Possibly Pursuing OIT (Oral Immunotherapy) for R1’s Peanut Allergy

About a year ago I learned of this amazing new therapy that could desensitize R1 to peanuts. In case you don’t know he has a life-threatening allergy that we discovered when he was 18 months old. I’ve been researching and reading and asking questions for months now… and trying to talk R1 into it. He doesn’t want to do it. Part of it is fear and part of it, I think, is that he doesn’t have enough foresight and life experience to understand how this allergy will impact him more and more as he grows older. The ramifications of doing more without us around to make sure he’s safe, of trying to date (la, la, la) while navigating this allergy, the list goes on.

I found a doctor that specializes in OIT – he’s the nearest one and is 4 hours away. I called his office yesterday to ask a few questions. The woman I spoke to called back within 2 hours to answer them and then Dr. A called me HIMSELF today, from his cell phone. I asked him my questions about how/whether to proceed with the new allergist we are seeing tomorrow. He gave me a list of what to ask for and said to get back in touch with him when we have the test results so he can compare the new info with the old and we will go from there.

Now to convince the boy to do it. Prayers for peace.

It Snowed…

Yesterday it snowed. Usually if it snows all the schools close and businesses close and everyone stays home because we know we are not equipped to deal with snow. The forecast called for “possible flurries” so when I headed out to my OB appt at 10:20 I just assumed those flurries I saw weren’t going to stick and would most likely peter out before we even got back home.

I left the OB’s office at 11:07, got home at 3 – y’all I live 5 MILES from the OB’s office! I got halfway home and the road was closed – had to backtrack and go around. We sat in traffic for hours. Barely moving. We were all hungry and had to pee. I had no water and 2 snacks with me. Cars were in ditches, people were walking. Then about .3 miles from my house the hill was impassable and I had to leave my van and walk up a steep hill through the woods practically dragging my 5yo so she wouldn’t fall to get home. I hadn’t peed in THREE AND A HALF hours, nor had any food or water. I stepped in a hole and fell because we were climbing up a ravine to avoid walking on the dangerous road – I felt like I was in a horror movie, trying to watch my step and keep an eye on all three kids. It was scary. Did I mention I am 38 weeks pregnant? :)

Schools were cancelled and so were buses so the roads were flooded with first-time snow drivers trying to get their kids. Do you see where this is going? Kids had to sleep at school and hundreds of people slept in their cars because you can’t drive up a hill or mountain in AL in the snow and the roads are jammed with accidents and abandoned vehicles.

It was not a good day and even today I still feel raw from the stress. Tomorrow it’s finally supposed to get above freezing so the snow/ice will melt and then maybe I can go and get my van.

Hindsight

Reading posts of first-and-second-time moms trying to sleep (and otherwise) train their children has left me with the following thoughts:

It’s true, there is no one “right” way to parent. But as a mom of 3 (soon to be 4) I can honestly say that there is a right way for each child. Some babies won’t STTN until they are 4 and some will do it at 6 weeks and it’s not our job to force them to be someone they are not. It’s our job to see them as the people God created them to be and respond accordingly. Each of my children is so different and needed different things from me. It can be hard because of societal norms and the way we were raised and the endless sea of voices all around us saying otherwise but it is IMPERATIVE that we see and treat our children as PEOPLE. People deserving of respect and consideration. We are not raising children, we are raising adults and the way we raise them determines who they are, how they treat others… how they treat us. If we can’t be bothered to set aside our needs in order to meet theirs, we can’t expect them to ever set aside their needs to meet the needs of others — something that, to me, is so incredibly important to know how to do. Jesus compels us to do so.

Looking back, I see that as a first time mom I felt the need to control my son, to make sure I did things “right” and as a result I lost the notion that I was supposed to have a relationship with him. There are SO.MANY things I will do differently this time. The biggest one is to remember that this time is SO SHORT. As a mom of a 10, 7 and 5yo I have hindsight. It REALLY is a short, short time that is full of so much to be savored and embraced. I won’t fight so hard this time.

Someone once gave me this illustration and I find it helpful. If you think of your child’s life, 80 years, as 80 inches… it’s easy to see that the time we have with them in our homes is incredibly short, though it may feel like it drags on forever. Those older moms who tell us to “cherish it” while we’re complaining of how hard it is? They’re the ones who also have hindsight, who look back and wish they could have known then how short that time really is.

Being a mom is hard, there’s no doubt about that. But I find that we, as the mom, often make it MUCH harder than it has to be. Why not take the easy route? The one that allows both mom AND baby to meet their needs? Whether that be comfort nursing, co-sleeping – whatever, we need to let go of the notion that meeting our baby’s needs now will cause issues later – because, REALLY, meeting someone’s needs NEVER results in a problem. We don’t NEED to know WHY they need it, all we need to know is that they need it and we can give it to them.

We need to utilize our resources, admit when we need help and reach out to each other. This, IMO, is one of the BIGGEST causes of distress for moms. That we feel we need to make everyone think we have it all together – sometimes I think God made motherhood difficult so we would HAVE to lean on each other.

What Do You Really Need for Your Newborn?

A sweet, wonderful friend of mine is FINALLY pregnant after trying for years and I am so excited I keep squealing! So, when she asked me to tell her what I think she truly needs to get vs what’s just nice to have I figured it’d be easier to blog about it. :)

I have to say the #1 thing you need is a carrier – pouches and Moby’s are best for the first 6 months or so and then I usually switch to a Mei Tai and loved the Angel Pack for putting them on my back.

You need a comfy place to nurse, whether that’s an armchair, rocking chair, glider or lazy boy. I prefered the gliders, they rocked more smoothly and were quite comfy (get one with padded arms).

A boppy – it’s just awesome and so stinkin’ helpful for nursing!

A miracle blanket. Babies need to be swaddled – they’ve spent 9 months being swaddled in the womb and it takes them to a happy place. It also makes nursing 100x easier and they sleep better because they can’t smack/scratch/poke/punch themselves in the face. :)

A convertible carseat – skip the bulky, uncomfortable, waste-of-money bucket/infant seat. When you take baby out of the car, put him/her straight into your carrier and do your back a favor!! No one should lug those bulky, heavy seats around, especially a woman who just gave birth!

Cloth diapers – safer for your baby (chemical-free), better for the earth and SO much easier on your bank account. :)

I couldn’t have lived without a swing, my babies LOVED them. But some babies don’t. I recommend getting one that plugs in AND will swing both ways (side to side, and front to back).

Nursing pads. Leaks abound when you’re nursing.

Things to skip:

diaper genie (esp not needed if you cloth diaper)
wipe warmer (if it’s really that cold, rub it between your hands first, the diaper changes are unpleasant for baby no matter the temp. of the wipe)

Optional:

nursing tops – I found that cami’s were perfect to wear under regular shirts, they stretch nicely and cover your tummy.

breast pump – unless you’re going back to work they’re really not necessary, but having at least a hand pump is a good thing.

Crib – we cosleep so cribs were just a waste of space for us. I did use a side-positioner that held the baby on their side to sleep. However, I realize most people buy a crib.

Co-sleeper – I never used one, my babies slept in our bed, between us or between me and the wall but I’m hearing from other moms that they are great to have.

I’m Selfish

We all are, really. It’s that whole dying-to-self thing, yk? It’s hard. And so not fun. I was going to blog about how God has shown me my selfishness and how it has been hurting me and my family, and others around me. Then I came across this blog post and realized she pretty much took the words out of my mouth!

God has been steering our family towards Thomas Jefferson Education for years now even though we had no idea. Man, I love how He does that! I started reading Leadership Education about 2 months ago and it just was so obvious that this was what our family needed to be doing. It all makes so much sense. And God’s hand is so obviously in it.

We’ve been actively DOING it for about 3 weeks now and I already see changes. Not just in my kids – as if those aren’t enough! R1 is READING on his own, voraciously, at that! R2 is reading, writing poetry and WANTS to do chores with me. And R3, well, she’s just amazing all the time. ;)

But I’ve changed, too. (And so has Mr. Fox, maybe I can get him to blog his perspective!) Used to, if I had an appt and a sitter I’d draaaaaaaag my feet going back to pick them up. I just didn’t want to go back home and do the “mom thing.” I desperately sucked out every.last.second that I could be by myself.

Today, I had an appt. and I actually found that on the way back I was anxious to pick them up and go home. Turns out that the more quality time I spend with them (quality being the key word here) the more time I want with them. We spend hours a day piled up on the couch reading and it has done something to us. It’s gluing us back together. It’s teaching and ministering to our hearts. And it’s lovely. I want more.

God is SO good. He’s so good to me.

Tattoo On My Heart

No matter what, I struggle daily with controlling my temper. I have come to discover the physical, hormonal reasons for it but I know that it’s also a heart issue. I’m trying desperately to fix this, whatever it is. Crying out to God to just reach down and snatch it out of me, but I know it doesn’t work that way. I have to get to the root of it, I have to do the work. And I’m trying.

One thing that’s really helping me is reading Grace-Based Parenting. This book is full of wonderful words about the grace of God and how we can NOT raise strong Christian children without allowing that grace to flow through us to them. But grace is something that a lot of us struggle with. We know all about the grace that leads to salvation but for so many of us it stops there. We don’t realize how much grace God bestows on us every minute of every day. It’s a little overwhelming when you really think about it.

There are so many lines in this book and I’m only 1/2-way through it – I rarely write in books but I know this is one that I will be rereading over and over as my kids grow. The thing that really got me today was this:

listen, not lecture
respond rather than react
engage rather than dismiss
pray rather than judge

I want this tattooed on my heart, maybe even my head! I think I’ll start with printing it out and putting it on my wall. I think this is a great map to showing grace to my kids… if I can just get it to become habit. As they say, ‘old habits die hard’ and man, it’s true.

