Saturday, December 31, 2011

I can't handle anymore, God.

I've been saying this a lot. "A lot" does not even describe it. He's probably so sick of hearing it, I'm saying it so often.

Two more weeks and I'm not sure I can do it.
Two more weeks and we should have the 2nd screening of Boomba's allergy tests back. In two week Boomba is expected to start his oral drops and that's when I'm expecting the magic to happen. Since we've been told of Boomba's whopping 20 allergen list, we've made a few changes to our diet only to see an INCREASE of reactions.

I can't handle anymore, God.

It was first Boomba's birthday a time of family and friends sitting together, laughing, sharing, and eating in our house. Then, Thanksgiving. Family came to our home to sit, laugh, and share. Oh and eat. Lastly Christmas. It's not just what happened with Christmas- the whole family coming to sit, laugh, share...and eat. It's the well-intentioned home baked (casein and allergy-filled) delights that were piled upon our counters one by one. Not to mention the fact Boomba reacted to a class 0 allergy on Christmas like it was a class III.

Point is it's been a long, allergy building season. And oh yeah,
I can't handle anymore, God.

Then Boomba got a fever. For three days. Then he got a rash. Was it the chicken pox? Was it Roseola- probably. That day every single thing I fed him, he reacted to. His unpleasant demeanor, him rubbing his head, and then him grabbing is throat was the last straw. We called the local clinic on a Friday at 4pm to see if they could squeeze him in. Thank God they could.

The rash, I'd never had guessed, was a reaction.

You'd think I would know a reaction when I saw it after 2 years of Allergy Momming.
Steroid shot.
Oral steroids for a week.

The relief in our household was tactile.
Light hearts.

Saturday morning we stuck with one of our 5 "safe foods" Rice. Warm rice with sugar and soy milk and craisins and raisins. MMmmmmmMMMmmm.
Go ahead.
Try it.

We slowly got dressed at our leisure, taking it easy and then when it was time I did the monthly grocery run all by myself.
Could this day get any better?

I returned home to a seemingly starving Boomba and a 20 minute wait on lunch, we served up a simple sliced cucumber as a hold-em-over and even splashed a little French dressing to dip!

And then he reacted.

To what? I suppose the answer is "french dressing". The real answer is "I don't know what ingredient it was and....
I can't handle ANYMORE, God!"

After a long talk.
After being showered with encouragement.
It seems true.
The devil is a tough opponent in a battle already won.

I've been feeling like a horrible wife and mother. Truth is I am. I'm a sinner. I couldn't save myself if I tried. Good thing I don't have to.

I don't know why God thinks(knows) we can live this way. But the only thing that I really do know- He's right.
God is omniscient.

This world is proof of the ugliness of sin. The corrupted disintegrating effects of sin.

It's hard living here (I want to be very pointed in saying that "here" means this world). But I think that's what makes Heaven so sweet.
We are forced to rely on our God and what beauty is that.

Everyone is talking about 2011 and what is to come in 2012, seeing it *is* after all, New Years Eve. All I can think about is the next snack/meal time.
2012 will come eventually.
God's got it handled.

So even though *I* can't handle anymore, God can. He knows what I can handle. It is purely through His grace I can "handle" anything at all. I don't know what 2012 will bring. It will most likely bring more reactions. God willing, it will bring good times too. The important thing is, soon all believers will be living in a much different place than this. I cannot even understand what a picture of perfection is. But I'm going to see it.
I think I'm going to like it too.

Everyone is baring a heavy cross of their own right now. I pray God's peace and deliverance for you. May God bless you as we see another worldly year plugging past.

Friday, December 23, 2011

"It's the Most Horible Time of the Year"

Today is the day before Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve Eve.
Our door bell has rung multiple times today with thoughtful and loving people stopping by to bring thoughtful and loving Casein-Filled treats into our home.
As our Casein Pile grows and we wonder how to keep Climby Climberson out of it, I was inspired to write this version of the ole time favorite "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year".
Please sit back, relax and enjoy...

An Allergy Mom's Rendition of
"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"

It's the most horrific time of the year.
It's the worst time of the year,
... It's the scare-Scariest time of the year!
It's the most horrific time
It's the scare-Scariest time of the year!

It's the most horrific time of the year

There'll be buttery baked goods and
Casein-y taste-goods
And contaminates on ev'ry plate.
There'll be scary reactions
and tales of survival
And we'll try'er again in a year!

It's the most horrific time of the year.
It's the worst time of the year,
It's the scare-Scariest time of the year!
It's the most horrific time
It's the scare-Scariest time of the year!

There'll be much Bendryl-ing
And throats will be swelling
When loved ones are near!
It's the Scare- scariest time of the year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Banana Hors D'oeuvres

This has been sitting in a file waiting to be published for a while now.
Let's get on it!

When sweet craves salty.
When toddlers want fancy.
We make Banana Hors Doeuvres!

Ps- I'm not so familiar with fanciness in toddlers but I'm assuming daughters might appreciate that. Boomba, all boy and all, likes 'em too.

(I am hoping to soon learn how to spell "Hors Doeuvres").
Hors Doeuvres
Hors Doeuvres
Hors Doeuvres......

Hors Doeuvres.

Those letters don't even belong together.

Here's what I'm talking about.
Oh jeez. I mispelled the title on the picture!
Those letters -don't- even belong together!

The fancy How To:
1. Slice a banana.
2. Stick it with a (Casein Free) pretzel stick.

Wheeeew! After all of that, you deserve an Hors Doeuvres!
Hey! I spelled that one without looking!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

And Then There Were 20

It's been much too long.

There are so many Blog-Abouts listed on my To Do list but first thing is first.

Yesterday was Boomba's Allergist Appointment. The appointment in which we would find out his test results!

We drove the almost 2 hours to get to town.
We walked around Wal-mart and the mall and finally it was time.
Appointment time!!!! We've been waiting 6 weeks for this!

