Monday, September 29, 2008

Mix and Match

Mix and match, was the only thing that came to my head, when I was thinking of a title.

Not sure what that's all about, except I just have a bunch of random updates to chat about.

Not me Monday is in full swing again. You can see my "Not Me's at Matters of the Heart. If you want to participate visit McMama's site at My Charming Kids.

McMama has a wonderful, and entertaining blog, if you have time, check it out, she could use our prayers right now.
I have to say, my little guy is doing much better. I am so relieved, let's see how long he can stay well now. At least we can do breathing treatments at home now, if needed.


An update on the whole pre-school issue. Today, I decided to attend the room mother meeting, just so I could here first hand what was going on. I was so relieved to hear the director address the whole nut free issue. She addressed the controversy, and politely said, "we are not going to have it." "It is only three hours and it is something that needs to be dealt with." She also said she did not feel like they were asking to much, and could not understand why there was controversy. She went on to say," please direct the parents with the issues to her." It was nice to hear some parents chime in and say things like, "whatever it takes to keep these kids safe." It was comforting to hear, some people really do get the severity of this allergy. All that aside, I am very glad that things are not going to change
Another little update on the yogurt place. I went there myself, since I was only hearing this information from my husband. They did say that they keep the yogurts in the same machine each day. They are drained every night and sanitized. They happened to be out of peanut butter yogurt when we went in, and it was an empty machine. I had them give me the contents of the vanilla yogurt, there was nothing I felt uncomfortable with. There are a lot of nut and cereal toppings that are a no no for us, they are near the other toppings, this I would not feel comfortable with.

We decided we would give it a try. We got a small vanilla, with no toppings for my two little one's to share, and they had so much fun with it. I really was not nervous, which was good. It was nice to talk with the manager and feel comfortable. They were well aware of why we were asking and I felt even better about it. It seems lately, more and more places I ask at, realize the importance of my questions.
That's all folks for my random mix and match update.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'd love to take you for a yogurt

With my daughter now in pre-school three days a week. My little guy and I have lot's of Mommy and Son time. I was thinking yesterday, I really wish we could go have a frozen yogurt together.

We have this new yogurt shop, and it would be fun to just take him for some special time. Not to mention, they have fat free and sugar free yogurt. This would let Mommy get a nice yummy treat without feeling too guilty.

My husband has checked the place out, and unfortunately, it really is a no go for us. They serve peanut butter yogurt, the flavors are never in the same machine. One day the peanut butter flavor will be in the first machine, two days later it may be in the fourth machine. They also have lots of nut and cereal topping choices, that have already spilled into each other.

Nothing is very simple, when you have an allergic child. I guess I will have to think of a different Mommy-Son treat. Any ideas.

If you are in the mood check out my Friday Flashback post.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tomorrow is another day.

Thanks for all the comments on the pre-school post. Real glad to hear I wasn't too far off base. It is real nice to meet some new people traveling the same road, thanks for stopping by.
Tomorrow is another day, we will see if there is any new news at the school. I have heard the board members will uphold their decision no matter what...

I will keep you posted...
By the way, my little guy is having such a hard time shaking this upper respiratory thing. I thought he was turning the corner, now we seem to be at a stand still with it. Lots of yucky stuff out there right now.
Want to hear a funny story about my other little one, hop on over to "Matters of the Heart"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Help me out here.

So, I am not really sure how to feel about some information I received today.

I've shared before, my daughter goes to a pre-school that has gone nut free. My daughter is not the allergic one here. I was just very happy about this because next year, when my allergy boy is ready to go, I thought there would be a lot less worries. This was the schools choice, through education, and the amount of students that were seeking enrollment that had the allergy.

Well, and I say that with and exaggerated sigh behind it. Today, I was told that one of the parents is not happy with the pre-schools decision, and is going to try to get a petition going, in order for it to be changed. I guess, this parent feels that the pre-school accommodating the peanut allergy is a bigger inconvenience for the rest of the parents.

