Category: Daily News

Our first black eye… or not?

Many people have seen this movie…

So you understand that my child could climb well before he could walk. Heck, he’s still pretty wobbly with walking, but he scales EVERYTHING in the house. A few Fridays ago he was scaling yet another household item and toppled before I reached him. Insert big bloody scrape and a bruise setting in immediately. Oh, and lots of tears between the two of us. I was heartbroken, sure I was the worst mother in the world. We cleaned him up, calmed him (and me) down and I set about treating his eye. I rubbed my “bruise buster” on his eye, as well as some colloidal silver (my newest love!). The bruise dissipated within two days, so then we just kept up with the colloidal silver. One week later, I think it speaks for itself!

Ouch! How we treated our first black eye | found at http://www.oliverandtara.com

 

The very next week O started coming down with a cold. I gave him the “cold buster” and 5ml of colloidal silver to drink 2x a day for three days. Praise the Lord, the cold disappeared before becoming a full blown amount of yuck!

Yep, colloidal silver is here to stay in our house! I would love to hear about any of your “must-haves” in the all-natural medicine cabinet!

❤ Tara

My First Aid Box

I have a very mobile toddler. And by mobile, I hardly mean “skilled”. It’s actually quite reminiscent of people watching Frat Row on a Friday night. He crashes into things more frequently than actually reaching his intended destinations. And forget turning around, that’s asking way too much. Unless the dog is handy to hold on to while he pivots 180 degrees. So injuries, scrapes and bruises are common place. At home I have my cabinets and drawers always “at the ready” with my essential oils and “fix its” for his owies. But I needed something on the go as well. When I found some adorable “first aid” boxes, I knew I’d struck gold! I transferred key oils into travel sized bottles and taped a “cheat sheet” into the box. We’re now ready for just about anything… I hope…

Essential Oils First Aid Box | http://www.oliverandtara.com

What’s in the box and why?

Here are some of the many uses I’ve found listed on-line (but I’m no doctor, so don’t take this as medical advice!)

  • Frankincense
    • Concussions, skin problems, blisters, sore muscles, immune system
  • Lemon
    • Fevers, stomach upset, indigestion, sore throat, cough, constipation
  • Melaleuca (AKA Tea Tree)
    • ‘’Disinfecting cuts, builds immunity, ear problems, sore throat, allergies, inflammation, lice, flu, cold sores, hives, rashes
  • Peppermint
    • Nausea, congestion, pain, bruising, fever, insets bites/stings, poison ivy/oak, food poisoning
  • Helichrysum
    • Pain, bruising, minor burns, swollen eyes, vertigo, bleeding
  • Oregano
    • Bacterial infections, disinfect cuts/scrapes, reduces, pain, bruising, inflammation, strep throat, constipation
  • Lavender
    • Pain, sleeplessness, cuts, burns, scrapes, allergies, sunburns, cold sores
  • Melrose
    • cuts, scrapes, inflammation, burns, rashes, canker sores, cold sores, fungal infections, viral infections, ear infections
  • Purify/Purification
    • Tooth pain, allergies, bug bites, deodorant, ear infections, stings, UTI
  • Thieves/OnGuard
    • cold, flu, tooth ache, poison ivy, headaches, sore throat, antiseptic

Add in a few Band-Aids,  some q-tips for applications and you’re ready for whatever life (or your toddler) may throw at you!

❤ Tara

All Tied Up: Lip Tied & Tongue Tied

Never doubt that “mommy sense”. Fight for what you feel is “wrong” or “off”. Do not let other’s belittle your concerns. You know your baby better than anyone else. I should have fought before, but I’m fighting now. And we’re going to win this curve ball after Liam has “surgery” next week in California..

