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January 24, 2011

By Dr. Elizabeth Walenz with Methodist Physicians Clinic

It is winter, which means we are seeing plenty of sniffles and sneezes
in the office. Many parents want to know how to tell when a cold is more
than a common cold, and when to worry.
This is the time of year when kids will bring home coughs and sniffles,
especially if your child is in daycare or school. These coughs and
sniffles often spread throughout the family, although different members
of the families may experience different symptions.
Babies may develop a low grade fever at the beginning of the illness
that should dissipate over the course of 2 to 3 days. They will often
develop nasal congestion and, sometimes, a cough. This nasal congestion
may cause difficulty feeding. I advise parents to keep saline nasal
drops on hand, and place 1 to 2 drops in each nostril prior to feeding.
After placing the drops in each nostril, count to 5, then use a nasal
bulb suction to remove any thicker mucus. The saline will help to break
up the thick mucus so baby can breathe more freely. If your baby still
has difficulty nursing or feeding, try 1 to 2 feedings with Pedialyte to
help to keep him hydrated.
Use the saline/bulb suction prior to sleep at night as well, and keep
the room moist at night to keep the mucus running. A cool mist
humidifier placed away from the baby’s crib will help to keep the room
humid. Babies should not have pillows in the crib; however, parents may
roll up a towel and place it under the head of the mattress to elevate
the child’s head while sleeping. No cough or cold medications are
recommended for children under the age of 4.
If your child has a persistent fever for more than 3 days, or a fever
that reaches 103 to 104 F, she should be evaluated by a physician. Also
call your pediatrician if a cold is lingering for longer than 4 to 5
days without improvement because colds often precede ear infections.
This also is the season for RSV (respiratory syncitial virus), so be on
the lookout for wheezing or noisy breathing. Parents can certainly
catch RSV, but it will usually manifest as the common cold in adults.
When babies and young children contract RSV, they often present with
fevers, tight repetitive cough or wheezing and noisy breathing. This
wheezing is usually heard or felt by parents when holding the child.
The child can almost seem to be working to push the air out of the
lungs. From the physiologic perspective, this is exactly what is
occurring. Younger children with RSV produce quite a bit of mucus that
can clog their airways and make it difficult to get air in, as well as
to push it out. A child with a worsening cough, difficulty feeding,
noisy breathing or appearing to be working to breathe should be seen by
a doctor.
As healthy children age, they often grow past the point of wheezing;
however, they can still catch the common cold. If a child has a
productive cough or congested nose, I often recommend fluids and rest.
Parents may offer Tylenol or Motrin for any fevers or discomfort. Saline
nasal spray can be used in the event of thick congestion ,as well as to
teach children to blow their noses as well. If a child is coughing quite
a bit at night and is over the age of 1, I recommend a teaspoon of
honey. Honey has been shown in some studies to help to coat the throat
and to help to suppress the cough reflex. The common cold will last 7
to 10 days. If the cold lasts longer than 10 days without improvement,
take your child to his or her primary care physician.
The best advice for this season is prevention. Encourage good
hand-washing habits, as well as keeping fingers out of ears and noses.
Liquid or chewable multivitamins can help to provide children over age 3
with beneficial Vitamin C. A well balanced diet, plenty of fluids and
rest also should help to keep your little ones healthy.


The benefits of being a Care Hound provider

January 5, 2011

No more signs in the yard!! When you sign up to be on the Care Hound directory you will always be visible to the parents seeking your services.  Which means you have a “sign” online that gives them all your information.  And the parents with access to that information will have paid for our service so you will know they are serious when they call.

Serious Inquiries! Because our site does charge the parents to gain access to your information – the parents
contacting you are serious about their child’s care and they will have the means to pay you for it!  No more wasting time with parents trying to bargain down your price.

Keep your spots filled! Unfortunately you never know what could happen to have a child leave your daycare (a move, loss of a parents job, or health issues)  – which leaves you with an empty spot to fill and a gap in your income.  With Care Hound parents will always have access to your information and if you are full when they call – put them on a waiting list!  That way you don’t have to decrease your income if a family can’t make it any more.

Support and Education! As our directory and business grows we want to be there to support – YOU – the providers!  Taking care of children all day is an extremely tough and extremely important job. We want to help out by
providing you with educational opportunities and meet and greets through the year.  This way you can meet other providers in your area, and have the chance to come to mini classes on topics you are interested in – whether it is CPR training, hearing from pediatricians or speech therapists, or learning some new crafts or activities to do with your kids.  We will keep the topics broad to capture the interest of different childcare providers.

Show off a little! And last but definitely not least – our “provider of the month” that we are starting! This is where we choose one provider a month to highlight on our blog.  We will come and interview you to find out more about your childcare and you! It’s your chance to shine and show off what makes your childcare special and stand out!

