I've been MIA for a few days but I have a good excuse. I was kind of on my death bed. OK, so I'm exaggerating a wee bit, but I was under the weather and quite miserable with what I think might have been mastitis. The stubborn gal in me who never wants to go to the doctor will never know what it was, but she and I are both glad that we are on the mend!
It started Wednesday evening and escalated incredibly fast. I went from feeling rather achy all over around 7 PM to by 10 PM I felt like I'd been hit by a mac truck and had to drop everything I was in the middle of and go to bed. One area of my right breast was tender, but not especially painful. I woke up around 2 AM feeling incredibly nauseous and in a cold sweat. Grabbed a thermometer and headed to the kitchen. Sat down with a mixing bowl in my lap (I was that close to throwing up) and took my temp, which was 3 degrees above normal (normal for me is about 97.2*F and it was 100.something). I thought if I could just eat something the nausea would either go away or at least temporarily abate after a good retch session. But all of a sudden everything started to fade. Oh, I know this feeling. Quick, head between knees - GO!!!! My hands went all tingly and I wondered if maybe I was having a heart attack. A small part of me thought, well, it would end this misery. Whatevs. >_< I weakly called for my hubby and luckily he heard me and came to my rescue with water. I told him I needed food and he nuked me some rice but I couldn't get any down. Next I tried grapes and that did the trick very quickly (probably by spiking my blood sugar and bottomed out blood pressure). I sat there slowly sipping a glass and a half of water and finally made my way back to bed just in time for Kenzo to start crying and need a feed. By now that right breast was more than tender and the area was red. I was thinking it was mastitis and not contagious, but it's not like we had milk or formula in the fridge to feed the baby just in case. Not like he would take a bottle anyway! Geez, I see how we shot ourselves in the foot there. Whoops! Note to self, start next child on the bottle EARLY!
Thursday morning I still felt totally fluish as far as my whole body aching, but at least the nausea and faintness were gone, so I sent hubby to work and said I could manage with Kenzo. I did manage, but it's not easy taking care of a baby when you feel like sh!%!! I did some googling and asked friends on facebook about how to treat mastitis naturally because I didn't want to haul myself and Kenzo to an ER and I really REALLY didn't want to take a round of antibiotics, especially while breastfeeding.
So here's the advice I got (other than "GET YOUR A$$ TO THE DOCTOR!!!") and followed:
1) Lots of rest
2) Extra fluids
3) Hot compression before nursing; hot shower
4) Extra nursing sessions and/or pumping to fully empty the effected breast, gently massaging the breast while nursing/pumping (apparently the infection is often passed from the baby into the mother, so baby should be fine to drink the milk from the infected boob... sorry baby!!)
5) Increase probiotics and other immune boosters like high-dose vitamin c, vitamin d, raw garlic, echinacea
6) Cut out junk food and sweets (this is not tough when you feel like crap, it's the only time I'm not craving fries and chocolate milk shakes!)
7) Ibuprofen for pain/inflamation
8) Cabbage leaves on the affected breast
9) Someone also suggested the supplement lecithin but I didn't end up bothering with this one
By Friday morning my breast was no longer red and only the slightest bit tender, and the whole body ache somehow consolidated into my head. MASSIVE throbbing headache exponentially so upon standing up. WTF?? Advil to the rescue. This morning (Saturday) I feel 90% fine - boob is not tender at all, and I only have a headache upon standing, but with some Advil I'm at 100%. At this rate I'll be back to normal tomorrow. Hooray!!
So was it mastitis and my super human immune system and cabbage filled bra kicked it's butt in record time without antibiotics?? If so, I blame the culprit on my slightly small underwire nursing bras that I wore on Tuesday and Wednesday because I was behind on laundry and all of my wireless nursing bras were stanky sweaty (TMI, sorry - don't forget - we have no AC!! Can you imagine the situation of my poor bras!?). Never again. I will go braless before I wear those horrendous mastitis inducing bras again!!
Or perhaps it was a random virus that my body had a hard time fighting off, and the tender/painful boob was a wacky coincidence?
The mystery behind the illness is strengthened even more by the fact that I haven't been sick in about two years. Not even a cold. Not even while pregnant when your immune system is supposed to be shot! Let's hope this record continues and it's another two years before my next illness. I sincerely think this is possible, especially if I remain a SAHM with Kenzo. The second he starts day care or school, all hope is out the window and it's HELLO to bimonthly colds for everyone in the family for the rest of his childhood. Am I right? Ughhhh...
