Archive for June, 2011

June 30, 2011

Baby Knows Best

Our family has been out of commission this week with what turned out to be a completely draining and thoroughly methodical stomach bug.  (Hence the lack of blogging yesterday; Monday’s and Tuesday’s posts came to you via WordPress’s scheduling feature.)  It hit me first, and just as I recovered, John went down; just as he was on the mend, Jacob took a turn for the worse.  Thankfully we’re all back to 100% now, and as with any parenting experience, I was amazed and enlightened by a couple of things along the way.


The first is the kindness and generosity of my parents.  Thank goodness they live so close, and thank goodness this thing struck the week after my teacher-mom finished her school year.  When I called to tell her I was sick and to ask if she could come help with Jacob when John went back to work on Monday (or not), she and my dad instantly got in the car and she was ringing the bell before I knew it.  Sometimes even a mommy needs her mommy.


For two days, she took care of whomever was sick; kept whomever was not, well fed (and bathed, in Jacob’s case); kept our apartment clean; and with the help of what must be a superhuman immune system, didn’t get sick along the way.  I’ve always known my mom is an incredible woman, and I’m beyond grateful for how she helped us this week.  She didn’t flinch when another one of us bit the dust, and she did it all with so much love for her “babies,” as she calls us.  Once a mom, always a mom.


The other amazing thing was how Jacob led the way in caring for him when the bug bit him.  The day he got sick, he didn’t really want breakfast or lunch, and he took an extra long nap in between.  When he did get sick, we looked back and saw these were warning signs.  After he was sick, we were hesitant to give him anything other than water or Pedialyte to drink—according to doctor’s, nay nurse’s orders—but in the afternoon he seemed ready for some milk and sleep.  We followed his lead, I nursed him, he fell asleep, and he slept as he normally does until morning.  The next day, he led the way with what he wanted to eat again, nursing more than was normal, but I believe, getting everything he needed to recover.


As an aside, I wonder when we lose this certain sense of what we need.  John and I struggled to figure out when we should try some Gatorade, when we were ready for something more than soup, and so on. Thank goodness Jacob knew what he needed, because we had trouble determining what we needed for ourselves!


And finally, I don’t know if the antibodies from my milk were really that strong, or if Jacob inherited his grandmother’s immune system, but he handled the whole thing like a champ.  Besides about two hours the day he was sick, he spent the whole three days of apartment-turned-infirmary all over the place, like normal, giggling his head off.  He capitalized on the opportunity to play with Grandma, and he kicked the virus way before John and I did.


I’ve never been in the driver’s seat during a family sickness before—and I wasn’t entirely alone this time, of course.  I definitely learned how to keep my cool by following my mom’s, John’s, and even Jacob’s example.  I can only hope that I keep these things in mind next time around. . . . And that next time is a long, long way away!

June 28, 2011


When Jacob started to smile, I didn’t think I’d ever want his teeth to come in.  I knew he’d need them as an adult, but that gummy smile was just too sweet to change!



The teething process has seemed both gradual and all of a sudden.  It messed with his sleep patterns a bit, but generally he’s handling it like a champ.  Now the slivers of white along his gums have come in as seven(ish) sharp teeth!


Every day I look at them, and every day I smile.  Those teeth are just as sweet as those little gums.  Maybe even sweeter, because they mean our baby is becoming a little boy.

Being a parent means living a life of constant change.  And I wouldn’t change that for anything.

June 27, 2011

A Real Detective Lesson

I’ve posted recently about lessons we’ve learned while traveling with our little man.  I intend for this blog to be equal parts humorous and helpful, and those more facetious posts were certainly on the humorous side.  Today I have something to share that I hope will be helpful.  Well, I hope none of you fine readers ends up needing this information, but if you need it, here it is.


When we were down the shore (that’s “at the beach” in New Jerseyan), Jacob had two mysterious flare-ups that sent hives up and down his body.  His airways were clear—thank God—but his face wasn’t pretty.  Eventually, we figured out that the culprit was a bag of “baby-friendly” berry-flavored yogurt melts.  With the help of a call to our pediatrician in New York, we managed to get the reaction under control with baths, cortisone, and the all-important children’s Benadryl.


The lesson we learned came when I took Jacob to the doctor for his nine-month check-up the next week.  Thankfully, John had the foresight to take a photo of Jacob’s face when the reaction was in action, and I brought that and the bag of melts to the doctor’s office.  She read every word of the bag and took a good look at the photo before giving me her advice—which was to go to an allergist, and be sure to bring the same things along. There isn’t really a way to tell if the problem is the berries or the dairy, from the evidence we had.  Rather than risking another reaction by testing him on cheese or yogurt at home, we’re going to do more professional testing, and both John and I feel good about it.


Allergies are a tricky thing, and I’ve been told that finding the allergen is often like playing detective:  you just have to pay close attention and record what you observe.  That seemed overwhelming to me the first time I heard it, but I think John and I made some good decisions in the moment, and hopefully we’re one step closer to figuring out what upsets our little man’s system.


While I’m certainly not excited about the distress Jacob’s been through—he just looks so sad when he’s so itchy!—I do feel like we had a parent victory through this experience.  Go, parents!

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