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

Monday, March 24, 2008
Another Allergy Tidbit
For Easter breakfast, my Mom made a “Cheese” Danish. She substituted the cream cheese with Tofutti’s Better than Cream Cheese – which is an amazing soy-based substitute for cream cheese. Kayla didn’t want much for breakfast, as she was too enthralled with the whole egg hunt/candy/easter basket events. So a bit later, after our appetizer lunch, my Dad was having some Danish and I asked Kayla (w/o thinking):

“Kayla, do you want some cheese Danish?”
Kayla: “No Mommy because it has cheese.”

Have I mentioned lately just how proud I am of her??? So I explained to her that it doesn’t really have cheese. From then on, we just called it a Danish. And yes, she loved it and had 2 pieces all by herself. Any wonder why she didn’t eat dinner?

posted at 9:12 PM  

Happy Easter
I hope everyone had a good Easter. We actually had an entire weekend with J off from work and home with us. The last day we were both off together was New Year’s Day, so it’s been a while. Saturday, he took his first vacation day of the year for our trip to see Elmo in our latest Sesame Street Live show. At first Kayla did not want to go. For days she told me no. She told me that I could take Petey, my girlfriend Donna’s son. When I asked her who she would stay with, she said, “Petey’s Mommy.” So simple for her. My thinking is she thought she’d see them up close and personal – she apparently was not remembering details of the shows she’s been to previously.

But both girls loved the show. They were running in circles in the lobby while we were waiting to go in. And then of course, J was left with them by himself while I went in to wash down the seats. With food being everywhere, I washed down the seats with wipes. Actually, one of the ushers told me that she has a contact allergy to alcohol. She has even had patrons spill alcohol on her at shows (adult shows of course). She said luckily she’s never had to use her epi pen. So as usual, my seat washing started good conversations with others. I’m always happy to share information with those around me.

We made it through with no food mishaps which was nice. Alysa was all smiles and giggles during the show. She loved the lights and the characters. Elmo was not one of the first ones to come out and she asked me where he was. This is so different from last year, as she was scared at first. She still couldn’t sit still for the show, but we had 6 seats at the railing. So my Dad and J had the ends and the girls could stand and walk back and forth if they wanted to w/o bothering anyone in front of us. Love those railing seats.

The rest of the day we spent at my Mom and Dad’s. J and I went to the mall to get out for a little bit. It was nice to have the afternoon and evening with nothing to do but color Easter Eggs. Sunday was low-key. We did the egg hunt and baskets. The girls loved it all and were thrilled with their chocolate and jelly beans (especially the jelly beans) and their toys from the Easter Bunny. J’s brother came over late morning for a few hours, so the girls had fun with him. Then it was just the 6 of us for dinner. Not that the girls ate much for dinner. We had the candy and appetizers throughout the afternoon, so Kayla was not very hungry. Alysa? Well, she hardly ever eats. She did eat egg whites that day. But that’s not new for her – although like with everything else, it’s hit or miss if she’ll actually eat it. She wouldn’t eat any of them today.

Kayla’s off from school this week and was happy to stay home with J today and play with her new toys. I worked today and will tomorrow, all while packing for our trip on Wednesday. The plan is to leave bright and early at 8am. I have a lot to pack between clothes, medications and food – I’m feeling a bit pressured right now. But the girls are very excited to see their cousins and Aunt and Uncle. It should be a fun-filled 3 days in Ohio. Plus, while visiting my Sister, we’ll be getting together with her “real life” friend Thea. I’ve only gotten to know her through her blog, so I’m looking forward to meeting her in person.

Here are some pics of our weekend – I’ll be popping in while I can this week.
[I've put the Sesame Street and Easter pics together in a slide show.]

posted at 8:20 PM  

Saturday, March 22, 2008
My Budding Advocate
It is really amazing to watch Kayla's understanding of her allergy grow. Her knowledge and understanding has been growing before my eyes the past couple of months.

-We took the girls to an Elmo show today (pictures to come tomorrow as I'm not at home) and initially Kayla was a bit fearful of "Elmo" and said she didn't want to go. So she came up with this reason...
"Daddy, I can't got to Elmo because there will be dairy there."

-Getting out of the car this past week at Walgreens...
"Mommy. Look there is dairy, right there."

-Walking past the ticket counter at the theater today...
"Mommy. Look, that lady is eating dairy (pointing to the ticket lady)."

-After eating pineapple today at my Mom's house...
"There is no dairy in pineapple Mom. It is safe for me."

