Guest Post: Leading Causes of Abdominal Pain

….In kids under 8. I’m going to focus on this age group because once girls enter the prepubescent phase; a whole new crop of issues can come up related to the reproductive system. So, let’s stick with younger children. I’m curious to know if this list surprises you. 1. Constipation. Shocked? Ask any pediatrician and this will likely be their response. Your child is full of poop. Pain associated with constipation can be excruciating, particularly when gas gets trapped. Children can have diarrhea and still be constipated. What happens in this instance is some liquefied stool leaks around the obstruction. A child can even have what appears to be normal bowel movements—and still be constipated. 2. Urinary Tract Infection. Girls are more prone to urinary tract infection than boys and this can present as lower type abdominal pain. 3. Strep Throat. A cluster of symptoms associated with strep throat are headache, sore throat, fever, abdominal pain and vomiting. So, don’t be surprised if your PCP tests for strep, particularly if the child has some of these other symptoms. 4. Stress. The stomach is highly innervated—meaning it has a lot of nerves. Stress, anxiety, and psychological issues can present as abdominal pain. It doesn’t mean your child doesn’t have pain; there just may not be a physical cause we can find. 5. Gastroenteritis. The “stomach flu”. These bugs can cause abdominal pain/cramping. Are you surprised by what doesn’t lead this list? Appendicitis—sure, it happens but very rarely compared to these other diagnosis and is more common in older children. Obstruction? Again, a more rare diagnosis. Does this list surprise you...

Pasta Primavera w/ Asparagus and Turkey Sausage

1 lb. penne pasta 1 bunch asparagus 1 lb. turkey Italian sausage 1 pkg. fresh sliced mushrooms 1 red onion, sliced 6 oz. fresh mozzarella Fresh basil & oregano, torn salt & pepper to taste 1.  Cook pasta in boiling, salted water according to the package directions.  2 minutes before pasta is done, add asparagus to water and blanch.  Drain pasta and asparagus together. 2.  Meanwhile, place sausages in large nonstick pan and cook until cooked through.  Remove from heat and set aside. 3.  Add onion and mushrooms to pan.  Cook until tender. 4.  Slice sausage.  Add to pan and cook 1 minute until warmed through.  Toss sausage mixture with pasta and asparagus.  Add herbs and mozzerella at the end....

20 Things to Do With Your Kids Outside

It’s been beautiful here in Texas lately!  We’re making the most of our time outside right now because we know what Texas summers are like… and we know that come June we’re going to have to hole up in the air conditioning.  Anyway, here are 20 fun things you can do to get out in the lovely Spring weather.   1.  Pick wildflowers.  If you’re feeling really creative, press them between the pages of books to glue onto cards. 2.  Go on an insect hunt and see how many types of insects you can find.  Later, draw pictures of your favorites. 3.  Roll down a hill in the grass. 4.  Plant a garden.  Or if you don’t have space, plant a pot of fresh herbs. 5.  Make an obstacle course and see how fast you can go through it.  (Don’t have “obstacles”?  Just tell your kids to jump 10 times, do two cartwheels, run around the house and then give you a hug and time them.) 6.  Make your own “Survivorkids” movie and film your kids showing the world how to hike, backpack, build a (fake) campfire, fight off a (stuffed) bear attack, etc. 7.  See how high you can get on the swings. 8.  Go birdwatching. 9.  Draw on the driveway or patio with sidewalk chalk.  (I’ve actually seen someone make their own sidewalk chalk but I’m a slacker and chalk costs like a dollar so I just buy it.) 10.  Play soccer. 11.  Make mud pies without worrying about your kids getting dirty. 12.  Lay out beach towels on the grass and pretend you’re at the beach. ...

The 20 Minute and $8 Skirt (Really)

I’m not a seamstress. I AM, however, a see-something-I-like-and-try-to-replicate-it kind of girl. So, when I saw a cute two-layer skirt at the mall that cost $46 (!) that I really, really wanted for Kate, I decided to try to make my own. And here’s the thing: It cost me less than $8 to make and took me less than 20 minutes AND anyone could make this even if you’ve never sewn a thing in your life. I promise. My four-year-old helped me. What to buy: *  1/2 yard of cotton calico fabric (I bought mine at Hobby Lobby.  It was 30% off and cost $5.99/yard to begin with) *  3/8  yard of a coordinating but not matching calico fabric (Again, Hobby Lobby) *  3/4 yard of 3/4 inch wide elastic *  1 pkg single fold bias tape (that matches the fabric) or 1 pkg ric-rack (2 yards total) How to Make it: 1.  Measure your child’s waist.  Take fabric #1 (the one you bought 1/2 yard) and cut it into a rectangle that’s width is DOUBLE your child’s waist size.  The length is up to you.  Kate’s skirt in the picture above is 12 inches.  You can go longer or shorter.  Kate’s rectangle measured 35 inches X 12 inches. 2.  Take fabric #2 (the one you bought 3/8 yard) and cut it into a rectangle that’s double your child’s waist in width and 3 inches SHORTER than the rectangle you already cut.  Kate’s second rectangle measured 35 inches X 9 inches. 3.  Carefully sew bias tape or rick rack onto the hem of each piece of fabric. 4.  Once...
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