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

Friday, October 31, 2008
Without a hitch
Kayla had her school party this morning. Last year it was easy peasy. They only had 1 snack, which I provided so Kayla got to eat what all her friends were eating. This year, her teacher had a few snacks brought in. This gave me quite a few sleepless and restless nights.

I made pumpkin spice muffins which Kayla loves. Of course, one of the other snacks brought in were some kind of cream cheese or cheese cake cupcakes. *sigh* Thankfully the other Mom who came in to help is the Mom of one of the boys with a peanut allergy. This made me feel infinitely more comfortable with the handling of the dairy foods. The snack time went off without a hitch and I was happy when Kayla came up to me with something from her treat bag (brought in by another parent) and asked me if it was safe for her. She's really learning to take care of herself. Does my heart good!

Here are some photos from her party and parade.

Enjoying her snack

The parade

The group

My Princess Araura

Last night we went to Pump It Up for their halloween party. Emma joined us as well as Kayla's friend Seth. It was pretty crowded and crazy, but the girls had a blast. After play time, they had some crafts and of course ice cream sundays, but luckily the craft and ice cream were in separate rooms. I of course, forgot I am an adult and decided to act like a kid and partake of the inflatable fun. I twisted my ankle and although I thought it was minor, the pain got unbearable later that night. Almost ER unbearable. Thank heavens for Tylenol with Codine. Today it is just tender and as long as I'm careful, I can walk without limping.

Jeff, the girls & Mickey

Kayla & Alysa way down the slide

This wall climb is the guitly party in my ankle injury

They love air hockey

They had a fire truck and ambulance out front for the kids. Hopefully this is the only time they'll be in an ambulance (unless they decide to become an EMT)

We're home now relaxing with Lightening McQueen. A very good friend of mine is on her way here with her family. She lives in Canada and we met 6 years ago while we both were battling Infertility. We've met once in person at a mutual friend's in Massachusettes a little over 5 years ago. They took a road trip down to Disney the past couple weeks and planned on visiting us on their way back. It happened to work out for Halloween so the kids get to trick-or-treat together. I'm so excited to see them. Her oldest son, who turned 5 recently, outgrew his peanut allergy a couple months ago. Gives me hope!

I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!

posted at 12:23 PM  

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
It’s snowing!
And I don’t mean a few snowflakes among rain, I mean really snowing. Big white flakes falling hard and fast! It’s sticking to the ground and the cars. I’m in awe –it’s not even Halloween yet. So here I am, at work, on my lunch break and thinking…I don’t have an ice scraper/snow brush in my car yet. My winter coat is at home! Thank goodness I have gloves, but oh yeah, they’re in the car!!!

posted at 1:16 PM  

Sunday, October 26, 2008
It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
The girls have really gotten into the Great Pumpkin from Charlie Brown. My Father introduced them to it last year and this year it really took off. Yesterday morning they spent hours repeating scenes from the show (thankfully no "Blockhead" comments yet). Then they started writing to the Great Pumpkin and telling me that he "flies through the air with a bag of toys for all the boys and girls". Thanks Dad, like I don't have enough on my plate with Santa coming in a couple months.

They really got into these "letters" (it's especially cute b/c Kayla can write her name now) and they wanted to put them in the mailbox. Today, I was able to find some old 2 cent stamps and let them use those. It was really cute how excited they were to "mail" their letters. Now I'm really excited to write to Santa.

Alysa writing her letter...

Putting their names for the "return address"

Putting their stamps on

So proud of their letters

In the mail

posted at 6:56 PM  

Thursday, October 23, 2008
Safe Halloween Chocolate has arrived
Chocolate Halloween Pops (with enough to share with out-of-state friends who will be trick-or-treating with us)...


Kayla's 1st Peanut Butter Cup (not Reese's of course)...


Chocolate Bars (to be shared)...


40 Individually wrapped pumpkins (for Halloween & Kayla's school party)...


Shipping Charges...


Giving Kayla safe Halloween Chocolates, and making her day...


