Tag Archives: Back to Day Care

TJ’s Daycare Update – September 26

It has been almost a month since we started back at work and daycare after having off for the summer. Therefore, I wanted to give an update on how everything is going with TJ being back at daycare as an active toddler with his eczema and multiple food allergies. While there have been some challenges, we are blessed because he has been safe. So let me recap week by week the challenges while also counting our blessings.

For more background information on the safety plan we put together for TJ’s utmost safety, check out these two previous posts:

  1. Preparing for Daycare (A Plan in the Works)
  2. TJ’s Daycare Accommodations

Leading up to that first week back, I experienced major anxiety, worrying about all the “what ifs” and horrible possibilities that could happen. I even reached out to different moms through other allergy sites about sending their toddlers with multiple food allergies to daycare. After the first few people responded to my post, I started to get even more upset. They were mostly all suggesting not to send TJ to a daycare at all and offering other options that they themselves took. While I appreciated all the suggestions especially since I had been the one who asked, I grew even more anxious. That’s when I realized that I was not looking for suggestions. Instead I was hunting for confirmation from everyone and anyone that we were making the right decision for TJ. Asking others on other allergy sites for suggestions is one thing and a great resource to have.  However, searching for confirmation all over the place is the same exact reason that complicated and frustrated me last winter when TJ’s allergies were first discovered. I reminded myself that I do NOT need confirmation from everyone and anyone who will listen. Therefore, I stopped reading the other posts and suggestions, and shifted my focus to trusting our detailed plan, my mother’s intuition and most importantly, God. Repeating to myself over and over again every single time a worry comes to mind… “I trust you God.”

Therefore, with the start of the new school year, TJ  started back at the daycare facility that is a block from my work and has been working with us since he started at 6 months.  This staff has been working  more closely with us since his initial allergic reaction in December. (Read more about that experience here.) And even more closely now that he is a very active toddler among many other active toddlers.


So, let’s get back to the actual update:

WEEK 1
Challenge: The Food Strike

In addition to the screaming that happened and broke my heart every morning when I dropped him off, TJ would not eat much at daycare that first week, and even had two days of total refusal. Thankfully, he would drink his soy toddler formula. However, we were panicked since he was losing weight in only 4 days being at daycare. He would, however, eat his dinner at home on those days.

Was it just the transition back to daycare?

Was it our fault for allowing and using Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and music videos (ha) during mealtimes at home to get him to eat? (At the start of the summer since TJ’s iron levels were slightly low, we were following our pediatrician’s advice to not give a supplement yet and try different iron-rich foods. Therefore, we gave into the television and it worked! ) However, was it causing a problem now?

Was teething not helping the situation?

Or, a thought that crossed my mind which several others Including my hubby may think I’m crazy for …

Even though TJ was only 16 months, did he somehow already understand that only food from Mommy and Daddy was safe? Was God protecting him with this strike?

Counting our blessings: The hunger strike then continued over that weekend at home. All of the sudden, TJ wanted to feed himself the specific foods that he wanted. So, after emailing our pediatrician, we followed TJ’s lead and also avoided watching Mickey. By the end of that weekend, he was eating and much more independent with it. And, two new teeth had cut through … the upper canines. Ouch!

TEETHINGIf you ask me, these new teeth and independent phase ( hunger strike and all) could not have come at a better time. Now that TJ was eating more on his own, he did not need as much assistance from anyone and there would less of a chance of cross contamination during mealtimes. Every day when I pick TJ up from daycare, I thank God for keeping him safe that day. Despite the hunger strike,  I count my blessings… TJ was protected and safe.

WEEK 2
Challenge: No More High Chair?

To start the week off, TJ and I had a “talk” in the car about eating at daycare and that all of the food is safe and sent by Mommy and Daddy. (Ha I know this is a bit silly but hey, they understand more than we think they do, right?) As we went to get out of the car that morning, TJ held on tightly to one of his favorite stuffed animals, Buddy. Since I did not want to upset him, I let him bring it with him. He did not cry that morning and actually ate half of his food! Thank you Buddy and the rest of his stuffed buddies who take turns going to school with TJ each day now.  Our mornings are no longer filled with tears.

