Ethan's Age

Thursday, March 21, 2013

CPR/1st Aid

A picture is usually worth a thousand words.  This picture is worth 6.

Get CPR & First Aid Trained.

This face is the face my son made after he choked today.  

We've all had the minor coughing on food issues... it's typical for us a couple times a day. (Especially when he's SUPER hungry.)  Ethan loves to emulate his idol, the cookie monster and shovel every bit of food out on the tray into his mouth.

Today, my son was eating some lunch, a piece of chicken which I had cut into small pieces.  He's never had issues with this food before.  I always sit next to him while he eats, and just give him a couple pieces at a time. 

Today, I was sitting with him, and he started to choke.  Choking is a silent thing.  The signs being leaning forward, maybe kicking, a quickly reddening face.  But the biggest sign is the look of terror on his face, which was immediately mirrored on mine.  Typically, I can lean him forward over his tray and pat his back and he's ok.  

After doing that he still was not making any sounds (which is the indicator of a child not getting any air.)  I threw off his tray onto the floor and put him stomach down, head towards the floor on my leg and did several back blows.  These did not work either.  

So I stood him up on his feet and did the full out Heimlich manuever on his tiny little body.  Thankfully, the chicken dislodged and he began to breathe. 

Working with children, I've done this a couple of times, but not on my own child.  After a mom in my mom's group had a scary seizure incident with her son (leading to them having to do CPR) I printed off a CPR and Choking infographic which is posted on each floor.  Though I didn't need it for this incident (muscle memory just kicked in) I was thankful to have it. My previous CPR/1st Aid classes (which I've taken probably a dozen times) were in my mind.  

I am thankful that I've learned over the years to recognize the signs of actual choking, and practiced those skills.. as well as the fact that I never leave the area when Ethan is eating. 

Please, if you've not taken a lifesaving course, look into what classes are offered through your local hospital or Red Cross.  At the very least, please print off pictures on how to do CPR/Heimlich in the case of an emergency and make sure all caregivers know where that information is. You may have taken a class before, but it's a huge comfort to know that the information is there in case I panic or there is another caregiver in the home that day. 

Before you get off the computer, 
print off the information.  

Here are some quick links to pictures and information!
Heimlich Manuever Infographic - Child
Heimlich Infographic- Infant
CPR Infographic

I was able to save my son's life today.  This is a sentence I never hoped to have to write, but it's better than the alternative.  I had the information to save him.  Now, you do too. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

22 Thing Happy People Do Differently

I came across this article today, and it really spoke to me.  I will be implementing some of these practices into my daily life.

By Chiara Fucarino
There are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions. Rather, it comes from within. The richest person in the world could be miserable while a homeless person could be right outside, walking around with a spring in every step. Happy people are happy because they make themselves happy. They maintain a positive outlook on life and remain at peace with themselves.

The question is: how do they do that?
It’s quite simple. Happy people have good habits that enhance their lives. They do things differently. Ask any happy person, and they will tell you that they …

1. Don’t hold grudges.
Happy people understand that it’s better to forgive and forget than to let their negative feelings crowd out their positive feelings. Holding a grudge has a lot of detrimental effects on your wellbeing, including increased depression, anxiety, and stress. Why let anyone who has wronged you have power over you? If you let go of all your grudges, you’ll gain a clear conscience and enough energy to enjoy the good things in life.

2. Treat everyone with kindness.
Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that being kind makes you happier? Every time you perform a selfless act, your brain produces serotonin, a hormone that eases tension and lifts your spirits. Not only that, but treating people with love, dignity, and respect also allows you to build stronger relationships.

3. See problems as challenges.
The word “problem” is never part of a happy person’s vocabulary. A problem is viewed as a drawback, a struggle, or an unstable situation while a challenge is viewed as something positive like an opportunity, a task, or a dare. Whenever you face an obstacle, try looking at it as a challenge.

4. Express gratitude for what they already have.
There’s a popular saying that goes something like this: “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.” You will have a deeper sense of contentment if you count your blessings instead of yearning for what you don’t have.

5. Dream big.
People who get into the habit of dreaming big are more likely to accomplish their goals than those who don’t. If you dare to dream big, your mind will put itself in a focused and positive state.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Happy people ask themselves, “Will this problem matter a year from now?” They understand that life’s too short to get worked up over trivial situations. Letting things roll off your back will definitely put you at ease to enjoy the more important things in life.

