Trouble in Paradise – Shocker

When you are a Brand unexpected moments seems to follow. Most of the time they are good and Although after the past 20 years of unexpected moments as a Baird and an Uchtman, we both believe we are so consistent these unexpected moments they have become expected in some ways.

Drum roll please… We are moving, again!

A series of problems in our current house including but not limited to: 

  • Fungus growing on walls
  • Power caput for 3 days running and no refrigeration (required for Iza’s medicine, oh and food)
  • No internet
  • Kurt breaking his toe
  • Running out of water
  • No hot water (other than the bath)
  • Running out of propane (so not hot bath)
  • Scorpions
  • Mold everywhere so 2 of our 3 bedrooms are rendered useless (i.e. Iza has to sleep in our room)
  • Long rocky path, sick baby

So, we have to go. It is just not safe or smart to stay here. We need to be able to get into town to a doctor or a hospital or whatever we need it is not good to be on such a rocky, narrow path. It is also not good to have any of the above occur.

We have scrambled to find a casita which is local to Santa Cruz so we don’t have to move too far for the next 2 weeks. Our nanny Clara’s husband Jose works at a place called Casita Santa Fe and the owner Lily is from Mexico. Should be a great respite with good internet, beautiful grounds and a safe walking path direct to the boat. It makes more sense.

But the question still keeps coming up. Why do things like this keep happening to us? Is it our karma? Are we too idealistic? Is it something we are doing wrong? Probably all of the above.

We have moved around a lot. We are spastic in our changes and decision-making. We certainly are difficult New Yorkers to the highest level and demand the best. We are entitled in our approach to everything. Oh yeah, did we mention we are American? 🙂 (Kidding of course)

In a way we are glad to have life’s most interesting adventures because of our potential misgivings. When life throws us lemons, we ABSOLUTELY make the best lemonade possible. We are after all Brand’s and we have had a lot of experience! We will see how this move goes and perhaps in another few days we will have another new path to go down… but for today we are psyched to know that in the morning we have another adventure waiting.



Baby with 102 temperature! First time parent syndrome…

So last night about 2am, the night before Rache is leaving for New York for a few days, Iza wakes up moaning and crying. Rache is next to her and I am roused out of my usual half sleep to her stating nervously “Iza is on fire!”. What to do!?

I’m supposed to be the chill guy that keeps it all together emotionally (“supposed to be” being the operative word) so I get out of bed calmly, reassure Rache that everything is ok, and go down to the bathroom to get the forehead thermometer that we brought along in our toiletries bag.

Iza has never really been very sick minus a cold here and there but she is having a hard time adapting to the Guatemalan food and has been fussy and gassy and not her usual self. We are really careful about our diets, but let’s face it, Gringo Gut is bound happen.  I’m pretty sure she is ok so I stay cool and take her temperature. 102 degrees. I am a die hard research guy (read “time waster”) and remember reading that as babies get older this can be quite common and shouldn’t cause a freak out call to the doctor. So I’m there reading everything I can on the internet about a feverish one year old and conclude that she is ok. Rache is holding her and putting on cold compress and quickly her fever drops and she calms down. Then I rocked her a bit and off to sleep she went.

So we are obviously first time parents and I’m sure a lot of you are laughing a little under your breath. No worries, we get it!

This morning she is super fussy and won’t let me put her down but her fever is gone. Cool.

Here are some of the things I have gathered from various sites on the internet about babies with fevers:

1. Fever is nature’s way of fighting disease. A moderately high temperature means your baby is doing what it is supposed to to take care of itself during illness.
2. There isn’t a lot of difference between a 100 degree temperature and a 102 degree temperature for a one year old. Don’t freak out!
3. Don’t jump immediately for the acetaminophen. It may help your baby feel a little more comfortable, but only drops the temperature about 1 degree. Try to calm them naturally first and only resort to those meds if they are still really upset. We didn’t use it and she went back to sleep in about 30 minutes.
4. Never give a child under 19 aspirin! They could develop Rye’s Syndrome.
4. If the temperature reaches 103 its probably time to call the doctor.
5. Babies from 0-6 months with a fever is a bigger concern. Call the doctor if she is over 100 degrees.
6. If she is closer to a year old and has a 102 degree temperature monitor it for 24 hours. If there is no change, call the doc.
7. 104 temperature is probably time to go to the emergency room.
8. Make sure the baby is mostly free from other symptoms. I won’t go into them as the list is quite extensive. Google it.

This is a very basic outline and I am by no means a doctor. But I have researched it pretty thoroughly and I hope the list helps you first time parents out there.

Also, there are lots of natural remedies for a fever and we always refer to those first. Here are some links: