Thursday, December 16, 2010

Two Reminders

Epi Pens

With the cold weather settling in remember that your epi pens are affected by the temperature. Remember do not leave them in the car in the cold or hot weather. It can damage them and they may not be as effective as you need them to be. We have the Epi Pen Jr and there is a little window to check and see if it's still good. Make sure to check them and their expiration dates.

We finally went and got our Christmas tree last week. We didn't need to bring his diaper bag so we left it in the car. The chances of him having an ana reaction while getting a tree are slim but we always carry it with us. I put it in the inside pocket of my jacket to keep it from getting too cold. So remember that when sledding or just playing outside keep it with you where it won't get too cold.

Read it before you eat it!

Another reminder is this. With the holidays almost here we are getting busier and busier. It was the week between Thanksgiving and Cormac's birthday. I was at Costco getting things for his party and was stressing out. They have really yummy premade meals that just need to be heated up. I LOVE their chicken and past alfredo. I scooped it up and was all set for dinner.

We got home and the leaf truck was on our street. We just have to rake our leaves to the curb and the truck sucks them up. So I bundled Cormac up and in a mad rush tried to finish the raking I started the day before. The calvary arrived! My parents pulled up at that moment and even 2 of our neighbors jumped in to help get the yard done. With their help the front got done just as they stared to pick up out leaves.

Well, still without checking I asked my mom to put in the chicken dinner. She did and it smelled so yummy. Then my mom came running out of the house. She was looking at the directions and by chance saw that is was process on the same equipment as peanut and tree nuts. I felt so horrible. In my rush to get a bunch of things done I didn't do the easiest and most important thing done. I didn't read the label! I was just going to give it to him. It really would have been all my fault. My mom thought I checked it so she didn't. We were lucky that she caught it. I beat myself up over it for days.

So my point is, don't let all the craziness get to you so bad you get careless like me. Remember to always check labels and ask people who made dishes what's in them.

And check those EpiPens and other meds, and beware of the cold temperatures.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Take Over Tuesday's Guest Blogger Laura. The Food Challenge

Meet Laura, a mom of a beautiful little boy with multiple food allergies. I've been getting to know her thought this blog and e-mails, and am so happy to have done so. We actually got to meet in person at the FANN Walk for Food Allergy this past October. She has a passion for cooking and a degree from the Culinary Institute of America. She has recently started a blog called Treats 4 Me 2 with some yummy allergen free recipes that she has made for her son.

The Food Challenge

My name is Laura and I am the mom of a 2 year old with multiple food allergies. We first discovered the allergies when I was nursing and had Jack's blood work drawn at 9 months old. Fast forward to July 2010 and we were given the green light to sign up for a soy food challenge at Mt. Sinai's Food and Allergy Center in NYC. I was told that we would receive a call in a couple weeks from the food challenge nurse to schedule. Two weeks passed and I was very anxious so I called and was told it is a 4 month waiting list for food challenges. My initial excitement was followed by short term disappoint by having to wait so long to have our test taken. We scheduled the first available morning appointment on Nov 23rd. 2 days before Thanksgiving! A huge food event in every Americans' home I was hopeful for additional foods to add to our meal plan.

My next "challenge" was to find foods containing soy to bring to the challenge that my picky 2 yr old would eat. I spent countless hours on the internet and in the grocery store aisles looking for things my son might eat. We packed soy chocolate pudding, instant miso soup packet, soy milk carton, soy milk yogurt and I panicked the night before and ran to the health food store and found soynut butter.

Tuesday morning arrived and I packed my soy food and hungry son in the car and we were on our way to the city by 715am. We arrived right on time to the appointment and waited less than 5 minutes before we were ushered into the food challenge room area. There were 3 rooms for challenges from what I could see and 1 nurse appointed to administer the challenges. Each spacious room was equipped with toys, table and chairs, flat screen tv. There was one little girl ahead of us so we had a wait several minutes for the doctor and nurse. I didn't mind because I thought this would make Jack even hungrier for breakfast which he normally has eaten by 730am.

