Thursday, December 30, 2010

1 Year Stats & Milestones.

Since I forgot in the post below, here's a brief wrap-up of Ava at one year old:

-First and foremost, she's awesome.
-She weighs 21.5lbs, and is 30.5" long.
-She not only walks, but runs circles around me. Literally. It's like training for the Austin marathon every. single. day.
-She says "mama", "dada", "baba", "hi", "bapa" (for backpack - too much Dora when A's with daddy...), "dora" (no joke. it's like she's tattling on him...).
-She can tell you what a doggie says ("oof"), what a monkey says ("ooh ooh ah ah") and what a kitty says ("ahhh"). Apparently our kitty has tonselitis judging by her kitty noise.
-If you ask her where something is in her favorite books, she can point at it.
-She LOVES books. She'll sit there and pretend to read them, turning the pages and pointing. This melts my heart.
-She nurses 4-5 times a day, with 1 of them falling in the middle of the night. Wah wah.
-We made it an entire year on breastmilk only. Not even a drop of supplementation. I'm proud of this :)
-She eats three meals a day, consisting of any number of solid foods.
-She still cannot tolerate dairy. We're uncertain about eggs.

I'm sure there is more, but I am here and, since David is off work, she is there, and my mind is blanking after a year of interrupted sleep.

I cannot wait to see what the next year brings!

Ava is 1!

So pictures will have to be added later, but I've found the time finally to post, and I wanted to take full advantage of it while I could! Unfortunately I'm still at work, but the girls are watching their allotted 30 minute show, and that's good enough for me!

So, without further adieu:


Holy moly.

I took it better than I thought. Part of me was sad, yes, that a year could honestly pass by in the blink of an eye. But a larger part of me was excited; excited to see what the next year will bring, how much joy it will be filled with, how many firsts I'll get to experience.

Cliche as it may sound, this year has been the best year of my life. From the very first moment I saw her, until we blew out the candle on her first cupcake Tuesday night, this year was, above all, perfect.

Motherhood, despite being the ultimate goal I had set for myself and for my life, has far exceeded my expectations. It's so funny to think back on the time before Ava was born, as I frantically prepared for her entrance into our lives. I thought I was just so busy, and while - to my credit - I did have a lot going on, I didn't know what busy was until I had a baby on my hip (or my breast!) while unloading the dishwasher and mopping up spit up with my foot while trying to carry on a conversation with A's pediatrician. But these aren't complaints. Life may be different, but life is wonderful.

I can't pinpoint the exact moment I became a mother emotionally, but I look back now and remember what I felt when we talked about c-sections in our birth classes last November. When they were describing taking the babies away to clean them up, I told David, "You have to stay with me, ok?" How silly that seems now. How silly, in truth, it seemed just minutes before they pulled her out. Who cares what happens to me if my baby is alone and scared? Not I, says this mama!

In short, this has been a year of magnificent transformations. I not only have learned to care for A and taught her new skills, but she's taught me something irreplaceable: how to be a mother.

I love you dearly, little A. You're a miracle, every day, every minute. I adore you, my heart, my soul.

Happy first birthday!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I got a piece of jewelry for Christmas. Unfortunately, it wasn't the piece of jewelry I've been praying for.

Now, don't get me wrong. I adore my earrings. They match the necklace I've been wearing every single day for four years that I love. But, at the risk of sounding ungrateful, I am very disappointed.

And that's all I really feel like saying about that.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Great Outdoors.

Thanks to my super awesome boss, we have a pretty baller, kid-friendly backyard. Well, minus the fact that our super strange hot but drought-y weather keeps our grass nice and dead and prickly half the year. But as far as toys go, we're pretty stocked, and they were all FREE. Have I mentioned how much I love both my job and the D's? I do! I do, I do, I do!

Anyhow, now that A is like super steady on her feet and can run around with me, I thought we'd try out some of her backyard toys. It's like Christmas every day around here! Check it out:

And a super short video of my adorable monkey sliding on her own! (It had to be short because I was worried she'd topple over!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

O, Christmas Tree.

I let A do the honors and put her beautiful, personalized baby's first Christmas ornament that her great-grandma Wendy sent to her on the tree first:

Catching Up...

So it's been a while since I've uploaded pics. And by a while, I mean two weeks at most. STILL. She grows by the minute it seems, so that's a long time!

Here's a few recent favorites:
A's "winter"* coat and hat:

Big smiles:

Snuggling mommy's sweatshirt. LOVE!

