What happened to November??? We are in full holiday swing here at Mariel Reyes Photography! Our silly Elf On The Shelf, Elfie is up to his old tricks! To see what Elfie does (and just what our silly family does ) , you can follow me on Instagram.
Be sure to like us on Facebook for exciting new contests and fun in the coming year!
Oh Elfie- Wrecking Ball! Our family cracked up when we saw what he did, lip syncing cat and all!]]>
I am not a writer. I really don’t like doing it. I would much rather show pictures on the blog or chat with you than actually have to write. ACK! So I will apologize in advance for the run on sentences and crazy stream of thoughts I am attempting to express!
Today was spent ordering prescriptions, talking to the pediatrician and school in preparation for my son, Gavin to start second grade. This time of year causes a lot of anxiety in our house. Starting school isn’t just buying school supplies, new shoes and a sweet new backpack. My kid has a peanut allergy. No, he doesn’t get sick to his stomach and get a rash. He goes into anaphylactic shock. Coupled with his asthma, it makes his reaction worse. Within minutes he can go into cardiac arrest and his throat can swell, cutting off oxygen. Without someone giving him a shot of Epinephrin right away, he will die. The reaction is painful and traumatic. Having seem him in a full attack, it is truly the worst thing I have ever experienced. Seeing him swell like he had been beaten and his eyes sealed shut, barely able to breathe. Poor baby. He really didn’t ingest it- he spit it out. *I* gave him some peanut butter. *I* did this to him. He was almost 2. They said this was a warning and the next time would be worse. WORSE? How is that even possible? We had no idea he was allergic and everyone else in the family ate it. The possibility that he could be allergic never even crossed my mind. Ever.
When he is with me, I know that I always have his Epi-pen and I check everything to be sure that he stays safe. But when school time rolls around, I am relying on his school to keep him safe. Will the new teacher be overwhelmed with this information? There are 20 other kids in the class she has to worry about. Will the parents make the effort to keep peanuts out of his class? Will the students be supportive or threaten and tease him? Everything is out of our hands and all I can do is pray he is safe. It is a really a helpless feeling. Most parents feel confident their child is safe at school. Most parents heart doesn’t sink when their cell phone rings and the caller id is the school. I feel sick answering only to find out it’s a bumped knee or tummy ache. Yes, a wave of relief washes over me when my kid is just hurt or sick! We have been so fortunate and have never had a problem at school. A report in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Fatal and Near-Fatal Anaphylactic Reactions to Food in Children and Adolescents” indicated that four of the six deaths from food allergy examined in the report occurred in school, and were associated with significant delays in treating the reactions with epinephrine. 4 out of 6 DEATHS happen in SCHOOL.
And then there is bullying. In a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, of those surveyed, 45.4 percent of the children and 36.3 percent of their parents indicated that the child had been bullied or harassed. As a result of the finding, the researchers recommend that both parents and pediatricians routinely ask those with food allergies about bullying, to reduce additional stress and improve life quality. Stress and quality of life? For a kiddo? Aren’t kids supposed to feel invicible and carefree? I thought my son is pretty well adjusted. Except for the time a kid in kindergarten when a boy threatened to throw peanut butter on him (turns out it wasn’t, but that that is beside the point!) we have been lucky there, too. WRONG! I found out a few weeks ago that some of his friends in school, had been making statements to him. Telling him they were going to put peanut butter on him at recess. He said they were mean and it was scary. He thought they were his friends. It broke my heart. How could I have not known? Why didn’t he tell me so I could help??? He worried and carried his fear alone for months. From the study “nearly half of parents surveyed (47.9 percent) were not aware of the bullying — although both the bullied children and their parents reported experiencing higher stress levels and lower quality of life.” An older study published in 2010 in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, said that classmates were the most common perpetrators, but more than one-fifth of the harassment came from teachers and other school staff. Seriously?!?! That floored me. But then again, I have dealt with parents who think allergy moms are over reacting and the kids just need to deal with it. Right. Deal with it. My kid now panics if something has peanuts. This is new and scary. Of course I want him to avoid it and not be near it, but his eyes looked like someone was holding a gun to him. Which, I guess it is like that for him. I just don’t like seeing him so scared and frantic. I always stay calm in these situations, I don’t want him reading fear from me. But to see this new reaction from him was really eye opening. I don’t know what it is like to be afraid if you eat something you will die. To be told that all your life and then be expected to remain calm when someone in the cafeteria next to you opens a peanut butter sandwich. Food allergies have been shown to cause issues like anxiety, depression and stress for the children who have them. The increase in food bullying prompted the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) to put out a public service announcement.
So why am I writing all this? It isn’t for a “Oh, poor you..” I know that we are lucky and so many people deal with so much more with their children. I am truly thankful for the teachers, staff and admin at our school that work with us to keep Gavin safe. I am grateful for friends, family and classmate’s parents who check labels and and avoid peanut products. I truly am. We are blessed and fortunate. I guess I am writing this so people will be compassionate and teach their children compassion. Kids don’t know a “harmless” prank can actually cause a lot of damage unless parents teach them. I HATE being “THAT” mom. The one who has to check the restaurant ahead or ask about the food. The one who tells her kid we can’t go to an event because it is at an ice cream shop. The one who is dreading back to school time a little bit.
I am not trying to be high maintenance. I hate feeling like I am inconveniencing anyone. I am not overreacting. I am not all drama. I have to keep my kid safe. Please don’t roll your eyes at us. Please help us out.
This is what it all about! Thank you.
