Friday, September 9, 2011

Well, it happened.

School started. The morning of Day 1, went well enough. Jack seemed unphased at the idea of going, we had been to the school twice in the days leading up to then so he was pretty primed. On the way to school, he stuck to unrelated topics. Like this:

Jack: Mommy, did you know that Earth is the only safe planet for us?
Me: Yep.
Jack: Mars isn't good. And "Anus" isn't good.

Somehow, despite my PTSD, I remembered that savory factoid for you. I saved all my anxiety for middle of the night hyperventilation attacks, martyrs mothers sheild their children like that. But, thank God, I had a good deal of peace that morning. Which is good because the drop off looked like this:

(I like to make my facebook friends feel grateful they're not me.)

He had diarrhea right after school and just before school the following day. That's how nervous our boy gets. He told me "I HATE YOU......*grumble grumble* leaving me like that!" Glad I let him finish the sentence. He hid under a desk for the first bit of the day but slowly crept out and his teacher had nothing but positive things to say about him. Bless her. By yesterday (third day) he was EXCITED to go to school. He carried his own backpack for the whole walk and marched up the ramp behind his teacher with the other kids instead of crying. THIS IS SUCCESS, PEOPLE.

Last night (during the great power outage of 2011) Jack pointed to his school from our backyard and said "there it is, my new school, I belong there!" HEAVENS OPEN, ANGELS AND UNICORNS SING. Just more evidence that Jack is sometimes contrary just to be contrary. But, when it's inexplicable optimism, we savor it. In other awesome news, Harvey's first day of preschool looked something like this:

(This kid is so enthusiastic, it kills me. So he sometimes poops his what!)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Getting Florid Over Woodland Creatures

When we moved into the new place, I was pretty enchanted by all the bunnies hippity hopping all over our backyard. But then we fixed up the yard. Then this happened:

(This here is a weed. That round thing from which it sprung forth? A bunny turd)

There's a certain cliche about rabbits doing something in excess. I assure you, they poop twice as often. We patched some obvious fence holes and ordered some organic wabbit wepellent. Which, turns out, is basically dehydrated blood and oregano. Apparently rabbits are supposed to flee from death and Italian food. Also, turns out, birds LOVE death and Italian food.

(You know that feeling that you're being watched?? Yeah, ALL THE TIME)

We were feeling pretty good. Still playing catch up on the weed pulling but the yard was looking less like a toilet/salad bar. Then slowly, I began spotting the evidence. Nothing like before, but, ya know.......a little pile here and there:

Befuddled, we concluded that surely, in our haste to secure our borders, we'd trapped an illegal WITHIN OUR FENCING. I had hunting on the bwain. The night before last, I climbed into bed and spotted one of the boys' flashlights on in their cozy coupe outside. Justin went to fetch it when we heard a rustling in the bushes. AHA - the WABBIT. We played flashlight tag with him for a while (poor dude) and finally cornered him in a flower patch. Justin opened a hole in the fence, prodded him out, and patched it up. Ahhhh...

(Now, what do you suggest we do about *this* rat-in-a-cuter-outift?)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Some things

Filling out forms and prepping for the school year to begin (gulp). In addition to the seven thousand enrollment forms, us allergy folks get to fill out this SIMPLE PAPERWORK before an Epi-pen can be kept on campus. Here's hoping Jack's bowels stay composed when we drop by the allergist's office for signatures today.

(thanks A LOT legal system - *handcramp*)

(HOWEVER, this pretty much RULES - I ♥ you, legal system!)

In entirely unrelated news, I read Beatrice's Goat to the boys this week. It's a beautiful story, and a true story. In 1991, through the organization Heifer International , a dozen goats were given to families in Beatrice's village in Uganda. Beatrice's family named their goat Mugisa, which means "luck". The goat gave the family two babies and lots of milk which they were able to sell. This meant a new home for the family and an opportunity for Beatrice to attend school, a dream of hers. When the book was written, it's success led to a scholarship for Beatrice to attend bigger schools in Uganda she eventually graduated from Connecticut College where she received a degree in public service.

