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

Thursday, October 29, 2009
Check out what’s in my fridge!!!

Yup! That really is a gallon of cow’s milk in our fridge. Kayla has OUTGROWN her dairy allergy!!! I am in complete shock and am suspended in disbelief and can not believe, that for the 3rd day in a row, Kayla has ingested some form of dairy and is going strong!

It’s been a long road and especially most recently. I have so much to share which will in part explain my sporadic posting recently. But it’s a lot to type, let alone digest mentally and emotionally.

But so far, it has not been a lot for Kayla to process. She was so excited to go to school today and eat a “regular snack” and tell her teachers she’s no longer allergic to dairy! She's even more excited to eat pizza for lunch tomorrow since it's, well, Pizza Day at school! She’s my trooper and you’ll see as the details unfold why I am one proud Momma!

posted at 7:46 PM  

Wednesday, October 28, 2009
A rare moment...
...Kayla singing for the camera.

Make an on-line slide show at www.OneTrueMedia.com

posted at 2:14 PM  

Friday, October 23, 2009
Pure craziness
This week has been a blur - literally. I have been nonstop. So I apologize for my lack of visiting - and I had been all caught up too. The biggest bummer is I have so many things rattling around in my head to blog. I just haven't had the time. Even though my weekend will be no less hectic, I'm hoping to get some thoughts down.

In the mean time - I hope everyone has a great weekend!

posted at 8:46 PM  

Thursday, October 15, 2009
That’s really all I could say today. A few days ago, I shared my story about Kayla’s spider gift and that I was told to expect a Congratulations package. Today when I got home from picking Kayla up from school, I saw this in front of the door:

Now I am certainly no stranger to on-line ordering. But I’m really good at remember what I ordered and even knowing when to expect it. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out not only what I ordered, but what I ordered that was so large. It wasn’t until I started opening the box and saw the Improvements catalog inside that I realized this was her special package.

So first I did what any crazy good Mom would do and got out my camera. Then I called Kayla in to open her package. The gift was a second Drop Down Spider. And to make it even better it was in an adorable reusable pumpkin bag. But what blew me away the most was the card. They sent a card for her that was signed by 29 employees. I was (and still am) absolutely blown away.

And Kayla has said she wants the two spiders to hang next to each other and be married.

p.s. J says he wants to work for this company because “they have heart”. Let’s see if he still feels that way when I start buying some Christmas decorations from their awesome Christmas catalog.

posted at 9:31 PM  

My little Patriot
She is just TOO cute if I do say so myself.

Photo and video editing at www.OneTrueMedia.com

p.s. Excuse the boxes - Christmas shopping is in full swing. ;)

posted at 12:54 PM  

Monday, October 12, 2009
A Bloggy Surprise
Last week I posted about Kayla’s journey to stop sucking her thumb and the prize (a drop-down spider Halloween decoration she chose for going 10 days without it.

Well last Thursday I received an e-mail from the VP of Marketing at Improvements Catalog. She told me how she loved Kayla’s story and her desire for their spider. In fact, she loved Kayla’s story so much she wanted to send Kayla the spider “free of charge”. Needless to say I was blown away by this and entertained the thought that it was a hoax. My first reaction was “How did they hear about Kayla?” until I realized I had put her story and a link to the spider here. I contacted her back and asked her to confirm she came upon my blog and to let her know how much I appreciated her interest and offer but I had already ordered the spider (it was actually already in route to my house). This morning, I heard back from her and was told she has credited my credit card for the cost of the spider AND shipping. They are also sending Kayla a “special package with congratulations for her success”. For the second time I was blown away.

Although this was my first time shopping with Improvements Catalog you can be assured I’ll be back. They seem to have a great selection of a wide variety of products. Head on over and check them out. Of course I highly recommend their Drop Down Spider.

And I could tell you all about how excited Kayla was to receive her spider and how much both girls love it. But instead I’ll just let you see for yourself:

Make photo slide shows at www.OneTrueMedia.com

And for the record, Kayla is on Day 12 and counting with her thumb. She's doing amazing!

posted at 9:23 PM  

Thursday, October 08, 2009
A new restaurant
A couple months ago Kayla's allergist was approached by a local restaurant owner about getting the word out that his Italian restaurant is very accommodating to food allergies. So in our support group meeting last month we decided to test him out. Last night we had our meeting at this restaurant. I had arranged with the owner ahead of time to expect our group.

So 11 of us (including our allergist) swooped in on this restaurant and gave him a run for his money. He was phenomenal. So knowledgeable about the menu and foods and food allergies. He said he can and will adapt any dish. Every dish is cooked in it's own pan and he and his staff are very aware and conscious of cross-contamination issues. I was very unsure myself about eating dairy-free there since cheese is a huge staple in Italian cuisine. But after talking to him I decided to try the chicken francaise. It's normally served in a lemon butter sauce but for me he made it in a lemon, white wine and olive oil sauce. This was hard for me since I was without Kayla and I usually take advantage of that to get my dairy fix. But since that would have defeated the purpose of going there, I was good and ate dairy-free. It was absolutely delicious!!! And J agree wholeheartedly when he had my left-overs today.

