Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lyme Disease

I just read a great article about Lyme Disease.  This is very common in this area where live and we see deer in our backyard all the time!  I'm dreading the day I have to pull out a tick off my one of my kids.  I do it enough in the office... like I said, it is pretty common where we live.  Now unfortunately, this article is saying that 2012 will be the worse summer ever in the northeast for Lyme!

Click here for the full story.

So I found the article very interesting because the treatment of Lyme has always been a very controversial issue.  There are the "Lyme Literate" doctors who will put folks on antibiotics for months and months and even send patients home with IV antibiotics... then there is the "standard of care" where medical societies argue there is no benefit to that type of plan.  This article featured treating patients with refractory symptoms as if they have an autoimmune disease (like rheumatoid arthritis) rather than persistent infection.  It appears to be promising!

So quick 101 on Lyme...

How do you get Lyme?
  • infection is caused by bacteria (Borellia Burgdorferi) which is usually found on mice
  • Ixodes ticks (or deer ticks) feed on these animals and transmit to humans via tick bite
What are the symptoms of Lyme?
  • some folks get the typical circular "bulls eye" rash about 1-2 weeks after the bite (but many folks do not get this rash)... it resolves on its own in about 1 month

  • may also get rash in other places not where the original bite was
  • some get flu-like symptoms:  fever, joint and muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue
  • some get irregular heart beat or chest pain
  • some folks get Bell's palsy (where one side of your face is paralyzed)
  • some get numbness and tingling
  • some get headaches and neck stiffness
What happens if Lyme is not treated right away?
  • late Lyme symptoms can occur weeks to years after the initial bite
  • in children, it often presents as arthritis in knee or some other large joint
  • slew of other symptoms affecting different organ systems especially neurologic can also occur (which I will not go into detail right now but can refer to link below in the comments or this cdc website:
How do you treat Lyme?
  • antibiotics for usually 3-4 weeks
How do you prevent Lyme?
  • know where to expect ticks
    • moist humid environments near wooded or grassy areas
    • near leaf litter or shrubs
    • low tree branches
    • edges of woods and forests
    • old stone walls
  • best to wear long sleeves that are tucked in and enclosed shoes
  • girls should have hair in ponytail or tucked inside a cap
  • use repellant that has 10% to 30% deet and apply to exposed skin areas as well as clothing (click here to read more about applying repellant)
  • light clothing helps you see tick more clearly
  • check for ticks daily especially:
    • under the arms
    • in and around the ears
    • inside the belly button
    • back of the knees
    • in and around hair and body hair
    • between legs
    • around the waist
  • check clothing and pets for ticks as well
So if you suspect Lyme or discover a tick... go to your doctor.  This is a tricky disease to diagnose because the symptoms are so wide and varied and there is not a very good blood test to detect it.  Nevertheless, the sooner treatment is started the better chance of a good outcome and full recovery. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Just wanted to dedicate this post to the dads out there!

Last fall, I blogged here about why dad's are great.  Here's a few more reasons off the top of my head why my kids are thankful for their daddy:

  • they get to see the world from up high riding on his shoulder
  • they can be carried for a longer period of time when their legs get tired from walking
  • they get beautifully cooked sunny side up eggs for breakfast on weekends
  • they get cut up mangoes and pineapples... and honeydew and watermelon for that matter (mommy is not as good with the big knife and hard to cut fruit)
  • they get bugs calmly removed from their presence (a "non-shrieking or panicking" response)
  • they are more likely to get a second ice cream treat if the first ice cream treat falls on the ground
  • they get more freedom to pick out their own clothes without argument... even if it is clothes for the wrong season
  • they get a real live "prince" to dance with before going to bed at night

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New stroller baby carrier system!

So this article caught my eye because this may be a potential hit with moms who have little ones.. and it is invented by students from my alum (Go Tech!).

You can read about it here.

Basic idea is a sling that will help a mom who lives in the city get around while having to lug stroller, bags, and baby up and down steps and other non-stroller friendly areas... without having to ask a stranger for help!  It will be interesting to see how well it works once it comes out.  Right now, it is still under construction.

