Entries Tagged as 'baby health'

the lazy mom’s guide to making your own baby food


Look, I try to be a good mom, I really do. But momming is hard, especially when you’re doing it by yourself, so sometimes you gotta get creative. And find some good mom hacks.

It’s almost 10pm on a Take-Out-The-Trash Night and, rather than throw away the fresh produce that our family of three never eats in its entirety, I decided to have a puree party and make some baby food for GB. On the menu: peaches.

Now, I didn’t get this brilliant idea to blog about this until I was already in the process, so I don’t have a “before” photo to show you, but I’m pretty sure you know what a peach looks like so we’re cool, right?

The Lazy Mom’s Guide to Making Your Own Baby Food

Take that pretty ripe produce you’ve got in your fruit bowl or fridge. Throw it in a Crock-Pot and go do life stuff for a few hours. (I’ve got a mini Crock-Pot that I got at Target for like $15 that’s great for entertaining… and, it turns out, making baby food.)

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog


Take the now-soft and cooked produce out of the Crock-Pot and remove any yuckies, like pits or skins.

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog


(Appetizing, right?)

Deposit the mush into a Mini Bullet (no, not Mommy’s special Mini Bullet) or blender.

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog


Blend that stuff up.

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog


Dump the puree into whatever baby food containers you’ve got.

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog


Wait until it cools and throw it in the freezer with whatever random baby food you’ve previously made. Or in the fridge for tomorrow. Or serve it up immediately. Whatever floats your boat.

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog


Throw the bullet and whatever utensils you used in the dishwasher.

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog


Feel good knowing you made your kid some baby food.

Let’s be honest, though: I’ve got plenty of the ready-made stuff for back-up and nights where I don’t have time to mess around with making my own.

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog


I’m coming for you next, baby carrots.

lazy mom's guide to making your own baby food @ohbotherblog

post-surgery update


Holdy pre-surgery @ohbotherblog

Holden had her overflow tearing surgery yesterday and it went really well.

I totally had pre-surgery jitters and felt bad for the other patients at the outpatient center who may have been terrorized by my kid, who was running around like a nut. The nurses all loved her, and she actually went off with them willingly, so that at least made the moment they took her away a little easier to bear.

We were only away from her for about 15 minutes until she started to wake up from the anesthesia. That, my friends, was miserable. She was an inconsolable lump in the recovery room. I sat and held her while she screamed in my face for about 10 minutes and then we decided just to put her clothes on and go. She literally screamed without stopping the entire ride home and continued to cry for another hour once we got there. I just sat with her on the couch and held her until she stopped.

After she was finished crying, it was her regular nap time and she went down willingly. When she woke up, she seemed to be good as new. A little tired, a little cranky. Appetite was back. She had a little bit of a bloody nose throughout the day, but that seemed to be the only after-effect.

This morning when she woke up… she was goop and crust free! Success!

goodbye, goopy mcgooperson


Baby overflowing tearing - goopy eyes @ohbotherblog

So Holden has had goopy, crusty eyes since birth. Like so goopy her eyelashes get stuck together. My husband says she looks like the baby from Toy Story.

It’s technically called “Overflow Tearing,” but essentially her tear ducts are clogged. Overflow Tearing occurs when the membrane covering the tear duct inside the nose fails to open at or before birth, thus clogging the draining system. Hence, the goop and crust.

Some Overflow Tearing is normal in infants and the membrane will usually open on its own by the kid’s first birthday. But Holden’s never did… so she has to have surgery. On Thursday.

The surgery is referred to as “Probing and Irrigation.” It’s gross, but basically they stick a thin wire through the inner pink part next to her eyeball and thread it down into her nasal cavity. Then they flush it out with fluid, and that should supposedly do the trick.

Tearduct Probing Surgery @ohbotherblog

I’m told the actual procedure takes five minutes, but she’ll have to have anesthesia, which is scary to me. The whole process from going under to waking up should take an hour, with no real recovery time or after effects (allegedly).

So that’s happening on Thursday. Think happy, non-goopy thoughts!

on doing things one-handed


Clingy baby, one handed mom @ohbotherblog

Holden is teething this week and has been absolutely miserable. Fever, lethargy, no appetite, runny nose. She’s also been super clingy, wanting to be held all. the. time.

Selfishly, it has made me happy to sit and rock her like I did when she was an infant. It feels nice to have my constantly in-motion toddler want to slow down and lie with her mom.

But it has made doing everyday tasks a tad difficult. Feeding the dog, picking up dog crap, pouring Holdy’s milk, making toast, doing my hair, putting on makeup, going to the bathroom… I have mastered the art of doing it all one-handed.