While my boys are a bit young to fully understand just how much a small gift like that can affect the lives of others, they certainly understood that Beatrice was without, and with their "lucky" gift, she was able to go to school and live in a home that would protect their family from the rains. I want them to realize not just how fortunate they are, but how easily their fortune can bring hope and life to those in need.

School starts in less than three weeks. I'm not sure at all how I feel about that. What I am sure of? I need to soak up these last days of doing whatever we feel like. It's been a real treat.

(we're lucky in that our ducks love gluten free bread)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cleansing my Body and Conditioning my Brain

Cleansing is easy. AFTER day two. Day two feels like what Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew looks like. One big ugly day of detox. Like any self respecting junky, I felt good and sorry for myself. But I had given my swiss cheese of a mind a focal point, and that focal point was Somalia. My body missed it's expected intake of convenience food. BOO. HOO. I have the OPTION to eat beautiful organic superfoods, foods that make me a better wife, mother, friend, and human being. And at the risk of sounding like a big fat sassy pants; choosing convenience is selfish in a way that I just can't stomach right now.

Like one of Oprah's coined "Aha moments", I'm feeling a shift within that is irreversible. Clarity doesn't always give you the warm fuzzies. Meditating on these atrocities, and subsequently blowing all of my body's sodium out my eye holes, I'm left feeling empowered through a large helping of self reflection. Example: A week ago, I stressed and lost sleep over creating a safe snack food list for Jack's class for next year. LOST SLEEP OVER A SNACK LIST. Can you guess where my "feel like an a-hole-o-meter" registered when I compared my snack pack problems to those losing their babies to famine and violence? It basically maxes out.

Despite my wanting to shield my boys from "the bad stuff", we are having discussions about how fortunate they are to have the food they often whine about. A few weeks ago, in a parking lot, Harvey tugged his hand from mine, as he's prone to do. I sat him in the car and told him that cars are much bigger than him, and if he were hit by one, he could die. He looked at me indignantly. I said "Do you understand what that would mean? It would mean that your body would be dead and we would have to bury it in the ground and mommy would cry forever". His face fell and he sobbed. Ding! went the a-hole-o-meter, but he learned a little something and he hasn't forgotten it.

I can't fly to Africa and stop the corruption. I can't adopt all the babies or pray the starvation away. But I can strive to live more mindfully, always. We can count our blessings alllll day, but unless we find ways to put them into loving action, we just plain don't deserve them. Please donate to these babies today.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I ran out of things to clean.

(Just looking at this photo will no doubt stimulate your bowels)

Apparently, in the move, I lost my ability to focus. To keep my "thoughts" straight, I'll have to rely on bullet points.
  • At night I can barely sleep and during the day I can barely wake. Not awesome.
  • Coffee REALLY amps up the semi-insomnia so I'm chai dependent which isn't so bad but also isn't so good.
  • My appetite has been less than impressive which makes me sad and also makes me feel altogether messedup.
  • Oh, and there are headaches.
  • I have this notion that anxiety lends to anxiety so I think I had better nip this thing in the bud. Aside from a tropical vacation (ha. ha. ha.), I have no better ideas than to cleanse my bod and hope for the best.
I'll be back in a few days. Three pounds of toxins lighter and (anticipatedly) a lot less cranky.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dear OCD (obsessive cleaning disorder),

The next time you compel me to engage in an activity akin to, oh I don't know, dismantling and detailing the vacuum cleaner;


remind me that vacuum cleaners GET DIRTY AFTER THE FIRST RE-USE. You're a real head scratcher, OCD.

Gotta run, I'm off to clean the bottoms of my shoes...

Yours truly,

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Packed up my bored little vikings this afternoon and set sail on a mini voyage. Our destination? Our former residence (still in escrow). Our mission? To pillage the yard of anything edible.

Truly, I went for mint. I need it for a dessert I'm making this Friday and, after years of ripping it up and cursing it like a weed, I refuse to pay money for the delicious garbage. I figured I'd grab a few lemons, check out the heat stricken cucumbers, and maybe find a cherry tomato or two worth picking.

Well, we sailed back with far more booty than expected!¹

Not featured are the two dozen tomatoes Harvey picked and devoured.
(first dose of silence I'd had all day)

Gourds? Pumpkins? NOPE - lemon cucumbers. Aren't they dreamy?

