3 Ways to tell if your child has Hand Foot Mouth Disease or Herpes Simplex Virus 1

red rash on child's foot, hand foot mouth

baby in diaper crying.

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3 Ways to Tell if Your Child has Hand Foot Mouth Disease or Herpes Simplex Virus 1

Before I tell you this story I’m going to preface it by saying that I am not giving you medical advice. I’m not a doctor by any means; I do, however, have experience with the first cold sores outbreak (Herpes Simplex Virus 1) and Hand Foot Mouth Disease and felt like I should share what I have learned from my experiences with my own children. If you have any medical concerns please contact your family physician immediately. Now that that’s out of the way…I was going away for a weekend with friends back in 2010. I left my son, Brennan, and hubby, Ben, at home and all was well when I left. The next morning I received a call from Ben; Brennan was sick, he had a temperature of 103°F and wasn’t interested in eating. Later in the day, he started developing sores in his mouth and by the end of the weekend, there were two or three on his little hands. I immediately assumed it was Hand Food and Mouth Disease until I was describing his symptoms to my father, who also happens to be a dentist. “I think it sounds like the initial Herpes simplex virus-1 outbreak,” he commented. What the wha? You know what, he was right.

3 Ways to tell if your child has Hand Foot Mouth Disease or Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (aka cold sores)

  1. There are open sores in the mouth, however, the rash that commonly occurs in HFMD is nowhere to be seen. Sure there may be a sore or two on the fingers and some sores outside on the lips from chewing on fingers, but unlike HFMD, that first outbreak of cold sores is relegated definitively to the inside of the mouth, not the feet, hands, etc.
  2. Cold sores come back over and over and over again. This symptom isn’t really going to help your little one in the present time, it’ll confirm your suspicion if you had one that your child didn’t have HFMD. My son typically gets a cold sore during seasonal changes particularly from winter to summer because, let’s be honest, in Minnesota the seasons go from winter, two weeks of spring and then we have summer weather.
  3. Is your child able and willing to eat? All three of my children have had the initial herpes simplex virus 1 and not HFMD. When my son had it he lived off of Trader Joe’s cereal bars, my middle child did the same and the youngest, was a little more challenging to get to eat because she had a giant sore on her tongue but she did find some things she could eat like applesauce and popsicles. My understanding of HFMD is that it is extremely challenging for the person infected to eat because it spreads into the throat.
This is my son during his initial Herpes Simplex Virus 1, he is also eating a cereal bar from Trader Joe's, which happens to be on his eyebrow and hands and parts of his face.
This is my son during his initial Herpes Simplex Virus 1, he is also eating a cereal bar from Trader Joe’s, which happens to be on his eyebrow and hands and parts of his face.

How can you help soothe your child who has the initial cold sore outbreak?

I’m not using medical language for this article by the way, the medical terminology for what I’m talking about is called Primary Herpes Simplex Virus 1, or I like to say, first outbreak of cold sores. Here are a few ways to help soothe your child:

  • Visit a doctor if your child is in pain and normal remedies (pain reducing medication) is not working. There is a Magic Mouthwash that doctor’s can prescribe in some cases.
  • Cold popsicles
  • Applesauce
  • Cereal bars and other soft, chewy foods
  • Tylenol or Ibuprofen (if over the age of six months)
  • Cuddles
  • Patience, lots and lots of patience. Our doctor told me that he thinks the first cold sore outbreak is more painful than HFMD. I haven’t experienced either, so I have no clue, I can tell you though that those first few days with Brennan were horrendous simply because he could tell us how he felt and we had no clue what we were dealing with.
  • LysineLysine is a kind of protein that is found in most red meats but you can purchase powdered supplements like this one. We used to put it in Brennan’s milk on a daily basis for about ten to twelve months, I don’t remember how long. It dramatically decreased recurring instances that was dramatic for him because he was breaking out with a cold sore every month for a while before we started the supplements.
  • Melrose Essential Oil – I swear by this stuff now as does Ben, who also gets the occasional cold sore. I purchase my oil from Young Living and I simply use a Q-tip to apply it. The sore is typically cleared up within two or three days. I would not recommend putting it on any child who is under one year old and I do dilute it with fractionated coconut oil.

Cold sores are very common on my husband’s side of the family so my first suggestion is to know your family history because the chances that you’re dealing with herpes simplex virus 1 is very likely if it’s common.

Three ways to tell if your child has hand, foot and mouth or cold sores. Baby's foot with sores on it. #handfootmouth #hfm #coldsores

Have you or your child dealt with HFMD or Herpes Simplex Virus 1? Do you have any tips?


