Thursday, March 29, 2012

Persistent Hives

After my son has his 2 allergic reactions yesterday I was concerned. Then this morning as I was getting ready to go fill in at work, my son had ANOTHER reaction. Again, just hives. So, I decided to call his allergist. After waiting 2 hours I got a phone call. In the mean time my son had yet another random allergic reaction.

After explaining to the allergist what has been happening and answering his questions about where the hives were forming, how often, if he was eating before it happened and so on. (They started around his mouth and would move down his chin and neck at times, they were happening a few times a day and he was not eating before 3 of the 4 reactions.) He told me that sometimes a child's body will present hives when trying to fight off an infection or something that is going on in the body. The fact that it was repeatedly happening and in the same places without eating food before proves that it is not a food allergic reaction. This is very new to me and seems quite odd. But, he told me that it is actually more common for that to happen than it is for a child to have food allergies. He says that as long as it is not going internally as it would with anaphylaxis that there is nothing to worry about and to keep him on a higher dose of Zyrtec for the next week. It may last up to a month!

I just thought I would let you all know about this because not only did I have no idea that a body could appear to be having an allergic reaction when it actually is not but it is quite common and can seem concerning. After yesterday and this morning I was very nervous and thought it was my fault, that maybe I had let someone get something on the furniture he was allergic to or that somehow he was now allergic to our previously hypoallergenic dog. Thank goodness it is not that!

Has anything like this happened with anyone else?


I am sorry that I did not blog last night! Time just got away from me. My son had ANOTHER reaction. I am not sure what is causing this but I will be cleaning any chance I get. It may have been that the dog got into something too. Last night he ended up having more hives. But, again that was as far as it went. I didn't know that at first and gave him Benadryl while holding the Epipen, just in case. Like I have said before, when they have BOTH food allergies and environmental allergies it can be difficult to tell the two apart at first. Environmental allergies can present with runny, sneezing nose, hives, red itchy eyes, asthma and itchiness. Food allergies start out the same way. When my son ingests a food he will get all of those reactions before he gets the other symptoms. Typically his symptoms develop rapidly after I notice that he is having some sort of allergic reaction when it is to food. But, that is why it is a waiting game. If you are unsure what has caused the reaction you have to wait and see what symptoms present themselves. I don't want to give my son the shot when it could just be that he ran into some pollen or was around cats. I am not sure if this situation happens to other people with children that have both allergies but I would assume so since if you have food allergies you are very likely to have other allergies as well.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I'm playing the allergy waiting game.

So, I thought this would be a good time to do a blog post. I am waiting to see if my sons allergic reaction progresses. A little bit ago my son came to me saying yucky. There was something on his tongue. I see what it is and cannot tell. I ask him to show me and all he shows me is a pencil. So, I was not sure if maybe he had it in his mouth and that was what it was. But, I just went to make them lunch and noticed he had some red hives around his mouth. Not severe but more like red dots. At this point I am unsure what is causing it. It could be something he came in contact with or it could even be nothing more than minor irritation from something else.

As I make him a soynut butter and jelly sandwich I observe him and see that he is randomly scratching at parts of his body. His hand now has a small hive on it. Still, unsure if maybe he was scratched or licked by the dog or he possibly came in contact with a food allergen. At this point, it becomes a waiting game. I need to observe him and see if more spots arise and see if he starts scratching more. There is really no way to know if he is having a severe reaction unless more happens. And what to is a complete mystery to me. I am going to go check on him and let you know what I see.........

As you can see the ones around his mouth are going away. You can see a spot(That looks less pink on camera) under his nose and there are a couple that are hard to see on camera on his chin.

Though the mouth hives are slowly going away there is one that developed under his chin, bigger than the others. You can also see in both pictures a place where he is scratching near his neck on his shoulder.

The hive on his hand is completely gone and he claims he is not very itchy. So, it is STILL a waiting game.

As I should, I checked him again after taking pictures and writing and the one under his chin has gone down a tiny bit. So, I think that since it has been a half hour to 45 minutes since the possible contact, we should be in the clear for an anaphylactic reaction. Anaphylaxis can occur within 2 hours after exposure. But, typically if there is going to be problems with breathing, that happens within 30 to 45 minutes after exposure.

I will blog again tonight and let you know if it was nothing and just needed to be watched or if I end up giving him meds or more.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Travel Utensil Set

Hello Everyone! I was recently playing around on the internet when I came across this GREAT website! The Monogrammed Monkey  This person makes and personalizes things for great prices. What I wanted to tell you about is this children's Travel utensil set. I think this is such a great idea for people with food allergies. Any time I go somewhere I worry about utensils that my son will be using. If we go out to eat, I do not want my son to use the forks and spoons there because I have found hints of food or a definite chance of cross contamination in the kitchen. When we go to other people's houses I like to bring my kids something to eat with or I spend a good amount of time re-cleaning any utensil they may use. This set will be PERFECT! I am planning to keep this in my purse for any time we go somewhere. This also makes it so that my son has more of a variety of food to eat while we are out because it wont have to be finger foods. My kids have learned to drink the applesauce cups that I regularly take places. They will now get to eat it from their own spoons. The best part is that I'm not just throwing a fork and spoon into my purse where it may come in contact with something and I wont have to put a dirty spoon back into my purse. It has it's own carrying case! And best of all it will have my son's name printed right on it!! I can't tell you how excited I am about these!

