Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Last night, Ethan woke up itchy and aggitated. I used hydrocortisone then and again in the morning. During the day at school, he seemed comfortable and ate & slept well. We're going to lay off the quinoa for awhile. It seems to be a common thread with E's last couple of breakdowns.

B - Rice Cereal & Apples
L - Rice Cereal & Carrots
D - Sweet Potato
+ breastmilk

B1 - Potato Chips & DC
B2 - Joes Os (oat cereal), Rice Milk, Apples
L - Leftover Chipotle: Black Beans & Chicken plus Quinoa, Avocado, Cherries, Salad w/ Sunflower Seeds and Panera Asian dressing. DC.
S - Rice Milk and Enjoy Life Bar
D - Veggie Sushi w/ Soy Sauce (I realized too late that soy sauce contains wheat!), Potato Chips, DC, swedish fish

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Ethan was red and rough today, but not itchy! I was very happy to hear he wasn't trying to scratch himself at daycare.

B - Banana, Apple, Rice Cereal
L - Carrots, Peas, Rice Cereal
D - Sweet Potato, Quinoa, Banana
+ Breastmilk Note: He only drank half his morning bottle and skipped his afternoon bottle at school.

My Food:
B1 - Potato Chips and DC
B2 - Oats, Rice Milk, Banana, Blueberries. Water.
L - Refried Black Beans, Chicken Sausage, Kale w/ Onions & Garlic, Sweet Potato, Quinoa, Cherries. DC.
S - Apple. Water.
D - From Chipotle: Corn Chips & Guacamole, Chicken, Black Beans, Corn Salsa. DC.
S - A small amount of sour candy and swedish fish.

The past two nights, Ethan has had a fantastic greeting waiting for me when I got home. He squealed with delight, waving his arms around and smiling. It's made my day twice in a row :)

Monday, February 22, 2010


Ethan was a mess today! He's teething and his cheeks were bright red. Not sure if it was the food, the dogs, the teething, or a combination of everything.

E's Food:
B - Sweet Potato, Quinoa, Apples Note: He was very fussy all morning at home with Grammy and very red when I came home at lunch to check on him. I put hydrocortisone on his cheeks. He'd had some on his neck already because he was trying to scratch all morning. I breastfed him and he fell sound asleep.
L - Peas, Carrots, Rice Cereal Note: He was a happy boy all afternoon!
D - Peas, Carrots, Rice Cereal Note: The boy screamed for about 30 minutes like I'd never heard. We tried a cold teether and applied orajel. By bedtime, he was a happy boy again. Last night he slept until 5:30am. I'm hoping for repeat.
Ethanito only had a partial bottle this morning. I'm thinking his gums were just hurting too much. That combined with the bad mood and scratching near his ear/back of neck makes me think most of the discomfort is teething.

My Food:
B1 - Rice Cakes and DC
B2 - Oats, Rice Milk, Banana, Blueberries. Water.
S - Rice Cakes and DC
L - The last of the Chicken, Black beans, & Avocado, plus Aalad w/Sunflower seeds and Panera's Asian Dressing. Cherries. Water.
S - Veggie Chips and DC
D - Kale w/ Garlic and Onions, Chicken Sausage. Water. Some Candy while cooking.
S - Rice Milk and Enjoy Life Bar. Water. Candy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Ethan woke twice during the night. I did notice a few tiny bumps around his mouth, but nothing major. If anything, it could have been a very minor irritation to the avocado, but it was so small I'm not going to worry about it. I'll just watch again the next time he has avocado. Other than the fact that my sleep was interrupted twice, I'd consider it a successful night.

Senorcito's Food:
B - Sweet Potato
L - Peas, Carrots, & Rice Cereal
D - Peas, Carrots, Rice Cereal, & Apples
Of course, he also had plenty of breastmilk and his usual bit of water.

My Food:
B - Kale w/ Onions& Garlic, Brown Rice, Black Beans, Avocado (leftovers). Diet Coke.
S - Rice Milk and an Enjoy Life Bar. I also had a few Swedish Fish.
L - 3 Rice Cakes & Chicken Sausage. Diet Coke. I can honestly say that's the first time I've had that for a meal in my life!
S - A handful of Swedish Fish. Water. Iced Tea.
D - Black Beans, Onions, Garlic, Chicken, Avocado (leftovers again) plus Sweet Potato. Water.
S - Rice Milk and an Enjoy Life Bar. Water. Pre-natal vitamin.

Ethan's cheeks were a little rough today, but just slightly flushed. I put on a little hydrocortizone before his afternoon nap. We also switched soaps today. Even though our doctor recommended using basic Dove soap, it seems too harsh. The vaseline also seems to make him flare up, despite also being what our doctor recommended. We're trying the Super Sensitive version of California Baby cleanser and lotion. He got a room temp bath with the new soap, plus the new lotion afterwards and clean clothing. Overall his skin seemed less irritated after the bath than usual. Time will tell. I could sure use a full night's sleep. Back to work in the morning.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Moving Foward

This is Senorcito, also know as Ethanito, and affectionately called Rashman at times when his allergies are flared up. We're hoping those days of miserable itchy rashes will be minimized in the future. Here's my sweet Rashman a few days ago ... rash free!

Other than the obvious need to keep major allergens out of his little body, keeping this precious face baby soft and rash free is my daily goal. With his list of known allergens (wheat, dairy, nuts, egg, soy, dogs and cats) and some lingering unknown sensitivities, I must keep a daily journal to track down those hidden culprits and keep the eczema at bay.

