Friday, July 30, 2010

Baby aspirin, anyone??

I've wanted to write this post for a while now but haven't known how to start it, so I've just been drafting it in my head over and over again.

Ever had people say to you about any given situation (college, dating, marriage, careers, babies, old age): "Just wait, you have no idea what you're in for!!" almost like they are taunting you?  And you wonder, what in the world is that supposed to mean?  I think I've most often heard those kinds of statements in regards to marriage or children.  Talking with an old friend today she perfectly captured these thoughts...sometimes you just don't know until you experience it for yourself.  Like for instance, what it will feel like when your baby happily, accidentally, well-meaningly ingests about half a bottle of cherry chewable baby aspirin pills.

Like what Mia did last Friday afternoon.

Yes, yes, that is what she did.  We estimate she consumed around 18 women's low-dose aspirin pills.  She got ahold of the bottle after lunch when I was cleaning her hands at the kitchen sink.  The bottle, which is "childproof" was somehow undone by Mia.  Either it wasn't screwed back on properly the last time it was opened, or Mia's rather dexterous hands figured out how to push down on the cap while also twisting it (she did just recently master twisting things open & close).  Regardless, after a few minutes of all too quiet playing, I wondered what she was up to and I walked around the counter to see chalky baby aspirin smeared on her chin, the bottle opened, and at least one pill on the floor.  Freaking out (of course, what's a mother to do otherwise??), I called for Greg immediately, who was thankfully working from home that day, and camped in another room on one of those ubiquitous conference calls, and dumped out the bottle to count backwards to see how many she had probably consumed...while also dialing 911.  At the time, Mia seemed totally fine.  Just confused, probably wondering, Why is Mommy freaking out?  I didn't do anything wrong.  Those little chewy puffs tasted yummy.  Mhmmm...cherries!

For my first time calling 911, I had a good experience.  They immediately connected me with medical services which connected me with Poison Control, who deemed based on her weight and the amount she probably consumed that it was most advisable to take her to the hospital, either by ambulance or self-transport.  We opted for the latter and grabbed a few things and hopped out the door.

We headed to UCH and were quickly triaged.

To make a long story just a tad shorter, we were in the ER from about 1pm to 12am.  The doctors & nurses were really good and even though they had to draw blood from Mia, which meant putting in a heplock/IV thing on her arm, she was a trooper.  They took labs every couple of hours to monitor her salicytate levels and after there were 2 decreased levels, we were allowed to go home.  The doctors said even if she had consumed the entire bottle (ah!), she would not have ingested a toxic amount.  She did throw up twice, which was a good thing, because it got rid of some of the aspirin in her stomach.  The doctor said whatever was left in her system would be metabolized by her liver and she'd "excrete"/pee it out.

Notice the outfit changes?  Lil' Mia's vomiting went all over Greg!! :-\

But there are some lessons/realizations we learned from this ordeal. Many people extended their prayers and laments for us, which we so appreciate, and I feel like even though there were problems with the labs and the test results took extra long because they had to courier the labs to another hospital, we were totally taken care of.

First we learned, wow, we still really need to babyproof.  Mia is becoming so much more crafty and intelligent and figures out how to do things.  She's very persistent and curious.  A good thing, but a scary thing at times too.

Secondly, we learned even though going to the hospital is the pits, there's also something actually relaxing at times about a hospital.  There's only one thing you can focus on, and that is improving the condition or health of the person that is admitted.  I cannot clean house, make food, flip laundry loads or any of those things while at a hospital.  All I need to focus on is making sure a little one is taken care of, and sometimes, while her condition is troubling, this kind of refocusing is actually relieving.

Thirdly, never assume you'll leave earlier than you actually will.  Initially, Greg & I thought we'd be there for the afternoon.  Maybe.  We had no idea we'd be there the REST of the day!  Thankfully I had brought enough diapers for her that she was even cloth-diapered the whole time and some cherished friends & family dropped off some stuff for me & Greg, but we weren't anticipating that long of a stay.  However, if Mia's first week of life is any indication, we've learned to never expect less instead of more.  With hospital stays, it always seems like it's MORE!

