Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hooray For Summer!

I really thought that when school was out that we'd have more time to relax and just enjoy the day.  So far, not so much.

I feel like we've been even busier than when we were in school.

We've had lots of doctor appointments due to Middle Man's asthma being out of control.  Poor kid has been on steroids for weeks now.  This pollen season has really knocked him for a loop.

We've also had several birthday parties.  Only one of which was ours.  Even though Middle Man's birthday isn't until July 9, I had his party last weekend because it was a day when we had no other activities.  Middle Man will actually be at Boy Scout camp on his actual birthday (with dad so dad can cook for his food allergies).

And as an allergy reminder:  One of Middle Man's parties was at an indoor trampoline park that we had not been to before.  I went on their website to check them out and I happened to notice that it said "No Outside Food Allowed".  I called them and they said that due to his allergies, they would mark down that someone from that specific birthday party was bringing in their own food.  I don't always remember to check on these things as we have not encountered much push back on bringing in outside food.  But it's a good reminder to always call or check on line in new situations.  This was a new friend of his too.  And I did not know the mom.  When I got there, I planned on staying if she wasn't comfortable with being trained on the Auvi-Q.  But when we checked in I asked the woman working the front desk if anyone there was trained on food allergies and how to use epinephrine and she said she was.  Her own child has peanut/tree nut allergies and unfortunately she's administered epinephrine before.  So I felt comfortable leaving him there.  Which was good because the Little Monkey was already screaming and throwing fits (I WANT TO JUMP!  I WANT TO JUMP!) 5 minutes after we got there.

And it has rained here so much that we haven't even gotten to the pool or the zoo yet.

We have played lots of baseball though even though we've also had lots of rain outs.  And Older Boy is enjoying the season.  They are actually doing really well this year.  This is the first year that he's been on a team that has won more than they lost in a long, long time.  I think it's been good for his self esteem to actually win for once.

I also signed up both boys for Summer Enrichment. They were not happy about it, but I think it's really good for them.  It's only for an hour one day a week.  I think they'll survive it.

And on a sad note, we lost another teacher a few weeks ago.  She passed away from cancer.  Please say a prayer for her family.  She was only 7 days older than me.

So today it's finally warm and sunny out.  I need to find the Little Monkey's pool and set it up.  He hasn't even used it yet.

Hope everyone is having a safe and fun summer so far!!

Monday, June 01, 2015

Along Came Pollen - Jon Stewart and The Daily Show

This video is hysterical. I was totally cheering on Jon Stewart through this whole video, then Mike Tringale from the AAFA came on and set the record straight. Maybe this really is the worst allergy season ever...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Last Few Days Of The School Year

We are winding down the school year.

All 3 band concerts are done.

The Spring Performance (5-8 grade) is done.

Unfortunately the day of the spring performance, one of Older Boys teachers suddenly passed away.  She wasn't ill and it was very unexpected.  Sunday was the wake and yesterday was the funeral.  Today is their first day back since it happened.  I know they are having a prayer service this morning and then counselors will be in all day to talk to the students if needed. 

The last few days have been very sad.  Older Boy has been very quiet.  We took him to lunch after the funeral to give him some time to decompress or to talk before we brought him home to his crazy brothers.  He's not saying much other than he's "processing".  I told him to please speak to a counselor today if he wants or needs to.  I did not know the teacher very well, but we had been in contact quite a bit this year due to Older Boy have some struggles in school.  The day she passed away, she sent me a very nice email letting us know that Older Boy did very well on his final test and that she was very proud of the improvement and hard effort he's been putting in.  She was a wonderful teacher and I think Older Boy thought very highly of her (as did I).  Please keep that family and our school community in your prayers.

Our Memorial Day weekend was fairly low key.  We did go to a family wedding Saturday night and the Little Monkey stole the show with his dance moves.  That boy loves to dance!  It was buffet style dining so I felt it was just easier and safer to bring safe food for Middle Man.  It just works out so much better that way.  And he's fine with it.  We did leave a bit early because the Little Monkey was starting to melt down and Middle Man's asthma got very bad.  He is struggling so badly this spring with his asthma.

