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!

My Complete Profile

Email Me

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
Photobucket Photobucket
Mothers Day 2009

Friday, May 30, 2008
One day down
Alysa did amazingly well today - better than I expected. I spent the day with her running around naked. She only had 2 minor "accidents" and the first was early in the morning. I put her on the potty and she was great after that. Later in the day, she had an accident while she was playing with Kayla. I heard her saying she was on the potty. I went into the playroom all proud and excited and when she was done, she pointed out that she had also gone on the floor (and on a couple of toys). But...the key is really that she started to go, stopped and ran to the potty. And she was devastated that she went on the floor. I didn't get mad and praised her for knowing to stop and go to the potty. The rest of the evening went super well. She actually tried to get out of putting a diaper on for bedtime.

The best part of the day? Before nap time, I thought I smelled something. I saw nothing around Alysa, so I assumed she tooted. I took her upstairs and had to go back down to get something and walking through the family room, I smelled something again. I looked all over the room for a present on the floor but found nothing. I thought I was losing my mind until I looked in the little potty to find that she had pooped. Talk about shocked! I ran upstairs to do a "happy dance". I made a HUGE deal out of it and I also found out Kayla knew she had gone, but didn't tell me. The story of my life - always the last to know. :)

So...this has been an extremely successful first day and I will cross my fingers that it continues.

In continuing the Big Girl Theme. Here she is in her room with her brandy new reading light. OK - it's my reading light that I bequeathed to her. She's supposed to be getting one from my parents but she is constantly turning her light on at night and playing. Our rule is no playing at bedtime, but reading is allowed. Hard to do with no light. So I gave her mine and it made her night. I can hear her upstairs reading Llama Llama Mad at Mama at the top of her lungs.

Mom, Dad? Please hurry with the reading light. Now it's your daughter who can't read before bed.

posted at 7:46 PM  

Another reason to love Kayla's school
I've mentioned before that Kayla's teacher, assistant and the staff there have been wonderful. Her teacher and assistant are ever so diligent and have followed my instructions. And with her teacher out on maternity leave next year, my plan of entering her 2nd year of preschool with minimal food allergy stress has been shot down. I am happy that the assistant will remain the same, but I still have to "break in" another teacher. And although I give them more than enough instructions, unfortunately, no matter how well intentioned someone can be, some people "just don't get it".

So last week, I asked the assistant if she works over the summer. I explained that when I meet with the new teacher before school starts back up, I would like her to be there, if she works, so she can help with the teacher and to give her a refresher. She told me she does not work over the summer, BUT she volunteered to come in when the meeting is scheduled. Now that's someone dedicated to my daughter's safety!!!

posted at 12:01 PM  

Thursday, May 29, 2008
It's 9:45 pm...
...do you know what your Toddler is doing?

Playing with her light on, of course.

More updates below.

posted at 9:45 PM  

A mini scare
After dinner tonight, while the girls were playing, Kayla started complaining of itches. She was writhing around on the floor trying to scratch her back, her stomach, sides and arms. As an allergy Mom, I immediately feared the worst and inspected her for hives. Alysa had feeding therapy today and being in a room where kids eat all kinds of foods always makes me nervous. Even though the chair and table are cleaned when we get there, I know it can always happen from residue missed or crumbs gone unnoticed by me on the floor. Thankfully I found no hives, but she was clearly suffering. I tried helping her scratch with no success. We headed upstairs to put lotion on her hoping it was just dry skin. This didn't help either. My next step was to give her Zyrtec - I'd rather err on the side of caution. This, to my unhappiness eased her "itchies". Don't get me wrong, I'm glad she's feeling better, but I don't like that it seems to be allergy related. Since she's never shown signs of environmental allergies, it makes me nervous. I know she didn't ingest anything, as she's had nothing new today, I'm hoping it was some fluke or environmental. Unfortunately, I will probably never know. And since she has biphasic reactions (a secondary reaction hours after the first), I'll be checking on her a few extra times this evening.

In other, more positive news, we've tried a few times without success to get Alysa to start potty training. She's definitely ready both physically AND intellectually. Unfortunately with her smarts comes a VERY strong stubborn streak. I can't imagine where she gets that trait from... Tonight, as I was helping Kayla put lotion on, Alysa comes in Kayla's room stripped down and in big girl undies. She was so proud of herself too. I then asked if she wanted to go on the potty which had her promptly running to the bathroom with success on the potty (of course that is not new, she will go on the potty). She was very proud and excited to get her reward of 3 mini chocolate chips. After I told her to go put her big girl undies back on, I went into her room to see her sitting in the middle of her room surrounded by toys with her pink undies on backwards and inside out. But she was Oh So Proud!

