Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Children's liquid medicine: are you giving the right doses?

Does this train of thought sound familiar, as you’re divvying out cold medicine to your sick kiddo: hmmm…5mL equals one teaspoon? Or is it tablespoon? I need Google…

If you sometimes feel like you need to be a pharmacist to decipher those over-the-counter cold medicine labels and measurements, you’re not alone.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Going old school

By Tom Erickson

Having a baby is the ultimate conversation starter. From the minute we started telling people about my wife's pregnancy, friends, family and total strangers have been eager to tell stories, dispense advice and ask questions.

The first trimester was filled with stories about morning sickness, strange cravings and other issues related to being with child. Even people you meet at a party are quick to share their best (and worst) memories.

Now that we're into the fifth month, one question stands out: "Have you found out the gender yet?"

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mother-daughter tradition

Jennifer and Mom
By Jennifer Erickson

For most people Thanksgiving is about the Thursday activities. While treasured and important, for the women in my family the real holiday tradition though comes on Friday – Black Friday that is. Yes, we’re one of those people standing outside of Target or Kohl’s in the wee hours. No, I’ve never witnessed a fight or been trampled.

Let me back up though and say it wasn’t always my favorite tradition.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for my cheering section

Kara and I before the race
By Megan Brooks

We hovered near the starting line of the Fort Worth YMCA Turkey Trot 10K at around 7:45 this Thanksgiving morning. My sister-in-law Kara and I looked silly as we bounced up and down, hoping to get warmer, our toes freezing in our thin Vibram Five Finger shoes. It was 44-ish degrees, but felt like 34 degrees, with 20 mph winds and ominous clouds sputtering out light raindrops. Wasn’t it just 80 degrees yesterday or did I dream that? We were ready to get these 6.2 miles over with and enjoy our pumpkin pie, we decided.

We weren’t suffering alone. My loyal spectators, husband Brian and stepson Brendan, wished us good luck and headed to the sideline to see us off – shivering, but smiling for my sake.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Making Oreo Cookie Turkeys

Kids before making Oreo Cookie Turkeys
By Marsha Jepson

First, I love being an aunt. I have six nieces and nephews that I love more than life itself. They are Winston, 5 months, Victoria, 11, Michala, 13, Hunter, 18, Brent, 20 and Ashley, 24. We’ve made some great memories through the years by making or doing a craft of some sort together. Most of our “craft” projects centered around a holiday.

There was the rice crispy treat Christmas tree that we hoped would stay up long enough for Nana (my mother) to see it when she got home from visiting my grandmother in the hospital. Seems like we put in too much butter so the tree leaned from side-to-side and needed constant supervision to keep it upright.

And then there was the sugar cookie Christmas tree, complete with real candles to emulate Christmas tree d├ęcor of old. When we gathered around the cookie tree on Christmas day and lit the candles so all could bask in the glow of the fine handiwork of my young nieces, the cookie icing caught fire and amidst much laughter, we quickly blew all the candles out before any fire damage was achieved.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Get creative with turkey leftovers

Got plans for all of that leftover holiday bird? Turkey sandwiches, or Thanksgiving dinner replays for the next week?

Get creative and make a healthy recipe with it instead, said Denice Taylor, registered dietitian at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital.

“Part of the whole idea is being thrifty with our food, using our resources,” Denice said. “Sometimes leftovers will sit in the refrigerator after the holiday and we don’t use them, we end up throwing them away because we don’t have a plan.”

Monday, November 22, 2010

Not just for turkeys

Each year as Thanksgiving rolls around most people’s thoughts turn to turkeys and thanks and seeing relatives. But one thing that often is neglected is fitness.

That can be a dangerous combo.

The average American consumes 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day and more than 229 grams of fat, or more than 2.5 times the average daily calorie count recommended and nearly 3.5 times the daily fat count recommended, according to the Calorie Control Council. The council also estimates that individuals may consume enough fat at Thanksgiving feasts to equal three sticks of butter.

I don’t know about you, but those numbers are a bit frightening to me and spurred me to look for tips on ways to combat the added calories.

So I turned to Mike Lofland, director of the Texas Health Fitness Center HEB.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Clean your room!

How many times have you said this to your child? Maybe at least 50 times in one day? Or does it just feel that way sometimes?

My stepsons always shared a room up until a couple of years ago and when we put them in separate rooms we soon realized which one was messy. My younger stepson Nathan had been the culprit all these years. Not to say he didn’t have some help from his older brother on some messes, but there was a distinct difference in how these two boys kept their rooms.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The father-daughter bond

Ed and Tali
Last Saturday marked our 785th date. Since she could sit up, my daughter Talitha and I have logged an average of 45 dates per year. What started out as a way to give my wife time to sleep in on Saturdays has morphed into a highlight of our week. Despite the challenges of work and school, we’ve maintained this sacred, drama free, daddy-daughter time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Short girl walks into a maternity store . . .


I'm short. And pants? They've always been my own personal Waterloo. I once cried in the middle of a store when I found they quit making this one kind of jean - they fit me so well, without a trip to the tailor to shorten them. I tend to buy pants and then wear them until they suddenly rip (generally while I'm in a mall, necessitating a sudden pants purchase while holding a big bag behind me), because it's that hard to find them the right length.

But maternity pants shopping? Whole new war. And it's becoming a necessary one. I'm finally getting to the point where my jeans and pants are getting snug. I'm running out of presentable work clothes. It's time to shop.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Healthy Holiday Sides


Minimize the damage of your Thanksgiving calorie-fest by incorporating some of these healthy side dishes into the menu. Each provides less than 150 calories per serving.

