Monday, February 25, 2008

The Saga Continues...

So we took Georgia in for some basic allergy testing a bit ago. She was a total star and didn't get upset at all when they did the little skin scratch testing and recovered well even after she had blood drawn for RAST testing. It turned out her skin tests and RAST tests all came back negative, but the allergist, Dr. Hatch, wants us to avoid all dairy, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts (the peanuts and tree nuts because they can cross-react with soy allergies). The reason Dr. Hatch wants us to avoid all of these allergens is for two reasons. The first is that false positives are not super unusual in kids Georgia's age (9 mo), so it's a possibility that she's still allergic, despite what the test results say. The second is because she has had soy and milk reactions before. The last time she was exposed to dairy through my breastmilk, it caused her to have eczema, gas, and fussiness (like Ezra did) and the last two times she's had even a sip of soy formula she's vomited profusely. So, for the next six months at least, until we go back to the doctor, she'll be completely and totally off all four of those foods, along with anything that may be cross contaminated by them...and because I'm nursing, so will I. As for the positive side of all this: The transition hasn't been nearly as difficult as it was with Ezra because our house has already been completely cleaned of any dairy, tree nut, and peanut foods and also because I was already off dairy with her anyway. As for the soy restrictions, it's been difficult, but not as much as one might assume. You see, even with soy allergies, one is still allowed to eat foods with soybean oil and soy lecithin because all the soy protein has been removed. A lot of the foods that have soy in it, actually just have one or both of these products, so we can still eat those things (although I've had to give up my everything bagels because they were made in the same factory as some soy products *sigh*). Another positive thing is that if she doesn't have any more reactions and her testing goes well in six months, we might be able to do a food trial when they give her a little bit of the allergens under strict supervision and see what happens. If things go well then, we might be able to introduce some of the previously verboten foods into her diet.

The hardest thing with dealing with allergies comes when you leave the house. While I'm in my home, I can completely control what my children eat. It's when we try to go out to dinner and...oh wait, that's right...we almost never go out to dinner because it's just too difficult to try to figure out what exactly my child (and myself) can eat off the menu:P. It's the ward parties that I have to bring our own food to, or my nice visiting teacher offering a cookie to my toddler that I have to refuse, or when some friends bring us a plate of cinnamon rolls and Spencer just has to them eat all by himself. It's frustrating because I know some of the food offered might be safe, it's that we don't know. Being the parent of an allergic child means that it's your job to control every piece of food that goes into your child's mouth. You have to know what's in that cookie or it simply has to be thrown out. I've become somewhat of a food Nazi. It's really hard sometimes, but it's my job. I do it because what else is there to do? I love my child and so I will do, as any other mother I know would, everything possible to keep them safe.

Now that we've gotten all that depressing stuff out of the way, here are a few things that make me happy:

I've become very fond of Burger King because they make it very clear on their website which of their foods are safe to eat and which aren't. They also fry their fries separate from their chicken (which is unsafe), so there isn't any chance of cross-contamination. As both Ezra and I are HUGE fries fans, having some sort of fries that are safe is essential to our survival. As a bonus, they have a play place in our local BK, so I can chill and eat my fries while Ezra runs around in the play place (although lately he's been getting stuck up at the very top and I've been having to go and rescue him...which is not so cool:P).

Ezra's nursery leaders have been so sweet about the whole allergy thing. They've made sure that not only are most of their regular snacks allergy-free, but whenever they bring special treats, it's safe for him to eat one too.

Italian ice is possibly the best stuff ever. It's like ice cream and popsicles mixed, which are possibly my two favorite foods ever. I'm particularly fond of Luigi's and Ezra's a big fan of PhillySwirls.

The fact that they have super-cute things like this for my child to wear.

My mom has special chicken nuggets, BBQ sauce, and crackers (among many other things) for her house so that Ezra always has something to eat there.

Ezra's improved disposition since we've taken him off allergens. He's still my temperamental little raincloud (with a scowl that could make a burly logger cry), but the rays of sunshine break through a lot more often.

I'm impressed if you've made it this far. Have a fabulous day!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Invisible

I just recieved this in an email sent from a friend. It seemed to fit very much how I was feeling today. Let's just say it has been a very loooong week. It was as comforting as chicken soup. So I thought I'd share it with you, all the other Invisible Women I know and love. Enjoy...

I'm Invisible

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone! One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well.

It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:
No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime, because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and dresses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Next Jackson Pollack, medium:Cheerios

While I was busy looking for a new bedspread online, Ezra was apparently busy himself...


He's got a bug and is not feeling well, so I thought I was safe to leave him alone for a few minutes while he vegged out in front of Thomas The Tank Engine. Ezra, obviously, had other plans. And yes, he's asleep next to his seemingly random configuration of thrown cereal. Abstract Expressionists: you ain't seem nothin' yet.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

How Gwate Thou Warrrt

Here's the long-promised How Great Thou Art video. A quick warning: The first half of the video is a mess (Ez was completely distracted) so, unless you are Grandma Lifferth or one of the Aunties, who might possibly find the first half intersting, I'd suggest you just skip ahead to about 1:10. Enjoy and have a fabulous day!


video


Who ever said diamonds were a girl's best friend had never seen a girl's first taste of chocolate. (for all my allergy buddies out there, the chocolate we used were these. The brand name is Enjoy Life and they're completely allergen free-yay!)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Big V

