Friday, April 30, 2010

Serah in the PICU

Monday Angel caught a stomach bug.  She shared it with the rest of the family.  We tried to keep Seraph isolated but she'd already caught it.  Then we tried to keep her hydrated with extra Pedialyte.  But she had more output than we could safely rehydrate at home.

We did keep her hydrated enough that we were able to drive to the hospital ourselves instead of taking an ambulance.

She's unhappy.  She's already lost her first IV.  The second IV isn't working very well.  So, they've already put in a third IV.  Both hands are all taped up.

She's going to be OK...but her mommy is sad.  I don't want to leave her here.  ...and she doesn't want me to go.  :(

Please keep her in your prayers.  Pray that she'll rehydrate soon and that she won't catch anything while she's here.  Thank you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Slow Cooker Heaven

Last night I dumped a roast into my brand new slow cooker:
Now, I know you're supposed to start it in the morning, but I'm used to cooking my roasts overnight in the oven.  I put in 2 cups of water (more than I needed for this roast), then whole frozen garlic cloves, then the 8 lb roast.   I cooked it on high for an hour...and then switched to low for 10 hours...with 10 hours of warming after that.

I didn't leave it in all that time.  I think it only got 5 hours of warming.  I was worried about the internal temperature.  My mommy gave me her meat thermometer.  (The battery in my old one died!).  When I poked the thermometer in (after the 10 hours of cooking), the meat was well into the beef range (170+ F).  I had to poke it several times because it felt like I was pushing the thermometer into soft butter.  I worried I'd hit a patch of fat.  Nope, just tender.  mMMmmmmmmmMmMM!

I added cubed potatoes and sliced tomatoes about an hour before serving.  I think I'd add them sooner next time.  The potatoes were barely soft enough to be considered cooked.  We only ate about half the roast, leaving half for left overs and then some nice stew base. I didn't even bother trying to cut the roast.  I just broke off pieces with a plastic spatula.

The kids loved it - but demanded ketchup..hehe.  

I signed up for amazon's affiliate program just so I could easily find this picture/link, so I hope you like it:

It did NOT heat up my whole house like the oven does.  I love that the ceramic bowl comes out for serving.  The lid and the ceramic bowl can go in the fridge/microwave/dishwasher.  How cool is that!!

I think everyone else has already jumped on the slow-cooking wagon...but this was my first run and I loved it. I'm excited to check out that several people have suggested. 

I picked this slow cooker because it's huge - 6 1/2 quarts - and had the best reviews I could find on Amazon. I have a big family and like leftovers when they're yummy.  

No complaints so far.  Happy we got it :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

  • Tweens need alone time.
  • girlie lunches are fun!
  • Seraph's added "Aabaa" to her vocab
  • Seraph's favorite game is still drop-things-and-say, "ah-oh", do NOT give her your cell phone!!
  • Watching Finch cry every time she loses a game has helped Bear to NOT care as much about losing games.
  • I still haven't read The Hunger Games (Rabbit walked off with it)
  • I'm LOVING our grassy/hilly sideyard - yay for warm weather, too
  • I had an inspiring weekend (writer-wise)
  • oooooh, my sis-in-law talked me into getting a slow-cooker/crock leave me your fav recipies
  • also looking forward to my new camera (one that does NOT share battery-size with the Wii motes)
  • re-met bunches of other heart moms this weekend....and then lost their blog addy's.  (I'll find my notebook....I think the kids walked off with it...)
  • Angel is drawn to the street.  Rabbit used to like to go places.  Angel just likes standing in the street.  /sigh
  • RSV season is almost over here!  Keep washing those hands!!
  • Liked that Sharon didn't get fired tonight.  I love this show way more than I should!
  • Why won't my kids eat potatoes?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sit Boy!