Harvest Salad
5 cups apples, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup raisins
1 cup mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup walnuts or pecans
1 cup light mayonnaise
Mix all well. Chill at least 6 hours.
Nutrition info: 128 calories per ½ cup. Simple, nutritious, and a great source of fiber!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ode to my fellow breastfeeding mothers!

Whitney and baby Wells
My hat goes off to all the women who are reading this blog and breastfed (or are breastfeeding) their babies. It is hard work!

I truly believe breastfeeding is the best for your baby and that is why I continue to stick with it. But let me tell you, it has not been an easy road.

I work in a hospital and I have had several women ask me to write about my experience with breastfeeding and any "pearls of wisdom" along the way, so here you go...

Friday, November 12, 2010

A tribute to my brother

November is always a mixed bag for me. My younger brother Fred would have celebrated his 36th birthday this month. He died at 28 of an aneurysm.

My brother and I were not a lot alike. As a matter of fact, the Dallas Morning News once did a story featuring siblings with few similarities, and we were one example. But we always had fun together. My brother was a fun-loving guy with a great sense of humor. He was a gentle giant—he looked intimidating, but deep down he was a softie. He was my protector in so many ways—he may not have understood why I chose to do things I did, but he was always one of the first to stand up for me if he sensed I was in trouble.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bedrest and twins: a surprise-filled pregnancy

Sonia (right) and Missy chat about the challenges of bedrest.
Throughout her pregnancy Sonia Hays has encountered surprises.

At 18 weeks pregnant she discovered she was having twins. Hays said she knew something was up well before that though. “I felt extra big at six weeks,” she says. Since twins run in both sides of her family Hays initially suspected that. But sonograms and other tests didn’t show that she was expecting twins until the 18 week mark.

Then came an even bigger surprise at her 25 week sonogram. Instead of a quick appointment they were worried about her cervix and noticed she was having contractions. She was immediately admitted to the hospital to stop the contractions.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

So Someone You Know is Pregnant: A Guide to Behaving Properly

Tip: only touch Mom's belly if invited!
Let's chat about how people behave around pregnant women, shall we? Although I've only just really started showing at all, you'd be amazed how common boundaries and etiquette are apparently not applicable to pregnant women. And after talking to several friends who have just had babies or are also pregnant, I've discovered that it's not just me that has been taken aback by something someone has said or done.

And I do get it - babies are exciting. Babies are miracles. But that brings up my first helpful hint: Could you not try to touch my miracle while it's in my stomach, unless I invite you? What many people don't know (unless they've been pregnant before) is that for many pregnant women, the stomach area is sensitive. Our skin is stretching to accommodate a whole human. Our organs are being slowly maneuvered out of the way. Muscles, tendons and ligaments are stretching - sometimes painfully. All of this stuff is going on, and sometimes we don't even want pants around our midsections - let alone someone's hands.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sports concussions: use your head

Scrapes and scabs, bruises and blisters. Parents rarely see their little athletes leaving the playing field unscathed. 

But if your youngster gets bonked on the head, it might be more serious than you think.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Motivated Mama

Jennifer and family at the pumpkin patch recently.
I have lost twenty five pounds. I know a lot of people would be pulling out their bathing suits and strutting in their high school jeans, but for me it's a milestone with most of my journey still to go. It's so hard to get excited and stay excited about weight loss when you have lots to lose. So I am very excited to say that I've lost twenty five pounds. But the voice in my head keeps reminding me that I could lose another seventy five without looking like Lindsay Lohan.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Crumbs on the toaster

Most of the time, I’m a pretty easygoing wife and mother.

Secretly, though? I have some dormant obsessive-compulsive tendencies, one in particular that is triggered every time we’re expecting company.

When this happens, my cozy and comfortable home that was in perfectly acceptable condition before I knew we’d have company suddenly has suspect cleanliness.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A sweet surprise

Peyton, Cambrie and Addalynn
Having triplets is no piece of cake.

But, ironically, the round frosted dessert delivered the news to Mom Paige Bourland her babies would be girl, boy, girl. It also informed all of Dallas/Fort Worth -- because it appeared on local television.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Growing pains for mom

This Halloween really made me stop and think about how quickly my seven-year old twins have grown.

It was just last year that they wanted to be a cowboy and SpongeBob! The year before it was Batman and Superman. This year they wanted to be scary and bloody and gross! They ran from house to house screaming at the top of their lungs! What happen to my sweet little boys?

Now when I drop them off or pick them up from school, no hugs, kisses or displays of affection of any kind in front of friends and teachers! Hands off mom!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Talking about eating

Who is on a diet right now?

Are you shunning carbs? Going meatless? Avoiding gluten like the plague? Downing weird maple syrup and cayenne pepper concoctions? The University of Colorado at Boulder estimates that one in three women and one in four men are on a diet on any given day.

But when do diets and second thoughts about food and weight turn serious, and how can friends and family help?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Baby bargains galore can be found online

Just a few Internet finds
I am a sucker for adorable baby things. I've had to reign in some of my desire to go buy everything I see because we've decided to be surprised and wait to find out the gender until little Baby Erickson makes his or her debut. However, there are still plenty of precious things to be found in the hues of green and yellow, and I know I can indulge in some gender-specific shopping come April.

But all this shopping can break the bank, if you're not careful. And I'm also the type to find bargain hunting a thrill. So where's a bargain-hunting, 16 weeks pregnant mom of possibly a girl or possibly a boy to go for stylish baby clothes and accessories?

The Internet.