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.

Our Daily Reads
On My Nightstand
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Mothers Day 2009

Thursday, July 31, 2008
Books Galore
Both my girls love to read. They read during the day and they read at night before bed. They each have their own reading light. But Kayla has taken her love of books to the extreme. Every day, she takes more books from the bookshelf in their playroom up to her room. None ever make it back downstairs. Her room is inundated with books. Believe me I don't mind, but I only wish her room had space for an actual book shelf!

This is where all her books used to fit

Her bed - never without a whole bunch of books

There's an end table under those books somewhere

Every night she must "snuggle" books when we tuck her in. She will fall asleep with them too, when she's done reading.

The birthday party prep continues. I have all the shopping done. Tomorrow will be spent cooking and baking. It will be exhausting, but I'm really looking forward to it.

posted at 6:47 PM  

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
People are Sick
People can be really sick. And the internet allows people to actually verbalize this without the fear of retaliation or alienation. As a Mom to a child with food allergies, I have had my share of altercations over Kayla’s condition. But overall, they’ve been few and far between. You can usually tell those people who think it’s a “joke” or nothing serious. Most of it is subtle, a look or a tone of voice. You can just tell that they don’t take it seriously. But very few people (at least no one I’ve ever encountered) will actually come right out and say they think you’re ridiculous. But give them the opportunity to be anonymous and you’ll see what they really think.

If you go online to any article that talks about accommodating someone with food allergies. Watch out! You will see some of the most despicable venom and hatred imaginable. It is mind boggling what people will say, especially when you take into account that most accommodations made for those with food allergies are made with the kids in mind, not the adults.

Most recently in the news have been ball parks. There have been a number of baseball stadiums in recent months experimenting with peanut-free games or peanut-free sections. The most recent one I’ve seen is an article I found over at Allergy Moms. The Seattle Mariners is jumping on the peanut-free bandwagon.

If you're allergic to peanuts — and my sympathies for that tragic misfortune, if you are — Seattle's Safeco Field will be the place to be on Aug. 5 and Sept. 9. The stadium staff there is planning to make two sections "peanut-controlled" zones, cleaning each before the game and banning the sale of peanuts at nearby concession stands so those afflicted by the food allergy can watch the game without worry.

Please note that this is a voluntary ban on two sections at two games out of the entire season. This is not a forced ban. Peanuts will still be allowed and sold at the game at and in other sections for those two dates. For those that know me, know I do not support food bans, especially mandated ones. But any organization who wants to accommodate those with food allergies in order to open up their services to those who would ordinarily not be able to enjoy what they offer is great. These sections will make it easier for those with peanut allergies to enjoy a baseball game. And in my opinion, like most of these types of accommodations, this is geared mostly towards kids with food allergies. I know I’ll never encounter a dairy-free zone for a baseball event, but I certainly support the right of the organization to make whatever accommodations they want to for their customers.

Of course not everyone will agree with these sections and that’s fine – not everyone has to agree. But the comments will blow you away. Here is a sampling of some of the more hostile ones… [please note – all the typo’s are theirs]

“If people are stupid enough to eat something they know they're allergic to then let them suffer the consequences. Why should the rest of us be deprived.”

“our society sucks...we bend over backwards to make sure we aren't sued for trivial cr*p like peanuts...”

“that is the most stupid thing i have ever heard. stay HOME in your peanut free enviroment and let the people who are not whinny ******** enjoy the game.”

“Buy me some peanuts and crackerjack! I don't care if I never get back, cus I shall, be dead due to al-ergies. If I, don't live it's a shame!!! Cus it's 1, 2, 3 secs I'm gone to be deep-ly in my grave!!!!...”

“THAT IS SO STUPID! Why can't they just say no? Why are we becoming a country in which no one is responsible for their own actions anymore? If someone is allergic to peanuts and they knowingly eat them of their own free will, then that's one less dumb*** to ruin it for the rest of us.”

“We've become a bunch of wimps. If you don't like peanuts, too bad, deal with it. I don't like lots of things, and that's part of life. Our nation is sissified to the max. Please pass the peanuts. If you don't like it, too bad! “

“If they want a "peanut free zone" why don't they watch the game from home? “

“What is the deal-the one in ten thousand that have an allergy can determine whether I can eat peanuts? What is happening to America? If you can't eat peanuts-then don't. If you can't be around them-then stay away-watch the game on TV.

