Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday Snippets


{via}

I thought this was my favorite pregnancy announcement ever, but then I saw this one...

A fresh take on what it means to honor God with your body...

Seven things good mothers do that I'm not doing anymore... Hilarious!

Getting the kids outside for more than seven minutes a day...

A beautiful post about c-sections...

A raw and convicting post on singleness within the church...

How to perfect the front tuck...

If you are a shorts girl, these are classic...

wireless charging station anywhere you need it...

How to do Disneyland with a baby...

A simple tip to stop yelling at your kids (as a former teacher, I totally agree.}...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Parenting reads...

One of my goals this spring is to clean out and organize my digital life. So far I've reorganized my Pinterest boards and cleared out most of the bookmarks on my computer. Next up is an email overhaul and attacking my Dropbox folders.


Since I got rid of most of my bookmarks {and carefully moved a few to Pinterest}, only the best of the best remain on my computer and I thought I'd pass them on to you...

Here is a small round-up of links related to parenting. Enjoy!

Everything you ever wanted to know about college savings plans...
How to be intentional with your toddler...
18 non-toy gifts to give to kids...
And 39 stocking-stuffers that aren't a waste of time and money...
Why I took my kids' toys away...
End child nagging with just three words...
I still want to make one of these videos for Zianne's first year...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Our experience with a febrile seizure {and Roseola}...

As I've mentioned before, I am not a very dramatic person by nature. I can't even watch shows like The Bachelor because the drama and exaggeration bother me so much. However, we've had a fairly dramatic winter in the Russum household much to my dismay. Since February alone, I've called 911 twice. Once for my car accident and once because Zianne had a seizure in the middle of the night. I am writing this post only to help other parents who might be frantically searching the internet for information about their feverish baby at 3am like I was just a few months ago.


Micah and I are not super into Valentine's Day, and this year proved to be no exception. We spent most of our afternoon cleaning out the garage while Zianne napped. Our consolation prize for dealing with the world's worst home maintenance task was free babysitting later that evening. Our church was offering free childcare for a "parents' night out" and we were more than happy to take them up on the offer. We didn't have huge plans but figured we would grab dinner at a non-romantic restaurant (BBQ) to avoid the crowds and enjoy some adult conversation for an hour or two while our child played happily at church.

However, when Zianne woke up from nap our plans instantly changed. She seemed perfectly healthy before her nap and now she was hot to the touch and her temperature read 102. I was slightly disappointed that we would have to miss the childcare opportunity, but I gave her a dose of Motrin, and we decided we would just bring her with us to dinner. She was in good spirits, had a normal appetite, and showed no other signs of sickness {other than a mildly drippy/stuffy nose that she'd had all winter}. We got home around 8:00pm and Zianne still had a fever. I gave her another dose of Motrin and we put her to bed. We had no idea it was going to be our hardest night of parenting yet.

Zianne hardly slept. She was restless and woke up crying every hour of the night, which is completely unlike her even when she's sick. Micah and I took turns rocking her and resettling her - at 10pm, 11pm, midnight and so on. Z was still warm and I was anxious for six hours to pass, so I could give her another dose of medicine. At 2am I was rocking her and every time she would start to fall asleep her body would jerk and she would wake herself up. This happened four or five times in 20 minutes, but I finally got her to sleep and laid her back in her crib. By 3am, she was up again. I took her temperature and it read 103.8! Thankfully, I was able to give her another dose of ibuprofen at this point. Micah came in to her room to take over, and I stumbled my way back to bed, since I had slept maybe an hour at this point.

A few minutes later, Micah walked into our room carrying Z and he nudged my shoulder. "Hey, I want you to look up information about seizures on your phone. Zianne is making these weird twitching movements." Since I had seen her make jerking movement just an hour earlier, I didn't question it. Also, Micah had a seizure once as a baby and his dad had described it to him, so I trusted his instincts. I grabbed my phone and quickly began searching for information related to babies, fevers, and seizures. I had just finished skimming an article about how babies sometimes have febrile seizures when their temperature reaches around 104 degrees, when Micah yelled out. There was our precious daughter lying on our bed next to us, eyes rolled back into her head, shaking uncontrollably. Thankfully, I had read enough of the article to know that these seizures usually do not result in any long-term damage, and that it should end on its own in a few seconds or minutes. Despite this, I decided to call 911. No amount of internet information can really convince you not to call 911 when your 17 month old child is seizing on your bed. Micah and I said a quick prayer over Zianne and then I dialed the phone as Micah held Z's shaking body and continued to pray over her.

