Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sick Baby, Striking Baby & ibuprofen vs. acetaminophen (paracetomal)

The other week Peanut came down with her first real fever and illness. It started out as a small cold like the one her mama had. Until now, I think the fact that I've been nursing her has helped her overcome other sniffly bouts. This time she went on to get a case of diaherrea and a fever.

I called the nurse to see when it was serious enough to come see the doctor.

She advised me to:
1. Give Peanut some Pedialyte to keep her from dehydrating. We'd know she was dehydrated if no tears appeared when she cried or when you put your finger in her mouth and it was not moist.
2. Keep nursing her, but avoid all other dairy (is breastmilk really dairy?!) - and I should as well
3. Feed her the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) until her stomach settles down
4. Give Peanut something to bring down her fever. Our ped provides a dosing chart after every weigh in, but here's one.
5. Call if the temp goes above 105F

Peanut herself was a little trooper. She kept marching around the house with her flushed red cheeks in a diaper and t-shirt. She was sleeping and eating just fine - and suddenly really loved the baby rice cereal she rejected back at 6 mos.

Unfortunately she decided this was the time for her to take a nursing strike! It was her first strike and the timing worried me. She just simply was not interested in milk. She'd sip a bit and then turn around to do anything else. I managed to sneak in an evening milk-down when she was sleepy and then also fed her at night when she woke up (I usually don't feed her at night). It went on for a day or two and then she was suddenly back to normal!

We had paracetamol suppositories from Finland with us, but when we saw that liquid Infant Tylenot was available we went for that since it would be easier to administer (for all of us!).

Paracetamol (which in some countries is called acetaminophen according to ONE website I found -- so whether its true or not - ??) has been safely used for many years to help with mild to moderate pain and fever for babies, young children, older children and adults. But if too much paracetamol is given to a child, especially a sick child, for too long, it can harm the child.

Ibuprofen is a newer drug than paracetamol, but it has also been used for fever and mild to moderate pain in children and adults for some years. It is not suitable for children under 6 months of age.

Paracetamol and ibuprofen do not treat the cause of the pain or fever. Any baby or child who is unwell, or in moderate to severe pain should be seen by a doctor to find out what the cause is.

Ibuprofen does not appear to be more effective than paracetamol, and ibuprofen should not be given at the same time as paracetamol.

Baby care around the world

There are so many different ways to care for children. I thought it was fun to scope out some of the baby sites around the world to see what they feed their kids, how they help them sleep, what they do when baby is sick, what babies wear, nursery rhymes, celebrations, etc:

Babetitude Store

India Parenting
Indian Child

The Netherlands - an important place for me since Peanut's papa is Dutch:
A "living with peanut" for those in the Netherlands!
Top Dutch baby names

Having a baby in Japan

South African music for baby

Gourmet Baby Food?

Now that our lives have settled down somewhat, I decided to make some baby food for Peanut at home.

Confession: I'm not a natural cook. I always look at the recipe. And, it doesn't always turn out.

So, I figured I needed some help or Peanut would end up eating sweet potato puree every meal, everyday.

At Barnes&Noble, I didn't find too many baby cookbooks. One that caught my eye because of the fun pictures (especially the little snail shaped chicken patties) was Annabel Karmel's First Meals.

I was impressed with the ease of the dishes; Peanut was, however, not impressed with the taste. Initially at least. She wanted the jar food - not the fresh food made carefully and with love by mama. I was a bit hurt. But, I kept at it and now Peanut happily gulps down the meals.

What was an extra bonus is that Annabel Karmel is a Cordon Bleu chef! Not that I think Peanut needs gourmet baby food, but it sure makes the leftovers tasty enough for me to enjoy :-) On more than one occasion when I've cooked up a big batch for Peanut, I take a serving out for myself and savor a delicious lunch (for a change!).

I make about two dishes of 6 servings each at a time and freeze portions. For the freezer, I found Rubbermaid's Take Along 4 oz containers the ideal size. Courtesy of our local Wal-Mart.

Ms. Karmel also has an informative website chock full of nutritional advice for pregnant and breastfeeding moms as well as babies and children. AND RECIPES!!

I mean, look at this recipe of the week photo...what fun!

