I’m about as patriotic as they come. I love my country. I love our flag & symbols of patriotism. I love the pomp & circumstance surrounding the 4th of July. What I don’t like is, having an autoimmune disease in middle of summer. I love being outdoors. But too often the outdoors & my body just don’t get along. If I could just travel around the city in my cool pool, I would totally do that. But sadly, that’s just not a reality…yet. What to do in the mean time? Here are some things I’ve learned over the years of dealing with a Jpouch & 100 degree heat.
Get Some New Wheels!
Do not carry anything extra outside of your own body, purse and perhaps your baby. Put everything else in a wagon. There are a few you can grab at your local sporting goods store. There is also this amazing one I saw on the MomCo Facebook Page. It’s called, Keenz Stroller Wagons! They are covered wagons for the kids and your stuff. They fold up easy. Easy fabric to wipe down. And honestly, I’m totally getting one for me, Hippo & for when we have Hippo’s god brother. It’s has seatbelts for the younger toddlers, all terrain tires and holds up to 110lbs! Totally Hippo approved! It’s literally one of my favorite new wagons! Outdoor cinemas, picnics, baseball games, Disneyland & Farmer’s Markets.
There is also another stroller that I’ve been seeing around since last year. It’s the Austlen Entourage. This stroller is pretty awesome. It’s an actual stroller with adaptable seats, but it expands to fit your needs. I love this stroller too. It doesn’t come with all Terrain wheels, but I saw some images where it has them on there. So it seems that they can be purchased. This is perfect for summer travel through the airport & city exploring.
If you are on the athletic side or are looking for a great family bike. Take a look at the Taga Bike Stroller. It literally converts from a bicycle to a stroller. It’s pretty amazing! It’s perfect if you are a city mom, or you plan on taking a short train trip into the next city for a day trip. There are options for more than one child, baby, grocery basket and more.
Sometimes during the summer I would leave the baby wearing to dad, because it was just too much for me to handle. The baby’s body heat, your body heat and extra fabric. Since Hippo has grown up, the options for mommies have grown! Some of my favorite breathable blankets have always been and will probably remain, the Aden & Anais muslin blankets. They are so perfect for taking off a slight chill without sweating yourself to death. They are technically swaddle blankets, but we still use them for everything. I even have one in my hospital bag. They fold up small, perfect for outdoor cinemas, outside dinners, cool movie theaters, etc. I did use them or at least try to use them for nursing, but Hippo was not a fan of covering up. Whether mommy was cold or not! But if your child is okay with covering up and you are looking for a breathable nursing cover, you can go with these blankets or something from, Cover My Heart. They have some awesome designs that are great for nursing. You can also use the cover ups as scarfs, quick stroller blanket or a shawl.
One of my favorite brands, ErgoBaby, has come out with a wonderful baby carrier that is inadvertently Ostomy & JPouch friendly. It’s the Ergo 360. This carrier allows you to wear your baby wherever you need to. Whether it’s in the front, on either hip or on your back. They also have a cool mesh fabric option for summers. So, perfect for us moms who can’t tolerate the heat and have carrying restrictions. Ergo carriers are some of my favorite carriers because of how they fit on the body. The baby’s weight is even, you have back support and it’s easy to put on. It’s toddler carrying friendly up to 33lbs. And you can forward face starting at 20lbs.
Keep It On Ice!
Picnics for IBD patients can cause a lot of anxiety. People are either monitoring what you are eating or they haven’t brought anything you can eat. The uncertainty of what will transpire if you eat something that is unfamiliar. Sometimes you & your IBD unwillingly become the topic of conversation. Solution: Bring your own! Maybe you’re not into a full meal because there is limited bathroom access, so bring snacks. Freeze some pouched fruit or applesauce & place it in a cooler you can wheel around. A yummy frozen treat is perfect for those hot summer days. Bring enough for yourself and to share with others. Double up on the kid snacks, that way it just looks like you’re, “Mom snacking!” You know the old, “One goldfish for you, one goldfish for me!” No one needs to know that the goldfish are the only items you can digest at the moment! Freeze water & gatorade in bottles and place in coolers. By the time the picnic starts you’ll have a nice slushy treat.
Other ways to keep cool are by filling up some of those handheld misting fans! I love the 02Cool fans. I use them at games to cool off myself and the players. They are battery operated and you can fill with cool water. Keep them in your cooler along side your cooling towels. My favorite are the ones by Mission. They get the coolest, the fastest. Do not share your towel though! Share your fan, but the towel stays with you! Compromised immune systems…yea, no sharing of the towels!
The sun is totally our frenemy. We love the sun. It gives us light, warmth & Vitamin D. But when you diseases like IBD, Lupus, MS, etc. where you have sun sensitivity, a higher chance of getting skin cancer & probably taking sun-sensitizing medication…the Sun gets a little side eye every now and again. But what if you’re not a fan of the crazy ashy; yes I said ashy; look the good sunblocks give. Too bad! No, I’m just kidding! I actually use a sunblock that works well for both me and Hippo made by Babyganics. It comes in a variety of forms. We use the spray & face cream mostly. But it doesn’t leave a heavy film over the skin. There isn’t a very strong oder. It’s organic. And I have yet to burn; yes, black people burn; while wearing it. Do not break out the bottle from last year. March yourself down to target and get some new sunblock. Invest in some amazing hats & UV ray blocking clothes. I’m also quite fond of a nice sun umbrella or chairs with a cover. I keep my sporting chair in the trunk alongside the wagon, just in case.
Don’t let your disease or circumstances stop you from enjoying your life. Continuing to get to the most out of it, is the only way to really fight back. There are always solutions. For more info on wonderful summer tips, check out my friend Amber Tresca at Verywell! She’s got loads of info! We actually chatted about parenting, clones & self care recently on her Podcast, About IBD. And when you have a second, take a look at the new articles coming out by ME on Everyday Health. All about IBD & Parenting!
Happy 4th of July!!