FPIES Update

It’s March? My baby is almost 9 months old? HOWWWW does this happen time and time again?! I wanted to come on here quickly (because I can never find the time to write) and update everyone on our progress.

Since our initial diagnosis and acute event with oats, she was put on “gut rest” until about the middle of January. We got the OK to begin food trialing at home. She has been passing everything so well! Bananas, Pears, Peaches, Apples…I have tried Pumpkin and a few other veggies however she is determined she will NOT eat those. Being an 8 month old however, she really wanted some finger foods to eat on her own. Rice is a big FPIES trigger so I have been avoiding anything with rice flour- which would be ALL the baby finger foods ๐Ÿ˜ฆ puffs, mum mums etc. I did find Quinoa squares that are banana and broccoli. She LOVES THEM. Chalked this up to a great find as they are nutritious and she has not had a reaction to them.

We started to wonder if little girl even had this so called FPIES. Though her initial reaction was pretty darn ‘text book’ she hadn’t been having any reactions to anything else? I had assumed she was clear on broccoli because she was getting it in the quinoa bites every day. I found an organic baby food pouch that had only apples and broccoli in it so I ASSumed it was safe, and treated it like a passed trial food. Last night was her second night eating it and she went crazy eating almost 2 entire pouches! She was bathed, nursed and went to bed.

BOOM .

When you wake up to your baby screaming at night it startles you. When you go in to find her drenched in her vomit and crying, you want to break down and cry. She wouldn’t open her eyes, she was just crying into my chest. Of course I turned on the light and woke my husband up. The wonderful world of FPIES is so. damn. frustrating.

“Is it the Broccoli?”

“Did she eat too much?”

“She doesn’t seem in pain, is this an FPIES reaction?”

All she wanted was to nurse so I nursed her and rocked her and she fell back asleep fairly quickly. Still covered in green vomit. She had no stomach pains, no more vomiting, peacefully sleeping in my arms. Her body temperature did seem rather cold but she was OK. She ended up sleeping VERY well the rest of the night even for her!

This morning I am left with SO MANY freaking questions. Was it Broccoli? Do I stop the pouches? Do I stop the quinoa squares even though she has never reacted to them? I am thankful for her allergy Dr. whom I can message all these questions too. However, there is NO ONE who can really give me a definitive answer. There is no blood test that can show me what she will react to, there is NO list of magically foods that will trigger her or not.

It definitely gave me a quick slap in the face though. Because she has been doing so well I got careless. I started experimenting with what I thought would be safe and it didn’t end well. Back to being crazy careful, cautious and obsessive with her.

Thank you to EVERYONE who reached out to me after my last post. I seriously was overwhelmed with the love and support I got from family, friends and STRANGERS! It helps knowing I live in a community where I can grow and learn from other moms.

On a happier note, Em is now full blown crawling. Which means a training course for the other kiddos in the house who LOVE to leave very small things on the floor all the time! She is cutting her bottom two teeth at the moment and is absolutely so much fun. We will continue food trialing and I will update again around her 1 year mark when we do dairy and oat in hospital trials! Thank you again guys, really truly thank you!

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Going Back to Work-A SAHM story.

It’s been an emotional few months to say the least. After taking a full time job opportunity in the medical field and leaving my comfortable “stay-at-home-mom” gig, I feel like my emotions have been all over the board. Being able to stay home with your children is such a privilege, and obviously, not everyone is able to for one reason or another. And that’s totally fine! I got to have a little over 3 years with my babes and it was MAGICAL.

MAGICAL: -exciting, hard, discouraging, encouraging, exhausting, relaxing, empowered, chaotic

Anyways, it’s been fun. But the opportunity arose for my husband to pursue his passion and nitch. He enrolled in Grad school and is getting his aster’s degree in teaching. He plans to teach high school History.ย  I could say I am proud of him, which is true, but I am really envious of his ability to change careers and go for what he really wants. That takes courage and strength in a whole different way. In order to support him and make the next year and a half go by much easier, I took this new career opportunity so he could be home with our kids, and get his school work done at times other than 12 and 1 am.

