Presence and Presents

I woke up on November 1st to a child that had snuck into my bed. She was up with a smile (as is her usual), stretching and proclaiming "helloooo, November!".

It is her birthday month and we are very excited. As I woke up today I started thinking about November and gratitude. You guys know how I feel about gratitude, right?

More than that, I thought about how I wanted to give my baby my presence this month. More than normal. Because I feel as if I sometimes fall short. When things get stressful and hectic, my time and energy are pulled away from her and it doesn't feel good.

As I as working on this I saw this IKEA video where they took kids and had them write a letter to Santa about what they wanted. The results may surprise you. As much as kids always want want want, it's interesting that the one thing they consistently want is us. Isn't that awesome?

How do you make sure you are present in the lives of those you love?

The season of presents and presence

5 Ways to Effectively Work From Home

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 How to Effectively Work From Home We work from home. Sili, myself and a million other mom bosses. It sounds like the ideal situation but here is a bit of insight. This month has been extremely busy for me, I may or may not have taken on a bit more than I should have. Not to mention that my home office is in complete disarray and the pile of laundry on top of the wash is a huge distraction. Needless to say, working from home while it has its benefits, has its share of downsides. But I wouldn't trade it for the world and in an attempt to get myself back on track, here are a few tips I shared on my own blog on how to work effectively from home. Brew the coffee, lets get to work...

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This post is brought to you by Yanira from YaniraGarza.com, MomBoss and borderline basic thanks to a serious love of pumpkin spice. Dare to judge.

The Thing About Kids Telling the Truth

I knew the time was coming. As a parent, I think you have a sixth sense about these things. The Frog Princess is so good. I've been waiting for the shoe to drop. Lately, I've noticed her pushing her boundaries and I've also noticed that as a 5-year old, there are nuances that she just does not understand. Take, for example, her belly. For years now, I have taken to lots of tickles, poking of the belly and of course, reminders of how awesome that belly is. Things like "look that belly!" and "look at that big belly!" have left my mouth many times. In part because it's true (kid bellies are the best) but also because I didn't want her to feel a ways about having one.

The Frog Princess, in turn, will turn to me at times (especially if I'm in my bathing suit or without a shirt) and give me those same words I give her. Recently, while my sister was here, she did the same thing. Titi Q does have a belly and so, we began to try and explain to her that while it is true that Titi Q has a belly, and she does mean well when she turns to her, touches/hugs her belly and says "look at that big belly", it might not come across too well in other circles.

So of course, you know it happened. That moment when she said those words to someone that didn't know the background story. I know she's 5 but, still. I felt the need to explain myself. And I thanked the person because she actually told her that wasn't very nice (apparently, I caught the second instance of this sentence being uttered).

I think it's important sometimes, for kids to hear someone else say what parents say in order to reinforce the lesson. But, I still felt bad. Like I've been doing something wrong in uttering those words to her.

Here I was, thinking that this was specifically for her. How do you draw the line in the sand between what is true, what is said and what is implied?

Same thing happens in other ways. We tell her that if she farts she should say excuse me. But then I give her mad side eye if we are at dinner with people and she says "excuse me, I farted".

She's telling the truth. And she's doing what I asked her to do. So, what's the problem, right?

Y'all, this is hard! I feel for kids. And I feel for parents. How do you walk that line? Help!

The Thing About Kids Telling the Truth

Mami Mondays: Wrapping Our Heads Around Meningitis

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I want to introduce you to Ann and a cause that is very near and dear to her heart. Read on... My name is Ann Johnson.  I am a wife and mother to our five years old son and a little angel girl in heaven.Maya_Family

My most recent endeavor is the formation of the Maya A. Johnson Foundation, Inc. The foundation serves to educate families and support children who survive the disease. It has already raised $7,000.