My little Christmas ornament thief!

*and by winter, I mean it's forecasted to be 82 here today. EIGHTY. TWO. WTF.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Potentially Going to Dig Myself Into a Hole Here...

OK. I'm not trying to offend. Really, I'm not. But I keep seeing the same thing over and over and I just DON'T GET IT.

Women, all over everywhere, are all, "Wah, wah, wah. I had a c-section." And while if you have been reading along for a year or so now, you'll know that going into labor, I didn't want one. But I had one. And I have never felt the need to be all down about it.

I just really don't get the sentiment. Hence why I don't follow people like unnecessarean and such on twitter, who I sometimes feel have the sole purpose of making you feel guilty about your choice/circumstances/etc.

So you had a c-section. I get that some women feel disappointed that they didn't get the "labor experience", though I would say a shocking amount of women labor and then have c-sections, so all you're missing out on is the pushing and Bummer. You were really gipped.


Hmm...maybe I'm being incredibly insensitive? Maybe after not having had a period in going on close to two years, I have a RAGING case of pent-up PMS? I am definitely irritated about every little stupid thing, so that wouldn't surprise anyone. In which case, ignore me.

I just don't get it.

I'm about 90% sure we're not having another. I feel more certain about this on a weekly basis, and not because A isn't the best thing in the world. More accurately, because she is. I don't need another. BUT...if I flat out knocked a screw loose and had a second child, I would shut down the VBAC option at doctor's visit number one. I have no issues with having a successive c-section.

So please. Enlighten me. Why are so many women so bent out of shape about c-sections?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spread the Love.

As I bought A's gazillionth Christmas and Birthday presents today, I thought that it would only be fitting that this year, and each year going forward, we also "adopt" a child in need to buy Christmas presents for. Unfortunately, this thought *may* have occurred to me a bit behind schedule, though I won't be sure until I talk to someone over at AISD tomorrow. Luckily, if I'm not able to do some good there, Nina posted over on her blog today about Compassion International, and some ways you can help a child overseas:

Some of the gifts you can purchase are a mosquito net ($10), a chicken ($16), vaccinations ($25), education supplies ($30), and a water filter ($55). For many of us, these prices are a fraction of what we’ll spend on Christmas gifts for our friends and family. But these little gifts can make a big difference in a child’s life:

- A mosquito net can protect a child from malaria-carrying mosquitoes in Africa.
- A chicken can be a source of income for a family in El Salvador.
- Vaccinations can rescue an infant who might otherwise die of a disease before the age of five.
- Educational supplies can help children in Burkina Faso, India, Haiti, Tanzania and Uganda with school fees, uniforms, and books they need to get an education.
- A water filter can clean up to 500 gallons of water a day and helps prevent waterborne diseases like cholera, typhoid, E. coli and hepatitis A.

You can view the entire list and make a purchase/donate here.

Tis' the season!

NOTE: I will ask you, though, to reconsider when giving to the Salvation Army. While it may seem unkind of me to purposely rally against what seems like a worthwhile effort, the Salvation Army not only implores business and hiring practices that discriminate against homosexuals, but they in fact work to keep homosexuals in a state of inequality and treat them as second class citizens. Won't you send your money and/or donations to a business and charity that isn't blind to equality?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gallop, Gallop.

That's the sound of me trotting around on my high horse. Just for this post today, I promise.

Even still, I approach this in the spirit of, "to each their own". But I do feel that informed decisions are always the best approach, particularly when it comes to your child's safety, and so for that reason, as our babies approach the age of one - the traditional age at which parents face their kiddos car seats forward - I wanted to share a bit of research in support of extended rear-facing for toddlers, courtesy of a wonderful blog I read daily, Heir to Blair.

A mother that I know from my previous mom's group was telling us about her plans to face her son backwards for the foreseeable future when Ava was just a few months old, and since then, I've done a bit of research on my own and plan to do the same. If for no other reason than...why not? What's it hurting me to keep her rear-facing? Not to mention, that car seat is kind of a beast to re-install, so it's technically saving me hours of blood, sweat and tears over trying to switch it!

Anyhow, I implore you to consider the research, and, if you need more info, to check out this video:

Ok, hopping off now.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Taking a Deep Breath!

Today was our consult with the Pediatric GI - the chief, to be precise and fancy! - and it went great!

There will be no endoscopy.

There will be no bloodwork.

There will be no torturing my child endlessly and/or needlessly.

