Another food update

Just for fairness, here is a quick update on F’s food issues. The too long didn’t read version (TLDR) is food is just not really for him.

The longer version is the only way to know if he can tolerate a food is to try, so that is what we are doing. It turns out that just because he tolerates a food through me, it doesn’t mean he can tolerate it himself. If he can’t tolerate a food through me though, it does mean that he can’t tolerate it himself. If I give him a food directly that he was previously tolerating through me and he has a reaction to it, then he can no longer tolerate it through my milk. It’s like a fun little logic puzzle with risk/reward calculations.

The rough system I am following then is to try high risk foods through me first, and low risk foods just give directly to him. I reserve a few foods for myself that I will never give to him because I wouldn’t be able to live if I couldn’t have them anymore. (And really at this point he wouldn’t be able to live either so it’s totally selfless.) So here are our current lists:

Foods F can eat himself:
-bananas
-pure olive oil soap mixed with bath water
-grass
-glitter
-SLC tap water (believe it or not that is a big victory)

“Foods” F has tried himself and can’t tolerate:
-pear
-peas
-spinach
-wheat
-blueberries
-pork (We are virtually certain that pig survived on corn and soy so the ped told us to try a purely grass fed animal. Turns out you can be allergic to your food’s food. Since F has eaten grass himself that is a great sign. Yes, I’m serious that is something we’ve thought about.)
-a milimeter sized shred of paper printed with soy ink
-crumbs of various foods left behind by visitors that eat a normal diet
-Johnson’s Naturals Baby Soap
-Aveeno lotions made with soy or oat (aka all of them)

Foods that I am eating that F tolerates:
-peanut butter (yaaaaaaaay)
-coconut
-potatoes
-squash
-prenatal vitamins (I actually skipped these for two days once and never again.)
-bananas (Anything that he can eat directly I get to have too, yay)

So that is our diet for now. It seems like it sucks but in all honesty it’s fine and survivable. If you told me day 1 this is where we would be I would’ve been depressed but it’s been a slow gradual road getting here and now I know there are kids out there who can’t eat anything and moms that can’t even successfully breastfeed on diets of just water, so we count our blessings. With B I didn’t know what was going on so I continued eating most things but in exchange I never slept. Now, with F I eat nothing but he sleeps fine. Guess which one I would choose 100000 times out of 100000? (Hint: I do not feel like I am dying at every moment of the day now and it’s fantastic.)

There are these so called hypoallergenic formulas on the market, which for a lot of people are complete lifesavers, but we think they are not a good option for us. Admittedly I’ve never actually tried so you can’t know for sure but they all have things in them that F has reacted to through my milk so not a good sign. Our pediatrician told us not to waste the time trying them and just try to get some more safe foods. For what it’s worth B can’t tolerate any of the formulas either but he does have a very long list of foods he can have so it’s possible. (Why yes it is incredibly terrifying to think what would happen to F if something were to happen to me!)

Anyhoo, that’s our story! Not very exciting but people keep asking about it, which is really nice!! Thanks friends! Also, lest anyone think he is suffering, he is not. I mean he does want to eat and doesn’t really get why we won’t share with him but he is fat and happy and developing great. But, I swear to God if one more person (especially doctor) says to me, “I mean he doesn’t look sick,” as a way to express they don’t believe he actually has all these issues I will LOSE MY MIND and refer them to the lists above. Strictly following those is why he looks healthy, thankyouverymuch.

Baby got back.

Baby got back.

Hello gorgeous!

Hello gorgeous!

 

A bright spot of great news

Lately it’s move move move, get the house ready to sell, organize logistics for the movers, figure out rental cars, hotels, utilities, get rid of junk. BLAH BLAH BLAH. Things that should take an hour end up taking a day with two hangers on. But life has also been going on around all that too, and we’ve received one piece of pretty good news that certainly helps put minor logistical annoyances in perspective.

