Monday, August 24, 2009

We're OK

It's been a stressful week. Ethan reacted slightly to avocado then had a bigger reaction to bananas. I had a terrible cold. Then I got mastitis. Then we were in a car accident. Thank God we're all fine.

Allergic reactions: First we tried avocado again. I put it into a mesh feeder and he sucked a little out of it. He developed a small rash on his belly. I ate bananas and Ethan seemed to be fine with them so I gave him some in different forms. We tried pureed with breastmilk but he wanted nothing to do with them. He spit them out as soon as it went into his mouth. I put small pieces of them on his tray and he didn't even touch them. I handed him a chunk and he bit into it and sucked on it. I put some in a mesh feeder and he finished about a 1/4 of a banana. Later that night he had a rash ALL OVER. It was pretty much wherever the banana touched his face, neck, and then on his belly and back. Avocados and bananas are in the same food family and it's likely that he's allergic to both. I was eating bananas almost every morning with my cereal!! Some of his diaper reactions could have been caused by them.

It was suggested by our allergist that we move on to try apples, sweet potatoes, squash, green beans, and peas. We tried applesauce with little luck. Ethan spits out ANYTHING that you put into his mouth still. It's not thrusting. It's actual spit. He gathers it and spits it right out. If you scoop it up quickly and try again he might swallow a little bit and that feels successful! We keep saying "baby steps" and that we'll get there eventually. Thank goodness he didn't react to the apples. Over the weekend we tried pureed sweet potatoes. He doesn't make a "yuck" face when he swallows a little but most of it gets spit right back out. I gave him a chunk of baked sweet potato and he seemed to like that. Once he got a small piece in his mouth you could see him sucking and chewing on it and then he swallowed it! We plan to try this again.

Mastitis: I thought I had a clogged duct b/c of intense pain but couldn't find any lumps. Other symptoms were swelling & red streaks on my breast. I also felt really run down. I tried to tough it out but ended up going to an urgent care center over the weekend. I read this page on kellymom, which I found helpful. Since I had symptoms early I was able to catch the infection before antibiotics were needed, at least for now. I'm still on the mend. What I think really helped was warm compresses, pumping or nursing every 2 hours, lots of water, and sleep. If the infection had been worse or further along then I think antibiotics would have been necessary. The worst part was that I missed my dear friend's baby shower and left another to pick up my slack. Still so bummed & sorry, Jen & Charlene.

Car accident: We decided to get out of the house for a bit & run a few quick errands. We were stopped to make a left hand turn when we were hit. The sweet 16-year-old who hit us felt terrible. He was crying when he got out of his SUV then fell to the ground crying when he saw that we had a baby in the back seat. He had just gotten his license and said that his parents were going to kill him. I told him that Matt wrecked the same model car when he was 16 years old. Accidents happen and all that mattered was that we were all OK. We got checked out at the ER and Ethan was his usual self. So aside from a few sore muscles, we're fine. Our car is not. It's totaled so we'll be car shopping this weekend. That may sound fun but I'm disappointed that we'll have our first car payment. We were hoping Rhonda the Honda would be with us for at least 2 more years. Bummer. I am very thankful that the 16-year-old did not seem to be speeding. It's tough to think about the possible damage that would have been near Ethan if the driver had been going any faster.

So, it's time to car shop. Ethan decided to help. He rolled over towards the newspaper and started reading.

Sideways at first

There, that's better. Love his bedhead :)

He decided there weren't any cars worth looking at so he'd eat the newspaper instead. No worries, we took it from him right after this was taken.

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's all for this

I wanted to share a series of pics of E that make me laugh. We were giving him some "air time" while he played. I'm sad that the pics turned out so grainy. I need more light in our living room or to adjust a setting on my camera. I'll need to pull out the manual. Anyway...
We put the book on his head and this is what transpired.

{baby yoga!}

I'm starting to lose track of what foods I've eliminated so I thought I'd make a list here.
Wheat, then all Gluten
Tree nuts (which I hope to reintroduce soon)
Fish (I don't care for it anyway so no plans to reintroduce)
Orange juice

For the past week I've given chicken and bananas a break.

That list isn't that long but when you think about all of the foods that fall into those categories it seems more limiting. We're finally back to baseline so it's time to reintroduce.

My plan is to reintroduce bananas this week. If E doesn't have any reactions after I eat them then we'll try to give him some. He is refusing rice cereal now. We tried avocados but he barely swallowed a tiny bite, spit the rest out, and refuses to open his mouth for any more. We're taking a solid food break for the weekend. I think he needs a break. It's been almost a week w/o hydroxizine. He's still itching some but not as much as he was.

I saw this site posted recently and found it interesting. I tried to put small pieces of avocado on his tray but he didn't even touch them. We'll try again with bananas if we can.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Catching up on the allergy front but first a pic-

{My grandparents gave him that duck and he LOVES it. It quacks a song and he smiles every single time he hears it.}

When I last updated about allergies I was feeling pretty defeated. I needed a break from focusing on it but that didn't happen. I did divert some of my attention and time to getting my end of the month paperwork done. Time well spent since I'm feeling less stressed.

