Monday, August 30, 2010
There is something to be said about good friends. No matter what is going on in your life, the good, the bad, and the ugly, having good friends in your life makes everything better. They celebrate the good times with you. They listen and support you during your worst moments. A really good friend will always tell you the truth, whether it be a bad fashion choice or behavior. They love and adore your children.
I feel very lucky to have these special people in my life. They make dealing Cormac's food allergies easier, as if it's a part of their everyday life too. They ask questions when they don't understand, provide safe food for him to eat (or ask if it's safe), and ask us how we are. They don't think I'm crazy when I bring a his food to their house.
So today I want to thank my wonderful, generous, and loving friends, both the old and new for your ongoing support throughout my life. We may not talk or see each other as often as we should, but know I love you and am very grateful for all you do.
I also want to thank all of my readers for their support, advise and for listening too. Knowing others are out there who share our same challenges and fears is comforting. You get it, and for that I am grateful.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Being a parent to a child with food allergies can be overwhelming and depressing sometimes. Your hear breaks when you think of all the simple food pleasures your kid is missing. Your heart stops when you think about what can really happen if you child eats the wrong thing.
Since I want to think of ways that having a food allergy can be a good thing, I asked the mommas in my online food allergy group to help me put a positive spin on it!
Most said that they've learned to be more creative in the kitchen and that cooking from scratch is healthier and cheaper. All agree that their entire family is eating healthier too. I couldn't agree more!
Here are three of mine:
*No fast food (except pizza that is). Yes fast food is so convenient but it is so bad for you. Living a life without it is a good thing!
* Our son is learning good eating habits right from the start.
* With all the label reading, we are seeing what is in our food. You'd be shocked at how bad most of it is for you. We are much more informed about of food choices. As my husband says, "It is creepy to see what's in our food."
Now here are what some other moms had to say!
*My kid is not That Kid, screaming and crying about the injustices of the world when I refuse to flag down the Ice Cream Man as he drives through our neighborhood. (In this house, that magical van is still known as The Music Truck....and it's a mystery as to why the kids go running towards it.....)" Sarah (Check out Sarah's blog for her full positive list Live, Laugh and Learn)
"My Daughter has learned already at age 4 to be a spokes person for herself and to be assertive and speak up." Jessica
"I've learned to be more assertive with our Dr. and family when it comes to advocating for our daughter."Tayna
"We are always prepared...since we have to pack enough food to sustain our son for an entire day when we go out, we never have a crying, miserable little guy...at least not because he is hungry or thirsty." Amy
"My Daughter watches me cook and prepare food all the time, so she's learning how to prepare healthy foods. As a 2-year old she knows a lot more about where foods come from than some adults! Laura
"All the info and recipes that are available online now. I can't imagine dealing with this 20 years ago." Katie
"Allergies are also teaching my son it is OK to be different. Some kids wear glasses. Some parents carry an Epi pen. Some kids eat a different snack. And he doesn't have to have a cookie just because someone else has one." anchoragite
" I've learned we don't need milk, eggs or meat to live happy, healthy lives." skh1123
"I learned that a food allergy doesn't mean that life has to be drastically different. My family is still plugging along just like it always has. I'm not spending hours a day in the kitchen. The kid is still a typical 11 month old tornado happily tearing apart my house." Marti
"I am also learning to be more aware of people with allergies and to the problems with eating out." B & The Boy
"I have to say between being Gestational Diabetic with all 3 kids and now dealing with FA it is amazing what difference fresh, from scratch, organic and all natural truly means vs the grab and go make kids happy foods advertised for kids. (Gogurt is not considered eating a fruit in our house)." fuzzychild
Just a quick list of positives to think about the next time you feel down. There were a lot more but than this post would be never ending. If you have some positives you want to add, write them in the comments for others to see. We need these to remember it's not all bad.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Meet Jim, AKA the dad!He is the worlds best father to my beautiful little boy, and my wonderful, loving and supportive husband. Most important he is my best friend. His guest blog is about what a dad goes through being a parent of a food allergy kid.
A Father's Story
The day our little man had his allergic reaction, terribly swollen eyes as a result of contact with peanut butter, our lives changed instantly. Diane called me while I was studying at the library, in a panic, and I rushed home to find Cormac with puffed up eyes, and a sad expression on his face. My first reaction, after learning his breathing was normal, was to pick him up and hug him, and try to make him feel like everything was OK. I didn't want Cormac to see the fear and panic in our eyes, so I just hugged him and talked to him like I always do. We had seen diaper rashes, teething, sleepless nights and other childhood events, but never anything like this. On top of all of the everyday worries of any parents, we now had to be concerned with food allergies.