  • What's the proper etiquette for when your house guest ends up in the hospital?
  • Moms are good luck - esp when you've lost a check and need to find it before the banks close.
  • Angel knows how to ski jump from watching the kids play Wii Fit
  • Wii Fit PLUS is awesome!!
  • The insurance nightmare is almost sorted. Yay!
  • I CAN take all the kids for a walk without going stop: the park?? (haven't tried crossing streets yet)
  • Books can knock on your door!  I'm 80 pages into Leigh Russel's Cut Short.  I really like it so far. What I love even more is that she popped over to my blog to suggest I might like her book (because I like Jeffery Deaver's books and he liked her book and gave it a good review).   How cool is that??  I'm happy for Leigh that Deaver liked it and proud of her for tracking me down to suggest it to me.  Very cool :)
  • I LOVE reading the books that Beautiful Rabbit is reading.  Today we're reading the Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong.  (Book 3 in the series)
  • Yes, we'll eventually get to the Hunger Games.
  • I HATE GLEE!!!!!  I tried to like it, I really did.....BUT  someday you're gonna be totally embarrassed that you ever watched this show.  Ewwwwww!! The crazy thing is it's like highschool musical meets mean girls meets moulon rouge--all of which I liked well enough. but just ewwww!
  • On a rainy day, the kids act like the world is ending when I turn off the Wii.
  • Is it wrong that I want to get all my kids this Sit boy!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Night Terrors Update

When I tucked her into bed, Delightful Finch shivered and asked, "Mommy, will you take care of me?" She said that a LOT during her night terrors episode.  (This makes me think she does remember the experience.)

She looked scared.  ...and I'm a big push-over.  So, I grabbed a binky that had been lost under the bed and popped it in her mouth.  I rested my hand on her cheek.  She almost immediately fell asleep and didn't wake until morning.

Binkys are weird at my house.  Finch (age 3) is usually not allowed to have a binky. Angel (22 months) is still firmly attached to her binky - esp when something sad happens.  We try to encourage Seraph (22 months) to play with a binky.  She mostly chews on it, but sometimes she sucks.  She needs to develop those binky-sucking muscles more.

Finch often steals a binky from one of the twins.  Sometimes she takes it out if I catch her with it.  Sometimes she drops it into her hand and then hides in the cabinets under the sink so she can suck on her stolen binky in peace.

I decided I'd rather have her regress to binkys at night than have more night terrors.  Binkys make her feel safe.  I'll steal it away again in a month or so ;)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Night Terrors

Early this morning, I had my first experience with night terrors.  Oh my!!  Thank heavens I'd at least read about them before she started screaming.  It scared me to pieces!

Delightful Finch and Angel woke me up just before 6am - very early for them.  "Put on Funny Bear," they chanted. It was too early!  I put them both back to bed.  Ten minutes later, Finch started screaming.

I've never seen anyone so completely terrified in my whole life.  

Night terrors happen when you're partly awake and partly asleep.  It seemed like she was seeing something coming towards her.  She screamed about monsters.  The monsters were trying to bite her. Even holding her with all the lights on, she kept "seeing" monsters.  She was shaking and tense.  Every 5-10 seconds she's let loose a death scream.  

Most kids have night terrors when they're still asleep.  With open eyes, they scream and thrash until the episode ends.  It can last up to 40 minutes. I'm pretty sure Finch was mostly awake.  After almost an hour of watching Sesame Street on my lap, she finally relaxed.  I left her watching TV and went back to bed.

An hour later, the screaming started up again.  This time I took her into bed with me.  I covered her eyes and told her to close her eyes.  I figured she'd either stop seeing things or I'd be able to tell her it wasn't real.  She soon fell asleep in my arms.  The instant I moved to get up, she woke up.

There's nothing you can really do to help or comfort your child in the middle of night terrors.  Usually you just watch to make sure they don't hurt themselves when they thrash around. You're not supposed to try to wake them up.  They say night terrors are harder on the parents than the child.  The child has no memory of the incident in the morning.

I hope you never have to see this first hand, but if it happens I hope you'll remember hearing about it and not freak out as much.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Dash of Confidence

As I was styling Strong Bear's hair (which I don't do often because it's so short), he looked in the mirror and said, "Wow, I look dashing!"

Kindergarten Prep - How to Teach Kids their Address

Where do you live?  What's your address?

Stories like this one remind us of the importance of teaching our kids their address.  Most schools include "knowing your address" on kindergarteners' report cards. Yes, your little one will be tested on this!  This sounds like a parent's job.