Back Story

From the day Liam was born I thought something was off about his oral anatomy (and I know a bit about that, being an SLP and all). I asked the lactation consultant in the hospital and was told “it just looks different because he doesn’t have teeth and is so small…” How I wish I had been wrong, or that I’d fought more back then. Recently a few things were really itching that thought in the back of my mind:

  • People kept saying “oh those are the cutest two little teeth! You’ll get more soon” and similar phrases. Except… he has six teeth. Four on top that no one ever seemed to notice.
  • He doesn’t “pucker” his lips very well. I’ll post again this week with a video showing how he “kisses”.
  • When he drinks water, it is through a straw. But he more “pinches” it between his lips than puckers.  Also, it ALL falls out of his mouth if he takes the straw out.
  • When we try to feed him by bottle he always collapses the nipple between his lips.
  • [warning: may be TMI] When he nurses he doesn’t take the whole nipple into his mouth. He stays near the tip – I was constantly told this was just because he had a small mouth
  • He nurses for VERY short stints. A few minutes and then takes a break.

What sealed the deal was his top two front teeth growing in significantly recently. They came in with a big gap. When I was looking closer at the gap I realized it – his lip is attached through his top two teeth and onto his palate! I called Oliver from the airport (I was flying home) and told him “Liam is lip tied…. bad.”

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Facts

What followed was extensive research on my part. The biggest impact for me was realizing the following:

  • Lip ties are very common and mostly genetic
    (go ahead, run to the mirror. We all did…)
  • Most lip ties come with a tongue tie
  • There are two types of lip ties …
    • Frenulum Labii Superioris (inside the upper lip) – this is Liam’s
    • Frenulum Labii Inferioris (inside the lower lip).
  • It causes significant problems in breastfeeding – doesn’t stimulate milk production, damages nipples, bad latch, poor weight gain/failure to thrive, etc.
  • It is EXTREMELY common, but hardly diagnosed!

“Ties” are rated on a scale of “classes”. For lips ties, a class 1 is “normal” and a class “4” is the most severe. For tongues the scale goes the opposite direction. I know Liam has at least a class 3, but possible class 4, lip tie. You can see some great images here:

There are so many myths and “old school” mindsets out there that impact intervention on lip ties:

  • Many doctors/lactation consultants believe medical intervention isn’t needed, thinking children will “grow out of it”.
  • Many professionals will not treat infants/toddlers/etc.
  • Some suggest “waiting to see if it impacts speech, then intervening”

Ug! As an SLP I can say with assurance – NEVER wait to see if something “impacts speech”. By that time you are looking at extensive intervention to correct something rather than being “ahead of the game”. And the more research I did, the more I realized intervention was not only important, but necessary. And fast.

Interventions

When battling a “lip tie”, the individual needs a “frenectomy”. In layman terms, you need to cut the frenulum that attached the lip to the gums or the tongue to the floor of the mouth. This is primarily done one of two ways:

  • Cut with a scalpel then stitched (Z-plasty surgery)
  • Cut and simultaneously cauterized via laser

Stitches and a toddler sounded like a nightmare. And the healing for that was extensive and much slower than a laser. Research into the laser procedure gave us a general “picture” of how the appointment would go:

  • They would put local anesthesia into the frenulum being cut
  • After giving it a few minutes to kick in, they cut the frenulum
  • The procedure lasts approximately 6 minutes start to finish

This seemed like the best decision to us. The hardest part will be having to restrain Liam while they cut. So, now that we had decided we were going to allow someone with a laser into our child’s mouth, we needed to find out who does this procedure…

Specialists

I first assumed it would be a medical doctor or ENT who would specialize in this. But it is actually cosmetic dentistry! We searched and found the names of the leading specialists. If someone was going to be in my child’s mouth (an SPL’s kid!) with a LASER, they had better know what they are doing! We found one of the leading specialists (and researchers!) in the nation is Dr. Kotlow in Albany, New York. And his very first suggestion, if you can’t go to him, is Dr. James Jesse in Loma Linda, California. We did find some dentists who do the laser in our area, but we prayed about it and only really felt peace about going to California.  So I called his office, stated immediately that I was an SLP with a child with a class 3/suspected class 4 lip tie and probable tongue tie. They had an opening the following week.

