Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Etsy Artisan of the Week!!

I saw this weeks Etsy shop and I was immediately in LOVE!! 
Not only is every item as adorable as they come but this shop
owner also has a message and a mission!! 

This week's shop is Maple Shade Kids owned by a kind woman
named Wanda Hirsch. Wanda is the mother of a 10 year old 
daughter and 7 year old twin sons. She hales from the beautiful
state of New Hampshire. As already stated ALL of her items are
precious and perfect for our homes. BUT she also is doing her 
part in the process. With every product purchased she donates
to Trees for the Future to plant trees. AND she is a shop owner 
that strives to keep her products natural and safe for children.

OH MY where to begin with a couple favorite items?? So if you
know me, you know I think anything with owls is sweet! I have
been known to make an owl hat or two in my day. I love her 
animal decorated peg racks and I think the ones with owls
are my favorites!

If your kids are like mine, then they have sweaters and jackets
a plenty. A rack like this would come in very handy. Only problem
is deciding which one you want because they are all so darn 

How many of us parents have art all over our fridge and some
to boot? Problem solved!! Wanda makes these perfect little
art hangers that come with clothes pins to hang up all the 
art projects!

If you take a look at her site you can see that you could coordinate
a theme for your child's room. She has the peg racks, she has 
shelves, she has the art hangers, and she has collage art hangings.
I really like her art collages because every detail has been given to 
using recycled and/or safe products. Check out the elephant and
blue bird collage.

We have now come the the Don't Take My Word for it portion of my
blog. With a 100% positive feedback at her shop there is no problem
finding people who are nuts about her work!!

-Excellent customer service! Beautiful packaging! The birds are darling!!! I love them so much and can't wait to start displaying my girls' artwork in a cool new way!! Thanks so much for the extra bird magnet...it's great!!! Definately will be back for more items in the future!!!
-Really lovely work! Exactly as pictured - extremely smooth and FAST transaction! Will definitely purchase from again!
-They are the most beautiful things in my baby's room! LOVE IT!
-I love it! Thanks for the excellent product and communication and quick shipping. You have a new return customer.

You cannot go wrong visiting Maple Shade Kids!! With every item created
beautifully and safely, you only have to choose!!
But I can tell you now, you will not be able to pick just one item!! 

Visit Wanda's shop today  www.mapleshadekids.etsy.com 
And Wanda takes part of an Etsy group called Natural Kids Team
and they have a blog too!!  Natural Kids Blog: 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Child Allergy Topics: Food Allergy Awareness Week

There was a time in my life, before kids, when I made fun of that
nerdy little boy or girl who appeared to be mothered to death
by their mom because of their "food allergies". HAHAHAHA and
now look at me!! I am the mother, mothering my child to death 
because of his "Food Allergies". You don't realize how crazy it is
until you try it!! But because I am a mom of a child with Severe
Food, Drug and Environmental allergies, I want to get the word
out there about what it is like to live in our world.

This week is food allergy awareness week sponsored by a group
called FAAN- The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network! I just
received an e-mail from this group last week and until then I had 
never heard of them before. Their goal this week is to get as much
information out to the public as they can about food allergies. 
They have a lot of info aimed at helping parents get information
into their schools about what it is like to have allergies and what
we do about it in our homes. Let's face it sometimes kids can be
mean when someone else is different. But once we give them
education and open up a discussion, they feel more at ease. 

FAAN has on their site something that I absolutely Love!!
A Myths page!! It addresses a lot of topics that people have
questioned me about and questions that I have asked our allergist.
That page can be found here:

I highly recommend the FAAN site to everyone who wants to know
more about Food Allergies. It is a helpful site for me as well because
they are not just about education but they also take part in research
to help people who live with allergies. 

We have come to a time when we all will come in contact with 
someone who has food allergies. Why not get educated and learn
more about what it means to have food allergies?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thyroid Thursday- Signs and Symptoms

As stated in my last Thyroid Thursday post, I did not realize

that I was having low thyroid symptoms. Probably for several 
years before I was diagnose I was feeling symptoms but I 
think a lot of people get busy and don't realize something is 
wrong until it is really wrong. Even now I am not the best at
recognizing that my medication dose may be off. 