We'll just "wait and see". He's about 12903810293% sure she'll outgrow it, though unsure when, and so until I wean A - which could be a while - I just avoid dairy. Which, compared to the alternative, is so 100% FINE. BY. ME.


As a side note, Ava is nearly 31", and 20lbs. She's lost a pound, but we're keeping an eye on it. It was a different scale and she was naked, so that probably is why :)

Happy Monday, everyone!

And Happy 1st Birthday, Asher!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What Do You Do All Day?

I frequently visit the hilarious and informative Boston Baby Mama blog, and her post today about being a SAHM received a comment with a link to this article in The Washington Post. It's SO dead on and so validating and so perfect of a way to respond to the question that I just had to share. Too bad it isn't longer, to include everything else we do on top of raising children, like running the home, balancing the checkbook & cutting costs, exercise and health, ...


Best friend has child. Her: exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today? Her: Park, play group . . .

Okay. I've done Internet searches, I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them EVERY DAY. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events) and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy -- not a bad thing at all -- but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a peeing contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions.

Tacoma, Wash.

Relax and enjoy. You're funny.

Or you're lying about having friends with kids.

Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.

Internet searches?

I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.

So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.

It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.

It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.

It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends, well-meaning and otherwise. It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.

It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything -- language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.

It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends, or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand or keep your snit to yourself.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Say What?!

Thursday, as you may have noticed from the picture post here, was our Christmas photo shoot. It was also supposed to be Ava's first year pictures, but we didn't get past the first outfit/background because *someone* was being a little hellion....


I have a bit of beef with the photographer. Sure, she was decent enough at trying to contain my shrieking, running ball of energy, but she made one cardinal mistake. As I grew increasingly exasperated with chasing little A around the entire studio, she said, "Welcome to life with a toddler!"

Uhh...say what?! I'm sorry, but that's my BABY you're talking about. I mean, sure she's babbling her life away in a tone that makes you think she might be talking back, and she can make it from one side of the studio to the other in seconds flat, but can't you spot an 11.5-month-old when you see one? Sheeeeeeeeeesh.

She's my BABY, damn it.


Ladies! When did our babies become..gulp...toddlers? WAH!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Friday to Me!

This post was initially going to go something like this:

Today sucked. The end.

But then, right before the end of business day, I got a call from a pediatric GI contracted with our insurance (for lack of a better way of putting it), and we have been successfully referred with an appointment set up for Monday at the not-even-remotely-dramatic cost of our $30 co-pay. Praise Jesus.

So, to recap. Monday. 1pm. Me, D and Ava have a consult with a pedi GI.

Now the real stress begins...wish us luck!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ava's Christmas Photo Shoot!

We have the keepers*:

The bloopers:

And my personal favorite:

*Mainly by default, since these are the only ones where she's a.)looking, and b.)not crying....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Good News, Bad News.

Good news first:

Ava's blood test was negative for the igE factor for milk and eggs. In other words, she does not have a true, a therefore lifelong, allergy to milk or eggs. For that matter, she isn't allergic to peanuts, shellfish, or anything else. WHEW!!!!

Bad news:

We're being referred to a pediatric gastroenterologist at Dell Children's Hospital. The doctor thinks - and perhaps the bloodwork suggests - that Ava has one of two things. Either she has FPIES, the more severe of the two he suspects, which is also known as Food Protein Induced Enteropathy Syndrome, or she has Dietary Induced Enteropathy Syndrome (I don't particularly like this acronym...). While both mean that at this point in time her stomach cannot digest the proteins in certain foods, which causes a gastrointestinal reaction, FPIES is a more severe form, which additionally causes a sharp decrease in blood pressure and lethargy. While I feel like it's more likely to be the latter - the dietary-induced (though since both are due to food proteins, these names really don't make much sense to me...)- since she doesn't seem to be showing changes in temperament or energy levels, if it does happen to be FPIES, it could be severe enough that if she consumes dairy or egg products, she could potentially end up in the hospital due to the drop in her blood pressure. Needless to say, despite my relative confidence that it's the less severe form, mama is a nervous wreck.

There's more. Dell Children's has the only pediatric GI doc in Austin, and, ridiculously, they also don't take our insurance. W.T.F. Are you kidding me?! They're a nationally renowned children's medical hub, and they don't take our (great!) insurance?!? I spent the whole of this day on the phone with a.) our insurance, b.) the allergist referring us, and c.) GI specialists in Central Texas who take our particular insurance, hoping one will see a not quite 1-year-old.

