Friday, January 27, 2017

alternative approach to allergy treatment 2017


  
Several years ago, a patient came in to our office for a visit. This little girl had a strong history of asthma and had a regular regimen of medications to manage it. At that visit, the doctor took note that our little patient was no longer taking her medications. Her asthma seemed to have mostly cleared up. The mom explained that they had done some treatments at a local place called Advanced Allergy Solutions and that the medications were no longer needed nearly as much.
Dr. Schwanke asked me to find out more. The patient's mom was happy to tell me all about it. She herself had done some treatments and that as someone who used to be allergic to dairy, she was now able to enjoy ice cream. For both her and her child the treatments had been life changing.
At our request, Advanced allergy solutions promptly sent over the records but there was simply not a clear translation from this mode of treatment over to "Western Medicine".
I was intrigued though. Both of my daughters have seasonal allergies. They also have had trouble with gluten since becoming adults.
Lauren was the first to discover that her frequent migraines went away when she went on a gluten free diet. Alana, my youngest would have severe episodes that made her feel like her throat was closing. This was frightening and upsetting to say the least. Myriads of Western MD's had tried unsuccessfully to figure things out before we had ascertained that gluten seemed to be the culprit for her as well.  Anything that could ease these symptoms was worth a shot. Even though Alana was on a gluten free diet, gluten is sneaky and she had accidental exposures every so often.
Alana set up an appointment at Advanced Allergy Solutions and she invited me to come along to obvserve.
They put a cuff on her arm and sent frequencies of different allergens through the cuff.  If she was sensitive to something her arm would lift. It was hard to believe what I was seeing, but then......
We looked at the list of allergies that they had identified and to my surprise, I saw that it was very consistent with the results from testing done at UCSF years ago. I had watched the process with the cynical eye of a scientist and was impressed with the results.
They told us from the get-go that they don't always have success treating gluten intolerance, but they did treat Alana for some food sensitivities, including wheat. Her symptoms noticeably shifted.  When she gets an accidental gluten exposure she still bloats up and feels gross, but she no longer has the same throat tightness. That is an important improvement. For the record, Lauren is still quite allergic to something here in San Francisco that sets her off every time she comes home. We haven't been able to solve the mystery yet.  As soon as she moves back here, we will get her back in there for some more sleuthing and treatment.
My brother-in-law was also interested in hearing about our experience. He was severely allergic to cats. Richard couldn't go into a house that had a cat without having significant wheezing and distress. He did a couple of treatments with great success. He now can do a cat house visit with the aid of a Zyrtec and have only mild symptoms.
My husband Sandy (Mr. Nurse Judy to those of you who enjoyed his Father’s Day post) got very significant relief from an itchy rash that had been plaguing him fro some time, and that had also not responded to western medicine. Fascinatingly, they found that he was allergic to his own histamine.
This is not just a waving of the hands, there is something to this company.
Back when I ran this post for the first time, we had a meeting with the Advanced Allergy folks and talked about all sorts of ways that their treatments could benefit people with stomach issues, respiratory issues, attention issues, colic....you get the idea.
It of course doesn't fix everything, but for some lucky people it is an absolute magic wand.

Over the years I have certainly told quite a few people about this treatment option, and some of my patients have seen significant success. It is such a different approach than the standard western medicine that we are familiar with, that I sometimes forget to mention it as widely as I should.
I just recently had a few success stories so I decided to rerun the post.
It still feels a bit like voodoo but it is completely non invasive and reasonably priced so I decided to spread the word and ask them to  do a better job explaining what they offer.
Here are some words from the owner Denise Woods
******** **********************************************************
It’s been a pleasure for us over the years to treat not only Nurse Judy but also her family at Advanced Allergy Solutions!
We are is a holistic allergy assessment and treatment center dedicated to resolving the symptoms associated with allergies and sensitivities. We have dedicated our clinic to identifying and treating allergies, and have helped over 4,000 patients in the 7 years we’ve been in business. We understand how stressful it can be when your child is being affected by allergy symptoms, and if you’re looking for more information about how we can help our staff is happy to answer any questions you might have about our services.
The methods we use at Advanced Allergy Solutions allow us to identify allergies and sensitivities and treat the associated symptoms. Our holistic approach is accurate, painless, and easy for both parent and child. We are able to treat children of all ages, including infants--our youngest patient to date was two weeks old! There are no needles or scratch tests required for the allergy assessment and no medications will be prescribed for the treatment.
Here are some common symptoms our patients come to us with:
Respiratory:
  • Asthma
  • Night cough
  • Hay Fever
  • Congestion
  • Pet allergies
Skin:
  • Eczema
  • Hives
  • Acne
  • Rashes

