13 ways to Treat a Child’s Cough

Charlie has had a cough over the past week, but last night it turned into a fever, congestion, sore throat and a cough so bad that he threw up three times. I wrote about some of my favorite products to treat coughs and colds here, but I thought that I would share my step by step process for treating coughs. Since cough medicine isn’t approved for younger children, there are many different things I try to give the kids relief.

1) If a fever is present, I administer ibuprofen. I prefer ibuprofen over acetaminophen because it tends to be more powerful and it is also easier on the liver.

2) Feed soft foods like bone broth, chicken porridge, steamed egg and ice cream that are easy on the throat and stomach. If they’re not eating much, you can try smoothies. Keep them hydrated with lots of liquids.

3) Simmer a pot of water with a couple drops of eucalyptus oil all day to ease congestion.

4) Give honey water if your little one is over the age of 1 to treat coughs and sore throats. I warm up water and stir in a little bit of honey — the kids love it. I’ve also made honey lollipops by melting honey on the stove then pouring it over lollipop sticks. If you can get them to take it, apple cider vinegar is the absolute best treatment for coughs and sore throats, but it really tastes horrible.

5) Eliminate dairy. It can increase mucous production, and since I caught the same cold from him, I know that it’s a very phlegmy cold.

6) Eat pureed pear. This is a traditional Korean and Chinese remedy that is used to treat colds and coughs. Simmer Asian pears with water, a bit of honey, and freshly grated ginger (Korean recipe) or almonds (Chinese recipe). It’s supposed to be great for soothing a cough, and my mom swears by it!

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A Joyce Wan themed birthday

I wanted to keep Winter’s first birthday relatively simple. We have at least one barbeque each summer that usually coincides with my own birthday (two days after Winter’s!), so we just tied it into Winter’s birthday party. I honestly wasn’t planning on doing anything big, but after being asked several times what my “theme” would be, and shrugging my shoulders and saying – “Winter’s favorite things?” – I decided it would involve her favorite author, Joyce Wan. I drew up a little graphic in her style and made a banner for a facebook invite. I decided that if I had time, I would try and incorporate Joyce Wan’s designs into wearable hats for the adults, since Winter smiles the biggest smiles each time we read her You Are My Cupcake or We Belong Together, consistently since she was about 6 months. I was hoping that wearing a giant familiar cupcake on my head would elicit a great, toothy grin.

In my search for more illustrations, I came to Joyce’s blog and was utterly heartbroken to read that her only child, born in February of this year, passed away unexpectedly 6 weeks later from an undetected intestinal abnormality. I tear up a little each time I revisit her blog. Unrelated to the passing, her daughter was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate (very medically fixable in the US and not life-compromising by any means). She set up a memorial fund with Smile Train, an international children’s charity that provides free surgery to poor children suffering from cleft lip and cleft palate. Since we had asked for no gifts, I thought this fund would be the perfect opportunity to give our guests a chance to donate.

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“Little Explorer, Adventure Nursery” Inspiration (Part 1)

1st row: via JoJos Room, via Syrinveien, via Glamour 2nd row: via the bean and the bearvia Poppytalk, wall sticker no longer available from Fermliving (mural inspiration!)

With a second baby on the way, our little family will soon (November 1st) be relocating to a two bedroom home! We haven’t actually found a place as of yet, but decided that our one bedroom city apartment wasn’t going to cut it anymore. The most exciting part of this move, is of course, finally getting to decorate a real nursery! A gender neutral nursery for two! I decided we’ll call it their “little explorer, adventure nursery.”

While pregnant with Roman I became obsessed with bow ties… and teepees (as you can see.) At 6 months I broke down and bought this House Inhabit Teepee which we just love! Now I’m excited about the idea of painting a simple mountain mural behind it in the new room. Since we rent and move frequently we never usually paint the walls, but this project looks simple enough to make an exception!

In our current apartment below we created a little “nursery nook” for Roman, so the new room will be an expanded version of this!

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Chinese Books

Drake will be starting Chinese school this month. I never thought I would be signing up my own child for Chinese school to be honest, as I hated it as a kid and swore up and down I would never make my child go. But truthfully now that I am older, I see the value in making sure my children understand a little more about their culture, especially as I am the last to be able to pass this on once my mother is gone. What I really hope that Drake gets out of Chinese school is the ability to converse a little with me, and to come to know and appreciate his heritage. My own Chinese is quite poor — I can neither read or write — and my conversational skills are limited at about a kindergarten level. I really have no idea how Drake will fare at Chinese school with my inability to really help him.

