Thursday, April 20, 2017

You say peanuts, I say poison (get it, potato patoto?)

I wanted to take a minute and talk about peanut allergies. Now I know, this sounds like a boring topic, but to me it's something that I have to be constantly aware of. When a regular person sees peanut butter, I see anaphylactic shock or death. Now I know that sounds dramatic, but that's how severe peanut allergies are if they aren't treated within minutes. My 4 year old has a severe peanut allergy that we discovered he had when he turned 1. My aunt also has a peanut allergy, and we recently had a conversation that I walked away from and knew I wanted to write a blog post about it. We discussed on the topic of how unaware people are if they don't have a peanut allergy or live with someone with it. So that's mostly the purpose of this blogpost.  To educate. My husband and I have had so many encounters with people who don't truly understand how severe a peanut allergy is. I have had deep conversations with others about my son's allergy, and then later on they try to offer my child food that contains peanuts.  I have had open conversations about the stress and worry the allergy causes our family, and then they have turned around and brought peanuts into our home.  No one has ever done it out of malice or to hurt my child, it has happened because the person didn't understand the severity, or because they completely forgot in the moment.

Some people think it's like other food allergies in which the person just can't eat the peanut and they'll be fine. In actuality, a person with this allergy can't even be around a peanut. If it touches them, they react immediately. Even if they don't touch the peanuts, particles in the air can effect them and they can start having reactions. Let's also talk about cross contamination. If someone is eating a peanut butter sandwich, and then they go touch something else, and then my son goes and touches that thing, guess what? Reaction.  That's why if I see a friend of mine pull out anything with peanuts around us I kindly ask them to wash their hands when they're done.  And don't forget about the part where I Clorox wipe the heck out of where they just sat.  Safety comes first at our house.

What makes peanut allergies so scary is the fact that your body can undergo anaphylactic shock. What that means is it causes your airway to constrict and makes it difficult to breath. An epi pen or Benadryl need to be used promptly after exposure in order to help open up the airway. If it isn't promptly treated, the person can stop breathing altogether and die. Now not everyone with a peanut allergy is as severe as others. Some people just use Benadryl and it helps with symptoms, others need immediate use of an Epi Pen. But in all honesty, this allergy just sucks because it's so dangerous.

Sometimes people legitimately don't make the connection that peanuts AND peanut butter both cause reactions. It blows my mind, but they really don't. Peanuts can be hidden in several different things such as candy bars, candy, cookies, cakes, donuts, chips, ice cream, some Mexican dishes, some Asian dishes, granola bars, and I'm sure several other things I'm currently forgetting. Some places use peanut oil to cook with. Some examples are Five Guys, quite a few Southern restaurants, and Jimmy John's chips. Texas Roadhouse is covered in peanut shells, so that restaurant is out of the cards for us. Always read labels checking if it contains peanuts or even if it says it MAY contain peanut traces. 

Thanks for bearing with me as I blab on and on about my son's allergy, but I hope I was able to help clarify some questions people may have had about what we deal with on a daily basis. Our home is the one safe place where I know my son doesn't have to deal with being exposed to peanuts, so please don't be offended when I ask you not to bring peanuts into his safe zone. It's my job as his mom to keep him safe, and sometimes I feel like we are a burden to those around us. I know that a peanut butter sandwich is a staple for most families. It's such an easy delicious lunch, and I realize it's annoying if you meet us at the park for lunch and you can't make an easy PB&J for your kiddo. I realize that it's annoying when I bring a baby wipe over to you after you've finished eating that delicious PB&J that it comes across as over bearing or protective, but ending up in the ER is not worth it to me.  I realize that all the delicious desserts contains peanut butter, and I'm sorry we can't eat that when you're at our house.  I realize that when you want to go get Thai food with us that most of the delicious dishes contain peanuts and we don't order it that that's such a bummer.  But thank you so much for loving my kiddo enough to help keep him safe.  Thank you for bearing with us as we take away your joy of peanuts.  It's always an awkward thing to ask of others but thanks so much for respecting our wishes. 