...and I don't mean a vasectomy! (teehehe)
I totally stole this idea off of Emily's blog, but like her, I thought it'd be fabulous to do on Valentine's Day.
What is your husbands name? Spencer
How long have you been together? We've been married for 3 and a half years, but "together" for a little over four.
How long did you date? Dated for 6 months, were engaged for 1 and a half.
Who eats more? Without a doubt-Spencer. That man could eat a horse and still have room for dessert.
Who said I love you first? Definitely me. Spence took a little while to warm up to the idea.
Who is taller? Spencer. I'm 5'2 and he's 5'8-5'9
Who has more speeding tickets? Spencer. I've gotten one and he's gotten innumerable (or has at least gotten pulled over innumerable times. It kills me how often cops let him go:P).
Who is more sensitive? Me. I get my feelings hurt pretty easily and cry often.
When there is a fight, who usually wins? That's a tricky one. I usually win the stupid little fights because I just keep at them, but when he wants to, he can really put his foot down (ex:like the fact he no longer has a (incredibly sexy) goatee-he totally won that one).
Who does the laundry? He usually starts it, I end up doing most of the loads, and then he usually folds them and puts them away b/c I have the attention span of a goldfish.
Who does the dishes? Usually Spence, although I always intend to.
Who sleeps on the right? Me (if you're looking up from the foot of the bed)
Who pays the bills? I used to, but lately he's kind of become a budget Nazi (in a good way), so he pays most of them.
Who mows the lawn? Spencer (man, I'm starting to sound lazy!)
Who cooks dinner? We both do-it's kind of a give and take.
Who drives when you are together? Spencer, although I might start driving occasionally just for the break from the kids.
Who is more stubborn? Me. Hands down. However, like I said, when Spence really puts his foot down he usually gets his way.
Who kissed whom first? I made sure he kissed me first (because it was his first kiss ever). I made up for the wait afterward, though ;).
Who asked out who first? He did. I actually turned him down the first time because I was dating someone else. I told Spencer when said boyfriend and I broke up and he asked me out soon after.
Who proposed? Spencer, although he knew I was more than willing considerably earlier.
Who has more siblings? Spencer. He has six siblings and I have four (living).
Hope you enjoyed it! Have a fabulous V-day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chocolate Blizzard

While I was blow-drying my hair this morning, Ezra (of course) decided to get into a bit of trouble. He was digging around in the cupboard (while standing on the counter), looking for fruit snacks, marshmallows, candy, or some other forbidden fruit, and stumbled across a treasure-trove of mischief. After playing in it a bit, Ezra proceeded to dump nearly an entire brand-spankin'-new tub of cooking cocoa in the sink and on the counter. The clincher, however, was that he poured a large pile of salt in the sink first, making both products completely unsalvageable. At least he managed to not get his clothes too dirty. His feet, however, we atrocious.

The whole situation was so ridiculous that I couldn't even get properly mad at him. Instead I decided to record his crime for all the world to see (including future prom dates:) and blogged it instead. Have a fabulous day!

Scratch that...Ezra just got back into the cocoa and this time, he did get it all over him (and the floor and the sink again). *sigh* This time, however, I got pictures...

Friday, February 8, 2008

Badge of Motherhood

You know what really annoys me? The whole Badge of Motherhood crap. I know you all know what I'm talking about (well...maybe Zach doesn't:P). This term can be applied to everything under the sun that deals with mommyhood. Stretchmarked thighs: Badge of Motherhood. Banana boobs: Badge of Motherhood. Mushy tummy: Badge of Motherhood. Orange spit-up down your new white shirt (which, incidentally Oxi-Clean does not get out): Badge of Motherhood. The term reminds me of something some gorgeous, uber-skinny single girl (with her handsome, chiseled bachelor of a boyfriend) coined to make her droopy sister feel better while she has one kid pulling on her skirt, another one sucking on her chin, and a third in the corner breaking her dishes. It's not that I don't think my wonderful children are worth every stretchmark and sag, but the phrase is just so patronizing. Why, oh why does the world think that I can't have two (or more) adorable children and still be fabulous?

Ok...rant over. Have a fabulous day!

PS-You know what I think is a real Badge of Motherhood? Mommybrain. How come no one tells us to celebrate that?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

This is me procrastinating...

Spencer pointed out to me last night that I haven't posted for a while, despite being home from my trip since Saturday night. I realized then that I've been avoiding posting like a bad homework assignment. The thought of trying to sum up everything I did in Alabama is a little daunting. So, while I work up the motivation for a proper post, I'll give you a few tidbits to keep us all going.

Last night, instead of eating his dinner, Ezra was carefully arranging his grape halves into a little pile. After doing this, he informed us that said pile was his fire. He insisted we needed marshmallows and hot dogs for the fire. We were also supposed to be very careful, lest we "burn and owie and dead," as he warned us many times. This he said in a very serious tone with lowered eyebrows and everything. Spencer and I tried to take his warning serious, but didn't succeed much. Gee, I wonder who he learns his fire safety from...probably not Spencer:P

On the political front: I'm a little disappointed about last night's Super Tuesday results. Despite not being sure who I'm going to vote for, or even which party, I did have some high hopes for my favorites. Romney didn't do nearly as well as expected...that darn Huckabee. It's not that I'm anti-McCain or anything, it just would've been nice to see a Mormon on the ballet. I'm also not loving the Obama/Clinton split. At least it didn't all go to Clinton, I suppose. Overall, right now, I'm still vacillating on who to support, although I'm leaning towards Obama. Feel free to put your favorite candidate and why in the comments, I'd love to hear your opinions! Have a fabulous day!