We just discovered a great farmer's market to supply the ingredients. Sprouts is a chain spreading out from Arizona. The location in Flower Mound is very convenient. Its an indoor store like your local grocery store, but favors buying produce from local farmers and offers a wide selection of organic products. Not everything is organic, but you'll find all the basics. Plus, the bakery has some fantastic breads!

Friday, January 13, 2006

A play for babies opens in Sweden

Ever cutting-edge and avant garde, a new play opened in Sweden recently -the target audience? Babies.

On one hand, babies love to be entertained - this just takes those silly mama and papa antics to a whole new philosophical level....

Youthful audience finds new play is kids' stuff

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The audience for a new play at Stockholm's City Theater was getting restive only half an hour into the dress rehearsal. One had crawled stage left. Two others were being discreetly breast fed.

Not that the actors were fazed by the audience's antics. The play is aimed at babies 6 to 12 months old.

"Baby Drama," which opened this week and is already sold out, was written by psychoanalyst Ann-Sofie Barany and directed by Suzanne Osten, renowned for her work in children's theater.

"Babies are the perfect audience," said Barany after the dress rehearsal. "You can't find a more open, unconventional, and honest spectator."

The hour-long play shows the cycle of parenthood, birth and early life with the help of props such as red velvet curtains representing the womb and baby-bouncers that drop down from the ceiling, in which members of the audience are invited to sit.

Barany and Osten said the intention was to encourage tots to develop a new understanding of their existence and make parents rethink how they relate to their children.

Responding to criticism that the babies are too young to understand, Osten and Barany say that part of the message is that we underestimate the intelligence of the new born.

"If you can speak to a three-month-old baby and get laughter from them, you must be able to write an interesting play for them," said Osten.

The 12 babies certainly seemed to enjoy it. The mother of 11-month-old Febe said her daughter was "very happy," adding: "The babies are obviously having fun the whole time they are in the theater

Prostate Cancer - Get Screened

Two days after Christmas Peanut's Grandy had surgery to remove his cancerous prostate. He's now recovering well at home and even swinging around a tennis racket (though his not yet supposed to!). He'll undergo radiation therapy in a few weeks as an insurance that all the cancer is really defeated.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer in the United States.

One in six American men will develop prostate cancer in the course of his lifetime.

A little-known fact is that a man is 33% more likely to develop prostate cancer than an American woman is to get breast cancer.

Play offense: Eat right. Stay in shape. Get screened. Early prostate cancer has no symptoms - annual screening is critical to catching it early.

Read more about the symptoms, treatments and lifestyle changes:
Prostate Cancer Foundation
National Prostate Cancer Coalition

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The mega-consignment sale - Divine Consign

By word of mouth from one our Gymboree mama's (no, not the mama of the boy Peanut bit)

This is evidently a mammoth consignment sale that takes place twice a year in Dallas.

From the looks of it - Divine Consign promises to be just that.

Note that "first time moms", ie, those pregnant or with a child under 1 year can get into the PRE-SALE. But, they are like the number three pre-sale group following the volunteers. Nonetheless, its the night before Divine Consign opens its doors to everyone else.

I've signed up for the pre-sale...more posts to follow.

Another hot consignment store tip was for Once Upon a Child in Flower Mound next to the new Sprouts supermarket. Once we visit, I'll have some more info.

Plus from Dallas Child - a 'how to' save in your shopping with garage sales, consignment shops and more. Here is thier list of area consignment shops:

Consignment/Resale/Thrift in the Dallas Area Please call ahead to verify information, as it is subject to change.

Shop: KidSwap
Drop Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon-Fri
Appointment Necessary? No
Percent to Seller: 40 percent
Consign Cost: N/A
Items Accepted: Name-brand, in-season clothes, cars and strollers. No toys!
Location: Dallas
Phone: 214/890-7927

Shop: Mudpuppy
Drop Hours: 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon-Fri
Appointment Necessary? Yes
Percent to Seller: 40 percent
Consign Cost: $10 per season
Items Accepted: Toys and clothes
Location: Fort Worth
Phone: 817/731-2581

Shop: Play It Again Sports
Drop Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon-Fri; 10-6 Sat; noon-5 Sun
Appointment Necessary? No
Percent to Seller: 50 percent
Consign Cost: N/A
Items Accepted: Sporting goods (exercise, hockey and baseball equipment)
Location: Dallas
Phone: 214/821-7737

