Friday, September 30, 2011

Go Away Allergies and Asthma!~continued

So since last Thursday, we have had another appointment this past Monday.  It was to draw blood to test some of the allergens to cross reference and to get more answers.  Oh and there again, my son made me SO proud.  I know there are kids out there that are just as amazing as he is and more, but my son just makes me so proud.  They drew out five tubes of blood from his tiny toddler body.  So there he was again, biting his teeth tight, saying "~..ok..mommyy..~."  He teared up again and said "ok that's it, ok that's it" as he said with the skin testing as well.  All as an intern stood by watching with no reaction, and the nurse holding my sons arm down with a tight grasp.  Tears dripped down, and I felt helpless holding my son tight on my lap.  Once he was done, he wiped his tears as I told him how awesome he was..I truly think he is one amazing child.  It could be the mom in me talking, but it is how I feel. :)

It wasn't such a big deal some might say..but he goes through too much for a little three-year old.  And his patience has been tested many times.  I grew up with very few doctor visits, and very few issues as a child, so to see my son to deal with so much..simply breaks my heart.  Asthma and food allergies.  We don't want to, but we work for asthma and food allergies, we raise awareness with every person we talk to, and every new place we visit.

Sadly our next appointment is in another two to three weeks, so we won't be getting answers soon.  Once we compare results with the skin test results, and if we have anything that looks like he might be okay with, we would have to set up another appointment for a food challenge.  This will be a long process.  And to think, I first made the appointment to discuss immunizations for my son.

We ended our Monday with a sweet treat for our little boy.  He couldn't make mommy any more proud.  Just wish all his allergies and asthma would go away!

Go Away Allergies and Asthma!

Appointment with my sons allergist last Thursday went well.  My little boy did amazing, he made me very proud!

He had over thirty skin pricks to test his reaction to allergens.  Done on both arms and both legs.  We have never done so many at one time before but went along with it.  He was incredibly patient and understanding.  I don't think even some adults could have the patience for what he did.  They aren't just bunch of skin pricks, but skin pricks that make him itch!  We blew on it together, sang some songs, and played "doctor" ourselves to help him get through it.

They turned into red dots right away, and some into bigger hives..some not!  We blew on it to help with the itching.  He said "ok mommy.." biting his teeth tight with a little shaky voice as I explained to him, why and what we were doing.  It was a long day for sure, from the waiting room to waiting on the doctor, and to the skin testing itself.  We brought in some fresh food to test, like onions, a banana, garlic, oats, and a couple more items that we were curious to get answers about.

In the end, I'm not sure if we got any real answers.  We saw the results and the doctor concluded, my baby boy looks allergic to dogs, mold, tuna, string beans, salmon..etc.  And might be showing improvement with some like wheat.  But like I said, no real answers.  As accurate as they say the skin testing is versus other ways of testing even blood. I didn't feel the excitement come over me.  I wanted more.  It was hard to even think of because it was the foods that he had an anaphylactic reaction to at six months.

And, no I really don't think I'm being negative about it, just really cautious of even thinking or getting excited too soon.  I used to think and pray of the day that my baby boy would outgrow something, to hear he is getting better, but it has always been the other way.  So my way of dealing with it is, just let it be what it is today.  He has food allergies, asthma..and that's that.  No maybe plans in the future, of course always hopeful, but focusing on today, learning to live with!

Also didn't help that this wasn't the first time my boy has had skin testing for allergies, and I couldn't help but notice the difference.  This time, this doctor "pricked" him like twelve at a time, and usually it is done one by one.  Something about this "new way" as he called it, didn't seem like much of a prick, more like a press on.  So let it be, I am not celebrating anything yet.  Instead thinking about how much we want to move because of his new strong allergy to mold. :(..and as always dreaming of a day my son can be safe around all foods and breathe well at all times.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

