Musings of a crunchy, domestic goddess

Just another mama musing about her kids, Attachment Parenting, activism, photography, and life in general

Oh, what a night x 2! July 30, 2005

Filed under: Ava,Breastfeeding,Health,Jody,Pictures — amygeekgrl @ 2:32 pm

What a couple of crazy nights (and days) we’ve had around here! Long, long story to follow.

Ava (my 13-month-old daughter) came down with a nasty cough on Wednesday. By Thursday, it sounded much worse so I called her doctor’s office to see if I could get her in for an appointment. They were short-staffed and didn’t have any openings, so I talked to the nurse and explained Ava’s symptoms (fever for a couple days, then she sounded hoarse which turned into a barky sounding cough and finally she started sneezing a lot and the coughing continued). She said it sounded like croup, which is a virus and just needs to run it’s course. She said use a humidifier, take her into a steamy bathroom if she gets coughing bad, and watch her breathing. If she has difficulty breathing, take her to Urgent Care or an ER.

We had been planning to go out of town for the weekend to a lake in Nebraska, leaving Friday morning, but after Ava’s cough wasn’t getting any better during the day on Thursday we resigned ourselves to staying home.

Thursday night Ava got worse and worse. She couldn’t sleep for more than a few minutes before waking up coughing badly. We almost took her to the ER around 12:30 a.m. Friday morning (July 29), but once we got outside she started doing better. So instead we walked up and down the street in the dark several times.

I decided to try laying with her on my chest on the couch to see if sleeping at an incline would help her. But by about 2:30 a.m., her breathing got steadily worse and she started really struggling. In fact, her sternum began caving in with each breath as she tried so hard to get oxygen. 😦 It was at that point that I yelled to Jody (who’d just gone to bed about 15 minutes beforehand) that we need to go to the ER NOW. We already had the car packed from earlier. I decided just to hold Ava in my lap for the short (1 mile) drive to the hospital since trying to buckle her in the carseat would take time and probably upset her and make it even harder for her to breathe (crying aggravates the condition a lot). By the time we pulled up to the ER, the skin around her mouth was turning blue. 😦 Jody dropped me and Ava off and I started filling out a registration form. A nurse heard Ava’s labored breathing and immediately took us into the assessment room and got Ava hooked up to a machine that monitored her oxygen levels. They were still in a good range. After putting a little info about Ava into the computer, she took us back to a gurney and the doctor was in to see us shortly thereafter.

Ava ended up having three breathing treatments that night, as well as a shot of steroids. She cried with every breathing treatment and I had to hold her arms down so the nurse could blow the medicine into her nose/mouth. It was hard to see her so upset but I was happy to do it knowing it was helping her get well.

While in the ER, Ava had to have two chest x-rays. Jody had gone home to sleep a little bit before then, so I had to help hold her during the x-rays which she was none too happy about either. They came back all clear though. That was a good sign.

Later on the ER doctor suggested we start an IV to help keep her hydrated. I explained that she is breastfed and was nursing a lot and I didn’t think dehydration was an issue. He said as long as she continued to nurse regularly, we wouldn’t have to start one. But then later, a nurse came in saying she had an order to start an IV. I told her what the doctor had said, but she said the reason for it was to administer medicine (like if she needed more steriods) and so I reluctantly agreed to it. Having to hold Ava while they tried to get it going was horrible. With the little tourniquet on her, her arm was all red and she just kept screaming. The first try getting the IV in didn’t work and the doctor came in at that point, probably to see why she was screaming so much. He told the nurse that she didn’t have to have an IV because she was breastfeeding and the nurse said she thought it was for medicine. Ugh. So the doctor said no, no IV. At least they didn’t have to try it again, but I was mad at myself for not having the nurse check with the doctor before we even started since he’d just told me we didn’t need one. 😦

Since Ava had to have more than 1 breathing treatment and was still stridorous (Stridor is a harsh, raspy, whooping, gasping sound made when breathing in. This is especially worrisome when it happens while they are at rest.), the ER doctor admitted her to Pediatrics around 7 a.m.

