Thursday, April 17, 2014

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

When T was a year old our pediatrician suggested we have her tested for allergies, basically because she had a patch of eczema on her face that would come and go. And while she was mostly still only nursing the doctor suggested we see if we could cross certain things off the list.

Well, the first blood work came back and it said she was allergic to peanuts. But because they had not drawn enough blood, they wanted to do it a second time to be sure. Have you ever had to hold a one year old while they draw blood? Not fun. But we did it and so we now had a child that was mildly allergic to peanuts. It explained why anytime we got on an airplane, she would develop a rash on her face. It was from her playing with the peanut bag. No other reactions, just a big, oozy, eczema patch. I was happy to finally have a reason for some of her eczema issues.

But I was more scared...because peanuts or the possibility of peanuts in something is HIGH. I started looking for information about reactions to peanuts and we started carrying around an epi-pen. The doctor said it was a precaution and at two we should have her tested again. We didn't, instead I just became vigilant about keeping her away from peanuts. But she still ate things that "may" contain and when I saw no reactions I just kept an eye on her. I have a lot of empathy for parents that have children with life threatening allergies. I could not imagine how hard it is daily to deal with this because a wrong move could prove to be deadly.

Finally when she turned three, we decided to go ahead and give her another blood test, a skin test and go from there. Both came back negative! The last thing to do? Give her a food challenge. I tried not to think too much about it but last week we had it done.  And she passed. With flying colors. She is no longer allergic to peanuts! I was amazed and even a bit skeptical. And while I joked around that I saw Reese's in her future I can't help but still be a bit apprehensive. Even though I saw her eat peanut butter and not flinch or develop a rash or hives or anything of the sort.

So now we are back to having regular (albeit organic) peanut butter and saying good bye to our faithful Sunbutter companion. Anyone else have a child go from allergic to not? The doctor said about 20% of children will out grow a peanut allergy...I am so glad to be a part of that 20%.

Oh...but we are not free and clear of allergies...she did have a reaction to dogs. And guess what we wanted to get this year? Yep, a dog. I too am allergic to dogs but have usually always had one around. Guess we will have to really weigh the pros and cons of that one, huh?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Battle of Mae Mae

We have a battle going on in our home...the battle of mae mae (prounounced may may). Our little T is now three years old and she is STILL asking to nurse. I know, I's crazy. I never thought I would be here and dealing with this!

I stupidly thought my second child would just wean herself by her first birthday and I would have a cry about how big she was getting and we'd move on. But that has not happened. Instead it has turned into a battle. The worse part is that she is stubborn, like her mother. I say no, she says yes. And we can go back in forth until she gives up. Because I realize now, I am the one that created this nursing monster and so in the end it is I who must re-create her. She is my last baby and part of me knows I have not been as adamant as I could be, because I won't have the ability to console and comfort her so completely. When she is having a bad day or a god awful tantrum...I can quiet the tears and the sadness with a quick nursing. Yet I know it is truly time to stop and have her learn that a cuddle and kisses can console just as well. Or that Daddy is great at giving hugs and making one feel safe.

And so...the battle of mae mae wages on. Especially in the middle of night, when we are both most vulnerable. Me wanting to just sleep and her wanting to feel me next to her, where she can easily nurse. Last night she finally looked me in the eye and said "I will not go to sleep until I have mae mae!" Part of me cheered...because she was not giving up and then I looked at the time (3:17 a.m.) and wondered how I ended up with such a headstrong child.

Messy Hair Don't Care...give me mae mae!
I never thought I would be the mom who has been nursing for 5 years. Actually I never really gave it much thought, I just knew that I would try and we would see what happens. And so the battle wages on and in the end, I know who will win. I just hope someone is ready to console me.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Snow Days

This last month and a half presented some colder than normal weather here in Raleigh, which in turn produced snow. I was happy to see it and mostly okay with the snow days and of course a snow storm is not complete without taking the kids out to play in it...even if they only lasted about 30 minutes before wanting to go back in!


There were moments that it truly was magical, especially when we didn't have any place to be. I see now why at Christmas it is such a wished for event.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

5 Years of Awesome

This past week we celebrated Spencer's 5th birthday. At Christmas his best bud turned 5 and this brought about a lesson in patience and being a good friend. See S, was truly bummed that his friend was now older than him. For some reason he thought because of this, they could no longer be friends. And so he shunned his friend for almost two months. They would play, but their usual fervor was just not there. This all through me for a loop. Even when I explained how I am older than Daddy and how he(S)will always be older than his sister. Nothing could budge his anger or sadness at feeling left behind.

As his birthday got closer, I could see his resolve lessen. He missed his friend and when I asked what would happen once he was 5? He quickly told me things would be sooooo much better. Because being the same age as your best bud? Apparently that's very important stuff when you're a kid. And then his birthday was here and he could not contain himself. I think his shirt was made just for him!

We had a small Angry Bird party and a good time was had by all. There was cake and games and bubbles. There was laughing and boys running around the house like a herd of elephants. Spencer never slowed down and enjoyed every last minute of his big day.

