Think About It Thursday- Spicing Things Up (and I’m Not Talking About In The Kitchen!)

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I have been with my husband for ten years (married for almost four). Now with four little ones you can bet it’s hard to truly have an intimate moment and to focus on our sex lives not to mention to find the time or energy.

In this edition of “Think About It Thursday” we’ll cover ways to spice things up, fun date night ideas and some fun resources you can use.

This first part is by far easier said than done. Make your relationship with your spouse TOP PRIORITY!  My worst fear in my marriage is that I’ll have put so much energy into my children that when they grow up and move out, my husband and I will look at one another and realize we don’t know the person standing in front of us. Not to mention a happy marriage means happy parents and happy parents means happy kids.

Also make time to make yourself feel good. A long bath, trip to the hair salon or for you men a clean shave at the barbers. If you don’t make time to make yourself feel good, you’re going to be less likely to be enthusiastic about making your spouse feel good.

Stroke his….ego (c’mon people, clean it up)! Give your significant other a compliment, small token of appreciation or even a simple thank you can go a long way. Now fellas this goes for you two, especially if your wife is at home all day with the kids, let her know that you see and appreciate all that she does.

Allow yourself to be in the mood. I understand that bad days happen, we all have outside issues that stress us out. Let all of that negativity slip into the background for a while and truly be in the moment with your spouse.

Continue to flirt with each other. A glance across the room or a saucy text, flirt like your still courting the other person.

All of the above mentioned are great ways to “connect” and liven things up in your relationship. Some other great ways include:

  • Unplug, leave the phone and computers alone.
  • Say ‘I love you’ often
  • Work out together
  • Schedule date nights (even if it is at home)

English: A young woman and man embracing while...

Now date nights are something my husband and I *RARELY* get but when we do, we have some ground rules. Kid talk is kept to an absolute minimum and we “unplug”. That time is meant for us to be together and enjoy each others company. I’ve scoured the internet for some fun and unique date night ideas. Some that I’ve found are:

  • Hiking
  • Roller skating
  • Bowling
  • Farmers Market
  • County Fairs
  • Amateur Comedy Shows (laughing is a great aphrodisiac)
  • Dance Classes
  • Cooking Classes

Dates can be spent indoors as well. Turn your bathroom into a spa complete with candlelight, music and good smells or turn your living room into a themed movie room (after the kids are asleep of course). No kids but don’t want to really go out? Spend some time cooking a new meal together. These are just few for you to start off with. There is an awesome website I found called The Date Night Jar with tons of different and unique date ideas.

To help you all get some special time with your loved one, I’m providing one reader with a $25 gift card. Either to Eden Fantasys or a $25.00 giftcard to Restaurant.com. How do you enter to win? Simply tell me how you met your significant other, the story that tugs at my heartstrings the most, wins! Winner will be announced Thursday and of course they get to choose which prize they would like. Now this giveaway is NOT sponsored by Eden Fantasys or Restaurant.com, this is coming out of my own pocket and the kindness of my heart, that’s right cause I love y’all! Now go forth and tell me your “How We Met” stories!!! This contest will run for one week.

-Lauren

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Getting Baby to Latch

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It is still Breastfeeding Awareness Month so in this installment of “Think About It Thursday” we’ll talk about getting baby to latch.

One of the most important factors in nursing your little bundle of joy is ‘the latch’.  Whether or not Mom and baby successfully get down the latch can often make or break their breastfeeding relationship. I took the following explanation on how to establish a good latch from Womenshealth.gov.

    • Hold your baby, wearing only a diaper, against your bare chest. Hold the baby upright with his or her head under your chin. Your baby will be comfortable in that cozy valley between your breasts. You can ask your partner or a nurse to place a blanket across your baby’s back and bring your bedcovers over you both. Your skin temperature will rise to warm your baby.

    • Support his or her neck and shoulders with one hand and hips with the other. He or she may move in an effort to find your breast.

    • Your baby’s head should be tilted back slightly to make it easy to suck and swallow. With his or her head back and mouth open, the tongue is naturally down and ready for the breast to go on top of it.