Remember B’s food issues? More or less he had a bunch of “symptoms” that doctors told us were normal for toddlers or things that could be treated in isolation. (“Oh, he’s covered in eczema? Here slather him in this cream to make it disappear, don’t worry about what’s causing it!!”) He also got every virus and illness in existence, including a lymph node infection that they treated with two different antibiotics he was allergic to. We did a few tests here and there but mostly the answer was jus,t “Eh, kids get sick a lot!” They all said he was fine while I insisted he was not until he basically stopped growing for a year and I really pushed it, then all of a sudden it was panic station 10. They put him on reflux medication as a bit of a stab in the dark. His pediatrician and allergist were suggesting things like Eosiniphilic Esophigitis (EoE)  and/or FPIES. They said the only way to diagnose him was to ‘scope him’. For those lucky enough to be unfamiliar with that terminology it means general anesthesia and running a camera and a sharp thing to biopsy through both ends of his GI tract. I didn’t know how to politely say, “Umm no way in hell are we doing that to my 2/3 year old,” so instead I made it my goal to convince them he didn’t need it.

With the two suspected conditions there is this triad of a treatment team- allergist, pediatrician, and gastroenterologist. In a lot of ways no one can decide who’s on first but if anyone is, it’s the GI. She would be the one doing the scoping so ultimately she would decide if it was needed. Of course that meant she was by far the hardest one to get in to see. (Side note: when I’m at a birthday party surrounded by allergenic pizza and cupcakes it seems like my kids are the only ones with issues and then when I’m trying to book appointments with specialists it really seems like it’s a total epidemic.) We eventually had an appointment set up with the, very highly regarded and oh so hard to see, gastroenterologist so I had a timeline to somehow “fix” B before we went in there and she started getting all scopey.

By then we knew that dairy and soy were big problems so those were out. I started a detailed food diary for B and noted every morsel he ingested and every possible symptom exhibited. Talk about a mess of data to figure out. Around that time we also figured out that F (probably) had FPIES and I read more about that. The next two most likely FPIES trigger foods were rice and oat so I watched those carefully. Turns out they were also not good for B, his body was just so used to dealing with them that his symptoms were more chronic and under the radar. We just sort of went from there and kept up the journal, slowly pulling one food at a time until almost all of B’s “symptoms that weren’t symptoms” disappeared. A fun fact I learned along the way is if you pull a problem food and then reintroduce it, the reaction becomes a lot more acute. That was an unpleasant discovery, but a good way to reinforce what we were seeing was real and the changes were probably helping.

That whole stretch kind of sucked. We were constantly throwing food out, going to a million grocery stores, searching for alternatives that didn’t exist, and wondering what the hell we could all eat. It was also interesting to try to explain to a 2/3 year old why the things we used to try everything to get him to eat were now off limits. Those were some fun meltdowns.

I also joined all of these online groups for FPIES, EoE, Eosiniphilic Support, Fructose Malabsorption, etc. It was incredibly helpful, I learned tons, and it helped me put the final missing pieces together. It’s one thing to notice issues every time your kid eats rice, but another to notice issues with lemonade, apple juice, garlic, and onion and have no idea that they actually all have something in common- they are all very high fructose!

Anyhoo, the details are boring, but we finally had B doing well. Almost all of his “symptoms/not symptoms” were all of a sudden gone and he was eating like a horse. Best of all he was gaining serious weight for the first time in two years and was actually growing out of clothes. Those were fun meltdowns too, because after you’ve worn the same clothes for years it’s apparently hard to let go.

Right, getting to the point, we finally had our much awaited GI appointment last week. I explained everything to her, his entire history and how we got where we were and she listened and took notes (amazing!) Even better she had actually already read his entire file and knew his story. She asked me why we had him tested for bleeding disorders, Leukemia, Celiac, etc etc- all things I had forgotten about/blocked out- and it made me remember how long we’ve wondered what was going on and what a long road it’s been. (B was out of the room with my mom because he gets upset about all this stuff so we could speak freely.)

Eventually the GI doc concluded, just based on history and discussions, that he likely had FPIES and/or an Eosiniphilic Disorder. She said the only way to know was to do a scope….BUT then the most amazing thing happened. She said, “I just don’t see any reason to put him through that right now since he is doing so well.” She looked again at his file and all of her notes and said to me, “He was sick for so long and now he’s healthy! You made him better! Why would we want to make him sick again just to get an official diagnosis?” (We would have to feed him all of his problem foods again to induce symptoms so that the scope would actually turn up any useful information.)  I thought I must be imagining things so I just sort of stared at her. Then I cried, kind of an embarrassing  amount. In the end it felt more like a therapy appointment for me. All that time worrying and freaking out and feeling like I hadn’t helped him, I finally felt like maybe he was on the right track and maybe we had figured out how to keep him healthy.

