Tag Archives: family

Friday Family Fun Blog Hop #5

Welcome to the Math Lovin’ Momma’s Friday Family Fun Blog Hop!

Take a look around, check out our featured post for the week,
then link up your own post and find a new blogger to love! We also appreciate any likes, comments, and shares you’d like to give!

Get ready for week 5!

I love to read blog posts about family vacation and road trips, family game nights, and crafts that are fun for the whole family. I like stories about family time gone wrong, family time gone right, and everything in between.

My family members are the most important people in my life. So  I think it’s only natural to want to learn more about places I might want to go and things I might want to do with those special people. (Maybe some food I’d like to cook with them!)

 This Week’s Featured Posts:

 Without further ado, I want to introduce this week’s featured blogger!

Be sure to grab the graphic below for your post! Just copy and paste the html code onto the end of your blog post!

The Math Lovin' Momma


My featured blog post this week is written by Claudia, The Busy Blogging Mom! Her post,
How to Accommodate Different Foods and Needs – 7 Tips, isn’t just for families with diverse diet needs! Most of her tips are just good practice for busy families.  

My favorite tip?

Don’t be afraid to try new things!

Some of my family’s favorite meals are ones that I decided to try on a whim. If you don’t try it you’ll never know if you like it. Plus, how are you going to build up a list of ‘go-to’ recipes if you eat the same thing every week? Do yourself a favor and go check out the other 6 tips.

If you didn’t post last week but want to join in this week keep reading for the details!

Here’s How it Works!

Please help support me by following me on my social media profiles listed in the sidebar. While you’re hopping be sure to come back and vote for your favorite posts so we can pick a reader’s choice next week. I will be pinning and tweeting all the posts linked up!

Readers: Check out the list of blog posts below. Click on any that sound like they would be interesting to you! Read, comment, and/or share to show your support for the posts you like! Come back to the list and comment with your favorite post, that way next week I can showcase the reader favorite!

Bloggers: Link up any post related to Family. Then visit a couple of the other blogs listed and see what  they have to say, leave a comment, and maybe even share a post that you loved! Come back to the list and comment with your favorite post, that way next week I can showcase the reader favorite! If you’re so inclined, grab my blog button and put it on your post to show others where you linked up!

Grab button for THE MATH LOVIN’ MOMMA

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Next week, along with the reader favorite, I’ll pick a few of my favorites and highlight them in the link up post.

The link up will be open from Friday 5/13 at 9:00 PM CST to Tuesday 5/17 at midnight CST. Please feel free to share with friends!

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Picket Fence Blogs!

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Friday Family Fun Blog Hop #4

Welcome to the Math Lovin’ Momma’s Friday Family Fun Blog Hop!

Take a look around, check out our featured post for the week,
then link up your own post and find a new blogger to love! We also appreciate any likes, comments, and shares you’d like to give!

Week #4! Slowly but surely! 

I love to read blog posts about family vacation and road trips, family game nights, and crafts that are fun for the whole family. I like stories about family time gone wrong, family time gone right, and everything in between.

My family members are the most important people in my life. So  I think it’s only natural to want to learn more about places I might want to go and things I might want to do with those special people. (Maybe some food I’d like to cook with them!)

 This Week’s Featured Posts:

Still no reader favorites from last week! Be sure if you read a blog post you like you come back and hit ‘Like’ by their picture. However, I do want to introduce this week’s featured blogger!

Be sure to grab the graphic below for your post! Just copy and paste the html code onto the end of your blog post!

The Math Lovin' Momma


My featured blogger this week is Chantal, The Busy Blogging Mom! Her post,
12 Housekeeping Tips for the Unnatural Homemaker, was just what I needed to help me remember that I don’t have to be perfect at keeping house as long as I do my best! 

12 Housekeeping Tips for the Unnatural Housekeeper

My favorite tip?

Set a timer and go hard for 15 minutes each day.

I mean, who doesn’t have at least 15 minutes a day to devote to keeping house. Did you lay in bed for an extra 15 minutes this morning? Or sit on the couch for a half hour to watch your favorite show? If you can make time for that I’m sure you can find 15 minutes to make your life a little less crazy every day! 

Check out her post for other great housekeeping tips.

If you didn’t post last week but want to join in this week keep reading for the details!

Here’s How it Works!

Please help support me by following me on my social media profiles listed in the sidebar. While you’re hopping be sure to come back and vote for your favorite posts so we can pick a reader’s choice next week. I will be pinning and tweeting all the posts linked up!