Updated – SheFit Review One Year Later

Updated SheFit review

SheFit Sports Bra: One Year Later. #PlusSize #fitness #bodypositivity #workout

FINALLY! A sports bra for us well-endowed gals! I tried out the SheFit Ultimate Sports Bra and put it to the test – sprints, burpees, clean & presses, box jumps…okay you get the picture. I am impressed and you will be too. Full disclosure, I was sent these bras in exchange for my opinion, which is 100% my own.

SheFit Review One Year Later

It’s been a year since I started wearing my SheFit sports bra and it is still the best purchase I’ve made to help my overall health and wellness. I now own five SheFits. I use the Ultimate Sports Bra because it has the most support for my gym workouts. If I’m wanting to be comfy but still supported I use the Flex Sports Bra. It has a softer and lighter support but I can still walk comfortably without a lot of bounce. I’ve learned a few things along the way too such as:

  • Rinse after you wear your bra – it helps it last longer and it doesn’t smell that way.
  • Use the mesh bag that comes with your bra because sometimes the pads do find their way out
  • Try to refrain from commenting on other gym goers sports bras unless they ask…not everyone wants to told how great SheFit is. 😂😉 (But really, they’ll thank you later.)

Updated SheFit review

If you’re looking for a new sports bra, check out SheFit by using my referral link.

To get $10 off your SheFit bra use my referral link –  CLICK HERE

To watch my full SheFit Ultimate Sports bra review check it out on my YouTube channel or watch it below!

The best sports bra ever made – SheFit Review

SheFit was designed by Sara Moylan, who appeared on ABC’s SHARK TANK in 2016 with her husband Bob. Moylan said in an interview,

My pregnancy caused my breasts to greatly increase in size and I began skipping workouts due to the neck, back and breast pain – as well as the embarrassment from my chest bouncing uncontrollably. When I did work out, I would wear two or three bras at a time to compensate for the lack of support for my breasts. That’s when I had the idea for a revolutionary new sports bra to solve my very personal problem. I set out to create a solution to my workout woes and created a prototype of the first fully custom-adjustable bra, a bra that would support and control my breasts during high impact workouts.”

I’ve tried SheFit’s ULTIMATE SPORTS BRA and the FLEX SPORTS BRA. The bras are so supportive and fairly comfortable. While there’s still bounce when you run and jump the bounce effect is minimal which made me feel supported.

The best sports bra ever, SheFit! If you are well endowed but love to get sweaty read why this is hands down the best bra for you. #fashion #athleticwear #reviews #bra

In the past I’ve used Panache Marvel Underwire sports bra and while the support I felt from that was great, the underwire was uncomfortable at times. I also cannot tell you how much I appreciate the ability to easily adjust the straps on my SheFit bra. That’s something the Panache is missing.

100 Positive Affirmations for Every Mom

Mom guilt is real; about as real as the back in my lower back from childbirth. I love my children but let’s be honest, it’s rare that they affirm me on a daily basis. It’s time we pull ourselves up by the bootstraps, Moms, and look in the mirror and repeat these positive affirmations for moms to ourselves.

100 Positive Affirmations for Every Mom, flowers in corners of image.


I know, it may seem silly at first to stand in front of a mirror and talk to yourself but there’s proof that this works. A Carnegie Mellon study conducted in 2013 showed that self-affirmation improved problem solving under stressful situations for college students. Without getting all technical sounding, if you needed more proof to practice positive affirmations I like this quote from the article, “According to Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., there is value in affirmations of this nature, because our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualization of our lives and the manifestation of our desires. What we believe about ourselves at a subconscious level, he says, can have a significant impact on the outcome of events.”

How to practice positive affirmations?

You can say the phrase of positive affirmation to yourself silently in your head, you can look at yourself in the mirror and say it, or you can write it down. I was a pretty serious swimmer when I was a kid, serious as in Michael Phelps hopeful serious. When I was 12-years-old, I had to swim the 500 yard freestyle (20 laps) and I was dreading it the entire day at school. I decided that I was going to write all over my paper that I loved the 500. I repeated it to myself over and over again, I told people that I loved the 500, and by the time I was at the swim meet ready to swim the 500 I was still repeating in my head how much I loved swimming the 500. What happened? I shaved about 30 seconds off of my time! That’s a lot of time to drop in one race. Positive thinking, positive affirmations work friends. I know they do.

Writing down your positive affirmations may work better than speaking them because there’s permanence in the written down, whereas speaking or thinking, can be easily forgotten. Do whatever is going to work best for you.

