“Be Brave Enough to Suck at Something New”

Our Latest Adventures, Uncategorized

I’m not very good at this. Yup, I said it. Blogging and talking our journey does not come easy to me.

You spend your entire life working towards the future. You spend your high-school years learning all the basics. You move on to college and find out who you are. You find your passion. When you get out of college and start your true adult life (I know, what a millennial thing to say right?), you find what you are truly good at and what works. You hone your skills. You earn a paycheck. 

This is the path I followed, with a few bumps along the way. I was always sure to pick subjects to study that I could excel at. Whether it was political science or speech and language, I absolutely loved earning both degrees because they lit a passion in me and I was good at them! My brain works in a black and white way when it comes to learning. Facts and ideas go hand in hand. I thrive following a directive and knowing the end result. 

1. Go to undergrad for Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences

2. Get my masters in Speech Pathology

3. Provide speech therapy to people

Clear cut directions to follow to achieve my goal – My kind of plan! 

But, when life throws lemons at your face, you pick them all up and make Lemon pie! 

When we got Olivia’s PFV diagnosis, we were also told we would have to patch her for at least 2 hours a day. Then she was diagnosed with 14 food allergies. So needless to say, our life changed and finishing graduate school at this time just wasn’t in the cards. And that’s okay! If I’ve learned anything with my career change it’s that the universe is going to push you in the direction you are supposed to be facing, you just have to have the courage to accept a new perspective.

But here’s the thing, my perfect plan, my perfect timeline of how to be successful, went out the window when I withdrew from graduate school and started my blog. I have always had a true love for writing and have a burning fire under me to advocate for other people with eye related issues and life threatening food allergies! But, I have no clue how to create a media platform that people want to read. I feel super uncomfortable in front of stories and really insecure that what I am talking about, is of no interest to anyone else but me!

And then I read this quote yesterday on social, “Be brave enough to suck at something new”

I realized right then that well, thats me! I do suck at this! And that’s okay, because this is something completely new. There is no manual telling you the 1, 2, 3’s of how to take off in blogging – if this exists, please DM the link! 

The good things in the life, the parts worth fighting for, are not going to be easy. You are not going to be good at this right away. I have learned so much in the past year about blogging sites and instagram platforms. Ive met lifelong friends that I’ve connected with on such a personal level. 

What I hope more than anything, is that I can create a platform that other food allergy moms, pfv moms, moms in general who might be struggling at this entire mom thing, can come to. I want my blog/instagram to be a place of support and a place to find a new perspective on life. No, it usually doesn’t go the way we planned. But that’s why life is so beautiful. Never in a million years would I have imagined I would be a stay at home mom, making homemade safe food for my amazing, beautiful toddler while she does her patch therapy. That I would spend my afternoon nap times (attempting) to create content and writing about how I feel in a blog that someone might want to read! I never imagined that this new way of life would leave me feeling fulfilled but here I am. A mom struggling to find her way, sucking at a new career but with each passing day, getting a little more confident in this new space (cue new baby, am I right?) 

So, here’s to a new beginning. Here’s to fully sucking at something new. A new perspective into our day to day life. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

PracMedic Bag – Sammie Medicine Case

Food Allergies, Our Latest Adventures

When Olivia was first diagnosed with food allergies, I didn’t even know where to start. First thing we did – get our Epi pen! I put the Epi pens in a small zip pouch and moved on with my day. Unfortunately, I would soon find out that this zip pouch was not a great place to store Olivia’s life saving medication. Our first trip to the beach with her Epi pens, the pouch got wet, hot and squished all in one day. Not good!

Little did I know, Epi pens need to stay cool and dry in order to stay viable. This became our #1 priority. So I started to do some research on the best Epi pen holder! I looked into several different brands but landed on the one that checked all my boxes and more.

PracMedic bags.

We ordered the Sammie Medicine Case in pink. Not only did this case have the best reviews but it was by far the cutest of them all! The entire case was pink with a little girl and outside, sunny day scene on the front. The first day we got the case in the mail, Olivia opened the box and ran! She wore the bag as a purse all night and kept saying she looked so “fashion”.

When I opened the bag up, I was even more impressed. Not only are there two pockets that fit two Auvi-Q perfectly, but there are more pockets to fit other medications you might need. In our case, we filled that side with Benadryl, a contact cup and contact solution. This allowed us to have all of Olivia’s medications in one spot, at all times! The bag zipped with ease and just like that, my anxiety went from 60 to 0 in a matter of minutes. All of Olivia’s supplies in one place – I couldn’t have asked for more.

We spent the summer going to sunny beaches and sweaty play gym classes and I never worried about her Epi pens. The case is insulated and padded to help keep the medicine inside at the right temperature. It’s even water resistant with an optional ice pack pocket for those days you know the temperatures are going to be really off the charts. When we would go to the beach for the entire day, I would throw the case in with an ice pack near by. Since the bag is water resistant, the medicine stayed dry and the ice pack helped it stay even cooler when the temperatures were over 90 outside! (I only use the ice pack on days of extreme heat. Most days we throw the case in my diaper bag and forget about it!)

