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Working Mom Bento – (and ALLERGY FRIENDLY!)

Miles is officially in school 5 days a week, 8-3. (Can I get a HALLELUJAH!)
While I’m only working part time right now, I’ll be pregnant again soon and that’s another part time job in itself.
Packing lunches was NOT something I was ever looking forward too. Until Keli “stepped” into my life.
She brought me into the wonderful world of Bento boxes and showed me that it doesn’t take a lot of time or a lot of effort. Which Is good since I have neither of those.

I am a working single mom with a preschooler who needs to pack a lunch every day, and on top of that it has to be dairy, egg, peanut, rice, oat and soy free.  (SEE why I wasn’t excited??)

I soared through my first week ease, and had so much fun. Maybe the holiday week made it a little easier.


Allergy Friendly BentoHam rolls ups, baby dill pickles, mini ritz crackers, steamed (cold) broccoli, strawberries and 2 cookies.
I didn’t know how much food he’d eat but I figured I’d rather over pack my first box, than under pack it.
there were FIVE crackers left! I was shocked and very happy.
(I bought this corn box at a local Asian market, I did find it on Ebay also. So you can do some searching around if you MUST have it.)



Sunbutter Football sandwiches, fritos, baby carrots, pitted cherries and mini oreos.
I had a MUCH better idea for today’s lunch but he snuck out of his room and “caught me” making it. He called all the shots from that point. So EVERYTHING was his idea. Even the box with the chopsticks. When I picked him up from lunch he scolded me for not packin”g meaties” so he could use his chopsticks.
I know better for next time.



Tortilla, ham and mustard “sushi,” (with little ham flowers on top), Garden grape tomatoes, baby dill pickles, steamed broccoli, popcorn, grapes, fruit leather cut into carrots (because he thought that was funny) and 1 little tiny cookie.



Sunbutter and Strawberry Jam sandwich (with sprinkles), Pretzels under the sandwich, strawberry hearts and red cereal. This lunch is VERY sugar heavy and NOT typical. But he’s snack today was all veggies, and my mom is spending the afternoon with him so I don’t have to deal with the sugar rush.

Usually he has an early day on Friday and only needs a snack. So I plan on making Friday’s “Scrap Snack Fridays.” Because there are typically scraps left when I make his food in fun shapes. But the dogs were really into my new lunch making routine and happily gobbled them all up. And this week he has a normal full day so we scrolled through some lunch ideas together and he chose this one by himself.


This week was so much fun and he ate almost everything! He told me everyday how fun his lunch was and THAT is why I did this.

I can’t wait till next week.

Intermountain Moms *Contest CLOSED*

Having a young child with a medical issue sure puts your life into a tail spin sometimes.

When looking for a new {larger} house, our #1 priority was the proximity to a hospital.
Probably not the first thing you think of, right?

With Miles’s severe food allergies, there was a time that we were in the ER once a month. When seconds count we need to be as close as possible. We even turned down some houses because they were just so far away.

Our new house? Is perfect. Literally right around the corner from one of the newest Intermountain hospitals. Thankfully, in the year we’ve lived in our new home we have only visited their ER  4 times. Every time is better than the last and I am blown away with their service and kind staff.

Intermountain Health Care is constantly growing and evolving. I was so excited when they announced their new Intermountain Moms facebook page. And even MORE excited when I learn there is a REAL LIFE Nurse that is available to answer health related questions. It’s such a fantastic place to connect with other moms and other parents, and I’ve already learned SO much from their page.

Some quick facts about the Intermountain Moms page:

–  All mothers can ask a real nurse (Nurse Dani) questions about their pregnancy or children. She often answers with a video.

– The page has a lot of information and videos that act as support for new mothers. Most videos are OBCYN’s and Pediatricians answering FAQ’s.

– The page has a community of mothers that share stories and experiences. The fans are very active, engaged, and quick to help each other.


Are you ready for the best part????


They are graciously hosting an AMAZING giveaway for a $300 gift certificate to Babinski’s Baby just for checking them out.


Babinski’s Baby a charming children’s boutique in Salt Lake City.


$300 to spend on whatever you need for your children, or to give as a gift to someone expecting their very own bundle of joy!!!


To enter:

-Simply “like” Intermountain Mom’s on facebook and leave a comment to tell me you did.


