My family

My family
My Family

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ongoing update on Austin's Allergies

In June Austin had his semi-annual appointment with Dr. Bloomberg at St. Louis Childrens Hospital.  We just LOVE this doctor, he really has the best bedside manner and is great with kids.  As an added bonus, he sports very stylish bow ties.

Austin's latest blood rast test results were:
Eggs:  Highly allergic
Peanuts:  Mildly allergic to Undetectable
Bananas:  Undetectable
Watermelon:  Undetectable
Wheat:  Mildly allergic

These tests were taken after his December appointment.  Since December Austin has had an allergic reaction to apples, yes seriously apples.  On more than one occasion he has broke out in hives from eating this harmless (or harmful) fruit.

At the June appointment Dr. Bloomberg wanted to do some skin prick tests to see if we can safely remove some items for Austin's allergy list.  Since we know that Austin is still having hive reactions from bananas and watermelon, we didn't test those fruits.  We also didn't test wheat since it doesn't cause an anaphylaxis response.  Dr. Bloomberg decided that since Austin hasn't had a physical reaction to peanuts (meaning he has never ate peanuts and had an allergic reaction), we should skin test for peanuts.  It is possible that his blood thinks he is allergic but his body does not.  Which would mean he could safely eat peanuts!!  He also discussed with us the possibility of allowing Austin to begin eating baked eggs (cakes, brownies, etc).  Some children who have egg allergies are only reactive when the egg is in raw, uncooked form.  Other children are allergic to eggs in all forms.  So Dr. Bloomberg wanted to skin test eggs to see what his reaction was like, so we can make a decision on how to proceed.

So, Austin was "pricked" with peanuts, eggs, and apples (since it was the new one and we need a basis of measurement).  I use the term pricked loosely because contrary to popular belief, his skin is not broken during the test.  His back is touched with a probe that has been dipped in the allergic items.  And, we wait for 10-15 minutes for the test to settle. 

Results are in...positive, very positive,  and very very positive.  UGH!!! 

This appointment was an emotional roller coaster.  Before the skin test, after speaking to Dr. Bloomberg, we thought Austin might be able to start eating baked eggs and peanuts.  Removing these two items from his list of unsafe foods would be huge, his diet would explode with new flavors.  I was giddy with excitement.  After his skin test, he clearly showed apples were added to the list and peanuts and eggs (baked and raw) are not coming off the list anytime in the near future.  I was devastated and defeated.  Food allergies have won again.

It is getting increasingly difficult for us to keep Austin away from his unsafe foods.  He is beginning to understand that he doesn't get to eat what others are eating.  This is soooo hard.  This is so unfair.  He can't even eat normal fruits for a well balanced diet.

On a positive note, Dr. Bloomberg did put Austin on the list for a peanut challenge.  The waiting list is over a year long, so he placed him in hopes his skin reaction and blood numbers go down before he is called for the challenge.  The challenge will be a totally new adventure for us.  They will feed Austin peanuts in small amounts, increasing over time, in a safe controlled environment of a sterile hospital room.  I haven't heard many experiences of children as young as Austin passing the challenge, but we won't know until we try it. 

Another positive note, it is possible that all of Austin's fruit allergies are actually a pollen allergy.  We won't know for sure until he is a bit older.  Outdoor allergies are difficult to detect in young kids because they don't have enough exposure to the outdoors to truly reflect an allergy on testing.  Next summer, he will have had 2 total years of playing outside in the elements.  We might be able to gain some insight into possible outdoor allergies next summer.

So for those of you who are still reading and following along with Austin's allergic journey here is his list:
Eggs - strictly avoid
Peanuts - strictly avoid
Wheat - can have but expect an upset tummy after eating large quantities
Watermelon - strictly avoid
Bananas - avoid, can give small amounts to try to build a resistance  (for every non reaction, we have had a reaction, there is hope here)
Apples - avoid in raw form (applesauce - okay, apple slices - not)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Today I am linking up with my friend Julia over at Pontifications of a Twin Mom.  Julia, her readers and fellow blogging moms have been sharing amazing kid toys, ideas, books, and personal experiences that have been big hits in their households.

Typically Mama Loves are done on Saturdays and today is well, Tuesday.  But better late than never. 

My current Mama Love is KINDERMUSIK. 

Being a dance studio owner I had heard of Kindermusik for a number of years.  I would receive promotional mailers that I would toss in the junk mail pile.  Shortly after Austin was born, I was eager to "socialize" him.  Kindermusik classes were a perfect fit and we enrolled when he turned 1 year old.  The classes are for the parent and child, so we were able to experience this together as mom and toddler.  We sang songs, played instruments, danced, and even made some new friends.  Austin is a free-spirited child, so the structure of class was a challenge.  Even though he was running a muck and appeared to not be paying attention at all, he was.  At home he would recall the class, read our Kindermusik book and always want to listen to his class cd.  He loved Kindermusik!  I loved Kindermusik!  Ms. Ellen (his teacher) is a wonderful educator and she always shared valuable developmental info with me and the other parents.  As a 1st time mom, I really appreciated her tips on how to boost Austin's development through play/musical activities.