The first few days were awesome. It was like all the things I did complain about, about being a stay at home mom were fixed. I got to drive alone in the car???? This had bee a foreign concept to me for many years. I actually got to listen to what music was being played on the radio- which that excitement lasted 2 hours in traffic when I realized it’s crap and very repetitive. I got to go talk to other adults all day. This was so exciting as I pride myself on being a very social person ๐Ÿ™‚ I got that little “break” every day away from the house, away from the dishes and cleaning and screaming. And then, real life sunk in about 1 month into working. I realized I was never going to get to be home again with my youngest at the age he is right now. It hurt so much! I knew he was well taken care of and getting some awesome bonding in with his dad, but me! What about me?! We had been inseparable for almost 2 years now. I remember driving home about the 3rd week of work and just bawled. Turned on whatever sad song was playing- not Justin Bieber- and bawled. I think I cried the entire drive home which is an unpleasant 50 minutes. I thought about all the milestones I was missing, the laughs, the nap time rocking, the owies he was going to get without me being there to make it all better.

Once I got a hold of myself, pulled it together, approximately 1 second away from our driveway, I felt better. I needed to grieve my former job, former self, former life. I only cried like that once. Sure I’ve gotten teary eyed a few times here and there thinking about things or hearing things I’m missing, but I needed that 50 minutes to myself to wallow. And I think that’s OK. There is no book for the emotions and trials you will deal with when you go back to work. Well there is probably LITERALLY 100 I’m sure but…not my point.

Basically things have changed and we have all adjusted. Was my husband as scared as I was to make this transition? Absolutely. Is he still figuring things out every day like I am? Yup. The pressure we all have to do our best at every “job” in life or title is so exhausting. We feel the need to be the best student, the best mom, the best wife, the best employee. We are all just figuring shit out and doing the best we can! Well most of us ๐Ÿ™‚ My husband, has completely won at stay at home chef, and maybe needs some improvement in stay at home house cleaner ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

I have re-learned the expression TGIF. I have now cleverly changed it to TGIFF. You can probably guess what that means. My weekends are SACRED. They are golden. I now appreciate Saturdays and despise Sundays just like the rest of working America ๐Ÿ™‚ My husband has now forgotten what day of the week it is. I have to now brace myself in the garage before I walk in the door. I am flooded with “MOM, mom, MOmmy, MAMMMM, MUM” before I can get my purse or shoes off. “Listen to this song I learned, listen to me read this new book, watch my new trick, look at my owie I got today, he hurt me, sign this now please, help me with my homework, why can’t we go to the park? why don’t we ever do anything fun, you never are home, can I go play? Look at this giant mess I just made!” …..etc etc etc. Then when all I want to do is go change out of scrubs and into my sweats, my little one wants to be glued to my hip. I have to stop and appreciate this because I actually have MISSED him all day. It’s such a battle in my head between what I want to do and what I feel like I need to do. UGH. Soccer games, school functions prettyย  much take up my non working time, and then I get left with the guilt of not having time to myself- me, Alison. I am hoping time will heal all…LOL or at least help me get my sh*t organized!

I love what I’m doing, and I love helping patients heal. I love my new co-workers and I love the providers I get to work with daily. I keep getting asked “Do you like working better? Do you think it’s easier than staying home?” The answer to both of those is yes and no. Yes I enjoy working, helping people, interacting with adults and meeting new people. No, I miss my kids, I miss being able to have my own schedule, I miss having more patience with all of them. Yes, I think in some respects it is easier to work than stay home and a big NO at times it is much easier to be a stay at home parent than work. The debate is dumb and shouldn’t even exist. Every day is different and everyONE is different. I will say, my husband has an entire new respect for me and what I did now. He expresses it daily ๐Ÿ™‚

So that’s what’s been going on around here lately. I apologize to any friends, parents, people I have ignored or forgotten to call back over the past few months. I have been a complete scatter brain trying to figure this all out and learn TIME MANAGEMENT all over again!!!

