Best and Worst

Over the past few weeks, I feel like I’ve seen the some of the best and worst of humanity.

So, L’s teething necklace got left behind when JD took L to Michigan. His mom mailed the necklace back to us, and as L’s teething symptoms worsened, I anxiously awaited its arrival, but after 5 days of finding nothing but junk and bills in our mailbox, I started to get a feeling that we might not see the necklace again. Sure enough, the envelope arrived on a Monday, a full week after it had been mailed. As I grabbed the envelope out of the mailbox, I noticed it felt… thinner than it should have. I wasn’t too surprised to see there was a hole in the corner of the envelope and the necklace was gone.

I wanted to believe that it was an accident, that maybe the envelope had been ripped inadvertently and the necklace fell out, but my gut feeling is that it was stolen. My guess is that someone who works for USPS felt that there was some kind of jewelry in the envelope and wanted to see if it was something valuable (for the record, I paid $20 for it, but the return on that investment was a happy child and precious, uninterrupted sleep, and you can’t put a price on that).

Part of the reason I’m assuming it was stolen is that this actually happened to me before. A friend’s daughter made me a bracelet one time (again, nothing expensive, just plastic beads), and when the envelope arrived, there was a small hole in the corner and the bracelet was gone (suspiciously familiar to the teething necklace incident). Not surprisingly, the drawing and other things she sent were still in the envelope.

I wanted to be the “bigger person” and send positive vibes to whoever took it- so that they may find themselves in a circumstance where they don’t feel the need to rummage through other people’s mail, but for most of the evening, I couldn’t get past how angry I was. Who did this person think they were? That they could take something that belonged to me? Something that helped ease my daughter’s discomfort? Something that had little monetary value but was important to our family?

This person is no better than the person who broke into my car to steal my friend’s wrapped wedding present (I’m sure those wine glasses have a TON of street value), or the person who broke into my parents’ house and stole my mom’s favorite turquoise ring (among other things, but I mention the ring because the ring didn’t have much value, my mom just really liked it and it’s pretty much irreplaceable). Here’s the part where I wish those people find themselves in a better circumstance someday, so that they don’t feel the need to violate people’s personal space and property.

I ordered another necklace, but of course it was going to take time to ship, so after a few more nights of a miserable, inconsolable child, I decided that I needed to get a necklace for her ASAP.

It was a long shot, but I reached out to mamas in a local Facebook group asking if anyone had an amber bead necklace they weren’t currently using and were willing to let me (a stranger) borrow. I quickly got several responses, 3 of which were offers to let me borrow a necklace.

This kind of brings me back to my Pay It Forward post, because the gesture was so small, but it was so nice to know that there were people out there willing to help someone they don’t know, who are willing to trust a stranger with their belonging, and who would take time out of their day to arrange drop off/pickup.

I’m so, so grateful because the necklace really did make a difference (refer back to my Teething Remedies post for other ideas, but this further demonstrates how great the amber necklaces are). Without the necklace, L was waking up several times at night in misery. The night before I borrowed the necklace, JD sat on the couch with her till 3am before she fell asleep, because it was the absolute only thing that would calm her down. The night we got the necklace, she woke up briefly at 12, then slept through the night. The night after that?  12 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  Ladies and gentlemen, that was a HUGE victory. I felt like I won the teething lottery.

I guess the lesson here is that there’s always going to be bad in the world.  Fortunately, there is good to counteract that.  Accept the bad, but focus on the good.

Also, magic hippie beads work miracles.

Thursday Tip- Teething Remedies

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As mentioned in Tuesday’s post, Loralai’s recent battle with teething has been hard… on everyone in the family.  There’s a lot of suggestions out there for teething remedies, and at this point, we’ve tried nearly all of them.  Of course, things that work great for one kiddo may not for another, but here is a wide variety of options, all in one place.  Good luck!

1. Hylands Teething Tablets: Probably one of the most useful things we’ve tried.  She loves them, they seem to help, they dissolve quickly on her tongue, and they’re homeopathic (hippie-tastic)!  These things are gold in tablet form.