Readers: Check out the list of blog posts below. Click on any that sound like they would be interesting to you! Read, comment, and/or share to show your support for the posts you like! Come back to the list and click ‘Like’ next to any that you liked, that way next week I can showcase the reader favorite!

Bloggers: Link up any post related to Family. Then visit a couple of the other blogs listed and see what  they have to say, leave a comment, and maybe even share a post that you loved! Come back to the list and click ‘Like’ next to any that you liked, that way next week I can showcase the reader favorite! If you’re so inclined, grab my blog button and put it on your post to show others where you linked up!

Grab button for THE MATH LOVIN’ MOMMA

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<a href=”http://www.mathlovinmomma.com” rel=”nofollow”>
<img src=” http://www.mathlovinmomma.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Blog-Button.jpg” ” alt=”Math Lovin’ Momma” width=”200″ height=”200″ />
</a>
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Next week, along with the reader favorite, I’ll pick a few of my favorites and highlight them in the link up post.

The link up will be open from Friday 5/6 at 9:00 PM CST to Tuesday 5/10 at midnight CST. Please feel free to share with friends!



If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

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Friday Family Fun Blog Link Up!

Friday Family Fun Blog Post Link Up

Here we go! Week 2!! 

I love to read blog posts about family vacation and road trips, family game nights, and crafts that are fun for the whole family. I like stories about family time gone wrong, family time gone right, and everything in between.

My family members the most important people in my life. So  I think it’s only natural to want to learn more about places I might want to go and things I might want to do with those special people.

 This Week’s Featured Posts:

Since last week was my first attempt at this blog hop thing I didn’t have many link-up so I don’t have a reader favorite to feature (not enough votes). But I do want to introduce this week’s featured blogger!(The perks of getting in on the ground floor?!) Be sure to grab the graphic below for your post! Just copy and paste the html code onto the end of your blog post!

The Math Lovin' Momma


My featured blogger this week is Lorelei! Her post, How to Find Your Core Competencies, was inspiring! I loved the prompts to help me get started finding out what my core competencies are and how I can use them to make my life more intentional.

Cultivate a greater sense of ownership over the necessary, everyday, unglamorous tasks. Caring for your home, and your loved ones is more vibrant when it is intentional. Find your core competencies. Click to read more.Capture

I think sometimes we take our daily life for granted. We don’t realize the awesome things we do every day. For instance, folding clothes is a chore I don’t mind but if I didn’t do it we’d have piles of clothes everywhere, all the time. (Sometimes we do anyway.)

Anywho… Go check out Lorelei’s post and find out what you do better than everyone else!

If you didn’t post last week but want to join in this week keep reading for the details!

Here’s How it Works!

Readers: Check out the list of blog posts below. Click on any that sound like they would be interesting to you! Read, comment, and/or share to show your support for the posts you like! Come back to the list and click ‘Like’ next to any that you liked, that way next week I can showcase the reader favorite!

Bloggers: Link up any post related to Family. Then visit a couple of the other blogs listed and see what  they have to say, leave a comment, and maybe even share a post that you loved! Come back to the list and click ‘Like’ next to any that you liked, that way next week I can showcase the reader favorite!

Next week, along with the reader favorite, I’ll pick a few of my favorites and highlight them in the link up post.

The link up will be open from Friday 4/22 at 9:00 PM CST to Monday 4/25 at midnight CST. Feel free to share with friends!



If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Picket Fence Blogs!

Friday Family Fun & Story Time Link Up: Week 1

Friday Family Fun & Story Time Link Up

I want to try something new this week.

A blog post link up!

I love to read blog posts about family vacation and road trips, family game nights, and crafts that are fun for the whole family. I like stories about family time gone wrong, family time gone right, and everything in between.

My family members the most important people in my life. So  I think it’s only natural to want to learn more about places I might want to go and things I might want to do with those special people.

So here it is, the first edition of Friday Family Fun and Story Time Link Up!

Readers: Check out the list of blog posts below. Click on any that sound like they would be interesting to you! Read, comment, and/or share to show your support for the posts you like! Come back to the list and click ‘Like’ next to any that you liked, that way next week I can showcase the reader favorite!

Bloggers: Link up any post related to Family. Then visit a couple of the other blogs listed and see what  they have to say, leave a comment, and maybe even share a post that you loved! Come back to the list and click ‘Like’ next to any that you liked, that way next week I can showcase the reader favorite!