So let's hope the fact that I just bought a box of 176 diapers brings us good luck tomorrow.

And in further frustrations, I just read in our local paper that our township taxes will be increasing over $250 this year that is on top of the ever increasing education taxes. Welcome to NJ, please check your wallet at the door!

posted at 8:12 PM  

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The National Zoo
Monday we took the girls for a day at The National Zoo in DC. It's a beautiful zoo (our tax dollars hard at "work") and only took us about 2.5+ hours to get there. We got into the zoo at close to 10:30 and by 10:40 Alysa was having melt downs already. It was a mixed day. Overall the day went well, but the girls were miserably cranky due to the heat (our first 80-something day) and the sun was very strong. Alysa wanted nothing to do with the stroller or walking. Which put me or J (me mostly) carrying her. Thankfully the zoo has misters for cooling off. The girls were at their happiest while they were frolicking in the water and the one rest stop we made in the visitor's center. Whenever Alysa was wet, I made her "suffer" and ride in the stroller. I was wet enough due to the heat.

They did enjoy the animals though. Kayla's favorite was the baby panda and the elephants. Alysa really enjoyed the Tiger.

As far as food goes, we had to dodge quite a bit while there. The most annoying was inside the buildings. Can I ask why is it so hard for someone to put the food away during the short amount of time you're in a building looking at birds or reptiles? These buildings are clearly marked that no food or drink is allowed. These should have been our "safe havens". But no - and actually in the panda building we had to dodge a huge spread of crushed goldfish on the floor [*sigh*]. But between putting her in sneakers (no exposed toes) and our diligence, Kayla came out of the day unscathed.

We never stopped at PF Chang's. By the time we left, we were due to make it home around 6, so we figured why torture the girls with another stop when we could just give them dinner at home. And we were well stocked with snacks (and DVD's) for the car ride.

I definitely hope to go back in the not too distant future - not only to see the Zoo again, but to sight-see all the other landmarks and activities DC has to offer.

Here's a peak into our day...

posted at 1:06 PM  

Sunday, May 25, 2008
We're back in business

We've been slowly making progress and tonight was the first night in a very looong time where there were NO tears AND she stayed after being washed to play with Kayla. Kayla was thrilled to have her sister back in the tub for playtime.

Here is Alysa reading Kayla her bedtime book of Bear Feels Sick. It amazes me how much of the story they retain. She says the right lines on the correct pages.

Make photo slide shows at www.OneTrueMedia.com

We're off to DC tomorrow to see the Giant Pandas at the zoo. Kayla has been wanting to see them ever since she did a project about them. I will say, I had a few "whoa is me" moments as I was packing up the bazillion items of food we need for our day trip. Oh how I wish we could just buy food at the Zoo. But...I will say I'm so thankful for PF Chang's because there is one in Baltimore on our way home (it was J's idea). So we are actually going to get to stop on our way home to get dinner instead of packing yet another meal! Thanks hon for thinking of it.

posted at 9:26 PM  

Friday, May 23, 2008
Delicious Muffins
My Sister e-mailed me a recipe for Raspberry Creme Muffins, the other day which the girls and I tried out this afternoon. She got it from a bloggy friend (I don't know who, or else I'd pass on credit). But if they taste even half as good as they smell right now baking in my oven, I'll be in heaven.

Raspberry Creme Muffins:
1 egg
1/2 c sour cream (I use Tofutti's Better than Sour Cream)
1/4 c oil
1/2 c sugar

Combine the above ingredients then add:

1.5 c flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t salt

Fold in 1 c. raspberries. Grease muffin tin. Bake at 375 deg. for 20 minutes.

You can see here that Kayla loved the batter so much she decided to lick the counter before I got a chance to clean it...

And after days and days of chilly rainy weather in May, we finally got a day like this...

(These were the ONLY two clouds in the sky - match that with mid 70's)

posted at 4:54 PM  

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
My newest Polly Pocket collector
Kayla has had polly pockets for a while and recently Alysa has really gotten into them. Kayla is usually good with sharing, but Sunday Alysa wanted to play with them and Kayla didn't want her too. Since they are Kayla's toys, I didn't make her share them. And since I don't run out and buy the girls treats/toys often, I decided to take the girls out and get Alysa her first Polly Pocket. She was SO excited. And yes, these toys are small and Alysa is only 2 1/2, but...she is good with putting things in her mouth and she only plays with these when I am present. She is actually more into dressing them than Kayla is (she is my doll lover). With Kayla at gymnastics last night, I was able to get her on video. I apologize for the staticy sound in the first one - not sure what happened there.