Physical symptoms:
  • Weight gain (due to fluid retention)
  • Dry skin
  • Yellow skin
  • Hair loss, including the eyebrows
  • Swollen face, hands, legs, ankles or feet
  • Feeling cold
  • Aches and pains in muscles or joints
  • Hoarse or raspy voice
  • Constipation
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding or irregular periods
  • Fatigue
Looking back I now see that I had several physical
symptoms:  fatigue, constipation, irregular periods
and aches and pain. Did I have dry skin? Well living in 
New Mexico that is pretty much a given so who knows.
I did have times of weight gain due to water retention
but I actually had lost a lot of weight because college
life allowed me to eat really once a day if I felt like it

Cognitive and mood-related symptoms:
  • Slower thinking
  • Trouble remembering things
  • Slower speech or movement
  • Feeling down or depressed
I normally struggle with the feeling down and depressed.
I have read that people with Hypothyroidism often
struggle with feeling unmotivated and this is often true
for me. Also my endocrinologist will ask me when my 
medication dose is too high if I am feeling anxiety.
I tell him I have 2 children and I work nights and I am 
often sleep deprived and yes I often have anxiety. But
who knows which one it is from.

Symptoms you might not be aware of:

  • Enlarged thyroid gland (your doctor can check for this during an exam)
  • Changes in cholesterol
  • Slow heart rate 
  • Infertility
My thyroid is enlarged and that is how my CNFP initially
found that something was up. Other wise these are
not things I deal with. I have my cholesterol checked 
because this can be an issue for people with Hypothyroidism.
Also I have read many times that women who are having
difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy for any 
length of time will find that they have a low thyroid.
I will discuss in more depth in another blog about 
Hypothyroidism and pregnancy. But it is vitally important
if you have a low thyroid and are pregnant to have your
levels checked often. 

Research I have read says to keep in mind that even if
you have any of these symptoms it does not mean that
you do have Hypothyroidism. AND people can have it
and not have any signs and symptoms. So this is why
getting a yearly check up is important. We come from
a thought process that if it is not broke don't fix it.
But we need to change this lifestyle and be proactive
about our health.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Child Allergy Topics: Allergy Shots

As our son has gotten older, his environmental allergies
and asthma have become more of an issue. While we are 
continually taking measures in the home to make the air
better for him, we know that allergy shots will be in his 
future. His allergist says that the youngest he will do 
shots on children is age 5. But he says that the most 
difficult group to do shots in is 5 year old boys and our 
son is a 5 year old boy. So we have some time before we will 
really consider it. Once we decide to do this it is a big 
commitment for us because we will have to drive about 90-95 
miles round trip 2 times a week for 6-8 weeks for him to get
his shots. This is just the initial phase. The shot process 
can last years!! SO the question is, is it worth it?

I was reading today about allergy shots just because I want
to be educated on them once we decide to go forward with 
them. I found an article that really helped me.  One thing I
read really stood out to me and that was allergy shots 
decrease the risk of developing asthma by 50%. They also
decrease the risk for developing new allergies. While our
son already has asthma, this statistic is encouraging. With
the number of known allergens he is allergic to being 25 and I
know that there is more, this means we could slow or halt new
ones being added. Also his asthma could become less of a 

When our son gets sick it is not like when other kids
get sick. A simple cold bring nebulizer treatments and 
steroids around the clock. Lots of missed school days and 
lots of doctors visits for asthma attacks that we are having 
difficulty getting under control. Often we wonder is this 
going to be the time he gets admitted. We are more than 
blessed that he has never been admitted but this last cold 
brought us the closest we have ever been. This cold season 
has by far been the worst he has ever had. He has been 
treated for Pneumonia 3 times since January. We had not 
done nebulizer treatments since he was 15 months old. Since
February we have gone through approx. 70 albuterol ampules. 

The information I have read looks very promising and while
it will be a huge commitment it seems like the price is worth
the gain. I know that after this cold and flu season we would
pay a great price to see him not suffer. 

What about you? Any experience with allergy shots? Tell me
what you think!!