Unfortunately for Austin, his little sister came along and his mama was a bit overwhelmed.  So we had to take a break from Kindermusik class.  Thankfully he didn't mind too much, we still had the cd for him to listen to all-the-time.

This past February, I decided that we loved Kindermusik soo much that I began training to become a licensed Kindermusik educator.  Since my training, Austin, Aubrey and I love Kindermusik even more than before.  Every day Austin is singing songs.  And he truly is not a big fan of music, so this is remarkable.  Typically when someone is singing around him he gets super embarrassed and flips out.  He is making huge steps in the self confidence department.  Austin and Aubrey are anxiously awaiting for their Kindermusik classes to start this Fall.  I am nervously awaiting the start of my 1st official class that I am teaching at the end of August.

So I encourage all readers who have children to check out Kindermusik and find a class in your area.  You can always try a class for Free.  You will not be disappointed.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Follow up "To Pierce or Not to Pierce"

Right after she got her ears pierced

We did it.  Earlier this Spring Aubrey got her ears pierced.  After much thought and internal debate, I came to the conclusion that it just wasn't a big deal if I got her ears pierced now.  I had completely over analyzed the decision.

My thoughts and advice on the piercing topic.  Ask your pediatrician.  Ours pierces ears in the office with the head nurse manning the gun.  Completely sterile, done by a trained adult, and all for the affordable price of $25.  When I asked what age our pediatrician recommended for ear piercing, she informed me that she sees less infections in babies and toddlers than young girls.  So we went with it.  She has tiny pearl studs that are adorable.  The actual piercing was pretty quick.  She cried, of course, I had expected her to.  But after a minute she had completely forgotten.  That night when I cleaned them for the first time, she cried again.  Since then, we have had no problems at all.

We have bought her new earrings and changed them (after waiting the allotted time).  Changing is a bit tricky with a wiggly one year old.  She has also already lost an earring, boo.  I have discovered that good secure backs are hard to find.  So for now she is wearing her pearls until I can locate some good backs that are safe for babies toddlers.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sibling Love

One of my greatest joys is experiencing the sibling love my children have for each other.  It is truly unexplainable.  Siblings have a unique bond.  One that in one minute will have them giggling together and the next screaming at each other.  

I have 3 sisters.  Yes, 4 girls - my poor parents.  I have lots of fond memories of my sisters from my childhood.  I thought I would share my favorite memories that I have with each of my sisters.
  • Toni is my oldest sister.  We are half siblings and she would stay with us during the summer.  Most of my childhood memories include her being mean to me.  I cannot recall exactly how she was mean, but I just remember she was mean.  She is quite a bit older than me so I am pretty sure my memories are skewed.  One of my earliest memories with Toni was at Ocean's of Fun water park.  And boy did we ever have fun there...  Okay so I was really little and again my memories are really fuzzy.  Come to think of it, maybe we were at Disney World.
  • Amanda is my next older sister.  We are 4 years apart and could not be more different in personalities.  I lived for Barbies and she did not.  But I do remember late nights yelling to each other through our bedroom walls.  We had great conversations until one of us would get sleepy and fall asleep.
  • Meleah is my baby sister.  I am 8 years older.  I clearly remember when my parents brought her home from the hospital.  My dream come true - a real live baby doll just for me.  I was a super proud big sister - and still am very proud of her.  One of my favorite memories is when we danced a duet to "Fame".  We should dig out the VHS and watch it, I am sure we would both be embarrassed by our stellar dancing abilities back then.  (Side note - we both teach dance for those who might not know)
 A picture of my sisters

I am so thankful that Austin and Aubrey have each other.  I look forward to them building memories together, as I did with my sisters.  They currently share a bedroom and seem to enjoy being room mates.  Austin is thrilled to "wake Aubrey up" after her naps.  (She is already awake, but he doesn't have to know that)  Each night before bed they give each other hugs and kisses - so sweet and precious.  I could go on and on about their relationship.  It is very special to them and to me.  I enjoy watching their relationship grow daily. 

I will leave you with some of my favorite sibling photos of my two bundles of joy.

This picture was the 1st time Austin actually held Aubrey by himself...Just ignore me helping him.

Sharing the Cozy Coupe.

This was one of the first times Austin showed interest in interacting with Aubrey without prompting.

Good morning sleepy heads!

Having a blast on a wagon ride

Having a picnic lunch in the car since it was too hot outside at the splash pad

Riding the train at the zoo