Baby's 2nd Food!
Let me preface this with one thing. If you don't want baby food puree smeared all over your little one's face, don't try to feed them when they're tired. Whoops, mom fail! On a side note, isn't it SO CUTE when they rub their eyes sleepily??
So, we've been doing the carrots for about a week now and decided it was time for introducing a new food. Today's venture was peas (Earth's Best again, I went ahead and ordered a veggie and fruit "starter pack"... don't judge, at least it's organic!!)
First taste, not so sure about it...
And then, he's diggin' it!! Though he did make several gaggy faces. The consistency of the peas was a bit thicker than that of the carrots. Still, he did well and got quite a bit down.
I remembered to strap a bib on after a couple of spoons, you can see why I'm glad I did!
One more pea-mouth shot for cuteness sake:
Of course I went ahead and tried a taste for myself. I have to say... YUCK!!! Bleghhhh!!! Then again, it's peas, with no added sugar, salt, seasoning, etc... what do you expect??
Here's Kenzo "drinking" from his sippy cup that daddy got from the Japanese market in NJ. He pretty much just gnaws on it and the tiny bit of water that does come out just gets drooled down his shirt, but I think he'll get it soon. We only have the one, so I'm looking to buy some more, probably stainless steel ones. Any recommendations?
Sorry he's not rocking his usual cute little faux-hawk. This crazy-do is the result of a romp through the spray showers on the way home from Fort Hamilton's Babies & Books class. It's a 30 minute walk, and there's a spray shower about half-way home for us. It was a life-saver for me, so refreshing! But I was once again a hot sweaty mess by the time we got home, to our terribly hot and humid apartment. Followed by 3 loads of laundry, including one pillow that took one for the team when Kenzo had a carrot-filled blowout today, his first in a long long time! Fun times of a SAHM!!
Vote for Me :)
We all have to ask for help sometimes, and what better way to do so than on your blog that reaches millions and millions (ok, maybe I'm exaggerating here... thousands?) of people ^_^
Basically, my business (Miny Moe - selling multi-brand diaper & nursing pad samplers) and my blog have both been nominated for the Red Tricycle's 2013 Totally Awesome Awards!! If we make it to the top 10, it's AMAZING free promotion that I so so so so so need!! Winners in each category will get awesome exposure and prizes, but even the top 10 finalists will be listed on their website for an entire year. Hello, yes please!!
So, here's where I need your help. And it'll take all of 5 seconds, seriously!! If you would be so kind, and I"ll love you forever for it...
Please vote for me here:
1) Most Awesome Baby Shower Gifts - Miny Moe
2) Most Awesome Mom & Dad Blog - US-Japan Fam (at the bottom, thanks alphabetical order...)
**I should add that you can vote once per category per e-mail address, so if you have multiple e-mails (who doesn't??) please take advantage!
While we're on the topic of shamelessly asking for help, I'd like to explain the following (which can be seen on the right hand panel as well as below most of my entries) and how clicking on them daily will help me out:
Bloglovin' is a way to have all the blogs you follow in one place so you can keep up to date with them easily and at your own pace without worrying about missing any posts. You can click on this button, sign up, and add me to the list of blogs you follow!
Top Baby Blogs is exactly what it sounds like... a directory of the top baby blogs! Just being on there is great, but the more clicks I get (you can vote/click once per 24 hours) the higher my rank and the better for me and my readers by way of interest from sponsors for giveaways, guest bloggers, etc!
Top Mommy Blogs is the sister site of Top Baby Blogs and it's pretty much the same deal except the focus is on mommy blogs instead of baby blogs.
Sverve connects female social media influencers with businesses. You can click on the button and "endorse" me in various categories. The more clicks and endorsements I get, the more appealing I am to businesses who are looking for bloggers to do a review, giveaway, test out a new product/service, etc!
And FINALLY, don't forget about Twitter - follow me at @Mama_Heza to be notified of new posts, sarcastic remarks about my day, cute pix of my little one, etc!
Thank you everyone!! If there is anything I can do to help YOU out, please don't hesitate to leave a comment below and I'll do my bestest!!
Baby's First Food
I had been equally looking forward to and dreading this moment. The moment that my baby takes in nutrients from a source other than me. Sure sure, it's not until about a year old that baby's main calories and nutrition will come from food rather than milk, but still, it was one of those big moments where you realize your little guy is growing up!