All chocolate came from Chocolate Emporium.*

posted at 12:13 PM  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Making their day
I have been searching for months and months for a book shelf type end table thing for Alysa’s room. She does not have an end table and her books are a mess in her room because the basket that held her baby books is just not big enough anymore. I found the perfect end table/book shelf/toy shelf in a catalog, but it was $100. Not a horrible price, but more than I really wanted to spend. I tried commissioning my brother-in-law to make her one, but then he got into working for his doctorate, so wood-working is out for him for a while. Everywhere I looked shelves or night stands were too expensive. Especially since the bedroom set she has will eventually need to be replaced. And although J has the ability to make one, time is severely lacking in our house, especially for big projects. So I switched my focus to an egg crate idea. I figure I can get 2 and stack them. Not the prettiest, but they can be pretty functional and I would get 2 for Kayla as well since her books are piled everywhere. J has known of my search and options. He even went to Lowe’s for me last week to check on egg cart prices. The Container Store had them, but at $10 a piece I said forget it. So last night I broke down and asked him to make them. It is then that he told me Lowe’s has a bookshelf that comes in white and has two adjustable shelves (meaning 3 sections) for $19.99 each. What? Where was this very valuable information last week or a few months ago?

I wasted no time in sending him back to Lowe’s today for 2 of these shelves. The girls are over the moon with their new book shelves. And Alysa was excited to not only help J put them together, but she got to move her bed. Her baseboard heater was hindering him anchoring the shelf to the wall. But instead of just moving her bed, she insisted on moving her doll’s crib and her chair. Can we say High Maintenance???

Kayla's new shelf at the foot of her bed

Alysa's new end table/shelf

Alysa's new room set-up

posted at 2:50 PM  

Friday, October 17, 2008
Fall has finally arrived

posted at 9:21 PM  

Thursday, October 16, 2008
Allergy Update
With Kayla's 3 positive skin tests in the past year, I wanted her allergist to repeat her blood test before exposing her yet again to dairy at her November appointment. When I got home yesterday from picking her up from school to a message from him asking me to call him to discuss her results, I knew it couldn't be good news. Although nothing may have been worse, it certainly didn't get better. Her last blood test in August of 2007 was done at Quest and for them the test is negative if the IEG level is <.35. At that time we had to go to Quest due to our insurance. This time, we had to go to Labcorp and they will show the number below .35. So she is still testing positive by blood at .21. Yes, this is a very small number since it is close to zero. But we don't know just how low her numbers were a year ago, so we can only guess that they were about this level as well. With her still positive blood test and her strong positive reaction via the multiple skin tests she's had since, he does not want to do a skin test in November. Instead we will wait another 6 months and retest her blood in May. So we're really taking a step backwards, but with the hopes that the extra 6 months is what she'll need. I would not want to expose her to dairy via the skin test repeatedly and hurt her chances even more of outgrowing either. But now our hope for November has been stripped away.

I'm glad to have the more specific number (all her future testing will be done at Labcorp), but I'm very bummed about the results. If I had known this a year ago, I would have never had her skin tested and would have paid for the more detailed test from Labcorp. It's now looking like she won't be outgrowing her allergy before the age of 5 at the very least.

Although nothing's really changed, it's a blow. I was not overly hopefully for a successful skin test, but there was a slimmer of hope, which is now gone. I also know the older she gets, the more she is effected mentally and emotionally by her allergy.

Even though this is not the news I had hoped for I'm going to take the time to be thankful for those in her life who have really stepped up and gone out of their way to not only keep her safe but to also make her feel safe.

posted at 3:28 PM  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Columbus Day in Pictures
We had a fun Columbus Day. I had taken off from work not even realizing what day it was so we could go to the local farm for some Corn maze and pumpkin picking fun. Kayla's friend Emma and her parents met us there. The girls had a blast and after, we came back to our house, had lunch, painted and carved our pumpkins, had dinner and then headed to gymnastics. It was a fun afternoon, especially since Jen and I got to sneak out for some retail therapy.