What Can I Do?

Honestly, go check your little one. Talk to your friends about checking their little ones! Do you know someone struggling to latch/breastfeed? Or someone who is ready to give up due to pain/cracked nipples/etc? Share this post! Get them help – help that friend rid themselves of “mommy guilt” and raise awareness that this is common and FIXABLE! Be the answer someone else needs to much and keep more kids off the SLPs caseload by giving them a great start to their breastfeeding AND speech development!

Our Plan

We fly out Wednesday night to LA where we will meet up with my mom (she is flying in from San Jose). We then pick up our rental car and drive to our hotel in Loma Linda. Thursday as 2pm PST we have our appointment with Dr. James Jesse to correct Liam’s “ties”. We are cleared to fly home the very next day, but instead chose to stay until Saturday afternoon and give Liam some “chill time”.

Over the next week or so I will post what we packed for our trip, what helped with the surgery/recovery process and a less “informative” and much more “personal” peek into what we are all thinking and feeling through this process. Keeping it real!

❤ Tara

Some great blogs and websites:

Activities: Clips!

With a Masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology and many years of experience in the special education system, I’m quite keen on exposing Pip to a multitude of activities. I work hard to vary the modalities he is using in the activities I am providing. We love to do a lot of fine motor activities together, despite how anxious it makes others. Everyone is sure he will choke on the tools I give him! But trust me, I keep him supervised until I know he can be safe. And once he know how to be safe with them, he gains so much confidence with the activities!

What are fine motor skills?

Fine motor skill is the coordination of small muscle movements which occur in body parts such as the fingers, usually in coordination with the eyes. – Wikipedia

What are some important movements?

There are so many! Pinching, threading, pulling, scribbles… there are so many different fine motor movements. If you google it you can find a variety of lists. Some will make you feel like you’ve done something right, others may make you feel like you’re failing your child. Try to find a middle ground *smile*

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A simple activity to help your toddler develop their fine motor skills! And you can buy the materials at the dollar store! | found on http://www.oliverandtara.com #moms #parenting #activities

This simple activity can provide fun and some fine motor exercise for your little one! We play this game everywhere now, as I can always have the supplies in my purse.

What You’ll Need:

  • Rubber coated metal clips (I get them at the dollar store!)

How to Play

  • Always start each “level” by barely attaching the clips to the edge of something. You aren’t trying to “stump” your toddler right out of the gate! First you want to establish that they know how to get the clip off at each level.
  • Begin with something hard and sturdy where the pulling motion is towards themselves or down (not up). The edge of a toy crate can work, or a counter/table. Show your toddler how much FUN it can be to pull them off! (Find that inner child!) The rubber coating should protect your items, as well as make it easier to slip off. Increase the difficulty along with your toddler’s progress. You can even try clipping them so that they would need to pull “up” once they have the hang of it!
  • Attach the clips to a stuffed toy or blanket. Show your toddler how to hold the item with one hand, and pull the clip off with the other! This is great for core strength, stability and lateral motion – along with that grasping motion!
  • Attach the clips to your toddler’s clothes! We have a lot of fun with this one! I’ll put a clip on the feet of his PJs, up the legs, in his stomach region and even on the arm of his shirt. He has to coordinate all of his limbs to reach the clip and then pull against it! Be sure your little one is somewhere “soft” when you start this one. They often pull so hard they topple themselves backwards! When Pip has to wait somewhere in his car seat or stroller I’ll pull out this activity for a few minutes of cheap entertainment!

More dollar store activities to come! Stay tuned!

❤ Tara

The Next Two Months…

The Next Two Months | oliverandtara.com
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Wow – I had a lot of fun writing about breastfeeding last month. And I still didn’t have time to hit everything! You’ll still see the topic popping up time and time again. It’s a major part of my life as  breastfeeding mommy. But here will be the upcoming focus…

September

This month I want to hit My Favorite Things. A lot of you have asked “what are your top 5 things for…” – here are some answers for you! There is no way I will hit EVERYTHING in one month, so this will actually be kicking off a regular series. These posts will be more “summaries” than in depth Tried and True (T&T) posts. But, have no fear, a lot of these items will show up again in upcoming T&Ts!

