Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Almost a Challenge Mr. Peanut

So, we went into the allergist for a check up a week or so ago, and while we were there, she mentioned the option of doing a peanut challenge for Conor. I have to say I was a little surprised by this request, as I have always assumed he would never outgrow it since he has asthma and is allergic to almost everything that grows or walks. Of course previous Doctors had told me that he only had a 25% chance of outgrowing his egg allergy, and after a successful egg challenge last year we have welcomed the egg back into our family with open arms. (Although I do still make my exciting and quick Coke Cake sometimes).

According to my allergist, she said she suspects that he has not outgrown it, but it is worth checking him every once in a while to make sure, and see just how reactive he is. I have to say despite my trepidation, I would really like to know just what we are dealing with here with the evil peanut....kind of like knowing your enemy. And I really trust my allergist.... she has been great with everything else including not thinking my crazy, and really explaining cough variant asthma to me. Conor's rast # were 7 or so last time he was tested, and she said if he has not had a reaction in over 2 years and is now over 5, it is worth testing him.

So I put my head around the idea for a while. Especially after she told me I would need to bring in some peanuts to do the challenge. BRING IN PEANUTS!!!! I would have to buy peanuts!!!! aaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! But after it sunk in, I decided we should go for it.

But then came the real issue. For this challenge he would have to be off of any antihistamines for 7 days. I remember having problems with this for the egg challenge, but don't remember how we finally were able to do it. But we did, so I figured we could do it again now.

Later that day I went home and skipped his evening antihistamine. Then we skipped his morning dose...... Then it started........ The poor child was secreting, sneezing, coughing and itching away, after only being off of his antihistamines for not even a day. It took 3 days of extra anti-histamines and nebulizers to get him stable again. I guess we do take all that stuff for a reason.

After discussing it again with my favorite allergist we decided perhaps this would not be the best season to try and take Conor off of his antihistamines for the challenge. So after all the excitement/ fear/ surprise, it has all been put on hold again until flu season is over, and allergens have calmed down.

Almost a Challenge Mr. Peanut, Almost a Challenge

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sometimes the Needle Is Better Then The Nose - Always Double Check Everything Your Doctor Tells You

OK, I feel like a bad bad Mommy. I thought I had learned never to trust Doctors, and always double check any information I was given, especially if it comes from a plain old pediatrician. But no, life gets busy, and somehow something I should have done slips by the back burner.

It all started when I called our local pediatrician to arrange flu shots for my three sweet young things. As I was talking to the nurse on the phone, she informed me that all three would be eligible for the flu mist instead of the flu shot. I asked her if even Conor could have it and she left for a second and then came back assuring me it was fine for him.

So, we head off to the Doctor's office last Wed, all excited to be misted and not shot, and still get our immunity to bad bugs. Everyone got the mist, and not a scream or yell was heard from the bunch. Natalie even thought it smelled kind of good!!!, And we went on our merry way to go on with our busy lives.

On Friday I picked Conor up from school, and he was secreting, hacking and sneezing to no end. Confused as to what could have brought on such an attack, I went home and drugged him and nebulized him for a few hours. After much hacking, sneezing and secreting, he fell asleep for the night, and then woke up in the morning perfectly fine, and well enough to score 2 goals at his soccer game. For the life of me though, I could not figure out what caused this sort of reaction in him, as there was nothing out of the ordinary in his day that I could put my finger on.

Later that Soccer filled day, I was talking to another parent whose son also had asthma and even goes to our same awesome allergist. I mentioned Conor had asthma also, and told her we had gotten the flu mist instead of the flu shot. This other soccer mom looked at me and told me her Dr. had said that kids with asthma should not get the flu mist. I was a bit disturbed on hearing this, as my son has asthma, and even had some sort of reaction a few days after having the mist. She told me it was even on their package insert in bold letters. OOOPPPPPSSS!!!!!

After all my distrust of doctors, I failed to double check a recommendation given not by my allergy son's allergist, but by the local pediatrician and his nurse. I feel so bad that I put Conor through an evening of fun. I subsequently went on line to check this myself, and of course it is clearly stated everywhere that the flu mist should not be given to those with asthma. Thankfully Conor only had that episode of hacking, etc, but I have still learned my lesson about double checking everything doctors tell me!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Jamacian Irish Moss Peanut Drink

Just when you think you have seen everything...

Big Bamboo Irish Moss Peanut Drink,

Can 11ozIrish Moss / Sea Moss Drink - Ready to drink, right out of the can!INGREDIENTS:Water, sugar (sucrose), milk, peanut butter (roasted peanuts, dextrose, monoglycerides, and salt), corn syrup solids, partially hydrogenated coconut oil, sodium caseinate, disodium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, mono & diglycerides, soybean oil, sodium silicoaluminate, soy lecithin, artificial flavor, annatto color, modified food starch and carrageenan.
Shake Gently Before Opening.
I'll give you one good reason to try this beverage. It has been said to increase a man's sexual ability. Long before Viagra, Caribbean men have been drinking this gel-like drink to increase their natural ability.

You can buy this exciting concoction online here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

If Only Some Adults Thought More Like 4 Year Old Boys

I have just had my second appointment for my root canal, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise, but root canals suck!!!! Yes, they hurt like heck, no, they are a big deal, and yes, the second appointment will hurt even more then the first!!!

OK, now that I have said that, I wanted to share a cute story. At Conor's totally great school, he has a little friend he knows from the pre-school who just turned 4. This little friend apparently went home and told his mother (as she was making him a peanut butter sandwich), that he would no longer eat peanuts or peanut butter. If Conor could not eat peanuts he would not have them either. He would only eat soy butter, and he and his mother went out together to buy some. This little boy was willing to not eat peanuts at home because his friend could not have them. If only some adults thought more like 4 year old boys.
OK, maybe not..........

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Peanut Free Zones - Consent Agreement

Conor started kindergarten this week at a local little private school that I LOVE!!!! They are totally peanut and nut free, and are really consciencous about enforcing their rules. One of the things that impressed me the most is this form every student's family must fill out and agree to before entering the school. I thought I would include a copy here in case it could be of help to anyone else.
Consent Agreement

Peanut Free Zones

In order to ensure the health and safety of students at ********School, we are aware of the need to implement a peanut free zone and to inform parents and students of the severity of this allergy at the school. We humbly request parent participation in this matter so as to ensure that the *********School is a safe and fun environment for all students.

We have children with peanut and tree nut alelrgies that puts them at severe risk of death. We are therefore designating all areas of the school free of nuts/nut products and nut residue. There are signs posted around the school reminding the community of this policy.

A "peanut free zone" essentially means that nuts or food items containing nuts may not be brought or eaten at school. We also ask that any treats provided for school events or birthdays be nut free and not processed in the same facility wehre nuts have been processed.

In addition, parents and students will receive information on the severity of peanut and tree nut allergies and the risk to students. We ask parents to educate their children at home on nut allergies and are happy to provide parents with articles and materials to help them do so.