    • Allow your breast to hang naturally. When your baby feels it with his or her cheek, he or she may open his or her mouth wide and reach it up and over the nipple. You can also guide the baby to latch on as you see in the illustrations below.

    • At first, your baby’s nose will be lined up opposite your nipple. As his or her chin presses into your breast, his or her wide, open mouth will get a large mouthful of breast for a deep latch. Keep in mind that your baby can breathe at the breast. The nostrils flare to allow air in.

    • Do not put your hands on your baby’s head. As it tilts back, support your baby’s upper back and shoulders with the palm of your hand and pull your baby in close.

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Be patient Momma, it can take many attempts for a newborn to learn how to properly latch. There are many ways to tell if your baby is latched properly.

  • It should feel comfortable with no pain. Often times how the latch feels is more important than how it looks.
  • Your baby’s chest should be against your body and she should not have to turn her head while drinking.
  • You see little or no areola depending on the size of your areola and the size of your baby’s mouth. If areola is showing, you will see more above your baby’s lip and less below.
  • When your baby is positioned well, his or her mouth will be filled with breast.
  • The tongue will be cupped under the breast, although you might not see it.
  • You can hear or see your baby swallow. Some babies swallow so quietly, a pause in their breathing may be the only sign of swallowing.
  • You see the baby’s ears “wiggle” slightly.
  • Your baby’s lips turn out like fish lips, not in. You may not even be able to see the bottom lip.
  • Your baby’s chin touches your breast.

Once you and your baby master the latch your breastfeeding relationship should continue without a hitch!
-Lauren

World Breastfeeding Week 2013

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Today marks the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week. The focus of this years campaign is peer counseling and supporting Breastfeeding women.

A lot of times instead of being met with support and acceptance, BFing moms are discouraged about their choice.

The objectives for this year’s campaign are as follows:
1. To draw attention to the importance of Peer Support in helping mothers to establish and sustain breastfeeding.
2. To inform people of the highly effective benefits of Peer Counselling, and unite efforts to expand peer counselling programmes.
3. To encourage breastfeeding supporters, regardless of thei r educat ional background, to step forward and be trained to support mothers and babies.
4. To identify local community support contacts for breastfeeding mothers, that women can go to for help and support after giving birth.
5. To call on governments and maternity facilities globally to actively implement the Ten Steps, in particular Step 10, to improve duration and rates of exclusive breastfeeding.

This week I will have various Breastfeeding related posts as well as a few giveaways. We’ll cover why breastfeeding is so invaluable, Common Breastfeeding Complications, Proper Latching and Holds, The whole nursing in public debacle, We’ll have an interview with a Lactation Consultant and we’ll even have a Beautiful Breastfed Baby photo contest.

I am super excited about our sponsored giveaway from Unravel Me. She will give one lucky Momma a Booby Beanie!!! I will also have other items up for grabs as well.

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This week will be slightly different as I won’t be doing all of my regular daily themes. So stay tuned, perhaps learn something new and participate in all the fun!

-Lauren

Think About It Thursday-Baby’s First Dental Appointment and Tooth Care

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Adult and "Baby" teeth diagram. Note...

Adult and “Baby” teeth diagram. Note the non-standard Dental notation (numbering) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My little guy has four teeth as of yet and is working on his fifth. Recently my oldest three had dentist appointments and when trying to schedule my youngest, I was told they didn’t see them that young. This got me to thinking that even if your local dentist doesn’t see children younger than two, dental care is very important for little ones.

In this installment of “Think About It Thursday” I’ll go over first teeth, cleaning and care and also a few tips to keep baby’s teeth healthy.

Underneath your baby’s gums are 20 primary teeth and taking good care of them AND the gums are so important to help the 32 permanent teeth he/she will have after those little ones fall out.

The time period that your baby’s first teeth will emerge varies from baby to baby but are average anytime from 6 to 12 months. And babys first dentist trip should be at least six months after the first tooth erupts.

Brushing (even before those sharp little teeth break out) is important and our should wipe the gums after each feeding. You can use a soft, wet washcloth or a finger brush with a pea sized drop of swallow safe toothpaste.It is recommended that you use swallow safe toothpaste until your child is 2-3 years of age an then you can introduce fluoride.

