Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I cannot believe it has been almost two months since I last blogged! Wow the time is going by so quickly in our new found allergy free world!

I am thrilled to report that Hayden's allergies are 100% gone and he spends most of his days (when not at hockey) riding his bike with friends to get pizza, ice cream or candy. He continually tells me, "Mom this is THE best summer of my life!" Our house has been filled with rowdy boys who are always hungry & I have never been so excited about feeding them all! The possibilities are endless.

Many a summer night we have sat poolside until dusk ordering food and not needing to rush home to cook. There have been just as many nights on my back deck with girlfriends, wine and takeout...a concept that was foreign in our house. The freedom I am experiencing in not having to cook every single meal from scratch is unreal.

I have had endless people e-mail me privately or call me to inquire about how Hayden is doing now that we are home, settled and not seeing Amy (our healer) twice a week. I can tell you he is the happiest, healthiest, sweetest boy I have ever known & I could not be more proud of how hard he worked while we were in Boston. The best gift now is seeing him live a life without more fear when it comes to food. Hands down his favorite food is doughnuts...he practically tears up when he bites into them & says, "I cannot believe how good these taste." As his mama, that's all I need to hear & I too get misty.

My little family did an amazing thing if I say so myself...I have never been so proud...most definitely 'Worth Every Sacrifice.'


"The person who gets farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore." ~Dale Carnegie

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Approaching the Finish Line!!!!!

I can hardly believe that I am typing this, I thought the day would never come when I could say, we have booked our one way tickets home!!!! The movers have been scheduled, our dogs have their tickets as well and we will be sleeping in our Colorado home the night of June 1st!!!!!

I am filled with so much joy and excitement I can barely contain myself. Our hard, long work that we came here to do is over and we will walk away victorious!

Somebody pinch me....are we honestly going home for good....completely 100% allergy free?

What to do with all this happiness? Share it, of course, with all of my loved ones. I apologize in advance for the constant smile you will see on my face and the stories of how Hayden can eat ANYTHING, but like I said I cannot contain myself!

Our healer will be interviewing myself & Hayden for a future article that she hopes to publish in a mainstream magazine in an effort to give hope to others. Why interview us? After all she has healed hundreds of people.

We were the fastest family to ever complete the program...I have never been more proud. This could never have happened if it were not for my most wonderfully courageous boy, Hayden. He was fearless, an absolute rockstar every step of the way & he trusted me through it all. I have always adored this boy, but never have I been so proud of him. This will serve as a life long reminder that he can accomplish anything with hard work & perseverance. I imagine he will reflect on this his entire life and draw strength from it.

And as for homeschooling....we are in heaven....loving every second of decision....too bad I did not make it sooner.

I intend to reenroll my kiddos back at their old school, which is a dream come true, but if ever there were a time where school caused more harm than good, I would do exactly what I did here....I will not turn the other cheek.

After pulling my kids out a few weeks ago I questioned why I expect so much from a school. Then it dawned on me.... I expect a lot of not only schools, people and life, but also of myself. I do not settle for less for myself OR from myself.


"God gives every bird a worm, but he does not throw it into the nest." ~ Swedish Proverb

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What a Monumental Day

As we continue our life in the allergy free lane and prepare to wrap up our time here in Massachusetts I am finding myself making yet another huge decision. A decision that feels so right in every cell of my body....a decision I have waited entirely too long to make....a decision that many will disagree with me on.

I have decided to homeschool my two older children for our remaining time here. For those of you who know me I have never been one to accept status quo. I don't do something simply because every other parent is doing so. I question, ponder and ask myself constantly, "How could it be better?" "Is there another way?" From natural birth, long term breast feeding, vaccines, sunscreens, organic food, over scheduling my kids and the list goes on & on.

Moving to Lexington, Ma was a decision that I made based on not only our healer's office being here, but also based on the amazing ratings the school district had. Literally some of the best schools in the entire country. We could not be more thrilled. I had my kids pumped up and they were ready for the challenge, both academically & socially to move to a new school.
We jumped in with two feet and started at the school closest to our townhouse only to find out on the 3rd day of school about extreme levels of PCB contamination. I pulled my kids out that day while so many parents turned a blind eye. Had the transfer not been granted I would have home schooled them then. Sadly, that school is still open and the plans to rebuild are not for two more years. Priorities of the school district? Obviously not the health of the staff or the children. An experiment is taking place in that school & everyone is acting like it's not a big deal. Why am I one of the only one's who finds this horrifying?

Two weeks after the transfer to the new school, my son is in the shower crying because of bullying he had been enduring & did not want to tell me about. It took 3 attempts for the school to respond & I guarantee it is because I told them the next time I would notify the police of their inability to keep my son safe & I would contact the Boston media to do an expose on their inability to handle bullies.