Shop: Play It Again Sports
Drop Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon-Fri; 10-5 Sat; noon-5 Sun
Appointment Necessary? No
Percent to Seller: Percentage varies depending upon item.
Consign Cost: N/A
Items Accepted: All Sporting goods
Location: Dallas, Carrollton
Phone: 972/3805-550

Shop: Purple Pony
Drop Hours: 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon-Fri
Appointment Necessary? Yes
Percent to Seller: 40 percent
Consign Cost: N/A
Items Accepted: In-season, excellent-condition clothing. No toys.
Location: Dallas
Phone: 972/422-4500

Shop: Runt Rethreads
Drop Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon-Sat
Appointment Necessary? No
Percent to Seller: 50 percent
Consign Cost: N/A
Items Accepted: In-season kids clothing (must be washed and on hangers)
Location: Mesquite
Phone: 972/686-7007

Resale Shops
Shop: Children's Orchard
Drop Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon-Sat, 1-5 p.m. Sun
Appointment Necessary? Yes
Percent to Seller: Based on condition of item; 30 to 50 percent of resale price
Items Accepted: Excellent condition baby items (clothing, toys, furniture). No car seats or mattresses.
Location: Lewisville
Phone: 214/488-2257

Shop: Kid to Kid
Drop Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon-Fri
Appointment Necessary? Yes, but drop off available
Percent to Seller: Based on condition of item; 20 to 40 percent of resale price
Items Accepted: Brand name not necessary. Toys and baby equipment, but car seats must be like brand-new.
Location: Allen and Plano
Phone: Allen: 972-390-1117; Plano: 972/781-2543

Shop: Once Upon a Child
Drop Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon-Fri
Appointment Necessary? Yes, but drop off available
Percent to Seller: Based on condition of item; 30 to 40 percent of resale price (20 percent more if store credit accepted)
Items Accepted: Baby furniture, toys, equipment and clothing
Location: Plano, Carrollton, Flower Mound, Garland and Mesquite
Phone: Plano: 972/618-5800; Carrollton: 972/250-6603; Flower Mound: 972/874-0779; Garland: 972/495-4662; Mesquite: 972/279-8048

Semi-annual Consignment Sales
Sale: Great American Wee Sale
When Held? April 2- 4
Percent to Seller: 60 percent (70 percent for volunteers)
Consign Cost: N/A
Items Accepted: Gently used baby and children's clothes, games, toys, equipment, maternity clothing and furniture. Clean, working, stain-free and in-style.
Location: Plano
Web site:

Sale: Just Between Friends
When Held? March 5-6
Percent to Seller: 70 percent (80 percent if five new friends consign)
Consign Cost: $5
Items Accepted: Gently used toys, videos, maternity, children's clothing and baby items.
Location: Dallas
Web site:

Sale: Just Between Friends
When Held? March 17-19
Percent to Seller: 70 percent (80 percent if five new friends consign or $25 sale gift certificate)
Consign Cost: $5
Items Accepted: Gently used toys, videos, seasonal maternity, children's clothing and baby items.
Location: Dallas
Web site:

Sale: Lil' Lambs Sale
When Held? March 25-27
Percent to Seller: 70 percent
Consign Cost: $6
Items Accepted: Gently used toys, videos, seasonal children's and maternity clothing only. Toys, videos, furniture and baby items.
Location: Allen
Web site:

Sale: Tried and True Sale
When Held? March 19-20
Percent to Seller: 50 percent (60 percent for volunteers)
Consign Cost: N/A
Items Accepted: Gently used toys, videos, seasonal maternity, children's clothing and baby items.
Location: Plano
Web site:

Thrift Shops
Shop: ACO Upscale Resale
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon-Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat
Items Accepted: No mattresses, recliners or car seats
Location: Allen
Phone: 972/727-4751

Shop: Casa View Thrift
Hours: 9a.m-9 p.m. Mon-Sat, 1-7 p.m. Sun
Items Accepted: Everything
Location: Dallas
Phone: 214/324-5026

Shop: Genesis Thrift Store
Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon-Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat
Items Accepted: Everything
Location: Dallas
Phone: 214/520-6644

Shop: Goodwill
Hours: 8 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Mon-Fri
Items Accepted: No mattresses
Location: Dallas
Phone: 214/638-2800

Shop: Goodwill
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon-Sat, 1-5 p.m. Sun
Items Accepted: Everything
Location: McKinney
Phone: 972/542-3721

Shop: Hannah's Hand-Me Downs
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue-Sat
Items Accepted: No mattresses or car seats
Location: Dallas
Phone: 972/642-1115

Shop: Thrift Mart
Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun-Sat
Items Accepted: Everything
Location: Grand Prairie
Phone: 972/721-1861

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Take a bite out of... your playmate ?!