**Thank you all who have supported us/me as a family and individually in making this transition for both Brent and I, and the kids as easy as it could be!!**

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is probably my most asked for recipe. It is definitely not my own recipe…but it’s amazing. I make this roughly once a week and I am STILL not tired of it. My soccer moms love it and I get asked almost weekly for the details! There are so many crockpot recipes for tortilla soup, or easy methods. If you want EASY, this is not for you. I mean it’s easy…it’s just not fast. It is time consuming and has lots of steps. BUT that’s what makes it my favorite thing ever. That’s what makes it drool worthy. So if you have a free afternoon or evening to dedicate a half hour/45 minutes to it….Here you go!

Vibrantly Living- Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

(Pictures are not mine either- they are from Pinterest)

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
  • 1 Tbsp finely minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 jalapeรฑo, seeded and chopped (1/4 cup) — Only if you want it spicy
  • 1 (32 oz) carton low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp of each chili powder, cumin, and paprika– For less spicy use half the chili powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts*
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup corn meal
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can corn
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Toppings: Cilantro, Shredded Mexican cheese, Avocado, and Tortilla chips (Juanita’s are the best)

Directions

  • Heat canola oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and jalapeรฑo and saute 3 minutes, adding garlic during last 30 seconds of sauteing. Add chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken breasts and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover pot with lid and gently boil until chicken has cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove chicken and allow to rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add diced tomatoes with green chilies to pot. Then, in the 2-cup liquid measuring cup used to measure milk (or a bowl), whisk together milk and masa harina until well blended. Pour mixture into pot and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture boils and thickens slightly (it won’t thicken much). Dice chicken and add to pot, then add black beans, pinto beans and corn. Then stir in cream and sour cream and cook until heated through.
  • Serve warm topped with cheese, sour cream, avocados, cilantro, limes and tortilla chips.
  • *If chicken breasts are fairly thick, slices them horizontally through the thickness to create two portions. They will cook faster this way and be more tender as they’ll cook more evenly.

Vibrantly Living- Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Share with your friends, family and definitely your soccer mom group!

*recipe and photo source: Cooking Classy

Why You Won’t Have Anything Nice Till You’re 80

Hot damn. I have developed a much higher patience level since my little Luca was born. I’m older, wiser (hehe) and don’t have the work stressors anymore. BUT this toddler has hit toddler’hood’.ย  I was having some difficulty or inspiration on my next post. It’s been a while. But every morning I realize I have the best material for a “mom blog” post there is. Here is why you won’t have anything nice till you’re 80.

Vibrantly Living- Why You Won't Have Anything Nice Till You're 80

I really don’t think my writing anything here will help you understand what is going on in this picture. It’s very obvious. Well, obvious to a mom who once liked nice things. Like Laura Mercier makeup brushes. If you aren’t the biggest makeup lover, you will need to know, this brush costs roughly around $40-50. I know, I know. That is a ridiculous price to pay for a brush. But when you are a grown up with kids, you start asking for these things for birthday, Christmas, heck even St. Patrick’s day presents. You can’t afford to spend that amount of money on that.

on anything for yourself actually ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

SO I was upset. Upset that my adorable almost 18 month old digs through my make up drawer every time I need to get ready. He pulled looked at the brush (I’m assuming, I was getting ready) decided that he would try to use all his toddler strength, and pull out all the bristles on that nice brush.

Because it’s fun that’s why.

So that was fun. I looked down and went “NOOOOOOOOOOOO” like on of those really drawn out, cartoon sequences no’s. Then, that little bundle of joy went “NOOOOOOOOOO” back at me. And then I laughed and got over it.

RIP Laura, RIP.

