Girls just wanna have fun.

As I mentioned yesterday, last weekend was a hectic one. It was also a monumental one.

Emery hosted her very first sleep over.

Her best friend came to our house with her pillow, stuffed bunny and impossibly small suitcase to catch some shut eye.

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Only there wasn’t much shut eye.

Josh and I were exhausted from the go-go-go of a long week and we couldn’t even muster to energy to clean up from the morning’s birthday party. So being excellent parents and hosts, the girls dined on take out and watched a Minnie Mouse movie on the floor while Josh and I collapsed on the couch. That’s fun, right?

The girls thought so.

It’s pretty ironic that they are called sleepovers. Because I assure you, there wasn’t much sleep happening.

But there was a lot of giggles, bouncing around and general mischief. At 3 a.m. And 4 a.m. and 5 a.m.

And isn’t that what it’s really about, anyway?

Adding to the madness, that night also held one of the loudest and brightest thunderstorms  in recent memory. So even when we did manage to quiet the giggles for a few minutes, the girls were right to shrieking and bouncing with each roll of thunder.

When I woke them at 7 a.m., it was a flash back to college.

IMG_5415Those girls partied hard.

But really, for being just shy of 4 years old, I think they did wonderfully. No tears for momma from our sweet guest and Emery didn’t ask me to send her friend home (which according to my mother, I did quite often when I had friends over).

But next time?

The sleepover is at someone else’s house.

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Negative.

The past five or six days have been crazy. And by crazy I mean no sleep, lots of running errands, shuttling children, birthdays, helping friends and lots and lots and lots of cleaning. So really just normal responsibilities motherhood but on steroids and with a husband who was out of town.

What was worse than actually having to accomplish everything on my list was that my mind has been clouded and my shoulders burdened worrying over two appointments that are happening this week.

Blair had her yearly appointment with the allergist this morning. I knew they were going to do another skin test to confirm the presence and severity of her dairy allergy and to make sure no new allergies have developed.

Has your child ever had a skin test? Basically, they mark up your child’s back and then add specific allergens to each spot along with a control to ensure the body reacts to the histamine. The nurse uses a small needle to prick each area and then you wait 20 minutes for a reaction. In a waiting room. With a child. Who is more than likely having mini-allergic reactions on his or her back that itches and burns. After 20 minutes, they come in and check the size and severity of each reaction.

I love our allergist. Instead of doing a full panel, he suggested she only be retested for dairy  and added a cinnamon test since she’s had a few reactions after coming in contact.

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Do you see that picture on the bottom right? That’s her back during the test. Notice that “M” written on her back? That’s for milk. Do you see a hive next to it? No?

That’s right.

The allergy test for milk came back negative.

Negative!

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This is huge. Based on the severity of her reactions and past tests, we were not confident she would outgrow this allergy.

And the cinnamon? Negative, too. Apparently cinnamon is a very common skin irritant but doesn’t – for most people – pose any serious danger.

Negative.

I was shocked because she’s in the middle of an eczema flare which is typically always caused by the accidental ingestion of dairy or loads of gluten. Or another allergy yet to be determined. But now I guess we’re just raising a lass with very sensitive skin. It’s possible that her skin is and will always be affected by dairy and gluten but I will gladly handle a food sensitivity versus an allergy any freaking day of the week.

This is just the first step towards what is hopefully the end of my journey parenting an allergic child. The allergist wants a blood test to confirm the skin test’s findings. In two weeks we’ll head to the allergist’s office for a four-hour food challenge. Over two hours, she’ll ingest increasing amounts of milk under the nurse’s supervision. Then she will be monitored for the next two hours to make sure no reactions occur. I’m not looking forward to it and figuring out what to do with Em for that time but… I am not complaining.

To celebrate, Blair and I went to our favorite hang out to load up on Easter basket goodies.

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I really hated to be that mom who uses the double shopping cart with only one child but the girl wanted it and she just got a negative skin test, darn it.

And fairy baby needed somewhere to ride.

I managed to get the fixings for two pretty awesome Easter baskets that will not include a single piece of candy. Squeee!

Today’s a good day. Who knew something negative could be so wonderful?

One becomes Two.

On Friday, my sweet little one year old became a spicy little two year old.

She’s still sweet with her never ending kisses and hand holding.

SONY DSCPractically overnight she developed a borderline unhealthy independent streak. In addition to the typical amount of times a 2-year-old shouts, “NO! I do it” in one day, Miss Bossy also wants to do everything her older and more capable sister can despite just not being physically able. Last week, we managed to fall not once, but twice and land squarely on our forehead. Once after going potty (my fault) and again after insisting she climb into her car seat unassisted (still my fault). Matching bruises, left and right. As if she was sprouting little bruised horns.