Digestive:
  • Infantile reflux
  • Colic
  • Tummy aches
  • Diarrhea

Other:
  • Headaches
  • Food allergies
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Behavioral problems

Our goal at Advanced Allergy Solutions is to bring long-lasting relief to those who suffer from allergies and other sensitivities. We are conveniently located in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco and are excited to be working with Nurse Judy and the team at Noe Valley Pediatrics. Feel free to give us a call or reach us by email to find out about booking an appointment for your child!

Advanced Allergy Solutions  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Speech milesstones/Local speech therapy resources 2017

Speech milestones/Speech therapist resources


My older daughter Lauren reached her verbal milestones at  a young age. It turned out that she was stringing together sentences quite a while before we could actually understand what she was saying. The fact that she was actually using real words to communicate became apparent to me one day when she and I were wandering around the zoo. She may have been as young as 15 months at the time. Lauren started to tug on my arm saying “shoofaloff”
It sounded like typical babble; I tried to figure out what she was trying to say as we walked. Was it an animal perhaps? Did she want a snack?
“SHOOFALOFF” She kept repeating. She was getting upset that I clearly wasn’t understanding what she was insistant  on telling me. “SHOOFALOFF”
I paused for a moment, happened to look behind us and saw that her shoe had fallen off and was about 10 feet behind us. Shoofaloff was “shoe fell off!” Duh! At that moment I realized that her fairly incessant cute little gibberish was actually speaking. As the weeks passed, Lauren became more and more articulate and I completely took it for granted that we lived with a little talking wonder.
When Alana came along, I expected nothing less. Alana (no need to fret about her, she graduated top of her class with her Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan) didn’t care about reaching milestones (any of them!) She had no trouble at all with comprehension, but her speech was incredibly garbled. By the time she was two, we could still barely make out a dozen words.  Fortunately we had Lauren, who translated for her without any problem.
GUGUGUGGODH  might mean “I would like more popcorn please”. Lauren was puzzled as to why we couldn’t understand her sister. This just goes to show that often siblings have magic communication skills with each other at a very young age.
Eventually Alana had plenty of words, but there were still a few letters that were hard for her to pronounce until she was quite a bit older.
There is a huge range of normal, so when do we need to have our antenna up? There are a few basics to keep an eye on.
By 4 months your baby should be cooing and making sounds. If they are not, one of the first things we would want to make sure is that your child doesn’t have an issue with their hearing. Babies born in California are given a hearing screen at birth, but it is still something to check out if you have concerns. Does your baby react to  your voice? Do they look in the direction of a loud noise? As they get older, can they follow simple commands? If you are looking at a picture book, can they point to the appropriate picture with your prompt?
By 15 months they should be able to speak at least a few recognizable words.These don’t even need to be valid words. Alana couldn’t pronounce Lauren, but she could say Yaya and it was clear that Yaya meant Lauren. To this day, it still does!
Perhaps da means dog. As long as they are consistent and communicating, those sounds count as a word. If your child knows some signs, those are counted among their words. If you know for sure what they are saying, repeat after them and expand on their utterance. When they see the dog and say “da!” you should say “Yes. DOG!” (repeat) “look at the big dog” (expand.) If they are using a sign, say the word. For instance if they are signing “more” during a meal, say “more.” (repeat) and then expand, “would you like more peas?
By repeating and expanding , not only are you reinforcing correct production of their words, but you are supporting their language development