Which brings me to...the horror that is this doctor's visit. While I have yet to find a doctor and cannot confirm that this is what's going to happen, there is a high chance that the reason for the appointment will be a consult so that they can ultimately do an endoscopy on my baby. Yes, they may have to put A under general anesthesia, insert a tube down her tiny baby throat and into her little tiny baby belly, and do a biopsy. And THAT, my friends, is more than this mama can take :(

Of course if it is ABSOLUTELY necessary and critical, I will allow it - I would do anything for her. But in that anything is included that I will protect her and shelter her from anything and everything within my power, and if there is any other way they can go about this, they're not getting near my baby with a scope.

I'm really starting to hate Tuesdays :(

Anyone with experience with these kinds of things? Ever had your baby put under? Know of any ped. GI specs in Central Texas who see kids and are awesome? Know anything about either of these potential conditions? Have Dell Children's-accepted insurance and care to marry me so I can have Ava seen there by the best? Ok, ok, kidding about that last one...kind of. Either way, if you have any advice, I'm all ears!

The Scariest Thing in the World.

Ava choked. CHOKED. And not like made a little coughing noise. Like, I got to the step in the choking CPR steps where I swoop my finger into her teeny tiny throat in an attempt to clear her airway.

Thankfully, I succeeded.

Then, once I picked her up and held her in my arms and said a prayer of thanks to God and any and everyone who would listen and hugged her over and over and over, I stepped into the downstairs bathroom (while D supervised her) and sobbed like a little girl.

She's fine now. She was fine as soon as I removed the piece of pear that had managed to get caught in her airway. And I know that I cannot remove her solid food privileges or protect her from any and everything. But the fact that she choked at dinnertime the other night still has me all torn up inside, watching her every single second of mealtime, even with silly things that she eats with absolutely no problem.

I am so, so thankful that she's alright. I mean, THANK YOU GOD. And you know what else I'm extremely thankful for? My CPR and First Aid training I've been through for nannying and working in social work and the like. I am so thankful that I was able to kick into action and know exactly what to do.

SO...just as a quick refresher, here's what you should do if your baby starts to choke:
Quickly Assess the Infant
If the baby can't cough or cry, then he or she is probably choking. Have someone else call 911, and go to step 3. If no one is availabe to call 911, go to step 3 and try to help the baby for 2 minutes before stopping to call 911 yourself. If you think the baby is having an allergic reaction rather than choking on something, call 911 immediately.
If the baby is able to cough or cry, then he or she is able to breathe. Call 911 and watch the baby closely. If the baby suddenly stops coughing or crying and can't seem to breathe, go to step 3.

Give 5 Blows to the Back
Lay the baby face-down on your arm. Hold the baby's head with your hand to keep his or her neck straight. The baby's legs should be straddling your arm near the elbow.
Lean the baby down at an angle. The infant's head should be lower than his or her waist.

With the heal of your other hand, strike the baby between the shoulder blades 5 times.

Give 5 Chest Thrusts
Roll the baby from one arm to the other so that he or she is now laying face up. Keep the head cradled in your hand and the legs straddling your arm.
Hold the baby at an angle with his or her head low and give 5 chest thrusts. Use two fingers on the breast bone right between the nipples. Push down about an inch 5 times.

Look in the Baby's Mouth
If you see something in the baby's mouth, pull it out. Otherwise, keep your fingers out of the baby's mouth and repeat back blows and chest thrusts. Keep doing it until the baby coughs up the object.
If the baby becomes unconscious, begin infant CPR.

After 2 minutes of trying to dislodge the object, call 911 and keep trying.

I know how scary these directives are, but please. Learn them. Print them and keep them somewhere where you can see them. You CAN save your baby's life. You'd require it of your caregiver, wouldn't you? Require it of yourself.

OK, stepping off my soapbox now ;)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Vegan Chocolate (Cup)cake Recipe.

Today I got quite a bit done. I created some posts about celeb gossip (doesn't sound so productive, when you put it that way!), wrote about breastfeeding, and kicked off trial run numero uno of Ava's birthday cake. I've baked about a trillion cakes of all sorts in my lifetime, but never a vegan chocolate cake. That is, until today.

I didn't take any pictures because I am an idiot, but let me assure you, it was TASTY. I mean, seriously scrumptious, I-may-be-a-vegan-convert type of tasty. I'm pretty sure that trial number one was such a raging success that we've found our birthday cake recipe, friends!