REVIEW: Shian Naturals - Just... Organic Body Wash

A little review of Shian Naturals Body Wash from Canada. :)
I recently got a chance to try the Shian Naturals Just... Organic Body Wash, it is over 80% organic.  It is made of all natural, unscented, hypoallergenic ingredients, and with that information I was already a fan.  It's hard to find real anymore with so many scents and things in our products.
I have really sensitive skin so I really enjoyed using this body wash.  It didn't leave a soapy residue, didn't dry out my skin, it only has a light natural smell from the ingredients as it isn't scented, and it left my skin feeling smooth and clean..as a body wash should.
The packaging is simple, and the ingredients are as follows:
"Ingredients: Water, Potassium Cocoate (organic coconut oil), Potassium Oleate (organic sunflower oil), Lauryl Betaine (derived from a common constituent of vegetable fats especially coconut oil), Glycerin, Benzyl Alcohol (preservative), Potassium Palm Kernelate (potassium salt of Palm Kernel), Palm Kernel Acid (fatty acid of palm kernel oil used as a opacifier, surfactants and emulsifier), Decyl Glucoside (cosmetic filler and soothes skin), Potassium Citrate (regulates acidity pH)."
Shian Naturals also carries a variety of products for skin, hair, and body care..they also offer a trial size of everything.  This is a Canadian company, and available in Canada.  I got the unique opportunity to try it by chance, thanks to @MultiTestingMom from multitestingmommy.com, and Shian Naturals were nice enough to go through the trouble of sending it over.  Connect with Shian Naturals on twitter here.
 
*I received this product at no cost to me, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Activeaide - Bushmates Medical Holders

As many of you know already my son has severe multiple food allergies, you can see a full list of his allergies on my About page.  This means he has to have emergency medications on him at all times.  These medicines would include Asthma meds, Benadryl, and an EpiPen in case of an emergency.  As he is getting older, he will need to learn to carry and have his meds on him at all times.  At the moment we always have it on us, as he is always with us.


I always wondered how he would carry all this on him, in a little bag, on a pouch...  Then I stumbled upon the Bushmates Series Medical Holders; the Monkey asthma/anaphylaxis case from Activeaide.

It has a clear red medical sign on them.  So they are fun enough for young kids to want to carry them, but recognizable as meds.

My son wanted to carry it around right away.  It is very cute and is lined with four protective layers, that are thermal silver inner layer, air pocket core, another silver thermal layer, and the plush outer skin.  It has a soft outer layer much like a plush toy.  Has a key ring right at the neck of the monkey to attach ID tags or to hang.  I explained to him what it was and he understood it.

It fits exactly one EpiPen and my sons Inhaler medicine for asthma perfectly.  I was concerned by how to clean the monkey as it is like a plush toy on the outside and lined so well, I think the option would be to wipe clean?  It has a little key ring on its neck so you can possibly attach it to something, but I wished it had a strap so kids can carry it over shoulder for a hands free option, because I would want my little guy to have his meds with him at all time.  With our test run, my son carried it around but put it down often, until I ended up carrying it for him as would be the case with any toy a child carries around.  Despite my small concerns, I think it is a great way to get little ones used to understanding the need to carry their emergency medications in a fun cute way.  Perfect for toddlers that are still with their parents/guardian at all times.  Lots of a our children's childhood is lost with so many warnings and scares, this is a way to bring fun with the reality that brings responsibility.


It is absolutely great, a great fun way for little kids to carry their life saving medicines in!  Fits his asthma medicine and an EpiPen perfectly as I mentioned, and my son already referred to the monkey medicine holder as his "life saver friend," in reference to my explanation of what it was.

Activeaide is an Australian based company that sells only allergy and asthma products.  A company inspired and motivated by their daughter Melina who had food allergies at a young age they offer great products and have an extensive links section to help others with information related to food allergies.

*I received the item to review, but all opinions are a 100% my own.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