We appreciate all parent participation in this matter, and know that it is every family's goal to create a safe learning environment for all students. We are asking you to play your part in making *******School a safe environment for all of our students. Please feel free to discuss any questions/concerns with the *****School staff.

Please initial:

___I have read the Health and Safety information above.

___I understand the requirements and stipulations stated herein and agree to abide by them


Child's Name


Parent/Guardian Signature



Thursday, August 27, 2009

Super Epi-Pen - What I Did Over My Summer Vacation

I was going through some of our summer pictures, and I was happy to discover that Super Epi-Pen was with us on our travels. Here he is exploring the giant redwood trees during an excursion to the redwood forest at Memorial Park near San Francisco.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Things I Wish I Had Not Heard...

Having three children so close in age, I sometimes hear things that I wish I didn't.

On the way home from the dentist...

"Mommy, these new toothbrushes work really well. It is really cleaning up this penny I found on the ground."

"Look Mommy, my new toothbrush can clean the bottom of my shoes."

"Mommy, can I use this floss stuff to clean the cleats on my soccer shoes?"

Around the house...

"Mommy, Conor is cleaning the sink with the ice pack you gave him when he hurt his leg. He is even using soap and everything!!!"

"Mommy, you don't want to know how Conor is wetting his head to spike up his hair." Me, "I am sure I don't" Laughs and giggles come from the bathroom. "Mommy eeewwwwww, Conor is sticking his head in the toilet to wet his hair!! Look how spiky it is!!!"

"Mommy, Michael is wearing your bra as a backpack"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Give Bees the Bounce!!!

Michael has been attending soccer camp this week and loved every minute of it. He was even named the best camper out of his group (yes, I am gloating like a proud Mommy). The only bad thing about the camp was the bees. They were everywhere, and lots of people had gotten stung. Of course the first thing I thought of was "I hope none of those kids are allergic to bees, and if they are, someone has an epi pen and knows how to use it." I even packed an extra epi pen in Michael's lunch box and told him it was there just in case - and he does not even have any known allergies.

While I was trying to avoid bees and calm screaming beephobic children, another mother told me a great tip. Apparently dryer sheets keep away bees and wasps. Each day she sent her child in to camp she rubbed down his clothes and hair with the dryer sheet. When I got home I looked it up on the Internet, and it appears to be true!!!

Huh! Who knew? dryer sheets keep bees away

Someone even told me that the US Postal service sent out a message to all letter carriers to put a sheet of Bounce in their uniform pockets to keep yellow-jackets away.

While researching this fascinating information on the Internet I also found many other uses for dryer sheets.

1. It will chase ants away when you lay a sheet near them. It also repels mice.

2. Spread sheets around foundation areas, or in trailers, or cars that are sitting and it keeps mice from entering your vehicle.

3. It takes the odor out of books and photo albums that don't get opened too often.

4. It repels mosquitoes. Tie a sheet of Bounce through a belt loop when outdoors during mosquito season.

5. Eliminate static electricity from your television (or computer) screen.

6. Since Bounce is designed to help eliminate static cling, wipe your television screen with a used sheet of Bounce to keep dust from resettling.

7. Dissolve soap scum from shower doors. Clean with a sheet of Bounce.

8. To freshen the air in your home - Place an individual sheet of Bounce in a drawer or hang in the closet.

9. Put Bounce sheet in vacuum cleaner.

10. Prevent thread from tangling. Run a threaded needle through a sheet of Bounce before beginning to sew.

11. Prevent musty suitcases. Place an individual sheet of Bounce inside empty luggage before storing.

12. To freshen the air in your car - Place a sheet of Bounce under the front seat.

13. Clean baked-on foods from a cooking pan. Put a sheet in a pan, fill with water, let sit overnight, and sponge clean. The anti-static agent apparently weakens the bond between the food and the pan.

14. Eliminate odors in wastebaskets. Place a sheet of Bounce at the bottom of the wastebasket.

15. Collect cat hair. Rubbing the area with a sheet of Bounce will magnetically attract all the loose hairs.

16. Eliminate static electricity from Venetian blinds. Wipe the blinds with a sheet of Bounce to prevent dust from resettling.

17. Wipe up sawdust from drilling or sand papering. A used sheet of Bounce will collect sawdust like a tack cloth.

18. Eliminate odors in dirty laundry. Place an individual sheet of Bounce at the bottom of a laundry bag or hamper.

19. Deodorize shoes or sneakers. Place a sheet of Bounce in your shoes or sneakers overnight.

20. Golfers put a Bounce sheet in their back pocket to keep the bees away.

21. Put a Bounce sheet in your sleeping bag and tent before folding and storing them. It will keep them smelling fresh.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

He He He An Assaulted Peanut

Assualted Peanut!!!
He He He. THis is something I dream about doing on a daily basis!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

AAHHH I Never Knew Mr. Peanut Played Soccer

Unfortunately, I guess I was a bit naive in assuming that since there were no peanuts at soccer matches in England and Ireland, there would be no peanuts at a soccer match in America. So, even though it was soccer and not baseball, apparently there were still a few moments where evil Mr. Peanut reared his head. I am glad I was not there, since I worry alot about everything, and would have been hyperventilating through the whole thing cursing evil peanut villains under my breath.

The report I was given by Mick, was that there were peanuts on the floors and stairs in most of the general areas, but not that much. He was pretty much able to avoid these areas and Conor sat on his lap during the game. There was one incident where the man seated in front of them opened his bag of evil and started shelling his peanuts, but after informing him that the little boy behind him could die if he continued, he nicely moved to another section to finish his snack.

Conor appeared to have no severe reactions to any of these brushes with danger, but he did start sucking his fingers (for us a sign of the beginnings of something. I have no clue why). He was dosed up with my favorite product portable benadryl, and all seemed ok from there.

In general, I would say the soccer game went well. The boys had fun, and enjoyed seeing their first real sporting event in person. I think they would even go back with proper precautions, lots of wipes, and all of our emergency medicine. I just have to remember.....Never underestimate the evil legume!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

When All Else Fails, Try Distraction - Or Why Soccer is Way Cooler then Baseball

Thank you everyone for all the great ideas about what to do about my child's dreaded question. I have come up with a temporary solution. It goes back to my old motto, when all else fails, try distraction. Since the boys are huge soccer fans, we did some looking and discovered that a famous European team was playing some Americans (can you tell I know absolutely nothing about soccer???) in Palo Alto.
Mick and the boys are off to go to their first real sporting event tomorrow afternoon. Mick has assured me that peanuts are not a part of any sort of soccer tradition, at least in Ireland or England, so we should be ok. Even though I have absolutely no interest in Soccer, I have come to the conclusion that it is a way cooler sport then baseball. There is more running up and down the field, less of people waiting around to do something, and most importantly of all, peanuts are not such an integral part of the game that they are included in a song everyone sings during a break between innings.

OK, I will admit it, I actually have no love for soccer. I used to hate playing it when I was younger, and felt I was aimlessly running up and down the field. I also don't really enjoy watching it, and it seems like nothing ever really happens. Although I enjoy watching my son play on Saturday mornings, I am very relieved that I do not have to attend tomorrow's soccer outing and instead get to hang out and do girly things with Natalie.

I used to really like baseball too. I would watch games on tv and even attend some in person. I excitedly cheered when the Angels won the world series, and followed their seasons for some years after. I even own an Angels t shirt.

But you know, sometimes distractions can distract your outlook. Soccer is way cooler then baseball!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Other Day My Child Asked Me That Dreaded Question..

The other day, I heard those words every mother of a peanut allergic child dreads to hear. They are the words that put a chill through my heart and an ache in my head. And even worse these words were not even uttered by my peanut allergic child!!! It is so painful I have trouble typing them even here......... But OK, here goes. Other peanut allergic child mothers look away if you have to.

Two days ago, on July 7 2009, my oldest son Michael looked innocently up at me and asked, "Mommy, when can we go and see a baseball game?"

I calmly replied in an attempt to distract him "T-Ball season is over for the year, you can play instructional next year"

Michael looked up at me exasperated and replied, "No Mommy, like the one on TV. My friend friend is going to see the Giants. When can we go?"

I was able to tell him we would have to look into it, but what do we do???

I quickly ran over to the awesome web site Peanut Free Baseball Games, to see if I could find any sort of somewhat safe games, but Alas the closest games to us that I could find are in San Diego and Seattle.

I know I could try and take all sorts of precautions and just go, but I think I would have a heart attack ducking peanut shells, and trying to get an almost 5 year old to continually wipe his hands. Of course this is also the child who may have reacted to sitting next to a man on the airplane eating a bag of peanuts. I just don't think I could stomach going without actually going insane.

So, what are my other options.... Send the older child with his father while the other one sits at home and I am wracked with guilt over what he is missing out on. Send the older child with a friend and hose him down when he gets home? Don't let anyone go???

If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them. Maybe it is time for a road trip to San Diego or Seattle.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Peanut Knows

As I get everyone ready to head down to Southern California again for the July 4th weekend, I thought I would share an interesting find I came across while surfing the Internet superhighway. I don't know how I find these things, but hey, I do have many hidden talents.
This is posted on the web site The Greener Grass. As they describe themselves,

"The Greener Grass is produced by Kaleidoscope, a product development consultancy in Cincinnati, Ohio. It uses our resources to initiate positive change by opening discourse, connecting people, and becoming a conduit for new thinking and discussion that leads to positive outcomes. Our goal is to build a community by interviewing experts and thought leaders, identifying trends, and creating concepts for products, services, and ideas that bring solutions to life."
Sounds like a great goal for me.

Anyways, one of the products they have on this site is called Peanut Knows.

"The Peanut Knows is a friendly little fellow that can detect the presence of peanut and peanut trace in food products. The electronic nose sniffs out the culprit and alerts the user, helping to prevent allergic reactions.

The concept is from a form metaphor of the elephant's affinity for peanuts. This is an elephant pendant that, when placed on the side of your dish (bottom button is depressed), 'sniffs' for peanuts. If peanut content is detected the 'mouth' lights up."

How cool is that???? It would be like the Peanut Detection Dog, but in a small pendant in the shape of an elephant. I got all excited until I tried to do further research, and discovered that this is just a concept for a product, and one like it does not appear to be in the works anywhere I could find.

So, all you people who make products.....

I would buy one of these!!!

Please make it!!!

What a great idea!!!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Amazing New Talent

This week I discovered an amazing new talent. I know, I know, you are saying that I already have so many talents already, how could I discover even more....but alas, the trials of motherhood have shed light on this previously (and thankfully) undiscovered skill.

It all began on Tuesday. Conor woke up in the morning saying he was not feeling well. Despite this, he still wanted to eat, so I fed him his usual breakfast. As soon as Mick walked out the door to go to work, the puking began. WOOoohooooo. what fun. I got the puke bowl, and the towels, and proceeded to get the other two sweet young children ready for their camps. Then it dawned on me I have to get them to their respective camps, and I have no one to stay home with Conor. After the throwing up subsided, I figured I would try my luck, and load everyone in the car and hope for the best. I took the puke bowl, and the towels and we were on our way. Everything seemed fine driving along the road until I heard the words I dreaded to hear...."Mommy, I don't feel so good."

Of course my sweet young child had dropped the ever useful bowl, and that was when the adrenaline started. Somehow, with reason beyond reason, I was able to find the missing puke bowl, catch the sick child's regurgitation and drive for 5 minutes until I was able to get to a safe place to pull over on the highway. I did all this without hitting anything, getting a ticket, or even getting a drop of the unfortunate sickness onto the car. I was even able to sooth the sick child, and clean out the bowl by the side of the road without making a mess.

Now if that is not a talent, I don't know what is.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Peanut Butter Tree

I know I don't have too much free time on my hands, but I find these oh so interesting things when I should be doing other oh so interesting things. So, here is my latest find, The Peanut Butter Tree (also known in plant terms as Bunchosia)

And of course the Peanut Butter Tree produces the Peanut Butter Fruit.

This of course lead me to my favorite source Wikipedia

"Bunchosia argentea is a species of plant in the acerola family, Malpighiaceae. It produces a small red-orange fruit with sticky, dense pulp and a flavour resembling a dried fig. It is native to Venezuela and Colombia in South America.[1]
It has a flavor similar to that of peanut butter, hence the name. Additionally, the scent is unmistakably of peanut butter. Mostly eaten fresh, also used for jellies, jams, or preserves. It is cultivated in South Florida."
Of course this raised many questions for me that lead me to waste even more time trying to pursue. I first tried to find out if this fruit is in any way related to the peanut. If my darling little allergic son ate this fruit would he have a reaction. After hours of research I was unable to find an answer on the Internet superhighway, and I am not that worried because I don't think the tree is too popular here but still inquiring minds want to know......
So now I am off to find more answers for myself (Does anyone know the meaning of life?) and avoid doing all those other things I should be doing. Until I find the answer though, beware of the peanut butter fruit.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Why God Made Moms - An End of the School Year Tribute

With the end of the school year upon us, I am presently sitting at home trying to write this while 3 still pajama clad children run wild around the house. I am finding it quite hard to concentrate with things whizzing by my head, and dangerous sounds coming from the next room. There is no screaming yet, so I figure all is good for now. In honor of the end of the school year a friend of mine sent me this below. It gave me a chuckle and I hope it will for you too. (Hmmm, I just heard from the other room "I think it is stuck in the oven" to look or not to look, that is the question.)

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:
Why did God make mothers?

1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2.. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's mom like me.

What kind of a little girl was your mom?
1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your Mom marry your Dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad

What's the difference between moms and dads?
1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Things I Learned on our Vacation - Lesson #2

Yes, I know, more lessons from our fun filled vacation to Ireland. When we arrived my very well meaning mother in law told me all the preparations she had done for our visit. She really is wonderful, and after a month or two of trying to understand Conor's allergies, she now really gets it, and does her best to help us out. Before we arrived she cleaned the house of any peanut products, made an effort to find safe foods for him, and cleaned the whole place thoroughly. She even had some things she was not sure of to have me check out for myself.

