Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Big Girl Room Transition

Baby Bear is well, no longer a baby.  In fact, Toddler Bear isn't even accurate anymore.  A full school year has passed and I think it is time I get used to having a Pre-school Bear.  *sniff sniff*

Her school pic from this year.

The time has come for Ellie's room to become more of a sanctuary that compliments her status as a "big girl".  It is long over due seeing as the crib had been dissembled and donated over a year ago due to Ellie's little Cirque-du-Soleil escapades.

Sometimes, I think that these transitions, as small as they may seem, are more difficult for this mama bear than for Ellie.

I recall clutching that pregnancy test in a 24-Hour Fitness bathroom stall when those life changing two lines appeared.  Pregnant!  After months upon months of trying.  I so much wanted Andrew to be involved in preparing for Baby Bear's arrival that I allowed him to choose the nursery decor.  My manly (and sexy!) husband chose dogs.  A red and blue theme with puppies frolicking about.  The prediction that Ellie would grow to love dogs as much as Andrew (and me!) came true.  I am certain that her dog-obsession resulted from our Sophie Princess Puppy Paws forcing herself into Ellie's personal space as opposed to the decor of her nursery.

This is how you sleep on a big girl bed.

alternative sleeping arrangements

The crib is gone and a lone, twin-sized mattress rests on the floor for her room, without its box spring or frame. . . a place where Ellie occasionally deigns to sleep (vs. the floor).  The walls are dingy from little fingers and the pictures appear to be hung upon the walls haphazardly since we had to rearrange the room to accommodate the mattress.

Tomorrow, we are going to start painting "The Big Girl Room".  The last remnants of the nursery brushed away.  It is bittersweet for me.  My baby is now "big girl".  Yet, she is not such a big girl that her room is going to be plastered with Justin Bieber posters.  No, they will be plastered with cupcake pictures.

That's right, folks.  Cupcakes.

I mean, really, are you surprised?

A sneak peek of things to come!  This Mama Bear has gone crafty!

*April and Linda, I promise that I have not forgotten about the Liebster!  Still working on it.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

ABA Therapy and ID Bracelets for Kids

The Bear says:

Will perform awesome 

therapy stunts



*Will also work for balloons, stamps, and fruit snacks.

With regards to my last post, A Wandering Child, here are a few links for ID bands.  My daughter has a similar one in the first link.  Road ID offers bands that hook onto shoes.  For those of you who have children that actually keep their shoes on, this may be a good fit.

American Medical ID-Nylon Sport ID for kids (Ellie's is similar to this one.  Slightly different.)

Road ID Bracelets for Kids (my totally awesome cousin has on that looks like those LiveStrong bracelets)


Monday, May 20, 2013

A Wandering Child

Two eye opening posts by Lexi over at Mostly True Stuff and by Carolyn at Light and Shadow triggered my need to write about an incident that occurred last week in our very own household.  Our driveway to be exact.

It was quite humorous and most definitely an Ellie antic, but it was also rather scary.

The scenario:

It was a delightfully warm scorching, spring day in Texas and I am briskly walking up my driveway from the mailbox anticipating the pleasures of our fabulously functioning air conditioning.  Only, as I am approaching the house, I happen upon my little girl.  Who was supposed to be safely inside.  As in inside the house.  As in on the other side of door.  You know inside.  Not outside.  Indoors, not outdoors.  As in she should not be greeting me on the driveway.

There is the Bear sauntering down the driveway--barefoot and clad only in a pull-up and a shirt with a glittery cupcake stamped on it.  She is carrying a collapsed umbrella like she is royalty.

My first thought is "what is up with the umbrella and where are her pants?"

Followed by "oh no, her feet!  Oh her feet are going to be scalded!"

Finally, with the realization of "oh crud!  The Bear can open the door. . . and escape".  Which then led to the following:

My daughter could have been hit by a car had she wandered into the street  (or the highway behind our house).

My daughter could have gotten lost.

My daughter could have ended up in a ditch due to a fall.

My daughter could have been kidnapped or victimized.

My daughter, being nonverbal, cannot communicate her name let alone her address and phone number.

The thing is, we keep our doors locked and dead bolted.  I behave as though I still live in center city Philadelphia. Only instead of 3 dead bolts and a door chain, we have only one deadbolt on each door.  However, because I was only getting the mail from the end of our driveway, I didn't lock the door behind me.  Ellie apparently developed some wicked fine motor skills when I wasn't looking and managed to open a lever door knob.

The other thing is, we also have a medical ID band for the Bear.  It is sitting in a drawer doing a whole lot of good.  I got it in pink with a purple tag thinking it would entice her to wear it like the little accessorized diva that she is.  We tried securing it on her ankle last summer.  She tried to use her teeth to gnaw it off.  She is flexible like that.  So there it sits, in a drawer because I would like her teeth to remain firmly implanted in her mouth.

Ellie is a runner.  Even with eyes on her, she could quickly escape a playground or a backyard birthday party.

Little children wandering away from home or a neighborhood party is common.  It is thought to be more common among those with autism, dementia, and developmental delays.  Because of cognitive and communication disabilities, it is difficult to teach a child with autism or Down syndrome not to leave the side of a parent or adult.  You hear about the little kids waking up before their parents and then leaving the house.  Or where the each parent assumes the other is keeping an eye on the child.  Or what about the parent who briefly shifts her eyes to the sibling? Ellie's little escapade happened while I was on our property.

Now, my question is: how much to microchip a toddler?

Oh and what is up with the umbrella?  And where are her pants?