PARTY CITY - Be Afraid Ultimate Party Kit - Get Ready For Halloween!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Party City. All opinions are 100%mine.
Ready for some Halloween themed drinks!
The summer has flown by!  And it's already time to get ready for Halloween!  Did you know Party City is America's largest specialty party goods chain and the country's premiere Halloween specialty retailer?  I always turn to them for my party needs.  It's time you get your Halloween Costumes, and all you party supplies/decorations together, because all the stores will be sold out soon, and you'll find yourself scrambling to find something good for your little ones, and scraps of decorations last-minute.
We are planning to throw a Halloween costume party at our home this year!  Halloween is also my husbands birthday so it works out perfectly!  Besides wearing costumes, decorating is one of our favorite things about Halloween.  We turned to Party City, for their variety of Halloween Party Themes to create memories with.  They have great party kits available like the Cars Party Supplies Ultimate Kit we used for my son's birthday.
I love the Be Afraid Ultimate Kit for Halloween.  It includes everything you will need to throw a party for about sixteen guests. With a few clicks you can be done with all your party needs, and still have the option to add-on if you want to.  Here's the very long list of what's included:
  • 18 Be Afraid Lunch Plates  
  • 36 Be Afraid Lunch Napkins
  • 18 Be Afraid Paper Cups
  • 2 Plastic Table Covers 54 x 102
  • 16 Plastic Orange Forks
  • 16 Plastic Orange Spoons
  • 16 Plastic Orange Knives
  • 20 Be Afraid Invitations
  • 2 Midnight Dreary Plastic Platters
  • 2 Shocktails Glitter Table Decorating Kits
  • 1 Black Star Mini Confetti 1/4oz
  • 1 Be Afraid Halloween Letter Banner
  • 1 Orange crepe streamer 81ft
  • 1 Black Crepe Streamer 81ft
  • 20 Orange & Black Halloween Latex Balloons
  • 1 White Curling Ribbon 66ft
  • 1 Margarita Drink Mix Bucket 22.5oz
  • 24 Assorted Candy Stripe Birthday Candles
  • 1 Clear Plastic Skull Pitcher 48oz
  • 1 Margarita Rim Salt 8oz
  • 2 Skulls & Bones Ice Trays
Planning for a party can be time consuming but with this party kit, you are set!  Just make your selection from the Halloween Party Themes and if you decide to choose an ultimate kit you are seriously well prepared.  It includes everything from the invitations, to balloons (the string for the balloons), table decor, streamers, plates, and more as you can see!  Now that's pretty easy!  Be sure to check out the Halloween Costumes for the great selection of costumes for boyscostumes for girls, and for adults, now before costumes sell out.
Hope you got an idea of how fun this party kit is with the many photos all over this page, of some of the items in the Be Afraid Ultimate kit.  We are very excited and can't wait to set it all up.  A kit that includes the drink mix, cool skull & bone ice trays, and the pitcher to serve them in..love!  I chose the "Be Afraid" kit one because I know the kids will enjoy any party and it was a way to make it fun for the adults too.
Parties are fun, but nothing beats being well prepared, so don't forget to go to Party City or the website by clicking here Party City for your next fun party!  And get to Halloween shopping!!
Oh and please feel free to share any ideas or tips you may have for me about throwing a Halloween party, it'll be my first! :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cough Cough Cough!

So the other day, we had a great calm day up until about eight in the evening.  The day had passed eventless, we went to the playground, cooked together, and the day was almost over.  Then, I was catching up on the web, when my little boy right next to me started coughing.  Didn't think anything of it, he was right next to me, and I knew he hadn't eaten anything he wasn't alright with.  But then the one cough turned into two..until he couldn't stop.  He literally couldn't stop coughing.  He threw up as a result of it too.  I responded by giving him Benadryl, and Albuterol pump for asthma.  When it didn't get better, my husband and I ran out to drive to hospital.  Only to find out something was wrong with our car!?!  So right outside we called 911, and waited for the ambulance to arrive.


Strangest part was he would stop coughing for seconds at a time and tell me a word or two with a smile on his face.  He wasn't in pain, but at the same time could not stop coughing.  He was completely fine until that first cough, and then the cough didn't go away.  It was so scary, and I felt helpless as he did say "help me mommy."  Thankfully the ambulance came and took us to the hospital.  When we got there, they gave him asthma treatments.  And when it didn't improve as much as they'd wanted, gave him Prednisolone to help him even more.

So that was it, we spent hours there getting treatment after treatment, and waiting in between as they would come and check to see how he was doing.  He improved enough to fortunately return home, tired, hyper and hungry.  We have been taking the meds as prescribed and getting Albuterol treatments with the nebulizer for now.  He sounds really congested and still coughing here and there.  Hoping he improves and gets all better soon.


I'm proud of him for being able to deal with it all so well, taking his medicine even if they taste horrible, sitting still getting his asthma treatments.  It breaks my heart to hear my little boy know how to say "nebulizer," "asthma," and so much more..it's bitter sweet.  Everyone in the ER that came to hear his lungs were all shocked at how he knew what to do, breathe in and out, and the whole routine so well.  I'm so sorry he has to deal with it all, but just very proud of him.  First 911 emergency call..not fun, and of course we never want to go through that again...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our Experience: Imagin Ocean The Musical

