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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.. …

The Reason I Pump

**I get asked a lot to share my breast feeding story. To share my success with pumping so long and any tips and trick I have. But mostly it’s more of “why in the world would you want to pump for two year?” Here is where we start:

I didn’t always want to pump.

My mom breastfed me about 3 months. She went back to work, and switching to formula was just what you did then. My coworker breastfed her first little girl for 4 months before she dried up and switched to formula. A family member tried in the hospital to get her baby to breastfed and was unsuccessful, she gave him a bottle of formula right away.

These were my only real life encounters with breastfeeding before I had Miles. This was it. It was all I knew, and all I thought I needed to know.

I went into it knowing how badly I wanted to try to breastfeed, but I had a plan that I’d probably switch to formula after 4 months because that worked great for her. It was a great laid out plan that I felt very comfortable with.

I horded those free samples* of formula. I loved getting them at dr’s appointments, and in the mail. It was great. I looked at pumps. I knew everything there was to know about every pump ever made. (I’m a bit of an over researcher…. k?)

When he was born, he nursed like a champ. It was so easy. I remember when the nurse would come in to ask when the last time he ate was and I would say “He’s still eating.” Seriously, he would stay latched for HOURS at a time. Our favorite thing to do was to watch movies at home. I could watch 2 movies while he nursed.

Day 3: (home from the hospital)

My milk came in. I was miserable. He was starving. I was a mess. I cried and cried and cried. I would feed him, Aaron would take him and try to put him asleep. 30 minutes later he’d bring him back and say “I think he’s hungry.” I would angerly snap back at Aaron, “How can he be hungry, he just ate for an hour??”

On the way home from his doctors appointment that day I made Aaron stop at the Lactation store. We were getting our pump. Little did I know that pump would become my best friend, and the person (thing?) I would end up spending the most time with.

I started pumping, mostly to sleep longer.

When my sister came to town to help us out for awhile I had to wake me to feed him, then realized I could just wake up in the middle of the night, pump and she could feed him.

It was only a couple days later when both her and Aaron agreed that he did SO much better at night with a pumped bottle. He did better without me.

Being so deep in PPD I was fine with that. It worked better for me too. So I pumped. It was great for all of us.

I returned to work less than 3 weeks after he was born. I’d pump every two hours at work, get home, sit down with him on the couch and he’d breastfeed until we went to bed. Seriously.

We kept up these one time a day nursing sessions for quite awhile. Every once in awhile he’d let me squeeze in another if we were out and about with no bottle, or super engorged boobs. Mostly, It was just once a day.

“4 months. I can do this” I’d remind myself of that often. But by this point I began to find friends through blogging that breastfed for WAY longer than I ever imagined. And I like the idea.

Then that faithful day came around 4 months when we discovered all of Miles’s allergies.

My first instinct was to panic. What would he eat? Surely I can’t keep pumping for him. I got our all my samples of formula. He couldn’t eat any of them so in the garbage they went. I called and got samples of “special” formula and tried to feed him those. He wouldn’t drink them. I panicked more. Terrified of what he would eat.

Never stopping to realize, I had everything he needed.

As the months went on we learned that his allergies went on and on and on. I panicked more, my supply plummeted. I wasn’t making anywhere near enough to feed him now. And to make matters worse, my diet was slashed. Everything I loved to eat was gone because he was so allergic to it. I had to live in a world with no dairy, no eggs, no soy, and no peanut butter. AND keep up my calories so I could still feed him.

I calmed down.

I sat down with myself and realized, He is my son. I will do WHATEVER I can to protect him.

God gave him to me to protect. I promised Him I would do that. No cheese, or peanut butter cookie is going to do that for me.

So I did. I stopped eating all of the things that were making him sick. I committed then and there that I would pump until he was at least 2. Until he’s at least 2 he will have breast milk to drink. Not, “I might” or even “I’m going to try” I WILL.

It has been the farthest thing for easy, but I will do it and I continue to do it because he is MY SON. I will protect him. I will do anything I have to for him.

