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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Mothers Day 2009

Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Todd Wilbur's Book Anyone...? I Don't Think So!
This article was brought to my attention by my Food Allergy Mom friend, Janeen. It has really angered me.

Most people have heard of Todd Wilbur who has made himself rich and famous for duplicating recipes from restaurants. He was recently interviewed and here was his last statement made…

“I ask a lot of questions, and these guys are willing to tell you a lot about what's in your food. On the "Oprah" show, I faked a food allergy to get the T.G.I. Friday's Jack Daniel's grill glaze ingredients.”

He has obviously upset a LOT of parents of food allergic children. Here are just some of the comments posted about this article…

“My son has several life threatening food allergies and I spend a lot of time contacting manufacturers, trying to find out if there is something in their products that would kill my child. I never understood why many manufacturers would ask for a doctor's note to release information on ingredients. After reading this article about Mr. Wilbur making a mockery of life threatening food allergies, I now know why it is so difficult to gather information to keep my child safe. This man should be ashamed of himself.”

“I find it in very poor taste that Mr. Wilbur bragged that he LIED about having a food allergy to turn a quick buck. Both my children have life threatening food allergies and because people make light of it and use it as an excuse to be underhanded then BRAG about it in the press, no one wants to take the statement "My child has food allergies could you tell me what is in this and how is it prepared in your kitchen?" I have to deal with these situations daily and because of the actions of people like Mr. Wilbur, restaurants and businesses are less likely to give me the information I need to make an informed decision about what I can or can not give my children.

To others this is just a cute ploy but to those of us trying to wade through the everyday life everyone else takes for granted just to keep our children from having potentially FATAL reactions to things as simple as food, its a slap in the face. I hope not just Mr. Wilbur but others will take this into consideration when they brag about LYING to profit or the next time the issue of food allergy is brought to your attention.”

“I have a son with life threatening food allergies. I have spent hours on the phone with companies making sure that the product won't kill my son.
This just makes it harder for me to get the information I need to keep my son alive and healthy.”

What a despicable thing to do. It is so hard as a parent of a food allergic child to be taken seriously. Society has a hard time grasping that food can kill. We need people to take this seriously and when public figures mock it, it makes our lives harder and our jobs of keeping our children safe, much more difficult. He did more than mock it; he showed a complete lack of respect for our children and us as parents. He ignored how dangerous food can be to those with food allergies. What he did was in poor taste and down-right despicable. And what’s worse, he did it for purely selfish reasons – money. It must be “nice” to live in a world where you can completely disregard others and make a joke out of the struggles we go through daily to keep our children safe.

I for one will never look twice at his book again! I'd love to burn it though!

posted at 10:37 AM  

Wordless Wednesday - I Couldn't Pick Just One
Kayla (this is normal)
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Hop on over to WW to see more great photos or to join in.

posted at 10:30 AM  

Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Time Does Fly
So I was actually productive this past weekend. I got a jump-start on the laundry, which I was still behind on from when Kayla was sick. I put a dent in the pile on my desk –hey a dent makes me happy right now. J

I actually did some baking. Now, I haven’t done nearly enough in recent years. I used to love to bake. And I’m good at it. But, when I went through Infertility I lost all motivation for anything, so of course baking was at the very bottom of the list. Then with Kayla’s allergy, I started up again. Then Alysa came along, so I had less time and I found a lot of great snacks at the specialty stores and on-line. But I realized Saturday morning, that I was out of granola bars (that I buy on-line) and the girls were sick of what I did have in the pantry. So I dragged the frozen bananas out of my freezer and made banana bread. Then I opened up my Food Allergy Network cookbook and found a yummy apple coffee cake recipe and made that. DELICIOUS!!! It’s almost gone. ;) I’ll post the recipe later– I don’t have it with me. The girls were SO happy with my motivation. At least Kayla was – Alysa is not into eating lately. She’d rather drink 50 gallons a day. We don’t let her of course. But it’s a struggle.

Here was lunch yesterday – I gave Alysa a couple sips so she’d eat (she never eats w/o drinking some first). I took the cup away from her and she screamed and cried for her “cu” or “mi”. Then she stopped long enough to put a bite of sandwich in her mouth. When she asked for her “cu” again, I told her after she eats another bite. So again, the crying starts, with food in her mouth. She eventually would eat 2-3 bites in between sips, but this was literally while crying the entire meal. Then of course, Kayla had to join in b/c she didn’t want her sandwich – mind you it was what she ASKED for. So as I was at my wit’s end, I wanted to walk away. But I couldn’t since they were eating. So…I did the next best thing – I called J at work and when he answered, I put the phone on speaker and set it on the table. Misery loves company, right? :)

