Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thursday Thanks Tank #207: FAAW

I am thankful that my son has not had a reaction to peanuts during elementary school.
I am thankful for the teachers that have worked with me over the years to provide safe options for my son when food was part of a school event.
I am thankful for my son's extremely careful attitude.
I am thankful for a new discovery of Barney's Almond Butter. It's peanut free!
I am also thankful for Blue Diamond Almonds. Also peanut free!
I am thankful for friends who listen to me rant about allergy frustrations.
I am thankful for modern medicine.
I am thankful for understanding from others.
I am thankful that my son knows other students with food allergies.
I am thankful that my husband and I agree on how to manage my son's allergy (including any risks we take).
I am thankful for the companies that take food allergy labeling seriously.
I am thankful our healthy attitude about my son's severe peanut allergy.
I am thankful for FAAN (Food Allergy and Awareness Network) and FARE (Food Allergy and Research Education).
I am thankful for Twitter and being able to do searches on "#foodallergy" or "#peanutallergy"  That took has been invaluable.
I am thankful for FAAW (Food Allergy Awareness Week) and the focus if gives me for the week.
I am thankful that my son has been kept safe.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My PA Son is Almost Done with Elementary School

It's hard to believe my peanut allergic son is finishing up elementary school. I remember vividly my fear the night before he started Kindergarten. There were tears. After he was in bed, I shed big sobbing tears. I was afraid of what he would be up against in school. Where did the time go? It didn't go fast, necessarily. There were many food allergy challenges along the way. Still, in less than a month, he will be done with 5th grade, headed to middle school and I can hardly believe it.

My son is unique in that he attended four elementary schools from Kindergarten through 5th grade. We were in Oregon when he was in Kindergarten and 1st grade. We were in Nevada from 2nd grade through 4th grade. After 2nd grade, we selected to send him to a new school based on his academic needs. Then, we moved to Florida for 5th grade. It was very interesting to see how different schools approach food allergies. No two schools handled it the same, even the two in the same district. And, naturally, no two teachers handled his food allergy the same.

I've learned a lot.

Much of it can be wrapped up in this: Be proactive. Be proactive all the time. It doesn't matter if the teacher's kid has a food allergy (which we've experienced). Always work ahead and do what you need to do. Chances are great that the teacher or school will not cover the basis the way you will.

Well, I've gotten tired. I had a couple more paragraphs written and then I figured out that I had quite a lot more I could say. I'd like to write more about his elementary school food allergy experiences and what I have learned. So, I am going to save that for another time (hopefully soon).

Monday, May 11, 2015

Food Allergy Awareness Week: Monday

It's Food Allergy Awareness Week 2015.

A few thoughts about this week~

I always wished this awareness week took place in the Fall, toward the beginning of a school year, instead of May, near the end of school.

I do like that Food Allergy Awareness Week starts on Mother's Day. Mothers are ultra aware, constantly providing and doing what's necessary for a Food Allergy kid. I saw several food allergy Mother's Day posts online yesterday and they were wonderful.

I like Food Allergy Awareness week because #1, I take time out of my busy schedule to read what's being said and posted. It seems lame and it is to a certain degree, but being the mom of 4 busy kids, I don't stay up on the latest articles, helpful tips, and food allergy news. I do well just to ensure that my son is safe. So, while I hope to make others pause and think about food allergies this week, the week serves me well because I am more aware of what is going on in the allergy world.

I do not know how I will make others more aware of food allergies. I do not have a plan for that. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won't. But, I know that I am going to sit down with my peanut allergy son this week and talk about his allergy- the good, bad and the ugly.
I am sure that effort will be meaningful.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thursday Thanks Tank #206

My 7 year old daughter ran in the house this afternoon and told her 10 year old brother, "Alert! Alert! I found a new bug." Then, he jumped up and followed her outside. I watched them eagerly walk together to look at the new discovery. A few moments later, my son walked in and said, "False alarm. It was just a woodchip."
I love moments of discovery- even non discovery. I love the excitement of seeing my kids explore nature.
This past Sunday I did my first triathlon. I'm still sort of stunned that I did it. My running partner had been training for it for a while and I was training with her. Two weeks ago, I decided that I was going to do it with her. It was a blast. I loved it. I see more triathlons in my future. I am thankful for new experiences. I am thankful for my fitness level. I am the most fit I have ever been and it feels incredible.
My parents were in town for a week plus just recently. I am thankful for their visit. I am thankful that I spend time with them. I am at a stage in my life where I appreciate them for who they are and understand them and the struggles they have. They are not perfect but neither am I. Being mature enough to recognize that has deepened my love for them in ways I never imagined. I love that my kids enjoy being around their grandparents. I am thankful for my parents.
Sometimes my husband and I have these moments when we look at our kids and each other and the obvious non-verbal communication is, 'What just happened?' Our kids are amazing. But, sometimes parenting is amazingly challenging. I am thankful for the communication and respect my husband and I have with and for each other. We don't always agree but we do always try to be respectful. When we disagree on a parenting issue, we try to talk privately about it. Our kids know we are a team. I am thankful for the way we work together as parents.

I've had a good day focusing on being thankful.
I am thankful.