Preventing and dealing with common heat conditions that occur with children

I was giving my daughter a bath last night and noticed the farmer’s tan developing on her arms and immediately felt bad for not being more careful with her in the sun. Luckily she has olive skin like her father instead of my pale, ginger skin that burns on rainy days. Either way, I don’t want to keep her indoors while the weather is heating up so next time I will just have to be more prepared.

Here are some tips from Babytime! for preventing and coping with common heat conditions your child could suffer from:

The weather is warming up and it is only going to get hotter as spring turns into summer. Taking children, especially babies, outside to enjoy the sunshine and beautiful weather can be an enriching experience, but can have painful and itchy consequences if the proper steps are not taken to prevent heat rash, sun burn and other heat related conditions. Below are some simple tips to enjoy the sun without putting your child, and even yourself, at risk.

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Keep Kids Busy Learning Lifesaving Skills

Once upon a time, before I had children I was really into martial arts. My husband and I were members of a Burmese kickboxing gym in Maryland for a while and we both even fought in a few amateur fights. Trust me, it was nothing impressive, but it definitely gave me more confidence in myself and my ability to defend myself if I ever needed to. When we moved to Virginia, I decided to try out Krav Maga with a friend. It was probably the most physical martial arts I have ever done. When they say “fitness with fight” they really mean it. I was in such great shape because of it.

krav maga

This was my Facebook post after one of the Krav Maga workouts Ashley and I did!

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Toddler Meal Prep: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

When we first started introducing solid foods to my daughter she was such a great eater. We basically could feed her anything and she’d gobble it down. Nowadays she goes through stages: one week she only eats the veggies on her plate, the next week she only eats the meat, and at no point will she ever eat a potato in any of its delicious forms. (This is how I know she is not my child and was probably switched at birth. I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like.)

In Claire’s last blog, You’re gonna jinx it…, she mentions the likely scenario of what happens the second you start to brag about how your child is such a good eater; they turn the tables on you and refuse to eat anything except Cheerios found in their car seat and string cheese.  This is slowly happening more and more everyday so I went to Pinterest for some “toddler meal” inspiration. What I found was horrifying. 

Take a look at this BS:

Who in their right mind has time to do all of this? And my real question is, does it actually work? Do kids see food shaped like an animal and magically decide to eat it instead of throwing it on the floor?

In our house, everyone is awake no later than 6AM and we usually eat breakfast right away. Breakfast is never an issue, it is my husband’s and daughter’s favorite meal of the day. If I were to try to get more creative with toddler meals for the rest of the day I’d have to start preparing lunch as soon as breakfast were over and I’m sorry to say, I do not have time for that. I barely find time to shower and brush my own teeth between breakfast clean up, reading 1,000 stories to my daughter, and playing outside. By the time 11AM roles around I’m scrambling to put together something semi-healthy for us both for lunch.

One day I tried making Onigiri (rice balls) because she loves them and eats them every day at daycare, but I was taking too long and my daughter had a meltdown so I just ended up handing her a plate of clumpy rice. She thought it was just as good as the rice balls so I’m now convinced that fancy schmancy food preparation is completely unnecessary when it comes to toddlers. They will eat what they want and throw the rest on the floor. 

My attempt at toddler meals. At least I have cute plates!

Come on Pinterest! Give us real Moms a break! http://lmld.org/2016/02/20/food-art-ideas/

 

I mean seriously, I’m impressed with your mom skills, but this is just over the top! 

What does your toddler like to eat? It’s ok if you are the type of mom that makes animals out of the food! Tell me it really works and I’ll give it a try!

Month of the Military Child 

For both Claire and I, being military spouses was not something we had ever dreamed about. We are, of course, happy in our roles, but we could take it or leave it. We have given up a lot for this life: careers, being near family, friends, being able to plant roots, etc. We knew there would be sacrifices and we agreed to them from the very beginning because we love and support our husbands. Our kids, however, did not get a vote.

April is the Month of the Military Child and we honor military children for their sacrifice in supporting their families and country. There are more than 1 million military children across the Department of Defense. Military children are remarkable examples of resilience, strength and flexibility. Like I said before, they did not get a say in whether they wanted this life or not, but they pack up their books and clothes and say goodbye to friends every couple of years anyways. Continue reading

Husband Appreciation Day – April 15

April 15th is National Husband Appreciation Day! You read that right! What are you doing to show your husband you appreciate him? Maybe cook him a nice dinner? Clean his house? Wash his clothes? Care for his children? Oh wait! You do that everyday? That’s exactly what I thought when I saw this, in fact, I thought it was an April Fool’s joke. What is this bullshit day and who thought it was necessary? I’m not even sure it is real because even Wikipedia didn’t have any info on it (and duh, they are all knowing).

