Monday, August 31, 2009

Feeding updates

So the lil J is a little more than 4 months old now.

I read that solids should be started somewhere between 4-6 months of age. I was watching him for signs of being ready. We saw him watching intently as we ate. And we saw him opening his mouth as we were taking bites of food--he looked like a baby bird waiting for us to drop a worm in there, LOL! And his appetite was really wacky--has been ever since his cold.

So we decided to give it a go. We started him on rice cereal. It's made by "Earth's Best" brand, it's made from organic brown rice. I thought he did really well at his first feeding. He's shown no objection to the rice cereal. I have a book on making your own baby food (which I've been planning to do) & it recommends starting with rice cereal & then barley & then oat & then moving to veggies.

Well I looked & looked & couldn't find a barley cereal. I was just gonna skip it & go with the oat (also made by Earth's Best), but then it occurred to me that I could just make my own. I personally LOVE barley & always have it in the house, so I cooked some barley & pureed it with baby formula. I made 7 servings & froze them. I thaw one daily & feed it for lunch. He eats one ounce of cereal for lunch. (I know I read somewhere that you shouldn't make your own cereal cuz it's not iron fortified BUT I honestly don't get why everyone is quite so obsessed with the iron for babies........I mean there's so much iron in his formula that his poop is green, so I certainly don't think he's iron deficient; I don't know, I just see this sort of stuff regarding nutrition a lot & I have to wonder..........I mean ages ago babies certainly didn't have all this iron supplementing going on & they obviously lived............I don't know, perhaps I'm mistaken & there's a really good reason that I'm just not aware of, I'm certainly not saying my stance is right here, I haven't really done research on it, haven't had the time, but I don't think I'm gonna hurt my son by giving him ONE cereal that isn't iron fortified, that's all I'm sayin')

So while I was making the barley I also made peas for him & froze those as well. But after the week of barley I'll probably do a week of oat before the veggies, like the book recommends.

Beyond that I don't have any plans yet........not sure yet when to move to 2 meals per day.........I'll have to go through the book again, I'm sure it'll say........I do know that it says feeding right now is really just practice & experimenting with textures & tastes. The majority of their nutrition for the first year should be coming from breastmilk or formula.

I've been pretty amazed with him for a while now. I've discovered that he's not picky at all, thank God. He will take his formula at any temperature, he does not care. And when he's sick he will suck down anything I give him--sage tea, grapefruit seed extract, advil, etc.

And just today I was eating hummus with my lunch & he was watching me & opening his mouth like the baby bird. I dipped my finger in the hummus & let him suck on it. At first he made a face like he wasn't too sure about it. But then suddenly he smiled huge & opened his mouth more & more. I let him finish sucking it off my finger & after he was done he was literally squealing with delight. It was REALLY cute. So so far it appears he has mommy's tastes--barley & hummus being faves!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Neti Pot

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Ok, so I bought a neti pot quite some time ago. I have the exact one that is shown in the first link here. I bought it at a Henry's Farmer"s Market I believe (possibly Whole Foods Market, but pretty sure it was at Henry's) I had heard a little bit about it, but was very afraid to use it. I had a fear of breathing in water with it. Wasn't sure how it worked. So then a week or two ago I stumbled across an Oprah episode (I promise you I don't normally watch it) where there was some doc on there & he was promoting the neti pot & had someone demonstrating it's use. He also explained exactly how it worked & the path the flow travelled. Hearing this info made me less afraid, but I still didn't feel like I needed to use it. On this show they claimed it was great for people with sinus problems, allergies, head colds, etc.

Low & behold I am now fighting a little head cold. So I busted out my neti pot, put some salt & grapefruit seed extract in it & added lukewarm water & tried it out. After I was done I blew my nose well in tissue. Then I followed up with a colloidial silver nasal spray & throat spray & grapefruit seed extract ear drops. I did thiss yesterday & again today & have to admit I'm feeling a lot better, although I do still have a slight scratchy throat.