Michelle Geffen, a speech therapist at Jennifer Katz, Inc., advises not to pressure your kids by always asking them to say the specific word. Instead, let them hear you use the word and wait for a response. Waiting can do wonders!
If your child reaches 18 months and there isn’t  any understandable language, this is an appropriate time to get a baseline evaluation from a speech and language therapist. Sure, it is okay to wait a bit longer if you like, but early intervention is always a good thing. I like to be proactive. Often the evaluation is covered by insurance.
By the end of the 2nd year, children should be able to speak roughly 100 words, understand 300, and have some word combos. They should be understood by close family members 50% of the time.
The earliest sounds for kids are usually  Pa Ba Ma Na Wa Ka Ga. By the age of 3, kids should have most speech sounds. Ruth White, a local speech therapist, counsels that if the majority of folks can’t understand most of what your three year old is saying, an evaluation is advised. On the other hand, it is not uncommon for many otherwise articulate kids to  distort some of the more difficult sounds such as l, r, s, sh,ch, y, v, z, th. These sounds may actually not be fully mastered until age 7 or 8.
Even though  we know that some sounds aren’t perfected until later, 4 or 5 is a reasonable age to check in about articulation issues.
Bailey Levis, owner of San Francisco Speech and Fluency Center, receives many calls from parents who are concerned that their pre-school child might be stuttering.  Many children will have some amount of disfluencies, (e.g. “Um um um, I want...I want...I want some ice cream.”) in their speech, but only some of them will show signs of stuttering.   Some red flags for early signs of stuttering include tension or frustration if/when words get stuck, more than 2 repetitions (e.g. “cuh-cuh-cuh-cookie”), or if there are other family members who stutter.  Whether or not you observe any of these red flags in your child’s speech, if you have any concerns, Bailey recommends seeking out a speech therapist who is comfortable working with stuttering.  With early intervention, the likelihood of complete recovery is very high.
Frequent ear infections or fluid in the ear can impact your child’s early language skills so it is important to work closely with the doctor if this is an issue. We may send you along to an audiologist or ENT to be part of the team.
Of course, keep in mind that there is a huge difference between hearing and listening.
I can’t tell you how many young child failed to follow the directions with our in-office hearing test, but when I quietly whispered “ would you like a sticker?” they heard me just fine.
One of my favorite in-home hearing tests is an active listening game. Tell your child to whisper a word to you (perhaps the name of an animal.) Then you quietly whisper a word back to them. Make sure they can’t see your face so that there is no lip reading. If you have any concerns that the hearing isn’t as sharp as you think it should be, get them checked.
Jodi Vaynshtok from  Sound Speech and Hearing Clinic shared her explanation of the different aspects of communication skills that a speech language pathologist addresses:
Listening: In order to use the correct speech sounds, and understand/use language, a child must build upon their listening skills. This includes detection, identification and comprehension of spoken words. Listening therapy helps children learn to detect and interpret sounds, allowing their learning system to develop speech and language skills appropriately.  
Speech: This is often what people think all speech therapy sessions consist of – the production of sounds that make up our words and sentences. Speech involves the coordination of articulators (i.e. jaw, lips, tongue, vocal folds, vocal tract and respiration), divided into three areas: articulation, voice and fluency.
Language: A child’s language can be split into two domains. The information they understand (receptive language) and the language they use (expressive). Language therapy can concentrate on spoken, written or non-verbal communication. Goals can target vocabulary, grammar, formulation of sentences, following directions, and reading comprehension, just to name a few! A child’s ability to correctly understand and use language can affect their behavior, academic and social success.
I am grateful to the speech therapists who took the time to share their wisdom with me about this post!