Here is a picture of some examples:
This is what The Monogrammed Monkey told me about the products:

They are available in 4, yellow, green and blue.
The plastic case measures approximately 6.5 inches long and 2.5 inches high.
It comes with 2 heavy-duty plastic forks & 2 spoons in assorted colors (each spoon/fork set matches, and there are 2 colors in each case)
$10 each, with free shipping!

If you would like to check out their website you can do so by clicking HERE or one of the above links "The Monogrammed Monkey"

You can see multiple pictures of other things that they do by visiting their Facebook page. Click HERE to be connected to the facebook page! Be sure to give them a like so you can see future offers!

I have ordered and paid for mine! I will be posting a review once I get them and use them for the first time, so be on the look out! I have a feeling that I will be buying more. I also like the other things they make, I know that if my husband and I finally decide on having another baby soon, we will be ordering more from this site!

Monday, March 26, 2012

12 hour CHILI in 30 minutes!

Fast, Yummy, Quick!

This Chili tastes like it has been cooking all day but it was made in 30 minutes!

Quick Chili

What you will need:
1 lb Ground Beef
3/4 of a Green Pepper
1/3 of an Onion
2 Garlic Cloves OR Garlic powder OR Garlic salt
1 15 oz Can of Dark red kidney beans (Rinsed and drained)
1 14 1/2 oz Can of diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce (If you like thicker chili and not as soupy as I do, go with an 8 oz can)
3 tsp Chili Powder

Chop Onion, Garlic and Green pepper and place into a large skillet or pot with ground beef.

 Cook until beef is browned and onion is tender. Drain Fat.

 Add drained and rinsed kidney beans, undrained diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Chili powder and pepper (to taste, I use a grinder and twist about 5 times) Stir and bring to a boil.

 Once boiling cover and turn heat down to simmer for 20 minutes.

The finished product!

Corn bread compliments this dish. I use my trusty Jiffy mix so that it is egg, milk and nut free.


Struggling with the future

As I am trying to sleep last night, I am kept awake thinking about my sons future. I rarely think outside of the present with his allergies. I even go on forums and help other people with allergies, children, teens, adults and parents. I have done that for a long time. Well before I started blogging. But, I never thought about it being my son that felt so much like an outsider, worrying every second whether someone ate something hes allergic to for lunch and did not wash their hands. He will not get the same experience most get with their first kiss. He will be scared and thinking about whether he is putting himself in danger. Of course, my son is only 4 years old and I in no way want to even fathom that my son will one day be kissing girls but it is inevitable. As of now, I am the one worrying about him. In his eyes I am sure that the isolated person in our family is my husband because he eats "Cow's cheese" Everyone else in our family sticks to soy products while my husband uses dairy. I have taught my son that Cow's milk is yucky, eggs are yucky, peanuts are yucky and tree nuts are yucky. That is really the only way I could start teaching him that he should not eat those products and he can let people know. Now, I am starting to teach him that it will give him allergies. He knows when he is having an allergic reaction and he will even ask me for medicine at just an itchy eye. So, I have started to teach him that he will get allergies just like the characters in the books he loves to read. I think he is finally starting to get it and that is good but it is also a little sad.

Today we were at the post office where my daughter starts playing with the packing peanuts.(I DID try to get her to stop but I was packing envelopes and she was only playing with the scooper.)  He sees on the side of the bin that it says peanuts. (He must recognize the word from books because he cannot read.) He says Mommy, I'm allergic, those are yucky. I said "No bud, those are PACKING peanuts you are not allergic. He says "Peanuts are yucky, they give me allergies." So, I just shut up and decided not to try to tell him that he was not allergic to ALL peanuts. That is just plain stupid  to try to explain to a 4 year old and could result in confusion causing a reaction. Then we were waiting in line and my daughter sees a candy machine and goes to it. My son says "No! You're allergic!" I never let him touch candy machines because a lot of times there are reese's pieces. Even if they are not that peanut butter candy, you never know what is in those candies or if they have been cross contaminated in a candy that was there before. I tell him "No, she is not allergic. You are allergic but she is still not allowed to touch." So, I think that he is starting to understand more clearly what an allergy is and that not everyone has it. But, it still breaks my heart as his mother to watch him discovering these things.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Benadryl Coupons

Benadryl is a great product for anyone with any kind of allergy. I used it growing up to help when I would get hives from animals or the sniffles and asthma from outdoor allergies. When I had my son I learned that it can also stop a mild food allergy from turning into anaphylactic shock. In fact, even if you go into anaphylaxis you should take Benadryl right along with the epinephrine. I have always kept Benadryl on me and at my son's school so that we can give it to him if we believe he has ingested or come in contact with an allergen. I have more recently learned that a lot of people with food allergies do the same. Even teens will carry Children's Benadryl on them to take with the first tingle of an allergic reaction.