I am sick and tired of you allergic cripples dictating what I can and can't eat. Either go away, or die. We are here, we eat peanuts-get used to it!!”

“Give me a fri**ing break! Banning peanuts? Here's a novel idea... If you are alergic to peanuts, DON'T BUY THEM! and DON'T EAT PEANUT CRUMBS OFF THE SEATS AND GROUND! “

And just to prove how ignorant these people are – here are some comments highlighting that people, not only have no clue about food allergies, but they also do not know anything about politics. Some have even decided to blame Bush. Maybe we should tell the one person that some airlines have ALREADY stopped serving peanuts on planes. I think the last time I got peanuts on an airplane was in 1991!

“Political Correctness is getting out of hand. Give me a break. What nonsense. All these groups trying to tear down the walls of tradition. Scr*w the minority. Majority rules!”

“The Mariners are the peanuts that should be banned, considering the way they play, but they have their new stadium, and another group of Seattle idiots can say they ripped off the taxpayers, because they hate us, and they are supposed to be cute for banning peanuts, it is just another left wing attempt at controlling peoples lives. I have an allergy to asparagus of all things, but I don't expect Albertsons to take it out of the sale aisle.......Seattle is getting stupid.....”

“If they ban peanuts on planes , I am leaving the country and denouncing my citizenship, we are headed for disaster. Thanks George, thanks a lot.....”

“Another CONSERVATIVE MOVE on our society! BUSH at work!”

These sections are a business decision made by the organization that runs the stadium. This is not a government ban!

Note to those who hate the idea, just as it is the stadium’s choice to make these accommodations – it is your choice to not attend these games!!!

posted at 8:00 AM  

Monday, July 28, 2008
Weekend Adventures
Saturday, my Parents and I took the girls to the annual Balloon Festival in their area. It’s a 3 day event and the hot air balloons launch twice a day at 6:30 am and 6:30 pm. We got there around 3pm and went right to the rides. We actually entered the grounds at the rides and that was all Kayla needed to see. I took them on a few and my Dad did too. They both loved the Fun Slide and then they went to go to the Fun House – a little obstacle course type thing. The kids are visible the whole time and it was all Alysa was asking to do. It had a long tube slide at the end and she wanted that slide in the worst way. You can imagine her devastation when we had to tell her that she was 1 inch too short to go through. My Dad had to take her on the Fun Slide again. She liked this, but it wasn’t the same. And the only other ride she repeatedly asked for was the swings. She couldn’t go on these either b/c they were not kid-sized and she was just too little for those too. She just couldn’t win that day. And of course Kayla didn’t make it any easier b/c once she went through the Fun House, she stayed put. She just went through over and over until all the tickets were used up.

By the time we got done there it was dinner time, so we headed to the field to set up camp with our umbrella, chairs, blankets, etc. We ate dinner and the girls played while we waited for the launch. Of course the launch was delayed b/c of wind and when they finally started launching at 7:30, it got even windier. So less than half the balloons ended up launching. As the winds got stronger, the ones that were inflated couldn’t lift off, and the others couldn’t inflate all the way. It was a shame b/c when they started to launch, the girls were super excited. They never got to see the huge Energizer Bunny (he never got to inflate) and the new, first ever seen, Darth Vader balloon wasn’t able to inflate either. J knows someone who saw it Saturday morning and was told it was an awesome balloon. Bummer. We hung out for a while as the girls got their second wind and danced around the field.

It was also a more stressful day than normal. We went when Kayla was 1 and 2 (last year the weather was bad) and the field wasn’t too crowded, so there was no one close by with food. This year with everyone on their “staycations”, it was PACKED! There was no room to walk and I was so afraid of food spillage from passerby’s or blankets that were just too close for comfort. I was actually happy when people started to leave during the “launch”.

Here are some pictures from our afternoon.

Kayla on the 1st ride of the day

Alysa & Gramps

Alysa & Mommy on the boat

Kayla & Gramps on the Fun Slide

Alysa & Gramps

Waiting for the Fun Maze AGAIN - she went on this about 500 times give or take...