We were called into the room sooner than later the Dr opened a folder to a sheet of unreadables as if we could understand what it said.

I searched the paper looking for words I knew among all of the symbols and numbers.

Casein of course jumped out first. What else? Beef?
What does this mean?

He sat back in his chair and said "You have a very allergic kid." He continued "See this number? It's the specific number as to how allergic Boomba is to these things- his allergy number."

The number meant nothing to me. Was is high for a 2 yr old?

"This number is higher then a very allergic adult's number would be."

Ah. That was simple. Wow.

As we asked questions we discovered more and more. There were 20 allergens he tested positive to in this screening.

They are each asigned a "count"-a specific number that explains how allergic Boomba is to it. Those "counts" as classified into a "class" to denote how severe the allergy is. Classes are as follows from least to highest: 0, 0/I, II, III, IIII, V. I don't know if it gets worse than a class V.

As predicted Boomba's worst allergy is to Casein. The question was how severe is it?
Class III is the answer. Class III allergies are very severe and it is something we cannot allow him to come in contact with. This isn't new information- but I'm glad to know it's not a IIII or a V.

Second is his Beef allergy which is described as a Class II.

We eat beef a few times a week and we asked if it was something we needed to wipe from our diet too. Dr explained it's not about treating numbers, it's about treating a sick child and depending on how sick Boomba is will determine if we are eating beef or not. Makes sense.

So that's 2 of 20....

There were 2 Class I's:
Kentucky Blue Grass

Next are his Class 0/I:
Box Elder Maple
Cat hair
2 grass molds

I'm soon going to be googling the difference between Wheat and Gluten especially because wheat was not listed as a plant but as a food.

Class 0 allergies were:
Johnson Grass
Common Short Ragweed
English Plantain
White Oak
American Elm
White Potato

This is all a lot to take in. They drew four vials of blood last time and so they confirmed they have enough blood left over to do additional testing without having to draw more. They will test for additional common environmental allergies along with 20 additional food allergies. We were responsible to picking out the 20 food allergies to test for.
Where do we start?
We looked at the paper and asked how to choose 20 out of the three columns looking back at us. The trick was to choose the things we most commonly eat and enjoy eating. Black pepper, chili powder, garlic, chicken, pork, bananas, apples, grapes, on and on.

That was the weirdest feeling- putting an "x" next to a food we wanted him test for. I wished I could check all of them.

After they get the results from this second test Dr will order an Oral Drop that will protect Boomba against the environmental allergens he's allergic to and thus make his food allergies more tolerable. His body wont constantly be fighting the environmental allergens and they wont be built up in his system, leaving more leeway for his food allergy exposure. I'm glad this is all happening during the winter months as we're inside most of the time anyway.

We ran through a lot of possibilities anticipating the results we would read. We did not anticipate learning of 19 additional allergies to be aware of. We will get the results of this next run in about a month.
Will they have a list of 20 more allergies for us?
Will the do ADDITIONAL testing?

Interesting fact:
Human milk does not contain casein like goat and cow's milk. That's why casein-allergic kids can be breastfed as long as the mother does not eat casein products.
Cool, huh?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sippy Cup Corral

Hate your Tupperware drawer/cabinet/etc?

Me too.

Do your kids delight in dumping your initially organized stack of plastic ware?

Me too.

Unite my fellow parents!

The night is OURS!!!!!!!

No more will we spend our evenings picking up and stacking plastic do-hickies.

We will RECLAIM our floor space and party if we want to!

Okay, maybe that's drastic, the kids are gunna dump the Tupperware, and they (we) are gunna spend some amount of time picking it up.


By simply using a loose basket, cleanup is quicker and easier.

Make sure to get a (durable) basket that will fit IN your cabinet, or somewhere reasonable that's also easily in reach of our babes- cuz, let's face it, it's a safe way for our kids to play and learn in the kitchen!

Send the children away with the basket and tell them to "Recover the bounty"!
*Warning* this does make it particularly easy to "dump" the contents, but I see that as one con in a whole stack of pros...

All you have to do is throw the cups and lids from the dishwasher into the basket and slide the basket in the cabinet! I have to admit my son has been known to take it upon himself to unload the things he knows belong in the green basket.

I will also admit to you that it is very easy to send Boomba to get a cup and lid himself. Ahhh he's such a big boy!

Hey- another play/learn experience. SCORE!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Casein Free Chocolate Chips Recipe Sneak Peek

Introducing Momuporgohome's 1st Original CF Recipe:

This is just a teaser taste! Recipe will be published SOON!
I'll say these taste -just like- Hersey's brand chocolate chips!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Air Freshener & Humidifier

It's fall.


Simply keep water simmering on the stove and add to it: used up orange peel, cinnamon (ground and/or sticks), cloves, and maybe even some lime or lemon juice to add more citrus, to create a warm smell of Autumn in your haven of a home.

This is also a tried and true way to add moisture to the cool autumn air.

The trick is to make sure to keep the pot pretty full and always turn the stove off when not attending the pot.

Though it will not look this beautiful for days, it can be used for its other benefits for a looooooong time.

Casein Free Chocolate Fudge Topping Recipe

This post was formally known as the "Casein Free Chocolate CHIP Recipe". But after some careful consideration I decided that it wasn't good enough.

This recipe as "chips" are tasty, but other than that- they are MELTY. So melty that they cannot be used in place of Casein Contaminated Chocolate chips. I'm not suggesting using Casein Chips. I'm suggesting a NEW and BETTER recipe! A recipe that will soon be linked to this vary page after a few more "tests" to make sure it's good enough to be on Mom Up or Go Home.
Stay tuned for the link!
Till then, enjoy some FUDGEy goodness!

I was thrilled when I found a recipe for Home Made Chocolate Chips here. Today was my second attempt at the recipe.

