Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Some good news...

Yesterday, our allergist's office called with the results of Moses' blood test. The nurse said that his milk protein results were low and that he'll most likely outgrow the allergy, but in the meantime, we're to use rice milk and cut dairy from his diet to see if it helps with his congestion. I'm game for that move, but we'll see how Moses does with a new "milk."

However, the nurse also said that Moses' peanut results were positive and that we should still avoid all peanut contact. I expected to get a classification for the blood results (0-6) but she didn't give me one. Even though they don't indicate severity or sensitivity in an individual--only the likelihood for a reaction, I'm still curious and will ask the doctor at our next appointment.


P.S. I'm finally done with school this semester. Let the fun (and cleaning) begin!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Reading Nuts

Over the weekend, I went to the library and picked up "The Peanut Allergy Answer Book," which is recommended by The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network that Dr. Herman referred. Since I'm one of those people who wants to know everything possible about a situation (or diagnosis), I was very pleased with the wealth of information this book provided. It taught me a lot about food allergies, most importantly:

"The reactions that peanut-allergic patients experience can vary from exposure to exposure: one time, an exposure may cause a mild reaction and the next time, the same exposure might cause a more severe reaction. The severity of a reaction and risk of anaphylaxis are not predictable by skin testing or RAST tests (blood tests) (92)."

Here I was expecting to learn just how bad it was from the blood test when that's not even possible--we just have to assume the worst can happen and safeguard Moses from all contact with peanuts. We've decided to avoid tree nuts too as a precaution due to the risk of cross contamination (i.e. made in a facility that also processes peanuts). You can never be too careful...


Friday, April 25, 2008

Affirmative - Allergic to Peanuts (and Milk!)

Today we visited an allergist, Dr. Herman (Thanks Misty!), to see about the reaction Moses had to peanuts on Monday. We thought we were just going in for a consult because I was told over the phone that Moses had to be antihistamine free for seven days prior to allergy testing and since he had Benadryl on Monday and Tuesday we'd have to wait. However, once there and visiting with Dr. Herman, he said that we should go ahead and test since we'd still get a positive or negative reaction to allergens from Moses.

I was not prepared for that change in plans and my purse seriously lacked adequate distraction tools. Thankfully, they had puzzles in the exam room and a sink with little cups for Moses to drink from. Two hours of distraction--I'm exhausted.

Moses did really well with the prick test (it's changed so much since I had the test in my teens). He didn't cry and was content to play with the office toys and not scratch his back during the 20 minute testing period. He was tested for the 19 most common allergens--animals, grasses, trees, foods, etc.

After 20 minutes, the nurse and doctor came to survey the results. If you aren't familiar with allergy testing, there's a control "bump" that helps them gauge the reaction of the tested allergens. Moses' control bump rated a 2+ and was compared to the other 19 "bumps." The only bumps, or positive reactions, worth noting were for milk and peanuts--both rated a 2+. I was shocked about the positive reaction for milk since we've never had an issue with milk, but the peanut reaction was pretty much expected after Monday's incident. Dr. Herman said we should count our blessings that Monday's reaction wasn't more troublesome because his vomiting was a sign of anaphylactic shock.

He also said that Moses can continue with milk products for now, but we might have to cut them out of his diet if his "numbers" are too high. Also, his milk allergy might be the cause of all his congestion and ear infections of late. We're to avoid peanuts at all costs and carry an EpiPen in case of an allergic reaction. The good news is that he's not registering for any hay fever type allergies at the moment, but Dr. Herman thinks he has a good chance of developing them when he's a little older since Dave and I both suffer from inhalant allergies. We'll still take this brief reprieve even if that's the case!

We're still waiting to hear about the severity of these allergies pending a blood test Moses had today (with the smallest needle I've ever seen--he did so well). The results of the blood test will determine what part(s) of milk Moses is allergic to and whether or not we can continue having milk products. The test will also tell us how allergic he is to peanuts and give us a "number" to watch over the years. Dr. Herman said that in some cases kids can grow out of a peanut allergy and watching the "number" over the years is the best indicator of such possibility.

That's all the excitement we can handle for one day. Moses is conked out and I wish I could take a nap too, but school work is calling me...

I'll keep you posted on the results of the blood test. Keep your fingers crossed that we see low numbers.


P.S. Here are some pictures from our gardening adventure yesterday to counter the unwelcome news of today's post. I have to say that it's hard to communicate "be gentle to plants" to a 17-month-old boy--thank goodness the water hose, dirt, and my Taco Bueno cup were more fun that my newly potted plants.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

In case you've missed his mug

I haven't been so great at taking pictures lately, but I thought I'd post the few I have taken recently.

The first set is from our craft time yesterday. Moses has a real marker fetish and loves coloring on anything and everything. Usually, sitting him in his high chair with washable markers and paper works wonders but this time he confused his high chair with hunger. I was making lunch in the kitchen and came back to this...

Thank goodness my little clown is using non-toxic markers.

This second set is from today when I tried to photograph his "rain curls." No picture does them justice but I tried. There's also a cute picture of him finding my belly button or "bell butt" as he calls it.


