Saturday, August 29, 2009

When Your Child Needs Surgery

My daughter Sarah was born full term with a bump on her forehead. My husband and I were later told that nothing I did during pregnancy caused this. It just happens. After a few doctors' visits and an ultrasound it was confirmed that the protrusion on her head was a dermoid cyst.

From the films taken to confirm the diagnosis there was no present evidence of a tumor or anything behind the cyst. However, we were advised that it should be surgically removed as it could grow as Sarah aged. And, we were advised that recovery from surgery for a baby before age three is much easier for this condition, and recommended. So, the journey began to find a pediatric surgeon with glowing references from a well-known reputable children's hospital.

For months I agonized over the decision whether to have Sarah operated on. With this fear and anxiousness, I sought a second opinion from another surgeon as well as another pediatrician, who is now Sarah's doctor. After countless hours of research and tears shed, we made the decision to set up time for Sarah to get the surgery nearly five months in advance.

As I began to share my personal story with others during the decision making process we started to hear their stories similar to ours. This helped my husband and I to gain more comfort in knowing we were doing the right thing by our child.

Needless to say, after months of battling in my head and heart to put my beautiful, full of life, amazing child through surgery and recovery, I am pleased to report that Sarah's surgery is complete and she is recovering well. A few days following surgery, this morning she woke up looking like someone punched her in the eye but the doctor said that that is a normal part of the healing process. She is eating, playing and acting more and more like herself each day. Now we are just awaiting the results on the test of the cyst removed to confirm that it is benign.

There will be many decisions, some stressful and agonizing, as parents we will need to make for our children. Just research hard and talk with other parents experiencing similar situations. Knowledge is indeed power and it did help fuel the confidence we needed to make an important decision regarding our child's health. Therapy might also be a benefit to help talk through your thoughts, decisions and emotions. It worked for me along with the amazing strength and support of my husband.

Bath Time Aversion for Toddler

Sarah is now 19 months and has been getting her baths in a fun, safe, inflatable tub that sits inside our bigger tub. We like this because Sarah has a lesser likelihood of banging her head and other body parts on the porcelain tub itself.

So, to my dismay a few weeks ago, when this sleepy mommy took a shower one morning I accidentally dropped my razor on top of Sarah's inflatable tub, which then slowly deflated. So, I tried patching the tub, which did not work out well at first and then giving Sarah baths in the "big girl" tub. Let's just say she would not have it either way. Her routine was now out of whack. By the time I bought a new tub and repaired the existing tub with liquid nail for plastics (per my brother-in-law, great recommendation) Sarah became out of sorts with bath time.

A mommy group I am part of had other moms sharing similar stories about bath time aversion. One of the recommendations was to get your child involved with bath time. So, this morning we experimented and I offered Sarah to pump the baby shampoo/soap on to the wash cloth while some of it went into the tub. Sarah had her first bubble bath. She had a blast and splashed with her legs trying to find them under the soap.

Not sure how Sarah's next bath will go but you can bet that I will be sure make certain she takes an active part in the planning process so she can enjoy and get back to the ritual she often loved to do.

Safe splashing!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Toddler Sees, Toddler Says

In a blog post a while back I mentioned how above Sarah's changing table lives a family tree I created, which she loves to stand up and look at. It also makes for clothing and diaper changes a little bit easier as far as having a more happy, giggly and talkative toddler.

For many of Sarah's family members on the tree she recognizes and says there names many times. For others, whom she doesn't see as often, she is still learning to connect their names and faces.

But, this morning, something different happened. Sarah said the word Emily and we don't have a family member by that name. But, I then took a closer look at the photo of Mommy, Daddy and Sarah, and realized that what Sarah was pointing at was one of her dolls named Emily in the far background of the photo. Then, I started to look at all the photos differently to see what else was in the background that Sarah could recognize. We then saw boats behind Grammie and Papa, amongst other things. The tree came to life in a whole other way.

Then, I started to realize that there have been some instances where Sarah has said a word like ball or sticker or Elmo and both Daniel and I don't see what she's talking about because the object is either wedged so it can't really be seen or so tiny that it's hard to notice. Sarah seeing Emily is one of the many times we have been reminded that she is not just saying words but actually communicating something she sees.