To make these into a Casein Free treat, you just have to use Casein Free "butter". I've recently discovered that Parkay Lite is Casein Free! Check the labels for your self, every time to be sure though. I would encourage writing to a company to let them know you appreciate that they are serving your family with an allergy safe product. I would even recommended writing a thank you note to a company that correctly labels their products so you know they are not safe for your family due to allergens. These links lead right to the email format- I did all the work for ya, you just gotta send a note now. Great Value from Wal Mart is VERY good at labeling for allergens.


The first time I made these I used salted Margarine (the only CF "butter" we had) and they were SALTY! This time I used my Parkay Lite and it tasted a lot better.

My only complaint about this recipe is that the chips melt VERY quickly. So quickly they make only "ugly cookies" as the original blogger describes.
I'll take ugly and safe compared to casein chips any day. But why, when you can have a better recipe? Use this as a fudge to pour over desserts! It's sooo good!

Here we go, another stab at

First thing is first- get a double broiler going. This overwhelmed me the first time I made this, but it's EASY! You can put the ingredients into a glass jar and set in it a pot of boiling water. I, however, put a metal mixing bowl on top of a boiling pot of water. This is so your ingredients don't scorch.

Pictured below is Boomba sneaking an early taste. It's also to show that even though it look that way, I didn't fill a casserole dish up to the brim. I lined my casserole pan and it's lid with wax paper and this picture is of the lid, filled with Chocolate Chip Yummy Goodness. The reason I over flowed into the lid? I made a double batch! heheheheeee.
Who's sneaky now?

Because this recipe is best for fudge topping, you could pour the mixture directly into a Tupperware container and set it in the fridge to cool. Store it in the freezer, lidded once cooled completely. If you don't have the patience, your lid might pop as it cools!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Suffering: an Opportunity to See God's "Omni" Attributes

I've been thinking a lot about allergies.
I've been thinking a lot about suffering.
I've been thinking a lot about anger.
I've been thinking a lot about sin.
I've been thinking a lot about God.

See how that works?
Hardship comes and we get upset, angry, sad, and then we turn to God.

I have lovely, Christ-centered, caring, intuitive friends; thank God. They've been reminding me that heavy burdens are only given to you if God knows you can handle the weight. Wouldn't you know I even caught myself saying a few lines that I needed to hear more than anyone?

As I talked to a friend today I reminded her that her hardship was an opportunity.
Yea, we're still friends.

I continued to explain that a time of stress and wonder and uncertainty is an opportunity to really see and enjoy how perfectly God does provide. He is Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnipotent. During hard times we turn to the cross, strengthened by the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We realize we are but sinners and it is God who we depend on. In these hard times we get a chance to remember God has it all under control and we really can't do anything about our situation; then again, why would we? Our actions are sinful and worldly based. Praise the Lord it is He who is in control.

It is He who is Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnipotent.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
-John 14:27 NIV

Home Made Finger Paints

Pinterest sure has got me hooked. I tuck little project ideas away for a lazy day and end up with this:

I originally got the recipe here. Notice you need to heat the ingredients on the stove top for about 10-15 minutes, constantly stirring the mixture. This recipe makes enough to fill 4 of those handy reusable Gerber baby food containers we all have laying in the cupboards.

After the solution coagulates, it looks like Vaseline. Weird, right?

After the concoction is ready to paint with (it's colored and cooled), it feels quite weird. It's smooth but leaves a texture and residue on your hands when it dries a bit. As long as you're not allergic to corn (and if you are, you can substitute corn scratch for cream of tarter and arrow root) it's safe and fun and cleans easily. Believe me, I know. I only put 3 drops of color in each container because I was afraid the coloring would stain if it was too concentrated, but it turns out that leaves the color quite pale. This definitively does the trick, but I'm open to trying a new recipe too.
Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

CF Vegan Cheddar Alternative

My prized possession. This block of not-cheese holds so many possibilities. My son could enjoy his first bowl of mac n' "cheese" or he could have an omelet that includes shredded "cheese".

In fact, I did use this to make Boomba Mac N "Cheese" Honestly, it was horrible. BUT I was a little silly with the preparation. Noodles, Soy Milk, and "Cheese".
I really should have added a seasoning or two, or even some bacon bits. I've discovered that bacon bits really help add a smokey flavor to the "cheese".

After I tried and failed at Mac N "Cheese" I shredded the remains and froze them for future use. It takes courage to try new things. Especially when they taste like coagulated vegetable oil...

Next was the Omelet. That, my friends, was De-Lish!
The omelet also included onions, green peppers, paprika and BACON BITS!
I fooled myself and thought I was eating real cheese!

Most recently was the wonderment of Pumpkin Pasta! The dish probably could have gone without the small addition of the "cheese", but I'd also like to think it was a positive experience with the Veagn-"Cheese" weirdness.

Not bias at all, feel that?
(sarcasm to the max)

Casein Free Caramelized Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Aren't those just lovely?
Imagine the taste.
Here's the recipe.

I used this site as a guide for how to go about preparing and drying the seeds out.

I'm not a pumpkin seed professional by any means. That's why I needed that second site to even tell me what to do to the seeds, but I will commit to this: These are the BEST pumpkin seeds EVER!

Sugar, Cumin, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cayenne....MmmmMMmmmm Doggie!
You gotta get you some of these! If you do make some, make sure there's plenty to share too.

Casein Free Quick N Easy Dinner Rolls

No seriously.
These are Quick AND Easy! The quick part is relative. This is a yeast recipe, but I've read that you don't really have to wait to let them rise. If you go that route this is a 25 minute recipe INCLUDING 18 minutes of cook time. Did you catch that? I had to let mine cook for 18 minutes. The 15 suggested left them just a bit doughy in the middle, even though the toothpick came out clean.

I recently tried skipping the wait time and I think it's well worth making sure to include it. Also- don't mistake tsp for TB when it comes to salt, like I did! Whoa!

These dinner rolls are so soft and a little bit flaky, too. They are made in a muffin tin so that means easy, Easy, EASY!

If you're interested click here for the recipe.