And in end, when he proclaimed "This was the best birthday, EVER!" I could not agree more. Happy 5th Birthday, Spencer!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Time Flies

And that is exactly what has happened. A week ago the Hubs and celebrated 10 years of wedded bliss. That's right it was 10 years ago that we were doing this:

I remember most of our wedding day and Hubs asked if I was nervous that day and the truth is, I wasn't. We had just spend 3 1/2 years dating and I was ready to make it all official. It was a beautiful winter day in Florida and from what I remember, everyone had a great time.

And almost five years ago we were doing this:

We went from just having to care about ourselves, to caring for another little life. Things were never the same after Spencer arrived in our lives. It was easy to fall head-over-heels for our little guy. We thought our family was complete.

And then almost three years ago we did complete our family and our hearts grew even more as we did this:

Teagan completed our family and what I was so afraid of...I needed not be. Because I do have enough love for not only my husband but both my children. It is an amazing thing to have your heart grow even bigger and accommodate everyone.

Ten years has brought a lot of changes to our lives and our family. But I have been lucky to do it with such a great man. He has always had my back, always wiped my tears and never been afraid to share his dreams with me. But even though we have done so much, our ride has only just begun. I can't wait to see where the next 10 years takes us!

Sunday, January 12, 2014


So here we are almost two weeks into 2014 and all the post about words and resolutions and holiday blues have come and gone. And then there is me. I thought about jumping on that bandwagon but realized that it wouldn't be authentic. I wasn't interested in thinking of a word to determine my year or blathering on about all the resolutions I would attempt to only find myself at the end of 2014 and realizing I failed at many of them.

So instead I start with a fresh header on the blog and a bit of resolve. There are things I want to accomplish this year but that's for me to know and maybe share. Or maybe not.


I did manage to reflect on 2013 and realize that our family has been very blessed. Besides doing something big (bought a house) we managed to stay healthy and happy. Sometimes, in the day to day it is hard to see the blessings and be thankful for them. Even when every other post on Facebook tells you to do just that. And I know God is at work to show me all he is doing for my family but I have turned a blind eye and become a bit desensitized to his message. I don't want to be that person and I don't want my kids to be those kids. I know now that I am and will always be a work in progress. And that's okay.

This year the kids are turning 5 and 3. It seems like it was just yesterday that I had become a mother and was holding my baby boy in my arms and hoping that I would not fail him. And now he is just about 6 months away from starting kindergarten.  I know when the day comes I will be in tears. And he will be just fine, because he always is. He is brave, silly and smart. He loves to talk and ask questions and learn. I am not failing him and am thankful for that.

And my little girl. Not my mini me in looks but for sure in attitude. She is sassy and smart-assy. She is stubborn and funny and smart. She loves to dance and color and I hope she never stops. I think my favorite is when we are cuddling at night and she randomly remembers a day or moment and laughs. It is infectious and a reminder that laughing is great.

The Husband. We are almost at 10 years or marriage and I am still learning new things about him. I thank God for sending him to me. He is all I could hope for in a man and I only hope that I never fail him.

So this is where we are in 2014. Happy New Year!



Friday, November 29, 2013


That's the the number of cards I use to send out each Christmas season. In recent years the number has dwindled. I know a lot of people figure you can get updates via Facebook or Instagram and so they are saving a few bucks by not mailing a card. But for me the fun has been finding the perfect card, along to go with just the right family photo.

The past two years I've gotten away from the usual photo card on photo paper and went with the stationery approach. Many places are now giving you more room to put in a personal touch when it comes to your card but for someone like me, I just look for the card that grabs me and begs me to place our family photo in it. And I've found a place where the designs are fabulous. And I'm not just saying that. I actually clicked the link and ooed and ahhed. Go ahead and take a peek. Am I right or am I right? I had heard of Minted before but hadn't taken the time to really look. Boy, have I been missing out. People are talented and this is definitely proven because the designs you see? That's right, they are submitted and then voted on by folks like you and me. How cool is that? But what really impressed me? The sheer amount of cards they had, just every kind of design you could dream up. I spent a good hour just looking and wishing I had ordered my cards from them this year.

Maybe sending Christmas cards isn't your thing, Minted has tons of other items as well. From journals to actual stationary and party favors. All of it beautifully designed and inspiring. I was truly pleasantly surprised by all that Minted has to offer. Here are a few of my favorite items:

Festive Reindeer - Griffin Bell Paper Co.
This is a great card for those that aren't really into wrangling the family into a photo for the sake of their Christmas cards. Best part is that you can change the color and the actual shape of the card. And you can do that with all their cards. How's that for personalization?

Storybook Holiday - Jody Wody
Maybe you want to include a bit about the family's year? This is a great way to do that without sending a long letter and being too pretentious! Again, you can change color, edges and even make it into a folded card.

This is a new style that I started seeing last year and is fun, because who doesn't need another ornament on the tree? Especially if you can get a cute picture like the one above. A-dor-able, with the capital A!

Two BIG things about Minted...they will address your cards for you. That's right, FOR YOU. Just log in and start an address book and your cards will come to you already addressed. That is a genius idea. The other thing they do is let you see your photo in the cards without going through all the rigamorole of creating one card. Upload your photo and suddenly you can see your shot in every card on the page. It truly saves you some time trying to decide if you have either the prefect card or the perfect photo.

Minted asked if I would be interested in doing a review for their recently launched 2013 holiday collection and I agreed. While I am being compensated, all opinions are my own.