My first thought after cleaning these up was "Darnit!, out of hummus" but a dash of sea salt was really all it needed. Even the dark orange ones, while tougher skinned, are delicious.

The lopsidedness makes my heart pitter pat.

¹ Vegetables grow a heckuva lot faster when you aren't impatiently stalking them.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More cheese please...


I think I should rewind a bit, see, because it's probably confusing as to why I'd be trying these faux cheeses this late into our life with food allergies. Well, they all contain some of Jack's smaller allergens (soy, corn, pea, nuts), so it's been a long while since I've dipped my toe into the ocean of cheese alternatives. I did try a few while nursing Jack, but they were awful and I took to topping everything with avocado instead. As of our latest prick test, we were given the go ahead to include a little soy, corn, grape, and pea into Jack's diet. He has been eating soy once per week and tolerating it great. I'm unwilling to push it and give it more often. The fact that daiya contains pea (trial passed thus far!) but no soy is convenient to say the least. You rotation dieters know what I'm trying to articulate.

I wanted to keep Jack's first cheese meal simple, cuz he's a simple fella. This isn't a recipe so much as it is a success story and simple meal idea. Oh, and evidence that this magic blend of gluten free grains and oils actually melts like cheese.

Cheesy Shells with Ham for the Picky Eater

2 cups Brown Rice Pasta Shells (I used Tinkyada)
2 tblspns Organic Olive Oil
1/2 cup Shredded Daiya Mozzerella
6 slices chopped Organic Ham

Cook pasta shells until good and tender. Drain and add olive oil to pan coating the pasta shells in the oil. Leave pan on turned off burner, so that it still receives some heat, and throw the daiya onto the noodles. Chop ham and add to dish. Give it few stirs and voila. The options are endless with this dish - your kid eats broccoli? Throw that in. I even microwaved a bowl of it later for myself. I was afraid the melted daiya might be permanently cemented to our dishes and silverware but I didn't take the time to chisel it off and our ancient dishwasher took care of it brilliantly.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cheesy Reviews


I feel REALLY BAD saying anything negative about non dairy cheese makers. I mean, it's painfully obvious that they're trying and let's face it, it ain't easy to make a single ingredient product WITHOUT SAID SINGLE INGREDIENT. Nevertheless, I paid out the nose for these products and I intend to tell you what they taste (and smell) like.

Rice VEGAN: I'm not sure what possessed me to reach for the American Flavor (subconscious flood of Kraft brainwashing at play?) but I wish I hadn't. The flavor (if you can call it that) didn't convince me to try any of their other varieties. Rice Vegan tastes like salted cold rice pasta. The chalky consistency didn't help. Jack didn't seem to mind the few bites I gave him, but he didn't ask for more.

VEGAN GOURMET: Next I went for ole mozzarella cuz it just screams kid food. I opened the package with associations of string cheese, pizza.......huh? Uhhh.....this feels like tofu. I can best describe the taste as one of, margarine. I felt like I was eating margarine flavored tofu. The consistency was certainly cheesier than the Rice Vegan but Vegan Gour-meh still wasn't chees-ish in the slightest. Sadface.

daiya: You can believe I was pretty cheesed deflated at this point. As the air released from the bag of shredded daiya, it's stink hit my face and I was immediately pleased with myself. CHEESE! While on the salty side, these little stringy strands taste buttery in a good way and melted beautifully. ATTN: dairy allergic (oh and it's SOY free, too) and lactose intolerant - this stuff is worth the scratch.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On the up and UP

Oh, hey there, blog! Not to brag, but not only did we survive the move, we ruled at it. Perhaps we're just getting older more mature and able, but we somehow managed to use our opposite type A tendencies to simultaneously conquer both unpacking and organizing. My laid back BFF (visiting from San Fran) somehow refrained from tying me to a chair and drugging me with melatonin. What can I say, we're doers. And we totally ♥ our new space.

As fun as camping is (read sarcasm), I moved all our kitchen stuff over the day before moving so that we could jump right back into modern day conveniences like forks and hot food. The new kitchen is pretty dreamy, and it's my intention to blog recipes again. I actually have no choice in the matter as Jack is a little sick of some of his old favs. Can you blame him???

