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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mom Tips for Tonsillectomy Recovery

I am not a doctor by any means, but here some tips from one mom to another! Both of my twins have had their tonsils and adenoids out, one at age 5 and one at 8 1/2 years old. Both boys have different recovery times, so I can't tell you exact time lines, but these tips gathered from several moms and our own experience made the process easier.

Every kid is different (even twins)! My two kids recovered in different time periods, but the tips below helped both. My first took longer to recover at age 5, but I used what we learned on the second to help speed the recovery process for when his brother got his out at age 8 1/2.  GOOD LUCK!

  • Make it fun by including your child in the prep! Let your kid help with shopping, it turns the fear into anticipation. I took my son to pick out all his favorite pudding & Gatorade flavors and we cleaned out a shelf just for him in the fridge before hand. He felt very special telling the nurse that he had a whole shelf just for him.
  • Buy some useful surprises for day of surgery. I bought a few dishwasher-safe Character Tumblers , helping prevent off dehydration. We also bought new books at library sale, special just for recovery.
  • Make it fun by including friends the morning of. We took lots of pictures the morning of, posted to social media, and lots of friends sent encouraging texts that he read before the surgery. This worked better for my 8 year old, than 5 year old.  ;)  He likes attention, so if your child is shy, or not a praise junkie like mine, this may not work as well. 
  • Bring a stuffed animal or special blanket to surgery if your child still sleeps with one. 

  • Stay ahead of the pain!!! Do not wait until they say they have pain. Stay on schedule with your medicine, even waking up your child in the night to give them medicine for the first 3-5 days.  I promise you  waking up a child 1-3 times a night to give him medicine is much better & shorter process then your child waking up in pain as their meds wear off. 
  • Keep a log of what medicine you give when; it is VERY easy to loose track, especially when switching between Tylenol and Motrin.  This is especially important if your doctor gives your child a narcotic type pain med, like hydrocodone. 
  •  Ice Packs on throat for the first few days was helpful, along with ever popular Popsicle of course to sooth the swollen uvula. 
  • Keep that throat wet! I explain more below in Sleep, but keep humidifier or cool mist Essential Oil Diffuser  near them as much as possible.  Drink, drink, drink!  Do not let those scabs dry out, or they will hurt more.  
  • Expect possible Ear pain. Around Day 7-10, my sons complained more of ear pain than throat pain.  The doctor said it was deferred pain, but the ice packs still helped.
  •  Be OK with more TV than you would ever let your kids watch!
  • Gets a ton of Audio Books.  These were great to rest when he wasn't sleepy enough to nap, but needed to rest his eyes.
  • Take a Library trip beforehand, hide the books until they get home from surgery.  My kids are bookworms.  If your kid likes movies and video games, get new ones from the library.  New is good, it distracts from pain. 

  • Use humidifier to keep throat from drying out overnight!!!!  This was the game changer in our first son's surgery; even when we stayed on schedule for medicine, he was waking up in extreme pain every morning, until we added a humidifier next to head while he slept. We started off with a humidifier on our 2nd son's surgery it made all the difference! We used our Essential Oil Diffuser with a few drops of lavender oil. 
  • Sleep with head elevated.  We used a husband pillow under his regular pillow to ensure our son slept upright and didn't roll off to his stomach. We didn't do this the first few days on 1st son, and when we added it, it made a difference!
  • As referred to in pain management, WAKE UP your child for pain medicine the first 5-6 nights. I promise it will be easier than calming down a child who is severe pain. Younger children bounce back quicker, so you may only need to do this the first 3 to 4 days, depending in their pain level. 
  • Give them a Bell so your child doesn't have to cry out to you and hurt their throat.

  • After the first day (no dairy the first day) we had  our son drink a chocolate ensure, calling it a milkshake to get him to excited.  Since he didn't eat much the first 3 days, I knew he was still getting complete nutrition.
  • The sooner the child can start chewing, the better for his healing process, but you really want to avoid bleeding. After the third day, we introduced soft food that could help in chewing, but not cause bleeding, like scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, and spaghetti.   Your child may complain of ear pain as they chew.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Set a Fire- Power of Words

I do not consider myself an expert of words, I consider myself a student of words.  I love words, and I am always seeking the best way to use them, or not use them.

If you don't know me personally, know that  I am what they call "a talker".  I have had the "gift of gab" all my life, but not always considered it a gift.  God has used me words  teach others, but I have also tasted foot in my mouth more times than I'd like to count. Many times in my life I have been shamed by others, and shamed myself, for the amount of words I use. Being a better steward of my words is a life-long pursuit.  Even in this, I still love Words.  Words are my life.  They are beautiful and they are brutal.  They are my strength, and they are my weakness. 

“So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites." James 3:5
On August 24, 2000 a  woman stopped by the road to light her cigarette,  she threw the match she used to light it down, and left.  Several day later,  the fire she caused came to be known as  "The Jasper Fire", and had destroyed 83,000 acres of the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Over $40 million of timber was destroyed.

