Tag Archives: health

Tips for helping your kids prevent sports injuries

1 Aug

Remember when Daniel was 5 months old and I broke my wrist?  My right wrist (and I’m right handed)?  I couldn’t drive, and everything I did was hard, including brushing my teeth, since I had to use my left hand.  Picking Daniel up was even harder since there was no way I could get a 5 month old out of a cot/crib with one hand.  I had to use both whilst grinning and bearing the pain.

Clearly I am not the person to talk to about preventing sports injuries.  Instead, today’s post on the preventative injuries topic is a guest post written by Medicare local:

Sports are great for kids; they get them outdoors, mobile, fit and happy. Sport can help develop important skills like coordination, working as part of a team and even promote self confidence, not to mention a healthy and active lifestyle. But, of course, there’s always the risk of injury where there’s physical activity. There’s no need to worry though, by taking a few simple steps you can greatly reduce your child’s risk of sustaining a sporting injury.

Wear Protective Gear

Rule number one of preventing sport injuries is to wear protective gear when playing a sport. Whether it’s a helmet, a mouthguard, shin-pads or gloves, if it’s recommended for your child’s sport then it’s a worthwhile investment. Concentrate particularly on known problem areas for your child’s chosen sport – choose gear that will protect any area that is most commonly at risk in that sport. Ask the coach for advice and do your research to make sure you’re protecting the right places.

Warm-Up and Cool-Down

It’s important that your kids do warm-up exercises before training or playing a sport, and cool-down exercises afterwards. Warming up helps loosen the muscles and prepare them for a higher-intensity workout by increasing blood-flow to the muscles. Cool-down exercises afterwards help return the body to normal activity levels gradually, avoiding blood rushing to the muscles and pooling after an activity is stopped abruptly and flushing out waste products like lactic acid.

sports

Training and Education

One of the best preventative steps when it comes to kids’ sports injuries in proper training and education. If your child knows how to play the game or workout correctly and understands the risks associated with that activity they have a much better chance of avoiding injury. Kids should be educated about how the body works and what muscles they use for the sport, as well as how to avoid doing themselves any injuries, including warming-up and cooling-down.

Time to Heal

While your child might be impatient to get back in the game as soon as possible, it’s very important that he/she has a sufficient amount of time to heal and doesn’t come back to the sport before the injury is fully healed. Starting again too soon can put your child at risk of re-injury and will mean even more time away from his/her favourite sports in the long run so don’t be hasty and make sure your child has properly healed before heading back onto the field.

If your child has sustained a particularly bad injury and is reluctant to go back to playing sport, you can ask your local child mental health services for advice about dealing with the mental impact of injury and how you can help him/her overcome the resultant fears.

Adult Supervision

During sport and training kids should be supervised by a trained adult who can guide them through a safe and effective game or training session and help them avoid any activities which may cause injury. Having a trained adult there means kids have access to help and advice, can be corrected when they’re doing something that may put them at risk of injury, and have somebody at hand to come to aid immediately if they do injure themselves.

With these measures in place you can rest assured that you’ve taken positive steps against injury and your child will be free to enjoy his/her favourite sports in a safe environment.

*This post was brought to you by Medicare Local – Darling Downs, Southwest Queensland.

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Tips for picky eaters

7 Mar

When Hannah was little, she used to eat any puree I put on her little spoon.  She loved any and all food. I can’t pinpoint when, or how it happened, but now she is fussy.  Really fussy.  It drives me nuts.  She’s been this way for at least two years now, and instead of gradually getting better, it just gets worse.  I fear that she isn’t getting enough vitamins, minerals, and protein to sustain her and keep her healthy.  I know it’s not just Hannah though, eating is a huge problem.  According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, 50% of toddlers aged 2-4 are picky eaters (up from 19% of under twos), which accounts for 95% of all picky eaters.

Lucky for me (and probably you too), I received some picky eater tips, and got some of my own questions answered by Kate Samela, Paediatric nutritionist, mom of two, and author of Give Peas a Chance: The Foolproof Guide to Feeding Your Picky Toddler, which was name a “mom must read” by Parents.com.

givepeasachance

One of Kate’s tips is using kids’ favorite textures (not tastes!) to expand their eating habits. The goal is to try and identify foods that are similar in texture and consistency to foods that he already accepts and that have the same “mouth feel”.  The familiar and accepted texture can be a bridge to a new flavor or food acceptance.