Next week, along with the reader favorite, I’ll pick a few of my favorites and highlight them in the link up post.

The link up will be open from Thursday 4/14 at 10:00 PM CST to Monday 4/18 at midnight CST. Feel free to share with friends!

 

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Picket Fence Blogs!



Count Your Blessings: My Unexpected Night Off

Count Your Blessings

Life has been pretty crazy at home lately. Trying to teach full-time, be a full-time graduate student, wife, and mother all at the same time is taking its toll.

In addition to being more sleep deprived than usual, I have been having some serious attacks of the ‘Mom-Guilt’ persuasion lately, so when my evening unexpectedly opened up I took full advantage of the family time that has been so rare lately.

The original game plan had been to get home from school at about 4:00, hang out with Dragonling for a half an hour or so, and then retreat to my desk to do school work until supper. I planned to eat supper with Dragonling and Science Lovin’ Papa and then return to my school work. I had hoped to finish the assignment that was due at midnight before bedtime (8:30) so after I put Dragonling to bed I could start the training for the distance standardized test scoring that I will be doing as a short little side job. Last time the training took a couple hours so I expected to be up till 11:00 or midnight to check that off my ‘to-do’ list.

But Someone must have known that this Momma needed a night off to spend with her family because the stars aligned and I suddenly found myself with none of the deadlines I had anticipated.

When I went up to my desk after school I opened up my online portal for my graduate classes and saw an announcement from my professor. The due date for the assignment that was due tonight had been extended. Knowing I had a few more days I decided to start my test scoring training to get it out of the way, so I went to my email to find the link to the training page only to find that instead of starting on April 6th I had misread the date. Scoring training doesn’t start until April 16th. As I let this news sink in I suddenly realized that for the first time in many days I had a night where I could actually put things off and not make it worse in the end.

I took full advantage of this small blessing.

Science Lovin’ Papa cooked dinner, then we all sat at the table and enjoyed a relaxed supper. We had time to talk about our day and I could sit and enjoy the time without thinking about how late I was going to be up to finish my homework.

After supper, Dragonling and I played with Play-Doh. Mostly we just smashed it because Dragonling is only one and a half, but it was the most fun I’ve had with Play-Doh in years. Watching her eyes light up when I molded the dough into a cat face or a caterpillar warmed my heart.

When she was finished with the Play-Doh, Dragonling looked at me and very sweetly said, “Car?”

“Where do you think we should go?” I asked.

Shhlide? Shlide.” she replied.

“You think we should go to the park and play on the slide? Ok. Let’s find your shoes.”

All I heard after that was excited squealing and frantic running about looking for anything she might possibly need to get that show on the road. She found my purse, Papa’s hat, her shoes, and her coat.

We piled into the car and headed for the park.

At the park, there was only one other child on the equipment and he took off after his parents soon after we arrived. I followed her up the steps, over to one of the slides, then she sat on my lap as we went down. Then she hopped off and raced around to the stairs to do it again. We did this over and over and over…

Most nights I would have been ready to stop after the fourth or fifth time down the slide with her, but tonight was different. The weather was beautiful, a little windy, but sunny and not too cold. All I could think about was all the times I had missed taking her to the park already and all the times in the coming months that I would have to do homework instead of spending time with my baby. (Cue Mom-guilt.)

My night off wasn’t planned. I didn’t spend it doing the things on my ‘to-do’ list. It was spontaneous and it was perfect.

When we got home from the park, I Dragonling and I showered and then she had a bath to play a bit in the water. Bath time is usually a task taken on by Papa Dragon but tonight I really wanted to do it. I let her play in the water longer than usual and Papa came and watched her while I got the after bath things ready. We got pajamas on and then went downstairs for a small snack, one episode of ‘Puffin Rock’, and snuggles.

Then it was bed time. We read a book and then we cuddled in the rocking chair. When I laid her down in her crib she looked up at me and said, “Wuv you, Mama.”

“I love you too, Aurora.”

I kissed her forehead like always and she grabbed my face and kissed my cheek.

A perfect end, to a perfect unexpected night off.

Count your blessings. Savor the moments, especially the ones you didn’t know you were going to get.

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My Body Utopia Product Review + Giveaway

I received these products complimentary or at a reduced price in exchange for an honest review. The views expressed here are honest and entirely my own.
I only review products I would consider purchasing for myself or my family.

