Ready for the Party

It's way passed my bedtime..not that I have any, but a proper time to sleep has long passed!  But I just finished the last preparations for my son's birthday party tomorrow.  Hardest part was baking his cupcakes, but it's all ready.  Only a few close friends, and family are coming so luckily I didn't need to bake so many.  His first birthday, we ordered a cake for everyone, and my son if I recall didn't have a cake.  On his second birthday, I baked him his own little cake, tasted great just didn't look too great.  It was outside in the end of July, so the heat melted the icing.  We also served food for everyone that wasn't allergy friendly, and made my son a separate dish.  That actually resulted in my little boy running around with hives, and I had to give him Benadryl.  Water balloons, and kids running around playing together caused that!  So this year I made cupcakes for everyone.  Completely allergy friendly, but just as good as the "normal" cupcakes.  I will stick to it's healthier too, fresher organic authentic ingredients, can't get that with most ordered cakes from store/bakery.  We are also keeping the food simple, and mostly allergy friendly.

I had some obstacles where the frosting wasn't solid enough, and was running.  But with a few changes to original plan, they came out great!  My son actually ate two before he went to bed, and he never gets to eat cake so I let him.  He was licking the batter, and then the frosting the whole time.  It made me so happy to see him enjoy the simple things of being a kid.  I will post pics, and more about his birthday party this week once the fun is all over.  I'm ready for the party, but just need some sleep now!  Til' next time!

Me Time - Juvenex Spa

My birthday is on Monday, and since I usually dedicate all of my time to my family, I decided to treat myself to an evening at Juvenex Spa. When I first stepped in I was kindly welcomed by the lady at the front and a great calming atmosphere. Funny because right before you head up to the fifth floor, the lobby was kinda dirty and maybe a little scary!  0_o Ha!  Conveniently located near the train station on 34th Street Herald Square and located in small "Korea Town."  Also a great area to grab many delicious authentic Korean dishes, which are one of my favorite types of food..but I do have many!

I called ahead of time to make a reservation and they had many slots available, actually I was able to call last-minute and choose the time I wanted to come. I chose to get the "Basic Purification" package which included a Korean style salt glow scrub, stimulating shampoo & conditioner, full body cleansing and body nourishment, and a cucumber gentle facial that cost $115.  But with a further look on their website, I was able to add on a hydration body wrap for $80 more, which ended up including  a relaxing massage in the end.  I walked out feeling renewed, and I have to say to all the parents out there, take one day or at least a half day just for you, it's well worth it and you deserve it!  I have been to a spa only once before this time, and it was years ago.  

I first took a shower, followed by the "Jade Igloo Sauna," then to the "Diamond Herbal Steam Sauna," and finally the cold water tubs more formally known as the "Japanese Style Soaking Tubs," they had a warm one with lemons floating about.  Aah I could just live there! I was already having fun, but the treatments were to come. A wonderful lady named Lisa made my little treat to myself a great experience. I felt comfortable the whole time, and I'm really a very shy person specially when baring it all here and there is involved. If you've never had a body scrub, I totally recommend it!  It clears away all the dead skin on your body leaving your skin so soft..or better said "invigorated."  The body wrap was also very interesting, and I believe it's supposed to hydrate.  It felt a bit strange, but then very relaxing.  To lay still, wrapped up with a mud like seaweed thing..yea no knowledge of proper name of this one, and cucumbers all over my face, also known as a cucumber facial, was surprisingly relaxing.  As a mom, I barely ever have the time to even let my nail polish dry..if I even have the time to paint them, but to have more than two hours to myself just to get pampered was great!  There wasn't much talk, just a little direction when needed, which was fine with me.  With a now three year old toddler at home, I talk enough and hear enough chatter too! :)  

