Monday, December 31, 2012

As this year closes and I reflect upon the year of 2012 I cannot help but, feel overwhelmed with gratitude.

January of 2012
Mommy is learning to let go & let him explore this ant infested world.

We moved to a big boy bed this year and out of his baby crib.

February of 2012
My little GQ baby

My little butterfly "niece"learned to spread her wings and fly. We see her still, but not near as often.  It is the way it is supposed to be as they become young adults, doesn't mean we don't miss her being around all the time.  It was like having a third child.
Bee began to explore the world orally, an important milestone of development

 March of 2012
Brotherly Love

Our big boy lost his two front teeth

April of 2012
 This might be my most favorite picture of the year!

Our "three kids" enjoying a wonderful day at the park

In 2012 we tried new things....

learned new things.....

and remembered to look up and thank God for all our blessing, like new words spoken, a day with no epi pens, family, friends, and love.

May of 2012
 Bee made it through surgery well,
and then started his first day of school!  A hard month for mommy & daddy!!!

June of 2012

Our oldest "baby" started Kindergarten & we began our journey of homeschooling...
and he graduated Kindergarten. (Tears of pride!)
His graduation cupcake, cute little owl sculpted with so much love by Mommy.
July of 2012
I love how our little one looks up to his big brother
Daddy & B's little feet
August of 2012
Our little guy started preschool again after a summer break... oh such a busy "B"!!!
Our big boy started to play with language more.  Can't you see his "watchdog"?

September or 2012
Our budding artist
 Our little one watched  "Finding Nemo" in 3D for the first time.  The young man behind the counter that literally ran around the back searching for ingredients and upon learning your popcorn was not safe, you searched for other safe alternatives and then placed it in a cute  kids carry container so it looked like his older brothers- you, made a difference in our year.  Thank you!

  October of 2012
How to Train a Dragon costumes inspired by our oldest's imagination and hand sewn and created by Mommy.  This is our son "Toothless".
Two days before Halloween, I had them try on their costumes.  Toothless ran around and spread his wings a flew.  I had made my little "B" into Hiccup, the dragon trainer.  "B" cried.  After getting him to calm down I asked him to use his words to tell me what he wanted.  He opened his arms and flew around the house.  Then he pointed to his brothers costume.  I said, you want to be a dragon too!!!?  He said, "Yes!" and then signed please.  So, I quickly hemmed some old pajamas to fit his much tinier frame and then created a hat.  A happy flying dragon!  I am so thankful he had the patience and know-how to tell me what he wanted.  I love these blossoming opinions!

November of 2012
 This was such a fun night, I cannot remember what we were laughing about, just that we were laughing from the depths of our souls!  You never know when a special moment will appear out of the blue!

December of 2012

This was such a fun and sweet night.  It was a wonderful way to close the year!  My ENTIRE family was together for an impromptu dinner.  Less than 24 hours notice and somehow 32 of us were all able to gather in the same space for dinner!

The boys ended this month by being sick, but sweetly snuggling while watching TV.  We are so blessed!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A New Non-Food Holiday Tradition- My favorite yet!

Why have I not thought to do this before!!!?  These little ornaments are actually made from the boys fingerprints!  The red sleigh is a thumb print and the little reindeer are 8 tiny fingerprints.  The two snowmen are thumbprints as well.  Sadly, you cannot see the cute little lamb and bunny (also thumbprints) looking up at the star too.  :) 
Amazing keepsakes to treasure for many, many holidays to come! 
What are some of your non-food traditions?  Keepsake ornaments will definitely be a reoccurring tradition for us!  I cannot wait to share next years!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Twas the Night Before Christmas in a Food Allergy Home



Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house,
the scent of allergy free foods whiffed through the house.
The stockings were hung by the chimney so sweet,
filled with Spangler Candy Canes- a safe Christmas treat.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Enjoy Life cookies danced in their heads;
Mommy was still in the kitchen decorating the cake,

While Daddy was cooking allergy free goodies for all of our sake.

The moon glowed brightly reminding us of the time,
We added more safe ingredients- the cost a true crime!
At busy gatherings safety is definitely key,
No time to worry- today is about Jesus, love, and family.

Remember to text and to email loved ones,
to remind them (again) of foods unsafe for your youngin's.
Pray your warnings have completely succeeded,
and people understand their "favorite dishes" are really not needed.

Christmas morning is ever coming near,
and Santa Claus will soon be here.
May the magic of Christmas be found  deep in your heart,
and your children's giggles & joy be the very best part!

So from our understanding family to yours with much love,
We ask the Lord to watch over you all from above.
May this Christmas bring you all that you wish,
and be free of gluten, dairy, eggs, and yes, even fish!

With Much Love this Christmas,
Busy Bees Allergies




PTSD parents of medically fragile children

I just wrote about "B"'s early entrance into the world and his serious complications since that time. I live with reminders daily. Something as simple as his toothless grin, is a reminder of his difficult beginnings. So when his medical team we are now using was so interested in this past surgeries and asked for his complete medical history, I happily said yes. I followed through with the request and just received the information.