Without further adieu:

Easiest Chocolate Cake:

2 1/4 cups organic all-purpose flour
2 cups organic cane sugar
1 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract
2/3 cup organic canola oil
2 teaspoons organic white vinegar
2 cups cold water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans, or place liners in 2 muffin pans for 24 cupcakes. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the vanilla extract, oil, vinegar, and cold water.
Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, being careful not to overmix. The mixture will be quite wet, but this is okay.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. For cupcakes, the baking time is 24 to 26 minutes.
Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool.

I chose cupcakes, mainly because I'm leaning towards doing cupcakes for her birthday, with a little Ava-sized smash cake for her to demolish. Seeing as how the lovely Danielle posted this cupcake-cake design for me earlier, I'm glad I did. Thank you, Danielle! That looks awesome!

I guess I know what is on the agenda for later this week...

Let's Talk Birthday.

As you know, Ava turns one in 22 days. GAH! How?!?! Why?!?! Wahhhhhhhh.

Anyway, let's get down to business. Over the weekend, I ordered her birthday party supplies. I had wanted to do Elmer the Elephant if you'll remember, but as it turns out I was going to have to either shell out some mega $$ to have someone make the supplies for me, or make them myself. And I don't know about y'all, but I don't have that kind of time, and can't justify that kind of money.

SO, new theme:

(It's actually much cuter and involved than this picture makes it seem, but the better images are flash and won't let me save to my computer...grrr!)

Owls are so stinkin' cute, I just couldn't resist. Thoughts? I ordered plates, cups, napkins, the whole shebang! I also threw in a centerpiece, balloons, crepe paper, party hats and a personalized banner for kicks and giggles. I may not have been giggling come checkout, but hey - she's only one once! And to be honest, it really wasn't too bad. I managed to find an online coupon code for free shipping, which immediately knocked $7.95 off the price. (Note: I highly suggest scouring the interwebs for coupon codes via a quick google search - they're out there!)

Anywho, now that we have a theme shipped and on it's way, it's time to talk the good stuff: cake. Or cupcakes. That is the question.

Also, as you all know since I have beat it into your heads every day since April, A is dairy-free, meaning we have to do a vegan cake (at least for her and I!). SO...with that said, check out these badass cakes I found online:

Holy balls, for lack of a more appropriate term. Who are these parents and where are they hiding their resident Martha Stewart? How can I recreate any of these, and more importantly, how can I recreate them with VEGAN ingredients??! I'm screwed, aren't I???

Anyone know where I can find an owl cake pan of any brand that isn't wearing a damn graduation hat?!?!

Thank you, friends. You're lifesavers.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sleepy Sunday.

Santa Claus Has Come to Town!

Dude...she doesn't like Santa. Like, this is the only picture she took where she wasn't balling hysterically. And only because I'm in it too, and we borrowed this pup from under the tree:

Better luck next year? Though, doubtful. Better luck when she's school-aged?

Friday, December 3, 2010

'Tis The Season...

...for holiday parties, endless gift shopping, and Christmas cards!!

I don't know about you, but I absolutely love mail this time of year, especially because of my years spent as a nanny. It never fails that even if I haven't heard from a family I worked for five years ago all year, I'll inevitably open up my mailbox one cold (ha! It was nearly 80 here today!!) December day to see their (albeit older) beautiful smiling faces. And who better to get your holiday cards from than the picture experts at Shutterfly?!?!

Each year it seems that almost every single card that pours in is from Shutterfly, and I absolutely adore checking out the enormous variety they offer with regards to their designs!

If you haven't been over to their site yet this year to place your order, the time is now! What are you waiting for? Click here to go straight over to their huge holiday card selection and choose your own from their plethora of designs. Even if Christmas isn't your thing, I can assure you there'll be a card for you to personalize with the message and background of your choice!

If holiday cards in general don't float your boat, or you're looking for that extra special gift for a relative this year, what better gift can you give than a personalized calendar or photo mug with your wee ones picture! Seeing as how this is Ava's first Christmas, I know that my family wants nothing more than to see her cheesy little grin plastered anywhere and everywhere they can!

For my own holiday cards, I'm torn between a few different designs. Care to vote?

1.I love the simplicity and focus on the one image...

2.My biggest issue with this one is the main color being blue...not that Christmas-y, but pretty just the same!

3.Love the multi-image format, particularly given the thousands of pics I've taken this year...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Texas Texas Yee Haw!