Because I’m feeling EXTRA nice (and excited about this giveaway) you can earn one extra entry by tweeting : “I want to win a $300 gift certificate to @babinskis thanks to Intermountain Moms and @ryles http://bit.ly/rZwa3r” (or something similar.. Be creative!!!) (no extra points for creativity…Just makes me smile!)

Come back and leave a comment that you tweeted

And one extra entry by posting on your FB wall about the giveaway and coming

 back to leave another comment.


You now have 3 ways to win this AMAZING prize!!!


Contest will be closed on November 21st. Winner will be announced the 22nd!!!!!!

***The spoils for this giveaway were provided by Intermountain Mom’s. As always that thought and opinions are completely MINE! ***



We’re off to see the O’s..

In less than 12 hours I leave on my babymoon.

Babymoon takes on a whole new meaning during the journey.

3 years ago (funny, it was almost EXACTLY 3 years ago) my husband and I took a babymoon before the arrival of Miles. It was one of the best decision we ever made. It was so nice to be away (even if it was less than an hour away from home), it was nice to not worry about things and have someone else clean.

This time, I wont need a break before the baby arrives. My “me time” actually STARTS when the baby is born. So I decided to take a babymoon before the pregnancy.

Part of my contract contains a few sections that limit travel during the pregnancy, so I have exactly 12 days before I become pregnant.

It just so happens to be a very special little boys birthday very soon..

And if you remember last year around this time we “fell in love” with our soul couple..

SO much has happened in that year. SO much that I am stumble over my words when people ask me how long I’ve know Allison. Because hasn’t it be F.O.R.E.V.E.R?? (In a good way, of course.)

So.. there was this savings account with money being saved for a vacation, and no vacation in sight.

And here we are. Less than 12 hours before my vacation. Less than 12 hours until I get to hug my Allison. Less than 12 hours until the boys get to play trains together. (because we packed a WHOLE LOTTA TRAINS!)

I will be FLYING SOLO with my 2.5 year old son. Lest you forget, I am TERRIFIED of flying. Terrified of everything having to do with being in a plane. Yet, I am flying alone with my toddler 2 and a half hours away.

Not to mention because of Miles food allergies I basically had to pack as much food as a grocery store carries, and because of my med schedule I had to basically pack as much medicine as a pharmacy carries. We’re going to be a sight to be seen in the security line. God Bless the poor person that ends up behind us.

But uh.. I kinda made them hike STRAIGHT UP A MOUNTAIN in flip flops.. So, I totally got this. Right??

I can not wait for the next 6 days.. Frankly, I dont care if we ever even change out of our pajamas.

I brought 2 boxes of pop tarts. So we never even have to leave the couch..

Let’s do this!

{Me and Allison – June 2010}

“At least he doesnt have a peanut allergy”

“At least he doesn’t have a peanut allergy.”

That phrase is said to me AT LEAST once a day.

I’m feeling frustrated/overwhelmed/whoa-is-me lately about Miles’s food allergies. Or maybe not “his” food allergies, maybe just food allergies in general. It may be just because I am more sensitive to it, but people just don’t get it.

I day dream about going to a restaurant and asking Miles if he wants a hamburger or chicken strips for dinner. Instead, I pack a whole meal for him for an hour before we leave.

Don’t read me wrong, I am not upset about his allergies. I don’t dread doing those things. But I think a lot about “Do other parents realize how easy they have it.”

(But in retrospect, do I realize how easy I have it? I have a child who is healthy, can walk, can talk and has a roof over his head, food in his belly and loving parents..)

I digress, food allergies are HARD, yo!

I love this article that Katie wrote, it sums up how I feel so much. One of the comments really struck me (almost bringing me to tears)

Drayre says:
I feel terrible for parents of kids who have severe food allergies. Do they ever feel that their kids are safe? Even with bans on peanut or nut products in school can you really trust that every parent is going to respect that mandate and not send their kids with a PB&J? or a peanut butter cookie?

NO! a big huge NO! I NEVER feel like Miles is safe. EVER. I question everyone, everything that goes into is mouth is looked at by me. I am worried always. I can never let my guard down.

It was easier when he was little. I controlled everything, but now he’s older. He walks around, he can reach things, open the pantry door and wants what all the other kids have.