Maya_MommyIt was established on February 25, 2015 to honor the memory of our beautiful baby Maya A. Johnson who was born on June 27, 2014. It was on 1st January 2015 when Maya was only six months old that she was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. Maya did not survive her battle with the deadly disease due to complications. She lost her precious life on January 16, 2015. She was a bundle of joy to us and in a very brief amount of time she touched the lives of everyone around her. Maya A. Johnson Foundation, Inc. has been established to continue spreading joy and happiness to families that has been affected by meningitis and that’s how her legacy will live on!

I want to spread the word about what this is and what to look for so another mom doesn’t have to experience the crushing loss that I have had.

What Is Bacterial Meningitis?

Bacterial meningitis occurs when bacteria enters the bloodstream and travels to the brain or the spinal cord. However, it can also occur as a result of an infection such as ear or sinus infection or a drug reaction. Rarely does it happen after some surgeries. Meningitis can occur at any age however it commonly occurs in children and infants.

What Are Known Risk Factors?

  • Incomplete vaccinations: if your child has not completed the recommended vaccination schedule, s/he is more susceptible to meningitis.
  • People under the age of 20 are at a higher risk of meningitis especially if they are living in community settings, boarding schools, military bases etc. People living in such settings are at a higher risk of meningitis because bacterium is spread by the respiratory system and quickly where there are large groups of people.
  • If you are a pregnant woman and you have listeriosis, an infection caused by listeria bacteria that may also cause meningitis, your unborn baby is also at a risk of meningitis.
  • A weakened immune system caused by alcohol, diabetes, and immunosuppressant drugs etc. can make you more susceptible to meningitis.

Symptoms of Bacterial Meningitis:

The early symptoms of bacterial meningitis can be like other childhood illnesses. The big difference? A baby will get ill quickly and will be hard to comfort even when picked up. Here are some other signs:

  1. A child may have fever, headache, vomiting, stiff neck and in some cases seizures and photophobia.
  2. The child may have a preceding upper respiratory infection or pneumonia.
  3. The child may become irritable due to severe headache.
  4. One-third of the children may have seizures which may be recurrent and prolonged.
  5. Confusion and decreased level of consciousness in the child.
  6. The nerves that control some eye and facial movements may be damaged or the facial expression may become lopsided.
  7. Lethargy
  8. Skin rashes
  9. Vomiting
  10. Nausea
  11. Dizzy spells
  12. A high pitched cry

An early diagnosis of meningitis is detrimental to treat the disease and to stop it from getting worse. Bacterial meningitis is a medical emergency, so if you think your child has any form of meningitis, you should immediately see the doctor.

The doctor will order laboratory test to help make the diagnosis. The test will help to determine if there are bacteria present and which antibiotic is best for the child. In some cases, a CT scan will be recommended to determine the conditions resulting to the child’s symptoms. If bacterial meningitis is diagnosed, doctors will start intravenous antibiotics and the child will be closely monitored to detect any serious complications of meningitis. Complications of bacterial meningitis can be severe and the heart, kidney and adrenal glands may be affected.

While children do recover completely with no long-term complications, it is so important that this is caught early. It has the possibility of causing damage to the brain and can cause a myriad of issues from learning disabilities to abnormal development. Impaired hearing is the most common complication of bacterial meningitis so a hearing test should performed at the time of discharge.

The most effective way to protect your child from bacterial meningitis is to complete the recommended vaccine schedule. Following good personal hygiene and maintaining healthy habits helps prevent susceptibility to meningitis. This is especially important for young infants and people with weakened immune system.

I know this seems like a lot of jargon. Thank you for reading this far! Our ability to touch and assist other families that have been affected by meningitis brings us joy and contentment. Our goal is to empower families and to provide information to educate everyone about meningitis in order to understand the early signs of meningitis.

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I can’t say this enough: early diagnosis of meningitis is very important to stop it from getting worse. We also offer opportunities for families of children that have survived meningitis to receive financial assistance and support.  Help us with our mission by spreading the word of awareness.  The Maya A. Johnson Foundation, Inc. thank you for supporting us on our journey! If you have any questions please contact us at www.mayajohnson.org.