-During Elmo today, there was a big chunk of swiss cheese in the play. The first time Kayla saw it our conversation went like this...
Kayla - "Look Mommy, that is cheese."
Me - "Yes, Kayla you're right."
Kayla - "It's cheese for my Sister, Alysa."

-We are taking a trip next week to my Sister's and she has so wonderfully planned every meal dairy-free. So when I sat Kayla down yesterday to tell her that Aunt Christine is planning every meal to have no dairy, Kayla's face lit up with a big smile and said, "It will be safe for me?"

posted at 4:15 PM  

Friday, March 21, 2008
She Strikes Again
Yup, I mean Alysa. The transmission in J's car went (that's a whole other story), so currently we have been sporadically using the IL's Durango (a gas guzzler adding to the transmission anxiety). We've been trying to only use it for local driving which means J takes my van and I get the truck. So yesterday, Alysa figured out that if she takes her shoes off, she can reach the window switch with her feet. She was so proud of herself yelling, "I did it all by myself!". When we got Kayla from school, the first thing out of Alysa's mouth was, "Watch me Kayla." Let's say I've had to limit the window usage by them because the last thing we need is a broken window motor on the IL's car.

Gotta love cell phone cameras...

posted at 6:47 PM  

Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Alysa the Trouble Maker
My Mom asked me the other day who was the main instigator out of my girls. That’s a pretty easy one. Alysa is the more daring, fearless trouble maker. She has always been the climber. She has always been the one to figure out how to get things out of her reach. I have a little drawer set in our downstairs closet where I keep some band aids, nail scissors nail clippers and other miscellaneous items. It’s out of her reach. Except when she goes into the bathroom, drags the stool out so she can empty the contents all over the foyer.

She started the whole let’s balance on the back of the chair in our family room so they can reach everything on top of the ledge. That ledge is now empty. She has taken to picking behind my computer as a hiding place – wires and all. I’ll find speakers on the ground, wires unplugged and everything just messed up.

And Friday night, while my Dad was watching them, he found her in a bedroom closet with the doors pulled off the tracks because she was looking for some squares. Where was Kayla? She was standing back watching her trying to calmly explain to my Dad that she was looking for the squares.

Is it any wonder why Alysa has broken her arm, fallen off our bed more times than I can count (it’s a platform bed), fallen out of her bed, and fallen off chairs onto her head (onto tile floor) a few times? We’re lucky it’s only been 1 broken bone – let’s knock on wood, shall we?

Speaking of her bed – Alysa is still loving her bed. The cutest part so far, is in the morning, I no longer wake up to hear her chattering. I’ve been waking up thinking she’s asleep. Until we go into the hallway and see her bedroom light on. She now wakes up, turns her light on and reads books or plays until we see that she’s up and about. When we do go in, she is so proud of herself that she turned her light on all by herself.

posted at 8:13 AM  

Sunday, March 16, 2008
Things from our Home
It's been a week? Seriously? I have pretty much not been home or been nonstop at home all week. I had a ton of baking to do - some for the food allergy support group - some for Kayla's school. We had our normal gymnastics and feeding therapy, plus household stuff. Friday, I took the girls to my Dad's so I could head up to my girlfriend's house Friday night. Saturday, I took the girls in the am to a local farm for an Easter Egg Hunt. I had safe chocolate pops to replace the unsafe candy they gave out. I managed to be somewhat productive on Saturday, but I was working off 6 or so hours of sleep, which does not work for me.

In some good news, Alysa gained 1lb, 1oz in 6 weeks - that is truly phenomenal for her. So we're thrilled. She's still not eating great, but hopefully that will start to come together in a few weeks. Saturday at the egg hunt, the Easter Bunny was there and it was the perfect opportunity for pictures, as I could have used my camera and just upload them and have them printed. Of course, neither of the girls would go near him. But then, last night and this morning, Kayla begged to see him and sit on his lap. This is a child who would not even wave to him Friday. So I gave in and took her today figuring it was a wasted trip. She actually sat with him and smiled for the camera. I almost fell over. Alysa refused, but Kayla's picture came out pretty cute.

Last night, Kayla had a meltdown at bedtime and come to find out later in the evening, she ended up going into our room to fall asleep. But at least she was asleep by 8 - we're making progress...

Here are some pics from the egg hunt...

*Alysa even survived among all the pine trees without an attack of allergies.

And here they got into my desk and took a container of tiny colorful stickies. I only have about 2 left in the container...

