Friday, May 15, 2015

I Love Someone With Food Allergies

A few of the images that I've used on social media this week.  Food Allergy Awareness Week May 10-16 2015

Don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a free bottle of Bona Free and Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

AAFA Certifies Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner: Give Away!

Recently, the makers of Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner contacted me to let me know that it was recently certified allergy friendly by the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America. It is now part of an elite group of products that have passed the rigorous certification process of the Asthma & Allergy Foundation. Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor cleaner is a non-toxic, effective hardwood floor cleaner that removes at least 93.33% of allergens from hard surface floors. They offered me a free sample to try, but unfortunately I have tile or carpet throughout my home (although I long for hardwood floors).  Since it wasn't something I would be able to take advantage of, they offered to hold a give away for all you lucky hardwood floor owners out there.

So thanks to Bona, I will be giving away a free bottle of Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner to one lucky winner.

Here are a few facts that they sent me about the cleaner:

·       Free of dyes and scents, Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner cleans effectively and is hypo-allergenic so it is safe for allergy-sensitive families.

·       All Bona products are infused with more than 90 years of innovation and experience to keep floors looking beautiful.

·       Hardwood floors are cleaner and healthier. The Mayo Clinic recommends removing carpet in the home and replacing it with hard surfaces to ensure healthier air quality. Hard surfaces make it more difficult for allergens to penetrate and cling to the floor.

The contest will be held 5-13-15 to 5-20-15.  Please enter to win via the rafflecopter widget below.  1 winner will be chosen.  Leave a comment letting me know what allergies you or your loved ones deal with for 1 chance to win.  There are other ways to get more chances. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Food Allergy Awareness Week: An Interview With Jerome Bettis

Food Allergy Awareness Week May 10-16 2015

Last week NFL Hall of Famer Jerome "The Bus" Bettis paid a visit to Washington D.C. to speak about issues and initiatives that surround those with severe food allergies.  Along with Sanofi U.S., the makers of Auvi-Q, and in conjunction with the Asthma & Allergy Network, Jerome met with lawmakers to raise awareness about anaphylaxis, advocate for access to emergency epinephrine and to create awareness of Auvi-Q.  This is the 18th year for this event and it took place from May 5th through May 8th.

While Jerome was in Washington D.C., I had the pleasure of being able to speak with him and ask him a few questions about the event and the advocacy that he was doing for the food allergic community.

Is this your first time on Capitol Hill?

Jerome:  "No, this is my second time.  I was here 18 years ago with the Allergy & Asthma Network, but at that time we were promoting asthma awareness.  This is my first time promoting food allergy awareness.  Today I will be speaking at the Congressional Luncheon and then meeting individually with Pennsylvania lawmakers from the Pittsburgh area".

What would you like to see Congress do to help those with food allergies?

"Help create awareness for food allergies.  They need to know that the Auvi-Q is a viable option for dealing with anaphylaxis.  Auvi-Q is something new and I'm trying to get the word out and also explain what anaphylaxis is and that it's life threatening".

What can we do to promote awareness in our own communities?

"Continue to be diligent with explaining to everyone around us what food allergies are and that anaphylaxis is life threatening".

Do you find that because the Auvi-Q is new that people aren't aware of it?

"Yes.  That's why we need to get the word out that there are other options.  People can learn more about the Auvi-Q at ".

How long ago were you diagnosed with food allergies and what are you allergic to?

"I was diagnosed 27 years ago and I'm allergic to shellfish.  Awareness and options weren't there when I was first diagnosed.  I had no action plan and that was very scary.  Now I'm able to carry my two Auvi-Q's with me at all times".

What is the most important thing that someone newly diagnosed with food allergies should know?

"First, that food allergies are life threatening.  Second, how to take the necessary steps to protect yourself from your allergens.  Ask the right questions to those around you and notify the right people about your food allergies.  And ALWAYS carry your Auvi-Q's".


I am so thankful to Jerome for taking the time out of his busy schedule to speak with me.  I also can't thank him enough for all of the wonderful work he does advocating for those with food allergies.  He is a true asset to the food allergy community and the work he does is invaluable and definitely makes a huge difference.

To learn more about the Auvi-Q epinephrine autoinjector, visit the Auvi-Q website.  There you will find out what the Auvi-Q is and how it works along with information about diagnosing and living with food allergies.  You can also find Jerome Bettis' Severe Allergy & Anaphylaxis Playbook, a 16 page guide to help those living with food allergies avoid their allergens and to know what steps to take in the event of an allergic reaction.

Auvi-Q® (epinephrine injection, USP) is used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) in people who are at risk for or have a history of these reactions.

Important Safety Information
Auvi-Q is for immediate self (or caregiver) administration and does not take the place of emergency medical care. Seek immediate medical treatment after use.

Each Auvi-Q contains a single dose of epinephrine. Auvi-Q should only be injected into your outer thigh. DO NOT INJECT INTO BUTTOCK OR INTRAVENOUSLY. If you accidentally inject Auvi-Q into any other part of your body, seek immediate medical treatment. Epinephrine should be used with caution if you have heart disease or are taking certain medicines that can cause heart-related (cardiac) symptoms.

