Tuesday, April 24, 2012

You're taking your baby where?

This is the response I get most of the time when I mention I've started taking Sadie to a chiropractor. I started doing a ton of research on home/alternative remedies for ear infections. Some of the things I ran into, didn't sound too fun to me. Can you imagine holding half of a warm onion under a baby's ear for 20 minutes? Sounds like lots of tears, both from the onion and frustration, to me! Or trying to put homemade garlic oil drops in a baby's ears? But one thing I kept running into over and over again was chiropractic care. Sometimes all a baby needs is a little adjustment to get his/her nervous system all in order and to allow the ears to drain properly.

As it happens one of our clients is a chiropractors office, so I emailed my contact over there (the wife of the owner and main chiropractor) and asked her what they thought about working on babies and helping with ear infections. She emailed me right back and said yes, that they love working on babies and have had great results with avoiding ear tubes! Fantastic, right? Right.

So, Sadie and I went in for a consultation last Wednesday. (Oh, and Robert was totally on board with this, which surprised me for some reason. Maybe he is just getting used to me googling the shit out of everything!) Anyways, last Wednesday. We had a bit of a long wait in the waiting room, which is typical for any afternoon doctors appointment, but Sadie and I kept occupied, mostly with her trying to crawl behind the receptionists desk and me chasing her out, which she thought was great fun of course. Once we were taken back, I was just asked some pretty typical questions about why we were there and all that. We were placed in the "family room" which had toys, books and puzzles while we waited just a little bit longer for the chiropractor.

I was a little nervous about the chiropractor being a man. Sadie is kind of going through a stranger danger phase right now, especially around men. The only man she is ever really around is her dad, it's women all day at day and if Robert has any friends over it's usually after she's gone to bed. I had no reason to be nervous though. The chiropractor came in and sat down with us while Sadie played and talked to me and told me his thoughts and experiences with ear infections and tubes. He has two kids, when the oldest started showing sign of ear infections he kept her adjusted and all was great, she never had infections never had to go on antibiotics etc. With his youngest, adjustments just weren't enough, he would still have fluid in his ears and infections. Instead of putting him on an antibiotic they went straight to tubes. So, I was happy to hear all that and that he wasn't all "oh, I can guarantee you wont need tubes, I don't believe in them".

After all of that talking I decided to go on and give it all a shot. If t works great, maybe we can avoid tubes and surgery, if not no big deal, we'll proceed with tubes if that's what Sadie's main doctor recommends at our next appointment.

By this time Sadie had warmed up a little so she let the chiropractor pick her up without flipping out. And then I swear all he did was hold her under her arms and jiggle her a little bit! But, I know he did more than that, that's just all it looked like to me! She was fine, no crying or anything like that. Next he had me go sit in the table and hold Sadie on my lap while he showed us this crazy tool:
It makes a popping noise when the top flat part is pushed down, but it doesn't really feel like anything. He put it on my hand a popped it a few times, in his hand and popped it, then finally in Sadie's hand. She was baffled! So he did it a few more times, she finally go to where she was holding her palm out for it! Once she was used to it, the chiropractor used it on each side of her neck under her ears. Finally he had me lay down on the table with Sadie on my chest and he rubbed her back some, I'm sure it was more than rubbing it, but that's all it seemed like to me!

We were sent home with instructions to come back two more times in the next week.

Sigh, here is where I run into my biggest issue with this path. My work isn't that flexible with me taking time off. Working though lunch to make up for an hour isn't generally allowed, and our time off is done in half day increments. Chiropractic care is a preventive medicine, and at the beginning it seems to require a lot of close visits in order to get everything aligned. Thankfully my boss has been pretty understanding so far with this and is allowing me to work though lunch as long as I am in the office by 9am or don't leave until 4pm. But if this is something I will have to do every week, that generosity might go away. So, for now, I'm planning on taking Sadie once a week for the next few weeks until her 15 month check up. At her 15 month check up we'll see how her ears are doing and evaluate from there.

So far I have not noticed any difference, other than the fact Sadie decided to walk. Haha, but I am not going to give credit for that to the chiropractor, at least not yet! We probably wont really know if it's been working until the 15 month check up since the chiropractor does not check her ears or anything like that. So, I'll keep yall posted on what happens over the next few weeks!


It's a crappy, blurry iPhone video, but it works right? I love Robert at the end of it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bay of Play

A few weekends ago we decided to take Sadie to Sea World for the first time. With any ticket purchase you can get in free for the rest of the year, so it's a pretty good deal considering we live so close. They are opening a waterpark called Aquatica in May so we went on an upped our season pass to include that for the hot summer months. I was a little worried Sadie would still be too young to get the most out of Sea World, but kids two and under are free, so it's not like we are really losing any money on her, plus it give us a fun family option for the weekends. Turns out Sadie had a blast, she loved Shamu! Honestly, I think she loved all the oohing and aahing the crowd does, and the clapping, but still counts!