In essence, whatever he has, the treatment is the same- don’t eat the foods that cause problems. He is now off the medicine and as long as he keeps to his diet he feels good (seriously, it’s a dramatic difference in his behavior and activity level!) He is eczema free, healthy, and really has no GI symptoms to speak of.

Certainly eating dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free, and low fructose is a challenge when you compare it to being able to eat everything. But when you compare it to changing your diet every week and trying to adjust and freaking out about what tests are going to be shoved down your throat (haha, get it!?), it’s a breeze. Granted we still don’t really know what’s going on and things could change down the road, but for the moment I’m feeling pretty good about where we are and how far we’ve come.

**If you are still reading, take a breather….

A few people have asked me if, now that we are moving to a bigger city with more jobs, I am planning on going back to work. That probably deserves its own post but I never seem to get around to blogging now so I will just address it briefly– No and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to make that choice. There are a lot of reasons why and this post has dragged on enough already. Basically I think there are a few jobs out there I could do well and I think there are a good number of other people who could also do them well, but those jobs will still be there later and there are good people to fill them now. I’m not convinced anyone could do this job better. We’ve finally come a long way with B but we are just getting started with F. While I may have had no clue what I was doing with B for a long time, I do feel like now I’m pretty uniquely qualified to help him. (And obviously I’m also uniquely interested in helping him, because hello, obsessive mother.) Plus, do you have any idea how effing long it takes to make your own pizza and cupcake from scratch for every birthday party so your kid doesn’t feel left out? No one has time for that, especially with a full-time job.

Some big news and wisdom from Seinfeld

I have never been a big sports fan. Ok, I have never been a sports fan at all and in fact I just don’t really get it. (Although now that I have a husband who is obsessed and it pays all of our bills and keeps us well fed with organic dairy-free soy free blah blah food, I am feeling pretty good about it!) Anyways, I think Seinfeld perfectly sums up what I think is weird about sports.

To me it totally makes sense to cheer for people more than clothes. Basically I will always cheer for G and now he is wearing new clothes. That was sort of a weird introduction,  yes? To cut to the chase, G has switched teams and is working for Seattle, which means we are moving there!

I have A LOT of feelings about it. So much has happened since I got to SLC. In fact pretty much every one of my adult milestones has taken place here including our engagement, earning my masters degree, marriage (ok the wedding was in DC but we lived here), buying a house, having two babies, etc. It is the literal birth place of our family. On top of all that, I can’t even think about the people we will be leaving behind without sobbing.

But, I also feel really good about Seattle. I think it could really be our kind of place. We are all on special diets, I am a total hippie now after living here (umm sleep with my kids and wear Birkenstocks just as a starting point.) One day I do want to go back to work and Seattle is a tech mecca. B only wears long sleeves year round. Oh, and B has cheered for Seattle in every sporting even for the past year or two including the Olympics and the World Cup. So I think he’s somehow known this was coming. Plus, the people there all seem so nice! And it’s beautiful! (And if it’s good enough for Edward Cullen…)

Ok I feel so much better. I’ve been waiting to share that news with everyone for a while now. Also it has a little something to do with why I can’t seem to ever post anything anymore. Between discussing this every day, getting our house ready to sell, house hunting (we found one!), and still trying to sort out all of these food issues with the kids, I just haven’t been able to get it together. Sorry to the three people who read this! I’m not abandoning the blog forever, I will hopefully get back to it.

And now more wise words from Seinfeld that can help explain why I’m thoroughly enjoying this pre-moving experience. I’m a thrower-outer. I am all of a sudden so stressed out everywhere I look and I just want to get rid of everything we own. “Throw away the crayons!! We will never color again and if we do we will just buy new crayons!!”

G is 100% a hoarder so it’s a fun little marital experiment. I pretty much want to get rid of everything and just buy it again in Seattle and he wants to keep everything we own in case the kids might want to take it to college. Seriously, he wants to keep the broken plastic sled we have in the garage in case we someday live in a place where it snows a lot again. B did make me promise we can take his tattered cardboard play house, so I think we know which end of that spectrum he falls on.

And now some pics from our family house hunting trip to our new town!

These two got their own row on the trip up.

We had two rows to ourselves for the trip up. I’d like to thank the completely harrowing year of weekly travel with B who screamed all night every night, because every trip with kids seems like a breeze now.