The pollen here is terrible.  Even I'm experiencing horrible allergies and I don't normally have any symptoms.  It's hard because we are stuck in the house all winter due to the extreme cold and now stuck in the house all spring because of pollen.  I've had the air conditioning on because it's just too awful to open the windows. 

I did manage to get some yard work done over the weekend.  We are revamping the garden and I haven't gotten any plants or flowers yet, but most of the flower beds are cleaned up and ready to go.  Next up is mulch. 

We also paid our yearly visit to Thomas the Tank Engine.  The Little Monkey loved it.  I figure we'll see Thomas for a few more years to come.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend.  Only 8 more days of school for us until Summer break.  I'm ready.  And I know the boys are too.

This years Thomas picture.  Middle Man wasn't in the picture because his asthma was acting up badly and he had to go lie down in the car.

Double rainbow from yesterday.  The rainbows always appear over that barn.  One day I'm going to sneak over there and check for gold :)
And of course we are glued to the TV watching basketball.  GO CAVS!!

Friday, May 15, 2015

I Love Someone With Food Allergies

A few of the images that I've used on social media this week.  Food Allergy Awareness Week May 10-16 2015

Don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a free bottle of Bona Free and Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

AAFA Certifies Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner: Give Away!

Recently, the makers of Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner contacted me to let me know that it was recently certified allergy friendly by the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America. It is now part of an elite group of products that have passed the rigorous certification process of the Asthma & Allergy Foundation. Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor cleaner is a non-toxic, effective hardwood floor cleaner that removes at least 93.33% of allergens from hard surface floors. They offered me a free sample to try, but unfortunately I have tile or carpet throughout my home (although I long for hardwood floors).  Since it wasn't something I would be able to take advantage of, they offered to hold a give away for all you lucky hardwood floor owners out there.

So thanks to Bona, I will be giving away a free bottle of Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner to one lucky winner.

Here are a few facts that they sent me about the cleaner:

·       Free of dyes and scents, Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner cleans effectively and is hypo-allergenic so it is safe for allergy-sensitive families.

·       All Bona products are infused with more than 90 years of innovation and experience to keep floors looking beautiful.

·       Hardwood floors are cleaner and healthier. The Mayo Clinic recommends removing carpet in the home and replacing it with hard surfaces to ensure healthier air quality. Hard surfaces make it more difficult for allergens to penetrate and cling to the floor.

The contest will be held 5-13-15 to 5-20-15.  Please enter to win via the rafflecopter widget below.  1 winner will be chosen.  Leave a comment letting me know what allergies you or your loved ones deal with for 1 chance to win.  There are other ways to get more chances. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Food Allergy Awareness Week: An Interview With Jerome Bettis

Food Allergy Awareness Week May 10-16 2015

Last week NFL Hall of Famer Jerome "The Bus" Bettis paid a visit to Washington D.C. to speak about issues and initiatives that surround those with severe food allergies.  Along with Sanofi U.S., the makers of Auvi-Q, and in conjunction with the Asthma & Allergy Network, Jerome met with lawmakers to raise awareness about anaphylaxis, advocate for access to emergency epinephrine and to create awareness of Auvi-Q.  This is the 18th year for this event and it took place from May 5th through May 8th.

While Jerome was in Washington D.C., I had the pleasure of being able to speak with him and ask him a few questions about the event and the advocacy that he was doing for the food allergic community.

Is this your first time on Capitol Hill?

Jerome:  "No, this is my second time.  I was here 18 years ago with the Allergy & Asthma Network, but at that time we were promoting asthma awareness.  This is my first time promoting food allergy awareness.  Today I will be speaking at the Congressional Luncheon and then meeting individually with Pennsylvania lawmakers from the Pittsburgh area".

What would you like to see Congress do to help those with food allergies?

"Help create awareness for food allergies.  They need to know that the Auvi-Q is a viable option for dealing with anaphylaxis.  Auvi-Q is something new and I'm trying to get the word out and also explain what anaphylaxis is and that it's life threatening".

