D’s Journey, Part 6 – Intestinal Rehab

We last left off with D recovering from the reconnection surgery. He had lost a lot of intestines, and the surgeons told us he had 65cm left (the average for babies is 300cm). This put him at risk for “short gut syndrome” but the NICU doctors told me that the number didn’t matter as much as the function, so they moved forward assuming he would be fine. After giving him a few days to recover from the surgery, they slowly starting ramping his food (which was breastmilk through his G tube) up to the appropriate level. They said he was tolerating it fine, and he reached the full volume he needed (and was off of IV nutrition) on a Wednesday. They told me to bring in his car seat since he’d be going home on the weekend! But alas… the floor fell out from under us again.

I noticed that D’s eyes were quite yellow. I brought it up to the NICU doctors (who hadn’t noticed – this is why you have to advocate for your LO!) and they asked for a GI consult. D started getting sick again, and not acting like himself. He was pooping a LOT, had dark colored urine, and even started to run a fever. The GI docs were concerned since he wasn’t gaining weight as he should, and then they ran some tests and found out he was severely dehydrated. This indicated to his care team that he was not absorbing nutrients and fluids as he should be (ie, he had short gut syndrome), and needed some serious help. They stopped giving him breastmilk and put him back on IV nutrition, and the GI doctors requested that he be transferred out of the NICU and to their floor.

D with his yellow eyes…

read more »

20 Best Lunchboxes for Kids

I’ve been packing lunches pretty much daily for the past 4 years, and I’ve tried a lot of lunchboxes over the years as the kids have gotten older and their needs have changed. There are so many options out there nowadays, but it can be difficult to figure out exactly what fits your needs until you’ve been packing lunches for a little while. The most important factors to consider are: 1) how much does your child eat, 2) what type of lunches do you pack (bento vs. sandwiches for example), 3) what type of container do you want? (stainless steel, plastic, weight, ease of use, etc.), and 4) how many different pieces do you want to deal with.

Because Mr. Bee and I are Japanese and Korean and bentos are part of our culture, it’s something that our kids have grown up with. Since Charlie and Olive can be particular about what they eat, bento-style lunches have really encouraged them to not only eat more, but eat more variety.

Below I’ve rounded up 20 of my favorite lunch boxes starting from $7 and up!

read more »

Eczema, allergies, and what’s worked for our family

I don’t know exactly how or why this happened, but in the past few years our entire family has unfortunately been forced to become experts on dealing with eczema and allergies.

Our oldest daughter HJ has definitely had it the worst, suffering from constant eczema since she was an infant, seasonal allergies, and food allergies to peanut, soy, and beans. My husband has always had eczema as well, and contact allergies to fragrances and certain types of detergent and soap. My younger daughter also has eczema, but thankfully, no food allergies or other skin sensitivities so far. And at one point in my late twenties/early thirties, I discovered that I was also allergic to most fragrances and metals (such as nickel, silver, and copper – meaning that I can’t wear most jewelry).

If you come over to our house, you’ll see that we only use Tide Free detergent, fragrance-free soap and shampoo, and no fabric softener. Fortunately, HJ has grown out of a lot of the eczema she had when she was younger, and we’ve finally seemed to find a way to manage it from getting any worse. She has also miraculously grown out of her food allergies – I have never been more relieved than when the allergist told me after a comprehensive food challenge test that we didn’t need to carry that epi-pen with us everywhere.

But getting back to the eczema, these are a few of the things that we’ve found that have worked for our family. Obviously, every individual will be unique, but if you or your child are desperate for relief from all the itching and discomfort that comes with eczema, I hope some of these basic suggestions will offer some help!

read more »

Gift for the new Big Sister

As Little Deer grows closer and closer towards becoming a big sister, I’ve been thinking more about getting her a big sister present from the new baby. She’ll be just shy of 22 months old when her little sister is born, so she’s still pretty young and oblivious to it all. I posed a question on the boards a week or so ago and got some good ideas. There was already a little backpack that I had been wanting to get for her, so I thought this could be a fun excuse to buy it. Rather than a box or a gift bag to open, I’m going to fill the backpack up with some goodies. My plan is to bring it with us to the hospital, and after she’s met baby sister and had a few snuggles, we’ll give it to her. I think the gift will be  a good mix of special items, treats, as well as fun activities to keep her busy at Grandma’s house.

Skip Hop Bee Backpack - Little Deer’s been toting around a little purse for a while now and I thought it could be fun to get her a little backpack. Her purse really only holds a few small toys, but with a backpack we’ll be able to actually bring snacks and books with us on outings rather than just stuffing everything in my diaper bag. I think this will come in handy with trips over to Grandma’s house as well as for preschool when she turns two. And she loves pointing out bumble bees in stories and yelling, “beeeeee!” so I imagine this one will be a hit.

read more »

Zucchini-Blueberry Crumble Muffins

Here in my neck of the woods, summer is over in a big way. It’s fall, for sure, and with the change in seasons comes a change in the vegetables available at the farmer’s market. Pencil-length cooking zucchini morph into giant, oblong zucchini-squash: the kind bigger than Little Oats. So, loaded down with zucchini, and the last of the wild blueberries (given to me by a patient at work), I headed for the kitchen. These sweet, breakfast-y muffins were the result.

read more »

Flashback Friday – Oct 2011

These posts are back from when we first launched and I was the only person blogging!

10 Tips To Get Your Kids to Eat More

Charlie and Olive eat a decent variety of food now, but our biggest challenge has always been their small appetites. They don’t eat much breakfast, they eat lunch at school, a tiny snack can completely ruin their appetites, and there have been many a night where they eat 4-5 bites (begrudgingly) for dinner and say they’re done. Every time my mom visits (she was just here this week), she’s dismayed by how little interest they have in eating.

I talk a lot about how to avoid raising a picky eater here in this post, but I also wanted to focus on how to get your little ones to just eat more. Over the years we’ve tried many “tricks,” and we still employ many of these on a regular basis because they really work!

(Olive eating rice with seaweed)

1. Light a candle. It really helps make dinnertime feel special, and anything that keeps the kids sitting at the table longer is a plus. You can even turn on some ambient music and use a tablecloth to set the mood and really make dinner a special occasion nightly. If the kids misbehave during dinner, we blow out their candle. If they are good throughout dinner, they can blow out their own candle at the end, which they always love doing!

read more »

© copyright 2011-2014 Hellobee