Casein Free Pumpkin Pasties & "Evaporated Milk"

As mentioned in my post about Pumpkin Pasta, I found a great website with 100 Pumpkin Recipes.

Pumpkin Pasties are a dessert talked about in Harry Potter, and happen to be a great fall pastry to serve up. I'm planning on making them again for Thanksgiving. You can also get creative and fill them with other flavors to create a personal pie for any occasion!

The main substitution here is for Evaporated Milk.

I found a very helpful site By scrolling down to the "Substituting for Evaporated Milk" section, you will discover the secret!

All you have to do is simmer a safe milk alternative (Rice or Soy Milk) without scorching it. Carefully simmer 3 cups of safe milk alternative until it's 1 cup! This did take a while and I did scorch it... no biggie...

When there is about 1 cup remaining add 1 1/4 Cup of sugar and completely dissolve in the sauce pan.

Here's what the final product looked like.

Don't just brush the pastie with beaten egg, add a bit of water to the wash to get a smoother golden top!

Casein Free Pumpkin Pasta

I found a few recipes on this site after I googled "pumpkin recipe". To be precise, I found 100! But I specifically was drawn to Pumpkin Pasties, Pumpkin Chili, and Pumpkin Pasta.

This is Pumpkin Pasta.

It was very easy to make this recipe into a Casein friendly meal. I keep a dish of shredded "cheddar" in the freezer for such occasions. This recipe calls for a lot of Parmesan and other various cheeses, but I just sprinkled a bit of our safe "cheddar" and let 'er cook! We used soy milk instead of cream. I usually use Coconut creamer instead of cream (like in my Scone recipe) but we work with what we have, and we had Silk!

I have to tell you. With every bite my husband was "MmmmMmm"-ing and he never does that! It was an easy, festive, savory dish.

Monday, October 24, 2011

We Must be Our Own Advocates

Here is Husband walking Boomba up and down the ER hallways. Give a 2 year old a steroid and try to have him sit nicely for 3 hours... This brings us to today's story:

We went to the ER recently because after Benadryl and a breathing treatment Boomba's reaction worsened. We were unable to control it at home and it was going down hill quickly.

We were slowly admitted into an unnamed hospital and asked over and over again "He's allergic to what?!"

Finally a nurse phoned the on call Dr. who would be driving over shortly "He's allergic to Case Tracein" she said. I made sure to correct her "Casein. Trace Casein, Ma'am."

The nursed looked at him, lobster red, eyes swollen shut and giggled "poor thing...wonder what he got into?"

It took everything in me not to yell, I instead asserted "Casein. He's anephelactically allergic" (for the 10th time).

He was finally given a steroid shot and we were told to wait it out for an hour in the waiting room.

His condition worsened, thankfully the breathing treatment seemed to be holding. His airways were getting clear even though his poor little body was getting worse.

FINALLY the Dr walked out with a cheater book and asked (again) how much Bendryl I had given him. "1/2 teaspoon" I explained for the -literally- 7th time. "Oh. He can have 1 teaspoon."

It was my fault. I didn't realize Boomba had grown enough to be able to take a full teaspoon dose yet. This whole thing may have been avoided if I would have just given him the correct amount in the first place! Mom fail. I can't help but wonder why in the world no nurse or Dr gave him the full does as soon as we were admitted. They should have known. I should have known.

There were several instances that made it clear that the nurses and Drs did not know much at all about allergic reactions. You drive fearfully and helplessly to an ER and expect not only that they will take care of everything, but that you wont have to teach them what an allergic reaction is.

I asked the Dr at discharge if he would prescribe a steroid to ward off any reactions in the next few days. See, after a reaction the allergen is still in your system and you can have a flare at any time. Not only that, if you're exposed again, the reaction can be worse 7 fold. Dr's reply. "Well... he's had Casein before and was fine, hasn't he?"


Were you here for the last 3 hours while I waited and talked to you in your waiting room? Do you know that you've been "watching" my son for 3 hours BECAUSE he was exposed to casein?


Rewind to when we were first talking to the Dr:
"It's prime allergy season, could we give him a general daily antihistamine to head off these reactions- in case he's also allergic to an environmental allergen that's making his especially susceptible"? we ask.

Dr answers "well....uh. Those are pollens. He's allergic to....uhhhh.... food- right?"

I'll have you know we called his new allergist (we've recently moved) the day after this visit and the first thing they said is "Isn't he on a daily antihistamine?!" We have been to the ER two times, to two doctors and a nurse practitioner and this is the 1st time we've gotten a go ahead for a daily antihistamine!

I could go on. Seriously, "well trained" "professionals" have dropped the ball so many times it's disheartening. I hate being that person. I hate being that mom. It's not in my nature to be over protective. To prove this further, I won't even call to order a pizza. I just don't like it. I am not that person.

We must be our own advocates. It's sad. But we must. We must take responsibility. We must double and triple check. We must be the catalyst. By handling these situations with grace and appreciation we may be able to help raise awareness and education for this widely growing problem.

I know this is a more than HUGE vent. I don't blame you if you're not reading anymore- hahaha get it? It's funny because you ARE still reading... anyway.

But it really proves that this is a learning experience and if it weren't for God's grace and power we would be and have nothing. He is our sustainer. He is our comforter. He is our rock.


In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

I wonder if there's a limit as to how much I can type in one post? I'm sure I'll have another chance to try again.

Milk can be found WHERE?

First of all, click here.
This website isn't aesthetically appealing and for a studio arts major it was almost an instant turn off. But, major BUT here! The information this link provides is eye opening and may be life saving to a severely casein allergic person!

The list goes on and On and ON!

Milk Protein can be found in several Dentistry products, Toothpastes, in some latex gloves, gums, sunscreens, cosmetics, lotions, medications, trans fats, and vegetable wax too. Scary.

This site explains that companies are not regulated to label for allergen traces. The warning "May Contain" is voluntary, not mandatory. That's why I have been known to spend whole nap times writing Thank You e-mails to companies that provide safe and efficient labeled products.