Waiting for the launch

So excited they're finally launching

Evidence of a pretty deflated launch

The Energizer Bunny was trying so hard

Making the most of the launch

Sunday, I had my Mom give Alysa a trim. As her hair is growing in thicker, we are keeping it shorter so it can get more even. It’s looking so much better. Kayla insisted on having her hair cut too. She has been telling me for weeks that she wants her hair “short like Alysa’s”. Now, I wouldn’t quite go that far, but since she’s (almost) 4 and she has been saying this repeatedly for weeks, I figured, it’s her hair, it’s her choice. [I hated to cut it] So my Mom cut her hair as well. I had planned on cutting it to land at her shoulders, but since her hair curls so much and it’s impossible to straighten it a lot, it lands at her chin (when dry and curled). She looks so cute with it and most importantly, she’s happy with it. J actually likes it too which says a LOT b/c he is definitely not a short-hair guy.

I didn’t take an official before picture (I’m a slacker), but here’s a picture of her a week ago where you can see how long it was. Keep in mind, straightened (and wet) it was about half way down her back, if not longer.

Kayla's hair before:


posted at 9:07 PM  

6 Random Things Meme
Janeen tagged me a few days ago for this meme. I've done one of these before back in 2007. So I dug up some more random facts about me for your viewing pleasure.

Here are the rules:

Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on the blog.
Write six random things about yourself.
Tag six people at the end of your post.
Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1. My left thumb is double-jointed. Well, at least it can bend back twice as far as my right thumb.

2. I have a thorn stuck in my right arm. It's been there since I was in preschool. I was terrified of letting the doctor take it out when it happened, so he let it stay. It's been there every since. You can't feel it, but you can see it - it looks blue.

3. I'm a dairy-addict. Well, recovering. I used to drink 4+ gallons of milk a week, JUST me. That does not include the cheese and other forms of dairy I used to consume. This should show you how much I love Kayla. Giving up dairy was not an easy thing for me to do.

4. My first car was totalled 28 hours after I got it. An 18 wheeler ran a red light and creamed me. I walked out of the car, but the car was not so lucky.

In case you're wondering the car was a 1992 Pontiac Grand Am. I loved that car!

5. I grew up going crabby every summer. I can't wait to take the girls for the first time in two weeks.

6. I'm deathly afraid of heights. Even looking down a cliff on tv send shivers down my spine and legs. But...in high school, they had what was called Project Advenure. It was in gym class and had those trust fall things. They had a walk the wire thing and one of those climb the swinging logs things. I fought my fear and did those (with harnessees of course). I was glad I did it, but once was enough. :)

Now I'll tag anyone who wants to play along. I'm too tired tonight to think of anyone in particular. Yes, I'm being lazy... So if you do this, let me know so I can come over and check it out.

posted at 10:40 AM  

Friday, July 25, 2008
Daddy Diego
It's very common for us to get at least one litter of baby bunnies somewhere on our property every year. And with a lot more bunnies hopping around this year, it was no exception. J was lucky to find the nest over the weekend. Since it was a hole in the actual lawn, I'm glad he saw it before mowing. He showed me the babies (so very cute), but we hadn't told the girls yet b/c they would never leave it alone. A couple days ago, J looked out the window and saw a black cat skulking close to the nest. He immediately ran outside to chase it away and then went to check on the babies. Unfortunately, 3 out of 4 were dead (and quite beat up too). One actually managed to get out of the nest and he found it nearby. He got gloves, cleared out the dead baby bunnies and picked up the lone survivor. He brought it the house to show Kayla (Alysa was still sleeping), than brought it to the mommy. She ran under the shed when he got close to her, so he put the baby under the shed and watched as the mommy came to him/her. The girls now call him an Animal Rescuer like Diego. He is definitely their Hero.

He is just too cute.

posted at 9:58 AM  

Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Pictures, pictures & more pictures
I may be a little late, but as promised here are pictures from our travels last week and last weekend.

Blueberry/corn/peach Picking:

Cole's Birthday Party & Tree Climbing:

Feeding the Ducks:

posted at 4:04 PM  

Monday, July 21, 2008
We Made It Through
…the weekend. The party was very stressful for me, but it went very smoothly. My Mom came with me in her role as Food Police Officer. Although the place is very small (which would be doable under normal circumstances), the food leaves me unable to leave Kayla without supervision or without watching the food. The food area was separate, but there are no gates or doors so food can travel. My girlfriend is very understanding and asked all the parents ahead of time to wash up after eating. There is no sink in site, so I had brought wipes to cover that as best we could. During the playtime, things were pretty easy. She only had pretzels out (her husband had brought Doritos, but she only served them during the pizza).