Pray for me as I strive to change and die to the old habits of my flesh.

We Roll With It (Ministry of Real at it’s Best)

Those who know me know I’m not the world’s best housekeeper. Yes, I’ve gotten better lately (thank you, Adderall!) but a lot of little things still slip by me. Add to that the kids taking over the dishes (unloading and loading the dishwasher, mainly) and you get this:

Yeah you’re seeing that right, stop rubbing your eyes and blinking..

There’s a sprout in our sink. So… what do you do with a sprout? That’s right, you plant it. Yes, we did!! The kids are placing bets as to what it is and the winner gets a prize. :) Welcome to my life.

Glad This Day Is Over

Monday, on the way back from my psych. appt. my van died in the middle of Hwy 31. Just stopped getting gas. Mr. Fox came and picked me up and when he went back to get it later, he took the gas cap off and it started up. He said he thought it must’ve been a God thing because otherwise he wouldn’t have noticed that my front tire was bald and going to blow any minute. He had the tires replaced and the van seemed fine. (Remember, the van is a ’94).

Last night, I went to leave and it wouldn’t crank. He jumped it off and all was well.

I loaded up the kids this morning and we headed to Aldridge Gardens for a photo shoot, left there and came back home for some quiet time before R2’s gymnastics class at 3:30. At 3 we loaded up and it wouldn’t start. Mr. Fox came home and jumped it off again, we discovered one of the connections needed to be tightened and he took care of that.

I dropped the bigs at gymnastics and R3 and I went next door to CVS. Van started up fine. So I headed down to get gas since it was low and there was still 20 minutes left in R2’s class. Pumped gas, van wouldn’t start. I asked the not-so-thrilled stranger to jump it off and he grudgingly did. I got about 1/2 a mile up the road and it did the same thing it did Monday, only it actually DIED as I pulled off the road into a parking lot about 3 blocks from the Gym.

I text Mr. Fox, call Seester to come get us and call the gym so my kids don’t freak out. Seester takes me home to get the other battery and Mr. Fox leaves class to meet us there and see if changing out the battery would work. In the meantime, we are late for AWANA (starting to think someone doesn’t want me to make it tonight) so we put the carseats in the car and I leave Mr. Fox with the van.

Turns out it’s the fuel filter and my van will be sitting there until Friday afternoon when Mr. Fox and Seester’s dh can go and fix it. I’m so relieved that it wasn’t anything major but soooo done with the stress of it all.

Bead for Life

www.beadforlife.org

BeadforLife eradicates extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens. Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads. Women in Northern Uganda gather shea nuts and press them into shea butter for cosmetics and soaps. And people who care open their hearts,homes and communities to buy and sell both products.

They have these great Bead Parties where WE can help spread the word and sell these wonderful hand-crafted products. Many of the women who make the beads have been left as widows and struggled to merely survive when their husbands died. Being able to make an income by rolling beads has been a life-saving and life-changing opportunity. But, in order to make money, their product has to sell. This is where the Bead Parties come in.

Check out this link to learn how you can get involved. BeadForLife will send you, at no cost :

* Approximately 275 jewelry items (more for larger BeadParties)
* Shea Butter Soap and Peppermint Lip Balm
* Our inspirational DVD about the beaders, BeadforLife and how to roll a bead
* A CD “From the Heart of BeadforLife” with original Ugandan songs and music
* Educational materials and biographies of some of the beaders
* African recipes
* A pre-paid return label (so you can return what you don’t sell free of charge),
* And much more!

You can set up shop at your church, community center, neighborhood yard-sale, or any other place where people will be converging. This would be a great event to have before Mother’s Day! Promote giving gifts that make a real difference!

BeadForLife is currently running a March Out Of Poverty Challenge and they’re hoping to get 500 Bead Parties registered before March 31st. You can sign up and plan your party for anytime throughout the year!

I just signed up to host one and I can’t wait!

Prozac, Wherefore Art Thou?

Ha.

I was dumb and didn’t get my doc to fix my Rx with Walgreens and my insurance won’t let me refill until the 15th, so here I sit on day two of no meds and I wonder how awful tomorrow will be. I fear I may have to beg the Pharmacist for 6 pills.

The good thing is that this reminds me how badly I need my thyroid checked. I was diagnosed with a goiter that has never been “active.” But, I say that knowing that I rarely have it checked. A sweet friend recently told me that they have changed the levels for what is “normal” and referred me to a GOOD Endocrinologist. So I guess I’ll be making an appt first thing tomorrow. I’m starting to think part of my issues aren’t “depression” or “anxiety” but hormonal.

I skipped out on AWANA tonight, even though the kids were upset about it, because the idea of dealing with it made me want to crawl in a hole. Let’s pray that tomorrow is a good day, that the pharmacist calls me and tells me my meds are ready, and that I get in to see this Endo asap.