Tag Archive: oit

Food from friends

OH MAN.  Where to start.

After a month of hard work I fiiiiinally reset my sweet tooth’s chocolate cravings and now I am scared I’m slipping back into old habits.  Blahhhh.  It’s so easy to be like “cut yourself some slack, Elise” – the excuses just roll off the tongue during hard times, but I don’t want to go back to that!!!!

Stress — > chocolate

My friends also KNOW ME SO WELL and hook me up with the good stuff, soooooo, it’s basically impossible to say no.  I want to be strong I really do, but my willpower is definitely being tested right now.

The mini muffin shaped chocolates above are these coconut oil chocolate bombs that my friend made.  The recipe is from another friend (the other Elise) and our group is obsessed with them.  You have to store them in the freezer because the coconut oil will melt if not chilled, but it’s wise to store them there anyway because otherwise you will eat them all at once.  And that amount of coconut oil….well…you know…fortunately, I practiced moderate self control and stuck to two servings at once.  TMI warning: my IBS during the 48 hours we were in the hospital was on par with my old self and I was so anxious I barely ate anything and it took 4-5 days for me to finally have a BM again.  I’m back to “normal” now but I can’t help but feel sad that this all went down after I made such an effort to get my gut back to a more healthy state.  Life, huh!? I’ve started taking some herbs again for digestive support during this time.  No rigorous schedule like before, but when I think about it, once a day at least.

This is the recipe for the curry my friend brought us that first day we got home from the hospital.  It was AMAZING and I immediately texted her for the recipe.  P liked it too (V was not into food at this point).  I will 100% be making this again.

She woke up way too early and because she was in so much pain I held her and rocked her until she fell back asleep, and then didn’t dare move a muscle for the next couple of hours despite being incredibly uncomfortable myself.

As you can see, I’m on the floor, but at least I had my phone.  It was like old times…nursing her and then having her pass out on me.  Only I was able to fit in a chair back then, obviously.

Breakfast!  I had some banana bread in the freezer, thank goodness.  After this I jetted over to target to grab a bunch of essentials.  We had made a list the night before, which included everything from multiple sizes of diapers (one small to tuck in and under the cast and then one huge one to put over the cast) to board games (things to do as a family on the floor) to pain meds (the tylenol/hydrocodone blend was not cutting it).

Kyle was home with the kids, holding down the fort, but I made a mental note of this bad boy!  I have a feeling this will be my friend in the future weeks.

Impulse purchase that I am SO glad we have.  This was the best $35 I have ever spent – at Target or anywhere. We seriously couldn’t live without it.  The angle of her cast prevents her from sitting upright and she clearly can’t stand, so what else is there to do with her?  She’s too big for all the baby items we pulled back out – the doorway  jumper, the activity table, etc. – so we really needed a portable place to put her.  This chair is awesome.  It’s sturdy and soft and actually kinda cute.

My sister came on Saturday and it felt like a superhero came in when we were at our lowest.  She insisted we go out and leave the kids with them.  And she brought us lunch (our fave salmon ABLT sandos from Nugget market)!  I went and got a pedicure and came back feeling much better.  Although to be perfectly honest, I still couldn’t relax enough to get rid of the ulcer forming pain in my stomach. I was aware of it all day and was really trying to chill myself out, but I guess my subconscious was taking it out on my my body.  So. Tense.  But V slept the whole time I was gone and so we took advantage of her well rested state and went for a walk to the park when she was up.  Kinda an aggressive outing for day one, but I wanted baby girl to get some air.

Never thought I’d use these swings for their intended purpose.

The problem is, she isn’t comfortable anywhere for any length of time and wants to be held more than anything. But she is heavy!  Auntie Laura got a work out and my biceps got an afternoon off.  🙂

Kyle grilled skirt steak for dinner and I made a kale salad with avocado, sheep pecorino romano, and dried cranberries.