After we had been there a few days, (and I recovered from our 3 flights see lesson #1 only take direct flights) she excitedly told me she had checked out a local restaurant and thought it would be safe for Conor. She said she had gone in and talked to the staff and person in charge, and they said Conor could eat there safely.

Hearing this great information, we headed over there one night for dinner with tons of family. We all excitedly sit down and peruse our menu for our exciting dinning options. When I get to the bottom of the menu I see a giant disclaimer , "This restaurant is not safe for those suffering from nut allergies." Uh Oh, not a good sign. My husband gently points this out to my mother in law who stated that she spoke to the manager, and just never quite looked at the menu. I called the Manager over to our table, informed him about Conor's life threatening allergies. He first told me the food was safe, and there were only peanuts in a few things. I politely pointed out the giant disclaimer at the bottom of the menu stating his restaurant was definitely not safe, and then explained to him how cross contamination works. He went off to double check again, only to discover that many other products in the kitchen were not safe, and if my son was that sensitive perhaps he should not eat there.

Thankfully there was a McDonalds around the corner, (yes, McDonalds are everywhere) and the restaurant manager kindly agreed to let Conor eat his McDonalds happy meal in the restaurant while everyone else ate their regular food.

So what was my second lesson of our vacation.....

#2 Always double check any information someone gives you

and sub lesson - restaurant managers are idiots!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another Lesson I Learned About Blogging About Our Vacation

I just checked my last post about that very important lesson I learned on our vacation only to discover that half my post was missing. Yikes!!! Where in the world did that brilliant prose disappear to in the cyberspace universe. Of course it was filled with brilliant pithy commentary about peanut allergies and flying, and may have even held the secret to peace on earth, but now it is all gone.... snif, snif snif.

So, the important lesson I learned is

Always Check Your Blog After You Publish It to Make Sure Your Entire Post is There.

Of course I discovered this almost a week later. Big oooppssss. I can not believe me or the three people that read this did not try and alert me that my blog ended in mid sentence. Talk about a cliff hanger.

OK, so I will see if I can finish off the exciting story. I am sure I can not remember all the really insightful, humorous details, and of course I seem to have forgotten the part about creating peace on earth, but I will try my best.

So, I think that after tossing Conor over the seat to Mick, he took him to the bathroom and tossed him back to me. Of course in this second toss, Conor's foot somehow hit the guy in the aisle in the head, thus awakening him from his peaceful airplane slumber. OOPPPPssss sorry. So, after I get Conor settled I look over to my right to again apologize to this poor man besides us only to discover that he has pulled out a snack to eat. Of course this was no ordinary snack, it was a giant bag of peanuts. My heart started to beat faster, as I turned to the man and anxiously requested that he put away his airline snack because it could kill my son. The poor man was so nice and apologized profusely that I offered to give him one of our snacks, or buy him a safe one from the airplane. Of course he declined my offer, and politely rubbed his head where my poor sweet thing kicked him, but I still felt bad for the guy.

I finally got Conor sufficiently drugged to calm the hacking and fall asleep. I contemplated giving him a nebulizer with really cool little nebulizer, with the fun option of freaking out the annoying flight crew by not telling them why smoke was rising from the middle of isle 24 but finally thought the better of it. I do have to say that I wonder if the proximity to peanuts could have caused all of Conor's symptoms, or could they just be related to the dust, etc on the airplane. It is something I will have to try and keep an eye on in the future.....

So we finally made it safely to Heathrow where I gave Conor a nebulizer, got all of our pictures taken in security, and wondered why the security people paid more attention to my socks then the large bag of liquids and needles I showed them.

We made it onto the third airplane where I discovered my air sickness gets very bad when traveling for almost 24 hours, and proceeded to throw up on the airplane, and for the hour ride to Nana's house. Those barf bags are really useful sometimes, and I made sure to stock up on our way home for little peoples new car sickness issues.

So anyways, just a simple reiteration of my first lesson that I have now hopefully completed....

1) Always Take a Direct Flight

Monday, May 25, 2009

Another holiday at the doctor

Happy memorial day everyone. I am presently writing this from our
friendly very crowded pediatric aftercare office. Conor seems to have
yet another ear infection on a day all normal medical offices are
closed. Last time he had an ear infection was on super bowl sunday. I
think he times these things on purpose. Hopefully we will be called

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, May 18, 2009

Things I Learned on Our Vacation

Whew!! We made it home, and I am still trying to recover, but am finally able to try and function normally. I know, I know, you have all been waiting with baited breath to hear about our globe traveling exploits. So, my next few posts will cover important things I learned on our trip, so everyone can learn from our experiences. (just don't laugh at my expense :)

1) When traveling a long distance you MUST take a direct flight.

That is right, whatever you do, take a direct flight. It does not matter how much it may cost but you must beg borrow and steal to raise the funds to go direct. This is a non negotiable aspect of any of my future excursions to Ireland. Even if you are presented with free frequent flyer tickets for your entire family, do not take them unless they are a direct flight. No exceptions apply!!

On the way there, we took 3 airplanes to get to Dublin. One from San Francisco to Los Angeles, one from Los Angeles to Heathrow, and one from Heathrow to Dublin. The flight from LA to San Francisco was fine, and we quickly hopped over to the Heathrow to Dublin flight with an ease that made me think this was no big deal. Ok, I was wrong....don't base your assessment of a 20 hour trip on the first 2 hours.

So, we make it on to plane #2, where my lovely husband informs me we have 3 seats in one row, and 2 seats in the row in front, with only one row having an aisle seat. The other row with two seats together is right in the middle of that long center isle in the middle of the plane.....Cool. Of course no one would trade with us, so at first I sat in the back row with 2 children, and Mick sat in front of us with one.

About 10 minutes after we got on the airplane Conor started sneezing, wiping and itching. Cool.... I quickly popped out the benedryl to drug him up and it seemed to help a bit. We took off, and made do as the time very slowly passed. Thankfully there were tv screens in the seat in front and that kept everyone entertained for quite a while.

Much later in the flight after many of the seat changes, they dimmed the light to pretend it was night. Conor and I were in the first row, and the other three were behind us. Conor started his mas mucas production again, and I drugged him again with another round of benedryl since it had been over 4 hours. Of course once the man next to me with the aisle access fell asleep, Conor decided he had to go to the bathroom again. (I spent half the flight taking one child or another to the bathroom!!) So, I tossed him to Mick over a seat

Friday, May 15, 2009

Super Epi Pen Over the Rainbow

Whew, we and Super Epi Pen are back from somewhere over the rainbow.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This labeling is nuts

Ok, bear with me here as I am trying to blog from my iPhone and I am
really bad at typing on this tiny little keyboard thing.
What would previously take me two minutes to write now takes me 20

Hhhmm let's see what happens if I slam my fingers on all the keys at
once. Htdgfidjfudhh. Ok not quite as exciting as I was expecting

Things here are going fine except for an unexpected funeral of my
sister in laws 94 year old mother. Well the woman was 94, I guess
not that unexpected, but still kind of sad. I opted out of the open
casket wake at the sibling in laws house and stayed home breaking up
fights about whose glass of water was the tallest and who has the most

Anyways on to what I was originally going to write about.
Labeling. The labeling here is actually pretty good although
searching through isles of unfamiliar products can be a bit time
consuming and frustrating.