And finally, as a wise older friend told Greg, we realized that God takes care of our foolishness.  Mia didn't do anything "wrong."  She had no idea what she was doing to her body.  And as well-meaning parents, we had no idea she grabbed that bottle and the reason she was playing so quietly on the family room floor was because she was having a party with baby aspirin.  But thanks to God, even in times of innocent foolishness, He covers us.  We are so thankful.  It could always be worse, but as we sometimes sing to Mia, "My God is SO big, so strong and so mighty, there's NOTHING my God cannot do!"

While I did not intend to make an altar call at the end of this post ;) it really does all come down to that: God is there.  Thus, to tie it all in with the beginning of this post.  We had no idea what we were in for.  But we've learned & are learning (because this will continue).  We had a scare.  Mia was fine.  God came through.  Lessons learned.  Repeat.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

I know, this might make you hate me.

Skittles, mommy??
I've never been on a "diet," per se, before.  I've been conscious of my overall diet as I grew up and especially during my track & cross-country seasons, and I credit my parents for providing me with a very good example of what are good and healthy foods and being healthy individuals themselves.  My mom cooked us dinners almost every night of the week growing up, packed our school lunches, and never overloaded on the sweets (as compared to many a friends' house).  I think that is one of the reasons why I feel like I've had a generally healthy relationship with food and with body image, and I'm very thankful and blessed for that.

Yet, like I mentioned in an earlier post, I went to a lecture about digestion and the immune system a few weeks ago and really felt like someone--a medical doctor--was really talking sense to me.  And she wasn't hating on certain foods we've all grown up enjoying.  She just simply said, "Sometimes good foods just aren't the right fuels for your body."  And over time, that slam-bam-thank-you-ma'am attack on your gut can cause not-so-fun things to happen.  And so while it's no one in particular's fault (and I'm not really looking for someone to blame, sometimes that's just how the cookie crumbles), there are a few things in my diet I'm looking to tweak.  I'm writing about it, because while overall, it may actually be easier than I think to change my diet, when I consider a few of the miniscule details, like sugar or no sugar or milk/cream or no milk/cream in my coffee, I start to panic a little bit.  How will I handle this?  Unlike the rest of my Wiley family, I don't take my coffee black.  It's a pretty caramel color, minus the...caramel.

I've found through life (and through blogging!) that people are more alike than they are different.  There are some things we aren't sure of how to share or communicate in real life or on the internet, but from time to time, as I eventually launch this new diet (I'm still gradually getting used to the idea and still have some more research to do before I fully commit to it), I may blog about it.  I know these aren't blog posts about the chiquita, but in a roundabout way this will affect her too, so you can say it still falls under the umbrella of the chiquita bambina, and our epiphanies along the way!
And just to clarify--this diet is not to lose weight. That's not my goal.  I'll get more into details later, probably, but the goal is actually to heal parts of my digestive system that have been tainted over the years by various things.  This is not a "I-feel-fat" diet, so don't worry. Nobody has said anything mean or cruel to me to make me feel like "I'm not good enough."  /Disclaimer!

I feel like communication and connection are important and help bridge gaps.  I'm the sort of person that when I discover something new, I either a) want to share it or b) find out who else does this / knows about this / wants to do this too!  So, my hope is that by sharing about it, I'll find others who are in a similar boat, maybe a few waves ahead of me or coasting right along or behind.

So, wherever you're at, feel free to tag along, ask questions, make comments.   I ain't no expert but I'm a firm believer in learning through experience.
And you better believe this Carrie Underwood song was intentionally chosen for this post. "Undo it!"

And with that, she tossed the expired Junior Mints into the abyss.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Week in the Life of Mia - A Photo Essay (July 2010)

This summer is flying by. I barely have time to really post what's going on, so the scant pictures I have taken will just have to suffice.  I'm sure you'll enjoy!

Letting mommy turn her into Rainbow Brite for Storytime

"How do I look?"

Ciampa family picture, July 2010
(6.5 months till one more bug is added--Amanda's expecting!)

Minnesota Love - 
days after the announcement about Eden Prairie & the morning of our 3rd wedding anniversary!

Freaking out with Granddad

So excited to see daddy!

Hanging out with the gparents & cuz while mommy's...

at a wedding with friends!

