Friday News Round Up + Loving On Your Teen

Lots of news in the world today: Putin is still being the dictator he is and is escalating his crimes upon Ukraine (and most of the rest of the developed world, heaven help us all), there are 200 schoolgirls missing in Nigeria who’ve reportedly been kidnapped and sold into marriage, and on a less-serious-but-still-rather-heavy-for-my-heart-matter, David Beckham is still retired from the game of soccer. Why can’t he pull a Michael Phelps and (allegedly) come out of retirement already?


April has been a long, horrible month, and I’m really ready to move into May wherein there’s hope of a gentler future.  I’m an eternal optimist, if nothing else.  I haven’t talked about it much (at all) on the blog, but have shared tidbits of what’s going on behind the scenes at my house, over on Instagram, (I’m @petit_elefant).

My 14-year-old daughter has been super, super sick for almost 2 months and no one knows what’s wrong with her.  Baby girl has been throwing up dozens of times a day (and sometimes more) for 7 weeks straight but no one seems to be able to fix her.  We’ve been to the Emergency Room more times than we can count, and all sorts of specialists, and have had almost every test under the sun, all to no avail.  We’re all really exhausted, and worried, and I feel like I’ve been walking around with my heart on the outside of my body for weeks.  I feel raw, like I’ve been burned all over and dipped in bleach, like everyone can see into my hollowed out eyes and broken mother’s heart.  My worst nightmare of all time is that she would develop Lupus, like me (it affects girls primarily) and while no one is sure what’s wrong with her, I feel deep inside like it’s an auto-immune disease.  I’d fight this for her 100 times on my own, but I can’t and it’s killing me dead.

To lighten things up a little we’re watching a lot of BBC’s Masterpiece Theater (we both highly recommend Call the Midwife) reading trashy magazines, and keeping current on all of the internet memes of the last 5 months.  I’ve been eating all the chocolate I can carry (and then some) and not sleeping, especially when I should be sleeping.  I started a hashtag on Instagram called #hopeandloveforsofie.  If you want to play, take pictures of hearts you find anywhere and everywhere and tag me.  It’s very heartening to see friends and strangers all across the globe taking pictures of hearts for my baby girl and those random acts of kindness are truly getting us from one day (and sometimes one hour) to the next.  We love you, thank you for everything.


Let’s make things not so serious, things that maybe don’t make the national news but keep us all sane regardless.  Let’s talk about fun and outfits and good things to eat.

Friday News Roundup + Loving on Your Teen

  • My dear friend Kalli sent a link to a post today to me that made me put my hand to my chest and cry quietly in the car while I read it.  My husband and I were running gardening errands and I sat hiccuping in the car while he loaded dirt into the back of his truck.  My friend Rebecca Wo0lfe is one of the best writers out there, and her words about loving on our teens / tweens / kids made my heart squeeze extra tight today.  Teenagers are hard, but they’re great too, and we should love on them all the times because they need it as much as we do.  More.
  • Tracy from Shutterbean has a drool-worthy ultimate veggie sandwich which is great news for you, just in time for your Friday night pleasure.  Maybe for your Saturday afternoon.  Whatevs.
  • Success is not for the LAZ, according to The Bloggess.  I couldn’t agree MOR.
  • My friends Whitney + Heather from Rookie Moms have a cool tech tip for those of us who lose our phones on the regular. Who, me?
  • Caroline Armelle’s boy’s room tour is delightful.  Light and clean and stylish, just the way I like it, and I’d like the print above the dresser ASAP-like.
  • Liz Stanley’s got you covered for some Fab Finds Under $40.  This is ME giving YOU permission to TREAT YOSELF.
  • Dear Joy, Joy the Baker / girl’s best friend / gorgeous inside-and-out / makes all of the things, has whipped up a lemon pound cake with lemon poppy seed buttercream frosting to die for.  Worth a battle in the streets and a battle in the kitchen, at the very, very least.
  • Lastly, Petit Elefant’s new DIY editor Andrea teaches you when to say no to sale (a fashion sale, that is) which is, frankly, a lot of the time.

Happy Friday friends, I love you.