This was too aggressive and I got way too overwhelmed when the meal was done and I had to clean up everything and P was tired and melting down and needed his doses and we had to figure out a way to bathe V. Too much, too soon.

Chocolate for dessert.

V slept a little bit better, but was still very much in pain so I continued around the clock dosing.  She hung out with me in the closet while I showered…With her matching bear and new purse (thanks to Auntie Laura and Uncle Chris).

I was running too late and sucked this down before P and I went to church.

It was delicious, in case you had any doubts.

As you’d expect, I cried my eyes out throughout church. Per usual, P and I were snuggling for the first songs of service (before I drop him at Sunday school) and he was so sweet, telling me he loved me when he saw I was wiping my eyes.  My little angel.  After P was with the other kids I went and sat with my girl friend and of course immediately burst into tears when I saw her.  Sometimes you just need a good cry.  And when the lyrics to every song and the message of the sermon seem to be directly speaking to you, it’s hard to hold it in.  I sure felt better afterwards.  And then when we got home grandma was there!!!  What a relief.  Kyle’s mom literally dropped everything to fly in for two weeks and I couldn’t imagine how we would be surviving right now without her.  There were so many times on Sunday that I thought I wouldn’t be able to do this for the next 4-5 weeks.  I literally couldn’t get my head around how we were going to make it work.  And the first few days were still especially hard, even with an extra adult on hand.  But slowly, it’s getting easier.  And we will make it.  I’m seeing it now.

They love each other so much.  I think it’s been hard for them in ways I hadn’t anticipated to not be able to play with each other the way they usually do.

Group trip to TJs!  We were out of everything.  They had people doing face painting, so both kids got flowers on their hands.  And P got to push a small cart with grandma!! Oh boy was he thrilled with that!

Kyle grilled pork chops and asparagus and I made a slaw.  V still wasn’t interested in food and I force fed her two bites and then gave up.  She was miserable with constipation and had no appetite, poor thing.

Kyle didn’t grill the asparagus long enough so they were a little crunchy and I think I actually liked them that way better than normal!  Is that weird?  I had made them in a foil packet with tons of olive oil and salt, so he couldn’t see there done-ness and just guessed.  So even though they weren’t cooked through all the way, I was pretty cool with it.  And P didn’t seem to mind either.

More chocolate to get me through the mental hurdle of accepting that the weekend was over and that Kyle was heading back to work.  Sigh.  THANK GOD Kyle’s mom was in town.  I wouldn’t have been able to cope with both kids and no other adult.

The next morning was more of the same – rotating her position and getting pain meds on board.  For the first time, she kinda ate a little something for breakfast, so that was good. And then we were off to paint and sing. Another activity that in hindsight was pretty adventurous for a casted child, but it was the last day so I didn’t want her to miss out.  Plus!  It was…

Eclipse day!

Kyle brought in glasses for the whole class so we kept the classroom door open and people popped outside over the two hour span whenever they wanted.  Beverly accompanied me to paint and sing too, so we had a decent ratio of adults to kids, but it was still hard to keep V happy.  Teacher Jeanne is amazing though, and set her up with a bunch of lap crafts that she could do in the bob stroller.  It was neat to see, but I doubt the kids appreciated the uniqueness of it.

I took a pic of my food!!  I used the spring greens salad bin to keep dishes to a minimum…and added roasted pecans, hot smoked salmon, avocado, baby carrots, and the small remaining portion of a kale salad from I don’t remember when.

Meanwhile, in the toy room, quiet time got reallllllly quiet.

My friend came by that afternoon for some socialization and we all went to the park behind our house to play and chat.  My friends have been incredible.  I was especially glad to hang out with Angela, though, because she had a spica cast when she was 10 so she had lots of personal insight to share.  Her situation sounded way worse, which made me realize I should be really thankful that V is doing as well as she is and her break isn’t worse.  The kids had a total blast playing together – acting out Lion King plot lines in the “jungle” near the park and then putting on another performance half way through our walk back home.