The first thing we did was go see this Sesame Street 4D show. Sadie has only watched Sesame Street once, so it's not like she knows who the characters are, but we figured it would be a good show geared for younger kids.
Putting her 3D glasses on.
No, daddy, like this.
This show freaked Sadie out a little though. The 4D part was water shooting out of the seat back in front of you. Holy cow, you should of heard her scream the first time that happened! So needless to say Robert spent the rest of the show with Sadie in his lap and his hands covering the water (and wind) vents on the back of the seat in front of him.

Then we went and saw some alligators. We are, embarrassingly, big Swamp People fans over here, so this we pretty neat to see.
There were close to 20 alligators in this exhibit!
Sadie "ooohing" and yes, she did carry a purse almost the whole time.
Perhaps the best part of Sea World is the Bay of Play area they have. It's this whole Sesame Street themed play area. There are rides, a stage with shows, nets and tubes for climbing and crawling, splash pads, etc. We only ventured into one of the splash pads since it's specifically for tots under 3 and since Sadie isn't walking yet, we figured that was safer anyways. She was very unsure of it all to begin with, but I think seeing this other little boy running and SITTING on water geyser convinced her it was ok. I put together this fun little animated gif of her and Robert running though one:
Sorry for the kind of crappy quality, not sure if there is a better way to save it! Here are a few of my favorite shots from it:

 Here she is inspecting the geyser beforehand, she is obsessed with the faucet in the bathtub and trying to figure out where that water comes from, so I figured she'd love this!

Then Sadie and Robert stomped over to play under a waterfall.

Finally, it was time for the main event... SHAMU! Like I said, she did really good with Shamu. She loved clapping for him and pointing at the big screens. Whenever I was ask her "where's Shamu?" she'd cover her eyes and start playing peak-a-boo with me. Love that girl.
Mom, are we done yet? I'm tired.
Pointing at Shamu.
She passed out before we even got to the parking lot and slept the whole way home! We've only gone one other time so far, and that was for the night shows. It was perfect, we were there for about three hours, it was nice and cool, the sun was going down. I think that's our plan for future trips, either get there first thing when the park opens and leave about 1 or wait until about 6pm to go.

Anyways, take your toddlers to Sea World, they enjoy it and they are still to young to beg you to buy them stuff!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sadie vs The Milestones

When it comes to babies, milestone can rule a parents life, if you let them. I thankfully have never been too worried about milestones or percentiles or anything like that. Heck, half the time I would leave the doctors office after a check-up having no clue if Sadie was in the 25 or 75 percentile. I would make mental notes in my head when I would get the weekly baby emails saying "in the next few weeks baby might start doing so-and-so" so that I could kind of be on the look out for clues that Sadie was getting there and to help encourage her along the way. But I've never compared my child to another and wondered "well, why isn't Sadie doing that yet?" or "why isn't little Johnny doing that yet? Sadie was doing that weeks ago?"

I don't have an exact date for when Sadie smiled for the first time, or laughed, or rolled over, or sat up on her own. I'm sure I mentioned in my monthly recaps when she conquered one of those tasks, but I surely don't have a list on my fridge that I check off as we go.

I bet you're wondering where the heck I am going with this?

Here's the thing... Sadie isn't walking or talking yet. Now, before anyone starts thinking I have a mute baby lump that just sits on the floor, let me state that Sadie is 100% happy, mobile and can babble and screech with the best of them.

Let's talking about the walking first. When Sadie started crawling shortly after 6 months, I had a nagging feeling that she was going to be a late walker. From talking to people, reading on birth boards, etc, I started to see a a trend of early crawlers = late walkers and late crawlers = skip right into walking. Over the next 6 months Sadie becomes an expert crawler and furniture cruiser, she even started pushing the occasional laundry basket or chair around the house. But when Robert or I would try and hold her hands and walk she would take a few steps and then collapse to her knees and be on her merry-crawling-way.

