Life-Threatening Anaphylactic Food Allergies at School…Unnecessary Drama

Olivia and Me

I’m just going to admit it right now—I’m annoyed. In the last couple weeks, I’ve been hearing some rumblings that I’m not thrilled about. As I’m trying to calm myself by writing this, I am also hoping to receive feedback from YOU! I would really LOVE to know what you think. More

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What Do You Think About Body Piercings or Tattoos on Kids and Teens? My Thoughts…

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My nine-year-old daughter had an all day play date Monday. The kids had a great time. As we were packing up to leave after dinner, I noticed something shiny on my daughter’s lip. My eyes quickly flickered to her friend, who also had something glistening on her lower lip. My eyeballs quadrupled in size–OMG! They both look like they have lip piercings! They have silver hoops in their lips.

I stayed calm on the outside, but on the inside, I kind of freaked out…My mind flashed forward and I envisioned my baby with a billion tattoos and multiple piercings everywhere. Is my rule-following-angel going to turn out to be a complete rebel? More

Pride or Prejudice by Tracie Stern

I love this piece by Tracie because as a woman and a mother, I can relate to all the thoughts and feelings she wrote about–even if for just a few moments. Haven’t we all felt like these characters at some point in our lives?

Here’s Tracie…

You are walking down the grocery store aisle. As a mother of three, you are dressed for comfort and mobility as your list of “To Do” things is long and exhausting. Approaching you from the other end is a woman whose appearance is the kind that makes you take a second look. Her hair is done, not overly but naturally, soft curls pulled back into a half bun, her nails are done and her makeup is natural but enhancing. Her fashion is modern and understated yet as a whole she draws your eye in with an almost sense of admiration because she looks so well put together. At first sight, do you take the stand of pride or prejudice in how this woman is presenting herself?

This situation takes an out-of-body approach. Imagine you are watching the scene unfold as an impartial 3rd party. You see the mom, dressed in a combination of stretchy pants and flats with an over sized sweater. As a description goes, frumpy may come to mind. There is a small child in the cart, eating Cheerios from a plastic bag as mom goes over the list she has written so as to not forget anything. The baggy clothes could be hiding anything–a great figure or in the moms eyes, maybe figure flaws brought on by years of neglect, children, or a forgotten sense of self. No one really knows, as it’s next to impossible to see through it.

When the mom notices the woman approaching from the other end, she will in that instant make a decision. That mom will either judge this woman with a sense of prejudice due to her own self-confidence issues or she will embrace the pride this woman has in herself and give her some mental applause. Which one are you? More

Anaphylactic Food Allergies and Airborne Allergies ~ They Are Part of Life by Liz Nord

When our youngest daughter, Olivia, was nine months old, we found out that she has a severe anaphylactic allergy to eggs through both physical contact and ingestion. Our oldest daughter, Bella, accidentally flung a pea size amount of scrambled eggs onto Olivia’s arm one morning–the hives erupted immediately.

A trip to the Allergist, over a dozen skin pricks, and blood draws for the radioallergosorbent test (RAST)  confirmed that Olivia has a Level 5 anaphylactic allergy to eggs (that was the highest level at the time, although they have since added a Level 6), and that she was also moderately allergic to soy, milk, cats, dust mites, dogs, and mold.

That was a tough, confusing, and emotional time for us. Not only were we completely uneducated about the realities of a severe life-threatening allergy, but we hated seeing Olivia cry during the testing. It made us sad for her, but she was a trooper. We were also upset about the implications of the severity of her allergy;  Olivia would miss out on some things and changes must be made in our day-to-day lives.

Anyone who has a child with severe allergies knows the feelings you go through when you realize that this is a life altering diagnosis. I remember people saying that it was no big deal, don’t worry, she’ll out grow it, or don’t make a fuss. PLEEEZE! They are as clueless as I was before having a child with a severe allergy. I understand. How would they get it completely when they haven’t lived it? Having a child with a severe allergy is definitely a lifestyle change. No more Sunday breakfasts out or spur of the moment fun restaurant experiences. Most everything would be cooked and baked at home until we figured out outside places and food that would be okay for her. Some restaurants claim to be eggfree, when they are not. We’ve learned that the hard way.