The bullying stopped, but I have NEVER liked this school. The staff are as cold as ice...nobody smiles or says hello when you are in the building...parents are not allowed to children have been grabbed by old, miserable ladies who should have stopped working with children 20 years ago, for stepping on the grass while in car line. I have had a parent volunteer bang on my car & yell at me to "hurry it up" as I hugged my child goodbye in car line. The examples are far too many to list here, each one more disgusting than the next.

It's funny how things happen, but my heart has been so unsettled about this school. My kids have tolerated it, but never spoke with joy about their time there. Last week while on a family vacation the desire for my kids to be nurtured, loved and respected while at school was pulling on my heart strings. Prior to coming here that is all my kids have EVER known ~ a school environment where they were treated as a unique individual, not an annoyance to be dealt with.

Today as I drove through car line I saw the unhappy faces EVERYWHERE & it hit me like a ton of bricks....This place feels like a miserable institution. How could this staff possibly inspire my child...they are all so damn unhappy and nasty. I could careless about their high rankings, that does not impress me. What does impress me is a school that knows the names of all the parents & welcomes them with open arms into the school. A school that truly loves the children...that feeling is genuine & you know when you are in the company of it.

As we drove away I knew what had to be done. And so tomorrow begins our newest journey into the homeschooling world. On my syllabus ~ a field trip to the zoo. I just ordered some wonderful homeschool materials that come highly recommended from a homeschool mama. Honoring what feels right for my family is the path I want to stay on, it feels so much better than trying to force the standard.

I am dreamy these days of a farm house on several acres in Vermont. Homeschooling, raising chickens, pigs, tons of dogs and BEING with the ones I love. That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.


"The last of the human freedoms: to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." ~ Viktor Frankl

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We Are the Hanson Family!

I am thrilled to report that life in the Hanson Household is FANTASTIC!!!!!!!

We are eating everything & everywhere!!!

We have a ton of travel in the coming weeks and it feels remarkable to know that I do not have to pack food for the airplane or grocery shop once we get to our destinations!!

I am astounded by the amount of people I have met who have children with food allergies while I have been on this journey. I share our story of healing and a life without living in fear of food. I tell them how this can be their future too........ I am even more astounded and saddened by the lack of interest that many folks have to seek out help.

It does not even register with me. I would (& have) moved mountains for my children & their health. It is my responsibility as their parents to get them the absolute best care...they deserve it, heck I owe it to them, as their mother. No it is not easy, and yes there is a ton of sacrifice, but nothing good comes easy.... we all know that.

I pray these other parents who have tentatively taken the paper from my hand with our healer's website information have a change of heart and do the tough work it takes to help their child heal.

What we have done by moving to Massachusetts and healing Hayden has changed the course of his ENTIRE has changed our family dynamics & marriage for the better.... there is so much less stress & so much more spontaneity....oh and one little tiny last more fear of Hayden dying if he eats the wrong food.

We are the Hanson Family.....Better Than Ever!!!


"Our family is a circle of love and strength. With every birth and every union, the circle grows. Every joy shared adds more love. Every obstacle faced together makes the circle stronger." ~ Author Unknown

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Many Adventures Await Us

So the other night I made an official countdown for myself and the kids. We were all somewhat shocked to see that we still have 99 days left here in Massachusetts. After the initial disappointment, I pointed out that there was much to love about our time here. My son admitted that he loves the small townhouse because we are always near each other. My daughters both love that their artwork is covering every single piece of wall space in every single room of the townhouse. We had to stretch a bit, but we found much to be thankful for. Most of all, Hayden's healing.

We have vowed to focus on the positive and my mission is to see and do all the things we will miss once we are gone. So that means more trips to the beach (even if we are in winter coats) where our dogs can run wild and enjoy the sand and water before Memorial Day, after which they are no longer permitted.

We have the most glorious, expansive woods smack in our backyard. Yesterday after school we followed a trail further than we ever had. The stillness was absolutley beautiful; surrounded by evergreens I looked up to the sky and thanked God for that exact moment. Me, my children and my dogs ~ all healthy, happy and together.

We absolutely love strolling along the streets of this quaint New England town. In and out of all the shops, picnics on the green. What now makes our time there even better is the variety of restaurants to choose from. Prior to Hayden being allergy free we would walk past and talk about the future when he would be able to go in and eat in any restaurant. Well the time has come and let me tell you we are determined to try every place, before we move away forever.

Last night sushi was on everyone's mind. Watching the joy radiate from all of us must be a sight, we are giddy and can barely stop smiling long enough to chew our food. When will we be off this high? ....maybe never & that's fine by me, it feels amazing!

We seem to have developed a habit after dinner in town...stopping in the ice cream shop. Heck, I figure after 10 years of not having it, we have a lot of making up to do!

As we countdown our time here and relish every last second of all the "good stuff" I am reminded to not wish it away too fast. Our time here has been challenging, healing, full of heartache and triumphs, none of which I would trade for anything. It has been during this journey that I have physically and emotionally pushed myself further than I ever dreamed possible, it has been during this time that my strength as a woman, mother and wife has been put to the test. I feel privileged to have had this opportunity and I know it is preparing me for my next big challenge... Possibly something more difficult than this.