If you click the link below you will be directed to the Benadryl website where you will fill out some info and then be able to print out coupons for different products from Benadryl.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Reading a label

It can be tough for anyone to read a label. All of those unfamiliar words can be confusing. In a lot of cases you will just be scanning for an allergen. You could be looking for Peanut or Milk but did you know that there are what some call "code words" for these allergens as well? Reading a label requires more than just looking for one specific word per allergen, you are looking for a variety of words that could all mean that it contains that allergen. Any time I make something new, I am googling words that I am unfamiliar with. Companies also change formulas quite frequently so you want to be sure to read a label EVERY time you feed it to someone allergic. I have come across many foods that my son used to eat that is no longer okay because they decided to add one little ingredient.

If there is someone in your household with a food allergy or someone that you cook for with allergies it is a good idea to have these words on hand. Click here to see "code words" for common allergens  I would print that out or save it to your computer so you can refer to it if you have any questions.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Today 3-21-12

Today I have to decide whether to skip yet another day of my sons oral-immunotherapy because feeding him something he is allergic to sometimes upsets his stomach. If I skip today, I will be risking having to practically start over. This morning my son got sick. He seems fine now and was only mopey until about 1 o'clock today but I am still trying to be kind to his stomach. So, do I or don't I? I figured skipping yesterday was fine because skipping a day now and then is fine and he would eat something with egg baked in today but under normal circumstances I would not have given him his food with egg baked in.

It was a snow day in our town. We went all of winter with only a few morning snows and then today, during spring, we get a day of continuous snow. After my kids being excited about the snow and staring out the window all morning, I decide to get them dressed up in their snow gear and head outside. I open the door, with the camera on record, and my daughter steps out. I try catching her first glimpse at the yard when I hear it. I turn around and my son has covered his snow clothes in vomit. GREAT! It turned out that I actually still had the camera on record and had it that way for a few minutes. I now have my son getting sick on video tape and the following few minutes. It is always sad when your young child gets sick because they have no idea what is going on or why they are feeling this way. They are so helpless and there really is nothing you can do but try to help them aim and tell them they are okay. My husband shortly returns home from a short work day and he takes out daughter outside. I realize my son is in his room crying because he cannot go outside to play in the snow that he was so excited about. Against my better judgement, we decide that since it rarely snows like this in our town we would let him get dressed and at least watch. Although my poor son was feeling extremely icky, he got to join in and stand in the snow. He even helped us make a snow baby. Our hands were too cold to make a full sized snow man so we grabbed an old binky and made a baby.

I know it is not pretty! lol. But, as I said it was COLD and we had no snow gloves to be able to shape our snow baby. My son was also pretty upset that we did not have any carrots in the house to make a nose. He kept singing songs about making snowmen. He is so funny sometimes!

Although it is 7 here, I have dinner cooking. We are having meatloaf, potatoes, corn and jell-o. The jell-o is mostly for my son but who doesn't like jell-o? I think that today was not as spectacular as I would have hoped a snow day would have been but it also wasn't a bust just because my son was sick. It all kind of evened out.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Britny's Kitchen Pot Pie...ish

Tonight I tried a new recipe. I like to find what I can that my son can eat so that we have more of a variety during meals. Today I had planned on making meatloaf and potatoes because I need to go shopping and do not have much of a full meal here. That always seems to happen, I have pieces of meals without enough to make it a whole. BUT, tonight I was looking at my trusty costco size box of bisquick and saw this recipe that gave me an idea!

Make-shift Pot Pie

1 Large Chicken Breast
1 1/2 c Bisquick
3/4 c milk (I use soy)
1 egg (I use applesauce, about 1/4 cup or a little more)
1 can Turkey Gravy (I use this because that is what I use when making regular pot pie since it is the only one I have found without my sons allergies. If the two different meat flavors scare you you can use another type of gravy OR cream of chicken soup)
1 lb frozen mixed veggies

Preheat oven to 400

Cube the chicken breast and cook in a skillet until cooked through. You can use olive oil to cook in if you do not want to cook the chicken on its own. Next thaw out and drain the frozen veggies. Mix together the chicken, gravy and mixed veggies in the cooking dish.(I use an 8x8 glass pan. In a separate bowl mix together the egg(or replacer), bisquick and milk. Lay out the batter on top of the mix in baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until it is golden brown on top.  Feeds 4 or 5 people.

I did not expect to blog this recipe but I took a picture of what is left of it.

It turned out pretty yummy!  Enjoy!!