The Ped ward was nice and all of the nurses were really good and friendly with Ava. (She got a stuffed animal doggy of her very own to take home too. She kept signing “bear” at it though because she thought it looked like a bear, so we named it Berry.) She continued to make slow but steady progress with her breathing during the day on Friday. She also acted like she was feeling a lot better. We got a visit from a little dog named Hepsie (with the animal therapy program through the hospital) Friday morning and Ava loved it. She also took to walking the halls of the Ped ward and saying hi to nurses, visitors, other patients, etc., and wowing them with her sign language. (I was surprised how many of the nurses had never heard of signing with babies.) She’s such a friendly girl. 🙂

Since croup usually is worst on the third night (which was Friday night), the pediatrician on call required that we stay another night. Better safe than sorry. Thankfully Friday night went really well. We all managed to get some sleep, though Jody and I are still exhausted. It didn’t help that the lil miss, who’s routine had been so messed up lately, decided at 3:30 a.m. that it was time to play for an hour and a half. So we hung out with the nurses for a bit and also played in the play room, where Ava enjoyed being pushed around in a little car.

This morning, after being examined by the doctor on call again, we got the all clear to go home. While waiting to be discharged, Ava got a visit from another doggy, Suzie. Hooray for doggies! 🙂 We headed home around 11 a.m.

It’s good to be home and good to have Ava acting mostly like her old self again. She will probably still have the cough for another week and a half or so, but it shouldn’t affect her breathing anymore. Now if only Ava would go down for a nap, I could catch some more (very much-needed) Zzzzzs myself. 😉

Updated 7/31/05: Here are a few pictures from our hospital adventure.


How crunchy are YOU? July 27, 2005

Filed under: Crunchiness,Kids,Mothering — amygeekgrl @ 3:10 pm

Want to learn your “Granola Factor”?

Take this quiz and find out just how crunchy you really are.
Be sure to report your scores back here. 🙂
(This quiz really only works if you are a woman with children. Sorry.)

I got 123 and barely made it into: Super Nutty, Ultra-Crunchy Granola Earth Mama 😉


My very first meme July 26, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — amygeekgrl @ 10:53 pm

I’ve been tagged by R2Ks. I have to admit that this is my first time answering a “meme” and I had to look up just exactly what a “meme” is! I found this explanation on I am

meme n (mëm): A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. From the Greek mimëma, something imitated, from mimeisthai, to imitate.

In Blogspeak, a meme is an idea that is shared and passed from blog to blog, like a question posted in one blog and answered in many other blogs

So now that we all know what a meme is, let’s get down to business. 🙂

1. What were three of the stupidest things you have done in your life?
a) Proceeded to meet some people in person that I had corresponded with on the Internet. That’s all I’m gonna say about that one.
b) Obsessed over guys who no longer had an interest in me. (Think high school years.)
c) This is pretty general, but – Let other people’s opinions influence what I do or do not do. I sometimes find it hard to trust myself to do the right thing for me.

2. At the current moment, who has the most influence in your life?
Easily, hands down, my daughter. My world revolves around her and I wouldn’t change that for a minute.

3. If you were given a time machine that functioned, and you were allowed to only pick up five people to dine with, who would you pick?
In no particular order.
a) Jesus
b) Gandhi
c) My Aunt Gina who died when I was 5
d) My daughter in 30 years (hey, nobody said we couldn’t go into the future, right?)
e) Julia Ward Howe

4. If you had three wishes that were not supernatural, what would they be?
a) That this country (the USA) had a much better leader in office.
b) That all children around the world would have access to healthcare, clean food and drink, clothing, an education and people who loved and took care of them.
c) That there would be less stupidity in the world.

5. Someone is visiting your hometown/place where you live at the moment. Name two things you regret your city not having, and two things people should avoid.

Regret not having:
A big movie theater.
Whole Foods!