Well ok, this place looks alright.

Well ok, this place looks alright.

We tried to make the kids really like the place by strapping them down in car seats and driving around for days on end.

We tried to make the kids really like the place by strapping them down in car seats and driving around for days on end.

B felt that in order to really know if he could picture himself living in these places he had to wear his pjs.

B felt that in order to really picture himself living in these places he had to wear his pjs.

Even babies like hotel beds.

Even babies like hotel beds.

Just playing with the inflatable bed rail pump out of boredom, as you do.

Just playing with the inflatable bed rail pump out of boredom, as you do. And yes, I did just notice his car seat strap isn’t even buckled and the car is moving. Shit.

After much fretting that our new Whole Foods didn't have car carts, we decided that the double brother cart was even better.

After much fretting that our new Whole Foods didn’t have car carts, we decided that the double brother cart was even better.

They have ducks here!

They have ducks here! (Hope they like gluten-free bread!)

Checking out some apartments for my mom who is moving with us! (Hooray!) She couldn't make the trip because of knee surgery. Falalalala.

Checking out some apartments for my mom who is moving with us! (Hooray!) She couldn’t make the trip because of knee surgery. Falalalala.

Sporting the new team colors, or our new clothes if you will.

Sporting the new team colors, or our new clothes if you will.

Our last trip "home" to SLC. Next time we fly here it will be for a visit, sniff.

Our last trip “home” to SLC. Next time we fly here it will be for a visit, sniff.

 

Christmas Recap

Lest anyone think I am anti-Christmas based on my last post, here is an overabundance of cheer in photos!

We rode the Polar Express, oh sorry "North Pole Express" because they got in trouble for calling it that.

We rode the Polar Express, oh sorry “North Pole Express” because they got in trouble for calling it that. It was probably the greatest day of B’s life thus far. I actually cried on several occasions it was so awesome.

Santa (I know him) came and gave each child a jingle bell. Cute idea right? Until they all rang them in unison and I lost the upper range of my hearing.

Santa (I know him) came and gave each child a jingle bell. Cute idea right? Until they all rang them in unison and I lost the upper range of my hearing.

One Santa was not enough, we saw another. This went way better than expected! Nothing says family Christmas like a Budweiser sponsorship!

One Santa was not enough, we saw another. This went way better than expected! Nothing says family Christmas like a Budweiser sponsorship!

If you had asked me if this photo was even close to possible I would've said no. All the cousins on G's side! Matchy matchy! I died. Yes, they are all boys, no we are not going to try for a girl except maybe one with 4 legs.

If you had asked me if this photo was even close to possible I would’ve said no. All the cousins on G’s side! Matchy matchy! I died. Yes, they are all boys, no we are not going to try for a girl except maybe one with 4 legs.

An actual kids table! Coming from a small family, this is especially amazing.

An actual kids table! Coming from a small family, this is especially amazing.

F got these sweet wheels so he can cruise around with the big boys. Notice the soulless faces on the tree? I didn't either until my phone camera put a little box around them and I screamed.

F got these sweet wheels so he can cruise around with the big boys. Notice the soulless faces on the tree? I didn’t either until my phone camera put a little box around them and I screamed.

My mom got a gift for boy boys to share. It's gone about as expected.

My mom got a gift for boy boys to share. It’s gone about as expected.

Pretty psyched that TCBY has dairy-free, soy-free yogurt!

Pretty psyched that TCBY has dairy-free, soy-free yogurt!

Merry Christmas from the entirety of G's side of the family!

Merry Christmas from the entirety of G’s side of the family!

I think Santa is creepy

Yep, I said it. I’m anti-Santa. Merry Christmas!!

I’ve kind of suspected I was anti-Santa for a while now and I finally fully came around to accepting my position a few days ago. The lady who cleans our house, who is also sort of like an extended family member, gave B this adorable ornament for the little tree in his room. You flip a switch on the bottom and the bear lights up and keeps changing color. He loved it, of course, and after a few minutes of staring at it, he asked, “Mommy, is this magic?” I never knew I could have such a strong gut reaction to such an innocent question but I wanted to scream, “Hell no! It’s not magic, it’s electricity! There is no magic! Gaaa! Never think that! There is always an explanation and you should always seek one. Science!!!” I realize that might have been a teensy bit of an overreaction so I just said no, it was battery powered and had an LED inside.