I have looked into some basic Chinese books for beginners that we can look at and learn together. Ni Hao Kai Lan has made him aware of Chinese and that words sound different in another language, and I hope he takes that curiosity and interest with him when he begins Chinese school.

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What You Should Buy At J Crew Factory, Right Now

We really love J Crew in our home, for very specific things when they go on sale – because it’s just not always in my price range. But they also have their Factory store. The prices are much cheaper and the styles are usually one off’s from the actual J Crew store. So you often you can grab a similar style but maybe it’s made in a different color, fabric or a slightly different fit – it’s basically the budget friendly version of J Crew. Here are a bunch of my current J Crew Factory favorites, which also happen to be on sale 30% off if you use SALE30 (which is good till Sept. 23rd!).

no.1 baseball blouse – no.2 two tone sweater – no.3 baseball cap – no.4 striped button-up tank – no.5 bomber jacket – no.6 pleated midi – no.7 waffle cowl scarf - no.8 zip baseball sweater – no.9 paisley tee

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Choosing the right preschool for our daughter

The other night I went to the curriculum night at our three-year old daughter’s preschool, and I can honestly say I learned so much and found the time I spent listening to the teachers completely worth it. It was parents only, and since we didn’t have a babysitter for the night, my husband left work early and stayed home with the girls.

Unfortunately, it was pure chaos at home during the hour and a half I was gone.

When I came home, the kids were going crazy – they both told me they cried, and my husband texted me while I was driving home saying HJ was having a tantrum looking for a red rubber band. Then as soon as I got home and we were ready to do our tag-team routine of putting the kids to bed one-on-one, my husband had to get on an emergency conference call for work and the kids decided they need a snack, and basically my youngest daughter didn’t sleep until 10 pm.

Still, I’m glad that I went because it really reassured me that the school is a good fit for our daughter. Being a former teacher, and having done an overabundance of research into preschools in the area due to our older daughter’s developmental delays, I know that I definitely tend to err on the side of too much information when trying to make a decision about something important such as choosing a school. I felt like I had looked at every preschool option available, from the local park district, to the Montessori programs, to private religious preschools, and nothing seemed to be what I was looking for.

However, I had somehow overlooked this preschool which is about 10 minutes away from our home until a couple moms in Lila’s gymnastics class mentioned how much they loved it. The school is actually well-known for their summer camp program, but I hadn’t realized that they also offered a private preschool and kindergarten enrichment during the school year. Also, it turned out our next door neighbor had taught there for years and was close friends with the director.

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Spilling the Beans

When it came time to share my pregnancy news with our family and friends, I knew it would come in three waves. First, we’d tell immediate family, because we were living with my parents and I knew I couldn’t keep that secret. Second, our extended families, most likely at Christmas when we were all together. And finally, we would share with the general public (we’re social media people), after the first trimester was well over.

Telling our parents was an idea hatched at 5:00am on a Saturday. I’d taken my first digital test, and the result was clearly positive (after about a week of using up my Wondfo stash). Mr. O and I couldn’t sleep anymore, so we snuck upstairs and headed for the 24-hour Walmart. Like giddy kids awake before the adults on Christmas, we made a beeline for the baby department. Throughout our infertility, we had avoided this section like the plague; now we were practically running. We chose a ‘Here Comes Trouble’ t-shirt for my mom (with monster trucks; she loves them) and a onesie for my MIL, bought oversized gift bags and a ton of pink and blue tissue paper, and then….sat idly in the car until we knew someone would be awake.

We told Mr. O’s mom first. She unwrapped the onesie, examined the ‘Going to Grandma’s’ slogan emblazoned across the front, and looked up at us, puzzled. Then she screamed, jumped out of her chair, and gave us both hugs.

My parents were a little tougher to tell. They opened their gift bag, took out the tiny t-shirt, and smiled blandly. “Oh cute,” my mom said, “a shirt for the dog.” My sister (who was also present) noticed me shaking my head frantically, and then, what felt like hours later, the three of them clued in. Cue tears, shrieking, and hugs all around.

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