So, when your little talker says something several times and you are trying to figure it out it's likely that she or he sees an object even if it is the tiny Elmo on the diaper box from far away that you can't see, but is the something she or he is pointing out to get our attention and communicate.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Type A Mommy: Getting Organized, Maximizing Time

I am person with a Type A personality who loves charts and diagrams to help keep organized both personally and professionally. I can never have enough "To Do" lists or pieces of paper to check off "done" items. I especially love to cross out activities done to see how much has been accomplished. For example, I remember back when in the beginning shortly after Sarah was born, I created a check list for when leaving home and packing the diaper bag to make sure I didn't forget anything. Most of the time this list worked out well. On occasion I might forget something or need more of something I did indeed pack but had to improvise. All in all, I was in good shape with this guide.

As a working mom, I have learned to maximize my time with the support of these types of lists and charts since, we moms know there are just not enough hours in the day to get it all done.

For example, when Grammie and Papa used to first come and visit I would spend easily 20-30 minutes explaining what needed to be done. Once, for a wedding that Daniel and I were going to that would keep us away from Sarah for well over 8 hours :( I decided to create a chart including, and this should come as no surprise, diaper changes, feeding times, play time, etc.

The best part about having created this chart is that now, every time that Grammie and Papa come to babysit, all I do is modify the grid based on the time frame they will be there and just a few minutes is spent so that when they arrive, we greet and say our hello's, hug and kiss Sarah goodbye and go.

At first, getting organized can take time, but in the end it helps save time in the long run.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Diaper Changing on the Go

I often give Sarah diaper changes while we are out and about and on the go. I feel like I have become a pro. At first when Sarah was an itty bitty little thing it was no problem changing her with the small mat that comes with most diaper bags. She would fit perfectly on these mats until she started growing more including her legs, which are rather long, and; therefore, we needed a new mat to grow with her. The great news is that our dear friend Amanda had given us a much bigger sized changing pad that has since become my most important tool on the go.

Also, since our car has a hatch back, a vinyl waterproof changing pad is also great tool to have in the back for quick clothing, swimsuit and diaper changes while out on the go. Just this afternoon, as Sarah had fallen asleep for her nap I wanted to change her so she would sleep longer before putting her in the stroller. So, I wiped off the changing pad in the trunk of our car and proceeded to give her a diaper change there. She remained asleep through the change and during the transfer to her stroller.

Every time I use the changing pad in the car I often think I am so glad that I have this with us because many times it's just too hard to position Sarah on the back seat of the car or on blanket that has been in the car collecting dust. With the vinyl changing pad you can easily wipe them down, and for a quick change, all are happy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Julia Child and Blackbird Pie

This morning Daniel was changing Sarah's diaper. During this process Sarah often likes to sing songs and make up songs along the way. Further, she also likes it when songs are sung in different voices. Sometimes Elmo's voice joins in on the diddies that Daddy and I sing.

Since seeing the movie "Julie and Julia" for a date night yesterday, it should then come as no surprise that Julia Child entered our home this morning singing some children's' songs too. Not really sure if Blackbird Pie, from the song "Sing a Song of Sixpence" is a recipe in her famous cookbook, or something she would have conjured up on her own, but it was indeed funny to hear Daniel signing it in "Julia-style" to keep Sarah happy.

Please know I mean no disrespect to Julia Child. In fact, since I am neither a cook nor someone who fancies cooking, I was; however, pleased to learn about a woman who clearly had a wonderful spirit and sense of humor. And, this morning, Daniel shared that joy of Julia Child, with our daughter.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Relaxation and Laughter a Must for Any Parent

Sarah's Grammie and Papa insisted that Daniel and I have a date night tonight selfishly so they could spend one-on-one time with Sarah and so we could have some much needed and wanted time off. So, we graciously accepted their generous offer for a few hours off, child-free.

I have to tell you that time off from parenting duties are an absolute must for all parents, when possible. And, it's a great way for our children to become even closer with extended family members. As much as I love Sarah I also know that I need time to relax and unwind and laugh really hard with just my husband.

We went to go see "Julie and Julia" at the movie theater and really enjoyed it. It was actually a really good flick and one with a number of laughs. And, I have to admit, the entire time I did not think of being a parent or responsibilities as I knew Sarah was in great hands with her grandparents who have babysat for her many times before.

