About Me


Southern New Jersey

I am a Mom to 2 amazing and fun daughters and wife to a great guy and a wonderful father!

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Kayla, my oldest. She is 4 1/2 and is a sweet, loving and silly little girl. She took us 2 ½ years and 3 IVF’s to conceive. Kayla is allergic to dairy. We manage her allergy and work to balance her safety with giving her a normal childhood. Kayla loves to read books and play games - she amazes me every day.

Alysa, my youngest. She is 3 years old and is a silly little spitfire. She’s our monkey and loves to climb on everything. She was a “natural” baby, but it was only b/c of my wonderful doctors that we were able to stop an impending miscarriage. Alysa suffers from Acid Reflux Disease and sleep apnea. She may be little, but she has a big personality. She adores her big sister and is so much fun to be around. She keeps me laughing every day.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Wordless Wednesday

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posted at 9:31 AM  

Tuesday, January 30, 2007
My Great Buy
So I don't spend a lot of money on myself. As a Mom, I feel guilty if I do and honestly, I'd rather spend the money on the girls anyway. Ok - so I splurged a little bit at the Pampered Chef party Friday night. Hey, I never said I'm perfect. But that's kitchen stuff. That can't be wrong, right?

Anyway, this weekend, I happened to be up by my parents' house on Friday night for the party and on Sunday. So, I finally took my engagement and wedding rings to be sized. I had to have them sized bigger after Kayla. I couldn't get them on my finger if my life depended on it, even after I got to my pre-pg weight. And now, the rings were falling off my finger. I was afraid of losing them. So I finally took them in Friday night and picked up my snug (and brilliantly clean) rings on Sunday. After I picked them up, I went next door to the LL Bean Outlet. I miss this area. Where I live, there is not an outlet store to be seen. Very sad. I was hoping to find some good deals on clothes for the girls. They had barely anything for the girls, although I did find a pair of 3T pants for K for next year that I got for $7.

While there, I couldn't resist looking at their coats for me. I have my light fleece and my heavy, fake fur-lined suede coat. The heavy coat is not something I can wear when it's raining and it's WAY to bulky to wear when I'm trapsing around with the kids. So I looked. And I left with a beautiful, warm, yet light-weight $130 LL Bean coat that I got for $35. Like I said, I don't spend a lot on myself anymore, so the fact that I have a brandy new coat is thrilling. Although, if I had spent $130 on it, I'd be sick over it. So I'm actually more excited to have gotten such a nice coat for $35. You can't beat that type of 'natural high'. Even J was impressed with it. I hit the jackpot!

Here's my new coat...
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posted at 8:56 AM  

Monday, January 29, 2007
Busy Weekend
Well, I pretty much had not a minute to myself all weekend. So much for getting caught up...with anything. Craztm crazy.

My Aunt and her family came down on Saturday and left Sunday. So we were with them all day Saturday (they left my house at 10:30pm). And let me say, that is waaaaay past my bedtime. Especially considering that I was at a Pampered Chef party Friday night and didn't get home until 11pm. Also, on Saturday, my girls had a birthday party. This was a 2 hour event at a local kids' sport play place. It was a great place and they did a wonderful job with the party. The kids had a special class with fun obstacle courses and games. But most of the kids were older than Kayla. Now this didn't bother my girls and Kayla was in the thick of it all (so was Alysa). But...Kayla is not yet at the age to do well with structured activities. She kept trying to rearrange the obstacle corse. Luckily for me though she likes things lined up "just so". So her idea of rearranging, was making sure the cones and stars and whatever else was in perfectly straight lines. Alysa, wanted to go backwards through the tunnel and at one point, would not get out. Then there was the time she sat on the balance beam and would not move, as a line formed behind of her 10+ kids. Amazingly all these kids were so patient. Believe me when I said I really tried and wanted to get a picture of all these kids lined up behind her, but I couldn't very well make them wait that long. Those kids kept me and my Mom on our toes. We lef the party more exhausted than the girls.

And let me know also say that it was a party for one of my gf's kids who is too wonderful for words. She has been one of the best and most understanding with Kayla's allergy. I was planning on calling her the week before to touch base on the schedule, etc. Well, she called me last Sunday and left a message to tell me the schedule for the 2 hours and that she already talked to the place and it was ok, that when all the kids went into the party room for pizza and cake, my girls could go right into open play and not be directly around the food. She is really wonderful. So it was relatively stress free on that front. Of course, I saw one Mom (not a part of the party) walk into the play area with a cup of iced coffee that very obviously had milk in it. Now, I remembered reading on the paperwork I got for the place that they only allow water in the play area. And normally, I would be annoyed, but I would leave it be. But with K's allergy, I "tattled". The place was wonderful and told her to take it out of the room. Again, I don't like having to do these things, but these cups can spill so easily, especially with all the running around and active play. Plus, how many kids will think nothing of picking up a cup and drinking from it? They are so quick sometimes. I can't chance it. I was lucky the place was so wonderful and sweet about it. I never like doing these types of things, but they are things that, as a food allergy Mom I have no choice.

Yesterday, the girls and I went to my parents' house. It was a nice day, although tiring. So my plan today was to have a low-key day. Stay at home and get the girls back to their normal routine. Well, that happened, although Kayla would not let it be low-key. I was utterly exhausted to begin with and she is just trying my patience. Whatever she can do to drive me crazy, she does. So it's been a day of walking way a lot for me to keep my head on straight. But, we made it through the day. They are now upstairs in their cribs. So I'm hoping for a peaceful night and early to bed.

Any best on if that will actually happen?

posted at 4:54 PM  

Friday, January 26, 2007
Friday's Feast
If you could take lessons to learn any musical instrument, which would you want to learn?

I used to play the piano, violin and clarinet. I think I'd like to still be able to play the piano.

Have you ever mistaken a person for someone else?

Not that I can recall. Although I do mix up my girls quite often - calling them by the other's names. Does that count? ;)

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how well do you keep secrets?

I would say 9. I'm very good with secrets. I would never keep something from J that effects him though. But if it has nothing to do with him, I won't tell him either.

Main Course
What's the closest you've ever been to a dangerous animal?

My Sister and I used to own a Boa Constrictor

When was the last time you lost your patience?

Last week - with the woman at Dell's tech support. I couldn't take it anymore. :) Maintaining my patience is also a daily struggle right now with Kayla testing every boundary we have.

To see more who have dined or to feast, click here.

posted at 2:12 PM  

Thursday, January 25, 2007
We're All Invited
Ultimate Blog Party

Yay! 5 Minutes for Mom is hosting the Ultimate Blog Party. It looks like a lot of fun. I'm a bit late on this post, but I was excited to see it as I'm finally working on catching up here.

Hop on to check out the details. Hope to see everyone there!

posted at 7:53 PM  

Could It Really Be Working?
Am I going to jinx things by thinking and typing that my computer may actually be fixed? It’s been two weeks since it first crashed. It’s been a really loooooong two weeks.

I feel like I could write for a year right now. Plus I’ve probably been taken off the Photo Hunt Blog roll for inactivity. Yikes – it’s amazing how completely and utterly lost one can feel without a computer. It must be an addiction. I use my computer for everything. I budget with it, I pay my bills with it. It’s one of my main sources of communication. And of course, my way of Food Allergy Support and knowledge. I’m so used to just going in my office (aka dining room) and tapping the mouse during the day to check if I have any e-mails. Kayla loves playing Elmo games and carving pumpkins (yes, we know Halloween is over). :)

After having my memory replaced last week, which obviously didn’t do any good. A friend of mine came down to wipe out my hard drive (luckily was able to get all my files off of it), and re load Windows. Well, it crashed within an hour or so of putting Windows on. Might I say, that no other software was on the computer at that point. It crashed 4 times that night. But Dell would not admit that it could be a hardware issue. Finally, I just told the girl to send a technician out to dx the problem, but they won’t w/o giving them a part to replace. How frustrating. So she finally said she’d send out a new hard drive. I told her I also wanted the motherboard and cpu. She said ok, but she only sent the hard drive. Their tech support is severely lacking. Well, my hard drive was replaced around noon Monday and so far, so good. I have just started to slowly put some files back on the computer. I have almost all my software back on. Now let me say, that this is a good sign because Friday morning, I turned the computer on at 7:30 (I just wanted to quickly check e-mail). I then got sidetracked by the kids, so I never got past pushing the power button. Well, by 8:30 I had that big “beautiful” blue screen staring back at me. So that is why, if it’s still running now, I’m pretty hopeful that it was the hard drive and it’s fixed. Please, everyone knock on wood for me! :)

I have TONS to catch up on. It’s very overwhelming. But I will not let that stop me from getting somewhat caught up. It may take a little bit, so please be patient with me. I have a lot in my head – it’s pretty scary sometimes. But I have to do all this around the kids, of course – not always easy. Plus we have my Aunt and her family visiting this weekend from Rhode Island and a birthday party for one of Kayla’s friends on Saturday. Yikes. I’m getting more scared. LOL

Wish me luck on this catch-up business!

posted at 5:01 PM  

Friday, January 19, 2007
I'm not really back up. We wiped out my hard drive last night and reloaded Windows. Well, b4 we got to get any other software on the computer, it crashed again! A total of 4 times last night. So it's not fixed. But I have nothing to lose on the harddrive anymore, so I can be on for short amounts of time. Enough to check my e-mail and pay some bills. Dell's tech support is NOT all they say it is. They insist it's the software. But...if we wipe the harddrive clean and reinstall the brandy new software they sent with the pc and NOTHING else and the problem persists, can it really be the software?!? I finally got them to send a tech guy out and since they won't send one out w/o new parts to put in. They are sending me a new harddrive, motherboard and cpu. Um...wouldn't it be easier to send me a brandy new computer? Sigh! So, I'm still w/o a real computer.

Oh and I also have to say Kayla had a stomach virus last Sunday, which Alysa got today and J got this evening. I'm the last one standing. I don't think I will be for long...

So I'm off to hybernate in my room (far away from J) and shut this thing down b4 it crashes on me.

I hope to get back on properly soon. I feel more overwhelmed every day I'm not here...Oh the catching up I have to do...


posted at 7:14 PM  

Thursday, January 18, 2007
Thursday Thirteen #11
Yay This is Working from my job...

Thirteen Reasons I have Been So Lost this Week with My Computer Crashed

1. No e-mail
2. I haven’t been able to check my bank accounts
3. I haven’t been able to pay my bills
4. I haven’t been able to easily budget (I do this in excel)
5. My phone is through my cable modem, so I have not been able to easily check/delete voice mails on their website
6. I haven’t been able to shop one-line
7. I have not been able to check TV listings
8. Kayla has not been able to play her Elmo games – it’s exhausting repeating over and over that the computer is broken
9. I can’t upload my digital photos from my camera
10. I can’t upload/e-mail/order copies of my photos from Snapfish
11. About 100 times a day, it goes through my mind to look something or another up on the computer and I keep having to remind myself that I can’t do that
12. Having a broken computer makes me itch for a new one ;)
13. I have not been able to Blog – and I am SO far behind…

*It should be fixed tonight, so I can then begin playing catch-up here and with everything else…*

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

posted at 2:59 PM  

Saturday, January 13, 2007
Computer Problems
I'm sorry I have not been on. I am having some major errors with my computer so I won't be able to be one for a little while. I'm waiting on someone to come out from Dell and fix it under warranty (thankfully). I hope it's fixed quickly so I can get back on-line. I'm lost without my computer. The more I use it, the more it crashes.

So...I hope to back up and running quickly!

posted at 2:16 PM  

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Climbing out of my hole

We had our party on Saturday and everyone had a good time. Kayla loved having her friends over to play with. All kids (big and small) were well behaved.

Then Sunday – I finally got the motivation (not sure from where) to organize all my bank statements and register books and balance my check-book. Now, I won’t admit how long it’s actually been, but there was a very large pile of statements. This is what I’ve been doing since Sunday. Basically, when I wasn’t playing with and taking care of the kids, I was on the computer entering in the multiple registers and balancing away. But…I am happy and relieved to say that I finished last night. And although, it had been so long there were bound to be some mistakes, it was not too bad. I was pleasantly surprised. And now that I am in a good place routine-wise with the girls, I vow that in 2007 and forward, I will be back to my “old self” of balancing once a month. I can’t let it get out of hand again.

My next project is to organize all my coupons again. I was so good here until Alysa came along. I now have stacks of coupons, most of which are expired. For a while, I was the coupon queen – we saved a lot of money with them. So now I have to sit down one afternoon while the girls are napping and go through them all and start cutting and organizing them, so I can get back to saving.

I’ve also been dealing with the increasing “Terrible Two’s Syndrome”. The past 2 weeks, Kayla has been very defiant. She just refuses to listen. It can be on something simple as coming over to be changed (she still refuses to have anything to do with the potty) or something more important such as standing on things that are meant to be stood on. And then there’s the part where she feels it’s her duty to push her sister away from anything she wants to play with by herself. Yes, I know this is all perfectly normal behavior, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating. The hardest that I have to deal with is her standing in her seat at the dinner table. This is what I have a hard time curbing b/c there is nothing during meals that I can punish her with immediately. I can’t take her out of her seat for a timeout b/c then she’s getting what she wants – away from the table. And sometimes, threatening to take away Dora (if it’s breakfast time) will work, but if not, she then later has no clue why she’s being punished. So this is a moment by moment thing. I take it as it comes and try to gauge what I can use as leverage.

So the past few days has been a struggle as I’ve been exhausted from keeping up with Kayla’s newest antics each day and from staring at the computer screen. But I’ve managed to slow down at times and enjoy the girls and their laughter. Alysa now loves to “sing” Row Row Row Your Boat. Well, her version goes like this… “Row-row-row-row…”. Of course, it’s the most adorable thing. And Kayla, as exasperating as she can be lately, she is also getting cuter by the minute. She comes up with some pretty wacky things to amuse us all. No one can say being a Mom of a 2 ½ year old is boring. LOL

That’s pretty much a quick catch-up on our house. I probably should have used the checkbook balancing as a first Tackle it Tuesday. Oh well… Next time…

posted at 7:37 PM  

Saturday, January 06, 2007
Busy Weekend
Well, we're all back to our normal routine. We're all still healthy - which amazes me. It feels so great. :) I know it can't last forever, but I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

Today, I am having some friends over for our Annual White Elephant Party. For those of you who have not heard of it, here is the gist...
It's a lot of fun and there is one particular gift that keeps resurfacing every year. Unfortunately, my gf who got it last time can't come today, so it will be on hold for a year. :)

Tomorrow, it will be a day of recouperating and cleaning. I'm busy this morning with food preparations and finishing up the last of the cleaning and of course, keeping up with the playroom and toys. Ha!

Speaking of which, I should get back to it... I hope everyone has a great weekend.

posted at 9:14 AM  

Friday, January 05, 2007
Friday's Feast
Which celebrity (or celebrities) do you think will make headlines this year?

I have NO idea. I am so out of the movie/celebrity loop. I couldn't even tell you what movies are in the theaters. :)

They say that good things come in small packages? What is something little that you think is great?

Newborns. There is nothing more special and sweet.

Name a song that makes you want to dance.

Walking on Sunshine

Main Course
What is your favorite font?

I tend to use comic sans quite a bit - otherwise, I use the standard Times New Roman. Can't say I have a "favorite" though.

If you were to write a do-it-yourself article, what would it be about?

How to Cook Dairy-Free. I get a lot of comments like "I don't know how you do it..." or "I'd never be able to do that..." It was really hard at first, but now it's very easy. And it was really the shock of it all that made it hard. Dairy is actually very simple to work around...

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posted at 11:04 AM  

Thursday, January 04, 2007
Thursday Thirteen #10

Thirteen Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2007

1. My new bed due to arrive later this month
2. My birthday NOT being on Easter this year
3. Our family vacation at the end of June
4. Whatever days we get to have as a family
5. The Balloon Festival in July
6. Our Annual Mother’s Day Brunch
7. Not having a family obligation on Father’s Day this year (like last year)
8. My girls continuing on the path of weight-gain
9. Lowering our expenses even more – I just got a quote on new car insurance with over $500 in savings…
10. The girls’ birthdays – Kayla’s 3rd and Alysa’s 2nd (yikes!)
11. The arrival of my newest niece or nephew
12. Visiting him/her and my other 3 niece and nephews in Ohio
13. Continuing to explore the world through Kayla and Alysa’s eyes

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

posted at 3:32 PM  

Wednesday, January 03, 2007
What Happened to Family Meals?
New Year’s Day, my parents took us out to dinner. We have found one place that I feel comfortable eating at and actually giving Kayla food at. So it’s nice to get out with the kids occasionally. But while we were there, I saw something that has really bothered me. And right or not, I can not seem get it out of my head.

J and I are very conservative parents. We limit the amount of TV they watch (well Kayla anyway b/c Alysa couldn’t care less about TV) and we are very cautious in what we let them watch. I am also a firm believer in eating as a family. The unfortunate part about that is we only get to have a real sit-down family dinner once a week. J doesn’t get home from work until 7 and the 2 days a week I work, I don’t get home until the girls have started eating. I’m hopeful that when they are older, we can eat a later dinner so we can eat together. Anyway, that is another topic… But when we do get to eat as a family, we do so and even when we aren’t all together, it’s me and the girls at the table – no TV, etc.

So anyway – we were at the restaurant and we were towards the end of our meal (thankfully), when a couple came in with their daughter (I’d say about 4). I hadn’t noticed them right away (even though they were seated next to us) – but Kayla did. I could tell this b/c her body was twisted around in her seat so she could catch a glimpse of the portable DVD player the parents brought for her to watch while they were there. And what was playing – Dora of course – Kayla’s favorite show. Now, I know I’m being a bit judgmental, but I couldn’t help but be disgusted. We live in a world where parents work late and meals can not always be eaten together. It’s not always easy. But if you are going to take the time to go out to eat – can’t you eat as a family then? Must parents have to bring a TV to entertain their child? I would never say it’s easy to eat out with kids, which is why we don’t go often. But when we do, we bring quiet toys to help entertain them when they have had enough of us. Not to mention plenty of snacks. :) Isn’t it good for your child to see you and your husband having a conversation over a meal? Shouldn’t you engage your child in a conversation that they can understand? Maybe tell them jokes or listen to theirs to keep them occupied? Must the fall-back always be television? What happened to good, old fashioned family time?

Of course, Kayla was mesmerized by the TV and she kept repeating – “she’s watching TV”. So I simply explained that we don’t watch TV when we are in restaurants. And yes, the conservative parent in me was a bit disgusted by the detached parenting. But I will also say, as I watched my girls happily play with their chopsticks (we save them all for the end of the meal when they are a bit antsy), I felt sad for them. I love to watch my girls play and I all I could think of is what they were missing out on.

posted at 9:02 PM  

Wordless Wednesday
This is a pic of my father (aka Gramps) with Alysa on New Year's Day!
Need I say more...?

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posted at 9:29 AM  

Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Allergist Today
So I made our trek to the Allergist today. I’m totally wiped out. Both girls were extremely well behaved and listened phenomenally well. But, as with any toddler, there was a lot of, don’t climb there or don’t stand in front of the door, etc. I got quite a few comments of “they must wear you out”. You think? :)

Alysa was a trooper. She cried when they stuck her with the skin test things, but then she was fine. The itching didn’t bother her. Of course, the tests came up negative on everything, including pine trees. I knew that would happen. Luckily, the doctor agrees with my Mommy dx and concurs that she is indeed allergic to pine trees (he said to go artificial next year – uh, already on that). So he gave me a prescription for an allergy medicine for her to take as needed. Allergy testing at this age is very unreliable, but it was dead-on for Kayla, so I figured it can’t really hurt. Reaction always trumps any test result. But he’s having me take her for some b/w just to rule out normal blood issues (basically some cbc stuff). We go back in 6 weeks for a f/u for those tests.

And I confirmed with him what they will do for Kayla in August when she turns 3. I was right in my assumptions – they will have RAST tested (blood test) for her dairy allergy and then if negative, follow up with skin testing. If both are negative, they will do a food challenge in their office. As much as I hope she outgrows it, I can’t say I’m looking forward to the testing and challenges. Of course he had to say, she'll probably turn out still +, b/c the typical age to outgrow is between 3 and 5. I know all this, but I still don't like to hear it...

I will also add that Kayla cracked me up when she started to pull her shirt up and asked them for “her turn” with the skin testing. She always has to do what Alysa does – good and bad…

Oh and besides common environmental and seasonal allergies, they tested Alysa for the Top 8 food allergens (dairy, soy, wheat, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shell fish). Yes, I know I stated earlier that allergy testing on a 1 year is not full-proof, but I’m still glad those all came out negative.

So my torturous day of spending 1 ½ hours in a doctor’s office with 2 Toddlers that never sit still is over. What a relief. I think I’ll go collapse now…

posted at 7:30 PM  


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Allergy Moms Blog
Are We There Yet
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Food Allergy FAQ
Fruit In Season (my Sister's blog)
Go Dairy Free
I'm a Drama Mama
Irish Triplets
My Daughters' Site
No Whey Mama
Our Story
Parenting a Child with Food Allergies
Parenting Solved
Pink Explosion
Principled Perspectives (my Father's blog)
Tuesday's Child

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Fruit In Season
Principled Perspectives

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Digi Treats by Pamela
Lindsay Jane Designs
Peppermint Creative
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