Sunday, June 26

Happy Birthday Jackson Paul

(A couple of days late... His birthday was Friday, June 24!)

Oh my little Jack Jack, happy birthday!

Every single person you ever meet, even strangers in the store, always comment on how smile-y of a baby you are! You never fail to give a huge, toothy grin on anyone who gives you a smile first, and you melt hearts! You were also known as the giver of baby fever for awhile; anyone who held you told me that you made them want another precious baby of their own! I think it was a combination of your smile, long eyelashes, and delicious chubby legs.

Thursday, June 23

One Year Old and Still Rear Facing!

On the eve of my Jack Jack's first birthday, I feel compelled to write a blog post about something near-and-dear to my heart: car seat safety.  Call me a nerd but I have a lot of friends right now with babies who have just turned one or are about to turn one and I'm concerned about their safety!  I'm too non-confrontational in real life so I'll just blog it, post it on facebook, and pray that each of my friends reads this and considers the importance of keeping their daughters and sons rear-facing.

I'm thinking about this right now because Jack had his one-year well-baby visit with our new pediatrician on Tuesday, and I was handed a printout on the care of one-year-olds.  One of the first things written was that now that baby is one year and 20 pounds, he can be switched forward facing in his car seat.  How silly and ignorant.

What is magical about 1 year and 20 pounds?  Nothing.  These babies are still developing their bodies, especially their spinal cords.  Have you ever seen what happens to a baby in a car seat when a car has a crash?  Please watch this, it's of crash test dummies and will take 30 seconds:

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so how many is a video worth?

Babies don't need to forward face.  They don't need to see where you're going, their knees aren't going to get sore from being bent while rear-facing.  It might be more convenient for Mom or Dad to see what Baby is doing, but I think we'd all agree that we'd rather our child be safe and be slightly inconvenienced!  (Personally, it's of no inconvenience to me.  We don't eat or drink in the car ever, and I can't think or a reason that I've ever needed to pull over because they've been rear facing.)

The AAP has changed their recommendations that all children should ride rear facing until age two or until the highest weight limit the seat allows.  For many car seats, that's well over 30 lbs!  We have Britax Marathon car seats, which is a 34 lb weight limit.  Beth reached 34 lbs a little after she turned three years old, and that's when we switched her around.  Luke is now 2 years 8 months and still happily rear facing! He's never known it any other way.

The CDC cites car accidents as the leading cause of death of children in America, and as parents we have it completely within our power to make sure our children are safely strapped in the car!  That means not only rear facing our babies longer, but making sure straps are tight enough, chest clips are properly placed, seats are properly installed and are NOT expired, putting the handle in the right position, and that babies aren't buckled up wearing blankets or coats.  Here's a good video detailing how to put your baby in a car seat:

If you have questions, find a certified passenger safety technician near you to check out the installation of your seat. If you live near me, I know of a nearby place that has checks once a month.

As you can see this is a very hot topic for me!  Call me paranoid, call me a nerd, call me crazy.  I am in good company. :-)  Rear facing is just so much safer, there are no risks compared to so many benefits.  It just kills me when I see parents turn their baby around on his or her first birthday!  And yes, I usually try to bite my tongue when I see babies strapped improperly into infant carriers while I'm in public places, but if I've ever corrected you before (or if I do in the future), please know that it's in love. Because you are my friends and I care about you and your babies!

Here's another video with more information, more crash test footage, and cute babies. :-)

(I have a separate but related rant about putting toddlers into booster seats when they should still be in a five-point harness.  I will save this for another time, but please consider the safety of toddlers and preschoolers in addition to the babies!)

Please, please, please.  Please.  I beg you, keep your baby rear facing in his or her car seat until the maximum weight or height your seat allows, and if it's a low weight limit (or you have a big young baby!) consider buying a new seat with a higher weight limit.  You won't regret it, not once.

Friday, June 17

Punta Cana, D.R.

Ryan and I just got back from our 3-night trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic!  We left our house at 4:00 am on Thursday, June 9, flew to Atlanta for a layover, then arrived in PC after 3:00 local time.  We had been planning this trip for quite awhile, and met up with our friends Pat and Katie (who live out-of-state now).  They were supposed to arrive a few hours after us but wound up being delayed overnight in Miami, so Ryan and I had the first day and evening to ourselves to explore our all-inclusive resort, Dreams Palm Beach.

the airport was open-air.  before we even got off the plane we could feel the HUMIDITY.  it was insanely humid, my hair immediately poofed out and wouldn't stand to be straightened again!  the airport was bustling with locals, offering taxis or help with the luggage.  the temperature was probably in the mid-80s.

Six Legs

bruised, bitten, and beautiful.

wants-to-be-like-big-sister legs.

spotted, chunky,and delicious.

Monday, June 6

Our Summer Plans

I think Ryan and I finally figured out what we are going to do this summer.  We had wanted to sign the kids up for swim lessons or soccer or t-ball or something like that, but I don't think any of that is going to work out for a variety of reasons.

Instead, we're planning a "Summer of Fun" for our heard!  We are coming up with a list of fun, different activities that we can do every weekend while Ryan is home and can participate.  (I figured, if we were doing soccer again we'd be busy every Saturday morning for six weeks, surely we can do it on our own too, right?)  So far we plan to make birdhouses, visit a real farm (I'd love for them to be able to milk a cow!), make canvas art for Ryan's office/ our schoolroom, and visit the small local airport (you can get very close to watching the planes take off and even meet the pilots).  I need some more ideas, lol.  We also plan to take Ryan to the Children's Museum with us as he's never gone with us before! 

I don't know what we'll do about the pool and swimming.  I don't feel comfortable taking all three kids to the pool by myself... Our neighborhood pool is free but the water is no shallower than three feet!  Even the pools in the local community are too busy for me to have all three of mine safely contained.  Maybe Ryan and I will "borrow" the neighbor's pool a few times, hehehe. 

Anyone else have any fun plans for the summer?  Good ideas for fun, out-of-the-ordinary projects for us?

Saturday, June 4

Dear Beth,

Dear Beth,
Last night was your second-ever ballet production and I tried to document the entire experience so that, in the future, you will know how amazing you are.

This is the end of your second full year of ballet, and you're four years old.  It's difficult for me to remember that when you started ballet, you were two years old and Luke wasn't even walking yet!

Thursday, June 2

Another Doctor Appointment for Jack

My Jack Jack had another doctor appointment today, this time with a pediatric allergist.  His "rash" had started coming back and the pediatric dermatologist recommended we go see the allergist!

The good news is I really feel good about this appointment.  He listened to our history and agreed that it was urticaria, a fancy word for hives.  (Yes, I've been reading a lot of Fancy Nancy these days, can you tell?)  What he explained to me was the best way to treat the hives using potentially three receptor blockers.  Since Zyrtec isn't helping him as it should be, we have to add in another medicine to try to break the cycle of his skin cells reproducing other hive-infected skin cells.  Tomorrow he'll start on Zantac, which is for stomach acid but it will also do the job of blocking the second receptor.  If it doesn't clear by Monday, we'll add a third medicine in- Singulair.  Once he's cleared up he has to stay on the medicine for two weeks to give his skin a chance to clear up and start reproducing healthy skin cells.

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