We then came home to an extremely happy child who had a great visit with her grandparents and ordered a pizza, all of us, and unwound and laughed some more.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sarah Can Say Her Name

I am truly fascinated by Sarah's growth and development since she's really the only child I have spent enough time with to see any direct influence. I am blown away by how much her mind is working trying to learn new words and phrases as she develops and changes daily. And, her vocabulary has been changing dramatically as well now that she is 19 months. Words are coming to her much more easily and this certainly helps with our ability to communicate with her more effectively.

Recently, Sarah said her name for the first time. And, in the instant this happened I was so excited because now she really is processing and understanding that her words have meaning and representation. I find it rather funny that Sarah doesn't think her name is "Monkey" since that is what Daniel and I have been calling her, too, since birth. So, I am glad that Sarah is a recognizable word for her and one that she associates herself with.

I was convinced that it would be a while longer before Sarah would be able to say her name fully, with the "S" consonant often being a challenging one for a child in the early stages of speech. So, you can imagine how excited I was to hear her say her name and that now that she knows who she is.

This is all so cool and exciting all at the same time.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

8/20 - NYC Event on Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

I do public relations for a living with a focus on health care topics. I am especially passionate about the causes that involve protecting our children. So, if you happen to be in NYC today, 8/20, come on by the Sounds of Pertussis event in Times Square (Military Island) at the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets to learn more about the disease and what you can do as a parent to protect yourself and help prevent the transmission of pertussis (a.k.a. - whooping cough) to your infant.

Visit http://www.soundsofpertussis.com/ to see a public service announcement featuring actress and mother Jennifer Lopez in conjunction with March of Dimes and Sanofi Pasteur promoting the cause to help encourage and urge adults and in close contact with infants to talk with a health care provider about the adult pertussis booster, Tdap.

My husband and I got the vaccine right after Sarah was born and urge you to do the same if you have a little one at home who is not yet fully immunized.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Time Away from Baby

I love spending time with Sarah watching her learn, grow, and many times sleep. What can I say, she is beautiful to watch. And, being a full time working mommy, the time I have with her is so incredibly precious.

However, I have also learned and realized as a parent that is an absolute must, as much as it's hard to do emotionally and physically, to carve time out for both Daddy and I, as well as alone time for me. In order to be the best mommy, wife and person it's important to have this balance even with the limited number of hours in the day.

As many mommies and daddies know parenting is an incredibly rewarding and difficult job all at the same time and time off is necessary. This does not mean a parent loves their child any less. It means that sometimes we just need time away to refuel and reenergize so we are best for all, including ourselves.

So, as much as I want to spend as many waking hours with Sarah, I do get manicures and haircuts or nights out with girlfriends without child in tow, or go to the movies or out to dinner with my hubby. This also provides Sarah great opportunity to spend additional alone time with grandparents and aunts and uncles who love to babysit.

Be good to yourself and know that it's okay to take time away from baby for personal time off or much needed alone time with your spouse or partner. Your happiness and good health will be good for you and your baby too.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tired Mommy, Guilty Mommy

It has been a long, rough and arduous month at work with many, many projects and activities happening all at once, too much actually. And, Fridays, are traditionally my day off to spend with my daughter.

However, today, I guiltily decided that I was going to take Sarah to daycare so that I could go to the dentist, have a little bit of down time and try to get some chores done. What added to this decision is the fact that I broke my toe last week and my ability to run after Sarah is somewhat limited.

I shed some tears earlier this morning and got a good lecture from my hubby on the need for me to be good to myself and know that it's okay to do this and that I am not a terrible mommy. Once the guilt subsided and I, unfortunately, got caught up in work needs, the daylight is nearly over. My desk is still a mess and laundry needs to be put away.

So instead, I am about to head out, cover up my boot with a plastic bag, and take Sarah to the sprinklers so she can run around and get soaking wet on this hot summer's day. We will start with a big hug and kiss and discuss her day and the joys she had reading, learning, playing with dolls and stacking blocks, amongst other things.

Being a full time mom is hard work. Being a full time working mom is also hard work. So, fellow mommy's, be good to yourself and allow yourself some down time where possible to refuel.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Playground Etiquette

I would like to think that when a mom or dad, or nanny or grandparent, or any other person taking care of a child takes them to a public space such as a playground they would be cognizant and considerate enough to close the gate once they have come inside.