Meet the Weathermen

Each member of this family has some bodily quirk that allows for rain prediction with uncanny accuracy.

Dave: An old football injury to his shoulder makes it ache when precipitation is imminent. This makes him sound much older than his 28 years.

Me: My epidural entry-point aches like some sort of bone bruise for days leading up to ominous weather. It's made me reconsider drugs for this second child but only for a second...

Moses: His hair kinks up into dreamy curls the day of a downpour. Maybe I should check for some cancellations at our local photographers? One girl's picture-day nightmare is my boy's opportunity for unworldly cuteness.

Bella (the dog): She freaks out and shakes uncontrollably for hours before it begins until it passes. She also won't leave our side, or she'll hide in the bathroom. I imagine her reciting the mantra, "think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts" in a doubtful, girly inner voice for the duration of a thunderstorm.

I didn't mention our cat, Ninja, but I'm sure if we could extract the prescient behavior from the psychotic we'd learn she's also got a talent for weather prediction. And, while not a member of the family per se, my van starts running funny up to a day before the rain comes.

So, I think we're overdue for a surname change and possibly an exhibit at your local freak show. Look for us, the newly-christened Weathermen (or Meteorologists, but the boys may have a tough time learning to spell that one), coming soon to a city near you.

Weathermen or not, I'm looking forward to today's daytime storm: nothing's better than a nice shower and a cup of coffee (decaf).


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Oh, nuts!

Moses might have a peanut allergy.

I can't even fathom that sentence since there's no family history of food allergies (although the lengthy history of hay fever doesn't bode well for him) and well, Dave and I love nuts.

Last night, Dave fed Moses some peanuts. I told Dave that I didn't think Moses had had an actual peanut before, only foods that have been in peanuts' proximity, so he stopped. About fifteen minutes later Moses' eyes were itchy and red with a rash, his voice was raspy, and although his breathing wasn't labored, it was noisy. I called our doctor's on-call nurse and she said to give him Benadryl and take him to the ER. On the way to the ER he vomited but seemed better afterwards.

We hung out in the ER for an hour-and-a-half before we decided to go home and call his pediatrician in the morning since his eyes were looking much better and he was playing vigorously. He obviously wasn't experiencing anything life-threatening, and we thought he was probably just picking up more germs there anyway.

I called his pediatrician this morning and they are in the process of getting Moses a referral to an allergist. We should hear something about an appointment in the next few days.

Dave and I are both hoping it was something other than the peanuts that caused his reaction since a peanut allergy is lifelong, potentially life-threatening, and requires a lot of food scrutiny, but I think our optimism is just hope. Maybe we'll get lucky...


Monday, April 21, 2008

Well, he had the worm...

Feeling more like himself than he has in weeks, Moses got up at his somewhat-usual time, 6 a.m. I guess he's not used to being such an early bird again because this was the scene at 8 a.m.:

At this rate, he's in for a long day.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Stop and smell the roseola

As it turns out, Moses has Roseola.

Soon after I updated that his fever was gone, it came back. It was bizarre because he was cold as ice that morning, but then very warm at 101.7 degrees just hours later. That weaker fever stayed with us until last night, but after showering with Moses, Dave noticed a rash forming on Moses' lower trunk. As the night went on, the rash worsened and sleep was hard to come by. Moses and I stayed up until 2 a.m. before I could finally get him to sleep, but even then, he slept fitfully and was constantly tossing and turning.

This morning the light-pink rash is still present but doesn't look too bad. I called his doctor who confirmed it was Roseola and said the good news was that he was no longer contagious. Whew. Being stuck in the house for nearly a week hasn't been fun. The rash might last up to 3 days, but the the end is near. And, Moses now has a lifelong immunity to Roseola--at least I won't have to worry about caring for two cranky, restless boys with it.

He's playful this morning and seems to have forgotten the terrible night. Hopefully, we'll have good days and nights from here on out.


Monday, April 14, 2008

The name is Dish. Petri Dish.

Well, once again we've contracted an illness over here. Moses came down with 102.8 degree fever (his favorite temperature apparently) after his nap on Saturday. I thought he had another ear infection because he was exhibiting all his usual symptoms except this time gagging accompanied the fever and fussiness. Lovely... Well, after two terrible nights of sleep and a persistently high fever despite the alternation of fever reducers, I took him in to the doctor.

The good news is that for once, an ear infection isn't the culprit. His ears were "perfect," in fact. This time, however, he has a viral infection (correction: we have a viral infection). This bug causes fever in children for 3-5 days and creates an obnoxious amount of congestion, which causes a sore throat. He also has viral conjunctivitis (pink eye), which makes him look especially pathetic.

For the most part though, he's in good spirits and happily plays so long as his fever isn't spiking. The rough part comes at night when I'm not so diligent with the Tylenol or Motrin. He spends most the night rolling around and whining, and I spend the night making sure he gets some sleep. I think he'll be better soon, but it's just a matter of time before I die of exhaustion...

I look forward to summer and days void of day care.

UPDATE: His fever broke last night so he's doing much better today. Hooray!


