Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cue The Stomach Virus And Sharing Some Food Allergy News

Little Monkey started with a stomach bug on Monday.  Anyone who has ever had a toddler with a stomach bug knows that it's so not good.  Not Good At All.  I will spare you details.  By Wednesday, Older Boy came down with a less evil version of it.

I think they are on the mend.  I hope.  Fingers crossed.

Needless to say that everything I had planned for this week, got pushed to next week.  Except Older Boy's eye doctor appointment.  I kept that yesterday afternoon because he was feeling better.  The Little Monkey seemed to be feeling better too.  Until we got there.  Luckily we stayed in the car so all of the nastiness was confined there.  And the car battery died while we were there.  Luckily my parents came to the rescue and I also have AAA.  I don't believe in superstitions, but yesterday was Friday the 13th.  Just sayin.

Middle Man and Hubs were supposed to go to Boy Scout camp over this weekend.  But plans changed.  Because they weren't going to be here I didn't have much of a menu plan for the weekend so I'm currently revamping that.  Luckily I'm a food stockpiler so I have plenty here to cook.  I also had a bunch of food bought for them to take to camp (due to the food allergies Middle Man takes his own) so I have that to pick from too.

Speaking of food allergies, there has been quite a bit of information shared lately about food allergies and new recommendations.  Some of it hasn't been well received by the food allergy community.

The LEAP Study posted in the NEJM ruffled quite a few feathers.  The first reports of it seemed to suggest that giving peanut allergic children small amounts of peanuts at an early age would prevent the allergy.  But the more explanations that are given show that the original reports did not share all the information.  Those children in the study did not have a peanut allergy but had a strong family history of peanut allergies so were more predisposed to also have peanut allergies.  Skin testing was false for the allergy and anyone who tested positive via skin testing was taken out of the study.  So in other words, DO NOT FEED ANY AMOUNT OF PEANUTS/PEANUT PRODUCTS TO ANYONE WITH A PEANUT ALLERGY.  It will not cure them.  All of the "trials" were done under doctor supervision and only with patients that met certain criteria.  I'm not sure how helpful the study is to those of us who already have a peanut allergy, but only time will tell.  It was also suggested by Robyn O'Brien that the National Peanut Board may have funded some of the study.  Of course THAT didn't sit well with anyone either.  I do not know if that information is correct (although I find Robyn to be a trustworthy source and have followed her for years), but if it is, it certainly shines a dim light on the study.

My heart if broken for Scott Johnson's Family.  This is every food allergy parents worst nightmare.  I'm sending up prayers for his family, friends and community.

Please, Please, remember your epinephrine auto-injectors.  Please.  If you wait too long to use them, they will not work or they will not work well.  It's important to use them immediately.  We learned the hard way on this one and almost lost our son.  And I know it's easy to forget to take them.  We've done it and have had to turn around and go back for them.  We always leave through the same door and I put this sign right above the door knob.  We try to remember to ask "Who has epinephrine?" before we pull out of the garage.  Luckily, we've not gotten too far without remembering. But I know it happens.  But please, try not to leave without it.

For more information see:

LEAP, Learning Early About Peanut Allergies

LEAP study presented at AAAAI Convention

Breaking Down The LEAP Study (from Asthma Allergies Children)

Some thoughts (similar to my own) from POKWASPA

(and if you Google LEAP Study most of the headlines are "Feeding infants peanuts early reduces peanut allergy risk"...  I wish I had a dislike button for that... )

What are your thoughts??

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

I Heard Birds Today!!

I heard them.  Actual birds were chirping in my back yard.  Dear Spring, please hurry!!

Hearing those birds made me so happy.  The end is near (end of winter that is).

Yes, I'm giddy.  I'm sure these will be the same birds that I shake my fist at come June when they keep pooping on my deck, but for now I LOVE THEM.

And I'm finally feeling better.  It's not 100%, but I'm functioning so I'll take it.

I can't believe we are into March already.  But clearly I'm glad that warmer weather is coming.

For the most part we are just plodding along here.  It's just every day life.  Living the dream.

Middle Man's asthma is still not completely under control.  We increased his medication at his last appointment a few weeks ago.  But he's still coughing a lot.  Spring is a bad time for him.  It's when his environmental allergies really get the best of him.  I think I'll have him start his nose spray in a week or so.

The last 2 weeks at school were all testing.  So homework has been fairly light.  Testing is almost over (Iowa's and COGATS) so I'm expecting for the big homework dump to happen real soon.  I'm really unhappy that school gets such a delay due to these tests.  Playing catch up is really hard on the kids (and I'm sure it's no fun for the teachers either).

I have not started spring cleaning.  Right before my last bout of bed ridden illness, I had the house in good shape so that I could miss some of my regularly scheduled cleaning for some deeper spring cleaning.  Being in bed for a few weeks blew that out of the water.  So I'm slowly trying to get caught up.  I did scrub some grout on the main level floor the other day, but I only got about 3/4 of it done.  It looks so much better.  Having almost white grout on the floor of the main level would not be my personal choice, but that's how it was when we moved it.  I'm too chicken to try and stain/paint it myself and I got an estimate for cleaning and sealing it and it was $1200.  I'll stick with my tooth brush and cleaning solution (Dawn and hydrogen peroxide ), thank you very much.

The Little Monkey is still going to his Parent and Toddler class once a week.  He really loves it.  It's funny how much they learn and absorb at this age.  He's like a little sponge.  Now if I could just get him interested in potty training.  He's just not there yet.

So that's about all that is going on here.

Have a blessed week and sending warm, sunny thoughts your way.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday: Lent Begins

Happy Ash Wednesday!

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm still sick.  I went back to Urgent Care last Thursday because I now have a yucky cough.  They did a chest X-Ray.  No pneumonia, so I got an inhaler.  I finished my antibiotics on Friday.  I was in bed most of the day Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday and most of the day on Monday (the kids were off of school Friday and Monday).  Monday I had an appointment with my doctor for a blood pressure check and luckily he was the one working at Urgent Care on Thursday so he knew my situation.  So I'm on antibiotic #2.  I'm moving around better but still feel pretty poorly.  Sigh...  I know it could be worse, but I'm over it.

Monday was not my best day.  I noticed that the furnace had gone out.  So I went down to the basement to take a look at it, and because I'm sick and so stuffed up, I couldn't tell for sure but I thought I smelled natural gas.  But I didn't really know.  So I called Hubs and said "What should I do"?  He left work right then and there and told me to get the kids out of the house and call the fire department because they could come and check it.  So I called the non emergency number of our fire department and explained to them that I don't know if I really smell gas because I can't really smell anything.  They said to call 911 and they could come out.  So I did.  And they did.  And there wasn't any natural gas.  And they fixed my furnace.  It turns out that the output to the furnace froze up and there was a big snow/ice ball hanging off of it.  And since the furnace could output, it shut down.  They knocked the ice off of it and made sure that we didn't have any carbon monoxide in the house.  I felt bad that I bothered them, but they were really nice about it.

It's so cold here.  It's 13 degrees right now, and we are supposed to get wind chills in the -25 range Thursday into Friday.  I have a feeling the kids will be off of school again on Friday.

So my menu plan for this week kind of went out the window.  The guys were on their own Saturday and Sunday.  I just didn't have it in me to cook.

Fri - Baked Salmon and Veggie (I did make this because all I had to do was put it in oven and go lie down)

Saturday - I think they did hamburgers

Sunday - I don't really know what they made for dinner

Monday - GF pasta with spinach sauteed in olive and garlic (Hubs Byzantine Catholic lent starts)

Tuesday - Shrove Tuesday:  We had GF pancakes and bacon

Wednesday - Day for strict fast and abstinence for Catholics:  Cabbage Fried Rice

Thursday - Chicken Tortilla Soup

Have I mentioned that I'm done with winter?

I really want to start my spring cleaning, but it's going to have to wait until I feel better.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Lent 2015

Lent is only 5 days away.  I'm still sick and in bed so I've had a lot of time to ponder how I'm going to spend the Lenten season this year.  It's still a work in progress but here are things I'm working on right now:

Lent 2015:

1.  Eat gluten free

2.  Read Catholic Books

3.  Pray rosary daily

4.  Limit on line time:  morning/afternoon

5.  No snacks in between meals

I'm thinking of adding to this, but this is what I have right now.