When it comes to Santa, I sort of just don’t get it. I mean sure I guess it’s fun to believe. Magic! Presents! North Pole! Reindeer! But then what happens when you find out the truth? Your parents have been lying to you that whole time! What else might they have been lying about? Can you ever trust them again?

I am fervently pro-Christmas PJs.

I am fervently pro-Christmas PJs.

Also, I’m not even sure I do think it’s that fun to believe. We all grew up with it so it seems normal but under any other circumstance if someone told me that a stranger was going to sneak in my house while my children are sleeping and leave a few things behind for them, I couldn’t call 9-1-1 fast enough.

And the icing on the grinch cake: B is a major question asker. He already wants to know all the details, like why Santa gives presents to everyone and how he gets in the house, and what happens if he stays awake all night, and where do the reindeer go etc. etc., It won’t be long before he starts doing the math and wondering how he can carry all the presents and make it to everyone’s house in one night. And while I might be ok sort of dancing around the idea and saying it’s fun to believe and all that I really don’t have it in me to concoct an elaborate backstory with documentation just so it can all come crashing down for him one day. And I’m not going to tell him it’s magic.

Here is B at his school Christmas party. I think I've successfully spread all of my holiday cheer to him.

Here is B at his school Christmas party. I think I’ve successfully spread all of my holiday cheer to him.

We tried the Switch Witch for Halloween this year. The boys put out all of their soy and dairy candy over night and the Switch Witch came to swap it out for toys and candy they could eat. Granted it was more the lack of teeth that held F back this year than the allergies but it was fun to include him. The next morning when F got his brand new blue truck, B just said, “Mommy that is the truck I saw you order on your laptop. Why didn’t you get the green one? The green one was better.” Maybe he’s just not one for magic either?

Unhand me!

Unhand me!

So anyways, I guess I’ve just ruined Christmas??? Sorry. I get that I’m in the .01% minority on this one so I’m probably just missing something or being grumpy. And the one person who couldn’t disagree with me more happens to be the father of my children. He says that sometimes imaginary people are more important than real ones. So that should be a fun dichotomy for our kids.

The first time I asked my mom if Santa was real I was 3 or 4. She asked if I wanted to know the truth. (Seriously??) I’m not sure there’s any other way to answer that question other than saying yes so she told me the truth. Is THAT what ruined it for me? I never got to believe so I have to rob others of that experience also?

How old were you when you found out the truth and how traumatic was it?

A night away

We did it. We spent a night away from the kids and I did not fall to pieces and sob. My angelic and could-not-live-without-her mom watched the boys and G and I escaped to a local ski resort to celebrate our anniversary. No, we still don’t ski, but we do enjoy getting massages and unwinding in the hot tub as if we’ve had a grueling day on the slopes.

Christmassy

Christmassy

Because of that whole heart walking/almost crawling around outside of your body thing I felt this very odd mix of elation, anxiety, relief, and despair when we drove away. But I will say we had a fabulous time. We went to lunch at a Mexican restaurant where I breathed in some tortilla chip and queso scent, we had 90 minute massages which was out of this world, we sat in the rooftop hot tub while snowflakes fell, we watched old movies and ordered room service (for G, I ate my usual), and we zonked out in a king size bed with only two people.

Is that a yeti?

Is that a yeti?

 

Then after 6 hours of consecutive sleep my boobs warned me they were going to explode and I’ve been up ever since. That part sucks but there is something to be said for spending a few dark quiet hours alone- Christmas shopping and looking up allergen free recipes for my kids and waiting for my mom to wake up so I can check on my kids. These boys have eaten my brain along with my heart.

Speaking of hearts, mine has been stolen by 3 guys on my lifetime and it was pretty nice to get to hang out with its original captor. We have some big changes coming our way and there is a lot to be said for fully appreciating the calm before the storm.

Now all this relaxation is giving me anxiety. Time to take these adorable little snow monsters we found back to our adorable little monsters.

For Aunt Jorie

For Aunt Jorie

I’m blogging from my phone and I don’t really know how to make pictures look nice so sorry about that.

 

Gobble gobble all the peanuts

It’s almost Thanksgiving and everyone is talking about food, so what better time to update the Internet on all the things we are not eating this holiday season! Our pediatrician says she wants a med student to come live with us and study our kids which I don’t think is something you are supposed to want to hear from your doctor?