Duncan Hines box cakes are generally safe (I say generally because you can't just assume they are and not read the label every time). Companies change their recipes quite often. Companies manufacture in different facilities.

Oreos are a favorite that are casein free!

Pillsbury Aerosol Icing Cans seem to be safe.

Marshmallows are a favorite safe splurge.

Hershey's Chocolate Syrup- casein free!

This is an ill organized post. I was just trying to get the infomation down- quick.
For more information make sure to click on the link at the top of the page.

If you'd like to read about how We Must be Our Own Advocates, give it a click too!

Casein Free Hot Cocoa

Soy milk
+ Hershey's Chocolate Syrup
= not so good

We've tried a few casein free hot cocoa recipes and adventures but I have to admit, Kelly Rudnicki's recipe is so far my favorite. Kelly's website is a great resource.
She describes her life's purpose as this: "To raise awareness and increase funding for food allergy research. Please give her a click and search!"

It has become my life’s purpose to raise awareness and increase funding for food allergy research.
-Kelly Rudnicki

This was a simple recipe and very very rich! In fact if we were to change it we would adjust the soy milk by 1/2 and add water instead! What a joy it is to have a Hot Chocolate Movie Night BEFORE Boomba goes to bed! We don't have to be worried about any "spilled milk" with this one!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Re-Purpose Oatmeal Canister into "Shelving"

Sharpies are not for 2 year olds.

Though I try to make this clear, the desire for the multi-perma-color- markers is too strong.

I still need them accessible.
What to do? What to do?

Ah Ha!

Forget the screw, use a push pin, I did.
If you covered the canister before mounting, it be even cooler.
You could leave the lid on if you'd like too.

Genius strikes again.

That's all.

Crayons in an Index Card Case

Does it need an explanation?


Why am I continuing to write?

It's a blog.

Got it?

Index Card Holders=GREAT Crayon Corrals.

10 Mommy Points to me!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quiet Marble Maze

I saw a fantastic idea on none other than recently and had to try it for myself immediatley.

Here's what started it all.

I cut two strips of the blankets and sewed them together wrong sides together- leaving an opening to turn the strip right side out. Then I looped it to create a hangy-hoop.

I took two old receiving blankets, cut them to a handle-able size put the loopy hangy-hoop raw side out and sandwiched between the square. I stitched nearly around the square, wrong sides together. and then turned it right sides out.

I broke a dollar store Mighty Bean to get the ball bearing from inside and dropped it in the opening. (Please don't tell Boomba about the Mighty Bean...)

Now close'r up by top stitching around the whole thing- making sure to stitch the opening beautifully closed.

Now- pay attention to how much room you want to give the marble (ball bearing) and think about what kind of maze-pattern you'd like to forever stitch onto this toy.

I used a checker patterned receiving blanket so I easily was able to keep track of how much room I wanted to leave for the ball. I did straight lines across, leaving a random break in the stitching for the ball to go to the next level. At every start and stop make sure to secure the end by back stitching. Be conscious about the size of the opening too. Get creative! You could use shapes like an apple or anything. You also could pre-draw the stitch patten on before you go all free-hand on it.

See there ya are. In just a few minutes- a Quiet Marble Maze!

The marble is in there, don't let the patterned fabric fool ya. It's there.

Also, excuse my quick and quite skewed cell phone photography (lack of) skill displayed here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Never Too Early: When a Parent Loses a Child

Husband just read aloud this article "Notes from a Dragon Mom" from the New York Times.

Grab a box of tissues for this'n. Emily Rapp writes a blunt and fierce reminder of what our true priorities and goals are as parents. Our goal should not be primarily to raise an award gaining child. Our goal is to love and teach our children. Enjoy the short time we have with them.

I've always feared that Husband and I would lose Boomba. I know if sounds extreme, but I'm also sure this is a fear most parents have. There's been a couple of close calls and he's only on the early side of two. Reading this article is a great shock of perspective.

A food allergy is not a death sentence. Tay-Sachs is. "Food allergies cause approximately 150 to 200 fatalities per year" but when you think about it, that's not that many. With the science of Epi-Pens and antihistamines ranging from creams, oral medications, shots, sprays, and more- even anaphylaxis can be treated in time to save a life.

My strength has always come from two statements of reasoning:

1. It's not a disease.
2. Boomba is God's child, and God wont take him "too early".

When ever anyone dies it's never "too early". People who say that are wrong. God's timing is perfect. Though God's timing and ours is rarely (never) in sync (in the same imaginable range), we know that it is God's timing that is perfect.

Why do we continue to toil in worry when we know God is all powerful and has our best interests in His (PERFECT!) hands?

Lord, please bless the Rapp family and all who are dealing with the sting of death. Please assure us that it is your timing that is perfect, by no means is it ours. Please give us comfort in this, knowing we are all your children and we are but strangers in this place, waiting to return to the perfect home in which you've prepared specifically for us.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Casein Free Donuts or "Doughnuts"?

Sister in law came over for a long weekend visit and we couldn't help ourselves, but make DONUTS!

We searched for a recipe. We searched for a recipe that did not include waiting for yeast work. We wanted to make these! But the recipe didn't meet our short list of requirements:

1. Casein Free

So the search continued and turned up an interesting find "My Dad's Secret Donut Recipe". It's a video recipe. If you watch it you can go back and scroll through to the recipe as you cook. There is also two glaze recipes under the youtube video that we tried- the chocolate is REALLY good. The donuts are amazing fresh but don't keep well too long. We made a double batch and ate and ate and ate on them.

No regrets.

Here's a little "taste" of how it all went down.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Struggle with Sin: Continued

So I actually never wrote an entry entitled "My Struggle with Sin", but it's a recurrence that makes the initial blog entry START with "Continued". I hate sin. I KNOW God will care for me. I KNOW God knows better than I know what I need. He will -WILL- give me what I need. I find my self in a whirl wind of sin. Constantly.