My Body Utopia Shop Spotlight & Review + Giveaway

My Thoughts:

First of all, this review for My Body Utopia has been a long time coming, so long in fact that the packaging on the product that I received has been updated as you can see in the above picture. Don’t worry pictures of my actual product will be seen below! 

Sparkling Meadows Natural Deodorant:

This was my first time trying an all natural deodorant and, I must say, I was skeptical at first. I had been using the same deodorant for so long and I knew that it worked so why rock the boat! I am so glad I tried this product!

The deodorant I was using did work but I didn’t realize how poorly it had been working until I tried My Body Utopia’s natural deodorant. Not only did it smell better, it lasted long and kept my underarms dry longer too. (All important characteristics of any deodorant, in my opinion.)

The one thing that I didn’t like at first was the texture. It seemed like it was too soft compared to the deodorants I knew. However, after I had been using it for a while the texture became less of an issue.  

Another thing I like is that it seems to last a little longer than the tube I bought at the store and when you consider the benefits of all natural the difference in price is no big deal!

Deoderant

Product Details:

All of My Body Utopia’s natural deodorants are hand made. The Sparkling Meadows scent that I reviewed is made with coconut oil, shea butter, vitamin E, beeswax, arrowroot powder, baking soda, bentonite clay, and floral fragrance. Currently, you can purchase a regular size 2.5 oz. tube ($8.50) or a 0.625 oz. trial size tube ($3.25) in whichever scent you choose.

Currently available aluminum free scents include: Fresh Cotton, Fruity Splash,
Land of Lavender, Pure Man of Steel, Scent Free, Sparkling Meadows,
and Zesty Lemongrass

Kitchen Clean Hands Soap:

First impression of this bar of soap? It smells wonderful!

I am not a big fan of bar soaps because they usually leave my hands feeling almost too clean. You know kind of squeaky. I hate that.

This bar of soap doesn’t do that. My hands felt clean but it was a good kind of clean feeling. A natural kind of clean feeling.

My Body Utopia advertises that this soap will get rid of onion and garlic smells that stick to your hands after cooking. A claim I was skeptical of because, let’s face it, onion and garlic odors hang around forever. So I tested it out!

Much to my surprise, it worked! I didn’t completely get rid of the smell with the first wash but after a second round, if I hadn’t known I had just been slicing and onion, I wouldn’t after smelling my hands either.

 

Kitchen Clean Soap

Product Details:

All of My Body Utopia’s bar soaps are hand made. The Kitchen Clean Hands soap that I reviewed is made with palm kernel oil, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, castor oil, lye, water, lavender essential oil, lemon essential oil, melaleuca essential oil, and colorants. Soaps are cut so you receive about 4.25 oz. in each bar.

Currently available handcrafted specialty soaps ($8.00) include: 

  • Dolphin Smooth Shaving Soap 
  • Dude Degreaser Soap
  • Garden Grit Bee Gone
  • Kitchen Clean Hands

Other handcrafted soap scents ($6.00) available include:

  • Bunches of Lavender and Mint
  • Cutting Down Lemongrass
  • Just Lavender 
  • Perfect Man

My Body Utopia also has some discounted and discontinued soaps still available for $2.50-$2.75 in the following scents.

  • Cherry Honey Bomb
  • Cup of Chai Tea
  • Gingerbread House
  • Glass of Berrywine
  • Holiday Candy
  • Rolling in Cloves

Current Shop Favorites:

I really enjoyed both of the products I was able to review and will definitely be ordering more of both. When I went to peruse the website I found a whole host of other items that I might want to try, here are a few of my favorites:

Spearimint Madness lipbalm

Spearmint Madness Lip Balm: $2.99

Cooling Wintergreen Toothpaste

Cooling Wintergreen Toothpaste: $5.99

More About My Body Utopia:

My Body Utopia is family-owned and operated by Candice Garcia, her husband Antonio, and daughter Kaitlin. They make all of their products by hand, with love from their home in Upstate New York.

If you want to keep up with My Body Utopia and be informed of new products and sales check out their website and follow them on social media!

 

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

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Giveaway!

I loved my products so much I want to give one of you wonderful readers a $10.00 gift certificate so you can try out the My Body Utopia products that caught your eye!

Enter below!

My Body Utopia $10 Gift Certificate Giveaway

#Thoughtful Thursday Week 4: Optimism

Optimism – /ˈäptəˌmizəm/

Noun

  1. Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.
  2. PHILOSOPHY: The doctrine, especially as set forth by Leibniz, that this world is the best of all possible worlds.