Anyhoo, let’s start with my easy, flexible eater (hahahahaha). B is currently dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free, coconut-free, and low-fructose, and actually doing great with that. On the assumption that the elimination of all of those foods may have reduced his discomfort, I arbitrarily reduced his medicine dose to half and he seems to still be comfortable, happy, keeps eating, all that. I like the idea of treating the cause rather than the symptoms if possible. We still don’t really know what is going on with him in general so we are seeing a pediatric GI in January, but on a daily basis he is doing well. And except for the no coconut and low fructose things, he is pretty much Pinterest’s paleo poster child and we are swimming in recipe options thanks to that trend. No, he will not be doing crossfit anytime soon, but he is getting a lot more active and strong and catching up with gross motor skills. My favorite, really not appropriate or in good taste joke, is that he was a lot easier to manage when he was underfed.

 

progress

progress

Just climbing rocks and doing other feats of strength. NBD.

Just climbing rocks and doing other feats of strength. NBD.

As for F, I don’t even know. No one knows. We’ve seen two allergists, including Utah’s FPIES “expert” and so far all the docs have been like, “Hmm that’s odd. He reacts to a whole lotta foods eh? Wow. Umm. Well, he seems to be healthy and happy so that’s great.” And that is completely true. He is probably the happiest, chunkiest little thing I’ve ever seen. Even when he’s reacting to foods, which is a lot of the time, he doesn’t seem to mind. So that is the huge, amazing silver lining. Because I feel so much crushing guilt about B, I like to think that at least F is benefiting by us being way more on top of things this time around.

"Hey guys! I'm pooping blood!"

“Hey guys! I’m pooping blood!”

He’s almost 7 months now so all the doctors are itching to start giving him food directly. Seems like a horrible idea to me but I guess it has to happen eventually so I gave it a shot. Since pears were  (<-note the past tense there, oooo foreshadowing!) one of the few foods he actually tolerated through my milk, they seemed like a natural first food for him. I think we can all see where this is going. He even made this face when he ate them like, “Are you serious, Mom?” Given how few foods he can actually tolerate through me, it’s sort of a bummer that his tolerance of a food through breast milk doesn’t mean he can necessarily tolerate it directly. I definitely worry about him for the long-term, because life is sort of hard if you can’t eat food, but he really is doing fantastic for now. And, as a few people, doctors included, have rather untactfully pointed out, it doesn’t LOOK like there’s anything wrong with him.

"You said what?? Come at me bro."

“You said what?? Come at me bro.”

As for me, I am sort of a basket case about it at times. Writing down and analyzing every single thing that goes into or comes out of my kids is tedious, as is trying to analyze the mess of resultant data and come up with some sort of signal amongst the noise. It’s extra nice that all of the doctors we’ve seen so far for F have basically shrugged and said, “Yeah good look with that one. Come back in 3 months and we’ll see how you’re doing!”

People like to ask me what I’m eating, which, if anyone is curious, is currently peanuts, squash, cocoa, coconut, coffee, potatoes, and riesling. Then later they’ll be like, “Oh can you eat this salad with spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions?” Well, no, because it isn’t made of peanuts, squash, cocoa, coconut, coffee, potatoes, and riesling. I guess it’s really hard to believe for everyone, including myself and doctors, that my diet really needs to be that limited and we are all really hoping it doesn’t have to be that way forever. And we are also really really hoping that Finn can successfully eat some kind of food soon.

He has eaten glitter and grass and that little piece of his coat with no issues. Unfortunately Johnson's Naturals Baby Soap did not go as well because apparently it's derived from corn and soy, oops.

He has eaten glitter and grass and that little piece of his coat with no issues. Unfortunately Johnson’s Naturals Baby Soap did not go as well because apparently it’s derived from corn and soy, oops.

Now, since it is the season of thankfulness, let’s focus on the positive. Earning my MD from Google University has made me tritely realize just how absolutely amazing and miraculous the human body is. Sure, there are these things that are going “wrong” with my kids’ bodies but holyshityouguys there are so many things that go right every single day with so many people just to make us alive and function and it is absolutely mind-blowing. I mean take the fact that we can mush up plants and animals and magically transform them into human flesh and then grow and see and hear and walk and talk and do things. In a strange way all of this obsessing has sincerely made me so thankful for the good health that my family does have. And I completely non-sarcastically cannot wait to cook up a paleo Thanksgiving meal, that I cannot eat myself, and then relax on the couch and watch The Polar Express with my miraculous people. I’ve had a lot of great Thanksgivings but I think this will be the best one yet because now we are complete.