The last couple of days

Hello again! I am BACK!
I was sick for a few days. I still am but I can actually move around the house now. Trying to take care of children while being sick proves to be quite the challenge. This is especially true when you have no voice to talk with. It got to the point where my kids must  have thought it was whispering day. They whispered right along with me, it was funny. My son did run into some allergy problems yesterday and the day before. I am unsure of why this happened on both occasions. The only problem he had was a couple hives on his cheek at dinner time and the next day hives across his forehead and a couple on his eye but they went away. That can be frustrating. Not only is my son food allergic, which can be life threatening, but he also has environmental allergies. It is near impossible to tell the two apart until you have waited a while and watched.

 With my sons environmental allergies he will get the red eyes, asthma and at times hives. Animals in particular will do this to him pretty bad. My son and I are very allergic to animals. We do have 2 cats and 1 dog though. Our cats were inherited because when we moved in the cats living here needed a home. So, we just made them outside cats. So, allergies from the cats are a rarity. I watch my son when he is in the backyard and advise him not to touch the things that belong to the cats. I do not pet them without gloves but my husband is a big animal lover so they get the attention they need from him every day. Our dog is actually a new addition to our family. We got him last summer as a puppy to see if there really is such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. Yorkies are a GREAT pet for allergy sufferers like myself. The only time my son gets a reaction is if he is scratched by the dog and even then it is only minor. As long as yorkies are bathed regularly and kept clean they are virtually hypoallergenic. It is amazing, although, I always know when he needs a bath. If my dog has not had a bath in a week I will start sneezing but if we give him a bath, the sniffles are gone.

Along with everything else happening over the last couple of days, I have been trying to potty train my almost 3 year old. She has never shown ANY interest in the potty whatsoever. Any time I have tried potty training her she just doesn't get it. She sees no need to use the toilet when she can use her diaper or even her underwear. In fact, while I am writing this she is bringing me a diaper and trying to get me to put it on her. (I have decided to try the 'nakie' method. Maybe she potties because she feels something there to potty in and eliminating that will get her to go in the potty. It works for some children, right? This potty training thing can be quite draining sometimes. My son took a long time to finally become "ready" but once he was he did amazing! After 1 day of potty training him, he had zero accidents to date. He never used a pull-up, not even at night! He has NEVER wet the bed at night!! That is not to say that his potty training was not difficult. He was 3 years old when he finally learned. We had many attempts at potty training where he would only freak out. Like I said, he just was not ready yet.

Anyway, that is what the past two days have been for me. Potty training, sick in bed and of course the normal every day allergies.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Red Robin Trip

We made it out to Red Robin today! We wanted to beat the dinner rush by going at 5 o'clock. We ended up getting there at 5:30 and it was still quite full. We got to our seats pretty quick but it was still a full house.

I always keep 1 Epipen in my purse in case disaster strikes. But today I grabbed an extra because I know all too well that sometimes just one shot doesn't cut it. Going to a restaurant is always a risk.

As always, while walking to our table I informed the person seating us that my son has food allergies and we need to be sure that the table is clean. So, she gets someone that cleans the table to come out and wipe it down again. He decides to get a fresh towel which I am very grateful for because they do not all do that. I just ask them to wipe down in front of my son so that he will not touch anything that he is allergic to. He gets reactions easily. So just the touch of an allergen will give him a reaction and, as most parents of children with allergies know, if they touch something and then get it in their eyes or mouth they can go into a full anaphylactic reaction.
He can finally color, now that the table is cleaned off!

When the waitress came to our table I explained to her that he has food allergies so we need to be very careful. I told her that I brought my kids food but that they can have the Gluten Free fries because they are also free of the big 8 allergens. I then ordered them a drink asking to ensure cleanliness so that he does not come in contact with anything he shouldn't.
His clean cup from the middle of the stack!

I had brought them food so that they are not left out of the experience of dining out. French fries is not a meal in itself so I bring them some things that I can just throw in my purse while heading out.

Finally their french fries arrived separate from the food my husband and I ordered.

They enjoyed their meal and because of the cooperation of the staff we all had a great dining experience!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Today 3-16-12

Today we had planned on going to Red Robin so that I could blog about every step and take pictures. But, when we got there it was FULL. So, we stalled time for an hour and went back. It was even more packed than before so we decided to have an early dinner tomorrow night. When going to a restaurant with someone that has food allergies you want to try to go during off times when there will not be as many people. When you go during the busy hours you are putting the allergic person at more of a risk because the kitchen staff is working fast to try to get everything out. That is when mistakes happen. If you go to a restaurant when there is not a big breakfast/lunch/dinner rush the servers and kitchen staff will be extra cautious and help you with your needs.