She’s so rarely like this, I suppose I should just enjoy it. Wow, it sounds terrible to say that I enjoy her being sick. I have enjoyed getting to be a little lazy this week… man, am I the worst?

holden’s hemangioma update


holden's hemangioma came back @ohbotherblog

It’s been about a month since we stopped the medication for Holden’s hemangioma on her right cheek, and, as you can see, it’s seen some regrowth.

You may recall from my first post on her hemangioma that hemangiomas like Holden’s usually appear a few weeks to months after a baby is born. They go through a rapid growth phase for about six months to a year, and then begin to regress at a much slower rate. The hemangioma should mostly be gone by the time a baby is two or three. So it seems like Holden’s hemangioma isn’t quite ready to go away just yet.

I was prepared to allow the hemangioma to take its course and not restart the medicine, but at the urging of my parents and my husband, I relented. I guess someone asked my mom about Holden’s bruised face at the park, so it really is becoming more noticeable.

The good news is that we know the medicine works. Looks like we’ll just have to ride this thing out a bit longer. I am pretty bummed to have her back on medication, but I obviously want to do what’s best for her.

holden’s hemangioma


What a deep hemangioma looks like on a 3-month-old @ohbotherblog

This is a long story, but I’ll try to break it up with pictures of a cute bb.

My baby girl used to have a lopsided face.

Just before Holden’s 3-month birthday, I got a text with the above pic from my mom while I was at work. She and my dad were concerned about Holdy’s right cheek, which appeared to be swollen. After seeing the photo, I obviously was concerned fuh-reaked out as well.

You see, I had noticed a little dime-sized bruise on Holden’s right cheek the week before the text. I honest-to-god thought it was from my mother-in-law pinching her cheek, as she was wont to do. The day before I got the text, I felt Holden’s cheek around the bruise and it felt a little hard, almost like a swollen insect bite. But I kind of shrugged it off, and was now feeling like the worst mom in the world™ for doing so.

How could I not have noticed that Holden looked like she had her wisdom teeth removed on just one side? I’m thinking it’s because I never really was able to look at her from a distance to really witness the disparity; I was usually looking down at her while she nursed or while I was holding her. I mean, I noticed that her cheeks were looking chubbier in photos. But I never picked up on the fact that one was significantly chubbier than the other.

So, I called the pediatrician immediately and got an appointment for that same day. My pediatrician (who I will not name and who I no longer see) looked her over briefly and said, “It’s a hemangioma. We’ll get you a consult with a pediatric surgeon,” and left the room, never to return. We were like:

baby eye roll @ohbotherblog

In the time between his departure and a nurse eventually coming back in, I googled “hemangioma face.” (Pro-tip: never, ever google “hemangioma face.” Like ever.)

I was somewhat familiar with hemangiomas because Holden has a superficial hemangioma, or a “strawberry,” on her back. But this was a whole new ballpark.

Cutting to the chase: I said screw it to my pediatrician and their pediatric surgeon consult and after many phone calls, found myself at the Dermatology Clinic at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, where everyone is wonderful and helpful and doesn’t drop bombs on you and then exit the premises.

So here’s the deal: I learned that hemangiomas are benign tumors, which sound pretty scary. They’re made of tangled masses of blood vessels. Superficial hemangiomas appear redder, like strawberries, because they’re in a top layer of skin. Deep hemangiomas appear more bluish or purple, like a bruise, because they’re in a deeper layer of skin. Holden’s cheek hemangioma is a deep hemangioma.

Deep hemangioma on the cheek @ohbotherblog

As was explained to me, deep hemangiomas usually appear a few weeks to months after a baby is born. They go through a rapid growth phase for about six months to a year, and then begin to regress at a much slower rate. The hemangioma should mostly be gone by the time a baby is two or three.

At the advice of our doctor, Dr. Andrea Zaenglein, M.D., Associate Professor of Dermatology and Pediatrics, who is a pediatric dermatology specialist, we decided to pursue a relatively new treatment and start Holden on a course of medicine called Propanolol. A hypertension drug and beta-blocker used to treat infants with heart problems, Propanolol has been shown in recent studies to also attack the blood vessels that make up the hemangioma.

Before we started her on the medication, Holden had to undergo a series of tests at Penn State Hershey’s Children’s Heart Group to make sure her heart was okay to take the meds. Once we were clear, we started the Propanolol.

No lie, within two days of starting the medication, we began to notice a difference. The hardness of the hemangioma was breaking up and the puffiness started to subside. Within a month or two, her cheeks were just about even. If you didn’t know about Holden’s hemangioma, you would have never really noticed. Holden was like:

Hemangioma after a few months of treatment @ohbotherblog

Around nine months, we started to wean Holden off the Propanolol.

And the best news? Today, we had our last appointment at Penn State Hershey and we’re officially stopping the medication. Woot! We just have to keep an eye out for any regrowth, but we’re hopeful that we’re over the hump (pun intended).

Hemangioma treatment complete - no more Propanolol @ohbotherblog

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