It has been a stressful few days here at the Math Lovin’ household, so this week’s theme is going to be optimism.

For some people optimism comes easily and for others it’s a struggle to move past the reality of a tough situation to see the positive. Personally, I can fall into either group depending on the day. I consider myself a realist, erring on the side of optimistic but this week it has been hard to stay to that side of the spectrum. I definitely needed some inspiration to get me through the week.

Here are a couple quotes that have kept me going this week:

We must return optimism to our parenting

Dragonling has had a rough week. She’s been having tummy issues as well as teething.
I keep thinking one morning she will just wake up with a full set of teeth ready for some steak. Seriously… any day now would be great.

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism

I think the first sentence of this one is what got me. I can be hopeful without being optimistic, and I can have optimism without hope. I prefer to be hopeful as well as optimistic, but I think it’s important to realize that one can exist without the other.

I think that about wraps up this week. Be sure to join me again next week for a special Mother’s Day edition of #ThoughtfulThursday. (Yes I know it’s not Mother’s Day yet, but maybe some of you Pinterest savvy folks needs a cute quote for project!?)

 

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

#ThoughtfulThursday: Week 3 – Family

I chose family for our topic this week for a couple reasons.

First, for me, family is the most important part of my life, aside from my faith. Family is one of the first things we have an understanding of as children. We grow up in a small, safe unit that helps to shape who we become. Every bit of who I am comes from the way I grew up within that family unit.

And second, the last two weeks my family has been in need of extra Momma time. Dragonling has been sick and is teething, and Papa Dragon was sick and is still recovering. That meant everything else got pushed off until things could get back to normal, and I wouldn’t change a thing. (Except maybe the being sick part.)

So, without further ado: Family.

Family – /ˈfam(ə)lē/

  • noun
    1. A group of parents and children living together in a household.
    2. A group of people related to each other by blood or marriage.
    3. All the descendents of a common ancestor
    4. A group of objects united by a significant shared characteristic.
    5. A group of people united in criminal activity.
    6. In Biology, a principal taxonomic category that ranks above genus and below order, usually ending in -idae or -aceae.
    7. In Mathematics, a group of curves or surfaces obtained by varying the value of a constant in the equation generating them.
  • adjective
    1. Designed to be suitable for children as well as adults.

 

09 You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them

Everyone has heard the expression, ‘You can’t choose your family.’ Sometimes we use it as a way to brush off the things about our family we don’t particularly like, but I think it should be used more as a way to be thankful for what we’ve been given.

Have you ever thought about what would be different if you got to choose your family?  Sure there are traits in members of our family we may not like, but think about what other things would change if you could fix those traits. Would the change you want cause another behavior or attitude to change? Could you ever engineer the perfect family?

Probably not.  Even if you did you’d never know it because eventually you’d find something you’d want to improve upon. It’s human nature.

 

10 In every conceivable manner, the family is a link to our past, bridge to our future.

 I think this one is pretty cut and dry. If you look at your life the only people who are there for all of it, are family. Doesn’t matter if it’s a family you were born into, or one that developed through you life in another way; family is always there.

 

5 Ways Teething is Like Labor

Thus far, as a parent, I have never felt as helpless as when Dragonling started teething. All I could do was stand by and watch with feeble attempts at pain relief thrown in for good measure. I’ve never wanted to take away someone’s pain as much as during that time.

I think this may be how my husband felt when I was in labor and all he could do was be there for support, he couldn’t fix it and he couldn’t speed up the process.

I didn’t expect to be comparing the two situations 7 months down the road, but here I am. Teething and labor are a like in a few ways.

#1 – You don’t know when it’s going to start.

With teething, as with labor, no one knows exactly when it is going to start.  Doctors and other informed persons can give you a general timeline, but even experts cannot give you an exact start time.

This can cause a lot of stress for some people. You know… the type A kind. The ones who like to schedule their life. Completely.

Labor is a little easier to pin down, 9 months is pretty standard, but even then there are exceptions to the norm and, unless, you’re being induced or having a scheduled c-section you don’t know when it’s going to happen.

Teething is not quite so predictable.

According to BabyCenter.com, most babies get their first tooth when they are between 4 and 7 months old. That’s a pretty big time span. They then go on to say that some babies are late bloomers and could have to wait until after a year old to pop their first tooth. Still others, although quite rare, are born with a tooth!