I loved my time there, and hope to go again, but as a stay at home mom, this was definitely a treat that unfortunately won't happen as often as I'd want.  To be fair, I already stated I want to live there, so that's really not affordable. :P  I don't have much experience at spas, as you may have picked up on, but if you are a New Yorker, or visiting, treat yourself to a great time at Juvenex Spa ("the jewel of New York spas"), I certainly enjoyed my stay.  They are open 24 hours and 7 days!  They accept Spa Finder gift cards.  Don't forget to grab a bite to eat in the area too, I had to run back home to my baby boy to give him a bath, so I didn't get to.  Juvenex Spa has specified times when it's only for women, and after hours when it's for both men and women.  I went in the evening so I saw some couples, a few girlfriends, some woman alone like me, and one single guy that stood out to me.  He said he had a 20 minute massage when I first sat in the Jade Igloo Sauna, and when I left he was still there, but that shows that you can enjoy your time as long as you want.  The only thing I would do differently next time, is sit down to drink some water, as I only had a little and was so thirsty..LOL!  Oh, and I won't rush out next time, for some reason when my massage was over I changed and was at the train station before I knew it, I wish I had sat down for a little while longer..and had some water!  It's such a different atmosphere in there from the busy New York City streets, and felt like a great retreat.  I'm glad I took a moment to myself to enjoy this one evening, now back to being busy mom!

I told the ladies at the front desk that I might blog about my time at the Juvenex Spa, so I'd like to thank them for making my one evening to myself so enjoyable.  And of course, great thanks to Lisa!!!!

I wasn't compensated for this post in any way, I just wanted to share my experience with everyone.  For more information about the Juvenex Spa in New York City visit their website by clicking here:  

My Baby Is Three!

As I type I could remember back to 2008, going through the labor pains, and the million things that went through my mind when the first contractions appeared.  I was worried about everything from if his nursery was ready to if I'm ready to be a mom.  But once the real strong contractions showed up, I was no longer thinking so!  All I could manage to think was how I needed medications to help me, or I would die from the pain!  I had a theory that everyone was making me deliver without medication on purpose, because when I had dealt with the first many contractions on my own, my midwife at the time, was convinced that I can deal with the rest.  I was relieved to think that was as worse as it will get, because if I remember correctly I was already seven centimeters when I barely crawled into the doors of the hospital.  But once they broke my water I didn't see straight until my son was born.  Boy, was I misled about the pain.  I was at the hospital around four in the morning, and delivered my darling baby boy at 10:16 a.m.  But had been dealing with contractions since dinner at around five in the evening.  After screaming the whole time, for my mom, I am happy that I didn't get any help and delivered naturally.  And I was calling for my mom, but my mom passed away when I was a teenager years ago..but apparently when in need we all call for our parents.  When my son turned one I was happy he was a little older, and then when he turned two, I didn't mind too much, because he just got cuter.  Now that he is turning three, I feel time is flying by too fast.  Once three rolls around, there's no going back to babyville.  By his personality, his preferences, and how he expresses himself  I already know I no longer have a baby, but time has snuck up on me, I don't know when this all happened!!  He will always be my baby of course!  He has been so excited, everyday he has woken up asking if it's his birthday.  And has asked everyone he comes across if they are coming to his birthday party.  I'm so excited that his birthday is here, and happier that his birthday party day is getting closer too.  He will be happy to hear that it is his birthday tomorrow when he wakes up, and I'm going to try to make it special for all his expectations and anticipation.
Thanks for coming by and make sure to wish him a happy birthday! ;)

Just Shopping for Food

A regular day going shopping for us seems to take up the whole day.  First the list of course, like anyone else I think, but then to find the products that are allergy friendly.  When we first entered the world of food allergies, we had to learn everything from scratch.  Some to our benefit, because I admit I never read ingredients in the foods that I bought before, now wouldn't buy without reading.  Even if it's food for my husband and I, surprising what we all consume..and not in a good way, so that is one good that came out of food allergies in the family for sure.  If you don't already, stop and read what is in our everyday 'go to' foods.  Now back to shopping for allergy friendly products, it has definitely gotten easier over the years but here and there it takes extra effort and time to just to find that specific product.

Recently as I've mentioned, my son's birthday is coming up.  So the last week, or more, I have been on the search for the simplest things that would be no problem if we didn't need to buy allergy friendly, but unfortunately a mission for us.  It all depends where you live, because when I go visit my sister in another state and it never is a problem finding anything.  I believe I got everything I need for his cake for now, finally!  Oh and I also know there is options to order from online, but I still would end up buying from different sites to fulfill all I really need, so I just go physically.  Even though this time, I did order some stuff from the internet on top of everything else because couldn't find it in any of the stores we have available.

