My Love Below

my journey through motherhood and other complex matters

Archive for the category “Parenting”

Hand, Foot and Mouth

We have finally returned to normalcy after 10 days. Miles caught the dreaded of all pre-school viruses, Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. It is horrible and honestly, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy’s children, much less my worst enemy.

Miles came to our bedroom one morning very lethargic. He didn’t even attempt to hop on our bed like he usually does. I assumed he wasn’t feeling well, but I had no idea what was to come. At about 11 a.m. that morning he complained about an itchy rash on his feet. I thought he might have had an allergic reaction to something or got bitten by an insect. I rubbed his the rash with Benadryl cream and kept it moving. That evening, we were at my parents house and Miles was super uncomfortable. He kept complaining about his feet and how itchy they were. By this time he was in tears as we tried everything to console him. By this point I had called his Pedi’s after-hours care for the third time. The nurse told me that if he was experiencing the same symptoms in the morning I should make an appointment to see his doctor. After I hung up the phone, I thought . . . this is crap! She wants my child to suffer through the night before I bring him to see his doctor who probably does not have the equipment to treat my him should this be something worse? Mother’s instinct told me to take him to the emergency room.

In the meantime, we hopped on the internet an attempted to diagnose our son. We scanned pictures of rashes comparing them to the rash that was on Miles’ feet and skipped over Hand, Foot and Mouth, because the description indicated that the rash was mild and not itchy. However, I thought otherwise. In fact, I called it.

When we got to the emergency room and the nurse came in, she immediately diagnosed Miles as having the viral infection, which has no real cure, but time. The rash, which turned into water blisters,  spread like the description said from his feet, to his hands, to around his mouth. He even experienced mouth sores and blisters on his knees. The mouth sores and blisters around his mouth went away in two to three days. The blisters on his feet lasted seven to eight and right now, the skin on his feet is shedding – part of the heeling process.

As a parent, I never felt so helpless. Miles was in such discomfort and anything we tried to help sooth his pain and irritability was temporary. We tried Benadryl, Motrin, Calamine lotion and oatmeal baths. I’m pregnant, so I made sure that if I caught the virus, it would not affect the baby and it wouldn’t, which was a relief.  The virus has an incubation period of three to six days and  could be spread when Miles experienced a fever. His fevers were very mild – 99 to 101 F. However, some experts revealed that fevers could get as high as 103 F.

I’m so happy that today Miles went back to school and he was happy to be there. Poor boy had been indoors for one whole week. The most important thing that kept me sane, besides my faith in God, was knowing that we would all come out on the other side, that his pain and discomfort (and ours to add) was temporary. Miles would get better. We would return to normalcy. There was light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

I thought it was important to post this experience to my blog, because let’s face it parenting can be hard. As a parent, I believe that you are supposed to be your child’s strongest advocate. I also believe that as a mother, it’s my desire to share real life experiences to let others know that hey, while it’s tough now, you will survive. We did!


Be Kind

I had a rough start to the week. Lots of things going on that I could not handle at one time. While my situation is not nearly as bad as others, some I know and some I don’t,  I was reminded of the importance of being kind. We don’t know what people often go through or the difficulties they may encounter. However, I believe there is something powerful about being kind to others, even when you don’t feel like it.


Scenes from Easter

We had a glorious Easter weekend in Burleson, TX. Miles participated “unsuccessfully” in his first Easter egg hunt and got the chance to ride his Papa’s lawn mower a few times. Most importantly, I got to rest. Got to love country living!

Miles' Easter basket. I made it myself.

Miles’ Easter basket. I made it myself.


Taking a ride with daddy.

Taking a ride with daddy.


Then PaPa (Paw-Paw)

Then PaPa (Paw-Paw)


The Easter egg hunt. Minor meltdown because he wanted to pick-up eggs before it was actually time.

The Easter egg hunt. Minor meltdown because he wanted to pick-up eggs before it was actually time.


Easter swag. I love those socks.

Easter swag. I love those socks.


Milesy, Mommy and Ju-Ju. I'm almost 23 weeks here.