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With the eating improving week 2, another challenge presented itself though. That Friday when I picked TJ up for the day, he was not drinking his afternoon sippy cup in the high chair we had provided.  Instead, he was seated at one of the main tables where four other toddlers eat.  He was seated in a seat labeled “Hunter.” While there had been conversation about TJ eventually being transitioned from the safe, allergen-free high chair to the “food allergy safe table,” we did not think that this would happen without us knowing and on the 8th day of school!!! Plus, he wasn’t even at the table designated for allergies.  He sat at one of the main tables.

NO MORE HIGH CHAIR

As soon as TJ saw me, he threw his sippy cup down onto the table and ran to me.  While I know that the staff cleans the tables and it is a peanut and tree nut free classroom, I was not comfortable with the entire scenario and how it went down without us knowing.   I told his teacher that I was not comfortable with this and explained my reasons why.  However, it was Friday, I was exhausted, wanted to beat traffic, and discuss this with my husband before deciding what to do next.

SURPRISE

One of my biggest fears before the school year started was that everyone would be super cautious and careful with TJ to begin with.  Then, as the weeks and months went by, they would become “comfortable” and more relaxed with everything. I did not expect that comfort to already present itself on day 8 though!

CONFUSED 2

Counting our blessings: We emailed the directors that weekend very nicely explaining our concerns with this change.  They responded right away with a very supportive email, indirectly letting us know that they had no idea about the change.   After speaking with them, it was clarified to everyone that for now TJ is to sit in his high chair for all meals.  At the end of October, we will all discuss switching him to his allergen-free table. They also assured us that before any change occurs with TJ we would be contacted and asked our thoughts on it.   TJ also now participates in art activities at the main tables.   However, food is not involved.

We count our blessings…Not only is a daycare facility going above and beyond for TJ’s safety, he has been protected and safe.


WEEK 3

Challenge: First Cold of the School Year

Counting our blessings: Although colds and sicknesses stink and I hate to see my Cutes not feeling well, I know that they are inevitable especially when you attend a daycare. Because I know that TJ has been kept safe for almost a month now and a facility is working so closely with us even though they don’t have to, this first cold doesn’t even seem like a challenge at all. Therefore, we are extremely blessed and thankful.  With all of that being said and some extra cuddles and rest, we know that we will kick this cold in the butt so we smile on…

TIPSy TUESDAY – A Retrained Brain

For one more week, my tip will be on a deeper kind of level and about faith. Next week, I’ll go back to tips directly related to eczema and allergies. However, for now, my brain and heart are here.

Plus, isn’t faith related to it all…     FAITH 10


In yesterday’s “In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley, he preached about The Burden of Inadequacy.”  His message really hit home for me especially with the new school year starting today and TJ going back to daycare.   The burden of the “what ifs,” “how I wish it was,” and fears of what can happen have really been overshadowing my faith, thus sending my thoughts sprinting off course. RUNNING

Stanley reminded me that, “When God calls you to a task beyond your abilities, instead of giving in to your feelings, choose to rely on what you know about Him and His promises. By moving forward in faith despite your inadequacy, you will discover the Lord’s faithfulness. He always empowers us for the works He assigns.”

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With that being said, I have been very “off” today (Okay, maybe for awhile), feeling scared, terrified, about this next step, back to school and daycare.   The last few nights I have woken up at 2:30 am from dreaming about different scenarios.   These scenarios that fear can allow you to create and act out in your mind can really drive you insane. They were doing just that to me.  It was and is time to retrain my brain again, replacing these persistent negative thoughts with stronger positive ones.


faith3In the past I’ve had to reconfigure a few times, reteaching my brain to think by blocking out the negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. The two most recent times for this were 1) about 6 years ago right after returning from our honeymoon and 2) after TJ’s anaphylactic reaction.