Where did the time go? This little baby planner was just born, where did this first year go?!? I have really enjoyed getting to see Lexi grow. She is adored by her family and especially her two big brothers. I love all the fun outfits that mommy brings in. This session in particular was one of my favorites! Since she was born we have done a princess image at each session. First was The Princess and the Pea (here). Then we used her Christening gown and did a Snow White image (here). When I saw what mom got for this session, it was just perfect! I present Alexis as Cinderella! She is such a doll and I am so lucky to get to photographer her throughout her first year!
She also has this fabulous collage made for her room. If you ever want to see a wall grouping or photo on your wall before you buy it, you can send me a picture of the room and you can see what it would look like first!
So whose kid ISN’T obsessed with Minecraft right now? Honestly, I don’t get it at all. With all the amzing graphics and games available to our kids, they choose this pixelated game that looks a lot like the first games I played on my Atari in the 80′s! Go figure!
When Gavin told me he wanted a Minecraft Birthday I breathed a little sigh of relief. I always have to make his birthday cakes because he is deathly allergic to peanuts. Bakeries are out of the question since most use peanuts in cookies and other treats. I actually really enjoy making their cake every year. They get excited helping and seeing it come together. I heard Gavin tell his friend that his mommy made the best homemade cakes that are probably way better than the bakery. So sweet! Well, he doesn’t need to know that Betty Crocker isn’t exactly homemade. LOL! Pixels for a cake- so basically squares- how hard could that be?!?!?
We ended up printing out some Minecraft paper crafts we found online. Since his party was at Gattiland, we decorated the table with them along with Perler bead characters that the kids made. For the party favors, I made Minecraft Munchies. These were different candies that looked like items from the game. Hershey’s Nuggets were the iron ingot, Rolos were gold, Twizzlers were TNT, etc. I printed a key and included it in the bag.
All said and done it was a pretty easy party and the kids loved it! ;)
Congratulations to all the Graduates! It is officially summer here in Austin. Whether it’s prechool, elementary, middle or high school we have a ton of graduates excited about the future! Sharing some pictures of one Cedar Ridge High School Graduate that very kindly allowed me to photograph him and didn’t look at me like I was too crazy when I asked him to take pictures in an alley!
This sweet girl came to the studio for her one year photos. I loved her birthday party theme- Uno! How cute is that? And the amazing smash cake- it was so cute I don’t think she wanted to ruin it, either! From her dress to her rainbow Baby Legs, she looked darling.
And I better watch out. She may want my job! She loved playing with the camera…
When my daughter told me she wanted a candy party, I couldn’t have been more excited! I mean who DOESN’T like candy?!?! She was having a small slumber party and we wanted to make if fun. First we wanted to create invites that were fun and a little different. We used supplies we had at home! I asked her to choose a candy that she wanted on her invite and she chose a lollipop. First I created a file that had the had a photo of a lollipop on one side with the invitation wording and a second that was the mirror image of the lollipop for the back. You can download the images HERE and HERE. I printed them and used glue dots to attach a popsicle sandwiched between the two lollipop sides. Then I took a cellophane bag and put the “lollipop” inside and tied off with a ribbon. Easy Peasy!
For the decorations, I used balloons that I covered in cellophane tied off with curling ribbon to look like hard candies. I used them on the wall and also hung some from the light fixture. I also used some PVC to create a lollipop.
I used glass bottles and with paper straws. They are just Starbucks frappuccinos bottles that I had saved and removed the label. I get to drink Starbucks and have fun glass bottles- WIN WIN! My friend Rachel used her Silhouette to create Riley’s name and large confetti. Check out her store HERE. Then we got some candy, cupcakes and viola! Party decor done. The girls loved it.
Then for an activity we did a photobooth in my studio. I went online and downloaded some printable photobooth items. Here are some I used HERE. This was by far the favorite thing for the girls. They LOVED it!
It’s that time of year again! Holiday Mini Sessions are now available in the studio. We have some weekday and weekend time slots available. Contact the studio to reserve your time slot ASAP! Outdoor mini sessions are also available. Sessions are 25 minutes long and you will receive 10-15 proofs to view online. You can also view the extensive selection of gorgeous holiday cards- from traditional, eclectic, vintage to modern- you are sure to find one that will make your card stand out this year. You know you want the card everyone “Ooohs and AAAHHHS” for! They would also make great gifts whether you do a print or an ornament. Sessions are $100 and include 25 cards double sided press print cards. Sessions are filling up fast, so call or submit a message on the contact form below today!
The FAAN Food Allergy Walk is this Saturday, Sept 22nd FAAN (The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network) is the world leader in information, resources, and programs for food allergy, a potentially life-threatening medical condition that afflicts as many as 15 million Americans, including approximately 6 million children. FAAN provides information and educational resources about food allergy to patients, their families, schools, health professionals, pharmaceutical companies, the food industry, and government officials. The goal of the walk is to raise public awareness, to provide advocacy and education, and to advance research on behalf of all those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis. This organization is very special to me. My 7 yr old son is anaphylactic to peanuts. One bite can be fatal for him. What this organization does for our family and other suffers is so much greater than I could describe.
Please join us out at the walk! There is music, fun activities, and lots of allergy safe products and samples! I will be there photographing – FIND ME FOR A SPECIAL DISCOUNT!!! You can also sign up to walk with my son’s team– Go for Gavin! Hope to see you there!
Fun from last years event–
Can you believe summer is over? Boy, did it ever fly by! Capture all the excitement and giddy anticipation your kiddo has as they begin a new school year! We are offering studio or outdoor sessions. Both mini sessions include the 20 minute session and 8×10 print for $49. There will also be packages available for additional prints. The studio “Chalkboard Sessions” will also feature a special personalized image you can choose that captures all of your child’s likes and interests. So fun and a wonderful keepsake and peek into who they are at this age! Call or email the studio today to book your child’s Back to School Mini Session. See more on our Facebook page.