Tag Archives: New School Year

TIPSy TUESDAY – Less is Definitely More

When starting anything new, many of us read endless books, download various applications, and ask everyone for their recommendations to discover the best ways to be successful at whatever the task be.   Before having TJ, I did just that in order to ensure that I would learn how to “best” nurse, feed, rock, swaddle, sleep, wash, play, establish a routine, teach, be a mom.   However, what I wasn’t realizing, and accepting, then was that babies aren’t one-size-fits-all and that less is definitely more. Now, I know it is much more valuable to pick one or two people as well as resources to confide in and turn to for questions. Less is definitely more.


When I first had TJ, I spent the first couple of months asking millions of new-mom questions to every person that knew anything at all about babies.  In addition to all of that guidance, almost everyone else I spoke to had more advice to give, (even when I didn’t ask.)   Thus, leading my hormonally-challenged brain to become inundated with too much conflicting information. Then, leading me to cry to my husband that “so-and-so” said, “I should be doing something that was the complete opposite of what I was doing; therefore, I was definitely a bad mom.”  It’s comical now to look back and see how much has really been put into perspective since then and even more comical to think about how crazy those hormones can be in the very beginning.  crazy

That is when I started to learn that less is more especially when you had your own Mommy intuition on your side. Heck, I had to be doing something right if TJ filled his days and even sleep with smiles right? It couldn’t all just be gas!?!?

However, after TJ’s anaphylactic reaction, I went back to contacting everyone and their mother about food allergies.  From pediatricians to nutritionists to moms to allergists to anyone who would listen to my new interest, or obsession, with food allergies and eczema.  This once again led me to information overload, full of conflicting guidance and praying for clarity. I wanted to change my situation and learn how to take it all away.   I searched and searched for someone to inform me of the “cure-all” to all of TJ’s food allergies and skin sensitivities.  For this was not how I planned and prepared it to be. It was only through lots of writing and praying that I learned that my focus was once again off-course. Instead of wishing away the days, I needed to embrace them, challenges and all.

faith3Now, with the start of a new school year of work and daycare, I have been literally making myself sick.  From stomach aches to headaches to back pain to nausea, I have been allowing my fears to take the steering wheel again.   I have been reaching out to other people all around to find out what they did or would do in my shoes, looking for some kind of confirmation and affirmation that I am making the right choices for us, for TJ.  In doing this, I was beginning to doubt myself again which is the opposite of where my mind needs to be right now for TJ. While I wish I could be home with TJ until he outgrows more of his allergies, I can’t begin to wish away the days or wish our situations were different.   Instead, I admit that I can’t do this alone so I turn to God.   Therefore, I need to pull back a bit with asking everyone their opinions and advice again.   If it indeed is confirmation that I need, I can only find that in one place.

Since I start work again today and begin a new stage of TJ’s allergies, I am feeling more emotional than normal so my tip is more on that kind of deeper level. Instead of searching all over for the “answers,” let your faith be greater than you fear.” Faith with belief is powerful so pray and learn to trust yourself, that instinct is more powerful that you think, or at least that is what I am learning. While we have devised a care and emergency plan for TJ, and continue to do so to ensure his safety this year at day care, we trust that God is putting all of the “right” people on TJ’s path. So with that, we believe and smile on to the 2015-2016 school year…


TIPSy TUESDAYS – Preparing for Daycare (in the Works)

Today’s tips are about preparing for a new year at daycare.   Since I myself am new to this, this post is also a way for me to organize my thoughts as we prepare for TJ going back to daycare in a couple weeks. While I have learned that life often doesn’t go according to how we plan it, I believe it is very important to be prepared with a plan of action whenever you can.   When dealing with food allergies and eczema, I am learning it is all about educating others while also staying educated yourself. Preparing others while also being prepared, and trying to stay cautiously optimistic.

Here is our preparation/education process (still in the works).

  1. MEETING: Set up a meeting to discuss TJ and his food allergies/eczema with the coordinators to discuss all of the following.
  2. FOOD ALLERGY & ANAPHYLAXIS EMERGENCY CARE PLAN: Make sure to have an updated emergency plan. Since TJ’s plan was first written in December/January when he was 8 months, it was extremely important to have this updated. We will bring a couple copies of this so that they can have it in the office and more importantly, in his classroom.
  3. SPEAK WITH ALLERGIST/PEDIATRICIAN/DOCTORS: We spoke with all of TJ’s doctors and received their input and recommendations regarding everything including mealtimes, procedures, cross contamination, and even play time.
  4. LETTERS: Since TJ is highly allergic to several common foods, it is very important for TJ’s best safety that he is closely monitored especially during mealtimes. We also have to make sure that meals and snacks are only eaten during certain times and designated places.   Our doctors all stated this.   Therefore, we had two doctors write letters to try to get him a one-to-one assistant/teacher during mealtimes. The person handling TJ’s food needs to wash their hands before preparation and should not be handling others’ food.  It sounds demanding but it is necessary.  
  5. A PLAN FOR MEALTIMES: His classroom is a tree nut and peanut free classroom. However, TJ must only eat what we send in with him. In addition to this, whoever is handling his food or him needs to be extra conscious about washing their hands beforehand. We will also ask if we can bring our own high chair for TJ’s use only.
  6. ACTIVITIES: Remind the school to check with us before TJ participates in certain activities such as playing with Play Dough and paints.   Some of these art supplies contain ingredients that he is allergic to like wheat. We will plan to provide alternate supplies.
  7. BRING PROPER MEDICATIONS/LOTIONS: We will bring Benadryl and an extra set of Auvi-Q injectors, explaining that they must be stored near him in his classroom, instead of the main office. When someone is allergic to bees, they bring their Epi-Pen with them outside in case they are stung.  Therefore, TJ’s should be nearby when he is eating.   With lotions, sunscreen, and even cleaning supplies, there are only certain types that he can use due to his dermagraphism and eczema.
  9. SMILES/POSITIVE ATTITUDE: I am not sure how this meeting or school year will go, and I am sure that I will learn more throughout it all.   However, this is how we will approach Friday’s meeting, prepared with a plan of how to ensure TJ’s absolute safety.   Like TJ, we will be wearing our smiles, praying and having faith that it WILL be the start of a great new school year.