Sunday, April 13, 2008

The swing of things

Dave and Moses spent some time outside recently. It's been really windy here lately, but every once in a while, it's very pleasant--perfect for swinging.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Scoop

Moses' current obsession involves anything spoon-like. He'll take the average dinner or wooden spoon, slotted server, or shovel (of any variety) and attempt to scoop up and carry anything he can with his selected utensil/tool. Yesterday he carried blocks; today, balls. It's pretty cute, except that he frequently gets frustrated when the object falls off while he's walking around, and he has to scoop it up again and again. I was very close to taping a ball to his wooden spoon tonight out of sheer desperation for quiet, but that would make me a bad mom. A mom who makes things too easy and turns out a son who expects the world to fall at his feet. Right? Right.

Here he is "cleaning up" with me before bed:

These other pictures are from this morning when it dawned on me that I dressed him for a fictional government holiday. It's not evident in these shots really, but you should have seen the rest of the outfit--complete with a red, white, and blue jacket and pair of shoes. Isn't his mountain of curls fabulous?

Here's a belly shot from tonight, too, at 22 weeks 4 days. I know I haven't posted these for a couple weeks, but this house is absent a full-length mirror so I have to enlist Dave, and I simply forget to ask.


Soliciting Stroller Reviews

We're now starting to think of the things needed for two children. We're fortunate in that we are set in the boys' clothing department and other things needed for first time parents, but we're stuck when it comes to stroller options.

We're looking for an inline, double stroller that's compact enough to fit in my van. The single Graco Quattro stroller we have now barely fits in the van with the rear sit erected, and since Moses will be in the rear seat once his brother gets here, I need a double stroller that doesn't require me fold that seat down. I'd also like something a little more rugged since my new favorite warm-weather past time is walking with my son(s) in tow. Any suggestions?

My dream stroller is the Phil & Ted's Sport with Doubles Kit:

But, it's nearly twice as expensive as the Graco Quattro Tour Duo, the double's version of our original stroller:
I know we've got a lot of moms out there who read this blog and might have some input or other stroller suggestions. Please, please, leave a comment or email me with your thoughts. I like having some research before investing in something, and what's better than personal experience and word of mouth?


Friday, April 4, 2008

Avoca-dose and more

Moses fell asleep while eating his afternoon snack of avocado. I didn't realize avocados were on the list of sleep-friendly foods. I must keep them in mind for bed time (insert scheming-mom laugh here).

Later in the evening, we had Mexican casserole and rice for dinner. Notice Moses' excellent use of the spoon--I think he's upped his food-to-mouth ratio to 50%. I can hear utensil mastery coming round the bend. Next, chopsticks...


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Toe-tally unfair!

This morning I broke my pinky toe running after Moses. The floor is still littered with things I need to put away, and I tripped over our game, Cranium Turbo Edition, which weighs the same as a small elephant, while chasing down the source of cranky screams. I'm not proud of the words Moses heard from my mouth when little toe met box, but I was in whole mess of pain.

So, now, my once favorite game is forever "the enemy," and I've decided toes are ridiculous--it's unfair that the only thing I've ever broken can't be treated medically.

(I say that my toe is broken, but without an actual X-ray, I guess it's my word against the toe's, and having the only mouth in the pair, I think I win.)


Nutty = Sleepy

Nowadays, Moses gets downright goofy when he's sleepy. I think it's some form of delirium because he just giggles endlessly at nothing in particular, acts silly, and throws his body all over the place (pillows, couches, laps, etc.). When this stage hits, I know he'll fall asleep in a heartbeat if we go "night, night." This sleepy cue is much preferred over crankiness.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My good eater

Since things are slowly settling around here and returning to normal, we're able to back on some semblance of a routine. I love preparing good lunches for Moses and I and hated that the last few weeks consisted solely of takeout, fast food, or, at the very least, odds and ends we had around the kitchen.

We don't shy away from giving Moses junk food but don't make it a habit either. I tend to think that restricting junk food makes it more "valuable" in children's eyes so we just permit it in moderation for the sake of him knowing what it is and curbing his interest. He's had fries, sipped on soda, and eaten a donut or two, but that's not what he loves. He's a sucker for veggies! Nothing can keep him from devouring green beans, carrots, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, and edamame.

Today for lunch, he had chicken breast with BBQ sauce (I think of it more as finger paint) and Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts! We enjoyed our yummy food while listening to Peter Frampton, and Moses hammed it up for the camera. We're sitting on the floor because our once clear dining room table is now covered in things I need to find a place for in the house.

Awhile back I bought the Bird's Eye Brussels sprouts packaged for individuals thinking I'd be the only one in the house who'd enjoy them, but I was wrong. Moses (my little beggar bird) ate the first ones I prepared, and I had to make another package. Since then, they've been a regular part of our diet and even Dave is a fan. Who knew Brussels sprouts were making a come back?

On another dining note, Moses is hugely interest in eating with silverware. He's not so great at it, but 1 out of 5 attempts is successful. It's so adorable to watch him concentrate so keenly on scooping his food and then making it into his mouth. When he succeeds, you can really see him beam!


P.S. Doesn't he also look a bit tanner in those pictures? I think he does have Dave's coloring afterall--he just needed a bit of sun. Hooray!