So what am I talking about here besides baking ingredients, well noodles/pasta for example, many options but only a few that work for us, and just a select few stores that carry them.  We have been known to drive to three different stores, all in three different directions from one another to stock up on something as simple as pretzels for our son.  The latest, today we went to two different stores both thirty minutes from each other just to buy him candy that is safe to put in his pinata on his birthday.  Just a little packet of lollipops, he is okay with!  Well, of course we didn't buy just one, and we stock up as much as we can, but the cost adds up easily.  We also bought allergy friendly ice cream, which is another thing to treasure, because we always have to hope to find it.

Just wanted to share just one of our moments in life that take up a lot of moments and often a lot of money too, and could be a struggle if we didn't make fun of the drives and adventure of finding foods our boy is okay with.  It is always worth it to see that our little boy is never left out, well if mom and dad have anything to do with it! ;)

You're Not Alone - Be Heard

When you sign on to Facebook, Twitter, read the posts by your friends, or talk to friends and family, don't most of them seem so happy all the time?!  Does it seem like you are the only one going through relationship issues, financial, health..etc.?  And you are the only one that seems to have troubles, well you're not alone!  Let's face it not all of us are always that happy.  We have our days, and we all certainly have our troubles in life.

It's not always easy to just open up to someone, and ask for support.  You don't want the judgement that comes along with it, you're afraid they won't understand.  Well, you can come here, tell me and everyone about how your marriage isn't so great, your troubles at work, finances, health issues, self esteem, and all that you want to just voice out.

I'm going to create a category following this post titled "Be Heard", and this is for you!  Come by click on the tab, and just comment.  All of you, that might want to voice your opinion on something, or just let it out.  It will help you feel better to be heard, and I promise to hear you out.  Feel free to comment anonymously, you will need to put your email address, but put whatever you want as your "name," which is visible to public.  You're privacy will be protected by all means.  I hope you guys come around and voice all your troubles, or questions here, and find support from one another.  Simply know you aren't alone, it starts with one person sharing to learn that you're not alone, and we can expand from there!


*I thank the first few that have reached out/commented.  I know it isn't in the best format right now, but we all start somewhere! ;)*

Eleven Days to Go

 Eleven days to go including today, and then we will celebrate my son's birthday with some friends and family.  He will be three, in eight days.  And my birthday is in twelve days.  Time is just flying by extra fast lately.  I've been keeping so busy and haven't had the chance to see what time it was before the day was over.  Although I will admit there have been days where I'm so busy, yet wonder what I actually got done in the end.  Have you ever had so much to do, started one thing then the other, but didn't complete any of it?  0_o

Alot of what's keeping me busy seems to be revolving around my son's birthday party.  I've sent out invites, and have most of everything ready, but still stressing over the cake.  As some of you might know already, my son has multiple food allergies, so I've been trying to figure out a good recipe for making a cake from scratch, and making it look fun for a very excited three-year old.  He has been talking about his birthday everyday, since we told him his birthday is coming up!  I'm no professional baker, I used to enjoy baking for fun but from a box where you toss in some eggs  and milk, and your done.  But have entered into a new world, of baking from scratch.  It has its benefits, for sure though.  Nothing beats knowing exactly what you are eating, and making it fresh, as I say.  But sometimes I wish I could just order a cool cake for him, because I want him to have an awesome cake.  It's alright though, just pushes me to get better at certain things, and creates fun moments to remember.
The party is going to be Disney Cars theme, so I thought of many different ways I could make his cake revolving the theme.  But after looking for food coloring, and asking around a bit too, I've decided to just stick with a cake or cupcakes with chocolate frosting.  No food coloring for us this time.  The food colorings aren't good for you anyway, and the natural ones sold have some ingredients that my son is allergic to, so it is really not a win win situation.  I had a cake with dirt road, and then race tracks in mind, but guess not.  Another thing that troubles me is that the party will take place at a park, which means the cake or cupcake wont be in the refrigerator for hours before we blow out the candles.  In the heat, the frosting tends to melt out of shape.  Lots of little things to figure out.
So, I'm going to be a little off until his birthday party is done with, literally not thinking straight with so much going on, mostly in my head. *giggle*  Going to be baking to test out recipes, but still waiting on special flour and ingredients I ordered from web to arrive, which is making me nervous.  I remember one thing, and freak out about another.  I have a list of to do's to complete...  I need tools for baking, I need the cupcake trays, and I need miscellaneous things like citronella candles.  Wish me luck, and I'll keep you all posted as the countdown winds down.
Opinions, stories, or any tips you may want to share please comment below.  I'd love to hear it!