So needless to say I'm looking forward to having a second restaurant option for Kayla.

I applaud the owner for creating an environment where us allergy moms could go and feel comfortable. He was brave taking on 10 of us at once but he held his own and then some.

posted at 6:43 PM  

Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Nickelodeon Food Allergy Video
Here is a video Nick News put out recently on kids with food allergies. Nickelodeon had contacted my allergist in search of kids for the video. Of course I contacted her but she only wanted older kids. I had tried to get her to think about doing a video on the younger crowd for the younger crowd but so far no go…

It is a very well done video and I’m thrilled to see positive press given to food allergies. It’s 22 minutes long but definitely worth watching.

You can view it here.

p.s. Ignore the two completely ridiculous commercials before the video. :)

posted at 4:57 PM  

Sunday, October 04, 2009
Road Trip
Ever since Michelle came to the East Coast last January while her husband is deployed we’ve been wanting to get together IRL. We finally succeeded yesterday. We met with the kids at the Port Discovery Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

The drive down was uneventful and the kids were raring to go by the time we arrived. The museum was great – tons of stuff for the kids to do. The only part I found a bit stressful was the net tunnel climbing part. It was HUGE and was in the center of the building but spanned the 3 stories of the building with multiple entrances/exits on each floor. So I had to keep the kids out of it for the most part b/c it would have been too easy for them to get separated and lost. With my backpack I couldn’t climb with them and leaving my bag with my wallet and epi’s was out of the question. They got to climb on some of it and were really good about coming down when I told them to. Michelle took all the girls up once to do the big slide which made Kayla really happy.

There was also a cooking class which we could not take part in. Since they were using white bread and chocolate or butterscotch chips all of which contain dairy.

Both of their favorite part of the day was going down the big slide. And Kayla was just too excited to be meeting and playing with another Kayla. She thought that was pretty cool.

It was so great to meet Michelle, Kayla and Lucas. Her Mom joined her too who is really sweet. Both her kids are just too adorable. Thanks for a great day Michelle. We all had a lot of fun.

Up in the nets

Alysa milking a cow

Pumping gas

Kayla thought this would be a good idea

The girls loved the squeegee

We were able to get a group picture with the kids sitting still. Amazing!

posted at 2:31 PM  

Saturday, October 03, 2009
Kayla's Poem
Here is poem Kayla's teacher did with them at school. Kayla filled in the blanks.


I am..."Kayla"
I wonder..."about books"
I want..."a spider web halloween decoration"
I am..."Kayla"

I pretend..."to be a ghost in the house"
I feel..."water in my tummy"
I worry..."about Alysa putting her foot in the car"
I cry..."about getting boo boos"
I am..."Kayla"

I like the color..."blue"
I dream..."about Storybook Land"
I try..."to dance"
I hope..."for me and Alysa to be best friends"
I am..."Kayla"

Last year Kayla would not get up and dance with her classmates. This year she is and that is a big step for her so I smiled to see her say she tries to dance. And the part about Alysa being her best friend just melts my heart.

And here we have a note Kayla received in the mail today from her cousin. She was very excited about it.

posted at 8:00 AM  

Friday, October 02, 2009
Kayla’s Thumb
Kayla has been a thumb sucker since she was 3 months old. As a baby it was great – she was able to comfort herself and she was a great sleeper. But with her allergy it’s always made me very nervous. Although she reacts from dairy contact her worst reactions would come from ingestion. If she ever touched dairy with her thumb and then put it in her mouth before washing her hands it would be very bad.

When Kayla was in feeding therapy I was told by her therapist that when she’s five there is a thumb sucking program in order to get her to stop. I had hoped to avoid this step but alas we were unable to. The older she gets, the more she branches out which means the more dairy she is around without me being glued to her side (which is how it should be). And this means the higher her risk is of coming into contact with dairy and then putting her thumb in her mouth. This makes me increasingly nervous. The other reason of course is the obvious, the longer she sucks her thumb the more money in orthodontic bills we’ll have.