So if you have sinus issues, allergies, head colds, etc, I highly recommend you get a neti pot. You insert it into one nostril, breathe through your mouth, tilt your head to the side until you feel it go up into the sinus & then out the other nostril. You can do one pot per nostril, but I just did half a pot per nostril. You can just use regular table salt by the way. And you don't have to add grapefruit seed extract, but it's a great natural antibiotic, that's why I did.

I suppose I should get a pic of myself using the neti pot & post it here, would have to get hubby to take that, LOL!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

4 month update

So the lil J one is 4 months now (well tomorrow technically).

He has lost one pound--is now 17.8 lbs. His length (it always amuses me how at this age it's called "length" & later on it'll be "height") is still 25.5". His head circumference is 16.5". I plugged these into a percentile calculator (to see how he measures up with other kids his age) & for weight he is between percentile 75 & 90. For length he is between percentile 50 & 75. For head circumference (how they monitor brain development) he is between percentile 25 & 50. Now up until just recently I never understood these so-called "percentiles" so allow me to 'splain for others who also might not know about them. To say he is between percentile 75 & 90 means he weighs more than 75% of kids his age, but less than 90% of kids his age. I'm a little concerned about the head circumference percentile, am still concerned about the possibility of brain damage due to circumstances at the time of his delivery, BUT he seems VERY bright & aware & smart to me (& Hubby) for his age. We shall continue to monitor, but will not know for sure until age 3 we are told.

His cold passed easily except for the congestion, that lasted about 2 weeks total. I continued giving the acerola powder in his bottles & having him breathe in steam (in the bathroom with the hot water running) daily. That seemed to help a lot.

His appetite has been off ever since he got the cold & it still hasn't fully returned to normal (or what it was prior to the cold) yet, so I'm sure that's why he's lost a pound.

He moves a lot now. I can lay him down (in his crib or gym) & he rotates all around. Occasionally I put him in his jumperoo & he only lasts about 10 minutes in there for now. But the other day he was really fussy & didn't want his gym or his bouncy chair, so I tried the jumperoo & he was actually jumping (he usually just sits there & stares at the lights) & he actually made his way all the way around (the seat spins all the way around & there are little stations of toys all the way around). He played briefly with each station (actually grabbing & playing) while jumping & turning himself & once he made it back to the beginning spot he was tired of it, but it bought me about 20 minutes of time that I needed to do some house work.

He also turns onto his side all the time when he's laying down. He hasn't yet rolled over onto his tummy, but likes moving onto his side. I'm sure the next step will be to roll over.

In his very early days he really liked being on his tummy. This is how he wanted to sleep & he often played this way too. He even crawled his way out of his gym once while I was napping. But for the past couple of months he HATES being on his tummy. Today I grabbed a horseshoe shaped pillow (just one of those travel neck pillows) & am using it to prop him up on his tummy to play. He did pretty good on it. I REALLY want one of those boppy pillows, but they are way too much money.

As for me--I changed up my workout routine a in the last two weeks. I am now doing 4 days of weight lifting (Mon-Thurs) & then a one hour stretch (Fri) & I take the weekend off. My workouts are all 60-90 minutes long. I felt I needed more a challenge, so I am doing harder & longer workouts & am working out more days too. I still have 11 pounds to lose....am getting impatient regarding that. But my abs are looking better & better all the time. So long as the fat I see on my abs & thighs goes away & I can fit in my clothes well then I can let the number I see on the scale go. I do weigh a lot more than other people my height, even those that are fatter than I am. I am convinced it's because I have so much muscle mass due to working out & lifting weights like I do. But so far I still see fat, still can't fit into a lot of my clothes, & still have 11 pounds to lose according to the scale............hopefully that'll start changing soon..............

I think that's all the updates I have for now...............

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Is there fungus among us??

For quite a while now (well ever since we got DVR on our DirecTV) I've been watching a show on TV hosted by a naturopathic MD. I have learned some really interesting stuff & have changed up my vitamin/supplement routine based on what I've learned.

But lately they just keep showing the same episodes I've already seen. And it's only on once a week. I REALLY have a hunger to learn health related stuff. This is a huge part of why I became a nurse, but I still hunger to know more about alternative treatments/options.

