14
Jan

New Logo

Dr. Silva: Tots, Tweens & Teens - New Logo, tree, growth, lifeI am proud and very pleased to announce the new logo for Dr. Silva: Tots, Tweens & Teens. The tree demonstrates the blessed and special journey that we are able to share with our children.  A tree is a symbol of life.  The strong roots represent the growth in our children and our inner selves. The colorful and vibrant leaves represent the bustling energy and potential in our children and ourselves. The yellow leaf is the brightest leaf which is reaching upwards as is the most special and positive aspect of every child inside.

24
Nov

Oh Christmas Tree!

‘Tis the season to be decorating! Many families celebrating Christmas have already or will soon decorate the outside and inside of their homes, celebrating in style. But for some of you, safety may be a concern. Both infants and toddlers can become injured by electrical outlets, ornaments and even a Christmas tree. This may be the first year you’ve had to think about safety issues at Christmas either because you are a first time parent or because your toddler has started developing an interest for these lovely decorations.
 
If your stories include, “I woke up to find all the ornaments smashed all over the floor,” or “My infant had a glass ornament break in his mouth,” then here are my top 10 suggestions for you:
 
1. Use plastic ornaments.
Learn to see the world through a child’s eyes. These shiny and sparkling ornaments attract your child like a moth to a flame. Glass or sharp/pointy ornaments in his/her mouth can cause injury.
 
2. Use garland instead of lights.
Remove the temptation to play with the light bulbs or the electric light sockets.
 
3. Keep electric sockets covered.
If you have not already purchased these, these covers are available at a number of local pharmacies and stores.
 
4. Keep lights out of reach from all children.
Depending on the bulbs used, this can hurt sensitive little fingers or hands. Not to mention, older toddlers can pull the bulbs apart from the light set. They can chew on them or offer them to the younger children in the home. In addition, the light set can be pulled causing the Christmas tree to topple onto your child.
 
5. Avoid ornaments & lights at the bottom of your tree.
Some families decorate the top ½ or ¾ of the tree to help their child resist temptation. Again, for the same reason that when pulled, the Christmas tree could fall onto your child.
 
6. Use play yard gates to surround your Christmas tree.
To avoid direct contact all together, these gates are the best. You can find them at your local store or by doing an internet search for Superyard XT Pay Yard.
 
7. Keep candy dishes out of reach.
Your child can choke on a lot of traditional candy. In addition, if they pull the candy dish, it may fall & shatter onto the floor. Then, your child might get glass or ceramic cuts on their hands, feet, or elsewhere.
 
8. Avoid marshmallows.
This is a fun treat if used appropriately. However, small children and even older children have choked on this. Some have even died. Marshmallow does not dissolve. So, it would be very hard, if not impossible to get this out of your child’s throat, even if you know how to use the Heimlich maneuver.  Two very famous cases involved the death of a 12 year old girl in 1999 and a 32 year old woman in 2006 while playing the "Chubby Bunny" game (http://bit.ly/1sqHoWR).
 
9. Ask for help; have someone watch your child while you decorate.
It’s hard to keep your children away from all the decor while still trying to decorate. A watchful eye is especially needed if you are decorating the outside of your home. Children have a way of getting into trouble or hurting themselves whenever you are not looking. As a pediatrician, I commonly hear, “It was only a minute.” Then, injury occurs.
 
10. Lastly, be careful when you gift wrap.
Even wrapping gifts can result in an injury. It may only be bags, wrapping paper, ribbon, tape, & scissors to you, but it’s a gold mine for your child. If left unattended, small children can suffocate in plastic bags and cut themselves with scissors. Keep these items out of your child’s reach at all times.
 
A Christmas tree and Christmas time decorations can be a wonderfully fun time at home, as long as you keep safety in mind.
5
Aug

First Day of School

school, home, family, childrenThis is a Flashback post!  Somehow, I never published it, but seeing as school starts this month, it's quite appropriate.  Not to mention it's filled with memories for me.  This still applies to everyone's first day at school.   Enjoy!
 
