Saturday, April 21, 2012

Red Pepper Rash

Sweet Addy and her baby acne
Sleeping after a couple of hard nights

Addisyn has baby acne or an infant rash dotted over areas of her face, head and neck. Over Easter weekend the rash brightened, intensified and she became extremely irritable in the evenings. Out of character. I was having flashbacks to Rylyn's nightly crying spells, which for her, were in character. To be sure we weren't transitioning to a purple period, like we did with Rylyn, the science teacher in me decided to analyze my diet. Woo hoo a scientific experiment!

I cut out anything with flavour and common allergens (e.g. dairy, nut products, "gassy vegetables," chocolate) for three days. Mmmmm, bread and water. I was dying for a Coke the whole time. I then began to work foods back in to my diet, every two days, in the order listed in the parentheses above. Addy went back to herself. Cooing and kicking in the evening, rather than crying. I also took her out to ensure it wasn't the change in our routine that upset her.

The only items different in my diet over Easter weekend were red pepper and hummus. I was not interested in reintroducing them as she was clearly in pain while crying. Although I believe the problem food to be red pepper, I can manage avoiding all bell peppers and hummus while nursing.

Interestingly, Chris has an aversion or sensitivity to peppers. A little research found that in a few infants red pepper causes dermatitis and fussiness. Not that I have had any while nursing, it is clear Addisyn had enough pepper in the vats of Frank's I poured on food during the pregnancy.

Bible Reflections:
"And He said to them, 'To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn and their sins be forgiven them.' "
-Mark 3:11,12

-Jesus spoke in parables so that those who were seeking God's heart would better understand His mysteries. Lord, help me to understand both your mysteries and those of the children you have entrusted to my care.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Puke Pack

"Puke Pack"

Disclaimers: This entry is not for the queasy. As always, consult health professionals or your family doctor for health concerns.

Random vomiting. Gotta love toddlers. Teething related? Food sensitivity? Weak gag reflex? We have been keeping a puke journal for Rylyn for the past month so we can discuss our concerns with the doctor at our next appointment. Until then, I feel like Nancy Drew. The vomiting appears to happen on days she is teething and gags while eating. Switching from homo milk to 2% and eliminating yogurt from her diet, in addition to watching for gagging and encouraging chewing, has decreased puke incidents from up to 3 times a week to less than once a week. The episodes happen only once in a day, often at or after dinner time, and Rylyn feels better immediately following her throwing up.

The challenges with toddlers tossin' their cookies are numerous:
-it is sudden
-it is messy, they just throw up all over themselves
-they want to hug you after
-it smells because they are still intaking a significant amount of milk in their diet
These challenges became evident at our first public puking event at church one Sunday morning. We were entirely unprepared, but with some help managed...barely.

Pictured above is our "puke pack," located in the trunk of our car. I developed the puke pack after several incidents of public projectile puke. How is that for alliteration?

"Puke Pack" Contents:
-roll of paper towels
-baby wipes
-Lysol wipes
-2 plastic bags
-1 diaper
-1 sleeper
-1 adult-sized t-shirt
all crammed inside a large Ziploc bag.
The reusable grocery bag is for inside the car door and is our "bucket" in case we ever have to pull over in the car.

Our Plan:
-have a bowl on the table for meals, e.g. we keep a bucket on our kitchen table
-if a bowl is not available have ready access to napkins and be prepared to catch with your hands lined with napkins (We discovered this strategy at Harvey's (the fast food restaurant) one afternoon. The napkins are surprisingly absorbent. Fold and reline hands as needed).
-if an episode occurs at a time other than meals, move child to a sink or area that is easy to clean (e.g. not carpet), keep child close for comfort (some say allowing to puke over the shoulder is effective, but I like to see where the vomit is going so I prefer more of a seated cradle carry)
-if you are fast there will be limited vomit to clean up (like in Harvey's), if you are not it is a hurricane of mess (like at church)

Damage Control:
-send someone to grab puke pack from car if items are not readily available
-clean-up is a two-person job, get help if you can, otherwise deal with the toddler and yourself first and then the environment
-strip soiled clothes and put in a plastic bag or wash
-baby wipes or shower to clean toddler and self
-fresh clothes and lots of hugs
-paper towels to clean mess and a disinfectant afterward
-give toddler some juice or water to settle them and their tummy

Our latest episode was at Easter dinner. I am surprised anyone ate dessert! As I was breastfeeding, daddy was at the helm with some family members eager to help and others wanting to flee the premises. The puke pack was in the car, ready for use, but in the turmoil did not get to make a true debut (everyone was scrambling to help in their own way). They were dealing with the initial shock of the event, which Chris and I no longer have as this has become routine. In the end, we had a clean child and table and that is all that really matters.