So last thing, a couple helpful tips when dealing with people with food allergies. If you're going to feed someone always ask first if they have food allergies. Read all food labels. If you're babysitting a child with food allergies, put all food that contains that ingredient up away so that the child can't get it, and inform all family members about the safety of the child and how important it is not to eat any of the food that contains that when they're around. And know the game plan of what to do if they do eat peanuts, such as if you need to learn how to insert and Epi Pen.

So if you're still reading, thank you for hanging in there!! I hope there was something in here that was informative and that you found helpful.  I realize that there are so many other awful awful allergies out there, and I'm so grateful that we are only just dealing with the one. I know that we have it so much easier compared so many other people.  If you are one of those people, I am so sorry! If any of you have questions let me know. Or if you have any helpful tips or things you have done please let me know! Down below is a link to a peanut allergy bracelet we bought for my son from Amazon. Quite a few people have asked about it so I thought I'd share it.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

3rd year of dental school is kind of dreamy

This year Derek is in his 3rd year at Dental school! I can't even believe we're half way done! Derek is now in the clinic and working on real patients rather than a fake dummy. He LOVES it! He's so happy and so excited for his future. It's awesome that he's found something he's so passionate about. I also love 3rd year because it means way less studying and more time spending time together as a family! It really has been a dream compared to the past 2 years. We've been able to do fun things in the evening and on the weekends with Derek and are loving every minute of it!

Derek at school the day they did laughing gas.  HAHA!

Our dental friend Jared was the lucky one who got to learn to do laughing gas on Derek

My kids are at such fun but busy stages.  They are constantly in the middle of everything, and are little balls of energy. They are both going through some hard core independence phases. It's awesome and hard all at the same time. Levi's new thing is getting dressed all by himself.  This is awesome because I can tell him to get his pajamas on or his clothes on for the day while I help Krew. However... along with this independence comes a lot of giving directions on my end. "Levi go put your clothes on. Please put your clothes on. It's time to get dressed. Ok, please stop what you're doing and get dressed. I will have to take your toy if you don't listen. Levi, Levi Levi...." Etc. etc. You get the point.  Along with following direction comes the fun joys of never knowing what Levi will want to wear for the day. It usually consists of a pair of plaid shorts with a striped shirt. Clashing colors such as red with orange, or a pair of high water pants that don't fit well.... Not to mention it's still 90 degrees outside so pants are not really an option at this point. Once Levi has gotten himself dressed comes the debate of whether or not it's worth talking him into wearing something that matches or just embracing his independence skills and the fact that he got himself dressed without any prompting. Levi is also my social kid. He talks non stop and LOVES playing with friends. He loves making people laugh and being the center of attention. I feel in my near future I will be dealing with raising the class clown. He has been proposed to by 4 girls, and kissed by several. He's kind of a ladies man.... so again, my near future is a little frightening. Levi is such a sweet kid and has a sensitive heart. He makes friends anywhere he goes and reaches out to the kids who no one else is playing with. He really is such a good sweet kid.
Such a stud (Photo cred: Julianna Earl)