Why Gluten Free?  Because my son is allergic to wheat, rye, barley, oat, egg, peanut and tree nut.  I don't really eat most of those things (eggs sometimes) but giving up wheat will be really hard for me.  It's a penance for sure.  And it supports my son.  So Win-Win. there.

I mentioned in my last post that I've been hoarding books.  Most of them are Catholic in nature.  I'm going to get through some of those this Lenten season.

I love praying the rosary, but I don't make time for it.  I just don't.  And I don't know why.  I'm hoping to create a new habit here.

Limiting on line time speaks for itself.  I still need Facebook to keep up to date on the latest food allergy information but I don't need to be on it all day (but I am currently because I'm sick and bored.  Another habit to break).

No snacks in between meals.  Another difficult penance for me.  Should I add donating the money I save by not eating snacks to charity?  I'm thinking that might work too.

So I'm ready.  I love Lent.  I think I love it as much or even more than the Advent/Christmas season.  Lent is a season that really helps me to be aware daily of my faith.  It's a growing season for me.  

What are you doing for Lent?

For more suggestions and information see the following:

Lentsanity app:  This app will remind you of meatless days, send daily reflections and more.

10 tips for Lent from Pope Francis

These 40 Days from National Catholic Register

Recipes for Lent/Passover on my Pinterest page

Monday, February 09, 2015

Enter At Your Own Risk: Menu Plan Monday 2/9/15

I'm stringing up the caution tape, erecting the hazmat tent, and stock piling Lysol.

Germs have invaded and they don't want to leave.

I've had this sinus infection since before Christmas.  I did go to the doctor but I didn't get any antibiotics.  And the sinus infection has come and gone since then.  So last week I went back to the doctor and FINALLY got some antibiotics (but they don't seem have to kicked in yet).  Little Monkey had an ear infection a week ago and today I took Middle Man to the pediatrician and he has a really bad asthma flare and pneumonia (mild).  I'm waving the white flag.  We haven't had anything that has been truly horrible (thank goodness!) but we've had our share.

So much as been going on, but I just haven't been well enough to share it.

We survived Science Fair 2015.  We barely survived but it's over.  I want to do a whole post about it at some point.

Also, we now have a teenager in the house!  Older Boy turned 13 last Thursday.  How can my baby be a teenager?  I'm so not ready for the teen years, but bring 'em on anyway.

We are not doing a family party for him this year due to a family member going through radiation and not feeling well (he will be just fine, but it's making him feel really poorly).  We didn't want to have a party knowing that a set of grandparents would be unable to attend.  But we did have a friend party for him.  We had a Game Truck come to the house and the kids played 2 hours of video games.  They loved it.  It was a bit pricey BUT it was worth it.  I really didn't have to do anything.  They go out to the truck and the person from Game Truck takes care of everything.  Hubs was out there with them with the Little Monkey and I stayed in the house.  It was quiet, my house stayed clean, and I was able to do laundry.  The boys came back for a half an hour afterwards for sandwiches, cake and presents.  I have to say that it was the easiest party I ever threw.  Which was great considering I have no energy thanks to the aforementioned sinus infection.

So what's next?

Hopefully some quiet time.  I'm ready for things to be a little less hectic.

Valentine's Day is Saturday and I've done nothing for it yet.  I'll have to figure that out this week.

Lent starts in 10 days.  I have all my reading ready to go.  I've been hoarding books.  I plan to actually read some of them during Lent.

I'm so ready for spring and warmer weather.  We haven't been as cold as we were last year, but it's been in the teens a lot and we have more snow than we need.

I didn't even have a chance to do a menu plan/grocery list last week.  I went to the grocery store without one and I was a little scared.  But I think it will work out OK.

Menu Plan:

Friday:  Sandwiches from the birthday party

Saturday:  Kids:  Turkey Burgers;  Mom and Dad:  Dinner at baseball fundraiser

Sunday:  Roasted chicken, baked potatoes, broccoli

Monday:  Hot Dogs and oven fries (maybe chicken soup if I can get the energy to make it)

Tuesday:  Original Ranch Pork Chops, veggie, quinoa

Wednesday:  Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Thursday:  Clean Up Day

Fingers Crossed that we get some illness free days soon.  Have a blessed and wonderful week ahead!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 1/19/15

Happy MLK day!  The kids are off of school so things are little more chaotic at our house today than they usually are.