Our son just started Kindergarten. It was really exciting! I didn’t cry, but was amazed by the flashbacks of when I was little girl in school. I loved to learn. It was great to be with other kids. Kindergarten was filled with playtime.
 
Kindergarten sure isn’t playtime anymore. And everyone doesn’t have the same experience anymore either. Previously, regulated daycares & pre-K classes didn’t exist. As for my son, he has been in daycare since he was 3 months old. You’d think he’d be ready. But it’s just as hard for him as the other kids who have stay at home mommies. He had to say goodbye to his old routine, his old friends, his old teachers, basically to the life he knew for over 5 years. Now, playtime is over; it’s learning time with a little bit of playtime. After school, there’s the bus ride to daycare too. He has a long day. That’s hard on anybody.
 
Did I mention it’s hard on us too? No one likes change. And this was a lot of change. This house wakes up earlier. He has to eat breakfast within a certain timeframe. Lunch bags need to be prepared. How is a 5 year old going to carry a backpack, a lunch bag & a snack bag? How is he going to put it all up, repack stuff, coordinate all those little things? I don’t know; but it’s been done by others for years. It’s just my turn this time.
 
Technology has changed as well in schools. My son’s teacher has his homework schedule on her blog which is very convenient. She also offers communication via email. Remember when it used to only be notes and/or phone calls? Even the PTA is modernized. The PTA has its own website with many helpful links. They even have a Facebook page. If we want to know what the PTA school functions are, we may refer to the website and Facebook. For example, Family Bingo Night was run by the PTA with details online. Relying on technology, a lot can be accomplished. I must say, I’m amazed that this school is using technology as a part of communication, not a replacement for it. It’s a public school that has family at its heart.
 
Despite all the changes, there is one thing that doesn’t change … the human experience. Letting go isn’t easy. Trusting others to teach your kids & care for them isn’t easy either.
 
Yet, somehow, we are surviving. He’s starting to make friends, but it’s not as easy as in daycare. And he feels it. Positive affirmations and pep talks are given. Reviewing the day, homework, and coaching are done. Clearly, our roles have expanded. I must admit I’m feeling more tired than before. Great news is that he is excited. In the end, that’s all that matters.
So, this Pediatrician, this Mommy, is going through growing pains along with my patients’ moms. It’s nice to bond with families at this special time in our children’s lives. It’s nice to share in the difficult times and the joyous ones as well. After all, being a parent is the toughest and most rewarding job of all.
 
Here's a helpful resource.  Being prepared for your child's first day of school with this checklist should help to minimize your stress (http://bit.ly/1xGZO8E).
14
Jul

Music is Good for You

We saw Despicable Me 2 last summer.  I must say, the fun has continued this summer even after we saw the movie.  My son loved the "Happy" song in it.  (Click here for the YouTube video, http://bit.ly/1c7vfBJ.) He asked me to get it for him.  As it turns out, I downloaded the entire soundtrack.  There were several good songs that he & I each liked.  It was more cost-effective to download it in its entirety. I didn't think we'd benefit from the whole soundtrack, but I downloaded it anyway.
 
Funny thing is, we've been singing and dancing a lot to it.  Well to be honest, I do most of the singing, while he does most of the dancing.  Our favorites are "Happy" by Pharell Williams, the "Irish Drinking Song" & "I Swear," both sung by Minions. "I Swear" is a cover of the Boys 2 Men song.  It's hysterical partly because it sounds like they are saying "underwear." Seeing my son act out moves while belting out "underwear" makes me laugh and brings a smile to my face that lasts quite a while.
 
Music definitely has mental and physical benefits (http://bit.ly/15KC9qK). Laughter does too (http://bit.ly/17voulc). Music & laughter increase our antibody production. They also decrease our cortisol levels.  Cortisol is a stress hormone, so lowering it naturally decreases your stress level. These are great boosts to our immune system. Other benefits include improved blood pressure and flow, positive impact on blood sugar, less aggressive behavior, increased coping skills, and improved socialization.
 