Checking her emails

Cruising around the house after church...

because baby dolls need walks just as much as tiny humans do

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I just have to share.

I make casual references to it here or there, but if you don't know, I grew up in the fantabulous town of Eden Prairie, Minnesota.  Yeah, it's in the Upper Midwest.  In fact, it IS the Upper Midwest.  Minnesota touches Canada, you betcha.  And if you've never seen pictures, it does snow there.  Sometimes.  Maybe anytime from October to March, on average.

YET...somehow...I don't know how...Money Magazine ranked Eden Prairie, MN, as America's #1 best place to live.  

But wait, didn't you say it snows anytime between October and March?  Didn't you insinuate that since it's so northerly, it's probably cold??

Yes, yes I did.  

But you know what?  It don't matter!  Because in Minnesota, we have Minnesota Nice.  We have outdoorsy stuff to do even when it's cold, because it's cold!  Because we know life doesn't stop just because there's a negative windchill.  No, it goes on.  

See fo' yourself:

"[T]here's plenty of outer beauty: from gently rolling hills to 17 lakes that residents flock to year-round for swimming and ice skating. Town parks are laced with 125 miles of running, hiking, and biking trails.

No wonder residents rank among the healthiest people in the nation. Add in top-notch schools and safe streets and you've got a place that's tough to beat."

Yep, that's where I grew up folks.

As Matt Lauer said so eloquently: "Minnesota, really kickin' butt on this list." 

Map of Minnesota copied from:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mind Blown

You know that windblown look, that cover models and dogs alike strive for?
I think if you were open up my brain right now, it'd look about the same, because I just got back from a lecture that was mind-blowing.  I normally don't put "lecture" and "mind-blowing" together, but in this case, for me personally, it fit the bill.

Lately I've been on this amazing learning curve about health & nutrition and have slowly been adapting some of our family's eating habits.  I really feel like at this moment it's coming full circle and while we have not "arrived" by any sort, I think we're navigating ourselves to a path that's really better suited for us.
What's mind-blowing to me is that bits & pieces of information that I've heard about from over the years--from a very insightful chiropractor, from friends at church, from the internet, blogs, e'en Facebook, and from our doula, are seemingly all coming together now and clicking and making lots of sense.

I don't feel like I'm being vague at all, but it's possible to the outside reader I am.
Without going into crazy specifics, all I will say is that for us, to what degree we can and to what degree these foods are available, we will be doing our best to eat foods that are:
-organic or locally grown
-less processed or pasteurized
-and less grainy

The last one is probably the hardest for us, because there are grains in everything. I used to think 100% whole wheat meant I was being really healthy, but as I'm probably about to embark on a elimination diet soon, I may be singing a very different tune.
I'm starting to think that many of the stomachaches I'm experiencing are a result of improper digestion & absorption of my foods that are causing inflammation in my gut, which leads to a host of outcomes, none of which are pleasant!

This will be difficult because I love pizza, sandwiches, stuff with toast (French, peanut butter, etc.) and it will mean experimenting with new kinds of products to achieve a similar yet different result.

I'm motivated to find the answers to these questions because I want to also provide the best foundation for nutrition for Mia & any future offspring so that they can avoid some of the pitfalls I've experienced.  In our genes we pass on our intolerances, allergies and sensitivities to things and if I can help Mia succeed or feel just a bit better with some simple manipulation, it will be worth it!

Have you ever tried eliminating certain foods from your diet? How did it go??

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Can you say, "Upgrade?"

Sometimes, when things change, they seem to change all at once. Like, we kind of get in the mode of "this needs changed, this needs changed, let's do it all and let's do it all right now!!!"
For me, sometimes I think I get some high from fixing and changing everything at once, especially if it means upgrading or buying something new. And sometimes, Greg has to reign me in so we don't accidentally throw the baby out with the bathwater.

But this past weekend, we had some much needed changes or "upgrades" occur.

