Monday, July 30, 2012

Toddle Along Tuesday - Babies and their Pets!

DeeTeeTat!  DeeTeeTat!

I close my eyes and halfheartedly hope that my son is being gentle.  What can I say, I'm the optimistic sort.  The fastest-moving gray blur you ever (almost) saw confirms that he could still use some practice on that one.  But hey, we're getting there.

We're a four-pet household, and it can be a bit crazy.  The Boys (Stormy & Davey) and The Girls (Analaigh & Rose) have been given a run for their money by our Little Mister.

Davey and Aidan have an understanding.  Davey sits in his "spot" behind the couches and Aidan doesn't (often) try to storm the castle.  Davey doesn't mind being admired from afar, and Aidan's usually content to point and shout at the "DeeTeeTat."

Stormy is another story entirely.  He was my baby, the first little guy that I ever brought home.  He has struggled to adjust to a new baby.  Aidan's newborn pictures were photobombed by an angry, jealous cat.

As Aidan grew, Storm's hatred gradually turned to disdain.  Certain behaviors on my part probably didn't help...  But, you know, bygones...

We've reached an uneasy truce, by which I mean Aidan desperately tried to pet him, hug him, kiss him, and talk to him - all while Stormy alternates running away, hiding, and ignoring the household toddler.

Things got more interesting over the past few months.  When we moved into our new house, The Girls came with us.  The Girls are nothing like The Boys.  They're loud and waggy and licky and excited and shy and confusing, all at once.  And Aidan is fascinated!

Analaigh is the reserved type.  She's not sure why Aidan's so loud, and so fast, and so insane.   A picture of the two of them together would be a huge rarity.  Wherever Aidan is, Analaigh isn't.  He's just too much puppy for her.  We're striving for peaceful coexistence, and I really think we're getting there :)  I think this picture sums them up so well.  Aidan's running, screaming, and being 18 months old.  Analaigh is sniffing something really far away and trying to forget he's there.

Aidan doesn't seem to notice or mind that Analaigh's keeping her distance.  This is because of Rose.  Ohhhh, Rose.  There have been days that the moment his eyes pop open in the morning, he starts gleefully shouting ROW!  We can't pass the basement door without Aidan attempting to pry it open while begging to see Rose.  For her part, Rose loves it.  She loves the attention, she loves the love, and she loves that boy.  His face is lickin' height!  I see the two of them being best friends for years to come - I think he'd follow anywhere Rose wanted to lead.

My husband and I may not agree 100% on this, but I think no little boy's life is complete without a pet to love.  And love them he does - loudly, enthusiastically, and with all his heart.  And they're...  well they're hanging in there...

(Thanks so much to Kingston Ko for all of his amazing photography!  Head on over and check out his work on facebook!)

This week's Toddle Along Tuesday topic is babies and pets! Share some cute photos of your little ones and furbabies! I am fully prepared to die from cuteness. There are no rules here, except that you link up a relevant post (old or new) rather than your whole blog.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Captain Serious

I'm eternally sorry about how long it's been since I left you hanging, mid-story.  Really.  Like, mind-blowingly sorry.  Kind of sorry, at the very least.

Will this picture of 18 month old handsomeness help make up for it while I finish writing up our hospital debacle?

Monday, July 9, 2012


Vacation snuck up on us, and I didn't get to schedule the posts I was hoping to schedule. 

I look forward to finishing up Aidan's Tube Story, and telling you all about our vacation.  Traveling with a Tubie for the first time should be... interesting...

ALSO - I have some really fun stuff coming up soon - I'll have some really great product reviews, complete with giveaways, over the next couple of weeks.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fun Finds - American Girl???

I'll confess, this isn't my fun find.  American Girl is rarely on my shopping list.  Earlier this week, I saw this posted on FEAST's facebook page and just **had** to share.

It's allergy awareness at its finest (and funnest, too!)

My American Girl® dolls can enjoy a make-believe lunch that's allergy-safe:
  • A pretend berry smoothie, container of vegetables, and two sandwich skewers
  • A medical bracelet and allergy stickers to keep her safe while she snacks
  • A faux allergy shot, just in case
  • A fabric lunch bag to hold it all

Okay, so obviously My American Girl isn't wheat-allergic.  And milk's not a problem.  And I bet that smoothie doesn't come with a reliable top-8 warning on the label.  And shouldn't she be carrying a second Epi-Pen?  But I really love that food allergies are becoming so mainstream.  I genuinely believe that play is a fantastic way to make confusing things less scary for children.