Since that day, we have both learned about food allergies in our own ways. I have asked friends about their experiences, checked out Internet articles and, thanks to Diane, read some very informative blogs about the issue. Diane, on the other hand, jumped head first into a campaign of research, networking and blogging. As she will readily admit, we tend to react in very different ways to events in our life and Cormac's peanut allergy has been no exception. However, as I hope she understands, that doesn't mean we disagree on the importance of caring for our little guy. We just have different ways of making sense of life's challenges.
I have to thank Diane for introducing me to the world of blogging. I know it's not something I will ever do on a daily basis, but I understand why people do it, and I appreciate the way blogs and websites bring people together to talk about common issues. It's really amazing how many people from so many parts of the country, and the world, have shown interest in Diane's blog. It makes us feel like we aren't the only ones out there who are dealing with peanut allergies.
I guess I still have the same reaction when I think about Cormac's peanut allergy as I did that day I saw him with his puffy eyes. I just want him to feel as normal as any other kid. Reading about other people with food allergies and other parents coping with their kid's allergies has helped give me perspective and hope.
I hope this blog helps make another father or mother realize that they are not alone in dealing with food allergies. I hope that it helps them feel like everything is going to be OK.
Jim (the Dad)
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I have a button! Ok it's my first attempt at making one, and trying to figure out the code. It will need some tweaking, but for now I'm pretty please with myself! So what do you guys really think?
Our Team No Nuts For My Peanut, is walking the in the FAAN Food Allergy Walk in Wstchester, and would love to see everyone come out and support us and others if your not walking already. There is a bunch of family fun, and food safe activities that will be happening during the walk. I received an e-mail from the organizers telling me what will be going on that day and wanted to share! If you don't live near the Westchester location, check out the FAAN Walk For Food Allergy locations for your area.
The First Annual Westchester FAAN Walk for Food Allergy is on Saturday, October 2nd. The Walk will take place at Glen Island Park in New Rochelle. Hundreds of residents are expected to walk with their families and friends. In addition, Congresswoman Nita Lowey and Dr. Amanda Cox, Pediatric allergist at Mount Sinai Hospital (who is also our Dr.) will be there!
Their will be entertainment, vendors and activities for the kids. The Z100 Party Patrol bus will be there to get things started! Following the walk, Suzi Shelton a rising star in the children's music scene, will be performing her catchy and upbeat folk/pop-rock music. Groove Performing Arts, a family favorite in Westchester County, will perform songs from it's award-winning music program for kids, Music for Aardvarks. In addition to the free concerts, enjoy a fun-filled day of activities such as arts & crafts, obstacle course, jumpy castles, gaga court, raffle and more.
Also the Melting Pot is hosting a FONDUE-Raiser, Tuesday, August 17th from 4:00-10:00 pm to benefit the FAAN Walk. A portion of the proceeds form each meal will be donated to FAAN. Melting Pot offers a gluten-free menu and can accommodate most food allergies. Please contact Melting Pot in White Plains at 914 933-6358 to make a reservation.
Even though we live over the bridge in Rockland County, Westchester is just minutes away. We hope to see you, whether you are walking or just come out for the fun! If you see me come say hi. I would love to meet you!
Friday, August 13, 2010
I'd have to say my house is pretty baby proofed. We have locks on the cabinets and draws, gates on the stairs, the TV even has a "cage" around it. When we found out Mac had food allergies, we cleaned out the kitchen and check all his skin products. Well as any parent finds out, as they get bigger you need adjust your baby proofing. Overall I feel we do a bang up job.
Well, I had a YIKES moment this week! We have some draws in the bathroom that Mac likes to play in. I "thought" I had all safe things in there for him to play with. So I'm in the shower, and as usual, I hear him playing the the draws. I do my usual peak around the curtain to see what he's doing. Nothing to worry about, we do this every day.
WRONG! When I get out, I see that he is holding something I don't recognize. Turns out I had a all natural skin product in that draw that shouldn't be there let alone in the house any more. The 1st ingredient was almond oil! All I could think was, what if he got it open while I was in the shower? He could had ananaphylaxic reaction, and I wouldn't of even known!
So my lesson for today is no matter how baby proofed you think your house is, there is always something lurking somewhere. Check all your products twice and adjust your baby proofing as they grow. Remember no matter how safe you think they are, there is always some kind of danger.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Cormac's Medic Alert bracelets came in the mail on Monday. I was excited and sad at the same time. I decided to put the traditional chain one on him first. We put him in his swing to put it on him. This way he couldn't run away! It wasn't as bad as I thought. He didn't really fight us at all. He did try to get it off right away, but then we started playing in the swing so he forgot about it for a bit. Throughout the rest of the day he would tug at it every once in a while but surprisingly no tantrums. It helped that Grandma and Grandpa were here. Cormac is obsessed with Grandpa's watch. So we called the bracelet a watch. He would look at his bracelet and then at Grandpa's and Grandma's watch, and smile. It was cute.