Like I said, I am not sure how I even feel about this. Partly because I have an allergic child, and of course I want the school to remain nut free. My first reaction was, hello, it is three hours a day, give me a break. I know, I am very biased on the issue, however my PA guy is not even there right now. I just think, if someone told me that there kid could be at serious risk if I ate something around them, I feel like I could accommodate them. Am I wrong here? The parent feels the pre-school should not have accommodated the peanut allergy in the way they chose too. It will be interesting to see what comes of this. Not sure if she is just angry right now, and saying it, or she really will find people to sign it.

I would never want to put someone elses life in jeopardy. To top all of it off, again not sure what this is all about. Another parent, who's child is in a class with a PA child, has asked the parent to sign a release, saying he would never be liable if anything ever happened to her child in class. What is that all about?

This was a bit of a reality check for me. I have not really had to worry about outside influences, as of yet. My son is two and his world is still pretty much in my control.

Please let me know what you all think about both of these situations.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We have turned the corner

Just wanted to post an update about my little guy. It is so hard to talk about it, when you are right in the middle of it. So sorry, I have not told you how things have been going.

I just looked back to see where I left off, oh boy, way to long to keep you hanging.

Friday evening, the life care place called and said they would not be able to deliver the breathing machine until morning. I just about started to cry. I knew my little guy would not make it through the night. I knew we would end up in the ER. This is the last place I wanted to go on a Friday night. Of course I would do anything for my little guy, but if we don't have too.

He cried all day long. Really, I am not exaggerating, not even a little. He was miserable, and so was mom. All my daughter kept saying, who is three by the way, is poor brother. I secretly thought, poor brother, what about mom.

Enough pouting, and I was told they would deliver the machine by 7:00. I didn't really pout, I had a few stern words, and a little pleading.

The breathing treatment helped. He was still pretty miserable, at least his airway didn't sound so scary. He still cried most of the night. He seemed to be so jittery. I think all the medications, not feeling well, and not being able to rest, really got to him.

I know it got to me. Finally, I did something I really never do. I laid him down in my bed. I always fear they will not ever want to sleep in there own bed again. At this point I did not care. I really needed some sleep. Two full nights of zero sleep, was not going to be an option. It worked, he fell fast asleep, and finally I could rest.

The breathing treatments worked, little man does not like them. It is nice to have the option to help him out at home. The rest of the weekend we only needed to use the new medication they gave us, and he started to do much better.

He is not completely better yet, however, we are on the way to a full recovery. Right now, he sounds like he has a simple cold. His airway is clear, and he just has a yucky runny nose, and a cough that is not making him struggle too much.

This is the season for sickness, and I just pray that the viruses know they are not welcome in the Nut Free Living home.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Not Me Monday

It's here, Not Me Monday. To see what it's all about, check out my "Matters of the Heart" blog.

It has nothing to do with nuts, but a lot to do with how our week went...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Here we are again.

It's only been three weeks, since my little one had a bout with a breathing problem, and the croup type cough. That was, it started three weeks ago, lasted two, one week in between, and here we are again.

Sure enough, I heard it coming yesterday afternoon. Isn't it funny how we moms know our kids? He cleared his throat once, and I asked him to say mama, there it is was, some thing in the way he exhaled. I thought, by tonight, he will sound like I seal. I prayed, I would be wrong.

Sure enough, an hour later, a slight cough started that had some distress in it. Out came, what Zach calls "orange"can anyone figure out what that is???? (leave a comment with your answers)First one to answer correctly wins..not sure if you will physically win something, just the joy of knowing your a winner should make it fun.

Five hours later, we were in serious distress. Just writing about it now really makes me want to cry. I hold it together so well for him, and really feel I do a good job, handling situations as they arise. It is the calm after the storm, that always gets me. Maybe it has a little something to do with the fact that I did not get much sleep. Either way, and I am sure most of you will agree on this, it is so hard to watch our precious children struggle with anything.

My little guy is a trooper, and I know he is going to grow up to be big and strong. We made it through the night, came close to needing to go to the ER. I knew my doctor would take us in the morning, so I wanted to wait it out.

Sure enough, we got right in this morning. He sounded horrible. He was given a steroid shot, and they are going to deliver a breathing machine, to the house by this evening.

My sweet boy is handling it very well, as usual. I think I will be fine too, sleep is over rated anyway..

