Sunday, January 27, 2013

3 Things to Do To Make the Nebulizer More Fun

The nebulizer has become a regular part of our days and nights around here. Shannon has never been a fan of the nebulizer. In fact, last June when she had to get a treatment in the hospital the Respiration Tech stopped and claimed she was the worst neb patient ever. I've tried to brainstorm creative ways to distract her during treatments this time around. I really hope this helps other parents with children who refuse to use the nebulizer.

We do not use the mask...I just hold it up in front of her nose and mouth.

3. Watch a movie, or youtube clip on a computer, tablet, or phone. It is impossible to hear the regular tv over the noise of the nebulizer, but if the device is in close proximity to the child it tends to hold their attention better. Allow your child to hold a favorite toy or blanket.

2. Sing songs together. This works well for an active child because you can bounce them up and down and swing their head from side to side. Again, hold hands which keeps the hands away from neb.

1. Gather 5-6 books to read during treatment. Read and point to different pictures. Reading is good because if the child sits in your lap you can read right into his/her ear. Then, you can hold their hands (this keeps hands away from neb!) and point to the pictures.

Another idea...
Neb in the high chair. The child has nowhere to go. I'll admit I haven't tried it this time, but last year this was the best way for me to do it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Be Flexible

The alarm sounded at 5AM this morning and I hit snooze...5 more minutes! When it rang again I sprung from bed, put on my workout clothes and headed out the door to yoga. I love to begin my day with yoga, and find on the days that I practice in the morning I am more centered and peaceful. I've often thought about how incredible it is that so many people wake up early to come to yoga, or to work out. It's like an entire different universe of people who are up before the sun - ready to start their day on their terms rather than on the typical hustle and bustle that fills our lives.
This morning just as class was beginning one of the other ladies jumped up from her mat and said, "Ok, plan B today. The first teacher overslept, and I'm going to be teaching class this morning. I recognized this lady right away - she is another teacher at the studio, so it wasn't just a random person. But, then I thought, she came this morning for herself, and when she found out that one of the teachers overslept she was flexible and readily accepted the task of leading the 5:30 AM class. More importantly, she did it in a positive manner.

I was getting excited for this weekend because we were sending the kids to stay with my parents so we could go to a St. Joe's game, and then out for drinks to celebrate my brother-in-laws birthday. But, around 1 o'clock I received a text from our caretaker to let me know Shannon had a "croupy cough" and we may want to have her seen by the doctor before the weekend. After calling the doctor's office they said they weren't seeing anyone just for a croupy cough. The moment I saw Shannon after school, I knew she was sick. I called the doctor again, and we both agree the best place for Shannon was the Emergency Room. She was diagnosed with RSV and the FLU, and stayed for 2 days in the hospital. The entire weekend I just keep thinking about being flexible. I am grateful my little girl is ok, and I am thankful for the reminder that we need to be flexible in all areas of life.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Shaking up the Typical Bedtime Story

Read with a flashlight!

Children are fascinated by flashlights. And, if you have a smart phone you can download the flashlight app. It is so much fun to read by flashlight. So, tonight (or tomorrow night hopefully!) give it a try. Snuggle in bed, pull the covers up and shine your flashlight on a favorite book. If your child is a little older, play "I spy" and shine the flashlight on parts of the picture.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Parallel Lives

In 10th grade I decided to switch high schools. Initially, I was a bit nervous to make the move, but the moment I walked into Upper Dublin I knew it was the right move for me. The music, athletic, and academic programs were top-notch. But, most of all, the people I met at Upper Dublin were welcoming, kind, and caring individuals. There was one girl I knew that even back in high school when you are easily influenced, was not afraid to be herself. I remember on one of my first days as a new student she welcomed me and asked if I needed any help. Really she always went out of her way to chat with me. I would say in high school we were acquaintances.
After high school I lost touch with her. But, she reappeared at my cousin's wedding. One of her best friends was marrying my cousin. Weird. But, it was nice to reconnect and check in on how life was going for her.
The next year, she began teaching Special Ed in Central Bucks School District. I remember looking around the auditorium and spotting her blond curly hair in the crowd,, and thought I was dreaming. Of course, she was a great addition to this district.
Then she became the 7th grade girls basketball coach at another middle school in the district. We coached against each other several times, and I think it was an even split. But, at the end of the games we hugged and went on our ways.
Once I got married we decided to make our way over the state lines to New Jersey. I got a job here, and began teaching. Somehow we connected again only to find out She lived in NJ. We lived in different towns and never saw each other, but still, it was weird we both left CB at the same time and went to the same place.
It was literally my first day back in my own house with 2 kids that I received a facebook message from this girl indicating she had moved to Haddon Township. I wrote back asking where, and guess what? She was 2 blocks away from my house! She walked over a little while later, and we caught up on life again. This time she was pregnant with her first, and she met my two little ones. Last year I became good friends with this kind-hearted woman. She made me several dinners when she was out on maternity leave last year and I was working. These dinners would show up on my doorstep at just the right moment. She never judged my messy house, and brought her daughter over several times for playdates. She introduced to me hot yoga at 5:30 in the morning, which has become a staple in my life, and she introduced me to 31 products. Sadly for me, she moved back to PA in August. Now it is my turn to follow her as we look forward to moving back to PA sometime in the near future.
Lesson learned - You never know how a person can impact your life. Be kind to everyone you meet!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy Hour