7. Speak well of others.
Being nice feels better than being mean. As fun as gossiping is, it usually leaves you feeling guilty and resentful. Saying nice things about other people encourages you to think positive, non-judgmental thoughts.

8. Never make excuses.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Happy people don’t make excuses or blame others for their own failures in life. Instead, they own up to their mistakes and, by doing so, they proactively try to change for the better.

9. Get absorbed into the present.
Happy people don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. They savor the present. They let themselves get immersed in whatever they’re doing at the moment. Stop and smell the roses.

10. Wake up at the same time every morning.
Have you noticed that a lot of successful people tend to be early risers? Waking up at the same time every morning stabilizes your circadian rhythm, increases productivity, and puts you in a calm and centered state.

11. Avoid social comparison.
Everyone works at his own pace, so why compare yourself to others? If you think you’re better than someone else, you gain an unhealthy sense of superiority. If you think someone else is better than you, you end up feeling bad about yourself. You’ll be happier if you focus on your own progress and praise others on theirs.

12. Choose friends wisely.
Misery loves company. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with optimistic people who will encourage you to achieve your goals. The more positive energy you have around you, the better you will feel about yourself.

13. Never seek approval from others.
Happy people don’t care what others think of them. They follow their own hearts without letting naysayers discourage them. They understand that it’s impossible to please everyone. Listen to what people have to say, but never seek anyone’s approval but your own.

14. Take the time to listen.
Talk less; listen more. Listening keeps your mind open to others’ wisdoms and outlooks on the world. The more intensely you listen, the quieter your mind gets, and the more content you feel.

15. Nurture social relationships.
A lonely person is a miserable person. Happy people understand how important it is to have strong, healthy relationships. Always take the time to see and talk to your family, friends, or significant other.

16. Meditate.
Meditating silences your mind and helps you find inner peace. You don’t have to be a zen master to pull it off. Happy people know how to silence their minds anywhere and anytime they need to calm their nerves.

17. Eat well.
Junk food makes you sluggish, and it’s difficult to be happy when you’re in that kind of state. Everything you eat directly affects your body’s ability to produce hormones, which will dictate your moods, energy, and mental focus. Be sure to eat foods that will keep your mind and body in good shape.

18. Exercise.
Studies have shown that exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft does. Exercising also boosts your Self Improvement and gives you a higher sense of self-accomplishment.

19. Live minimally.
Happy people rarely keep clutter around the house because they know that extra belongings weigh them down and make them feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Some studies have concluded that Europeans are a lot happier than Americans are, which is interesting because they live in smaller homes, drive simpler cars, and own fewer items.

20. Tell the truth.
Lying stresses you out, corrodes your Self Improvement, and makes you unlikeable. The truth will set you free. Being honest improves your mental health and builds others’ trust in you. Always be truthful, and never apologize for it.

21. Establish personal control.
Happy people have the ability to choose their own destinies. They don’t let others tell them how they should live their lives. Being in complete control of one’s own life brings positive feelings and a great sense of self-worth.

22. Accept what cannot be changed.
Once you accept the fact that life is not fair, you’ll be more at peace with yourself. Instead of obsessing over how unfair life is, just focus on what you can control and change it for the better.

My 24 Hour a Day Job

This morning, upon my daily peruse of the Huff Post Parenting Blog, I stumbled upon this article titled "The Retro Wife Opts Out."

It got me thinking about what brought me from my full time job to my current "more than full time job" at home.  This quote sums it up:

"If you have lots of career-development opportunities, and you have a real prospect of getting promoted, you feel that you are on track and surging forward and have the respect of your colleagues and control over your work, then you are much more likely to not be tempted to take time off with that second child," says Hewlett. "You figure it out. If on the other hand, you get passed over for a promotion, or it's made clear to you that you are marginalized, or you are working all the time for no appreciation, then your 2-year-old looks a lot more appealing." 

This is not to say that staying home wasn't my first choice.  It totally was.  In fact, when my former employer refused to work with me on an ADA request due to a medication I couldn't take in my third trimester impacting the hours I was available to work, I was more than thrilled to take my leave early, rather than fight their decision (and win, as I would have.)