The doctor arrived and asked how Jack was feeling health wise. Has he taken any meds or Benedryl? Everything was good so far. The goal of the challenge was to consume 5 ounces of soy without a reaction. The first food we were going to try was oatmeal mixed with soy milk. It took a little coaxing, but Jack had 2 spoonfuls and then it was time for a 10 minute break to watch for a reaction. The doctor and the nurse left the room and we were to get them if anything happened. The nurse did pop her head in to see how things were going. After the time lapsed the nurse came back and asked Jack to eat some more oatmeal. Again he didn't want to, but I think the hunger helped. 3 more spoonfuls and it was time to watch and wait. Jack coughed a couple times and the nurse asked if he had a cough, I told her no and she decided we should wait a few more minutes before we give some more oatmeal. I agreed and told her next time she could add some more soy milk to change the consistency. This time we asked Jack to finish the bowl and he did. At this point, Jack had had 3 ounces of soy milk without any problem. I really don't think the cough was related, but we will never know for sure.

The next food we were going to try was chocolate pudding. I really thought he would love it and it would be that easy. Forget it, the tears started rolling and the protests began. We begged, bribed with offers for new toys, we ate it ourselves to show him how good it was. I tried to push a spoonful in his mouth and it only made things worse. He took turns crying on my husband's lap and crying on mine. The nurse tried to give him a cracker with the soynut butter and he wouldn't even look at her. She offered him soymilk which looked identical to his ricemilk carton we brought and he wouldn't take a sip. I didn't even bother offering the yogurt if he didn't want the chocolate. It lasted almost an hour when the doctor finally came back in the room to say it was over and she didn't want to upset him any further. He was flushed and exhausted from crying and we wouldn't be able to notice a reaction at that point. The doctor thought the amount of soy consumed was sufficient to continue giving him the 3 ounces and increase it after a couple of weeks at home if there was no reactions. After the challenge finished we still had to sit the room another 45 minutes to make sure there was no reaction. In total we were there almost 2.5 hours. I was so mentally tired after the visit I couldn't imagine how Jack felt. The nurse offered us the opportunity to schedule a challenge in a month for yellow mustard, sunflower or wheat. I passed on all of the choices. If he wouldn't eat pudding there was no way Jack was going to try a teaspoon of yellow mustard or sunflower. I told the doctor Jack has been eating Cheerios with wheat all along and I started giving him saltines with no reaction. She told me I could try a small amount of whole wheat pasta. We haven't tried yet.

That same evening Jack got a fever. I don't think it was related other than the exhaustion and dirty city. I didn't call the doctor and it only bothered him at night. I think it was just an annoying coincidence. I haven't given him anymore soy milk because he barely drinks his rice milk (which is very bland in comparison). I got what I wanted from the soy challenge. Confirmation that we can give Jack foods that contain soy or where processed on equipment with soy.

It will be a very long time before I schedule another challenge for Jack. Our next visit to the Food and Allergy Center is July 2011. Jack will be blood tested for the first time in a year. It will be very stressful for him, but I am hopeful that his scores will come down and there will be a future challenge for dairy or eggs. Nuts will just have to wait and see what research is completed.

Guest Blogger Disclaimer: The information shared by the guest blogger does not represent the opinions and policies of No Nuts For My Peanuts and it's creator. As always seek proper medical attention for any issues, medicine dosage's or questions you have regarding your health and allergies. Always read labels before eating or serving any food to anyone who has food allergies.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Playing Catch Up

I want to apologize for being so behind on my blogging. Bad blogger (hand slap)! It's been pretty busy for us as this time of the year is for most. Cormac's birthday was right after Thanksgiving so we went from party mode one to party mode two in the same breath. I haven't even had time to get stamps for my holiday cards that are still sitting here! So I wanted to do an update post today.