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. dana tkach gault :

    Hi Allison–Gabrielle at designmom linked to you today. My heart goes out to your family and darling Sophie. I’m sending love and best thoughts! And to you, I wanted to share that I so relate to your despair about the Lupus. I have a rare and crippling connective tissue disorder that my 19 year old son inherited, celiac disease which my 21 year old daughter inherited, and psoriatic arthritis which I pray neither will end up with. I know that fear. The burning pit in your gut that threatens to devour you. The guilt our own struggle with autoimmune disease creates because some days it’s all we can do to get through another day when things are going well, let alone when disaster strikes. I console myself with the knowledge that early, aggressive treatment would have improved my life immensely, so god forbid my child is diagnosed, we’re at least ahead of the learning curve. And blah blah blah… it sucks in every way, too scary, too unfair. On my best days I say pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. But all bets are off when it comes to my babies! Just wanted to let you know that I know you can do this. Also, a plate of cruschiki heals all wounds! XO

  2. Stephanie :

    Gosh, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. I hope that they find you/her some answers and healing soon :(

  3. christine e-e :

    Having a sick child with no answers must be the worst! Although I’ve never been to your blog, I felt like I should stop by to wish you “rainbows and pots of gold” in hopes that your days will be healthier soon.
    It sounds as if you have been spending some quality time w her & to see a picture of her laughing touches our hearts. Speaking of hearts, I’ll have to send some of my best shots.
    Rather than stuff your body with worry, feel free to share it with your visitors. We’re probably cheaper than an Rx, easier to visit with than booking an appointment with a therapist, and you can choose to check in with us at all hours of the night.

  4. Kellie The Shoe Diva :

    I think you are doing a good job being strong for Sofie. I have no idea what I would’ve done if I were in your shoes– not knowing what’s wrong with my baby. I hope, whatever it is, she gets better from it soon. Sending prayers and much love to your family. <3 #hopeandloveforsofie

  5. Betsy Shaw :

    Hearing this news about your daughter makes me sick with worry and concern. Having endured hyperemesis gravidarum and knowing, viscerally, the unique hell that is repeated, long- term vomiting, my sympathy is beyond measure. Poor girl. Poor mom. I hope they figure this out soon. Hang in there and may May bring easier times.

  6. fire wife katie :

    It is too much. :( Watching loved ones suffer is so hard! Poor sweet Sofie, and your poor mothers heart! For me, I was the child watching my mom suffer with Lupus. She somehow manages and has managed for decades, but her pain still grates at my heart. How do we not yet have a solution for autoimmune diseases??

  7. Melissa :

    So sorry to hear about your daughter. The Doctors show aired a storyabout a teenage girl who was dealing with chronic vomiting. I can’t seem to past the link for you, but it aired in March. They were finally able to figure out the cause. Worth a look. Hope they figure it out soon for your daughter.

  8. Damaris @Kitchen Corners :

    I’ve been thinking about you a lot. How infuriating that the doctor’s can’t figure out what’s going on. Arghhh! Something similar happened to my cousin where he started throwing up ad would throw up every day multiple times a day. After months of testing they figured out that he has gastroparesis. I don’t know if Sophie has been tested for that or not. I hope she doesn’t have it but I do hope that you guys figure out what she does have so that she can have some relief.

  9. Kelleyn :

    I am so sorry to hear about your daughter and I pray they can figure out what is wrong with her! My son was sick for about three weeks with vomiting and diahrea. However this sound more than a stomach bug. Praying for your sweet girl!

  10. ilene :

    I stumbled across your info on the DesignMom blog. I know tons of people have given you suggestions and diagnoses but I thought I would tell you about my daughter since your situation sounded so similar.

    When my daughter was in 6th grade she started throwing up and we thought she had the stomach flu and so did the doctors. But it continued so we were sent to a gastro specialist. We did every test under the sun (including emergency room visits), meanwhile she was basically bedridden and missed over two months of school. After we had exhausted most tests the doctor did an endoscopy and biopsies and we were told she had Eosinophilic Esophagitis. It is an autoimmune disease that was basically attacking her body based on what she was eating (proteins). She was given daily steroids, a special formula to drink and a new diet. After a month she was actually feeling like her old self again. It has been 3 years since she was diagnosed and with a strict diet (no nuts, no gluten, no dairy, no beef, no fish, no turkey, etc.) she lives a pretty normal life.

    Maybe you’ve already gone down this path and found nothing but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to let you know about EE.

    Here is their website for lots of info:

    Good luck and I hope you find something out soon.

  11. Beth :

    Hi, I found your story from something a friend posted on facebook. My son has something called cyclic vomiting syndrome.

    I’m guessing ya’ll would have already ruled that out since you’ve been through lots of doctors and tests, but I thought I would mention it just in case. Based on the stories I have read from other sufferers, it’s the sort of thing that gets easily diagnosed if you find a doctor who is familiar with it, but not all of them are. We struggled to figure out what was going on for years–the pediatrician sort of blew us off about it–but finally got a diagnosis when I took my son to a pediatric GI specialist and lucked out to find one who regularly treats it and knew what to do. It really varies in its severity–some people are sick for a day once a month or once every few months, but others are sick every single day for long stretches of time.

    I really feel for what ya’ll are going through. It is agonizing to watch your child go through something like this.