While I completely understand that I am responsible for my own child, I have see other children run out onto sidewalks and into streets because adults do not take responsibility for closing these playground gates, which are there to help keep our children safe and protected within reason.

I don't have much to say here except that I am extremely frustrated with the adults in my neighborhood who continue to not close these playground gates who then become shocked to find their unattended children somewhere else, or heaven forbid, not aware at all, in the middle of a street. Some of these adults even shrug it off like it's no big deal.

Maybe I am an overprotective parent who wants to best for my child and that includes safety. While I can't expect others to follow suit with how I protect my child there should be some common sense rules. Feel free to keep your doors open in your homes and play areas but public spaces should be a safe space for children to play and adults need to take responsibility.

My only advice here is continue to be cognizant for your own child and don't expect much from others especially when it comes to closing gates in playgrounds and other much needed areas where our children need this protection for their own good.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Giving the Zoo a Second Chance

We decided to give the zoo another try since our first experience, while not terrible, was not great as it also required a lot of work as far as transportation goes. This time around we decided to go to a different zoo closer to home involving a short drive, free parking and no schlepping on public transportation taking well over an hour each way.

This turned out to be a much more relaxed trip even with my broken toe. Sometimes it's nice to experience historic landmarks or major events, but it is also worth considering local attractions and those with less fanfare as they may be just as fun and easy for parent and child. This is what worked for us and may work for you.

The great news is that this zoo experience with Sarah was indeed much more memorable and fun. Not only did she ride on a pony (very, very cool), which I was so excited to see and expected her to run in the other direction from, she also had a great time feeding crackers to alpacas, donkeys and goats in the children's section of the zoo.

It was rather amazing to see Sarah, instead of running away from the animals, running right towards them. She was giggly, happy and enjoying herself, giving crackers to the animals who were gracious for the treats. And, we were so amazed at her fearless nature and desire to want to get up close and personal with the animals we thought she would otherwise be afraid of. In fact, the animals were likely more afraid of Sarah than the other way around.

This zoo experience has definitely been given two thumbs up, or as my husband likes saying, two hooves up. One very important tip I recommend, arrive early before all the crowds get there as it will make for a more enjoyable experience.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Parenting with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Long before I had Sarah I was diagnosed with a condition known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This condition is indeed real. Interestingly, my husband has it and so did our late cat Maggie.

When I experience an episode of IBS I refer to it as an "IBS attack." There is no right time for it to happen and it typically tends to happen when I am not close to a bathroom. Lucky me. It's a condition certainly not convenient especially when you are with your child who needs your undivided attention.

During my pregnancy I was rather lucky as far as my IBS goes. There were three ways my condition could have happened during this time: escalating, subsiding or staying the same. I was fortunate, that at this time my IBS stayed relatively at bay. Even under great duress (when my mother had two heart attacks -- she's well now thank goodness) I was able to keep my IBS under control. In that situation there was no room for me to get overwhelmed because I was carrying a baby and needed to be responsible for her and couldn't afford to take any risks emotionally. Boy, did I ever want to cry and lose it completely in these instances.

Flash forward, my mother is healthy and well, yet there are many other stressors including parenting, work, and life in general that continue to get in the way and impact my condition, which can be inconvenient, impromptu and disabling in nature.

Over the years I have learned that my IBS tends to be stress related. The downside, no pun intended here, to this condition is that it does indeed happen in a moment's notice. My body becomes a ticking time bomb waiting to find a bathroom. My intestines tighten up and the only means of comfort is release.

I will say that treatment has been a great benefit for me in helping to manage my condition. Before and after pregnancy, but not during, I often took specific medication on an as needed basis. But, lately, with Sarah, knowing how alert and on the ready I need to be, I have been encouraged to take it regularly as directed by my physician. There have been one or two instances where if it weren't for stickers, being with a friend or family member or at home I might have had an embarassing accident, one I would just have to deal with.

The lesson here for me, and possibly others with this condition, is to be in the mindset, similiar to when I was pregnant, to:
+ try and stay calm (I know much easier said than done) where possible
+ eat healthy
+ reduce caffeine intake
+ embrace treatment (where appropriate and under the guise of your physican)

With this motivation I just have to hope that IBS will not be a deterrent, especially as a parent, that could cause an inconvenient situation but instead enable me to be in better control and able to continue being the active, on the go mommy I am.