Wordless Wednesday - fun IN the sand

It's always fun at the beach to play with the sand, and more fun to play in the sand.  No? :)

REVIEW: Enjoy Life Foods- Semi Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks and Double Chocolate Crunch Granola

Enjoy Life Foods carries products that make a huge difference for families like our own.  I first found their products in a small health food store two years ago, while in a desperate search for foods my son can have.  They have been a part of our life since.  I'm happy to give you guys a review of the two newest items added to their great product line.
First we tried the semisweet_mega_chunks.html  It has simple and natural ingredients that delivers.  I read the ingredients on the web and on the package itself before I even opened it up to make sure my son was okay with it, and he was.  After trying a few pieces, I was pleased with of how absolutely delicious it was.  Enjoy Life Foods never seems to disappoint.  My son and I stood there in excitement grabbing handfuls at a time.  As I have said before I don't have food allergies although my son has many.  So this review comes to you from both worlds.  I have had all sorts of chocolate, and many people seem to think because it is allergy friendly that it is missing something, or not good.  But I will choose to eat these Chocolate Mega Chunks any day over the other brands.  These are great for baking, maybe even meant for baking, but they are so cute and delicious just as is.  They are shaped like little tiny bars of chocolate.  They are semi sweet so they will not overwhelm with sweetness if you enjoy as is or when you bake it in your favorite treat.  My son doesn't get to eat many sweets and this product already means so much to us.  And yes, it is that serious for us.  One of the other chocolate treats he can enjoy is also from Enjoy Life Foods as they offer chocolate bars that are allergy friendly.
The second product we tried also for the first time was the double_chocolate_granola.html  It is a nut and gluten-free granola.  I was actually not a fan of granola, but after I tried this version, I can now say I love granola.  With every bite, there's mini chocolate chips delivering what's promised in the name, double chocolate crunch.  It has the perfect crunch, and my son definitely liked it because I found him enjoying some all on his own in the kitchen, he had used his little stool to reach up to counter.  The granola comes in a convenient resealable stay fresh package,which is always a good thing.  It also has simple natural ingredients, that will make any mom happy to give to the kids.  It is great for snacking, and my son even suggested eating it as a cereal.  I actually checked the ingredients on the package about five times, because I was so shocked with how good it was, because unfortunately many products that are allergy friendly can be different and hard to get used to, but not these!  Anybody can easily enjoy these.  It's brands like Enjoy Life Foods that are making a huge difference in many people's lives, giving many a chance to enjoy foods that they can't otherwise, and giving a new meaning to allergy friendly eating, it is and can be delicious!  Also, if you look at my About page, you will see the long list of foods my son is allergic to, so you could understand or relate to why good tasting, safe foods are important to us.
A few facts about Enjoy Life products:
  • Gluten free and allergy friendly.
  • Free of all top eight allergens: wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish, and shellfish.
  • And most products are also free of potatoes, sesame, sulfites, and casein.
  • No artificial ingredients, trans fats, or genetically modified (GMO) ingredients.
I definitely recommend these two products.  To learn more about them and other Enjoy Life products go to their site by clicking here: Enjoy Life Foods
And as always I'd love to hear your opinions so please feel free to comment below.
*I received these items to review, but all opinions are a 100% my own.