Handsome young man behaving in church

Levi dressed himself with some clashing patterns haha

Just 2 weeks ago Krew suddenly is bursting with words. Before I would ask him to say something and he would tell me no. Now Krew doesn't stop talking! He labels all his animals by the sound they make. (Bawk bawk, quack quack, woof woof,) etc. It's kind of adorable. My favorite words he says right now are, Ewww, bye (Buuiii), and a whale. Krew has a green shirt with a whale on it. Anytime I put it on him he points to his belly and says, "a whaaaaalllle", all day long. It's hilarious, and believe it or not it never gets old. He is very expressional and makes the funniest faces. He is so so busy and never stops moving. But at the same time he's still an amazing cuddle bug when he wants to be. He started nursery a few weeks ago and is doing awesome. Krew also loves making us laugh, and by the way he has a killer smile. He squints his eyes tight and has one dimple. Anytime he laughs I just stop to stare at that little face. Krew is so busy, can be a bit whiny, but is such a sweet gentle guy. He melts me and dang the boy knows how to get what he wants. He is so sweet.... but don't be completely fooled.  He has a feisty side which he uses when things don't go quite his way. I remember sending Levi to nursery worried about him getting hurt. I sent Krew to nursery knowing that the kid can defend himself and get what he wants. Krew makes me laugh daily, but also keeps me on my toes.
Handsome young man behaving in church (Or I mean a staged picture to make it look like he was behaving)

I'm pretty lucky to have all 3 of these boys in my life. They're the best! And as for me.... I meal planned for the first time in a long time so that was a big deal. Haha. I have been busy with my church calling, and have had some fun times with my family and friends. I have some awesome friends down here... and I'm sad I don't have pictures of all of them, but I have had some fun girls nights recently. And not to mention the fun play dates that aren't only for the kiddos but for us mommies too. We seriously have so much support down here in Arizona being so far from home. Everyone of my friends are in similar situations with their husbands being in school or rotations.  I learn so much from my friends about how to be better. I am in a couple of book clubs which is always fun. Books and friends... what is a better combo? Also on Saturday mornings a group of us girls rotate teaching dance to each other. It's been so much fun. So far I've learned a clogging routine, bollywood dance, musical theatre routine, a ballet combo, and I taught a jazz dance. It's so fun to be able to learn different genres as well as keep up on some of my skills.  There are always fun social things going on down here and I love being around friends and staying busy. 

Eating in Prescott with Mckenna

At the Prescott Zoo with the Ure's

Chic Fil A dress like a cow and get a free meal day

New tradition of going to the temple one Saturday a month with these ladies

Photo Credit: Julianna Earl


Let's take an awkward picture of our matching nails...

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Random post on dental school and life

This week the stomach bug has hit full force!  It made for a very long and sad week, which ended in me deep cleaning our entire house. Get those germs OUT!

Derek had two tests this week, and he is stressed out of his mind about his test tomorrow.  So having the stomach bug in our home this week was pretty awful timing for Derek.  But having Derek gone studying all week has meant that I had the lucky opportunity to deal with two sick kiddos on my own.  Derek helped me on Sunday loads and loads.  Literally! He probably did 5 loads of laundry. But I spent 3 all nighters rubbing backs, and holding crying kids, and cleaning up puke.  It was so sad, and so exhausting.

I haven't seen Derek at all today, and I will only get to see him for about 20 minutes while we eat dinner, and then he's right back out the door to study for his Pharmacology test until about midnight tonight. I am not trying to complain.... but I feel that it's ok for me to have a human moment right? I think it's ok to admit that I miss my husband, that dental school is taking years off of our lives, and that being a mom to a toddler and baby is the most stressful yet rewarding things I've ever done in my life!

Dental school is crazy! It brings so many highs and oh so many lows!!  It's aged us, but yet we've grown and learned so so much! I've learned so much independence since Derek has been in dental school.  I don't have Derek home and able to help me open up jar lids, and fix broken toys, and help me lift heavy buckets of flour out of the top of the closet. Or in yesterday's case, I didn't have Derek to help me lift the bike and bike trailer off the hanger in the garage.... When I am left to do things... it's not pretty, at all! I look crazy.  I grunt, I cry, and sometimes curse words come out of my mouth.... and then it leads to immediate regret and repentance.  Being alone so much and raising kids is hard.  But I am so so so so so so so lucky!  I get to hear all the hilarious things Levi says everyday.  I get to hear Krew giggle everyday when I tickle him.  I get to pretend to be a pirate every day with Levi.  I get to watch Krew squint his eyes and flash a dimple every time he smiles. I get to watch the boys' eyes light up when they learn something new. I have the best job in the entire world, because I get to be with my kids all day everyday.  Now sometimes that leads to getting on each other's nerves.  It ALWAYS leads to huge messes, but it always always always ends in I love you's and wet slobbery kisses!

