Friday, August 30, 2013

End of Summer Vacation

Summer is winding down and tomorrow is the last day of August.  I'm so glad that we had a week or so of hot weather finally.  We were able to do some final (and first) days at the beach as well as some swimming.  We also spent a long weekend in IA and we able to visit the pool as well as tube in the creek out at the farm.

Today we have plans of a possible park visit, taking lunch to John at work and meeting Katie's new piano teacher.  Yes - Katie starts piano lessons on September 10th.  Hopefully it doesn't create extra battles for practice time, etc.  Will is doing basketball after school once a week, but that doesn't start until October I believe - I better check though. He's pretty darn excited and practices a few times a day....I don't think he'll forgive me if we miss it.

We met the kids' teachers this week too and got their desks/supplies all set up for Tuesday.  Will has a desk and is sitting right by his best friend Ethan.  We'll see how long that lasts.  Will seems pretty casual about the whole thing.  Will takes a test at the end September to see which reading and math class he will be placed in. 

Katie is in a new type of class this year.  Some classes are trying a multi-age approach and mixing some grade levels in the same homeroom.  So Katie has the same teacher she had last year, but will be with 4th AND 3rd graders.  There are 28 kids in her class (I think) and so that makes 14 3rd graders, 14 4th graders and they are evenly split boy/girl ratios as well. The 4th graders that are in her class are ones that she likes and gets along with very well.  Some of her closest friends are in another class, but they are in the muli-age/family track as well, and we are told that those classes will be mixing a lot so she should get to see them regularly.  And then Katie will be pulled out to go to a 5th grade level math class and a 5th grade level reading class. 

We gave papers to the school nurse documenting Will's new allergies and they are going to supply him with a dairy-free lunch everyday.  I was thinking about packing him a lunch everyday, but I'm not that organized so I'm glad that he will have that option.  She gave me a copy of the dairy free menu - there isn't a lot of variety, but I think it will work for now.  If he gets tired of a certain option, that's when we'll take lunches.  I can wrap my head around packing a lunch 1-2 times a week versus 5 days a week, non-stop. 

On the allergy front, Will had some "planned" exposure yesterday.  He had a birthday party to go to and I explained to him that they were serving pizza and cake, both of which would have milk in them.  He peeled his cheese and toppings off the pizza - because that's what he usually does anyway, but ate a whole piece of cake.  He also brought home chocolate coins in his treat bag, and since he'd had milk already, I told him he could have 2 of those as well.  The cake was at about 6, the chocolate at about 7.  At bedtime - no stuffy nose. 

He woke up this morning about 8:00 and holy hell......his nose is so stuffed up he can't blow out of either side, exactly the way it used to be.  So now we know a timeline (sort of), and I'll be looking to see when the stuffiness goes away again.  It's a good learning experiment for him too because his nose has been totally free and clear for about a week, and to suddenly bring it back like it was makes him realize how much he hates the feeling.  So on the next special occasion - he will be able to decide if it's worth it or not. 

Oh, there was the sliding door - someone has already gone out to practice his basketball dribbling.  And it's only 8:30 am.

Friday, August 16, 2013


Last time I wrote about nothing really happening.  Well, good or bad things are happening now.

School starts in about 2 1/2 weeks.  We get the teacher letters today.  That's always an exciting milestone.  I "think" I know who they each have thanks to a snafu on the school's website a few weeks ago where they accidentally posted teacher assignments.  We'll see if they were right.

I was in charge of the school supply kit fundraiser last year where parents could order a kit of school supplies that the teacher requested.  I have about 85 ordered and they will be delivered to the school next I'm told.  Still waiting for FedEx to contact me about that.  Anyway, once they are delivered I get to sort them and get them put in the correct classroom.  (Note: When I say "I", I really mean Katie and Will.  I think it will be a fun project to do together and I am fully prepared to pay cash.)

Ok, that was the good, now on to the bad.  We'll start with the not-so-bad.
Will has been stuffed up for quite a while now and I knew there was more going on than just random stuffy noses.  So on Wednesday at his yearly check-up I had the dr. do a blood test for allergies.  She ran through the gamut of things that it will test for - mostly environmental causes.  At the end I said I wanted him to be tested for milk as well.  She added it on, but mentioned that she really didn't feel it was necessary because his symptoms didn't match.  Well, add it anyway to appease a crazy mom.