Then last night, I got all their tubs of clothes down from the attic. I sorted what we have and tried some of the stuff on the girls so I could get an idea of who I need to buy clothes for this summer. Well, Alysa is set. She can wear some of the 12 month shorts and most of the 18 months shorts from Kayla last summer. She’ll definitely need 18 months tops, which I have plenty of. She has a full wardrobe already. Kayla, needs a full wardrobe. I have a few things she can wear this summer again, but not much. I’ll take only having to buy 1 wardrobe. So all their summer clothes are waiting for the warm weather. Oh, I hope it’s soon. I’m ready for spring.
I’m hoping I can keep the momentum going and get mostly caught up b4 I go to Ohio on the 9th. Did I mention I have to pack up their clothes and all their food for that trip still? I’m a bit behind still but it feels good to have been so productive this weekend. It really took me so long to get back to my routine after Kayla’s virus. I’m finally feeling my normal amount of tiredness, no more extreme exhaustion. Yay! It’s good to be back…

posted at 7:31 PM  

Welcome to My Nightmare...
My girlfriend and I are planning on getting together with our 4 kids this coming Monday. And to make it more fun we decided to take them out and do something with them. Now, for most parents this is a stress-free event. But for me…well…there are always extra hassles to deal with. One of the suggestions was a local play place that I have never been to. So I went on their website and the place looks great. It’s for kids 5 and under. And for some with FA’s, it’s great as they are peanut free. We are peanut free, but not due to allergies, more for the fear of more food allergies. But of course, for the “convenience” of parents, they have a snack bar. Oh, why, oh why must everything revolve around food? I called them and they do not allow food in the play areas. But with other foods on the premises, it makes me nervous. There is a place that we go to and have a membership to – they do not have a snack bar. But they have an eating area with vending machines and then of course whatever the parents bring from home. They also do parties with cakes and pizzas, etc. So we can’t escape it no matter where we go. So I decided to try this place out and jump in and hope for the best which is all a Mom with a food allergic child can do. It’s a delicate balancing act – that of balancing the safety of a child threatened by food and a parent’s desire for that child to have a normal and carefree childhood.

Play dates are never easy for us. And I have wonderful friends. They are very understanding and do their best to make things as easy on us as possible. I am so grateful for the friends I have found and it’s why we are able to have play dates. But whenever other kids are involved, it means food is involved in some form, so it is always a situation filled with some level of anxiety.

So of course, last night, I took this anxiety to bed with me. Now granted, it was not consciously done as I fell asleep with no problems and the play place was not on my mind. I actually was reading the Fountain Head by Ayn Rand before bed and fell asleep quickly. But I did have a nightmare. I dreamt that I was at the play place with J and the girls. I had Alysa and he had Kayla (I only assume in my head he had Kayla to save me the added stress of having her be under my watchful eye in this dream). Anyway, she got away from J and we were looking for her. I found her in the snack bar area (which in my dream was right in the middle of the play area with no doors) and she was eating a huge tub of goldfish. I, of course, freaked out and ran to her. She was covered in head to toe hives. True to our experience, the hives did not phase her (they never have). And as I’m scrambling to get the Benadryl and hoping not to need the epi-pen, my subconscious was screaming – “she’s not outgrowing this, she’s not outgrowing this”. So you can also see that the knowledge and anxiety of her being retested in August is slowly creeping up on me.

It was a terrifying nightmare. And yes, for those who do not understand what it is like living with food allergies, it must seem a bit “comical” to be scared of goldfish. It’s a toddler staple and for most it is a benign snack. But for us, it means Kayla getting very sick and possibly worse. They truly terrify me. Most see their innocent little smiles on the package – I see an evil grin.I of course will be armed with Benadryl and Kayla’s epi pens on Monday. And I will go and hide my inner turmoil from Kayla and hope for the best. And as I enjoy watching (and chasing after) my girls as they run around and have fun as if they have not a care in the world, I’ll know I made the right choice.

posted at 9:53 AM  

Monday, February 26, 2007
5 Reasons I Blog

My Sis tagged me for this meme. So here I go...this may take a while as it's "one of those days" in our house today. :)

I am going to tag Janeen and Zany Mama. Of course, anyone else that wants to join in, please let me know in my comments so I can come check it out.

posted at 10:22 AM  

Saturday, February 24, 2007
Saturday Photo Hunt
This is Kayla at 5 months (Jan 2005) in her soft snowsuit in the soft snow. She was not too thrilled with the situation... :)

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To view more photo hunts, hop on over to tnchick.

posted at 7:05 AM  

Friday, February 23, 2007
SO Frustrating...
In case I never mentioned it, we refinanced our mortgage in December. I did this in order to consolidate our Kayla payment Home Equity Line of Credit with our mortgage. My goal was to lower the combined payment. Well, this would have worked had our mortgage company not royally messed up. I get a notice this past week saying they will be raising our payment $250 a month b/c THEY messed up our escrow account. Now, I will say I despise escrow accounts. I've wanted to get rid of mine for a while now, but it has not been a priority with so much other things going on. Well, now that they have put us in a hole with a negative escrow account balance, I'm fuming.

Now I have to start the journey of getting rid of the escrow account and paying our own taxes and insurance. I have no problem with this and it's what I prefer. I am certainly financially disciplined enough to do this. The catch is that in order to do this, I have to first make my escrow account positive. Now this will happen on it's own after our April payment. So I can wait, but then I have to, on top of paying into our escrow account each month, pay our April quarterly tax bill of $1400. Oh, how I wish we didn't live in Jersey right now. The only way out is to cough up that tax bill. Then of course, I'm sure my mortgage company will try and find some loop-hole to NOT let us out of our escrow account. One thing the guy mentioned was that it was a "new" mortgage. Um...we refinanced with the SAME company - so how does that make us "new"? We've only had our mortgage with them for 4+ years...