So I went on a search for more health related shows to record on our DVR. I found a few, most are weekly & some I haven't even seen yet. But I found one that's on daily & have been watching it for almost a week now. The host is not a doctor, he makes that very clear, but he is willing to share what he thinks. This guy says that the vast majority of modern day illnesses are caused by fungus. That is basically the whole point of this show. At first I wasn't sure what to think, and to a certain extint I still feel that way. But I do see a lot of reasons to believe that this is true. Even reasons that he hasn't touched on.

For many years I've been aware of aflatoxins. This is a fungus that grows primarily on corn, but also on peanuts & maybe even on other foods that I am unaware of. This fungus has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be a carcinogen. The biggest concern out there is that our livestock are all fed corn & soy & it is theorized that the corn they are fed sits around in warm, moist conditions, where the aflatoxins can really grow well. So if the livestock is eating this carcinogen how is that impacting the animal & even more how is it affecting us when we eat the livestock??? No one really knows for sure. But my point is--here is proof that a fungus causes cancer. And here is proof that as we eat corn & peanuts we could very well be ingesting fungus, especially processed corn in products.

Now for those who don't know medical stuff let me explain that in our bodies we have our natural flora--a combination of fungus & bacteria. And the fungus keeps the bacteria from taking over & the bacteria keeps the fungus from taking over. Now for many decades we have overused & abused antibiotics. And antibiotics are going to kill off some of our good bacteria that makes up our natural flora. So this will lead to an overgrowth of fungus. This is how women get vaginal yeast infections while on antibiotics.

So back to the TV show: this guy claims that yeast causes (among a lot else) obesity. This guy has several books (which I would LOOOVE to get my hands on & read & hope to at some point) & some are on how to eat to starve the fungus & by doing so you will lose weight. I am knowledgable on what foods feed fungus & a low carb diet will pretty effectively starve yeast. Could this be why low carb diets are so effective???

This guy believes that HIV (human imunodeficiency virus) is really HIF (human immunodeficiency fungus). He states that it is a mutant fungus & one of the reasons we haven't found a cure is that we are barking up the wrong tree so to speak. He states that the drug diflucan (often given to women for yeast infections & given more & more for other fungal issues) was originally created for HIV.

This guy used to work in a lab performing experiments on lab rats. The rats never became diabetic no matter what they fed them. So to do tests on rats for diabetes they had to induce type 2 diabetes in the rats first. HOW do you induce type 2 diabetes in rats you ask??? By injecting them & infecting them with a certain type of fungus. Makes you wonder, huh?? I personally think there's a multitude of reasons for the rise in type 2 diabetes these days (over use of corn in just about all our foods, especially high fructose corn syrup, relying more on fast foods than other past generations, sedentary lives due to a multitude of factors, like desk jobs, video games, TV watching, smaller yards, lack of going out due to more crazy people on the streets, the list goes on & on).

I don't know how aware people are of the statin drugs (Lipitor is the best known of them, but there are many of them out there now--the generic names all have "statin" in them, Lipitor is a brand name). These drugs have major bad side effects & are proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be carcinogenic. The only reason the FDA approved them was because they were originally marketed for elderly with really severe high cholesterol, so that they would die of other causes before dying from cancer from the statin drug. Of course once they got it on the market they didn't stick to that plan at all, so they could make more money of course. They are now suggesting that "everyone over the age of 40" start taking statin drugs because they are showing to be effective in many things--like alzheimers, diabetes, the list goes on & on. The guy on this show states that the statin drugs are anti-fungal in nature. This guy once told a doc he thought this & the doc hung up the phone on him. But it left the doc wondering.......so this doc did experiments & found that this is true. He appeared on the show with petri dishes (I LOVE playing with petri dishes--microbiology was the best class I ever took in college!!) showing the results. He tested a lot of stuff & found that aspirin also has anti-fungal properties. And anyone who knows cardiac stuff (I have been a cardiac nurse for the past few years now) knows that people are told to take a daily aspirin to protect their heart. And anytime you suspect you might be having a heart attack you should take an aspirin IMMEDIATLY--if it is a heart attack you will minimize the damage by taking the aspirin--the sooner you take it the better results you'll get. So now this guy (& this doc) believe that cardiac diseases are also caused by fungus. Very interesting is all I can say..............

