My child could have (but didn’t) die and it’s because of my careless mistake.

I haven’t posted in a very long time. I am back because I want to share this recent incident that happened. It’s a true scary story. We found out Milo was allergic to peanuts when we introduced it to him when he was one year old. He is now 9 years old. He gets tested every year and he is still very allergic. Another known time that he had peanuts, aside from his first tiny dose at age one, was mistakenly given to him by his VI specialist at his preschool when we were not with him. Milo’s reactions were hives and profuse vomiting. EpiPen is always with us and we never had given it to him until yesterday.

I have been very vigilant at reading food labels since we found out he is allergic to peanuts. As the years gone by and with no incident, I have come to realize that I am not as vigilant as I used to be. I learned this because I was very careless and gave Milo a cookie that contained peanut paste. Yes, you heard me. I fed my peanut allergic child peanut. I made a horrible mistake and gave him a cookie without being thorough with looking at the ingredients. It was a chocolate cookie and by seeing that, it subconsciously gave me a reason to not have to be so detail with examining the ingredients carefully. It was wrong, very wrong. I was wrong, very regretfully wrong.

 

Milo had the cookie, got into the car and headed for hjs karate lesson. He felt bad soon after and my husband called to ask me if he ate something new. I said yes and right away I thought F—! and grabbed the box and started looking for the word “peanuts” and there it was “peanut paste.” F–K! was right. They came home and we gave him his Benadryl and waited out for his throw up. We watched for hives but there were none. This was the first time (thanks to me) that we are with him and actually know that he ate peanuts. We did not know how his body would react since each allergic reaction can be very different. It was decided we should take Milo to the emergency room because we read that anaphylactic reactions can happen hours from intake. Soon after Milo got into the car, he threw up and he informed us that his throat is very itchy. My husband called 911 and administered an EpiPen (for the first time ever). The fireman and paramedics came and took Milo to the hospital in the ambulance. Milo was still very chatty with all the firemen and paramedics so it was a very good sign that he was stable.

 

Milo stayed in the hospital for couple hours and since we are not too far from the hospital, he was discharged. Milo was a trooper and so was my husband. I felt horrible and full of guilt but none of them made me feel bad or said a word about what I did because of my careless mistake.

 

The day surprisingly went on like it was planned. Matilda had a pool party in which she attended and had a blast. She did asked me if Milo was going to die while I was taking her to the party. I told her that Milo will be okay because we took all the steps we needed to and if we didn’t, he could die. Owen was over the moon with having the firemen in our home along with the firetruck and a fire paramedic truck in our driveway. I even made it on time to Milo and Matilda’s back to school night (along with my sweaty self and an amazing amount of guilt and relief that Milo was okay).

 

The image of me not reading the instructions carefully kept repeating in my mind along with what if I can go back in time thought. I know I can’t do the latter and that is why I am sharing this with you all so that it won’t happen to you or anyone you know.

 

 

This is my story and luckily it has a happy ending. I learned a very important lesson and so did the rest of the family. Milo learned how serious his allergy can be and that it can be lethal. Matilda also learned how serious it can be. Owen learned that when Milo has a boo-boo, the firemen and paramedics come to our house. We all learned to be vigilant again. Milo learned to remind us about reading the ingredients and that he needs to read the ingredients as well and not rely on others (perfect example of how his mother cannot be trusted). We learned that we have to be more aware of others who also have allergies. My husband and I both learned that getting immediate medical help is the way to go, whether or not there is any immediate reaction.

 

It is very very important to take action when your child (or an adult) comes in contact with the food he/she is allergic to. It is crucial to go to the hospital. Reactions can take hours to happen and sometimes if you wait for a long time to do anything, the result can be lethal. It really is better to be safe than to be sorry.

 

Judgement or no judgement, I don’t care. I just want to share this because we all can get too comfortable at something that we shouldn’t. This is how I will end this post – Hi, I am a mom and today my child could have die because I got too comfortable with his peanut allergy and made a stupid careless mistake.

 

STROLLER STROLLER ON THE ROAD WHO SHALL I CHOOSE NOW.

I have been using my Bugaboo Cameleon since my first kid and I love it. But recently I have been hoping and wanting to switch to a new stroller. It seems crazee to switch now since this is our last baby but with 3 children, life is a bit different with the Bugaboo Cameleon. I am always on the go with the baby from dropping/picking up the kids at school to after school activities and then running errands in between. Milo gets playdate and sometimes we give his friends ride and with the Bugaboo Cameleon, we cannot very easily use our third row in our car. In all my years of using the Bugaboo Cameleon, I always detach the basket and the stroller seat when putting it away because I do not like the wheels touching the fabric of the basket and the stroller. It was never a space problem with just 2 kids but now with 3, it actually gets kind of annoying and more work since I have to arrange my stroller, groceries and all different theme bags (diaper bags, change of clothing for different activities). This becomes more of a problem when we go on road trip between all our luggage and the stroller.

The wheelboard was nice and helpful but one thing that I never got used to was the position since I am always awkwardly pushing it while one kid is on it. Now with 3, it makes it harder to navigate so we don’t really use it. I keep the kids close to me when I am pushing the stroller and Milo is starting to use his cane so I try to get him closer but enough so his cane is not constantly hitting the stroller. With Matilda, I try to get her to hold my hand or hold onto the stroller because she has a harder time to hear me when we are out.

Bugaboo has been great to our family and we especially love our smooth and easy it is to navigate, I can seriously push it with couple fingers if I have to. But with my life right now, I would love to explore another option and try to let go of my beloved Bugaboo Cameleon.

 

What I am looking for right now in a stroller:

  • easy to drive
  • space saving in my trunk
  • no need to fill air in the tires
  • option to have the child face me or out

So far, I found a few I would love to try out.

1) Orbit. There are a few things that I am drawn to about the Orbit. I like how small it folds into when you put it away and how the stroller seat would not touch the wheels. The location of the wheelboard seems to be much better. There are more storage space than the Bugaboo. I do love the fact that you can rotate the seat all around. I never have used it so I am not sure if what it says on site is what I am thinking.

2) Bugaboo Bee. I have seen the Bee around a lot in my community and I would love to try it since the size seems to be just right but I do not know how compact it folds when I have to put it away. 

 

3) UPPAbaby Cruz stroller. I do not know anything about UPPAbaby but I have seen so many of the Vista around and when I was saw that they have a compact version I got curious. It seems to fold into a pretty nice compact size and the storage is plenty for the size. I am also liking the variety of colors you can choose from. 

 

4) Nuna Mixx. I absolutely know nothing about Nuna but it seems super simple to fold/unfold and compact. Nothing fancy and functional and kind of cute. I would love to try them out and see what this brand is about to get the words on the street.

 

Please feel free to share! I am always on the lookout for new products for families of 3 and also for families of special needs children. Thank you and I wish I can try them all out and then tell you which one is the best for me.

 

 

WHAT I THINK YOU SHOULD (MUST) GET WHEN YOU HAVE A BABY.

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When I was pregnant with my first, I went overboard and got so (too) much stuff and way in advance too. We got this one book (I can’t remember what it was for the life of me, its probably something like The best of… or The most essential items that you will ever need… but I do remember that book being THE book/guide that everyone had) and had reviews and ratings on all essentials. I regret buying some big items in advance since some did not suited me (like the Baby Bjorn) and some did not fit in the lifestyle of our family. We were also the first among our friends to have kids so we did not get much tips.

With Matilda, we were somewhat pro and plus there were so many more recommendations and new items on the market and out on blogs that I read about in which I did not with Milo. Now, with Owen I have to say I got this whole baby essential thing down pretty good and I want to share it with you since I rely so much on tips from other moms/families and I want to do the same for others.

One thing I have learned having 3 kids in 7 years is that there are constantly so much cool gadgets coming out and to be honest, I constantly want to try them all.

Let’s start with strollers:

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1. We have the Bugaboo Cameleon since Milo and is still going strong. We purchased the kickboard (now they have it with a little seat)when we had Matilda. If I have to do it again and knowing I will have 3 kids, I will still get the Bugaboo but of course I would go with the newest Bugaboo donkey series. I really was tempted to switch it up when it came out, but I could not rationalize spending the money when I already have one.

2. We got a Maclaren XT Techno stroller when Milo was 4.5 months while we were traveling in Asia and it works great except that we rarely used it since we always chose the Bugaboo over the Maclaren due to the kickboard feature so that Milo can ride on it. But if the Bugaboo is too big and bulky, I would recommend the Maclaren for sure.

3. We got a BOB double stroller after Matilda and it works great for both kids (even now) when we go for an outing to the zoo, parks and camp grounds. For the size of it, it’s pretty easy to fold up.

In the past few years, there have been an increase amount of new brand and models coming out for strollers and it makes it even harder to decide what is best for your family. I would invest in a good one especially if you plan to have more than one child. Then, think about the size of your stroller and if your car or whatever means of transportation you have can accommodate that. When we were traveling in Asia, the Maclaren was convenient but at times it was a pain because there were stairs everywhere and we have to take Milo out and fold up the darn thing all the time. If I have a do over starting with Milo, I would just get the Bugaboo and then invest in baby carrier.