I have friends walking this slippery slop with me. Feeling so alone. Like no one understands them. One is just starting. I talk to her a lot on the phone. Answering what questions I can, pointing her in the right directions, just letting her vent. (because I KNOW how much that is needed.)

She said something to me.

“I don’t know how to do this..” (she’s 4 months in)

I replied,

“I don’t have a choice.” She told me that wasn’t good enough for her. There had to be an answer. There has to be something she can do. What my heart was screaming and what I should have said was

“How can I not?”

If Miles needed my arm, I would give it. I don’t care what he needs. I have it, and he can take it from me.Especially when it come to feeding him. Is that not my #1 job as a mother? Keep my children safe, fed and happy?

How can I not?

He is my reason. I am all he can have. How can I not provide that for him?

It’s not selfless, its not a huge sacrifice. To say I choose cheese or yogurt over my son? I could never do. I have had pain (not as bad as hers, but still I have had pain.) and I would be in pain every day to still provide for him. I know we’re unique because Miles literally has nothing else he can drink. Nothing. Breast milk is his only option. So really. I don’t have a choice. What I told her is right, but I don’t want a choice.


I am now on month 17 of pumping. Miles stopped nursing around 9 months old. Before that he would only do it about 4 times a week. I am going to make it to December pumping. He will be 2 then. Only then will I reevaluate. Who knows, I may go longer.

Edited to add: I made it to 25 months!!!! Miles was 25 months old when I stopped pumping for him. The only reason I did was so I could get started on my surrogacy journey. I never regretted one second of my decision to pump for that long. It was HARD. but  I am so proud.

*Those free samples of formula deserve a WHOLE post to themselves. In the mean time go read THIS post where she starts talking about it!

Please know, that I KNOW that every person is different. Every situation is different. What’s right for me is not right for you. What worked great for you might not work for me.
I love this friend dearly. I know her struggle. I remember being totally and completely freaked out in her shoes. I remember so well. I know how she feels. She feels trapped and so did I. Now I don’t, and I know she soon will feel that peace. It takes time.

Let’s wrap it up

January was a fog. (Heck January & February were a fog.) January brought new adventures of parents of a grumpy newborn. January brought NO SLEEP for the parents of a grumpy newborn. But January brought us this baby.

We learned how to multitask and I went back to work at only 4 weeks after Miles was born.
February brought my birthday (26) that we celebrated with our first night out of the house alone! On the way to the restaurant we seriously considered skipping dinner and going home for a few hours of rest. We resisted and had a wonderful dinner and never stopped talking about our baby.

February was also the first time Miles ever slept for an extended amount of time. February 11th to be exact. 7 glorious hours! From then on out it was smooth sailing and happier parents.

March was the first time we ever made Miles really laugh.

In April Aaron became an official work at home dad and loved every second of staying home with our little man.
Who learned how to roll this month.
We also took our first airplane ride to California. This more than sums up our trip.
In April I fell more and more in love with these eyes.

And we survived the scaries night of our lives and learned of Miles’s allergies and FPIES

May came and went without much to-do.

We got out a lot as a family and even managed a few hikes.

We celebrated loved ones we’d lost and new family members too.

June brought me a new attitude and appreciation for motherhood. I finally felt like we had this under control and for the first time I wanted to soak it all in and not forget a moment. We celebrated our Dad and the Dad’s in our lives on Fathers day.

And spent a lot of time together as a family outdoors.

July brought my baby teeth and a new found love of spitting.
(Which went great with all the drool brought on by the teeth)

August brought doctors appointment after doctors appt and more bad news. But August also brought a new grown up baby with a stylin hair cut.

September brought us STANDING!

More teeth, and Mommy and Daddy’s 2 year anniversary.
In October we discovered our musical genius could play the Kazoo like no one else.
We also let the wild rumpus begin!

Oh November you were so forgotten. Aaron became a full time stay at home Dad in November. And couldn’t be happier. We took our first trial road trip driving 2 hours from home. It was a disaster. And we were very spent time remembering to be thankful.
December brought CORN! Miles can officially add
corn to the very short listof foods he can eat.
Our little baby turned 1.

And oh yea, this guy came.

And again, We are Thankful!