With some purple shading and a little road rash, we celebrated my little one turning the big dos with a party of balloons, lollipops and everything yellow. The perfect Blair approved trifecta. A party isn’t really a party without guests but, you see, sweet Blair isn’t really one for crowds. In fact, she isn’t really a fan of people with the exception of a few privileged folks. She’d rather hang out with the big girls (an entire year older) than other toddlers her size. So really, Emery enjoyed a party and shared it with two of the four toddlers who’s presence Blair will acknowledge.

SONY DSCIn all sincerity, despite all of her weird allergies, intolerances and the personality quirks, I wouldn’t change a thing about this girl. She is my sunshine. She’s my laugh. She’s the right amount of sweet and spicy.

She loves princesses and makeup. She can count to 12 and sing you a song. She’ll steal your nose and heart.

Welcome to the wild world of being 2.

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Easily distracted.

I frequently tease Josh about his lack of focus when it comes to finishing tasks. While he can sit and pore over detailed spreadsheets and orchestrate the movements of heavy equipment and materials with with fluidity of a orchestra conductor, he lacks a certain attention to detail when it comes to putting away paint brushes or socks.

I tease him about this often and yet here I am this morning, in a childless house, unable to tackle any of the oh so numerous items that need to be accomplished by 1 p.m.

The busy season is upon us and our house is turned upside down. Not a good combination. After living here for 3 years, we’re finally reached a calm in the storm and have two able bodied adults and a bit of time to dedicate to hour projects. But let no one fool you – when there are two little hurricanes spinning in your home, it takes much more than spare time to get tasks done. Motivation and focus are also key.

Now, I have the motivation. But the focus?

Not so much.

I sat down to write a to-do list and here I am, writing a blog post.

Can someone stage an intervention?

Or at least come and wipe down baseboards and ceiling fans?

Do people actually make a point to wipe down baseboards and ceiling fans on a regular basis?

Clean House

Clean House (Photo credit: libertygrace0)

A little green.

Did you know that Savannah has the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the nation?

Yea, we stayed clear of that business.

While 750,000 of our nearest and dearest swarmed the historic district for the green festivities, our little family headed away from the crowds to visit our friends at Urbanna Farms.

The Farmer and his wife (and adorable baby boy) recently moved an entire farm to Savannah and we were eager to see their new set up and spend time with our new(ish) friends.

I know a lot of people love getting decked out in green from head to toe, but this is really much more my shade of green.

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We met all of the animals and when we got to the pigs, Blair says, “Hey! Eat! Pig!”

You’d never guess we used to be vegetarians.

We did a fall share in Urbanna Farm’s CSA and are really excited for the spring share to start. It’s a wonderful thing to not just know where your food comes from but also who grew it. It’s not just about good food. It’s about community.

Okay, I’m stepping off that soapbox for the time being.

Savannah actually is a fun place to be this time of year. The weather is perfect and some St. Patrick’s Day festivities are enjoyable.

Last Friday, I got together with some of my fellow running mothers and enjoyed the March of Dime’s Shamrock Run.

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Yes, I am a head and shoulders above the competition.

If you’ve been around for awhile, you know I put was on bed rest when I was 26 weeks pregnant with Blair. It was an incredibly scary time and we thought we might be dealing with a very premature baby. So organizations like March of Dimes are close to my heart. Fortunately, my sweet baby chunk made it to and past her due date. That stinker.

Anyway, Savannah also turns the iconic statue at Forsyth Park a lovely green, which is a sight to see.

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With potty training and preschool, we didn’t get to witness it this year but if you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it every year.

I can’t believe Em was ever that little.

So while we aren’t partaking in any crazy St. Patrick’s Day festivities, I will celebrating my very small sliver of Irish heritage with a glass of my most very favorite beer.

IMG_5274Ok, so it’s technically a Scottish beer but it’s brewed in an old Irish Whisky cask so that should count, right?

How is your weekend? What are your St. Patrick’s Day plans?

 

Hey (SCOBY) baby.

Everyone I talked to yesterday was perplexed and a bit concerned by the little science experiment I’m conducting on my kitchen counter. Much to Josh’s disappointment, I’m not brewing moonshine or any other illegal elixir but rather attempting to grow my own SCOBY baby for brewing kombucha.

I’m always up for a challenge. And I also hate hemmoraging money on supplements, probiotics and vitamins. So when I grabbed a bottle of GT’s Original kombucha from my refrigerator, I was stoked to see this little fella hanging around the bottom.