 

Baby carriers:

 

1. Ergo. That is all. It is the best thing. I love it. We had a baby bjorn and that thing hurt my back so much (I have a back problem) that I could not use it for more than 20minutes. I discovered Ergo and my first thought was, why did you not come into my life sooner. I used it with both Milo and Matilda until they were 2.5 years old. It is perfect for traveling. Some people prefer carrier where the baby faces forward  but I prefer the face to face with my baby because I like to communicate with them (and it’s not like they can’t see what I see). With Milo it was great because of his visual impairment, I can talk with him and tell him everything I see. With Matilda’s hearing impairment, I can sign and she can read my lips if needed and I could talk into her good ear. You can throw the Ergo in the wash and it maintains its shape. I got the infant insert, the teething pads, the winter weather cover, and recently we got the rain cover (for our recent Disneyland trip and it kept Owen completely dried).

2. Solly wrap. I discovered this with Owen and so wish I had it with the other two. I have seen bunch of wraps since Milo days but was never really a believer or gave it much thought. But Solly wrap attracted me and so I got it and I love it. It took me some time to get the hang of it and I have used it more than the Ergo since it’s super easy to stuff it in my bag and it’s nice and soft against my clothes so I don’t have to worry about rubbing against my clothes and causing pilling action (Ergo does that, depending what kind of clothing I am wearing). When traveling or shopping, I use the Ergo since it has pockets and I can stuff my wallet in the pockets. The only thing that gets me about the Solly wrap is that it’s super long and when I am putting it on (outside my home) I have to make sure I am in a somewhat clean place since it touches the ground when I am wrapping, but still, I love it. And the owner, Elle is pretty awsum.

Bath time:

Primo EuroBath. We got this for all three kids and we love it. The only down side is that it’s pretty large but if you have the room (we put it in our shower), it is worth it. We use it from when they are 1 month until they are 3 years old. It’s great.

High chair:

With Milo and Matilda we did the Fisher Price rainforest high chair. It worked and the kids sat in it but I was never too fond of the bulkiness and the size. With Owen we got the Stokke Tripp Trapp in green and we have liked it so far. It took a little time to put it together but we like the size of the chair and it fits around our dining table well. And this is a great chair to invest in since it grows with the kid.

Other supplies:

1. You should invest in a nice bath towel since you will be bathing your child daily (I hope). We were gifted a DwellStudio hooded bath towel when Milo was born and we are still loving it and using it. The size is prefect and it washes very well in the washing machine.

2. Good size swaddling blankets. We use nothing but aden+anais (I think everyone is) for bibs, burp cloths, and blankets.

 

 

 

3. Boppy. I love it. I want one in every room and I highly suggest taking it with you when traveling especially for the plane ride. It can save your back and your baby can sleep on it on the plane.

4. Diaper bags. We had Skip Hop diaper bag for the first two and we mostly used it to hang off the stroller but with my third, my husband got me PacaPod (I got the Hastings-driftwood backpack) and I LOVE it!!! It’s amazing and that little thing can hold a lot of stuff and it’s super light. I would switch up my bags sometimes and for the exact same amount of items, my other bags would be super heavy but for the PacaPod, its so light. It can be easily attach to any stroller. It’s definitely worth the investment. Go get one.

I think this is a good start. I can write more later about clothing for both babies and nursing moms or any other good finds. Please feel to comment and tell me what is or was your favorite/must have items.

 

Dear Mr. Westin Verasa Napa: No thank you.

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For our wedding anniversary, we decided to do a quick getaway trip with the family. Our criteria were – nice fancy hotel, pool access, good foods and of course kid friendly. After research we came down to Ritz Carlton in HMB or The Westin Verasa in Napa. We went with the latter. They are both similar in pricing but the room size at The Westin was more than double the size of Ritz.

Day One: We were able to check into our 2 bedroom suite early that day so it was a bonus. The room was pretty impressive in terms of size (2 bedroom king suites + 2 bathrooms + full size kitchen + dining room + family room + balcony / porch) and it was up to my level of cleanliness. I am huge on a place that’s clean especially when I have little ones that likes to run and crawl around everywhere. We poked around town that day and went swimming at the pool and then grabbed dinner at Oxbow Market (5 min walk).