I opened the simple brown envelope and began reading the thick history of our medical journey. This is the same medically history that I wrote about just recently on this blog and need to retell so very often. I began reading the unattached medical recount of our baby's life and I started to cry. Then, I sobbed uncontrollably. I was overwhelmed. Somehow, reading someone else's account of our lives brought me back to that moment while I held my baby close and prayed for his safety, every moment of everyday. I remembered things I had actually forgotten or at least blocked out for a while. I almost relived the whole event.

I could see nurses and doctors more clearly- people that I had thought I had forgotten what they looked like. I could smell the antiseptics. I could hear the beeps from the life saving machines. I remembered the way he felt so tiny in my arms and sleeping with him papoosed against my chest for the entire duration of our stay. I remembered being held close by a friend as they drew blood from my crying sick baby, once again. I remembered the feeling of helplessness. I remembered the doctor telling me we needed to have surgery in the morning. I would only allow this one doctor that I had bonded with so closely to get my little one. My little one and our family seemed to touch a heartstring in this doctor. He visited us every morning before his rounds, during his rounds, and just before he went home. He called during the day to make sure I had eaten twice as I refused to leave our baby alone- I never left his side except when my sweet Honey could come and I would shower. Our baby boy was laid upon my chest for most of his hospital stay and due to limited child care with our oldest anaphylatic child at home- could not always come. I remembered this amazing doctor coming in full scrubs and he refused to put our 7-week-old preemie, in a bed. Instead, he tenderly held my baby close to his chest and walked him in his arms to surgery. I swear at that moment that man grew angel wings and briefly showed me his angel halo. How many doctors will do that? How could I have emotionally blocked so many of these memories?!?

There are still more memories that came rushing back over me that even to this day, I cannot bear to type for you to read… they are just too scary and to type them here, makes it too read.

Such is normal for the parent of children that are medically fragile or parents with children that suffer from anaphylaxis. Posttraumatic stress disorder was once thought to be for soldiers only. But, the medical community is now beginning to diagnose parents of preemie babies and medically fragile children as having posttraumatic stress disorder as well. Everywhere we look as parents, the world is a battlefield filled with potential "mines" that appear seemingly innocent and can change everything in the matter of a moment.

Thankfully, we did not live the life of the NICU. I feel blessed beyond words. I have read their stories in some of my most favorite blogs. I have cried for their children and their experiences. I have mourned the loss of a "normal" pregnancy myself.  But when I read their words of sorrow when they needed to leave their teeny tiny babies in the care of others at the NICU, I thankfully cannot identify with that. I cannot imagine their heartaches, fear, remembrances etc.

I know my experience is short lived in comparison to many other parents that have had prolonged or reoccurring hospitalizations. For that (and so much more) I am so grateful.

I have lived with my tiny one having a tumor (thankfully benign) and a potentially life threatening staff infection. I do live with two beautiful children with life threatening allergies. I have seen my youngest struggle with what so many take for granted. I have seen my children struggle to breath from severe asthma and severe allergic reactions.

Daily, we parents of the medically fragile child, walk on the "battlefield filled with land mines". These "land mines" come in the form of pretty cupcakes with tempting sprinkles, playdough, toothpaste, or playground equipment that was played on with sticky peanut butter and jelly hands. All of these seemingly innocent moments, can change our world in a second, and as a parent we must be in tuned and prepared at all times. As a parent of children with life threatening food allergies, you can never let your guard down. And as a parent that has watched their child fight to survive, you also can never forget and you live with that fear buried deep in your minds- but always present.
It is bizarre that the simplest things can bring back these powerful memories and they come in as an almost paralyzing flashback. Taste, sounds, smells, visions all become so clear. Have you had a similar experience?


Here are a few other sites that mention PTSD & anaphylaxis and/or medically fragile children:

Another Generation Comforted by Potato Soup

As I said yesterday, we've been really sick around here! The kids and I have upper respiratory, sinus infections, ear infections, and fevers that have exacerbated our asthma.  My wonderful mom brought us potato soup.  It is the recipe I ate every time I was sick as a child and I am so thankful, my children will share in this comforting memory as well. Believe it or not it is safe for all of us!

5 lb bag of russet potatoes
2 large yellow onions
beef broth (optional)

Directions: Peel and cut a 5 pound bag of potatoes and mince 2 large onions.  Add the 5 pounds of potatoes and minced onions to the pot with enough water to cover the tops.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Boil until potatoes are tender.  Using an old fashioned hand masher, mash the potatoes to desired soup consistency. I like mine to have smaller lumps as I usually request this when I have a sore throat.  If it is too thick for a comforting soup, just add more water or use safe beef broth if desired to get the thin consistency desired.  When reheating, I always add a little beef broth to get it thin again.

It is so very simple to make and requires so few ingredients.  But, to me it tastes like "home" and "nurturing" and "the road to recovery!"