Oh, and, word to the wise: NEVER EVER I REPEAT NEVER USE ORANGE GLO ON WOOD FLOORS. As the previous owners of this place obviously did. I won't get into the nitty gritty (literally) of it, but there was a dull milky hazy residue covering our floors and after a bit of research and a LOT of work, I've remedied the awful results of good ole o-glo. See below:

Can you feel my rage? Or the loss of feeling in my triceps?

Well that's better.

Harvey turned THREE yesterday. We'll be having a teeny little birthday dinner for him this weekend so I need to come up with dinner and dessert (HAS TO BE CHOCOLATE FOR MY HARVSKY) that Jack and my allergic Dad can enjoy. Fortunately, my family is of the easy to please variety.

What greater excuse than his birthday to post this little gem?

Also noteworthy? We have not experienced a single down-swing in Jack's behavior since ceasing homeopathy. Even throughout this whole moving business (!). This tells me two things; yes, it was likely the miasms causing healing reactions that I was fearing were behavioral cycles AND yes, the homeopathy is doing WORK within him and while it's hard on him (and us) there is still work to be done and we will continue our journey with Heilkunst, soon. Though I admit the vacation from it has been nothing short of AWESOMENESS. In the grand scheme of things, it's like ripping off a big arse band aid once a month...eyes on the prize!

While I'm indulging in a nauseating showboat fest of a post, KFA (huge organization for children with food allergies) added Food Allergies and Me to their website. If you order from their page, KFA receives a portion of the funds.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Need to check myself...

...before I wreck myself.

The blog is not all that has suffered my neglect. My dad shared a saying that they keep around, "it's me or the house". HA! Yes. Keeping this house show perfect has taken so much time and energy. I bring you evidence:

Exhibit A - Boys. 2pm. Playing computer games, in their jams.

Exhibit B - Floor of my car. Toxic wasteland on wheels.

Exhibit C - Me, lookin' a mess. Too much tv tv tv.

With the selling of the house (and my sanity) off our plate, we're reclaiming our priorities. I've been eating terribly and not even for convenience sake (as I'd been convincing myself). It's about choices. Making good choices throughout the day to ensure I'm hydrated and nourished. Coffee and sugar give me faux energy for sure, but I'm paying the price. I feel OLD, tired, sick, and fraudulent. Cleaned up my act yesterday and I'm inspired to phase out the self abuse, get back my good vibes. GOOD GOOD GOOD GOOD VIBRATIONS.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happiest KID on the Block

Alternate title: We sold the house and I don't have to clean it have time to blog!

Jack went through a real down-swing around the time he was working through his most recent miasm. I cried a lot. He was so dysregulated. By that, I mean he was unable to focus, unable to find joy in things, unable to connect with us. He was obsessive, unreasonable, anxious, and unhappy.

A week and a half ago he got sick, he took a nap, he woke from that nap and he was ON. He has been happy, connected, funny, reasonable, and finding JOY in everything.

My hope and my prayer is that this is a homeopathic cycle we've been witness to, NOT a cycle within him. I've seen bipolar disorder first hand and, while I know that it is often manageable, it would break my heart to see my baby in that anguish.

So, as we enjoy our happy Jack, laugh with him, and learn from him - we also pray for him. And we would appreciate your prayers as well. We're taking a short break from homeopathy, Canada mail is in revolt, we're moving, and I'd like to see if Jack "cycles" without it.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Top ten reasons I'm not blogging:

10) I've had very little alone time and sleep has been pretty MESSEDUP around here.

9) Jack finished preschool and is enrolled in elementary school, he'll be in PEP (primary extended program) for one year and then go on to kindergarten. So, he's officially a Pepper. He's going to do great and this is going to be the perfect stepping stone for him (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

8) We're MOVING! To a home that I believe we can lay down roots and not grow old in.

7) We're selling our home which means keeping it spotless and smelling like roses (you know, instead of hot dogs and farts) ALL THE TIME.

6) My grandma was in town which was LOVELY. She took the train back to Idaho this morning. Saturday morning, Jack asked "are you going to stay forever?" in a very hopeful tone. *Sniff!* He also said to her the night before: (peering into her mouth in awe) "I think I'd like to have gold teeth like a pirate!".