October

October 7-13 is International Babywearing Week! If you know me, you know I *love* babywearing! So October will be dedicated to everything babywearing. I’ll be starting a regular series discussing why we wear, as well as giving you the in and outs of babywearing. What carriers get thumbs up, what get thumbs DOWN? What to look for, what to try, where to start – we’ll be talking about it here! I’ll be giving you a peek into my own stash, as well as others I have tried/borrowed/drooled heavily over. All the T&Ts will be focused on wearing as well. There may even be a few tutorials about some customizing I’ve done for my own carriers. I’m excited!

The New Year …

Oliver and I are really praying about where God is leading us. We believe we went through infertility for a purpose. We believe we’re beginning to figure that out. And this blog will play a part. But we are still really praying about the how, when, and what of this venture we are exploring. Please pray with us, and keep an eye out here for new about our new adventure!


On a more personal note …

I’ve been a bit MIA from blogging because this weekend was a BIG deal. We travelled to Cincinnati, Ohio to celebrate my great grandmother’s birthday.

Let that sink in for a minute. *My* great grandmother. That makes her Liam’s great great grandmother. TWO greats in there folks, not a typo. And before you begin asking if we all sat around her bed in the nursing home, watching her being spoon fed pudding – you’ve got the WRONG idea. My great grandma is a spit fire lady with her mind still about her and her body only just beginning to fail her. It is only in the last year that she has begun needing a cane to steady herself. This lady has lived through the depression, the deaths of two husbands, 2 children, a daughter-in-law and one grandchild. She’s seen her legacy grow through 3 children, 5 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and now 2 great great grandchildren. And she still carries her head high, has a smile on her face, and doesn’t let anyone boss her around. Can you tell I love this lady?

So, for her 97th birthday, all she really wanted from Oliver and me was to meet Liam. We were getting regular calls, asking when we’d bring her great great grandson out. We began planning a trip, and my mom jumped into the planning as well. Soon we had it arranged so my sister would meet us there with my niece, and my brother would meet us there from LA.

I’m not going to lie. When we rounded the corner to see her walking towards Liam, smiling, I cried. I lost my grandparents (her son and daughter-in-law) when I was a freshman in college. I was VERY close to them, they lived with us for many years leading up to their passings. It was so very important to me that she meet my first child. But, as we spent years battling infertility, I was really worried that she wouldn’t be here. To see her walk up to Liam, pat his face, talk sweetly to him – and to see him smile back at her. I’m crying again typing this. I could do nothing less that praise the Lord.

Some pictures from our whirlwind weekend…

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❤ Tara

2 years ago

A little over 2 years ago, I was offered the opportunity to visit our friends Faith and Roger. In Africa. For 3 weeks. Oliver and I were already over 2 years into trying for a baby. I didn’t want to commit and then back out, but I also didn’t want to pass up this opportunity. Oliver and I decided to leave it at God’s feet. A baby meant “no”, no baby meant “go”. We would cut off trying one month before the trip, just to be safe (with immunizations, malaria meds, etc). The one month mark came, and there was no baby. So, I went. And God also brought along my best friend (much to her surprise as well!).

What God did in me, while there, was AMAZING. My journal has many tear stained pages, as I asked for a baby again and again. The pictures show the pure joy I felt while working and living there. The biggest moment was when He used someone I didn’t even know to tell me the BIG news. He was promising a baby…. a baby boy. I was able to stand on that promise – and just 8 months later God said “yes”. And Liam’s life began!

The trip not only promised me Liam – but brought me closer than ever with my friend Kelly. We lived, worked, ate and played together for three weeks – and still liked each other afterwards!