So even though, our taxes will be paid, even if by them, having a negative balance hangs over my head like I am in a self-imposed debt. It's very stressful on me. So until this is resolved, it will hang over my head. I just hope they don't give me too hard a time next week when I start the pestering of them to get my tax bills out from under their control.

Wish me luck...I think I'm going to need it...

posted at 8:23 PM  

Friday's Feast
Where on your body do you have a scar, and what caused it?

I have a pretty long scar on my left foot. I had a bunion (sp?) in college and it was so painful I had to have it removed via surgery. Due to nerve damage, I actually had a total of 3 surgeries on it - so the scar is much longer and bigger than it should be. I also had a scar in my belly button and along my bikini line (tiny ones) from laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis.

What is something that has happened to you that you would consider a miracle?

Both my girls. Kayla was conceived from IVF, but she is actually "explainable" as it was medical science that helped us conceive her. Alysa was conceived the "old fashioned way" and was a complete surprise. Plus, with all my infertility issues which were still present, it was amazing she was conceived, let alone hung on long enough for me to find out I was pregnant. I was starting to miscarry when I found out I was pregnant.

Name a television personality who really gets on your nerves.

Rosie O'Donnell - she is uterally obnoxious and has no clue about anything she spouts off about.

Main Course
What was a funny word you said as a child (such as "pasketti" for "spaghetti")?

I don't know of a word. But once, I actually told someone that my name was "Jabberwalkiejoke" which was my nickname. My parents stopped calling me that from that moment on.

Fill in the blank: I have always thought ______ was ______.

Children/are to be cherished.

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

posted at 7:50 PM  

Thursday, February 22, 2007
Still Tired...
I can NOT shake this exhaustion. What I need is an entire day to sleep. I don't think I'll be getting that anytime soon.

But...our bed was delivered yesterda. I LOVE it. The girls do too. Especially crawling inside it. It is a platform bed and has a huge storage area with doors. Luckily these are blocked so they can't get in w/o us letting them in. But they thought it was the greatest thing. Unfortunately Alysa couldn't grasp the idea of waiting until she was out to try to stand up. Her poor little head. :) She also has a much harder time getting on this bed. Which is actually a good thing. With our old bed, it was a long way down and she would often go off backwards but fall the last little bit and hit her head. Well this one has a MUCH longer fall. I have to climb on it to get in bed.

So I went to bed last night telling myself to remember to be careful when I groggily get out of bed in the morning. I'm sure this would have worked had Kayla not woken up from a nightmare at 4:30am. I heard her crying and flew out of bed, only to miss hitting my face into J's dresser by a verly little bit. I caught myself somehow in my stupor. Now, Kayla goes to bed with her blanket and Map and Swiper. Just about every night b4 she falls asleep Map and Swiper end up on the floor. Her blanket sometimes does, but others it will stay in her crib until she wakes up in the morning and then throws it out. Last night, it was on the floor b4 she went to sleep. So I run in to get her. I pick her up, hug her and sit down in her chair. Here is our conversation...

Me - Did you have a bad dream?
Kayal - Yes.
Me - What was your dream about?
Kayla - Want blanket? [lips quivering]
(J walks in here and picks up her blanket and covers her with it)
Me - Did you have a bad dream about your blanket?
Kayla - Yes
Kayla - Want to go night-night with blanket?

It was so sad to see her so distraught about this dream and her missing blanket. But then I told J - oh how I wish my nightmares were so simple.

And last night we had a food break-through with Alysa. She actually ate pizza for dinner. Of course this is pizza w/o cheese. But up until last night, she would not touch tomato sauce. So this may mean there is another thing that we can give her to eat for dinner. We'll see if it actually lasts though.

And it then just dawned on me that I am due to head to Ohioin 2 weeks. Um...I guess I'd better get on organizing for that. I have to start on my lists - since I have to pack my pantry and fridge, or their contents anyway. :) I guess I'd better get on that...

posted at 12:30 PM  

Thursday Thirteen #15
Thirteen Things about my youngest - Alysa

1. She was conceived “naturally”
2. I almost had a m/c
3. Her birthday is December 3rd
4. She was 2 days early
5. She couldn’t care less about tv – she’ll watch for about 3 minutes and then it bores her
6. She has a very silly and wacky sense of humor (just like Big Sis)
7. She loves music and dancing
8. She sleeps with her “baby” (a soft little doll) and her taggie blanket
9. She gets comfort from sucking on tags
10. She loves books and she surrounds herself with them
11. She gave up the bottle on her own at around 10 months – she drinks from a straw
12. She is very sensitive – the word “no” in any tone of voice can bring her to tears
13. She is my little monkey and loves to climb (she would be much better at it if she didn’t have such short legs)

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 10:32 AM  

Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Wordless Wednesday

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And this is neat - usually they are sitting in the middle of a HUGE pile of books...

Hop on over to WW to see more great photos or to join in.

posted at 11:32 AM  

Monday, February 19, 2007
Odds and Ends
Yes, I never got back on Saturday for the Photo Hunt. Luckily it was not b/c I got sick or anyone else, for that matter. I just had no energy to dig up something antique. So, I was a slacker.

