Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! We have had a wonderful holiday. This is a picture of my babies in their Christmas pajama's {SERIOUSLY cute!!}

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's Official

Heath in the subway
on the way to his appointment
Last week, Heath had an appointment with a pediatric allergist. The first part of the appointment was spent talking with the doctor about what happened when Heath ate peanut butter back in November. She did say that Heath should have been given epinephrine while they were at the mall. She was also fairly sure he would test positive for peanut allergy. 

After we talked, the doctor left the room and a nurse came in to educate us. We learned {again} how to use the epipen and how to keep Heath safe. After the education bit was over, the doctor came back in and we talked about the future. We'll go back in when Heath is 3 and hope that he will be allergy-free. 

We left the doctor's office and Heath had a blood draw. No baby likes a blood draw and he knew all about it having had an IV last month. But it was quick, they are pros! 

So on Monday we got a call with the results from the blood test. Heath IS allergic to peanuts and is NOT allergic to tree nuts. He scored a 62.7 and is a level 5. Basically...very allergic to peanuts. Here is a little chart from

RAST ratingIgE level (KU/L)comment

Finding out that he truly is allergic to peanuts has not been super easy. It is really a fairly big life change. We will have no peanuts or tree nuts in the house and purchase nothing that has been manufactured in a plant with those things. We're getting really good at reading labels!

Aside from being allergic to peanuts, Heath is healthy. We're very thankful for that. We're looking forward to celebrating Christmas...but no peanuts in our stockings this year, Santa!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Our Advent Calendar

The past few years, we have had one of those chocolate advent calendars. The kind where you pull open a little door and find a chocolate. This year, with a peanut allergy, I haven't been able to find a calendar that would be safe. As advent got closer, lots of the blogs that I read started sharing their calendars. Lots of creativity out there! I found one I liked and recreated it for our home!

The advent calendar is a bunch (24) of mittens, mini clothes pins and a red cord. I've started sewing on numbers (I'm only up to 7 so far!) but it's working out great. The mittens are filled with chocolates from Vermont Nut Free Chocolates, little toys and other trinkets. Audrey is thrilled to peek in one mitten each day. Heath...totally clueless!

In totally unrelated news...I was thrilled to find this subject in an e-mail this afternoon:  For Mon: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Friday, December 3, 2010


Eating at Chinese restaurants with Heath is pretty much not going to happen anymore. When I was in college, my friends and I went to a certain Chinese restaurant ALL the time {I can't remember the me out, Nicole!}. It's very sad that I cannot take Heath to my favorite Chinese restaurants.

A few days ago, we were over at Grandma Judy's house at lunch time. The egg rolls {in the picture} had been on sale at the grocery store so they were what we had for lunch. Amazingly, they were REALLY tasty! The label has allergy warnings but none are for peanuts. Not only are they yummy, they're safe. Right now I'm almost 100% sure there is no way Heath would even let an egg roll touch his plate...let's just say he's a little picky. But eventually he'll get more adventurous and maybe try an egg roll!

{I must admit I was a little grossed out by one allergy More specifically, anchovies.}

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Yesterday Heath, Audrey, Grandma Judy and I went to the Festival of Trees. I knew we would be having lunch afterwards so I looked on-line for ZPizza {where we would be eating} to see if it would be safe for Heath to eat. After searching the site for awhile, I couldn't find anything that looked like the language the labels on food say, ("this food contains peanuts") so I sent an e-mail. This is the response I got:

Thank you for taking the time to check with us.  Our cheese and pepperoni pizzas do not contain any nuts or nut products.  We do have peanuts in the store, it is contained in our basil pesto sauce and we use pine nuts to top a few different pizzas.  We take every precaution to avoid any and all possible cross contamination.  That being said, because we do have peanuts in the store there are no 100% guarantees that I can offer.  I will say however, that we do everything in our power to keep our customers, and their food safe.  We have consistently scored perfect on our Olmsted County Health inspections, and take food safety very seriously.  There is no list available that I am aware of, but if you would like I will check with the corporate office.  We do use natural, fresh ingredients, and never MSG's or unnecessary preservatives.

We did end up eating at ZPizza. Heath did just fine...mainly because he was too tired to actually eat anything! We have yet to meet with the pediatric allergist so I really don't know how cautious we need to be but I felt comfortable taking Heath to ZPizza. Had the slice of the day had the basil pesto sauce, we'd have gone elsewhere. I'm happy to have received a response since that was my first time contacting a restaurant (aside from the time I called ahead to Outback!) We'll continue to eat at ZPizza unless the doctor tells us to stay away.

PS This was not Heath's first meal at ZPizza.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We survived our first Thanksgiving with a peanut allergy! Grandma & Grandpa were very accommodating to Heath's special needs {thank you!} We had a great Thanksgiving. The only bummer is that Heath woke up from his nap with a little fever. I'll try not to worry! Ha!