If they like …

Crunchy/Salty: Instead of Cheerios or Goldfish, try Terra Stix or mini rice cakes

Sweet and Squishy: Instead of pancakes, try freeze-dried fruit cubes or sweet breads like pumpkin or zucchini

Smooth and Slippery: Instead of string cheese, try a yogurt smoothie or pudding

Soft/Mushy: Instead of mac and cheese, try sweet potato pancakes or oven-baked eggplant parmesan

  • Offer the food with a safety food and as part of a meal. A safety food is one food that you are certain your toddler will accept – something familiar and likeable. For example, if you are trying to expose your toddler to meat, pair it with his favorite fruit or vegetable and a starch (i.e. watermelon and French fries).
  • Allow your toddler to touch and play with that food, even if it means putting it in his mouth and then spitting it out. Playing with food is something that toddlers do and they engage in this activity because it is a key part of their development.
  • Serve the same food to all at the table, so your toddler will see other people eating what he is being served.
  • Offer the food in small quantities so that he does not get discouraged or overwhelmed. “Portion Distortion” begins in the toddler stage: Bags of chips, cookies, and snack crackers are bigger than ever. Often, parents feel like their toddler is eating nothing because they have piled on grown-up portion sizes, or even quantities of food that an older sibling would eat.
  • If after two minutes your toddler says the dreaded “I’m done,” ignore him and attempt to engage him to talk about something he did that day. Do not try and overzealously attempt to keep him at the table, or set “rules” for what else he has to eat before he gets down. There is a biological reason for a decrease in food intake between the ages of one to three, and that is a slower rate of growth. Appetite mimics rate of growth; therefore, appetite “slows down.”
  • Consider what your toddler eats over the course of a week, rather than from meal to meal. You can even pick several days if a week seems just too long. The idea that his decrease in appetite is developmentally appropriate should give you some reassurance for those days that his eating doesn’t seem to add up to nutrition perfection.  In a day, it can be normal for a toddler to eat one “good” meal.

I asked some specific questions to Kate, about things I struggle with in regards to Hannah.  Here is what she said:

Q:My daughter is 3.5, and very picky. Instead of starting to get less picky, she keeps getting pickier. She will often refuse to eat things she loved not so long ago, and say “I don’t like that anymore.” She doesn’t just not like it for a week or so. When she says that, that’s it, she won’t eat it again no matter how many times I put it on her plate. Is this normal, and what can I do about it?

KS: As frustrating as this can be, it happens with some kids. The first thing you have to do is think about how you (or anyone eating with her) are responding to her declaration of “I don’t like it”. If you feel the scenario escalates into a battle of wills more often than not (i.e. You respond: “What do you mean you don’t like this, you just ate it yesterday!”), then there are some changes to be made. Simply ignore her declaration and act like you don’t care either way. Try saying, “Well, I am sure you can find something on the table you like.”

If however, these food refusals are accompanied by weight loss, persistent stomach aches, changes in bowel habits, or constant fatigue, you need to speak with your pediatrician as her decline in food intake could signal something else.

2. Question from a reader: My 18 month old daughter eats pretty balanced meals, but sometimes she refuses to eat anything for a few days, she will drink milk though. Her doctor warned me that if she drinks more than 12oz a day she could get very ill and possibly die. My initial reaction was fear, but I’m feeling a little mislead, any input? thank you!

KS: The big concern with excessive milk intake in toddlers who have very little table food in their diets relates to iron deficiency anemia. Milk is a poor source of iron, and foods help keep iron stores within normal limits. The severity of the anemia will depend upon how long the scenario has been going on. Meaning, when a child doesn’t eat anything, and drinks more than 16 ounces of milk per day week after week, it can become a serious problem. Usually, it occurs when the child is drinking large quantities of milk (like more than 24 ounces).

Be sure that you are still going through the routine of offering regularly scheduled meals and snacks, and be sure you (or the caregiver) are sitting and eating with her. Use these days as a chance to offer something new and fun – sometimes kids just get bored of the same old stuff – especially at 18 months.

Also, pay attention to her stooling pattern during these 3 day food refusals – if she is constipated, she might not feel like eating. Give 2-4 ounces of pear juice per day to help her move things along.

And lastly, give her a daily MVI with Fe, such as a Flintstones Complete, to be on the safe side

 

3. I know you say I shouldn’t overzealously try to keep my daughter at the table and make her eat x and y before she gets down, but is it ok to make her sit at the table until dinner time is finished if she doesn’t actually have to eat anything? Usually I let her get down when she’s done if she eats all of her food, but if she doesn’t, she has to stay at the table until dinner is finished (and I emphasize the fact that she doesn’t have to eat anything). She always wants to get down though.