To add your listing to our directory visit and click on the providers tab. It only takes a few minutes and is completely free with absolutely no obligations!!

If you know of a provider who could benefit from being on the Care Hound directory please share this information with them or download the PDF below and send it to them!

Care Hound benefits

A few faves

December 5, 2010

Since we have been so behind on posting our favorite things this year – we are doing a quick catch up of some things that we would like to see under our tree, and some things that will be under our tree.  Check it out!!

Necklaces from The Vintage Pearl.

I love this shop – the pieces are beautiful and I would love to have one with my kids names on it!

Baskets and pillows from Birdhouse Collectible

They have new and old beautiful gifts at BC.  You really have to stop down and check out all their wonderful items!  Pick up some to get your house ready for the holidays or surprise someone else!!

Daisy Girl candles and lotion

These products are made in a small town in Iowa – but they could stand up against any baby product out there! They hands down have the creamiest, silkiest, yummiest smelling baby lotion you can imagine.  And I absolutely love their soy candles.  They can ship anywhere so hop on their site today and place your order!

Kelly Moore Bags

These bags have been on my wish list for over a year – they are gorgeous!! They are designed with a photgrapher in mind for all of their equipment – but you could really use them for anything – a purse, overnight bag, diaper bag – and of course a camera bag.  Maybe someday I will have one of my own!

Headbands for my new baby girl

I’m usually a “bigger is better” sort of girl when it comes to headware for baby and little girls – but I adore these simple little headbands for babies that are from Creations by Chelsea on Etsy.

And this one by The Dress Up Chest on Etsy.

But of course I still love my over the top headbands…

How fabulous are these from The Girlie Girl Bowtique on Etsy?

Hope you have enjoyed our “wish list” and that has sparked some ideas for those that you have to shop for this holiday season.  Check back soon – we still have more to come!

We’re having a baby!

October 26, 2010

It’s true – we are expecting our 4th child in May of 2010 and we couldn’t be happier!  I’ve been meaning to write about everything going on – but basically the past couple months would have been something like: “I feel sick, I’m so tired, I feel really sick, I’m so exhausted, I need french fries, I need more french fries etc…” So I spared you all those blog posts and am now ready to move on to sharing all the excitement of the pregnancy and growing our family.  But first – I did take some time to sit down and write my very first thoughts after I found out we were expecting again (you will notice I avoid the word “pregnant” for some reason it has a dirtier, negative, clinical vibe to it now – maybe due to MTV’s show – 16 & Pregnant – ??).  This was before I got to tell my husband or anyone – it was a surreal moment for me – so please do forgive me for the “scatteredness” of it all.

Friday August 27th, 2010

This morning I found out I am going to become a mommy of four in about nine months.  I’m giddy with excitement and feeling so incredibly blessed.

In certain ways I feel like a first time mom in the sense that this is the first time we have “tried” for a baby.  Please don’t start calling my other children “accidents” – I hate it when I hear people say that.  They weren’t planned and they were a surprise but by no means would I ever consider one of them an accident.  I think God knew exactly what he was doing when he blessed me with each of them.

This is the first time I have anxiously wondered every day though if this was the time it was going to happen.  The past few days I had a feeling.  The bulging tummy was a little sign however I have been on vacation this month and ate Chipotle for dinner last night so that could easily have been from just lack of a good diet.  But the EXTREME tiredness, the emotions, those were little mini signs.   And oddly enough it was really my new found obsession with food that was really the tipping point.  I have never in my life liked mustard or any form of it – and within the past couple weeks I have been craving honey mustard like no other.  Which is crazy to me.  I remember being pregnant with Jax and wanting to cry over food (which I almost did last night) and I ate mass amounts of ketchup all through my pregnancy with Jax. So I took the test and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the results.  My husband is at work and I can’t wait to tell him tonight.

I have so many things running through my head today – I hope this baby is safe and healthy, I hope I can work out and eat decent through my pregnancy.  I hope I can work hard through the whole pregnancy and be ready when Baby B #4 comes along. I hope pregnancy brain doesn’t get the best of me (Kobe will suffer the most from this) and I hope I am nice to my husband.  I can’t decide if we should find out what it is – not knowing with Jackson was amazing and an incredible surprise – but there is a serious lack of planning and preparation with that option. And then logistics become a factor.  Plus Matt (my husband) really wants to find out and it killed him to not know with Jackson.  I wonder if the doctors will have me take shots again and if they will treat this pregnancy as a high risk one like they did with my last one. I’m anxious to see how the kids react to having another brother or sister and I secretly hope its twins so I can get those 5 kids I was going for – and knowing twins will be the only way my husband will ever allow it. 🙂

Well – there you have it – my early on ramblings.  Thanks to everyone who has already been so supportive – it’s a pretty amazing feeling to feel so much love and support from our friends, family and clients.  And check back often – we will have updates!!