IMG_0599

Stories with Gaga

IMG_0561

Stories with Daddy

family

Love

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Catching up

You know how when you haven’t talked to a friend in forever you actually just put off the call because there is too much to say and it stresses you out? No? Just me? That is how I feel right now. I’m experiencing this incredibly odd and foreign thing right now where I am awake and not only is no one touching me but no one else is awake in the house. Literally.never.happens.anymore. This is when I used to blog so I feel like I should say something but I actually can’t come up with anything. So instead I’ll share a lot of random pictures from the last however long it’s been.

We went to a (Utah!) beach

We went to a (Utah!) beach

We own a lot of chairs but this still happens. Guess that's sort of the case with beds too.

We own a lot of chairs but this still happens. Guess that’s sort of the case with beds too.

I did not have another baby but we DID finally load the pictures from F's birth.

I did not have another baby but we DID finally load the pictures from F’s birth.

A.real.firetruck.came.to.school.holy.shit

A.real.firetruck.came.to.school.holy.shit

There was a solar eclipse and we went to a party at the Natural History Museum. My nerd joy was off the charts.

There was a solar eclipse party at the Natural History Museum. My nerd joy was off the charts.

F wore his US Soccer shirt to remind everyone he is an athlete because he was afraid we were all going to get beat up wearing those stupid eclipse glasses.

F wore his US Soccer shirt to remind everyone he is an athlete because he was afraid we were all going to get beat up wearing those stupid eclipse glasses.

Typical snugglefest.

Typical snugglefest.

We are still trying to sort out all the food issues around here. The most important goal I have is to find takeout pizza that works with our new diet plan.

We are still trying to sort out all the food issues around here. The most important goal I have is to find takeout pizza that works with our new diet plan. It’s been a challenge since B isn’t supposed to have grains, dairy, or tomato sauce. So, you know, pizza.

Pumpkin carving team.

Pumpkin carving team.

I have a niece now btw and she is the cutest thing ever. She lives far away and my goal is to hold her before she's over that sort of thing.

I have a niece now btw and she is the cutest thing ever. She lives far away and my goal is to hold her before she’s over that sort of thing.

Both of my babies were born with natural eyeshadow, it's weird.

Both of my babies were born with natural eyeshadow, it’s weird.

Opa was here for Halloween! B was Daniel Tiger. Nobody tell F that he was Margaret Tiger.

Opa was here for Halloween! B was Daniel Tiger. Nobody tell F that he was Margaret Tiger.

This little nugget turned 6 months!

This little nugget turned 6 months!

It's been fascinating to watch this whole sibling bond develop. B really doesn't like to share toys or attention with F yet he can't stand to be away from him. F loves B so much that he gets full body joy when B smushes him or steals a toy. The whole thing seems totally unhealthy but is somehow adorable?

It’s been fascinating to watch this whole sibling bond develop. B really doesn’t like to share toys or attention with F yet he can’t stand to be away from him. F loves B so much that he gets full body joy when B abuses him by smushing him or stealing a toy. The whole thing seems totally unhealthy but is somehow adorable?

Time to live vicariously

I remember when G and I were fist dating and the topic of kids came up, definitely in that hypothetical I’m not talking about having kids with YOU or anything way. He said he was opposed to the idea because once you had kids your life didn’t matter anymore and it was all about theirs. I think he meant in the evolutionary sense in that you’ve passed on your genes so you’re expendable, but regardless it sounded sort of depressing.

Now I realize he was totally right, but I’m not finding it to be depressing. And that is because I, like every other suburban parent, have discovered the art of completely living through my child. Which brings me to B’s first two races.

In my defense, he is a natural runner and does it all the time on his own. He even prefers running laps at the playground to actually playing. But, still, it’s definitely time to start pressuring him to the point of completely removing any pleasure he might get from the activity.