Having a severe allergy there are issues to be dealth with: More

Labeling People by Liz Nord

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People laugh at me sometimes because I don’t remember where I buy things. People look at me sideways when I say I don’t know the designer of the clothes or shoes I’m wearing, or what type of car someone is driving, or when I honestly don’t have a clue about the current “it” product. I remember thinking at times, maybe I’m just not that smart. What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I remember those details? I was talking with my friend, Megan, about my concerns. Megan has known me for over twenty years and she knows me very well. She said something like, “You don’t remember those things because you don’t care about those types of things. You are really smart about the things that you are interested in and care about.” Why didn’t I think of that?

I don’t care about labels. I don’t care if I buy my clothes and make up at Target, Nordstrom, some fancy boutique, Fred Meyer, or an unknown about-to-close-down-hole-in-the-wall store. I know what I like and it’s just stuff to me. Material things that don’t make me any better or worse than anyone else because of where I bought it, how much it cost, or how popular it is. What and where we buy things may put us in a certain “social class”, but do you think I care? Not in the least. That is meaningless to me in terms of how I think or feel about myself or someone else. Don’t get me wrong, I like nice things and I appreciate beautiful artwork, clothes, and homes, but we are so much more than what we buy, have, or sell. I’m more interested in getting to know someone based on who they really are—their depth and their story. More

Raising a Black Boy in My White World by Janell Kaufman

Note from Liz: Janell and I realize this is a sensitive subject, and we sincerely hope not to offend anyone. This is her truth. Here is Janell’s story…

When the time came and my husband and I realized that we really wanted another child we knew just what we wanted. A boy! We really had no “reason” to adopt. It certainly would have been quicker, easier, and cheaper to just get pregnant and have a baby. Except that I never, ever, wanted to be pregnant again! And adoption of our second child had always been the plan! Besides, we didn’t want a baby; we wanted a boy! Our daughter was seven at this time and we just couldn’t imagine our kids being eight years apart in age. So we began the long and difficult process of finding a child to adopt. We were not too picky in our criteria: a boy, four to six years old, and healthy! He could have arrived purple with pink polka dots for all we cared, although that might have been a bit much to explain. As it was we ended up with a beautiful six-year-old boy from Ghana, just a year and a half after the search began. (As far as international adoptions go that is a pretty good time frame.) More

Hello, world! Welcome to the Secrets of Moms Who Dare to Tell All!

Hi, everyone!

This website is for all you parents out there who want to hear the real ins and outs of being a mom. We will discuss the moments, days, feelings, and experiences that most moms don’t usually share with anyone but their closest friends. Almost every mom I’ve met has said that no one ever told her what it’s really like to be a parent. You hear about how wonderful, fun, and lovey everything is (and that’s true), but people don’t tell you about the craziness, unpredictability, and all-encompassing reality of what it’s like to raise kids. I wish I would’ve known the truth sooner, so that I never would’ve felt like a failure for not being perfect. Thankfully, I don’t feel that way anymore–what is perfect, anyway!?! I am perfectly unperfected and so are you. Let’s help all the mom’s out there feel good about themselves and their children, by being real.

This is a place for EVERYONE to have honest, direct dialogue without judgment. Secrets will be told and almost anything goes. We will cover every topic imaginable–the good, the bad, and the funny. Several of my friends will be on-going contributors, and we hope you will comment often. Let yourself be heard! Dads are welcome too. Please share your stories, send us comments and pictures, and tell the truth. As long as you are speaking your truth, you are welcome here. Please be kind to each other, interact, and ask questions.

No nude pictures or completely deviant comments, please.

Liz Nord is the creator of www.secretsofmoms.com. She is a wife and mother of two daughters ages six and nine. She loves family, running, reading, seeking knowledge, baking, laughing, innovating, traveling, in-depth conversations, sunshine, and outdoor adventures. She earned a B.A. in Communications, and completed graduate editing courses at the University of Washington. Liz has published articles in a number of magazines, newspapers, and on numerous websites. She has been a guest on the Leeza Gibbons talk show, Hollywood Confidential, and serves on the Editing Certificate Advisory Board at the University of Washington. She is also the co-creator of Plus-Size Models Unite. She is passionate about promoting healthy self-esteem, positive body image, and confidence.  She believes in cultivating who you are truly meant to be and embracing your unique self.

We are an eclectic, intelligent, fun group of women, who are all here to share our parenting experiences. Introducing the rest of the team: More

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