Positive Affirmations for Moms

Positive Affirmation for All Mothers

Positive Affirmations for Moms pg 1

Click here to print 1 – 65 Positive Affirmations for Moms

  1. I do not need permission to feel glorious.
  2. I am doing my best as a mom and that is enough.
  3. I am the best mother for my children; I was born to be their mother.
  4. I am important in the lives of my children.
  5. By allowing myself to be happy, I inspire my family to be happy as well.
  6. Mistakes and setbacks are stepping stones in my motherhood journey because I learn from them.
  7. Happiness is my choice.
  8. Only I can give my children a happy mother.
  9. I am a blessing to my children.
  10. I am doing an amazing job.
  11. “A mother’s love liberates.” – Maya Angelou
  12. I am my child’s lifelong teacher.
  13. I trust my maternal intuition.
  14. I will talk about myself the way I would my best friend.
  15. I am learning to be a better mother with each new day.
  16. Today I will notice the positive aspects of motherhood.
  17. “The strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” – Barbara Kingsolver
  18. I will take care of myself in order to be a good mother.
  19. “There is such a special sweetness in being able to participate in creation.” – Pamela S. Nadav
  20. I am grateful for my ability to create life.
  21. I will remember to put my oxygen mask on first.
  22. I choose to take care of my self.
  23. I will have fun doing the mundane today.
  24. I deserve to put my feet up and relax.
  25. I will be kind to myself.
  26. I become a more confident mother with each new day.
  27. Being a mother makes me feel beautiful.
  28. Being a mother has shown me how strong I am.
  29. I am raising adults who will contribute to the good of society.
  30. Motherhood reveals my strengths to me.
  31. I will play with my children today.
  32. I will make memories with my children and ignore the dirty dishes.
  33. The decisions made by other moms do not need to dictate mine or how I feel about myself as a mother.
  34. There is no such thing as “just a mom”.
  35. My children will remember the time we spend together, not what they were given.
  36. I love my children even on the days I don’t particularly like them.
  37. My children love me and are thankful for me, even when they don’t say it.
  38. I will show my children what it means to take care of yourself.
  39. I will build into myself so that I can parent from a place of rest and happiness rather than exhaustion and bitterness.
  40. “I know how to do anything – I’m a mom.” – Roseanne Barr
  41. I will not worry about small details today.
  42. I will turn away from judgement today.
  43. “There is no influence so powerful as that of the mother.” – Sarah Josepha Hale
  44. My children do not care about my flaws.
  45. I do not expect to be a perfect mother.
  46. I will leave my expectations for today and what it should look like at the door.
  47. I will embrace the here and now.
  48. This too shall pass.
  49. I am calm and peaceful under pressure.
  50. My children will feel accepted and loved unconditionally by me.
  51. I have feelings that deserve to be recognized.
  52. Asking for help does not mean I’m a failure.
  53. My imperfections today are not important.
  54. “Never look back…it distracts from the now.” – Edna Mode, Incredibles
  55. Today is just one day.
  56. As I teach my kids today, I will also be open to the lessons they can teach me.
  57. My family sees the best in me.
  58. Every challenge I face make me stronger as a mother.
  59. I will show my children how to advocate for kindness and justice.
  60. I am more than enough.
  61. I am lovable and deeply loved.
  62. I take care of my body, mind, and soul.
  63. I love and accept myself exactly as I am.
  64. I am unwavering in my love for my children.
  65. It’s going to be okay.

Positive Affirmations for Working Moms


Click here to print Positive Affirmations for Working Moms

  1. I am working hard to support my family.
  2. I love my children just as much as I would if I were staying at home.
  3. Today I will find peace in being good enough because perfection is impossible.
  4. Everything thing I do serves a purpose for my family.
  5. I am the best mom for my children.
  6. I will laugh and play with my children when we are together.
  7. I will be an intentional parent.
  8. I am not comparing myself to the mothers around me; I am the perfect mother for my child.
  9. I am a positive role model for my children
  10. I got this!

Positive Affirmations for Single Moms

Click here to print Positive Affirmations for Single Moms

  1. All that I need is within me.
  2. Stronger than I was yesterday.
  3. I am stronger than I seem. I am braver than I think.
  4. I am grateful.
  5. I have a great life.
  6. God gives strength to single parents.
  7. Single parents are brave; I’m brave and courageous today.
  8. I find time to have a social life.
  9. I have kind caring affordable sitters whenever I choose.
  10. I have those who are willing to help when necessary.
  11. Being a single parent is part of what makes me unique.
  12. My children and I form a strong bond.