Vibrantly Living- Why You Won't Have Anything Nice Till You're 80

That’s a whole lotta damage right there. OK. Here from Left to Right we have….Anastasia Beverley Hills Eye Shadow Pallet, Bobbi Brown Lip Stick, and of course a LIMITED EDITION Bare Essentials highlighter. That I might add can only be purchased on Ebay now. Why you ask? THEY DON’T MAKE IT ANYMORE. If you look closely you can see little baby fingernail markings in the highlighter. Trust me, I am still using these. I slowly open the eye shadow and I very carefully apply the lipstick. I am 28 with three kids and technically one income, you will NEVER see me throw anything away. Unless it’s something important of my husband’s that he needs the next day. Then you will find it in the garbage truck just leaving our house.

LOVE YOU honey.

Vibrantly Living- Why You Won't Have Anything Nice Till You're 80

Now this, is not because of my toddler. Can you guess who the next culprit is? Our dog. Basically this post will apply to any person/persons who have either a child or a dog in their household. Again, why you won’t have anything nice till you’re 80. When we first moved into our new house I expected some regression from our dog. That’s normal. What I didn’t expect was 3 ripped up pairs of TOM’s, 2 Dolce Vita shoes and my husband’s pair of italian leather Ferragamo’s. That one took a while to get over. And it’s your dog. So all that cuteness that makes up for it afterwards when your kids do stupid sh*t, isn’t there. All they do is run from your like you’re some psycho who is coming after them. Just me? eh. I have had my mother in law sew this pillow already. But for some reason it continues to get ripped open. God only knows what my little fur ball is doing when i’m not home to completely destroy this poor pillow. I don’t even want to know.

Vibrantly Living- Why You Won't Have Anything Nice Till You're 80

This might be my last piece of evidence for this post, but I assure you, this is not the last thing they will destroy. My couch. I don’t even know if you can technically call it that anymore. It’s like a bacteria infested, pee stained, juice drenched large piece of fabric located in the most used room in the house. My favorite part is when you explain how you need a new couch to other mom’s, or even better, people who don’t have kids but like to chime in on stuff. You start complaining how gross it is and how your kids have completely destroyed it.

“Well, my kids aren’t allowed to drink in the living room” Oh really? I actually tell my children to have a free for all in the living room on the most used furniture in the house. Trying to monitor and control three kids and friends is dumb. I agree, I could enforce this “rule” more but I actually have twenty other things I am doing. The toddler, likes to run away when I am changing his diaper. He starts crawling all over the couch with his little “peepee” touching everything. While I am still on the floor waiting for him to return to get his diaper on, he looks over at me, sticks out his belly and little manhood and pees. On the couch. Then laughs.

So I am sure you understand by now why if you have children or a dog you won’t have anything nice for a while. But why 80?

My husband and I figured this out one night as we were looking around our kid trashed house. Right now we have babies and kids who obviously ruin things. Then we will have teenagers who will be smearing pizza grease and cheetoh’s on everything. Not to mention our son ruining all my towels (ahem). Then just when you think you can breathe for a minute and go out and by yourself a new Sellens couch…

BAM

They return with THEIR kids. The cycle starts all over. So when we are 80 or so, maybe we can invest in something nice. But then we will probably die a few years later and our kids will get it and then let their kids ruin it.

Cue music…… “The circle of liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiife.”

END SCENE

“Are you really still nursing?”

*Quick disclaimer. I am writing this with a light heart, and no hard feelings. I do not honestly care what people have said, will say, I am purely writing this for fun. And for the other mom’s who do feel self conscious about this subject. *

That being said…

“Oh my God Becky, look at her boobs. They’re so big. She’s like one of those toddlers moms or something. Ew.” That’s basically what it feels like right ladies? We have all seen the buzzfeed videos and the “viral” 5 reasons why you shouldn’t breastfeed. But I feel like it is worse than just random people staring you down. I personally do no nurse in public. I did, when my baby was very little and he needed to be fed every couple of hours. Do you want me to stay home all day and do nothing? But even so, I usually did it in a restroom that catered to nursing moms or in the car parking lot. I did this because it made ME feel more comfortable. Not because of other people. Does it bother me when other moms did it? No. Not one bit. Did it bother me when I was at the mall play area and a woman whipped it out with no cover, no shelter no care in the world that my 7-year-old son was staring at her? Yes. Yes it totally made me uncomfortable. There is a common courtesy people should give…I mean come on.ย  But like I was saying, it goes beyond strangers.