I grieve the lost of this timber deeply and personally. I know first hand the time and work that goes into that much timber. My father in law plants Walnut  trees for future timber.  He planted them when my 8 year olds were just babies, knowing that when my children are adults, they could possibly harvest those same walnuts for $10,000 plus a tree.  That is a LONG term investment if I ever saw one, the opposite of a quick buck.  It requires years of patience, and care.  The trees are not left alone after planting, but checked  for to prevent scaring as the years go by. Yet all that time and investment can burn up with a careless action of a match being thrown.

Sometimes we walk away from a conversation, not realizing that our words were a match; not realizing we just burned a bridge, or set a fire of gossip and disunity. We could even be setting ablaze to years of healing, and helping confirm a lie that Satan wants the person to believe. This is a sobering thought, and it should be.  Words have power.  Many times, like the woman who drove away from the lit match, the destruction affect others much more than it affects you.

Yes , words have power, but it is not necessarily only the power to destroy. We can not let the fear control us, and keep us from speaking.

I think of the difference in what kind of power your words will have is like the difference between a wild bonfire that kills years of growth versus the light in a million lamps, or the fire that heats our houses and feed our families. 
 “So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things.  James 3:3a
Fire can make great destruction, but can also make great growth. Fire feeds us, it cooks our food, it guides us the utter darkness, it is POWERFUL in a best sense of the word. 

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." Proverbs 18:2
One simple way God has been showing me that I can set some “good fires” is to just be a noticerGenuine kind words can start fires that spread farther into someone’s soul than we could even fathom. 
We have all heard the saying “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all." I am flipping that into, “If you have something nice to say, say it.”Notice the good in others, then say it.  There are many times in life where the thought does not count,  you actually have to actually speak

I am not encouraging flattery.  Flattery is false and boosts yourself other then the recipient, but encouragement comes when we genuinely notice the good in others, without seeking benefit to ourselves. 

Mark Twain once said ‘I could live for two months on a good compliment.”   Noticing  the good in others doesn't have to be complicated , or even worthy of  a Hallmark-Card, just a simple notice of of another with your words. When you think how much you like your friend, text her that exact thing. A simple "I am glad you are my friend" is a great surprise in their day.  I am stressing seizing the opportunities, small or big, to speak kindness into someone’s life. 

 I once had an acquaintance once tell me in passing how stylish she thought I always looked. She had no idea the life-long struggle I have with insecurity and not seeing myself as beautiful, or worthy of affection. That complement warmed my soul. That warmth affected how I interacted with my husband; I was more affectionate and able to pour encouragement into him because I wasn’t seeking for him “to make me feel beautiful”. My ability to encourage him turn effected how he interacted with his co-workers, which then effected how they interact with foster parents, then effect those foster parents interactions with foster children.

See, I just traced  how someone telling me I looked cute helped foster kids! 

While that may seem a little far fetched, I want to echo my pastor's teaching on Jesus's miracle of feeding the five thousand, “Little is much in Jesus’ hands”.  Our little encouragements can be used for so much in God’s hands. You never know what lie Satan is wanting a friend to believe (they are too ugly for their husband, their friends are better off if they aren’t there, etc).  Pray God lets you be a noticer this week. Pray that your little words are much in Jesus' hands. 

 If you have something nice to say, say it.

Fire's power is all about who controls it. 

“The lips of the godly feed and guide many.” Proverbs 10:21a

I think as a mother, a sister, a friend, and teacher, my goal in life is to help feed and guide those in my life. As I read scripture about the power of words,  I was struck by the words that are NOT used in this verse. God also convicted me there are several words I  try to substitute this verse instead of the word Godly.  The substitutions try justify me working in my own power and strength :

“The lips of the ______ feed and guide many.”

Not mentioned in the verse:

I am not saying these words are bad, because many are all wonderful descriptors that are part of who God made us, but none of them will be a everlasting fuel to the Godly Fire we want to set. When you approach encouragement and friendships with SOLELY these fuels, you will burn out, or worse, unintentionally set a fire of destruction.  Trust me that I am speaking from experience on this one.  

What this verse tells me is not to focus on my words, but to focus on the source of my words. Godliness is in essence devotion.  I do not have to be perfect to have the perfect words.  I do need to be devoted to God, devoted to seeking HIS words first. 

This is a HUGE truth for me to try to grasp, what is my motivation in my words? Am I seeking Godliness before I seek "the perfect words"?  Or I seeking validation, value, praise, or my own glory? My prayer is that I focus my heart and thoughts on Godliness, He will bring forth words that feed and guide many.

So again, My challenge this week is seek to set a fire that feeds a friends heart. Pray, seek God.  Then if you have something nice to say, say it.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Easy Red Enchilada Sauce

I never thought I'd be one to make my own Enchilada sauce, but necessity is the mother of invention.  I tinkered with a few recipes last month when we were snowed in and I was craving enchiladas. I am sure it isn't super authentic, but my family LOVES it, and it goes great with my Freezer Chicken Enchiladas.

Easy Red Enchilada Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3-4 teaspoons chili powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup salsa (as mild or as spicy as your your family likes)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken broth

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, oregano, chili powder, basil, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, parsley, salsa and tomato sauce.
  3. Mix together and then stir in the broth.
  4.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. 
Sidenote: I read if you simmer longer, the flavor is even better, but I haven't had the patience to wait yet.
I tripled the above recipe,
 because why make one when you can make three?