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Scary moments

Sunday night I was getting the kids ready for bath. As I was taking Zach's diaper off, he said "hurt mommy." I said, "what hurts" he pointed to the side of his bottom. Sure enough, he had raised bumps and it was red around them.

I took him out to the living room, for dad to examine, this was the only place he had the hives. As we were looking for signs of anything else, he said, "my mouth hurts." I had already given him benadryl by that point. Just him saying that, scared the holy heck out of me. His tongue and lips were fine, and he was breathing normally.

He was fine, in every other way, but the red hive like area, which the benadryl immediately helped. He had not eaten anything different at home that day, so I am not sure what it really was.

This has happened several other times, where hives will just appear and go away with benadryl.

He does have a few level one food allergies, that do not bother him much, could be those, could be environmental, could be, who knows what???

Even in that scary moment, I was able to keep it together. I'm finding strength, I never knew I had, when it comes to living with this life threatening allergy.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thank you to those that come before us.

I just have to say thank you to all of you PA moms and dads out there that have come before me.

You truly are paving the way for those of us, that are not as far down the road yet. I love the stories, the advice, the recipes. Most of all, I love the encouragement.

I love meeting people like me, that would do ANYTHING, to keep their child safe.

Today, I met the women that paved the way, for the preschool we choose to be peanut free. How wonderful, all her hard work, prepping the preschool for her little one, has now multiplied itself.

If you remember, in an earlier post I said, "this preschool, really gets it." This is thanks to the mom I met today.

This lovely women, is so involved in the PA world, she had a wealth of information. I am so grateful she has pushed for the preschool we choose to be so aware.

She also had a wonderful thing I wanted to share with you all. Customized EpiPen carriers.

I loved this one, it could be carried like a purse, or you could take the straps off.

Let's face it, pre PA, sometimes I did not carry anything with me, now there is one thing I can never be with out.

There are lots of fabrics to choose from.

This was a little over one arm sling.

This was back pack style.

You can visit her website at This PA mom, is doing amazing things.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Peanut Free Snack.

My little guy has been a bit goofy lately. It seems that he likes to paint, paint his own face that is.

He also likes to put mommy's glasses on, and say cheese for a picture.

I love my little two year old, peanut allergy and all. I feel so blessed, these sweet moments captured, help me remember that.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Our New Preschool.

My daughter, who does not have food allergies, started preschool this week. My son, who is PA/TNA, thought he was going to attend with her. Notice his backpack in hand.

I know so many families have problems when it comes to schools and their children's allergies.

I just wanted to share our journey, and the positive outcome it has had.

Knowing that Zach would attend preschool, the year following his sister, it was very important for me to find one that had a good allergy plan.

I searched, and now know, that I could not have found a better school.
Last week at parent orientation the director stressed, the no peanut policy, for everything. Birthdays, lunches, snacks etc....

I was rather pleased at that point, however, I did notice a ton of parents talking through that portion, and become a little worried that they were missing it.

Today, I found a new level of comfort with the school.

As parents, we needed to provide emergency earthquake bags. Parents were bringing in their bags, and they were checked by the teachers. Anything that contained peanuts or said "processed in a facility with peanuts" were turned away.

My daughters teacher was explaining, so well, the severity of the allergy. I listened to a couple of parents say "I can't find any snacks that do not say may contain nuts, what am I to do?" I so wanted to say, "welcome to my world." I just listened, and when the teacher looked at me and said, " this is so serious, I hope you all understand." I promptly said, "I know, my son has the allergy."

It was at that point, I was able to help the mom's with snack ideas. I was just so relieved that the school was taking it so serious.

The teacher thanked me for responding, and proceeded to tell me all about the in service they had, about the allergy, and the use of epi-pens.

It is so nice to see, that some people are, getting this issue.

I feel safe knowing, that my daughter will not come home from school having any peanut residue on her. I also feel, even better knowing, that next year, my son will go to a safe preschool.

Talk about a hugh relief. Hopefully, within the next two years, this will spill into our local elementary school.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Birthday Boy.

I am back. I am so sorry for the delay. We had a very busy few days, leading up to a very busy weekend. We also had a fun start to this brand new week.

If you want to read all about my daughters first day of preschool click here. On a side note, she is going to a completely peanut free preschool. I will talk about that here in a later post.