I worked in an internationally known non-profit, molding the young minds of children and managing a handful of programs.  My resume, at 30, was impressive, and I could have continued up the ladder of non-profit management, though not through that organization.  I worked in an unhealthy office, with gossip and backbiting being the norm.  Why?  It was an office FULL of women. They fit the stereotype of working women to a T.  The pay for the long hours we worked (often 12 hour + days) was atrocious.  The only thing that kept me there was the daily opportunity to work with children, and some awesome staff.  (That was also the thing that kept me from leaving a toxic office environment.)  The pay was atrocious, the environment toxic, the item on the resume impressive. 

That being said, when we learned we were expecting, we started planning for my departure, and having an end date gave me so much peace.  In that last trimester, I actually lost weight and gained a sense of self that I lost in my job.  

Note: this is not a post about whether I think it's better to stay home or work for any parent.  I realize that some people can't afford to have a parent stay home, and also that some prefer to be working.  If it works for you and your family, that's fantastic!

One day, I might return to the work force (thankfully, my skills will always be applicable, and finding work when I chose to return won't be an issue) but for now, I am very happy being at home daily with my son.  I've learned to stimulate my mind by keeping up with the news, reading and writing.

In the meantime, I can't think of any job or pay that could beat this.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

RSS Readers?

Apparently Google Reader is retiring.

What do you use to organize your rss feeds?

Let Me be the One Who Says it Out Loud

Just today I was told by a family member to "enjoy every moment."  (Pretty sure, though I can't shouldn't use quotes, it was followed by "They are so precious."  
Ironically, during this exchange on the phone this happened:
Precious, right?
Uh huh. Yeah.  That just happened.  Thankfully this act of paper product destruction didn't phase me much.  This is just one moment in the life of a destructatron who cries because his nose smells... or he can't slide his wood board puzzle on the door mat.

Or there was that one time he couldn't get the colors off the blanket.  

That being shown, obviously there are times that parenthood is like the piece of gum in your hair.  The one that won't come out, pulls at your hair and won't leave you alone so you can pee in peace. 

Ok, that last part doesn't make sense, but you get the idea.

And then comes along, through the fog of sippy cups, sleepless nights, reading the same book 385793485 times (slipping in a child-friendly-pitched profanity here and there)... a glimmer of internet hope.  My dear friend Rose sends me a link:

You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out a way for your children to eat as healthy as your friend’s children do. She’s obviously using a bizarre and probably illegal form of hypnotism.

You are not a terrible parent if you yell at your kids sometimes. You have little dictators living in your house. If someone else talked to you like that, they’d be put in prison.

Cut yourself a break.  Cut other mom's a break.  Before you say "awww, love every moment of it," offer them a coffee with extra caffeine, and maybe spike it with a mood stabilizer instead. (Sanity Rufie, anybody?)

 Maybe before saying "Cherish it all, you'll never get this time back," let a mom know that:

  • Breastfeeding isn't easy for lots.  
  • Formula isn't going to kill your baby/make them obese/make them dumb.  Carry around chopsticks to stab judgy mom's in the eye.  You'll get a glare for using it, no matter what.  At least earn the glare. STAB!
  • Sleep deprivation can lead to you putting dish soap on your waffle instead of syrup.  (Note to self, move the dish soap.)
  • Cameras are good for catching the crying moments, if only to give yourself a bit of perspective, and a break from the insanity.
  • it's totally normal for the first few months/years/decades of parenthood to suck.  A lot. I can't even be quippy with this one. It's a standalone truth.
  • Bribing kiddos with cherrios will not cause them to be 48574 lbs.  And it will allow your pediatrician to finally look in their ears.
  • Going with your gut usually works the best.  (This is also applicable after nights of heavy drinking.)  If you think you should call the advice nurse for the umpteenth time, do it.  If you think that feeding them fish sticks just this once, do it.
To read more about the things you shouldn't tell a new parent, check out the link below.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Perhaps one of the biggest struggles I have in life, is my desire need to control pretty much everything.