Dental school has been hard, but we will always look back at these years with smiles on our faces and the knowledge that, "those were the good days!" 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Our Summer

Arizona summers can be brutal.  Today is 112 degrees.... that's hot!  In order to survive the summer here in AZ you basically live indoors or in the pool. Here is what we've been up to this summer.

Derek took his boards the end of June.  After boards were done we went out to dinner with our good dental buddies.  I don't know what we'd do without them! Derek is in a study group with 3 other guys, and luckily us wives are great friends as well.  The 4 of us couples are good buddies.  Us wives get together Monday nights and watch The Bachelorette.  The hubbies all get together when they aren't studying and do whatever it is that guys do... usually play nintendo.  Once we found out that all 4 of the boys had passed, we once again celebrated by grilling at our house and playing games.  
Celebrating with dental friends

Monday mornings every week our ward does a playgroup.  During the summer we pool hop to different apartment pools or people's pools in our ward.  It's so much fun!  Levi is a little hesitant about the water and usually spends his time hanging out on the steps with the 1 year olds, and he throws random toys in the water and I fetch them for him.  Play group is the best for the kids to get out of the house and play with friends, and for us moms to get some social interaction in.

Tuesdays we would go to the Summer Movie club.  Which all that means is we would go to the movie and watch whatever kid show was playing that week.  When we first started going Levi was afraid of the theater.  It was dark and loud.... but by the end he was begging all week to go to the movies.  He LOVES going to the movies now.... and it was amazing getting out of the heat and sitting in a cold theater.

Wednesday we would go to Music Time.  The relief society leader in our ward is a music instructor at the middle school.  She decided to do a music time for all the toddlers in the ward.  She did an amazing job, and Levi practically lived for this day of the week.  He's so sad it's over, but continues to sing all of the cute little songs and does the actions with it.  She had awesome puppets and musical instruments, and even I looked forward to music time because it was so much fun!

We didn't have anything planned the rest of the week so basically we would play it by ear.  We are having such a fun summer, and this is the last summer Derek will ever have off again.  So we've loved spending time with him.  He has stayed busy all summer working on projects.  He's refinished a china hutch, built a cute bench and book shelves in the play room, repainted the entertainment center and built cupboard doors for them, built tons of decorations, and he even taught me how to build an entryway table.  I LOVE being married to a handyman.  It's pretty hott watching him build, and he has saved us soooo much money because he can fix and build almost anything.  He does such a great job, I really don't trust other people working on our things because Derek always does a perfect job.  
Front entryway table Derek helped me make

Some other things we've done this summer are gone to Chuck E Cheese (Levi asks to go every day, so we've been 3 times now), music time at the mall, Levi got invited to his first birthday party last weekend, play dates, chalk paint with friends, homemade puffy paint, library, went to an 80's themed birthday party, and I surprised Derek and took him on a fun date. We went and ate some yummy Thai food, then went to Casey's and played mini golf and did the batting cages.  I'm embarrassed to admit how long it's been since we've gotten a babysitter and went on a legit date.  It was so much and it made me feel pretty giddy haha.

Levi is TERRIFIED of Chuck E Cheese (yet he asks to go everyday)
Chuck E Cheese
Chalk paint with friends
Library impromptu puppet show

We are so blessed! We've had an awesome summer!  We've been safe, happy, healthy, and have spent time with amazing friends!  I'd say life here in Arizona is treating us pretty dang well!

Levi on his first date to the movies
Dawson kiddos (same last name, no relation to Hazel)

Puffy paint creations by Levi

Krew rolled over for the first time and it happened at the 80's party

80's themed birthday party

Date night!!! So much fun! I love my handsome hubby!