Pizza for Dinner

We were invited to a birthday party that was supposed to be yesterday, but they cancelled last minute.  I was okay with that, because it was going to be a pool party, and you guys might already know, I'm not running to flaunt it yet!  Still working on that one.  So we took the time, to finally head out to buy some things I needed for my sons birthday.  It's about that time of year, when I start experimenting nonstop to make the best cake I can for him.  Last years birthday cake was a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, I just put a mickey mouse candle and four cupcake toppers on four corners.  It tasted good, but it melted quite a bit by the time it was cake time last year, because we were at a park.  We plan to do it there again this year, hoping to come up with a clever idea so that won't happen again.
After going back and forth about what I wanted to make for him.  I have finally decided, I plan to make him cupcakes instead of beating myself up trying to do a professional bakers job.  Perhaps next year I will.  I'll keep you updated on how that turns out.
We were all very hungry after all the time we spent out, and my husband suggested pizza for dinner.  It had been so long since I had pizza, I couldn't turn down the idea.  Of course, he has already lost the weight he wanted, so I lose on this one.  As you may know by now, my son can't eat out, and certainly can't grab a slice from outside because of his food allergies.  So what did that mean?  I had to make him pizza!  And I did it!  He can't have a long list of foods, so it was a challenge but it was a success.  Our meal was delayed because it obviously takes time to make pizza from scratch, but the outcome was all worth it.  It tasted great, but my son wasn't used to the texture of "dough" so he only nibbled a little, but ate the veggies on top.  This is the second time I made pizza, and happy to have found the resources to make it last minute.  I tell you, you learn to be unbelievably happy about the simplest things when you aren't able to enjoy all the simple things in life.  Even though, I ended up making my son something else to eat to ensure he eats enough for dinner, that pizza you see in the picture was the highlight of our day.
I'd like to end with a little message to my friends, who don't have food allergies, next time you grab a bite to eat alone or with your family without going through any thought of what the ingredients are or having to do what we have to each time, just take a moment to appreciate each bite and take in the moment with a smile.
And please feel free to share your thought and opinions below, I'd love to hear from you.

"What a Great Night"

Yesterday was a good day, and the highlight was going out to dinner as a family.  We were headed out to Party City to look at supplies for our sons birthday coming up at the end of the month, and since we were running late on dinner, we decided to go out to eat.  Because my son has food allergies, that meant I had to cook a meal similar to what we might order when at the restaurant.  We decided to go to a Korean restaurant, so I started to cook right away.

Korean restaurants usually have lots of vegetables, so I made a dish with pork and tons of veggies, with some rice on the side.  Then I thought we might have some soup too, and didn't want him to miss out, so I made him some soup too.  By the time I was done with both, it was really too late to head out to the store.  So I packed up his food, along with a plate and a bowl, a little cup for his water, and the fork and spoon too.  I carry all that so I don't have to bother with cleaning the plates and all when I get to the restaurant for him.  It's just easier that way.  I carry his food in sealed tight containers, and a lunch box so it stays warm.  It's the usual routine that I go through if we go anywhere that might result in us eating out, even if it's just grabbing a bite to eat.  I cook right before we leave home, so his food is as fresh as can be.

The  highlight of it all was how he really didn't miss out.  If he didn't have food allergies, technically all the foods we had, were all too spicy for him anyway.  What I made for him was really fresh, and had tons of vegetables.  He kept pulling out long vegetables, like long pieces of carrots, and saying how it's the same, except his isn't "yucky ouchy."  He ate most of everything, and enjoyed eating out.  I also make sure the dishes are similar in sight too, so that helps.  He didn't feel left out at all.  It broke my heart when we were leaving our apartment and he told me how excited he was we were going out to the restaurant, and also asked if I had his food, he kept asking if I brought his food.  I really don't like to eat out, or even grab a bite to eat anywhere unless he has food too.  I don't like eating anything in front of him that he can't have.  I just don't like it, but my husband keeps telling me that he needs to get used to it because unless he outgrows his allergies, he will live his life this way.  I don't know what the future holds but in the meantime, this is how it is, and I will continue to go out of my way to make sure he has everything that anybody else would or might eat.  Nobody, not even I know how it is to grow up not being able to eat what everyone else is eating, so yes I will go out of my way, and if I can't, I'll miss out of dining out with family/friends for my own delight, if my son doesn't have anything "cool" to eat too.