There is nothing better than a great happy hour after a long week of work. During my first years of teaching, I would frequent happy hour with my colleagues up in Doylestown. Happy hour started and would run right into a regular Friday night out. I cherished the time spent with my teacher friends talking about school, then our business friends would join us and slowly our conversations would shift from school life to personal life. I still keep in contact with many of my first group of professional friends.
Since having kids, I have not made it to many happy hours. Actually, I have made it to one. After a long week of work I really want nothing more than to pick up my children and take them somewhere fun. After all, they have also survived a long week away from their mom! I'll let you in on a secret...the hot spots like My Little Adventure and Jellybean Jungle that are mobbed in the early morning and afternoons are less busy during dinner hour on a Friday night. I have tested my theory several times this year, and now I am ready to share...these places are a perfect Friday night happy hour spot for a mom and her little ones!
Tonight we went to Jellybean Jungle. We had dinner in the car, or as my mom always called it, a picnic in the car, and arrived at JBJ around 5:15. The place was practically all ours! If you have never been to Jellybean Jungle, I highly recommend it. There is a room with 2 ball pits, very safe climbing and tunnels, child friendly boats, dress-up, train tables, slides, a 5 horse merry-go-round, a play house, store, and even a castle. Both of my children have fun running around this place, and the staff is always friendly and willing to help. Last time we went, we had dinner at Jellybean Jungle (they give you the option to order from a local pizza place or buy their own snacks, which are pretty healthy.) To me this place is a goldmine, and a perfect way to unwind after a hard week of work. So, I now have a new kind of happy hour - one that I spend with my kids...reconnecting, playing, laughing, and starting our weekend off on the right foot. Cheers!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year!

Ok, so it hasn't been quite a Happy New Year for my little family. I'm not complaining, I am just proposing to put off my New Year's Eve til Saturday. Here are 3 reasons why...

1. Both my children are sick. Shannon has her 4th ear infection in 4 months. I feel horrible for her. She is a real trooper, though. Every time she gets an ear infection, she gets a TERRIBLE diaper rash, which then requires a different ointment to get rid of it. She doesn't sleep well, and she is irritable all day long. Poor baby girl. Patrick is also sick. He has a cough and fever. And, I haven't felt good for 3 weeks. The doctor told me it was allergies and an ear infection. So, on Christmas Day, we took down our Christmas tree. I thought I felt better, and maybe I did feel better for a couple days before feeling worse. Now I am so congested I feel like I am in a tunnel. I am hoping by Saturday we will ALL feel better!

2. We decided to eat healthier in the fall. We did great with it until December hit. I think I've gone overboard. All that hard work to eat right for so long is ruined by a couple weeks of cocktails, appetizers, and desserts. One thing that helps me get back on track is having meals planned out, and no sweets in the house.

3. I bought a bottle of champagne to crack open at midnight on NYE, but I was asleep by 10:30. I can't let a good bottle go to waste, can I?

So, for this year, I am having my very own personal New Year's Eve on Saturday night. Sunday morning will be "New Year's Day."

Here are a couple of my New Year Resolutions
-Eat healthier
-Go to yoga regularly
-blog weekly
-plan monthly meal calendars
-pray a new prayer each month.

-post lesson plans
-create more individualized action plans for my students
-keep a cleaner desk

-be a better mother by living in the moment with my kids (less time multitasking with technology)
-be a supportive sister by checking in with my brothers more often
-set up playdates with siblings/cousins
-spend time with Kevin (less time multitasking with technology)