Peanut's mama has been feeling a bit distraught ever since Peanut planted a big chomp on the cheek of one of her playmates this morning.

It all started out innocently enough. We were at Gymboree and getting ready for bubble-time when Peanut started getting friendly with the cute little boy next to us. She even leaned over to give him a baby-kiss or two. They were both having a good time until the last kiss turned into tears. When Peanut pulled away, I could see her tooth marks on the boy's cheek!!!

She's never bitten anyone before. I was so surprised and felt so bad for her victim. Peanut herself of course didn't even realize what she did. It wasn't malicious or anything. I was really shocked and kept apologizing to the mom of the bawling baby. For the rest of the time there, I kept Peanut within arms reach and was afraid to let her near the others.

The event was my first exposure to what it feels like when your baby does something you don't want her to or is "bad" behavior. It really left my mind spinning all day. Perhaps its a part of the parental 'weaning' and accepting your baby's independence. In any case, it wasn't the most pleasant feeling....

I think the cause was that she's teething again because there is a load o'slobber and she does keep nibbling on everything. This eve she was even nipping on her own forearm.

Is this a phase? Or just an uncontrollable urge that strikes when you teeth? Or do need to be concerned about keeping garlic around her ;-)?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Its just me, Peanut & the cleaners, yard workers, cable guys, fencebuilders ....

It's about 10.00 am and Peanut & I are out for a stroll around our neighborhood.

I'm really happy that our neighborhood has sidewalks on all the streets, not just the main parkway and we have easy access to the extensive jogging/fitness trail that runs along Denton Creek.

The weather here in Dallas has been superb. A very unusually warm winter filled with sunny days makes it easy to get out to enjoy the fresh air.

But, it sure is quiet.

I mean, really quiet. As in we are the only ones out walking.

The only other people I see as we cruise the blocks are crews with leaf blowers cleaning out the yards, a couple of cable guys digging in the ground, the occasional plumber/electrician truck and what I guess to be the cleaners. I guess they are the cleaners as they park in front of the houses in much smaller cars than you usually see driving around here. Its very popular to have a 'back alley' where owners access their garages, leave out the trash cans, etc. So, when I see cars parked out in front along the curb during the day, the assumption is that they belong to someone not living there.

The scene is very different around 3.00 pm. Suddenly, mini-vans, SUVs and other family transporters appear from the back alleys or pull up in front of homes to discharge school-aged children. There are even small groups of boys or girls (not yet at the age that they would mix!) riding bikes, kick-scooters or skateboards down the block and jogging path. Its very nice to see the neighborhood come to life.

Though I'm left to wonder where are the other little babies? It can't be that Peanut is the only one around here! Maybe they are on a different schedule and I've yet to spot the baby-strolling time slot. Maybe their mamas have to work and most babies are in daycare? Maybe they just don't stroll??

Friday, January 06, 2006

Vaccine Could Prevent Diarrhoea in Children

Rotavirus, which causes diarrhea in small children, can be largely prevented by vaccination. According to extensive research by the European company Sanofi Pasteur MSD, vaccinations could prevent up to 98 percent of diarrhea caused by the virus.

The vaccine could also significantly lower hospital and intensive care stays. Finland is scheduled to receive the vaccine in the autumn. However, it could take a couple of years before all Finnish babies are included in the vaccination program.

Rotavirus causing diarrhea is quite common, and in worst cases, can be lethal. In Finland, about 2000 children under the age of five are admitted to the hospital each year because of the disease.

About 70,000 children from 11 countries participated in the study. Of those, 23,000 were from Finland.