Make an on-line slideshow at www.OneTrueMedia.com

Make an on-line slideshow at www.OneTrueMedia.com

And now all Alysa wants is a hat for her dolls...

posted at 8:00 AM  

Sunday, May 18, 2008
A Fun Saturday
On Saturday my Mom and I took the girls to Storybook Land. Kayla has been asking to go since our last trip back in August. She was so excited to go she did not fall asleep until after 10pm Friday night. She spent well over a half hour on Friday looking through the pictures from last summer. Last summer it was a long time before she would go near the horses on the carousel, so I wanted her to see the pictures of her finally on them to hopefully bypass any anxiety from this year. She had NONE. The horses were the first ride she wanted to go on. Actually she’s been asking a lot to go on a real horse. Alysa stayed on the bench until the end of the day when she decided to go on a horse. There was only one ride this year that Kayla would not go on and in the end Alysa went on almost all of them also, although she did not like the balloon ride. It scared her. I broke down this year and allowed Kayla to go on the roller coaster. It’s pretty fast and whips around pretty good. But she’s been asking to go on since last summer. I’m not sure when she’ll go on again because she really didn’t know what she was getting into. She was pretty shocked by it. Later that night she told me she was scared of it. So who knows. But I’m proud of her for trying it.

This is the first year that the girls were really into all of the fairy tale displays. They have Humpty Dumpty, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, The Old Woman and her shoe and many more. They spent a lot of time going in the little houses and peaking through windows.

I love this place because aside from it being a bargain at $20 a person (I am comparing this to Great Adventure and Sesame Place at close to $50 per person), it is seriously the cleanest public place I’ve ever been. The employees are very nice and friendly, the bathrooms (they have a family bathroom and all are child-friendly) are super clean. They have a place to purchase food, but they do not discourage you from bringing your own food and have a huge picnic area for just that purpose. I will admit to one complaint (although it is not against the park). They sell popcorn- and I am not really begrudging the park from doing this. I remember being a kid and part of the appeal of going to these types of places is getting to eat nothing but junk. I actually have to say I miss being able to eat, horribly delicious, greasy, artery clogging heart-attack-on-a-plate food. But…MUST the popcorn and food be brought ON the rides? Yes, ON the rides. There was a girl who brought TWO boxes of popcorn onto the carousel and sat on the bench for three rides chomping away. I wish they had a “no food on rides” rule. But if that is my only complaint, I think we had a good day.

And in case you’re wondering, the girls closed the place down. We got there when they opened at 11 and stayed until they closed at 5. My Mom and I were dragging quite a bit, but the girls would have stayed all night! And Kayla – she was up again that night until after 10:30. She kept coming out to talk about the day and at 9:45 when I went in to check on her, she went on and on about the roller coaster and the horses. She was quite excited to go to school today tell everyone about her adventure.

I had some hopes that this would be the first year that I could take them either by myself or with friends without relying on my parents or having J or I take a vacation day. But since there are rides that one will go on and the other will not, that does not look like it will be an option this year. (*sigh*)

Here are some photos so you can see for yourselves just how much fun they had…

posted at 7:26 PM  

Saturday, May 17, 2008
Food Allergy Awareness Week
FA Awareness Week

[*See below for most recent posts!*]

Welcome to Food Allergy Awareness Week. Please be sure to check out the following posts this week about living with food allergies...
(List will be updated as posts are added.)

Food Allergies & Gymnastics
Food Allergy Rant
Food Allergies in Schools
"My 5 Minutes of Fame

posted at 8:14 PM  

My 5 Minutes of Fame
I thought I would end the week of Food Allergy Awareness with an article I have been meaning to post since March.

Back in February our allergist sent out an e-mail notifying the support group members that he had been in contact with a reporter for a local paper who was working on an article about peanut allergies in schools. Even though her article was about peanuts, I saw this as an opportunity to not only be part of an article about food allergies, but also as a chance to reach out to someone and help build understanding that there are other foods that can be just as dangerous as peanuts.

I called her and we had a nice conversation. She told me that I was not the only Mom who called her about other food allergies. At the end of our conversation, she said she may do a sidebar (I had actually suggested a series of article on food allergies – but what do I know?). In actuality, she ended up doing a full separate article on non-peanut food allergies. I was really thrilled to see both the attention on food allergies and the focus on the fact that peanuts are only one of many foods that can kill.

Here is the article. I have changed a few things, like taking out last names and specific towns. The newspaper is the Courier Post which is a South Jersey Newspaper.

Nuts aren't the only food allergy

Why do peanuts get all the attention?