Most of the time, this need rears it's head with funny things. 
  • I can't leave the car with the window wipers up. I turn it back on, make them go down, and then exit.  My reasoning?  They are more apt to break off that way.  (All my reasons will be ridiculous, bear with me.)
  • I don't go through car-washes because one time I missed the channel you have to drive in, and my car got a bit caught.  I then, once I drove away, lost a hub cap.  Obviously, this made my car look off balance.  So, the logical conclusion is that I can't drive into car washes.  I make Jon do it.  Not kidding.
  • I reorganize the fridge on almost a daily basis.  Critical points of interest are making sure items that are small are not down below (where Ethan can grab them), Jon's nalgenes are not cluttering up the top shelf, ect.  Reason?  I have to get in that damn thing multiple times a day, and I can't be shoving things around all the time. And WHY CAN'T HE JUST PUT HIS NALGENES IN ONE PLACE??
  • Speaking of Nalgenes, Jon is ALWAYS leaving them open where Ethan can get to them.  I am constantly screwing the cap on, despite me asking him to do it.  Reason?  Obviously Ethan will pull it down on himself, soak his clothes, make him cry, and make everything wet.  Also, 87% likely that the nalgene's water will also destroy at least one expensive electronic device.
  • I refill Ethan's diaper box so it's always full.  Because, nothing is worse than needing one, and it being empty.  Jon doesn't refill things, and it drives me batty.  (This refill policy applies to diapers, q-tips, bottled water, wipes, shampoo, toilet paper, etc.)
  • I never allow my car to get below a quarter of a tank.  The reasoning being that I might have an emergency, might be stuck on the freeway for god knows how long, I might be snowed in, there might be a fuel crisis, (And for a while it was because I didn't know how to pump my own gas, so I'd always have enough to make the 5 mile journey down to Oregon where they do it for me.)

All of these things are minor.  Most are talking points of amusement in my marriage.  However, last night I had to realize how deep my control issues go.

As a result of a sexual assault in 2000, I've aquired some control issues that are less humorous. 
  • I don't like people walking right behind me
  • I'm not a fan of most churches, it took me a decade to go back to one.
  • I watch people with knives VERY carefully.
  • Sneaking up on me/scaring me will result in an immediate breaking off of a friendship.
  • I'm hyper-vigilant in most situations, but extremely so in new ones.
Which brings us to last night.  The way my husband and I "recharge" is different.  I like to go out (since the home is basically my job) and he likes to stay in.  Not only does he like to stay in, but he also likes to have people over.  This kicks my control issues into overdrive.  There are SO many variables. 
  • Will Ethan be upset with new people in the house?  
  • Will our ginormous dog cause people to be on edge?  
  • Will I be able to maintain Ethan's routine while still entertaining guests?
  • What if I don't have time to clean the bathroom before they get here?
  • Are we supposed to feed them?  
To a normal person, these things are just not a concern.  But for me, it gets me ramped into a crazy person.  So, when my husband says "hey, I'm going to have so and so over," I immediately go into triage mode.  I'm not excited, I'm not really even happy, and to be honest the first thing I try to do is find a way to be out of the house when it happens.  The CHAOS (or potential chaos, the unpredictability more-so) is so stressful.  It's ironic that the thing that relaxes my husband the most, is the one that makes me the most tense. 

I haven't learned how to deal with this completely.  However, I'm documenting this to say, I finally get it.  I understand the root of it.  I want to work on it... because adding another kiddo will mean I want more help, and there will be MORE CHAOS as a result.  If I don't figure out how to deal with this now, it will get way worse. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A second look, a second baby, a second thought.

Last night I caught myself second guessing our choice to try for another.

I carefully analyzed where that was coming from, and managed to talk myself into thinking I was being selfish. 

  • I wanted more time to myself
  • I wanted to continue to get my body back
  • I wanted to continue with my yoga
  • I didn't want to have to go through the intense first year again.
I, I, I.

But I then realized what was behind it all.

I was scared.  I AM scared.

For years, we tried for Ethan.  Years.  That journey was exhausting, emotionally draining, physically hard on me... the list goes on.  I dread going through this process again.  I got a message from my RE to give my body 6 months of trying before coming back to her... and the idea of needing to again just breaks my spirit a little bit.  I hope that it will not end up being like this, but secondary infertility is so common.