As I referenced earlier, Mia's been in desperate need for a new carseat.  She hadn't outgrown it physically by her weight limit, but it was becoming obvious she was not comfortable in it any longer.  Anytime I tried to put her in it, she'd start arching her back & throwing a fit (very lovely)!  So after some fitful research on the internet and a stroll through Babies R' Us on Friday, Greg & I returned to BRU Friday night and decided on the EvenFlo Symphony.  I had a 20% off coupon, so it made the upgrade even sweeter.
I wished that Chicco did have a toddler equivalent of their infant carseat, but it was just not meant to be apparently.  And while that Maxi Cosi Priori was eye-candy for the mod-lined European design seekers, the 40lb weight limit was a limitation, no pun intended. 

So, one major task completed.

Another included rehauling / rearranging our front room.  We have some amazing furniture up there that I have loved, but for whatever reason, it just wasn't fitting in there correctly and Greg & I experienced a moment of discouragement where we thought we were going to have to do that room ALL over again.  But, the Sabrina Soto* lover in me popped up, and we realized, with some simple tweaking, rearranging, repurposing, and de-cluttering, we could really make the room look & flow how we want it to.
So out went that old nasty bookcase to the garage where it will hold things only garages should hold, and off went the leaning desk with the shelves to a new home across the front room to the opposite hall, and out went the coffee table.
That sounds like a lot, but it really wasn't that bad. I should have taken before & after pictures, but here are just some of the afters (without the wall decor we plan to hang):

TBH (to be hung): picture frames & clock, which shall frame the window

TBR (to be replaced): spazzy lamp, replaced with end tables & other lighting

TBH: sweet wall art from Pier 1 & our prestigious diplomas

liking my new pillow!

And then...Sunday Sunday Sunday.  It was the 4th of July but we were afraid it was going to become a 4th ring of hell in our house because all of a sudden, the AC didn't feel like it was blowing. We were playing with Mia in the family room in the afternoon and her body felt clammy and sweaty.  The thermostat read 80°F even though it was set lower and we couldn't hear any vent fans blowing.  Fortunately for us, sad for all the other Independence Day lovers, the day was a bit of a doozy: cloudy, rain on/off, and cooler thanks to that Hurricane.  Thankfully, we go to church with an AC technician, and as Greg explained the situation to him, he said he'd come over Monday to check it out.  Greg was seriously fearing the worst: buying a brand new AC system that would knock out some of our other hopes & dreams for home improvement / fun plans for the rest of the year.
But Mr. AC (actually "M.R.") came over Monday, found it was a piece that needed replacing--don't even bother asking me what it actually was or what it does--and it was far less the cost of a whole new AC upgrade.  By gazillions.
So yes, we slept in an un-airconditioned house Sunday, but we actually managed to stay comfortable with the overhead fans!  Maybe we should do that more often on cooler days in FL. 

And the final upgrade occurred Monday night!  Our dishwasher is a POR (piece of rubbish).  At least, it has turned into that over the last few weeks. I pull out our dishes after the dishwasher's ran and think, gross, you nasty glass.  It's not energy-efficient, it sounds like a thousand bulls rushing into our kitchen, and it's also not very aesthetically pleasing.  I'm sure it doesn't like hearing me say those things about it, but now that we went to Lowe's and ordered our new Bosch (which will hopefully be "boss"), I feel like I can start to let this standby know how I've truly been feeling.  I don't know when the new one will be here, but I'm already becoming way detached from the low-grade GE dishwasher we have.  There was some incentive to buy this weekend as there was a special Independence Day sale ending 7/5/10, which, if I check my calendar, was...yesterday.  So we bought it just in the (k?)nick of time.

Thus, needless to say, there have been a lot of upgrades.  With these upgrades comes great responsibility, so over the next several months I will be doing my best to cherish these new things, keep them in good condition and rave about them until one of them breaks down.

In the meantime, enjoy what happens when you let your baby try to feed herself.  You know how they say you can tell if a baby eats a lot of orange foods because her skin will turn orange? I thought that 'twas to happen to the consumer (baby), not the provider (me).

carrots on the walls, door, floors

pleased with her performance

carrots on my shirt & pants

carrots on her FACE!

*Sabrina Soto, Candice Olson, and Genevieve Gorder are my favorite HGTV hosts. Sabrina because she's so sweet and down-to-earth, Candice because she's quirky and stinkin' GOOD, and Genevieve, because of her fab name and that she calls Minneapolis home. [sniff sniff]