Asking parents to pull peanut butter out of the lunch plan is certainly a challenge. Imagine if schools had to restrict foods made with egg and dairy products, too.
Children with allergies to those ingredients usually outgrow them by the time they enter school, and they usually have to swallow the offending protein -- not just touch it or inhale it. But the nature of allergies is changing, according to allergist Dr. W, and research suggests common products containing egg and dairy might be an issue for lunchrooms of the future.

Rose has a 2-year-old boy who is allergic to the protein in egg. Touching it -- even in the saliva of a fellow toddler who had an omelet for breakfast -- brings the threat of anaphylactic shock.

"If you look in your kitchen, almost everything is made on equipment with egg, in a factory with egg or with egg ingredients," the woman said. Consequently, the family avoids restaurants, seeks out vegan-certified food and reads every label that enters their kitchen. She's found egg in such unlikely places as microwave popcorn.
Dr. W said contact reactions like Rose's son's are rare. Another reason most K-12 schools haven't had to ban egg or dairy is that 80 to 90 percent of children outgrow those allergies by the time they start kindergarten.

"That's the current belief, although current research . . . shows it may be taking longer," he said.

Rose's son has already outgrown reactions to oat, beef, dairy and other products. But Rose, determined to be sure he can take part in life safely, is organizing a Mommy and Me class specifically for preschoolers with food allergies. She's already planning discussions with the school he'll attend as a future kindergartner.

Susan sends her 3-year-old daughter to preschool with enough instructions to outweigh her trepidation. The girl has a contact allergy to dairy, so teachers have to serve her first, wash their hands between touching anything and coming near her, and keep her at the head of the table to minimize interaction.

"I supply all her snacks for school so they don't have to read all the labels," Susan said. "I've tried to teach my daughter as much as I can - that she can't take food from anyone."
It's frustrating, she said, to see schools lay out policies and procedures to address peanut allergies when different products are just as threatening to other children.

"The key to getting more parents more willing to accommodate (children with allergies) is to educate them," Susan said.

I’m famous I tell you!!!

posted at 8:13 PM  

Friday, May 16, 2008
Dairy lurks EVERYWHERE

Anyone who deals with food allergies knows to check the ingredients of everything every time! Lactose and casein (one of the main proteins found in dairy) are commonly used as binding agents and can show up in paint, glue, toothpaste and many other household items as well as, of course, food.

Our supply of Benadryl just expired and with Zyrtec now available OTC, I decided to switch since it is what our allergist recommends. It is also my allergy medication of choice. Lucky for us Shop Rite had it on sale this week for $9.99 (normally close to $15 each) per bottle PLUS I had $8.00 worth of coupons. We like to have 3 bottles on hand because we have two emergency travel packs and then a supply for the house. So I sent J out to get two bottles of liquid and one chewables thinking the chewables would be convenient for a cooperative allergic child. The liquid is for the times I need to pour it down her throat. :)

Today, I looked at the packaging and saw flavorings (always a red flag) and "lactose monohydrate. Now I have no clue what the monohydrate means and there are ingredients that sound suspiciously like it is from dairy, but end up not being derived from dairy. So, as always, to be safe, I called. And yes, Zyrtec Chewables do indeed contain dairy. So that leads me to this question...

Why in the world would you put one of the Top 8 Food Allergens in an ALLERGY MEDICATION?!?

I'm waiting on confirmation that the liquid is safe from dairy. Since it is typically used as a binding agent, I doubt it - but as an Allergy Mom, we can never assume anything!!!

Let me also point out that Zyrtec has what looks like a handy link entitled, "Meet the Allergens" on their site. Nowhere on this page are food allergies mentioned.

And here is a video that will show you just how severe some children's allergies can be.

posted at 7:50 PM  

Thursday, May 15, 2008
Food Allergies in Schools
Even though Kayla will not be entering the public school system for another two years (she’ll stay where she is through kindergarten), I have it on my list to contact the school to start inquiring about their policies for food allergy management. The thought of leaving her in the care of the public school system leaves me feeling downright terrified. One of the reasons why is highlighted in my rant from Tuesday.

With new New Jersey state guidelines due out soon and some federal guidelines on the horizon, I hope that I will have it easier than some of the Moms with kids in school today.

I was recently directed to an article, Addressing Food Allergies, which was published in a school district magazine. The article has some information on upcoming policies and guidelines and gives some examples of what some schools, ahead of the curve, are doing to manage food allergies.

David, not his real name, of Princeton, N.J., is allergic to milk products and is severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. The 7-year-old sits at a special table in the cafeteria. But when his elementary school science class was using milk in a lab experiment recently, David didn't think it would hurt to peer through a microscope. Yet his eye started itching, and he was sent to the nurse.