While the kids ate pizza, my Mom and I stood guard over the doors and took turns watching the kids and watching the doors. There were a few other Moms in particular who were so helpful in not only cleaning up their own kids, but also the others. So with the help, my Mom and I got all the kids and adults washed up before they re-entered the play area. The kids then played again before having cake.

The cake was kind of the same thing, but my Mom and I could not watch guard as easily because we were helping the girls have their safe cupcakes. But the cupcakes were done close to the end of the party, so we were going to head out after (except Kayla and Alysa wanted no part of leaving and insisted on playing in the sand again). Thankfully the Moms were good at remembering the wipes. Even though I could not stand guard, I was watching. It was hard because Kayla really wanted to sit at the table with the birthday boy and the other kids to sing to him. She couldn’t because the cake was there and it is where they had all had the pizza. So I held her and explained it to her and one of the other Moms was nice and a quick thinker and told Kayla that she had the best spot because she was up high and could see everything. She was very excited about having a cupcake though and did not care at all that her and Alysa sat away from the other kids.

I noticed Kayla getting a little scared at times during the food, but it was pretty fleeting. To eat her cupcake I had to take her into the food area, but I put her back in the corner at a little table. I cleaned off the table and chairs and carried her back. She got scared that she had to enter the food area. She did the same thing earlier when she got a temporary tattoo from the woman running the party. She had to walk back to the same table. But…no food had been served yet, but I still stayed right by her side. Thankfully her fear was easy for me to diffuse and she got her tattoo and she had her cupcake.

So with no reactions, I can say the party was a success. The girls had a blast – which was quite evident from them refusing to leave when it was over.

Saturday night, the girls went to my Parent’s house and J and I got to enjoy a minor league baseball game with some friends. It was great to eat a hot dog, soft pretzel, popcorn and ice cream – all of which would have been off-limits had we brought the girls with us. Of course, I still have to wash up after eating so I don’t contaminate my purse, etc. But it was a low-key and yummy evening – even if all that food made us go broke.

Sunday morning, my Parents and I took the girls to feed some ducks at a creek in a town near where they live. The girls got a kick out of giving the ducks bread. But their favorite part was frolicking in the creak. They were soaked when we finally left. I was able to capture some good falls on stills and video. [All to come later].

So now I must spend this week recovering from an exhausting and HOT weekend. I will be back later today or tomorrow to post pictures from the weekend and last week’s peach/blueberry/corn picking extravaganza.

posted at 2:22 PM  

Saturday, July 19, 2008
For Rent

This is the sign I've dreaded for 6 months. The sign that showed up yesterday on our next door neighbor's front lawn. The husband works for the navy (he's not in the service, but he works for them). He was transferred to California for a 2 year assignment. That was 6 months ago and his wife and child have been here still. Getting new neighbors always opens you up to a wonderful experience or a nightmare. Renting is even worse. We live in a very nice, family neighborhood and when we moved to our street, the house across the street was rented. The people were STRANGE and the house was not kept up very good. Imagine our surprise when the wife up and moved out of state with her daughters because her husband (the step-father) was arrested for getting the 15 year old daughter pregnant. Then we get new renters. A younger guy with his girlfriend and baby and some of his limo's. He owned a limo company. Within a year, one day the FBI is at the house carting tons of stuff out. What happened to him? He was arrested for running a prostitution ring. This is our experience with renters (thankfully the house was then sold and the new owners are VERY nice people).

So we are very leary of renters and this time they'll be right next door to us.

In other events, Kayla and Alysa have a birthday party this afternoon which means fun for them and tons of stress and anxiety for me. It is at a play place, which means pizza and cake (it doesn't get much worse for us). And they play, eat pizza, play more, eat cake and play more. Yay! Thankfully the Mom is a friend of mine and she will be helping to make sure all the kids are washed up before going back out to play. It's also close to home, so we can leave early if we have to.

After, J and I have plans for a minor league baseball game with friends tonight. The girls will be with my Mom, so I'm looking forward to some baseball arena junk food - hot dogs, soda, etc (maybe even some popcorn).