We use the baby bjorn (which looks a lot like this.. at least the carrier part) because that was what was on our registry when we had our first.  It definitely helps to have our hands free while carrying the baby in certain situations.  However, it does hurt the back after a while.  Not sure whether I can visualize how I can strap a whole stroller to the carrier and carry all of it up some stairs... so I'm curious.

Don't think it will work for double strollers though...  They'll have to come up with more inventions!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Disney's Magic Kingdom With a Preschooler, Toddler, and Infant

Alright... back to Disney to finish off the series!

So of all the parks.. Magic Kingdom is the park that my kids were most excited about.  My girls love everything princess related... therefore, this year we made it to Cinderalla's Royal Table (you have to book it pretty much 180 days in advance) and even indulged our oldest by being pampered at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

Since we did a lot of character dining, we did not stand in line this year to get autographs like we did last year.  Therefore, I think we got to go on more rides.

Favorite rides we repeated this year included:

New rides we loved included:

Our oldest was tall enough to ride her first roller coaster, The Barnstormer and she even did it twice.

She also surprised us by wanting to ride Snow White's Scary Adventure over and over again!  I totally thought it would be too scary for her.  In fact, I went with her a couple of times because I knew they were going to get rid of this ride.  There's going to be a Princess Fairytale Hall in its place.  Here is a nice tribute to this classic ride.

Now a couple of times when we got fast passes, we got bonus fast passes for Mickey's PhilharMagic, which is a fun 3-D movie to watch.  I loved watching my two year old reach for objects during the show because of the visual effects.

All in all, there is a ton to do at Disney so having some sort of plan helps.  Aside from the rides, there are always shows and parades which my little ones just loved.

Finally... I read online about the Dole Whip Floats and so made it a point to get one to try.  They were pretty good!  Probably need another post just to write about the food...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ten Year Anniversary

Husband and I just celebrated ten years of marriage!  We've been planning for a while to go somewhere without the kids and we did it.  Initially, we were thinking of going somewhere exotic... but given that our kids are still so little and my youngest isn't even weaned yet, we stayed in the country (I needed to be able to call my caregivers without worrying about a huge bill).  So we ended up choosing Key West.  Mainly it was based on a recommendation... but why not... still in the same time zone and yet far enough south to feel like we are somewhere exotic.  In fact, our first time there was ten years ago on our honeymoon, when we took a Bahamas cruise on Royal Carribean.  Funny thing is, the very first thing we can see out our balcony was a docked Royal Carribean boat!

Now, my original thought was that we were going to spend the entire time pretty much sleeping in and lounging around relaxing.  However, the active inner side of us... (ie.  the other part of our honeymoon was attempting to ascent Mt Rainier... different story for another post)... lead us to a day of crazy water sports.  We got thrown into the ocean a few times between trying to water ski for the first time and riding a banana boat where the driver's main goal was to throw us in as many times as possible.  We also wiped out riding the wave runner because hubby was going a million miles an hour and took a super sharp turn without slowing down.  It was all fun but boy... was I sore the next day!

So of all the different places we went to eat.. including some fancy dinner places with great sunset views... the one meal that stands out was at this food truck called Garbo's Grill.  We found it using yelp...

I was totally bummed they were closed for lunch the following two days because one day was Sunday and the next day was Memorial Day.  I'm totally still craving the fish tacos (made with grouper)!  Yummmm!!

So our kids actually did pretty great with us being away.  It helped that they kept to their same routine and was in their same environment.  By now, they were also used to our au pair who had been with us for almost a year.  Plus, they are very familiar with grandma and grandpa.  I definitely missed them and thought of them often, especially when I saw other little kids.  However, it was a well needed break.

So a few tips I have on going away for a weekend if you have little kids...
  • have familiar care givers other than yourself start putting your kids to bed on a somewhat routine basis (maybe if you go on a weekly date night)
  • keep kids' routine the same as much as possible
  • keep them in their same familiar environment if possible (we had our caregivers live in our house while we were away)
  • phone calls work with some kids and not with others (last year, phone call made my oldest cry because then she realized she missed me.  However, this year she wanted to talk to us and had no issues.  She even wished us a great time and made several requests for specific souvenirs we were to bring back for her...)
Alright.. will finish up my Disney blog series with Magic Kingdom next post...