I was happy to see them give examples of allergies other than peanuts. With fewer kids outgrowing milk and egg allergies, schools will be seeing more of these allergies in the coming years.

This article also highlights what is wrong with the policies today.

But a stumbling block for Wilmette and most school districts is privacy, which prevents schools from divulging student health information. David's science teacher, for example, was doing an experiment with milk because he had never been informed of David's allergy.

I for one want Kayla’s picture and allergy and emergency action plan plastered on every wall of the school.

With food allergies there is no way to manage them that will make everyone happy. Yes, the school has to manage the needs of food allergic children with the desires of the non-food allergic children. Like with any restrictions, you will always have some parents of the non-food allergic kids upset. But there are ways to successfully manage things without all out bans and without putting the allergic kids at unnecessary risk.

In the Appoquinimink (Del.) School District, a pre-K12 district with over 8,000 students, birthdays in the five elementary schools are celebrated once a month in the cafeteria. Teachers use pencils and stickers as special prizes in the classrooms instead of candy and food as they did years ago, explains Loretta Newsom, a school nurse at Cedar Lane Elementary School.

In the Penn-Trafford (Pa.) School District, children in the five elementary schools are not allowed to bring cupcakes or home-baked cookies for birthday parties and other celebrations. Instead, they must order snacks from the school's cafeteria service from a preapproved list of snacks that do not contain peanuts or tree nuts. Parents of children with serious egg or milk allergies, for example, would receive a list of snacks that do not contain those allergens, explains Peggy DeNinno, assistant to the superintendent. Parents bring orders to the nurse, who double-checks that the snack includes only safe ingredients for the particular class. One student, for example, has a serious allergy to cinnamon, so the snack list for that class has foods that do not contain that spice.

Education is the key to increasing awareness and cooperation both in schools and other areas of our children’s lives. There are a lot of great people and organizations out there working for that cause. Many of us are just Moms who will fight to keep our kids safe.
I have some good people in my life that will help me with the schools. I am hoping that our luck with Kayla’s preschool will continue through public school.

posted at 3:28 PM  

Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Parent-Teacher Conference
I had a conference yesterday with Kayla’s teacher. Kayla is doing really well in school. Her teacher said she still has some trouble sitting for circle time, but she is improving. She is impressed with Kayla’s knowledge and skills and said she knows more letters and numbers than most kids her age and even some kids older than her. She counts really well and impresses her teacher with how well she can match the numbers with the number of block on some of their materials. She can also match some items with the letter they start with. Her teacher said she is very bright and at times it gets her to forget how young she really is (she is the youngest in the class). I think J and I do this sometimes with the girls, especially Alysa. She is still working on her thumb sucking – reminding her, having her wash her hands, etc. We do that too, but from what I’ve been told, we can’t push the issue until she is five. It doesn’t look like she’ll be giving up her thumb voluntarily anytime soon. She also said that Kayla is very sweet and really likes school (this I knew) and Kayla gives her a hug every day before she leaves to go home.

I took the opportunity of one-on-one time to reiterate some of Kayla’s allergy stuff. It made me feel good to know that the epi-pens are stored where they should be and that the epi’s are within easy reach when they are outside on the playground. She said that they do NOT serve any blatantly dairy snacks in Kayla’s classroom – no gold fish or cheese crackers, no cheese or yogurt, etc. This made me especially happy. I did not request this when she started, so it makes me feel extra good to know they took this extra initiative on their own.

We discussed briefly that she will not be here next year. Thankfully, the teacher’s assistant will be the same, so there will be one adult in the classroom who is familiar with Kayla’s allergy. The assistant is also the one who prepares all the snacks. So over the summer, I will meet with the new teacher and request that her assistant be there to help with the new teacher and to give her a refresher.

Some other wonderful school news that I got yesterday – they have decided to serve water ice instead of the ice cream man! I had given them a list of suggestions on Monday and I got a note back yesterday saying they need suggestions from me on the hot dog and bun brands and that they are taking my suggestion and serving Rita’s Water Ice. Out of their 63’ish flavors, more than half are free of the Top 8 Allergens. You can see their list of flavors and allergen information here. There has been no mention so far of a change in the side dish, so I am thinking they are going to stick with the macaroni and cheese. But…that is much more workable than the messy ice cream. Her teacher realizes that my ability to help handle the other foods will be limited since my main goal will be to watch out for Kayla. I am thrilled with the compromises and accommodations they have made for Kayla.