Below is a partial list of some excellent resources that we have in the SF area
Sound Speech and Hearing 415-364-8774
http://www.soundshc.com/
Sound is one of the wonderful resources here in SF. They are the one stop shop that can combine the hearing and speech assessment in one visit. They also have the option of having  Mavis, the animal therapy pup at the visits ( it doesn’t get better than that.)
Check out their blog.
Below is a recent article about children's headphones
http://www.soundshc.com/blog/2016/12/6/buying-childrens-headphones-for-the-holidays-what-you-should-know

Jennifer Katz Inc. 415-550-8255
http://katzspeech.com/
This popular practice has several locations and has been taking care of my patients speech therapy needs for many years. They have expanded to several locations. They also work with many insurance plans, which is a bonus.
This practice also has some feeding therapists on staff.
SF Speech Therapy 415-404- 8343
www.sfspeechtherapy.com
SF Speech Therapy is a small, family centered private practice in Diamond Heights.It provides speech, language, and feeding therapy to people of all ages, with a particular emphasis on early intervention for the very youngest San Franciscans.
Therapists at SF Speech Therapy have specialized training in a number of areas, including infant and toddler language, articulation, stuttering, voice disorders, and the Sequential Oral Sensory (S.O.S.) approach to feeding. There are both English and Russian speaking therapists on staff, and home visits are offered. To get a feel for the practice, check out the blog and website below. Appointments can be made by calling Teresa Newmark at 415-404- 8343 or by emailingTeresa.Newmark@gmail.com.
Blog: www.sfspeechtherapy.com/blog  

Bailey Levis 415-496-6757
Bailey@SFStutteringHelp.com
Bailey does all sorts of general speech therapy for all ages but is top notch for stuttering issues. He offers a free 30 minute consultation.
Northern California Speech and Hearing 415 -921-7658
http://www.hearingspeech.org/main/

Ruth White 415-225-6152
Ruth has a private practice but is also an instructor at SFSU  and currently run graduate clinics there.

Shannon Kong and Sara Spencer 415-469-4988
http://www.spencerkong.com/

 Shannon Kong, MS, CCC has been renamed  to Seven Bridges Therapy (www.SevenBridgesTherapy.com) and they now have offices in SF, San Mateo, and Oakland.  They specialize in working with children 5 and under as well as Autism but see children of all ages!

Sara Spencer,  continues to service children ages 6 and up under her company name, Sara Spencer and Associates.  Same addresses in SF and San Mateo.  They continue to work hand in hand as they always have (since 2000).


Tulips Speech  415-567-8133
http://tulipstherapy.com/
tuLIPS Speech Therapy has exciting news.  After 7 years on Union Street in Cow Hollow, they have opened a 2nd location on Castro Street in the heart of Noe Valley!  tuLIPS Speech Therapy offers speech and language therapy, social skills groups and their very popular Talking tuLIPS program.  They have an amazing neuropsychologist on staff who offers neuropsychological testing and they work closely with a wonderful occupational therapist. tuLIPS Speech Therapy is now accepting new patients.  Call them today and ask about their complimentary speech and language screening!   

Lauren Van Burkleo  415-633-6648
http://www.onetherapygroup.com/

UCSF Audiology 415-353-2101
https://www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/clinics/pediatric_audiology_clinic/
For our patients using any of the UCSF pediatric specialty clinics, including audiology, a referral is needed before they will make an appointment.
If you are interested in meeting with them, let your doctor or nurse know. We can send a referral over and they will contact you to get something scheduled.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Tooth brushing tips and SF Dentist guide 2017


When should your child start to see the dentist?
Good Dental practices

Parents often ask us when they should start taking their kids to the dentist. Believe it or not, the current official recommendation now is that your child should have his or her first dental visit by age one.
In California, about one third of preschoolers have dental decay.  It is much easier to prevent decay in toddlers' teeth than to fill a cavity in a young child. Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease and it can be prevented.