Here are the girls with Farmer Bill

I love this photo. Kayla was just moving and I caught it just right. She looks like she's all snooty.

They're ready for the maze

Loving the look out

The four of us

Alysa going through the corn

Kayla scaring me

The 3 of them sneaking through the corn

Kayla & Emma holding hands on the way to the car

They're all ready for gymnastics and proud of their painted pumpkins

In separate news, tomorrow I'll be handing in the deposit for Alysa at the preschool tomorrow. Which means as of tomorrow, she'll be officially enrolled in preschool for next year. How did she get so BIG???

posted at 4:37 PM  

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
A scary reaction
Knowledge and understanding of food allergies are getting better, but there are still so many that do not understand or choose not to take it seriously. I find it particularly nerve wracking with Kayla and her contact-reactivity. It not only makes it harder for her to avoid contact with dairy and a reaction, but it makes it harder for some to understand and take seriously. I came across this article over at Allergy Moms. It's about a 14 year old who suffered a biphasic anaphylactic reaction from inhaling peanut fumes. Pretty scary. You can read the entire article here.

posted at 9:11 PM  

A Quilt Giveaway

Pigtails and Snails is giving away a beautiful hand made quilt. Head on over and check it out.

posted at 1:35 PM  

Sunday, October 12, 2008
Sleeping Angel Photo Contest
Those wonderful women over at 5 Minutes for Mom are having a Photo Contest with this georgous bedroom set as the prize. It would be so exciting to win the Lily Rose bedroom set for Alysa.

Since my camera is never far behind, I had a ton to choose from. Here is my choice...

posted at 2:25 PM  

A neighborhood of crim
That would be where we live. Yup, there are thieves among us. J called me this morning after he was at work to tell me his car was broken into last night. Thankfully it looks like kids since the only things missing were a couple dollar bills and his change. But he said they ransacked his glove box and threw everything out of it. His expensive stereo and Sirius radio was left in tact. His trunk was rifled through also. My van was left alone because it was locked. Although we're thankful no serious damage was done, it made me really nervous b/c if you get in our car, you can get in the house. We have the garage door opener which leads to the house. I've been after J for a while to always lock his car. But part of this is also that his car is old - he said he locked it, but the passenger door is faulty and did not lock. Such is what you get with a 10 year old car with over 200,000 miles on it. *sigh*

At least we're not alone though, since the rif raff got our whole street. Again, only took cash, if any - left the GPS systems and the ipods, golf clubs, etc. Stupid kids if you ask me - why wouldn't you take the ipod? Then again, that would be harder to explain to Mom and Dad. J did call the police and will be filing a report, but I told him he should have had them come out first thing and taken my car to work. He should also have taken pictures of the mess they made of his car.

I doubt J will be leaving his cash in the car anymore too.

posted at 12:35 PM  

Friday, October 10, 2008
A glimpse into her day
This year has not been much different from last. Kayla is very tight-lipped about her time at school. Even when I ask specific questions, I get "I did nothing". Hmmm...I can see that is money well spent.

Tonight, I sat down with Kayla to have her go through the huge pile of books on, under and around her end table. I've begun to purge in preparation for Christmas, so the first step is to get some of the books back downstairs. She helped me choose what would go down and what would stay up. Then for some, she said it had to go in the basket next to her chair for her class. She said her class was "over there" pointing to her chair. I asked her if she was the teacher and she said yes. I just smiled as it brought back memories of playing school when I was a child.

So then, as we're cleaning up, she proceeded to tell her one student that she was bothering another and to stop whatever it was she was doing. Then she sat in her chair and started reading one of her books. She was showing the pictures to them and everything. Then J and I sat down in her class along with Alysa. She proceeded to read the story to us and then she went through the whole thing of showing us how to do one of her work activities (in Montessori, they call it work instead of playtime). She got her mat and her material and showed us how to poor water. She had us do work and then rang the bell signaling that class was over. It was so cute and I just sat back and enjoyed the show. It was awesome to finally see a glimpse into her day through her eyes. I am going to love this stage!

posted at 8:10 PM  

Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Food allergy Trick-or-Treating tips
I received this e-mail today from Enjoy Life Foods. They, along with Allergy Moms put out a list of helpful tips for those giving out candy this Halloween. I thought it was a great resource for those who do not have a child with food allergies. Odds are you’ll get some, if not quite a few trick-or-treaters that do.