He talked briefly about things in our diet that kill fungus--olive leaf, apple cider vinegar, purple veggies, carrots, purple juices (as well as things that feed the fungus--he theorizes that it is parasitic in nature & makes us crave the foods that it needs to live). I have my own theory--that this is why grapes, grape juice, & wine are supposed to be so good for our health. I don't follow this info closely cuz they usually are talking about wine & I don't drink, but I would bet that the research shows that red grapes & red grape juice & red wine are better for our health than white (because the red is more anti-fungal than the white). Does anyone know if this is true??

Of course our own personal experiences teach us far more than anything else can. Last year I was on a ton of antibiotics for a few things (UTI's, MRSA+ spider bite, I think there was something else, but I can't remember now) The spider bite took multiple rounds of stronger & stronger antibiotics to kill the infection. I even had to hospitalized due to the type of antibiotics I was receiving. It was shortly after this that I was having a problem that my own doc could not resolve. I ended up going to a naturopathic MD & we did some very comprehensive tests. She found I had a fungal infection & once it was handled I was symptom free & happy. I remained this way until right after I gave birth. A little over a month ago I headed back to the naturopathic MD (didn't even bother with my regular doc this time)--well she's on maternity leave, but I saw another doc in her office. She treated me for fungus & once again the problem is gone. Thinking it over afterwards I realized that during labor I had a really high fever & they gave me several rounds of IV antibiotics because of this. So everytime I get antibiotics I tend to have a major problem with fungus. Hopefully as I continue to handle the problem I will also get some more weight off!!

Wow, this got much longer than I was planning............I just thought this was very interesting stuff................I'm sure I'll be sharing more as I learn more in time.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Updates on the lil J, his cold, etc.

So the lil J is feeling somewhat better & the fever is gone, but still is somewhat congested, still has a slight cough, & still is fussier than usual. His appetite also is not back to what it was & his feeding schedule has become very erratic & unpredictable for now. I do not want to force feed him & establish bad habits though, so I'm just sitting back & letting him tell me when he's hungry & how much he wants. He did finally sleep through the night last night, the first time since he got sick.

I had stopped giving him the sage tea & grapefruit seed extract a few days ago, but started again today since he's still not completely over the cold. I also started adding acerola powder to his bottles today.

I haven't weighed him at all since the last time I did--at 3 & 1/2 months--will do that next week when he turns 4 months old.

When we went to church on Sunday we sat in the family friendly overflow building (for the first time ever) so we could keep him with us since he's still a little sick. But last night for our Bible study we did put him in the nursery (had no choice)--I really doubt he's contagious by now.

He is still grabbing at everything in sight & loves company (& hates to be alone, unless he's napping). He still "talks" a lot & is now making this screeching sort of noises. I normally repeat back to him the sounds he makes, but these are impossible for me to make, some of them really crack me up & I think that's the idea--he likes to make us laugh. We have a little comedian on our hands here. Daddy has found the tickle spots now & loves to get him laughing. It is soooo cute to see him actually "laughing". I have tried but so far can only get smiles, only daddy knows how to tickle good enough to get actual giggles. I do get him giggling every evening when I take off his clothes (to put him in his pj's). This is one bedtime routine that I have established that he really, really likes. It's almost like he will force himself to stay awake until he's in his pj's. He LOVES pj time. But I digress--so when I pull his clothes off over his head he cannot help but laugh about it. I cannot figure out what is so funny about it & in the morning after his bath when I put the clothes on he is always crying about it.....so I really don't get it, but to him it's very funny & worth giggling over.

I can't really think of any other updates at the moment......it's really hard to get videos of him doing cute stuff cuz he's very camera shy. The minute he spots that camera he stops doing the cute stuff & just stares nervously at the camera.