We are trying to finish some projects today.  Science Fair needs wrapped up.  So does a religion venn diagram and some AR reading.  Can I just vent here for a minute?

What is with all the major projects at school?  All of these things require constant parent help and supervision.  I went to school.  I'm good in that department.  But I feel like I'm back in school all over again.  The work load has been overwhelming.  Some days I feel like the teacher and perhaps I should have just home schooled.  I feel like I'm home schooling as it is.

**  end of vent.  Thank you.  I feel better now ;)

Not much is going on here.  I'm planning Older Boys birthday party.  I've set up a Game Truck to come to the house.  Now I'm just waiting for all the RSVP's to come in so I can finalize the food arrangements.  It's hard to come up with an activity that is 1.  Cost effective  2.  Pleasing to 13 year old boys.  I hope they like the Game Truck.  My boys love video games so I'm thinking it should be ok.

I'm also in the process of signing the Little Monkey for preschool next year.  How can it be time for him to go to preschool?  Wasn't he JUST born?  Oh time, please slow down.
He'll go to the 3 year old class and it's a couple days a week just for a half day.  He won't be three until August.  I hope he's ready.  I remember when Middle Man went to preschool he cried for the first 3 months.  If the Little Monkey does that we'll just stop and try again after the holidays.  I'm not going to push it.  Secretly, I'd like to just keep him home with me every day next year, but I do think school will be good for him.  So I'll sign him up and weep a little every day that I drop him off.

Menu Plan

Friday:  Baked tilapia, salad, steamed veggie

Saturday:  Pizza night - was supposed to be family night but both Older Boy and Middle Man ended up sleeping a friends house.

Sunday:  Whole roasted chicken, Brussels sprouts, brown rice, rolls (I baked 2 whole chickens:  one for dinner and one to use on salads or make chicken salad with later in the week)

Monday:  Buffalo chicken tater tot casserole - I hope they like this.  I've never made it before.  I'm thinking of only putting blue cheese on half of it, just in case.  I'm pretty sure Middle Man isn't a fan of blue cheese.

Tuesday:  Chicken salad sandwiches, vegetable

Wednesday:  Red Beans and Rice

Thursday:  Clean up day/ or breakfast for dinner

Lunch:  sandwiches, salads, or Potato Soup

Breakfast:  Toast, sausage, yogurt, smoothies and fruit

Have a blessed week ahead!!

For more MPM, visit Laura

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It's 6 F degrees here this morning.  Oh my, it's a bit chilly.  This is totally normal for Northeast Ohio, but I hate it.  I'm not a fan of winter to begin with, but when it's overly cold, I'm ready to  move.  Last week the boys were off of school Wednesday - Friday due to cold temps.  The wind chills had gotten down to -20 F.  It's just too cold for kids who have to wait for buses (and too cold for winter-hating moms who have to drive kids to school too).

But since Ohio State won the National Championship last night, it makes living in this freezing state a little more tolerable.  I didn't go to Ohio State (I went to Edinboro University which is more of a wrestling school than a football school), but I adopt Ohio State as my favorite college team.  So yes, I did stay up to watch the game last night and am loading up on coffee this morning.  What a great game!  It's nice that a team from Ohio has done so well (clearly our professional teams don't give us much to cheer about).

Other than that, not much is going on around here.  In a few weeks, Older Boy will turn 13.  I can't believe I'll have a teenager in the house.  I should probably start planning his party.  13 is a special one.  He's already blowing me teenage attitude.  I see good times ahead (she says sarcastically).  Since his birthday is in February, we never know what we are going to get.  A couple of years, his birthday party has been snowed out.  Whatever we do, I'd like to keep it simple.  And I'd like to keep it inexpensive.

I still feel like I'm trying to get caught up from Christmas.  I feel like I'm behind on all my cleaning and I just can't get back on schedule.  I need a house keeper like Mrs. Hughs from Downton Abbey.

I didn't post a meal plan this week, but I did do one.  So far so good.  Eating organic, unprocessed foods is blowing up the grocery budget though, but I've given up trying to get that thing under control.  I'm waving the white flag on that one.

So that's all that's really going on around here.  Nothing exciting and sometimes that's a good thing.

Stay warm!!