As parents, we may think, "baby teeth fall out, so we don't need to worry about them." This sounds logical, but unfortunately is not true. Luckily, dental science has found out many new facts about how to prevent dental decay. We now know that bacteria causes tooth decay. This "bad" bacteria can find its way into your babies mouths in many ways. Eating foods high in sugar is one of the most obvious offenders. In order to prevent decay in our adult teeth, baby teeth have to be kept healthy as well.
What can you do to keep your child's teeth healthy right from the start? For the youngest babies with brand new teeth you can wipe them off with a soft piece of gauze or a wet wash cloth. Not only are you cleaning off the teeth, (breast milk does have sugar) but you are getting the baby used to a routine. Training your child from the start that teeth get brushed is a good way to create good dental habits that will last a lifetime.
There are other options besides the standard hand held toothbrush. For very young babies there are little flavored towelettes specially formulated for wiping baby teeth. Spiffies was the first of these that I was familiar with. Now there are several brands available.
You could also consider using a soft finger brush. These fit over your finger and if your baby will let you, they allow you to get in there and do a nice thorough job.
If you use a regular toothbrush, make sure it has soft bristles. Replace the brush when it looks like the bristles are getting worn. It is also a good idea to run all the family toothbrushes through the dishwasher every once in awhile. One extra perk about routine dental care is that you might walk out of the dentist's office with a new toothbrush! Younger children will have an easier time handling a toothbrush with a thicker handle.
Perhaps you can let your child be in charge for one brushing a day and the parent be in charge of the other; that way you know you are doing a more thorough job at least once a day. Some people use a two toothbrush approach. Toddler gets to hold one, but so do you. Both of you can be in there at the same time.
Consider putting a little tune on while you brush. This can act as a timer. Brushing is ideally supposed to last 2 minutes. Do the best you can. A full two minutes might be a goal that is a little unrealistic for many of my patients.
You can sing...but don’t dance!!
I just had a patient who got a fairly serious mouth injury from doing a little rough housing while brushing his teeth. Make sure your child isn’t running around with a toothbrush in the mouth.

The old recommendation was to use non fluoride toothpaste for kids younger than two years. The new suggestion is to actually use a tiny amount (just a little dab) of fluoride toothpaste. It is important to note that too much can be harmful so keep the amount tiny. Once kids get to be over two and can spit it out after brushing, you can use a pea sized amount. Xylitol is another recommended ingredient for dental health. It is found in some toothpastes. This natural sweetener is found to help reduce bacteria and strengthen tooth enamel.

It is important to use a toothpaste that is non abrasive. Most kids brands are specially formulated to be gentle. Some adult ones are fine. Most toothpastes will have the abrasive rating noted on the package. Ideally try to brush twice a day and floss once a day (for teeth that are touching.)

Pay attention to habits that may or may not be good for your teeth. Children who are “grazers” tend to have more cavities than the those who eat less frequently. Saliva neutralizes the acids in the mouth and actually ‘washes’ the teeth, but it needs about 2 hours in between meals to work. If someone is constantly eating, the saliva isn’t getting a chance to do its job.

Foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugar are not healthy for our teeth or general health. A daily intake of 60 grams of carbs or higher more than doubles your chance of getting caries (and all that sugar can lead to type II diabetes in kids!)
FINDING A DENTIST

Find a dentist that treats very young children and bring your child to his or her first appointment when the first teeth erupt - no later than by age one. During the visit, the dentist will check your child for dental decay and talk to you about cleaning your baby's teeth. They might also talk to you about proper nutrition for keeping baby teeth healthy.
If you have any concerns about the manner in which the teeth are erupting, having a dentist who is familiar with your child will be very useful.
Another important thing to think about is that having a dentist can come in very handy if you happen to have any dental emergencies. Kids have accidents! It is not unusual for me to get calls about chipped or loose teeth after a fall. I usually suggest that they contact their dentist on those occasions, and the folks that already have one are way ahead of the game. If there is a dental emergency, early intervention can be the difference between saving the tooth or losing it.
Some parents avoid taking children to the dentist to save money, yet studies show that the dental costs for children who have their first dental visit before the age of one are 40 percent lower in the first five years of life than for those who do not see a dentist before their first birthday. Consider this when deciding whether or not to add your child to your dental plan (if you are lucky enough to have one.)

We are fortunate to have lots of excellent choices in our city. Below is a partial list of dentists who we send patients to. If someone is conveniently located or is on your insurance plan that is certainly worth consideration.
If you have a favorite dentist who you think should be included on my list, let me know!