A place called “Group Therapy.” Despite the fact that you may think it is affiliated with a 12-step program, it is a bar where many a stabbing and other altercations have taken place.
Bella’s. Juice bar/strip club. Unless, of course, that is your thing.
Sheesh, sounds like I live in a GREAT city, eh? 😉

6. Name one event that has changed your life.
If I can name only one, I will go with the birth of my daughter. Having her has changed me in so many ways. I am now not concerned only for her safety and well-being, but for the safety and well-being of children everywhere.

7. Tag 3 people.
Blog writer


Add gardening … July 25, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — amygeekgrl @ 10:34 pm

to my list of things I enjoy doing! 🙂

This past week I spent two evenings and two mornings watering and weeding at a community garden plot I participate in along with six other families. After we got all the seeds and plants in the ground in the spring, we each signed up for several weeks to take turns with the weeding and watering. Last week was one of my weeks.

The first week I was on duty, earlier in the season, I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. Sure, I can hold a hose and water plants without much difficulty, but many of the veggies hadn’t sprouted yet, and I didn’t know what was a weed and what was worth keeping! So I erred on the side of caution, and therefore left a garden overrun with weeds for the next person. Oops.

This time, however, everything was well-established and it was obvious to me what the weeds are. Well, mostly. There were a few things that obviously weren’t what we planted, but yet, I wasn’t sure if they were weeds. I checked back in with the master gardener of our group before pulling anything iffy. Turns out we’ve got some “volunteer plants” growing in our plot – a sunflower in the corner of our mixed greens patch, and several dill and other herbs located sporadically throughout the garden. 🙂

I was excited to bring home some zucchini, onions, a carrot, some green beans and mixed greens from the plot this past week. At the risk of sounding like a dork (hey, we all know I am one anyway), I have to say it felt really good to me to be eating and feeding my daughter with foods that we grew ourselves. I know they were grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers and they honestly tasted much better than food bought at good ol’ Safeway.

Our garden veggies:

And so, while I don’t really feel up to planting a garden in my own backyard next year (I’m afraid the dogs would have a field day in it), I may very well sign up to have our own family plot at the Community Garden. 🙂 I know it will be a much bigger time investment than what I’ve had to do this year (splitting up the work between 7 families has been a piece of cake). But I think I’ve learned a good deal about gardening in our community plot venture and, with the help of some books or websites, feel up to the challenge. 🙂

Mama’s lil gardener:

Plus I really enjoyed going out to the plot as a family last week. Ava seemed to enjoy spending time there and “helping” out. She mostly played with weeds that I’d picked and also picked up pieces of mulch and dropped them over the tomato cages onto the plants. Of course she also plopped down into a couple good mud puddles after I’d watered. 😉 And, much to my surprise, Jody said even he liked going out there and helping.

There’s another family I’ve seen on their own plot there on a few occasions. A mom, dad and two daughters – one about 5 or 6 and one who looks to be Ava’s age. The older girl wears this adorable bonnet and long skirt whenever she’s gardening and looks like she could’ve stepped right out of Little House on the Prairie. Anyway, that family is inspiring to me. I bet they grow a good portion of their own food right there and I think that’s awesome.

So I aspire to grow more of our foods next year. Maybe I’ll get really adventurous and learn how to do some canning as well.

In the meantime, I really am looking forward to more of our vegetables ripening, especially the tomatoes. After having some nasty-tasting tomato sauce on our pasta the other night, I hope to make my own! 🙂


Why I’ve been so busy (and not blogging) lately July 23, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — amygeekgrl @ 1:16 pm

The project I’ve been working on for the past couple months has finally had it’s unveiling! Some of you may have noticed a new link in my favorites list on the right. I’ve been working with a team of four other women on Cherished Children API, a new local chapter of Attachment Parenting International. The five of us have been hard at work arranging speakers for our meetings, doing advertising, creating a website, coming up with invitations and documents, etc., all for this new group which we are very excited about!

