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, October 31, 2007
The Latest
First - Happy Halloween to everyone. I hope it's a fun day for all. It will be interesting tonight b/c Kayla is very upset about trick-or-treating and as of now, is refusing to go. She started to cry yesterday when I brought it up. I will not be forcing her to go - she's scared and I don't want to make it worse by pushing something scary on her. Although I hope she'll change her mind when we get her and Alysa in their costumes.

Alysa had her Upper GI on Monday. She did so well. I woke her up at 6:30. Now had I done this with Kayla, she would have been miserable, cranky, crying, laying on the floor, etc (just like her Mommy). But Alysa, pops her head up, looks at me and says, ever so pleasantly, "Good morning Mommy". We made the hour long trek down to Delaware. She drank the barium like a champ. The doctor and techs were even impressed. She cried and was scared of the machine, but boy did she drink. Then again, she still gets toddler formula, so anything has to be better than that. Once she was done drinking and she was able to put Taggie in her mouth, she stopped crying. One of the other benefits of having these things done at a children's hospital is a doctor does the test, not a tech. So I know that physically she's perfect. Her stomach opening is normal and so are her intestines and her stomach emptying. So... that means muscle spasms. I'm now just waiting to her from her doctor to see what she needs to be put on.

In some other news - J got a new job. He starts on November 11th and he's really looking forward to it. He's known his new boss for years and has a lot of respect for him.

In between Christmas shopping, I've been working on Alysa's 2nd birthday party. It's on Dec 1st. It stinks her being in December, b/c it's harder for me to focus solely on her party with Thanksgiving and Christmas. But...I'm very excited about her cake. I had not come up with an actual theme. I was thinking of doing plates with My Little Ponies since she loves them. Wilton does not make a MLP cake pan, but they have this new one that I just ordered. It's a 3 Dimensional Cup Cake.
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It's a bit pricey, but...I figure you can do so many variations on icing colors and designs that it will definitely be re-used. It's brand new and Wilton was out of stock, but luckily Sur La Table had it in stock and gave me $5.00 off. No local stores had it so I ordered it. I can not wait to see Kayla's face when she sees it since she is so in love with cupcakes.

I hope everyone has fun trick-or-treating tonight. I know I'll be loving all the candy I'll get since the girls won't be eating what they are given. :)

posted at 8:13 AM  

Sunday, October 28, 2007
Jill's Book Bag
Jill over at Who Could Ask for Anything More is giving away the cutest little bag and one of her favorite books this month. Hop on over and check it out.

posted at 9:54 AM  

Saturday, October 27, 2007
More Halloween Fun
You can read about Kayla's school party here.

Last night I took Kayla to Borders for a Halloween party. We met my gf and her son, Seth there. Of course I called ahead of time to find out if food would be a part of it (I always like to know what to expect). I was told no, which I was thrilled about. They read some halloween books and the guy put on a scary mask which Kayla did not like at all! They also did a costume parade and "trick or treated" at the front counter. I tried to get Kayla to bypass the basket of chocolate, but she wanted it so bad. It was all individually wrapped, so I let her grab one and took it away right away. Now I have a Butterfinger to eat - yum! :)

Of course one little girl insisted on eating hers at the next book reading. Luckily, when she was done, the Mom was looking for a tissue, which gave me the perfect opening for "I have wipes". She was very appreciative - if she only knew. ;) Then when they were painting their little pumpkins, the guy said, he was going to get the brownies - groan, groan, triple groan!!! I had nothing similar to offer Kayla, plus brownie crumbs get everywhere. And of course he put them in the middle of the floor. Then he put the markers and paper right next to them. Kayla, of course, HAD To color. He was great when I asked if he could move the brownies. He was downright apologetic when I explained that she'll react by touch. So they were very nice. We left shortly after that so the crumbs were not a huge issue. We spent an hour there and Kayla had fun. Of course, I have pictures.

Kayla and Seth listening to the story
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Kayla when Mr. M put the scary skeleton mask on
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Me out from behind the camera
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Kayla & Seth in the costume parade
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I'm hoping the chocolate and candy overpowers her fear of the kids and adults in costume. We shall see on Wednesday...

posted at 1:10 PM  

Saturday Photo Hunt
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This week's theme is Pink.

