We came to my hometown this weekend to visit with friends and go to the local fireworks and festival. Our town has a little carnival down by the community center that I went to every year when I was growing up. It’s no state fair, just a tilt-a-whirl, a tiny ferris wheel, a few other rides and some games to lose money on. Oh and a giant beer tent. Which I’m sure is where they make most of their money. Anyway, we didn’t really do the carnival this year, just walked down from my parents’ house to find a good place to watch the fireworks with a couple of my best friends from childhood and have a picnic (and enjoy free grandparental babysitting!) It turned out that a friend of ours from high school was sitting a few blankets over and she came to say hello. It was nice to catch up–I don’t think I’ve seen her since high school although we are Facebook friends. One of the first questions she asked me was, “so what are you up to? are you still painting furniture?” (apparently I haven’t changed much, ha!)
No one in my family or my husband’s family has any food allergies. The standard recommendation for the big food allergens is wait until kids are 1 to try things like eggs, strawberries, cow’s milk, nuts etc. So when I took O in to our pediatrician, who we like very much, for his 1 yr. appointment, I asked if it was safe to try peanut butter. (I am a peanut butter fanatic!) The doctor said, “sure, go ahead.” So a few days later at lunchtime I spread a little peanut butter on some toast and gave it to O on his high chair tray. I tried to feed him a piece but he wasn’t interested. He did touch it though and in typical baby fashion, soon he had touched his face and near his eyes while he ate the rest of his lunch.
Within less than five minutes I started noticing that he was rubbing his eyes pretty vigorously. And soon after that, little bumps started appearing on his face. I took him over to the sink to wash his hands and while holding him up, I grabbed the phone. It turned out the only way I could stop him from almost clawing at his eyes was to keep the water on and let him play with it. At this point I was completely freaking out, as I’m sure you can imagine. But I had heard enough about food allergies to know that as long as there were no breathing problems, it was ok. I frantically called our pediatrician, and let me tell you, nothing gets a pediatrician out of their office and on the phone faster than when you call and say, I just gave my child peanut butter and they’re having a reaction to it! He agreed, as long as there was no swelling of the lips or tongue or difficulty breathing, we didn’t need to call an ambulance or go to the ER. The Pediatrician told me to do two things right away:
1: Put him in the bathtub. I had thought to wash his hands and face as best I could but the doctor pointed out that at that point he could have it all over his body and I needed to make sure the allergen was completely gone. So I put him in the tub and rinsed him repeatedly. The tub also was a great distraction to stop him from scratching his irritated face.
2: Give him Benadryl. (Now this is where I give new parent advice!) Generally allergy medicines like Benadryl are labeled not to be given to children under the age of 4 or 2. So of course, we didn’t have any in the house. But under a doctor’s orders and supervision (do not give your baby medicine without consulting a doctor first!!) it can be used in the event of an allergic reaction like this as long as a doctor monitors the dose. So my advice to new parents is: buy baby/child Benadryl just to have it in the house. If you need it, you will be so glad it’s there. In my case, I frantically called my husband at work, luckily he was at lunch, and he raced home after stopping at the pharmacy.
At this point, O’s eyes had started swelling and his face was red, bumpy and splotchy. It was truly terrifying. The Pediatrician called us back about every ten minutes for the first hour until we had given him the Benadryl and then after that, he started looking better pretty quickly.
The other important thing to know, is that an allergic reaction to food doesn’t always show up as itchy hives and swelling. Here is an excellent graphic showing possible symptoms of a food allergy:
|Signs of an allergic reaction from Anaphylaxis Canada (click to see larger)|
After it was clear that he was getting better, I thoroughly cleaned the high chair, table and anywhere else peanut butter may have come in contact with, put all of our clothes through the wash, we talked one more time with the pediatrician, and I then called and made an appointment with their recommended allergist. I’ll talk more about what happens at an allergist appointment, the testing, diagnoses, and how we deal with food allergies in our daily life another time. But I will answer the question I get most often when people find out O has food allergies, “well, he’ll probably grow out of it, right?” I am sure this question is intended to make me feel better but unfortunately the answer is, no, he probably won’t. Of the eight major allergens: eggs, dairy, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish, people are the least likely to grow out of of peanut, tree nut, and shellfish allergies. Somewhere around 80% of people with those allergies do not.
Although it was very scary, I managed to remain calm and am glad that even though it looked terrible, this reaction was on the more mild side and didn’t involve anaphylaxis. But here’s a little disclaimer, if you feel like your child is having an allergic reaction to food, DO NOT hesitate to call for help. Food allergies can be very dangerous and can escalate quickly. Also do not take my advice as medical advice, always talk to your doctor before giving your baby or child any medication.