And then a little later another friend came by with dinner.

See how lucky I am!?!?

These recipes are all from her Whole 30 cookbook.  And I am strongly considering buying it now because every dish was as amazing as the one before it.  The beef was so flavorful.  And the kale salad!  Man oh man.  It had almonds and a citrus dressing and was sooooo good.  She offered me a full menu of options too!! Like, who does that?!!  Of course I chose kale.  And then she made squash from her garden too!!

Everyone loved this.  I got all the recipes, too.  THANK YOU ELISE!!!!  [Very blogworthy]

Beverly knows my weaknesses…and she managed to find all my favorites (not that it’s hard, since I have 2000 “favorites”).

Oh and Elise brought me these too, which I had for breakfast the next day, of course.

With cashew butter.

I went for a run too, so I was feeling pretty on top of it.  Sitting down for a proper meal after a good sweat sesh.

Little buddies.

We were planning on going to library, per usual, but then our friend invited us over to a tea party instead, so we decided to give it a go.  I took both kids with me, but regret it almost instantly when I realized it was a big group event.  Yikes.  V was still in full on mama mode, so I basically carried her around and held her for the duration of the time we were there.

The good news was that she ate something!  One slice of cheese.  Not much, but better than nothing.  For a child who’s appetite is usually bottomless, this is so weird.  Normally I’d be cutting her off so she wouldn’t eat the whole tray.

Pacman made up for her lack of hunger, though, and ate a cucumber and cream cheese sandwich, cheese and salami slices, snap peas, grapes, figs, and pirates booty.  SO MUCH DAIRY!!!!  And had no reactions whatsoever.  #oitworks baby!!!

And tea!  Naturally.

Mid way through the play date, I got a call that we had to go to Sac for an appointment for V.  I wasn’t prepared for this and it caused a bit of anxiety because I had three different people coming by to drop things off that afternoon, so I was really flustered. In order to make some calls I needed to put V in the stroller, but she didn’t want that at all and started freaking out.  I was kinda shaking and having a hard time, but Angela swooped in with a book and managed to turn a very resistant V into a captivated audience member.  Phew!  I left shortly after because I was too stressed out.  I brought both kids home and got V to bed right away so she’d get at least some kind of nap in before her appointment.

Meanwhile, P played and I got our afternoon in order.

And then my friend came with Jamba Juice!  LIFE SAVER.

P had his for lunch, which saved me from having to make and clean up anything.  Hallelujah!

And I got an acai bowl that I put in the freezer for breakfast the next day.  🙂

She even remembered to ask for a peanut free blender 🙂

Valley girl got new x-rays and all looks good so no adjustments need to be made to her cast.  I had a list of questions and once again, the MDs were nothing short of fantastic, listening to everything and making me feel like she’s within the normal range for recovery issues.  Honestly, I hope I never have to see them again after this cast comes off, but the team is so great, it wouldn’t be the worst to work with again.  Ha.

As we were wrapping up, V asked for some carrots!!  First time she’s asked for food in days!  I was thrilled.

That afternoon she really turned a corner.  I left her with Beverly to go take P to the library and she was in good spirits and seemed to be returning to her normal self a little bit.  P and I had some much needed alone time to play and pick out new books, including an early learning kit.

And then we had dinner.

We had quinoa chili and sushi – from two different friends.  Both of which we added avocado to.  V still didn’t want too much food, but she did eat a bit more than before, so…baby steps…

And then she slept through the night!  And managed to figure out rolling over!  And when she woke up she was happy and playful!  Yayyyyyy!!

Kyle worked out while I changed her diaper (success down there too!) and then she told me she was hungry so I went and filled her bowl with oatmeal and strawberries.