I'll end on this:

At Harvery's after Addisyn's first visit with great grandpa Gord (pictures below), Rylyn had puked and we had successfully cleaned it up.

(Walking out the door).

Kara: "I think anyone watching would have thought we had it together."

Chris: "I think anyone watching would not want to finish their lunch."

Meeting Addisyn

Putting Addy to sleep

Reading with Rylyn
Bible Reflections:
"So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth...As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent." -Revelation 3:16,19

"For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." -Matthew 12:34b

-Jesus is forgives. Those who celebrate Easter, celebrate the forgiveness of the cross. After finger-pointing to sin in Revelation 3:16, there is a call to forgiveness, verse 19. Whether one's priorities have been wrong or one has used their speech to curse rather than bless (word-vomit!), whatever wrongdoing, Jesus says, "Be zealous and repent," because He love us. Accepting or turning down this call is choosing to be cold or hot. If one keeps returning to sin or is indecisive, one is lukewarm. Zealousness is more than enthusiasm, it is enthusiasm yoked with diligence to repentance and devotion to the Love the Christ.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Two in Tow

Carting around two babies that can't walk has been a learning experience. Loading the car on my own takes 10 minutes, not including "getting ready" time which can be interrupted by many misdemeanors, including pooping in a freshly changed nappy. I find it best to strap the toddler in the car seat first with a snack or a toy and then deal with the newborn. Out and about we have experimented with many different combinations. We love our new wagon and babywearing! 

The collapsible wagon we bought from On the Edge Marketing courtesy of is amazing ($150). It folds like a stroller and can fit in the trunk of our car. It can fit the infant car seat and Rylyn and has a canopy to shield Addisyn from the sun. Although I have never used one, so my opinion is biased, it beats a double stroller. Costco has a smaller version without the sun canopy or extra basket for half the price ($80). We felt the larger load capacity and amenities were worth the extra money. Plus, the "On the Edge" version had multiple positive reviews whereas the Costco version didn't have any. Here we are out for a walk. If Addy is in a carrier or wrap Rylyn can even lie down and take a nap!

I did my first tandem babywearing walk this evening. It inspired me to write this entry. I used my Moby (stretchy) for the newborn in front and my Mei Tai for the toddler in a back wrap. I wrapped a basic front carry with with the Moby first, then back wrapped Rylyn using the Mei Tai, and finally, placed Addisyn in the front wrap. I checked all my ties to ensure both girls were secure and went for a quick neighbourhood walk...

...and if I thought I got a lot of looks being pregnant with a baby or having a newborn wrapped and a 15 month old in a stroller or wagon, BOY WAS I MISTAKEN. I have NEVER seen so many dropped jaws. I wouldn't get a second glance if I had a baby and two toddlers in a triple stroller that so many push around town. It actually took less time for me to get out of the house tandem wearing the girls instead of using the stroller or wagon, not that I would endeavour a long hike or anything. There is a time and place to babywear two at once just like there is a time and place to have both babies in the wagon. I will proudly wear my children, every once and a while both at the same time, and ?enjoy? the gawking. Perhaps I should organize a babywearing parade in my town? Then I wouldn't feel awkward waving at onlookers.

For my more seasoned babywearing audience, if you notice in the picture below Rylyn likes to lean to one side when back carried in the Mei I have upgraded to a woven wrap as it is only a matter of time for the wiggler to outgrow the Mei Tai. I purchased a Didymos cotton-linen blend, size 6. I am still breaking it in and getting Rylyn comfortable with the woven as it has been a while since we back-wrapped in something (being a cotton gauze wrap) other than a Mei Tai.

Bible Reflections:

Mark 15:45-47

New King James Version (NKJV)
45 So when he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 46 Then he bought fine linen, took [Jesus] down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid.

-In honour of Easter, each time I wrap this week may I remember that when Mary went to check on the body of Jesus all that was found was the linen cloth. He is risen!