Tuesday, August 16, 2011

RED

Tiffany's Science Theater has struck again. This time it's Charlotte.

I took her to the allergist yesterday. I had been hoping to delay as the tests are supposedly not as effective until age 3. But after a mind-blowing incident at the beach (candy coated popcorn in violent colors) that caused her to hive out in her mouth, on her lips, and rash all around her mouth in a rip-roaring 15 minutes, we started considering that we would need to go earlier than that.

When we went yesterday, they tested for milk allergies. They came back negative, but she undoubtedly has lactose intolerance, so her GI issues and reflux and diaper rash is probably all an outgrowth of that, they are just not a true allergy.

We also suspected colors. The Beach Popcorn Incident was followed by a similarly scary Sunkist Gummies Incident at church snack and a Little Debbie Creme Pie Incident. I cannot tell you why I thought red, but I really did.

I was SO hoping that they could scratch test colors. Nope. SO I was assigned a food diary.

This morning, as an outgrowth of a conversation with my mother (who insisted that there had to be some kind of spread sheet for allergens) I decided to Google the ingredients of the things she had the worst reactions to.

The only 3 over lapping items were Red 40, Blue 1, and Yellow 5. The three very most common colors ever. Awesome.

After posting this discovery on Facebook, a friend commented that she thought those were the colors that come in the baking food coloring packet. Yup, she was right. So I decided to do a homemade scratch test. Nothing. I don't know if they weren't potent enough, or I didn't know what I was doing, or what...

So, I figured if she didn't react to the skin test, and Red 40 was supposed to be completely innocuous, then it would be a safe trial run. So for lunch Charlotte was poisoned, I mean fed her red Powerade (as it has VERY few ingredients!) and a peanut butter sandwich. Within 15 minutes, her mouth had hived out, along with her lips, and a nice goatee of a red raised rash had appeared, too. Bingo, Baby.

As the reaction progressed VERY quickly, I decided to give her Benedryll. Which, by the way, is pink. Huh. I decided to read the ingredients. Red 40. I kid you not. Frankly, this makes a lot of sense, as her reactions never cleared up very quickly with it, and sometimes appeared to become worse...Thankfully I had bought a dye free one at the beach, because the Fair Popcorn only had popcorn, sugar, and colors...and she had been fine on sugar and popcorn...

I told a friend, who's son has crazy allergies that I would rather have a child with Downs than a food allergy, because at least you know what to expect. I stand by that statement, by the way.

Red and likewise violently colored medicines have always annoyed me anyway. I mean, really, your child is sick, may throw up or whatever, so lets make sure that they vomit red or something else that stains...brilliant. The children's medicine manufacturers need to fire their product development guys. The colors also do not delude your kids into thinking they taste good, so what's the point?

Now, I am just totally hacked off. Tylenol, Advil, Benedryll, vitamins, amoxicillan...and after reading the ingredients of the stuff in my pantry, it's in flippin' everything!!!

And as the Little Debbie Incident was thoughtful enough to warn me, even the color of a food does not make it safe. An Oatmeal Creme Pie, while brown, has Red 40 and Yellow 5. The colors of red kool-aid and Mello Yellow. I totally did not see that coming... *sigh*

I am going to give her body a break and in 4 days, I'm going to give Yellow 5 or Blue 1 a whirl. If she goes for the triad, I am going to shave my head and mourn at the city gates...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Amelia-ism - Age

Amelia-ism:
Me: How old will you be next year?
A: I don't know
Me: What comes after 5?
A: 6
Me: Good! How old will you be after that?
A: 7:38
(Ummmmm....Gabriel and me dying laughing!!)
A: THAT'S A NUMBER!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy Breastfeeding Awareness Week

I have decided that I am a successful breastfeeding mother. I am gauging this not by the number of children I have breastfed, nor how long I did it for. But rather by hearing my son's reaction to a bit of a to do about public breastfeeding.

A few months back, there was a hue and cry about a local county making public breastfeeding over the age of two illegal. Interestingly, putting it on par with strip club as far as encouraging crime rates and public nudity. There was a lot of public ruckus, with nurse-ins and discussions on the radio. My 12 year old son turns and says to me, "Why on earth would they make giving babies their baby-snacks against the law? That seems mean to the babies."

I never hid nor flaunted my breastfeeding his sisters. I just did it. He was quite fascinated by the event when he was small during Elise's babyhood. He asked a lot of questions. By Amelia, it was just what you did. By Charlotte, he would drag her in to me, citing, "She is not happy. She needs baby snacks."

I have been increasingly saddened by the public sexualizing of breastfeeding when it should be the most natural of things, especially on the heels of our children being sexualized by TV and the public in general. I was charmed by the blog post of one of my dear bloggy friends about Breastfeeding in the Sistine Chapel, really, she says it so beautifully, I am going to leave that pretty much be.

Breastfeeding is not always easy. Not even for every child born to one mother. Gabriel was the easiest child in the world to breastfeed, no massive pain, no awkward learning curve. Not to say there were not bumps in the road, mastitis, pumping when I had to return to school, his abrupt refusal to nurse when he discovered how very easy bottle nipples were for little piglet babies... Elise had a long battle with breastfeeding that we ultimately won. Amelia was a bi-polar nursling who would go on bottle benders followed by needing the real deal with monthly switch-ups for a very long year. Charlotte has loved breastfeeding like no child I have ever known....she had a painful latch and whole months of awfulness, but it nourishes not just her body, but her entire soul. My sister-in-law prefers to call it nursing, and for Charlotte that is supremely more accurate. I've never known a more passionate proponent of breastfeeding with fabulous manners, Charlotte, that is.

I just didn't want this year's Breastfeeding Awareness to pass without a nod to the natural beauty and joy that it embodies...and my pride that my son, at twelve, is protective of the innate balm nursing is to a baby. Because whether or not a mother gets support from her loved ones, is a huge indication of her success. (On a tangent, Muslim Law requires mothers to attempt to nurse a minimum of 2 years. Yet, even if their god tells them to, the likelihood of success [and therefore infant mortality rates!!]still weighs heavily on public and familial support. This was crazy fascinating...)

So Happy Breastfeeding. Be supportive of mothers. Be supportive of babies. They are only little for so long. Don't be in a rush to make them grow up. They always do....whether you're ready or not....