I got an email from wordpress the other day to tell me about my “2014 year in blogging” and I remembered “OH Yeah! I have a blog!”. Looking at my measly stats from 2014 (I wrote 1 post all year…ONE!), it would appear that I had absolutely nothing to blog about OR that I fell off the face of the earth. So, what has really been keeping me from blogging all this time? This adorable face…
I have 3 kids!!! Life with 3 kids isn’t any more difficult than life with 2, but it’s so.much.busier. And so, this blog has suffered, or disappeared really. I’m not sure if this post is my attempt at making time to continue to write about being the Mom of a child with LTA’s or my farewell to blogging. But, just in case, I thought I should at least show off my beautiful family one more time.
And while I have you here…a quick update. We have made some good progress working with the school system to bring consistency to their food allergy policies, J.T. continues to handle his food allergies well (in and out of school), Our new addition shows no signs of food allergies (fingers crossed) and my resolution for 2015 is to continue to advocate for J.T. and to have renewed diligence to make sure we aren’t getting lazy or complacent. Wishing you the best in 2015!!
Today I got a call from J.T.’s school nurse. She was letting me know that in art class the students were using egg cartons…and that J.T. was choosing not to participate. After the art teacher checked in with the nurse, the nurse tried telling J.T. that the cartons were safe for him to touch and when he still refused she offered to call me, I think expecting me to say it was OK. Which I immediately said it was not. Egg’s are a life threatening allergy for J.T. and our thinking about them is very black and white. Eggs are unsafe. There is no gray area where J.T. has to make decisions about when or why they “might” be safe. He knows they could make him very sick and not to come into contact with them. Someday he will have to make those decisions for himself, but not in first grade.
The nurse was concerned that J.T. would feel left out if he didn’t participate in the project, he was more concerned that he would get sick if he touched the egg cartons. I was concerned that it was happening at all (since it states in his health plan that all project materials are supposed to be allergen free). But the overwhelming emotion that I felt through all of this was pride. My first grader stood up for himself, and not just to his peers but to his adult teachers. He made it clear that he was uncomfortable and that he was not going to participate in an activity that he felt was harmful to his health. He understands his allergies and the risks involved and that is so important. In the end, he didn’t feel left out or different and he didn’t let his allergies get him down. He had a great day and came home to 2 super proud parents!
Oh, the weather outside is frightful! Up here in the Northeast we got 2 decent sized snowstorms within a few days of each other and in between we had some bitter cold. Probably not the kind of weather that would normally make you crave ice cream, but there is something so perfect about peppermint stick ice cream in the winter. And I’m pregnant…so my normal, seasonally appropriate cravings are all off.
This recipe is originally from the Speed Bump Kitchen but because we are also soy free I needed to adapt it to our needs. The end result is a creamy, refreshing ice cream with just the right amount of peppermint flavor. Delicious!
Candy Cane Smashing Machine!
Nope, Not having any fun here 🙂
1 can of full-fat coconut milk (refrigerated until chilled, I kept mine in the fridge overnight)
3 cups of coconut milk (the kind in a box, I used So Delicious)
1/2 a bag of mini-marshmallows (10.5 oz size)
1/2 Cup of sugar
2 Tablespoons of mild oil (I used canola)
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 candy canes, put into plastic bags and crushed
Few drops red food coloring (optional)
Place the marshmallows in a large microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute, they will expand quite a bit. Whisk until smooth. Open your can of chilled coconut milk. There will be a thick, waxy layer on top, scoop this layer and any other solids out into a bowl and discard all of the water left behind. Add 3 cups of boxed coconut milk and whisk together. Slowly pour coconut milk and sugar into marshmallows. Microwave for another 3 minutes, stirring once every minute. Add the oil, the peppermint extract and the food coloring and stir. Cool down in the freezer or refrigerator before pouring into an ice cream maker. I let mine cool for about 4 hours in the fridge. Follow instructions for your ice cream maker (I love my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer attachment!) At the end of freezing, pour in the bags of crushed candy canes and mix well. The ice cream at this point will be a very soft frozen consistency. Not ideal, but definitely good enough for a taste 🙂 Transfer the ice cream to a freezer container and allow to freeze overnight. Enjoy!
The story of Giovanni Cipriano is a heartbreaking one. Giovanni,a young boy just starting highschool, mistakenly ingested peanuts and went into Anaphylactic shock. Sadly, after several weeks of being in a coma, Giovanni passed away on October 18, 2013. Giovanni’s heartbroken parents have come forward after this tragedy to urge other parents of children with food allergies to have a food allergy action plan. I commend the Cipriano’s for their bravery and honesty in coming forward with this message. Watch the video and if you are the parent of a child with food allergies take this message to heart. Create a plan, find an allergist you trust, educate yourself, your family and your child, and advocate for their safety whenever necessary.
Watch the video here. You can also visit Giovanni’s GoFundMe page.