We work tirelessly on what has “allergy.” If you were ever in a grocery store with my  2 year old you would be shocked at the amount of things he can point out that have “allergy.” We live around the corner from his hospital, we pass it daily. He reminds us every time that it is the “owie tummy hosbible,” we in turn reiterate “What give you an owie tummy.” He answers “allergy.”  My two year old. My two year old has to know what he can eat and what he can’t eat, and he has to know if he eats something wrong, he has to go to the “owie tummy hosbible” I hate that. So much, for him.

but at the same time, I take a deep breath and remember, there are 2 year olds on chemo. There are 2 year olds waiting for organ transplants. My kid just cant eat stuff, no big deal. I try to remind myself a lot, but this still sucks for us, here and now.

I am SO grateful my parents “get it.” My mom reads everything so closely, and then asks me to read it. Since they live with us, I am glad I can rest a little easier knowing they understand. But I still check, “Is that his butter you used on the bread?” “Did you touch that spoon to our food?” “Don’t feed him off your fork.” “Don’t let him touch that, it touched cheese.”

It never ends.

“At least he doesn’t have a peanut allergy.”

He does. He does have a peanut allergy. But more than that, his dairy allergy is equivalent to a severe peanut allergy. So I say “He does have a peanut allergy, but it’s not very severe. His dairy allergy is as severe as the peanut allergies everyone is afraid of.” Which is always followed by “Thank goodness his peanut allergy isn’t that bad, could you imagine?” YES, i can imagine! THAT is what is dairy allergy is like. He has the WORST dairy allergy his allergist has ever seen. But for some reason, people don’t see that as a big problem. But it’s okay.

Sometimes I answer with “Yes, he actually does have a peanut allergy, and a dairy allergy, and an egg allergy and a soy allergy, and a rice allergy, and an oat allergy, and a chicken allergy and a turkey allergy.”

That usually shuts them up..

My (then) 8 month old baby 5 minutes into his 1st allergy test... 

3 more months before we head to the allergist for another testing.. …

What they’ve been up to…

My Wedding Show is only 10 days away!! So I have been doing nothing but cakes lately.. But that doesnt mean the Miles and Aaron haven’t been up to a lot!
I am very thankful for a husband that sends me pictures at work all day long. It helps me feel a little more connected..
Miles got new toys! He loves his bead roller coaster…

So much so that he can’t take his hands off of it even to eat. by the way, this is the only way he holds his bottles now.. silly kid..
Did I mention he also got a train set???? I’m pretty sure Aaron bought it for himself. Miles doesn’t seem to mind..

He gets distracted by the tv very easily. Yesterday I was singing the little Einstein’s song and he immediately turned towards the off tv. I guess he thought rocket was on!
He has done some snoozing in the car…
And there has been lots and lots of tickling…
A little wipy eating…
(on a side note, we actually changed wipes. For some reason when you pulled the wipes out of these packages he would gag. Really strange, and kind of funny.. He loves playing with the empty package, but pulling the wipes out was rough on him. The new wipes seem to be going better..)

He loves his little elmo…

(please ignore the cord, I promise its not plugged into anything. It is just really his favorite toy. it’s actually 1 of 3 cords in his “toy pile”)

They sit outside and wait for me to come home everyday. This is by far my favorite time of the day…

He flashes cheezy grins and daddy..

And plays with his tutu!
And Aaron tries desperately to capture the 2 !!!!!!!!!! top teeth!

We are now up to 4 teeth. The bottom 2 came in right as he turned 7 months old. Almost the same exact time. (days a apart) and we noticed the first top tooth at church on Sunday. It had broken all the way through, and Aaron says the second top on has also.

In other big news, I think he may have officially doubled his birth weight! This typically happens between 4-6 months. I think by 9 months he will be there! He has plenty of 9-12 month outfits. But believe it or not, I still catch Aaron dressing him in 3 month outfits! And they still fit. He is mostly in 6 months.

He is getting soooo close to being able to crawl. He really wants too. I think one day it will just happen and he wont even realize it..

We’re toying with the idea of a new car set. Not because he doesnt fit. Heck, he’s probably still fit in his infant carrier till he’s two! But we’re just getting sick of it. I have the worst time making decisions about his kind of this. I have researched to the end of the earth and I think I might be coming up with a choice very soon!

Allergies are going well. We reintroduced sweet potatoes. It went well, but he hasnt had them again since. We also introduced peaches last weekend. That went well too. So we are on peaches, apple sauce and sweet potatoes. Right now he’s basically getting apple sauce every few days. Its the only one that we feel 100% comfortable with. This allergy still has me so baffled, its amazing how different kids with the same condition can be. Some can’t do apple sauce, yet its our only “safe” food. Thankfully, no more episodes! YAY!