I’m sure we’ve all heard it a thousand times that putting your little ones to bed with a sippy or bottle is the number one cause of tooth decay, well it’s true! And I know that these teeth are going to fall out eventually but taking care of your LOs primary teeth are vital to the health of those previously mentioned permanent teeth. Also the type of nipple you are using can have an effect on your baby’s jaw growth, swallowing patterns and development of muscles.

Here are some helpful tips for caring for those precious gums and teeth:

  • Use a pacifier between meals or at a night instead of a bottle or sippy
  • If you can avoid sugary drinks or limit them at least. I know as a parent this one can be hard, if you can’t avoid them and don’t have your child’s toothbrush available just have them rinse their mouth out with a little bit of water.
  • Also, one should never brush their teeth after ingesting anything with an acidic base, or even vomiting. Your teeth go through an acid attack for twenty minutes after being exposed, and toothpaste acts as an abrasive and can damage enamel more so. Rinsing with water is recommended, and also ingesting soda or acidic beverages as quickly as possible.
  • Make sure your LO is getting enough calcium to ensure that they have healthy gums and healthy jaw bones.

The color of your little ones teeth can tell you a lot about what is going on in his/her mouth. The normal color of baby teeth is an ivory to an off white color. Any discoloration could be from a number of reasons including:

  • inadequate brushing
  • medication
  • injury: which leaves the teeth a pink or greyish color.
  • too much flouride: white spots or streaks on the teeth
  • jaundice: leaving a green tint
  • weak enamel
  • serious illness such as a newborn infection, newborn hepatitis or certain kinds of heart disease.

I don’t know how many times I have seen little kids with silver teeth and I know that there are some situations that are just absolutely unavoidable, but there are also those times where there is an obvious lack of hygiene. Educating parents is the first step in teaching children proper dental care and hopefully in this post you’ve learned something new. I know I did.

Sources:

 https://www.ada.org/sections/scienceAndResearch/pdfs/patient_11.pdf

Also information in this post was discussed with: Andrea Rathke Lead EDDA, CDA

-Lauren 

Input Needed!

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I am working on a Think About It Thursday post about spicing up your marriage after kids. I will be sponsoring a giveaway for this post and am curious to see what y’all would prefer:

-Giftcard to an adult themed store
-Giftcard towards a dinner or movie

Let me know what you all would like to see up for grabs in the comments. 🙂

-Lauren

Think About It Thursday- Just A Little Potty Talk

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My daughter is going to be three in November and she FINALLY seems interested in using the potty (just like a Mom to using the word ‘potty’ when talking to adults). My two oldest are out of town this week so I’ve decided there’s no time like the present. I guess you could say that I’m writing this post just as much for myself as I am for you all.

In this post we’ll cover tips on how to tell if your LO is ready, how to go about it and what to do WHEN there’s an accident. Many littles will show an interest in using the toilet by age 2 but some may not until ages 2 1/2 or older. There are some tell tale signs that he or she may be ready such as:

  • She is interested in the toilet and wearing underwear.
  • He can follow and understand basic instructions.
  • Your Little one has his or her own signs that they need to go (squatting,   hiding etc)
  • She stays dry for two or more hours in the day.
  • He doesn’t like to have a soiled diaper and will ask to be changed.
  • She can pull her pants up and down independently.

If you answered yes to most of the questions above then full speed ahead! If not, you may want to put those underoos back in the drawer. If you decide that it is time to push forward with getting your little one out of diapers here are some general guidelines on how to get started:

  • Don’t start potty training right before or right after a major life change such as moving or a new baby
  • Set his or her potty chair out in the open (well kind of) to get him used to seeing it.
  • Schedule potty times. With my oldest son, I would take him every thirty minutes to try. With boys you may want to start him off sitting to urinate and gradually move to standing. Even if he or she doesn’t go when they are sitting on the potty, always offer praise for trying.
  • Get them to the potty as quickly as you can. As soon as you see their “signs”, take and sit them on the potty. Always teach little girls to carefully wipe from front to back as to keep bacteria from the rectum out of the vagina.
  • Offer your little one an incentive for going. Whether it be a sticker on a sticker chart or I’ve even heard of parents using M&Ms.
  • Don’t give yourself the option of backing out, get rid of the diapers!!!
  • Sleep can be challenging when your little one starts using the restroom. You can use a disposable bed mat (or reusable, but with my kids I found that the washable ones made them very hot while they were sleeping) or invest in nighttime training pants.
  • Know when to back off. If it has been more than two weeks and your little guy or girl is still hesitant to go, maybe it’s best to give them some more time.

