Category Archives: The Adventures of Frank & Murph

M-I-C.K-E-Y. Y? Should You Have To Worry About Food?

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Me & Frank @ EPCOT

Over Spring Break, my family packed our bags and headed off for our big vacation!  Usually our trips consist of the beach or the mountains.  Hey, I’m from North Carolina, those are your only options.  We finally decided to go as big as possible and head to meet “The Mouse in Chief” at Walt Disney World.

*Commence motherly freak out*  Why the major panic attack?…

When my four year old Frank was sixteen months old, he was diagnosed with a rare gastrointestinal disease called Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EOE).  It is an autoimmune disease where the white blood cells attack the esophagus when certain food proteins enter the body.  The only treatments available as of now are steroids, formulas, or food eliminations.  Some children, and adults as well, are allergic to so many foods that the only solution for them is placement of a gastrointestinal feeding tube.  For Frank, we chose a combination of food elimination and steroids.  He also has environmental induced EOE along with 10+ food allergies.

For the first time, I was taking my son to a place I had absolutely no clue about, especially in regards to where and what to eat!  I was freaking out!  How would he eat safely?  Our hotel doesn’t have a kitchen in the room.  What am I going to do?

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Disney Jr. Play n’ Dine Breakfast

I started my research and came across an online group just for food allergies at Disney World.  Amazing, right?!  It surely was.  I mean, these people really seemed to know what they were talking about.  We even received chef cards with Franks’ picture and a list of his allergens to give to each chef, right before our trip.  So helpful!

As I made my reservations, I noticed allergy notes and boxes to check, letting them know ahead of time that someone had an allergy or allergies.  When we arrived to each restaurant, it was like I had stepped out of my own “allergy mom” dream.  Real life is totally better!  There it was, every time…ALLERGY… stamped in bright red ink across our ticket.  I’m pretty sure my face looked like Goofy at this point.

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“The Look of Skepticism” He wasn’t sure they were safe for him.

I’ve never met so many chefs in Franks’ entire little life!  I was blown away at how safe they were making him.  They each came out to talk to me and they walked me through buffets.  They brought out huge plates from the kitchen.  All prepared safely and piled high with all of his favorite things.  They even brought out cupcakes!  What four year old doesn’t love cupcakes?  I have never felt so comfortable and safe about food.  Frank was normal.  For once, he was just a regular boy, eating regular food.  For once, his meals didn’t look any different from his brothers’ or his cousins’.

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Best. Cookie. EVER.

When we returned home, I asked him what was his favorite part of the trip.  I couldn’t believe the answer he gave me!  It wasn’t “meeting Mickey” or “going on safari to see the animals,” he responded with “the big chocolate cookie!”  Let me just take the time to say that I am not gluten free, soy free, nor vegan, even though I probably should be…BUT… Erin McKennas’ Bakery is amazing!  One of the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted and I like to consider myself a “Cookie Connoisseur.”  Erin McKennas is a completely soy free, gluten free, vegan bakery located at Disney Springs.  Here’s another tid bit of magic for you…They ship!  If you order a birthday cake, they will get it to you overnight.  Just give them at least 48 hours notice.  They’re not fairy godmothers; although, from what I experienced there, I could be very wrong about that!

If you’re still nervous about it or on the fence about this trip, I 100% recommend Walt Disney World if you or your children have food allergies.  We had a magical time.  Now I know not everyone is the same or can eat the same so remember to always ask if you’re not sure and ALWAYS read your labels!

Disney World '16 (339)_editedLike this sign at the bakery states… “We Can Not Please Everyone. But We Try.”  They do indeed.

I have so much more to share with ya’ll.  Stay tuned… The Adventures of Frank & Murph: “At the House of Mouse” is coming soon! 🙂

-If you would like any information regarding something I’ve mentioned here, please feel free to contact me!  Comment. E-mail.  If you’re curious to know more about EOE and other eosinophilic related diseases, you can visit apfed.org.-

*Opinions and experiences are strictly my own and not affiliated with brand.*

WDW Hiatus

Hey y’all!

Today is the day of something I’ve been talking about for months!  Disney World day!!

I know you haven’t heard from me in a while but preparing for a trip you’ve never taken is hard.  You don’t know what to expect.  What’s the weather?  Spring is unpredictable.  Sunny one second and really cold the next.  I love living in the South. 😉

We woke up bright and early and hit the road at 5am.  I’m talking to you from the car!  The four kids decided they all wanted to ride together in the same car.  Guess who has the biggest vehicle? Haha.  Nearly 7 hours later with these little monsters…

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Feelings are lookin a lot like this!

It’s finally lunch time so we are going to have a picnic!

You can still follow me around The World on Instagram at: mindy.thestepmomster

Happy Easter!!!
–See You Real Soon!–

Xoxo, Mindy (aka. The StepMomster)

It’s March

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minus Queen Miranda because let’s face it… she’s perfect.