We went to see the Imagin Ocean The Musical show at New World Stages in New York City.
It was the second to last show in New York City.  It was such a cute little show.  Long enough to make every viewer happy, and ends before all the little audience members gets too tired.  We took the train aka the subway, and my son loved it, as we don't take the train often.
While everyone was settling in, someone came around and sold snacks to everyone.  Which I am only bringing up because it bothered me.  Understandable, but still bothered me.  As a parent to a child that has so many food allergies, I don't enjoy seeing many, almost everyone around us purchasing candy and snacks that my son is severely allergic to.  So that was my nervous, uneasy moment of the day.  But thankfully, nothing bad happened.  Just one of the things we deal with, having food allergies.
Back to the show, it was a cute little story about three little fish friends that go on an adventure after finding a treasure map.  All through the way encouraging imagination, and engaging the audience by having the characters talk and ask questions as a part of the story line.  Performed by puppeteers wearing all black in the dark with the black lights on, it was very well choreographed.  The voices were all pre-recorded.  If you tried hard enough, or like my husband had a strange angle, you could see the people moving the characters, but for the most part you only see the characters.  In the beginning and in the end they use bubbles coming down on the audience, which seemed to get everyone really excited..specially in the beginning.  It wasn't pitch black which was good thing when you have many little ones because the black light makes everything glow.
We really enjoyed the show, and everyone in the audience seemed to have as well.  The show was definitely for little kids though, although enjoyable for adults..most of our joy came from seeing our son enjoy the show.
 *I was not compensated for this post in any way, simply sharing our experience with you all. :) And taking the chance to thank my friend Amy for forwarding the tickets to us.  Thank you!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

REVIEW: Ancient Harvest Quinoa - Pasta Products

 Because my son has so many food allergies, we are always on the search to find products that he can have.  One of the brands we depend on, and are so thankful have added to our diet is Ancient Harvest Quinoa.
First, they are really good.  Easy to cook, they cook in just six to nine minutes once the water is boiled.  And there's a great variety of selections.  And did I mention that they are really good? ;)
Second, my son who has to stay away from so many, Ancient Harvest Quinoa products are a blessing because they are gluten and wheat free.
Third, they are good for you!  Even if you don't have to carry a gluten free or allergy friendly diet, you really could benefit from the addition of quinoa to your diet.  Non GMO, organic, and gluten free.  The ingredients couldn't get any simpler, "organic corn flour, and organic quinoa flour."  On the box you can find facts about quinoa, it states "Quinoa stands alone as a complete protein grain.  It supplies all the essential amino acids in a balanced pattern." followed by a nutritional analysis of quinoa compared with other grains, and an amino acid breakdown of quinoa.
My son who cannot have wheat, rye, oat, gluten, millet, and buckwheat CAN enjoy these great pasta products that are as good as the "regular" pastas.  I was able to create different variety of dishes for my son recently.  I made him the "Linguini" pasta with mixed veggies and the "Linguini" with "Chicken Parmesan," and the "Veggie Curls" as a cold salad from Ancient Harvest Quinoa.  I also made him the "Elbows" pasta with some veggies for dinner one night.  All he asks for is noodles now.  We barely ever go out to eat, but these past two weeks, we've had many dinner invites, and were able to enjoy it, because I was able to make the dishes for him that was easy to make, take to go, and of course something he loved.
The salad I tossed together for my boy with the "Veggie Curls" pasta, that he loved.  Colorful veggie curls.  Ingredients: organic corn flour, organic quinoa flour, dried organic red bell peppers and dried organic Spinach.
The pasta dinner made with the "Linguini" pasta.
The "Elbows" pasta with veggies.
Meatballs..Linguini..and chicken "parmesan." Taken by camera phone.

I just love all the products, and there's still a few I haven't tried.  Here's a full list of all the products.  It means so much for me, to be able to share Ancient Harvest Quinoa products with you guys.  It has seriously meant so much to us after testing out so many different brands and gluten-free pastas, to have found Ancient Harvest Quinoa.  I hope you guys go try it and love it.  And if you have any dietary restrictions like we do, that it makes a difference in your lives as well. ;)
Find out more about Ancient Harvest Quinoa on their site, follow them on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook.  More importantly go out and try some!  You can also shop on their online store.  :)



*I received these items to review, but all opinions are a 100% my own.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Quick Visit to the Zoo

Earlier this week, we went to the zoo for a quick visit.  Had been so busy all day, but still wanted our little boy to have something fun before the day ended.
We literally made it to the last few minutes of the zoo before they closed.  We went to the Bronx Zoo, so if you have ever been there, you know that it is huge.  In fact it is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States, comprising 265 acres of park lands and naturalistic habitats, where the Bronx River flows through.  So we didn't cover much ground, for fifteen minutes of "zoo" time.  I have went there a handful of times for a few years now, and still yet to see the whole zoo.
My son was so excited about "the jungle" as he likes to call the zoo, that I felt bad that we went there with most of everything closed.  We ran to the Bug Carousal that they have, and made it to the last group going on.  He was thrilled!
Even though he wanted to stay much longer, and was so excited for his visit, he was fine with leaving because he understood it was late and told me the animals needed to sleep.  So proud of him! :)  Such a simple thing, and such a short amount of time, yet such a great moment.