5) I've been pretty bummed about allergies in general. Jack's RAST (blood test measuring IgE levels) came back and the results were all higher so they did NOT confirm his fantastic skin test results. In fact, his peanut went from 3.86 (class III) to 50 (class AS HIGH AS IT GOES). Please, for the love of unicorns, someone remind me to never get my hopes up in regard to test results EVER again. The thing we have to focus on is not having allergic reactions. And THAT I am mighty grateful for.

4) I'm getting in touch with my spiritual self. It's been a long while for me, but I believe I am clearing (mentally, physically, homeopathically, and spiritually) space in my life for GOD.

3) We've been getting out A LOT. Both soaking up our last month with this big back yard and enjoying our community. My kids, like burps, are happier out than in - and sometimes, SO AM I! Take that anxiety.

2) I haven't really been cooking. Although I did make a platter of allergen free cupcakes from mixes. They contained a smidge of soy/corn so they were a treat. Jack was mesmerized by their appearance, "this cake is SO VERY WHITE".......but he didn't want to eat one. They were for my dad anyways - Happy Birthday DADDY"

1) My brain is especially all over the place right now (as you can see) and I just love and appreciate my blog followers too much to annoy you like that. I'll pick up steam again soon. Hopefully the new kitchen will, figuratively, light a fire under this butt!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

On Pause

I'm on a bit of a blog pause. I attempt to write, I get lost in reflection. Facing endings and, consequently, new beginnings - these times require a lot of internal processing. The "unknown" simmers as I vacillate between excited and overwhelmed. I could outline my thoughts but that, not unlike the food we've been cooking, would be pretty boring.

Back soon !!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Going mainstream?

I highly recommend all of these magazines. Living Without is especially progressive, in my opinion, when it comes to information and studies surrounding allergies and sensitivities. Clean Eating is full of beautiful recipes, all made with pure unprocessed ingredients, many of which are allergen friendly. Here are some headline examples:

None of this type of info is new to those of us whom are living examples. But isn't it nice to see some of it in print? These are well respected publications, exposing the truth that so many of us experience but rarely have validated. This is just the beginning, I think. It's exciting, really.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Confucius say...

Harvey: I lose a tooth like Noah, I get a new one at Target. (*headsmack*)

Jack: I can't wait to drive like an old man. (yikes)

Harvey: Smells like a fart in here! (it totally did)

Jack: I can't have a time out if I'm out of time. (smart ass)

Jack: (patting Justin's armchair) This baby can handle anything.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The power of homeopathy/intention/suggestion.

Things have calmed down here. But, let me take you back to last week. Actually, let me first take you back several weeks, to the time when Jack created this gem:

Note: "everyone" is facing the same direction.

It started innocently enough. Jack carefully arranging some toys, not letting Harvey touch them. I asked about it:

Me: Jack, what are you doing with all those toys?
Jack: My dragons are having a party.
Me: Oh, are they going to watch a movie or something?
Jack: No. They're going to watch the fire.
Me: That makes sense. Dragons probably really like fire.

But then we weren't allowed to touch them. I really let it slide for quite some time, telling Harvey to pick something else to play with. But then if we cleaned them up Jack would get all bent and rearrange them just the way he had them before. And it started to creep into other areas of the living room. A bookshelf. The couch. Pretty soon, we were barely allowed in there. I started to feel like the obsessive nature of the activity was oozing into other areas of his day. And his reactions were becoming unreasonable and painful for him.

I had had enough. I contacted Rudi.

Rudi sent me a paper remedy first thing the next morning. I stuck it in his back pocket. Late in the afternoon I grabbed a big toy bin and started singing our clean up song. Harvey started tossing all the toys into the bin. Jack raised his eyebrows. Then he started helping. I was laughing hysterically (on the inside). WHAT? Seriously? Random letters and numbers on a piece of paper in his pocket was all it took? You don't even want to know the various strategies we'd attempted. And yes, I had previously tried the clean up song. I threw them in the bath and crossed my fingers that he wouldn't rebuild his shrine the following day. He didn't!

