Family & Lifestyle

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

We were headed to The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (or LACMA as its perhaps better known) with the kids and before we even got to the museum we saw the La Brea Tar Pits and stopped in.

Now I’m embarrassed to tell you but I’ve lived in LA for 19 years and I’ve never been to the La Brea Tar Pits 🤦🏼‍♀️. Its a great stop for the kids and it’s essentially located in a huge park…we saw, we played, rode a sloth, sang in an amphitheater and even saw a real live excavation going on! We didn’t buy tickets or take a tour, we just explored on our own…what a GREAT Free thing to do in Los Angeles.

Caught by a wild sloth!

As we approached LACMA the Boulder was calling to the boys so we ventured over we played in the lampposts and looked at a new sculpture being installed…then we ran across what (to my kids) looked like a rocket shaped play house…and finally ventured under the boulder. The boys ran and ran some more.

We got some drinks at one of the outdoor restaurants and as we looked for the ticket counter realized we had spent 3 hours playing outside and didn’t even have time to go in, LOL.

Next time LACMA.

Family & Lifestyle, Travel & Events

Summer Fun & Camp Fair 2018

Since we recently moved back to Los Angeles, I needed to find some summer camps for the boys- so I checked out the Summer Fun & Camp Fair at Crossroads School in Santa Monica. Gman, who is five years old, tagged along in the hunt for science/tinkering/art/cooking camps.

When we arrived there were super sized inflatables from Magic Jump all over an enormous green space- games, booths and food trucks- plus an indoor gymnasium full of booths from – hmm I’m not sure must have been at least 50 camps…A LOT!

We talked to camp directors, asked questions, picked up brochures/discount codes and treats and little toys- we even rode scooters and sampled food…Gman had a lot of fun! I know it’s called “Fun Fair” but I really didn’t expect such a big event!

Magic Jump Obstacle Course Los AngelesSummer Camp Fun Fair Santa MonicaSummer Camp Fun Fair

We already had lunch plans but next time we’ll make a whole morning and lunch out of it.

Description from the Summer Fun & Camp Fair website:

Check out all the Fun you and your Family can have at the Fair:

Meet the Camps!

These awesome Summer Camps will be at the Fair to let you know all about what they do and how much fun your kids will have when they attend. You’ll have a chance to meet them and ask all the questions you may have about each of their philosophy, ratio of counselors to campers, locations, and daily schedules. You’ll get everything you need to be able to choose the right Summer camp for your kids. There will even be special discounts and raffles!

Summer Fun for the Whole Family

How well do you know your own back yard? Los Angeles is where millions of people come to visit every year, and you already live here: Lucky you! Wait until you see all the fun things you can do here with your whole family. Your Summer Fun will be non-stop!

Fun & Games

Play the Summer Fun Passport & Scavenger Hunt Game with us and you’ll be eligible for fun prizes! We’re giving away a bunch of fun gear for the Summer and you’ll be entered to win one of the prizes just by playing our Passport & Scavenger Hunt Game. Simply take the time to stop by each of the booths at the Fair for a special stamp – plus try to find all the hidden elements of the Scavenger Hunt. Every stamp you get equals a raffle ticket!

Food & Snacks

Some of the best food trucks in Los Angeles will be on site at the Fair to make sure you’ve got delicious choices for snacks and lunch.

Family & Lifestyle

The $35 Farmhouse Decor Makeover!

I went to the 99 Cent Only Store today to grab poster board for my four year old’s school project (yeah, school project at four 🙄 who has time for that?!) – anyway I’m digressing and I haven’t even gotten to the point – so I was walking along and minding my own business when I happened to notice a couple of cute farmhouse decor items on an end cap…ok they got me! I mean this stuff is cute! You can buy one of each of these items for only $35, is that crazy or what? This is a whole mini Farmhouse makeover! And the best part, no DIY required! Even at Home Goods similarly quality items would cost you at least $150 for this update.

These signs are $3 each and are really substantially sized!

$35 Farmhouse Decor Makeover!

This is also only $3?!?!

$35 Farmhouse Decor Makeover!

This is smaller in size maybe 12×12. It also comes in grey with pink ribbon…$2 whaaat?? Pair two (or four) together.

$35 Farmhouse Decor Makeover!