KS: It sounds like there are mixed messages being passed along. Your daughter would benefit from a consistent response to her request to get down from the table. Meaning, whether or not she gets down should not depend upon what she ate or didn’t eat. If your goals are to have her sit for longer with the family to enjoy the time together, then it’s fair to set the rule that no one can get up before everyone is finished. And I agree that she does not have to eat anything while she is sitting. One suggestion: quietly be mindful of how long she has been sitting, but don’t feel the need to set a timer. She should not know you are keeping track of time, otherwise she will dread coming back time and time again.

4. When I put something that Hannah “doesn’t like” (I use the term loosely because it’s not based on taste, just what she says she doesn’t like without trying it), she won’t even eat the things she does like that are in a different section of the segmented plate. Often she will even turn around in her chair because she “doesn’t want to see it.” How can I get her to try things when she won’t even touch or look at them?

KS: This is a tough one. First, I would want to know if you remove the offending food on a regular basis. If you have fallen into that habit to keep peace at mealtime (full disclosure, I have done it too!), she might be persistent with this response based on her past experiences. If you have removed it once, you will remove it again! (Note from Sheri added after questions were answered: I do not take the offending food away.)

I would suggest putting what you made for dinner on serving dishes instead, and allow her to try and serve herself instead. Most 5 year olds can do this with a tiny amount of guidance, but if she is younger, than she might need some hands on help. Kids LOVE the autonomy of putting their own food their plates, and might even be motivated after a few weeks of doing it, to put something new on the plate too. Otherwise, you can try today the website Today I ate a Rainbow, and see if the charts and rewards help – it’s a great site.

5. I recently got a rewards chart for Hannah. If she tries her dinner, she gets a sticker. If she gets stickers for a week, she gets a predetermined (by a discussion between Hannah and me) prize. She doesn’t even have to eat the food. All I want is for her to put one little bit in her mouth, just so she can taste the flavour and hopefully start to get used to putting different things in her mouth, and even coming to like the different tastes. Do you think a rewards chart is a good idea for picky eaters?

KS: I think it depends on how it is presented, and of course the personality of the child. If what she is eating (or what she is not) is a major focus of her day, every day, every meal, then I think the chart is overkill. Additionally, she might just feel like she is constantly disappointing you by not taking just a bite.  You want her to feel like she can choose to try a new food because she wants to. You can motivate her by taking some focus away from food, and take the pressure off meal time a bit and just enjoy each other’s company.

 

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A stupid injury

28 Aug

Every time I cough, I’m in pain. When I sneeze? Oh goodness, I don’t even want to talk about that! Laughing hurts. Taking a deep breath hurts.

When I broke my wrist, and wrote it in a Facebook status, a friend commented that knowing me, it must have been done in some weird/crazy fashion. Yeah, it was (you can read about it here if you so choose).

But this injury? It’s just embarrassing. And ridiculous. Sigh. I’ve had this obnoxious, horrible cough for 2 weeks.

Aaron had been sleeping on the couch to avoid waking up a million times a night to my obnoxious coughing, so finally I decided enough was enough and took myself to the doctor.

Turns out I had a throat infection and I got some antibiotics. After a couple of doses, my cough started clearing up. But I still had some coughing fits. Just not as many.

Cough cough. Cough cough. I was coughing hard. And fast. And then my left side hurt. Right under my boob. It wasn’t terrible though. Just a little sore.

Until I coughed some more the next day. The pain expanded from the from the very inside edge of my ribs to my side. Every cough was agony. But I still needed to cough. It hasn’t gone completely away yet.

I pulled a muscle in my chest coughing. Yes, that’s right, coughing. Sigh. What am I, 80 years old?

The doctor told me to take Nurofen,  an anti-inflammatory pain reliever, 3 times per day.

Now if only I could go to the gym. I can’t do weights because it would hurt my pulled muscle. And I can’t run because at the moment running makes me cough and coughing is agony. Did  I mention I’ve signed up for a fun run in a couple of weeks? My very first race? Yeah, great timing. Not that I could run as fast as I want anyway, since I will be pushing a pram.

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Why you should consider cord blood banking

19 Jul

When I was pregnant with Hannah, I’d heard a bit about banking cord blood, but didn’t know a thing about it. I asked at the hospital, but they didn’t have any information, nor did they do cord blood banking. Needless to say, we didn’t get her cord blood banked.

