Archive for the ‘health’ Category

From yesterday:

Nothing says “Top o’ the mornin’!” like your four year old barfing in your doorway at 4 am. It was that kind of day here.

Luckily, Gideon was only sick the once and after a day of convalescing in front of the TV, he is quite recovered. I only hope the rest of us have escaped the germs.

The exciting incident also led me to scrub the floor, we have laminate in most of the house, from our bedroom to the bathroom. I figured while I was on my hands and knees I should finish the job and now I have clean floors. I hate cleaning the floors, but they do look nice.

It continues to be a zoo at my house. Who knew two large dogs and two boys had the ability to sound like the entire wild Africa section of the zoo? Sometimes, I think I live in the ape house. Not the monkey house, mind you, because monkeys have TAILS.

So here is wishing you a barf free week. May your floors be clean and your sleep uninterrupted.

p.s. We are now a barf free zone.


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I know it is Monday and this is not a recipe, but it is food related, so I am pleading artistic license.

Two things recently led me to change the way I pack Gideon’s lunch and how I prepare my own lunch for the day.

A couple weeks ago, I stopped midway through my afternoon and I realized my food intake since breakfast had been a peanut butter and jelly sandwich plus the crusts from Gideon’s pb and j. As a nursing mom, and a mom trying to loose my baby weight in a healthy way, not having time to eat more than pb and js and crusts is not wonderful. I needed a way to have a real lunch.

I went to Gideon’s meet the teacher before his school started and one of the things they stressed is that the kids be able to open all of their lunch containers themselves. We are very big into trash free lunches so I have a lot of small containers that I pack things into.  After some experimentation, I realized, Gideon was not able to open most of the small containers I was planning on sending to school with him.

I was looking around for alternatives to packing our lunches and I found bentos. Bentos are meals packed in a small box and are Japanese in origin. The food packed into the bento should be healthy, not fatty or too carb heavy. The boxes for the bentos are very small.

The size I bought for Gideon and I are 600ml. They are just small Sterilite plastic containers with locking lids. Your bento box should have the same number of ml as calories per meal you are supposed to eat. The box is packed very tightly. I also bought some regular and mini-muffin silicone cups to use as separators.

Here are some bentos I have made:

These bentos contain half a turkey sandwich, strawberries, pineapple, cucumbers, and a pickle. The one on the right is Gideon’s and his only has one cucumber. I pack mine a little tighter and fit a few more things into it. In this first photo, I had not found the silicone baking cups and I used foil baking cups as dividers.

This was a bento for me, though Gideon has gotten very similar ones. It has half a bagel with cream cheese, strawberries, cucumbers, a hard boiled egg, and green olives. When I pack an egg for Gideon, I quarter and salt it, which makes it easier for him to eat. In the picture above, you can see the red silicone baking cups.

One more example. My bento is on the left: half a bagel with cream cheese, clementine quarters, grapes, a hard boiled egg shaped like a car, and olives. Gideon’s, on the right, had less oranges and a pickle and cranberry coffee cake instead of the bagel. I wold not normally send something so desert-like but I was feeling generous and he really liked that cake. His egg is shaped like a fish. He informed me after this day that he preferred the quartered eggs to the shaped ones. The shaped eggs are cute, but you have to peel them while they are still hot and it is more work.

Overall, the bentos have been great. Gideon almost always eats all of his lunch, even the bread crusts. He likes that I put a couple olives and pickles in his lunch. That kid would live on those two things if we would let him. I eat lunches filled with healthy fruits and veggies and no longer find myself eating only a sandwich as I try to wrangle two toddlers through lunch time.

One of the benefits of the bento is that the food is usually finger food, so I can eat it in stages if I have to snatch bites between diaper changes and feeding the bairns.

There are a ton of bento websites, but here are the two that helped me get started:

Just Bento

Lunch in a Box

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Over the Smith family dinner tble we have a lot of interesting discussions, ranging from what we did that day to national and international news. Gideon participates, asking questions and adding quips. He usually interrupts the more boring conversations to him, the news, with requests to help him spell (sound out) words, his new favorite thing to do.

Last night, I was recounting Wash’s doctor’s appointment to Ries over dinner. Washington’s stats at 4 months are:

Weight: 16.03 lbs (60% percentile)
Length: 25.25 in. (50% percentile)
Head Circ.: 17.25 in (95.88% percentile).

We were laughing that the short, fat, large meloned babies the Miesmers are famous for definitely did not skip our boys as infants. I told Ries that the doctor said that his head was big because it has to “hold all those brains.” I added that Wash will be smart, just like his brother.

Gideon looked at me from across the table and said, “Now that’s a problem for you.”

I laughed and told him that indeed, it was going to be a problem for me. In fact, it already is most days.

Washington is progressing just like he should, babbling, laughing, grabbing things (and putting those things in his mouth), and doing push-ups during tummy time. He eats great and sleeps like a champ, going to bed around 9pm and waking up between 3:30 and 6am. That is a whole lotta sleep for this momma!

My boys keep me on my toes, with those big brain-filled melons, and I would not have it any other way.

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EEG Results

I just got off the phone with the nurse and she said Gideon’s EEG was all normal. She did not tell me that Gideon was an above average bear but I do not need a test to tell me that.

This morning I told him he needed to go find something to do. He told me, “I want to keg beer with Daddy.” I informed him that we did not have any beer to keg but that Daddy would be happy to know that he wanted to help.

