Monthly Archives: September 2013

My Baby Is Sick. Yikes!!!!

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By:  Davida Grant

Nothing tugs at your heart more than when your little one is sick.   And if your child is an infant or young toddler, it’s that much worse because they can’t tell you what’s wrong.  Isn’t it CRAZY how your baby can seem perfectly fine and then literally an hour or two later they have a fever, congestion AND diarrhea?  When this happens, they look at you with the saddest face ever and make those soft, whimpering cries. In that moment, you wish you were a magician and “poof” could take all their pain and discomfort away.  But alas you can’t.  So what do you do?  The obvious.  You put on your supermom cape again (assuming it’s even off, maybe not) get your emotions in check, pull out your assessment tools (e.g. thermometer), look for symptoms  — fever, vomitting, diarrhea, wheezing, congestion, pulling on the ears — make a preliminary assessment, and implement the infant recovery plan.

If you read my last post, you know that Grant started daycare last Monday.  Sniff sniff.  As the week went on I slowly adjusted and by yesterday, I was generally good to go.  So I was relaxing at home enjoying my last few days off before returning to work next week and yep, I got the call.  COME AND GET YOUR BABY!!!  It’s the dreaded call because of course you never want your baby to be sick but it ALWAYS happens on the worst possible day.  After hanging up, the “Tired” cloud immediately descended.  I knew what was coming. No sleep no rest no sleep no rest.  Everything had to be dropped to take care of my little buddy.  So I donned the cape and hightailed it to the daycare.  Apparently, Grant, who seemed perfectly fine just 5 hours before, was coughing, sneezing and vomitting.  I took him in my arms.  He was still pretty bright eyed, so that was a good sign, but then I heard the cough.  I knew instantly that baby boy was seriously congested and would need a series of Albuterol treatments to open those air passages. The daycare confirmed that he didn’t have a fever or diarrhea.  My assessment?  Grant has a cold.  So with baby in tow, off we went.  Once I got home, I checked in with Grant’s pediatrician, Dr. Necole Washington (she’s FAB).  I advised her office of his symptoms and my recovery strategy:  Albuterol treatments every four hours to address the congestion and pedialyte feedings until his stomach settled.  This wasn’t my first rodeo, so I knew I’d get the green light.  Operation “GET GRANT WELL” was in effect.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic pill to cure a cold.  We have to wait on “Time” to do its trick.  But there are some additional things I do to make my infant more comfortable and hopefully speed up the recovery time.

  • Get rid of ALL dust.  Dust affects breathing.  If your child is congested, dust can increase the congestion.  Get rid of it asap.
  • Use a humifier.   Dry air can make things very uncomfortable for your little one.  You want moist air, which will help keep those sinuses from being inflamed.
  • Have a cold teething ring handy.  Grant isn’t teething yet, but he likes the feel of the cold ring in his mouth.  It also helps to keep him cool.  My little buddy can really work up a sweat if he has repeated coughing fits.
  • Use the nosefrida. It really is the best apparatus for sucking mucus from your baby’s nostrils.  Babies hate it, but it works.  If you don’t have a nosefrida, use saline and a nasal aspirator.

It was a loooooooooong night.  He’s still sneezing and coughing, but he is well on his way to recovery.  Who knows, I may even be able to sleep tonight.

What about you?  What are your tips to a speedy recovery for your little one?

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Filed under Infants, Mothers

Grant’s First Day in DayCare. I Cried Like A Baby

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By:  Davida Grant

Yesterday was Grant’s first day in daycare. I knew this time would come.  It was 5 months in the making.  I thought I was ready.  At the facility, Grant was cool, calm and collected.  He just looked around, checking things out, completely unfazed by this momentous occasion.  Me, I cried like a baby.

If you’re a working mom, you probably know exactly how I feel.  You birth this tiny, beautiful, amazing little person and during the weeks after, the two of you develop a bond stronger than oak.  In many ways, s/he is an extension of you.  You go everywhere and do absolutely everything together.  Even in your zombie state, you want everything and want to be everthing for her/him.  The “Momma Bear” in you is in full effect.  And then just like that you have to relinquish control.  You have to hand over your most precious commodity to complete strangers and move on with your day, as if nothing ever happened.  How do we do it mommies?  How?

Well, we moms are really the 8th wonder of the world, so we find a way.  For me, I thought preparation was the key.  I thoroughly researched the daycare.  I even took Grant to the facility last Friday so that we both could see his classroom and meet all his caregivers. I also wanted to have a firm sense of how his classroom operated.  I wanted Monday to be easy.  Leaving the facility, I felt ready.

