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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

the worst day of my life

Where have I been?!  Who knows.... probably busy chasing a toddler and a very mobile infant.  Whew, parenthood is no joke.  Lots of laughs, and tons of joy, but it's not for the faint of heart!  Between the boys and working full-time, things have been a little, well, busy.  So much has happened, I couldn't even try to fit it into a recap post; it's just too much.  Regardless, I wanted to get back into blogging for one big reason - allergies.  Food allergies, to be exact.

In the last four-ish months, our family has been greatly affected by the crazy world of food allergies.  I never thought much about food allergies in kids, primarily because I was blissfully unaware of how hard life could be when affected by them, but also simply because they didn't affect me.  Not my family.  Not my kids.

On Saturday, April 25 I came home from a work trip...exhausted.  We grabbed a quick late lunch on our way home from the airport and I told BL I was going to do a simple dinner and put the kids to bed right after dinner.  Did I mention I was lazy tired?!

Haynes was old enough to try eggs, and Max loves his "cheesy eggys" so that's what I whipped up for dinner.  Knowing this was a highly allergenic food, I stripped him down to his diaper so I could see his skin.  At the very worst, I thought he would get a little rash if the eggs didn't agree with him.  I was tired and not thinking things through, because I have always followed the "new things in the morning" rule in case of a reaction.  Remember, my plan was to put them to bed right after dinner... {I still shutter a bit thinking of what would have happened if his reaction didn't come on quick}

Haynes loved the eggs, gobbled them all right up and smiled the whole way!  About 15 minutes after he started eating, he was done and ready for his bottle.  I grabbed him out of his seat and noticed some splotchy areas on his chest and neck, so I asked BL to come in and verify that it wasn't my eyes.  He agreed, and I said "well, I guess he has a little allergy or something?" so I grabbed my phone and called the most knowledgeable person I know...my mom :) I remember asking about what an allergic reaction to eggs could look like, and as I was talking I noticed his lymph nodes behind his ears were growing, and already the size of a small blueberry.  I abruptly got off the phone with my mom and called urgent care to make sure they would stay open for us, and I packed up the baby to head out the door.  I had just been gone for 6 days and my 2 year old was screaming bloody murder that I was leaving him again.  I was crying, he was crying, baby was swelling and BL was praying.

I want to stop here and say that I now know I should have called 9-1-1 and let help come to us.  I had no clue.  If you're child is having a bad reaction and swelling quickly, don't hesitate, call 9-1-1.

The baby and I made our 15-minute drive to urgent care and I was checking to make sure he was breathing every chance I got.  Thinking "why in the hell am I driving and not calling 9-1-1?!" but honestly didn't think they could get me there any faster.

Children's Healthcare Urgent Care was super fast to get us in and so helpful in my panicked state.  They informed me that his airways looked clear and they would give him Benedryl and a shot of epineperine to counteract the reaction, and then we would ride in an ambulance to Children's Healthcare down in Atlanta so he could be monitored for a few hours.  This was standard for them and they saw no reason to worry.

About 10 minutes after the first shot of EPI, I told the nurse he wasn't improving and I would like to see the doctor again.  She came in and checked him out...his ears, his hands, his face...all swelling more.  He couldn't keep a paci in either, which made me think his tongue was swelling as well.  They gave him another shot of epinephrine and put in an IV.

I remember this moment so vividly, and will never be able to erase it from my memory.  My tiny little nugget, swollen and miserable, screaming his head off on that huge hospital bed.   Then, in one moment, he stopped crying and looked up at me {I am sobbing thinking about that look}, and his eyes rolled back in his head and his heart rate monitor went crazy.  My poor sweet baby.  I couldn't do anything but watch the doctor and nurses get him stable and breathing normally, and it was honestly the most terrifying moment of my life.  I pled with God not to take my baby, and I remember saying "This isn't what is supposed to happen, God! Not like this!"

