The trap of comparing. It’s a nasty little trap that most parents at some point find themselves in. When their kid comes up on top it feels great. When they don’t, well, I don’t have to tell you how not so great that feels. But, usually when the comparison doesn’t end in our favor, we just find something or someone else to compare. So, our situation comes up on top.
We tend to compare everything. Susan’s baby was sleeping through the night at 2 months, I wish mine was. Your’s isn’t talking? My Baby boy’s been talking for months now! He wasn’t potty trained at 2? Mine was at 18 months. And the list can go on and on. Notice, not all comparison’s are positive and mostly, none of them matter! No one asks the 22 year-old applying for a job when they starting talking or how many words they knew by age 18 months. Nope, ultimately, these items don’t really matter. Except in the moment to feel superior to another parent.
We even tend to compare situations. Case in point, my child has multiple, severe food allergies and environmental allergies with asthma. I read a lot of blogs. Many food allergy blogs and some general parenting blogs. I tend to do a lot perusing/stalking other chronically ill kids blog sites. (And by stalking I mean, I don’t comment much but read a lot). Why? Not to be creepy but because, I feel I can connect with them. Yes, our situation is different in many ways and our stresses are different. But to honest, there’s a lot we have in common.
At first we struggle with our unfamiliar diagnosis. Some days we feel like we’re barely keeping our head above water. We feel the anxiety of a sick or potentially sick child. And we feel like no one understands our situation. No one. Sometimes we feel very supported while other times we feel completely alone. We know we’d never trade our child for anything despite the struggles. So, you see, we have a lot in common. We could connect. We could get along fabulously.
But here’s why I don’t comment, superiority. Not mine, I’m not superior to anyone. As I’ve been lingering the last few months, I’ve been coming across blogs that are well, comparing children’s situations. Yes, even the parents with chronically ill kids, there is comparison. And worse yet, there is at times “a better than you” tone that comes out in the blogs. Sadly, a “my situation is worse than yours” tone. As if having a child with a chronic condition isn’t bad enough, we have to divide ourselves out.
I guess, I want to urge everyone to not thinking about how difficult your situation is. Rather, I want you to remember that there can be support, even from those who are experience life a bit differently then you. I remember feeling like I was alone when we first found out about the Little Guy’s food allergies. I felt like no one understood my situation. But, the truth is, we all understand caring for a child is hard work. Throw in food allergies or some other special needs, and it’s a bit more complicated. But we can learn from each other and support each other, even if I don’t completely understand what you’re going through.
To take this one step further, I urge you to reach out to someone whose child-bearing experience is different from yours and discuss parenting. I bet you’ll find you have a lot in common. Even if its simply wanting to the best for your child.
Most important, I ask you to not compare. Our situations ARE different. I will NEVER completely understand yours nor will you MINE. And that’s OK. But don’t compare. Accept the differences and find ways to be HELPFUL to others. In my opinion, that’s the MOST useful thing anyone has done for me.
So I’ve been having some cravings for rice pudding. I was craving it well before vacation. Today, I decided I’d go ahead and make some and stop the craving. You can find the pretty simple recipe here. The kids liked it. The only problem was they ate really well for supper and couldn’t complete their serving.
For supper tonight we had stuffed green peppers. The kids didn’t eat the pepper part but really liked the stuffing. The recipe was super easy.
Stuffed Green Peppers
4 Green Peppers
1 lb Ground Beef
1/4 cup Onion, Chopped
1 1/2 cup Cooked Rice
1 TSP Salt
1/2 TSP Pepper
1 Jar of Spaghetti Sauce
Cut the top off the peppers and remove the seeds. Mix together ground beef, onion, rice, salt, pepper. Stuff ground beef into the green pepper and place stuffed green peppers into a crock pot. Cover with Spaghetti sauce. Cook in crockpot on low for 7-8 hours or high for 6-7 hours.
What was on your menu tonight? Anything good?
