What is a HIPAA?

Posted 10-28-2011 at 01:15 PM by Britt Schwartz

Unless you work in the medical field, there is a good chance that you don’t know what HIPAA is and why it’s important to you!

HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. If you’ve visited a doctor’s office or hospital in the past 15 years, you’ve been asked to signed a privacy waiver and if you’re like most people, you sign it not knowing exactly what it all means! The waiver you sign, states that you received a copy of the organization’s privacy policy as it relates to HIPAA.

HIPAA was created to give you, the patient, privacy in regards to your medical information. In a nutshell, HIPAA protects all of your medical records and information from unauthorized people or companies, there are cases when situations overrule HIPAA but the majority of your information is to be kept confidential between you, your insurance company, your physician and anyone you choose to share it with.

Many families have become irate when they are unable to get answers about their loved ones due the HIPAA laws but the law is very important and while it can be frustrating not being able to know what’s going on, it’s vital that every patient and family member familiarize themselves with the law to be able to protect themselves against violations by staff and companies.

During Sawyer’s birth, protected health information (PHI – that is what is protected under HIPAA) of both Sawyer and me was shared without my permission to an unauthorized person. We filed a complaint with the hospital and when the hospital refused to take action we filed a compliant with The Office of Civil Rights (OCR). The OCR is the agency that handles all complaints in regards to HIPAA violations. Should you ever feel that your rights have been violated, contact The OCR and file an official complaint.

Our local media picked our story up and I was very surprised by the reaction of the small amount of people who commented on our story. Most people didn’t see the big deal and had no idea that the person who gave the information out actually broke the law! I realized that the majority of the public were not aware of HIPAA and how it played a role in their lives.

I would love to be able to break it all down but I am not a lawyer and I don’t want to give incorrect information about the specifics of HIPAA, but please take the time to research what HIPAA is, what is covers, and how to protect your family!

 

Britt Schwartz is:
Mommy to her daughters, Payton (03’09) & Sawyer (02’11)
Wife to her best friend, Matt (10’06)
Owner of Nelly’s Nappies in Fort Myers, FL

Diaper Swapers

Night and Day

Posted 10-28-2011 at 12:31 PM by Krista

When I first learned I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time picking out clothes, decorating the nursery, and of course, cleaning house. When I had a spare moment or two I liked to daydream about what my baby would be like. What kind of personality would she have? I couldn’t wait to hold her, and I imagined us snuggling together as I read to her and rocking her to sleep in the glider.

The dreams quickly went out the window after she was born. Even from infancy, she didn’t seem to want much to do with me. She was a Daddy’s girl from day one, and unless he was home she was content to be by herself. She learned quickly
how to soothe and entertain herself, and while it seemed odd to me—and I’ll admit, at times it hurt my feelings—I had to adapt.

My friends would look at me strangely while I talked about doing the laundry while she played. I didn’t have any trouble getting housework done when she was an only child, that’s for sure!

Then along came her sister. Even during the pregnancy, I knew they’d be as different as night and day. My oldest had been on the move every second I was pregnant. I couldn’t sit still or I’d get kicked! Khalen, on the other hand, liked for me to be lazy. Ali, from the moment she entered in the world has been on the go. Her sister, however, likes to sit awhile.

Surprisingly enough, this was a hard transition for me to make. I had gotten used to packing my day full of chores, school assignments and work. I was used to a child that could deal with that, and Khalen certainly couldn’t. She’s always been happiest when held, and even happier when being held and entertained.

It really is true what they say—each child is different. In what ways have you had to change to adapt to different kiddos?

Natural Cleaning With Items You Probably Already Have

Posted 10-28-2011 at 12:30 PM by whitneywalters

I am in the middle of a switch over to all natural cleaning products in my house. I was really surprised to learn how much of my cleaning I could do with items I always have around the house anyway.