As they were continuing to work on Haynes and keep him stable, a sweet nurse came up to me, trembling herself, and said they had changed our mode of transportation from ambulance to a helicopter, and we would be leaving as soon as they could get the helicopter there.  "It's really that bad?" I said.  "It's really that bad." she replied.   I just sobbed.  I made the call to BL, who was at home with our toddler, and to my mom so she could come meet me while he arranged childcare for Max.

What happened next was a blur; I vaguely remember the two paramedics from the original ambulance who came in to get Haynes ready for his journey to the children's hospital.  Soon after, I heard the helicopter come in and land, and in walk three men in flight suits who took Haynes and explained to me what was about to happen.  When we walked outside, I realized how many people went into making this whole thing possible, and then my appreciation for our public service members grew even more!! You see, there isn't a helipad at the Urgent Care.  There was the one ambulance I mentioned, but then also two fire trucks and one police car there to block off the road so the helicopter could land, and then take off again.  All for my baby.  I am a very fortunate and rare parent who was able to ride along with my child; I have learned since then that it is few and far between when parents are allowed to take that journey.  Thank you Jesus for that sweet gift.  As I told the pilot, it wasn't the way I wanted my first arial tour of Atlanta, but I was so glad to be there with my boy.

When we landed, everyone was ready for us, the team at Egleston was phenomenal!  I am so thankful for their role in Haynes' recovery.   He was stable and the swelling was finally starting to decrease.  Long story short (ha!), they kept us over night and monitored Haynes closely to be sure he would not have a second flare up once the EPI wore off.  My mom was there for most of the night, and BL arrived once we got him off to my brother and sister-in-law (THANK YOU!!!).  It was an exhausting night, to say the least.  We were trained on an epi pen, given a prescription and sent home with instructions to "try nothing new" until we saw an allergist.

So now what?  Well, I will write another post about our trip to the allergist and what else we discovered... Pretty sure this is enough for one day.  For now, I will say it's good to be back on the blog, and I hope and pray this will become a place where I can share knowledge and tips people have shared with me.  A place were mommas (or dads or friends) can read and not feel alone; not feel the isolation of food allergies.

Until next time, make it a great day. Choose happiness.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"even if hate has a bullhorn, love is louder"

One of my favorite lines from one of Kid President's newest videos.  This kid makes the world such a better place... I hope Max enjoys him as much as his parents do, because I have a feeling we will be watching his videos for a long time to come!

Enjoy this one below, and remember to make it a great day, and tell people they are AWESOME and you're glad they are here!  We could learn a lot from this kiddo...


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Photoshoot Surprise!

In case you missed it on my social media pages, we had a BIG announcement...

It still doesn't quite seem real that baby #2 is on the way!  We are excited about what is ahead and really look forward to seeing Max as a big brother!  

Some people have been asking about the story behind the video, so I thought I would answer those questions and give you a breakdown of the big surprise!  

Unlike with Max, we were not trying to get pregnant...in fact, we had said we would 'think' about baby #2 after Max turned one in mid-December.  However, when I went to bed one Friday night in early December, I thought to myself 'I am pregnant'.  I just felt it.  I didn't feel sick, I didn't feel sore, I just felt pregnant {yes, that feels just as odd to say as it is to read}.  Knowing I wouldn't be far along if I was, I decided to wait until Saturday morning to take a test because a morning test is more accurate in this stage {TMI for those no where near TTC}.  So Saturday morning, BL went off to work and I took the test...two lines formed a perfect cross on the screen.  Baby #2 was on the way. 

So many emotions ran through my head and I was having a hard time believing it was real.  I sat on our bed wondering how I would tell BL when he got home and then it hit me...use our photo shoot this afternoon.  This would be perfect!  Our photographer extraordinaire {and my adorable, sweet and beautiful cousin Lesley} could aid in my big reveal and it would be captured on camera to show this sweet baby someday...perfect!  So I made the phone call to Les and we started to craft the plans for the day. 

