 months later – it’s just a very tiny blip on the radar – one that I look back on and smile because I know it was the right choice.

This time last year – Photos with Santa

Fighting the Germs: Cold & Flu Prevention

As a mother of a “daycare kid,” germs are just a given. It seems as if someone at daycare has a snotty running nose at all times and last year we had our share of sickness – ranging from pink eye to pneumonia. This year, since we won’t have all the benefits breastfeeding provides to Mason’s immune system, I’m really trying to be on the ball about how to prevent colds and flu from being part of our winter routine.

The first thing we’re going to do is a get a flu shot. Mason will get one at his upcoming 18 month checkup and I will get one later this month. I never got a flu shot before I had a kid, but now that I have a toddler to take care of, between the germs he brings home from daycare and the fact that it’s nearly impossible to chase a toddler while hugging the toilet, flu shots are going to be a part of our regular routine for the next many years.

Another thing we’re going to strive to do is get enough sleep! Your body and your immune system functions better with the proper amount of sleep. If you’re run down because you’re tired all the time, it’s much easier for germs to attack. For Mason, this means we’re striving for at least 11 hours of sleep a night and a 2 hour nap every day. Even though it’s sometimes tempting to keep him up an hour or two past his bedtime if we’re busy doing something, if he’s got to get up in the morning to go to “school” this isn’t fair to him. And for me, no blog reading is worth getting run down for lack of sleep – no more 11:30 pm+ bedtimes!

We’re also teaching Mason the importance of washing his hands after playing and before eating. He loves to “play” in the water, but we’re focusing on doing more than just splashing! Fortunately for us, he hates having dirty hands, so he’s constantly wiping any dirt and grime that he comes across off. Now if only he would do it somewhere other than his pants. We’ll get there! As for us adults, we cover our mouths with our elbow pit and use hand sanitizer frequently!

At work, our janitor wipes down all lightswitches, doorknobs, and frequently used buttons (like on the copy machine) with Lysol spray on a daily basis. This has REALLY cut down on cold and germ sharing at work and I’m going to start doing this at home too. If we’re sick and go into the bathroom, we can wash our hands to clean them, but those germs are still on the doorknob. Cleaning these common touch surfaces frequently is another prevention goal of mine!

These things all seem so simple, but they really seem to help! Last winter we managed to make it the entire winter without everyone in the house getting sick (at the same time) which to me, means we’re on to something! Teaching Mason good handwashing tactics, sanitizing high traffic areas, getting a flu shot, and making sure everyone is well rested and well fueled with healthy food will hopefully be the key to celebrating another icy cold Wisconsin winter without unwanted visits from the flu!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Lysol blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Nose Bleeds

So Mason hit a new sad milestone yesterday – his first nose bleed! We were in the car on the way to the park and looked back in his mirror and his face was all bloody. It was so sad! We got him all cleaned up and went to the playground and after 10 minutes or so, it started bleeding again. Of course, because I wasn’t thinking,  I let him go down one more slide and he managed to rub his face and rub blood into his hair and onto his ear. Oops. That was the end of the playground trip. Cleaned him up again and headed home and he was fine the rest of the night.

I know better than to Google such things, so I’ll ask you guys – have your little ones ever had nosebleeds that weren’t caused from falling or running into something? I mean, he was strapped into his carseat the entire time! I’m GUESSING he shoved his sharp fingernail up his nose but I have no idea! Thoughts? Ideas? I’m not too worried, but figured I would ask anyway!

This time last year – Guess Who Just Rolled Over?? / First time in the Jumperoo

Plagiocephaly Update #7: Final Update

 

Last Wednesday, Mason went to see Dr. Doug for his final head evaluation. We had decided before that we were done with the helmet either way, as it has been five months and with the heat and the slow growth, it was just TIME.  The last appointment we had, he had basically zero improvement and we weren’t holding our breath.


(The stocking smooths down his duck fluff hair so a more accurate scan can be taken of his head)

Well, in the past 7 weeks, I’m happy to say that he improved more than he has in the entire 5 months combined! Yay for FINALLY getting a small growth spurt! We didn’t reach our original goal, but I was very happy to see the progress.

He wore his helmet to daycare on Thursday and Friday and had it off at home where we could watch him and help him transition into a world where knocking your head on the wall to hear cool sounds is not any fun and flopping angrily on the floor head first to have a a tantrum is not only unproductive, but hurts!

He’s been without the helmet since Friday evening and other than some rugburn (oops) and a few scratches, he’s getting the hang of things. It’s so weird to see him without his helmet more than an hour a day, so we’re all adjusting!

Last Year at this time: Mason’s 1st Sleepover / He Survived!