This is a "duh" moment, I know. But it's a *real* issue. Life and death, actually.

I'm angry.
I'm angry that I can't accomplish what I want to in a day- or year. I'm angry that I get angry. I'm angry that my one and only child has such a severe allergy- that he can't even touch contaminated surfaces.
I'm so angry.
I don't know why God gave me (and Husband) such a cross to bare.
I wish all the time I could be a "normal mom" with a "normal family". Then I would never be frustrated at dirty dish-covered counters or two-year-old-tantrums. If we were "normal" I would be happy.

That's a lie.

Because I lived a life that was different than this one and I was still angry. Angry at injustices and this sin covered world. Everyone is angry at the specific sin in their own lives.
What an opponent the devil makes himself.

The truth is the devil and his sinful suffocation is no match for God. Thank God that it is He who is my defender. Thank God that it is He who conquered death. Thank God that is it He who gives me the gift of eternal life in baptism and the means of grace.

My motto was always "What's the worst that could happen, death? Then let it be- for that is when I shall meet my maker in His perfect home." So true. This life is only temporary. Heaven is my home. I'm but a stranger here.

I’m But a Stranger Here
By: Thomas R. Taylor

I’m but a stranger here,
Heaven is my home;
Earth is a desert drear,
Heaven is my home;
Danger and sorrow stand
Round me on every hand;
Heaven is my fatherland,
Heaven is my home.

What though the tempest rage,
Heaven is my home;
Short is my pilgrimage,
Heaven is my home;
And time’s wintry blast
Soon shall be over past;
I shall reach home at last,
Heaven is my home.

Therefore I murmur not,
Heaven is my home;
Whatever my earthly lot,
Heaven is my home;
And I shall surely stand
There at my Lord’s right hand.
Heaven is my fatherland,
Heaven is my home.

Hymn # 515
Lutheran Worship
Author: Arthur S. Sullivan
Tune: Heaven Is My Home
1st Published in: 1836

It was just recently I really connected with this song. 25 years of singing it and I guess I finally read the words instead of just singing it. Pastor preached an excellent sermon that if I was questioned I'd admit was written for me. Come to find out after coffee and cookies that Sunday many parishioners thought that vary thought. Pastor explained that living in sin is frustrating. It is hard. It's good we feel this way.

Wait. Hold the phone.

It's good?

If we weren't so applauded by sin, so repulsed by it- we wouldn't be fighting the good fight. We're on this side of sin and we can see though our faithful eyes how condemning and destructive sin is.

Lord, please use me as your tool. Speak though me in my thoughts, words, and deeds. Please comfort me and let the evil foe have no control over me. Bless me and keep me. Hold me steady against these stormy winds. Be with my son. He is yours and you have entrusted me to do my best with him. Let your will be done. Be with my husband as you have joined us as one. Strengthen and keep him also. Enable me to be a well-suited help meet for him. Lord I ask all of this in your name Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Casein Free Grilled Peanut Butter & Jelly

Wednesdays are Momma and Baby Days. Husband has lots of hours to put in on hump day and so Boomba and I usually figure out something special to do. I thought it would be a perfect day to make Chili together! Wrong. I soaked those beans ALL DAY, and nothing. So a quick adjustment to dinner plans included an easy peasy Grilled Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich with nothing other than Apple Sauce on the side. I'll tell you what, Boomba was sold when I encouraged him to dip his PB&J Cube in his Apple Sauce. (I don't know why it took encouragement...)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sometimes I forget I'm Blond

No. Really.
I've tried only a few times to dye my hair. As a child it was Red Kool-Aid. Then it became a frosted streak in my hair. Once I even tried highlights.
My hair would have none of it.

I was born with brown hair. It seemed as though my hair would always be brown.

No biggie. After a while I started thinking it was like a purity au natural "thing" to have my natural hair color. I have always wondered what I would look like blond!

One day curiosity got me. I walked over the the Dollar General and bought Nice N Easy Maximum blond and gave it another shot.



Not too shabby. I did go right to Walmart recently and buy a brown to go back. But- I'm waiting... I think I like this.

Casein Free Sugar Cookies

I have a cookie baking aversion.
In a hot pursuit in the midst of a cookie baking surge I discovered this. I hate baking cookies. I hate baking the type of cookies you have to chill and roll out and blah blah blah! It takes all day. It's messy. Then, they're GONE! Even so, I felt the urge to bake cookies and knew for the sake of Husband I needed to coincide with this urge and run with it. Husband happily accepted a very late dinner to get these cookies (i.e. did I mention they take ALL DAY?). I still have a mess in the kitchen to clean up. The question is- how many hours/days ago did I make cookies? P.S. After baking cookies I am not one who has the energy to frost them. Your only hope is to drizzle chocolate syrup on it and be happy; which by the way is a great way to enjoy these little suckers! (ahem: Time Suckers).

I'm sorry.
I've been married 4 years and can count the times I've made cookies on only a few fingers- that includes cookie bars. Thank you genius who create cookie bars by the way!

At least I can blog about cookies... that's definitely a redeeming quality...

I must admit there is a certain joy to giving Boomba (okay okay and Husband) a safe cookie. As far as cookies go these are pretty easy and simple. In fact I even read (and proceeded to copy her ways) of a lady didn't chill these as recommended by the instructions and though they got a little sticky- it all worked out.

Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups Safe CF "butter", softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight)- or don't.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

*NOTE* I used a biscuit cutter. It made giant cookies with a pretty scallop edge.

3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

In the picture above, the top row are cooling baked cookies and the second and third rows are cookies awaiting baking.

Casein Free Apple Dessert Pizza

My family loves to make home made pizza very regularly. It's so fun to get the whole family in the kitchen with flour fly'n everywhere! It's a great activity that Boomba (now nearing 2) can help with. We try to make sure Boomba gets to help a lot with baking and cooking. When he can't help, we pull up a chair and give him play dough to play with in the mean time.