Alysa 6 weeks old and all wrapped up in pink...
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To view other Saturday Photo Hunts go here.

posted at 1:00 PM  

Friday, October 26, 2007
Kayla's Halloween Party
Well, it went off without a hitch. Kayla was super excited to have me there and even had to tell her teacher. "Miss D. Look, my Mommy is here." It was so nice to see Kayla eating the same snack as everyone else. Even the kids with egg and peanut allergies were able to join in. It was exactly what I had hoped for.

The kids all looked adorabe in their costumes. Kayla was one of 2 mermaids. There were 2 witches a few princesses and 3 spider men.

Aside from the snack - they sang some halloween songs and did some dancing. The kids had made up treat bags which was filled with goodies from the other Moms, as well as my mini chocolate pumpkins. Some of the snacks stayed out of her bags b/c they had dairy - but the school will only allow individually wrapped snacks, so it's all no more dangerous than trick or treating. And the bags go home with the kids - no eating during the party aside from the normal snack.

I dug up an old pin from many years ago. It's a skeleton sitting on a bike. You pull the string and he rides the bike. Well, was that a hit. I was surrounded by almost the whole class and I had them all clamoring to take a turn pulling the string. I was trying my best to get them to wait for their turn, but they were all so excited that I thought a mini preschool riot was going to break out. :)

Here are a few pics and a video.
Here is her class - Kayla is in the back right
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Here is Kayla (left, head of table) getting ready to have their dairy, egg, peanut and tree nut free cupcakes
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Here they are doing the 5 Little Pumpkins
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Singing & Dancing
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Kayla with some friends
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Kayla after the party
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And here is a video of them doing their dance. You can really tell here that she's the youngest b/c she's one of the shortest in the class, if not THE shortest. (in Montessori the age ranges from 2 1/2 to 6).

Tonight I'm taking Kayla to Borders and meeting my gf and her son. They are having a little Halloween party. I'm sure I'll have more pictures from that. Shocking, I know!

posted at 2:28 PM  

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
My Sweet Loving Kayla
(lately she has been going into her closet and putting her dress shoes on during her rest)
I was leaving her room after I settled her in for her afternoon rest. She runs over to the closet and puts her hand on the door of her closet. I looked at her and smiled and said "What are you doing sweety?" She looked at me and reponded, "Can you leave me alone?" I just looked at her (my quick mind was failing as she was just too cute). Then w/o missing a beat, she said in her oh-so-cute voice, "I love you!"

Yeah-yeah kid - I love you too. :)

I picked her up from school and asked her the normal questions. Who fed Freddy the fish, who she sat with at snack. Then I asked her what her favorite thing was that she did that day. Her answer? "Can you please stop talking to me Mommy?"

I can feel the love!

posted at 2:28 PM  

Saturday, October 20, 2007
What Moms Say
I had to share this video. It's really funny!

posted at 9:39 PM  

Thursday, October 18, 2007
Opposites Attract
Sometimes I marvel at how alike the girls can be. There are times I'll look at the video monitors while they are sleeping that they are in the exact same position. Eerie.

Yet, last night as I snuck in their rooms to watch peak at them sleeping, I had to smile at their biggest difference. There was Kalya curled on her side with her thumb in her mouth. Nothing in her bed but her. On the floor next to her bed was a mound consisting of her 2 blankets - her Dora blanket and her pink Gymboree blanket with kitties on it - along with her stuffed dolls of Map and Swiper and her "taggie" - a blanket shaped like a cow. She insist on being put to bed with all these things and then almost immediately after we shut her door, she tosses them out of her bed where they stay until the morning.

Enter Alysa's room and you see the opposite. The floor next to her crib is clear. In her crib she is sleeping just as soundly, also slightly curled on her side. But in her arms is her Taggie blanket (a tag is in her mouth) and her Baby (a little plush purple baby doll). She would NEVER go to sleep w/o them and they are always within her reach if they leave her arms. There are even times I'll hear her in the middle of the night and look over and she's sitting up looking around her crib. When she sees her Taggie and Baby, she'll dive-bomb for them, roll over, put a tag in her mouth and hug them before going back to sleep.