Finnish News Agency

and, more on baby health alerts from the Finland Forum discussion board:
he RV flu virus is going around and is potentially serious in children under 2. The strain gets serious here every 4 years (and naturally it's been 4 years since the last epidemic). The hospital is full of sick babies right now so watch your child carefully and don't be afraid to go to the hospital if they become very sick.

There is a very nasty stomach flu that is fatal to children under 3. My sister in law says to treat it very seriously if your child starts throwing up. One child, a 3 year old, died within 24 hours of becoming sick due to serious dehydration (throwing up and diarrhea) from this virus. If your child starts throwing up for more than a few hours, then take them to a hospital immediately (the 3 year old had gone to the doctor but not the hospital).

Why we still love IKEA

It seems we just can't get enough of assembling furniture ourselves and always having some small quirk in it (a drawer doesn't quite shut, the knob is a bit loose, the shelf is only slightly tilted) to give it a personal touch.

Only at IKEA can we get that and so much more.

However, since Peanut's arrival that 'so much more' has taken a new meaning. There simply is no escaping the fact that IKEA is knows children and parents, and is very child-friendly.

1. When you first walk into any IKEA store you see the Smålland (or such) mini-playcare center where shoppers can drop off their much smaller non-shoppers for a few hours of romping.

2. The bathrooms - oh, the special bathrooms just for babycare! When Peanut was just a few weeks old, we took her to the IKEA in Vantaa, Finland. Naturally she gets hungry & needs a diaper change. When i headed for the bathrooms, I found ones marked with a milk-bottle. 'This is for us!' Inside was a chair I figured, perfect for nursing. Also a small step-stool and little potty seat. Diaper changing table - naturally. AND, our Mutsy stroller fit in and we still had plenty of room to manuveur.

3. The restaurant - just recently we went to our TEXAS IKEA in Frisco, just outside of Dallas. Here too Peanut got hungry - as did mama & papa. So, all three head for the restaurant. Peanut's new to solids so mama didn't think to pack any along. No worries! The restaurant sold jars of organic baby bananas and applesauce. In the condiments area there were small plastic bowls, utensils, cups and disposable bibs. Peanut sat in an IKEA style high chair. Very Nice. I noticed for the slightly larger babies, you can order child meals and portions of the famous meatballs dish.

4. The children's section! I can hardly wait for Peanut to get older so she can enjoy all the fun stuff just for kids. In the meantime, there is plenty of baby-sized fun and practical things to be had from affordable cribs and changing tables to inflatable travel diapering pads and rattle toys.

We'd been looking at the Löva giant green leaf since even Peanut was born and finally decided to bring it home. It now hangs over Peanut's bed. When I go get her when she awakens its like finding your own little fairy under a lily-pad :-)

Breakin' ALL the rules

Yes, that's right, we broke all the rules of baby sleep over the Christmas/New Year's holidays. Guess what?! It didn't mess up Peanut's sleep program. She didn't turn into a n overly dependent baby who couldn't sleep alone. No, as a matter of fact, everything returned to normal very quickly.

Now, what was this extreme situation that we were in that drove us to abandon all the guidelines about babies and sleep. Grandma, Grandy, Nana and Oma & Opa - that's what.

Peanut was sooo overly excited about spending Christmas with her grandparents in Florida that she could hardly sleep. She was in a travel cot next to us in the same room. Peanut usually went to bed on time and without much fuss. Though I did often 'milk her down' to make it easier for her.

Then she would start waking up around midnight. We tried letting her cry a bit to settle down. Nothing doing. She was awake, standing and looking right at us.

That's when we went for the drastic move of bringing her into our bed/onto our air mattress. She loved it. Peanut snuggled in papa's armpit or on mama's chest, suctioned in her little thumb, let out a happy sign and was off to dreamland. We then moved her gently into the space between us for the night.

We'd never co-slept before so the first night I was very conscious of her little body next to mine. I awoke several times to make sure she was still on the bed and not stuck under the pillows, etc.

It was so nice to wake up in the morning next to the angelic face still deep in warm, so peaceful.

After the last set of grandparents left after New Years, we thought we were going to be in for several nights of crying and struggling to get her back to sleeping on her on.


The very first night she slept soundly in her own bed in her own room.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Top 100 baby names in US in 2005

I was a bit surprised to see Peanut's name in the top 10! We thought we had come up with something lovely on our own!

Top 100 Names