Love these for $4!! I use a string and mini clothespin to display kids seasonal art (like what else do you do with the paper plate turkey school sent home?) – I have something very similar that is frameless from Amazon I bought a few years ago.

$35 Farmhouse Decor Makeover!

This is a pretty substantial clock for $8!

$35 Farmhouse Decor Makeover!

Add a couple of black “birdhouse” plant holders…$1 each (add your own mini succulent).

$35 Farmhouse Decor Makeover!

Ode to that college backpacking trip to Europe, I thought this wooden sign was cute for $4, it’s substantial and wooden and warm.

$35 Farmhouse Decor Makeover!

And for you brew lovers…another cute framed beer sign…$6 – colors are great for a Farmhouse look!

$35 Farmhouse Decor Makeover!

And for the kids’ bathroom, a chalkboard “brush your teeth” sign. $1 Because why not.

So look this isn’t Pottery Barn quality.  But any one of these items on a clearance sale would cost your $35 at PB so you know this. Right? I think a few of these mixed in….no one would ever notice!

Would love to know where else you all find great value Farmhouse Decor (comment below!!)…

SaveSave

Family & Lifestyle, Travel & Events

Bubblefest 2018 at Discovery Cube Orange County

Bubblefest 2018 at the Discovery Cube Orange County was new for us this year, and I’m asking myself why we have never been before now?!? We even had a membership for several years when we lived in OC. The bubble show was so fun to watch, for kids and adults alike…and we could have spent all day in the exhibit room. We will definitely be back before it ends on April 8, 2018.

The show itself was far more elaborate than I expected…the room is darkened for much of the show and the stage is fully decorated, utilizing lasers, specialized lighting and set design.  The show moved quickly and captured the attention of the children form start to finish.  Even the 15 month old next to us watched the entire show!

There is floor seating right in front of the stage for children- no need to reserve special seating, kids can go right in front of the stage and watch close-up.  Parents can sit in the  seating or in the back row of the floor as to stay closer to younger children.

The amphitheater isn’t that large, so there really isn’t bad seating per say…but if you want a seat (and not the floor) I would pay the few extra dollars for reserved.

The Bubblefest exhibit features hands-on bubble activities, a giant bubble photo opp and some inflatable obstacle courses (getting some physical energy out is 👍👍 in my book!). For $15 extra we put all four kids in a giant bubble- you can see a short clip of it below, it was fun!

The activities are designed to teach children the science and mathematics of bubbles, such as their surface tension, elasticity, air pressure, molecular and geometric properties.

You do need an additional Bubblefest ticket to access the show and the Bubblefest activities, which includes:

  • Admission into the Mega Bubblefest Laser Show (Guests will need to select a show time when purchasing their ticket.)
  • Bubble Lab
  • Water Spheres
  • Bubble Exhibits
  • Mega Bubbles Courtyard
  • Early Learners bubble exploration for guests 5 and under

You can buy your tickets here.

And of course there is the rest of the museum! There are two whole floors (huge floors!) of educational, science, hands on activities- and even a huge dinosaur outside for kids to climb. We spent over five hours and we could have stayed longer there is so much to see and do!

Outside in the Dino Exhibit:

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Rocket Launch Simulator:

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Main Exhibit Room:

Me, hopelessly trying to wrangle two boys into the same photo.  This is about as good as it gets, LOL.

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Have you been to Bubblefest? Tell me what you thought!! Comments are love to bloggers just saying! XOXO.

Looking for more fun activities in Southern California? Check out the MOXI!

DISCOVERY CUBE ORANGE COUNTY IS A 501(C)(3) NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION.
2500 N. MAIN STREET, SANTA ANA, CA 92705

Photos property of Marie Clark, Beautiful Day Blog.  All rights reserved.

Family & Lifestyle, Travel & Events

MOXI Museum in Santa Barbara

Last weekend we took the kids to MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation– what an amazing place…the boys explored all three floors of exhibits and loved every square inch! MOXI is a brand new interactive children’s museum on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara.

The exhibits were so much fun for my science loving kiddos- they are designed around science, technology, engineering, arts and math. The boys found things to spin, build, race, test, tinker and create!