Despite the good labeling there seems to be some over labeling and
warnings put on everything of some brands just to be safe legally. My
favorite labeling was this

"this product contains no nuts..............
This product may contain nuts"

Hhhhhhhhmmmm confusing get my hopes up that the product
Might be safe and then dash those hopes in a conflicting statement.
Think of the ink wasted to write both those lines. Why not just write
may contain nuts. Maybe these labels are written by those stupid
idiots who write articles claiming peanut allergies are just a figment
of the imagination of crazy mothers who want to feel important

Ok enough rambling. Stay tuned for more excitment
Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Going on a Jet Plane

We are leaving tomorrow on our big excursion over to Ireland, and I think I am almost ready with everything. Of course as I am trying to write this two sweet little boys are pretending to hit each other with their shoes. HHHMMM, I wonder why I sometimes forget things.......

For this recent journey, I have discovered the exciting world of iphone apps. I was just looking for some entertainment, but wow these things are so cool!!!!!! I am also going to try and blog from my iphone while we are gone......I think I have it figured out, but I am quite technologically challenged, so we shall see.

My latest interesting app find is called Eat Safe.

It is basically just a series of clear illustrations that you can show to someone to get them to truly understand that no, you can not eat this food!!!

"Eat Safe, a new iPhone application ($3.99), helps bridge the communication gap between diner and waiter when it comes to ingredients in certain dishes.
The program, a model in simplicity, allows the iPhone to display a clear illustration of 18 products, such as fish, dairy products or peanuts, that the patron can’t eat.
You can download it to your iPhone from the application store or through iTunes"

Although they speak English in Ireland, this could still be a really good app for those people who just seem really dense about the fact that no peanuts really does mean NO PEANUTS!!!! Maybe it would help Grampoo...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Taking Medication on the Airplane

I am so relieved that spring break is finally over, and the house is momentarily quiet again. I think we all just spent way too much time together. The three little ones were able to push each others buttons in a matter of minutes, and the fighting was brutal. It got so bad in the car a few times, I threatened to take everyone into the local police station, so we could talk to a policeman about car safety. We once made it to the outside of the police station, but I never had the pleasure of dragging everyone in and trying to explain to the local police why I was there. I am not quite sure what their reaction would have been, but I will do it if I ever need to.

Now I have started to get back to what we need to do on our vacation. I can not wait to see what fun we will be on such a long plane flight. I plan on apologizing to everyone around us as soon as we get on, and maybe passing out earplugs to them. If I can not keep three children under control in my car that I can pull over, what in the world am I going to do on an airplane for 12 or so hours.

Anyways, I have been trying to get all of Conor's medicines in order, and realized I need to use half my carry on luggage just to carry it. Here is a list of my booty.

Benedryl (a wonder drug, good both for allergic reactions, and just in case to help little people sleep)
Pulmacort (for nebulizer)
Xopanex (for nebulizer)
A totally cool sleek little nebulizer
4 epi pens

And just in case you were wondering, here is the information now on what you are allowed to carry on airplanes in the case of medications.

"Additionally, we are continuing to permit prescription liquid medications and other liquids needed by persons with disabilities and medical conditions. This includes:
All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels, and aerosols) including KY jelly, eye drops, and saline solution for medical purposes;
Liquids including water, juice, or liquid nutrition or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition;
Life-support and life-sustaining liquids such as bone marrow, blood products, and transplant organs;
Items used to augment the body for medical or cosmetic reasons such as mastectomy products, prosthetic breasts, bras or shells containing gels, saline solution, or other liquids; and,
Gels or frozen liquids needed to cool disability or medically related items used by persons with disabilities or medical conditions.
However, if the liquid medications are in volumes larger than 3 ozs each, they may not be placed in the quart-size bag and must be declared to the Transportation Security Officer. A declaration can be made verbally, in writing, or by a person's companion, caregiver, interpreter, or family member.
Declared liquid medications and other liquids for disabilities and medical conditions must be kept separate from all other property submitted for x-ray screening.
For more information on these measures, please read our letter outlining this policy --
Changes in Allowances for Persons with Disabilities at Airport Security Checkpoints (pdf, 101Kb)"

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Sports Car of the Nebulizer World

We finally sent Grampoo on his way back to Los Angeles. Whew!! that was a close one!!

Anyways I have spent the last few days trying to prepare for our trip. One of our major concerns was our nebulizer. I must bring a nebulizer. I have previously publicly professed my love for our nebulizer here. However I have been very concerned about dragging our grey brick like thing overseas on an airplane. In addition to it's rather portly size and weight, we also need to be able to plug it into the international electric circuits. Think what would happen if I blew out the nebulizer. It could be smoking, and I might just think it was the normal smoke that comes from it.

We went to my favorite allergist the other day. (Grampoo was still here, and I did not trust him to watch the little people alone, so he sat in the waiting room at the Dr, and I took 3 little children in with me to see the Dr. . FUN!)

After explaining our problem to our awesome allergist she showed me something that got my heart racing with excitement. I realized this is what some people must feel when they see a sports car. It was sleek and compact. It had smooth lines and technical innovation. It fit in the palm of my hand, but could handle its big job silently. The horsepower was incredible, and it could run on batteries, ac/dc, and even had a European adapter. I reached over to caress it, and knew I must have it at all costs.........

The appropriate arrangements were quickly made, and this beauty was delivered to my door yesterday evening. I admired it yet again, and even liked the cool fish mask that came with it. Now I am just waiting for Conor to cough so I can take it for a test drive.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

You Would Think Grampoo Would Know Better

Wow, this has been one tough week. Everyone is off for spring break, I am Au Pair less, and I am trying to juggle 3 sweet young things whose main form of entertainment seems to be fighting with each other, and playing, lets annoy Mommy any time we are driving in the car. Fun!!

Anyways, Grampoo decided to come up and "help" out for a few days during the week. "Help" is of course a very relative word. I think he thinks he is helping, but I don't really know how much help it is. OK, not so much. Grampoo also does not get the whole peanut allergy thing. He should. He is allergic to penacillin, and some other drug, and has had some pretty severe reactions himself. But does he get it???? NO!

We went to McDonalds yesterday to have lunch. I stupidly let him go order the desserts....2 ice cream cones, and 2 hot fudge sundaes with no nuts. He walks over to the table with the desserts on the tray, and the two evil packets of peanuts sitting there. Thinking the counter person at McDonalds had just made a mistake and given him the peanuts, I tell him to either give the peanuts back or throw them away. My husbands father in law then sticks them in his pocket and says they are gone. When I respond that a jacket pocket does not equal gone, he kindly informs me that he is going to take them home (our home of course) and put them in his luggage so he can eat them on the airplane ride home.