I got a phone call from her yesterday with the results.  The only items that came up positive were dust mites/mold (which confirms the fact that I am a crappy housekeeper and need to get a little more OCD about some things), and milk.  The milk actually tested much higher than the others.  The dust mites/mold were a level 1 and the milk was a 2/3.  (This is on a scale of 1-6, with 4-6 being severe.)  The allergy screen measures the level of allergen-specific IgE in your blood. That is, it measures the concentration of antibodies your body has created to against a particular food allergen. 

(Can you tell I copied and pasted that last part?)

She suggested going dairy free for a month and see if there are any improvements.  I think a better idea is to try 2 months and go from there. Especially if I have to tackle the cleaning aspect of t too. We may be able to re-introduce some types of dairy slowly and have a better picture of what is going on. 

Honestly, I am SO stupid when it comes to seriously avoiding certain foods or ingredients.  I've been blessed with no family history of allergies - diagnosed anyway and we haven't had to have things like this on our radar.  I figured you just avoided milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter.  There, you're done.


Did you know that some types of gum have milk in them?  Cans of tuna?  Yep.  Thanks to some wonderful friends who have a lot of experience with diet restrictions I know a lot more, BUT I'm still learning. 

Ingredients we have to avoid if we want to take this seriously (and really, is there any other way to take it?  I mean if you want to see if going dairy free will help his symptoms, then you have to go whole-hog.)

  • Acidophilus Milk
  • Ammonium Caseinate
  • Butter
  • Butter Fat
  • Butter Oil
  • Butter Solids
  • Buttermilk
  • Buttermilk Powder
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Casein
  • Caseinate (in general)
  • Cheese (All animal-based)
  • Condensed Milk
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cream
  • Curds
  • Custard
  • Delactosed Whey
  • Demineralized Whey
  • Dry Milk Powder
  • Dry Milk Solids
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Ghee (see p109)
  • Goat Milk
  • Half & Half
  • Hydrolyzed Casein
  • Hydrolyzed Milk Protein
  • Iron Caseinate
  • Lactalbumin
  • Lactoferrin
  • Lactoglobulin
  • Lactose
  • Lactulose
  • Low-Fat Milk
  • Magnesium Caseinate
  • Malted Milk
  • Margarine (most)
  • Milk
  • Milk Derivative
  • Milk Fat
  • Milk Powder
  • Milk Protein
  • Milk Solids
  • Natural Butter Flavor
  • Nonfat Milk
  • Nougat
  • Paneer
  • Potassium Caseinate
  • Pudding
  • Recaldent
  • Rennet Casein
  • Skim Milk
  • Sodium Caseinate
  • Sour Cream
  • Sour Milk Solids
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Sweet Whey
  • Whey
  • Whey Powder
  • Whey Protein Concentrate
  • Whey Protein Hydrolysate
  • Whipped Cream
  • Whipped Topping
  • Whole Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Zinc Caseinate

Once I get better at label reading I will be able to spot these items more quickly, but that still leaves restaurants.....and the state fair.  Luckily for me, Will hates cheese curds....but I can still eat them.  I also need to contact the school and let them know and then tackle the school lunch calendar and decide what to do there.  I spose I will have to send his lunch with him to be safe, but we'll see.  Luckily - and I mean a HUGE CAPITAL LETTER "LUCKILY" it is no where near life threatening.  It's entirely on the "annoying" symptom list and so I am thankful for that. 

You know, I'm not in the mood to discuss the next crappy thing on my list.  I'll never be in the "mood" to discuss the next thing, but I will address is - later.  We want to have a talk with the kids first after the weekend and then I'll spill the beans here.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Man, there is either no time to post or nothing to post about!

I was gone this past weekend to Omaha, NE for a breastfeeding conference.  It was a lot of fun....6 of us moms road tripped there 12 hours round trip in a minivan.  We had a good time and met some other fun moms as well.  I'd explain some funny things that happened, but most of it was a "you had to be there" sort of context. 

John is taking some days off this week and we are going to do some fun things as a family - Como zoo, county fair, beaches, bike rides, etc.  Supposed to be a nice week - weather-wise.  Although, it could be a bit warmer if we wanted to go to the beach....

Will took 10 things to the fair and Katie took 16.  It's always fun to hunt for those items on display at the fair and keep track of what ribbons they won. 

We are down to the last 3 1/2 weeks of summer vacation....oh that reminds me - I have to call the bus company to get the bus pickup changed to our address.  They have us walking a block away - like they usually do, but since we are the only ones getting picked up, they are usually very nice about changing it.