Kayla's party is 2 weeks away - she is getting super excited. I of course, am annoyed. Today is the RSVP date and I have not heard from 8 of the kids from her school and none of J's family. And since I need to order the favors on Monday, I have to make a whole mess of phone calls tomorrow. I hate doing this, especially to the parents I don't know - but I'd hate for them not to call and show up and me not have favors for them. Do you think I'll get all 8 phone calls today? ;)

I had not really attached a theme to her party, but after talking to a friend of mine, I decided to get Littlest Pet Shop dessert plates (for the meal, I'm sticking with generic foam). She also gave me the idea (her daughter's birthday is this coming week) to put a petshop animal on the cupcakes. So...I was able to get a lot of 25 for $1.00 an animal on eBay. Jackpot! Since we'll have kids at the house too for the "adult" party, instead of doing an activity (we have the pool), I'm going with a pinata and I've decided to take a stab at making it. I'll get some skittles and starburts (both safe for Kayla) and some pinata toys. That should be fun. I'm planning on making it with the girls and then letting them paint it and put Littlest Pet Shop stickers on it. I found LPS ones (home made) on eBay but with shipping it would cost me $25 - I think that's a bit steep for a pinata. Maybe not, I've never purchased one before, but it's cheaper to make one.

Thursday, I got to run some blissful errands without the girls (my Mom was down for the day) and I stopped at the craft store to see if they sold Wilton's 4-Tier Stacked Dessert Tower. I was originally going to go for one of these, but the plastic one is cheaper AND more versatile - I can use it for cookies and other snacks for other events. So I was thrilled that they sold it (saved me shipping) AND that it was on sale for $12 (down from $20). We're having cupcakes at the play place and I'm making the porcupine cake from Allergy Moms. I'm also taking a stab at making Miss Roben's dairy-free Soft Pretzels for the play place.

I am still working on the rest of the menu, but I will be posting that either right before or right after the party with recipes.

posted at 9:18 AM  

Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I am pleased to report that I was VERY impressed with the doctor today. He was very easy to talk to and took the time to go over her medical history and the problems she has. He explained the way Osteopathic Manipulation Therapy can help her and what he was going to do before he actually treated her. Basically there are areas of the body where the nerves and tissues, etc. have an impact on the rest of the body. Specifically for the GI tract, the lower and mid back and spinal area and the base of the skull. He said that he has had a lot of success getting kids off of medication. He explained that he tries to make it fun for the kids and put them at ease. The pressure he uses is gentle and not painful, but some kids get scared so he would back off some if she were to get upset or if her reaction upset us. He said sometimes you can see a change in her when he hits a sensitive spot or fixes something even though it most likely will not cause her pain. He told us that when he does the head, he grips her head and works on the base of her skull at the back of her neck. He said kids her age usually resist this because, well, it's their head. He planned on playing this part by ear based on her reaction to his touch. None of these warnings were even needed because Alysa was a model patient. He told her to get on the bed, and she immediately laid down for him. He gripped her back and stomach with his hands and used his fingers to massage and feel around her stomach. He did this for about 10 minutes or so and she just laid perfectly still and calm. The most she did was move her feet around a little. She really looked so at peace.

It was so interesting to watch, because I know he had purpose with his touch, but it just looked like he was massaging her. Even though he was probing pretty deep, it didn't phase her. At one point he asked us if she had ever had an asthmatic symptoms. She has actually had some history of an asthmatic cough - but so far we are not sure if it is early signs of asthma or an asthmatic-like cough from her reflux. The two aggravate each other (asthma and reflux). A few times, when she was sick, she needed some albuterol liquid to ease her coughing fits. He said he noticed a problem with her diaphragm which is indicative of asthma symptoms. He corrected this but also pointed out that the esophagus goes through the diaphragm and the stomach sits underneath the diaphragm so it's all inter-related.

When he got to her head, she was again so still and calm. He worked on her head for probably another 10 minutes. About half way though it, she actually got really upset and started crying. She never seemed to be in pain, because she never pulled away from him - she was just upset. J and I sat beside her and tickled her arms (Kayla tickled her legs) and she calmed down. Even through her crying, she just laid still - truly amazing. Afterwards he said that he felt her crying was more of an emotional release - he was actually working to stretch out the opening at the base of her skull (where the bones are not fused together yet) to help release the nerves that go directly to the stomach and intestines.