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MOXI is divided into seven themed exhibits including Tech Track, Sound Track, Fantastic Forces Courtyard, Speed Track, Light Track, Interactive Media Track and Sky Garden.  Each contains multiple activities under the theme.

Our boys are 4 and 5 now and they are a great age for the exhibits, though they definitely lend themselves well to a much wider age bracket.  We saw toddlers to middle-school kids all participating in the exhibits.

The Clark Bro’s favorite exhibit was most definitely the Speed Track, on the second floor. Kids built their own race cars and raced them down a huge race track. The modular wooden cars have a number of variables and kids of all ages we’re LOVING trying to change their cars around to see how they could get them to be faster! WIN!

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We spent over three hours at MOXI, and literally had to drag the kids out.  We stopped by the gift shop — which honestly I never like to go into museum gift shops because they usually are terrible — but theirs is awesome! I actually bought things for each child, which I NEVER do.  Would be a great place for a last minute gift (entry does not require admission) and prices were very reasonable.  We will definitely be back to MOXI, and not just because we bought a membership! 🤣🤣

I also noticed as we were leaving that they offer camps which my kids would love…mine are too young but if you have a 3rd grader or older check out their Camps here!

Matching Red Hunter Boots
Family & Lifestyle

How to Snag Hunter Boots at Target!

NEWSFLASH! Iconic British Hunter Boots Coming to Target Stores…How to Snag a Pair!

Matching Red Hunter Boots

this post contains affiliate links

After seeing my very stylish friend Sepi and her daughter Valentina in these adorable red Hunter Boots, I have many a time thought how cute a little pic of my boys and I in matching Hunter boots would be…then I saw the price tag. But now, Hunter and Target are collaborating for an incredible offer…Hunter products (including the famed boots!) will be coming to Target next month. Price range will be $5-$80, with most items expected to be under $40. Amazing, right? Well. It is amazing, but…if you tried to get Lily Pulitzer last time around, then you know the big collabs are haaaaaard to snag your share. I was able to snag 4 Philip Lim bags once. AMAZING, I still get compliments on them ALL THE TIME!

The Hunter collection is slated to contain more than 300 items, which is a large collection, at a very reasonable price point. The collection does contain a tall rain boot…but I predict that is going to sell FAST. Like a flash of lightening. You’ll have to plan ahead if you want in on the good stuff.

Here are my top tips:

RedCard holders will have EARLY ONLINE ACCESS to select pieces at Target.com starting April 7th.  If you don’t have a Red Card, you can apply for one now. Early online access is a new of collaborative sales this time around, and many people may not know about this…so I definitely recommend this as your initial plan!

Alternatively, you can ARRIVE EARLY TO YOUR LOCAL STORE on Saturday, April 14th. But, you need to call the day before and make sure they are getting the product! Not all stores get the collaborations…so make sure before you go.  If you have a number of Target stores local to you, you might consider the following

  1. Does one store have a demographic less likely to care about this product? (Can you drive ten minutes to a less “trendy” area and have a little less competition?)
  2. Does one store expect more of the collection? Call all of them to inquire if they know how how many skews they will receive, or if they have a heads up on quantities…and compare who will be getting the most product. Not all stores can/will tell you, but you can certainly ask!

Get a $20 GiftCard when you spend $100 on Baby essentials. Valid 3/4-3/10

“For this collaboration, we wanted to pair Hunter’s great heritage and iconic style with Target’s “Expect More. Pay Less.” design capabilities. Hunter and Target worked hand-in-hand to create a colorful assortment of all-weather wear for the entire family – one that will protect them from the elements no matter where they are or what they’re doing, all for a fantastic price.” Said Mark Tritton, Target’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer.

Good luck! If you score some Hunter please tell me!! Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!

XOXO

Don’t forget to get your RedCard now so your ready for April 7th!

  

#tweetlikethe2000s #hunterboots #hunterrainboots #HunterxTarget #hunterfortarget

Family & Lifestyle

10 Boardless Games for Bored Kids!

Boredom. Oh old friend I’ve missed you since 5 minutes ago! It’s a good thing we own thousands of dollars worth of toys, I’ve spent hundreds on organizational storage for them and truly countless hours picking them up off the floor and sorting them.

Rasberry Fingers

Raspberry fingers only gonna get me so far. LOL.