Do your little girls play with My American Girl dolls?  Will you consider buying this playset for her?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

EpiPen Insanity

Several weeks ago, I was made aware of Mylan's new advertisement campaign for EpiPen(R) Auto-Injectors. What I found was disturbing, to say the least.

Before I get into the details, let me first say this: The cornerstone of food allergy management is strict avoidance of the allergen, recognition of symptoms, and prompt treatment of reactions with prescribed medication that should be carried at all times.
The commercial depicts a mother driving her peanut-allergic son to a birthday party.  The mother remarks that the party "should be pretty awesome, even with your peanut allergy and a cake made of who knows what."  She's not worried about his life-threatening allergy "because we're prepared... With EpiPen."
I know what you're thinking...  What's the big deal?  It IS good to be prepared with an Epi Pen (or two!).  And it is, but I still find this commercial really irresponsible.  Here's why:
This exchange totally minimizes the seriousness of an allergic reaction and EpiPen treatment.  An EpiPen is not a free pass to eat anything you'd like.  Children can and do die from anaphylactic reactions to foods.  To imply that there's nothing to worry about as long as you have an EpiPen is irresponsible, at best.
The glaring omission here is the message of avoidance.  Exposure to an allergen is not a "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it" scenario!  An EpiPen is a tool in your allergy toolbelt - not a cure-all solution.  Food allergies are serious business, and to imply that they are a mere inconvenience that can be circumvented with an EpiPen is ludicrous.
I suppose there's also a selfish tint to my anger.  As a parent of a child with serious but rare medical issues, it's a constant battle to be taken seriously.  We fight every day to keep our children safe, and are rewarded with responses like "why are you so uptight?" and "let him LIVE a little!"  This commercial reinforces that very same ignorant response - allergies are no big deal, carry your medicine and everything will be fine.
There's quite the public outcry in the food allergy community about this commercial.  I truly hope someone over at Mylan takes notice.  This commercial is not okay.
UPDATE: In the many days between writing this post and publishing it, I learned that Mylan pulled the ad.  I applaud their responsiveness and hope they pay more attention to responsible marketing in the future.

Monday, July 2, 2012

How to... use an EpiPen

We'll continue Aidan's story later in the week, but today's post is a really important one.  It comes from and is full of really crucial information.  You could save a child's life in an emergency.

What is an EpiPen®?

The EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr Auto-Injectors (0.3 and 0.15 mg epinephrine) are used for the injection of epinephrine, the first-line treatment for allergic emergencies (anaphylaxis). EpiPen Auto-Injector is used to treat signs and symptoms of an allergic emergency, some of which include hives, redness of the skin, tightness in the throat, breathing problems and/or a decrease in blood pressure. Allergic emergencies can be caused by triggers such as food, stinging and biting insects, medicines, latex, or even exercise.

When to Use Your EpiPen®

If you, your child, or someone you're caring for shows signs or symptoms of an allergic emergency, inject the health care professional-prescribed EpiPen or EpiPen Jr. immediately, then promptly call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. Signs of an allergic emergency may include:
  • Closing of your breathing airways
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing
  • Hoarseness
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue
  • Numbness or tingling of the lips or tongue
  • Skin redness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Weak pulse
  • Feeling very anxious
  • Confusion
  • Stomach pain
  • Losing control of urine or bowel movements (incontinence)
  • Faintness or "passing out" (unconsciousness)
Don’t be afraid to use the EpiPen Auto-Injector during an allergic emergency. Using it at the start of such an emergency may prevent the reaction from becoming worse. Remember, the EpiPen Auto-Injector is not a substitute for emergency medical treatment.

How to Use Your EpiPen®

1.    Pull off blue safety release cap.
2.    Swing and firmly push orange tip against outer thigh so it ‘clicks.’ HOLD on thigh approximately 10 seconds to deliver drug.
3.    Seek immediate medical attention by calling 911 and going to the closest medical facility. Take the used EpiPen Auto-Injector(s) with you to hospital emergency department.

If there's one thing you can take from this post, please let it be that you should NEVER be too afraid to use an Epi-Pen.  If there's the slightest thought in your mind that it might be necessary, please use it.  It can only help.