BUT, a few days later he had an episode leaving preschool. He was completely fixated on an activity and didn't want to go. He had a MELT DOWN. The whole way home (after I crammed him into his car seat) he bitched and moaned about having to leave and needing to cut the paper. Don't ask. When we got home he wouldn't get out of the car and then started threatening to walk back to preschool. You better bet I kept a close eye on his determined hiney. More drama ensued that afternoon.

I harassed Rudi again and he sent me another paper remedy which went into Jack's pocket. He had a great day of preschool and did the same paper cutting activity (modified by his fab teachers) without issue. Yay! I kept the remedy in his pillow case that night. Insurance.

All has been pretty smooth since. He woke up Friday morning with a huge pubescent zit on his cheek (detox?) and was pretty phlegmy all weekend. Allergies? Weather? WHO KNOWS! At any rate, I *think* the storm has settled. Just in time to administer the next miasm. Hmph.

On a comical note, last night Jack explained to me how Harvey was born. I tried to coach him into re-telling it for the camera, which turned out semi-successful. Also funny? You can see Harvey's massive collection of bedtime woobies: paci, blankie, manitee, and boob.

"Let's go join it!"

Thursday, May 12, 2011

This is our battle song.

Over the past few days we've had an out of character level of rigidity and anxiety creeping into Jack's behavior. Having grown used to a more reasonable and flexible guy, I find myself walking on eggshells again and searching my resources for ways to help him through it. It is as exhausting as it is heartbreaking to see and experience your child in such anguish. In addition to the behavior, I'm noticing an upset stomach and a lowered appetite - these really send me into a brain picking no end whirlwind - is it the soy? too much sugar? is he tired of his food/becoming intolerant to it? am I offering him enough/doing enough/researching enough? is the anxiety causing the stomach upset or is the stomach upset causing anxiety? is it the homeopathy? will it resolve on it's own? is it cyclical? is it for life? These are questions we simply cannot answer. Every day I ask myself question that cannot be answered. Every. day.

I know I am successfully fighting the fight. He is nourished, growing, learning. He receives high quality supplements targeting basic nutrition, immune health, digestive health, inflammation, etc etc etc. Not only do we buy organic and avoid allergens but we stay away from food dyes and preservatives. We take care to avoid unnecessary medications like fever reducers, decongestants, and antibiotics, giving his immune system the opportunity to mature and strengthen. I use glass in lieu of ceramic, stainless steel in lieu of plastic, search for pajamas free of flame retardant, and the list goes on for-freaking-ever. I carry (with honor) the stress of this role and manage to find patience and boundless love for my children.

Durga (meaning Invincible, in sanskrit)

Still, when my child seems dysregulated and no longer in control of his own emotions and impulses, trapped by a fixation/obsession, crippled with anxiety, unable to enjoy the things I KNOW he finds joy in - I grow weary. I wake with anxiety. I feel isolated. But I know I am not alone.

Off topic, yet ON for so many - I tread lightly on the subject of immunization, because Jack is not vaccine injured. I can only say that confidently because he is not vaccinated. I say a prayer nearly every day thanking God I made that decision. There is just no way on earth that his sensitive and immunocompromised little body would have tolerated the viruses, preservatives, antibiotics, and multitude of chemicals in the 96 vaccines he would have received by age five. With articles like this cropping up everywhere, I can't help but think - do parents know that there are agencies dedicated to the reporting, documenting (VAERS), and yes, even compensating of children who have been vaccine injured? Leaving autism off the table, did your pediatrician outline any risks for you or give you the contact information for these resources should a reaction occur? Mine sure didn't.

I have MUCH to be grateful for. I don't seek pity. But I do begin to exhaust. I combed Whole Foods for over an hour this morning, with a basket over my arm, reading labels and peering at entire WALLS of gluten free products that we still cannot give to Jack because of their egg and dairy content. I broke down in tears when I found a buckwheat cereal (like corn flakes) that are new to the shelves and safe for my boy. I started feeling hope again when I found bagged popped sorghum (like popcorn) that Jack can snack on. I cannot ever give up the search for more safe variety for him. Sadly (but fortunately), due to the rise in allergies and intolerances, the demand for these foods is higher than ever.

All gluten free, all (but one) full of egg and milk.
Reading labels, hypothermia (and depression) set it.