I was so wrapped up with getting ready for vacation that I forgot to write about the allergist appointment. I’m quite surprised since these appointments occupy so much of my mind! The appointment itself went really well. We talked about the couple of minor reactions he’s had. We talked about how great his skin looked and how great he was doing. He really does look like a “normal” boy! We talked about the future regarding when he’d start school and I hinted (well, rather stated) that I hoped he could be put into her desensitization therapy once he turned 5. She agreed this would be good to start before he started kindergarten. She seemed very hopeful that we may be turning a corner since this is the age that often times a decline is seen. So, she ordered some labs.
I left her office feeling hopeful. Hopeful for good numbers and just hopeful for his future and, most importantly, his safety! Most parents cringe at the thought of their little one’s blood being drawn. Not that I love the idea, but I don’t get sick to my stomach anymore. I think the every six month lab draws have lessened my anxiety. Mostly though, I know my Little Guy will do just fine. In fact this time, he did it like a rockstar! He sat in my arms and let them do all their prep work without complaining. I had a hold of his arms and there were two lab techs in their but he didn’t flinch at all when he got poked. In fact, during the whole process the only compliant he had was “Ouchie….ouchie…ouchie” and he was trying very hard to see what was hurting him. He even watched as blood exited his arm and entered the test tubes. Yeah, he’s a pretty awesome little one!
Since we were leaving 3 days later for vacation, after the appointment I didn’t give much more thought to the appointment. I knew we’d be waiting on test results and if last time was any indication, I wouldn’t be hearing anything until we were already gone. To my surprise, I received a call on Friday, just two days after the appointment and the news was good!
Now, I’ve waited to tell everyone for several reasons. The biggest one was because I was on vacation when the actual results arrived and I wanted to see it in writing! The second reason being I really wanted to enjoy and process this good news before explaining it others. So, now I’m more than ready to share some GOOD news (in case you’ve not figured that out yet!). Keep in mind as I share these numbers and the explanation/plan, we still have a LONG way to go but we are certainly on the RIGHT track. And also remember, he continues with all his environmental allergies and his asthma.
Here’s the breakdown:
Allergen Original Test 2 Test 3 Test 4 Class (1-6)
Cat 10.9 22.4 70.7 67.4 5
Crab —— 43 60 <0.35 Neg
Dog 17.4 44.6 55.9 52.1 5
Egg >100 20.3 34.8 24.0 4
Milk 41.2 70.8 82.1 48.4 4
Peanut 76.1 36.6 39.3 23.4 4
Soy 14.2 7.32 6.94 3.56 3
Wheat 33.9 49.1 48.7 24.9 4
Mango ——- 0. 67 0.91 0.35 Neg
IGE starting was 997, on the lat draw it was 767 and most recently it was 356. As you can see over his numbers are looking really pretty good! Milk, Dog, Cat remain above where we started but it is normal for the numbers to peak before coming down to where they will settle in. Basically we are looking for a downward overall pattern. I’m very hopeful we will continue to go on this downward trend. And the fact that his overall IGE has come down is very good (if only in my head) because it (to me) means his overall allergicness is improving. I did ask if we could re-introduce Mango and Shellfish since those were negative. The nurse said no to shellfish because he is a very allergic child still and she wouldn’t want to risk him developing and/or redeveloping an allergy. I’m going to talk to the Dr. about Mango at our future appointment. I don’t want to cause any extra inflammation to his system between now and then.
Now on to the really good news and the request for ongoing prayers/thoughts. We are able and have scheduled an appointment to do a food challenge with Soy. Since he remains a 3 (but barely because the cut-of for 3 is 3.50) we have to go to the office. I’ll admit, part of me is relieved we are going to the office vs trying it at home and part of me wishes it was just .6 less so we could do it at home. But I won’t worry about how we’re doing it, just that we’re trying it.
We have our appointment scheduled for June. At first I was kind-of bummed to have to wait so long, I mean, I just got great news and wanted to move forward. However, part of me is glad we are waiting a bit. His numbers may still improve (although we won’t know because I don’t think there’ll be lab draws) and it’s good to let my mind wrap around the idea that we’ll be giving my child Soy, which up until now was referred to as poison. Yeah, I need time to process that. I’m certain I’ll me a nervous wreck all the way up to that point.
