National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day

This is a post I almost didn’t write.

I’m the Food Allergy Dad, right?  I do posts about replacing eggs with aquafaba, or making dairy-free cookies, or making chocolate mousse with avocado.  The truth is, though, that before being “Food Allergy Dad,” I just “dad.”

My wife and I have three beautiful children.  I love them more than I ever thought I could love anyone or anything.  They can drive me crazy, but at the end of the day, when I come home from work, from running to the grocery store, or even just from checking the mail… when they come running to me with arms wide open, shouting, “Daddy’s back!”…. it’s the best thing ever. But here’s something you may not know: Emily, Lennox, and Reese are 3 of 9 kids.   Continue reading

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Teal Pumpkin Project

It’s October, the time when the minds of little ones (and not-so-little ones) turn to the fun and festivities of Halloween.  Whether Halloween parties at school, trick-or-treating with friends, or doing Trunk-n-Treat/Harvest Festival at a local church, it’s a time of costumes, fun, games, and most importantly… CANDY!

I loved Halloween as a kid.  I loved dressing up, carving pumpkins, getting candy, rummaging through it with my sister to find our favorites… it was the best.  As I got older, I fell out with Halloween for a while, due in large part to seeing the way some of the teenagers in our area would use it as a chance to snatch candy bags from kids and do other heinous pranks.  As a parent, though, as I see the excitement on my kids’ faces, I have a renewed fondness for the holiday.  I still love carving pumpkins, and taking the kids trick-or-treating is always so much fun.

kids at halloween

Our littles on Halloween last year (2016)

 

For Reese, though, and for many like him, Halloween has a darker, much more dangerous side lurking around every cobweb-covered bush, behind every overplayed witch-smashed-into-the-front-door decoration, next to every jack-o-lantern.  Continue reading

The Bubble

Allergy parents/allergy sufferers, have you ever notice the bubble we tend to be in?  It’s a weird bubble.  We are part of support groups, we read the message boards, we do the research… with all of that, it’s easy to feel like the rest of the world gets it, like they are all going through it, too.  It feels like this rare thing you are dealing with really isn’t rare at all.  But then you talk to real people in the real world and realize that just isn’t the case. People don’t always understand food allergies.  They don’t know what eosinophilic disorders are.  And often what they do know about allergies is “information” they have gotten from watching tv or movies.  So as allergy parents and/or allergy sufferers, it’s our job to help them understand.

BUT WE HAVE TO DO IT RIGHT!

Unfortunately, when we break out of the safety bubble we are in, it’s easy to come out with guns blazing, demanding that the world change.  Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying.  I get the importance of defending yourself or your kid.  It’s our job as parents. We have to protect our kids, and we cannot back down from that.  But the negative image people have of us is due in large part… well, to us.  We have to understand that no one changes quickly.  We need to educate, not scream and spit.  We need to help people see that the changes we are asking for are not unreasonable, they are for the health and safety of our children. We also need to understand that the world is not out to get us, but there are in fact people out there that want to learn and accommodate.  While screaming and shouting might cause people to accommodate, it will not change attitudes.  If we can change attitudes, we can effect real change – the kind of change that brings people to want to support because they care. Attitude changes do not happen overnight.  If we want a safer world for our kids, though, we have to pop our bubble with diplomacy.

You’ve got this!

You know how when you are told you can’t eat something, that’s all you want?  The doctor says to watch your fat intake, and the only thing you want to eat is a bacon sandwich with bacon bread topped with bacon spread and followed with a side of bacon fries (minus the potato).

Or maybe you are the opposite: rather than dreaming of bacon wrapped bacon, you change everything and live off of celery, despite the vast array of things you can have that are perfectly in your dietary needs.

Sometimes I feel like being a food allergy parent is like that.   Continue reading

Back to School: Approaching the 504

It’s that time of year again… the air is far from turning crisp and cool, but the school buses are running and classes are starting.  It is back to school time! To this day, I love buying school supplies.  Something about fresh, new pencils and notebooks… it’s hard to explain, but there’s nothing quite like it.

books apple school

Unfortunately, for kids with chronic illnesses and severe allergies, school brings a whole host of challenges that the majority of people don’t even think about.  A student with sickle-cell anemia who can’t be exposed to extreme temperatures (eg. fire drills during the winter), a diabetic student who needs to check her blood sugar multiple times a day, a student with a feeding tube who goes to the nurse for lunch and can’t be around food…. Fortunately, there is a way to put a plan in place.   Continue reading

Support

I want to tell you a story….

A few weeks ago, we went on vacation. Packing with kids is always a challenge. Packing with kids with health issues is a whole different level. We have to pack medicine, mixing-shaker bottles (for formula), various medicated creams (so… many… creams…..)…. fortunately we are on a hiatus from the NG tube, so we didn’t have to worry about that. Nevertheless, our little dude essentially has his own suitcase.  Why is that the smaller a kid is, the more luggage they need?

As we are heading out of town, it dawns on us…. no one packed the formula.   Continue reading

Totally Tubular

I once read a blog post (some recipe, I don’t remember what it was) in which the author used the phrase “totally tubular” at least three times.  When I say “I once read,” I don’t mean back in 1989.  I mean just a few months ago, in early 2017.  I just…. I mean…….. *sigh*

But now, I have a reason to write about tubes!  That’s right, meet the blogosphere’s newest tubie! IMG_2414 Continue reading

Moving house (plus a “guest” recipe!)

So we are moving!  Moving is at the same time stressful and exciting.  There is something about a new place that bring a feeling a freshness.  Don’t worry, though.  The kids will find a way to make it un-fresh really quickly!

Because we are moving, I’m taking a short break from posting recipes.  I just can’t put it all together while moving house.  So in the meantime, I wanted to share a recipe I found on Garnished.  Completely allergy-safe, and so easy!

Check it out here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySuSFNRmkCU

If you make this, let me know how it turns out for you!

Mother’s Day: A dad’s take

I posted this on Facebook a couple years ago, but it’s worth repeating:

As a father, I have to say I have it pretty easy. Our world doesn’t expect much from fathers. We are allowed to be, in fact, almost expected to be a bit clueless and slightly inept. It’s mothers who are expected to hold everything together. Run the calendar, cook the meals, clean the house, do the crafts, wash and fold the clothes, plan the parties… It’s a bit overwhelming. No, it’s REALLY overwhelming. And wholly unfair. Why is it that fathers are allowed to be unskilled, yet mothers are expected to be perfect? Pinterest moms give us great ideas, but I think they may have taken the place of the magazine models in setting unrealistic expectations. Let’s allow the moms in our lives to be who they are: human.

To my wife: thank you for making my job as a father so wonderful. Thank you for taking care of our daughters and our son. I don’t care if our house isn’t perfect, or if we eat leftovers sometimes. I love you and appreciate you for who you are.

To my mom: thank you for supporting me and for never giving me the opportunity to doubt your love for me.

To my friends and family who are mothers: you have one of the hardest jobs in the world, and when you’re doing it right, few seem to notice. Please know you are loved and appreciated, both for what you do and who you are.

To everyone else: tomorrow is Mother’s Day. If your mom is still around, it’s a great time to thank her for all she has done and all she is. But please, don’t do it only then. Tell her in August, when there’s no other holiday. Tell her on Tuesday, just because it’s Tuesday. Tell her whenever you can, because we don’t tell her enough.

Thank you, moms, and happy Mother’s Day.