But seriously sometimes you have little to nothing at your disposal, and you need some boredom busters that don’t need a lot of props.

Here are are top 10:

1. I-spy: this is our car ride family favorite! Its also good one for a waiting room or a restaurant! One person says “I spy with my little eye…” and says the color of the object such as “something orange” or another clue.

2. Hide-and-seek: this is a childhood classic, we play this A LOT! We also change it up and hide objects sometimes.

3. Tag: again needs no explanation, oldie but goodie ❤️

4. Rock-Paper-Scissors: this is a fun one as it moves quick so everyone wins and looses many times…good game to practice for kids who have a very difficult time loosing.

5. Wheelbarrow: if you haven’t played this in awhile I think you’ll be surprised how haaaard it is to hold your body up with your arms…it’s exhausting! But this is a good thing for kiddos with LOTS of energy!

6. Tic Tac Toe: our 5 year old loves this game! We play it as restaurants a lot!

7. Story Sequencing: each person takes a turn adding a line to the story…

8. Dance Party: crank up the music and dance, dance, dance! In the car, living room, hotel room or wherever you are? I wonder if Alexa knows the chicken dance? LOL

9. Obstacle Course: mark off a course with shoes or toilet paper rolls or sofa cushions or empty cans.

10. Hopscotch: if you have chalk you have hopscotch! Masking tape will work too. Dig up 3 rocks from the backyard and you are on you way!

What are your favorite boredom busters?

👇🏻👇🏻Comment below – I would love to know so I can add to the list!!

Family & Lifestyle, Travel & Events

15 Things To Know Before Visiting Disneyland for the First Time!

Taking your kids to Disneyland is a little like Christmas and Santa…while Disneyland brings fond childhood memories, I think it might be even more fun to watch your own children experience it! The thrill of the rides, meeting the array of fantastic characters, crossing through the iconic castle, watching a marching band or [fill in the blank, its all pretty awesome!].

If you are planning your first visit, here are the 15 things you NEED to know.  Below them are some additional tips which may be helpful.

  1. Download the Disney App here.
  2. Purchase your tickets in advance via the app. Disneyland is split into Disneyland and California Adventure and you can choose either park or a “Park Hopper” ticket that gives you entrance to both.
  3. Plan to arrive at the parking at least 30 minutes before the park opens. Skip the upgraded parking option, just get the basic parking its hardly a difference.
  4. Bring a single fold stroller.  No matter where you park, you will need to fold and transport your stroller on a tram or bus…having to remove seats is unnecessary aggrivation!
  5. Bring 2 bottles of water per person.  This is in part because often you will want to grab a bottle to drink in line and will have to toss what’s left at the front of the line so having extra is good. They do sell it inside of course if you forget.
  6. Pack some easy and/or healthy snacks. Many of the snacks easily available around the park have a lot of sugar.
  7. Bring your own sunscreen, and remember to re-apply.
  8. Check the availability of fast passes on the app or at the kiosks when you arrive (fast passes are free, and are only available on select rides, it’s worth a try…you can learn more about them here). Send 1 person from your party to grab passes, the rest should head straight to the rides.
  9. Review the park map the day before you go and plan 2-3 rides right near each other,  head straight to the rides upon entering…lines for the rides will never be as short as the first hour the park is open. Get in as many as you can before lines are 60+ minutes.
  10. Make your character dining reservations in advance (there are plenty of places to grab lunch too, of course).
  11. At the end of Main Street you will find the Baby Care Center, where you can find changing tables, chairs for nursing and a shop that sells everything from formula to diapers.
  12. Make sure you get a silhouette made of your kids in the Silhouette Studio on Main Street before you leave. It’s the best bargain in all of Disneyland for a souvenir that won’t hit the trash a month later BOOM! And to boot you get TWO copies so send one to Grandma. BONUS!
  13. Wear layers. Check the weather before you go and if you aren’t a local understand Southern California weather- it’s a coastal desert and it’s heated by the Sun…so it can be 60 degrees when you arrive and 90 degrees at by noon and back to 65 as the sun starts to set.
  14. Bring antibacterial wipes/spray to clean little hands before lunch 🙌🏻
  15. Bring any mouse ears, tutus, crowns and costumes your children may want…they are very expensive inside the park and lots of the kids are wearing this stuff…if you have it at home you do not want to be put in the position of buying duplicitous toys at high prices inside the park.