Today I was doing some research on Disney Land because we want to surprise our children within the next year by taking them to Disney Land. That is a scary thing with a child that has food allergies. But, the lady I talked to that plans Disney vacations assured me that Disneyland is the industry leader in food allergy policies and procedures. I believe her too because as I did my research I used Allergy Eats to read some reviews from people with food allergies that ate at these restaurants. All but 1 was a GREAT review. They talked about how the chef would come out and show them the salad bar and such. If there was nothing the kids could eat there, he would specially make them something to eat. It definitely sounds like something that would be worth trying and not stressing a bunch over. She told me that we could even take safe snacks for him into the park! When they check your bag all you have to do is let them know that your child has food allergies and they will allow you to bring the snacks in! How great is that? I am very excited for this trip and a lot less anxious about it now that I know all of this. And, OF COURSE, when we go I will blog every day about what has happened involving allergies and dining out!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Surprise! I'm allergic?

There are many things that will have your allergens hidden in them. These are things you may least expect. Yes, you are amazed when you see that you cannot eat specific foods because it contains something that you are allergic to but have you ever gotten a reaction from something that is NOT a food?

 Did you know that if you have an allergy to tree nuts you need to be extremely careful when buying lotion? There are almond and coconut and walnut put into lotions to enhance these products. You will find them in the strangest lotions too. Lotions meant to help with dry or cracked hands, even without a scent, will contain nuts at times.

A lot of shower items contain nuts in them as well. Hand soaps, body gels, shampoo, conditioner and even shave gel all have the possibility of containing one or more nuts. I am glad that Avon now has a tool to let you read the ingredients online before you buy. It is hard to order a product without knowing whether that item will contain something that could be life threatening.

Anti-aging creams, serums and makeup all can contain nuts. I have noticed that a lot of the Avon items I sell to help with brightening of the skin or sometimes even tightening of the skin will contain some tree nuts.

Chapstick will have nut oils in them at times for flavor and moisture.

The one that shocked me most were vaccines. Now that I think about it and know what I know, it almost seems like a no-brainer but when I first found out I was astonished. Vaccines are sometimes grown in eggs. MMR is grown in eggs but there is a lesser chance of getting a reaction. My son just recently had his MMR vaccines because he could not have them before. They gave them to him and had to watch for a half hour. Another vaccine that is grown in eggs is for the flu. This vaccine is more commonly reacted to. My son had the h1n1 vaccine when that was a big thing and they had to give it to him in small increments spanning over 6 different injections. He now gets the flu shot but is required to do so at the allergists office.

It is always good to check ingredients on EVERYTHING before letting it come in contact with someone with severe food allergies. That goes as far as to say not to wear lotions with nuts in them if you plan to be around someone with a nut allergy that day. If you take a look at a few things around your home, especially in your bathroom, I bet you will find a common allergen that you had no idea was there.

Has anyone else had an experience where they discovered that there was an allergen in something unexpected? Did you find something in your home with a common allergen in it that you were unaware of before?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Yesterday I did not write the normal today post. I thought that everything was fine with nothing to tell of. But, I was wrong. Last night I gave my son his normal baked good with egg in it. This time it was a muffin. I had that muffin from the day before when my son ate 2 with no problems. My son ate the muffin and shortly after starting complaining of an itchy lip. I looked and he had started to have a hive on his lip bubble up. I thought it was a little odd since it had been a while since he reacted and had eaten the same muffin yesterday, two in a row! So, I gave him some Zyrtec and had him swish it around in his mouth like the Allergist had suggested that first day he had the itchy mouth in the office. It was supposed to have gotten rid of it within minutes. But an hour goes by, with me checking every 5 minutes or more, and it had only gotten bigger. My mind starts racing wondering if he could have come in contact with another allergen or if somehow something got onto the muffin in the day it had sat on the counter. Then he starts to tell me that his tummy hurts. That is also a sign of anaphylaxis or a more serious allergy. I got worried but after about an hour and a half I put him to bed. He only had the tummy ache, which he complained about once and the swollen lip. 3 hours after he took the Zyrtec he was sleeping and I checked on him to see that they hive was finally going down. But, even in a situation where you know the possible outcomes, it is still nerve wracking. He woke up fine this morning and that has brought me to my conclusion that because he had skipped a few days of his oral immunotherapy, it was as if he started all over with the reactions coming back. It just shows me how he is DEFINITELY still allergic to eggs. I just really hope that this works and he can start eating eggs that not only have been heated in the oven but have been cooked in general.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Multiple Children, One Allergic.