Shortly after her first birthday she moved up to the next class at daycare. Those first few days were rough for her to say the least. Every single other kid her in class was walking, heck some were even running, all over Sadie. When I picked her up the second day they told me anytime they would sit her on the ground she would start crying because all the other kids would tower over her and if she started crawling one of her little hands would inevitably get tripped over. As terrible as this sounds, I was hoping this would be the little jump start she would need to get walking. And it was. Kind of. She started walking on her knees. She had done this a few times before, but nothing really consistent. Now, walking on her knees is her main mode of transportation. Crawling is still faster for her, so if there is something she wants she will still drop to all fours and gun it. I know the ladies at daycare walk with her all day and Robert and I walk with her all the time at home, we've gotten it down to where she holds on to one finger and she could walk for hours it seems. So, there is nothing wrong with her legs or anything like that, she can walk, she just needs some assistance.

Now, I am sure you're thinking, ok, big deal, my niece didn't walk until she was 16 months old. Sure, that might be the case, but I would hazard to guess your niece could talk a little or at least say "mama", "dada", "ball" etc. Again, from all my reading, googling and talking to it seems that kids tend to focus on either their fine motor skills (talking) or gross motor skills (walking). Remember from above, Sadie isn't doing either of those.

Well, shit.

Sadie has about 3 "sounds like words" she'll sometimes, every once in a while say, "dadadadadadada", "bababa" and "puh". I like to tell Robert she's asking for him whenever she goes on a "dadadada" kick, but that's generally because I'll be changing a nasty diaper when she starts it! Neither one of us really think she has made the connection between Robert and dada. "Bababa" is only when she gets really mad that I took her cup away, baba = cup = bottle, I'll give her this one. "Puh" is sometimes for puppy, sometimes while we're standing at the back door calling for the dogs to come in she'll say "puh puh" very softly. I always ask her "where are the puppies, Sadie?" Again, I'll give her "puh". "Mama"? No way, hasn't said it. I long for the say to hear her sweet little voice say "mama" it will be the best day ever, and we'll get there. At the same time Sadie is a babbler, she will sit there and have little conversations with herself and she has recently started waving her finger around directing Robert and I to do who knows what, but it's hilarious when we just sit there and she gets mad and loud!

The speech thing, I feel like might be a lot of my fault. I am a pretty quite person, so when Sadie was smaller and all the books were saying to talk though everything you are doing, I honestly felt kind of stupid doing it. I know I tried and I know I did talk to her a lot more than I normally would, so I try not to blame myself. But it's hard, I think as a mom you tend to take on a lot of self-imposed blame. At Sadie's last doctors appointment our doctor specifically said to repeat everything thing three time, "This is your cup. Do you want your cup? Here is your cup." and so on, so Robert and I have both been working on that a lot more. So, far I haven't seen much improvement but it hasn't been that long and I am sure her little brain wheels are turning as fast as they can!

Let me connect this post and my previous post together:
congestion = fluid in the ears = balance issues = walking independently issues
congestion = fluid in the ears = hearing issues = speech delays

Apparently all that congestion might be having more on an effect on Sadie than just making her a snot faucet.

At Sadie's last doctors appointment I borough all these issues up and asked if it could all tie back to the congestion and she agreed that there was a very strong possibility it could. We are in a wait and see mode now, to see if the new medicine kicks in and knocks the congestion out, or if we will be looking at tubes. Whatever happens, hopefully once the congestion is gone these will be two milestones I can quickly check off my list, you know the one I don't have on my fridge!

I did ask my doctor at what point do we start to worry about the not walking and not talking and she told me we would reassess everything at 18 months and if there was no progress then we would talk about a pedi-physical therapist, if she tried to send Sadie to one now, we would be laughed at. She didn't really say anything specific about the speech, so I assume 18 months too.

Y'all, 18 months is 4 months away. That's a long time! For now we are going to just keep trucking along, making Sadie walk as much as possible, talking more and naming everything more. And do our damn best to get this allergy issue under control. Allergies, I can handle all the snot you spew at me, but when you start messing with the way my baby develops that's when I get mean and will do whatever I can to get rid of the congestion you bring along with you.

(Next week I should have a post about one of the other things we are trying to get rid of the fluid and congestion while waiting to see if the new medicine kicks in!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sadie vs The Allergies

(This is so long, I honestly can't believe I spent almost a whole evening writing this, but I guess it's a huge topic in my life.)

I haven't touched much on Sadie and her allergy issue since her 4 month post (side note, I can not believe it's getting close to a year ago that I wrote that!), but I feel that this topic has been on my mind A LOT lately and is starting to warrant it's own post. So here it is, allergies, you hear that? You're getting your own whole post!