Here is our blog from that trip….

I strongly suggest this post and this post to get a good picture of our time there…

❤ Tara

Milking It: Drying Up

Milking It: Drying Up | oliverandtara.com
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After last week (World Breastfeeding Week), my brain is still stuck on the topic. So I wanted to discuss a topic many mommies have questions about – how to encourage milk production. This is a topic I didn’t look much into before having Liam. I wish I had! Thankfully I had read about certain items and did throw them into my bag. Also, we were blessed that the hospital where Liam was born is quite “crunchy”. So the Lactation Consultants brought me some things to increase supply as well!

I am “blessed” with over production and have to pump to get some of the milk off regularly, especially after a few days of cluster feedings or a growth spurt (for Liam.. not me!). But I know plenty of moms who really struggle with production. And not just at the beginning! I was talking to a fellow mommy last week and her supply almost totally dried up after a few days with a low grade fever. Yikes! Other moms have a lot  of difficulty keeping production up when they have to do significant pumping (working moms, poor latch, sick babies, etc). Since Liam has been born, I’ve read and researched a TON. Our breastfeeding relationship is something very important to me. The thought of my milk drying up is heartbreaking!

This will be a series, so I am spreading the posts out of this week. Today I wanted to provide a list of things that COULD dry up your milk. Keep in mind, ever mommy’s body is different. So some things may dry up one mommy’s milk while not affecting someone else’s milk supply at all. But it’s better to be safe than sorry from my point of view!

Food/Drinks

Meds/Supplements

Actions

Sage
Peppermint (any form)
Antihistamines
Decongestants
High doses of B-6
Prescription pain-killers
Weight-loss supplements
Appetite inhibitors
Estrogen birth control
Vitex (for fertility)
Cabbage Leaves
(helps with engorgement)
Tight bras
Pumping patterns
Supplementing formula
Smoking
Rapid weight loss
Limited BF length
Pregnancy

 

Anything on this list I have missed? Let me know!

❤ Tara

WBW: For Those Who Couldn’t

WBW: For those who couldn't | oliverandtara.com

Today is the final day of World Breastfeeding Week. I want to hit on a topic that comes up a LOT …

 

The mom who WANTED to breastfeed but her life took another path.

 

I want to say that by celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, I was in no way saying “I’m better than you”. Instead, it was to stand with moms around the world to celebrate those who breastfeed , to raise awareness about breastfeeding and making sure everyone’s rights are protected. I’m the first person to say that what we plan for our children doesn’t always come to fruition. I had grand plans of a natural child birth, but my life took another path when Liam became transverse breech at 36 weeks.

In my opinion, what matters is this:

Did you educate yourself and then do the best you possibly could for your child?

Yes? Then you my friend, are a supermom. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Celebrate motherhood, whether you have reached it yet or not. Because there are those who have!

Celebrate breastfeeding, whether you did or didn’t. Because there are those who did!

Celebrate formula, so that you ARE able to offer your child food. Because there are some who don’t have access to it.

Overall, will you please choose joy for the road traveled, and not judgement (on yourself or others!). We are all doing the best we can.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week – for mom’s everywhere to have the right to try to do it with their blessings.

 ❤ Tara

 

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WBW: My view

My View [while nursing] | oliverandtara.com

When nursing, your view is sometimes pretty limited. Since learning how to breastfeed Liam in the baby carrier (read: STEEP learning curve) my view has improved. But with a bad back, sometimes I just need to sit and rest myself. Here are some of my views …

My view at home
My view at home

99% of the time, when I nurse at home, I am sitting in my chair. My beloved chair was a gift from my Mother-in-law when we announced our pregnancy. I spent a LOT of time picking it out, and it is my FAVORITE place to sit. Sometimes I have to remember that I can sit OTHER places when I’m not nursing! We set it in the living room at the condo, so we are a part of everything while nursing. This is important to me. No one should have to eat “alone” – including Liam!