My girlfriend got the girls Little Einstein t-shirts. Boy did that make their year. My girls who would stay in their pj's all day long, were begging to get dressed this morning before breakfast. They were all lit up and full of giggles over them.

It's also been a week of some pretty funny toddlerisms.
Alysa - was playing with Gramps (my Dad) and he was teasing her as always - not giving her some toy (the norm for him). She apparently got tired of the "game" and said, "Gramps, if you do that one more time, I'm going to take it away from you."

I can't forget to share that I've come to see a very cute part of having 2 girls so close together. They have a shared imaginary friend - Eggburt. He apparently lives upstairs and they have to constantly go upstairs and help him or save him. Alysa says he's big and Kayla says he's little - but what is big to one would be little to the other I suppose.

That should sum up our week. I'm hoping this coming week is a little more low-key. I am still pretty behind on things around the house and of course my ebay auctions which are still not on-line yet. I hope everyone else had a great weekend.

posted at 7:33 PM  

Monday, March 10, 2008
The Easter Bunny Has Arrived
My Easter chocolates arrived today. I ordered my chocolates from Chocolate Emporium. So the girls will have some yummy chocolate bunnies.

Two chocolate bunnies, 1 pound of jelly beans, 12 foil-covered eggs and 4 chocolate pops. Those little bunnies are around 4" tall - very small. But they're very cute. I ordered 2 extra pops because my goal is to get the girls to the local farm for an easter egg hunt. After the hunt, the kids trade their plastic eggs in for a bag of candy. This way I have something Easter'y for them to get.

Then I couldn't resist and I ordered from Whey-Out Chocolate. I just found them recently and they have a white chocolate bunny. I'm not a chocolate fan so dark chocolate is definitely out for me. I ordered their white chocolate bunny and some of their milkless chocolate smooches. They have dairy-free milk chocolate that I wanted to try. I'll let you know how they are after Easter.

posted at 8:16 PM  

Sunday, March 09, 2008
Day/Night Confusion at 3 1/2?
So it seems anyway. And it's really getting old...FAST! Tuesday night (I think) Kayla was in and out of her room. Granted, she was putting herself back to bed (a miracle in and of itself), but...she was up until 10:30!!! We put her to bed at 7 - that's a long time to be stalling off sleep. So I figured, ok - she's got some insomnia - J gets that, maybe it's genetic. Wednesday though, she took a nap - no surprise, but I knew it would cause problems Wednesday night - she was up that night until about 9/9:30. Again, in and out of her room. Thursday, I never put her in her room for a rest because I didn't want her to nap. I figured, then she'd be so tired, she'd fall asleep at 7-7:30 like normal. No such luck. She was up until about 8:30-9. Last night was another past 10:00 night (and I mean 10:00 old time). Today, of course she fell asleep during her rest. The kicker, is that Thursday night, she came out of her room with My Little Ponies in hand and said she needed help putting the helmet on during her REST. Yup, she said rest at 8:00PM. She's just all confused. We keep having to take her Leap Pad away and threaten to put her light in "time out" (meaning J will shut the light off with the pull string). We did get her down to using her reading light. I told her she can read, but it's a bit ridiculous now. Especially since we're getting some major melt-downs - she needs the sleep. Tonight it's even worse b/c she was so upset that it's light out. She kept telling me "it's good morning time" and that it was still light out. So, we've taken to not talking to her and not telling her to put herself back to bed. Instead, I just pick her up, while not looking at her and sit her on her bed and leave the room. I'm hoping no attention will do the trick. But then again, keeping in her room won't make her go to sleep. She's up there right now reading... (it's 8:30pm). I'm at my witt's end. It was melt-down city tonight at bed time. Any great tips for me out there?

But, I did get a good preschooler'ism out of it. Last night, she came out and from the top of the stairs, asked me a question (I honestly don't remember what it was). I answered her and then she said, "I'm sorry Mommy, but I did not hear you. What did you say?" It just sounded SO grown up that it really threw me. Was I talking to my 3 1/2 year old or a mini adult???

In other news - we rearranged Alysa's room today. She's been climbing on her doll crib to turn her light and fan on. This morning when I went in to get her, she was in bed and told me she turned her fan on (ceiling fan) all by herself. She had gotten out of bed, climbed in her toy crib, turned the fan on and got back into bed. One day that thing is going to cave under her feather-weight. So...we took out her glider, got her a new chair (her size - an early b-day present from my parents) and set up her big girl room. She is so excited and actually played for an hour before her nap today.