We spent a weekend cleaning. THOROUGHLY cleaning! We did all the cleaning while Ethan napped or was in another room to prevent reactions from dust/dander being kicked up into that room. We had our carpets professionally cleaned. We had our heat pump serviced and filters changed. We looked into a HEPA filter for our HVAC system but the options were out of our budget. BTW, in a previous post I mentioned reading a suggestion about putting cheesecloth over registers. Our HVAC service company did not think that was a wise choice as it would make the system work unnecessarily harder and could cause damage.

I ordered some Allerpet to hopefully cut down on the dander (thanks SAnon for the rec. I've been thinking about you & hoping that things are going well). We've continued vacuuming often. The cats continue to be confined to half of our upstairs. We do not take Ethan into that part of our home. We wash our hands and change our clothes after petting the cats.

We're on day 4 without Hydroxizine and I can't really be sure if our efforts are making enough of a difference. Ethan is itching and rubbing his eyes. I know that as long as we have the cats then we are going to have more and more dander in our home. They're dander will remain even if they are not here but at least it would stop increasing. We're facing the sad reality that if our efforts are not enough then we may need to find new homes for our girls. It breaks my heart to even think about it but it may be something that we have to do. Others out there might suggest to take the avenue of treatment instead. Personally, I can't continue to medicate my son. It's not just the fact that we are putting medication into his body without knowing the possible long term effects, it's the additional issue the medication is creating - a learned behavior. It is a FIGHT to get the medication in him. He shivers as if he just took the most foul tasting shot. He continues to make a face and shiver for more than a half hour after we finally get it into him. Then he continues to fight you if your hands go near his face. This is troubling when we have to put MORE medication on his cheeks to treat his eczema, which the allergist believes is due to his cat allergy. He reacts the same way when you try to put something in his mouth. This is quite upsetting when he needs to EAT!! So, right now our plan is to wait and see if our efforts are enough and if they aren't we need to find suitable homes for our cats. Again, this is such a difficult decision.

I decided to have myself tested for food allergies and a gluten intolerance. Once I stopped eating the Rice Krispies (that contain gluten) I felt better and Ethan slept a little better!! I've been reading that a mom's leaky gut can cause a child's allergies/intolerances/symptoms. Another page that gives info on leaky gut. Interesting stuff! I don't know if I have a leaky gut. I don't think I have symptoms but I'll be very interested to see if I test positive to any food allergies.

I've been trying some new foods and recipes. Quinoa has been a nice grain addition. It has been helping me eat less rice. I've found cereals made by Erewhon. The Rice Twice and Corn Flakes are favorites. Check out what FEW ingredients there are! I never imagined I'd be eating these cereals. About 2 years ago I was eating Reese's Puff's cereal almost daily. Check out the difference of ingredients. Hard to believe that I actually like my new cereals after eating sugary cereals but I do. I've also used this site for recipes. I love that you can search recipes free of offending allergens. I think the following recipe is from that site too. It turned out to be a spice cake when using cinnamon instead of cocoa. MMM.

1 1/2 C. rice or buckwheat flour
2 heaping Tbs cocoa (I took the suggestion of another baker and used 2 tsp cinnamon instead since I don't know if Ethan would react to cocoa. I eliminated it weeks ago.)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 C. sugar (I'll use less next time)
1/2 C. oil (I used olive and it was good)
1 tsp vanilla
1 C. rice milk

Bake in a greased 9X9 cake pan at 350 for 40 minutes (needs the whole time).

YUM!!! Even Matt liked it. I'm anxious to trial cocoa b/c I hear this will taste like brownies. It will be quite a while until we get there though. We have other, more important things to trial before we get to cocoa.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Month 5-6

Catching up on documenting Ethan's many milestones...
Between months 5 and 6 Ethan:
-learned to jump like crazy in his jumperoo
-got his first 2 bottom teeth
-started grabbing our faces with both hands and slapping our faces & hands.
Sometimes he grabs our faces and pulls them closer to his just to put part of our face in his mouth. The slapping hands is especially cute b/c it appears as if he's giving us "high fives".
-started rolling ALL OVER the place. This is his current favorite method of transportation.
-tried rice cereal for the first time and started eating it after a several attempts
-learned to transfer toys from one hand to the other. He's working on his pincher grasp too!
-gained another pound from 17lbs 11oz to 18lbs 13oz (when I started typing this at 6 months and 1 week he was 19lbs 4oz).
-started laughing a lot.
-started sitting up unassisted.
-learned to babble. He kept us up one night with A-DA-DA-DA-DA.
-visited State College, Pa for the first time.
[edited later to add that his eyes also got lighter between month 5-6]

I've thought this about every stage but this has been my favorite so far. He's so amazing!!