He was amazed at how cooperative she was (that's my girl - too used to seeing doctors). He also said that kids tend to sleep better after a treatment (let's hope - she's a night owl). I know it's just coincidence, but immediately after before he even left the room, she said she was hungry. We had packed sandwiches because we knew we'd be there through dinner time which she at half of on the way home (usually we're lucky to get her to eat more than a few bites of anything for dinner) and before bed she actually ate quite a bit of J's sweet potato.

He wants to see her in 1-4 weeks (depending on schedules). Of course, what fit into his schedule was 4 weeks, so I also made her another appointment after that. He commented that although he saw no indication of anything effecting her sinuses (he knows she suffers from environmental allergies), OMT boosts the immune system so he said it's possible to see an improvement in her allergies.

I was able to ask him if he had any thoughts on OMT with relation to food allergies. I know there are no cures, but you never know what can help. He of course said the only sure way to avoid a reaction is avoidance of the food, but he did say that since OMT boosts the immune system, you never know what kind of an impact it can have. He had asked about Kayla so I told him she was also on Prevacid (which he also pointed out that long term use can have an impact on calcium absorption - I did already know this). Since Kayla has started to show some signs of outgrowing her dairy allergy, J and I have decided not to wait to take Kayla to see him. With our high copays, the plan was to wait until Alysa was done, but if this can help her immune system, maybe, just maybe it can give her an added boost for her next skin test in November. It certainly can't hurt - plus we hope it will help get her off Prevacid.

So tomorrow I will call and see if they will put her in when Alysa goes back to see him in August. One can hope. He said he's interested in treating Kayla too. He also said that at Alysa's age, they usually don't take long to be successful. But even after getting her on Prevacid, we have to then get her eating well enough to get her off the supplements (at least down the road).

Thanks for all the good luck wishes. I have high hopes for Alysa and this new treatment.

posted at 7:37 PM  

Monday, July 14, 2008
Did you ever get the feeling that you’re drowning in medical drama? I had one of those mornings. We stopped Alysa’s feeding therapy temporarily because she was getting very resistant to it and was no longer cooperative. Her weaning off Prevacid is going much slower than we hoped and I was introduced to OMT – Osteopathic Manipulation Therapy. The closest thing to it is chiropractic, but there are some big differences. OMT is performed by MD’s who are also DO’s. It goes beyond the spine and focuses on physical manipulation of the body to aid the body in healing itself. I was told about this by a Mom at Alysa’s gymnastics class. She does OMT but unfortunately does not take my insurance. Over a month ago, per the recommendation of our Pediatrician, I was able to get an appointment with the head of the School of Osteopathy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Not only does my insurance cover OMT, but he takes my insurance. Initially I could not get an appointment until August. But I was pleasantly surprised when I was called and told he is opening up some Tuesday afternoon appointments and wanted Alysa moved. Our appointment is tomorrow. Of course, it’s bad timing since I work on Tuesdays, but J will be taking her and we are all going tomorrow.

Fast forward to this morning and I get a call from the office that his OMT office (he also has a family practice office in a different town) does NOT take my insurance, just his family practice office. So I’m no stranger to insurance frustrations, but this is ridiculous. I was then told she could be seen at his other office. I called there and he is not taking new patients there, so I have to see another doctor. She does OMT, but I was told she is not as extensively trained as he is. SO not what I want. But I scheduled it and was told to call my insurance because there could be some confusion since it is a family practice office and Alysa has a Pediatrician that we are keeping. I called and was told the other doctor takes my insurance company, but not our specific plan. But…she told me that I can see the other doctor at ANY office as long as they use his personal provider number and not the one for the practice. Thankfully, the office manager at the OMT office is willing to do it this way and accommodate me AND I still got my tomorrow afternoon time.

It was such a frustrating morning of phone calls and anxiety as I was so scared we would have to either forgo this new therapy OR pay out of pocket. All the while, I had to work while on the phone – always a bonus. :) Nothing like an insurance nightmare to make your morning fly by.

All I could think about this morning is this is what happens when we are stripped of all control over our medical care. It is so frustrating to pay all we do for our medical insurance premiums only having to end up paying out of pocket for care anyway (which we did with feeding therapy) OR to not be able to get the care we need or even want. I can only hope for a true free market health care system in the future which will end this craziness.

