Life with Coco and Gigi... and Jack-Jack too!

Life as a Mom, A Homesteader, A Blogger and A Wife.

New Jersey GFAF Expo

I was lucky enough to be chosen as an official expo blogger for the New Jersey Gluten and Allergen Free Expo. This is a meeting place for companies to display the many wonderful options available for people living with different food allergies.

As most of you know this is a topic near and dear to my heart. When Abby was first introduced to dairy milk and eggs as an infant she had an immediate and frightening response. As it turned out she has an anaphylactic allergy to ingestion or touch of eggs, cow's milk, tree nuts, agave and blueberries. We spent years strictly avoiding these foods and being very cautious about what we fed her. Since that time she has food challenged a few tree nuts and blueberries so these are all on her safe list. 

In addition to Abby's allergies, my niece Genna had a severe allergy to peanuts and my nephew Jordan (who linked me us with GFAF) has a severe intolerance to dairy and gluten. Life with food allergies and intolerances are no fun at all!

So, I ask you to join us at the NJ GFAF expo in Secaucus, NJ on September 6 & 7th. The expo is at the Meadowlands Expo Center and there will be a wide variety of sponsors and presenters in attendance. We are all very excited to be a part of it and I can't wait to share with you!

If you are able to attend, please leave me a comment below and I will be choosing one lucky winner of four free tickets (using a random number generator) on August 1st!

If you click the banner below you will be taken to the link for discounted tickets.

We hope to see you there!!

Another Day at the Hospital

No matter how many times you do it, days at the hospital are completely draining. Today Abby had her oral surgery. It doesn't sound like much... oral surgery. But when you combine a 6:30 call time, a dose of versed, general anesthesia, six fillings, three crowns, TWO tooth extractions (they pulled a wiggly one), stitches and a drained abscess it makes for a lot of work.

As usual she was a trooper. She never complained about getting up early this morning or being hungry. She was a trooper waiting for her surgery to start.

She was a complete ham when they gave her the versed.

Then off she went. That's the part I hate the most. I HATE saying goodbye.

I hate watching her get wheeled away for what feels like the millionth time. You can't explain to people who have never been there the utter helplessness that comes with watching your child get wheeled into an operating or testing room (over and over). It sucks!

The surgery took longer than expected, almost two hours.

She took a while to wake up but was much less weepy than normal.

We stayed in recovery for almost three hours before she was ready to go.

Now she is home and doing great. Soft foods and no walking for 24 hours. She is a fall risk without anesthesia so you can imagine what the does to her system.

Wisdom the Dog

I realized that I had not yet posted a follow up on how things are going with the addition of Wisdom. So far things have been wonderful. He is very sweet and calm and adores the kids. He listens very well, although he is a dog. Abby has had some issues with adjusting. Over time it gets easier but her sensory system struggles with things like licking and the feel of his fur. She is slowly bonding but he adores her.

 Jack and Wisdom are best buddies. 
When the girls go to school it is the Jack and Wisdom show. 

The biggest change we have seen so far is in Grace. She is a different child now that she has a dog. When she is hyper, he calms her. When she starts to have a meltdown, many times going to her room and laying with the dog negates it. 

She is so in love with the dog and he with her. He really is the perfect addition to our family.

Fifteen Years Later

Last Friday Brian and I celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary. I am only 35 years old and I have been married fifteen years. It almost seems surreal. I am lucky to have married someone that was fun to "grow up" with and complements everything about me and who I am.

He's goofy. 
 He's weird. 
 He's kinda funny, 
 And WAY more adventurous than I am. 
 He forces me out of my comfort zone. 
 And teaches our kids lessons I am not equipped to teach. 
 He has always been there. 
 He's loyal. 
 He's fun. 
 He's willing to carry around a kid...
 When you need him to. 
 Did I day he was goofy. 
 And fun. 
 He's a dependable, loving, caring person who would give you the shirt off of his back. 

That's why I love him. Here's to many, many more!

Grace's Season Ender

Grace was fortunate enough to qualify for two events in the Championship Meet. For a six year old we were extremely proud that she even qualified. Her first race of the day was the 400 meter. It is her best race and she was in a field of 15 girls between the ages of 5 and almost 9. She was SO NERVOUS leading up to the race.

She looked so nervous at the starting race that it made me incredibly nervous. Thankfully she qualified with two of her friends from the team. 

She did awesome, running a 1.36 which is her personal best in a meet. (She ran a 1.32 in practice.)

She came off the field very disappointed because she ended up fifth overall. 

The last race of the day (for her and the entire meet, making it a very long day) was a 4 x 400m. Our township had put together two really strong relay teams. Grace was technically on the "B" team, based upon times. When they lined up she was in the same race as boys and much older kids. I could tell it was making her nervous. She ran the first leg and looked phenomenal. In her leg of the relay she beat the "A" team from our township and two boy teams. She ran a 1.35 which was amazing. The best part is that when she handed off her baton she then ran the remaining three legs of the race alongside her teammate (on the infield) cheering them on. And guess what, they won the gold medal!!!!  

She was ecstatic. She was beeming. We were so proud. It was a good weekend to be a track parent. :D

Abby's Season Ender

This past weekend was the girls final meet of the track season. It is a little bittersweet for us because we truly do love track, the people and the "family" we have found there. It is also truly amazing to watch our girls thrive in this sport. Abby ran on Friday night in the non-Championship meet. She didn't qualify for the championship so she got to run in as many events as she wanted in the final meet.

Her first race of the night was the 100 meter race. She looked adorable as always as she lined up.

She was in the last heat of her age group so we thought she might have a shot at the top five. 

Well, can I tell you our complete shock when she ran the best race of her life and got FIRST PLACE!

We was absolutely elated. I watched the race from the starting line and it took everything in my body not to sob like a baby when I walked to greet her at the finish line. 

The same little girl who needed a walker and a helmet and braces. The same little girl that I laid awake in bed wondering if she would ever walk. SHE won first place!!!

Momma's Day in Pictures

A belated Happy Mothers Day to all of you!

My Mother's Day was spent just the way I like it, outside!

In my garden!

Sitting in the shade!

Watching the kids play happily. My kind of day!

The Boy Turns Two

How is it possible that my sweet little baby is already a rambunctious two year old? It seems like a month ago he was chilling in his swing in the middle of my kitchen.

We decided to keep his birthday simple. I made the mistake with the older two of over thinking birthdays. 

He got a few presents in the morning. Then Honey and I took him to feed the fish at the garden center. 

After nap he and I played out front. He insisted on cleaning off the front porch. 

The girls and I decorated two cakes for his party. 

My attempt at a Mickey cake:

Abby and Grace's attempt at a Mickey cake:

Jack and Wizzum sidestepped the party hats and went right for fancy headbands. 


In the end he had a lovely day. It was quiet and laid back. He got to have lots of fun without getting overwhelmed. Only problem is, now I have a two year old boy to contend with. 




About this blog

Over 8 years we have struggled through 3 IUI's, 6 rounds of IVF, several RE's, hundreds of appointments and the loss of three little angels. Now we find ourselves the proud parents of two perfect little girls and a wonderful little boy!!

Both of our girls struggle with some disabilities but that won't keep us down. Each day has it's own brand of insanity but we love it. Most days I am more monkey wrangler than mother but I do the best I can. Todays goal - getting to tomorrow.

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