"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." Ambrose Redmoon

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sweet Bliss

We just returned from visiting our dear friends in San Francisco & I still cannot find the words to fully describe our experience other than to say pure & utter bliss. The trip itself was phenomenal on so many levels, but the freedom to eat out for EVERY single meal is still blowing my mind!

I kept saying to my girlfriend, "Wow, so this is what it feels like to be "normal" and to eat anywhere your heart desires?"

My son ate at an Asian Fusion family style restaurant where we ordered several meals, passed them around and shared everything. I could not believe my eyes as I watched Hayden partake in this adventure. He was practically inhaling food without chewing and I often had to remind him to "sit down, breathe and chew." "But mom, I have waited 10 years for this." Yes my sweet boy, yes you have.

Then there was the seafood restaurant where he ordered fried shrimp and french fries with malt vinegar. When the cocktail sauce came he had no idea why his "ketchup" tasted so weird. Poor thing, he did not even realize it was cocktail sauce, how could he have known, he's never had it before. So many things that need to be explained, things most of us take for granted.

He ate at a French restaurant where he could barely pronounce his entree!!! The original sushi boathouse in Japan town was hands down his favorite experience. He tried octopus, tuna, salmon, ikura, but eel was his favorite.

A trip to Ghirardelli was a must as when we were there two years ago he was not able to have anything. He walked in looked at all the chocolate and decided to purchase a milk chocolate bar filled with yummy caramel. He was unable to speak after the first bite!!! Love, love, loved it! He takes after his mama I guess :)

One of the best moments was as we were walking to hail a cab, my husband saw a Ben & Jerry's and insisted that we go in. Hayden was beside himself with all the choices & finally decided on Phish Food, halfway through it he asked to trade with his dad who had caramel chunk.

There were breakfasts at diners, Beard Papa's pastries for the hotel room, lunch & peanuts on the airplane, Haagen Daz from the hotel for movie night, yogurt and a croissant from Starbucks in the airport. The list goes on & on & on!

Pleased, happy, free, not even ecstatic would touch on what I am feeling these days when I watch my sweet boy enjoy every new food or restaurant experience.

Who knew any of this was possible? Who knew with a little hard work our lives would turn on a dime? Who knew the freedom, the complete and total relief we would feel when we could walk into a restaurant and order anything? Who knew life could become so much easier, so much less stressful?

God knew & that is why he put an overwhelming, unexplainable fire in me to move across the country and do this work. God knew my little family could handle it and he blessed us with an outcome that has brought to me knees in thankfulness for His grace & healing. I am humbled.


"Where there is FAITH, there is LOVE; Where there is LOVE, there is PEACE; Where there is PEACE , there is GOD; Where there is GOD, there is BLISS." ~ Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

So Many Firsts!

Our last several weeks have been filled with so much joy! We are sailing through treatment with flying colors and can finally see the finish line!

There have been so many firsts for Hayden in the past three weeks. He has eaten his VERY first doughnut, pizza, bagel, fresh roasted peanuts, apple-cinnamon muffins, scones, breadsticks, onion rings, hamburger WITH a bun (a sesame seed bun to boot)!
Hayden best described his feelings by saying, "Mom, I feel free." Beautiful music to my ears!

We have eaten out twice in the past two weeks and he has ordered straight off the menu! For our family, this was a monumental and emotional moment. I captured many of these firsts on camera, but for reasons I cannot understand or explain I will not be posting them. Those photos are so personal, almost sacred to us at this time.

I feel is is imperative to restate that when we got here in late May he was anaphylactic to: dairy, wheat, rye, barley, eggs, sesame, peanuts & tree nuts with test results so high the two top hospitals told me his allergies would be life-long. He was rushed to the E.R. just two months before moving here because of sesame cross contamination that effected his breathing. And now only 8 months later he is eating all this food, without tightness or hives, not even any G.I. issues. Life truly does not get any better than this.

Another first is my CONSTANT baking! I am literally baking every single day because he needs to eat foods that have wheat, eggs and dairy at least twice per day. The foods that best combine all those ingredients seem to be baked goods. My little townhouse smells soooo yummy all the time & my jeans are getting tighter too!!!! 7 pounds in two weeks my friends, oh yes!!!! That's what baked goods will do. After 10 years of not having this stuff in our house, I am like a little kid all over again. But this week has been a bit better, I have shown some restraint and may even be growing a bit tired of all these sweets.

I also owe my little galley kitchen an apology. The day we moved in and I laid eyes on her I almost cried, wondering how I would ever function in such tight quarters. I cursed the lack of counter space and measly pantry. But now I realize just how good she has been to us... there every step of the way, for every bite Hayden has taken. I have managed more than fine and have created some pretty fantastic memories in there, the kind that will stay with me until the end of time. So thank you sweet kitchen for being part of the journey that has so well nourished and healed my boy.


"Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture." ~ Kak Sri