David Rothman 415-333-6811  is over on Ocean avenue near Stonestown. He was my kids' dentist and they loved him. He is an excellent dentist with a wonderful sense of humor. His office is able to do procedures under general anesthesiology in the office if needed.He remains my "go to" guy if I have any tooth related questions.

Bergen James, Doris Lin-Song and Jennifer Yu 415-668-3500 They are located on Parker Street near Laurel Village. Love dogs? They have a couple in the office! Dr. Kaplan uses this office for her son and gives them two thumbs way up.

Claudia Masouredis 415-753-2777 is fairly close to our office, just up the hill on Portola. Nurse Jen brings her kids here and they adore her. Dr Masouredis can also do procedures in her office that require sedation.
Dorothy Pang 415-681-8500  is on Taraval and 18th in the Sunset. Dr. Pang  is affiliated with the UCSF dental school. If someone needs a dental procedure under anesthesiology she can do this at UCSF rather than in the office.

Raymond Katz 415-751-7900 This practice is at 5233 Geary. We have plenty of patients who have been using these folks and only have nice things to say about them. Dr Schwanke used to take his girls over there when they were young.

Han Pediatric Dentistry 415-681-3220 Dr. James Han’s office is at 1530 Noriega Street. Dr Han is also on staff at CPMC and attends any dental emergencies at the ER there.  He can perform general anesthesia cases in the OR there as well. www.HanPediatricDentistry.com

Dr. Charles Spitz and Dr. Tyler Davis  650-375-8300 
Peninsula Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics. If you are looking for a practice down on the peninsula, this great practice is located in San Mateo. Dr. Davis works with Dr. Spitz, who used to have a practice in the Mission. They are located in the Mills Medical Arts building on the corner of South San Mateo Drive and 2nd Avenue in downtown San Mateo.
"We are a preventative practice first and foremost. We believe the best dental care is personalized to meet the individual needs and preferences of each child we see. We work hard to get to know our patients and their families. We're always willing to listen, to discuss options and to answer your questions."

Help your child keep their shining healthy smile! If you need assistance in finding a dentist, or low-cost children's health insurance in San Francisco, please call the Women and Children's Health Referral Line @ 1-800-300-9950.
https://www.sfdph.org/dph/files/dentalSvcsdocs/CHDPDentalDir_062012_Eng.pdf


RECAP: Tips for Healthy Teeth
  • Take your child to a dentist twice a year; starting by age one
  • Brush your child's teeth everyday; as soon as they come in
  • Make those snacks healthy ones
  • Take care of your own teeth; adults can spread cavity-causing bacteria to children
  • Never let your baby have a bottle or cup in bed that has anything other than water

Daddy Adam sent me this tip:
He used a kids bluetooth sonicare toothbrush, which has a corresponding app on the iPad. It gives you a little creature that you need to take care of, and you not only clean the critter's teeth when you brush yours, but you also get food and treats to feed it.  His daughter Millie loved it, and it made brushing super easy.  They no longer use the app very frequently anymore, but the brushing routine is ingrained.  
http://www.usa.philips.com/c-p/HX6321_02/sonicare-for-kids-sonic-electric-toothbrush


Friday, January 6, 2017

Keep a journal & document your milestones!


I spent my New Year's Eve up in Santa Rosa with my husband and a couple of our best friends. New Year's Day, Sandy hustled us home pretty early. When we arrived at our house, I heard music. We opened the front door and I could hear that the piano playing was coming from inside my house. Confusion is an understatement. I ran upstairs to find my daughter Lauren and her boyfriend Adam who had surprised me. Lauren is currently living in New York. They had been in Vancouver for the week  and had been plotting this extra couple of days in SF for several weeks. I was the only one in the dark. Sandy has a history of catching me unawares, but I guess I am pretty easy prey. This one wasn't caught on video. I was one happy Mama.

I wish everyone a Happy New Year full of only the good kind of surprises.


Keep a journal &
document your milestones!