We decided to just leave it on all the time so he will get use to it. He really doesn't need it 24/7, but I don't want it to be an issue when he does need to wear it. Plus if we are ever in an accident he will have a way to be identified and emergency contacts can be notified. Just an added perk I guess.
The emblem on the chain bracelet is a bit big for my taste (well he's so little everything is big), but it doesn't seem to bother him. I tried the sports band bracelet on him today. I think he will be able to get that one off, so we will wait a bit until we have him wear that one.
So far so good! We are starting day 3 of Cormac wearing it, and it's like it's always been there. I'm glad we finally did it.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Looks like my work situation is changing, so that means so is my child care situation. I want to start off by saying I have nothing against Day Care. Every family has different needs. In fact I've been looking for two 1/2 day programs for Cormac. He needs more stimulation and educational interaction. However, I've been unsuccessful since he misses the age cut off by 5 days! It's very frustrating.
A few months ago (pre peanut/tree nut allergy), I had done some Day Care scouting as I needed to increase my work hours. I did find one that I liked, but it wouldn't work financially. Day Care in the NY Metro Area is pricey. I was able to find a friend that offered to watch him for the increased hours. I LOVE her and she's great with him. She has a little girl Cormac's age. They are like 2 peas in a pod! When he was diagnosed with his peanut and tree nut allergy she was amazing, and still is. So obviously my problem is not with her. The other days I work, he with with his dad or grandma. Again not a problem.
So what is the problem? Well work has requested that I return full time. That mean 2.5 more days of child care that I need to find. I have to admit I am freaking out! I know emotionally he will be fine and probably love it. I don't trust many people with him now that he has allergies, and I don't want to give up my time with him. I have to say I've been very lucky thus far balancing family and work. I also understand where my company is coming from. They have been very generous and understanding with me. I really did have the best of both words.
Here lies the big problem: Will he be safe at a Day Care? I know food allergies are more prevalent these days. Day Cares must have experience with this, but I 'm terrified to let a group of people take care of him. What it there is a substitute who isn't aware of his allergies? What if the teacher forgets? What about accidental cross contamination? I work somewhat far from home, what if I can't get there in time? It's hard enough for us to make sure he's safe, and we are his parents. Cormac is our world, and our lives have changed accordingly. But can a Day Care really keep him safe?
I know I have more research an interviewing to do. I would love to know how other parents of food allergic kids handle this situation. If you have and suggestions or advise please let me know! I really need some guidance here.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
When Jessica (our 1st guest blogger), wrote about SunButter, I had sent them an e-mail telling them about it. I don't know, I thought it would be nice. Both Jim and I have tried it and like it to. So when I received an e-mail from them about their video contest (click on the link), I though what the heck, I'll tell all of you about it.
As Jessica said it is a healthy and safe alternative to peanut butter. I can say for myself that it's really good and is very similar to peanut butter. I have said that if you've never eaten sunflower seeds than one might think it's a gourmet peanut butter. Mac still hasn't caught on to SunButter, but I see it in his future. I may try one of their dessert recipes this week. I'm thinking cookies, because momma loves her some cookies!
OK back to the contest. SunButter would like you to submit videos of your little one enjoying SunButter. I think it's a cute idea. The winner will receive a $100 savings bond and a free case of SunButter. In this economy people can use both right!
If you submit a video, let me know! I would love to see your little ones enjoying themselves. Maybe I'll even post a link for you, for others to see.
As always read it before you eat it! Check the label to make sure it's safe for you or you little ones. Good luck!
Posted by Diane at 8:41 AM
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
I'm going off topic today and trying something new! It's called Follow Me Back Tuesday! What is it you may ask? Well, Follow Me Back Tuesday is another day of the week that you can gain more followers and find other great blogs to follow on a weekly basis. Follow Me Back Tuesday is hosted by Survey Junkie, Little Yaya's, Review Retreat, and Boobies Babies & A Blog. This weeks guest host for the #5 Spot is Shanna from Mommy of One And Counting.
Since I'm getting more and more into blogging I thought this would be a great way to find some interesting blogs to read as well as help tell people about mine.
So of your visiting from Follow Me Back Tuesday Welcome! I'd love to hear what you think.
Click here to learn more and check out the other blogs on the list!!