When we travel - all their blankets and dolls make the trips with us. But where Kayla's is more because it's the thing "to do or have", with Alysa it's out of total necessity. Whenever we head upstairs for naps or bedtime, Alysa will walk up the stairs repeating - "I'm coming Baby. I'm coming Taggie". She is truly obsessed!

I enjoy not only their similarities but their differences as well.

posted at 4:07 PM  

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Go Mom!
So...you all know that we found out Alysa has some issues with a smaller than normal stomach opening. She had her f/u visit with the GI doc yesterday. This was confirmed and she said she also has slow stomach emptying. She wants a repeat Upper GI to check the stomach opening and her lower intestines. Then we'll know which new drugs she'll need to be put on. Lovely!

But...every since her Upper Endoscopy I have taken a different approach to feeding her. Basically, I feed her whatever she wants - as in tons of pasta, soy yogurt, eggs, cereal, etc. Soft stuff that she will actually eat. Her volume has increased, although she's never been a marathon eater, even at her best. But...I'm doing something right b/c in 3 weeks, she gained a whopping 3 pounds! I almost fell over - so did the doc. Now that explains why her pants are fitting better than I thought they would.

Her Upper GI is scheduled for Oct 29th and we'll be heading back to Delaware for it since regular X-Ray labs don't deal with little kids to often. So hopefully in 2 weeks we'll have some more concrete answers on how to get her eating better permanently.

posted at 3:34 PM  

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Boy Oh Boy
Oh man - I feel like I have been in a cave for the past week. And now I am so far behind it's overwhelming. I apologize for being MIA. My computer did not get fixed until Friday (it's now brand new except for the case). My power pack fan died which was overheating it and taking out the components - so I have a new motherboard, hard drive and chip. It's an equivalent chip to what I had, but it's faster b/c my old chip was bad. We also got new phone, TV and internet service last week. We went with Verizon's new fiber optic deal (Fios). So far we are happy with it. TV is crystal clear - clearer than cable and the internet download is MUCH faster. Which is nice for downloading digi scrap files. Not that I have had time to do anything with them lately.

Saturday, J took off and we went pumpkin picking and through the corn maze. It was a really nice day.

So now I must start to wade through my fellow bloggers and play a little catch-up as get back into the swing of things here.

I hope everyone is doing well and that you haven't all forgotten about me!

posted at 8:20 AM  

Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Food Allergy TV
I found out from Janeen that the Food Network will be airing a special called Edible Enemies. It's a special that will look at the rise in food allergies. I am looking forward to seeing this and will be setting my VCR to get it on tape.

The show will be airing on the Food Network on Oct 13th at 4:00pm and on Oct 19th at 10:00am.

posted at 9:57 AM  

Sunday, October 07, 2007
Computer Problems
This will be quick as I'm on a time limit. Last night as I started to make my Blog Rounds, my computer slowed down and said it was short on virtual memory. So I decided to reboot. In trying to shut it down, I got my "friend" the big ugly blue screen. You know the one - the one I got last January that put my computer out of commission for a few weeks. So...I was able to get back on, back up my files (thankfully at least I had backed them up a month ago). All my recent pics and files are now safely on CD. I spoke to Dell (still under warranty) and they are sending a technician out to diagnose and replace parts as needed - a new motherboard, hard drive, etc. So all that was left was my 10+ gig of digital scrapbooking stuff. J was nice enough to suggest I go out and splurge on an external hard drive to move this stuff, otherwise I'd lose it all! I did - not that it was something I wanted to spend money on or should have with Christmas coming. But I figure it will be my gift - Merry Early Christmas to me.

So anyway - all my files are safely tucked away on the new drive. I scanned everything - no virus. So now I wait.

My point? I'll have limited computer access for who knows how long. Please cross your fingers that I am not forced into buying a new computer. I seriously can't live w/o one. I'm hoping that Dell will give in and just give me a brand new one.

I will come and visit when I can...

posted at 3:51 PM  

Saturday, October 06, 2007
Halloween Candies
I ordered Kayla's Halloween chocolates in the last couple days.

