Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Food We Eat - Peanut Butter is no good!

Now don't go getting up in arms thinking I'm telling ya'll how to eat! By 'peanut butter is no good' I mean, for OUR family. Many of you know that Adam and Reagan have food sensitivities which have affected their skin, behavior, tummies, and health in general. And although we have worked hard to avoid certain items, we have been blessed that MOST of these sensitivities are not a true food 'allergy' or "first response" allergy in which, the body reacts negatively, strongly and directly to a certain food.
However, it seems that Adam does have a direct allergy to PEANUTS. We discovered this 2 years ago when we gave him his first pb&j. He ate 1/2 of a quarter before we noticed him start to look like he had an instant cold. Since he was already (18m) sick much of the time, I wouldn't have thought it was the food except that this is the same time period that we were getting him tested for food allergies. When his tests came back negative for an immune response to PB we were very surprised and decided to completely avoid it anyway.

And he hasn't had a lick in the 18 months since then.

Until this past week, when I stupidly took this allergy lightly and figured that maybe his gut had healed enough or that he may have grown out of it. I had him help make my favorite Christmas cookies (almond bark candies) involving melted white chocolate, peanut butter, rice crispies, M&M's, and marshmallows. He loved helping and of course, I thought I must reward my cute and happy little helper (see the lovely 'before' photo) with a tiny (and I doooo mean tiny) half of a finished cookie.
No more that 5 minutes later I noticed red on his chin as I wiped his nose ("Hmmmm", I thought "Why is his nose running?") and thought at first it was just chapped from playing the snow that morning. But as I looked closer, I noticed that they were red WELTS all around the area that his saliva had been!

All I could think was "Bad Mommy! What were you thinking??" and "Crud! Where'd I put the Benedryl?"

Thankfully, he didn't seem too disturbed by the itchiness (as seen by the smile in the lovely 'after' photo) and was all too happy to take the nice, sweet medicine (which, b.t.w was red - why does medicine have to have red dye in it??? Grrrr.....). Thankfully, it was soon time for his nap. But after his nap he was terribly, terribly fussy all evening long. I was reminded that this is how he used to behave an entire year ago, BEFORE we took out from his diet the foods to which he is sensitive. It reminded me to be grateful of how far God has brought us with his nutrition, speech, and behavior! Now, whether his behavior in this case had to do with the small amount of PB that he ingested or the Benedryl itself, I do not know.
But what I DO know is that in this house - peanut butter is NO good!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Multicultural Night

One of our favorite things to do each week is heading to our homeschool co-op group. This is our 3rd year at our co-op and we really enjoy it - it's good for us right now. I enjoy the break from our normal schoolweek and the kids love taking different classes.

This past fall Jefferson took a unit on astronomy, plants, and Europe. Reagan and Ashton learned about bugs, plants, and Africa. They worked on lapbooks, cooking projects, and crafts. It's really turned out well for us and thankfully so, since the last 2 years were a bit more difficult due to babies, illnesses, and Rae's behavior.
So for the end of semester, the kids all worked on projects for a multicultural night. Jefferson's class worked on lapbooks and poster board displays for Europe while I helped the Kindergartener/Prek learn about Africa. Unfortunately, a large chunk of the little kids' crafts were misplaced 2 weeks before the big night! So we worked hard on some dioramas and costumes to show instead.

They all had so much fun checking out everyone else's projects and tasting foods from different countries. We had a pastor from an lepar & orphan mission in India, an Asia dance from the middle schoolers, and a funny Aussie skit from the highschoolers! But my fave were the 3 little preschoolers in their funny little African costumes and face paint!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Lincoln's (13months) typical hollar to get someone to pick him up. He is just. so. loud.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Poor dog!

This boy had a death grip and tortured my parents' dog every chance he could get on our last visit!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our Three Year Old

Adam turned three this past week - we celebrated with a Veggie Tales party this past Saturday. It was so exciting for all of us because this is the first year that he was old enough to understand the excitement of it all. Just six months ago he could only say the words 'Mama', 'Dadda', and 'ca.' But this past week the words 'Ma appy bird-day?' were all he wanted to say! He jumped in joy everytime we listed all the fun things that would be at his party - balloons, cake, people, presents, and Bob the Tomato.
He has really opened up in this last year and we are so thankful. Last winter was particularly tough on him since he developed so many food sensitivities that his immune system couldn't even fight a small cold virus. It was often the norm for him just to be hollering and fussing in his misery through yet another cold since he couldn't yet talk to us with words. But every once in a while his silly and sweet personality would shine through.

With the past six months of speech therapy, Adam has learned to copy almost everything that we say. He can make his needs clear and express himself exponentially more than ever before. But mostly, he can BE HIMSELF! Oh...he is soooo sweet and smart and silly and clever. He loves to pretend with his cars and his sister and to oogle over his baby brother. He loves to get chased around the house and to hide from the 'ba guys' (bad guys). He super-duper loves to play with play dough! And he definitely loved his third birthday party!
Happy Birthday to our little guy! We love him so much and can't wait to see what God is going to do in his next year!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Those blessed little moments...

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is being there to witness those blessed little moments when my kids show me that they really 'get' something. This morning I was starting a phonics lessons with Reagan and I reviewed the 1- and 2-vowel rules with her since she is just learning how to read long vowel words. But before I could say them for her to repeat, she beat me to the punch and spit them right out! This, after a week of break and only hearing the 2nd one once before. I'm telling you, she has such a great memory!

I am so thankful that this will be one of her strengths but also that I can witness it. Little things like these help me to realize that the Lord has given me the blessing of having a close relationship with my kids, which is helped further by the fact that I must work so closely with them each day in their education. I love to see her beam with the joy of knowing that she has learned something and the realization that she is doing well. I get to see her push through her frustrations as she remembers what I've told her about the goal being practice rather than perfection ... and then beam again as she earns a sticker for not getting frustrated. I love that she smiles at the prospect of sitting down to read... because she's learning bigger words now.

Of course, we all know that not every moment of this homeschooling journey is delightful. But oh how worth it is the work for these blessed little moments....