When we were done with dinner, they served us three complimentary slices of watermelon.  My rule that I go by, with experience is that if a restaurant, even a store is giving out samples or in this case slices of fruit as desert, its safe to have.  The cutting board, and knife they are using, has been used for that fruit all day long, and only for that fruit so there's usually no contamination risk.  We have succeeded each time, and happy to report last night was one of them.  We don't go out to eat often at all, but as he gets older and I learn to cook more interesting dishes, everything is only getting better.  He enjoyed two slices of watermelon, said how much he likes the restaurant, and even said "what a great night."  My little darling boy is such a character, but that perfectly summed up our night!

I Love Him...

My toddler is so well-rounded.  Watching him grow up to be this smart little boy has been amazing to witness.  I speak of him having food allergies, asthma, eczema, and all the things like that but there's so much more to him.  At almost three years old he impresses me with his knowledge, and personality.  He is talented in ways I'm not, and probably much smarter than I could imagine I was at two years old.  He has a natural passion for baseball, and sports altogether.  Another sport he loves is golf, and very well at it too.  Loves music, and seems to have an ear for it too.  You can catch him pretend playing a guitar to the beat, by moving his body along.  You'll surely see him carrying a sports ball around everywhere he goes or a bat of course.  He loves helping me cook, and will enjoy watching a cooking show any day maybe as much as he would a cartoon.  Over the past year his interests are only broadening and it all just makes me one proud mom.

His first passion was baseball, I remember as soon as he was walking around and could understand the sport he was hooked.  He used to say, "bayball."  He loves his New York Yankee cap, and loves wearing jerseys so he can look like a baseball player.  He has a hell of a swing too, specially for his age.  He can hold the ball and bat himself and hit the ball right up at you.  Of course he is a toddler so when under pressure, he will act all silly and shy.  He can stay at any sports related store forever if I let him.  He loves going straight for the baseball helmet, bat, and glove carrying it around the whole time.  He has bats and balls at home but he just can't get enough.  He was just a baby, not even fully talking when we first took him to Yankee Stadium for his first game, when he enjoyed cheering with the crowd.  We don't go as often as we'd like but he is one very young, huge fan of baseball.  Recently he has learned how to differentiate the pitcher, and the catcher and their positions plus responsibilities the way he sees it.  His love for baseball still remains and is only getting stronger as he learns more.

So many things about my little boy that makes me proud, and his love for baseball is just one of them.  I could go on and on about him now, but I'll continue more about all the reasons why I'm proud of him in later posts.

Wordless Wednesday - Sweet Dreams

A week and half oldMy baby boy smiling in his sleep.  I took this picture with my phone at the time.  Can't tell in this picture but he was only a week old.  One of my favorite pictures.

Fitness Goals

After being pregnant twice, and overall not having time to exercise as often, I'm finding it hard to keep extra unwanted weight off, or rather, lose the weight gained.  My son is just about three years old, and my reasons are no longer "baby weight."  I had a failed pregnancy a year ago, after growing a little bump at four months pregnant, all to find out it was a molar pregnancy, which meant no baby!  More about that another day!
When my son was a year old, after nursing him for so long, I had no problem losing all the weight gained while pregnant and then some.  I was even complaining because all my clothes were too big on me.  Oh how I wish to go back to those days...  Just to clarify technically I'm not overweight, I just want to get to my desired healthy fit body shape, size, well you get the idea right?  It has been extra hard, because with a molar pregnancy HCG levels are extremely high and do all sorts of loops to your hormones, I gained weight with that one.  I could barely eat, but yet I gained weight, very strange experience.  I probably gained more during the second pregnancy than the first successful one.  So recently I have taken up jogging again, although my jogging stroller isn't the best it helps because it's one exercise I can do with my son.  I've also started workout videos, which seems very effective as long as I keep it up.  I'm determined to keep going, so I can be able to feel comfortable in my own skin, specially since beach days are here.
One extra push I'm getting is from my husband.  He isn't telling me to, but he has his own success story to tell that motivates me.  He started bike riding for fun and for exercise a few months ago, and he has lost tons of weight all with an old bike a family member was getting rid of.  He's well on his way to looking like how he used to when I first met him in high school.  So my next hopes is to go bike riding with him when he does, so I can see some results too.  It's been so long since I really rode a bicycle, hope I still can.  But we'll see how those plans workout.  For sure I will continue to jog, and do my workout videos, both easy ways to stay active while with my little boy.  Why is it that it seems men have it so easy for everything, I've been eating right and trying forever it seems.  My husband wakes up one day and decides to bike, and voila!  Just like that, he's a new man.
The moments I really felt the motivation to reach my fitness goals was when I wasn't excited to go the beach as I usually would, and the other, seeing my husband's success in a short period of time.  Are you on your way to getting more fit and healthy?  What moment motivated you?  I wish you luck if you are making healthier choices.
Wish me luck with my goal to catch up to my husbands success, and please feel free to share any stories you may have, as well as tips below, or just say "hi."

