Homeschooling, On the Fence

home-school

I have started thinking about homeschooling 4 years ago when my daughter was diagnosed with food allergies. I am already a stay-at-home-mom so why not keep her safe at home and teach her from here? We have battled so much, and I know it will be beneficial to her because she can go at her own pace. She will be able to do what she wants, and she can excel in the subjects or categories she wants to.

However, here is my dilemma.
Will they miss out on the social skills with friends? 
Right now Grayson really doesn’t understand so I am going with my daughter. She says she don’t talk at school, she is scared she will get in trouble. She said she is pretty much quiet throughout the day, and only talks when she is allowed. To me this sets off alarms.
My child’s voice is being held from learning.
How will she miss her friends? Will she miss that recess time of 20 minutes with her friends?

I just don’t know how homeschool moms go through the social thing. She loves the communication, the friendships, the knowledge that people are about her outside her home.

Another thing I am on the fence about is the Common Core.
I don’t want to teach my child about Common Core. It is boring, pointless and utterly ridiculous. I see no point in it, and I am sure a lot of you all agree. I just want her to know an easy way to do things. The onsite of eye-rolling at homework, and she barely has any but with homeschool, she will never have homework.

Gosh, do you see what I mean? I am just going in circles. I have no clue what is coming and going. All these mixed emotions are so weird for me, usually I don’t have mixed emotions. I just “do“.

How does one go about teaching a child at home if you don’t know how to teach them? Do they have teachers? Will there be others to call on for help? How does this work? Btw – if anyone knows any of the questions feel free to let me know, or maybe even where to look for the answers. I do know I don’t want to be in K12, or a Public Online School which is controlled by the state, because I do not want Common Core.

I want to be able to teach my child life experiences. Things they can look forward to as they grow. I love being with my kids, sure, some days I might want to pull my hair out, but we will have to find the happy medium in it all. Sure, I do love when they go to school and I have that extra time to take a power nap, but I think it will be beneficial to figure out what will help them grow into their own little grown humans.

At what age do you start with your kids homeschooling. There are so many things that are wanting me to go for it. Lockdown Drills, so many school shooting now a days, and it seems it will only get worse. Her anxiety with what everyone else is eating, and my anxiety on what others are doing around her as well.

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Baby Fever

a-baby

Why do I have baby fever!?

I have such high baby fever. I want another baby, even after all we deal with… I would love another baby. There is a lot of things I would do different if I had another baby: not know the sex of the baby, not tell anyone, no announcements, and to breastfeed.

I honestly feel like I missed out a lot with my babies.
Jade was born with a lot of complication, NICU for 9 days, us in the hospital for 12 days for an unknown blood infection. She was born Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day they didn’t even know if she would live. Heartbreaking things, but we made it. Grayson was a good delivery, just missed out on breastfeeding because I didn’t know how well he would do, and then all the fussing, crying, stomach issues. I felt bad. I should had breastfed.

Both my babies will be in school next year. I would love for another bundle of joy. It took some time with our babies. They had to adjust my pH balance with Jade. With Grayson I had to take progesterone for 13 weeks. They didn’t want to lose him and my levels were not where they needed to be. So, I honestly don’t know what they means for another. My regular doctor already has me on vitamins with folic acid, not due to “maybe more babies” but due to hair loss, trying to figure out what is going on with me since the delivery of Grayson. I guess from here we just wait and see. Hubby says no, because of his school, but I think I manage 2 kids pretty well. My anxiety and depression doesn’t interfere with them. I still manage what I need to do as a mom, I just learn to push through to get what I need to get done, done.

So, how do you know you have Baby Fever?

Having an itch to buy all the tests. I want to stock up, but then again, I want to be surprised? What is this concept. Just me?! Okay. Let’s just say it is. ha!

Pregnancy Bump. Hello, all pregnancy clothes are cute! Have you seen them, heck, I still wear them now and my “baby” is 3-years-old.

Sleeping Baby Woes. Friends or family having babies and you are ooing over wanting one of your own! Look how tiny, I need one of those! You can’t stop staring at it, no matter what. It is like a magnet straight to your soul.

Cutely Dressed Kids. Omg, why cannot I be crafty, but I am filled with ovary bursts of “I want that!” Plus, babies are just like dressing baby dolls, they don’t fight over what they want to wear, and you can totally put them in whatever you want! Heck, Yes!

Looking back on past baby pictures. Why. Why do they grow up so fast!? They turn 5 and all of a sudden they are little independent things who no longer need you to dress them. Why. Why. Why. Yes, I know what I need!