2. Baby Orajel Naturals: I originally stayed away from Baby Orajel after I read about the risks of giving products that contain Benzocaine to babies.  However, I later found out that the Naturals version does NOT have Benzocaine in it, and it seems to help.

3. Amber teething necklace: Part-time and full-fledged hippie moms alike swear by these.  These  are NOT for chewing- there are oils in the amber that are absorbed by the skin and offer natural pain relief.  Plus, I get a lot of compliments on her “cute” necklace (of course, once I excitedly explain about the magic hippie beads, people seem sorry they brought it up).  To some, this may too new-age (and a little far-fetched), but I swear the worst days she’s had have been when she didn’t have the necklace on.

There are a ton of options on Etsy; I ordered ours from this shop.  Some parents worry about the necklaces being a choking hazard- this is where you just have to do what feels right for you.  Ours is very well-made and I’ve never worried about it falling apart or L being in any danger.

4. Baby Ibuprofen/Tylenol: These days, it seems that people are one extreme or the other when it comes to medication.  I’m only part-hippie.  While I don’t want to overmedicate, I do think that medicine is going to help more than hurt if she’s absolutely inconsolable.  I can’t blame her either- sometimes you just need the good stuff.

5. Castor oil: Mix a drop of this with a tablespoon of carrier oil (such as olive or almond oil) and rub on your baby’s gums.  I swear it works better and more quickly than the Orajel.  The one thing you have to be careful is that you dilute it, and when you dilute it, you have to use a carrier oil and not water.  Test on yourself first to make sure it’s not too strong and will irritate your little one’s mouth!

6. Frozen teethers: Not such a hit with her.  I think she doesn’t like that when she holds them, her hands get cold too.  I can’t really blame her for that.

7. Frozen peas/crushed ice: The frozen peas were recommended by my mother-in-law.  Because they’re frozen, they feel good on her gums (without making her hands cold like the frozen teethers), and once she gnaws on them a bit, they get mushy enough for her to swallow (though if you’re nervous about choking, a friend recommended crushed ice, which would melt).  The success rate for this has been about 50/50.  Sometimes it seems  to give her relief, sometimes it only serves as a distraction.

Some moms also use mesh teethers and put a frozen strawberry or something in there.  The mesh part eliminates the choking hazard and most babies love the strawberry 🙂  

8. Distraction: as mentioned in Tuesday’s post, good, old-fashioned distraction works wonders. As long as she’s busy playing and having a good time, she doesn’t stop to think about her teeth, but watch out when you put her in the car seat to leave or get up off the floor to do something else.  Game. Over.

 

Some things I haven’t tried-

Sophie the Giraffe: This is a must have for a lot of moms, but I hesitated from buying one of these when I read a review where a mom reported that her baby rolled onto it and one of the legs jammed down his throat (he was fine, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop worrying about it if she had one).   I later found this version, which eliminates the worry with the legs, and I kind of wish we had one because I think L would probably love it.

Vibrating Teether: The vibration offers a gum massage, although every time I think of getting one, I get a vision of L with a confused, panicked look on her face.  If I come across one, I may try it sometime, but I haven’t gone out of my way to get one.

 

 

I’m Baaaack

Sorry I’ve been MIA for the past week and a half.  I haven’t been neglecting the blog- as you can see, it got a bit of a facelift!  So, what little free time I have has been devoted to more behind the scenes type stuff rather than posting.

The past few weeks have been full of ups and downs.  L is full-on teething and miserable.  It’s SO not like her to be so unhappy all the time.  We’ve tried various remedies, and some have worked better than others but we’ve found that one of the best ways to make her feel better is just to distract her.  Luckily, we’re finally starting to see a spring warm-up, and there have been a few gorgeous days perfect for venturing out to the playground.

She was hesitant at first, but soon she was up stairs, down slides, and back up slides again 🙂

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Little daredevil- she actually made it up this slide almost completely by herself.  I only gave her a small boost.

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She climbed the stairs to this slide and flipped her legs around and slid down all by herself.

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Drumming with dad

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No time to pose for pictures, she had some sliding to do.

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Happy baby was able to forget about that nasty teething pain for a while.

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Look for teething remedies in this week’s Thursday Tip!