1. Vinegar ( white vinegar only )
- Vinegar is an all natural all purpose cleaner. Vinegar is a disinfectant and deodorizer. Mix one part vinegar and one part water and keep in a spray bottle for easy cleaning around the house. Be careful when using it though, improperly diluted vinegar is acidic and can eat away at tile grout. Never use vinegar on marble surfaces. Also do not worry about your home smelling like vinegar, the smell disappears when dry. The best part about using vinegar to clean is that it is a cheap cleaning product.
- You can use it in the bathroom to clean and you can add pure vinegar to the toilet bowl to get rid of rings. Flush the toilet to allow the water level to go down. Pour the undiluted vinegar around the inside of the rim. Scrub down the bowl. Mop the floor in the bathroom with a vinegar/water solution. The substance will also eat away the soap scum and hard water stains on your fixtures and tile. Make sure it is safe to use with your tile.
- You can add it to laundry for a natural fabric softener.
- It makes a great window and glass cleaner. Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water, and dispense into a used spray bottle. Squirt on, then scrub with newspaper, not paper towels, which cause streaking.
- It will clean your wood floors brilliantly. Mix  1/4 cup white vinegar and 30 ounces of warm water. Put in a spray bottle,  spray on a cotton rag or towel until lightly damp and then mop away.

More after the break

Bringing Home Babies

Posted 10-27-2011 at 10:12 AM by whitneywalters

I am the proud mother of four beautiful children. Each time a new baby has been born into our family, introducing the new baby has gone differently each time but so much better then anyone expected.

Our oldest was only 15 months when  his little sister joined us. I was really expecting him to be jealous since he was such a mama’s boy. The first time he saw her he wanted nothing at all to do with her, he gave me a look that had to mean, why on earth is this baby here. He would look at her but would not touch her or come near her when I tried to get him to. After a couple days he got over this and was totally and completely in love with his new little sister. He kissed her, wanted to hold her and loved on her all the time. There was not a bit of jealousy between the two of them which was a blessing because his little sister was a challenging baby and required a lot of mama time.

When You Should Speak Up

Posted 10-27-2011 at 10:00 AM by Krista

You’ve fallen head over heels in love. You can’t stop thinking about him. Every time you say his name, your friends roll their eyes, but you can’t help yourself. And then it happens: the moment you’ve been waiting for. He drops to a knee, and asks you to be his wife. Suddenly, now that you’re a bride-to-be, it seems like everyone has an opinion on why you shouldn’t get married. Why can’t they see him like you do?

I’m sure each one of us has, at one time or another, been in a situation where we’ve felt that our friend was seeing someone who wasn’t right for her (or him, for that matter!). The real question is whether or not to voice those doubts. I myself heard from a fair amount of naysayers before I got married. J and I have been married for seven years now, but there are times when I look back and wonder why I was so blind when others could clearly see obstacles we’d face in our life together. They do say love is blind.

So, is it even worth trying open your friend’s eyes? When should you say something, and when should you keep your opinions to yourself?

Home Made Does Not Mean Hard

Posted 10-27-2011 at 09:25 AM by whitneywalters

I have been cooking and baking since I was a little girl and I personally really enjoy it. We are trying new recipes at my house all the time and I enjoy the challenge of learning a new technique when it comes to cooking. I know a lot of people that do not cook from scratch, they always tell me box cooking is easier. This does not have to be the case though. Cooking from scratch does not need to be hard, it just takes a little know how.

My husband really likes salmon fillets, so when we would go out to restaurants this is usually what he would get. We recently have been making some cut backs to save money and eating out is one thing that we have cut way back on. I know how much he likes salmon so I decided to surprise him one night with some salmon. I had never cooked if before, I am not a really big fish eater myself but I do enjoy salmon once and a while. A local store had salmon fillets on sale so I picked some up and made him baked salmon and sauteed some veggies. He was thrilled that I made this dish for him.

My favorite place to go eat is Olive Garden. I love their soups. The one I love them most is the chicken and gnocchi soup.  My kids all like this soup a lot also so I did not research and found a recipe to try at home. This is almost identical to the soup you can get in the restaurant and is actually very simple to put together. More after the break…

Making Room (Finding a place in your heart for a new child)

Posted 10-26-2011 at 02:25 PM by Krista

Three short days after my daughter’s birthday I found out that I was pregnant. Many concerns jumped through my mind, but the one that I couldn’t brush off was this: I adored my daughter so much, how could I possibly love another child in the same way? There seemed to be only one answer: I couldn’t. That fact ate up at me, and I wondered how I could bring a child into the world knowing that I would never love them as much as their big sister.