All joking aside, children who are prone to wandering can end up in dangerous situations.  If your child is a wanderer, be sure to notify your neighbors and local law enforcement.

Please visit AWAARE on what to do if you have a child with a disability who is prone to wandering.

AbilityPath.org When a child with special needs wanders away.

Tips from fellow mommies (most of these are for inside the house):

  • Install sliding locks at the top of the doors
  • Interior keyed deadbolts
  • Door alarms
  • Lever door handle child-proof locks
  • Include your tips in the comments section

FYI: if your kid knows how to work a dead bolt, be sure to take your keys with you when you go check the mail, water plants, let the dog out, etc. because your kiddo may lock you out of the house!


Thursday, May 16, 2013

The school note

I do not always get daily reports from school, but I did get one today.  It made my day!



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Le Bec Fin

I have been in a funk lately.  I am fully blaming it on lack of sleep.  Lack of sleep as a result of Bear's surgery and complications.  Her sleep routine is still off and this has led to 4:30am wake up times and lots of Ellie-no-naps.  Lack of sleep leads to a cranky toddler with epic temper tantrums.  You know the ones where the child throws herself onto the floor and actually kicks and waves her arms?  Yes, she is Ellie.  She drops her words and sometimes even drops her signs.  Thankfully, the PECS are our friends.  It appears that the trigger is our lack of donuts in the house, but in reality it is lack of sleep.  Mama Bear is tired and sadly I am finding it harder and harder to get out of bed.  Harder and harder to leave the house for things beyond grocery shopping.  In the last 27 days, I have emerged from my self-imposed cocoon twice--once for my dear friend's birthday at the Melting Pot (Yum!) in late April and once this past  Friday for a quick lunch for my other best friend.

I remind myself that this trying time shall pass and I find myself looking at these pictures of The Bear's Antics.  She is full of spunk and shows me how to live life to the fullest--through cupcakes, donuts, and birthday cake.

No serious posts on this blog, right now.  No thought-provoking posts or even my favorite and ever frequent medical posts.

Just plain old antics.  She brings light to my life and hopefully to yours too.  Many of these are unedited, iPhone pics.  I hope to pick up my beloved SLR camera soon.

In other news.  I firmly believe that the next time we are in Philly, I can bring Ellie to Le Bec Fin.  She is ready.  Awesome table manners.  She even wipes the table with a rag after she is finished eating.

What do you mean by "no shirt, no shoes, no service?"

Ahh, the Nutella Coma.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013

Guess what this is?

Name this rash!

a) Cranky Toddler Syndrome
b) Chickenpox
c) Urticaria aka Hives
b) Anxious Mama Bear Illness

The correct answer: all of the above except b.


The Bear got HIVES!  Everywhere!

Shortly after I wrote this post, as in the day after, Ellie came home from school with these lovely raised, reddish bumps aka wheals on her arms, thighs, and the sides of her torso.  Hives.  Uck!  True to their annoying nature, hives seem to leave one area of the body only to reappear with a vengeance in another area, like the scalp, soles of the feet, and the nether regions.  Fortunately for The Bear, only her face was itchy and she didn't end up with any of the worrisome eye, lip, or tongue swelling.

Needless to say this mama bear stopped the administration of Augmentin ASAP and started a 48-hour round-the-clock Benadryl treatment.  This lead to--a) Cranky Toddler Syndrome and b) Anxious Mama Bear Illness as well as Drunken-Hyper Bear Syndrome and Tired-Hair-Pulling-Out Mama Sickness.

In speaking with our pediatrician's nurse, I have learned that antibiotic-related allergic hives can last over a week.  Oh goody.

It should be noted that I am blaming all of this, unfairly, on our ENT.  The tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy led to the development of pneumonia.  The pneumonia led to the prescription of Augmentin.  Which, in turn, led to the development of yeast (oh yeah, did I forget to mention the yeast?) and an allergic reaction.  Oh and get this. . . .are you ready?. . . . according to the ENT, Ellie still has some scabs in the back of her throat.


Poor Ellie Bear has hives and soon she will go through the horrible pain (again) of more scabs falling off. The fun never stops in this household.

On a happy note, Little Miss Sassy-Pants is back to her antics!

*Hives are nothing to joke about.  Hives aka Urticaria is a systemic allergic reaction to antibiotics such as penicillins, to foods, to contact allergens such as detergents/soaps/lotions, or to environmental allergens such as cedar.  In some cases, hives can be related to a viral or parasitic infection or the cause may never be identified (idiopathic urticaria). Angioedema is similar to hives, but the swelling occurs deeper in the tissues--this can be seen around the eyes, mouth, throat, hands, and feet.  This can be life threatening and is as such, an emergency. Typical treatments for hives involves antihistamines and in more severe cases, steroids.  Hives tend to resolve on their own anywhere from a few hours to weeks. People with hives should be evaluated by a health care provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.

**Fun Facts about Augmentin: an allergic reaction tends to emerge around the end of the course of treatment or a few days after (Ellie's was on day 9).  Augmentin IS in the class of penicillins.  It is amoxicillin + clavulanate acid.  Therefore, if you are allergic to Augmentin, you are probably allergic to amoxicillin, penicillin, and all the other penicillin drugs.

Hives and Angioedema. Mayo Clinic.

Hives. American College of Dermatology

Augmentin. Drugs.com

A mask for kids with Down syndrome

Do you hear crickets?  Yes, we are here!  We are alive!  We are safe and healthy!  We haven't been inside a restaurant or store since m...