Spiritual note: Although I had read the febrile seizure article, I had no time to convey any of the information to Micah before Zianne actually started seizing. It worked out so well that I was the one on the phone with emergency services, since I had a little background on what was likely happening. Micah, on the other hand, had no idea what was going on and was praying over our baby with such fervor as he held her. I love how God equipped us both and assigned us each to play a certain role during the scary situation. 

Zianne's seizure lasted about five minutes, which is fairly long. These seizures can last from a few seconds to 15 minutes, but longer than a minute or two is rare. We could hear the sirens approaching our house as she began to come out of it with these long moaning sounds, like she was trying to cry but wasn't physically able to yet. 

Before we knew it there were six firemen and a stretcher in our living room. Micah held Zianne while they checked her vitals and gave her oxygen. At this point, the most recent dose of fever medication I had given her was kicking in {along with the seizure which is the brain's way of telling the body to cool down} and her temperature was back down to 101. Micah tended to Zianne and the head firefighter filled me in on our options...


He confirmed that it was a febrile seizure, likely caused by some type of virus. We had the choice to take Zianne to the nearby children's hospital where they would monitor her fever and do a blood test on the off-chance there was a bacterial cause, but since this was so unlikely he recommended we keep her home. The chances of her having another seizure were low, and it would be better to avoid exposing her already-sick body to all the other illnesses present at the hospital. Instead, he said we should begin  alternating doses of Tylenol and Motrin every 2-3 hours to keep her fever at bay. When you switch between acetaminophen and ibuprofen you can give a dose more often, since the body responds to them differently. He said it's the same procedure the nurses would follow at the hospital.


After Zianne started responding cognitively (she was pretty drowsy for the first 10-15 minutes after the seizure), we signed off on paperwork stating that we were choosing to keep her at home and the kind firemen departed. At this point, it was around 4am. Our next problem was that we had no Tylenol in the house, so Micah began an hour-long trek across town to find some. The 24 hour Walgreen's nearest to us was conveniently closed for remodeling, so he had to drive all over the place looking for another open store. While he was gone, Zianne and I read and watched shows on my phone. I wanted to keep her awake until Micah was home and she could take her next dose of medicine. When Micah finally returned we gave her Tylenol around 5am, and we all fell asleep in our bed together. I awoke to my alarm at 7:30am to give her a dose of ibuprofen and went back to sleep. By 8:30am our feverish child was up and ready to start her day. Her temperature was down to 99 at this point, so we sleepily hobbled away from our bed to take care of our toddler who was acting like she had slept peacefully all night.

Thankfully, Zianne napped from 10am-2pm, so we were able to rest too. Micah slept and I drank coffee on the couch. When Z woke up from her nap I noticed a rash forming on her legs and back. I actually thought I had noticed a few dots on her foot when the firemen were at our house the night before, but they were really faint at that time, and I was tired and not sure if I was imagining things. By this point, there was a pronounced rash that looked like tiny red pin pricks all over her skin. It was not raised and it didn't really seem to be irritating her. With a quick internet search, I ruled out measles, rubella, or any type of pox. Measles and rubella start at the head and move down the body (this was the opposite), and the rash in no way looked like blisters. I finally decided Roseola was most likely. It's a virus marked by a rapidly increasing fever (uh... yep), with rare cases resulting in a seizure. It only happens in children between 6 months and 3 years of age. When the fever breaks, the body typically breaks out into a tiny dotted rash that typically starts on the trunk and moves to the arms and legs.