As we walked through the High Museum taking pictures I couldn't believe the bomb I was about to drop on my husband...he was blissfully unaware of what was yet to come! 

We finished up pictures inside and went outside to capture some different shots, and that was when Lesley did it....we posed in front of this huge white wall and all smiled at the camera.  
 Then Lesley said, "everyone look at the camera and say 'Chrissi's pregnant!'" To which BL obeyed and then looked at me and said "wait...really?"


      YES! Really! 

 Hooray!  Then he said "Max you're going to be a BIG BROTHER!"
{more excitment}
 ...and complete joy.
Baby #2, we are excited to meet you later this year......


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

EBATES, or what I like to call, FREE MONEY

I am back at blogging one day and I am already hocking some website at you... But seriously, I just got paid {via EBATES} and I am too excited not to share! 

Do you shop online?  If so, do yourself a BIG favor and go sign up for EBATES!  Seriously, it's free money in return for shopping online. 

Now, I am not going to lie... Originally I thought it was a scam.  Why would you get money to shop online?  I thought it was too good to be true.  Then I tried it.  I did a lot of my Christmas shopping online and scored some really great cash back deals.  Bought a new pair of Toms, received $4.20 back.  Purchased a few new items at Old Navy, got $5.60.   No joke, straight into my bank account.

Here's how it works...

When you want to shop online, go to the EBATES website first, in the upper right corner you simply type in the name of the place you want to shop {trust me, there are a LOT of shops!}, and then click the name when your merchant shows up.  On that next page is where you can see how much you will get back, as well as any extra deals the site is running {like free shipping, or $5 off, etc.}; it's basically a storehouse of all available deals!  Then you click any of the orange 'SHOP NOW' buttons and you're immediately transferred over to the actual site you're shopping and you {you guess it...} SHOP!  That is it, seriously.  Check back on your EBATES account page the next day and you'll see your money in the 'Cash Pending' portion of the account summary.  Then once a quarter, EBATES dumps that money straight into your bank or PayPal account.  Seriously. What is even better than that?! They have an awesome referral program for bloggers like you & me to make extra money just for telling people about their site.  No shame in my game, I want you guys to sign up! 

Ok, ok, ok... enough website selling for me.  Seriously though, go SIGN UP!  And don't forget to make it a great day!



Thursday, January 9, 2014

Welcome to the world, 2014!

Happy New Year, friends! 

Does anyone still read this blog?  What a bore it’s become, I wouldn’t blame you for moving on… I keep hoping to come back, but alas never seem to quite make it.  Every day I sit at my computer for work, and stare at the screen, and type the little keyboard, and use the {awesome} cordless mouse… All. Day. Long.  Then I go home and spend time with my little man, whom I have missed so terribly during the day, and I try to find some time to unwind, all while doing a bazillion chores that didn’t get done during the day because I was, you guessed it, at work.  Working. 

Luckily for me, I really enjoy what I do and the people I work with.  Dad often told us growing up that if we like what we do, we will never work a day in our life.  Well, I do feel like this is true, but I also know a lot of days I am working, even if I do love it.  The end of the day can’t come soon enough, not because I dislike what I am doing, but because I want to get my arms, hands, kisses all over that sweet boy of ours.  

What does that have to do with this blog?  Well, quite frankly this is my venting session to make myself feel better about having no blog posts lately.  I doubt any readers have made it this far anyways…

There is so much to catch up on, really… Max turned one; we celebrated both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  And New Year’s too.  So maybe not that much, but it’s a lot to me.  I finally treated myself to a new camera (a “starter” DSLR, if you will) and I have loads of pictures to post!   So while I am nowhere near promising to post again soon, or to actually cover all of the above mentioned events in our lives, I do want to stop by this place of mine more often.

What I will leave you with today is something that made me melt into a puddle yesterday – Max can blow kisses now!!  Seriously, can’t stop asking him to do it.  Melts. Me.  I love being a momma. 

Make it a great day friends!