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.