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SCOBY, maybe?

Hopefully, if all goes accordingly, that little gelatinous thing will grow into a thick and healthy full grown SCOBY in a few weeks and then I can start fermenting my first batch of kombucha. I’ve read mixed reviews about the success of growing your own SCOBY from bottled kombucha but I’m giving it a try. I mean, I spend $40 a month on probiotics for the girls. Momma can spend a little time growing a SCOBY for that cost.

I’m surprised by how many people are still unfamiliar with this tangy, healthful beverage. Mainstream health experts are finally touting the importance of probiotics and a healthy gut balance but the discussion rarely extends beyond those weird Jamie Lee Curtis Activia commercials or refrigerated probiotics. Rarely, if ever, do people talk about sources of good bacteria from fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha. We live in a culture where bacteria is bad and everyone is terrified of getting food poisoning if our foods aren’t constantly refrigerated below 40°. Not so, people!

But I can also understand how kombucha can be a little off putting. Really, it’s just a fermented sweet tea but occasionally yeast strands occur. Although they look weird, they are totally normal and harmless.

***Shout out to Angie at Pint of Goals for correctly identifying my kitchen experiment. I have nothing to offer you except (hopefully and eventually) a SCOBY baby of your own, if you’d like. Otherwise, everyone go and show Angie and that beautiful (non-SCOBY) baby belly of hers some love!***

Do you like kombucha? Prefer other fermented foods? Ever grown something (intentionally or otherwise) on your kitchen counter?

I once had an avocado roll behind some cutting boards and I didn’t find it for a few weeks. That was pretty gross.

Conversations you don’t want to have.

“Mommy! Yay! I pooped!”

“Yay, baby! Did you poop in the potty?!”

“…..No.”

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IMG_5223We’re back at it, folks. B decided on Saturday evening that she was done wearing diapers. But she doesn’t really want to go on the potty, either. So we’re in this wonderful and messy in-between stage. Yay.

 

Just Dance.

Spring has finally arrived. Mother nature is so kind.

You can’t help but lift your face to the sun and smile.

And dance.

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And close your eyes and feeeeeeeel the music.SONY DSCAnd steal a few hugs.

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And maybe a kiss.

SONY DSCWe met up with this lovely momma at The Forsyth Farmer’s Market and ventured downtown to City Market and Ellis Square for some fun in the sun. We had lunch at Your Pie and I was pleasantly surprised to find out they offer a gluten-free pizza dough which also happens to be dairy-free. For patrons with a food allergy, gluten-free pizzas are baked in a separate oven. We tried soy cheese and although B wasn’t a fan, she enjoyed the crust and toppings. After some pretty crappy experiences dining out with a food allergy, our experience at Your Pie was refreshing.

Oh, and the kids pies come with a serving of gelato or a dairy-free sorbet. Win, win, win!

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Do you like the eczema patch on her right cheek? Oh the joys of sensitive skin and change of seasons. Happens every time.

How was your weekend? Is has spring arrived where you live?

I’m doing some housekeeping around ye ole blog and updating the look and feel of the site. You like? My eyes were crossing after staring at chevrons for so long.

Good people.

I’m easily jaded.

Cynical, even.

In the past year or so, I’ve become rather leery of people. This was probably exacerbated when someone broke into my car last May while I was picking up E from our neighborhood mom’s morning out program. It took a previously colored view of the world and made it downright angry. So became easy for me to form a natural inclination of distrust towards strangers.

Yesterday, I fought my way through a fog of snot and sinus pressure and managed to get E to preschool and survived a Target run for more tissues. I loaded an unhappy B back in the car and decided a second cup of coffee was crucial to everyone’s survival. We zipped down the highway towards my BFF, Dunkin’ Donuts. They know me by my drive-thru order – a hot coconut coffee with cream and sugar and two glazed munchkins.

Today’s line was longer than usual and B was not happy. We managed the wait with lots of songs, nose blowings and phone calls to Yaya on speaker. When it came our time to pay, the kind girl at the window informed me that order had been taken care of.

Someone paid for my coffee.

Did they know I had a wicked headache? Could they hear my screaming child through two sets of closed windows? Did they see me leading the choir on three renditions of “Old McDonald”?

It was just $2.45. It’s not the cost. Someone thought to do something nice for me. Someone they didn’t know. Someone they’ll never know.

It’s the gesture.

Maybe there are still good people out there who aren’t just looking out for themselves.

I want to be one of them.

Do something nice for someone today, okay?