What can we do to promote awareness in our own communities?

"Continue to be diligent with explaining to everyone around us what food allergies are and that anaphylaxis is life threatening".

Do you find that because the Auvi-Q is new that people aren't aware of it?

"Yes.  That's why we need to get the word out that there are other options.  People can learn more about the Auvi-Q at ".

How long ago were you diagnosed with food allergies and what are you allergic to?

"I was diagnosed 27 years ago and I'm allergic to shellfish.  Awareness and options weren't there when I was first diagnosed.  I had no action plan and that was very scary.  Now I'm able to carry my two Auvi-Q's with me at all times".

What is the most important thing that someone newly diagnosed with food allergies should know?

"First, that food allergies are life threatening.  Second, how to take the necessary steps to protect yourself from your allergens.  Ask the right questions to those around you and notify the right people about your food allergies.  And ALWAYS carry your Auvi-Q's".


I am so thankful to Jerome for taking the time out of his busy schedule to speak with me.  I also can't thank him enough for all of the wonderful work he does advocating for those with food allergies.  He is a true asset to the food allergy community and the work he does is invaluable and definitely makes a huge difference.

To learn more about the Auvi-Q epinephrine autoinjector, visit the Auvi-Q website.  There you will find out what the Auvi-Q is and how it works along with information about diagnosing and living with food allergies.  You can also find Jerome Bettis' Severe Allergy & Anaphylaxis Playbook, a 16 page guide to help those living with food allergies avoid their allergens and to know what steps to take in the event of an allergic reaction.

Auvi-Q® (epinephrine injection, USP) is used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) in people who are at risk for or have a history of these reactions.

Important Safety Information
Auvi-Q is for immediate self (or caregiver) administration and does not take the place of emergency medical care. Seek immediate medical treatment after use.

Each Auvi-Q contains a single dose of epinephrine. Auvi-Q should only be injected into your outer thigh. DO NOT INJECT INTO BUTTOCK OR INTRAVENOUSLY. If you accidentally inject Auvi-Q into any other part of your body, seek immediate medical treatment. Epinephrine should be used with caution if you have heart disease or are taking certain medicines that can cause heart-related (cardiac) symptoms.

If you take certain medicines, you may develop serious life-threatening side effects from epinephrine. Be sure to tell your doctor all the medicines you take, especially medicines for asthma. Side effects may be increased in patients with certain medical conditions, or who take certain medicines. These include asthma, allergies, depression, thyroid disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

The most common side effects may include increase in heart rate, stronger or irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea and vomiting, difficulty breathing, paleness, dizziness, weakness or shakiness, headache, apprehension, nervousness, or anxiety. These side effects go away quickly, especially if you rest.

Talk to your healthcare professional to see if Auvi-Q is right for you.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please click here for Full Prescribing Information.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Bunny Picture

I realized that I forgot to share this picture.  I must share it, because I shared all the other ones from the older two boys and I can not leave out the Little Monkey (poor kid has practically no baby book).

The Little Monkey did pretty well.  He kind of liked the bunny.  He was kind of wary.  I don't blame him.  I mean it is a giant, slightly scary looking bunny.

I wanted to get there at 10 a.m. right when the bunny started but we were running behind (as usual) and got there around 10:20 a.m.  I was surprised to see a line waiting and no bunny.  Could he be on break already?  I know the bunny tends to get hot due to all that fur, but it had only been 20 minutes.

No he wasn't on break.  Turns out that the bunny was a no show.  The young man working that day was visibly upset and couldn't get a hold of the bunny nor his supervisor.  So we left and went shopping, had lunch, and just walked around.  Two hours later, the bunny was ready.  The bunny seemed familiar to me.  Turns out the young man from the morning ended up being the bunny.  You can see the shoe string of his Jordan sneakers hanging out of the bunny foot.  At this point the line was fairly long and Little Monkey started melting down.

But it all worked out in the end.  We got the picture and the older boys were good sports to be in the picture too.