One day while making Casein Free Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza we decided to double our dough recipe to make a thicker crust. Having dough left over, we went to work on a Dessert Pizza. I Googled this to get my start. We hardly ever have nuts in the house just because they're expensive, so naturally we left them out!
First, the dough!

NO Milk NO yeast Pizza Dough
2 Cups Flour
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Powder
2/3 Cups Water

425 Degrees for 25 minutes or until golden

Knead until workable and spreadable (2 minutes)

On a floured surface roll with a rolling pin in desired thickness and size.


Apple Dessert Pizza Toppings

2 Apples, Grated
1/2 t Ground Cinnamon
2 TB Brown Sugar
2 TB Safe CF "Butter"

Evenly top on crust. Sprinkle Struesel as topping.

1 Cup Struesel Topping

1/2 C Flour
2 TB Quick Oats
4 TB Safe CF "Butter"
2 TB Brown Sugar

Bake at 350 Degrees for about 10-15 minutes, watching for browned edges.

We love this addition to Pizza Night!

Casein Free BBQ Chicken Pizza + Dough

We've always enjoyed making homemade pizza.

Living Casein Free has made this...."interesting".
We've figured out that a pizza without cheese really isn't pizza. Or is it? Maybe we had to change our thinking. Broaden the horizons.

Challenge: ACCEPTED!

My mom likes all these new-fangled flavors pizzas come. Thank you mom! It was while eating a Not Pepperoni pizza that Husband and I started thinking. Previously we had been making hamburger pizzas without cheese, and that friends, is just wrong. Ew.

We don't even miss the cheese on BBQ Chicken pizza! Here's how we do it. First, the dough! We much prefer yeast dough but because we don't ever know when the urge to make homemade pizza will strike- and we have yet to make a batch of yeast dough to freeze, we stick (get it? "stick"...dough it sticky!!!hehehehe) with NO Milk NO yeast Pizza Dough.

NO Milk NO yeast Pizza Dough
2 Cups Flour
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Powder
2/3 Cups Water

425 Degrees for 25 minutes or until golden

Knead until workable and spreadable (2 minutes)

On a floured surface roll with a rolling pin in desired thickness and size.

*NOTE* There is a note that we chose to ignore but you can spread 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil on the crust with your fingers to keep the sauce from soaking in, but we find it makes it mushy and we don't have a problem with soaking sauces.
*NOTE* Make a double batch to give yourself more dough to work with and so you have a bit left over to make a yummy Apple Dessert Pizza!

BBQ Chicken Pizza Topp'ns

Cut up a couple of boneless skinless chicken breasts and cook on a skillet with a small about of safe oil.

I like to add Powdered BBQ Rub seasoning (Pampered Chef makes a yummy one that actually admits to maybe containing traces of Milk, but Boomba seems fine after having it!) I also add Dried Onions, Paprika, Garlic (fresh if possible) and whatever else I can throw in there. I also put some Black Olives in the mix and sliced Mushrooms.

Grab your favorite bottle of BBQ Sauce. We always have Kraft in our pantry- I think because it's constantly on sale. Have you ever tried A&W's BBQ Sauce? That deserves it's own blog entry! Anyway- Brush a generous amount of sauce onto the crust and add your skillet of goodness on top! Drizzle the pizza with a bit more (maybe watered down) BBQ sauce.

Bake at 425 Degrees for about 25 minutes or until cheese is melted crust is golden.

Living Casein Free can be debilitating in the wrong mindset- overwhelming at least! But if you try to think of it as an adventure and a challenge to get creative- it can be very rewarding. I can't tell you how great it is to know Boomba can safely eat these things- and that they are not only safe, but great tasting. I hope he doesn't think about food and associate it with "can't haves" but think of it as "family times together" and "fun" and "tasty".

No-Mess Magnetic Letter Tray

"No-Mess" is a bit liberal. I guess it should really be called "Likely not to end in magnetic letters under the fridge- Magnetic Letter Tray". If you recall Magnetic Letters are a common thread 'round here. If you'd like a visual aid in this recollection click Here and Here.

My friend came to me in the fury of a big move with a pile o' junk asking me to dispose of it since they were moving that morning. In this pile was an old small baking (jelly roll) pan. I looked it over and thought that there had to be a use for it after a good scrub.

Fast forward to current Magnetic Letter frustrations and voila!

Mommy's Day Out this weekend led me to the obvious retreat: Wal-Mart. Come to find out Wal-Mart now has a dollar section over by the party supply stuff! For $1.00 I scored alphabet stickers (amongst other things!) knowing I wanted to create a project that Boomba could learn the letters with. We've been using this baking pan for Magnetic Letter wrangling for a while now, but I added the stickers so Boomba would be able to see the alphabet in the correct order.

We stick all of the letters onto the pan and file it in his bookshelf when not in use.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Mrs Livingston, I hear you.

The movie Bubble Boy has a whole new meaning to me now. Mrs. Livingston locks her son who was born without an immune system within a plastic bubble in his bedroom to protect him and of course in turn, ruin him in many other ways. I'm about there. I'm Googleing non-porous plastics in my other tab. Right now. Boomba had his second reaction of the week and I don't even know what the source was and, oh yeah, it's only Friday. Saturday and Sunday still hold all new possibilities. Sunday. Pot Luck Sunday. Pot Luck Sunday, where all the cheesy casseroles and Casein delight dishes are served till your bloated tummies' content. Nightmare.

We've been dealing with a lot of stress lately.

The question is what can we do about it?

We can't "heal" the allergy (but that doesn't stop us from asking God to take it away).

We can collect information, get support, and adjust our life styles (even more).

Here is the plan of attack:
1. Collect information on well recommended allergists in the area.
2. Call Boomba's Allergist in the other state and ask her questions and for a
recommendation to said recommended allergist.
3. Eliminate ALL Casein from the house hold- even the non-dairy coffee creamer.
4. Actively investigate Immunotherapy options.

After I was Googleing for literally hours (during Boomba's nap) I discovered some great resources.

Allergic Living This link takes you to an article titled "Your Child and Food Allergy Fears ". There are many different treasures to uncover here though!


Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network Website.


Toddler Sized Dairy Allergy Alert Bracelets: Silicone style!


National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' PDF link of "Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States". Yeah it's mostly as dry as it sounds- but lots of good information. Check out the Summary for Patients and Families. Scroll down to find it.


I also discovered Allergic Girl. She has a book. I think I might read it. She also has a blog. I don't think I'll read that.

All of this sounds like a relief. Something I can do to make this better. Then WHACK I remember I'm missing something. God gave Husband, Boomba, and I this cross to bare (and of course the support, technology to help with that). It's now I'm thinking about the theological conversation I had all too recently. A group of us are reading Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel. Something sticks out at me right about now. Luther had a way with words. The section we were reading was on death and dying which is a subject on everyone's mind but on few lips. Luther described suffering as "being worthy of suffering in the eyes of the Lord". Wow. Christ suffered the ultimate pain. Christ bore the sins of the whole world. Christ was quite a guy. Our good works are like filthy rags in the eyes of the Lord (-Isaiah 64:6). We don't get near what we deserve. Praise the Lord. What we deserve is pain and suffering and a horrible eternal death. Knowing God wont allow me to be tempted beyond what I can bare (-1 Corinthians 10:13), I suppose that does make me "worthy" to suffer.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
-1 Corinthians 10:13

Casein Free Pancakes

Every Casein Free pancake I've tried has been- well, spongy and tough and just not a pancake.

I've tried several different recipes, even one entitled "Better Than Bisquick Pancakes". That was totally over sold. YUCK!

I don't know where I got this recipe but after a couple of tweeks I'm satisfied. It is not as good as a Casein Cake, but it's the best safe pancake I've found! I also have two variations that make them pretty specia! Shredded Apple Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup & Casein Free Chocolate Swirl Pancakes.

Here is the basic Recipe:

2 Cups Four
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/8 C sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 Cup Soy Milk

Now for the fun!!!!!

Shredded Apple Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

Note* Shred an apple or two into the batter to add moisture (and nutrients)

Rachel's Apple Cider Syrup
(Yields 1-1 1/4 Cup)

1/2 Cup sugar
1 T cornstartch
1/8 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground nutmeg
1 Cup apple cider or juice
2 T "butter" spread, cubed
1 T lemon juice

1. In a small sauce pan combine first 4 ingredients and stir in the 5th until

2. Cook and Stir over Medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes.

3. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.

4. Stir in "butter" & lemon juice.

Casein Free Chocolate Swirl Pancakes

1. Make pancakes using the basic recipe above.

2. Simply squeeze a swirl of Hersey's Chocolate Syrup (check to ensure it is Casein Free, or use another Casein Free variety)on cooking pancake as soon as you pour it into the skillet/griddle.

Note* Try to keep the chocolate syrup away from the edge- burnt chocolate syrup, though Casein Free is still a no no. Yuck!

I added some Banana sticks as a side and as you can imagine, it went over pretty well.

Do you have any recipes you'd like to share? Did you try this recipe? What did you think? I'd love to hear about your adventures in Casein Free Kitchening!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Casein Free Eating, Lactic Acid, & Deli Meat

During our ever developing adventure of finding safe food for our son Boomba who is severely and anaphylacticly allergic to trace casein, Husband and I learned a new trick.

Lactic Acid is a questionable ingredient! It can be derived from two different sources: plants or dairy.

Lactic Acid SOUNDS like it contains Casein. But then again, it's not the Lactose Boomba is allergic to, it's the Casein. A little reading in my very informative cook book Food Allergy Cookbook taught me about the way Lactic Acid can be derived. For example I just found some "butter" spread that is Casein Free but it does in fact contain Lactic Acid. Thank you Earth Balance for including in the ingredient's label that the Lactic Acid in your spread is derived from beets! YAY!

In the last 6 months or so we've cut out lunch meats from Boomba's diet generally because of the Lactic Acid.

It's an important lesson to also remember that getting Deli meat cut at your deli is a dangerous move.

These Deli Meat Slicers not only slice the yummy meat in the cooler display case but it also slices the blocks of cheese sitting right over there to the left in neighboring display case.

We have not had cold meat sandwiches in the house for nearing 6 months.

We finally found some ham that was safe and I sliced it as thinly as I could and made our own lunch meat!

Now, Boomba did have a small reaction but it must have been because Husband splurged and had a slice of cheese on his sandwich. It's amazing how difficult cross contamination can be to control!

Monday, September 19, 2011


Originally submitted at UncommonGoods

After discovering a vintage fermenter in her father's basement, Erica Shea and Stephen Valand researched the art of home brewing and swiftly became self-taught pros. The pair quit their advertising jobs and left for a seven week beer-tasting tour of Europe to train their palates and test the possib...

Inexspensive,Great Gift&Tastes GREAT too

By Kamawe96 from Western Nebraska on 9/19/2011


5out of 5

Pros: Inexspensive, Great Taste, Fun, Easy, Great gift

Best Uses: Hobby, Gifts

Describe Yourself: Value Oriented

Was a good experience from shipping to drinking and in between! This is an easy and fun brewing kit that makes only 1 gallon (instead of a hefty 5 gallons) and it tastes great too! The Choc Maple Porter is what I gave my husband for our Anniversary and he can't wait to make another batch! I've waited to write a review until we tried it and it's a very stout, dark beer- GOOD! Very Pleased!

I have read comments about the fact you do need to have your own Maple Syrup, Strainer, and Stock Pot- but that is because those items are typically already in the home. I didn't think it was a problem.

Siphoning Beer into Bottles


Tags: Made with Product

Bottles Drying


Tags: Made with Product