After banging my head against the wall for a while, I insisted that he throw the peanuts away. I tried to explain to him why, but he just did not get it. Forget that he is also then planning to eat peanuts on an airplane, and then........Hello!!!! I said maybe someone else's grandchild who is allergic to peanuts would be sitting next to him, but got no understanding of the situation. I think I need a vacation from Grampoo......

OK, I am off to go and search Grampoo's luggage and jacket for any further contraband........

Who knows what I might find. I hope I find some money....

Friday, April 10, 2009

Flying With Food Allergies

As things are starting to settle into a routine again, we somehow decided to go on a big vacation to Ireland in two weeks to visit Nana. Mick grew up in Ireland, and most of his family is still there including his mother, sister and 2 brothers and their families. We got a great deal on tickets, and at the spur of the moment decided hey, what the heck.

Now, exciting as this is, once the excitement wore off a bit, I realized that traveling with 3 little children is a challenging endeavor. But traveling with a child with life threatening food allergies and asthma is a whole other ball of wax.

We did travel to Ireland 2 years ago, and we were aware of Conor's peanut allergy. That trip went fine with no major reactions. (we did not know of the egg allergy at the time, and just could not figure out why Conor would get hives after helping to make french toast.....ooopppsss). I of course do not remember what I did to prepare, and what I need to do now yikes....

We are flying on United for the main trip across the pond, and also connecting to Aer Lingus and from my general research they both appear not to serve little bags of peanuts to all of their passengers in a snack time flurry. They also do not cover their web site with pictures of peanuts, and dress up as a peanut easter bunny too, so that makes me happy. For more on Southwest, an airline that does have a web site covered with pictures of peanuts, and dresses up as a peanut Easter bunny look here and here.

As you have probably guessed, my next few weeks will be filled with posts of preparation for our international air travel with three little people, food allergies, and asthma. I have just started my research, and FAAN is the first good resource I have found so far for general info. The FAAN Airline information page is here.

If anyone knows of any other good information sites or information in general, please let me know. I need all the help I can get......

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Good By No Pair - Embracing Change

So, the No Pair has officially vacated the house, and after a rousing game of name that mental illness (borderline personality disorder), we are officially ready to move on to our au pair less life. Since Conor is going to kindergarten in the fall, and we have alot of resources locally, we decided that we no longer needed an au pair anymore. Although we had two that were absolutely wonderful, the bad ones really take it out of you, and I am tired of dealing with a teenager in addition to my three little ones.

I have spent my past week or so frantically trying to re-arrange our schedule to have some sort of child care accommodations. While this is difficult already, there are many more challenges when you have a child with life threatening food allergies, severe cat allergies, many enviormental allergies and asthma. There is one wonderful woman near my house that picks up at the local elementary school and will take Michael and Natalie one day a week. I was all set up to send Conor one morning a week also, and she was ready to try and accommodate his food allergies, when I made the very unfortunate discovery that she has cats. .....Check that one off the list.

But you know, we are muddling through...... I am so thankful to have found the nut free school where Conor will go to kindergarten. He can stay later on the days he goes there, and they have a wonderful summer camp he can also attend. I found a local woman who is older, has a grown daughter with asthma, and is very responsible to help watch the kids on occasion. We joined a gym that has a safe child care everyone can go to.

At first I was frightened and scared about what we were going to do, and how this change was going to effect us. Then Mick and I sat down, and really talked about it. What I was really afraid of was not having new child care options, but the change itself. When we first discovered Conor was allergic to peanuts, it was a shock out of the blue that changed our lives in that very instant. This was also a shock, but I think in a good way. We as a family were able to sit down and re-evaluate what we want from each other and our time together. We were able to use this upheaval in our day to day lives as a way to communicate with the children about how much we love them and how important our family is to us. We were able to address our fear of change and embrace it. Fortunately or unfortunately change is an inevitable part of life. I guess I need to change the way I view change.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

From Au Pair to No Pair

So, I think we have finally recovered from all our illnesses. While there is still some hacking, heaving and nose running, I think we finally have everything under control and are ready to get back to life.

Or so I thought.....

I had previously written long long ago that we were getting a new au pair from Colombia. We had 2 previous au pairs that were absolutely wonderful, and one that was absolutely crazy. I had not written about our now No Pair much since I knew she knew of this blog, but now....oh well, here goes...

On Monday night she came to me and said she needed to talk to me after the children went to bed. Uh Oh, already a trouble sign. We had all sorts of interesting interactions with her, and occasional interesting behavior, but she was great with the kids, and always ready and always able to show up on time when needed, and seemed responsible, so we just kind of watched it. So this past Monday she sat me down and told me that although she loved the children and the job, she just was not comfortable being around us, and had to leave as soon as possible. After numerous conversations with the area coordinator, and her, she packed up her bags, and ran out the door early Thursday morning, never to be seen or heard from again.

So, this is kind of annoying. Just a bit. Well, ok alot. It is not like I will horribly miss her, but the kids are a bit upset, and I need a week or so to figure out our situation. After a few more days we decided that we are officially done with the au pair program, since we have lots of resources locally, and Conor will be heading to kindergarten in the fall. There were a variety of other factors that went into this decision, including the way the company handles your ability to interview prior host families of in country au pairs, and the fact that we would like our house back to ourselves.

So, I have been running around like crazy trying to figure out what our schedule will be for next week, and what my needs are. This is of course further complicated by all of Conor's allergies. Not only is the peanut allergy a big problem, but he is also severely allergic to cats, and can not go anywhere cats may be.

So, a new saga in our life begins......Lets call this the No Pair chapter.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Being Sick Sucks Lollipops!!!!

I can not believe it has been almost an entire week since I last posted.Wow, time flies when you are sick. First Conor was sick, and when Conor gets sick any schedule, organization, or rest goes out the window. We get to hang out with our good friend Plain Old Brown Nebulizer 3-4 times a day. Sometimes I think I should just name the darn thing, we spend so much time with it. Lets see, 3 times a day average, 15-20 minutes at a time - wow, that is about an hour a day with Mr. Nebulizer. 7 hours a week, 28 hours a month...yikes!!!
Things I wish I did for 7 hours a week
take naps
get massages
watch tv
breath deeply
breath quickly
listen to the quiet in my house
compliment my children for getting along so well
play on the Internet
play off the Internet
walking the dog
petting the dog
acknowledging the dog's existence
eating lollipops
go for a walk in the park

Then of course after spending countless nights up with Conor coughing in my face, I too caught some evil illness that left me sniffling, sneezing and coughing for over a week. Thankfully I do not have asthma, but it was (and still is) not lots of fun. Then we had a few bouts of vomiting in cars from other folks, a cool nosebleed, and a fun trip to our favorite Doctor to round out our week. (aren't you glad you decided to come over here and read this????)

So, I am off to tend to some more sick people. Maybe I will even tend to myself a bit.....:)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Peanut Free T-Ball Anyone....

