Today I went to Blake's Parent-Teacher conference with his preschool teacher.  We went over the normal stuff, like how he writes his name and holds his pencil, and we discussed not-so-normal stuff like food allergies.

I brought up that I would love it if maybe parents could not send in candy with valentines, and if any did that maybe Blake's teachers could just hold the candy ones out of Blake's bag.  They thought this was a reasonable request and told me that his preschool was thinking of going completely nut free.  

I'm obviously all for this.

Blake's teacher has a daughter that avoided all nuts for a while and is still highly allergic to cashews and mangos.  She explained that after seeing the severity of her daughter's reactions that she completely understands why food allergy parents have to be so mindful.

Blake's allergies are severe and sensitive.  He can't have anything that has even touched a nut, so anything that is made or packaged in shared facilites or on shared equipment is a no-go for us.  

Many people don't understand why we can't be more relaxed about it, and my answer is this: I have seen my son have allergic reactions so bad that I never want to see another allergic reaction again.  

I tried to look up on youtube for some videos of anaphylactic reactions.  I don't know why or how anyone would be able to video an emergency situation like that, but I was curious and I wanted to see if maybe someone had caught it on tape accidentally.  

Unfortunately (or fortunately), I couldn't find anything, but I am going to tell you what an anaphylactic reaction to a food can include.  

Anaphylaxis is a LIFE THREATENING allergic reaction.  
It can occur at any time to any one, but those with history of allergic reaction are obviously more at risk.
Symptoms can develop quickly, within seconds or minutes.  My son's reactions to peanuts are instant.

The symptoms of allergic reactions may include any of the following:
Hives and Itching
Itchy or Swollen Mouth
Itchy/Runny Nose or Sneezing
Shortness of Breath/Coughing Repetitively/Wheezing
Becoming Pale, Blue, Faint, or Dizzy
Weak Pulse
Throat Becomes Tight/Hoarse
Difficulty Swallowing or Breathing
Repetitive Vomiting
Severe Diarrhea

Allergic reactions are scary.  We have to keep Benadryl and Epi-Pens/Auvi-Qs on hand at all times.  

Please learn how to use Epi-Pens and Auvi-Qs by clicking their names.  The videos are short and will help in an emergency situation and could save a life.  

You may not know of anyone with severe allergies yet, but that doesn't mean you never will.  My husband had his first reaction to shrimp when he was 25, after we had been married for 2 years.  His throat swelled up after having crab at a nice steak house and we had no idea what was going on.  Now I know the signs to look for and I have educated myself on how to use life-saving epinephrine, and I hope you will, too.  You never know when you may need to use it.

To learn more about food allergies, please visit the FARE website.   You will find many valuable resources there.

The Baseball Wife

Today marks 8 years married to my best friend.  

When I walked down the aisle at FireSky Resort in Scottsdale in January 2007, I knew I wanted to be with this man more than anything, although I wasn't really sure what I was jumping into with his career.  

I didn't know how long baseball would last.  I didn't actually think we would ever make it to the major leagues at the time.  Just a month later, we packed up everything in our apartments and our lives, and we drove across the country to our first spring training as a married couple.  I had no clue what I was in store for.

In the past 8 years I have celebrated his triumphs and cried for his setbacks.  
We have moved 21 times.
We had had 3 babies, 2 of which came at once.
I have flown with our son more times than I can count.
I have made countless friends on the 4 major league and 2 minor league teams we have been with.
We have spent entire seasons together, and we have spent time as a long-distance marriage.

And whenever it's come down to fight or flight, we have chosen to fight for our marriage every time.

If you're a new spouse, girlfriend, or fiancee to baseball.  I'm here to tell you that it's easy at times, and it's hard at times, but it's worth it.  

Happy Anniversary my Love!  I am beyond amazed at the life we have built together, and I look forward to what the rest has in store for us.  My favorite presents from you are Hazel, Skylar & Blake.  Marrying my best friend brought me even more love than I ever knew my heart could hold.  

The Baseball Wife

Recently, I opened my daughter's first barbies.  I found them sitting in their closet, just waiting to be played with after I bought them last Christmas because I was so excited to be shopping for girls.  

The girls each got one from the boxes and looked at their new dolls with curiosity.  

"This was mommy's favorite toy growing up."

I know there is a lot that people have to say about Barbies, and I'm not here to defend the way her body looks.  To be honest, I don't think I really thought about Barbie's body when I was a kid.  The most I noticed about her body was that her legs didn't bend all the way when she was sitting, and that some came with straight arms and some came with bent arms.  I didn't compare my body to hers.  I thought she was pretty, of course, and I also thought that princesses were pretty, beauty queens were pretty, girls going to prom were pretty, brides were pretty, and my mom was pretty.

I think that we as parents may put too much emphasis on things like bodies that our kids probably wouldn't even consider if we weren't pointing it out.  Why would I let a doll decide the way my daughters feel about themselves, anyway?  It's my job, as their mother, to help provide them with the strength they need to face the society we live in and to go out into it as strong young women that are confident in themselves and their bodies.  

I'll be ok with my daughters playing with Barbies as they grow up because Barbie helped create friendship for me that has lasted a lifetime.

My sister and I had a huge Barbie collection growing up.  My parents literally had to partition off part of the basement so that all our Barbies could live it up in their Malibu Dream House with their boyfriends, the New Kids on the Block.  Yeah, we didn't get the point of Ken, he was obviously too clean cut, and we needed boys with a little more grit.  Makes sense, now, that my sister is engaged to a guy that grew up in Boston.  

This is the version of the dream house we had.  We LOVED that house.

I remember my first Barbie.  She had a gown that was also a handbag.  And she could take the handbag part of the gown off and have a cute short dress underneath.  I loved dressing her, I loved all the barbie shoes.  I remember the Miss America barbies we got, and cowgirl barbie, and all the skippers, too.  Oh and let's not forget my favorite, totally hair barbie.  I think I had that one in every variety she came in.  

Totally Hair Barbie.  My fave.  

My sister and I played Barbies together daily.  When I think of the countless hours we spent playing barbies and being friends, I look forward to my daughters doing the same.  I can't wait until I hear them playing make believe with their dolls, creating memories that they will have when they have daughters of their own.  

What do you think of your daughters playing with Barbies?  Are you for or against it?  
The Baseball Wife