So far, no one else has gotten the stomach virus. I will not, however let my guard down yet. I can’t fathom how Kayla could have it for 5 days and now one else gets it. So I’m still tense and expecting the worst. Ho hum…

Add to that the fact that my house is a disaster area and my office looks like a bomb went off. I really need to tackle it. It’s so unlike me for it to be this bad. A little clutter built up, yes, that can be normal – but the piles I have. Yikes! And in that pile is our tax returns, done and signed. I really need to get them in the mail tomorrow.

Some exciting news – for me anyway. Our bed is in and it’s being delivered on Wednesday. Yay! So now, I’m on the hunt for a new bedding set. If anyone knows of a good place to shop, let me know. I want something nice and good quality. I’m not going to Kohl’s for this one. I really have no clue where to go. I’ll have fun shopping for it though.

Amidst all the chaos of last week, Alysa had her f/u at the Allergist. Her testing came back normal and her over-all allergy levels were low. Yay! Not that it necessarily means anything, but it’s a good sign. :) They want to see her back in June. Can’t say I’m sure why they will still see her, but I’m guessing at this point that it is b/c they gave a prescription for allergies as needed and to see how she does through the spring allergy season. To be honest, I was too much of a zombie to ask many questions. To me, an environmental allergy to pine trees is a “blessing” compared to food allergies. And they are expected with my family history. I did ask the doc that Kayla saw about when I should call to set up K’s blood test for her dairy re-test. He said with her level (a 3 – which is considered high). He said that since it’s a 3, he will do a skin test in August (no blood test first). Now, let me say this is the same doctor that when she was 8 months would not do a skin test to confirm her blood test b/c of her level 3 result and the fact that she had a contact reaction. Granted, he did not have her chart with him, so I will give him some lee-way. But it’s “comical” that even the same doctor has differing opinions. Regardless, I will NOT let them do a skin test w/o a blood test first. If she has not outgrown her allergy, I will not let her be exposed to the allergen. I have not worked my tale off since April of 2005 and lived with stress and anxiety and reorganized my home and life in order to keep her from coming into contact with dairy only to voluntarily put it in her system. So…when it’s closer to August and time to schedule an appointment I will request the RAST test (blood test). If they refuse (which I can’t see them doing), I will ask her Ped to order it. But we have time to work through these details…

Oh yes, I put Kayla in cotton undies yesterday to see what she would do. In March, J and I plan on taking 2 days and giving her a “nudge”. Well, she wore them and peed in them. I was not in the room and she comes running in – “Oh no, Kayla, what did you do”. Then she said something about the potty. I asked her if she want peepee’s. She said yes. I said where? She ran over and said, “Oh, in the basket.” For those who know me – the baskets I have in my house are Longaberger baskets. Yes, she used one as a potty. Although in her defense, they love to play in it, so it was not intentional. Thankfully they have the well-made and functional plastic protectors in them. So it was actually very easy to clean up. I put her back in undies until her nap. I tried to get her to sit on the potty b4 her nap and she got all upset about it. So that was my attempt for the day. I will wait until March when one of us can be dedicated to her at all times. This is not going to be fun. At least she’ll love running around naked.

I had wanted to run some errands today, but I think I’ll stay home – it’s President’s Day which means it might as well be Saturday. It’s WAY too crazy to drive amongst the traffic in my area on the weekends. So I will hopefully be productive today and get my office cleaned. I’ll take some pics and possibly post it later so you can see what I got done.

Wish me luck!

posted at 8:24 AM  

Saturday, February 17, 2007
Still Waiting…
Well, it’s Saturday (yikes, did I miss Friday’s Feast?). It finally looks like Kayla is on the mend. It’s been a looooong week. And the days are still dragging as I wait for the rest of us to get it. Nothing so far, but I can’t see how any of us can escape it.

I don’t remember how much I ended up posting from when my computer was broken in January. But K got a tummy bug (Sunday am) then and threw up for 10 hours b/4 we were sent to the ER due to dehydration (she has a weak tummy). She was given Zofran (a miracle anti-vomiting drug) and after drinking 20 ounces and returning to her normal, goofy self, we were sent home. She was then over the virus and after 3 days or so her eating returned to normal and after a week and additional calorie supplement, her weight returned to normal (I’m going by Mommy-radar here). Alysa got it the following Friday am – she threw up once and was 100% back to normal (besides a bit of crankiness that day). J got it Friday evening and I got it very early Sunday morning. None of us had it like Kayla did.

So this time, it started 9pm Sunday night and by 5am, I gave her Zofran (I had the 2nd half from January). I was trying to avoid an ER visit and dehydration. J got some sleep that night, I sat up and watched her sleep for the 20-30 minute intervals in between. She was fine most of Monday (by fine I mean no throwing up). At around 4, it started again. By 8, I realized she had not pee’d since 11am that morning. So the nurse sent us to the ER again. J stayed with A and I got to take Kayla and get us both exposed to heaven knows what in the crowded ER. They were packed, so we didn’t get out of there until 2am. At midnight, they gave her Zofran again and we were sent home at 2am. I got to sleep at 3am and woke up at 6 to K screaming. She then slept with me until 9. J was great and went in to work late so we could rest a bit. Then he came home early b/c Alysa had her f/u with the allergist at 3pm Tuesday. Ugh! Kayla had a high fever Tuesday (102.6), but no throwing up. But 2am Wed, she started again. She threw up until 10am that morning when her Ped had us go out and get Zofran for her. He was trying to avoid us taking her out in the ice storm we were having. Then Thursday night at 6pm, she threw up AGAIN! Luckily this was a one-time relapse. But she was a blog that night and yesterday. I did take her in to her Ped’s office yesterday, as I figured, after 5 days, I wanted her looked at and weighed.