I nursed my first-born for 6 months, my daughter for 6 weeks and yes, yes I am still nursing my 15 month old. Did I plan on going this long? No. My goal was a year. I am a stay at home mom and I felt that it was best for my baby and our family. Now 5 months past my goal it’s still happening. Whether it’s my comfort or his it is still working. He is still a baby, hardly a “kid.”ย  I still enjoy it and so does he? I usually only nurse at night-time, and during the night. This wasn’t planned, but it’s what we do and that’s OK. I’m sorry, does my nursing in the privacy of my home, at night bother you??? Oh I didn’t realize I was affecting other people, by doing this.

“Are you going to be one of those people who nurse their baby till he is 5?

“Are you going to be one of those moms who nurse until the kid starts asking for it?”

“Were you planning on nursing this long?”

“Please don’t be one of those moms.”

WHAT is one of those moms? Who are these horrible mother’s feeding their kids? I want to meet one and give herย  a piece of my mind. It’s truly disgusting that a mother would enjoy feeding and bonding with her child past the age of 1. Ugh.

I love my family and friends that are so concerned for my baby and mine well-being, but I think we got it covered. I think we will manage. No, I personally will not be continuing past 18 months. For my own personal reasons, not for YOUR reasons.

Again, I am not truly offended by the comments I get when I mention I am still nursing. I laugh and smile. But for all the other women who are enjoying this VERY SHORT period of time with their baby and are getting crap for it…WHO CARES! ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t let the boobies fly but let the milk flow

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Sassy Summer Salsa

Welcome, welcome, welcome back. I think I am referring to myself here, since it has been almost a year since I have last posted. WOW. I have had many people scold me for this and I know it has been too long. What has happened this year? Well, we now have a 13 month old, traveled to Scotland with three children for a month, loved, lost, and celebrated. Alas the summer is here..again and I am writing. Today won’t be long–but very important. It has been a ridiculous western Washington summer here. Like record holding summer. Luckily we are one of the few to enjoy AC in our home..but it has still been challenging. Who wants to cook when you are that hot? Like really? A sweaty mess and kitchen mess? No thanks. I am however finding I like smaller snack type foods when it’s this hot. Which is why I brought out the Black Bean and Corn salsa today. Seriously the most refreshing, chunky, EASY EASY EASY thing to make ever. Here it goes.. NEED:

  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Lime
  • Salt
  • Juanita’s chips (because they are the sh*t)

 WHAT TO DO:

  • First dump all three canned items into a strainer and wash them under cold water
  • next, pour them into a medium size bowl.
  • Chop up some cilantro
  • Cube some Avcocado
  • squeeze some fresh Lime
  • sprinkle a little Salt

AND JUST LIKE THAT—-you’re done. Enjoy with a cold beer, lime and some Juanita’s You are welcome. IMG_2913

The big Yellow, Magical Bus

Let me start off by saying… Ms. Frizzle was an extremely patient, talented super goddess. She not only enriched the brains of Wanda, Keesha and Ralphie every single day, but she was so happy about it! Trying to entertain my little “love bugs” for even 30 minutes was a unreal situation. Every day they went to school and got to ride The Magic School bus. Wow. That must be pretty cool. Good job Ms. Frizzle. At the age of 27 this bus has a whole new meaning to it now. It’s the large, brightly colored thing on 4 wheels that comes through my neighborhood at the beginning of September that brings me sanity. It’s like it’s very own “Calgon take me away” commercial. Don;t get me wrong…I love my kids more than anything on this planet. BUT I just don’t think any combination of humans should be put under one roof every single day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week together. It’s not right.