Increasing Breast Milk Supply

I have responded to a number of blogs, message boards and in-person conversations over the past year with many new mommies nursing or pumping breast milk asking how can they increase their breast milk supply. While I am not a licensed lactation consultant or breast feeding specialist, I am one of these mommies who asked this very question as well and experienced this very situation pleading for help.

Based on my experience of nursing and pumping breast milk for 13 months with my daughter here are some tips that I used and were guided to consider. I must caveat that my daughter was nursed and fed breast milk in a bottle when I had to go back to work. We nursed mornings and evenings during the week and for all meals on the weekends. So, take my tips as you see fit.

+ If possible, get rest and don't stress (I know this is much easier said than done) Just know that getting worried that you are not pumping enough milk can also decrease your supply
+ Drink lots and lots of water
+ Eat healthy (I didn't always follow this, but tried)
+ Take warm showers
+ Don't wear under wire bras as they can block milk ducts
+ Try different feeding positions (e.g., cradle hold, football hold)
+ Try mother's milk herbal tea
+ Reach out to organizations such as La Leche League - http://www.llli.org/ - who you can speak with on the phone and attend local area meetings with other moms
+ Consider hiring a lactation consultant who can come to your home to help you one-on-one
+ Consult with your mom friends and even new moms through blogs and message boards who can commiserate with you and share there experiences

Additional tips for moms who are pumping milk as well:
+ Pump at the same time each day (or at least close in time)
+ Add an additional pumping session if you are able to
+ Pump on the weekends too, in addition to nursing

Being the crazy multi-tasker that I am I realized that when time was spent with Sarah in the high chair starting at age 6 months for dinner for about 20 minutes, this was a good time to hook on my "go-go" nursing bra and attach the pump parts. A really good look but I am definitely not going to be sharing pictures.

If you are really stressing and just not producing enough breast milk, and this does happen, it is okay to consider formula as a supplement to your breast milk. Your child will benefit well from a happy mommy.

The biggest tip I can offer to any mom nursing or pumping breast milk is to be good to yourself and know that you are doing the very best that you can for your baby. Just being concerned that you are not producing enough milk means you care to want to make more for your growing child. Consider my suggested tips, or not, and enjoy the amazing bonding experience you are creating with your child through nursing and offering breast milk.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

When Mommy Needs the Boo Boo Buddy - Part 2

I am sad to report that my toe is officially broken. In fact, the doctor grossly described it as a "New York City pot hole fracture." Lucky me gets to wear the unattractive bulky black bootie. Maybe Sarah can help me decorate it with stickers and glitter. It's already going to be an eyesore so we might as well make it worth looking at and talking about.

Being a mommy definitely has it rewards, but boy, with all the running around trying to get it all done, even with the incredible support of my husband, it has is repercussions too.

With this blog, I often try to provide insights and lessons from my experience. From this unfortunate situation I could say that I need to slow down and take my time, but let's be real. I am a full time working mommy. There is a Dale Carnegie phrase coming to mind -- "The need to get more done, better, faster, with less." I think Mr. Carnegie was thinking about this for parents especially.

The reality is if I want to keep this body in tact I really need to slow down, at least a little, or just get better at being a skilled multi-tasker, which I thought I mastered rather well.

While my DNA seems to make me prone to accidents, or so it feels that way, I guess I just need to pump in just a little bit more caffeine for energy, eat more healthy, exercise (yeah right, with what free time) and try not to expect to get it all done.

Snap out of it!

Since I have an active 18 month old on the loose I just need to be extra cognizant of how I do things and just have carry around as many lucky charms as possible to help prevent future injury.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

When Mommy Needs the Boo Boo Buddy - Part 1

Ever since I was a child I often scuffed my knees or twisted my ankle from overactive play or just being plain old accidental. Knock on wood, the only body part that has ever been broken, and hope it remains that way, was my left pinky finger, which got turned back during the 8th grade science fair but a classmate who thought it would be funny to see what would happen. Let's just say I don't remember how this happened exactly but you can be sure that I am no longer friends with her.

Since becoming a mommy I have to say my tendency towards injury has not subsided but instead continued. Just this morning Sarah and I were walking with her in the stroller when a fellow mommy stopped to say hello. While Sarah's stroller proceeded to stop suddenly, my right foot decided otherwise and came crashing into the wheel. Right then and there all I wished for was Sarah's boo boo buddy and a place to sit down. The sad part about this is that the toe I injured doesn't even have a really good name. It's not like it's the pinky toe or the big toe but instead a fourth phalange. You can't really call it the ring toe, now can you? Well, for other mommy's maybe, but for this conservative mommy, not likely.

