An Easy Sandbox

I really wanted Sam to have a sandbox. When I was little my dad built a HUGE one in our backyard for my sister and me. And we loved it. (Besides the neighborhood cats that used it as a litterbox!) Because we’re renters, however, this was out of the question. A sandbox is an excellent source for sensory learning for little kids.

When I went looking for one of those green turtle sandbox things I found out that they are $60+. So I made my own. I took an old gift wrap box and bought a bag of sand at the hardware store – it was $1.67. We play with cars, cups, pretend food, you name it. And when we go back inside we just put the cover on it. VOILA! Instant sandbox.


A word about lesson plans…

On Patience and Interrupted Plans:

Our plan for today was to do a papier-mache pig. I ended up doing that as Sam hates getting dirty. (Duh. I should have known!) Instead we played with tons of balloons. And he laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed…

Yesterday we were supposed to finish our silo (can you tell it’s farm week?) but instead we played with Mater and Lightning in the bathtub together. Once again, we laughed and laughed and laughed!

Tomorrow an unexpected friend is coming over to play with Sam and I had other plans for us.

This just reminds me that the lesson plans I have ready for my three-year-old are just plans – a way for me to map out the day and exert some control – to make sure I don’t lose focus. Pre-School isn’t about learning how to sit still, raise your hand, and ask to be excused from the table. We’re working these things, but my primary focus is learning through fun. And when something better or more important comes along it’s important for me to remember that I am the steward of Sam’s learning and love; I’m not here to rule over his day.

What I remember most at night while I’m at work isn’t usually how good a project turned out, rather it’s either a.) How impatient I was with him or b.) How much fun we had together. I am trying so hard to have more “b” days than “a”!!! Hopefully this post will keep it fresh in my mind. There’s so much to do and SO little time. I’m just glad my little man is such a gracious, loving soul.

Diaper Rash Solutions

So my poor little baby has some issues with diaper rash. In my struggles, we have tried every brand of diaper, wipes, ointment, etc. We have had major success with Boudreaux’s Butt-Paste, all brands of sensitive wipes, home made wipes, and Huggies brand and cloth diapers. He also went through a whole tube of anti-yeast cream for his bottom. Cortisone cream helps with the pain.

We have also changed foods, such as cutting out citrus and apple juice, etc. However, the struggle still goes on and at least twice a month he breaks out with another flare-up. Thanks to my RN mother-in-law, however, we use this trick to ease the redness, swelling, and pain.

BAKING SODA BATH! We throw him (ok, so we don’t actually THROW the child) in a warm bath with 1/2 cup baking soda. It softens the water and neutralizes the skin. It is fantastic! He feels so much more comfortable after a particularly bad poopy-diaper-on-rash incident.

Other things that are supposed to help that we don’t really notice a difference with are letting him go bare butt for a few hours and changing diapers frequently.

For a free sample of fore mentioned Boudreaux’s go here.

What have you tried? Do you have anything that works fairly well? Please share!

X-Rays and Your Child

I spoke a little about my little man going to the doctor on Saturday night because he was limping. He was, in fact, unable to walk completely without crying. I took him to the ER, as the phone nurse told me, and he was admitted. Because Sam has some issues with his feet sometimes in the middle of the night (the docs suggested maybe very early growing pains?) and his left foot is turned in, although no doctor has even been able to tell, I let them do an X-Ray. I was very frightened that he may have arthritis , which my grandmother pretty much died from. They were also worried about a break, or a  toddler fracture. 

So in the same week I allowed my son to be put on antibiotics for a “possible strep throat” and and X-Ray for maybe a broken bone. I know that if Rick had been there it would have been earier for me to protest… While thinking about Sam in the X-Ray room I thought it may happen that the doctors wouldn’t allow me in the room with him and even still would strap him to a board. I was so relieved when I could be in there and hold his leg myself that I didn’t notice that the radiology tech FORGOT TO GIVE HIM A LEAD APRON!!!  As I picked Sam up from two X-Rays he said that he didn’t like my big, bulky lead apron and then I realized that he didn’t have one on. Just the the tech came over and put an apron on him exclaiming in a cutesy, little voice, “Whoops! I should have put this on earlier.” I can hardly keep myself from screaming even now. While looking at the X-Rays later to show Sam how cool it was I got a GOOD PICTURE of his testicles in the X-Ray.

There were other concerns on my mind, however, and my mind must have classified the concern because for the rest of the night I only hardly thought about it. When I went to work the next night a certified nurse an aother dieticin that I work with (can you tell it’s a night job for stay-at-home moms?) were freaked. Then I realized the hugeness of this. I called the ER when I got home and the nurse told me it was no big deal. I called the radiology department of another hospital to find out the laws regarding this tye of ting and she said that to cover a child’s gentials is a “standard of care”, not a law.

Tomorrow I will see Sam’s doc as a follow up to his poor, baby legs and hopefully I will get more info. But be warned: YOUR CHILD SHOULD ALWAYS, ALWAYS HAVE A LEAD APRON OVER HIS OR HER GENITALS FOR ANY TYPE OF X-RAY. SPEAK UP FOR YOURSELF. NOW YOU KNOW!!!

I have no control over what was done with my son now and even if there were damages we don’t believe in suing. But because the nurse told me that he got no more radiation from the two X-Rays than from standing in front of the microwave, I took our microwave out of use! LOL Officially. Rick gave me a week. If we really don’t need it, we’re selling it and buying a toaster oven. Check out more on this over at Keeper of the Home.