Because I'd heard about the recent studies suggesting starting solids prior to 6 months increases the child's risk of developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, eczema and celiac disease. So I held off, despite one of our doctor's trying to persuade us to start solids at 4 months (story on that here). I waited until after getting the green light from another doctor at our 6 month visit. She suggested starting with orange vegetables, a new one every 3-5 days, and then green vegetables, then fruits. No idea where the color idea came from, but sounded like a reasonable and doable approach.
Leaving the doctor's office I was all pumped - "Yay you're gonna have real food and it's going to be fun!!" but then faced with a big decision... to make or to buy the food. I knew I wanted to go organic. That was all I knew. I headed to the grocery store and they had a pitiful selection of single ingredient organic baby food. Most were mixed like green peas and brown rice, and I didn't want that. I found an Earth's Best Carrots and the ingredients were: organic carrots, water. Literally. That's it! Some of the other brands had fish oil (what?? seriously??), ascorbic acid, etc. Remembering a friend who's baby took weeks (months?) of introducing solids before he would actually eat anything, I wasn't really looking forward to making a big ol' batch of baby food myself (pumping milk, steaming the veg, blending it all together, freezing in little ice cub trays), so buying one little bottle of food to try for now seemed justifiable (oh no, have I just entered the rabbit hole of buying pre-made baby food??).
We waited until Daddy's next day off to start the adventure of solids as a family, which happened to be the Fourth of July. God baby strapped into his high chair, bib on, tray snapped on and "WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" oops, guess it was milk and nap time! I ordered "Abort Abort" as I had read it's not good to try food when they're cranky, so I fed him the tried and true way and he went down for a nap. Later that day we gave it a go and this time we had a happy baby on hand.
Mommy was the feeder, daddy was the photo/videographer. The first couple of teeny tiny bites went right in and down. I was surprised he wasn't spitting it out! I read about the "tongue push reflex" and when they're ready they will swallow rather than push the food out of their mouths, so I guess he was ready! But after a couple of tastes he started making a "yuck" face and wouldn't take any more. I wasn't expecting him to down the whole jar, and I call our first go at solids a huge a huge success.
I did find my mother's DNA coming out in me as I instinctively scraped baby's chin after each bite and the second he got something on his hand or cheek I wiped it away with a wet wash cloth. Sure sure I know it's probably good for his development to play with the food, but not good for my sanity!! I have friends who have to take a shower with their baby after each meal. Seriously? Must be hilarious and a great photo opp to let them go to town and get avocado goop all over themselves and the kitchen once or twice, but 3 times a day? I'm just not down with that, yet. I know there will come a day when I can't easily control it, and hopefully I'll just be able to let loose and deal with the cleanup afterwards. But right now, a simple swipe and wipe is all it took and everyone stayed nice and clean :) On a side note, we don't have AC and it's in the 90's here this week. Sorry, I will do whatever it takes to avoid any unnecessary housework this week!
For curious minds, his next poo was slightly orange. Haha! Funny how even the littlest bit of non-milk can effect the poo! I gave him his 2nd "meal" the following night and he got about the same amount in, just a couple of teeny tiny spoonfuls. I did try it myself, and had to coerce hubby to try it as well. I think it tastes just like tomato soup rather than carrots. Not exactly "Oh yum give me more", nor should it be with no added salt or sugar, but definitely not bad at all!
Would love to know what food you introduced first to your little one, and how the experience went!! Are you a purely DIY or Pre-Made jar baby food feeder? I'll probably do both... from a jar is just so easy, and if you can get it on sale it's probably cheaper (or close enough) than making it yourself, and if you get the right organic brand without all the added unnecessary stuff, what's the harm right?? Haha does it sound like I'm trying to justify it to myself or what!?
Bottomless Belly Button
My little one's belly button is an innie. In fact, it's so much an innie that I was concerned enough to ask the doctor about it at our checkup today! Whenever I'm digging around in there cleaning with a q-tip I never can find the bottom, and I've always freaked myself out that I would actually touch his insides. So, I asked his doctor, "Kenzo's belly button is really deep, like, does it ever happen that it just doesn't close and remains open to the inside??" Thankfully she didn't laugh at me and just said no that doesn't typically happen. She looked at it, poked around a bit, then scooted off and came back with a q-tip. She dug around for a minute and finally, thankfully, professed that it is closed, just really really deep. PHEW! So now I can clean with gusto and not worry about getting lost in his intestines.