#2 – You don’t know how long it will last.

For some women, labor is a very short, fast endeavor and for some it can last a few days. Teething is similar in that sometimes the tooth comes in days and sometimes it can take much, much longer.

Dragonling has been teething, off and on, for about 4 months with nothing to show.

This means that for 4 months no one has slept more than 3 hours at a time, we’re all a little (or a lot) crabby, and Momma and Papa are running out of methods for pain management that works. Which brings us to number three.

#3 – Pain management isn’t as easy as it sounds.

When a woman is in labor there are many different options for pain management. Some prefer to go all natural (no drugs), some want to be signed up for an epidural the moment they find out they’re pregnant, and there is a whole spectrum between the two. Even after choosing the type of pain management you want, there is no guarantee it will work.

That’s pretty much how teething works too.

Some parents want all natural pain relief. Some are all for dosing their child with pain medicine so that they are as comfortable as possible. And then there are a whole lot of us trying to find a workable balance between the two.

Since Dragonling started teething so early we only had one medicine option, acetaminophen, which we used sparingly.  Because our medical options were limited I went on a search for other methods we could employ at home. Some of the things we’ve tried include: teething toys, cold/frozen wash cloth, clove oil, teething gel (not Orajel), and teething tablets.

#4 – Everyone’s experience is different.

Try asking a room full of women what labor was like. None of them will give the exact same answer.

Then, try asking a room full of parents what teething was like for their children. Same problem.

Plus, not only will the answers be different they will vary by pregnancy and by child, respectively.

#5 – After it’s over you forget how bad it really was.

It’s pretty much common knowledge that women forget how bad labor was after they have children. (Yay hormones!) I mean, we’d have to forget or the human race would cease to exist, right?

I think the same must be true of teething because otherwise people would only have one child. I can’t completely attest to this point because we’re still in the throes of the worst, but it has to be true. (Please someone tell me it’s true…)

Source:

http://www.babycenter.com/0_teething-your-babys-first-teeth_11243.bc

 

 

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/150130205244-map-measles-north-america-large-169.jpg

Measles: The Facts

Because I live in a country that had considered the measles virus eliminated since the year 2000 I have zero first-hand experience with the disease. I do know, however, that the disease has made a comeback in recent years because of the influx of people choosing not to vaccinate their children, for a variety of reasons. With all the media coverage and discussion going on about the most recent measles outbreak, I decided to do my own research to find out more about the disease.

The Virus

What is Measles?

Measles, caused by the measles virus, is a highly contagious infection which attacks the respiratory system . Most of the initial symptoms of measles are similar to that of the flu and include high fever (over 104.0° F), cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. A few days after initial symptoms appear, an infected person may develop small white spots inside the mouth, these are known as Koplik’s spots. Three to five days after the initial onset an infected person will notice a skin rash.

http://www.cdc.gov/measles/images/people-measles4-sm.jpg
Koplik spots

The rash usually begins around the hairline and on the face as flat red spots. From there it spreads downward to the neck, arms, chest, stomach, back, legs, and feet. The flat red spots may have smaller raised bumps that appear on top as well.

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Measles rash

Generally, the onset of the rash is accompanied by a fever spike to over 104.0 ° F.

How is Measles Transmitted?

The measles virus lives in the mucus of the nose and throat of infected persons and so is mainly passed through coughing and sneezing. The virus stays alive for up to two hours on surfaces and in the air where an infected person has coughed or sneezed.  Other people in the area who breath the contaminated air or touch the contaminated surface can become infected. The virus can also be passed through contact with saliva and nasal secretions.

According to the CDC website,

“Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.”

Persons infected with the measles virus can infect other people from four days before until four days after the appearance of the rash.  So a person could be a carrier of the virus without showing any symptoms and still be contagious.

What are the Complications that Come From Measles?

Measles can be very serious for anyone that is infected, however, those younger than five and older than 20 have a higher chance of developing complications from the disease. About 30% of measles cases report complications of some kind, according to the CDC.

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Measles Complications by Age Group

Some of the most common complications include ear infection and diarrhea. Ear infections are seen in 1 in 10 children (10% of the infected) with measles and diarrhea is reported in less than 10% of cases. If not treated properly, ear infections can lead to permanent hearing loss.