If you take certain medicines, you may develop serious life-threatening side effects from epinephrine. Be sure to tell your doctor all the medicines you take, especially medicines for asthma. Side effects may be increased in patients with certain medical conditions, or who take certain medicines. These include asthma, allergies, depression, thyroid disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

The most common side effects may include increase in heart rate, stronger or irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea and vomiting, difficulty breathing, paleness, dizziness, weakness or shakiness, headache, apprehension, nervousness, or anxiety. These side effects go away quickly, especially if you rest.

Talk to your healthcare professional to see if Auvi-Q is right for you.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please click here for Full Prescribing Information.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Bunny Picture

I realized that I forgot to share this picture.  I must share it, because I shared all the other ones from the older two boys and I can not leave out the Little Monkey (poor kid has practically no baby book).

The Little Monkey did pretty well.  He kind of liked the bunny.  He was kind of wary.  I don't blame him.  I mean it is a giant, slightly scary looking bunny.

I wanted to get there at 10 a.m. right when the bunny started but we were running behind (as usual) and got there around 10:20 a.m.  I was surprised to see a line waiting and no bunny.  Could he be on break already?  I know the bunny tends to get hot due to all that fur, but it had only been 20 minutes.

No he wasn't on break.  Turns out that the bunny was a no show.  The young man working that day was visibly upset and couldn't get a hold of the bunny nor his supervisor.  So we left and went shopping, had lunch, and just walked around.  Two hours later, the bunny was ready.  The bunny seemed familiar to me.  Turns out the young man from the morning ended up being the bunny.  You can see the shoe string of his Jordan sneakers hanging out of the bunny foot.  At this point the line was fairly long and Little Monkey started melting down.

But it all worked out in the end.  We got the picture and the older boys were good sports to be in the picture too.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Is Here

Spring is finally here.  We've had a lot of rain lately but we've also has some sunny days with mild temperatures.  I noticed this morning that the daffodils are up and our trees are starting to leaf.  It was also warm enough to take the Little Monkey for a walk this morning right after drop off.

Speaking of drop off, today was the end of spring break for the older boys.  They were not happy to be back in school.  But I reminded them that they only have about 2 months left and it will be summer break.  I told them to finish strong.

Baseball is beginning too.  They've had practice for a several weeks (a couple months for Older Boy), but games should start tonight.  Hoo-Raw.  I like baseball.  I do.  But this time of year with both boys playing and multiple games each week, it really gets to be tough.  And it would be one thing if the games were HERE but they aren't always.  Middle Man's game is 45 minutes from here tonight.  And they usually have to be there between 5-5:30 so that means we are rushing a lot after school.

It makes meal planning and snack planning a must.  Middle Man will eat anything before a game.  Older Boy eats lightly before the game.  They both eat a ton after the game which could be 8:30-9:00 at night.  I try to keep things like fruit, veggies, dip, gf pretzels, granola bars, etc. on hand.  And the slow cooker will get used a lot more this time of year.

This weeks meal plan is as follows:

Friday:  Fend For Yourself

Saturday:  Greek Burgers (from Gwen's Nest), steamed veggies, salad

Sunday:  Roasted Whole Chicken, Corn, Mashed Potatoes (for the guys), Salad (for me)

Monday:  Chicken Fajitas I'm using this recipe but throwing mine in the slow cooker on low for 6-7 hours.

Tuesday:  Cheeseburger Soup

Wednesday:  Slow Cooker Ham and Lentil Soup

Thursday:  Clean Up Day

Lunches:  Left overs, salads, sandwiches

Breakfast:  Fruit, yogurt, smoothies, turkey sausage and omelets (for Older Boy)

I hope this holds everybody.  These guys can EAT.

Have a wonderful week ahead and Play Ball :)

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Holy Wednesday And The First Of April

Happy April First!!

I'm glad that March is done.  It really wasn't the best of months.  We lost a family member on March 13th.  It was unexpected and it's not been easy.  We know he is Home, but our hearts are sad.  Please keep our family in your prayers.

Lent just flew right by.  I can't believe that Sunday is Easter.  In light of the recent events, we are having a very low key Easter this year.

The boys started spring break today.  And two of the three of them got up at 6:30 am.  No rest for the weary in this house.

I want to take the Little Monkey to see the Easter Bunny today.  He seems a little hesitant so I've been trying to prep him.  I asked him this morning if he was going to sit on the bunny's lap and give him a hug.  And he said "No, I no think so.  I just give him a high five and a rock".  I'm pretty sure this isn't going to go well.

I'm feeling really behind on all my Easter prep this year.  I don't even have my grocery list made out yet and I have no idea where the plastic eggs are or what I'm going to fill them with.

At least I got my allergy friendly eggs to dye and my allergy friendly chocolate.  I'm sure everything else will fall into place.

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??