Wow, next week I'll already be needing to get a 4 month pic!!! Time sure does fly!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lil J has his first cold!

So lil J has his first cold.

Considering that I think he's actually doing really well, he's a real trooper.

On Monday he was fine. We went to Bible study Monday night & then on Tuesday he was really fussy--I thought he was teething. Wednesday morning hubby woke me & told me he thought little one had a cold cuz he was coughing a lot. I got up & insisted he didn't cuz I could tell he was only coughing cuz of his "boogies".

On further inspection though, I realized he had boogies worse than ever before & I couldn't even get them out for him, they are way up in there. But you can hear them & he's having a hard time breathing.

So I was putting saline drops in his nose to loosen the boogies. I was giving him diluted grapefruit seed extract & sage tea. I put vicks vaporrub on his chest & feet. He was fussier than usual, wanted to be held a lot. His appetite was not what it usually is. I took him into the steamy bathroom (running hot water in the tub) & sat in there with him as he breathed in the steam.

This morning he was pretty happy when he woke up. He seemed better, but as the day wore on he wore out & was once again tired & cranky. He definitely has a fever today. I gave him some advil earlier for the fever (& body aches that he most likely has but can't verbalize). And I am still giving the grapefruit seed extract & sage & his usual vitamins (B12, B15, & D3). I'm usually like that when I'm sick---I wake up feeling good, but then as the day goes on I find myself sick again.

Yesterday I was telling hubby how shocked I am at how well he takes anything I give him. That grapefruit seed extract does not taste good at all & he just sucks it down like nothing. Hubby commented that perhaps his taste buds aren't developed yet & he doesn't know. But today when I gave him the advil (it's blue raspberry flavor, can't find an unflavored one......) I could tell he REALLY liked it & sucked it down & wanted more. So yeah, he obviously does have taste buds, but I do appreciate how cooperative he is with taking stuff that doesn't taste good. Hopefully that's an indication that he won't be a fussy eater!

I had wondered ahead of time how it would be to care for him when he gets sick. I was worried I wouldn't know what to do. I mean, yeah, I'm a nurse, but sometimes it's very different when it's your own personal family. And I've never specialized as a peds nurse, although I've worked peds several times, but it's literally been YEARS since I've done it at all. But I find myself feeling just like I'm at work & have had no difficulty whatsoever with the situation, aside from being worn out by it. This time my emotions are very involved & I cannot clock out & go home & forget about it.

Right now I got him down for a nap. I am exhausted, been holding him & singing & otherwise trying to keep him entertained all day. He really loves the singing. I can even notice him liking specific parts of songs, he seems to recognize that now in the songs I sing to him often.

I am pretty sure he got his cold at church in the nursery. I do appreciate all that they do in the nursery, but I do wish they were more educated on microbiology (I actually wish EVERYONE had to take microbiology--it should be a high school requirement). I mean, they are better than some places--they do clean all the toys, swings, equipment, etc. But I've also seen them right in front of me lay down his pacifier with the bulb touching the counter. To me it's common sense that there are germs on that counter so you shouldn't do that. And a few weeks ago I was waiting to drop him off at the nursery (you can't drop off until all the kids from the prior service have been picked up & that was running late). It's different people watching the kids each service & the people for our service know little one well & really like him, which is nice. But the people in there for the prior service were having all sorts of problems--wrong pacifiers in wrong kids mouths, wrong bottles, missing bottles, missing pacifiers, I couldn't believe all the issues I was witnessing as I stood there waiting. Seeing that REALLY made me appreciate the group that watches him during our service on Sundays. It's different people on Monday nights also, but they are starting to get to know him now & they shared with us recently that at first he seemed really nervous with them, but each week he has been more & more relaxed with them, which is nice.