Please cross your fingers for a successful doctor’s visit tomorrow and that this will help her overcome her reflux and feeding issues. If it works for her, Kayla is next. Her GI doctor is having us wean her off her Prevacid right now, but I don’t have high hopes. I’m going slower than she told me to, so I’m hoping for more success than we had last year at this time. *sigh*

posted at 3:48 PM  

Saturday, July 12, 2008
Delaware Trip & Invite
Before I forget, here is Kayla' birthday part invitation. I used Pamela's amazing mega ABC kit to design it.

The party will be Aug 2nd and we're doing two, yes, I said two parties in one day. Kayla had wanted a party both at the inflatable slide heaven Pump It Up, as well as a pool party at the house. I was very uneasy having her friends from school at the house since I've been told by multiple people that it's not uncommon for parents of 4-6 year olds to drop their kids off and leave. That is too young for the pool - unsupervised except by me. And I didn't want to take the risk. So...we are having the kid's part at the play place and then having family and a few close friends back at the house afterwards. Crazy, I know and I'm sure that day I'll be kicking myself, but I figure on Sunday I'll be glad to have it be over and done with. I will be posting more details and the menu and recipes as it gets closer (or after), but as of now, based on who has responded it will be dairy, peanut/tree nut and strawberry free. I may add egg to that list depending on more RSVP's.

This week, we went down to the beach in Delaware for the day. My Sister and her family had been down for a few days with her brother-in-law and his family. It was a nice day and the ocean breeze kept the beach cool (actually down right chilly, but it's better than too hot). A lot of driving - 2.5 hours each way - but all 8 kids got along really well. We had a couple melt downs from various children, but overall the day was a success. After a couple hours at the beach we hung out at the beach house on a pond and the kids fished with the men. My Sister's in-laws ar wonderful people and voluntarily made the day dairy-free so it was as safe as it could be for Kayla. It was amazingly generous of them (it was their rental) and really made my day enjoyable.

Here are some pics from the day.
Elliot waiting for the beach shuttle (he is 3 weeks younger than Alysa)

Maddy buried in the sand

My Dad in the ocean - he spent the entire time body surfing

Kayla was ALL about the sand

Alysa just loved to snack

Fishing with Uncle Jason

J and little Zach

The older kids with Colin's fish

Colin's so proud of his catch (I can't believe my nephew is 8)

A rare family photo

The whole gang

*We actually got all of them smiling except Alek - but he's 9 months old and the song and dance we were doing to get them all looking and smiling overwhelmed him a bit.*

posted at 11:38 AM  

Thursday, July 10, 2008
Highlight of my Day
Rice Dream Rice Milk - $2.99

Rice Ice Cream Bars - $3.49

Rice Ice Cream - $3.29

Tofutti fake Sour Cream - $2.29 / Tofutti fake Cream Cheese - $2.79

Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing - $3.39

Coconut Milk Ice Cream - $4.59

Coconut Milk Yogurt - $.89

Total Whole Foods Shopping Experience - $50.72

Finding a Diary-Free AND Soy-Free yogurt for my yogurt lover, Alysa - PRICELESS!

A big thank you to Alisa at Go Dairy Free for letting us all know about this. The biggest down side of taking Alysa off soy for her intolerance was the soy yogurt. We can't give her real yogurt because of Kayla and Alysa LOVED her yogurt. It was also a great extra source of fat, protein and calcium that she would definitely eat every day! So I was excited to learn that Turtle Mountain, makers of soy yogurts and ice creams has not only added coconut milk based ice cream to it's line of products, but coconut milk based yogurts. They are dairy AND soy free. I knew they were coming out in early July, but as of last week Whole Foods did not have them yet. I called last night and was told I needed to talk to the dairy manager today to find out if and when they'd be getting them. Imagine my wonderous surpise when he said they came in THIS morning! I rushed over before lunch to pick up the new yogurts as well as some other necessities, like ice cream for the girls. ;) I was able to test it out for lunch - blueberry. I didn't know what to expect, but it's really good. Kayla ate half of hers which is typical - she was never into the fruit flavors, but Alysa devoured hers. I'm glad to see she still likes yogurt. The protein content is less than typical yogurt, but the fat and calcium is good. Here they are with their yogurt.

Alysa couldn't let any drop go uneaten.

And thank you Janeen for finding the dairy-free ranch dressing. Now I just hope it tastes good.

posted at 5:16 PM  


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