I’ve decided that even if we don’t pass it this time, the news is still positive. His numbers have still improved. The overall outlook is positive. These numbers don’t take away the chance of anaphylaxis (it can happen with a class of 1 or a class of 6) but it eases my mind to know he is slowly improving. And, if he does fail, we’ll just wait six months and maybe try it again.
We got this shirt as a hand-me down a couple of weeks ago. And I believe it describes my little guy. He’s so brave with all his medical stuff, he does what he has to do, and well, just overall is pretty amazing!
There was a time that I thought we’d never eat anything “normal” again. I felt lost and floundering. Then, as I read labels I realized that this was an unfounded fear. Really, unfounded. One food that I found we could eat was tacos. I’ll admit that I was glad to have a taco seasoning that was safe and wasn’t crazy expensive. And, we use it regularly since tacos is a main staple in our home. I’ll also admit, that making my own taco seasoning prior to recently was a fleeting thought. A thought, I gave little thought too.
Well, that changed when my sister-in-law who I affectionately refer to as the World Traveler visited last week. I’m honestly not sure who brought up the idea, but we talked about how easy it would be to make my own taco seasoning. Now this would solve lots of challenges regarding food allergies and the high levels of sodium in the pre-packaged taco seasonings. Now at first I wasn’t certain about it. I mean after all, I make so much from scratch as it is. However, the World Traveler did a quick search and it looked easy enough.
So, when last week I was struggling a bit to find something to make for dinner. I decided on tacos and I mixed up a quick taco seasoning. It was really pretty good. I plan to alter it a bit and make it in bulk next time.
1 TBSP Chili Powder
1/4 TSP Garlic Powder
1/2 TSP Onion Flakes
1/8 TSP Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 TSP Paprika
1/4 Dried Oregano
1 1/2 TSP Dried Cumin
1 TSP Sea Salt
1 TSP Black Pepper
In a small bowl mix together all spices and store in an air tight container. To use it mix approximately 2 TBSP with one pound ground beef and 1/2 cup water.
I’ve been so busy with work and trying to get everything ready for vacation. Throw in a few houseguests and we’ve had a busy week! So, when I stumbled upon a recipe on Facebook claiming to be simple, I knew it was for me! The best part of about this recipe, you probably have all the ingredients right now in your house. The second best part, you can personalize it to fit your needs. Add those two with its easy to double and this is one winner of a recipe!
Here is the recipe for Garlic Chicken (with Herbs)
Boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 Tbsp brown sugar for each chicken breast
1 Tbsp Garlic for each chicken breast
1 Tbsp Olive Oil for up to 4 chicken breast, 2 for greater than 4
Herbs of your choice optional (I used Cilantro and Rosemary)
Pre-heat oven to 450. Saute garlic in oil. Once slightly browned and softened remove from heat. Stir in brown sugar and any herbs you’ve decided to add. Place chicken on a cookie sheet or baking pan and cover with sauce. Bake for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your chicken breast.
I served mine with a rice and veggie mix that I made using the same skillet I used to make the sauce. I added pre-cooked rice, frozen veggies, 2 tbsp DF/SF butter, some cilantro and rosemary, and sesame oil. Cooked until warm and rice was browning.
Yes, I do mean it was easy. I had no idea that chocolate ganache was this easy! Oh, and its amazing! I made this free of the top 8, so its vegan! Anyways, I plan to use it to make truffles some day. I personally think the coconut flavor from coconut milk with the Enjoy Life chips blended quite nicely. If you aren’t worried about food allergies or dairy, you could make it with regular chocolate and milk. I would imagine it would work just fine with Soy milk as well.
This time I made the chocolate ganache and drizzled it over this cake. It was amazing and one would never guess that this was a vegan cake and ganache.
Is your mouth watering yet? Well, it should be because I swear this is my best cake and topping!
Chocolate Ganache- Vegan, SF, WF
1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
2 1/2 Cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips
Pour ingredients into a double boiler. Over medium heat stir frequently mixing the melted chocolate and coconut milk together. Keep on heat until it has a glossy appearance then remove from heat. Either use immediately or let cool slightly.
That’s it! Super easy! I hope you find it enjoyable as I did!