Let me back up and do a some history about what all has been going on. Before Easter last year (end of April) Sadie, at 2.5 months, had what I thought was a cold. Mostly just snot. Lots. Of. Snot. There was also a cough every once in a while and you could just the congestion in her little body. This "cold" continued through March and the beginning on June when we went in for Sadie's 4 month appointment. Now, I am sure there is someone out there saying what a horrible mother I am for not taking her in to the doctor sooner and just letting her suffer. Look, here's the deal, in all the reading I have done little kiddos going into a daycare setting will typically battle back-to-back colds for a few months as their immune system gets adjusted to all the germs around them. Plus, as far as I know, there is no approved cold medicine for a 3 month old. On top of all that, the snot and congestion never seemed to bother Sadie, she slept and ate fine, just with her mouth more open than most babies, she played fine and she was happy. So, yes, I waited until her 4 month appointment to get it checked out.

At her 4 month appointment her doctor said, that combined with some other symptoms, she was leaning towards allergies being the culprit of all the issues and prescribed an over the counter children's allergy medicine, Cetirizine, name brand, Zyrtec. It takes about 2 weeks for any antihistamine to show it's full benefits, and after two weeks we did see some improvement in the amount of snot and congestion, I didn't realize just how much of a improvement until about a month or so in when I forgot to give her a dose one morning, holy cow, snot faucet.

For the next 8 months we dosed Sadie every morning with her medicine, she became a champ at taking medicine and we clapped "yay, Sadie!" after every dose to keep it fun. I learned to keep Boogie Wipes (BEST THINGS EVER) in my purse and we bough stock in Kleenex, Little Noses and Nosefrida and became immune to the snot constantly coming out of our daughters nose. At every doctors appointment I would ask if we could up her medicine dose or if there was anything else she was old enough to try. The answer was always "no". At her 9 month appointment I finally broke down and asked "so when will she be old enough for something different?", you know, the questions I dreaded the answer to. Turns out it wasn't that bad, two years. At two years a whole slew of medications become available for allergies. I thought, ok, I can do that, it's been almost a year, what's one more, right? So, along we went with our finally upped dose of Cetirizine and a prescription for amoxicillin.

Wait, amoxicillin? What? Where did the amoxicillin come from? Turns out Sadie had a slight double ear infection at that 9 month appointment. According to the our doctor this was pretty good considering her ears constantly have fluid in them.

On to the big ONE YEAR appointment! Our doctor walks into the exam room carrying a box and says "how about we try something new?" Oh, thank you baby Jesus! What is it? Why are you just now offering this to me? Why did you not tell me 3 months ago there was something we could try at a year? Again, what they crap is it? Hell, I don't care, is it going to make my Sadiekins better? Turns out the new medicine is Singulair. My next question was do we stop the Cetirizine now that we are trying this? No. Singulair is a leukotriene blocker and Cetirizine is a histamine blocker, two totally different things. So, along we went with our new prescription for Singulair, steroid cream prescription (for her eczema, maybe I'll talk about that next), instructions to keep up with the Cetirizine and prescription for amoxicillin.

Wait, amoxicillin? Again? Yup. Our doctor said Sadie's ears were looking pretty red and along with the green goop coming from her eyes she felt comfortable going on and prescribing the antibiotic to nip any infection in the bud.

Less than 10 days latter we landed in the Emergency Room with Sadie running over a 103ยบ fever.

Yeah, that was a fun day. Sadie's daycare calls me at 4:30 saying she is running a 102.7 fever and that I need to come get her. The fever had gone up from 102.1 in 30 minutes. So, I call my doctor and ask what to do. At this point it's too late to get her to see the doctor before they close at 5. So, my choices are take her home, get her Tylenol and take her to the doctor in the morning or head to the Emergency Room. Normally I am an under-reactor mom vs an over-reactor mom and everything in me said just to take her home, especially when I got to the daycare and she was bouncing around happy and playing. But, dude, SHE WAS ON AN ANTIBIOTIC, there was no reason she should of been running that high of a fever while on an antibiotic. So, off to the Emergency Room we went.

At the Emergency Room they got some Motrin in her and had us strip her down to her diaper. Once we finally so a doctor her fever was down to the 101's and it was determined that she had a raging double ear infection. So, along we went with a prescription for different, stronger antibiotic.

Two weeks later, I took Sadie into our doctor to get her ears checked out to make sure the infection was all knocked out. Yeah, no. Our doctor prescribed a Z-Pak for Sadie, yeah, Z-Pak, strong stuff. She left us with the warning that if this didn't knock the infection out we were looking at the possibility of getting ear tubes put in asap, that an infection this bad and this long, on top of all the fluid that's always in Sadie's ears could start doing bad things.

All along we're giving Sadie her daily dose of Singulair and I started noticing I couldn't hear her breathing through the monitor as easily at night, and her daycare teachers notices the same thing at nap time. We still had the snot though. But, hell, if my baby can breath without struggling anymore, I'll take the snot! Then one weekend I noticed it was Sunday afternoon and I had only wiped Sadie's nose ONCE the whole weekend! Hallelujah! She's cured! Right?