I am trying a new place this year that has some cute things. Amanda's Own makes chocolates that are dairy and peanut/tree nut free. She had a cute little bag of ghosts and bats.

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The rest I got from Chocolate Emporium. I ordered from them last year for Easter and their chocolates are delicous. I got some orange cream chews (that look so yummy),
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a couple chocolate pops,
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and finally a bunch of chocolate mini pumpkins.
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I got enough of the mini pumpkins to give each of her school friends 2 in their treatbags. They are dairy, peanut/tree nut and egg free - so that covers all the allergies in her class.

Now the trick is keeping any adults from snagging some of their chocolate BEFORE Halloween. :)

posted at 2:52 PM  

Saturday Photo Hunt
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This week's theme is Curvy.

One of their toys with lots of curves...
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To view other Saturday Photo Hunts go here.

posted at 2:47 PM  

Thursday, October 04, 2007
Kayla's School
Our meeting at Kayla's school last night went very well. It was great to see a glimpse into Kayla's day - her little world away from home. There were a couple pictures of Kayla up on the walls of her doing different activities. She looked very happy in the photos. It was great to meet some other parents and hear that they had heard Kayla's name from their children. Her teacher told us that the other kids like to help Kayla. Come to find out that she is the youngest in the class (only one other child born in '04). We also found out another little girl that she plays with a lot. It was really good for me to hear about their typical Montessori day and even better for J as this is his first experience with Montessori and preschool even. I attended a Montessori preschool and I can picture the classroom (whether it's an accurate memory is a different story). I have memories of circle time and friends and my teachers. It was wonderful to see pictures of Kayla in circle time and doing work - things I did in my Montessori days. J had been hesitant about preschool - but seeing Kayla thriving and having fun (and learning) and seeing more of what the Montessori philosophy is about, has helped him get more excited about her experiences there.

I was also able to see just how diligent her teacher is with Kayla's allergy. She told me that Tuesday, a Mom brought in cupcakes for a birthday and the teacher did not know she was doing this. So unfortunately, there were no cupcakes for Kayla. But she said Kayla was happy with the cookies I had in her snack box for just this occasion. She also got some juice which made her happy. She also had me check the fish food (for Freddy) to see if it was safe. Kayla's turn came up to feed him and she did not let her touch the food until I checked it to be safe. She checked it against the ingredients list I gave her but she wanted my verification. It made us feel good to see her really taking it all seriously. I also was able to get the class list which has the birthdays listed - so I'll send cupcakes in on those kids birthdays.

I knew there was a kid with a peanut allergy in her class and I also found out that there is one with an egg allergy. Always good to know, b/c as much as I can I will bring things in that are safe for all. Even though, as a Food Allergy Mom, I know most likely they will not be allowed to eat what I bring, I feel better knowing it's not dangerous.

Speaking of which, I spoke to her teacher about Halloween. She said that the party is not one with food around. She said they have their normal snack time and then they give treat bags to the kids to take home with treats in them. So, it is not the type of party to be concerned about as I initially thought - what a relief. That being said, she said that I am welcome to attend and that most Moms don't, but there will be one other Mom there to help. So...I have already lined up babysitting for Alysa, so I will be attending. I'm very excited to help with the party as I want to be as involved as I can be. She also said I would be welcome to provide a snack that is safe for Kayla and the class. My goal is to go dairy, peanut/tree nut and egg free. I will post here what I end up doing once I decide.

All the kids had done a self-portrait to be on display last night. It really showed that Kayla was the youngest, as hers had no resemblance of a person and most of the others were obviously human-like. Her self-portrait is now hanging on her wall of art in our kitchen. I will have to take a pic and post it here later...

posted at 12:14 PM  

Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Do I Take too Many Pictures?
I'm sure you'll all be shocked to know I take a lot of pictures of my girls. And I know this because of Kayla. Lately, every time I take the camera out she wants to see the pictures I took. But she wants to see pictures I didn't take too. A couple days ago, I took a couple pics of them playing dress-up. She then comes up and says, "Can I see the picture of Kayla watching Bob the Builder?? She did watch him that day, but I had no pictures. She'll do this with all sorts of random things - she wants to see pictures of Kayla singing or eating or playing on the computer. Her favorite toy right now is Alysa's toy camera. Won't Kayla be thrilled at Christmas when she finds out my parents got her this.

