Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Peanuts in Weird Places

For the past two years I have been having problems with ear infections. Three really bad ones that just would not go away. Well, I wanted to get to the "root" of the problem. So after many PCP visits and THREE ear doctors I have a legitimate answer. Eczema in my ears. Some people have a problem where they have cronic itching in my ears (brought on by my enviromental allergies?). In any case, I pick at my ears or use Q-tips which introduce bacteria or the skin in my ears cracks allowing moisture to take hold causing a fungal growth. Bad news all around.

However, my new ear doctor said, there is a product out now that helps with ear eczema. Just a few drops a day for a week and my ears won't itch. Relief!

Out of habit I turned the sample over to check the label. Second on the inactive ingredients? PEANUT OIL! Seriously, peanut oil. In ear drops!

I held out using it for a week and last night concluded I needed to stop my ears from itching (more sneezing and runny nose lately too like I said allergies?). So I used the peanut oil drops. I'm just paranoid about them though. I wash my hands constantly and treat them like they are the deadliest of drugs I have in my cabinet. (Which okay, they just might be.)

What unlikely place have you found peanuts?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Angry at the Doughnuts - A Little Rant

When I dropped Max off at camp this morning I noticed the teacher giving one of the assistants a few boxes that highly resembled something you would get at a bakery. "Do those boxes contain cookies, doughnuts or something else I need to be concerned with." I asked.

"Oh yes, doughnuts, for a birthday celebration. I don't suppose Max can have those?"

Hmmm, let's think about that one.

I replied no and headed home to round up a cupcake to bring back to school for someone's birthday celebration.

Why, oh, why, must people bring "treats" for their children's birthday, I say again. I simmered all day and glared at the offending Mom with the doughnut box at pick-up.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tagged - 6 Random Things About Me.

I have been tagged by Food Allergy Buzz. I've never been tagged. It feels like being part of the in crowd.

First here are the rules:
  • Link to the person who tagged you.

  • Post the rules on your blog.

  • Write 6 random things about yourself.

  • Tag 6 people at the end of your post.

  • Let each person know you tagged them by leaving an entry on their blog.

  • Let your tagger know when your entry is up on your blog.
Now, 6 random things about me:

  • I was considered a geek in middle school and generally shunned in high school. I was just generally not very popular and hence cast myself as the outcast in all social situations.

  • Despite not being the popular type I ran for Miss Wisconsin THREE times as Miss Sparta, Miss Southeastern Wisconsin and Miss Wisconsin Central. Which now seems weird even to me. I won preliminary swimsuit two of the years I competed and placed Top Ten, 1st runner-up and 4th runner-up in that order. The picture is from 1994 with my roommate from that year who's name is Pam and I believe she might have been Miss Waukesha. I'm the one in the purple.

  • I have lived in 6 states. Wisconsin (19 years), Washington (8 years), Arizona (6 years) North Carolina (2 years) Virginia (2 years) and Minnesota (1 year). Adding that up you get my age. (No we are not a military family)

  • I once was an elf at Santa Land at the Bon Marche in Seattle.

  • I love movies about people striving for greatness but being held back by the everyday only to find greatness in their ordinary lives such as "It's A Wonderful Life" or "Mr. Holland's Opus" However, the movie I will watch over and over again is "Overboard" with Goldie Hawn.

  • I don't like fish. Don't make me eat them. But like fishing. We took Max recently. He let all the worms go. That's me fishing a couple weekends ago. David thinks I'm hot when I'm fishing.

Now for the taggees. I am tagging a few other FAMs: Kids Food Allergies Blog (because she's an awesome blogger), This Adobe (because her blog is so elegant), My Kids' allergies (because she was one of the first blogs I started reading), Owen's Food Allergies (because Owen is having a rough month), Fruit of the Womb (3 for me, because she always leaves nice comments on my blog), and Allergy Life in Loudoun (because she's a great voice for food allergies and a real go getter.)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ice Bat

The night before Max's birthday he just couldn't wait for a present so I gave him one. He has been wanting an Ugly Doll. So I gave him and Owen their new friends. Max got Ice Bat and Owen got Ugly Dog. This was followed by Max's bright idea that his birthday cake should not only be a bat cake but an ICE BAT cake. Well, I'm game. Bring it on, I say. Judge for yourself.

Of course Max also needed to make a habitat for Ice Bat. A diorama if you will. Apparently Ice Bat lives in a cave in the Himalayas. Those are snow flakes coming from the ceiling. Later stalagmites and stalactites were added.

He then needed to make a habitat for Ugly Dog who apparently is from Africa. But sadly an image has not been captured of his home. Maybe another day.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Baking A Cake

I have been wrapped up in my own little funk the past few days. I think the peanut challenge affected me more than I am willing to admit. Thing is I have become a person who doesn't cry much. It takes a lot for me to break down and cry. I hold it all in and then when the dam breaks I have a hard time stopping. Which is why I never cry.

But today I had a thought. Having a child allergic to many foods causes much baking to be done. Max's birthday is tomorrow. He wants a cake in the shape of a bat by the way. So today he and I set to making the batter. The whole mixing and pouring took less than 20 minutes. He and I had a pleasant time together (which is rare lately). So my thought afterward was that non-allergic kids parents generally buy their cakes or cupcakes. Rarely anymore does it seem like you attend a party where the dessert is homemade. And aren't those kids and parents missing out on that quality time? So here is the positive. Baking with your child is an enriching experience for you both. And we get to do it all the time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Three Strikes and You're Out

"It tastes like Sunbutter." Max said seconds after the allergist administered the peanut butter to his lips and tongue.

Less than a minute later he looked up from his coloring and said that his lips and tongue were itchy. He then started to cry and said his throat was itchy too. I went and got the allergist. By then his lips and tongue were slightly swollen. She gave him Benedryl and we hung around for the next 1 and 1/2 hours to make sure the reaction didn't advance. We left tired and hungry.

She said we will wait two years before we try again. Honestly, I could wait my entire life before repeating any of the food challenges we've gone through in the past five months.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What Brand of Peanut Butter?

What brand of peanut butter does one buy for a peanut challenge? Max's oral challenge is Tuesday. I am really nervous about this one especially after the epi event with Owen in April. I am so afraid that even with a low skin test and a low blood test (.55!) that he will anaphalax. I felt I was really level headed about Max's milk challenge last March (failure) and Owen's egg challenge (failure). But with two failures to the two allergens all allergist tell you your child will outgrow what are the chances that he has really outgrown the one allergen allergist tell you your child will never outgrow? (try that as a tongue twister) Am I crazy to go through with this?

In the meantime, Jiffy or Skippy? Or the natural stuff from Whole Foods? Seriously, I have become so neurotic about avoiding peanut products I might need those gloves hazardous waste guys use to just pick up the jar and put it in my cart.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Random Act of Kindness?

I took the toddler with me to Wegman's yesterday. Big boy was in camp. Sweet German high school babysitter is in Germany.

When I returned to my mini-van after spending nearly $200 I found a Wegman's gift card sitting on my back bumper. I picked it up, confused. I peered around the parking lot. Was I on Oprah? Where were the cameras? Was this a test?

An elderly couple walked by us. "I should give it to them" I thought. Followed by the thought "What if there's nothing on it. Then they'd really think you were cuckoo." I thought about going back in the store to find out if there was anything on it but I had a toddler verging on meltdown and a van full of expensive persihables. I got in to drive home.

As I drove I wondered how much was on the gift card? $20? $100? $200???? And why did someone leave it on my bumper? Was I deserving of such a gift? Like everyone else I am feeling the crunch in rising groceries and gas prices but for me it results in less lattes, less junk for the kids, not so many nights ordering pizza or Chinese take-out after the children are in bed. I'm not losing my house or having to walk because I can't put gas in my car. I started counting my blessings. I have great kids and a loving husband. A roof over my head. Food on my table. I am extremely lucky. And not deserving of the random act of kindness.

I called my husband when I got home and told him about the gift card. "Did someone hit the van ? Maybe it was left to make up for any damage done?" "I don't think so. I didn't look" I went outside to check. Besides one small paint scrape on the bumper, the van looked fine.

Still pondering the card I looked it over and found a customer service number. I dialed and asked if I could check the balance.

$3.27. At least I'm still blessed.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Two Entries!

Boy, I totalled a whole two entries last month. I really am a slacker. Thing is sometimes I just get tired of food allergies. Talking about them. Blogging about them. I thought about a lot of other things to blog about but kept pushing food allergy thoughts aside. Alas it is an everyday part of my life so back to business.

We just got back from vacation in Alabama. We drove so there is the whole traveling with food allergies thing. The only place I have continued to stop for food is McDonalds. I know that their labeling for their fries changed a few years back but as they never presented a problem for us I have continued to let Max have them. However, I am sick to death of McDonald's. So on the way down I had us stop at Subway. They seem to have changed their kids meal recently. The previous round sandwiches contained egg (remember the sort of yellowish coloring). Now they just use the regular white bread but cut it in half. Max ordered a sandwich with lettuce, cucumber, and olives (the guy in front of me asked if was becoming a vegan a little early). I ordered Owen a turkey sandwich. They both got apple slices.

Max took all the veggies off his and ate only the bread. Owen ate just the turkey and left the bread. Next time I'll just order a turkey sandwich and they can split it between them.