Another dairy tidbit...
Today, I was telling Kayla about out trip to Disney next year. She didn't want to see Cinderella and or Snow White, but when I mentioned Lightening McQueen, she got so excited. So she was going on and on talking about seeing LM and Mater. Then she said, "And Mommy, if you see dairy, you let Kayla know. You keep me safe." Her understanding is growing by leaps and bounds...

posted at 7:51 PM  

Saturday, March 08, 2008
Soy Free - Or Not
So I finally got the protein powder in and started Alysa today on her new soy-free diet. Well, amazing as it is, there is one thing she won't drink. That is a mixture of rice milk, coconut milk and protein powder. Keep in mind that the rice milk and protein powder is vanilla flavored. It is a thicker drink than her soy milk, but still. So for lunch, I diluted it with soy milk - still no luck. This should be fun transitioning her over.

It's a rainy miserable day here and I'm trying to get some things done. I have a ton to get up on eBay and I can't seem to get the time. But, I did make some progress. I had sorted all the clothes into auction lots about a week ago and put them all into bags. Yesterday, I finally got all the boxes out and moved them into their shipping boxes. So, I went from this...


It might not look like much of an improvement, but believe me, it is! Now I’m working my way through photographing them and then will move onto typing descriptions. I’m hoping to get a few up a day this week. I have 17 auctions. That’s a lot to manage, so I don’t want them all ending the same day. Yikes! But in the fall, I sold 11 auctions and cleared $73 after all the fees, so it’s worth it.

I also must mention here that my camera is still not working right. I’m quite annoyed at this point. Kodak suggested that my memory card was bad? Not sure if that would be so sporadic. I don’t know. I have to call them back and see what needs to be done. Sending it back is on the low end of my list. The place didn’t fix it the first time and I don’t want to be w/o my camera again. If you ask me, they should just send me a new one – it’s the easiest and probably the cheapest thing to do for them and me! I can’t imagine it’s cheap to pay for a repair.

On a lighter note – last night, J was fixing Kayla’s bed frame and the girls were having a blast playing with his tools. I gave the girls bedtime warnings and when I finally told Alysa it was time to pick out her book, she was very upset. I told her it was bedtime and she said, “No Mommy, I’m awake!” If only I could get 24 hours in her head...

posted at 2:10 PM  

Tuesday, March 04, 2008
The Traumatic Fall
I think I’m a pretty easy-going Mom when it comes to my girls and their injuries. They fall, the hit, the bump into things. They get bruises and cuts and scrapes. Alysa even broke her arm and fell out of bed once already. None of that has affected me very much. I pick them up, dust them off, kiss their booboos and send them on their way.

Last night, as we were getting ready to leave gymnastics, Kayla points to a little boy and says, “Mommy. He has dairy.” Sure enough, he was eating a plastic bag filled with some kind of cheese puffs. I told her I was proud of her for seeing it and we got dressed to leave. Then, out of nowhere, another little boy [who was probably running or something - I did not see it happen] bumped into Kayla/fell into her. She went splat on the ground on her tush (very hard too) and he landed on top of her. As I hear her crying from the shock and pain of the fall, all I could see was that she had landed at the feet of the boy with the cheese puffs. She was literally millimeters away from colliding with him. I had visions flash threw my mind of cheese puffs flying and landing on her. I probably made her trauma worse b/c I yanked her up and away so fast, her shoe went flying off and my cell phone flew out of my purse. After I cleared her shoe and my phone away from the dairy-danger, I was able to calmly pick her up and comfort her. She definitely fell hard and I know she was hurting. The Mom and boy apologized and we then left for home.

On the way home, she kept talking about the boy who “pushed her”. Then she said to me, “Mommy, I was scare.” So I told her I knew it was scary and she got hurt (I assumed, incorrectly that she was talking about the fall). She then said, “The boy with dairy scared me.”

You and me both sweetie – you and me both.

posted at 10:08 AM  

Saturday, March 01, 2008
In my travels at Wego Health, I came across this site, Safe 4 Kids. It's a Canadian based site that has information for kids living with life threatening food allergies. The part of this site that really touched me is the Art Gallery. It is a collection of drawings done by children with severe and life threatening food allergies and what their dreams are. It is heartbreaking to see that these kids just want to be able to go out for ice cream or eat a donut or go out to a restaurant. They just want to be normal kids and not worry about what foods they eat.

I definitely think it's worth the trip over there. I think these drawings are something could help people be a bit more understanding about what these kids go through by giving them a glimpse into their world.

posted at 8:27 PM  


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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


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