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and we truly enjoyed ourselves. My mom made a delicious meal that was safe for Mac. As mentioned, we did have the one unsafe dish but it really wasn't a problem. Everyone knew the risk it posed and was very careful not to cross contaminate anything. We still prepared Cormac's plate before anyone sat down. So everything went according to plan.

We also made an unplanned stop at my husbands Aunts house where his whole family was having dinner. The cousins got to play a bit and we were able to say hello. Since it was unplanned, I was very nervous to stop by knowing there would be food out and they weren't expecting my peanut tree nut allergic kid. But when they found out we were on our way they removed the nuts they had out without us asking. Then we were watching him like a hawk because they still had food out (which is totally ok it's a party). Jim's cousin noticed and she just moved stuff out of his reach again with anyone saying anything. It was so wonderful to see how much this boy is loved by his whole family. We are truly blessed.

Cormac's 2nd Birthday!

Well as most of you read my little man turned two last week. I can't believe how fast the time has gone. Last year we had a huge party which was fun but a big undertaking. I don't know 1st birthday's are so special. This year we keep it to family and God Parents. We have a tiny house so inviting all his friends would have been insane. But he had his cousins and family around. It was so fun. We did appetizers, pizza and cake. Clean up was simple and we got to visit with everyone. Mac was a hoot and sang happy Birthday to himself. We practiced for weeks!

We got the cake for a tree nut and peanut free bakery in my parents home town. My mom usually makes the cake but we weren't sure if she was going to be in town for the party. She was but we had already ordered the cake. It was yummy and we would recommend it, but not as good as my moms. Since it was a Caillou theme party I had to go on a hunt for all the party supplies. We actually found the Caillou edible cake topped. I called to check for allergens even thought their website said it was free of common allergens. It wasn't too specific so a phone call was warranted. They were very nice and answered the phone on a Sunday even thought they were closed.

Since Caillou is a very hard to find I had to think out of the box. I went to ebay and to find what I needed. I LOVE If you are ever looking for handmade unique gifts of any kind this is the place. It's like a up scale, great quality craft fair online. The people are truly creative and talented. There are thousands of shops with items for decorating your home, a baby's room to jewelry and clothes. It's a dangerous place to go, lol but I love it.

Then the following Monday for his regular play date we did cupcakes with his 4 girlfriends. They had fun and so did I! We still have our niece's birthday next week. She's truing one! It's crazy how fast it all goes. My wonderful Sister in-law called to talk food to make sure there was something he could have. She really is great about it. After that it's Christmas and then we are done with the holiday season. I do like the holidays but they are totally exhausting when you add the birthdays and holiday parties to it.

Also watch out for this Months Guest Blogger Laura on Take Over Tuesday! She will be telling us about he son Jack, and his first food trial. He did it a few days before Thanksgiving! She also has a blog Treats 4 me 2 with some great cooking advise. I need it because I HATE cooking!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Today You Turn Two

It was 2 years ago early in morning that I met you for the first time. We waited for a long time for you to arrive, and when they put you in my arms my life changed forever. I watched as your father held you in his and instantly fell in love. You stole our hearts forever.

From that day on I tell you every day how much I love you, even when your not at your best. You make me laugh so much sometimes it hurts, but it's a good hurt. When you cry it breaks my heart. I kiss your boo boo's and wipe you tears in the hope that it will fix everything.

I am your momma bear and will always fight for you and do my best to keep you safe. I hope to teach you how to use your head and make good decisions, but if you don't I will still love you, because that's what mommas do.

These past two years you have grown so much and you are a little boy now. You talk to us, and make jokes, dance, run and laugh. I love you little voice and footsteps which are now my favorite sounds. I love you hugs, kisses and cuddles, and wouldn't change a thing about you (well maybe your tantrums).

Today you turn two and oh how how I love you. My life is so much better simply because of you.