With a recovering Failure To Thrive dx (FTT), I am sent into panic mode at the slightest drop in weight, either actual or perceived. Well, my Mommy-radar was right on. In October, she was 24lb, 10oz (yes she’s very light) and yesterday she was down to 24lb even. Now I don’t know what she weighed b4 getting sick, but I know she had gained weight and had to be over 25 lb, or at lest 25lb. Her 2T pants were finally snug and fitting quite well on her. That’s amazing in and of itself. They are now pathetically baggy on her emaciated body. Her ribs are prominently showing again and the back of her rib cage sticks out of her back.

But this morning, she had a half a waffle for breakfast, some soy milk and some soy yogurt. It’s her first meal of substance since lunchtime last Sunday. It’s not back to normal yet, but I’ll take it. She got some fat and protein in her. Yay!

Alysa ate horribly this morning. So I’m not sure if it’s b/c her tummy is not right or if it’s simply b/c she has a cold (like me and J) and has an awful cough. I’m not feeling great either. But again, I have a cold, cough and just general lack of sleep all week.

I of course, don’t want to get sick. But if I have to, why can’t it just come so I can be done with it? It’s more stressful waiting for it. And I just hope I get it again when J is home like last time. It was at least “considerate” enough to be sick through the night and not when I’m taking care of the girls.

It's a day of major laundry today and waiting to get sick. Well, wish me luck. I don’t see how we can escape it… Barring getting sick, I’ll be back later to post my Photo Hunt… I still have to hunt down a photo… LOL

posted at 8:37 AM  

Thursday, February 15, 2007
Thursday Thirteen #14
Thirteen Reasons this has been a Horrible Week

*This will explain why I have not been on since Saturday*

1. Kayla came down with another stomach virus Sunday night
2. Which meant another ER Visit Monday night for Dehydration
3. The ER was super busy, so we were there from 9pm to 2am
4. Who knows what we’ll catch from being at the ER
5. I woke up at 6:30am on Sunday and didn’t go to sleep until 3am on Tuesday morning (I was up for 44.5 hours straight) - I'm REALLY tired
6. She had a relapse at 2am Wed morning which turned into an 8 hour relapse
7. She had to be given her 3rd dose of Zofran to stop the vomiting
8. I am now worried about her weight, as she has no weight to spare…
9. If she starts up again, she’ll need to be tested for a urinary tract infection
10. This means she’ll need a catheter :(
11. We had an ice storm Tuesday night into Wednesday
12. Alysa, J and I all have colds with yucky coughs – Kayla is now getting it too (she can’t win this week)
13. I am waiting for the rest of us to get this virus…

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 11:35 AM  

Saturday, February 10, 2007
Go Diego Go Live!
What an exhausting day. My Mom and I took Kayla to see the Diego show today. Kayla was so excited and had a great time. Her favorite character today (Dora was only in it a little bit) was Baby Jaguar. She was mesmerized the entire show and asked for Baby Jaguar the few times he was not on stage. She participated a few times when asked, but for the most part was just content to sit back (in my lap), suck her thumb and stay glued to the stage.

For me? It wasn't as enjoyable. Don't get me wrong - it was an awesome production. The acting and singing was phenomenal. The costumes and staging was amazing! I couldn't have been happier with the show itself. It was the vast amount of potentially deadly food that threw me for a loop. Now I knew food would be there. We took Kayla to see Dora back in April at another arena. And food was there. Popcorn and other snacks. But for the most part, there was very little food around during the show. We just couldn't let her down in the lobby. But this place - a WHOLE different ballgame. There was popcorn on the floor b4 the arena even filled up - they apparently don't know how to clean up very well. Every where I turned there was pretzels and chips with cheese sauce dip and, the worst - bags of buttered popcorn. Again, I knew we'd encounter food, I just didn't expect it to this extent. I felt like I might as well have been in a movie theater (which we refuse to take her to right now due to her contact allergy). So we got to our seats (early luckily) and I know I was getting looks. I'm sure people were thinking - look at that germaphobe cleaning all their seats. Yup, there I was with my package of wipes, wiping down the arm rests and all parts of the seats - the back, the front, the cushions and the backs and tops of the ones in front of us. Again, I'm glad were there b4 anyone else in our area. But there I am the entire show, sitting in the middle of the row with people all around us with pretzels and popcorn and at one point, the child a few seats down dumped half his bag of popcorn on the floor. Mental note - don't leave that way. I felt like I had eyes all around my head. Then b4 the show started, I hear a Mom behind us say the dreaded words to her gf. I have goldfish for the kids. Oh - is there anything worse? So now, my ears are trained to listen for the ripping of a goldfish bag. And all through the show, the girl with them is leaning on the empty seat next to me - the one empty b/c K is on my lap - the one with our coats, etc. Then during intermission - I hear the girl say "I'm hungry" - and rummage-rummage-rummage. I am looking out of the corner of my eye - what does she pull out - the bag of goldfish. Again, this is the girl who likes to lean on our seat. So I politely turn to the Mom and asked her if she would just not have her touch our seat after she eats the goldfish. I explained why and was super nice, etc. Her response? Oh, not a problem. Honey, sit back in your seat while you eat the goldfish. Then to me - I'll wipe her hands with a wipe as soon as she's done. And she did. *sigh* It's refreshing when you encounter such wonderful and understanding Moms. Of course, she's probably thinking "better her than me". Then of course, she asked some questions, etc and thought it was sad. She was so nice. I was so appreciative.