So…I took her Wednesday and her therapist spent time talking to her about thumb sucking. Kayla is now wearing a thumb guard. Technically we’re starting with night only but Kayla was fine having it on her first day and she actually wanted to wear it to school yesterday. Amazingly she can write with it on and she did really well with it. She went to sleep her first night with minimal complaints and slept through the night. She was great in the morning and called her therapist as requested and told her all about her non-thumb-sucking night. Once she goes 10 days without sucking her thumb at night she will get a prize. Her therapist told her she could pick any “big” prize she wanted and Kayla has request a big spider Halloween decoration. Thankfully for me I found this today and Kayla really wants it. Boy did I get off cheap.

posted at 8:00 AM  

Thursday, October 01, 2009
Back to School Night
Tuesday night J and I went to back to school night for the girls. We had to split up since they’re both there now. And since Kayla’s teacher was not there the first half of last year I didn’t want her talk to be skipped. J went to Kayla’s classroom while I went to Alysa’s. Once again I was very impressed with Alysa’s teacher. She’s very animated and fun and sweet. She has taught in traditional schools and holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree and then was trained at a Montessori Academy in New York. She became a Montessori teacher because she believes in the philosophy behind it which is what I want in a Montessori teacher. The Montessori Method is very important to me and it is what I’ve always known I wanted for my kids. I believe this is only her 2nd year as a full teacher but she has been at the school for at least a couple years more than that as she did her Montessori internship there. All the kids in Alysa’s class were asked to draw pictures of their family or parents and then we, the parents had to guess which ones were us. I did correctly guess as she drew J with no hair and a beard. :) I was told this morning that I have to hang up her picture. Did I mention I’ve run out of room to hang up all that Alysa brings home from school? One thing she also said that really hit home with me was at the end of her presentation she thanked us for bringing out kids there and said she really enjoys our children and she said, “they are my children as well”. I remember my Mom telling me I had a teacher once who told her the same thing. This really warmed my heart. If someone has my child for hours each day I want to know they love and care for them and truly enjoy not only what they do but my child specifically. And believe me from what I was told by her teacher and assistant they are definitely enjoying Alysa. I was told she is fun and they love her. Her teacher was not surprised at all when I told her Alysa started reading last week just one day after Kayla started. She said Alysa’s concentration and focus amazes them. Nothing distracts her from her work and her teacher can see the concentration on her face and that she is absorbing what is going on around her. If Alysa is sitting near the teacher while she’s helping another child with reading, she can see Alysa kind of looking out into space but deep in thought/concentration as she absorbs and listens to her teacher. We were also told her fine motor skills are excellent. She said the only thing we need to work on with Alysa is her love of the child-sized potty. Apparently 3 weeks has not been long enough to make the novelty wear off. She will go to the potty very often ‘just because’. So I will be adding daily conversations with her about how you only go to the potty when youreally have to into our daily routine. But hey, if that is their only issue with her I’ll take it. Otherwise it seems I have a wonderfully engaging, intelligent, funny and loving 3 year old (almost 4 year old). :)

I can’t give as much detail about Kayla’s teacher since I was not there. But J said it was a good presentation. She is almost done with her Montessori certification which makes me happy. I was very weary when she was hired mid-year last year with no certification. But thankfully she has been wonderful and believes in Montessori as well. Not to mention Kayla adores her. And when I say she adores her, I mean it 110%. Kayla is constantly inviting her over to our house and on outings, etc. It’s so cute. I have actually invited her over for dinner in October. She was very happy to accept and Kayla is just beside herself with excitement. I was told Kayla is doing wonderful with lunch and is handling it very well both practically and emotionally. I also spoke with Kayla’s other 2nd teacher. They combine the Kindergarteners in the afternoon so Kayla is then with her teacher and another one. Kayla is warming up to her pretty well and last week gave her her first hug. J was given a poem with blank lines to fill out what things he thought Kayla would say – favorite things to do, etc. They will then ask the kids the same questions and we’ll be able to compare them. I’m looking forward to that.

While I was there I ran into the Mom of one of Kayla’s old classmates. Her son is now in First grade, so I stopped to talk to her and ask how he was doing. She then proceeded to tell me how her daughter talks about Kayla and will tell her Mom during activities, such as making brownies, that Kayla can’t eat them because she’s allergic to dairy. Her son is allergic to peanuts so she does get the allergy thing. I thought it was cute but was a bit surprised her daughter remembered Kayla. Her daughter did join her brother for Kayla’s party in August but that was because the parents were away and the Mom offered to pay to have her come if I didn’t mind since their babysitter would have both kids. But I was surprised she would remember Kayla. But in talking to her Mom I found out her daughter is in class with Kayla in the afternoon as her teacher is Kayla’s 2nd/new teacher. Then as I was getting ready to leave the light bulb went off over my head. Her daughter is the little girl Kayla has been talking about. A girl it seems Kayla is really bonding with – her first from school actually. And this little girl talks about Kayla all the time too. It makes me happy and it’s so ironic that it’s Kayla’s “old” friend’s sister and how she was actually at her party in August and Kayla didn’t even realize it. And then her Mom said how when Emma talks about her, her son will say, Kayla’s my friend. Hey – you can’t have too many friends, right?

So it was a great night and we really enjoyed ourselves. I love getting to see their rooms and what they do. And to top off the night I came home to Kayla who readily read me a new Bob Book - #5 in the series. So her excitement of reading is growing and so is her confidence. Such an exciting time!!!

posted at 9:43 AM  


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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

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Fruit In Season
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Digi Treats by Pamela
Lindsay Jane Designs
Peppermint Creative
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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

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