Milk comes from where?

I only breastfed my son as a baby, and it was a good thing I went that route.  Although there was that one time a nurse gave him a formula bottle against my wishes, when I passed out of exhaustion at my first days at the hospital!  It was a hard start at first but I stuck with it from day one to when he was over two years old, seems like along time ago now even though he'll be three at the end of this month.   He used to get horrible eczema when he was young, and scratched his face allot too.  I read up on what could be causing it, and asked his pediatrician, and unfortunately he just thought I was an over dramatic first time mom.  My son would get horrible gas he cried in pain, and his cheeks were so red, you could smell raw flesh..those were hard times.  His pediatrician at the time, wasn't fazed, said it was normal and will get better on its own!?  It didn't!
Finally I found out that it could be very easily linked to his diet, which meant my diet as he only got breast milk.  I ate all the "healthy suggested" foods that included eggs, whole wheat bread, milk, cheese, beans, peanut butter, well you know the list right?  I read about this completely foreign topic for me at the time, which was food allergies.  I didn't think it could be, but eliminated sweets as the old timers in my family kept telling me its a rash caused by too much sugar.  Eventually after learning more, I eliminated eggs, and milk the major players in my diet, and right before my eyes my baby was feeling better all around.
Since then we have went through one traumatic incident, that I will tell you guys another time, that confirmed his many severe food allergies including milk.  But the good news is we found many different options for him.  Specially that of milk.  He is able to drink soy milk, coconut milk both without a huge reaction, and tons of hemp milk with no issues at all.  He has been drinking these dairy free options for a long time now, and now knows that those are the kinds of milk he can have!
I like to test his knowledge of his allergies, and teach him what he can and can't have.  One of the exercises includes me asking him how he would respond if someone gave him "blank."  So I recently asked him how he would respond if someone offered him cows milk, he told me, "NOo I have allergies," I asked him what he can have, he knew and told me.  I was very proud!
Then came the perfect ending to our little conversation.  He told me "Cows milk is yucky, it comes from cows butt" as he pointed at his rear end.  He absolutely in no way feels left out, and if anything thankful for not drinking out of a cows butt.  **insert giggle**  Now that's a funny moment right?  Life is about finding the positive in our days, and this moment sure brought tons to an easily serious or sad topic.  It brings a smile to my face as I replay the moment in my head right now.
What moments made you smile or laugh about recently?

A MOMent brought to you by a Hot Dog

It had been so long since we treated ourselves to the movies, we decided to the week Cars 2 came out, and I was anxious to watch with my son.  The last time we were at the movies, he was always asleep or eventually would be.

He loved it, he watched the whole time sitting all by himself, even pausing to tell me what was going on.  The reason I'm writing about this isn't because of how well he watched the movie but because as I mentioned it was spontaneous.  I only left the house with some Glutino pretzels and Lundberg rice cakes for my son as snacks for the car ride.  When you have severe food allergies, there's no grabbing a bite to eat somewhere, I usually bring all his food from home.  No worries for my husband, and I we don't have any allergies to food by the way.  But after having strolled around the area for so long, and by the time it was movie time, my son was hungry.  A brand of hot dogs he can have is Nathan's, and that's what they had at the movies concession stand. I repeatedly looked at how it was prepared, talked to everyone behind the counter to make sure it doesn't touch anything while being prepared, served, delivered, I mean you name it, I did.  It simply isn't worth it to take a risk and not ask a million questions.  So I decided to give it a try, and so happy I did.  Not only was he okay with it, but it made him so happy, and in turn I was overwhelmed with joy.  I couldn't take the smile off my face to watch every bite he took, and to have him turn around and say "I love you soo much, thank you, this is so yummy."  It's the joy of eating out, or else he's had those hot dogs, and I cook plenty to make sure he isn't left out wherever we go.
This was the second time he ever ate out without me bringing food from home, the other time was in a Brazilian steak house in Miami a year ago.