Other helpful hints:

  • If you philandering on bringing a stroller, you should know that you can also rent a stroller inside.
  • Lockers are available inside if needed.
  • If you are staying on property, you need to know about the Extra Magic Hour Early Admission option!
  • To strategize on quick admission and best shot at Fast Passes…choose to visit the  respective Park on it’s non-Extra Magic Hour day (see above link for that schedule).  Otherwise, you will have all the hotel guests with early admission ahead of you…in line to enter, at the fast pass machines and for rides.
  • When you see a character you would like to meet/photograph with, get in line RIGHT AWAY. There will always be an attendant who is “the end of the line” – go to that person and get in front of them.  If the line is full they will let you know…and know that does happen, like all the time. You can ask that attendant where they are headed next, or other info about future meet and greet times for that character. Steer clear of promising your kiddos to see or meet one particular character if you can 🙂
  • If your kids don’t watch TV or Movies yet and you are thinking maybe Disneyland isn’t relevant for them, I totally disagree.  Gman had never watched anything but Caillou much less seen a Disney movie before we went and he LOVED it.  The characters are fantastic, regardless of whether you know them.  And the rides are a blast.  And the whole atmosphere is like nothing your child has seen before.  I do agree that kids who watch the shows/movies probably get a little more out of it….but there is plenty for screen-free kids too!
  • I have a Pinterest Board called All Things Disney with TONS (and tons, and tons, and tons!) of articles from bloggers all over on everything from secrets of Disneyland (and Disneyworld so watch the titles!), to cheap eat recommendations to free stuff.  Check it out.

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Things to know about Disneyland before your first visit

Family & Lifestyle

6 Reasons You Need to Have Family Game Night!

6 Great Game Recommendations too!

This post contains affiliate links.

Playing games teaches kids loads of important things! And even more importantly its screen-free family time at home, in its simplest old-fashioned form…

  1. Social Skills — family time is the first social experience our children have, we teach them how to be happy and have fun playing together!
  2. Taking Turns — we take turns when we play games! Waiting is haaaaard, but its good practice!
  3. Following Rules — we teach the concept of rules and practice following rules, because everyone has to follow the same set of rules when we play games!
  4. Recognizing Letters and Numbers and Colors — spinning and drawing cards is fun, it also teaches some great early basics!
  5. Pattern Recognition and Strategy — as we play games over and over we begin to recognize patterns, predict outcomes and develop early strategy skills like choosing alternative moves.
  6. Winning & Losing (& Winning again)— sometimes we can be really behind then win! Sometimes it looks like we may win, but don’t.  In games we all win sometimes, and sometimes we loose! Its the good grace and manners we model that are important on family game night 🙂

6 Reasons You Need to Have Family Game Night!

Here are our family’s favorites:

My First Carcassonne: This is our favorite game! Players lay tiles down to form a giant map – when a path becomes capped at two ends the players get to put their kids down as indicated on the tiles in the path- even really little ones can lay tiles independently and place their kids down where instructed so its great for all ages!

Candyland: This is a classic, it needs no introduction…except I strongly suggest getting the version with the spinner rather than the old fashioned cards (less to pick up, organize and ultimately loose!) If you don’t mind the deck of cards, there is a slightly cheaper version available 🙂

Chutes and Ladders: Also a classic needs no explanations! I prefer the retro edition pictured below, this is the one I grew up with…however there is a new version that is a little cheaper if you don’t care 🙂

Zingo: This is a version of Bingo – it comes in many versions for early learning.  I selected “Sight Words” but there are many variations including Word Builder, 1-2-3, Time Telling and the Original Version.

Pop the Pig: Kids LOVE this game, and this is a good one for little ones with very very low attention spans, because you can just take turns and have fun – its a good entry game for game night. This is a good gift.

Operation: This one is for older kids, but can’t you remember loving this as a child? Its just as fun now as it was back then…it’s my 5 year old’s second favorite game.  I linked the classic version again, cause that’s my deal…no surprises there anymore right? You can save a buck or two with the new one.  Or you can mix it up for your #1 Fan with a Star Wars Version, Minion Version, Doc McStuffins, Dory, Trolls, oh the list goes on…

Does your family have a favorite game?? Please tell me in the comments!!