I took Zianne to the doctor the next day and he confirmed that Roseola was most likely. It's suggested that kids are contagious until the rash is gone, which usually takes a few days. However, I could see the faintest marks from Zianne's rash for more than a week. After a few days fever-free, we let her go back to school. 

After this whole ordeal, Micah and I were reflecting one night and he asked "Why don't they teach you about this stuff in the baby classes you take during pregnancy?" I said it would probably freak out new parents too much to learn about seizures when their first child is still in the womb. Instead, we get to learn about it on the internet, so I hope our experience on what we've titled "the longest Valentine's Day ever" helps you know what's going on with your own child.

P.S. Always keep BOTH infant ibuprofen and acetaminophen on hand. That way if a fever starts getting dangerously high you can start alternating to give medicine more often. I've already had to do this again in the past month when Zianne had bronchiolitis... but that's another story for another day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Thoughts on my second pregnancy

Now that I am two months away from my due date {31 weeks and counting}, I thought I would reflect for a few minutes on what this pregnancy has been like compared to my first one.

28 weeks and 30 weeks

Food: While I wasn't really sick with either pregnancy, my food aversions have been stronger this time. Actually, it's not so much that certain foods don't sound good, it's just really hard to find food that does sound good. Overall, I have not loved eating meats and veggies throughout this whole pregnancy, which is funny because Micah has conveniently switched to a more Paleo-esque diet since Christmas. One night recently, we had fish and roasted veggies for dinner. I ate the meal, although it did not sound at all appetizing, but by 9:00pm I was desperately baking biscuits for a late night carb-snack. 

My cravings this pregnancy are similar but not the same as last time. With Zianne, I could not get enough cheese during my first trimester. I would eat macaroni and cheese all the time, and I would pick up a new wedge of specialty cheese from Trader Joe's every single week and devour it with crackers. This time around I craved a different kind of cheese  - the fake kind served at Taco Bell. I felt a bit nauseated this pregnancy weeks 8-12, and the only thing that sounded good to me was T-Bell nachos... multiple times a week. Since then my appetite has thankfully gotten more normal. During my pregnancy with Zianne, I loved sweet drinks like lemonade and Italian sodas; this time around it's smoothies. I still want the sweetness I guess, but I want my drinks to be think and creamy and made with real fruit. The other thing I've craved this pregnancy is cake donuts. Usually, I choose raised donuts over cake, but over the past few months I prefer a plain cake donut with no frosting. If I'm out and about and getting hungry, I will go through the Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru for one plain donut. So strange.

Exercise: I am trying to document my running a bit better on Instagram this time, so if I'm ever pregnant again I can look back and see how much I was running at certain points during pregnancy. When I got pregnant with Z, I never ran more than 2.5 miles, but this pregnancy I ran two 5Ks during my first trimester. As soon as I finished the second race at nine weeks, I began to taper off on my speed and distance. I actually think I cut back my mileage sooner this pregnancy, but I am still running at a faster pace than last pregnancy, I just dropped below a ten minute mile in the past few weeks. I've now reached my goal of running up until two months before my due date, but I'll probably keep jogging for a few more weeks as long as my hips don't bother me. Speaking of...

Aches and pains: With Zianne, I experienced extreme hip problems at the end of my pregnancy, to the point that I could barely walk for a few weeks. This time, I am trying to be more conscious of my hips - running less, resting more, and visiting the chiropractor every four weeks as a preventive measure. In some ways, I feel like my hips are bothering me more this pregnancy, but it might just be because I am paying more attention this time. As long as I can keep the pain under control, I will consider it better than what happened last pregnancy. This time around my feet are also bothering me more. The balls of my feet get so sore that I can't walk around the house barefoot by the end of the day. Even though it's in the 80s outside, you will often see me wearing my slippers for extra padding. Last pregnancy, I only got sick once {right after my due date and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to push out the baby with the world's worst head cold}, but this pregnancy I spent virtually all winter sick. I picked up everything Zianne got {cold, flu, cold, etc.} and my pregnant body just couldn't fight it. I have finally been feeling better for the past month or so, after being constantly sick since early December.