Hey ya’ll!  For the next few weeks I’m going to take a little break from the whole step mother and depressing topics.  I kinda bummed myself out a little.  I’ve got to throw some excitement in here every once in  awhile!

March is probably the best month there is!  What normal person has a favorite month?  Well everyone if they choose their birth month.  March just happens to be my birth month.  Along with my mother’s as well.  I think that’s the reason we don’t see eye to eye on most things.  Like…ever.  She’s my bestfriend though what ya gonna do?  Aside from the birthdays, there is St. Paddy’s Day.  Yes, Paddy!  Not Patty!  That ridiculous holiday where we Americans dress in green and get hammered.  Being Irish, I do not need an excuse for either of those things.  I’m kidding, I need an excuse to wear green.  It’s not my color.  The month of March is going to be much more epic in 2016.  Why?  Because…

I’m going to Disney World!

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artwork by DisneyClips.com

This may not be as exciting news to the rest of you but when you are just one year shy of 30 and you haven’t met the head mouse, you’re suddenly 3 again.  This is the trip I have wanted to take since I was a little girl singing “Part of Your World” at the top of my lungs.  I finally get to check something off of my bucket list but I get to do it with my entire family!  My husband and boys, my brother, sister in law, niece, nephew, and even my parents!  Our magic bands came on Monday, ya know the little wristbands and that keep track of everything.  That’s awesome and slightly scary at the same time.  I am 100% certain I am more excited than the four kids.  It’s hard not to be when you’ve seen every Disney movie in the history of ever and finally make it to the “happiest place on earth”.

Maybe I’ll ask Lady Tremaine how she managed to get Cinderella to be her maid.  Ya know, for future [stepmother] references.

I can’t wait to tell you all about Frank and Murph’s (and my) awesome time!

What’s your favorite thing to do/eat/see at Walt Disney World?

Childhood Love

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As adults, we realize “that kinda love” doesn’t come until much later in life.  Do you ever think about your first crush?  Being 5 years old and being around that person or persons that made you giggle and feel weird?  I’m not talking about that teenage mess that makes you wanna barf or the first time you feel the real deal.  I’m talking about that sweet innocence of chasing someone on the playground; or seeing them out of school and waving at them so hard you might fling your hand off of your arm.

Well I just had to tell ya’ll about my conversation with Frank I had earlier today.

Mind you, Frank is hilarious in general.  I dont know where he gets half of the crap that comes out of his mouth but it’s always something unexpected.

With Valentines’ Day quickly approaching and all the littles are getting ready for their classroom exchanges, Frank seems to be full of excitement!  This is his first Valentines Day in preschool.  I remember how excited I was the first time I got to take special valentine notes and candy to all my friends.

Today, we decided to make our own.  We sat down and cut out 14 little hearts.  Some pink, some purple, some red.  Red… ya know… because boys can’t have pink.  So says Frank.  When time come to write each name on the hearts, Frank says “make sure SHE has the biggest.  Then HER.  Then HER.”  They’re all the same but umm, why?  “‘Cause she’s my girlfriend.”  OOOOK. Well what about the others?  He giggles and it’s all I can do to hold it together.  “Well… she’s my girlfriend cause she’s pretty but she fusses at me.” (Atleast he got that one right.)  I stay silent so he can continue.  “And SHE is pretty and nice to me and she plays with me in our centers a lot.”  Mmmhmm. Go on.  At this point I’m pretty sure I have tears in my eyes struggling to keep from laughter.  I’m trying to take him seriously here people!  Then he hits me with this, “and HER, we get in trouble.”  Welp, now I can’t hold it in anymore.  We are both cackling..

 Little does he know all I can think about is that he just described his first wife, second wife, and best friend.  (relax, I’m joking.)

 Thank you, Frank.  Thank you for helping me to remember that innocence of the little crushes and friendships I had many years ago.  You’ll always be special to those 3 little girls.

 

THINGS TO COME!

I’ve been collecting pictures and conversations between Terry and Houston.  I’m gonna go ahead and add that from here on out I will be referring to them as Murph and Frank.

The nickname Frankenstein aka Frank, was given to Houston by my brother when he was a lot smaller.  Have you ever seen Dylan and Cole Sprouse as Julian in “Big Daddy” with Adam Sandler?  If not, GO WATCH IT… LIKE… RIGHT NOW! Anyway… that’s my kid.  In a nutshell… rainboots with shorts, eating 30 packets of ketchup, and peeing wherever he is standing.  That’s my son.  That’s Frank.

Now Murph is a little different… I used to call him T-Rex but as he started growing, bless his little heart.  I hope you know what “Murphy’s Law” is.  If you don’t… I’m sorry and you fail.  Here I give you… Murph.

Here I will be posting ridiculous things these two brothers do together.  Their weird conversations and I hope to get some pretty sweet pictures of some awesome nerf wars.

I’m going to warn you now they ARE boys!  This section is gonna get weird, strange, and probably really, really gross.  So without further delay…

Murph.

MEANDT

 Frank.

FRANK

THE ADVENTURES OF FRANK & MURPH.