1. Be proactive. If you know of children in the neighborhood with food allergies, ask their parents what types of candies are safe. They'll be thrilled to know you care.

2. Keep a stash of “safe candy” or fun trinkets. Pick up an assortment of Enjoy Life’s new boom CHOCO boom™ bars, the first-ever dairy-, nut- and soy-, and gluten-free chocolatey bars. Also, have fun trinkets on hand such as bubbles, Silly Putty, tattoos, stickers, spider rings and bracelets. Kids with food allergies or intolerances will be grateful to receive something they can actually enjoy.

3. Be discreet. If you know a child has food allergies, don't ask “Oh, you’re the one with the peanut allergy, right?” Kids want to fit in and don't like to be singled out.

4. Everyone loves ingredient labels. Give out candy with clear ingredient labels so parents and children can decide which candies are safe.

5. Don't drop candy into kids’ bags. Allow each child to select his or her candy. More often than not, they'll know which candies are safe and which aren't.

6. Listen to the children. If a child says “No thank you,” it may be because they don't see a safe option in what’s being offered. Don't make a fuss by insisting they take candy that may not be safe for them.

7. Parents know best. Don't assume that peanut allergy is the only allergy. There are many types of food allergies and food intolerances, so it’s important to let parents decide what candy is safe for their child.

8. Think of your guests. If you’re entertaining for Halloween, don't leave candy dishes unattended and be mindful of children “stashing” candy. Young children with food allergies may be easily tempted by “unsafe” candy.

posted at 7:00 AM  

Monday, October 06, 2008
I love a bargain
Tonight the girls had gymnastics. Kayla loves being in the same class as her best friend Emma. They have a blast, although tonight they were not the best listeners - they actually did not get stamps. *sigh*

After gymnastics, we decided to head to Borders with Emma & her parents for some coffee/tea and some kid fun. Jen and Jeff were wonderful as always and without telling me ordered their coffee w/o milk so they would be safe around Kayla. We had our coffee/tea in the children's section so the girls could read books and have some fun while we browsed for books (for them of course).

On our way out, I happened to find this Children's Illustrated Encyclopedia on the Bargain Books shelf. It was there because a new edition has just come out, so it's 2 years "old", but when the list price is $40 and the Amazon price is $27, you just can't beat the price of $4.99!

posted at 9:34 PM  

Sunday, October 05, 2008
An alternate use for a Medic Alert bracelet
Kayla recently found a new use for her Medic Alerty bracelet. She thinks it is the coolest thing that her Polly Pocket animal with magnets in its feet stick to her bracelet.

Who knew?

posted at 8:22 PM  

Thursday, October 02, 2008
Bad Mommy
Kayla's teacher sent a note home on Monday to let me know there is a birthday party at school today. Last night I put a cup-a-cake container on my counter as a reminder. But of course as I'm pulling out of the parking lot leaving the school I remembered. The empty container was still on my counter. I went back to talk to the teacher assistant. Instead of me driving back, we decided Kayla would eat her cookies - which are in her safe snack box for just this sort of situation. The party was actually going to be first thing in the morning so the other parents could be there since they work. So she wasn't sure when the cupcakes would be eaten.

I just feel awful though and I hope Kayla's not too upset about the cupcake. I'm hoping she's excited to be eating cookies before lunch. :)

In some other news - there may be hope for Kayla's thumb sucking. More frequently now she's telling me "I don't want to suck my thumb." This morning she said she didn't want to suck her thumb at school. So I'm hopeful there may be a light at the end of that tunnel. But...she's started to bite her nails - so we may be trading one bad habit for another. *sigh*

posted at 9:55 AM  


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