Be blessed. And well.

Of Fall, Sickness, and Single-parenting

1. I am thankful for my husband. We are not the perfect couple. No one even guesses it for a minute that we might be blissfully happy. But we are in love. And with two stubborn and hard-headed people to get along and love the way we do is a miracle. And marriage is hard – everyone knows this. And after last night I am thankful that I am not a single parent because…

2. I took Sammers into the ER last night and Rick wasn’t there. He was camping in the deep woods with his buddies and there was no cell phone reception (not that we have a cell phone – I know – GASP!). Taking a little boy to the ER is scary enough in itself. But my child couldn’t walk. In fact, he was crying when any pressure was put on his left foot. And I was all alone. No husband. No sister. No parents. No one was around. Except for my God, whom I was constantly calling on. No broken bones. Only the nagging suspicion that this has been coming for a long time and I wasn’t pushy enough to have the crying in the midde of the night foot pain looked at closer. (I DID get two doctor’s opinions, however).

3. Good things that happened this week: For the first time this year we went to Farmer’s Market. We moved this summer and I just haven’t made it… Carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, zucchini, raspberries, dried BEAUTIFUL flowers – all for 8 bucks! And Sam asked for carrots and cucumbers today – in place of candy corn. Now if Sammy feels better later on this week we can go hiking to collect some pretty evergreen branches for a Fall wreath. We don’t do much for Halloween decorating because it’s scary and disgusting for the most part and that’s not something I take part in. I did find some very cute window stickers today at Walgreens for 0.99 w/ coupon – just glittery spiders and candy – perfect! Sam had lots of fun palying with those on the window.

Maybe soon I’ll convince my man to get the camera back on board so I can show pictures of my very pretty dired flower arrangement. Let’s pray I survive the night at work worrying about my limping little boy…

Wordless Wednesdays

The best Mother’s Day – EVER!


Happening at: 

How I Calmed a Colicky Baby

This is just a VERY quick list of things that I used to do for my little guy and myself in order to survive the day and night. I PROMISE to write more about this later, but today is a big day for us and I only have a few minutes. I have been reading all of your comments for the book giveaway and I can only tell you that for those of you who feel desperate – YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I have been there. In fact, I got to the point that sometimes I was ready to hurt my child and had to take every ounce of strength to put him down and walk away – especially at night. And that was MAJOR! I loved my baby so much, but I was SO exhausted and spent that I wasn’t the best mom that I could be. So here are some things that I did in order to help my son. Really, it’s just a list of what helped MY KID. If you haven’t tried these things, I would suggest at least trying them.

#1. He was colicky with GERD. That really just means acid reflux. He didn’t ever spit up, so it was really hard to diagnose. Once we did, though, he got on Zantac and life got much, much better.

#2. I wrapped him up in a heating pad set on low. This really seemed to help – maybe it comforted his belly?

#3. A warm bath. If your kid is like mine, have everything ready cause screaming will ensue as soon as he’s out.

#4. Take your bambino outside.

#5. Take him/her out in public. It’s easier to be a good parent when people are watching you.

#6. SLINGS and BABY CARRIERS. We got a lot of exercise this way. We carried him all day long. My back hurt, but it worked, so it was worth it. There are SO many inexpensive carriers available, too. Try to find one that will also go on your back so that you can do a bit of cleaning.

#7. The vacuum cleaner and the hair dryer sometimes worked.

#8. Baby Mozart movies. I know it’s a parental sin, but Lord how I loved them, as did Sam.

#9. Co-sleeping and breastfeeding while I slept. My worst times were while my husband was at work until 11 pm and everyone around me was telling me that Sam needed to sleep alone. That meant that I had to deal with it all by myself. I wasn’t listening to my instincts and the whisper of the Holy Spirit who was telling me to sleep with Sam. Once I gave up everyone else’s expectation and became OK with Sam sleeping with us (he slept with us whether we liked it or not because that’s the only way he ever WOULD sleep), all of our lives got better.

#10. The baby swing would sometimes give my arms a break. But it certainly wasn’t foolproof.

#11. We also have this really cheap white noise machine that I used when I lived with my very loud sister (!!!) that to this day STILL lulls Sam to sleep. And when he wakes up in the middle of the night (which he still does – last night with projectile vomitting – yay mom for giving him cake before bed) we turn that back on. Sometimes that thing goes all night long. I STRONGLY SUGGEST ONE!!!

I can’t think of any more. And I know that if you’re desperate you’ll do anything. And I know that you’re in pain and are frustrated. Know that even when you’re so mad at your baby the experts say that if you PRETEND to be a nice mom, still speak in Motherese, smile, etc. your baby won’t know the difference. I know this might make me sound like the worst mom alive (and believe me, I have felt that way), but I’m willing to hang that out there in case some of you need help. I also suggest calling a midwife/La Lecha League consultant for sleeping/crying advice. They are major exprets. Also, my family was, basically, of no help. I really expected them to be there for me. And, really, they tried but they had their own lives and had no idea of how bad it actually got, so they weren’t really there for me. If you’re reading this and know a friend with a fussy baby, call them. Tell them they’re doing a good job. And help them. Bring them bubble bath or food or Starbucks or SOMETHING. It’s a really hard time.

And like I said, I’ll try to write more on this in a few. Does anyone else have any suggestions?