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Oral Thrush – A Quick Reference Guide

Does My Baby Have Oral Thrush | Penelope & Bella

What is oropharyngeal candidiasis? Well that is just a fancy word for oral thrush, caused by the Candida Albicans fungus (yup, the same one responsible for vaginal thrush too)  Small amounts of this fungus normally are found in your mouth without causing harm, but your body’s good bacteria normally keep the fungus in check. Continue reading Oral Thrush – A Quick Reference Guide

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When Crime Comes Knocking On Your Door

Penelope & Bella | When Crime Comes Knocking On Your Door

Living in South Africa has its pros and cons, right?  I’ve been on this planet for 39 years, and my exposure to crime has, thankfully, been low. Yea we’ve had the odd house break-in etc, but whenever these happened no one was at home, so no one got hurt. It’s a sad place to be when you realise that crime is going to affect you one day, and you pray for “milder” crimes that don’t happen when you or (heaven forbid) your kids or loved ones are around. Continue reading When Crime Comes Knocking On Your Door

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Challenges Faced by Families of Six

Challenges that come with having a family of six | Penelope & Bella

My husband has an enlarged photograph of our family on the wall, behind his desk in his practice.  It seems to bring him a certain amount of entertainment on a daily basis, watching the facial expressions of his patients while they are gazing at the photo.  Some say nothing, but others can’t help but blurt out, “Four children!” I’m assuming these are the parents with unruly kids… Hehe!  But seriously, for those who ever wondered, I thought I’d outline the challenges that come with having a family of six. Continue reading Challenges Faced by Families of Six

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7 Reasons To Quit Being a Butthead!

Penelope & Bella | 7 Reasons To Quit Being A Butthead!

One would think that in the 21st century, with the number of studies and readily-available information on smoking and it’s ill effects, that we would see a decline in parents smoking in the vicinity of their children. Sadly, this does not seem to be the case.

We’re discussing the effects of smoking on your children in this edition of

What Your Pediatrician Wants You To Know

Second-hand smoke is harmful to everyone, especially babies and children. It can be the cause of, amongst other things, ear infections, breathing problems and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Often overlooked, third-hand smoke, that which gets trapped in clothing, hair, furniture, and carpets, is just as dangerous. So then “smoking outside” is no longer a fair excuse, is it?

Why are babies and children more at risk from second- and third-hand smoke?

1 They have a faster breathing rate, which means that they breathe in more air relative to their body weight
2 Their immune systems are less developed
3 They are not able to complain about being in a smokey environment and are less able to leave by themselves

What harmful effects does second-hand smoke have on my child’s health?

1    More susceptible to coughing and wheezing
2   Suffer from more ear infections
3   Have less lung capacity
4   More respiratory tract infections
5   Increased occurrence of asthma and severity of asthma symptoms
6   Lower test scores in reading and maths
7   More likely to take up smoking themselves

New evidence is also suggesting that babies exposed to second-hand smoke may be more at risk of cancer later in life. Our children have a right to be protected from harmful second- and third-hand smoke. It’s time for us to quit lighting up in front of our kids!

Till next time, I leave you with these pearls of wisdom…

Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool ~ Author Unknown

Photo Credit How To Quit Smoking





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How To Build A Great Relationship With Your Teenage Boy

Penelope & Bella | How To Build A Great Relationship With Your Teenage Boy

I stumbled across a quote this week, that went something like this:

Don’t see your teenager as a burden, but rather as a blessing ~Author Unknown

Ha! You may say, we’re going full force ahead into the June exams, and that brings it’s own flurry of challenges with it! Oh don’t you worry, this momma is hearing you loud ‘n clear! But serisouly, I know these exam times are challenging for us all and it’s hard to take a fresh stance on your relationship with your teen during this stressful time. Continue reading How To Build A Great Relationship With Your Teenage Boy

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Ode To Bella Bus

Penelope & Bella - Ode To Bella Bus

It’s been three years since my darling hubby bought the family Volkswagen Kombi aka Bella Bus. Yes you guessed it, it’s part inspiration for the name of this blog. We’ll get to the “Penelope” component another day, shall we?

Since she’s three years old this month and possibly feeling a little under-appreciated, I thought I’d write Bella an ode, a Five things I love about you kind of vibe. Continue reading Ode To Bella Bus