A Mother’s Nightmare

I haven’ blogged about this but in hearing about a 7-year-old who died recently while at school because she had an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts brought my own kids food allergies front and center again. I could have been this little girls mom last summer.  We were in Santa Barbara, CA at a cousin’s wedding.  It was an amazing day until we were about to leave and my daughter who was 7 said she didn’t feel well.  My kids don’t drink soda and we had allowed her to have Sprite that night so I assumed she just had too much soda and her stomach was upset.  Without going into all the details over the course of an hour she went from no symptoms to vomiting, hives, and most alarmingly her voice sounded odd to me and she said her tongue felt weird. That’s when I went into panic mode and thought she was having a reaction to something. She had never had this type of reaction before. The only known allergy was to peanuts and that was identified at the age of 2. I carry an epipen and have never used it.  We had given  her some Benadryl and realized she was wheezing and thankfully the Santa Barbara hospital was 2 minutes away.

My husband is a physician but he was in daddy mode, not doctor mode. I was scared to death trying to not alarm my daughter or my 4yo who was with us as well as my 81-year-old mother. We got to the hospital and as soon as we told them she had a peanut allergy and they saw the symptoms my husband and daughter were taken to the ER for immediate treatment.  She was treated and had to stay in the hospital until the swelling around her vocal cords came down to a “safe level”. That was about 5 hours.  The worst part now is my daughter was old enough to understand what happened but still too young to process it. I see this has changed her a little. She’s more cautious, she’s a little on edge if we are out somewhere to eat or at a birthday party and I’ve already read the ingredients or done the research.  We’ve subsequently had her tested and have confirmed she is allergic to the most common tree nuts which we avoided anyway but now we have to be all the more diligent about it.

My daughter’s school nurse has epipens in her office.  I carry epipens, I leave epipens at playdates with instructions how to use if needed.  That has become tricky and my daughter only goes to playdates in homes of my friends because acquaintances are not sure about the epipen. I understand that so we just don’t do it.  Hopefully, we will never have to use it again but we need to be cautious.  I’ve been thinking about this little girl who probably would be still alive today in Virginia had her school had epipens available. Parents like me don’t live in fear everyday for our child but now and then it creeps into my mind, “what if”?  Legislation has been proposed to require schools to have epipens available similar to having defibrillators available. A bill has been introduced in the Senate. Please look at this link and if you agree send a letter to your state representative. http://www.foodallergy.org/page/school-access-to-emergency-epinephrine-act1

As a mom, my kids are the most important and precious people in my life.  I can’t imagine the grief the mom of this little girl is going through but maybe we can collective help save another child by getting legislation passed for those who are in schools today and could be at risk because there are no epipens available in their school.


Coming Back

It’s been so long I can’t even remember and I honestly have not had the desire to write on my blog in a very long time.  A year ago I was preparing myself to say goodbye to my dad who suffered a stroke during cardiac surgery and never woke up.  It was January 11, 2011 and it was the most horrible feeling I’ve ever experienced in my life.  In retrospect my feelings were more for my mom losing her life partner of 58 years rather than my own grief of losing my beloved dad.  He was 80 and had lived a long life in terms of life expectancy I would tell myself. It still didn’t make me feel any better.

Fast forward to January 10, 2012.  It’s been a year of ups and downs, mostly downs.  But, I am on a positive track  now.  I call 2011 my lost year.  Lost my dad, lost my drive to be excited about things, lost my ability to focus on things, lost my running mojo and generally just felt lost.  If it weren’t for my amazing husband and children I’m afraid to think about what else I might have lost last year.  But, now it’s 2012 and I feel like I have moved on from all that loss.  In fact good loss. I lost 6 pounds since December and have started running on a regular basis again. At least 3 days a week and sometimes 4 if I can fit it in.  I have a goal, first and foremost to be HAPPY.  That includes taking care of my family first and equally important is taking care of me.

I am running the NYC Half Marathon on March and have as a goal to run it feeling good. Not to finish in a set time, not to beat my friends who are running it either. Just run it smiling and enjoy running in my favorite place to run in the world.  I’ll get back to blogging a bit too when I have the time.

So for now, I am back and it feels great.  Thanks for reading and Happy 2012!

When I had my first child 7 years ago I had the usual concerns most new moms have. Will I be a good mom? Seven years and now 2 children later there are days I still ask myself that. But, I do know that my husband and I try the best we can to make sure our children are happy, healthy and safe.

I recently read a book by Christopher Gavigan, Healthy Child – Healthy World Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home. I have it on my Nook and am using as a guide to “Green Up” our home. Since having kids I felt I was more aware of our environment and food chain and what was “good” and “bad”. I was WRONG! There is so much more I can do to not only make our home safer for our kids but to teach my kids about “cleaner” living. We’ve always done the little things like take our shoes off and leave them at the door as an example.

Thanks to Christopher and his book we’ve gotten rid of all the cleansers in our home and use only home made cleansers. (His wife is actress Jessica Capshaw from Grey’s Anatomy and she’s also in on the Green mom movement!) My kids are asthmatic so my radar is always up regarding what’s around them that might trigger an attack. We recently replaced all their bedding with organic cotton bedding and got rid of most of their stuffed animals except for their “lovies”.
Whether you have kids or not you might want to pick up this book, it was a little eye opening for me and I appreciate the nudge I got from reading it. My kids are my most precious gifts and I want to do everything I possibly can to keep them safe.