Is banking cord blood really worth while? Is it something you should do? Since I have no knowledge of the subject, here is a guest post written by Katie Green, and sponsored by CordBlood.com.

Cord blood banking involves the collection and retention of blood left in the umbilical cord and placenta when
a child is born. This cord blood is rich in stem cells, which are extremely useful in the treatment of a number
of human diseases, as they are able to evolve in to other types of cell.

There are a number of reasons why parents should seriously consider cord blood banking as a good option,
both for them and the child. Cord blood banking provides an opportunity to safeguard their child’s future by
retaining some healthy stem cells, which might be used to cure a number of life threatening conditions at
some point the child’s life. In addition, it may benefit other family members or other children in need, as the
cells can be used to treat anyone that is a genetic match. Donated cord blood is also being widely used in
medical research; scientists are currently investigating a number of incurable diseases, and whether core
blood may provide a cure or useful treatment.

Benefits of cord blood banking

Children who require stem cells as treatment for a serious illness often have to wait some time to receive
them, as there is often a limited supply in the public domain. However, if the child’s parents banked the cord
blood when the child was born, he or she can receive the prompt treatment that will provide the best chance
of recovering from the illness. Similarly, if a newborn has a sibling who already suffers from a condition that
is treatable with stem cells, cord blood banking can be invaluable in their treatment and could help to save
their life.

Core blood is now being used as an alternative to other more traditional sources of stem cells. The collection
of cells from other sources are often more invasive; for example bone marrow donation is very painful and
involves needles being stuck in to the center of the bone. However cord blood banking is completely painless
and does not harm or affect either the mother or the newborn. It makes use of valuable tissue that would
otherwise be discarded as medical waste.

How useful is cord blood banking

The stem cells found in cord blood are extremely useful. As they can develop to become other types of cells,
they can be used to repair body tissue, blood vessels, and organs. They are also used in the treatment of 70
types of blood disorders, cancers and other illnesses, including sickle cell anemia, leukemia, and lymphoma.
Recent studies are investigating how cord blood can be used to treat a wide range of other illnesses,
including heart disease and immune deficiencies.

Things you should know about cord blood banking

Parents should be aware that cord blood banking could help to save lives. Although a child has only a one
in 10,000 chance of needing a transplant of their own stem cells, the cells could be used to save someone
else’s life if donated to a public bank. Parents have the option to pay a fee to retain their child’s cord blood
privately, so that it is reserved specifically for them or other family members; or alternatively, they can donate
it to cord blood bank institutions for free, so that it can help others who are in need.

More information can be found on the internet, for example a stem cell treatment infographic.

Katie Green is a freelance writer who loves learning new things. She is currently interested in baby health issues and how they are being dealt with nowadays.

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Australia’s incessant need for doctors certificates

18 Jul

Being from a country that doesn’t have government paid healthcare for all, I find it incredibly ridiculous that over here you need a doctors certificate for this, that, and the other thing.

For example: You’re sick. You need to stay home from work. Fair enough, but you need a doctors certificate. Yes, even though you know that  you have the flu and there’s nothing the doctor can actually do about it, you still need to drag your sick bottom out of bed and to the doctors office where you will sit uncomfortably in the waiting room for at least half an hour, just to tell the doctor you have the flu and need a doctors certificate saying that you are, in fact, sick. Yes, you would be far better off lying in bed at home, but you gotta have that certificate.

Everything I Learned in Medical School: Besides All the Book Stuff

Some employers allow you to have an entire day off sick before you need the certificate (i.e. you’d need to get it to stay home a second day). Wow, isn’t that great?! (yes that was sarcasm, in case you didn’t get that)

Sometimes you’re feeling quite ill, but there aren’t any offensive bodily fluids escaping from either end, so you decide to go to work anyway. I mean it’s not like you can just stay home to recuperate, you’d have to drag your sick self off to the doctor uselessly anyway, so you might as well drag your sick self out of bed and actually get paid for it.

Then you go to work and can’t give it 100% because you feel like death warmed up. Since you’re there instead of in bed at home where you should be, everyone else catches it too. The next day, everyone doesn’t feel like dragging their sick selves out of bed to the doctors for their stupid certificate, so they all go to work too. Now everyone is sick and only working to 50% because you all feel like death. What a great idea it was for employers to require a doctors certificate! Very productive (there’s that sarcasm again…).

Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us

Or say I’m sick, and the kids are sick. I want Aaron to stay home with me to help out, but we’d have to get to the doctor. He can get a certificate to say that we’re sick and he’s helping. Yes, a certificate for the one who isn’t even sick.  But I don’t want or need to go to the doctor. This scenario happend earlier this week. Daniel was vomiting all night (for the first time ever), plus diarrhoea, and then I got the runs too.

I couldn’t go to the doctor. I had the sort of diarrhoea that doesn’t wait for anyone. You have to get to the toilet or it comes anyway. How would I get to the doctor without accidentally pooping myself on the way there? No thanks. Plus what could the doctor do anyway? I just had to ride it out.

And what about the money? Medicare is paid for by the government, i.e. taxpayers. So how much taxpayer money is wasted on ridiculous trips to the doctor just to get a stupid piece of paper to say that you are sick?

Plus, you don’t actually have to be sick to get the certificate. You can just go to any doctor, not your usual doctor, not one that knows you or your history, tell them you’ve got cramps, or the trots, or whatever, and they’ll write you a certificate. They don’t live with you, follow to the bathroom to see if you do indeed have water coming out of your bottom, or interrogate you to find out if your claims are true. Nope, they have so many patients to see, probably half of whom just need that piece of paper, that it’s in and out as quick as they can possibly move you.

Full time employees get 5 days of sick leave per year. Paid. So why do workers need to “prove” that they are sick? What difference does it make? They have 5 days of sick leave for a reason. If they want to waste them on hangovers from binge drinking , watching movies all day for the sake of it, or something like that, then whatever, it’s their 5 days. If they get sick later and need to take unpaid leave, then that’s what they have to do. If they do it all the time, then they’d get fired. So what, it’d be their own fault. We’re talking about adults here, not 5 year olds who say they have a tummy ache so they don’t have to clean their room.

You’d never need a doctors certificate for a sick day in the U.S. For one thing, millions of Americans don’t have health insurance. And health care is expensive over there. Most people wouldn’t stay home from work even if they were bottom-is-like-a-tap sick if they had to pay $85+ just for a piece of paper confirming their sickness.

Not to mention that the majority of health insurance over there is part of the employment package. The employer pays for the health insurance. So an employer certainly isn’t going to make the employee get a doctors certificate when the employer is the one paying for it. If everyone had to do that, the price of insurance would go up and then the employers would have to shell out more money for health insurance, or not offer it at all, driving millions more to the uninsured status.

I was thinking about writing about this today when I got a text from Hannah’s family daycare provider saying that I’d need a doctors certificate stating that she’s well, otherwise she can’t go to daycare on Thursday (how did she know Hannah was sick? She’s my friend, and saw it on Facebook. Note to self: share less on Facebook). Say what? A well certificate.

“Are you serious?” I texted back. “I need a certificate when she’s not going to your house for 2 more days and she’s not even sick today?”

Now I wasn’t mad at her or anything, I know it’s not her rule. Well maybe it is, and then I’m going to look like an ass, but I’m assuming it’s not (note, I wrote this yesterday, and now we’ve been to the doctor, and he says it’s a new government initiative) . It probably sounds mildly reasonable to people who grew up here, but I didn’t.

So now, I have to waste my morning going to the doctors office (instead of spending one on one time with Hannah while Daniel is napping), that’s filled with highly contagious people who are only there to get their stupid certificates. Daniel, Hannah and I will have to sit there next to all the sick people when we are not sick, and hopefully not infect ourselves with who knows what whilst we are there. All to get a piece of paper from my doctor who unless Hannah has any obvious signs of sickness (swollen this or that, blocked this or that, fever, you know, stuff like that), will write of piece of paper, and that’s it. He’s not at home with us, she could be pooping herself 10 times a day, and he’d have no idea. Of course I’d never send her to daycare like that, but you get my drift.

And then there’s the gym. You have to sign up in advance to put your kids in creche on a particular day. If that day comes and your kid wakes up sick and you can’t go, you have to either pay $5, or take them a doctors certificate. So $5 out of your own pocket, or $65+ out of the governments.

I don’t have any kids in school yet, but I’m sure you’d need a doctors certificate there too. Sigh.

There are people, many, many people in the world who can’t afford to go to the doctor when they desperately need to. And here we are, forced to go to the doctor needlessly, clogging up the system and costing the government lots of money. Ridiculous. I wonder how many lives could be saved if instead of going to the doctor for a doctors certificate, we could stay home and recuperate whilst that money would instead fund a trip to the doctor for someone who actually needed it. In a third world country, one of our doctor visits could pay for heaps of doctor visits. It’s so unfair. Sigh.