In this picture, Heath is eating "cake." That's what he called it. It's actually a pumpkin bar and SUPER tasty. He loved it! :) Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I am thankful for lots of things. One thing in particular that I am thankful for is the fact that Heath's favorite breakfast {waffles and "peachy"} is safe for him to eat! Both the waffles and peaches have no peanuts & haven't been manufactured in a plant that uses peanuts. Woo hoo! My picky eater can continue his "peachy" habit.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Have you heard about the little guy being rushed to the hospital that has a famous mom? You can read about it here {link}. It doesn't matter who you are, anyone can be allergic to peanuts. I'm glad he's safe. Maybe peanut allergies will get some press now that a famous mom has to deal with food allergies. We shall see.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

She's Looking Out for Him!

This evening we had dinner with both sets of Grandparents! Grandma Judy made a salad for Brent that has nuts in it. Not peanuts, but some sort of nut (a tree nut, I believe). As I was passing the salad to Brent, having to pass over Audrey, Grandma Judy said, "The salad has nuts." Audrey piped up right away and said, "Momma, don't give that salad to Heath. It has nuts in it!"

I was a very proud mommy in that moment! Hard to believe that she has already got so much of this figured out. She is going to be a great advocate for her little brother...she already is.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Now that Heath needs to have an EpiPen with him at all times, I've had to figure out a way to carry it around. Carrying it in my purse really wasn't going to work since I'm not with him 100% of the time. So I got Heath his very own backpack to have with him...everywhere! His name is embroidered on it so that it's easy to spot. It came from Pottery Barn Kids and I have to say I'm not totally impressed with the zipper but maybe it just needs to be broken in! It's already been much easier to have it in his bag so we're glad to have this part figured out. Soon I'll show you the little bag the EpiPen is in (inside of the backpack.) It's pretty awesome!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

snack time

Having taught preschool for several years, I have had a few students come to my class with a peanut allergy. What a difference it is to be the parent instead of the teacher. This morning, Heath and I had an ECFE/PAIIR class to attend. It was our first time back since Heath had the reaction to peanuts. In this class, parents bring snacks on assigned day. This morning the snack mom walks in with a row of crackers. In other words, no box. How am I supposed to check the label if the box isn't there?

They were saltines. Heath has had them before and never had a reaction. He ate them and was just fine. Snack time has changed for us...Hopefully I won't always be so worried when Heath sits down to eat food that I haven't prepared myself. But we're only a week into I'll cut myself some slack :)

There is a birthday in the class in a few weeks. I'm already thinking about how to handle that. Cupcakes from a bakery will probably be brought in. Should I bring in a cupcake for Heath that I made? Should I risk it? Do I even need to worry? The appointment with the allergist can't come soon enough!

{The picture is Heath, outside, after class.}

Where we are...and how we got here

On Saturday (November 6th, 2010), Brent took the kids to the mall while I was at a class. The kids played in the "toy area" and were on their best behaviour. After playing, Brent took them to Starbucks for a special treat. Audrey picked out a cookie...a reeces peanut butter cup cookie.

Heath ate about 1/4 of the cookie. Within 5 minutes it was clear that he was having trouble breathing. Brent called 911. Paramedics came and they all {Brent, Heath and Audrey} hopped in the ambulance for a ride to the Emergency Department (ED). At the ED, Heath received a shot of epinephrine and an IV with steroids. I got to the ED as quickly as I could {thank you to Jen for the ride!!} When I arrived, Heath was very puffy though not as puffy as he had been.

My parents live very close to St. Mary's, which has proven to be very helpful in more than one occasion! They were able to take Audrey to lunch and play with her so she didn't have to hang out watching her brother be poked and prodded. She was a trooper and we are so proud of how she handled herself!

Once Heath finished up his meds, we were sent home with an epipen, benadryl and prednisone. He has been in to see his regular provider. She gave us strict instructions: no new foods, nothing with peanuts {duh!} and limit restaurant visits. We've got an appointment with an allergist but that isn't for a month. Apparently there is only one pediatric allergist at the clinic. How does that work? Hopefully that rumor is false! Until then, we try to live a normal life...and teach everyone how to use an epipen!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A new blog...

I've got a "mommy blog" where I post pictures of my family. But recently we had an...experience...with Heath. He had an allergic reaction {story to come} to some peanut butter {we assume} and we are now in the process of figuring out where to go from here. For only just over a week have I been a "food allergy mama" and there is SO much to learn! I've decided to start a new blog to document this process {learning to live with an allergy}. Soooooo....thank you for visiting and I hope you learn something new! Leave a comment and let me know you're here :)