The premise behind Attachment Parenting (AP), for those of you not familiar, is:

Attachment Parenting is a philosophy based in the practice of nurturing parenting practices that create strong emotional bonds, also known as secure attachment, between the infant and parent(s). This style of parenting encourages responsiveness to the infant or child’s emotional needs, and develops trust that their emotional needs will be met. As a result, this strong attachment helps the child develop secure, empathic, peaceful, and enduring relationships.

AP consists of 8 ideals for infants and 8 ideals for school-age children.
The 8 ideals for infants are:
1. Preparation for Childbirth
2. Emotional Responsiveness
3. Breastfeed your Baby
4. Baby Wearing
5. Shared sleep and Safe Sleeping Guidelines
6. Avoid frequent and prolonged separations from your baby
7. Positive Discipline
8. Maintain balance in your family life

The 8 ideal for school-age children are:
1. Become knowledgeable about your child’s development and cognitive levels.
2. Stay emotionally responsive.
3. Strive for optimum physical health.
4. Maintain a high-touch relationship.
5. Develop and maintain positive sleep routines.
6. Be present and available for your children.
7. Use positive discipline.
8. Maintain balance in your life.

To be a member of our group, one does not have to practice all of the 8 ideals, but the most important thing in AP is just “listening” and responding to your baby/child’s cues. You can read more about it on either the Cherished Children or API websites.

My official title in the group is Newsletter Editor and I am nearly finished with our first newsletter installment. I’ve had so much fun working on it and I learned how to use MS Publisher in the process. I’m really happy with how it turned out as well. I’ve also taken some pictures for use on our group website.

I’m excited that our group is really well-organized and professional and it is my hope that that will help us become a big success. We have speakers lined up for our first three monthly meetings, which begin in September, and we’ll also have monthly play dates, as well as an online support group. There’s so much potential for this group to grow and add more things to serve the AP community.

So anyway, that’s a big part of why I haven’t been around much (bloggin’) lately. I think once I have the first newsletter done and I finish contacting potential advertisers, things will slow down a bit. But until then, it’s busy busy busy.

I’m so happy to have found a great group of women who all have the same vision of spreading the word about Attachment Parenting and to be able to offer a means of support to those who choose to do it. 🙂

“Be the change that you want to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi


Mama, the whoopee cushion July 13, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — amygeekgrl @ 10:53 pm

Ava has recently discovered that mama’s boobs are not only a great source of nutrition, a great comfort, and great pillows, they also make great WHOOPEE CUSHIONS!

We were going to bed several weeks ago, and instead of just lying next to me nursing happily as she drifted off to sleep like usual, she decided to do some acrobatic nursing. In the midst of her moving around while staying firmly latched onto my breast, she discovered that if she rolled her head from side to side, she could make wonderful fart noises. Of course, she doesn’t think of them as fart noises (yet), but she enjoys making them nonetheless. And I have to admit to cracking up while she’s done it on more than one occasion. One time I even had to call Jody into the room so he could hear his daughter’s new trick cuz every dad is proud of their kid making fart noises, right?

So just about every night as we lay down to bed, we are lulled to sleep by the sound flappy, often wet-sounding farts. Ahhh, just one of the many perks for nursing a toddler. 😉


Happy birthday to Ava July 3, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — amygeekgrl @ 2:37 pm

Just a quick post to say I’m now the proud mother of a 1 year old girl!! Ava had a great birthday and a spectacular birthday party. I am soooooooo happy at how it all turned out. Sure, I was a raving lunatic the few days before the party, but everything came together perfectly and the party went off without a hitch. I think everyone had a great time! Hooray!! 🙂

Ava’s been walking a lot lately and has taken to the stairs as well. Oh my! I definitely have a toddler on my hands now. 😉

I haven’t uploaded party pics yet, but here are a couple from her actual birthday.

Ava, the morning of her birthday:

Playing in the rocks:

Me and Ava and the messy strawberry cake I made:

She enjoyed playing in the cake (but not eating it):