Am I the only one that thinks this is ridiculous?

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A wee problem at the gym

16 Jul

As I’m sure you’re all aware, I’ve been working out at the gym for some months now. Getting fit, losing the post-baby muffin top/love handles/cellulite/how-did-a-baby-fit-in-there left over pudge. The first thing I do at the gym is run. After dropping the kids off at the creche. Of course. The free creche. Yes, I know, that is super awesome.

I used to hate running. With quite a passion. Possibly because I looked ridiculous. My arms seemed to flap involuntarily kind of like a rabid chicken chasing a farmer with a meat cleaver. Poor Hannah, she has managed to inherit my poor running skills. Her flap is even more apparent then mine. Or possibly I hated running because it was hard. And boring. And I sucked at it. Sigh.

Pounding concrete whilst thinking about nothing and looking at sidewalk crack after sidewalk crack, all the while feeling like my lungs are going to burst and my legs are going to fall off, and getting a rash from my I-probably-should-have-shaved them thighs rubbing together? Ick. Hated it. I hated it.

I started running 2 years ago when I nearly died of excitement about the Amazing Race Australia. They were taking applications and by-golly, I was going to apply (and I did. You can watch my application video here. And yes, it does include a shot of the ridiculous running).

But then Aaron told me that if I actually managed to get on the show (I didn’t. Sigh), I’d have to run. A lot. And if I wasn’t good at running, I probably wouldn’t win.

And so my running regimen started. Er…not so much of a regimen as a once a week half killing myself to run 1 kilometer in like 20 minutes session.

That went on for a whole couple of months and then I stopped because I got pregnant and running was just way too hard.

Anyway…. I wasn’t planning on running at the gym. I was going to use that funny cross trainer, or elliptical machine (is that the same thing?) until I found out that the treadmill tells you how fast you’re going, your pace, and how many kilometres you’ve done. Now, I’m pretty competitive, so I decided to try to beat myself. I keep track of how many km’s I run in 15 minutes every time I go to the gym, and then I input it all into Runkeeper. Not to mention, I won’t be retarded at running when I next apply for the Amazing Race (which I will).

When I started, I was doing a kilometer in about 8 and a half minutes. Each week, I try to better my pace. I set new goals. I push myself.

Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred

A couple weeks ago, I was pushing myself. I was 13 minutes in to a 15 minute run at a pace of 5 minutes and 27 seconds per kilometer (for the whole run, not just at that particular moment. In case you were wondering…). My fastest run ever. I was nearly there. I was going to make it. I was so excited.

Oh crap.

I felt a little drip. Just a little.

I kept running. I was getting closer to 15 minutes. Closer to my best run.

Another drip. Maybe I was imagining things? Maybe it was just one little drop that was kind of hovering there, deceiving me.

I kept running.

Another drip. And another. And another.

I was starting to feel a bit wet.

But I kept running. I thought about stopping, but I really wanted to get to 15 minutes and complete my fastest run.

I kept dripping. I tried with all my might to hold it in, but I just couldn’t.

I wonder if you can see a wet patch. Can the people behind me see it?

I wasn’t sure. I kinda thought they could. Or maybe I was just imagining the drippy feeling. Either way, I kept running.

I looked at the timer on the treadmill.

15:00.

I pushed the stop button and ran, then jogged, then walked until the treadmill came to a stop. As my legs came together and stopped moving, I knew. Without a doubt, I had leaked. Sigh.

For two entire minutes, I leaked, partially wetting myself as I ran.

Sweat pouring out of my armpits, face, and probably my butt-crack, I stepped off the treadmill, not knowing how big and visible the wet patch was.

Normally I do squats, lunges, 4 minutes on the grinder, sit ups, seated row, 2 minutes on the rowing machine, and then stretches.

I couldn’t do all of that. Not without knowing if there was a giant wet patch across my butt, a walking advertisement for all to see that I have a wee little problem.

I sat on the floor in the stretching area in a half-splits, stretching position. As I leaned forward, giving the illusion of stretching as I went, I had a sneaky little look at my crotch.

Crap.

Staring right back at me was a decently sized pee-smelling wet patch.

As quick as humanly possible, I put my legs back together straight in front of me and stretched. I wanted to appear normal to anyone who may have caught a glimpse of my crotch spot. Like it was just sweat and no big deal or something. If I ran straight out of there, crying from embarrassment as I went, everyone would know that I half wet myself on the treadmill.

