Poppy's Pediatric Peanut Protocol

Poppy was diagnosed with a peanut allergy when she was nine months old. We’d started playing with solid food around the six month mark, and she’d shown some interest, but we also noticed an increase in how angry she could be (baby gal has never been shy about voicing her rage,) her sometimes rash-y skin became constantly inflamed, and she kept spitting up in earnest (we’d hoped that once she wasn’t exclusively breastfed, maybe she would become less leaky).

On one particularly rough morning, Poppy started crying after breakfast and it wasn’t a normal cry. It was a panicked, anxious cry. There wasn’t anything in our environment to produce this type of cry; Grady was puttering around getting ready for kindergarten, Shawn was at work, the dog was busy eating the breakfast remnants under the highchair, and I was drinking coffee. But Poppy was wailing. She contorted her body and clawed at her sleeper. I thought maybe a bug (what bug? It was winter!) had crawled into her pyjamas so I stripped her down to her diaper. As I peeled the sleeper from her wildly twisting torso, I saw an angry red rash spread over her entire body. I quickly snapped pictures with my iPhone (how did people parent before iPhones? Serious question.) and made an appointment with her doctor as soon as they opened.

Poppy’s doctor looked at the rash photos on my phone and called in an urgent referral to an allergist on the spot. We were seen within days, Poppy’s peanut allergy was confirmed, and we were thrust unwillingly into the world of Epi-Pens and IgE blood tests.

When Poppy was first diagnosed, her allergist told us that because she was so young there was an approximately 20% chance she could grow out of her peanut allergy. As the years passed and her skin prick test reactions got smaller and smaller, he upped his estimation to 50%. Last April, her skin didn’t react to peanut protein. We were ready for an Oral Food Challenge.

Today was the big day. The day Poppy would eat peanut butter, on purpose, after almost two and a half years of us creating a peanut-free bubble for her. To say that I was anxious is an understatement. I couldn’t even acknowledge the day, or talk about it with anyone, until yesterday. Last night I slept in drips and drabs, spending the majority of my hours just watching Poppy breathe. I was in excellent shape to face a challenging day this morning is what I’m saying.

The challenge itself was just that: a challenge. Poppy was confused and frustrated that I was trying to get her to eat peanut butter after our years of allergy training. Grady was with us because he’s on summer break, and I underestimated a: how freaked out he would be and b: how pissed off Poppy would be that I made her brother anxious. I am still processing the event (I literally zoned out when we gave her the first taste of peanut butter. I have zero recollection of it) but the result was better than we dared to hope. Poppy ate a significant amount of peanut butter and suffered no reaction. No rash, no hives, no runny nose, no vomit, no tingling, no wheezing, no rage, nothing, nada, zip, zero. It still doesn’t feel real.

So now Poppy starts a pediatric peanut protocol to build and maintain her immunity against peanuts. We’re starting slow and steady. We’ll feed her tiny amounts of peanut butter regularly and cross all of our fingers and all of our toes that she stays symptom-free.

We’re not out of the allergy woods yet (she’s still allergic to eggs) but it is a huge relief to cross peanuts off my worry list. Being responsible for a tiny allergic person is overwhelmingly stressful in a way I struggle to articulate. It was terrible. Today it feels less terrible.

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Amazon Prime Day(s) 2019

It’s Prime Day, which is two days this year? Unless it’s always been two days? To be honest, I’ve not paid a lot of attention. I’m not a huge fan of giant sales that make me feel like I need to buy a bunch of stuff, but the truth is, my kids’ birthdays and their five cousins’ birthdays all take place in a two month period. I need to buy a bunch of stuff is what I’m saying.

So! Prime Day. I’m going to highlight a few of the deals I’ve found, and they’re going to be affiliate links (which means that if you make a purchase through my link, I make a couple cents).

Okay, so I was browsing for kid birthday stuff, I promise, and then the 23andMe deal flashed across my screen. I’ve been interested in doing one of the DNA ancestry kits for a long time and 50% off is a very enticing deal. It’s sitting in my cart right now but I’m waiting to pull the trigger. Have you done a 23andMe or similar kit before? I’ve heard some horror stories about family secrets coming to light but I’ve also heard some good stuff about them too. At $129 (CDN, $99 USD!) I can’t not buy it, right? I’ve never seen it priced so low.

We’re not a Harry Potter house (yet) but we are a Lego house. This Hogwarts Great Hall is absolutely stunning and costs $79.99 (down from $129.99) until midnight PST tonight.

Speaking of Lego, the Creative Brick Boxes are on sale for $18.99, down from $26.99. These are a favourite birthday gift to give in our family.

Another favourite birthday gift to give and receive? Craft supplies. Crayola’s giving an extra 15% to Prime members, and I’m stocking up on this block of Construction Paper (400 sheets for just over $11), Sidewalk Chalk (64 pieces for just under $13), and these super cute permanent markers for my bullet journal (24 pens for $16.55).

Crayola also has this amazing mess-free touch-light drawing board for toddlers which is perfect for car rides. If you’ve got a little person and a summer road trip in your future, this thing is your salvation for just over $20.

Lest you think we’re arts and crafts and brain development all the time over here, I’ll admit without shame that Grady’s also getting this Nintendo Switch Controller Charging Station (50% off! I can’t resist) to maximize his video playing time. I also picked up this carrying case (30% off!) so he can stop transporting his Switch in his lunch kit when we travel. It’s got a durable outer shell (in his favourite colour, red) and foam padded insides with compartments to keep all the bits and bobs safe.

I also picked up this portable nightlight / flashlight for the kids in an attempt to cut down on the 3am wake up calls I get whenever someone needs to use the washroom. It cycles through a soothing spectrum of colours and turns into a flashlight when removed from its base. We’re big Boon fans and they have yet to disappoint us.

While I was browsing in the flashlight section, this lantern called out to me. It evoked a deep nostalgic feeling so I feel like maybe my parents had one when we were kids? One of my siblings can weigh in on whether or not I’m full of shit.

And then, because I am a wild and crazy woman, I rounded out my purchases with a bottle of gummy vitamins for the kids.

Did you snag any Prime Day deals?

Meal Plan 07/14/2019 - 07/19/2019

It’s a HelloFresh week this week, thank goodness, because my inspiration and motivation are gone. It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I feel scattered and disorganized and discombobulated (like, more than usual). HelloFresh to the rescue. The only thinking I had to do was choose three meals out of ten options. I can do that. That is the level of participation I am looking for right now.

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Monday: HelloFresh Fragrant Aloo Gobi with Cauliflower, Potato Curry and Cilantro for meatless Monday.

Tuesday: HelloFresh Lemon Chicken and Goat Cheese with Crisp Pear, Arugula, and Citrus Vinaigrette

Wednesday: Barbecued Cheeseburgers with a side of responsibility salad.

Thursday: HelloFresh Brown Sugar and BBQ Glazed Turkey Breast with Corn and Bell Pepper Hash.

Friday: out

What’s on your meal plan this week? If you haven’t tried HelloFresh Canada yet, you can get $40 off your first box using my code (disclaimer: I will get $25 off my next box if you use my code).

Blown Away

Last night I got a Netflix notification that a show called Blown Away had been released and I kind of rolled my eyes and thought “okay, Netflix, your algorithm seems to be a bit off but I’ll give it a go” and all of a sudden I’m six episodes deep in a reality tv show about professional glass blowing. Someone please remind me about this when I complain about not having enough time to fold laundry or exercise. I would have time if I wasn’t so deeply invested in Deborah’s interpretations of the design briefs. It is what it is.