I was not alone in my concern. A quick search of the web shows that other mothers-to-be are worrying about this issue. I even posted about my concerns here on diaper swappers! Though most people denied feeling any different toward their second (or third or fourth) child, there were a few who admitted to feelings of favoritism toward their eldest.

The differences between my daughters were immediately apparent to me, from the moment she cried upon leaving my womb. Her cry was not loud and guttural, as with my first daughter, but sort of scratchy and strained.

“What’s wrong with her?” I asked, straining for a glimpse. “She sounds weird.”

Traveling With Kids

Posted 10-26-2011 at 02:01 PM by whitneywalters

We recently took a weekend get away to Minnesota. I have a lot of family there and they were having a reunion. I love going to visit my family but the thought of being in the car of five or more hours with four kids was less then pleasing to me. I was honestly really surprised with how well our trip went.

Here are a few things we did to make our trip easier for everyone.

1. Bring plenty of entertainment.
- We borrowed a dual DVD player from my husband’s parents and brought a few different movies that the three oldest kids all enjoyed. It was a life saver. It kept the kids entertained and made the trip more peaceful for all of us.
- Make a travel activity pack. We have an on the go travel case for each kid that we keep crayons and a color book in. The travel case doubles as a clip board so the kids can clip their color book or paper to it while they color.
- Bring a travel game system. My son likes to play video games so my husband brought his old gameboy advance along and we let Alex play it for awhile on the way up and back.

2. Bring snacks and meals instead of stopping for them
- Bringing snacks and meals along will save time and money. We packed a cooler with drinks and items to make sandwiches for lunch. Half way through the trip we stopped and had lunch. We stayed at the park we stopped at for about a hour and gave the kids time to run around before getting back into the car for the rest of the trip.
- Bringing your own food will also help curve the temptation to stop at a fast food restaurant. I like eating healthy and bringing my own food made it easier to do.

More after the break

What is for Dinner?

Posted 10-26-2011 at 01:56 PM by HollyRay
 Handmade Pasta and Green Beans
Again I write on the topic of food. I love good food. My father, a computer consultant, happens to work with a lot of restaurants, and so he has met some really awesome chefs, and so I grew up eating really awesome food. My mom is also a good cook, her salmon is to die for, her pot pie fabulous, and she has this cantaloupe sorbet that she serves with a herb butter cookie with port poured over the whole ensemble….sigh. In college my friends said coming to my place was like visiting a Greek relative, they would walk in “are you hungry?” even when the answer was no my response was “I will make you something”. With this love for cooking, and good food, come some albeit messy, but delicious meals made in my kitchen. With all this in mind I hope to bring a “What’s for Dinner” blog every now and then when I try something a little more time consuming then the average meal prep.

For the first time since going gluten free two years ago, I tried making my own pasta, I used a basic recipe suitable for other flours as well, combining 3 cups of flour with 5 eggs and a little oil and salt. I made ravioli which was filled with a mixture of fresh veggies and tofutti. Basically whatever I had lying around, broccoli, eggplant, onion, garlic, tomato,basil, oregano, and a little bit of french onion dip mix. I fried the ravioli instead of boiling it, partly out of fear they wouldn’t stay together. The whole thing was topped with a tomato sauce made from preserved tomatoes, and accompanied by a side of green beans bought from market. Below is how I made the pasta dough and a look at the finished dinner.

See the steps (with pictures) after the break!

Antepartum Depression part 2

Posted 10-26-2011 at 07:21 AM by Krista

When I found out I was pregnant, I was sobbing. I didn’t want another baby. This thing growing inside me was an invader.

When I got pregnant, I’d never heard of Antepartum depression. Like most rare disorders, one seldom is introduced to them until they have it. It is the sister to post-partum depression, which we know more about. Post partum is often referred to as “the baby blues” and occurs once you give birth. Antepartum, on the other hand, is experienced during the pregnancy.

From the beginning, I was resentful of this baby in a way I couldn’t really understand or explain. It just felt wrong. I woke up each morning and wished I wasn’t pregnant.

They describe Antepartum as a “mood disorder” but for me it was much worse than that. I felt like my world had flipped upside-down. We had our baby, my sweet girl, we were such a happy family, and in my mind this new baby was going to ruin everything.