Sunday, April 29, 2012

Teaching my son about his food allergies.

Teaching kids about their food allergies can be tough for many reasons. Trying to teach your child of the severity of a food allergy without making them afraid of the world can prove to be a challenge. There is no parenting handbook for anyone. Every child is different and may learn things in different ways. The way we taught our son, and are still teaching him, of his allergies was quite simple. Because I became lactose intolerant while pregnant with him, I no longer use milk in my every day foods. So, in our family the only one to eat "cow's cheese" and drink "cow's milk as my son calls them, is my husband. That is how my children have been raised. All that they have known is soy milk, soy cheese, soy ice cream etc. So, in our house the odd man out is actually my husband. My son learned that cow's milk, peanuts, tree nuts and eggs are yucky but daddy eats them. Then it moved onto that these things make him sick. Now that he understands allergies, he knows that these items will cause allergies. First, he had to experience allergies, even that of animals so that he knows how miserable it makes him. We didn't purposely go looking for an opportunity to give him an allergy. I knew that at some point he would experience some form of allergies and that was when I would tell him what was going on.  Now, he is very aware of what will happen if he eats something he is allergic to.

The other day we went to the store to pick up some cheese for my husbands grilled cheese. We already had soy cheese at home. At check out my son starts talking to the cashier. He tells her that cow cheese is daddy's favorite. She thought it was cute and funny that he called it cow cheese. She asks him if he likes cheese and he says I like SOY cheese. She says "Okay I get it now" He says "Yea, I have food allergies" He now announces that to everyone. Any time anyone asks him a question or even talks to me he announces his name and that he has food allergies. The other day we were walking in the grocery store and a nice gentleman tells me about how great the ground beef deal was. My son interjects with his name and that he has food allergies. I can't help but think it is a little funny and I am just happy that he tells people up front about his food allergies. I feel that it really is a great thing to do.

If anyone has had experience with this and has taught a child of their food allergies I would love to hear from you!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring Allergies

On top of having food allergies, most people that have food allergies will also have seasonal and environmental allergies. My son and I both suffer with seasonal allergies. It had been years since I had more than the sniffles, sneezing and itchy eyes. But, after I got home yesterday I had itchy eyes and rubbed them. I went to look in the mirror to see why they werent getting any better and had noticed that they were rapidly swelling with hives covering both eye lids. I actually started to feel so bad for my son. while he had not had the swollen eyes filled with hives, it just reminded me how terrible it feels to have that. Any time he touches something he is allergic to and then his face that will happen to him.  But, this is another instance where I will tell you how WONDERFUL Zyrtec is. Since I started to sneeze, I have been giving my son zyrtec every day and he seems allergy free. I know for a fact that he is not because I worked my weekend job today and forgot to give him some before. When I got home he was a sneezing mess. But, a little bit after I gave him his zyrtec he was back to playing outside in the sunshine without any sniffles! I have not bought any for myself and am still suffering with my seasonal allergies.

Aside from the allergies today was a great day! The beautiful weather makes up for it all! I even won tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters when we went to visit the new neighborhood being built behind us! Yay!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Please Participate in this quiz! CASH PRIZE!!

Hello everyone!

I just posted about an experiment that I would like to try. I am going to have a quiz on here and have a rafflecopter to write your answers in so that they are private and you can be entered into the drawing for the prize! YES there is a prize involved!! $5 CASH PRIZE!! I will pay through Paypal or if you do not have paypal you can have a gift card of your choice.

PLEASE BE HONEST IN YOUR ANSWER. DO NOT CHEAT. The answers will be private so if you do not know the answer just take a guess and I will not judge in any way.  Some of the questions will be meant to have unique answers, no right or wrong.

Please go through and read the questions, then go to the rafflecopter on the corresponding question number and type in your answer. Then click Enter for it to be sent to me and give you another entry into the drawing for the $5. This quiz quiz will be open for 24 hours and a winner will be chosen once it ends! YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GET THE QUESTION RIGHT TO WIN! But, if you are just being silly and not truely participating, I may forfeit your answer.  Good Luck and THANK YOU

Allergy Quiz:

QUESTION # 1: Please tell me if you or someone you know has an allergy. If so, how do you know them? ( They are my child, mother, cousin, brother's best friend, etc.)

QUESTION # 2: What is a food allergy?

QUESTION # 3: What is an Epipen?

QUESTION # 4: How do you use an Epipen?

QUESTION # 5: What are some signs of someone going into Anaphylaxis?

QUESTION # 6: What is Anaphylaxis?

QUESTION # 7: Do you know any of The Big 8 food allergens?

QUESTION # 8: Please tell me what you see in this picture:
You can click the picture to enlarge it.

QUESTION # 9: Please tell me what you see here and how this makes you feel:
You can again click the picture to enlarge it.

QUESTION # 10:  Which of the following can set off a reaction in a food allergic person? (Please report all that you believe apply)
A)ONLY ingesting the particular food allergic to
B)ONLY touching the particular food allergic to 
C)BOTH ingesting OR touching the food allergic to
D)Steam from a food cooking that you are allergic to
E)The smell of a food you are allergic to
F)Cross-contamination of even a minuscule amount of the food allergic to onto a food not allergic to
G) Food allergies are not real

Again, please write your answers into the rafflecopter below. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at  Thank you for being honest in what you believe the correct answers are. After you have entered all of the answers into the rafflecopter below there will be bonus entries to pop up. Those are NOT required but will increase your chances of winning the cash prize!


Hello Everyone. I want to put together a short quiz to see how much the general public really knows about allergies. I am not sure yet if I will be using a Rafflecopter or just writing the questions on here. But, please, no cheating. This is purely an experimental test to see what you all will say and how much you as parents of children of allergies, someone related to someone with allergies or someone that knows nobody with a food allergy know about this matter. I am going to get it all together and start it up! Thank you and I appreciate any involvement!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Family Vacations

Last weekend I surprised my husband with a trip to the coast for his birthday. At first it was a no brainer to me that my kids would be joining us. They love the beach and I love to watch them marvel at the ocean and the many things you find on a beach. But, then I got to thinking about how we have never had our children stay the night at the coast. We would be in a hotel room, eating out and strolling along the stores. This may seem like nothing to the normal parent but to a parent of an allergic child, it becomes a scary thing. I decided that this time I would not bring our children but to see what happens and how to approach the next time when we do take them.

The first thing we did was went to Mo's as my husbands "surprise birthday lunch" (Hehe, he thought that was his one and only surprise!) When we had been there in another city on the coast with my son, they had given us an allergen menu. I looked it over and saw that there were actually a few things that he could have. I was too nervous about actually letting him eat though because I didn't know where the nearest hospital was. This time at this restaurant we were seated to where I could see right into part of the kitchen. I was sitting directly in front of the door. I saw that they also had the allergen menu with the children's menus. Although any menus they got back uncolored on were put back in with the others in the same slot they kept the allergen menus. Then I was really baffled. I have gotten my food handlers before and I know at least a small gist of what they are required to do when handling food. There was one waitress cutting up a peanut butter cream pie and dishing it onto plates. She would then take it to the person that ordered it. There was one piece though, that sort of fell apart. So, I guess it was not presentable enough. I saw probably 5 people on the wait staff grabbing forks and taking bites of the pie as they walked to a table or picked up someone's food to take to the table. They weren't careful either. These people used a fork, one dropped their fork on the ground another wiped their mouth with their hand and so forth. Yes, I may sound like I had way too much time, which I did but I also was using this trip as a way to see if I could even bring my son to these places. I was not the least bit impressed. In fact, I probably would not go back to that one.. even without my son.

We did a lot of visiting shops which could be hazard when there are candy stores surrounding them. But, I could keep that manageable. We also went down to the tide pools. I thought about that even and was unsure if that could REALLY be safe. I think that is one thing, though, that we will have to just try and see what happens.

The hotel room was one thing I did not think much about until I saw it. We got a nice room in a nice hotel. In fact, it was labeled a suite. But, I saw that there were crumbs on the floor and I know how hotels can be with cleaning the bedding. Also, if my son could not be eating out at these places, I would need to bring something to be made there. That would mean we would either have to find an even nicer hotel with a kitchen or I would need to bring things that could be made in a microwave or stored in the fridge. I am willing to do that, of course, so that my children can have the experience. When that time comes I will be calling ahead and probably calling around to see what accommodations can be made for him.

Some friends of ours are getting married in June. They are doing so at the coast and since both my husband and my daughter are part of the wedding party we will be staying the night before for rehearsals and such. So, apparently I will be having this coast experience soon! I have no idea what hotel we will stay at but when I know, I know that I will be having some conversations with some of the staff there. I will definitely be blogging about how that experience goes as far as the allergy aspect. But, I am hoping that all will go smoothly and I just may be a bit of an overly protective mom!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Oh boy, Easter was definitely one for the record books. I stayed up late getting the baskets together and filling eggs. My kids were to excited to go to sleep so I had to wait a long time to even start. Then Easter morning comes. BOTH of my children woke up vomiting. My daughter at 7 am, might I add. They both were sick all morning and a little of the afternoon. My daughter was the worst. every time she would stand up she would vomit. It was terrible I felt so bad for her. They couldn't even get excited about the Easter baskets waiting on the table for them. When it was about lunch time I went to the store to pick up chicken broth, crackers, bananas and gatorade to try to ease some discomfort. When I got back, they had an appetite so I let them eat a little. But, then they came back for more and drank their whole big bottles of gatorade. I tried to get them to sip it but that was not happening. It was amazing though because it was like they were VERY sick one minute and perfectly fine the next. So, I got to dress them up and let them do the egg hunt and then even go to their grandpa's house for dinner.

I did my Easter shopping last minute this year. I am usually well prepared and stocked up weeks in advance. But, this year I got it done on the Wednesday before.  I will show you what I got. ( I didn't get a lot due to the lack of time but it did the job. :) )

These are what i got to fill the eggs with. The starburst jelly beans are free of ALL of my son's allergens. The Sweedish fish are too. They love them and are free of  the big 8 allergens.

These are what I got to put in the Easter basket along with some other things.

Now with this "Fluffy Stuff" I read the ingredients and they did not have any of his allergens. In fact on the back it shows this statement:

Click the picture for a bigger view. It said it was produced in a facility that does not use peanuts, tree nuts, eggs or gluten. But it says nothing about Milk. So, I look in the ingredients and none are fishy. I ultimately decided to buy and give to them anyway. But, after they had brought it to me to open, I started to doubt again. So, I was using the trusty ole google to find what ingredients are make of. Once I saw that there was no milk, I gave a small peice to my son to try. He looks at the package and tells me that he is allergic to peanuts, peanuts give him allergies. I tell him that is true but that picture of peanuts means that it is peanut free. So, I give it to him and he keeps looking at the packaging and says "Mommy, peanuts give me allergies" HE REFUSED TO EAT IT! Even from me! I was so proud at that moment that I did not even want to correct him. :)

So, here was the ending product as far as their Easter Baskets:

Although it started out VERY crumby, it ended as a great day!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Today 4-8-12

It is only 8:30 here so you would think I would not have much to tell of this morning but I do. I was going to write a blog about the Easter baskets I made for my kids and the Easter eggs I put together and was going to hide. But, it looks like Easter has been postponed at my house. I have 2 vomiting children. The weird part is that normally you have one vomiting child that gets the other child sick so you get a little bit of a break between kids. But, both of my kids as soon as they woke up, threw up. It is hard to juggle to vomiting children at once. And I am just stumped as to what could have caused this. I mean, they haven't really been around anyone besides my son in his class but even then, he would have gotten sick first and given it to my daughter. So, the point of this blog post is not to gross you all out on Easter but to let you know that I WILL be doing an Easter post it just most likely wont be today... unless my kids start feeling better. If anyone has experienced anything like this or has any idea why this could possibly have happened, please let me know. I'm going a little crazy not knowing. Thanks, and I will be back when I can.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Today 4-5-12

Today my son had his early intervention class. He likes to ride the bus so although most of the time I can drive him to school he asks to ride the bus and gets excited about it. When he got on the bus today I was buckling him as normal and saw that one kid was telling my son that he had a sucker. I thought, why are they letting the kids bring food on the bus? I know normally they do not let them since my son is riding the bus. But, this is also a bus driver that I have only seen 3 times. Then the bus driver tells me that he brought suckers for the kids. He pointed to the box and asked if my son could have them. I saw that they were dum dums and told him that they are usually okay because they are made in facilities dedicated to being free of the big 8 allergens. ( I love that!) He says "So what is he most allergic to?"....... I said "He is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts," He says "What are tree nuts?" I told him that it is pretty much every other nut so that makes it so he is allergic to all nuts. He is amazed at this. And I wasn't even finished naming off his food allergies. Once I told him that he is also allergic to milk and eggs he was kind of stunned into silence. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with this guy or trying to say anything bad about this man. He just obviously knows NOTHING about food allergies. This is a big reason I write this blog. Food allergies are a very serious matter and a lot of people do not understand the severity. When I was younger, people thought that my food allergy was me actually just not liking the food and claiming it made me have a tummy ache. It was much more but there were not many with food allergies so it was not as widely known or understood. I am hoping that with how many children now have severe food allergies, more and more people will be more knowledgeable about food allergies.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Today 4-4-12

Today we did a lot of running around. I have discovered this new local virtual garage sale and have been buying and selling like crazy! It is so fun! After making all of those runs we decided to stop by the mall. In sears they have this clearance section and I am huge on clearance. I saw this popcorn maker and went to buy it. I noticed that it had wrapping paper on it still so it must have been a gift that someone had returned. I had asked the lady working about it because if it was previously used I did not want to buy it. It could have had some sort of butter or other on it. She said that it was not because it would have a different type of tape if it was opened. When I opened it I saw a little bit of residue. I don't know if it was packing residue or it was actually used once. So, I cleaned it and used it for the first time. My son has not had a reaction thank goodness but even making purchases like that, you never really know if someone had opened it and then re-taped it to return it. I am happy that we now have this because I always make popcorn on the stove which takes a lot of time and effort. I will post my delicious recipe for home-made kettle corn at a later date. But, that is what we had. YUM!

My son still has a rash on his belly. He got it yesterday and I have no idea why. It could be related to the hive outbreaks I told you all about in a previous post but it has not gotten any better. When I called my son's Dr. they told me just to watch it and that he would be fine to go to his early intervention class and resume all normal activities.

Thanks for reading, and if you would like, click the banner on my home page to sign up for Totsy e-mails. they really are such a great company and you get a lot of things at up to a 90% discount!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I know that a lot of you are parents, grandparents or have a special little person in your life. Totsy is a GREAT site where you can buy things at a VERY discounted price! You should check it out!

"Join Totsy to receive exclusive sales for kids, moms, and families. Totsy offers moms on-the-go and moms-to-be access to brand-specific sales, up to 90% off retail, just for them and the kids, ages 0-8.: -Totsy

I also have the banner on my home page you can click that and sign up for e-mails etc. You will be very pleased!

Monday, April 2, 2012



These are e-mails with BREAKTHROUGH alerts! Very informative!

Peanut Free Schools

Thank you to Allergy Eats for sharing this article!

Please read this article about a boy needing to have an ambulance called in his middle school.

Ambulance called to middle school for peanut allergy.

Now that you have read it, I can comment on it.  This just shows how serious peanut or any allergy really is. They stated "They have said more than 40 Brookings students have life-threatening peanut allergies" They also stated "Mickelson does sell peanut butter and jelly sandwiches each day as a lunch option. Neiles said on any given day, between 75 and 125 students eat a PB&J as their main course. Mickelson does not have a peanut-free zone for lunches."

Does that not sound like a disaster waiting to happen? I am surprised it has taken this long for a child to fall ill with their peanut allergies. The worst part is that they have no idea how this happened. If you have NO peanut-free zone and NO rules about peanuts it is going to contaminate everything. What children deliberately wash their hands after lunch while at school? Take a classroom full of middle school aged children and tell me there are no kids in there that think a peanut allergy is something to laugh at and not as serious as we make it seem.

I will give you of an example of how easy it is to give a peanut allergic person an allergy. Jane Doe eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch sitting in her 2x2 ft space. Now, not only is that space contaminated but so are her hands and anything else that may have been touched. Jane walks out of the cafeteria doors where she touches the handle contaminating that. Now, any child that touches that handle will be contaminated. But, we are still on Jane. Jane goes to hand in her homework to her teacher. She now has contaminated anything in the classroom she has touched including her homework that the teacher has placed in a pile of other homework. Now, imagine Jane Doe and John Doe(The allergic child) are in the same class. John will be getting his homework back that could have been the page right under hers. Now, this may not always be a terrible situation. It may give John a few hives on his hand because of the minute amount of oils that are now on his paper. But, if John were to touch his eye or mouth the story changes. He brushes an eyelash or coughs into his hand and now his body has the possibility of going into anaphylaxis. You do not have to Directly take a peanut, rub it onto the couch cushion (as they are making it sound in the article) to cause a reaction like that. It can be as minute as Jane touched her peanut butter, Jane touched her homework, Jane's homework touches John's homework, John touches his eyes or nose and there ya have it.

Peanut allergies tend to have the most serious reactions and are becoming more and more common. More and more schools are becoming peanut-free zones. Parents think that this is taking it too far. In the article they say "Others have said banning peanuts from schools is going too far. They say peanut-free zones and educating students and staff on how to deal with allergic reaction would be enough to keep allergic students safe." These are people that have no idea of the severity of the allergy. If your child was the one allergic to peanuts your outlook would be completely different. Do we allow poisons in school? What if my child brought in a poison that if touched by your child could kill him but because my child is immune to it, he can bring it to school? These parents would go bananas over it. It is scary EVERY day for parents of allergic children. We send them off into the world where we are not there watching their every move. We are not there to be sure that they do not touch these allergens that could potentially kill them. Can we have this one security of having school, their home away from home, be a peanut-free zone? These parents are saying that their children eating their favorite sandwich should be more important than the safety of my child. The safety of those 40 children in that school!

I'm sorry to have made this so long. I just can get very opinionated on this subject. I could go on and on all day but I will stop myself now. My son is in a preschool type class and they are a peanut-free zone. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to every staff member at that school for the steps they take to keep my son safe. I do not know what is to come for when my son is in kindergarten and beyond but I hope that they will treat it in the same accordance. Or, at least enough to keep him safe.

If you have an opinion, feel free to post it here. That is what I am here for.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Today 4-1-12

Today I made some muffins with egg baked in for breakfast and my son ate two with no reaction whatsoever!  That was exciting. I don't usually give him much because I am afraid that will give him a reaction. My son must be going through a growth spurt because he is eating seconds and thirds and fourths and still asking for more! This kid is going to eat everything before I can restock! And I coupon to stock up on things! How is he going to be as a growing teenage boy? I know that teenagers eat a lot of food and boys eat even more! He is eating as much as I would think a teeange boy would eat. And to add on top of it, he doesn't have a HUGE variety of food to eat so I will be cooking and baking a lot to satisfy his growing hunger when he is older!

Today while running errands I looked at Easter items. I saw that there was A LOT that my son cannot eat. This year even some of the Sourpatch candies are made in a facility with nuts. I thought that I would have time to check all of the different stores. I was on the phone when I was told that Easter is one week away! I was caught off guard. I usually start preparing weeks in advance to find all of the things that I can put into the Easter baskets and eggs. I guess I really have my work cut out for me this week! I will keep you all informed since this is another holiday where candy is very popular.