A few of my favorite things…

October 7, 2010

Because we are only {dare I say it?!} 79 days away from Christmas we are kicking off our “a few of my favorite things” posts.  I love doing these because I get to share some of my favorite products, gifts etc… with all of you!

To kick off today’s I want to share Rabbit! A friend of mine turned me on to them and I am completely in love! We have downloaded the songs from iTunes and been dancing around the house the past few days!  My youngest son listens to them when he goes to sleep at night.  Their new album “Connect the Dots” has great songs on it including the sweetest Daddy/Daughter song called “Bump in the Night” that makes me tear up every time I listen to it.  What I love best about these songs is they are so sweet for kids but I love listening to them too!  Check out Rabbit on their website or jump over to iTunes and start downloading them for yourself!

Calling ALL childcare providers!!!

October 1, 2010

We are super excited to announce that we have launched phase 1 of  Phase 1 is where we take the time to set up our directory with all the childcare providers in Omaha and surrounding areas.  And we are looking for all types of providers – so whether you are an in-home provider, a childcare center, a nanny, full-time or part-time please take the time to add your listing!  I promise you it really only takes a few minutes to do and we would be forever grateful! Just click here and you will get started! (and don’t worry – it’s totally free!)

The picky eater…. (I don’t like it!)

September 14, 2010

By Dr. Elizabeth Walenz with Methodist Physicians Clinic

“I don’t like this,” is what my 2-year-old daughter said to me as I placed a bowl in front of her. “It’s pasta,” I argued, “you love pasta.”

“I don’t like this,” she repeated taking each of the rigatoni noodles out of the bowl and lining them up on her placemat.

“Try it. Take two bites; it is just a different shape from spaghetti.” She tentatively took two bites out of a noodle. Surprised, she said, “I do like this. I like pasta.”

Granted, this is not every night at my dinner table, nor is every night a success story. I see many parents in the office with similar struggles–the picky eater.

Kids, at times, are afraid to try new things, as was my daughter when approached with a tube-like pasta instead of the single strands of spaghetti that she was used to. An important thing for us to remember as parents is that we are the models for our kids. Kids learn many of their behaviors, including eating, from us. It is very easy in this day and age to get stuck in a chicken nugget, macaroni and cheese, hot dog rut. Variety and color are key for kids to eat healthy.

Kids and adults need at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. This can be difficult to achieve, especially for those kids who try to avoid anything green. From the very beginning, we should try to make sure each child is getting a little green in their diet. I have the “Sneaky Chef” cookbook and have tried some of the recipes. I like her idea of chopping up the green, especially the iron-rich spinach, and mixing in with meatballs, pizza sauce or meatloaf. For the oranges, she will puree sweet potato and mix in with macaroni and cheese or pizza.

At home, we can cut vegetables and fruits into fun shapes or create faces on the plate out of fun-to- eat, good-for- you food.

Another tip is toget kids involved in the kitchen. I think it is fun to have a pizza party and throw a little broccoli and a protein on a pizza and have the kids get messy helping. It is a lot more fun to eat something that you helped to create.

I advise families to sit down together to enjoy meals. This helps with the modeling that I spoke about earlier. If a child sees his or her mother/father/brother eating the food, he/she is more likely to try it.

Some of my patients will have one of two problems with milk at meals. One toddler group will drink a lot of milk during the day. They will finish a whole cup of milk before dinner has even started. They start out the meal somewhat full and not interested to try the dinner. I recommend if you have a milk-lover, to have them start eating first and once they have eaten a few bites out of everything, they can then have a half glass of milk. The other toddler group transitioned to never like milk. They refuse to drink it. Some suggestions I have for the parents of children in this group would be to start out with chocolate milk or even a milk-shake with some ice cream and make the drink really fun, with a straw or a special cup. Once the child has accepted it, I would gradually decrease the chocolate or the ice cream back to only milk.

In terms of food choices, I will recommend that the chef at home is not a short-order cook but cooks for the whole family. When introducing new foods, make sure that there are readily accepted foods in addition to the new food being introduced. If the favorite is macaroni and cheese, perhaps mix in a protein or a vegetable into the sauce to make it healthier. I also recommend you try and avoid juices and empty calories. I advise to make snacks healthy. Grab a piece of fruit or low-fat string cheese and avoid snacks close to meal time.

These strategies won’t work for everyone, but hopefully, these are a few tips for your picky eater!