My big dilemma for the birthday boy, was the cake. As I shared before, I loved a bakery bought cake. They are so cute, and you do not have to usually worry about how they will taste. As most of you PA moms know, that option is a thing of the past.

I set out on a mission, to make, and decorate, my own cake. I was very apprehensive. I am not that creative, and decorating, sometimes just does not work for me. Overall, I was pleased with the result. Most of my family thought that I had bought the cake.

The most important thing was, the Birthday Boy loved it. He is really into trains right now, and just loved, that he had a Thomas cake. (the Thomas on the cake was a toy)

We had a weekend of celebrating. Friday evening we had family over to our house. That is the safest place for me. I can control the food, and I really do not have to worry much about Zach's safety.

Mom, Dad, and Birthday Boy having a great time.

Zach, on his new tractor.

Saturday, we headed up to my mom's house, for a second celebration. It is a little harder to be away from home, however, I really feel my mom gets it, and we feel safe there. I brought some cupcakes up for our little celebration.

Zach giving a thumbs up to his new basket ball set.

Overall, we had a very nice birthday weekend. My little birthday boy had so much fun, and most importantly he was kept safe.

I really did have fun making his cake, so much so, that I would like to take a decorating class. I guess, I got the fever.

So many things that you think may be an inconvenience, due to this allergy, really do turn out to be blessings.

Now, my little one is two, and my big one is at preschool. They grow up so fast. For today, I am just enjoying the moment.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

When knowledge backfires.

Can you ever know to much? I didn't think so, however last night, I might have answered yes to that question.

Ever since we found out about Zach's allergies, to peanuts and tree nuts, all I have wanted to do is educate myself.

I want to know everything I can, in order to keep my child safe. If I don't know an answer, I look for it. I have found others, dealing with the same thing, to see how they manage.

I watch for updates, I read everything I can find, that has to deal with this allergy. I want to be informed, and know exactly what I am dealing with.

Last night, I hit my threshold. I stumbled upon a website, that had way too much information. First I must preface this, I was very tired from working late last night. My guard was down, way down, I would add.

I started reading about some tragedies that involved the peanut allergy. This was not news to me. I know the reality, this is serious, I got that a long time ago.

For some reason, last night, I could not read about it any longer. I got off the site, shut the computer down, and went to my husband and cried.

I had an overwhelming feeling, that there was going to be a day, I could not protect my son from this horrible allergy. I was so scared in that moment. My husband just listened, and let me cry.

As mothers, we just want to protect our children, and the thought, that there is something out there, I may not be able to protect him from, terrifies me.

After my good cry, I pulled it back together. You know they say, tears cleanse the women's soul. Not sure who they are, but it did feel like my soul was cleansed.

I needed to have that moment, to draw closer to God. The only way I can deal with this, is to trust in him. My God is bigger than this allergy, and I trust that he knows what he is doing.

My plans, are not always his plans, when I fight that, is when life seems to difficult. When I align myself with God, there is nothing I can not get through.

Monday, September 1, 2008

It really is Labor Day.

Two years ago today, we celebrated Labor Day, by me being in Labor with Zach. It truly was a "Labor Day".

Now, my allergy boy is turning two this week. His allergies, bring a whole new dimension, to the birthday party planning.

I love having parties, I especially love celebrating the kids birthday's with friends and family. What I usually love to do is buy a beautiful bakery cake. That is not part of the plan this year.

I have no problems baking a cake, in fact I have a few yummy recipes. My problem, is the frosting, and the decorating of the cake. I can make a great butter cream frosting, however it never quite looks that great (to me anyway) when I top the cake.

Not to mention, it is his 2nd birthday, and he is partial to a certain character. I am not very artistic at all. In my mind, I think I can do it, and then it just does not come out the way I had envisioned.

For the safety of my son, I am going to attempt it anyway. He really wants a choo choo cake. I have a great idea. I can't wait to see how it comes out. I am going to practice with the frosting in the next couple of days. I really do not want to get stuck Friday, with everyone coming over and not have a cake to sing Happy Birthday with.

I will keep you posted, and I pray, I will have pictures nice enough, to want to share.