Which she finished!  Yay!  This was making me so happy to see 🙂

After the kids were fed I left V with Beverly and took P with me to stroller strides.  Many of my friends were there and asking about V and giving me support and encouragement.  It was a great work out too, and then the kids played at the park together.  P brought his magnifying glasses from the insect early learning kit and convinced his friends to go on bug hunts with him.  They were off foraging for a while, but came up empty handed.  So they went to the playground.

We stayed for as long as possible, but I knew I needed to get home to V.  She was in great spirits when I arrived and even gave me a nice “welcome home!” shout from the toy room.

P was a sweaty mess so Beverly gave him a bath (his request!) while I took V in to shower with me.  And then both kids ate awesome lunches (baby girl even asked for seconds of everything).  I stopped her pain meds too, so I feel like this was a pivotal day for her.  CORNER. TURNED.

Lunch ingredients!  Have you seen this kohlrabi blend from TJs?  It’s new to our store, and I was excited to try it. Verdict: like!  Wish it was organic though.  🙁

I blended it with kale, and cabbage, and miso dressing before adding my usual toppings – avocado, smoked salmon, and carrots. Seems like I swapped salmon for nuts these days.  Just rolling with my taste buds’ preferences.  Both are pricey options.

We spent some time that afternoon playing with things in the insect early learning kit, including this science viewer which really reminded me of my youth.  There are a bunch of cool things in the kit, including glass encased insects for them to learn to identify, and watch bands with little cases for bug catching.

Off to market!  It was hotter than I was prepared for, and V wanted me to hold her and dance with her a little bit more than I wanted to, but you can’t deny a casted kid much of anything, let alone loving snuggly dance time. So I obliged.  We were celebrating a first birthday there too, as well as a goodbye party for friends we are sad to see move away.  But the best part of all was that I didn’t have to cook and Patty-cakes ate a hot dog from the vendor!!!!

He even liked the ketchup!  Wow wow wow, is OIT making our lives infinitely easier.

In the past week I have talked to at least 6 different people about the clinic where I take P for his desensitization. A few people called on the phone to chat and others I’ve emailed with or added to my facebook group.  I feel like I should get a referral discount or something!!!  Kidding, of course, but I have been amazed by this whole process and want to shout about it from the rooftops and hook up every other allergy kiddo and family out there so they too can see the benefits we have seen.

I got a kale salad and tri tip and fries for me and V to share.  She didn’t want anything to do with the kale salad after the first bite, but she was ALL ABOUT the fries.  Duh.

I shared some with him too. [Don’t worry, they fry them in soybean oil]

I skipped dessert and had kombucha instead.  Working on that willpower.

Another morning, another bit closer to normal!

I changed her when she first woke up and she was a perky little thing.  Empty gut, clean diaper, pretty dress, and then she rolled around the floor and attempted crawling while I cheered her on.  Couldn’t be happier!

I tucked into my acai bowl after the kids were fed.

It was P’s welcome day for school, so Kyle and I both accompanied him while V stayed home with Beverly.

Sweetness.

I barely had time to enjoy much of this, but I put the rest back in the freezer for later because it was so good.  Especially because I added heaps of mixed nut butter on top.  It was the mixed one from TJs which has a blend of pecans, walnuts, cashews, and almonds in it.

First day!!!

Besties coloring together.

Since it was welcome day, the parents stayed and did a scavenger hunt with the kids and got oriented to the room.  P had no trouble adjusting though, since he goes here for Sunday school.  And is in the same class as several friends.

More of the same.

After lunches, V took a nap and P had quiet time.  We are slowly getting back to our routine.  I managed to remove TV for the past three days, so it’s looking like our lives will soon be back to a new kind of normal. And with him starting school, it will be much easier to focus on V without feeling like I’m leaving P neglected.  Until Beverly came we were having a tough time because I know he felt sad about his sister demanding all our focus.

I’m now in Fremont with him, tackling another round of updosing while we have the support of Kyle’s mom. I’ll try to keep more current going forward.  V is definitely feeling MUCH better…thank you all for your comments.  I have no doubt she will continue to regain her strength and confidence and work out how to be mobile enough for the next ~5 weeks.