You know spring is here when it is baseball season. In our house, Michael and Conor have just started practice for their first ever T-Ball season. We went to our first practice, and I have to say, it was one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

One of the main parts of the first practice was to show everyone how to run around the bases.......in the correct order. Now this seems simple, but for ten 4-5 year olds, it is not quite as simple as it seems. In fact it is pretty darn complicated. You have to go around the bases in a counter clockwise motion, after you hit the ball, in numerical order. You need to step on all the bases as you run around them, not fall over, or run into anything or anyone in your path. Finally you must tag home plate, and STOP there, not continue running around as fast as you can all over the place screaming home run at the top of your lungs.

Then, of course there is fielding. Getting the concept across that little children must pay attention seems awfully difficult. Thus, it is necessary to take part in important drills like outfield flower bouquet creation, hat styling, and gardening. These activities take paramount importance in an outfielders time, even if one of those annoying balls seems to get in the way by coming by every once in a while.

Overall the practice went great. Our coach is great with kids, and a realist, claiming, we were off to a great start. According to him, his job, and our job was the equivalent of herding cats, and we ended the day with no scratches or bites. There was a bit of howling and whining, but I think that was par for the course. Our first game is next weekend, and I can not wait to see how that goes...

With T-Ball starting, our little sports fans have started to express an interest in watching Baseball on TV, and maybe even seeing a real baseball game in person. With a peanut allergy unfortunately, this is not so easy. The totally awesome blogger Jennifer over at Food Allergy Buzz has started a blog Peanutfreebaseball.com where she is putting all the information she has found about peanut free baseball games around the country. This is such a great resource, and I am hoping to see some San Francisco area games listed there soon.

In the meantime, I am making sure all the local T-Ball games are peanut free just in case you want to check them out in person.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Not Your Average Nebulizer

Although I love my nebulizer dearly, if it were ever to mysteriously stop functioning, here are some cool alternatives....
The Speedster race car nebulizer

The Margo Moo Nebulizer with its own barn carrying case

A cute Teddy Bear Nebulizer

A Play with your Lego while nebulizing nebulizer. (but don't pull out those little tubes, and try to attach them to the Lego, or keep pushing the colorful buttons)

The Here Taxi nebulizer

Check them out here
I asked the children in the house for their opinion, and the red race car won out with 2 votes from the boys, while the girl thought the teddy bear should be our next nebulizer. Maybe we will get one after we get one of those peanut sniffing dogs.......

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Meet the Southwest Airlines Peanut Bunny

With all this talk about peanuts on airlines, and Easter comming up, I thought I would share this cool stuff I found on my internet travels. Apparently to raise money last Easter a department at Southwest decided to dress up one of their employees as the Peanut Bunny. Apparently for $1.00 you could have your picture taken with this adorable creature. Wow, sign me up for this year!!!

But you know, this story is best told in the words of its own airline Southwest, in their blog
The Soutwest Airlines Blog, Nuts About Southwest in their fine entry Here Comes Peanut Cotton Tail

"The Provisioning Department at HDQ has recently formed its own Local Culture Committee* called The Peanuts Gang. (Why all the peanut references? Provisioning is the Team that stocks our planes with our famous peanuts!) All Local Culture Committees must come up with their own fundraising ideas to earn money to support their different events during the year; thus was born the Peanut Bunny.

What exactly is a Peanut Bunny, you ask? Picture a big papier mache peanut costume dressed up with big bunny ears and a big pink bow around its neck. Now picture one crazy Culture Ambassador and a Provisioning Auditor taking turns wearing that costume with a pink nose and painted-on whiskers hopping up and down the halls, visiting different departments, and posing for pictures with Employees, bringing smiles and laughter--and peanuts--along the way, and there you have the Provisioning Peanut Bunny"

Apparently future photo ops are in the works with Uncle Sam Peanut, Beach Beauty Bikini Peanut, and Peanut Claus! Great!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Dear Nebulizer....I Love You

Dear Nebulizer,

I just wanted to say... I love you.

I know, I know, you are not the most attractive looking package we have ever seen, but the difference you have made in our lives has been astounding. When you entered our home 5 months ago, I was unsure what to make of your little brown exterior with all those tubes, wires, and funny dragon mask. You were bulky to carry, and awkward to use. I resented that your motor like hum filled the room making it difficult to hear anything else, and that it took all to long for you to need to attach your dragon like mask to my sweet little hacking son.

Then, I thought you were a bad influence on us. In order to make my sweet little thing sit quietly with you plugged into the nearby electric socket, I was forced to bribe him with television and video games I would never have otherwise exposed him to. You brought the Playstation into our home far more often then I would ever have allowed before. Sometimes I felt like we spent half our day hanging out with you, smoke like air coming from the dragon mask the television lights flickering.

As I was filled with anger and annoyance at your intrusion into our lives, I came to a realization. Since you have come into our lives, we have avoided trips to the ER, and oral steroids. You have gotten us through many colds, flu's and late night coughing excursions. You have been there for us when we needed you most. You have helped us where others have failed. Liquid Albuteral, Puffers, Spacers, all had previously been unable to follow through when we needed them most. They let us down just when we were depending on them, and I felt betrayed by their promises. But alas, not you. I don't know what we would do without you, and I can not thank you enough.

So again, dear Nebulizer, I just wanted to say... I love you

Thursday, February 26, 2009

If Food Allergies are Disabilities - Why is it OK to Ignore Them????

I am sure all 5 of you that read my blog are well aware that due to Northwest's merger with Delta, they are bringing back the evil peanut to their airline. Below are some of the great allergy blogs, etc that are trying to bring awareness to this issue.

Food Allergy Buzz post on the issue.

You Don't Need Nuts to Fly Facebook Page

Allergic Living's Campaign

The Nut Free Mom's Blog which has tons of great info, including a few posts about Northwest's return to the evil peanut.

After hearing about this disturbing development, I thought I would start to do a little research into the past history of peanuts on airplanes. I remembered some sort of discussion about it from the good old days when I had no clue peanut allergies existed. (and probably thought those people who don't want peanuts on airplanes are crazy). Here is some of the interesting information I found.

In 1998, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued instructions that all airlines were to declare at least three rows peanut free zones for all flights including any medically-diagnosed peanut-allergy sufferer. This was to bring policy in-line with the 1986 Air Carrier Access Act. Congress failed to grant financial support to enforce the directive and Newt Gingrich denounced the Clinton administration's anti-peanut attitude, but most airlines chose to comply anyhow. Some of them even began advertising their lower fat snack foods.