In my house we only have 1 child with food allergies. As of now, we have 2 children. Some may not know what to do in that situation. In our home, our children are young so out of necessity we have had our daughter follow our son's diet. We even have her follow his diet if my husband and I eat something that our son is allergic to, although that does not happen very often. But, over the years I have come to realize that unless my son is not around, my daughter should always eat the same as her brother. I mean, when she gets to be in high school or whatnot she will have more of a choice of course but for the next many years she will follow his diet around him. Having everyone eat one food and him eating another would just single him out even more. He will have to be singled out in public or at schools but the one place he should fit in completely is home. We may not be allergic to the foods that he is but we should still show him the respect we expect him to show others. I have seen him when we go out to eat or to someone's house for dinner and they do not cook for his needs. He and our daughter will be the only one not being able to eat the big meal while he gets stuck with vienna sausages since I carry them around in case we eat out on the fly. He will look at the pizza and feel bad because he likes pizza too, just he cannot eat that kind or he likes ham too but that was cured with butter. All the other kids get the yummy deserts and salads but he has to eat something that I brought for him that he eats at times like this.  So, that is why I feel that he should be able to eat what everyone else at the dinner table is eating when at home. Or at least what the other children are eating. I am happy that we have done it this way because not once has he ever been the ONLY person eating something different. He always has his sister and she usually does not mind. She is still pretty young, so she has her fits sometimes when she wants what is on someone else's plate and not hers but that is a rarity.

Having more children after your first with food allergies can be a hard decision. Let me tell you, we had a hard time deciding to have our daughter. We are having an even harder time deciding on a third. For me it is not just deciding whether to add another member to our family which is huge decision on it's own. But, it is deciding if we are willing to go the whole year after it is born being extremely cautious, keeping the allergens far away just in case. Then going through all of the testing to find out if they have an allergy. Then what if they do have food allergies? Can we handle two children with such allergies? Can we try to avoid the allergies in any way? Do we really want to do this? I have finally come to my decision and my husband is still debating. But, we will know soon whether we will try for another. We have been deciding this for a good 2 years now. I have been put down when people hear that I have even thought about having another child. I have been told that with the health problems in my son, we should not have any more children. And, I took that to heart and believed it at one point. But, every child is precious. It may have health problems but is that a reason that they should not exist? NO is my answer!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Today 3-11-12

Today we moved our kids into their own rooms. They have always shared a room with an extra toy/guest room. This was new for them, but since I am not able to keep up with the cleaning it brought out a lot of dust. It is hard keeping the surface clean as it is having a 2 and a 4 year old running around making messes as you clean them. I gave my son his zyrtec and he did fine. I, on the other hand, was sneezing like crazy. I don't have adult zyrtec in the house so I had to suffer through it. A clean house is worth the sneezing to me. I also made muffins for breakfast with the egg in them for my son's oral immunotherapy. I typically give him the equivalent to 1 muffin of the baked goods. Today, i gave him 2 muffins. I was nervous that it may give him a reaction since sometimes he gets an itchy mouth from the egg int he baked goods. But, he did fine! I am so happy because that to me is a step in the right direction. Anyway, sorry I have not been posting as much. I was sick for a few days and then I had to do all of this bedroom moving around. We are not done but I will be sure to do an informational post tomorrow. I hope you all have a wonderful night!

Friday, March 9, 2012


Today was pretty uneventful with my son's allergies. Typically on a day when we visit Petco to have our dog groomed and spending most of the day away from home, we have some sort of problem. Today was not one of those days. I think it is due to the wonderful Zyrtec. We ate at my in-laws and they had pizza. Pizza is hard one to keep off of surfaces and away from my son. We usually pass on pizza invites or he gets some sort of reaction, even if it is small and can be stopped with Benedryl. Lately though, my in-laws have been having their children wash hands after every meal.(They adopted some children a couple of years ago) They do this even when we are not there so that they know to do it. They are even told they are not allowed to touch anything on the way to the sink. This makes me feel comfortable having our son there. It can be dangerous having him play with other kids toys when they do not wash their hands after eating. So, I am quite happy that we had a pizza night with NO reactions!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


     Today my son had his early intervention class, as he does every Tuesday and Thursday. He had been sick last week so he was very eager to be back this week. He regularly tells me that he loves school. I shall remind him of this in the years to come. ;p

    He had been reading stories with me on our bed when his eye became itchy. He announced to me that his does NOT like allergies. So, not knowing what it was that caused this, I gave him some Zyrtec. It seemed to help after a while, especially because I had told him that if he rubs his eye he probably wont be able to go to school. He went to wash his hands after lunch and saw himself in the mirror and became very concerned that he had a red eye. I even heard him announce it to his bus driver as I was stepping off the bus after belting him in.

    This evening we ran to the store and got some things to make a salad for dinner. I noticed that not one brand of crouton was safe for him to eat. It also annoyed me that the bottom of every package said in bold writing that it may contain tree nuts. It did not say that there was milk or other allergens present, although they were, as it normally does. That always kind of strikes a nerve with me. I dont know exactly why but anytime I see something that clearly has allergens in them but only states at the bottom what may be in the product it makes me angry. They expect us to read through all of the ingredients, find the so called "code words" for allergens and then only state what is not stated in the ingredient list. Yes, most people that are avoiding specific ingredients due to allergies, intolerances or celiacs will read through the ingredients anyway. But, not everyone will skim through all ingredients. That also makes it very inconvenient for those that do not regularly cook for people with allergies or are just starting out. I can't tell you how many times I bought foods thinking they were safe only to find out when I got home that I just didn't read through all of the ingredients first, expecting it would be in bold at the bottom.