#FoodAllergyWalk #FAREWalk #OurStory

food-allergies

At the end of October, we will walk for awareness for food allergies.
Here is our story:

At age 4 she was diagnosed with anaphylaxis to tree nuts.
Jade was staying with my mom while hubby and I went on a fishing date. We didn’t go far, less than 10 minutes away. My mom wanted to feed Jade some yogurt while we were away. No big deal. A kid has to eat and why not make it healthy. So, my mom fixed yogurt with crushed walnuts and mixed it and gave it to Jade. Jade immediately ran to the bathroom spitting out the grit of walnuts into the toilet. She was scrapping her tongue with her teeth, she was doing everything in her power to get rid of whatever was in her mouth. Jade then started telling her Nana she needed a hospital. Now, understand this is a 4-year-old. She was pointing out the front door saying, “I need a doctor. I need the hospital.” At this point my mom calls me to let me know something might be wrong. Hubby and I load up to head to my mom’s.
We walk in to my daughter still in a panic kind of state. She wasn’t swelling, no visual signs of anything wrong, so I told my mom to give her some Benadryl and I would take her home to watch her through the night. We load up, takes about 20 minutes to get back to our house. It is dark out, I carry Jade inside.
Once inside, I put Jade on the floor and tell her to go see her Dad, he was in the Kitchen seeing if we had more Benadryl for later. I noticed something not right with her legs and told him to look at her.
He raised her shirt, her short legs and noticed blanket hives, thick looking hives all over her skin where her clothes touched her body. He looked dead at me to say, “We need to go NOW. No waiting. Hives mean Now.”

(more…)

First Year and more with Grayson

I know I kind of left you guys hanging after Grayson was born. So, let me update you.

Grayson was born on April 7th. He is our lucky 7 baby. His delivery was amazing. Not much excitement. I had an epidural. My epidural was trying to wear off when I was around 8cm. Dude, you wanna talk about pain. Dear heavens, I was about to have a come to Jenna meeting right on the spot.

(more…)

To Do Fall Things

Fall is here y’all!
I love this time of year. Cookouts, camp fires, smores, football, cool nights, turning of leaves… man, just about everything!

fall

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Dear Parent with an uncaring heart #FoodAllergies

Dear Parent with an uncaring heart,

Let me just say I am sorry my daughter’s food allergies is an inconvenience for you. I simply understand what it is like to deal with such an inconvenience. You know, because I have one child with an allergy, and one with out an allergy.

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Halloween 2014

This Halloween we was a little more exciting than other years.
I have grown into understanding food allergies a lot more clearly.
As a parent you want the best for your kids, and not everyone will understand the significance of that. I understand that now. Usually people don’t understand unless they been exactly in your shoes. Most people does not understand that a food allergen could potentially kill. Scary to think that, right?!

We went to the FARE Walk 2014 in Atlanta. The support there is simply overwhelming. People who understand you! People who get it. Agh, it is a life saver. That one day you feel like you have all these people to support you. Jade absolutely loves going.
This year we got to add the Teal Pumpkin Project. Here is a bit about it:
A little message from the creator of the Teal Pumpkin Project:

The purpose of the Teal Pumpkin Project:
1. We want to raise awareness of the severity of food allergies and show our support to families of children with food allergies by painting a pumpkin teal in recognition. This is a great opportunity to educate and open communication about this important cause.

2. We want to encourage inclusion for children with food allergies and other dietary restrictions during an activity that is primarily food-focused. A teal pumpkin (or poster) is a great way to show that you have non-food treats available.

It is not our goal to exclude candy from the Halloween tradition but instead encourage others to add a new tradition to ALSO provide a few non-food items as a safe alternative. This will allow many children the opportunity to participate in traditional trick-or-treating on Halloween night, regardless of food-related disabilities.

We need to stop battling on social media –
I encourage everyone to participate in this project with the understanding that this is not a campaign to ban candy nor is it a means to politicize an awareness movement that is simply intended to promote compassion and inclusion. Stay positive and reflect compassion in your own actions and words. We cannot create an inclusive environment for our children by creating more division.

Here are some tips to keep this awareness movement going strong:

1. Talk to your neighbors. Many parents have contacted their neighborhood associations or community boards to encourage participation in this project. If your neighborhood uses a site like nextdoor.com then this is a great way to reach out.

2. Talk to local businesses. There are so many opportunities available for businesses and organizations to be involved, even if they are not passing out treats. Print a copy of the Project Teal Pumpkin (our profile picture) and ask if those establishments will display the sign to show support. If treats will be passed out, ask if they would also provide non-food items as an alternative and provide a copy of the Project Teal sign that indicates non-food treats are available. Do you have a local farm or nursery that could provide teal pumpkins?