Two weeks after the Z-Pack prescription I take Sadie in to the doctor, just to check and make sure the infection is finally gone or start talking tubes. Again, hallelujah, the infection is gone! Why not push things a little right? I ask if we can try taking her off the Cetirizine since she seems to be doing SO GOOD. Our doctor says, yes, but with the reminder that the Cetirizine and Singulair battle different things. Saturday morning I skip the Cetirizine. Saturday night the snot faucet is back. Damn.

That was a little over two weeks ago, and we still have snot faucet. I kept hoping that skipping that one dose was all that it was and once she got the Cetirizine back in her system she'd be fine. No such luck.

A little over a week ago Sadie started in with a cough and then green eye goop along with swollen, puffy eyes. Lots of googling lead me to believe it was just a cold, but colds often lead to ear infections. And I am super paranoid at this point, so I took Sadie into the doctor on Good Friday. Thankfully the ear infection is not back, yet, but her hears are looking red. So, along we went with a prescription allergy medicine, Levocetirizine, brand name Zxyal. From my understanding this is basically a stronger version of the Cetirizine, hence it being prescription based. 

(Pretty sure we have been in the doctors office more since Sadie turned 1 than we were her entire first year, it sucks.)

Now, we wait. Like I said above, it takes about 2 weeks for antihistamines to show a full, if any, benefit. Our doctor said if in 2 weeks her ears are still red and fluid filled it would be time to talk to an ENT. I have a few more homeopathic things I am going to try and try during these few weeks, but I am not quite ready to talk about those yet. Gotta get Robert on board first!

Note, I have NOTHING against ear tubes, in fact everyone that I know that either they or their children had/has tubes has said nothing but good things about them. So, if it comes down to tubes, Sadie will get tubes. But in the mean time if there are some less invasive things, without getting too hippy crazy,  I can try first, sign me up.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bluebonnets 2012

Y'all, the bluebonnets are fantastic this year! Well, maybe "were" is a better term as they seem to be slowing going away.  Last year was a bad year for them so we didn't even try and get any baby, baby Sadie pictures in them, but this year with all the rain we've had, they are stellar! I made Robert drive Sadie and I around late one Saturday afternoon looking for the perfect spot to take some photos. Sadly, I waited almost too late in the afternoon and almost had a very cranky Sadie on my hands, not to mention she is not a huge fan of sitting in the grass. We ended up just stopping at a roadside information place and had to wait a little for our turn. Nevertheless, I think I got some great shots, take a look and let me know what you think:


I took the above ones while waiting for our turn!

Daddy and Sadie explored (and practiced walking!) while waiting.

 Finally! A small smile.

Happy Spring from the Texas Hill Country!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The first haircut!

A few weeks ago I decided I had enough with Sadie's hair always being either in her eyes:

or up in a stand up straight ponytail:

or pigtails:
Although, it's hard to deny how cute all of these styles were!

I wasn't really sure were I wanted to take her to get the first big haircut. There are no "kids" places in New Braunfels but I wasn't really sure about taking her to an "adult" salon either. In the end we decided on a kids place in San Antonio called "Pigtails and Crewcuts". Actually, we first stopped at this other kids hair salon, but neither of us were impressed with the quality of the space OR the workers, not to mention it was overwhelming with different movies and video game noises going on, so we bailed. And I am so glad we did. Pigtails and Crewcuts was awesome! The employees were super nice, the space was very clean and well lit. The facility was divided up into a few different spaces, one for smaller kids like Sadie where the seats were airplanes, cars etc and another for older kids with regular salon chairs with attached booster seats. They also had a party room type place where they host "spa" parties and the like.

Anyways, on to the photos! That's what everyone is here for anyways, right?
My crazy haired girl, after her ponytail was taken out.
HATES getting squirted with the water bottle
See? Hates.
Momma? What's going on?

Getting ready for the first cut!

HEY! That's my hair, what are you doing with it?

They actually have a whole "1st haircut package" that includes a lock of hair in a little baggie, a photo they take and print there all in a little paper photo holder with the date and everything. 
What's she doing back there?
I can seeeeee!
This is fun!
Here are some more iphone after shots:
Rocking some cute bangs now!
At Sea World a few weeks later!
Clapping for her new hair (actually clapping for Shamu, but hey it works!)
I have to say I REALLY feel like I have a toddler and not a baby now with the haircut. Makes me a little sad, you think it's too late to glue the hair back on??