Here are 3 reasons why we love our husbands on this day, as listed on http://www.nationaltoday.com (the website that created this dumb day):

1. He is our best friend for life – um ok, Claire is also my best friend, but you don’t see us married 

2. Travel partner – this is debatable, my husband is worse than a toddler during airport security. He always seems confused about what needs to come out of his pockets and bags. 

3. They take out the trash and other gross chores – well this just isn’t true! I can maybe get him to take out the trash once a month and now that we live in Japan where we have 4 separate trash cans for things he has completely stopped throwing stuff away because it is too confusing for him!

So yeah, these would not be my 3 reasons for appreciating him! 

FULL RANKING OF WHAT WOMEN APPRECIATE MOST ABOUT THEIR HUSBANDS

#1: My husband is a hard worker (69%)

#2: I can be myself around my husband (62%) 

#3: My husband makes me laugh (61%)

#4: My husband is smart (56%)

#5: My husband is supportive of my goals and desires (52%)

#6: My husband is a great parent (52%)

#7: My husband is sexy (43%)

#8: My husband does the dishes (33%)

#9: My husband is good with money (31%)

#10: My husband buys me things (29%)

Don’t get me wrong, these are all great reasons to appreciate him, but I still don’t see a reason to have a whole day dedicated to it. I mean, does he not realize I appreciate him when I get up at 5 AM with him to make his breakfast and pack his lunch? Or when I’m waiting up for him when he gets home from work and have a nice dinner ready?

When is wife appreciation day? Now that’s a day I can get behind!

A Poem from my Husband

Have you ever just needed a compliment? Specifically from your spouse or loved one?

I like to think that I do not need to be complimented. I feel confident in everything that I do and rarely need to be reassured. If you know my husband, then you know he is not one to compliment anyone or anything very easily unless it is his beloved cat. When he does feel that a compliment is warranted (which is extremely rare), the receiver should accept it with a grain of salt. For instance, many years ago when we were dating and I was training for an ultramarathon he exclaimed one day that my thighs looked like those of a tyrannosaurus rex!! In his mind, he thought this was the nicest thing he could have ever said to me. I was mortified. This guy that I love thinks I look like a dinosaur!! WTF? No one has ever mistaken a dinosaur for being beautiful. I think I may have even cried at the time until he explained that he thought my legs were strong and muscular and that it was meant as the ultimate compliment. Continue reading

True Confessions: I Don’t Know How to Use a Toilet

The first thing I learned when we arrived in Japan was that the toilet situation was going to be a little bit different from what we were used to. How different could it really be? I am from Kentucky and have used plenty of “out houses” over the years. My mother will tell you that as a child I had a fascination with bathrooms and every time we went somewhere I had to use/check-out the facilities. If we were at a relative’s house that had multiple bathrooms I was sure to go in every one. Fortunately, I out grew this and became less fond of doing my “business” in public restrooms. Continue reading

7 MUST-HAVE ITEMS WHEN TRAVELLING WITH AN INFANT/TODDLER

I’m not saying I’m an expert at travelling with an infant/toddler, but I have definitely discovered a few techniques to make life easier on the go and figured out what items are absolutely necessary to have on hand. During this PCS Adventure, my family has been without household goods for 48 days, spent 3 days in airports and on planes, and lived in hotels for 26 days. It has been a learning experience for us all and I think everyone was pushed to their limit at one point during this adventure. We are finally in our new house, but still do not have household goods so we are back to “roughing it” in our own home. I honestly do not think we would have made it this far without the following items: Continue reading

[UPDATED]: SCREEN TIME FOR BABIES

Back in July I wrote an article about screen time for babies and how it is a big “no-no” for children under 2 years of age. As much as I wish I were updating this article with new info about how it is not only good to let your kids watch TV that young, but also recommended for admission into Ivy League schools later in life, sadly I am not. I am here to confess that I am a complete failure at this; my 1 year-old daughter loves watching Baby Einstein videos and they have made the last few weeks more bearable for everyone in this family.