But if I continued stretching, without exposing my soiled crotch area to the world, then sauntered to the exit all nonchalantly, maybe no one would know.  Or maybe everyone would be quietly pointing to me whilst muttering “oh. my. gosh. Did you see that girl? She wet herself on the treadmill!” to their friends as I walked out.

Whatever, I went with the casually strolling out option. Except I tied my coat around my waist. Nothing says “accidentally wet myself on the treadmill” like a coat tied around the waist.

I guess after having kids, you can’t be lax about kegels. I haven’t done them in a while. I thought I was fixed.

Time to bust out the kegel exerciser again. Sigh.

Kegel exerciser GyneFlex with VTP (R) – Regular Strength

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Copyright 2012 Sheri Thomson

The Best Mom Blogs

A story about stretch marks

22 Jun

I was really lucky, I didn’t really get stretch marks when I was pregnant. Well, I got some on my butt, but I’m pretty sure they are gone now. Maybe. I can’t see them, so they don’t really bother me. I have one little tiny stretch mark on my stomach, just under my belly button from the rambunctious, posterior Daniel.

People generally don’t like stretch marks. They don’t want them. They hate them when they have them. At least that’s what I though. Until I read this story (by Amy Neff, writer of The Neff Family Blog):

Age: 28
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: Baby #1: 2 years. Baby #2: 6 months

Here I am. Almost six months after the birth of my second daughter. Complete with stretch marks, sagging skin, extra weight, and everything just…misplaced, for lack of a better word.

I had two babies in less than two years, my second being rather large. To say I got stretch marks is an understatement. I have been drenched in stretch marks! I remember when I was pregnant with my first daughter and the stretch marks starting popping up and the weight piled on. As ashamed as I almost am to admit this, I was sad and upset. I remember crying as I was trying on maternity clothes, thinking about how my body would never be the same. By the end of the pregnancy my entire abdomen, hips and thighs were covered in stretch marks despite every effort by me, covering myself in every cream and body lotion I could find. Nothing worked. I was just predisposed to get these things. By the time my second daughter came along the stretch marks had faded. But she, being her strong-willed and determined self, added her own marks. While my first daughter decorated my stomach (now nicknamed her “old apartment” by my husband) with mostly vertical stripes, my second was much more creative. She added horizontal lines, squiggly lines, and extended the vertical ones even higher. She was much larger than my first daughter, so the saggy skin was greatly intensified. I would look in the mirror at my post baby body and cringe. I would think, how on Earth could my husband EVER find this attractive?!! But, oddly enough, he somehow does.

Something happened recently that has entirely changed my outlook on my body, my flaws, and my “ruined” abdomen. This story is very sad, but I wanted to share it because it was been so inspirational to me.

On Christmas Eve, 2010 my twin sister found out that she was pregnant. I remember her calling me just minutes after the two lines appeared on the pregnancy test. She was excited, and scared, and a little in shock, as most newly pregnant women are. Her pregnancy progressed well. Everything was fine and uneventful. I remember the day that she got her first stretch mark. She called to tell me about it, and she was EXCITED! She was actually HAPPY about it! She said that that stretch mark showed that her baby was growing. That was the most important thing to her. She was not upset in the least. She was thrilled that her pregnancy was progressing, and that her baby was getting bigger. She had been having premonitions that something wasn’t quite right, and that her baby wasn’t big enough. Everyone, her doctors included, assured her that everything was fine. To her, that stretch mark was just more reassurance that her baby was, in fact, growing.

Tragically and suddenly, at almost 37 weeks pregnant, my sister lost her baby. The details are incredibly sad, so I won’t share them all. She had to deliver her baby and say goodbye. It was, without a doubt, one of hardest things I can ever imagine someone having to go through. After she had been released from the hospital and was sent home, she was telling me how her abdomen had shrunk down so much. How strange that felt…that her pregnant belly was gone, and she was left feeling completely empty. She said that she still had just that one stretch mark. I asked her if it was hard for her to have to see it. She said no. She said that her one stretch mark would always be proof that her baby existed. Those words stuck with me, and will stay with me forever.

Now I look at my stretch marks and saggy, floppy skin quite a bit differently. I was BLESSED with the opportunity to carry my babies full term. I had healthy, full term pregnancies, and I was rewarded with two big babies. Sadly, so many women aren’t this fortunate, which I’ve now seen firsthand. I’ve realized that the sacrifice of my more youthful and skinnier body has been more than worth it.