My husband’s favorite feature to this bag? He can take it out of the diaper bag and attach it to his belt! He HATES carrying my giant diaper bag. As a food allergy mom, I am no stranger to a big bag! Of course I need a bag full of snacks and treats, extra clothes in case of emergency, hand wipes and seat covers! Rather than Dan having to take my giant bag when he has Olivia, he can just take the Sammie case out of the diaper bag and go on his way. This way he has her medications no matter where they go, without having to take the giant bag.

I have to mention the quality of these cases as well! Olivia has run around, thrown it everywhere, brought it out fishing, on hikes and even to Disney World. No matter the adventure, the case has stayed clean, in tacked and looking like new. The material is so durable that no matter what she’s thrown at it, it’s held up. We could not be more impressed.

Dealing with medications that could save your child’s life in an emergency require a lot of responsibility and sometimes it can feel very over whelming. Making sure you have all the medications, making sure they stay safe and temperature controlled – can be so stressful!The PracMedic cases and brand know how hard this can be and this is why they created this amazing product – to set our minds at ease. I have felt my anxiety melt away as I’ve watched Olivia carry this case with confidence. She’s proud to have her medication on her and feels so cute with the bag on her arm.

We cannot wait to try even more of PracMedic products – especially as Olivia is growing and getting older! Next we will be trying out the COMPACT Epi pen case! Stayed tuned to hear how we like the new bag!

First Dentist Appointment with Food Allergies

Food Allergies, Our Latest Adventures

Everyone’s worst nightmare…a trip to the dentist!! At Olivia’s last pediatrician appointment we were told that it was time to take her to the dentist and my heart stopped. Not because they would be checking out her teeth but because they would have to put things in her mouth – things that could potentially contain her allergens! We have to be so meticulous about ingredients in everything that even comes close to her. We know every possible name for dairy, wheat, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts, but I had never had to worry about ingredients in a medicine or at a doctors’ office. Through the years, there have been a few stories where children were given a fluoride or toothpaste that contained their allergen and they had to go into pure survival mode – EPI included. I went home and started doing research. 

Cue Google Search –> Food Allergies and the Dentist

I wrote down all of my questions, all of the names that could possibly mean the same as any of her allergens (ie Casein is another form of Dairy!) and had a plan of attack. 

The morning of the dentist appointment, I told Olivia we were going to the Dentist so the doctor could check out her teeth and she couldn’t have been more excited. She pointed to her teeth all morning and kept yelling “momma, teeth!” It’s so funny how all the fear and anxiety I had been holding on to for this appointment can just melt away with one smile from that little girl. I took a page out of her book and we walked into the Dental office with all the confidence and courage I could muster. 

We filled out our new patient paperwork and waited to be walked in. My stomach was in knots! When we were called back, the dental hygienist told me to avoid the dentist chair and sit Olivia on the bench next to the computer. She said most kids get really freaked out by the big, scary chair and they tend to shut down. She had obviously never met Olivia! She climbed right up onto the big girl dentist chair, with a smile so big it could be seen from the moon. 

“Momma, look, chair” she would say followed by “Momma, teeth!”

While Olivia played in the chair, I pulled the hygienist over and asked her to see an ingredient list of anything they would be using on Olivia for this appointment. I needed to be 100% sure nothing contained her allergens. Unfortunately, the office didn’t have a printed list of the ingredients in their products, which threw me for a loop. My research had shown that they had to have the product ingredients available and the fact that they didn’t have them made me so nervous. Instead, they gave me samples of the Floride and cleaner to have it tested at the allergist to be sure it was safe. I settled for this solution but it did leave me underwhelmed.

Thankfully, the first appointment at this office simply consisted of a short medical history interview, a discussion about what types of foods and drinks are consumed and a quite look into the mouth! Olivia was a rock star and got her teeth checked out an the all clear from the dentist! When they were done checking her teeth, she kept signing more so they would keep going – she is the only kid that LOVES the dentist. I was relieved nothing was put in her mouth today – but to be honest, without knowing the product ingredients – nothing was going in her mouth regardless. 

She picked out a stuffed animal prize and we took a trip to Dee’s One Smart Cookie for an allergy safe cake pop. 

For any allergy parents that might be nervous for their child’s first dentist appointment – there’s nothing to worry about! The first appointment was very straight forward – interview and quick check with no products. Remember, if you can’t see ingredients or don’t have that reassurance that the product is safe, don’t let them use it. Just Keep Advocating!! And tell them why you aren’t able to proceed with your appointment and hopefully they will get you what you need to feel comfortable.