The view in Colorado
The view in Colorado

When we move to Colorado, we will spend a couple of months at my parents’ house while we place offers on homes. We went out to visit for Mother’s Day/Memorial Day and this was my view while nursing. Ohemwow – I could get VERY used to this! It is very special early in the morning, when it is just the two of us. I can sit, nurse and praise the Lord for all our blessings … most specifically, Liam. 

This past weekend we took Liam to the aquarium for the first time. To say I got teary eyed watching him in awe is an understatement. But the best part was when he got hungry. Oliver led us to the “Open Ocean” exhibit to grab a bench. I think this is one of the BEST views I’ve ever had while nursing!

 

❤ Tara

 

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WBW: A Day of Nursing

A Day of Nursing | oliverandtara.com

Today, for World Breastfeeding Week, I documented my nursing relationship with Liam. I can’t really capture all of the warm fuzzies, but I can show you how *our* day looks. Everyone’s nursing relationship with their child is different. It’s different because you are unique, and your child is/will be unique. I am writing this to give you an example of what it *might* look like to nurse your 6 month old. But please, don’t compare your breastfeeding relationship to mine. Compare it to nothing, because nothing compares. It is your special relationship, love every minute of it! Accept that trials, successes, frustrations and celebrations. Sit back, enjoy and watch your body do something miraculous!

Our Day [today]

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4am – swaddled in the dark!
Liam wakes up partially around 4 or 5 every morning. He isn’t fully awake yet, really just hungry. The rule in our home is no eye contact! Scoop him up, place him in bed. He eats for about 10-20 minutes and then falls asleep in bed with us

 

Once he is in bed, each wake-up is quick and easy. It took some time for me to master breastfeeding without switching sides. Liam always stays on the same side, and I contort to feed him from both sides. This morning we had three of these feeds before he was up and ready to take on the day. IMG_20130803_235910
6:30 am, 7:15 am and 7:45 am

 

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9:45 am
After our morning routine, and some play time, Liam starts to get hungry again. He usually isn’t ready for a nap yet – just thirsty from all the activity!

 

The morning nap feed is one of his longest all day. During this feed he usually falls asleep for his 2 hour nap. This usually hits 2-3 hours after he is out of bed in the morning. Today he ate for a whopping 45 minutes! (at one point I may have moo’d…. just saying… ) IMG_20130804_101400
10:30 am

 

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3:15 pm
The afternoon he is actually pretty sparse in his “snacks”. He began to show signs of hunger (read: hitting head against boob) while we were out running errands. I didn’t have a cover with me, but I did have him in my Tula. So I just left him in there to snack! In less than 5 minutes he was done and wanted to go back to smiling at the other shoppers!

 

While walking around the complex, we got hungry again. So I sat on a bench to give him a snack. He popped on and off a few times, mesmerized by the trees above the bench. IMG_20130805_111926
5:30

 

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6:30 pm, 7 pm, 7:30 pm, 9 pm
The evenings are usually full of short “snacking” around playing and other excitement. Tonight he munched 4x before his bedtime feed – none lasting more than 10 minutes!

 

His last meal of the night is as he nurses to sleep. This one, much like his morning nap, is a long one. I usually put on a TV show to watch while he eats, since I am stuck sitting for quite some time. His milk coma always makes me giggle! Goodnight sweetheart! See you in 6-8 hours! IMG_20130803_235636
10pm

 

I really enjoyed documenting our day today – I had no idea he nurses THAT much. I mean, I knew it was a lot. But WOW! I guess it takes a lot of calories to keep up those cheeks *smile*

I also didn’t realize how efficient he has gotten at eating. As a newborn he ate at least 30 minutes – 1 hour at each feeding. I thought I was stuck in my chair forever. Now it sometimes feels like he is simply going through the Breastfeeding Drive-Thru! Snack and go. My favorite times are those long feeds now. The ones where I can just smile at him as he drinks and sleeps.

What does your breastfeeding day look like?

❤ Tara

 

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