Gideon has almost fully recovered from his bout with bronchitis. He is eating his normal amount of food and then some. It is beautiful, blue, and sunny outside. Today is blessed indeed.

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Because of his two febrile seizures, Gideon pediatrician wanted him to go in for an EEG. Though it is uncommon that febrile seizures cause or indicate something more serious, she wanted to be sure.

You have to be restful, i.e. still, for the procedure so they asked they we only let Gideon sleep about 6 hours last night. We were actually going to a neurologist who specializes in pediatrics so they have experience with kids. Still, my child is not a great sleeper and only letting him get 6 hours is no guarantee of a sleepy child.

As I predicted, 6 hours made him a bit delicate, but not sleepy.

Gideon was hooked up to a bunch of electrodes and then asked to lay still for 25 minutes. Amazingly, he did. We read a book about leprechauns that his Oma brought him from Ireland. They flashed a bright strobe light in his face a few times and they declared him done. The doctor came in and said Gideon was exceptionally behaved.


We will get the results back on Friday from our regular pediatrician. Thanks for everyone that has been concerned for him. We do appreciate all the prayers.

Gideon is still getting over bronchitis. He feels better, but you can still hear the mucus rumbling around. Ries said he sounds like a purring kitty. With the lack of sleep, even after a nap, Gideon is grumpy. He is still mad that sick time rules and behaviors do not fly anymore as well.

Mean, mean parents.

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Ries sent two breastfeeding articles to me yesterday and I thought I would pass them along here. Good maternal care, which this study says is directly related to breastfeeding success, should be important to every woman and everyone who knows a woman. In March, a study was published that brought light to the fact that the United States C-Section rate was up to 32%. Amnesty International puts us behind 40 other countries in terms of maternal care. When I heard this on the radio last month, they also said that the study found that the C-section rates for minority women were even higher.

The Childbirth Connection has a good explanation of why the C-Section continues to go up. I know this is an emotional issue for many. I am just passing along information. “And knowing is half the battle.”

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In honor of the recent Passover, I will describe our camping trip by listing the plagues that accompanied it.

  • Gnats: The first and most persistent plague was the flying and biting gnats.  They were EVERYWHERE and all the time.  And I don’t just mean a few, I mean hundreds flying all around your face.  Going in your eyes, your ears, your mouth.  I’m not sure what kind they were but I think there was a mix.  About 1 out of 100 of them would bite you.  Since there were about 200 or more around you at any given time it meant you were likely being bitten by about 2 gnats all the time.  Insect repellent had absolutely no effect on them whatsoever.  It is too bad about the bugs, because the weather was otherwise perfect.
  • Ants:  Gideon and Caleb Norwood were loving the outdoors.  The sites at the campsite were spacious and they loved running around and between (and away) from them.  During one of their initial tromp sessions, just after we get there, we hear Gideon saying “stomp on the hill.”  Michelle looks over to see Gideon then wiping at his legs.  He realizes that on the top of the “hill” that he was stomping on, was a big fire ant hill.  So, of course, Gideon got bitten all around his hands and legs by fire ants.  To his credit he didn’t even make a scream or a complaint about it.  He just went about his business.
  • Worts:  I don’t get worts, but it looks like I started to develop one, right at the tip of my ring finger.  Very annoying as any little scrape on the finger is [slightly] painful.  More annoyance than anything.  Figures that as I get home, it seems the wort is already going away.  Must have simply been part of the curse of the camping trip.
  • Seizures:  This was probably the big one.  At noon on Friday (had only been camping for 18 of the planned 44 hours) we were sitting at the picnic table getting ready to play a board game.  Gideon had awoken from a nap and was munching a little bit on food but mostly playing with game pieces.  From out of nowhere, he begins to fall off the picnic table bench.  I pick him up and he begins to have a seizure.  He did this when he had a cold a few months ago, so we knew what to do.  After the seizure was over we put him in the car and drove to hospital in Livingston, which was ~6 miles away.  When we got to the ER, we did realize that he was pretty hot so Michelle took off his shirt. to let him cool down.  They took his temperature (104° F), took some blood work (Gideon did not like that), and determined that it was a slight ear infection.  After an antibiotic drip and they got his fever down, we packed up camp and left.  We didn’t think it was wise to stick around with a sick kid and an impending storm.  Although it turned out the storm never came.  We made the hour trip to Michelle’s parent’s house instead of going home.  We were planning to go there the next day anyway.  The first seizure he had back in the winter was scarier because we had not experienced that before.  But the implications of this one is more worrisome.  I thought we could keep it under control if we just monitored his fever when he was sick.  But this time, we didn’t even know that Gideon was sick.  He didn’t act sick.  He was having a great time camping and his behavior was well within the norm.  He didn’t even mess with his ear.  This tells us that this is going to happen again and there is nothing we can do about it.
  • Poison Ivy:  This one, I’m not sure about yet.  I am highly allergic to poison ivy.  Michelle was concerned that there was poison ivy near our campsite but it didn’t look like it to me.  However, when we left the campsite we started to itch a lot.  Michelle’s are clearly the effect of those biting gnats.  The gnats played a role in my marks too.  But there are a few that look like they could be poison ivy.  If it is, then it is a minor case, but the jury is still out on this one.

After all that, I still wouldn’t say it was a bad camping trip.  Okay, it was probably the worst camping trip I have ever been on.  But it still wasn’t a bad time.  I don’t think.  It’s hard to tell these days.

–Ries, let my people go!

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