And check out my 3 year old Emily. She helps me clean. youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw0UgVmX6Ho

First, I was so happy to wake up with two squealing little girls jumping on me in bed. My husband took them out yesterday to pick out a present and they decided to make something instead. A macaroni necklace, homemade cards and lots of hugs and kisses were the best gifts ever! They made me coffee too.

Then, I kissed my family goodbye and went off to meet a group of amazing moms for a 3 mile run/walk. A friend of mine who recently finished her last round of chemo in March for breast cancer hosted about 40 moms for the run and brunch in her beautiful home on the Long Island sound. She’s doing great and I was so happy to see her looking fit and healthy. It was very humbling to be with these amazing moms, many of which I’ve only grown to know in the past year or so mostly through my daughter’s school. The weather could not have been better, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it was crystal clear blue. I saw some friends I haven’t seen in a while and it was nice to catch up with them. After my stomach was full from a delicious brunch I was off to go meet my kids and hubby.

Next, we picked up food and headed to my mom’s. She’s had a tough week since falling last week and spraining her ankle. She was at my sister’s for over a week and at least we now have a plan to get her ankle better and get her back on her feet. But, it’s going to be a bit of work for her to get there. She’s 80, and we recently realized my mom has Parkinson’s as well. She has a slight tremor on one side of her body. She’s slowed down quite a bit in last year or so. Those things coupled with the loss of my dad earlier this year would be reasons for anyone to not want to be motivated. I give my mom credit, she’s a fighter and she’s in good spirits so I can do nothing but help her and stay positive for her. She enjoyed the kids today, they made her laugh. We rigged some things up to help her get around the house with the walker and cane and thank god everything is on one floor. I literally have a “team” of people scheduled to make sure she’s ok since I can’t be there every day.

If you have aging parents or relatives that you will need to take care of all I can say is try and have a plan for what you think you might do if/when the time comes. Especially if you are a “sandwich generation” person like me with little kids too.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Change of Plans

I started this blog a few years ago when I was running frequently and training for the NYC Marathon as a Team Fox member. I don’t run as much anymore and I am not training for a race right not. Running was so much a part of my life and I’ve tried to get it back but for numerous reasons I just can’t seem to get to where I’d like to be as far as running is concerned. I know it will happen again but not anytime soon. So, I will put it in the back of my mind and enjoy it when I can fit it in and not put anymore pressure on myself about it.

I have a recurring foot injury that at times limits my ability to run as well. Lately its been feeling pretty good. I have a lot going on and realized it’s my blog and I can write about anything I want. I don’t have to feel pressure about writing about running.

For now the change of plan will be to temind myself to blog for me as it’s a journal for me.  Some of it will be funny, some serious and some just totally random thoughts of the day from me.  I’m off to bed now as ironically I am going to a 5k run/walk around our lovely town with some amazing mom friends of mine.

Eleven years ago today I married the love of my life. It was a beautiful day much like today was in New York. So much has happened in those years. I was lucky to be blessed with 2 little girls. I have to admit life was moving along nicely those 11 years. I can honestly say my love for my husband has grown deeper throughout the years.  Simply put, I’ve grown and learned so much from my husband.  I remember when I introduced him to one of my closest friends 13 years ago.  Her first impression was “wow, you guys are complete opposites”.  Well, opposites do attract and we did.  Simply put, I am thankful for the 11 years we’ve had together and am looking forward to what the next 11 years and beyond have in store for us.

I had an awesome day today in NYC with my 17 yo niece and my 7yo old daughter. We left the little peanut home with daddy today.  My 7yo had an NYU film student audition and we decided to make a day of it in the city.  My niece was recently accepted to NYU for the fall to study Music Ed and Vocal Performance.  The 2 girls who I have many years of “Maturity” on are teaching me some things.  First, dream big!  Second, have the right support around you to help you dream big and lastly, never let it go.

My daughter has been acting for 2 years now. It’s something she wanted to do and has fun doing.  We talk a lot about when it’s not fun, we stop. It’s time-consuming, auditioning in the city most of the time.  It’s an almost hour drive from our house and I have a 3yo I have to tote around with us.  BUT, it’s something that is always fun for us.  She has booked a few things in the past 2 years and we don’t have huge expectations, just small steps and fun.  She may decide tomorrow she wants to stop and we will.  Until then I will help her with her dream.  As long as she has time to do other things 7yo girls do like playdates, soccer, family time and most importantly school. 

Now, about my niece. This kid can sing!  She LOVES music, all kinds and dreams of being on Broadway some day.  I am so proud of her, her dedication and passion. She’s bright kid and NYU was her top pick and I am so happy she can go there come September.    She was adopted from Korea when she was 3 months old.  Her mom, my sister was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 4 years ago and it is very difficult for a girl to watch her mom suffer from this progressive disease.  My niece and my dad had a very special relationship.  He was her pop pop who was always there for every school play, musical, concert, etc.  When he passed away this past January she was devastated as we all were but it just broke my heart to see how torn up she was.  While planning my dads funeral she decided she wanted to sing the Ava Maria. I thought, I know you are talented but how in the world are you going to sing and stay composed. Well, she did and she sang her heart out.  So much so that friends and family who were there were calling me and sending me emails for weeks after my dads passing telling me how amazed they were with her voice and ability to stay composed.  Very mature of her, I know I would not have been able to do that. 

On the train ride home she told me how she hopes to sing on Broadway someday.  I told her that her journey is just beginning and that I believe in her and that if she surrounds herself with supportive people we will all be there to help her. 

Why not Dream Big