  1. After returning from our honeymoon and back to school six years ago, I became extremely overwhelmed with changes at work and the transitions at home.  I went from the natural high of planning a wedding, getting married, then a perfect honeymoon to six months of extreme anxiety where I could not turn off my brain from the negativity. I had so much to be thankful for and happy about, yet I felt so anxious.  Like usual, those feelings of anxiety led to feelings of guilt then sadness then more and more negative emotions. After barely sleeping for half a year and realizing that my thoughts and attitude was affecting people who I loved, I read “The Secret.” That was in when I decided that I was the only person who could make a change.   That no matter what happened to me in life; I had the ultimate control of the kind of person who I was and my true happiness. Therefore, I started to replace my negative thoughts with positive ones.   I would force myself to list five things that I was grateful for every time I thought of a negative one.   In addition to this, every morning when I would run, instead of listening to music, playing games on my phone, or watching television, I would pray and list every single person, quality, feature, talent, experience, everything that I could think of that I was thankful for. I would list everything!!!  I needed sleep and to feel sane again.   After doing this for six months, almost out of nowhere and without even thinking, I felt different than ever before.   I felt genuinely happy. Some people may think that it was insane that I did that for so long without any noticeable results.   However, I tell you that it was 100% worth it.  I believed change could happen, made more than just a conscious effort to change it, and then it changed more than I ever imagined.

“I trust you God…”

2. After TJ’s allergic reaction, I once again fell into a deep world of anxiety, fear and depression.   During those first couple of months, I found myself searching up all of the ailments that I must have had.  I was nauseous, unable to focus, dizzy, losing weight, always tired, and much more.  I convinced myself that I was sick with something.  However, after going to see my doctor and getting blood work, I finally admitted it was anxiety again.   To prevent myself from searching up online all the diseases and illnesses I could have, I put one of my favorite Christian songs on the search engine on my phone.   Therefore, when I was tempted to give into my fear and search my newest “sickness,” I would flip right to lyrics and words that I knew were the real truth.   I then started blogging, writing about my experience, replacing my negativity with positive thoughts.

“I trust you God…”


Yesterday despite the anticipation of today, I made it my goal to try to replace my fearful thoughts with positive ones. (Although I did allow a few tears to slip in through the cracks here and there.)   Sure, I have no idea what this school year and TJ being back at daycare as an active, curious toddler will bring.   However, I know that we have prepared and advocated soooo much.  We have covered all grounds over and over again, and will continue to do so.   Therefore, I am left with that decision yet again.  What will it be, faith or fear for me?

“I trust you God…”


faith 6

Because I know that I will not survive this year if I continue to focus on everything that I am fearful of because that list is endless, I must pick faith. So yesterday afternoon, I decided that I would think the simple, yet powerful words over and over again in my mind ever time a worry or fear tried to surface itself…

“I trust you God…”


Today, as we started a brand new school year and a new phase of TJ’s life, we are thankful for the amazing summer we had and expecting great year full of great new experiences…

“I trust you God…”


Yesterday, I heard Chris Tomlin’s song “Whom Shall I Fear” in the car with my son and I thought to myself, “God I needed to hear those words and tomorrow I will need them even more.” 

“I trust you God…”


Today, as my husband was putting TJ into the car seat for our first morning commute back, I turned on the car.  What song do you think was playing...”Whom Shall I Fear”… Talk about signs.

“I trust you God…”


My tip this Tuesday is that retraining your brain is possible.   Heck, anything is possible.  In situations that cause extreme anxiety like ours recently,  plan and advocate in every way you feel is needed. Never apologize for advocating too much, but be grateful for those who receive and respect it with open minds and hearts. (Today, TJ’s teachers did just that.  He may have gotten upset and eaten less than normal because it’s new to him, but he was safe and cared for, so thank you to all his teachers and caretakers. Thank you God!)

Finally and most importantly, have faith and trust that God has your back.  We believe great things are in the works because we trust you God so we smile on…


You hear me when I call
You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night
It cannot hide the light
Whom shall I fear?

You crush the enemy
Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield
Though trouble linger still
Whom shall I fear?

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies is always by my side
The One who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies is always by my side

My strength is in Your name
For You alone can save
You will deliver me
Yours is the victory
Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hands
I’m holding on to Your promises
You are faithful
You are faithful”

– “Whom Shall I Fear” – Chris Tomlin

retrain your brain