I am on the train to a destination called baby, but feel like it might take the long way around.

Friday, March 1, 2013

20 Questions- PAIL Link Up Style

PAIL is doing a 20 questions link-up... so here is my submission! 
Les Questions
  1. What was the last thing you threw in the garbage/recycling?
 I just threw away my list of things to pack for Ethan's visit to the In-laws.  My Inlaws are the most fantastic inlaws ever.  Every month or so, they take Ethan for a weekend.  They find this fun.  And they purchase clothes for him.  (Either they feel I don't dress him ever, or they really like clothes shopping.  I've had to avoid the clothes section, because I'd buy the entire store.  So now, I think I'll plan the weekend sleep overs to match up with when I need some new outfits ;)  )

2. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
I had to look this up, because I didn't even have a guess. The first place winner goes to "Ambient Rain," which we used for Ethan's white noise for a while until we moved him into his own room with a noise machine.  Weirdly enough, it is 79 plays, and he only spent around 2.5 weeks in our room listening to it.  79!  (Second place goes to Paramore's "We are Broken," Third to  "Never Alone" by Winter Park, Fourth to "Everywhere" by Michelle Branch, and rounding out the top five is "Trees" by Twenty-One Pilots- which is incidentally my cousin's band who was recently featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live.)

3. What is your favorite quote?
"Why chose failure when success is an option?" ~Jillian Michaels.  This mantra goes through my mind over and over in different situations.  Lately, the quote has gotten me through some tough mind over body moments in my Hot Hatha Yoga class.

4. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
I hate doing laundry. Which I have to do a LOT of with a young one.  

5. What is your favorite form of exercise?
Currently, I'm a yoga addict.  I purchased a one month unlimited pass for a third of the regular price on Living Social.  But it's not just regular yoga, it's hot hatha yoga. 105 degrees, 40% humidity.  It hurts SO good. 

6. What is your favorite time of day?
Favorite time of the day is when I pull Ethan out of the bath and we just stand with him wrapped in a towel and snuggle.  He doesn't tend to snuggle much, so I relish this time with him.

7. What is on your bedside table?
Uber boring.  Nothing currently.  At night, my laptop. 

8. What is your favorite body part?
My legs are getting VERY toned from yoga.  So, at this moment I'm loving my thighs. 

9. Would you use the power of invisibility for good or evil? Elaborate.
Both.  I'd sit in on some conversations I wish I could hear, and also get the chance to do some good deeds unseen. 

10. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
If the question also allows me to have the body I had at that time, 21. Otherwise, I'm pleased with where I am now. 

11. What is the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?
Pay off our house and cars.  Then pay off my mother's house, my in-laws house, and my brother in laws house.  Then a huge part into Ethan's college fund.  After that, I'd want to travel and invest in some charities. 

12. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Dishonesty.  In all it's forms.  Included is being fake or judgmental. Also, when people use their religion to promote hate towards a group or individual. 

13. If you could know the answer to any question, what would it be?
Will my son turn into an amazing upstanding citizen? (Secondarily followed up by "Is god in the form I currently believe he is?")

14. At what age did you become an adult?
At 18, by a traumatic event, not by age. 

15. Recommend a book, movie, or television show in three sentences or less.
Stiff, the Curious Lives of Human Cadaveors.  A book about what happens when you donate your body to science.  An important read, make sure you delineate what your body can be used for, since there are some weird things science can do with you. 

16. What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?
Dishonest actions.  In so many ways.  I was a very troubled little lady.  Thankfully, I've gotten over it. 

17. What was the first album you bought with your own money?
Whitney Houston's "Bodyguard."  (Fun Fact- followed quickly by Weird Al Yankovich's "Amish Paradise," an album of which I still know every word. 

18. If someone wrote a book about you, what would be the title?
"Seeking Resolute Composure."

19. What story do you wish your family would stop telling about you?
I find stories about things I did with my father when I was young tough to hear.  We are both in such different places... and neither one of us knows anything about the other person's life.  Sadly, not by my choice. As I continue to raise my son, I am flabergasted that my own father doesn't want to know me or put in the work to mend some of the damage he caused. 

20. True or false: The unicorn is the greatest mythical creature. State your case.
Obviously.  Is there even anything to say to argue against this?