So how do you teach someone who (most likely) can't read or write their address? First, make a reminder to hang on the wall near their bed.
You will need:
1) Brainstorm - is there anything in your address that makes it memorable?  A color? An object such as a flower or animal? anything that you could easily convey with a picture?
2) Start with the numbers:
-Fold a piece of construction paper in half.  Crease. (you want to end up with two 9"x6" rectangles)
-Using a black marker, draw a block number.  (You want the number to be almost as big as the 9"x6" rectangle.  It doesn't have to be perfect, just readable.)
-cut out number
-let child decorate number with washable markers
-repeat with the remaining numbers in your address.
NOTE:  use a different color for each number (eg. 3583 or 3393 or 2244)

3)Next do the street name or direction name:
-remember to incorporate anything from your brainstorming session (a picture can be added under or above the word or a specific color can be used to aid your child's memory. Keep it simple.)
-use a neutral color (like black or brown or gray)
-instead of each letter of the word, you'll write the whole word in block letters in the 9"x6" space. (feel free to use extra pages for really long words.  Again, make the letters fill up almost the entire space.  This will improve the appearance and reduce the need for great artistic ability. Mostly it just needs to be readable from 5-10 feet away.)
-cut out the words.
4) the city, state, zip (and phone number) can be added later.  By now your kid is tired of coloring and excited to see what will happen next.

5) Arrange the numbers and words so they make the correct address.
6) Point to each number and say it clearly.  Repeat with each word.
7) Hang the address in the child's room with tape or putty
-put it where the child will naturally see it while laying in bed at night
-encourage your child to say the numbers, letters, and words with you as you hang it.
8)Explain the address:
"Do you know what this is? This is where you live. The numbers come first.  The numbers tell people which house we live on.  The words tell people which road our house is on. When people want to come to our house, we tell them our address.  If we only tell them part of our address, they'll get lost.  They have to know the street name to find the road our house is on.  They have to know the numbers to know which house we live in."
9)Ask your child, "Where do you live?  What's your address?".  (Repeat the question often over the next many days.  Ask where mom lives, where dad lives, where little sister lives.)
-it's important to ask BOTH questions each time because you don't know how a policeman or helpful adult (or kindergarten teacher) will phrase the question if your child is lost.
10) Encourage your child to use the address on his bedroom wall as a 'cheat sheet' when asked where he lives.
11) Take your child outside and show him the numbers written on your house, curb, or mailbox.  Point out the numbers on different houses.  Ask if they are the same.  Ask, "Where do you live?  What's your address?" Walk down the street until you get to a street sign.  Show the name on the street sign and explain how the child's address tells people to find this road if they want to get to his house.

Stress the importance of knowing the whole address so you don't get confused or lost.

After a few days, add the rest of the mailing address to his bedroom wall a few words at a time. Sometimes, ask him to tell you where he lives when you tuck him in at night.

In addition to his address, your child needs to know:
-his full name
-his parents' first and last names
-his phone number.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

#100X100 CHD

1 in 100 children are born with a congenital heart defect(CHD).
April 10th is the 100th day of the year.
#100X100 is a CHD awareness campaign  - watch for CHD  today on facebook and twitter and please help spread the word.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Brushing Baby's Teeth

Seraph's trip to the dentist today went well.  She has NO cavities!  Her mouth is very dry (partly from her meds and partly because she doesn't eat much orally). The dark spot was just a spot!...and it's gone now. The yellow stains are gone, too. Her smile is back to normal :)

Seraph has a HUGE oral aversion.  Yet, the dentist did quite well with her.  He also taught me how to brush her teeth. I'd been doing it the hard way--lots of tears and wrestling.

This is how it should be done:

  1. Sit on the (comfortable) floor with baby between your legs.  (Her head is closest to my tummy and her feet are stretched out towards my feet.)
  2. Baby's arms are under my legs (her arms are out like a T.  her hands played with the outside seam on my jeans while I brushed her teeth.)
  3. Use a dab of floride toothpaste that's no bigger than a grain of rice. (Super important because teeth need the floride but if the baby swallows more than that much, baby can get a hurt tummy.)
  4. Brush front side of teeth.
  5. If baby won't open mouth, put your finger back BEHIND her molars. (Baby opens her mouth and you won't get bit!)
  6. Brush everywhere else
  7. Floss (you only need to floss between the teeth that are touching)
  8. Done  -  let baby play with toothbrush (I have a small cup of water that I dip the tooth brush in repeatedly and then baby sucks the water out of the toothbrush)
Seraph has crazy oral aversions, but she let me brush her teeth like this.  She let me sit on her arms.  She did NOT even try to turn her head away.  She only cried when I was brushing the backside of her teeth and that part was over quickly.  There was no fighting.