Maintenance for a month

Since P reached maintenance for his cow milk OIT, we have been waiting for a full month to try out dairy…

Per our MD’s protocol you should wait at least a month after graduating before adding in new dairy.  And from there you should start with amounts of protein <4 g (because his dose is 1/2 cup whole milk which is equivalent to 4 g of protein).  After that you can proceed however you wish.  This is freeing and exciting and nerve-wracking all at once.  But mostly exciting.

On day 1 he tried: 1 tsp of butter on top of his pancakes (not a true challenge since butter should have TRACE amounts of protein if any, but still…he’s reacted to it in the past so it’s a challenge)

Verdict: no reaction!

On day 2 he tried: 1/4 a string cheese (2 g protein)

Verdict: no reaction!

On day 3 he tried: a bunch of goldfish crackers (55 is considered one serving but he didn’t have close to that many, which means the protein count was significantly less than the label’s 3 g listed)

Verdict: no reaction!

On day 4 he tried: a bite of my tomato soup (one bite with a tiny bit of cream in the whole bowl is hardly a challenge at this point but he was sick so I didn’t want to add too much else beyond his dairy and peanut doses)

I will keep noting things he tries as I blog about this journey (which are always tagged as allergy FYI), but I’m already AMAZED at what oit has afforded us.  The sense of safety and peace of mind that comes from doing this is invaluable.  We can eat at restaurants! We can have friends feed him!  We can send him off with family!  I was scared to let myself dream that we’d get here, but here we are!  Funny enough, last week the “dairy” charm on his allerbling bracelet broke.  It was destiny.

Peanut OIT starts

Wellllll well well.  Day one is officially behind us.  And I will admit I had a bunch of anxiety leading up to this day.  Obviously since we completed dairy I trust the process, but having been hospitalized for peanut ingestion before, it was a major mental hurdle for me to do this voluntarily!  We are lucky to have a huge support system, including my family, and friends, and facebook group…all cheering us on and lifting me up through this.  And now we have done it!  We have begun!

We had a normal start to the day with a bowl of oatmeal followed by his milk dose and then we were off to Fremont.

Kyle came with us for this first one, so that was nice.

He started with a 1/1000 dilution of peanut powder (in cellulose powder) which he had a minuscule amount of, and he completed four (!!) updoses in that first appointment on Friday.  We will likely go every other week to really allow his body an extra long time to desensitize to the dose they send him home on.

So now I have a bunch of these little cups of powdered cellulose/peanut to mix into applesauce or yogurt or whatever.

So far so good (some nasal drip but no congestion or meds needed after Saturday morning’s dose).

He is probably getting the equivalent of a grain of flour’s worth of peanut protein but you have to start somewhere right?  This is going to be a long road, but if the end is freedom then I am all in!  I will happily trade in my fear of hospitalization for a year or so of these MD appointments.

Milk OIT graduation

I AM SUCH A PROUD MAMA!

After several months of weekly visits to the Columbia Asthma and Allergy Clinic in Fremont, my son is a graduate of the milk OIT protocol!  He will now drink 1/2 cup (120 ml – equivalent to 4 g of protein) of whole milk twice a day for the rest of his life as a part of maintenance.

After a month, we are allowed to experiment with different kinds and amounts of dairy, with the thinking being that in another few months he will achieve “free eating”, thereby tolerating any dairy.  We will see.  In the meantime, I’m just celebrating the fact that he drinks a cup of milk each day without issues.  This is major.

He has been such a trooper throughout this and is very excited at the idea of trying cheese.

Many thanks to the following, without whom/which we could not have done this:

MY PARENTS!!!!  For being supportive and encouraging and most importantly for watching Valley girl on Friday mornings while we were at his appointments. And for letting us crash at their house every Thursday night – and some Fridays.  And feeding us.  And basically just being the best parents ever.