And don’t forget to subscribe to Beautiful Day Blog below!

6 Reasons You Need to Have Family Game Night!

Family & Lifestyle

A Complex Febrile Seizure Story

 

My husband and I have been through 3 separate febrile seizures, the first and third were both relatively straightforward presentations of a Simple Febrile Seizure an the third was a Complex Febrile Seizure. In the first and third cases they regained consciousness immediately and after a quick visit to the emergency room for monitoring we were discharged- no follow up with neurology needed.

The second one was different. I can recall everything in incredible detail, yet there are so many things I would do differently that it is difficult for me to even retell the story chronologically.

But I am going to tell it as best I can.  Because I needed to hear this from other Moms when it happened to me, and frankly there’s not a lot out there from real moms on Febrile Seizures- and almost nothing on Complex Febrile Seizures.

Let’s start with what it is. A Complex Febrile Seizure is defined as a seizure lasting more than 15 minutes, or multiple episodes occurring in 24 hours.  It occurs in less than 5% of Febrile Seizure cases (Febrile Seizures affect 2-5% of the population)…most Febrile Seizures are Simple Febrile Seizures.  The primary source of the seizure is an accelerated jump in the fever, not necessarily how high the fever actually got.  Feel free to ask any questions…I don’t want to make this too long 🙂

H was 11 months old.  He had a low grade fever in the afternoon, and we didn’t give him anything, allowing him to fight it off on his own.  A few hours later he still had the fever and was clearly uncomfortable, so we gave him Tylenol.  We took his temperature a little while later to see if it had come down, and he hadn’t responded to the Tylenol.  We called the nurse line at our pediatrician and were told nothing to do or worry if it was under 104. We thought it was weird that a fever wasn’t responding to fever reducer so I brought him to the Urgent Care anyway, just 1 block from our home.

His first seizure came while we were in the waiting room at Urgent Care.  I saw it.  I didn’t even know 100% what it was at first, but something happened.  I yelled to the receptionist to get a Doctor.  It was the lowest thing on her priority list.  She got me a nurse after several minutes.

Gman had a Simple Febrile Seizure about 6 months prior. So in some sense I sort of knew what had happened and what to do.  But this time it was different. H was gazing to the side.  He wasn’t “there” he was somewhere else.    The nurse took his temperature at 103.5 and informed me they didn’t have suppository fever reducer there to push to him, and he would need to go to the ER to get that.  We were instructed to drive Gman to the Emergency Room at Children’s Hopsital after his, and so I decided to walk home to bring H to the ER.  Except he had another seizure on the one block walk home and the gaze became scarier. He was completely unresponsive.  We called 911 and they took us to the closest hospital.

He was pushed anti-seizure meds in the ambulance.  They assured me from the back that he was doing great but as we walked into the ER a nurse took one look at him and said “He’s seizing right now!” and we all looked…the seizures just continued through 3 dozes of Ativan…over about 45 minutes. They just kept coming.  He remained unconscious, with an IV in his forehead and another in his arm.

I asked the nurse if he was getting oxygen and she thought he was. The ER doctor wouldn’t stand less than 6 feet away from him it was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.  He would peer at him from far away and whisper orders.

Finally the nurse announced that they could no longer handle H’s emergency, and we needed to pack him up into another ambulance and transport him to a choice of three hospitals.  The closest, the next closest and the furthest which was Children’s Hospital.

I inquired which was the best hospital for him and was told they could make no recommendations but that they needed to know who to call quickly.  She reminded me of the name of the closest hospital.  It was terrifying.  But it felt like she was trying to get me out, and to limit liability by getting me to go to the next closest hospital.  It wasn’t right.

It was around this time my husband was able to meet up with me.  He had to find someone to take our older son- we had just moved to a new city and barely knew our neighbors, but they generously took a 2.5 year old while hosting their daughter’s birthday party.   Definition of good neighbors.  Good people are out there. Just saying.

I had a few friends who were nurses at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles in my 20’s and I recalled they got all the serious trauma cases- we decided to roll the dice and go with Children’s.