I am glad to be finishing off Kayla’s first year of preschool with such a good feeling about her school. It will make her start of her second year much less anxiety-ridden, even with her change in teacher.

posted at 11:03 AM  

Tuesday, May 13, 2008
A food allergy rant
Food allergy awareness has made great strides in recent years. There are many allergy-friendly options out there for those on a limited diet. With more organic and specialty stores, it is easier to shop for our kids and there are many snack and treat options for every day and holidays. Some schools are devising plans to work better with the allergic kids that go through their buildings. There are many people out there that are more than willing to help the families and kids by making accommodations and compromises for parties, play dates, etc. But even with all the progress that has been made, there are still many who either can not or refuse to “get it”. There is still a lot of ignorance and disdain for the children and families who suffer from food allergies.

A friend of mine, Lisa (name changed to “protect” the guilty) works for a school district. She was recently at a staff meeting and they were discussing their emergency plans in case of a lock-down of some sort. The Principal was saying that each classroom has emergency kits. They are buckets (or something) that has toiletries, bottles of water and food bars. Lisa asked him what they are doing for the children with food allergies. He said that the kids change classrooms (it’s a middle school) so they can’t know where the kids will be at any given time during the day. She continued to question him about having something for them and suggested only storing foods that were allergy-friendly. He then said, well then other parents would want their kids to have special water, etc. and that at the most the kids would be locked down for only 2-3 days and they “won’t starve”.

I can’t begin to tell you how sick that makes me feel. There are SO many things wrong with, not only what he said, but also with the situation and how they are handling it.

First of all, to callously brush off the health and well being of children is truly disgusting. These children are in your care while they are there. We, as parents (ALL parents) are forced to trust you with our children. The parents of children with special needs obviously have more concerns and are in need of some extra accommodations to make their children safe in the school’s care. I am not one who supports food bans OR mandates. But the bottom line is, until our school system changes, the public school system is bound to make whatever accommodations are necessary to keep ALL the children safe. Not just those without medical conditions. Those of us with special needs children are paying for that school as well.

Aside from the obvious reasons his comment is frightening (children starving for 3 days/ignorance, etc.), can you see these kids starving, and all the while watching their friends eat? For THREE days???

The way I see it, the school has a few choices.

-Either supply the boxes (in every classroom that an allergic child will be in throughout the day) with the regular food bars AND with food bars that are safe for THAT child’s allergies.
-Notify the parents of the food allergic children and give them the opportunity to supply the school with food bars that are safe for THEIR child’s allergies.
-ONLY have allergen-friendly bars in the emergency boxes.

I will also note that no matter what, the parents must be notified. It is easy to find allergen-friendly snacks and food bars. But they are just that, allergen-friendly. No food can be free of all allergens, so for the less prominent food allergies, the parents must be given the opportunity to supply a safe alternative for their child.

I am torn as to which I would prefer. My lack of trust in others (where ingredients knowledge is concerned) makes me lean towards me preferring to supply the school with snacks for Kayla. But, the whole lock-down scenario with no access to medical care, if a mistake in the height of an emergency were to happen, has my preference leaning towards only foods as safe as possible being available to the kids.

This also brings up another interesting aspect. This school, as far as Lisa knows keeps all epi-pens in the nurse’s office. What, if in the event of a lock-down, a child has an exposure through these bars or something else? In a lock-down that would mean NO access to their medication, let alone a hospital. It is not safe to have epinephrine stored AWAY from the allergic child.

As for the Principal’s “concern” about other parents requesting special water. Aside from the ridiculousness of that comment, the school is required to make reasonable accommodations. Safe food for a child in the event of an emergency, is not only reasonable, but necessary. A special brand of water does not even come close to reasonable!

I have encouraged Lisa to push this further and I hope she does. At the very least the parents need to know. I for one would have never thought to ask about the contents of an emergency kit in the classrooms. I would have never thought they had them. It is now on my list to ask Kayla’s school about when I contact them about their food allergy policies.

posted at 11:38 AM  

Monday, May 12, 2008
Food Allergies & the Gymnastics Show
Yesterday was the beginning of the 11th AnnualFood Allergy Awareness Week. It is a great opportunity to get some extra information out there to help educate those not impacted by food allergies every day.

Today I will start with a nice surprise I got yesterday. The girls had their gymnastics show yesterday, which went extremely well. A few weeks ago, I had inquired about any food that would be served during the show. Of course, I was told there would be. I was told that they usually have soft pretzels (which do have dairy in them), sometimes hot dogs and chocolate. In talking with the man, he offered to forgo the chocolate and stick with the pretzels. Even though they contain dairy, they pose a much more minimal risk than chocolate. I confirmed this with him a few days before the show. When we arrived at the show yesterday, not only was there NO food in the lobby (aside from their vending machine which is always there), but this sign was hung at the entrance to the gym.