Personally, There are many great aspects of laughing, singing, and dancing.  The best part is the happiness together.  It's fun, silly, unscripted quality time together.  It's super funny when my husband joins in, all 6'4" of him hopping and spinning in a circle on one foot while clapping at the same time.
 
My favorite lyrics of "Happy" are:
"Clap your hands, if you feel like a room without a roof.
Clap your hands, if you know that happiness is the truth.
Clap your hands, if know what happiness is to you.
Clap your hands, if you feel like that's what you wanna do."
 
In these serious times, it's important to have a reminder to be happy.  It can be as simple as a song.  It cost $1.29 to download.  And I can honestly say, it's definitely worth it. Simple silly times filled with song and dance, are happy priceless moments.
7
Jul

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Ahome, familys a working mom, it's been a delicate balance to juggle work and home every day (http://bit.ly/1odULFX).  I've admired stay at home moms; raising children and caring for your home, exclusively, is a tough task indeed.
 
Like many of you, I'm at the point in my life where my family needs me home. Recently, were blessed to have another child. With the addition of our daughter, it became clear, that each family member had their own unique needs that weren't being met.  In addition, with my husband's growing practice, it became harder to justify each of us spending less and less time with our family.  After all, what's it all for, if not for family? As part-time work was unavailable, we discussed our options...continue to work or stay at home.
 
The decision to stay home was a difficult one for may reasons.  I had practiced at the same site for 12.5 years.  I have attachments to many of the families I've helped, even forming friendships along the way.  I've seen many children grow up into lovely young ladies and men.  Undoubtedly, I would miss them.  In addition, being a one income home would mean many changes were in order.  Such a big life change required close scrutiny of finances, creating a detailed household budget, & most of all the cooperation of each member of our little family. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that I need to pause my career, placing a priority on my family.  And so, for now, I'm a stay at home mom.
 
The transition from being a full-time Pediatrician to a homemaker is exceedingly difficult, as I imagine it would be for any working mother. It's a huge adjustment to a very different life.  I miss the atmosphere in a pediatric office; I sorely miss the spirit of the children. In addition, being a homemaker is hard work.  While it is true that the demands of the office and hospital are no longer present, it is also true that the personal demands of home life are much more than those at work.  After all, there is an end to a work day.  However, there's never an end to the work at home.  As many of you homemakers know, being a stay at home mom is a seemingly never-ending unappreciated and undervalued job. There's lots of repetition of cooking, cleaning, caring, organizing, and being supportive of each family member, while somehow learning and trying to find time for yourself.
 
On the other hand being a stay at home mom has its great joys.  I'm happy to know that I am here for my husband, our children, and our home life.  For the first time, I am able to dedicate myself completely to family and home. At the end of the day, I must say that it feels pretty darn good to set aside my doctor's hat for a while and be a mommy, a wife, and take care of myself.  Staying at home is difficult, but it is very rewarding and fulfilling.
 
2
Aug

Fun Affirmation

Fun Affirmation

Fun Affirmation

30
Jul

A Silly Song and Dance for a Kid's Smile

Yesterday, I had the funniest experience during a physical exam. The 10 yr old thought he was going to receive shots.  Good news was he didn't need any.  Bad news was he didn't believe me. I literally told him five times in different ways that he wasn't getting shots. Yet, he still didn't believe me.

So, finally, I asked him, "What do I have to do, to make you believe me? Do I have to sing & dance?"  He silently stared at me.  So, I did.  I sang, "There are no shots today" and topped it off with my hands up high for the finale.  Guess what?  He smiled.  He believed me.  Then, he said, "You mean I worried all that ... for nothing?  We all laughed a lot with that comment.

Sometimes, it takes a silly song & dance to do the trick.  I am so happy that I made him happy 🙂 That's one of the perks of being a pediatrician ... You can be a kid, be silly, get away with it, and even win a kid over.  Awesome!

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