The doctor at Children’s took over remotely, ordered phenobarbital and stopped the seizures within minutes without ever even laying eyes on him.  Why the ER doctor didn’t order phenobarbital for him will always be a mystery to us.  H could have had several less seizures had he gotten it sooner.

When we arrived at Children’s we were immediately delivered into the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) where it would be 14 hours until H would open his eyes again.

For 14 hours we wondered whether he really had gotten oxygen during his seizures.  We worried whether our child would wake up, or a shadow of our child.  We wondered how much brain damage could be caused by the number of seizures he had experienced. We wondered how high his temperature had gotten and how long it had stayed there and how that could have affected his brain.

We were told that the nature of his seizures was also consistent with other, more serious, conditions including brain tumor and spinal meningitis, which had to be ruled out right away.  They would need to perform a spinal tap, a CT Scan, and an EEG…to name a few.  We were presented a stack of paperwork and releases to sign.  I inquired about whether the doctor was a Resident, Attending or Full Time Doctor.  She was a Resident.  I asked if she’d ever performed a pediatric spinal tap.  She told me she had performed a spinal tap (inferring no, she had never performed a pediatric spinal).  I asked for the attending to perform the spinal – and was told he could be hours until he could get to it, and they really needed to know sooner if he had something like spinal meningitis.  It needed to be ruled out.  I reluctantly signed.

H had a rotation of tests and medications, which were at any and all times of the night and day.

We ate and slept in his room, afraid to leave.

My mother-in-law was able to catch a late flight and arrived at 4am, and H was still unconscious…but she was able to take our older son for us in the morning (one neighbor had passed him off to another neighbor for the night so we could both stay with H), and let the dog out. Our dog is a champ, he didn’t even pee in the house after 12 hours, good dog.

When H finally woke up he was angry and disoriented and uncomfortable.  He had an IV in his forehead, and one in each arm (I am not including those photos as they are just wretched and scary).  Plus he had all the monitors on him.  Slowly our little H came back.

It took 12 more hours before we knew he was there, our little guy.  We certainly couldn’t say for sure all was 100% clear, but we knew if we were facing anything, we weren’t looking at major hurtles any longer.

Spending time in the PICU makes you realize the kinds of problems other families face and live day to day – it really shakes you and makes you realize how lucky you are.

It was rough for awhile but he had a lot of meds in him- and slept a lot from the phenobarbital and Ativan plus pain relievers. After two days we were moved to Neurology, and he was eating baby food again and all the tests came back clear…the deduction was complex febrile seizure.

Underlying cause: Ear Infection

After three days, we were discharged.

Hindsight is 20/20 and this may all just be useless but in case it helps anyone. I’m not a doctor just a MOM so read, do your own research and make your own decisions.

  1. I wish I had not agreed to the Spinal Tap/Lumbar Puncture.  And if I did it again I DEFINITELY would have waited for the attending.  Research shows that lumbar punctures are not necessary for complex febrile seizures, I don’t know why they still do them.
  2. I wish I had made the ambulance take us to Children’s Hospital initially.  I knew Children’s Hospital was the best, and I let them take us to a crappy local hospital.  I didn’t even ask where we were going.  I should have.  I should have been a Mom bully right from the start. Ambulance drivers want to get you to the nearest ER to most limit their liability and I get that 100% but that’s not what was best for us and when it comes to healthcare now I’m a mom bully.  I have fought with ambulance drivers, I make declarations, I trust myself more than I trust anyone else. Sometimes the closest hospital is right- that makes sense.  Like when its life or death.  Or when the closest ER is equipped to handle your emergency.  But for pediatric emergencies, you want to get to a pediatric hospital if a child is stable for transport (personal opinion not official advice).
  3. Once in the ER I should have asked more questions.  I should have taken pictures.  I should have taken notes.
  4. I should have asked friends for help earlier in our experience.  We needed help with our older child, my Mother-in-Law should have had a break, friends could have delivered her meals or groceries, or had play dates with our son.  We needed pajamas to sleep in, clean clothes, warm clothes, socks and underwear.  We needed food and bottles of water.  We needed shower shoes and deodorant.  We needed phone chargers and our laptops dropped off.  Our dog needed to be let out.

For us, it didn’t end here, blog post coming soon on H’s unexplained speech loss following his seizure.