Some people really do care and will put out that little extra effort to ease the anxieties and risks of those families with food allergies. That little sign meant so much to me.

Alysa standing for the National Anthem

Jumping on the trampolene

Bear Walk

Ta Da! So proud of her medal, certificate & ribbon!

Kayla marching in

Showing off her stuff!

On the beam

Showing off her medal!

posted at 8:39 PM  

Saturday, May 10, 2008
Kayla's test, etc.
I don’t have any good news. She reacted to the skin test and her reaction was the same as it was the last 2 times – double the size of the control. So…the waiting game begins again. He wants her back in 6 months, but with all her exposures (via skin test), before I have her exposed again, I want another blood test to make sure the skin testing has not sent her in the opposite direction. He agreed, so in November we’ll get blood work done and then possibly another skin test. This means that she is NOT in the 19% that outgrow a dairy allergy by the age of 4. Kayla did really wonderful though. She was such a big, brave girl. She hates the skin test, but sat with me without shedding a tear. She is growing up way too fast!

This morning, Kayla woke up and looked at a scratch she has on her big toe. It got a bit red which did not make her happy. After I got her the band aid she requested, she looked at it and said "I have to have Dr. W look at it."

Our trouble maker is at it again.

As soon as she saw me, she said, "I in trouble."

Most kids are singing Mary Had a Little Lamb or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. We use to sing bed time songs like You are My Sunshine and Hush Little Baby. But Gramps got them into other songs. Now, every night before bed, the girls have to call him so he can sing their bedtime songs.

Blue Moon

Photo and video editing at www.OneTrueMedia.com

and The Battle of New Orleans (a song about the Revolutionary War)

Make photo slide shows at www.OneTrueMedia.com

I hope everyone has a fabulous Mother's Day!

posted at 7:56 PM  

Friday, May 09, 2008
Skin test tomorrow
I haven't had much energy this week to blog about tomorrow, but Kayla has her skin test and possibly a food challenge depending on how the test goes. I am pretty sick over it right now and have tried yesterday and today to prepare Kayla for the test (which she hates) and the possibility of drinking some cow's milk. She's not too happy ("Aaaaah, Mommy, I CAN'T drink cow's milk!") and I don't know how that will go if it gets to that point. I have tried to reinforce that her doctor and I will take care of her and it's OK for her to do what he says. We shall see. But first...we have to get over the hurdle of the skin test.

Please say some prayers or send good thoughts our way. We will need them! I am also hoping I can get some sleep tonight.

posted at 8:11 PM  

Thursday, May 08, 2008
My Nighttime Bookworm
Kayla now reads almost every night before she goes to bed. And about 80% of the time, when I check in on her before I go to bed, not only do I have to shut off her reading light, but I also encounter this...

posted at 9:04 PM  

Wednesday, May 07, 2008
A good company
Since I griped and complained about Kodak last week, I thought I would praise a company today. Back on May 11, 2007, I posted here about our experience with Identity Theft. J's ex-wife was successful in opening quite a few credit cards as well as a cell phone in his name. She ran up a few thousand in credit card charges and more in cell phone bills. This could have and would have been a lot worse had it not been for Chase. It was their extra security checks that alerted us to the identity theft and it was because of them that we were able to stop her before it got any worse (she did NOT get a Chase card).

Fast forward to now and we have decided to get rid of our specific gas cards. It had worked for us to have Exxon and Shell cards for our fuel purchases, but now with prices completely insane, we decided to switch to a regular Visa card so we could shop more for price. With our nearby Wawa adding gas pumps, it was the perfect time. Wawa happens to have a Visa card that is managed by Chase. The rewards are Wawa gift cards, which I was excited to hear because then we can use them on gas (not coffee as J would like to think). So J applied and after he submitted his application, he got a call from Chase confirming that he was really the one who applied. They had him confirm a bunch of information before they would process his application. Monday we got the cards in the mail and he called to activate them. Yesterday, Chase called again to confirm that he had received had received the cards and activated them, not someone else.

Again, Chase has gained my trust and confidence with their security measures. So if anyone is looking for a good company, I recommend Chase all the way!

posted at 2:48 PM  

Monday, May 05, 2008
Drum roll please…
24lb, 10oz – That is what Alysa weighed at her GI check-up last week. 1lb, 9oz – That is what she gained since March 13th. Needless to say that not only has her new diet and supplements been a success in getting her to eat, but she is gaining weight AND has gained ground on the growth curve. She is back up to just under the 10%. He doctor is very pleased and if she continues to gain weight and do good as we wean her off the Prevacid, we will not need to go back and see her again. Please cross your fingers that everything continues to go well.