Another hard one to avoid is vegetable oils. It is almost a game of roulette. A lot of products now will be specific as to what kind of vegetable the oil could be derived from. But, those with a peanut or seed allergy could be putting themselves in danger. Vegetable oils can be derived from a legume. A peanut is a legume and that is why so many things are fried or cooked with peanut oils. They consider peanut oil a vegetable oil because it is grouped in with other legumes.

But, with those things aside, today was a good day. It was sunny and warm today. We spent a lot of time outside enjoying the very rare and much needed vitamin D. All doctors in Oregon suggest a vitamin D supplement to everyone living here because we don't get enough from it. For those of you out of state, if you have seen Twilight, Oregon is a lot like Forks with the cloud cover, just add a lot of rain into the mix. ( Haha, sorry to all you Twilight haters, I personally became addicted to the saga after I was practically forced to watch the first movie. I have now read all of the books and own all of the DVD's that are currently available. lol)

Allergy Alert for Soy Allergic People!

Read this article to find out about the recall due to an undeclared Soy allergen!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Children's Books on Allergies

Allergies can be hard for children to understand. They may also feel alone because everyone they know can eat foods that are life-threatening to them. There were some pretty clever authors out there that had decided on helping to teach kids through books. I have 3 of them and I will be telling you about them. I read them with my son again today. He loves it because he sees that they have things in common. He even "read the books" to me. It was very darling but he did a pretty good job getting the key points, or what he thought were the key points, across.

The First book is for the younger kids. It was written to help pre-school aged children understand allergies in themselves or others around them. That just happened to be perfect because my son is pre-school aged. In fact, I sent the book in with him to his early intervention class to be read.

Allie the Allergic Elephant
by Nicole Smith

This book is about an elephant named Allie that is allergic to peanuts. It tells children that although elephants like peanuts, peanuts don't like Allie. It shows that Allie wears a medic alert bracelet. Every time we get to that point in the story my son points it out and puts his bracelet up to the book saying that they match. It helps him to relate and not feel alone.

The book tells children to say no to foods that are unknown and why. It even shows pictures of what will happen if she eats the peanut her friend has offered.

Lastly, it shows you some foods that can have hidden peanuts in them.

I would suggest this book to anyone that has a small child with food allergies. It is a fun, interactive and informational book that will help you to explain what allergies are. It is also good to keep around to show other children to help explain what food allergies are.

The second book I have is a great book for all ages. It is a fun rhyming book about allergies. Not only that, but it has all of the Big 8 food allergies in it.

The BugaBees
 friends with food allergies
by Amy Recob

This book is about 8 bug friends that all have a different food allergy. They talk about each bug individually being allergic to a specific food but all of them say "No thank you. It's really okay. I can still have lots of fun without peanuts anyway" replacing the word peanuts with the different allergens per bug.

After the story is finished there are pages where children are asked questions and told to identify things that my have the allergen in them. 

This is a cute book that my children love and is a wonderful tool in helping to teach children about food allergies.

The last book that I have, as of now, is geared more toward children that are in elementary school. My son can still understand it but it is a great option for children in the school setting.

The Peanut Butter Jam
by Elizabeth Sussman Nassau

This book is about a child that feels isolated because of his allergies. It is making him feel as if he does not belong.
I love this book because it touches on bullying. Allergy children are picked on often about their allergies even to the point where other children and throwing that food at them. (I just read a study on this)

In this instance the child is fed up with it and decides to join in on the class project which includes using peanut butter to make a bird feeder. He ends up with a reaction and being rushed to the nurses office. the nurse gives him his shot before he is taken to the ambulance and on to the hospital. The book explains that being bullied and taunted should not be enough to put your life in danger and points out that there are groups for children to get involved with to find others to relate to.

I have attached links to amazon, so it will make it easier for you to purchase them if you choose.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Britny's Kitchen (pizza)


What you will need:
  • 1 or more Pillsbury pizza crusts
  • Ragu Pizza sauce (Or other preferred)
  • Vegan Cheese (I like mozzarella but accidentally bough Monterey Jack lol)
  • Olives
  • Hormel Pepperoni
  • Pam or other to grease (unless using a nonstick pan)
  • Any other items you like on your pizza

Preheat oven to 400
Grease your cookie sheet. I always put down tin foil first as well. Roll out dough and place in oven for 5 minutes.

While it is cooking, grate your cheese with a cheese grater and cut your olives.

Spread the sauce on your crust. Place cheese, olives, pepperoni and your other favorites onto pizza.

Bake for 6-10 minutes. Until crust is brown. My picture looks burned but it is not.

 And enjoy! So easy!

For those that like ingredient lists:
Pizza Crust
Pizza Sauce(This was the best picture I could get of it, sorry!)

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Today we decided to have a picnic as a family and go on a nature walk. We went to the store to buy sandwich items because we were running low. When we went up to the deli counter I noticed that there was a sign over the salad items. The sign said that there may be cross-contamination with all of the big food allergens. On the other side, where the deli meat was, I saw no sign. So, I asked her about it. She said that she could check the ingredients. So, then I brought up that the meat cutter could cause cross-contamination. She said that they clean it after every use. So, I was still nervous and had decided not to chance it but buy some for my husband and I anyway. She really did not seem to know what she was talking about. Then I saw that she had the SAME gloves on that she was using when getting the person before us his food. That right there causes cross-contamination. It frustrated me that someone working with food was almost clueless when it came to food allergies. Everyone working in a food business should be educated on that. I know that when getting your food handlers you learn about cross-contamination but when I took the test it only talked about raw meats. I don't know if that has changed. I took that before my son was born and things have changed in the years since.

We had a picnic at the table and that concerns me too because I don't know what people have eaten there and I doubt they cleaned up after. I try teaching my son to only eat off of his plate, or in this case napkin, so that he wont have a reaction but sometimes he will drop it and not see that as a threat. Everything was fine and they finished up. We walked 4 miles! My kids were carried some of the time but they were troopers!

After that we ran errands and while at Home Depot my son starts telling me he has allergies. I didn't think anything of it because we weren't at a food store so it was probably him just talking about his allergies. But, then a few minutes later I look over and see that hes rubbing a very red eye. I don't know what it was, it got better with him leaving it alone. But, I thought it was great that he told me he was having allergies when his eye started getting itchy.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


With Easter around the corner, you are going to see that finding candies for someone with common food allergies is going to be hard. A lot of holidays have candy associated with them. Candy companies know this and go into overdrive when holidays are approaching. Most candies are processed in the same facilities as each other making it so that cross contamination is a bigger threat. But, it depends on the brand and facility made in. Last year, I bought my kids Peeps for their Easter baskets. I saw pink and read it, it was safe. So, I found the blue and bought it too. When I got home I realized that the blue Peeps actually were made on shared equipment with nuts. Then when going back to the store I noticed that I could find SOME yellow ones that did not have the warning. So, it varies. I tend to stick mostly to candy that is year round and not found in the holiday section of the store. Of course, I venture over to pick through and find what I can but I can find some of the same things but safe in the normal candy section.

Another thing that can be hard is the Easter eggs. If you have your own Easter egg hunt you can control the candies being put into the eggs. It is best to start with fresh new eggs that have never been used to avoid contamination. If you are going to another hunt, it can be difficult because there will most likely be chocolate. Yes, you could let them find the eggs but just taking out the chocolate may not be a great idea. Typically easter candy is covered in foil and not sealed. The best option in that situation would be to either be sure that there will be safe candy or bring some to trade out for. That is what we do for Halloween. We separate the safe from the unsafe or unsure. Then we let them replace it with allergen free candy that we had bought ahead of time. I also hand out candy that is the BIG 8 free every year.

If you have any questions or would like some more pointers, please let me know!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Allergies, Asthma & Eczema/ Today

Today my son had the same cough as yesterday but accompanied by asthma. This is nothing new for him. When he was younger, he would be hospitalized with every single cold. Then one time he had pneumonia and it made scar tissue. When you have scar tissue in your lungs it makes you more prone to get pneumonia over and over. My poor boy had pneumonia a few times before we got his asthma under control. So, this has brought me to my next subject.

Did you know that food allergies, or any allergies for that matter, come hand in hand with asthma and eczema? If you have allergies, you are very likely to have eczema and asthma. I was told this by all of my doctors growing up since I had all three as well. I was told to watch my daughter for eczema or asthma because that could be an indicator that she too would have food allergies. She has a very mild case of eczema but so far she has nothing else. 1 in 10 people have suffered from eczema at one point. Though it is common, it is not contagious. So, if you are a parent of a little one and are not sure if they will have allergies take that into consideration. Allergies, asthma and eczema are also passed down through your genes. So, if you have one or all, your children have a higher chance of having one or all as well.

Britny's Kitchen

Jiffy Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients:                                                                                              Makes 5-8 muffins
1 Package of Jiffy Chocolate Muffin Mix
1 Egg (or applesauce)
1/4 cup Milk (Milk of choice, I use soy)

Preheat Oven to 400.
Grease muffin pans or use baking cups.

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Fill cups about half way. Bake for 11-13 minutes. Be sure that when inserting a toothpick in the center, it comes out clean or almost clean.

Easy right!?! AND it is extremely cheap! I LOVE it! You can make most muffins into pancakes or other delectables.

Here is a picture of the box.

For those of you like me, you may want to check for any allergens first!

Kids LOVE them! He thinks they are cupcakes!

Btw, can anyone tell me the two characters saying 'hi' in this post?