Ok now take a deep breath, accidents are going to happen. You can try to stop them before they happen by reminding your little one to use the restroom often. WHEN an accident does happen (and it will) just stay calm. It is embarrassing enough to mess on yourself (little ones get embarrassed too) without having someone scold or down talk you as well. Also be prepared, I can’t stress enough that little kids in “training” will have accidents. Always be sure to carry wipes and a change of clothes for them to change into.

Here I am really tap, tap, tapping away like I really know what I’m talking about when my daughter (first time in undies today) walks into the room with a mystery substance on her hand….definitely an “Is it poop or chocolate?” moment (Baby Mama Movie reference). Ugh, it’s poop. Off to the bath tub and to sanitize ANYTHING she may have touched. 😦 Thanks for reading!

-Lauren

Think About It Thursday- Hip Dysplasia

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My five year old, Dylon, was recently diagnosed with Bilateral Developmental Dysplasia of the Hips. He has to be monitored for the next two years and if his hips don’t “fix themselves” (I’m a little skeptical about that statement) he will require surgery.In this “installment” of Think About It Thursday I’ll fill you in on what Hip Dysplasia is, it’s causes, diagnosis, treatment and some resources for those with Dysplasia.

Hip Dysplasia is a condition in which one or both hips are unstable, loose or dislocated. There are different terms that a doctor may use depending on the severity and time of development.

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Different levels of Hip Dysplasia from left to right: Normal, Subluxation, Low Dislocation, High Dislocation

Although Hip Dysplasia is often diagnosed at routine newborn/infant screenings, it is not always discovered that early on. Many parents (like myself) do not recognize the symptoms which may include:

Swayback is one of many possible signs of hip dysplasia

Note the strong curve in the back.

*Asymmetry- asymmetrical thigh creases may indicate DDH.
*Hip Click
*Limited range of motion
*Pain
*Swayback

What causes is Hip Dysplasia exactly is unknown but it is speculated that improper swaddling techniques and forward facing baby carriers that position the baby’s hips in an unnatural position are contributing factors. As is heredity and development.

If you suspect that your child may have Hip Dysplasia a trip to an Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon would be your next move. He/She can diagnose Hip Dysplasia through a physical examination, ultrasound or X-Ray. If test results show your child has Hip Dysplasia, there are a few methods for treating hip Dysplasia such as:
*Pavlik Harness(pictured)
*Open reduction
*Closed reduction

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Pavlik Harness

Dylons’ dysplasia is bilateral meaning that both hips are affected. We originally took him into the doctor because his hips popped and clicked and done so since birth. He was always a very fussy baby and would rub his feet together when he was upset. The orthopedic surgeon gave him a physical examination and a X-Ray. When he looked at the X-ray he said that the popping was not Dylons’ main issue. Instantly my heart sank and I asked what was. He told us about the dysplasia and about the monitoring and surgery. This was quite a surprising diagnosis for me because he was always so active, but now looking back I can see a lot of indicators. He would always complain of leg and knee pain after heavy play, which I always connected as growing pains.

When we got home, I instantly began Googling (a worried moms worst enemy) and found some great information and resources. A great and informative website is The International Hip Dysplasia Institute, they have a wealth of information, resources and support groups for parents or those who are interested in helping.  I also discovered that Larry the Cable Guy has a charity in which he raises funds for various causes including Hip Dysplasia called The Git-R-Done Foundation . There is also a fantastic book out for kids called Hope the Hippo.

Thank you for reading and I will definitely be keeping you all up to date on his journey as we take it. 🙂

Source: The International Hip Dysplasia Institute