I had my free weekend as the girls were with my parents. It was nice to relax, “sleep in” (8 is now sleeping in for me) and do some things for me. I can’t say I was as productive as I would have liked, but…I did get a couple pages scrapped during our scrapping day, which I will post later on or tomorrow. I will also say it was perfectly timed since this past weekend was National Digital Scrapbooking Weekend. Saturday night three of us had some munchies at my house and then we went to a local comedy club. It was great to get out and laugh. Some of the comedians were really funny.

The girls had fun at Nanny and Gramp’s house. Kayla did get a bit homesick. When I talked to her Saturday evening, the first words out of her mouth were, “I want to come home.” Sunday they went to the Aquarium which they loved. And Sunday afternoon, my parents delivered two extremely tired and cranky little girls. But these two tired and cranky little girls were very happy to see me and the feeling was mutual.

I am in need of suggestions. Last Thursday I received the May newsletter from Kayla’s school. In this newsletter was a fun announcement that on June 4th they are having their annual school picnic with lunch served. For most Moms it probably brings up happy thoughts and feelings of “how nice that they do this”; or “this will be fun for the kids”. But for me, as an Allergy Mom, it made me feel like a vice was tightening around my stomach. And it pretty much has stayed that way ever since. I went in Friday morning to talk to the receptionist at the school about the picnic. It is after Kayla’s normal school day and they feed the kids lunch. Now technically, since it is during the school’s lunch period, I can just not let Kayla stay for it. Even though that would be the best (and easiest) for my anxiety level and would obviously keep her out of harm’s way, this goes against my desire to give Kayla as normal a life as possible. I strive to let her experience everything other kids can and have kept her away from things very rarely. So…I need to be armed with information AND make sure that I am one of the volunteers that they were requesting. Last year, they served hotdogs and buns and macaroni and cheese, then they had fruit and veggie trays, and of course, what would a picnic be without the ice cream man? As of now, that is what the menu will be this year, but…they are open to suggestions. She said they will consider anything – keeping in mind that it is workable and kid-friendly (apparently the mac and cheese was a huge hit last year). One of the women (I believe the owner) lives close by and cooks it all at her house and brings it back over at lunch time. They are willing to get hot dogs and buns that I choose (yay) and I was even told that I can go with the owner to her house and cook Kayla’s separately (they really do “get it” at her school). So…now I want to come up with kid-friendly and kid-pleasing alternatives to macaroni and cheese. The ice cream is not as flexible as there is no cost-friendly alternative that the school would consider. Milk-alternative ice creams are not cheap. So, I’ll have to bring hers with me and bring some valium for myself. I will also be supplying the school with a case of wipes so we can put a package on each table so the other Moms and teachers can wipe their hands down when they are done eating. She also said that they can put down table cloths which they will then take down as soon as the kids are done eating.

I am very grateful for their willingness to work with me. I know that even if the menu does not work out to be 100% safe for Kayla, I will feel better letting her be there knowing that they truly do have her best interests at heart and are willing to make adjustments on her behalf.

So…if anyone has any suggestions for a substitute for macaroni and cheese, please let me know. Even if you think it may have dairy in it (other than cheese, which is almost impossible to substitute for), let me know, since most dairy can be easily substituted for.

Here’s a pic of Alysa eating a soft pretzel with J today. She LOVES them but can only have them when Kayla is not around…

p.s. I got my camera today…but…they sent me a broken refurbished one. I can’t even talk about it…

posted at 12:06 PM  


Make your custom magnet at SupportOurRibbons.com
Blogs I Visit
Allergy Moms Blog
Are We There Yet
Big Blueberry Eyes
Check My Tag
Food Allergy FAQ
Fruit In Season (my Sister's blog)
Go Dairy Free
I'm a Drama Mama
Irish Triplets
My Daughters' Site
No Whey Mama
Our Story
Parenting a Child with Food Allergies
Parenting Solved
Pink Explosion
Principled Perspectives (my Father's blog)
Tuesday's Child

Blogs I've Designed
Fruit In Season
Principled Perspectives

Digi Scrap Blogs
Digi Treats by Pamela
Lindsay Jane Designs
Peppermint Creative
Sworda Scrappin
Tracy's Scraps


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Family Friendly Blogroll []

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Sat Phot Hunt Blogroll []

Recent Posts
Kayla's Story
Check out what’s in my fridge!!!
A rare moment...
Pure craziness
My little Patriot
A Bloggy Surprise
A new restaurant
Nickelodeon Food Allergy Video
Road Trip

August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009

I'm Proud Of
Photobucket Photobucket

Mom Blogs The WeatherPixie
Subscribe with Bloglines

Blog Design by:

Image from:

Powered by: