Thursday, July 24, 2008

Off Topic - I 've Been Tagged

I am going to go off topic for a bit today. We had a really great weekend - well Saturday really. The day started off at the Divisional Swim Meet where my daughter had her best race ever! She placed first in the 6 and under Freestyle and Backstroke, and qualified to advance to the All Star Meet this Saturday. I was shocked, this is her first year on the swim team and she loves it!

We were able to leave the meet in time to drive out to to one of the local wineries. Every summer they have a Key West Fest with food, face painting , balloon animals and of course a Jimmy Buffett band. we had a great time despite the 95+ degree heat. As I was browsing the local vendor booths, I found an artist who makes beautiful jewelry from sea glass. Really stunning - I wish I could have bought something. She had a quote printed on display from EE Cummings that I really liked "for whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it's always ourselves we find in the sea"

I looked up the poem, I am sure I read it in high school, but it is now one of my favorites.

maggie and milly and molly and may

maggie and milly and molly and may.
went down to the beach (to play one day)
and maggie discovered a shell that sang so sweetly
she couldn't remember her troubles,
and milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;
and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:
and may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone
for whatever we lose (like a you or a me)it's always ourselves we find in the sea
in the sea

e.e. cummings

Now - I was tagged twice (I feel so cool :) by Speedbump Kitchen and the Nut Free Mom - Thanks!!!

SO here are my 6 things:

1. I get up 4 days a week at 5:30 to hit the local park for a boot camp class.
2. I am a Pisces and have always felt a connection to the ocean. It calms me. Thus the poem above.
3. My hobby used to be black and white photography. I may have missed my calling, but I hope to take it up again some day.
4. When channel surfing I will pause on Hannah Montana even if my daughter is not in the room.
5. I Tivo cheesy Bravo reality shows like Flipping Out and Orange County Housewives. I can not avert my eyes from the train werck.
6. I recently discovered that I DO like Margaritas (on the rocks, no salt).

Now for the rules.

Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on the blog.
Write six random things about yourself.
Tag six people at the end of your post.
Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
Now - whom to tag, I apologize if you have already been tagged previously.

Jennifer at Food Allergy Buzz
Janeen - I just saw that you were already tagged, I'll spare you.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lifetime Fitness No Food Kids Area

We have a new Lifetime Fitness gym opening in our area this fall. I have never been to one before, but it looks pretty impressive. I have thought about joining so I called today to get some membership information. Previously all my gym decisions are solely based on the quality of the kids play area. I have rejected most gyms because the play areas are small, loud, crowded and littered with crumbs of who knows what the kids are eating.

I am seriously considering a membership to Lifetime Fitness. The facility looks great - then kids area is huge - they have a kids gym, climbing area, outdoor area, and computer lab. Plenty to keep them occupied. The added bonus - they do not allow ANY food into the kids area! This was very exiting news for me. If I can find a place to work out that has activities for my kids and they are safe - that would make me so happy.

I will know for sure next week when I go for a tour at the sales site. They are a nation wide chain, so if you want to see if they have one in your area you can check their web site at

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thinking About School

Wow - I did not realize it had been 10 days since my last post. Summer is flying by. We have been really busy with swim team - which is almost over. Realizing how fast summer is passing has me thinking ahead to school preparation. I scored a good deal the other day at Toys R Us. We happened to be there for a birthday present, when I noticed that they were offering free lunch boxes with the purchase of a back back. For three kids that was a $30 savings! They had a good selection - we chose Hannah Montana, Batman, and Speed Racer. Check it out if you need backpacks.

Since this is C.'s first year in pre-school, I awoke this morning thinking about how to prepare the school and his teacher for his arrival. The school has dealt with numerous allergies including wheat. I will be sending in his snacks (in his new lunchbox). So, they really just need to make sure he does not eat any food that I personally did not provide, and he will be OK. Oh yeah - and we have to make sure that the play dough is made from corn starch instead of flour. At our school the mom's take turns making play dough every month.