Today Senorcito ate:
B - Sweet Potato w/ Zucchini (leftovers from our dinner cooked with a small amount of olive oil) and Rice Cereal mixed with more Zucchini
L - Red and White Quinoa w/ Carrots (bagged, frozen variety, microwaved in water)
D - Red and White Quinoa w/ Carrots plus Avocado and Zucchini
He drank plenty of breast milk throughout the day and had a few chugs of water at each meal.
E-Notes: Since he skin started out clear (our baseline to measure from) I was trying to minimize the number of foods eaten to make things easier to track. We kept him away from the dogs, as much as possible, and put Ethanito on a blanket on the floor for playtime. The house was vaccuumed and the dogs are no longer allowed in his room. Before dinner, we also had time outside for a change. Just before bed, we "washed off the day" with a slightly warm bath and dove soap. Senor was aggitated after the warm water so we applied hydrocortizone prior to the typical vaseline to keep the itching down. The boy had clean pjs, and a clean onesie. His skin was clear when he went to sleep and he wasn't trying to scratch at all. There no immediate reactions during the day to these foods. I'm praying he will sleep through the night. The nighttime wakings due to itchy rash or hives is a terrible thing to experience. Please have a good night baby boy!

Tomorrow, I will keep better track. I'm just guessing at today's intake. What I remember eating is a lot of junk plus a couple healthy meals. I will make better use of snacks and breakfast (my typical downfalls) in the future.
B - Ruffles and Diet Coke
S - Swedish Fish Candy, Tortilla Chips w/ Black Bean Salsa, Diet Coke ?
L - Brown Rice, 2 Wild Salmon Patties, Mixed Lettuce Greens w/ Sunflower Seeds and Panera's Asian Dressing. Maybe a Diet Coke, but I think it was a water.
S - More Chips, Soda, and Candy. Water.
D - Organic Free Range Chicken, Kale w/ Onions, Avocado, a small amount of home prepared canned Black Beans. Everything was cooked using canola oil. I'm wondering if it's possible to be allergic to spices, because I wasn't keeping track. I had water to drink for a change!
S - Enjoy Life's Allergy-Friendly Carmel Apple Snack Bar and Rice Milk, plus ... Candy, Chips, Soda (sigh).
Geez. Did I really drink that much soda? I completely lost track. Seeing all that soda, candy, and chips makes me ashamed. I think the feeling of being deprived of choices has been making me devour what I can have. Tomorrow is a new day.

Life Changes

My life has changed. In the past week, we officially found out our baby boy has severe allergies. It's something we've suspected for awhile, but I wasn't expecting them to be this significant and widespread. Keep in mind this is a breastfed 8 month old who has never eaten nuts, wheat, or eggs and has had a minimal amount of dairy and soy in his lifetime. We had noticed an extreme sensitivity to dairy and peanuts. The one time he reached his hand into his father's milk, he immediately broke out in a rash, and more recently, he was covered in red bumps after my husband and I ate chips cooked in peanut oil (I'm guessing some oil residue was transferred to his skin from our hands). He was having other sensitivities we just couldn't figure out, so last week we decided to take a trip to the allergist. They performed a basic blood test for childhood allergies. In infants, this testing is known for both true positives and false negatives, meaning if it tests positive it very likely is an allergy, but an allergy may also be present even if it comes back negative. The allergens in the blood are measured on a 0 to 6 scale. Zero means that not enough registered to detect an allergy. Three is a high allergy reading. Six is extremely high. Anything at a six is above numbers they count and is essentially off the charts. I was scared when I saw my baby's numbers ...

Soy 3 (high)
Eggs 3 (high)
Cats 3 (high)
Dogs 5 (very very high)
Peanuts 5 (very very high)
Dairy 5 (very very high)
Wheat 6 (extremely high)

For days after getting the test results, I was petrified, mad, and sad. Obviously, I'm worried about what would happen if my son accidentally ate one of these foods. The idea of losing him to something as simple as food absolutely breaks my heart. I'm mad that it's my son with these problems and that world is not conducive to someone with these types of dietary restrictions. I'm sad thinking about my little boy not being able to participate in regular kid activities like Halloween, birthday parties, or even eating school lunches and going to restaurants. I want to cry at the possibility of having to get rid of our three dogs. I've been so overcome by emotions, it's been hard to handle at times. Will my son be able to play safely on playgrounds with kids who've eaten PB or cheese sandwiches? Will we be able to fly on a plane without him breaking out on hives due to others munching on mini-bags of peanuts? Will we be able to keep our dogs without our child being miserable and sick? Is there even a place where he can be safe from his allergy triggers right now? I hope with all of my heart that my precious baby boy will outgrow this quickly and that we manage to keep him safe and healthy in the meantime.

The first step is for me to cut out the high allergy foods. I've been advised by the doctor to remove Eggs, Dairy, Nuts & Wheat from my diet. She was concerned about nutrition if I also cut out soy. For the moment, I'm avoiding soy based foods like soy milk, tofu, & veggie burgers, but I am ignoring soy in my diet when it is a minor ingredient. Legumes and seeds are close relatives of peanuts, so I'm consuming them with some care. The kid himself is still working on solids, so there isn't much to change for him. I just have to be very very careful about cross contamination in things like his grains. Apparently, it's not required that all food manufacturers print whether or not a food is handled in a facility that also handles typical allergen foods. That definitely needs to be changed.

When I first started this much neglected blog, it was with the intent of exploring veganism, vegetarian/vegan being a term formed from the word "vegetus". With the extreme dietary restrictions I'm now facing, I'm certain veganism will not be a good idea for us in the near future. Vegetarianism without veganism, technically speaking, is not even an option considering the required absence of dairy and eggs. However, when I reminded myself about the literal translation of "vegetus", it in fact means full of life and energy. Looking forward, I take these words to heart. Rather than dwelling on the negative, we will take on these challenges and move forward with the intent of living life to the very fullest. My son deserves nothing less.