Does anyone else deal with food allergies? How did you find out?
I think we all have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. I mostly love it. But I know a lot of people think it puts too much pressure on us to have unrealistically perfect parties and outfits and living rooms. I totally get that. I’ve had a lot of luck finding great recipes and good craft ideas but I try to remind myself often that not all those ideas really are, “Genius!” (It helps that I am a fan of both The Pintester and Pinterest Fail; seriously don’t ever try the dehydrated strawberries pin!) And anyway, I’ve always had a kind of Pinterest, it just used to be the bookmarks folder of my browser. It was unorganized and hard to edit and of course there were no pictures. So for that reason alone, Pinterest makes me very happy. Recently there’s been lots of jewelry that caught my eye and here are a few of my favorites!
|Coral Dipped Spike Necklace from aRainyAfternoon|
I love the Coral, I love the shape, love everything about it. Actually I never used to be much of a gold fan, but lately I can’t get enough. (And plus, TrueBlood just started back up and it kind of feels a little vampire-y!)
|The Neutral Stack from The Shine Project|
Look more Gold! I like the mixture of shapes here and I think they look great all together or separately. I always want to be a bracelet person but the fact that I have a grabby toddler and skinny wrists makes them hard to wear in real life. But I might make an exception for these. Plus proceeds go to a really good cause.
|Colored Pencil Studs from huiyitan|
Would I really wear these? Maybe not. But I love the idea. And wouldn’t they make an amazing end of the year teacher gift??
|Gold from any angle necklace by Lisa Leonard|
I have been hearing about Lisa Leonard jewelry everywhere. Some of it I like and some isn’t quite my style. But this I love.
|Cement Pearls by Metsa|
These are so made for an architect and I have been totally coveting them for months. My only question, would they really be as cool in real life when you’re not seeing them up close like this? Or would they just look like gray spheres?
What have you been Pinning?
If you’re here from Wine & Glue, welcome to Little Red Window! You probably already know and love Lisa and guess what? So do I! Except I actually know her in real life. We grew up in the same small-ish town and got to be good friends when we did yearbook together in high school. Look here we are!
|You’re welcome, Lisa!
Recently a good friend of mine/my downstairs neighbor had a baby. He’s pretty much the cutest baby ever. And when my baby O was born we only had one friend bring us anything to eat. Since our parents don’t live super close, we were kind of on our own. I would have killed for someone else to cook for us. So I decided to make her a couple meals worth of food instead of just my standard new baby pan of lasagna. And honestly, I was excited because she and her husband are vegan and I don’t often get to cook for other people who love veggies as much as I do. So I Pinterested for a while until I came across this southwestern quinoa salad with avocado and black beans from Cooking Quinoa. Here’s my version:
|Try not to drool on your computer.|
It turned out to be my new favorite recipe, one of those ones I know I will keep making over and over and I think it will be my go-to for potlucks and picnics. I’ve made it three times since then and even my husband, a notorious leftover hater, has been taking it to work for lunch. I only made a couple changes, I added cucumber for crunch, I used lemon juice instead of lime because that’s what I had, and I left out the pine nuts because my son is allergic to tree nuts. I brought it to her with a ripe avocado and instructions to add the avocado right before eating and she said even her toddler loved it.
Hi, welcome to Little Red Window!
I’m Cassie, mom to one extremely cute and very busy toddler, DIY addict, artist, and former architectural illustrator.
|Me and aforementioned very busy toddler|
Despite the fact that my father is an excellent writer I don’t generally put that high on my list of skills. (Unless you want an analytical paper about art history or architecture, then I’m your girl!) But writing for an audience? Actually, doing anything for an audience? Maybe not my forte. That being said, maybe some of you have experienced this, when you’re the kind of person who routinely gives hand-made gifts and/or is a reasonably good cook, you hear two things A LOT. #1: You should have an etsy store! ( I do! I do!) and #2: You should have a blog! (I guess I do! I do!) So here I am. What will I write about? I guess I’ll go with “write what you know”: crafts, art, cooking, books, architecture, life with a toddler, and how we cope with life threatening food allergies in our home (got serious on you there, didn’t I? There can never be enough good information out there about food allergies!)
Another thing not so high on my list of skills? photography. I always take a hundred pictures and hope one of them is ok. My husband is one of those people who never uses our fancy camera and then picks it up, and in terrible lighting, manages to get the perfect, composed photo. How does he DO that?! I am always working on learning to use my DSLR better, I actually used to work with animated computer simulated cameras at work, but I’m still no expert. I will however, claim to be pretty good at instagram. So I’ll probably use a lot of instagram. sorry. (not really sorry.)
Anyway, thanks for visiting, hope to see you again soon!