On a side note: little one has several stuffed animals now. I have showed him all of them & sat them on the tray of his swing as he swings. I thought for sure he would like the little alligator (it's in several photos) cuz it makes this crinkly noise & he LOVES crinkly noises--his rainforest gym has a leaf that crinkles & he LOVES playing with it & everytime I put him on the changing table his foot goes for the wipes cuz the package they're in makes a crinkly sound--it's REALLY cute. BUT he has never shown much interest in the alligator. When I was in labor hubby brought me flowers & on the vase was a little stuffed dog. I told hubby that would be the baby's first stuffed animal. But it's been on that vase up until very recently. As soon as I washed it & gave it to him you could see that he liked it. He kept touching it & grabbing it. I would leave it nearby him & then I turn around & he has it in his arms. So this morning I put him in the swing when I went to workout & I put the little doggy on the tray in front of him & while I'm working out I hear him "talking" A LOT (on the monitor). When I was done working out & I walked back inside I see him sitting there holding up the doggy staring at it so intently & "talking" to it. He looked like he was really telling it something important (probably how miserable he feels!). It was soooo cute. I tried to video it but missed the best part of it, only got him holding it, not him talking to it.

I gotta run, gotta get some things done before he wakes from his nap & wants attention..........

Monday, August 3, 2009

3.5 month updates on lil J..............

So lil J is 3 & 1/2 months old today....how times flies!!

Life continues to get better & better all the time with him. He is again sleeping through the night. Last week he wasn't eating much--only 2-4 ounces every 3 hours as opposed to his usual 8 oz every 3 hours. I think this is why he had stopped sleeping through the night--he just wasn't getting all his calories in & was still hungry during the night.

Hubby made me realize it was the nipples! I know there are different stage nipples for our bottles, but didn't really think it was necessary, especially since in the beginning he was choking on even the stage 1 nipples. But we realized he was struggling to eat & wearing himself & frustrated & tired & giving up. So I rushed out & got the level 2 nipples & all has been well again. He eats peacefully, finishes his bottles & is again sleeping through the night.

We also had to change his bathtub. It's a newborn to toddler tub. So in the beginning you bathe them on a sling over the tub. Even after his umbilical cord fell off I liked the sling & continued using it. But last week I told hubby I felt the sling was really unsafe now--he moves around way too much & will soon go falling overboard. Hubby agreed. So we took the sling off & drilled a drain hole in it (it had a hole with a plug but not in a convenient spot for us, so we made our own that goes over the sink while bathing him). We also ordered a sprayer that attaches to the sink faucet--can't wait for that to get here, should make life even easier.

With these two changes in one day--the nipples & bath--I told hubby it made me a little sad. My little boy was already becoming a big boy. It's already begun--and it will never stop at this point. Such is life, it just hit a little hard that morning. Part of me can't wait for him to start eating solids, crawling, walking, talking, but another part of me wants to just enjoy every second of every stage, cuz it will be gone & never here again soon enough.

Earlier this week hubby came home from work early cuz he wasn't feeling well. As he was resting on the couch he saw little one being fussy & he just wanted to be held, nothing else was making him happy. So I sat down on the couch & cuddled with him. Hubby was saying how we have to find something to keep him entertained so this doesn't keep happening. I asked why & he said so I could get things done that I need to. But I told hubby that in a few minutes he would tire of being held & want to play in the rainforest gym, so I just enjoy my "cuddle time" while I can get it. Soon enough he'll probably reach an age where he doesn't want to cuddle at all anymore & I will miss these days, so I take what I can get when I can get it. I have learned that housework, etc can wait a little while when there's "cuddle time" needed.

His latest funny thing he does is that I keep a burp cloth hanging on the side of the crib overnight in case he spits up & I need to grab it fast. The last few mornings when I wake up he is awake with the burp cloth. The first few mornings he was just turned sideways in the crib & I didn't understand why (he was aiming to get the burp cloth, just hadn't reached his goal yet). Then I found him a few mornings turned sideways with the burp cloth laying inside the crib. Now the past couple of mornings I find him sideways with the burp cloth in his hands (he LOVES playing with his burp cloths). You can tell by his smile that he is extremely proud that he pulled this off. It is soooo adorable.

I still try to have at least one fun time each day--usually either reading to him, playing guitar & singing with him, or going in the pool. He still likes to "talk" a lot, which I also love.

I think that's all the updates I have for now...........