Also regarding today's check up, I one upped myself in helping Kenzo get through his vaccines! Last time, I held him for the first time and his crying was very minimal compared to the other times he got jabbed at on the table. This time, not only did I hold him but I sang to him in his ear his favorite song (Open Shut Them) while doing the movements with his hands and arms. He did not even whimper for the first shot, WELL DONE KENZO!!! The second one he hollered for all of 3 seconds (the doctor said that vaccine's liquid really burns, and there is no baby who wouldn't cry), but recovered in a heart beat and was so 100% fine that he didn't even whimper while I was getting him dressed again! WOW!! My little man is one tough cookie!
I'm a half year old already, can you believe it? I'm a whopping 19lbs (8.6kg), 27.5" long (70cm)- both about 75-85th percentile and my head circumference is 44cm (17") - about 50-75th percentile. As you can see I've already gotten my bottom teeth and love to chew on anything, including my own feet! I can sit up all by myself, usually without tipping over, and can roll over in both directions - watch out world! I love to blow raspberries, giving showers to anyone nearby, and I can't get enough of jumping and playing in my exersaucer! I also love reading books with mommy and can even turn the page (don't tell mommy, really I'm just trying to EAT the page...)
If you've seen my twitter profile, you'll know that I pinch not only baby butts but also pennies. So yes, we've done all the free mommy and me trial classes we can get our stingy little hands on. We've done Music Together (twice), Piano Masters, Gymboree, Music for Aardvarks... They've all been super fun, but also super expensive. We're talking around $30/class with a commitment to an entire semester. For this former DINK (dual income no kids) and now SIWK (single income with kids) family, we just can't justify these kind of expenses for our 6 month old! All the managers and teachers of these classes reassure you that the baby is really learning and absorbing a lot from the class, even if they're crying or sleeping the whole way through it. Well, of course they say that, they want your money! But to be fair, the classes really are pretty awesome for baby and mama, and I'm just bitter we can't take any...
So, what's a SAHM on a tight budget to do? Get some used toys and teach your own baby a fabulous musical foundation!! We got an awesome Parum Pum Pum Drum set off of the Bay Ridge Swappies group I started on Facebook. Just introduced it to him this morning but Kenzo is LOVING IT!!! It has a drum and 2 sticks, 2 egg shakers, a tambourine, bells, and a kind of maraca. I'm loving playing with it too! haha! Highly recommended! We also got one of those teeny 4-key pianos as a hand-me-down from my sister that Kenzo has been tinkering away on for weeks now. You can tell by the photos that my lil' one is destined for musical greatness ^_^
Justin Bieber eat your heart out. You've got nothing on this baby's musical chops!
Co-Sleeping for Sanity's Sake
What happened to my perfect little sleeper? He was "sleeping through the night" (6-ish hours) from about 8 weeks, and by 10 weeks he was sleeping 8-10 hours a night - straight - without waking up - without a peep - without even wetting his diaper! He went down for his naps awake and fell asleep quietly while sucking his thumb. Fast forward to 5.5 months when he started protesting naps with loud consolable hysterical screams until I would finally give up and forgo that nap. I started having to nurse him to sleep for every nap and nighttime sleep. Not a habit I wanted to get into, especially when he was so wonderfully self-soothing before! But alas, what was I to do? Now, at 6 months and some change, all of a sudden he is no longer sleeping through the night. For the past week he's been waking up every couple of hours. Seriously??? WTF DUDE!!!
This happened to one of my mama friends and turns out she was pregnant - something about the hormones and change in her breast milk effected her baby's sleep and hunger. But we've ruled this out (thank god!!), so then what is it? He's not in pain, he doesn't wake up screaming, but he wakes up sort of crying and I don't want hubby to be woken up and I don't want to fully wake up either, so for the past week we've pretty much resorted to the family bed. Kenzo wakes up and cries, he gets a boob, mommy and baby pass out within a few minutes. Repeat every couple of hours. Is this a short phase he's passing through? Some kind of "wonder week" or teething issue? Or has he mastered the skill of manipulation and has mom wrapped around his teeny tiny finger? Co-sleeping definitely lessens my quality of sleep to some degree because I can't flop about into any position - I keep him kinda close to me with my arm around him (protecting from hubby) and I feel like I'm not getting as deep a sleep as I should because I'm so aware of him being there. Hubby loves it though. Argh... the joys of parenthood continue!
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)