On a side note, not sure I'm feeling this new background. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Poor Little A!

Man, Ava had a hard day. And while we're being honest, mommy did too!

Today was our appointment with the allergist to look further in to what is causing A's reactions to certain foods. She's been displaying classic milk allergy/milk protein sensitivity signs since birth (though I wasn't able to figure out what exactly was going on until she was a few months old), but reacted to eggs a few weeks back when I gave her scrambled eggs for the first time, so at that point I knew I needed a couple of things. For one, having a baby who is unable to consume both dairy products (including milk, cheese, butter, whey, casein, etc.) and egg poses some issues with regards to what she CAN eat, and with her expanding appetite and desire to eat any and everything D and I are eating, I knew I'd need help to manage her dietary restraints and still ensure she was getting sufficient nutrition and calories for her needs. I also wanted to have her tested for allergens that tend to be more severe and can potentially be life-threatening, including peanuts and tree nuts, so that if God forbid she had an allergy to them and it was severe, we'd be armed with an epi-pen and the information we'd need to be prepared. I've been in situations before as a nanny where a child was over and was so severely allergic to nuts, their presence in the pantry near a snack he consumed was enough to send him to the hospital...SCARY.

Anyhow, the visit went pretty great, I must say. The doctor was amazing (seriously, if you're in the Austin area and need a rec. for an allergist, email me! I'd 100% recommend our doc for children AND adults!), and was really thorough and listened to all my concerns and questions without making me feel like an overzealous parent. Thanks, doc. They did a standard 8 panel food allergy test, which tested for the most common food allergens, including milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, corn and two controls to ensure the tests were working.
{Such a brave little girl!}

The good news? First, I am super proud of my brave little munchkin, who - despite looking extremely annoyed - didn't even cry! She did, however, continuously look at the nurse over her shoulder until she left the room, though, as if to say, "I don't trust you for a second, lady!" The best news? Ava tested for negative on everything except for corn, and he said that corn has an extremely high rate of false positives. SHE TESTED NEGATIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So what does that mean for us going forward, and for her current issues? A couple of things. First off, chances are instead of a true allergy, which would likely be lifelong, she has digestive sensitive to the proteins in milk and egg whites. Okey dokey, no problem. I avoid them while nursing, she avoids them until we revisit this per the doctor's suggested timeline, and the odds are skyrocketing that she'll outgrow them as her stomach matures. THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!!

The bad news?
-There is a high rate of false negatives, so we're not entirely in the clear until the blood test results that accompany the skin test comes back.
-She had to have a blood draw. OMG. She's had one once before, and let me tell you, there is NOTHING wrong with homegirl's memory. She knew immediately where we were (even though it was a different CPL location) and what was about to happen, and started to let out the most blood curdling screams. Seriously, it was heartbreaking. She was screaming and hyperventilating, trying to wrestle her way out of my arms, all the while turning beat red, sweating and, sadly, vomiting. She was hysterical, and mommy had tears falling fast down her cheeks as well. It was pitiful. Poor darling. She came home and zonked right out:

Thankfully, it's over, and as long as the bloodwork looks OK, fingers are crossed that we just got some answers and that they're great news :)

I'll keep y'all posted when we know for sure!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Y'all Ready For This?

So...there's been a bit of interest in hearing about my former life as a NYC nanny, and as such, I thought I'd appease you all, and start confessing.

Catch all the dirty gossip here :) Care to follow along?

Favorite Thing..Monday?

A few of the blogs I frequent have participated in Favorite Thing Friday, which I've always liked and found helpful and informative. I participated myself a few times back during my pregnancy, but weekly postings have given way to postings about Ava, exhaustion, working motherhood and marriage, and I've managed to continuously forget to participate. Anyhow, long story short, today - while it's actually on my mind - I will be participating in FTF either three days late, or four days early. Four days early has a nice ring to it, right?

We haven't done a ton of traveling since Ava was born, aside from a trip to California to see my side of the family (where we stayed in a baby-equipped relative's guest area), and a trip to D's parents in April, back before Ava was really eating solid foods, so this was the first opportunity we had to use Ava's portable, folding cloth high chair by My Little Seat.

The seat was something we had added to our registry thinking it would come in handy for traveling to the grandparents, and boy was that thinking right on target! Check out how amazing this thing was while we were out of town for Thanksgiving:

If you see a bit of travel in your future, I highly recommend! Plus, they're only $20!!!!
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