Nesting: Nesting...what's that? With both my babies, I've been a little late on the preparation game, which might be in part because we haven't known the gender and decorating is more fun once you know. With Zianne, we moved into our new house when I was 28 weeks pregnant, so it seemed silly to do a lot of prep before that time. With this baby, I just haven't had time to think about it. Actually, I have a general plan for what I'd like, but I don't have time to execute it. One of my main goals right now is to get a draft of my dissertation finished before this baby arrives, so I'd rather get 300 words written during nap time than pick out art prints for the baby's walls. However, I am committed to getting the new baby's room painted white in the next few weeks {it's currently beige}, so I finally took everything off the walls this weekend and covered the furniture with plastic {it's currently our guest room}. Progress!

Bonding: I know a lot of moms worry about bonding with their second-born, but I just don't. I know I love this baby dearly, and yet I know things will be different this time around as I split my time and attention between two kids. Second-born children are different from firstborns for a reason, and I am so excited to watch this baby's personality develop and to see the specific ways being a younger sibling helps shape his or her gifts and talents. I'm also thrilled that I won't be working during the newborn stage this time around and will have two whole months to bond and nurse and recover and NOT check my email, which was not the case with Zianne. And just to note: I've been staying true to my commitment to document this pregnancy. I've still taken fairly consistent bump pictures, and I've started a prayer journal for this baby as well. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Good News for Weary Women

About a month ago, I had the joy of hearing Elyse Fitzpatrick speak at a women's conference in town. She is hilarious, real, and so focused on the Gospel. I jotted down notes during each of her three sessions, but instead of leaving them forgotten in one of many spiral notebooks, I thought I would transcribe some of the highlights here. Hopefully these notes will encourage you and help me to reflect on them again as well.


ON WOMANHOOD AND FEMINISM:
  • Feminism is basically a list of rules: You must work... Don't let a man... Don't have kids if or until...
  • We can't respond to feminism with more rules: Women must not work... Women should have lots of kids...
  • Responding to the rules of feminism with more rules is futile. Rules don't change people's hearts. The Gospel changes hearts.
  • The majority of 18-32 year old women are single, so stop implying that a woman's worth is in her uterus. Don't tell these women they are only valuable if they are married and having babies. 
  • Motherhood is not your highest calling. What then would you say to the woman who is single? Or barren?
  • Luke 8 - Jesus didn't tell the women following him to "go home." Even those who were married, like Joanna wife of Chuza, had an active role serving Christ's ministry.
  • Acts 16 - Lydia had gathered her female servants to pray. Paul shared the gospel with them and her whole household was saved. Paul didn't write them off as "just a bunch of women." Lydia continued to serve Paul during his time in Philippi.
  • Romans 16 - Phoebe was entrusted to carry Paul's letters to the Romans - a hugely important task.


ON MARRIAGE:
  • We operate under the belief that if we follow the law in our relationships with others (for example: I will serve my husband by doing his laundry), they must follow the law in return (and serve us/owe us). This is tat for tat living, not the Gospel.
  • Good news: Your husband can be WON without you saying a word. You can trust Christ to get to your husband's heart.
  • Don't withdraw and pretend sin is not there. Jesus didn't avoid conflict. He confronted it with prayer and right words.
  • We must love our spouse like no one else on earth ever will.

GIFTS to give your husband:
-Acceptance (YOU are fully accepted, but your sin is not.)
-Truth (Confront your husband's sin and repent of your own sin.)
-Prayer (Who is praying for your husband if not you? Pray also for yourself, that you will see your husband as Jesus does.)
-Forgiveness (It's the oil that soothes all rough spots.)


ON THE GOSPEL:
  • Our sin is only bad news if we don't have a Savior.
  • Your relationship with God is not based on your advancement in holiness. It's based on Christ's righteousness, now and always.
  • It's not the gospel if it makes you feel pride OR despair.
  • Justification: just as if I had never sinned, just as if I had always obeyed (This is your record before God.)
  • When you hear GOOD news your response will not be "I'm going to try harder" but "Thank God for his great love for me!"
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...