Mr. Peanut Goes to Court
Journal of Law and Health, Spring of 1999

"Recently, the Department of Transportation, "DOT," declared peanut allergy a "disability" under the Air Carrier Access Act,(1) a 1986 law that guarantees disabled passengers access to airliners, and which can be considered the air travel equivalent of the Americans With Disabilities Act, ("ADA.")(2) In doing so, the DOT sent letters to ten of the major airlines explaining that a medically diagnosed allergy to peanuts constitutes a "disability" under the Carrier Act.(3) Accordingly, the to DOT created "peanut-free zones" or "buffer zones," where peanuts would not be served, on commercial air flights in order to protect passengers who notify the airline in advance of their documented allergy to peanuts.(4)

In response, Congress, pressured by lobbyists for the peanut industry, attached a repealer to the 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Bill that prohibits the DOT from spending any money to implement "peanut free zones" and further requires the DOT to submit to Congress "a peer reviewed scientific study" which documents the severe allergic reactions before the DOT can once again move for "peanut free zones."(5) Even after Congress' response, the DOT is still recommending "buffer zones" on commercial flights; however, without funding, enforcement of the zones has become impossible.(6)"

Although I am not sure if this has changed over the past 10 or so years, it seems based on this that food allergies are considered a disability under Department of Transportation guidelines, so if you feel that you have been discriminated against due to your allergy, you have the right to (and should) file a complaint with the Aviation Consumer Protection Division. You can find the form at


Also, the below is from the website of the Department of Transportation, Consumer Protection Division

Passengers with Disabilities
The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in air travel and requires U.S. air carriers to accommodate the needs of passengers with disabilities. The Department of Transportation has a rule defining the rights of passengers and the obligations of air carriers under this law. The following is a summary of the main points of the DOT rule (Title 14 CFR, Part 382).
Prohibition of Discriminatory Practices
Carriers may not refuse transportation to people on the basis of disability. Airlines may exclude anyone from a flight if carrying the person would be inimical to the safety of the flight. If a carrier excludes a person with a disability on safety grounds, the carrier must provide a written explanation of the decision.Airlines may not require advance notice that a person with a disability is traveling. Carriers may require up to 48 hours’ advance notice for certain accommodations that require preparation time (e.g., respirator hook-up, transportation of an electric wheelchair on an aircraft with less than 60 seats).
Carriers may not limit the number of disabled persons on a flight.
Carriers may not require a person with a disability to travel with an attendant, except in certain limited circumstances specified in the rule. If a disabled passenger and the carrier disagree about the need for an attendant, the airline can require the attendant, but cannot charge for the transportation of the attendant.
Airlines may not keep anyone out of a seat on the basis of handicap, or require anyone to sit in a particular seat on the basis of handicap, except as an FAA safety rule requires. FAA's rule on exit row seating says that carriers may place in exit rows only persons who can perform a series of functions necessary in an emergency evacuation.

I don't know how relevant any of this is, but the ex-lawyer in me thought I would consolidate all sorts of info I have found on my travels through the Internet superhighway. I am curious to know if anyone has used this before to file some sort of disability complaint, especially if they were kicked off a plane.
But, enough for now, screaming sick children are calling me to sit with them while we are waiting for the benedryl to kick in.........

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Dilema......

So, here is my dilemma. Lets say we are eating out at one of those ever exciting fast food restaurants, that I consider somewhat safe for my sweet little food allergic children. We have all gotten our food and settled in at our table, eating away as only 3 sweet little children can. Then, you hear the words you have been dreading.........

Mommy, I need to go to the bathroom!!!!

I look around in horror, since I am the only adult with the three small children. I remember almost like in a slow motion horror movie how I asked each one directly when we first arrived whether or not they needed to go potty. Their voices are slowly drawn out as each says nnnnnnnnoooooooooooo, and shakes their heads side to side.

So, what are my choices....

1) try to get the child who needs to go potty to wait until everyone is done, risking accident and yucky mess

2) trek all three children to the bathroom, and leave our half eaten meal on the table, risking the one time the cleaning people are actually on the ball, and come back to a clean fresh table devoid of food. (yes, this has happened to me, and I was forced to buy three more meals to appease the traumatized children)

3) pack all the food up and take it with you to the bathroom with the three sweet little children. (yuck)

4)try and find some other reasonably sane looking people near you, and embarrassingly explain that you need to take your children to the bathroom, and ask them to please watch your food for you while you are gone, alerting any suddenly competent cleaning personnel not to throw away your food.

I am sure you are holding your breath, trying to guess which solution I used. After looking around and not seeing any reasonable sane people nearby, I decided to risk packing up three children and running to the bathroom as fast as we could in the hopes our food would be there when we returned. Lucky for us, there were no cleaning people at work today, and our food was waiting for us upon our return, just as we left it. Whew!!!

I am thinking of making up little cards in the future to leave on the tables to alert people that we will return shortly. I could print them up in vibrant colors, and many languages, and design them so they could pop up tall so everyone could see them. I think I may have to look into that in all my free time......

Friday, February 20, 2009

Always Know Your Target Audience When Selling a Product!!!

"For every kid out there with peanut allergies, these erasers are for you. No more peanut deprivation! Just don’t eat them…Bag of five erasers"

(Yes, this is the actual wording used to advertise these cool erasers)

You can buy them here. They are $5.50 for a bag of 5 erasers.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

We Are Back From Our Trip and I Hate Pixos!!!

Whew!!! We finally made it back from our road trip to visit the relations, and I am still trying to recover. I spent all day yesterday doing laundry, and trying to unpack everything I could find. We celebrated Michael and Natalie's birthday again, with the grandparents, and have even more gifts then we did before.

(Just as an informative note, if you have three 4-6 year old children, do not, and I repeat do not let someone give them Pixos for their birthday!!! I am a bitter tired person who is very annoyed at sticking little balls into dots to try and make designs since their children are not able. Then, you get to do scientific experiments to discover if little escaped Pixos balls can be removed from wood floors and furniture once they have gotten wet, and someone has pressed them down..... So if anyone is interested in a free set of leftover Pixos please let me know!!!))

Our school district has somehow declared this week President's Week, and given everyone the entire week off. (When in the world did Presidents Day become a week off in February? Didn't they just get back from the Winter Holiday Break, and are soon going on the Spring Break???)This means I need to entertain the little people again tomorrow, and all weekend before sending them back off to school. I know some people cry and miss their children terribly when they go to school. I on the other hand cry when they are out of school. Three children so close in age means three times the energy, excitement, fighting and destruction. I always look back now, and wonder if my parents got excited when they were able to ship me back to school after a vacation.

Just in case you were wondering, here are some highlights from our trip.

We had a fun filled day at Disneyland that only included one breakdown when Conor saw a person dressed as Buzz Light Year walk by.

A comment from a stupid relative,

Stupid Relative, "Have you heard of the Salmonella scare with peanuts??? Isn't it terrible?"

Me, "Yes, it is , but thankfully that is something we do not have to worry about with Conor's peanut allergy"

Stupid Relative, "Yes, but people can get really sick from Salmonella"

Me, " People can get really sick and die from peanut allergies"

Stupid Relative, "Can you imagine if someone who ate peanuts tainted with Salmonella was also allergic to peanuts.....That would be really bad."

Me, "uh...yea"

You can eat at McDonalds 8 times in 4 days.

"Well of course everything at McDonalds is safe. You let him eat there don't you?"
Me, "Uh, no, the peanuts that come with the sundae's are not safe..."

After deciding I hated Pixos, I did a little research to discover that the company was actually called Aqua Dots, and the original annoying dot things were actually coated in something that turns into the date rape drug when ingested. Apparently there was a huge recall, and they are supposed to be safe now (but unfortunately are still incredibly annoying)

And of course, spending quality time with the grandparents.