Welcome to January, the month when people often find themselves making all sorts of resolutions for how to generally improve.
I have a suggestion for one resolution that is fairly easy to keep. This will be useful and has the potential to bring plenty of smiles in the years ahead.
Start keeping a journal!
Sure, we all take a lot of photos and movies these days, but there is nothing like the written word.
If you haven’t done it from the first, it is never too late to begin. Start keeping track of milestones and illnesses. Having things written down can be a valuable resource. I am not advocating keeping a list of every bowel movement (yes there are parents who do that; you know who you are) but knowing how often your child has had strep throat, an ear infection or any significant illness can be quite handy. Especially if you have more than one child, it is often easy to get things mixed up. I have more that one parent who has said,  “I know one of my kids gets a rash on Amoxicillin, I am just not sure which one.”
Keeping  record of milestones and illnesses alone makes keeping a journal worth the effort, but immortalizing memories and anecdotes is what makes it fun and even more valuable.
I have tracked all kinds of odd statistics. My 26 year old Alana has been on 212 flights.  29 year old Lauren has been on 304. Two of the flights were skydiving expeditions and another flight had her at the controls flying a private plane. (This mom knows how to feel somewhat proud and somewhat horrified at the same moment.) If you give me a moment I can also retrieve all sorts of random facts, like the first movie they ever saw in a movie theater and when they lost their first tooth.
I actually started keeping track of things when I first found out I was pregnant for the first time. Clearly you don’t need to write things daily, but keeping track of milestones and fun things that kids come up with can create a wonderful database of stuff that you are sure to refer to and enjoy as your children grow. My journal unfortunately does have some huge gaps, when I never got to it; just do the best you can.
What started out as my personal musings written in a notebook, morphed into a family journal when I transferred it to a word document. If you like you can create a shared document that both parents can add to. Google drive would be perfect. (Make sure you backup any important documents!) In our journal (both kids share the same one) daddy’s voice was written in italics.
My husband had the wonderful habit of documenting conversations.
The following was from when Alana was seven and daddy was picking her up from school.
Alana:   I'm doing a picture in reds and pinks.
Sandy:   Why?
Alana:   Because Van Gogh had a red period.
Sandy:   You're learning about Van Gogh?
Alana:   Yeah. And then I'm going to do a painting in different shades of blue.
Sandy:   Why
Alana:   Because Van Gogh also had a blue period.
Sandy:   Well that's terrific.
Alana:   And Miss Price is going to bring a real artist to class so he
can teach us.
Sandy:   Well that will be very exciting.
Alana:    But it won't be Van Gogh because he's dead!
In our case I am delighted that we were able to track early milestones like first words and motor skills. Over the years random facts like teachers names, the revolving door of boyfriends and life events have all been documented.
One of my favorite posts recounts about the time that 5 year old Lauren and I took a family ceramics class at the local Randall museum. At the start of the first class, the instructor had everyone get a feel for the clay. We stretched and pulled in into all sorts of shapes. As we played, the teacher asked ”Who knows where clay comes from?” Lauren was never shy. Without missing a beat, she called out the answer in a loud, authoritative voice. “Cows! Clay comes from cows!” There was a moment of stunned silence as all the grown ups at the table did our very best not to break out in laughter. “Hmmm”, said the teacher, handling it very nicely. “Great guess, but it actually comes from the earth”
Cows?? I remember that being one of the hardest giggles I ever had to stifle. Laughing in the face of my five year old was not something I wanted to do. Kids do come up with some wonderful stuff.
Another one that became part of family lore was the time that 3 year old Alana bit her sister. Mommy: “Alana, why did you bite your sister?! You know you shouldn’t bite!”
Alana: “I forgot not to.”  That “I forgot not to” line still comes up every once in awhile.
When does it stop?? My kids say never. They especially insist that I keep up with their flight tallies! (We count still count every take off.)
You might be dealing with any of the more challenging aspects of parenting like sleep deprivation, the “terrible twos” or teens that are giving you a run for your money. Warning, time zips by. Blink and they are out of the nest. Carpe Diem! The online journal is a great way to capture moments forever.