Legos and my boys!

I love being a mom, that is the truth! But to be totally honest, it is hard to be a mom. It can be exhausting and frustrating and at times bring me to tears. It is also one of the most rewarding things in the world. As hard as it is to be a mom at times I wouldn't trade it for anything, really ANYTHING. 

I had one of those great moments tonight. Usually on Thursdays I am so ready for bedtime and usually because the Smart One goes to scouts so I do bedtime solo. The Silly One wanted to play with Legos so while I was doing dinner he was working on building a race car. He got Legos for Christmas and has been loving them and is even getting pretty good at building things and modifying to make them his own. We ate dinner as a family and the Smart One was off to scouts and I cleaned up. Once the dishwasher was loaded I helped finish the race car. I got totally sucked in, we ended up making two more cars and the boys and I had a race. A race in which started simple but then the rules changed mid-race and all of a sudden the cars could fly. :) It probably sounds silly but while we were playing I had the thought how wonderful it is to be a mother of boys. I am grateful for these two crazy boys!

On a side note, I have been meaning to post the sweet flower my Silly One gave me on Mother's Day.

The middle says, "I Love My Mom because. . ."
Each petal has his answer to a question:
My favorite thing to do with my Mom: Play games
My Mom is good at: making stuff and playing basketball
My Mom is as beautiful as: a flower
My Mom teaches me: to tie my shoes
My Mom loves me because: she makes yummy stuff
My Mom makes the best: Chocolate stuff
Apparently I make a lot of good food. :) This made my day. See didn't I tell you being a Mom was the best? So worth it.


Food Allergies - the real deal

My son and I with silly faces at his last food challenge at Primary Children's Hospital - April 2013

This week, May 12-18 is food allergy awareness week. I know it might sound kind of dumb to those of you who have never had to deal with food allergies. So let me share my story. Ever since I was a little girl I have had allergies. I do not remember how old I was but I remember eating a brownie at my great-aunt Helen's house. It was chocolate so what was not to like? But that was when my parent's realized I was allergic to nuts like my Dad. I don't remember much but just knew there were a lot of desserts and candies that were now off limits. I am allergic to tree nuts, some more than others but food allergies can be tricky. One time it might be just a scratchy throat the next time could be full blown anaphylaxis. (I have experienced both.) I had to be the kid in the lunch line asking if the cookies had nuts. At any family party, family reunion, and especially food at Christmastime I had to be careful what desserts I could eat. (I still consider it a successful holiday season if I don't have even a mild reaction to something.) I didn't know anyone else like me growing up except my Dad. I grew up and that was life, I had several inconvenient reactions like right before a choir concert or while I was working but I just learned it was better to be safe than sorry. But that doesn't always ensure nothing will happen. I always hated telling people I didn't want any of whatever it was because many times they would feel bad I couldn't eat it because of my allergies. Although one time in high school a friend told me to just eat it because she didn't like nuts either, if only it were that easy.

I went to college and am now married with two children. Thankfully in all that time I have only ended up in the ER once. I can deal with myself but 3 years ago my world of food allergies expanded. I was watching my 10 month old son experience an allergic reaction to a tuna fish sandwich. We had him tested and found he was allergic to eggs and peanuts. But to be safe the allergist told me to also avoid all fish(my husband is allergic to tuna fish in some cases) and all nuts. I left the doctor's office completely overwhelmed. I knew how to deal with my allergies but now more? I called my older sister for support. Her oldest son had allergies to milk, eggs and peanuts. (He has virtually outgrown the egg allergy now!) She gave me some tips and even a powder egg substitute. I calmed down and headed to the grocery store. I started carefully reading labels which I had done here and there to check for tree nuts and as I did so now I was grateful. Grateful that my son could still have milk, those that have to avoid milk have a much tougher job. Months past and because of the advice of my sister I checked out Utah Food Allergy Network (UFAN) and attended a support meeting. I honestly had teased my sister about needing a "support group" to deal with her son's allergies, I had done it my whole life essentially on my own. But I realized now I needed help in knowing how to handle my son participating in activities with other children away from my home that was safe. I needed ideas in how to educate those around me about what to give my son to eat. It helped me to gain more information and also realize I didn't have much to complain about, there are kids that deal with A LOT more.

My son is now 4 and we are doing good. We have discovered that he is also allergic to peas and some beans (I think pinto beans and maybe others) and tree nuts have started to appear positive. The good news is that he can eat anything that the egg is baked, cookies or cakes etc. And he recently successfully completed two food challenges to clear him from a fish allergy, all but shellfish that is. And he LOVES fish! I also have another son who is 18 months old. He is not allergic to peanuts (yay!) but I think may be allergic to eggs. We are doing some at home tests, at the recommendation of our allergist.

Life is good and we are at a good control point. My oldest son is pretty good about asking if he can eat certain foods and we will tell people what his allergies are. He is going to be starting preschool soon and so I have a new worry but I know others have gone through this and others continue to go through it. Open communication and spreading knowledge is key. That is how people learn to be careful and aware. There are others kids like mine and they don't have to feel alone or think no one else is like them. There are new studies and knowledge discovered all the time and one day life might be a lot easier but for now we know we have been blessed and we are grateful for wonderful allergy resources available now.

A Shot to Live
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)

Feel free to comment with any questions!