The school is nut free, although that does not prevent a well meaning mom from inadvertently sending in a food that has a peanut contamination. I have a non allergy friend who wrote "no nuts" in her kids lunchbox to remind herself not to include any peanut product. I thought that was a great idea. I will be attending all class parties and serving dishes that are safe and hopefully tasty for all the kids.

There was an incident at the school summer camp where a boy with Celiac disease was given an animal cracker. The mom was not happy and it made him sick for a few days. I try not to worry, but it is in the back of my mind. I also need ask them to make sure that they inform me of any class birthdays and school projects that involve food.

Our school has a nice tradition of scheduling home visits between all the teachers and student about a week before school. This will give me a good opportunity to review everything with his teacher. I have also seen different allergy plan forms on line that I will fill out for them. Oh yeah - and I need to order that medical bracelet.

What do you all do to prepare the school for your allergy kids? Is there anything I need to add to my list?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Made a New Bread

For 2 years C. has been existing on grilled cheese sandwiches made from Ener-g Brown Rice Bread. It was the first safe bread I found for him. It is so dry that grilled cheese is about the only thing you could do with it.

I am trying to branch out and encourage C. to eat new things. We got the go ahead from the allergist to try Sunbutter so I thought he needed a better bread to eat a Sunbutter and jelly sandwich. I bought the Gluten Free Pantry Favorite Sandwich Bread. I have hesitated to bake bread in the past for 2 reasons. 1. I do not have a bread machine and I was not confident that I would get it to mix and rise properly. 2. I can not use egg and I was not sure how the egg replacer would effect the final product. I finally just decided to give it a try.

I mixed the bread according to the oven method preperation. I did substitute the egg for 3 tbsp of Ener-g egg replacer mixed with 2 tbsb of warm water. Be sure to whisk it thoroughly. I was a little unsure of where to set the bread to rise. The directions say "a warm place." Well, considering that it is summer and our house is cooled with air conditioning I was perplexed. I finally decided to heat a cup of water in the microwave to warm it up, and let the bread rise in the microwave. It seemed to work well!

I am pleasently suprised that it is quite good. It is like real bread! It smells good and has the right texture. It even keeps well in the fridge for a few days. My older 2 like it toasted with Soynut Butter. Of course, I have used it to make grilled cheese. Hopefully I can get C. to try a Sunbutter jelly sandwich! Even if he does not eat it now, I feel better that I can offer him a real sandwich when he get a little older and goes to school.

Friday, July 4, 2008

I Don't Know What to Expect

This is not the post I had planned for today. I just saw this article on Janeen's website. It also came across my Google alerts. It is a tragic story of a man who lost his life from a bite of a cookie. All it took was one bite and 90 seconds. Unfortunately he chose not to carry an Epi pen and the life saving measures they did take were not successful. You can read the story here.

This story has got me thinking about my own kids. My son R. has a severe peanut allergy (98.9 IgE on his last RAST,) but I have no idea what kind of reaction to expect if he were to be exposed to a peanut. He has only every had one reaction almost 3 years ago. He ate some of my peanut butter toast and broke out in hives. He had eaten peanut butter before did not have a reaction. We do not have a history of allergies ,so I was surprised he reacted. I knew immediately what was happening so I gave him Benadryl and took him to the pediatrician. He was fine and we have been carrying an Epi pen ever since. I guess we are doing a good job avoiding peanuts ever since. But, I have this huge fear of the unknown. What would happen if he were to eat a peanut? Is he one of those kids who will drop right away? Or will his reaction be gradual? Not knowing what will happen really has me concerned. I do not think he is contact sensitive, but I can not think of a time he has even been in a room with a pure peanut product.

Does anyone else have this same concern?

I also wish I had insisted that he have a RAST test done as part of the initial diagnosis. I did not know anything about food allergies then, and figured that the scratch test was enough. I would love to know what his initial IgE levels were. Have they increased over the last few years? I suppose one piece of advice I would offer moms who are just starting on this journey is to get a RAST done. It may not mean much right away, you need to avoid the allergic food regardless. However, it can be useful to track the progress of the allergy from year to year.