3. Talk to your child’s teacher, guidance counselor or school administration. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach children about the importance of inclusion, disability awareness, and/or food allergy safety. Encourage schools to take part in the #TealPumpkinProject and get their permission to hang signs or distribute information to other parents to rally more involvement in your community.

4. Talk to the media. Awareness is at its peak right now in many areas so this is your opportunity to educate the general public in a POSITIVE and informed manner. Know the purpose of the project and how this show of support will encourage respect, compassion, inclusion for children with dietary restrictions, like food allergies. For more information, please visit FACET’s website (Link in the comments below).

We’d love to hear from you! Please comment below to share your ideas and success stories so far with the #TealPumpkinProject …

Thank you for your ongoing support of our awareness efforts!
Blessings,
Becky Basalone
Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee

I hope in the years to come we see more people who support such an amazing opportunity.

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Lessons Learned, Life to Live

Lessons

2014…
What can I say about 2014?
We have been through some rough times, great times, and times we are definitely thankful for.
2014 has been everything mushed (I think I just made up a word-Ha!) together to make one heck of a year.
I know you guys probably have seen that I have been MIA a very long time. Life Happens.
January 2014,
That is when it started. Actually January 20th. I never knew what darkness looked liked til that dreaded day. I never knew what could become of such a day. How much can change in just mere seconds of life.
I am still in shock. I am still going through movements of everyday life. The shakiness.. the mere thought of being alone, or even the vast of doing anything alone is terrifying.
I will say, once I bet this I will get through it. I will become stronger. Heck, I am stronger today than I was on that day.
I can’t go into details just yet, but I will. I will keep running the scene in my head over and over again, til this is over. It has almost been a year, and all this mess is still cycling through courts. I don’t know if or when it will end, but it will. I promise.
I know this is just a bunch of babbling, and I am sorry. I just can’t go through all the details yet due to this mess could bite me in the tail and I don’t want my blog or my emotions being brought into light if I do get called to the stand. They can do that, right? It is possible.

In all honesty,
The family is fine. My kids are growing so fast.
Jade is 6 years old now, Grayson is almost 18 months old. They are such wonderful kids. I couldn’t ask for anything better. They are my world, my everything, the reason for many things to be grateful for.
Jade is in 1st Grade, and absolutely loving her new school. Her new school is so much better. Jade’s food allergies is no more of a burden, but something they look after. They do everything in their power to look after my daughter, and for that I am beyond excited for. The encouragement, the safety. I no longer go through the day with stress or worry. She never comes home with a reaction, she comes home with a smile on her face! That in itself is something I thought I would never see!
Grayson, man… He is the happiest baby. He goes through life with all smiles. He gives hugs, kisses, and is learning to talk. He is truly a blessing, and couldn’t ask for a better baby.
My husband, my protector, my safety net, my world. I don’t know what I do without him. He lifts me up when I need it most. He gives me everything I can ever imagine, and right now that number one thing is “SUPPORT”. I can never love him enough.

We also bought a house! Yes, Bought! It is OURS.. well, it is the banks, but hey our name is ON IT! Ha! I can’t wait to post pics, I promise I will get to that too!
I will be back, you will see.
-Jenna

Food Allergies vs Faith

FA

I am coming forward to shed a new light on some things.

I haven’t talked too much about food allergies since my daughter was fighting for her life May 2012. Just because I didn’t talk about it much or throw statistics at everyone doesn’t mean I wasn’t praying for miracles, not only for my child but for every child out there battling their food allergies. I didn’t know much about food allergies till that dreaded day.

I didn’t know it could mean life or death within minutes of eating something or that I would spend so much time and energy researching things you have to do to make sure any food you touch was safe. I am not talking about just reading labels here. I am talking about the every detail of everything you do.

Did you know that half of the time you have to either call companies, or send them an e-mail to see what is actually in their food? You spend most of your time helping, or protecting your child. It is not just about companies, it’s also restaurants. Those times where you just want to go sit down as a family and have someone cook for you. After doing some research in our  town, we found that we only have two options for sit down restaurants: Cracker Barrel & Olive Garden. Even though recently, Cracker Barrel changed their menu, so I will have to contact  them before our next visit to make sure they are still food allergy aware, and if anything has changed.

Half of the time, we (parents of food allergy kids) just want people to ‘get’ it. It is life or death. How hard is that for people to understand? When you have a child who is sick  you don’t take them to the hospital for them to run around and play. So, why would I take my food allergy child to your birthday party and let her run around free of everything, when I have no clue what is there. I have no clue what is in the cake, the ice cream, and those donuts you decided to pick up and bring. So sorry if I come off being “overly protected”, I am just being a mom.  

