Parents Connect: Raising Happier, Healthier Kids

September 2017

Follow the Leader

Posted by: Cristina Edmunds
Published on: July 18, 2018

My child is the one having the surgery, and while I am allowed to be anxious and nervous, I really should be following his lead. If I act and look scared around him, he’ll pick up on that energy and feel like he’s supposed to be scared.  If I treat him like he’s “sick” all the time, he’s going to act “sick” all the time. 
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Fireworks Safety Tips for the Fourth of July

Posted by: Malvina Duncan
Published on: July 03, 2018

Watching the Fourth of July fireworks is a family tradition in South Florida and across the country. It's a time when parents and children share the "oohs" and "aahs" of these colorful displays that light up the night and celebrate our nation's history. It's also a time to play it safe, particularly when lighting sparklers or setting off Roman candles or other fireworks at home.
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Keeping Safe this Summer

Posted by: Jenise Subervi
Published on: July 02, 2018

Making sure that someone is always paying attention to the water or to the children is a huge way to avoid a drowning event. To help you with this, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is distributing free Water Watcher badges to families in the community. 
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From Babbling to Words: How to Stimulate Your Child’s Language During the First Year of Life

Posted by: Jennifer Rodriguez Anzoategui
Published on: June 20, 2018

The first year of a child’s life is full of wonderful firsts: The first nerve wracking car ride home after the hospital, the first time he or she smiles, the first time a child actually sleeps through the night (yay) and, of course, the first time you hear your child’s voice. Your child will begin to communicate with you and express himself long before you even hear his first word.
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The Definition of Motherhood

Posted by: Cristina Edmunds
Published on: May 18, 2018

My family and I recently relocated to Birmingham, Al. One of the many things on my to do list was to find a counselor in this new city. In one of our first sessions together, she asked me this seemingly simple question. “What does it mean to you to be a mother?”  I started to answer by listing off things that I do as a mother, tasks that I assume as my son’s mother, but that’s not what she asked me. I had to stop, take a breath, and answer as honestly as I could.
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Caring for Rare

Posted by: Cristina Edmunds
Published on: February 27, 2018

In honor of Rare Disease Day 2018, I’m sharing with you my experience so far in raising a child with a rare diagnosis. So rare, in fact, he shares the diagnosis with approximately 50 other people worldwide. For us, this means many things physically, and emotionally. It requires patience, the ability to acquire and hold on to new knowledge, the openness to learn how to care for your child in a way that does not come naturally, and making peace with unknowns. Let’s dive in.
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Helping Families Expecting a Baby with a Medical Condition

Posted by: Eileen Garcell Garcia
Published on: February 26, 2018

I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given to be able to provide support to expecting families on the journey to parenthood. Although pregnancy is a time of great joy and excitement, for some parents it can be filled with uncertainty and anxiety, especially when the baby’s health is of concern.
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No such thing as planning in parenting

Posted by: Maeghan Garcia
Published on: January 31, 2018

It’s always a good idea to educate yourself and try to prepare for the challenges that parenthood will inevitably bring. There are various parenting self-help books available and, of course, an experienced mom or dad may be able to offer a pointer or two. But even if you do access all your resources – guess what? You’re going to make mistakes because you’re human and child-rearing is not a perfect science. I promise that nobody has it completely figured out.
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Ser mamá de 3

Posted by: Paula Zelaya
Published on: January 29, 2018

Una pregunta bastante común en estos días es ¿qué se siente ser mamá de 3? Y con el corazón en la mano y muchas ganas de compartir esta aventura, les contaré lo maravilloso y lo complicado que es.
Yo soy hija única, crecí sin hermanos y sin primitos, por lo que siempre soñé con tener una familia grande. Después de tener a mi primera hija, estaba segura que quería tener otro bebé y sin dudas ni miedos, buscamos a mi pequeña Sabrina.
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Holidays in the Hospital

Posted by: Cristina Edmunds
Published on: January 23, 2018

’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring because we were stuck in the Special Care Unit at our local children’s hospital fighting a terrible trifecta of pneumonia, bronchiolitis, and gastrointestinal issues. What a vacation, right? Five days of respiratory support, holding feeds, and sleeping on a couch did not really meet our expectations for a Christmas holiday this past year, but it’s where we ended up.
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Tough Love

Posted by: Maeghan Garcia
Published on: December 20, 2017

Sometimes it seriously feels like my child hates me, and I know I am not the only mom to ever feel this way. I love that kid more than I could ever adequately express in words, and every single thing that I do, I do with the intention of providing the best possible childhood for him.
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"Priorities"

Posted by: Cristina Edmunds
Published on: December 13, 2017

Having a kid with multiple chronic health conditions has given me a whole new outlook on prioritizing. And I don’t mean the more obvious “putting your children’s needs before your own” kind of priority, I’m talking about the minuscule tasks and goals that need to be prioritized each and every day. 
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A Mother's Oath

Posted by: Maeghan Garcia
Published on: November 22, 2017

As mothers, we sometimes assume all responsibility for our children’s pain. We forget that it’s not only impossible to absorb or prevent all of their suffering, but it may also be detrimental to their well-being. Sure, we want to eliminate whatever stressors we can, but some obstacles will not be removable. And sometimes, just because a challenge can be avoided, doesn’t mean that it should be.
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El amor por los primeros hijos