My sister’s pregnancy was the only time she was given with her baby. I know that she will remember and truly cherish the memories of every kick, every hiccup, every elbow jab. Now I feel that because I was lucky enough to bring my babies home, feed my babies, cuddle with my babies, and raise my babies, the last thing I should do is complain about my less than perfect mid-section.

When I look in the mirror now, do I think my body is pretty, or attractive? No, definitely not. But this body has been through a lot in the past two and half years. Two births in 23 months, a combined weight gain of over 70 lbs, 18+ months of breastfeeding. It takes its toll, and I am grateful for all of it. I’m PROUD of what my body has done and, most importantly, what it has given me. My pregnancies were, by far, the most exciting times of my life. I often miss the moments of pure excitement and anticipation. I miss rubbing my pregnant belly, and bonding with my baby before she was even born. Both pregnancies were such specials times that I will always look back on with so much fondness.

My little niece, who I was never lucky enough to meet, and my incredibly amazing sister have taught me so much and inspired so many, and I wanted to share this story with you. These stretch marks are here to stay, and that’s fine with me.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Copyright 2012 Sheri Thomson

When blueberries backfire

6 Jan

I have been taking the patient approach in getting Hannah to eat her dinner; putting it in front of her and if she wants it, she eats, if she says “done” and tries to get down, I put her down.  Without dinner.  She does get milk before bed time though.  I don’t want to force her to eat because, well, let’s face it, you can’t actually force someone to eat something unless you shove a tube down their throat and then throw the food in, I don’t want her to develop a bad relationship to food, or use food to gain control (or think she is in control), and I don’t want her to dread meal time.  I read a book that said toddlers will never starve themselves, usually they are eating a lot more than we realise as they are constant grazers, and they don’t need as much food as they did before because they grow a lot less.  Fair enough.

The other day, Hannah wanted me to put together the wooden train set she got for Christmas.  “Train!” she told me.  I, on the other hand, was trying to get her to put her pants on.

“Put your pants on, and then I’ll make the train for you.”  I told her.

“NO!”  “Train!”

“No train until you put your pants on.”  I calmly told her.

“No!”

This went around a few times and then something amazing happened:  She came over to me, sat in my lap and stuck her foot in the air so I could put a pant leg on it.  Just like that, she let me put her pants on.  Then I put the train track together.  Everyone was happy.

And I got an idea….

I made Hannah hokkien noodles with vegetables, egg, and a little bit of honey soy sauce for dinner (which is delicious by the way, thanks Romana for the idea).  I put it in front of her.

“Done!”  She exclaimed while trying to get out of her high chair, without so much as smelling the delicious dinner I slaved over the stove to make for her.

“Do you want a blueberry?”  I asked her.

“Blueberry!”

“Ok, I’ll give you a blueberry if you eat one bite of dinner.”

“NO!”

“Do you want a blueberry?”  I asked her again.

Photo courtesy of bewellbuzz.com

“Please.” She said with her cute little face.

“First eat one bite of food, then you can have a blueberry.”

She opened her mouth, and ate a bite of dinner.  I gave her a blueberry.  I gave her another bite of food, then a blueberry.  Soon, she had eaten her entire dinner.  I was ecstatic.  I’m pretty sure she was too, blueberries are her favourite.  That was the first time in her entire life that she has actually eaten egg.  She doesn’t like egg.  She doesn’t like chicken.  Or beef, or fish.  She pretty much doesn’t like any sort of protein unless it’s hidden in pancakes in the form of wheat germ.

We did the same thing the next night, and she ate all of her dinner.  I’m really onto something.

Or so I thought.

I tried to give her something other than the noodles the night after that.  I made her some Vietnamese rice paper rolls with a tiny bit of  teriyaki chicken, grated carrot, grated cucumber, some sort of little noodle that looks like glass, and avocado.  She took a bite, then promptly spit it out while making a face that conveyed grossness.  She wouldn’t eat it anymore.  I wouldn’t give her a blueberry.  She got really upset.  I made her some more noodles like she had eaten the previous 2 nights.  Nope, didn’t want that either.  Wouldn’t eat anything (except for blueberries, which I wasn’t going to give her if she didn’t first take a bite of dinner).  Stalemate.  She got down with no dinner.

Sigh.  Now I’ll have to think of another way to get her to eat her food.  Any ideas?  Or maybe she will go back to bribery as long as it’s something she doesn’t hate.  At least she drinks V8 juice (watered down of course).

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