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Day Two: We woke up the next morning and our coffee maker did not work and was able to get it replaced after talking to the front desk several times (I think she needed coffee too since she was not very focus on what I was saying). We headed out to town to get some early lunch and I called the front desk asking if they could do housekeeping since we will be out for a few hours and would like to have the room all clean so I can come back and get the kids settle and put the baby down for a nap. I was told it was not a problem. We went to Grace’s Table for lunch and it was super yummy. I highly recommend the pork belly and the corn bread. We then stopped in at Target to get some supplies. We returned to the hotel and was surprised that our room has not been cleaned as promised. We had originally planned to put the baby down for a nap and the older ones can go play in the pool. As we were rethinking our plans for the day, our hotel room opened and 2 maintenance guy came in and said they need to fix our fridge and it would only take 5 minutes. They came out of nowhere and they seem to be used to just walking into hotel room unannounced. Then one of the guy asked what is wrong because we had these confused and frustrated expression on our face. I told them about the housekeeping that I’ve specifically asked for this morning and was told that it would be taken care of and how they just came into our room out of no where. He then proceeded to tell us that housekeeping has their own schedule and the front desk does not know what they are talking about so when I was told yes, it really does not mean anything. As we were talking, the housekeeping cart rolled up and she asked me if she can come in. We let her in so she can do her thing. We did not want to go out and sit somewhere for 40 minutes since it was crazy hot out that day (100 plus degrees) and the baby was very tired. We just moved from room to room so she can clean. I asked the housekeeper to please vacuumed since I got kids and baby rolling all over the floor and somehow she thought I said I will help her vacuum so she gave me the vacuum. It’s weird but at that moment, I did not care since I wanted the place to be clean and I knew she was in a rush and probably would not do it if we were not there watching her. To top it off, while we are waiting around, we’ve noticed the courtyard outside our room was setting up a bunch of tables for what seem to be a party. As the set up progress, we’ve noticed that they were setting up the bar right up against our balcony/porch area which is also an access for us to go in/out. My husband went and asked them what is going on and he was told that there will be a private party starting at 7pm and yes, they will be right up against our balcony/porch. I was pretty annoyed and upset because all these things happened back to back. I talked with a staff walking down the hall about all of this and he said we should have been told of the party when we checked in since parties are booked in advance. I told them that it’s more annoying the fact that it’s literally outside our balcony where we would like to sit and hang out after the kids go to bed. But with the party, we are not going to be able to enjoy our own space since the party is all around us. The staff called the front desk and explained to the manager about our frustration and I was put on the phone and I told him it’s pretty upsetting since we are paying a pretty good price for our room but we pretty much got a suckie day and can’t use our balcony at night. Long story short, he gave me a late check out of 1pm instead of 12pm and a $100 off. The party was somewhat quiet and it ended around 9:30pm and what was loud was when the staff came and cleaned up all the furniture.

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Day Three:  Our plan was to hang out in the pool all morning to make up for our lost afternoon the day before and then take our time to get ready to check out. But in the morning we saw a note along with our check out bill that the pool will be closed for routine maintenance until 11:30am. What the what!? We were pretty pissed since I would think I would be told of this when I spoke with the manager the day before that I would like a late check out because we wanted to enjoy the pool in the morning with the kids when its open at 8am.  Again, we had to change our plan.

In summary – the kids had fun because they love the space in the hotel room and the fact that they shared a room with a king size bed. Aside from all the mishaps, we had a nice little time but we would not come back to this place especially for the price we paid for the room. We could stay at the Solage Calistoga for almost the same price.

Pro – the size of the 2 bedroom suites is great | the crib is nice and clean | I got a high chair for my whole stay AND they have hand held shower which is something I always asked for because it is great when you have little ones when it comes to bath time.

Con – service is not great | unhelpful staff | it takes a long time for someone to answer calls | unknowledgeable staff |

We want to do more little trip around the area before the summer ends with the kids. Some of the places we are thinking about are:

Solage Calistoga | Ritz Carlton HMB | Dream Inn | Cavallo Point |

I welcome any suggestions please, even rentals with a pool and/or right by the beach. A place like Kid & Coe is on our choices too.

Happy Summer.

WE’VE ADJUSTED OUR FAMILY MATH.

family equationNew math: 4+1=5. We are now a family of 5. We welcomed baby Owen in this December and we are truly over the moon over this little guy. He is a super happy baby and knowing that he is our last, it makes me want to hold on to him a little more or if I could slow-mo his growth. He has already been on many adventures since he is always tagging along with his brother and sister. He goes where I go because he is a strictly boobie baby and just like the other two, he only takes milk directly from the source and no pumping is required.

Owen does not any of the medical condition that Milo and Matilda have but we are keeping an eye on his eyes since he could get what Milo has. But otherwise, he is a baby with no special needs and as a family joke, he is the weirdo in our family.

I will write another post about being a mother of three and what has changed and what new products have come in handy for our Owen.

 

 

 

 

 

Hello World. I am back.

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Hello world. I am back. I have been out of posting and illustrating for my blog for too long. I will give you a quick explanation as to why I have disappeared. First, you can see that I have a new updated site which I have been working on and off for awhile. (If you are still seeing this in the my blogspot site, please go here and check it out.) I’ve started working part time as a consultant awhile back on top of being a stay at home mom. Then, I got pregnant. We just welcomed our little baby boy this December.

So now, I have a somewhat newborn (who I am strictly nursing), 2 kids in school and with tons of after school activities, still working part time and I want to be better and blog again. There are tons of people who does the same and more and I think I can do it. It might not be a daily or even a weekly thing, but I will do it, somehow. I will be back and please come back and click on me. Thank you for your kind attention.

xo