As with many diseases there are also some serious complications that can arise from measles as well, including pneumonia and encephalitis. Pneumonia, an infection of the lungs, is reported in 1 in 20 children (5% of the infected) and is the leading cause of death in this age group. Encephalitis (swelling of the brain) is reported in 1 out of 1,000 children (0.001% of the infected) and can cause convulsions, deafness, and mental retardation.

Measles in pregnant women  can cause premature birth and/or low-birth weight for the baby.

Statistically, in the U.S. one of every 1,000 (0.001%) cases of the measles one or two of the infected will die. As with all the complications death is most likely in children and older adults.

Even after a person has recovered from the measles there is a chance of them developing complications from the disease in the future.  Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) can develop 7 to 10 years after a person has had the measles. SSPE is a rare, but fatal disease affecting the central nervous system. Since the elimination of measles in the U.S. (2000) there have been few reported cases of SSPE, but from 1989 to 1991 between 4 and 11 cases out of every 100,000 were considered to be at risk for developing SSPE. The risk was higher for those contracting measles before the age of two.

 The Vaccine

Measles can be prevented through the use of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine. Through vaccine usage in the U.S. there are more than 99% fever cases of Measles than before the vaccine was introduced, however, measles is still very common in other countries.

Since the virus is highly contagious it can spread very quickly in areas where there are many unvaccinated persons.

According to the CDC website:

“Worldwide, an estimated 20 million people get measles and 146,000 people die from the disease each year—that equals about 440 deaths every day or about 17 deaths every hour.”

In case you’re not a math lover or just don’t want to figure it out, that is a 0.0073% mortality rate. That is over seven times higher than the U.S. mortality rate.

What Can I Do to Protect My Family?

The CDC recommends that all children get two doses of the MMR vaccine, the first between 12 and 15 months old and the second between 4 and 6 years old. The second dose of the vaccine can be given earlier if desired, as long as 28 days has passed since the first vaccine was administered.

A child traveling abroad who is between 6 and 11 months should receive one dose of the vaccine, followed by the two doses recommended above.

Are There Reasons to Not Get the Vaccine?

Turns out, as with nearly every medical practice, there are exceptions to the CDC recommendation. Some people should not get the vaccine or wait until a later time to get the vaccine.

These groups of people include:

  • Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to the antibiotic neomycin or any other part of the MMR vaccine.
  • Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a prior dose of the MMR vaccine.
  • Pregnant women should wait to get the vaccine until after giving birth. (Women should also avoid getting pregnant within 4 weeks of receiving the vaccine.)
  • Someone who is sick at the time the dose is scheduled to be administered may be advised, by their physician, to wait until they are well.
  • Alert the physician if the person getting the vaccine:
    • Has HIV/AIDS, or another disease that affects the immune system
    • Is being treated with drugs that affect the immune system
    • Has any kind of cancer
    • Is being treated for cancer with radiation or drugs
    • Has ever had a low platelet count
    • Has gotten another vaccine within the past 4 weeks
    • Has recently had a transfusion or received other blood products

    Any of these might be a reason to not get the vaccine, or delay vaccination until later. (Taken direct from the CDC website.)

What are the Risks?

As with any medicine, there are some possible side effects of the MMR vaccine. The risk of the MMR vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is very small so getting the vaccine is much safer than getting Measles, Mumps, or Rubella.

The possible mild reactions include a fever (about 17% of those vaccinated), a mild rash (about 5% of those vaccinated), and swelling of the glands in the cheek or neck (about 1.5% of those vaccinated).

The possible moderate reactions include seizures caused by fever (about 0.0003% of those vaccinated), temporary joint pain and stiffness (up to about 25% with higher chances in teen and adult women), and temporary low platelet count which could lead to a bleeding disorder (about 0.00003% of those vaccinated).

There is also a very small chance of a sever allergic reaction in less than 1 out of a million doses(less than 0.000001%).

According to the CDC website, several other severe problems have been reported after a child gets MMR vaccine, including:

  • Deafness
  • Long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness
  • Permanent brain damage

However, these are so rare that it is hard to tell whether they are caused by the vaccine.

Does the Measles Vaccine Cause Autism?

No. Because science. (As Papa Dragon would put it.)

But seriously, there is no scientific evidence to support the theory that vaccines cause autism. Here is a link to a great pdf resource citing numerous independent studies that show there is no connection between the MMR vaccine and autism.

Sources:

CDC – Pinkbook: Measles Chapter – Epidemiology of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Vaccines: VPD-VAC/Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated?

MMR Vaccine Does Not Cause Autism

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