After being urged by my husband to go and get my toe checked out, I did. I was fortunate to have a podiatrist located near my office and able to make a quick appointment. After being examined, X-rayed and taped up I now await the results to find out whether it is broken.

With an 18 month old on the loose I can't afford to be off my feet or limping around. I am such a klutz it's ridiculous. I am just hoping that my toe is just badly bruised or sprained and not broken.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Clipping Toddler's Nails

If your child is anything like mine nail clipping no matter how you explain it is not a fun task.

When Sarah was an infant, there were two ways I could trim her nails. One time was during nursing and the other time when she was fast asleep. When breastfeeding stopped at age 13 months sleep time was the only time for this task.

No matter whether we used fun, playful or soothing music or even favorite toys and blankets, loud yelps would come from Sarah the moment I attempted to clip her nails. We even tried clipping my nails, Daddy's, and even Curious George's, but she wasn't having it.

So if any of these approaches work for you I am envious. For those whose children are more like mine, this is what we do. Have one pair of nail clippers at home and one in your diaper bag when you are out and about. When your child is asleep - clip, clip, clip. This weekend, for example, when Daddy was in Target picking up a few things, Sarah was asleep in her car seat I gave her a manicure and pedicure. This then became a much less stressful process for both mommy and toddler.

I look forward to the day Sarah is old enough to want to get every color of the rainbow painted on her trimmed nails. In the meantime, I will have to resort to nail trimmings at home or on the go when Sarah is fast asleep.

Any other tips or advice feel free to share.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pets and Children

Pets, including cats, just like babies, should go to the doctor often for check ups and vaccinations.

During my pregnancy we learned through reading, other parents, as well as our vet that there are a number things we needed to be aware of while preparing for Sarah's arrival, as far as our pets go, and as means to protect ourselves generally.

+ No more helping to clean out the litter box due to the potential risk of contracting
toxoplasmosis which can be harmful to unborn fetuses. Let's just say I was happy to give up this task -- sorry Sammy. There is no need to send your lovable feline away just take extra precautions

+ Wear shoes, socks or slippers around the house, no bare feet during pregnancy, as cats do, innocently, get litter in their paws and then track it around the house

+ Get your cat tested for Cat Scratch Disease (CSD) -- a bacterial disease caused by Bartonella henselae. Most cats do not show any signs of this illness; therefore, you cannot tell which cats can spread the disease to you and your children and others in contact with your lovable feline.

Considering our Sammy was an indoor geriatric cat with the occasional tummy trouble and such over the years, it was a shock for us to find that she was living with CSD especially with a baby on the way. This cat has been the vet every year, many times for many well visits and sometimes sick visits and is up to date on all of her vaccinations. So, you can imagine we were rather surprised.

Nonetheless,the vet then told us that with a month long course of antibiotics for Sammy, and us, especially me, taking extra precautions when playing with her during this time to avoid accidental scratching, all would be fine. The good news is that Sammy has been free of CSD and not a risk to anyone she comes in contact with. The only thing you may get from Sammy is a lot of love and requests for belly rubs and food.

Most people ask, as it relates to dogs, whether they have had their rabies shots. Well, for cats, it's important to ask whether they have had their vaccinations and the test for CSD. Like babies, pets, and cats, even if they are indoor pets, need to go for well visits and sick visits. Sammy showed no signs of CSD and due to a routine visit that involved questions surrounding my pregnancy including tips, this test of our pet came about and now we, and all our family and friends, are protected.

Should you or your child ever get scratched or bitten by an animal, even an indoor cat, please ask their owner to get them tested for CSD. Also, talk with your doctor about signs and symptoms to be aware of should any necessary measures need to be taken immediately or in the following days after an accidental animal bite or scratch.

So, I strongly urge and encourage pet owners to please take your pets for well visits and don't hesitate asking questions to help protect them, you, your children and everyone else that comes in contact with your lovable, furry family member.

Halloween Candy for the Troops

While we all recover from over indulging in too much candy during Halloween, still the candy is in our homes staring at us willing us to...