I am not the only soldier in this unbelievable battle. So many fellow mother warriors have entered my life and given me strength when I was weak. I don't, quite frankly, know HOW we do it. But I do know WHY. Our children smile and we are filled. We're filled with determination and desperation. We suit up, without sleep in our arsenal, each day and prepare to fight for our children. We protect them, to the best of our ability, against the environmental grenades that are hurled at their tiny bodies day after day. We take our children in for blood tests, allergy tests, evaluations, and therapies. We have forgotten life before war. We are all told to "calm down", to "relax", to "take a day at a time". Trust us, WE DO. When and where we can, we do.

So, to all the mother warriors whom I have the fortune of knowing, you are INCREDIBLE. Joanna, Janice, Dani G, Aliki, Crystal, Kelly, Jill, and so many more: thank you for encouraging me, for giving me guidance on services, supplements, and strategies. Thank you for not giving up, even though I know it's not an option.

This is a call to arms,
Gather soldiers,
Time to go to war.
This our battle song,
Brothers and sisters,
Time to go to war.

Do you want to surrender?
Or fight for victory?

Monday, May 9, 2011

This might get boring.

As a result of our most recent allergy test, I've decided to integrate a few past allergens into Jack's diet on a rotation. Zzzzzzzz....I know, right? Soy showed up so tiny that they labeled it negative, but we know it has always been super-duper-off-the-charts high on every IgG test and it's notoriously hard to digest. Grape and corn were equally as small. Jack does seem to tolerate processed corn okay but popcorn (organic, air popped, no chance of cross contamination) gives him violent diarrhea, so it's hard for me to give it to him knowing that it might be affecting his digestive system and possibly his immune system. ACCKKK. However, I'm eager to get more varieteh (safely) into my kid and want to be careful not to limit his diet unnecessarily.

Enter the ROTATION DIET. One meal per week will contain a past allergen. Sunday mornings we're letting Jack have Vans gluten free waffles, which contain soy flour. I haven't quite figured out corn and grape but I have foods that I want to give him. For the time being, I'll just keep track of when he eats them. While it feels totally rigid to allow something only once per week, I just can't know for sure if it is as safe as it appears to be. Soy, in particular, makes me nervous. The idea of the rotation diet is that even if a food does cause an immune response/inflammatory reaction, it won't do harm because of the infrequency. This control concept makes me pretty comfortable.

(Bruce Lee approved)

The most (only?) exciting part of this is that there are so many allergy friendly foods that we still were unable to enjoy because of one ingredient (like the soy in the waffles). Have you seen these Trader Joe's Snickerdoodles yet?!!? They are top 8 free and the only no-no is/was grape. Into the rotation they go!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mouths of my BABE?

Jack: (repeatedly throughout the day) Badges? We don't need no STINKY BADGES.

Justin: I have to leave for work. But you get to go to preschool!
Jack: You can grow down and get small again so you can go to preschool, too.

(in the car, driving to a friend's house to swim)
Jack: This is a very long way! I think there is a man under the road stretching it out longer and longer.
Me: ???

Jack: (marching around the kitchen) Justin! Justin! Justin!
Me: That's daddy's name. Do you remember mama's name?
Jack: Babe?

"that you doo-oo-oo"

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mudder's Day

The boys' preschool invited us mothers in for a lovely Mother's Day lunch today. We weren't just fed and pampered, we were serenaded and showered with gifts. I would post video of their singing but I don't think it wise to go throwing youtubes of others' children up on the internets. These photos will have to do.

Try not to get blinded by my legs. Yes, I really *do* live in California

Delivering gifts, gorgeous photos by the talented Megan Gotch

I know!

It's good to be a mama. I've learned a lot about myself. My capacity to love grew. Twice. Other things grew, too. My tolerance (not just for the annoying things kids do, like TOUCHING EVERYTHING THEY SEE, but for mankind in general), my sleep deprivation threshold, my marriage, my grocery bill list, my gag reflex, my butt.

I won't have these boys forever. They're going to get bigger, bigger than me. They're going to grow beards, discover themselves, and leave our nest (GOD WILLING). So I'd better soak up every exhausting frustrating stinky adorable precious life altering moment of it. The bumps in the road add character and alter the view. And I think I'm getting less nervous.

Happy Mother's Day, Mamas!! - Enjoy the ride.