I didn't want to get his hopes up so while I ordered it, I didn't tell him, and he quietly assumed it was for us and didn't ask.  But when we got to our seats after I had smelled it, tasted it, and got my nerves together.  I gave it to him in the little Nathan's box, the excitement was amazing!  He ate the whole thing, and all was well!  We certainly appreciate the little things in life that many take for granted, and this is one of them, which is anything but a little thing to us.  This is certainly a moment I won't forget, and thought I'd share.  Just another moment that made me smile, what moment made you smile recently?

The Magic Feather

The other day my son was bored out of his mind, he had played with just about every toy he had, which also meant he made a huge mess, but that's a whole other story.  We usually try to go out at least once a day to prevent boredom that provokes destroying the apartment, but that day we spent it relaxing at home, and also saving money too because when we head out we always seem to need something, and it doubles as saving gas too.  Anyhow, he needed to get out so my husband took him for a little walk around the neighborhood.  It was a short walk, but being the little sweet boy he is, he appreciates everything.  He had a blast because he took his Nerf Super Soaker Point Break Water Blaster from Toys R us, and came back in a few minutes because they were out of water.

It was perfect timing, I had just finished putting all the toys in place.

So my son runs up to me like it had been days since he left for his walk, and says in his tiny toddler voice;

"Mommy I have a surprise for you."  He continues to tell me, after getting my full attention, "you look a lil' sad," I responded that I wasn't sad, well because I wasn't.  He then tells me that he got a feather for me, and at this point I was more worried about how gross it was specially after he told me "I found it on the street, it's a present for you."  I of course, couldn't break his little heart, and I was blown away with his well put sentences and his thoughtful little heart, so the fact that he found it on the street didn't bother me as much..or I wasn't going to show it anyway.  So he turns around and talks to this tiny feather pinched between his tiny fingers; "Hi feather make my mommy really happy ok! you are magic!"

Now if that's not a moment to make me smile on and on, what is? What moment made you smile today?

BBQ with Family, But Can't Have What They're Having?

So many occasions come up when it’s starts to get warm out to have a barbecue or to attend family or friends get together.  And honestly I have opted to just have it be us three, and have turned down a few offers.  But with our son just about three years old I have learned my own way without him being left out.

You can do the obvious and pre-cook meal before you leave home.  I do that if we need to go anywhere.  But at a barbecue, I want my son who loves food to have grilled food! I’m sure many of you can relate to not wanting to be left out, of anything really.

You can bring your own food and cook it there, but where?  I’ve carried my own pots and pans to many convenient places like grandpa’s house, but bringing your food even with pots and pans aren’t the best idea to someone’s backyard or park.

I used to carry aluminum foil to place over grill and cook, but it doesn’t really grill all too well unless you poke wholes in the foil, but then that opens a risk of contamination.  So that brings me to my final idea that works great!  Bring your own portable little grill; there are two different options one that uses propane gas, and the good old charcoal.  Carry vegetables and meat in cooler along with seasonings and you should be all set.

Just make sure that which ever one you choose to use, is allowed where you are going.  Make sure there isn’t a rule against it at park you are planning to go to, and of course if you are going to someone’s home, ask first too.

This has proven to be the best option for us, because our son is severely allergic to a long list of foods, hope this helps someone else out there new to the world of food allergies.  Just because someone has food allergies, doesn't mean they can't enjoy great tasting food too, it's all just about learning the simple tricks to doing so.

Have a great Fourth of July everyone, and wish you all safe, delicious eating!