J's surgery went well yesterday. In Kayla's words, he has a "really BIG bandaid". He gets to experience his f/u appointment and some PT for his wrist tomorrow with Alysa tagging along. Lucky him. :)

I'm happy to say that we all have our flu shots. J and I went last Friday afternoon to a clinic and one that took our insurance so it didn't cost us anything. The girls got theirs last night at the Pediatricians - theirs were $30 in copays. Doesn't this seem backwards? Too bad the clinic won't do kids under 9 - the doc's office charges for an office visit I guess to cover the nurse. I don't blame them, but it seems off to pay there and not at the clinic. :)

Alysa has her f/u in 2 weeks from her Upper Endoscopy. She's eating a bit better this week but it's b/c now that I know what the problem is I can work around it. Only offering her really soft foods. So she's eating a lot of eggs, yogurt, toast and pasta. :) I am going this week or Monday to her old doc in Philadelphia to get copies of the films from her Upper GI. I want to have all the info for her doc to make the right dx. With either meds indefinitely or surgery as the options, I want to make sure the right dx is made!

J figured out the trick to keeping Kayla happy about school. She never has a problem when I drop her off. He had been getting here there right at the time the teacher assistance come to get them. Tuesday he got her there a bit later and she was excited to go in with all her friends. Today was the same. She was pointing out kids that she knew. And she's still talking about Freddie the Fish. I'm thinking he's her favorite "new friend". LOL Tonight we have the Parent/Teacher night. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm also hoping to get a minute to discuss Halloween - otherwise I'll have to put a call in to her teacher. I get really anxious just thinking about it. Wish me luck!

posted at 1:47 PM  

Semi-Wordless Wednesday
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*My Dad needs his oatmeal with milk in the morning. On our trip to NC in August, with no way to gate the kitchen off, he decided to "banish" himself to the garage to eat his dairy-infested breakfast. He even ate w/o his shirt so he couldn't spill anything on it. Now that's a dedicated Gramps.*

Hop on over to WW to see more great photos.

posted at 1:41 PM  

Monday, October 01, 2007
Making Progress
So I was trying to do some reading catch-up - with my magazines. As I was reading through my back issues of Parents and Parenting, I came across some tips on how to get your child to talk about their day. So today, when I picked Kayla up from preschool, I opted to try a few tactics. First, I asked her what her favorite part of her day was. Her answer was the pet fish - Freddy is his name. Hmmm...this is new. Then, instead of asking her who she played with and who her friends are (to which her response is "I don't know" or "I can't tell you"), I asked her who she sat with at snack time. Her answer? Mia. Ha! I have managed to get my 3 year old to tell me some new things about her world away from me - and I did not hear that she went on the slide outside. LOL

Wednesday night is Parent/Teacher night. My Mom is going to be watching the girls so both J and I can go. I'm really looking forward to meeting the other parents and talking to her teacher some more. And I glad J is able to go so he can see all the things that are in a Montessori classroom.

I'm also hoping to get a few minutes with her teacher. Not only do I want to know how Kayla is doing and who she is paling around with, but I have some questions about the upcoming Halloween party on Oct 26th. I am hoping this is something that parents are welcome to attend. It's hard enough letting go of Kayla knowing snacks are served at school. But I also know they are structured and planned with food only at the table. The party, I'm sure will have food all over. So the bottom line is, if they won't let me attend, I'll be keeping her home, which is NOT what I want. I want her to experience the party and dress up with her friends. But I can't see her being around all that food with only the teacher and teacher's aid to watch over her - especially with all the other kids eating whatever they want. I can't see them saying no - the flyer said nothing of parental involvement or help. But I'm going to nicely tell them I'll be there. :)

posted at 5:45 PM  


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Allergy Moms Blog
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Go Dairy Free
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My Daughters' Site
No Whey Mama
Our Story
Parenting a Child with Food Allergies
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