Posted by: Paula Zelaya
Published on: November 15, 2017

Isa es mi primer amor, mi sueño de ser mamá hecho realidad; mi primera compañera de desvelos, de amamantadas con miedos y una pregunta constante cual es ¿Qué hago ahora con esta bebé? Con ella he aprendido a ser mejor persona y mejor mamá.  Es mi guía y maestra para entender que funciona, que no funciona y tal vez que puedo hacer diferente con sus hermanas Sabri y Mikis. Con ella he aprendido a superar miedos y obstáculos que me permiten estar más tranquila y segura cuando los vivo con mis otras dos chiquitas.
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“But, He doesn’t Look Disabled…”

Posted by: Cristina Edmunds
Published on: November 08, 2017

It’s the reason why I cringe as people walk past me after I’ve parked in the handicapped spot, the reason why I chose a bright blue hearing aid instead of one to match his hair, and the reason why I’d almost rather be using an adaptive stroller rather than an average one (though the cost of adaptive equipment will make you re-think that real quick). To the untrained eye, no, my son doesn’t look disabled/ handicapped/ abnormal, and I guess I am glad for that - although to say that is rather guilt-inducing because I don’t think that anyone with more obvious disabilities should be ashamed of that, either. 


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¡Celebrar la vida!

Posted by: Paula Zelaya
Published on: October 26, 2017

Mis hijas son lo mejor que me ha pasado en la vida y su vida hay que celebrarla. Porque además de eso, me encanta gozar, pasar rico y qué mejor oportunidad que juntar a los amigos y la familia para celebrar los “milestones” de los hijos.
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Balancing Life

Posted by: Anais Grullon
Published on: October 18, 2017

Blogger Anais Grullon discusses the daily struggles with balancing everything in life, in addition to being the best parent possible.
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To My Fellow Imperfect Parents

Posted by: Maeghan Garcia
Published on: October 11, 2017

I never imagined that I would have to transition into parenthood without my husband by my side. That was never the plan. The plan always included him, as far back as I can remember. Then, suddenly, without warning or my consent, the plan changed and I was forced to adjust. 
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First Time Medical Mom

Posted by: Cristina Edmunds
Published on: October 03, 2017

My first experience as a parent was consenting to surgery, the first of quite a few that would take place in Oscar’s first year of life.  The decision was clear — of course, I would consent. The alternative to surgery was quite grim. The medical interventions that Oscar would endure in the first few days of life were life-saving and absolutely necessary, but that doesn’t take away from how scary and difficult they were to endure. 
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Are we Hurting or Helping Our Children?

Posted by: Nikki Novo
Published on: September 13, 2017

How often do we judge ourselves on not being the parent we think we should be? Should being the key word here. This is the first lie we tell ourselves when judging our own parenting skills. There’s a big difference between the kind of parent we think we should be and the actual parent we are. And the first step in becoming a better parent is accepting the kind of species that we are when raising our little ones. 
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¿Calidad o Cantidad?

Posted by: Paula Zelaya
Published on: September 01, 2017

Hoy quiero invitarlas a que nos tomemos un buen tiempo para estar con nuestros hijos y tener más calidad al compartir con ellos. Y esto es no solo para las mamás que trabajan, a quienes entiendo, pues soy una de ellas, y me consta lo que sentimos al no poder estar con nuestros chiquitos como queremos. Sino también a las mamás que están 100% disponibles para atender sus pequeñitos. Todas, cada una en nuestra manera, queremos tiempo con estas personitas que nos llaman MAMÁ.
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Parenting in a Social Media World

Posted by: Anais Grullon
Published on: August 29, 2017

Vlogger, local mom and business owner Annie Grullon discusses the pressures of social media on parents and children for Parents Connect. 
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Play Dates. It's Complicated.

Posted by: Cristina Edmunds
Published on: August 23, 2017

Going on one’s first playdate almost feels like a right of passage. You dream of your child meeting their new best friend, and imagine them growing up together side by side. You’re hopeful to find a new best friend yourself, a new mom who understands what you’re going through, and start planning future dates for lunch, coffee, shopping, mommy and me classes, and maybe even double dates with your spouses before you’ve even really met. It will be perfect! But what if it’s nothing like that? What if you have absolutely nothing in common except the fact that you’ve birthed a child recently? What if you have completely different approaches in parenting? What if your child is developmentally delayed and their kid is running in circles around yours?
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Living in the Now

Posted by: Maeghan Garcia
Published on: August 16, 2017

Earlier tonight, I was snuggled up behind Mason as I lay with him in his new car bed waiting for him to fall asleep. He was facing away from me and my arms were wrapped tightly around his delicious little body. Somehow my hand inadvertently ended up perfectly wedged between the mattress and his chest, and I could feel every beat of his tiny heart on my fingertips. I usually leave shortly after I'm sure he has dozed off into dream land. But tonight, I lingered for a while longer.
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Welcome!

Posted by: Jennifer Caminas
Published on: August 14, 2017

Welcome to Parents Connect, the official blog of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, written by parents for parents.
Parents Connect is a space where families can share their experiences and inspire hope as we aim to raise happier, healthier children. Contributing bloggers include parents and medical experts who together serve as a voice for families everywhere. We invite you to join our online community and connect with us on the parenting journey. 
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From the Newsdesk

South Florida hospital is leader in treating apert syndrome
Dr. Chad Perlyn and Dr. Mislen Bauer from the Nicklaus Children's Craniofacial Center are committed to helping families and children with apert syndrome. Check out this segment featured on WPLG Local 10.
Beckwith-Wiedemann Conference Held at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital
Families from all around the world traveled to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in July for an educational conference about Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS), a congenital, genetic condition that can cause premature birth, hypoglycemia, abdominal wall defects, abdominal malignancies and macroglossia (englarged tongue).

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