If you have been keeping up with my PCS adventures, then you know that my family has been without household goods for 34 days now. The first week was especially hard because not only did we not have anything in our house, but also my husband was not home to help entertain our LO. That’s when I turned to Baby Einstein and never looked back. I stumbled upon one of the videos on YouTube and played it for her; it magically kept her still and focused for 20 minutes. I then found a whole series of Baby Einstein classics on Amazon Prime and introduced a different one each day while I cleaned and prepped our house for moving out. I even had them saved to my iPhone for her to watch on our 14+ hour plane ride and they truly were a life saver. Now that we are temporarily living in a hotel until a house becomes available, Baby Einstein videos help break up our day and keep things exciting for our LO. Continue reading

Child Proofing your Devices

A while back my friend Angela told me about “Guided Access” for the iPhone and I never thought I would need it because I didn’t want to be one of those parents who gave their child an iPhone to play with. Well, now that I have nothing in my house to entertain my little monster with I have resorted to letting her watch Baby Einstein and other educational videos on my iPhone (see My PCS Adventure for more on why I don’t have anything in my house). She absolutely loves it and it keeps her happy for a few minutes. The only problem is she wants to hold the phone and her sticky little fingers move all over the screen and close out the video. Then a major melt down occurs. By enabling “Guided Access” this problem is completely eliminated. It allows me to lock everything on the screen (or just certain features) so my kid can’t open/close any apps on my phone that I don’t want her to.


From Apple Support:

Use Guided Access with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Guided Access helps you to stay focused on a task while using your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Guided Access limits your device to a single app and lets you control which app features are available.

You can use Guided Access to:

  • Temporarily restrict your iOS device to a single app
  • Disable areas of the screen that aren’t relevant to a task, or areas where an accidental gesture might cause a distraction
  • Disable the hardware buttons

Set up Guided Access

Tap Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access to set up Guided Access. From there, here’s what you can do:

  • Turn Guided Access on or off
  • Set a passcode that controls the use of Guided Access and prevents someone from leaving an active session
  • Set whether the device can go to sleep during a session

Start a Guided Access session

To start a Guided Access session, follow these steps:

  1. Open the app you want to use.
  2. Triple-click the Home button.
  3. Adjust settings for the session, and then tap Start.

Control apps, screen sensitivity, and motion sensitivity

You can use Guided Access to turn off app controls, parts of the screen, and motion sensing. Follow these steps:

To disable app controls and areas of the app screen, follow these steps:

  1. Circle any part of the screen you want to disable.
  2. Use the handles to adjust the area.

To ignore all screen touches, turn off Touch.

To keep your iOS device from switching from portrait to landscape or from responding to any other motions, turn off Motion.

End a Guided Access session

If you’re using Touch ID on your iOS device, you can use it to end a Guided Access session. First, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access > Passcode Settings and turn on Touch ID. Now, when you’re using Guided Access, you can end the session by following these steps:

  1. Press the Home button once.
  2. Use Touch ID.

If you’re not using Touch ID on your device, follow these steps to end a Guided Access session:

  1. Triple-click the Home button.
  2. Enter the Guided Access passcode.

Now I’m not exactly sure why you wouldn’t have an iPhone, but if you are like Claire and don’t have one here is how to set up a restricted profile for your Android so you can lock down access to only the apps you choose, as well as set parental restrictions for videos, music, and books.

Instructions courtesy of PC World:

Set up Restricted Profile

  1. Tap Settings > Users > Add user or profile, and then tap Restricted profile.
  2. Next, you’ll see a setup screen with the name “New profile” at the top. Tap New profile to change the name to, say, the name of your child.
  3. Below the profile name, you’ll see a list of every app installed on your device—including Chrome, Google search, the Camera app, and others that you might not want your toddler touching. They’re all switched off by default. Certain apps, like Google+ and Google Hangouts, can’t be turned on at all; for the others (like, say, PBS Kids), you can unblock access by flipping the switches next to their icons. You’ll also find a few apps with gear-shaped Settings buttons; tap to configure additional “restricted” settings, such as content ratings for movies and TV shows.
  4. All set? Tap the Back button, put your phone or tablet to sleep, then tap the user icon in the top corner of the screen (for Lollipop-enabled devices) or at the bottom (for KitKat devices). Tap the icon of the restricted profile you just created, and boom—your Android device is baby-proofed.

I’m breaking a lot of the promises I made myself when I first became a mom, like never letting my daughter play with my iPhone and no screen time for kids under two years old. I’m sure more seasoned moms are reading this laughing at me and I am sure there are many more rules I will change in the future. What are some of the things you have gone back on as a new mom?