Positive Affirmations for Stay-at-Home Moms

Positive Affirmations for Stay-at-Home Mom

Click here to print Positive Affirmations for Stay-at-Home Mom

  1. When there is chaos around me, I am the calm.
  2. This too will pass.
  3. I fully embrace today.
  4. I will laugh with my children today.
  5. I am more than just a mom.
  6. My job at home is worth millions.
  7. I am leaving a legacy of love.
  8. I will do what I can; no one expects perfection.
  9. I will take care of myself.
  10. It’s okay to ask for help.
  11. I might not see it now but the time I’m investing in my kids does matter.
  12. My children will not remember a pristine house, they will remember the time I spent with them.
  13. My home is a safe place.

Have you practiced positive affirmations before? Tell me your favorite way to talk nice to yourself.

If you loved this, check out these stories

15 Positive Affirmations for Working Moms

25 Positive Affirmations for Divorced Moms


100 Positive Affirmations for Moms

How to road trip with a newborn this holiday season.

There are affiliate links in this blog post.

My son’s first Christmas was the worse Christmas I ever had. He was less than eight weeks old, nursing every hour and a half and I was far away from my family. I also was a novice breastfeeder and he had a terrible latch; the two of us together was nothing short of a disaster. I remember that first Christmas sitting in my bedroom, nursing my baby and sobbing because the holidays had hardly felt like the holidays. There was no Christmas cheer in my life and I was raising this baby who I hardly knew how to take care of. My family switches between Christmas and Thanksgiving as far as shared holidays go and in 2008 we were going to be at my parents’ house, six hours away, for New Years. If you are traveling this holiday season like I was with a newborn or infant, I have a few tips you may want to heed.

How to road trip with a newborn this holiday season.

How to road trip with a newborn this holiday season.
Photography by LovB Photography

Be flexible; don’t get too wrapped up in expectations.

Babies can tell when we’re stressed; they aren’t completely oblivious to everything like we may think they are. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in nine years of parenting and having had three kids it’s that nothing goes as planned. Ever. The best thing you can do is throw any expectations you have for how things are going to be out the window. Sure, make a plan, but be willing and able to abandon that plan when needed.

When should we leave?

If you’re driving to your destination and you’ve got a ways to go I suggest trying to plan your leave time during either a nap or the evening when baby’s asleep. The only downside to this is that when you arrive at your final destination baby may want to be more awake than asleep but hopefully you’ve had a quiet drive. The last thing you want it to spend several hours trapped in a car with an unhappy newborn. That’s the worst; I’ve been there and done that.

Be okay with stopping if you’re road tripping.

When you’re traveling, especially if it’s the dead of winter and you live in a place like Minnesota (I’m talking about myself here) the last thing you want to do is stop to feed baby. Just take the pressure off by residing to the fact that you will be stopping to feed the baby. You should be stopping to feed and change baby, you really can’t shove a bottle in your baby’s face and keep driving. Try to look at the route and plan for stopping about every three hours at the most. If your drive is only three hours long then plan on one stop and if it’s six hours (like the drive is to my parents’ house) then plan for two stops. Most public places are pretty good about having a comfortable spot for moms to feed their baby but if you find yourself in a position where you have to nurse in public, be confident. It is your right as a mother to feed your child, cover up or don’t, do what’s comfortable for you.

How to road trip with a newborn this holiday season.
Photo by Chris Peeters from Pexels 

Packing the right gear.

Part of traveling with a baby is being able to anticipate what your newborn is going to need. If you haven’t done this before it can be really challenging. Here are the things that you’ll need to travel with a newborn:

  • Pack-n-Play – Most hotels have something that you can borrow in the form of a crib but I always felt better bringing what I had from home that could travel.
  • Baby Monitor – If you’re going to be visiting family and staying in their home you’ll want a baby monitor
  • Baby Carrier (We’ll get that in just a little bit.)
  • Pacifiers if your newborn uses one.
  • Inflatable Baby Bathtub
  • Clothes – lots of changes of clothes, especially if you won’t have easy access to laundry.
  • Diapers – If you’re using disposable diapers, I suggest bringing a box. If you’re using cloth diapers, check out our post on how to pack with cloth diapers.

Wear that Baby!

If you aren’t into babywearing or you haven’t tried now is the time to embrace it. We’ve written a lot about babywearing on First Time Mom because it’s a great way to not only bond with your baby but also helps your baby feel safe and secure. I personally loved babywearing whenever we were traveling because it just made things easier. Baby felt comfortable and secure and because of that I was relaxed. If you don’t have a ton of room in your luggage then I suggest trying a ring sling. Ring slings are best used with newborns anyway so you might as well just go this route if you’re traveling. This is a great blog post about ring slings from Tula Baby.