Boy was I wrong.  The second I entered the daycare facility on Monday morning, my eyes teared.  I started having this coversation with myself.  “Vida, it’s okay.  You’ve done your due diligence.  This place is awesome.  Grant will be fine.”  But as I approached his classroom, I couldn’t hold back my tears.  His caregivers were gracious.  They’d seen it all before.  They practically held my hand as I unloaded Grant’s things.  I lingered as long as I could.  I kept hugging my baby.  I knew it was time to leave, but I couldn’t.  After about 15 minutes I did.  I almost ran to my car.  I was ready to boo hoo and was too embarrassed to fully let it out there.  Once in the car, I released.

After I collected myself and drove away, I reflected on my feelings. Why did I have such a strong reaction?  Here’s what I realized.

  • I was nervous.  Yes, the daycare has a great rating and his caretakers seem awesome, but they aren’t his momma.  Nobody can take care of Grant like me. N O B O D Y!!!
  • I felt guilty.  I took 5 &1/2 months off from work and really thought I was doing something.  I could have taken more time, at least 9 months, but reasoned at the time that 9 months was waaaaaay too much time.  How could I have been so blind?  I was handing my son over to strangers when he could be at home with me.
  • Mostly, I was scared I’d miss out.  There are so many “firsts” in a baby’s life:  first time they smile, first time they sit up without support, first time they roll over, first time they stand and crawl.  I could go on and on.  I didn’t want to miss any of it.  My daughter was in the hospital most of her first year of life.  I missed so much with her.  I didn’t want to with Grant.

As the day went on, things got better.  Reality set in.  I’d have to leave him at some point to return to work.  That’s just the way it is. And guess what, at the end of the day, Grant would be okay and WE would be okay.  My son is in a great daycare and that is a blessing!!! Although we won’t be two peas in a pod everyday ALL day, we’d still have plenty of time together. Yes, I might miss some of his firsts, but Grant and I would have a lifetime of many firsts together.

What about you?  What was the first day of daycare like for you and your little one?

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Filed under Daycare, Infants, Mothers

Capturing the “little” things

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By:  Davida Grant

Most of us have pictures capturing our little one’s big moments. But what about the little moments?   Don’t they tug at our hearts even more?

A few days ago, I had professional photos taken of our 4-month-old son, Grant, and since Simone was with me, I decided to have a few photos taken of her too. I’m so glad I did.  Simone is such a crack up.  She makes tons of funny faces but is KNOWN for making what we fondly call “the Brown Frown.”  As a baby, she’d make it involuntarily, but when she was around 2-years-old, she started developing the ability to make the face at will.  She now makes it to elicit laughter from family, friends and even strangers.  This photo captures it perfectly.  I couldn’t be more pleased.  The more I looked at it, I started thinking about all the other “little things” that make Simone the amazing little girl she is.  So I cracked open the photo albums and took a trip down memory lane.  I wanted to remember all the little things.  Here are just a few that made me smile.

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Simone used to love Love LOVE her itty bitty baby doll by American Girl.  She’d dress the doll, kiss her a million times a day, hug her, cradle her, and put her to bed at night by gently laying a blanket over her.  She also loved pushing the doll around in the stroller.  I’d forgotten how loving and caring Simone was at the tender age of two.  All the memories came rushing back.

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Simone used to hate wearing socks and shoes.   Every time we’d get in the car, she’d take off her shoes and socks.  EVERY TIME!!!  She used to drive us crazy.  Those days are long gone.  NOW, I can look back and smile.

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She’s already a fashionista!!!  Simone loves hats, clothes, shoes, and accessories.   Dresses are her absolute favorite. Once on, she transforms. She gives me look after look. Top Model has nothing on Simone Isabella!

I could go on and on. I am so thankful that my husband and I had the foresight to capture these moments.  They’re priceless.

What about you?  What are some of the little things that tug at your heart?

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September 20, 2013 · 7:22 pm

She may not like what I like. Get over it!!!!

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By:  Davida Grant

When I was a child, I didn’t take any extracurricular classes.  I don’t think my parents considered or even knew that such classes were an option.  As an adult, I’ve always harbored the belief that NOT taking an array of classes as a child  impacted my ability to discover my passions at a early age.   I vowed that my children would not suffer the same fate.  They’d take all kinds of classes —  dance, art, music, language and sports — to help them figure out their strengths, weaknesses, and passions early rather than later in life.

So, last Saturday Simone started her first dance class, ballet.  I was soooooo excited.  I bought her a pink leotard, pink tights and pink ballet shoes.  Baby girl would look the part.  When I woke her up that morning, I was giddy.  I said, “Guess what Simone.  Today you start your dance lessons.”  Then I started clapping my hands, doing a happy dance and shouting “Yay, Yay.”  Simone looked at me like I was crazy.  And I actually think I was.  But, my excitement was contagious, so she started jumping around too.  When I showed her the ballerina outfit, she was all smiles.  She couldn’t wait to wear it.  Once she was ready, off we went to start this new adventure.

Well, things didn’t go as I had planned.  I envisioned Simone twirling around the room and up and down the floor, you know doing all the steps the little ballerinas do on TV.  Baby girl was not having it.  While ALL and I mean ALL the other girls in the class pranced and sashayed around the room, Simone sat on the floor eagle-style and refused to do anything.  The instructor tried throughout the class to coax her into joining the fun, but Simone wouldn’t budge.  To my horror (yes I said horror), Simone stretched out on the floor, forcing the other girls to manuever around her.   This was not what I expected.  Where was the little girl that dances around the house every time she hears music?  That girl clearly was not in the building.

I was not prepared for this.  I didn’t consider that my dancing baby girl would not dance in class.  I didn’t consider that she might not like it.  After the class, I was quiet as a mouse.  Simone was her typical self.  For her, everything was business as usual.  It was on to the next.  For me, the past 45 minutes had changed everything.  Reality smacked me in the face.  It was the first time that I truly realized that Simone really is her own person. Yes I can and will introduce her to the things I think she’ll like, but at the end of the day, what matters is what she likes.  I can’t be mad if she doesn’t like what I like and frankly I shouldn’t be disappointed either.  Simone has her own journey and I, as her mother, must guide, support and encourage her along the way.  I can not and must not force her to choose the path I took or wish I’d taken.

Now, I’m not hanging up her dance shoes yet.  We’ll try another class or two to see if she warms up and participates, but if she doesn’t, that’s ok.  I will continue to expose her to an array of activities and I know we’ll find something she absolutely loves.

What about you?  Any lessons learned over the last week.  I’d love to hear from you.

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September 17, 2013 · 12:07 pm

My First PTA: A Hot Mess

By:  Davida Grant

Last night I attended my first PTA. The elementary school, a public charter bilingual school, is just getting the PTA off the ground. I expected it to be a little rough, but frankly it was a hot mess, both literally and figuratively. There weren’t enough seats and it was at least 90 degrees in there. Grant (my 4-month-old) was with me and he was giving me the side eye as his forehead started to bead with sweat. When my hair, which I wear natural (no perm) and in a straight style, started to curl at the roots, I almost jumped ship. A half curly and half bone straight look is not hawt. EVER!!!! And to make matters worse, no one really knew what to do. Parents had previously submitted potential PTA committee topics to the school principal (Yes I said Principal since there is no Parent leadership in place), but that was it. It truly was the blind leading the blind. I hate Hate HATE disorganization, but in that moment I had to make a choice. Stay or Go. I stayed, determined to see this thing through.

I’m glad I did. We eventually divided up into groups by committee topic (those submitted by the parents). I had suggested and signed up for the “Read to Succeed” committee, the overall goal being to assist parents in helping their children read at or above grade level in both English and Spanish. Don’t you just love that goal!!! And who’d they select as the team lead? You guessed it. Yours truly. I was hesitant at first, being that this was my very first PTA meeting, and I know didly squat about PTA protocol and “stuff”. But I figured I pushed out 2 kids, planned my 5-star wedding (yes I said 5-star) in 5 months and hell passed the bar the first time around. I could do this! So I decided to bite the bullet and accepted it. Lord only knows where I’ll find the time to fit this in. I return to work October 1st after a 5-month leave of absence to take care of my new bundle of joy. THEY WILL BE COMING FOR ME DAY ONE!!! I’m exhausted just thinking about it. But I’m superwoman and supermom, right? Somehow, it will all get done.

Hopefully, some of you are seasoned PTA moms. Help!!! I’d love any suggestions you might have to implement the committee’s goal. Some we’re considering are:

Providing parents a break down of the literacy standards. The objective is to make sure parents understand them. Parents can’t reinforce learning if they don’t understand the literacy standards applicable to their child’s particular grade.

Providing parents with SPECIFIC, TARGETED reading and other educational activities for their children to use during winter and summer breaks that will re-enforce the literacy standards. The objective is to take the guesswork out of it for parents.

Having a quarterly “Reading Is Fun” night at the school. The objective is to make reading fun for parents and kids alike.

Fundraising activities to obtain the money to implement the foregoing activities.  WE NEED MONEY!!!

So, that’s where we are. I’m interested in any feedback you might have on these objectives, how to raise money, how to keep parents engaged, and any other PTA-related advice you can share.

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Filed under Education, PTA