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Southern New Jersey

I am a Mom to 2 amazing and fun daughters and wife to a great guy and a wonderful father!

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Kayla, my oldest. She is 4 1/2 and is a sweet, loving and silly little girl. She took us 2 ½ years and 3 IVF’s to conceive. Kayla is allergic to dairy. We manage her allergy and work to balance her safety with giving her a normal childhood. Kayla loves to read books and play games - she amazes me every day.

Alysa, my youngest. She is 3 years old and is a silly little spitfire. She’s our monkey and loves to climb on everything. She was a “natural” baby, but it was only b/c of my wonderful doctors that we were able to stop an impending miscarriage. Alysa suffers from Acid Reflux Disease and sleep apnea. She may be little, but she has a big personality. She adores her big sister and is so much fun to be around. She keeps me laughing every day.

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Mothers Day 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Losing my best friend
Have you ever met someone that you just clicked with almost perfectly? And not just you, but your whole family? A family where your kids are best friends, your husbands get along great and the Moms too? It's something not easy to find, especially when one child has a food allergy. Food allergies make it harder to make friends. It's harder to open up to people and approach them about get togethers. Get togethers are harder because when you go to their house, you have to quiz them on their eating and cleaning habits. You have to ask to bring snacks with you for all the kids and hope they will be open to it and not shut down. But every so often you meet people that make all of that so easy. For us, that couple was Jen and Jeff. Their daughter Emma joined Kayla's gymnastics class last spring. They had class together all summer but it was not until the end of August that I saw how much those girls adored each other. So...I broke down and asked Jen if she would be interested in getting them together. She jumped at it and asked right away if Kayla would come to her party. Instant anxiety gripped me because the one thing worse than a new play date is a birthday party. But Jen already knew about Kayla's allergy and asked me, "What can we do so Kayla can come?" And the kicker is, she meant it. They were having fajitas, with shredded cheese. Jeff is a hobby chef and was very aware of the ingredients. He asked for the dairy list and went over everything with me. And when the party came, they left off the cheese completely. The party was dairy-free. This was a first for me and it truly overwhelmed me. The only dairy was the cake. It was such a relaxing party for us - the first - and it was wonderful. Jerome and I were able to eat at the same time instead of in shifts. They are the first people we've trusted to cook for Kayla. We've let them bring food here when they joined us for Thanksgiving and Christmas - for those that know me, you know this is a major deal for us. But Jeff also tolerates, graciously too I might add, all my questions and reminders about ingredients and cross-contamination. We've gone out to eat with them and they voluntarily ordered dairy-free to make things easier on us. They are willing to learn to use the epi pen in case there ever comes a time they are alone or could be alone with Kayla. Jeff offered to take off of work the day of Alysa's surgery so they could watch Kayla so both Jerome and I could be with Alysa (Jen does not drive). Jen has even told me she doesn't understand why anyone would not do what needed to be done to keep Kayla safe. She even went so far as to say it's "not an inconvenience". Not sure even I would say there's nothing inconvenient about it, but I appreciated her sentiment and the thing is, she was being honest.

They adore my girls and vice versa. We see each other 2-3 times every week and they joined us for the holidays this year (their family is in Texas).

I've known since I met them that they will be moving this coming summer. Jeff is in the Coast Guard and their 4 years here is coming to an end. But Jeff's two first choices were in New Jersey - so the hope was they would not be going far. This past week the word came down that they are moving to California. When she told me I was crushed - devastated really. As an adult making friends is not easy and making friends like them is even harder. I'm used to having close friends spread out. I have so many after making "Infertility friends". But these are the first we've made locally and then "lost" to distance.

I know this will be so hard on Kayla and Alysa. They won't understand and with their move happening a month before Kayla's birthday party, that will only add to her sadness. I know I will field all sorts of questions as to why Emma can't be there. But truth be told, my devastation is not just about the pain it will cause to Kayla. I will miss them dearly - it will be very hard on me.

One bright spot may be that they are moving an hour and a half from the friends we stayed with in San Jose. So...in the four years they will be in California, I am hoping we can save the small fortune it would take and maybe, just maybe get out their to visit all of them.

posted at 8:00 AM  

At 8:27 AM, Blogger Nowheymama said...

That's so hard. I'm sorry.

At 10:47 AM, Blogger Amy said...

Uh, I am so sad for you.
I was nodding & understanding what you meant by finding friends who you can BE with w/ your allergy kiddo.

Praying that you'll find another friend just as trustworthy.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger ChupieandJ'smama said...

I'm sorry! I know how tough it is to make friends, especially with the food allergy issue.

At 7:26 AM, Blogger Donna said...

OH, I am really sorry about this Sue. I know how important these friends are to your whole family. Double hard trying to explain why this is necessary to children...

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

I remember when you first started posting about this family and how willing they were to do what needed to be done to make things safe for Kayla; how well everyone got along...it is hard to find that...another family that complements your own so well. I'm sorry they didn't end up getting orders in NJ, but are moving cross country to CA instead. I know how sad this will be for everyone to say goodbye :( And it really is too bad the move has to come a month before Kayla's birthday! Do you each have web cams? That might help the girls stay in touch if they can see each other.


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