The worst part? Kayla. The poor girl wanted cotton candy desperately. Now, she's never had it and doesn't know what it was. But I kept hearing - "Mommy, I want that". Of course, we don't know what it's touched, etc. So it's a no-no. Then, what broke my heart was telling her over and over that she couldn't have one of the huge, delicious-looking soft pretzels that everyone around us was eating. Luckily, I had safe pretzels with us - but they're no soft pretzels. That was hard for me too - I was starving! LOL

So I was so tense the whole show - watching all around me and not letting Kayla touch anything. But it paid off. We had not contact and therefore no reaction to contend with. But when we left the building, all the tension left my body and left me with a HUGE headache. Weird when tension release can give you that kind of pain.

She was none-the-wiser though and couldn't have been happier. So aside from that it was an amazing show with wonderful performers who looked to be having fun with the kids. All the kids there was so cute singing and playing along. And it's refreshing as a Mom to see a show that is 110% appropriate for kids. Definitely worth it.

Here are some pics of our trip. And yes, I stole a pic at the end of the show. Ssssshh...don't tell. I was hoping to get a better shot of Baby Jaguar (on the left), but it was towards the end and some of the kids were standing. Baby Jaguar's costume was my favorite - he was adorable!

Here is a pic of Kayla "with" Diego. They took a pic that I'm waiting to be available on-line. Will post when I get it...
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Here's Kayla waiting patiently for the show to start...
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Kayla is ready to help Baby Jaguar get his growl back...
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Here is the final scene. It doesn't do the props and scenery justice...
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Kayla is really enjoying the last song...
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Alysa got a souvenir too even though she was home with Gramps all day...
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posted at 8:37 PM  

Friday, February 09, 2007
Saturday Photo Hunt
I know I'm early, but with the Diego show tomorrow, I didn't want to let the time get away from me and miss posting.

Here is a picture of my very first car. I had a 1992 Pontiac Grand Am and it was totalled 28 hours after I drove it off the lot. I was hit by an 18 wheeler who ran a red light. And believe it or not, I walked out of the car. No broken bones or "concrete" injuries. I have a very weak/bad back, but no doctor can pinpoint an actual injury. So I live with it. But hey - I was lucky, so I can't complain too much.

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p.s. Sorry the quality is so poor - the picture was scanned into the computer.

posted at 8:43 PM  

Can I Quit Gymnastics?
So today at gymnastics did not go as well as last week. Kayla was so uncooperative - in her own class. She would not listen or follow direction. She had a couple crying fits. It was truly mentally exhausting trying to keep up with her today. Can't the kids just take themselves to gymnastics? :) Alysa would probably go for it, as she wants nothing to do with me during her class. :)

It was just an overall exhausting day with 2 girls who were cranky, cranky, cranky. Did I mention cranky? Oh and they both ate terribly. Kayla was the best eater, but I use the term 'best' lightly. Alysa basically ate nothing but some yogurt and graham crackers. Not too good for a child who's a skinny minny in the 5%. Hopefully she's cutting some teeth and it will come in soon. :)

Tomorrow is the Diego show. I'm really looking forward to it and so is Kayla. Please cross your fingers for me that she has a better day and is well behaved. I'm sure she will be though. She tends to do much better out places even on her bad days. So I'm hoping for a relaxing show and one that is uneventful with her food allergy. These theaters allow food and have concession stands, so it's always somewhat of a gamble and stressful. We will do the best we can as always. Kayla is very excited about it, so I'm sure she'll have a great time!

I will post some pics I'm sure after the show. I hope everyone has a great weekend. I'm really beat and am off to read a little b4 I collapse for the night!

posted at 3:49 PM  

Friday's Feast
Appetizer - Have you been sick yet this winter? If so, what did you come down with?

Yup - I had a nasty cold in the fall and got the "wonderful" stomach virus in January.

Soup - What colors dominate your closet?

I actually have a lot of neutral and I'm not sure how it got that way as I love colors.

Salad - How would you describe your personal "comfort zone"?

I would say being at home with my family or being with close friends.

Main Course - On which reality show would you really like to be a contestant?

That's a tough one. None of the dating ones for obvious reasons and I'm not musical - not singing anyway. You'd never catch me living in a house or on an island with a bunch of strangers. I can't say I can think of one... Is that sad or am I just boring? LOL

Dessert - Which holiday would you consider to be your favorite?

Definitely Christmas. I love being with my family. I love all the lights and decorations and the magic of the season and the day. And I love to give gifts, even more than receiving. It's an all around fun time of year and day.

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

posted at 3:38 PM  

Thursday, February 08, 2007
5 Minutes for Mom is having Stork Contest
Yup, there's another contest over at 5 minutes for mom. This time, the prize is a service. The service of making someone to make all your phone calls announcing the arriving of your newest bundle of joy. Now, I know I'm not pregnant, but I knew so many people who are right now. I'm really surrounded. So I will be giving this wonderful prize away as a gift should I be lucky enough to win.

So hop on over to 5 minutes for mom to check it out for yourself.

posted at 1:51 PM  

An Uneventful Week
Well, so far it's been an uneventful week around our house. Well, for most of us. Poor Alysa had a bad scrape on her nose last week from tripping over her doll and falling into the coffee table. The scab just fell off yesterday and then, of course, when J took them outside to see the snow (the dusting of snow anyway), she fell and has a big scrape between her nose and her upper lip. This girl can't win. But what do you expect from a 14 month old? I'm surprised I haven't had to take them in to see the doctor. It seems every time they have an obvious bump or cut, I end up at the doctors for something unrelated, just so they can say, "Oh, I see she has a bump on her head.". Yup. Isn't that how it always goes?

Saturday will be a fun day for us, as my Mom and I are taking Kayla to see Go Diego Go. It's a live show and Kayla is very excited to go. I even was able to get her a new Dora outfit on clearance so she'll be festively dressed. They don't have any Diego outfits for girls, but at least Dora will be in the show. She loves her new outfit and I'm sure she'll look positively precious. :) Alysa will get some quality one-on-one time with her Gramps. I know my Dad is looking forward to it and I'm sure Alysa would say the same if she were older. Since Alysa won't sit through a 20 minute show on tv, I figured I'd give her a break from an hour and a half show. But in April, J and I are taking BOTH girls to see Elmo. Luckily my parents are both going, so we'll have plenty of people to keep Alysa entertained if she won't sit through it. She does love Elmo, so hopefully the live part will keep her mesmerized.

I do have some fun news - my Sister and I have decided to finally plan the trip our families have been wanting to take for years. We actually were supposed to go to Sanibel Island, Florida in January of 2006, but then I got pg, then she did. I was due in December and she was due in January - so that was a bust. So now, our plan is to go to Disney World in February of 2009. Yes, don't laugh, I know it's 2 years away. But considering we have to coordinate with J, and her hubby and my parents, we need the time. Plus our plan is to use our Timeshare and we need 2 weeks (2 suites) to accommodate us all. But I'm very excited about this trip. And since I have heard nothing but good things from other Food Allergy Mom's about Disney's food allergy awareness and cooperation, I am working through the knots in my stomach and forging ahead with the plan. Kayla's excited, although she has NO idea what Disney World is and NO idea what to expect and how long it will be until we go. :) And I have actually spoken briefly to someone at Disney and I was told that when we make our dinner reservations (like 6 months ahead of time), to let them know of her allergy and they will put me in touch with their on-site dieticians and then I can also speak to the chef when we arrive. So far so good. :)

I will keep you posted on how the planning goes. I have a feeling I will be taking the reigns on this thing, as I've already been making phone calls and looking into ticket prices. But that's ok - I live to plan and organize.

If anyone has any Disney planning advice, especially food allergy related, I'd love to hear it.

posted at 1:04 PM  

Thursday Thirteen #13
Thirteen Things about my oldest - Kayla

*I am taking this idea from my friend Janeen.

1. She took 2.5 years and 3 IVF’s to conceive
2. Her birthday is August 6th
3. She was 2 days early
4. In her short life, she has been dx’d with: Acid Reflux (severe as an infant and again at 18 months); a severe dairy allergy (she reacts if it touches her skin) and failure to thrive (which we are thankful she has overcome)
5. Her favorite show and character is Dora.
6. She has a very silly and wacky sense of humor
7. She LOVES gymnastics and can do headstands (against the wall), forward rolls, bear crawl across parallel bars and jump from high places – she comes up with new skills each week
8. She sleeps with her Map and Swiper dolls from Dora
9. She has a phobia of any person dressed up in costume; and even of statues of characters (i.e. a life-size statue of Humpty Dumpty)
10. She loves to line things up perfectly straight
11. She’s a Mama’s Girl
12. She loves everything about being outside – she will walk all the way around our “block”, even at night with her little flashlight and light-up sneakers
13. She loves to read and now she reads to me every night before bed

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 11:17 AM  

Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Wordless Wednesday

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Hop on over to WW to see more great photos or to join in.

posted at 10:31 AM  

Monday, February 05, 2007
My Weekend
So it was a semi-busy weekend for us. Friday, the girls had gymnastics. Nothing much happened on Saturday so the girls and I hung out. Sunday, Gramps (aka my Dad) watched the girls while I took my Mom as part of her birthday gift to see a live taping of In the Kitchen with Bob on QVC. She loves QVC and loves cooking shows. Although this isn't a cooking show, more of Bob selling all sorts of kitchen gadgets. They do give you some samples of food though. I found seeing all the cameras and behind the scenes things quite interesting. The show itself was good, but it was a long 2 hours. I prefer shopping on-line. :) My Mom had a good time though - she's ready to go back once a month. I think I'll pass... :) I'm not saying I wouldn't go back, just not once a month. I will say I was quite disappointed in the QVC store at the studio. I was hoping for a much wider selection. Although I was able to get my silicon oven mitts that can take temps of up to 575 degrees. Even J is impressed with them. MUCH better than the ratty old ones we had previously. And with them being silicon, they're much easier to clean and therefore I won't be putting them through the washing machine every time dairy may have contaminated them. I can just clean them quickly in the sink. Yay!

Of course, nothing can go too smoothly, so today I realized I left my purse in my Mom's car. Great move, right? Luckily she offered to drive it down today after work, as I don't have a license or a cell phone currently. And I really didn't want to have drag the kids out, as it only 16 degrees today. And windy. I'm very cold today. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr...

So hopefully I won't be as scatter-brained next time. And I'll anxiously await some lock n lock I ordered - I love that stuff. So some good came out of it and it was an interesting day. But mostly it was humorous to see some of the people there. One woman told us that over the entire summer, she went every Friday. You'd think we were in Hollywood. :)

I hope everyone else had a great weekend.

posted at 2:28 PM  

Saturday, February 03, 2007
Gotta Love a Contest
Janice and Susan over at 5 minutes for mom are hosting a wonderful contest. You can win a beautiful necklace or a gift certificate for something over at Alli's Originals. So head on over to read all about, enter and spread the word.

posted at 1:13 PM  

Saturday Photo Hunt
Ok - so I don't have a photo of anything really gross. Well, I guess I do - I have a pic of my ovaries from when I had laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis - but I'm not sure that would be considered "family friendly". :) So, I'm posting this one of Kayla when she had her PH probe. It was supposed to test for reflux and it was a tube that went down into her esophagus through her nose. It ended up a failed test and tortured us all for 24 hours for nothing - looooong story and no, we don't see that doctor anymore. And did I mention she was "plugged" into a computer for that 24 hours? Like a said, a nightmare for all...

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To view more photo hunts, hop on over to tnchick.

posted at 9:19 AM  

Moving Up in the World
Kayla's Winter/Spring session of gymnastics began yesterday. So did Alysa's for that matter, as I enrolled her in the baby class. This girl is so patient in the Baby Bjorn every class that Kayla has had since June. It was time for her to get down and run around and climb as well.

So Kayla moved up from the 19 month to 2 1/2 years class to the 2 1/2 -3 years class. Going in, I didn't think much of the change in class. Boy was I wrong to. In the younger class, they let the kids run around and do whatever they want. They do circle time at the beginning and end and do gymnastics moves throughout the class, but there is no pressure the kids to join in. It can be a free-for-all. Well, not the new class. It's a transition class. The next age group for Kayla which she'll go into in September, has no parent participation. So this class she's in now is getting them used to structured activities, staying with the group and focusing more on the activities. And half-way through the class the Mom's and Dad's are sent to sit out in the lobby and watch. Kayla did amazingly well with this change. I had to tell her at times to go sit with the kids, etc. The hardest part for her was the new teacher. Her old teacher is in the class too, but 2 teach it, so she has to get used to him. She loves all there is in gymnastics, so I know after a couple more classes, she'll be fine with the structure, but I'm still not sure about the "me leaving the room bit". We'll see. Maybe she'll surprise me. I will say that I'm excited about the prospect of her next group in September. That is the age when they start to do shows at the end of the semester. :)

And Alysa - well, she just ran around and climbed in her class. She wanted nothing to do with anyone, including me. LOL I think she was thinking "I'm free! I'm free!" There was definitely the attitude of 'leave me alone' coming through. And Kayla, with all her testing and defiance lately, was amazingly well-behaved in Alysa's class. She listened very well and was so good around the babies and young toddlers. I was very impressed with my own child. LOL It was a relief as I was nervous about that. It's impossible to keep Kayla by my side the whole time, so luckily it's a much smaller room - and add to that the Alysa couldn't care less that I was even in the room, let alone if I was by her side. (eyes rolling).

It was a great morning and they both napped well that afternoon. I actually napped also. It is an exhausting hour and a half. Nonstop for all 3 of us. But when I see Kayla doing gymnastics moves by herself that I didn't even know she could do w/o help, it shows me how worth it it is. And of course, Kayla's always so excited to go and tells me as we are getting ready to leave what she plans on doing at gymnastics. Definitely worth it!

posted at 9:01 AM  

Friday, February 02, 2007
Friday's Feast
What was one of the fashion fads when you were a teenager?

Big Hair

Name one thing you think people assume about you when they first meet you.

Some people might think I'm "closed off" if they buy into the whole thing about people who have their arms crossed. I always have mine crossed. I guess I probably also come across as shy - since I am when I first meet someone.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how hard do you work?

I would say 9 - I'm a hard worker and like to be busy at my job. And being as I work part-time, it makes me work harder when I'm there to prove myself. And as a Mom, I spend a lot of time with my girls. I'm big on reading to them and playing with them, so I work really hard at that too.

Main Course
If you were given a free 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl to sell anything you currently own, what would you advertise?

The bazillion baby things we have in our attic that we really need to clear out.

Fill in the blank: I love to cuddle with dh under a blanket when it is cold outside.

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

posted at 8:21 PM  

Thursday, February 01, 2007
Thursday Thirteen #12
Thirteen Things in my Purse

1. My Wallet
2. My cell phone (never leave home w/o it)
3. Chapstick
4. PDA
5. Nail file
6. Hand sanitizer
7. Comb
8. Wallet sized picture holder (it’s full)
9. My new Digital photo holder
10. Pens
11. Keys
12. Hand lotion
13. Hair band

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 1:52 PM  


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