The Davis Library.  For the amazing book on cd selection which enabled me to make it through months and months of OIT appointments without an iPad.

NPR’s Wow in the World podcast.

Highlights magazine.

Starbucks stir sticks (which served as drumsticks) week in and week out.

The entire staff at Columbia Asthma and Allergy.  They are sweet and attentive and I really feel like he is so safe in their care.

LAST DOSE!!!

Amazing.

We drove home after picking V up at my parents’ house.  Neither had napped so I expected they would both crash as soon as I set off but P was SO into the wow in the world podcasts that he stayed up the entire ride home listening to them one after the other.  We have even repeated the kissing fish one a few times and he still doesn’t care.  I highly recommend them for anyone with 4+ year olds.  It’s targeted to kids a little older than P but he still enjoys them immensely and whenever I quiz him on the facts at the end of the episode he can answer any question I throw at him!!  Guy Raz’ even makes me stay tuned, so I definitely get the allure.  Plus, who doesn’t like learning random scientific facts!?  V slept the whole way.  😉

Snack time!

Happy graduation day.  We will be celebrating with a family trip to play mini golf on Sunday.

One day at a time

Oh hi chocolate banana milkshake that is healthy.

We had planned on going to a park this morning, but P had a reaction to his am dose so I was keeping it mellow indoors until he got through it.  A few hives this time, and a pretty brutal case of congestion and wheezing, but meds and time (and snuggles) heal all. V is less understanding, but it’s all good now.  It’s easier to talk about once it’s over, because when you’re in it, you’re just kinda waiting…and waiting…and waiting…to see how bad this is gonna get before it starts getting better.  Luckily, he was fine and I didn’t have to call for backup.  Crisis averted.  We killed more time going to TJs and Nugget, and by the time we got home he was 100% again so I let them play in the backyard while I unladed the groceries and made lunches.

Back to himself indeed.

We are slowly inching our way back up to the dose he last got to at the MD office on Friday, but I’m not going to rush it.  It may be a few weeks before we get there because I want to make sure his body isn’t under too much stress.  And as a result, we are skipping the next two weeks of Friday up-dosing appointments.  This is my decision, not the MDs, but I know it’s the best for P.  I don’t want him to hate OIT and since he has been such a trooper thus far, I feel like the symptoms he’s been having are the way his body is telling us to slow down.  It may take us months to get to the end (as opposed to the 1-2 remaining appointments we were supposed to try it in before this hiccup), but we will do it the gentlest way possible.  Slow and steady wins the race!

I made an Asian ramen slaw salad for dinner with chicken and it was received with rave reviews.

P was in a MOOOOOD after a swimming (I know it’s better that he’s not napping but it’s still pretty awful after 5 pm) and was acting like he didn’t want to like dinner (regardless of what it was), but after one bite he made a complete 180 and was scarfing his portion down.

I mean, he was the one who chose which ramen noodles we got at the store!

Went to Nugget for these since Tjs doesn’t have ramen.  I saved the packets for some other use. It’s probably just like miso soup?

I should have written down the recipe for the dressing because it was A+ work if I do say so myself.  I had looked up other similar recipes the night before so knew roughly what to do.  I used canola oil, sesame oil. tamari, rice vinegar, and honey.  Then added a bunch of sesame seeds and tossed it in green cabbage, and a slaw mix.

After the lettuce was covered in dressing I added in the noodles, which I roughly crushed by hand. I let it chill in the fridge while I baked two chicken breasts, and once those were done I diced them and added them in too.

I love when I finish dinner entirely during nap time. It means coming home from our PM activity is effortless.  Or at least as effortless as anything is with preschoolers.

Yummmmm.  I would eat this back to back nights no problem.  And you could swap in anything for the chicken – edamame, slivered almonds, salmon, shrimp, whatever!

After the morning scare, this was NOT a night for skipping dessert.