When I tell people about JT’s allergies and about all of the precautions we have to take the most common response I hear is “that must be so hard”. People hear about how you grocery shop, what you cook for dinner and how you prepare for outings and they say “I don’t know how you do it!”. And really, there is nothing wrong with this response. It’s not insensitive or rude and I don’t mean to imply that it is. I’m sure in a different life I would have had a similar response. But, things like shopping and food prep aren’t hard. Does reading EVERY label in the grocery store make shopping take twice as long? Sure. Does finding (or creating) recipes that are safe for JT and still yummy and healthy enough to serve my family require more research? Of course. Is not being able to just spontaneously grab dinner out at a restaurant inconvenient? You bet. But those things aren’t the hard part.
The hard part has nothing to do with time or convenience. The hard part is that gut-wrenching hour after you notice a few unexplainable hives on your childs face and you are just watching and waiting for an allergic reaction. It’s rubbing your childs back as they retch and vomit for 6 hours straight because tests results have shown that they have outgrown an allergy, but not an intolerance. It’s seeing your brave child’s lip tremble as they hold back tears at a birthday party and the cake that they can’t eat has their favorite character on it. It’s emergency room visits, hospital stays, ambulance rides, testing and testing and more testing. Hard is dropping your child off at school KNOWING that at some point they will be in a room with something that could kill them and hoping, just HOPING, today isn’t the day you get a call from the nurse.
That’s what is hard. The other stuff is easy.
As Halloween quickly approaches (eek! I guess it’s time to finish up the kids costumes!), I wanted to share some ideas for staying safe with food allergies while you trick or treat this year.
FAAN has some great trick-or-treat tips here.
Click here for more ideas from Kids With Food Allergies.
You can also check out my Halloween Post from last year.
Happy Halloween!Have fun and stay safe!
We are so excited to share the good news with all of my followers. These 2 amazing kids are going to be a “big, big brother” and a big sister in April!
Here I am at 16 weeks. Finally feeling great 🙂
This past weekend was the Massachusetts FARE walk for food allergies. The Massachusetts walk alone helped to raise over $95,000 for food allergy awareness, support and research. Our little team, “Team JT”, did it’s part by raising over $1000 and we feel pretty great about it!
It was a very soggy day, but we didn’t let that get us down. Everyone there was ready to walk and have fun. JT spent the day feeling very special that all of those people had come out to walk for kids just like him, and he was also proud to be doing his part as well, as he kept reminding me that HE was walking for THEM. He’s got such a kind heart 🙂
It was really great to see the support for and from food allergy families. I can’t wait to walk again next year!
Thank you to everyone who helped with the fundraising for Team JT and a VERY special thank you to Aunty Janeen, Uncle Kev, Aunty Katie, Erin, Jenna, Reese and Aunty Kellie for all of your support! We love you!!
Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted a recipe! I guess nothing new that I’ve tried was really inspiring. Until this soup that is. This is by far the most delicious soup I’ve ever made. It’s perfect for chilly fall nights or football Sundays. I was worried because I forgot to pick up some good, crusty bread to serve with it and didn’t think it would be enough for my husband and I, but I was wrong, it was very hearty and filled us right up. If I’m being completely honest, the kids wouldn’t even try it 😦 Their idea of soup includes clear chicken broth and this broth “looked like mud”. You win some, you lose some…more soup for me!
The original recipe is from Table for Two. As is, I’m sure the soup is absolutely delicious and is still allergy safe for my family. But, because of what I had on hand I had to make some very minor changes. First, I made this in the slow cooker (on low for about 6 hours) I used 2 cans of cannellini beans rather than dried, I used dried thyme rather than fresh rosemary and during the last 30 minutes or so of cooking (after blending about half of the soup in the food processor) I added some ditalini pasta. It really was delicious and I can’t wait to make it again! Head over to Table for Two and make this soup!
White Bean and Bacon Soup!
Molly is such a great little sister. She adores her big brother, she wants to do everything JT does and be with him all the time. She misses him like crazy while he is at school. At 3 years old, Molly doesn’t fully understand JT’s allergies, but she knows on some level that certain foods will make him sick and she is very careful about it. She knows that she has to be thoroughly cleaned up after meals and that it’s not OK to share food with JT. What I don’t think she realizes is how much she is missing out on because of JT’s allergies, although I’m sure that won’t last forever. We all have to make some sacrifices to keep JT safe. I realized recently that Molly has never been out for breakfast. With JT’s egg allergy being his most severe, we don’t go to any restaurants that serve breakfast, even for lunch. So after JT went off to school today my Mom and I took Molly out for her first restaurant breakfast and she loved it. She got pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse with whipped cream and syrup and chocolate milk. I also order her a scrambled egg with hopes that she would give it a try (our house is egg free) but she wasn’t interested, and since today was about doing something special for a special little girl that was just fine with me.
Forgot to snap a picture this morning, but here is the best little sister around!!