How to road trip with a newborn this holiday season.
Photo courtesy of Mat York

Anytime you travel with you child, whether they’re a newbie little squish or an experienced teenager, you have to be willing to be flexible above all else. Once you can relax a little we think you’ll find that the experience will be better than you expected. Happy and safe travels!

How to road trip with a newborn this holiday season. Helpful tips to help you keep your cool so you can enjoy your holidays with your new bundle of joy!

Help me remember that I am still the woman you fell in love with.

Mom trying to read to child
Mom trying to read to child
photography by LoVB Photography

Featured on Huffington Post Parents and Good News.

You may not realize this, but I finish most days feeling like an emotional punching bag for our tween, a complete life-ruiner to our five-year-old because I made him clean up his Lego mess and a literal punching bag to our dear toddler who is going through that “I hit when I’m frustrated” phase of toddlerhood. Sure, I can take it, I’m a mom and it goes with the territory…at least that’s what I tell myself after I’ve had the bedroom door slammed in my face because I said no screens until homework is finished. I’m pretty sure I was miserable to my mother when I was a 13-year-old so I guess it’s only payback, right?

Can I tell you what I need from you, though? I mean you’re my safe place, the person who supports, loves, and gets me; that’s why we decided to create these little human beings, after all, we love each other. It’s really simple, really, it won’t take any time from you and it will honestly be the highlight of my day:

Help me remember that I am still the woman you fell in love with.

You see I need your help, I desperately need your help. I’ve been at this “mom” thing for so long that I have kind of forgotten who I am without it. I can’t remember what life was like before I held our first child in my arms, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t personally responsible for another human being’s wellbeing. I need for you to help me remember that I am indeed the woman you fell in love with all those years ago. How can you do this?  You can help me remember that I am still that woman you fell in love with by doing these things when you come home from work:

  • Say “hi” to me from across the room and the children are all jumping and running to greet you at the door.
  • Look me in the eyes and ask me how my day was; I promise you’ll be able to tell what happened as soon as you ask.
daughter looking up at her mother
photography by LoVB
  • When you see toys all over the floor, the dishes piled up in the sink or the naked child wildly running around, just understand that I am actually doing my job, but dinner needs to get onto the table and that means chaos is created because they know that they do not have my undivided attention.
  • Please take the kids to another room even if it’s for five minutes; I just want to be able to hear myself think.
  • Tell me that I’m doing a good job; no one else says it and if they do it’s usually because there’s a special occasion that calls for it. There is no progress report for motherhood and I’m just winging it, day in and day out.
  • Listen to the sometimes “silly” drama that happens in my day, whether it’s our daughter throwing a tantrum in the cereal aisle at Target or something that was said to me by another mom, just listen. I don’t need you to fix it and I don’t want to hear that you think it’s silly and not worth the emotional energy. You can tell me later how you really feel, once things have calmed down and I’ve had my moment to be real with you, but initially, please just let me tell you.
  • Understand that this time of parenthood, when the kids are so young and dependent on me, is sometimes isolating, especially if we have a baby. I’m tied down to a nap schedule, feeding schedule and everything else in between. There are some weeks when I literally do not leave the house for days.
  • I need you to hug me and show me some affection, not because you want something in return but because you want me to feel loved. I’m giving myself, physically (especially if I’m breastfeeding) and emotionally to our children hourly, every single day, when is it my turn though?

  • Sometimes I just want you to pat me on the head and tell me I’m pretty. Yes, pretty, even though I’m wearing the same yoga pants and Hawkeye t-shirt that I wore yesterday and the day before and the day before that, just tell me I’m pretty!
  • I do intend on getting to the mountains or laundry, piles of dishes and grocery shopping. Please know that there’s nothing I would like more than to have the house spotless for you, however, I am tired and I just spent the last five hours trying to convince our preschooler that I am really serious when I say she cannot have a real birthday party for her stuffed animal elephant. Yes, real, as in bake a cake, wrap presents, you name it, she wanted to do it.

We’re both tired and I know that you’ve been stuck at work for the last eight hours but believe me, there are some days when I would give anything to be stuck in an office and not holding down the fort at home with our young children. I also would give anything to not have to go back to Corporate America so the fact that you work so hard for our family means the world to me; I don’t say it enough but thank you for how you provide for us.


mom drinking coffee looking out the window.
photography by LoVB

I know I need to be more for you and I want to be that woman you fell in love with, she’s still there inside me, but some days I’ve been kicked down so many times it’s hard to get back up and remember that I am more than a butt wiper, housekeeper, cook, and teacher. I need your help remembering that I still am that woman you were so madly in love with, you decided to promise your entire life to me. Can you do that?