Thursday, April 14, 2011

Food Allergies

Have I mentioned how much I hate food allergies? It's so hard having a toddler with them and we continue to struggle each day. Though E has outgrown 3 of the original 5 allergens, he's still very allergic to dairy and nuts. Dairy is the hardest of the two as it seems to be in everything, all the time. It's impossible to take him out to eat and order something off the menu (or share what we've ordered). Turns out that restaurants even make oatmeal with milk. Playdates the the absolute worst for food allergies! Toddlers love to feed one another and share foods. Sippy cups sit unattended filled with cows milk and every child's face, shirt and hands have traces of what they've been eating. At home things are fine. We have a long list of foods that he eats and loves. In fact, Dr. M and I don't eat much dairy either, so at home it's manageable. E still drinks rice milk about 3-4 times a day and seems to love it. What I don't think people understand about food allergies is that not only will E have a reaction if he eats the food, but will also break out in a terrible rash if his skin comes in contact with it. Yesterday, for example, we left a playdate and on the way home E was rubbing his sleepy eyes in the car. By the time we got home his face was covered in hives and his left eye was almost swollen shut. Realizing that hives are generally a sign of a contact reaction, I washed his face and hands and changed his clothes. I also gave him a dose of benadryl which seemed to make things better, but his eye was swollen the rest of the afternoon. We hoped that we would be done with allergies by the time he is two, but doesn't seem like he'll outgrow them anytime soon (as he's approaching 20 months). We don't know anyone else who's little one has allergies, so we feel quite alone with this. No one in our family has food allergies or even seems to fully understand them (it's amazing how many people don't even know what "dairy" means). I joined an online forum, which has give me some great ideas and makes me feel a little better about E's allergies (some kids only have a handful of "safe" foods they can eat), but also worries me about baby #2. In the end, I need to be thankful that he's outgrown many of his allergies and be optimistic that we will get through these as well. Overall, he's a happy, healthy boy who we love so much, which is all that matters.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sweet Home Alabama

Dr. M has officially accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Alabama. So, it looks like the four of us will be moving to Tuscaloosa this summer shortly after baby girl arrives. We're excited about living in a smaller community again and after the winter we've had here, we're looking forward to the warm weather. I've never been to the state of Alabama and Dr. M's only been once, but we've heard lots of great things about the city. We're in the process of working out the logistics of the move, having a baby and two-year-old and finding a place there, but know it will all work out. I've decided, however, that we're not having any more children, because each time the baby is due, we're in the process of moving ;) Overall, we're excited about them move and the fact that we'll be just hours from the ocean (Dr. M is looking forward to Bama football season!). It will be sad to leave the mid-west, but we think the south will be good for us (even if the kids do grow up with southern accents!).