Food allergies just happen. It is not planned out. It is not something that I would wish on anyone. Just because one day my child eats nuts, then the next day she is in the ER, doesn’t mean I am just going to go back to our way of life before. That ONE day changed our life, and we changed our life-style. It is a way of living, it can be restrictive but at least this is something I can battle. This is something I can manage.

Your next question could be about my faith. “If your faith is strong enough you wouldn’t worry so much. Let Go, Let God” Really? So, I should just throw that common sense God gave me right out the window and say “Run along Jade! I will watch you from here! Even though I saw you battling for your life, I just want you free-spirited. In the meantime, I will sit over in my corner and pray while you run free”

So, let me inform you about my faith.

My faith is loading my daughter up on the bus every morning for school. I don’t know what Sally has brought on the bus that morning. I don’t know if Sally is going to give Jade her walnut ice cream, or did Sally just saved her Nutella sandwich to share with Jade on the bus. Don’t tell me this can’t happen, because when I was in school I brought snacks on the bus. My ride was an hour and half, so of course, I brought me something! Who is not to say some little kid does the same? Why would a kid bring something so dangerous on the bus? The reason why is because to that child it isn’t dangerous. That kid is living the Free-Spirited life.

My faith is letting my daughter into a public school. A public school where they have no clue, nor have they seen a child go through Anaphylactic shock. The teachers and staff don’t know what to even look for if something happens to my child. I have to tell them the warnings signs. My faith is, for them to remember exactly what I told them.

My faith knows God can change this. My everyday prayer is finding a cure, finding a way to ‘fix’ whatever is wrong. And now my faith is really showing and do you want to know why? Because just today we found out that Jade might have outgrown her allergies, but that’s not why I have faith now. I have faith now because I am going to put her life in her Doctors hand. The Doctor is going to do a food challenge and feed her Walnuts. The Doctor and Nurses will watch her closely. I will be facing the devil head on, but I will not bow my head. I will push through because I know who has this, and it is not me. So, next time you hear food allergies think about everything it takes for that parent to push through everyday life. Don’t judge them; don’t start pointing fingers at them, because in my eyes they have the best positive outlook on life. For they know what true Faith is.

 

Our Adventure This Week

Jade3

They admitted my daughter into the hospital on Monday.
Jade had been sick for 3 weeks. It started with a head cold, then moved into walking pneumonia. Since Walking Pneumonia is not contagious I sent her to school, at this point she wasn’t running a fever with being sick, but she was on breathing treatments, antibiotics and other medicine to get her well.
On Friday Morning, I got up (our usual routine), and was getting her clothes together for school, getting myself dressed. I ran out to crank the car so it would be warm and came back in to wake my sleeping my daughter. She woke up and came into the living room, her face was so red! I knew then that she was getting worse and not better. I could her temperature and it was 102.7
I called her Doctor and made an appointment, then took her to the kitchen to give her Ibuprofen and Tylenol to get her temp down. Needless to say she threw up half of the medicine, and the throwing up didn’t stop, but it wasn’t continuous it just happened every so often. This continued into Saturday, I finally called the Doctor on Saturday morning to get something to get her to quit being so nauseated. Her temp at this point was on clock work, every 5 hours and 30minutes it would start-up, reaching 102 within 30minutes. You couldn’t tell she was sick though, until the fever hit. She would grab her blanket and lay on the couch. The throwing up stopped with the help of Zofran, but the fevers never went away.
Monday, I took her back to the Dr. Of course at the Doctor she looked fine because I gave her Ibuprofen before we left, and if she didn’t have a fever you would have never know she was sick. She acted normal. However, the Doctor told me that she should be fine, and shouldn’t have a high fever, just a low-grade and she should be able to return to school the next day. We leave the doctor office, only to come home to a 103.5 fever. I called the doctor back and asked them to please do something to help her, I was tired of masking her fever, when apparently something is wrong.
They admitted her into the hospital on Monday evening.

This is what happens when a fever comes on: Sleep

This is what happens when a fever comes on: Sleep

Now it is Friday. She got out of the hospital on Wednesday evening, she would still get a fever, but they wasn’t as close together. Thursday she finally went 24 hours without a fever! While at the hospital her WBC was 15 on Monday and when we left it was 11.6. Her liver enzymes are still elevated (they have come down since Monday), but we will go back on Thursday to get them rechecked.
I will probably never know what happened to her, but I am glad to be home, and say that she is FEVER FREE!

Her class made her a Valentine Get Well Soon Card and got her a Bear! So Thoughtful.

Her class made her a Valentine Get Well Soon Card and got her a Bear! So Thoughtful.

Being at the hospital while you are 8 months pregnant.. let’s just say that my hips thank me for being home!
They ruled it as Viral plus her having Pneumonia even though her chest X-ray came back negative, they still thought maybe her body was still fighting it off.

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