Milesy, Mommy and Ju-Ju. I’m almost 23 weeks here.







Easter, the bunny and the eggs

I’m not casting judgement on any parent who promotes Easter as the day Little Bunny Foo-Foo prances through the house or yard, hiding eggs full of delicious treats for their kiddos to find, but this South Park clip really says it all.

Why do we as parents choose to subscribe to group think just to save face? My parents were always very honest with me about Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter bunny and it didn’t prevent me from having an imagination or limited my creativity.  Not to toot my own horn, but I’m one of the most creative people I know. (toot-toot)

I choose to teach my children that Easter pays homage to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For that, we should all be truly grateful.

Don’t worry, they’ll still get their Easter baskets full of goodies from mommy and daddy. No harm in that.

Kids and Veggies

So, here’s my dilemma . . . Miles won’t eat anything green, other than a lime flavored Popsicle. I’ve received tons of recommendations on how to “disguise” carrots and peas in everything from rice to pasta (something he loathes).  Gone are the days of homemade pureed veggies disguised as baby food. I’m so happy I loaded him on the good stuff early and for as long as I could.

Miles is a meat eater. He gets giddy at the site of ham. Loves him a good Chick-fil-a six piece nugget and could eat a whole de-boned filet of fish. I kid you not. Oh, and he loves beans and the occasional carrot – not steamed or smashed. In its natural state.

This is great and all, but how do I get this tenacious toddler to eat his veggies, especially the green ones? Enters the juicer and blender.  I purchased this Breville after watching the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.


Throw in a couple of apples, carrots and spinach and you have a sweet treat even your hubby will drink minus all the extra preservatives and added sugar. Get creative and see what kind of recipes you can whip up. Martha Stewart’s Green Vegetable Cocktail is really tasty. I wouldn’t call it kid friendly since it calls for ginger, which can be a bit spicy for a child’s pallet, but it’s great for adults.

I won’t lie, juicing takes some time and then there’s clean up. If you don’t have a couple of hours to spare, I suggest creating smoothies. It’s quick and easy and great when you are trying to grab something on the go that’s filling. I usually prepare a kale smoothie for me and the “boys.”

The recipe:

  • 1/2 cup purified water
  • 1 banana
  • a handful of strawberries (I prefer frozen to chill you smoothie)
  • Chobani plain yogurt
  • a handful of blueberries
  • a handful of frozen kale (blanched, diced and frozen myself)

This is actually the smoothie I made for Miles and me today. I found more smoothie recipes on that I’m eager to try. Do you have any smoothie recipes that you love and are willing to share? Are they mother-approved and kid friendly?

***Update: February 28, 2013

I came across this great smoothie infographic on Pinterest and had to share. There’s even one that claims to cure a hangover. Bottoms up!

Happy Go Texan Day!

He's all boy and all Texan, even if he looks a bit like a farmer. Love this kid!

He’s all boy and all Texan, even if he looks a bit like a farmer. Love this kid!


Today, I left my toddler at home with his dad, because he’d had another asthma episode last night. If you have ever seen a child so uncomfortable because he couldn’t breathe properly, you understand the type of anguish we go through. It’s pretty horrible. Despite this, I know that things can always be worse. Hopefully,  Miles will grow out of this. However, some experts say, you don’t grow out of having asthma, you just learn to manage your triggers and reduce your symptoms.

I write all this to say that while children are a blessing from God, there are times when being a parent can be ever so stressful. While pregnant with my second child, I’ve often said that raising a second baby will be easier. The first child was a run-through for those that follow. We can’t possible go through the same issues with the second that we experienced with the first. God wouldn’t allow us to deal with this a second time. Womp, womp, womp, womp, womp. Then reality sets in . . . nothing in life is guaranteed. You play the cards you are dealt. In my case, I say you do your best and let God do the rest.

When I was pregnant with Miles I was anticipation of something new and exciting. Now that I’m pregnant with the second baby, I’m wondering if I can continue to balance it all. For now, I’ll just continue to breathe.

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