The summer break came SO fast. BAM Alison has a baby, her third baby and then WHAM school is out for the entire three months of summer. It was an adjustment to say the least. The kids at day 1 started fighting and tattling.

{ A side note on tattling. My husbands grandmother came over the other night for a quick visit and got to see our crazy hectic bed time routine. I forget which child of mine this was but they began to tattle…over and over. She told me that one of her daughters..I won’t say who ๐Ÿ˜‰ used to tattle ALL the time. She said she fixed it by tying a yarn tail to her pants and making her wear it out and about all day. I said “That’s brilliant. You are an awesome mom.”ย  So someone try this and get back to me..k? }

I again had the mom guilt issue of not providing endless hours of entertainment for the kids all day every day. WHYYYYY? I write blogs on this, I speak of this why can’t I convince MYSELF It’s ok to let them play by themselves?! Regardless, we did do lots of super fun things this summer..and I managed to tag a baby along and breast feed in many interesting places. Nursing at a zoo..now that’s fun. I swear people were staring at me nourishing my infant more than the monkey’s doing it in the back ground. GET OVER IT. #breastisbest

I also love how everyone asks the same question… “Do you just love staying home with your kids?” Well there are numerous answers to this. Yes..of course. I feel so blessed I am able to have this experience and closeness with my kids. It’s exhilarating exhausting but I am thankful. I know it is worth every second for me and them. And then there is the other response only my close friends and family get. “GOD NO.” Of course this is always said for the dramatic enhancement. It is so bloody exhausting playing referee with two kids all day long every single day. The manners disappear, the rules start to get more grey and everything kind of falls apart in the summer. Like i said above, It is not a natural thing for this many people to be around each other 24/7. It’s just not. I honestly believe they get excited to go to school to get a break from the nagging mom too. Which is fine.

I went back and looked at this same kind of “back to school” post I did last year and it’s SO funny noticing the difference in how I felt. I had just started staying home and everything was fresh and new and I had never gotten to be one on one with the kids before. They were so happy to have me home and play all summer. I wasn’t pregnant, didn’t have a baby…so we did just that. Played. Then school came and I was almost sad…HAHAHA. Life happens in 12 months doesn’t it?!

So now for the bring it all together-positive end to my thoughts. There always is a positive side- usually ๐Ÿ™‚

Henley started Kindergarten this year. We wouldn’t let her ride the big kid bus last year because well, she just wasn’t a big kid yet ๐Ÿ™‚ Watching her take a giant step up on to the bus that first day absolutely brought tears to my eyes. I forget so often just how little she is. How she looks up to me for guidance, approval and even style ๐Ÿ™‚ She is my little human replica. Her eagerness to try new things and learn is beyond amazing. I am so excited to see her thrive in school and make new friends this year.

And Liam. My 96 month old. Starting 2nd grade this year was so weird for me. Like, I have an eight year old? How? At the beginning of Kindergarten he was scared, afraid, and unsure of how he felt about learning and if he was capable. He cried when he felt dumb and felt ashamed for not knowing things other kids did. He had little confidence in himself which broke my heart. Now, starting second grade. My above third grade reading level little man was confident. He knew he could read better than most kids, could write a beautiful story and illustrate it like a pro. He had so much strength this year walking on to that bus and it made me so so happy. The growth I have seen in him is beautiful.

My almost 4 month old still loves spending every second with me…literally. And I him. Brent asked across the kitchen the other night… “I know why you love him the most….because he doesn’t talk” I said “I don’t have a favorite, but yes. You’re correct.” I get to spend my days with this little dude and I could not be more excited. He is probably one of the easiest, happiest baby’s I have encountered. He just loves everything and everyone. Pure Joy.

SOOO The Big Bus is my best friend right now…I am sure it will still be in a few months..maybe by next May I will get sad …but maybe not.

Hashtagilovemykidsipromise

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