For my birthday we did a 1000m kids trail race in Park City. I cried, it was amazing. Then this past weekend I did my first double stroller race and again found myself in embarrassing tears because it was so much fun. The fact that it was followed by a kids race in which B and F both competed did me in. I had to keep it to myself both times because nothing makes B want to do something less than knowing someone wants him to do it.

Great form

Great form

Rehashing the highs and lows of the course. Check out his medal.

Rehashing the highs and lows of the course. Check out his medal.

Ever since he caught the bug he's been taking his baby for runs in his jogging stroller.

Ever since he caught the bug he’s been taking his baby for runs in his jogging stroller.

It was a Halloween race in case you are judging my cat suit.

It was a Halloween race in case you are judging my cat suit.

My mom was even a good sport and joined in!

My mom was even a good sport and joined in! She now wonders even more why I enjoy this activity.

I don't know what he'll be into but if he approaches it with the same drive as he is approaching mobility, he will excel.

I don’t know what he’ll be into but if he approaches it with the same drive as he is approaching mobility, he will excel. Hide the food.

Maybe his area of interest will just be being a mindblowingly adorable ray of sunshine.

Maybe his area of interest will just be being a mindblowingly adorable ray of sunshine.

 

May the over-sharing continue

I have internal debates a lot about blogging. Am I sharing too much? Will this come back to haunt my kids later, or will they love to have this chronicle of their lives? Is it a great way to keep friends and family involved plus a great outlet for me or am I setting us up for crazy stalkers and giving the middle school kids fuel with which to mock my kids? Especially now with all this medical stuff I wonder if it’s even worse to share medical information? Am I violating their privacy? Etc etc etc. Neurotic. Mom. Guilt. Blah.

I have that social media disease where I need everyone to agree that they are the cutest in history.

I have that social media disease where I need everyone to agree that they are the cutest in history.

At least for now I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s worth sharing. First of all, we really need friends and family to be informed and get it and help look out for these kids. Second of all it is absolutely not something I want them to feel bad about or hide. Also, at least in preschool, allergies are posted on the wall of the classroom so I’m probably not offering any additional info here. FPIES and EoE are also such new diagnoses and so little is known that I owe 10000% of my understanding to the Internet and other moms who have been willing to over-share, so I guess I want to cyber-pay that forward. I will, however, keep the baby poop pictures between me, the pediatrician, and the entire online FPIES Facebook group.

So, with that out of the way, let’s  play good news/bad news. Bad news first. We’ve discovered more triggers (allergens) for F. Quinoa and grape. I guess the good news there for everyone else is I can’t keep making quinoa jokes. More bad news: F has also had a few unexplained reactions recently. We’ve had company and had B’s birthday party (more on that soon!) so there have been tons of forbidden foods around. We’re now 2 for 2 on having people in town who eat normal food and F having unexplained reactions so we are cracking down. Food is only eaten at the table, we are vacuuming after every meal, and wiping everyone down. That’s been fun. We also think B may have chronic FPIES to a few more foods and are now doing the whole food diary thing, but let’s not drag everyone down any further right now.

Ha! Corn with butter! Allergy jokes are funny.

Ha! Corn with butter! Allergy jokes are funny.

Now for some good news. B had his 3 year checkup yesterday and has jumped 10 weight percentiles in the past 3 months after going on reflux medicine (PPIs). He started falling off his curve at 15 months and has been dropping or holding steady until now, so this is huge news. This EoE thing is even more confusing than FPIES and I know even less about it, so I’m also just going to dance around that for now. We are happy he’s eating!

He fixed me a hot dog on his new grill and then immediately removed it from the bun, explaining that is the shell and we don't eat that part. (Buns are full of dairy and soy and blah blah so in his experience this is true.)

He fixed me a hot dog on his new grill and then immediately removed it from the bun, explaining that is the shell and we don’t eat that part. (Buns are full of dairy and soy and blah blah so in his experience this is true.)

Maybe it’s good news or just news, but everyone at the pediatrician’s office knows our entire family by name now and I’m pretty sure whenever I book an appointment they go ahead and just reserve 2 hours for me now.

If you want to spread awareness, please purchase this thong and run through your neighborhood wearing nothing else. Thanks.

If you want to spread awareness, please purchase this thong and run through your neighborhood wearing nothing else. Thanks.

K, promise the next post will be about something other than medical issues because it’s really not the most important thing in my life, that would be how awesome these kids are so I should talk about that more.