I cheated a bit - I turned on the overhead fan so she'd have something cool to look at besides her mama!

I brushed and flossed Angel's teeth using this same method.  It worked like a charm.  Fast and painless.

You should start brushing as soon as that first tooth pops through.  (Some moms even wipe baby's gums with a damp washcloth).  You should visit the dentist around 15 months (or when the first teeth have popped through).  Remember, cavities are more expensive AND more painful than wellness visits.  Root canals are expensive and painful!!  Fillings have to be refilled.  So, it's actually cheaper and easier to take care of your teeth and your kids' teeth before problems happen.

Visit the dentist every 6 months.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Fun

The kids colored a couple dozen eggs this year.  On Easter morning, once they found all the eggs, they each took a turn hiding all the eggs again so they could find them all over again.

[Today, Strong Bear and Delightful Finch were fighting over empty plastic Easter eggs.  Bear threatened her.  Finch cried, but wouldn't give up her egg half.]

Mom: Here, Finch, you have this one. [It's full of chocolate kisses]
Bear: Does it have candy in it?
Finch: Thanks! [no more crying.  She opens it and 4 kisses fall out]
Bear: Can I have one?
Finch: Here you go.

Strong Bear:  Mom I love you.
[as he's chomping down the last of the Easter Candy]
Sometimes they're the best of friends.  I love how giving Delightful Finch is - even in the middle of a fight. :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Essentials - Baby Swing

The day after Angel came home from the hospital, I ran to Target and bought this swing.

Angel asleep in the Fisher-Price Open-Top Cradle Swing

I LOVE this swing!!!!  Sexy Haqon freaked out a bit at the cost ($100).  I promised him it was worth it.  Angel slept.  Naps.  Night. Mom and Dad slept. Sexy Haqon smothered me with kisses and asked if we should buy another one for Seraph. (We didn't buy a second one.  Angel slept in while Seraph was at the hospital.  Seraph slept in it when she was home. If we'd had both twins home that first night, I'm sure we would've bought them each their own swing.)

Best money a new mom can spend!

Things I love about this swing:
-not expensive compared to other swings
-helps baby/mom/dad get sleep at night
-Plugs into the wall!!!  (Ever run out of batteries with your swing?)
-Craddle swing - can rock back and forth or side to side.
-bright colors

Swinging activates baby's lymph system.  This helps them feel better and their immune system run more efficiently.

In the hospital, when Seraph was very sick and not really getting better we twisted arms until we got her a swing.  Her lungs started clearing out (duh!), her oxygen needs came down, and they were able to move her out of the ICU. Since then, every time she goes to the hospital (once she's well enough to get out of bed) we request a swing.

Cradle swings are hard to find in the hospital.  They break easily if you put someone in it who's over the weight limit.  Therefore, the last two times Seraph was hospitalized, we brought her swing from home!

When we were bolus-feeding Seraph, we'd hang the milk from the top of her swing. (also for venting when she was little)

Seraph needed to keep her head elevated for her reflux when she was tiny.  Her doctors said the swing was just right for that. She'd kick back and put her feet up on the little post that's between the feet

When Angel was learning to walk, she'd pull herself up onto Seraph's swing to play with her and bring her toys.  As Seraph's learning to walk, she pulls herself up holding the swing to play with the mobile.  All the kids love the music.

I think it's more important to have this swing for a newborn than a crib! (atleast until baby is old enough to start rolling.) 

Put a baby blanket under the baby in the swing to catch any diaper leaks.  The fabric is machine washable if it does get dirty.

(No paid promotions were involved in this post--just my unsolicited opinion.)

More pictures:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Washable Window Chalk

When Mom is sleepy and the girls are sneaky........
It turns out that YES Crayola's Window Chalk is very washable.  It comes out of floor, doors, clothes, walls, showers, and smiles.  It does NOT was off skin very well.  Red and Yellow wash off with just water.  The blue requires soap and scrubbing.

Isn't that just smurfy!!


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