Archive for August, 2007

Scary Nuts

A few months ago, I had shopped at a new store nearby and bought two things I don’t generally have in the cupboards.Pistachios and Apple Jacks.

The pistachios were for me and the Apple Jacks were for the kids. For dessert, not for breakfast. (I can’t give my kids sugar cereal for breakfast, it is reserved for movie treat time only, usually go stale before we finish the box, which may be worth the lack of added sugar to our diets)

Anyway, Blue, the adventurous one, asks “What’s that?” to my green pistachio. And so I hand her one and she eats it and loves it.

The next bite she took was that of an Apple Jack and she immediately started to cry and cough and saying her throat hurt. At first, I thought she had scratched her throat with the roughness of the Apple Jacks. Because I have swallowed Fruit Loops and Apple Jacks the wrong way before and yah, gosh darn-it, it hurt.

But something about this made me wonder and I sat with her for a bit watching her. She was somewhat calm, on occasion crying that it hurt to swallow (she was no longer eating anything at this point). And then she was fine. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking “nut allergy, nut allergy….”

But it was so short lived that I didn’t think anything else about it.

Until last week.

And this is where we get to the part where I feel like a bad mother.

As previously mentioned, my girls had been with their dad for a week in Maine for their final week of summer vacation.

I had talked to the girls around 4 in the afternoon and an hour later, got a call from Ex husband.

Now, Ex husband calls only if a) he wants something or b) if something has happened to one of the kids.

“Have you ever given Blue a cashew?” he asks.

And immediately, I knew there was a problem. And I was kicking myself for not addressing it or paying more attention to it before.

Apparently, the adventurous eater in our family (Blue), saw him eating some nuts, and tried three cashews. A minute later, she started to cry and complain about it hurting when she swallowed and she wouldn’t stop crying…and then she broke out into hives on her neck.

Yes people, we have joined the race of “tree nut allergy” in the house.

The good news is that she continued to breathe “well enough” and shortly, was fine. (I am still not clear on how long)

The scary thing is, he was in the middle of nowhere in Maine and had no idea where the emergency room was. (um, dial 911 perhaps?) And by the time he had looked it up on the internet, she appeared to be fine. So, after telling me the story, I spoke with her and she was seemingly her usual self.

At 9:30 that night, I got another call from him, telling me that they had gone to dinner a few hours later, a few hours that had her being lethargic and kind of mellow. They sat down at a restaurant on an outdoor patio and ordered their food and suddenly she just started to throw up. Over and over and over again. And then she started to sneeze. Over and over and over again.

And then, she was good to go.

They left with their food in take out packages and she ate dinner and was her normal self again. The throwing up and the sneezing was her way of purging what wasn’t right in her system.

When I hung up, I felt helpless. I felt helpless being a three hour drive away. I felt helpless in that I wasn’t there to hold her and comfort her, I felt helpless in that I didn’t key into this earlier, even though my instinct said there may be a problem.

Since then, we’ve talked to the pediatrician, had an incredibly peaceful drawing of blood to be tested for all nuts (awesome nurses, neither Blue or I didn’t cry), including peanuts …which would REALLY suck, if it ends up being a problem because she lives on peanut butter…never had a problem with it…I can deal with keeping her away from tree nuts and traces of tree nuts but to omit peanut butter would be life changing. (and the two are different, which has some promise) I realize, nuts and traces of nuts are in pretty much everything in my cupboard. Which is scary.

We’ve talked about it, Blue and I, about how right now we have to just stop all nuts, and things that have nuts in them. And that nuts can be “scary” if she eats them.

Blue looked at me sadly and said “But Mommy, I just SO looooooove nuts.”

And I said “I know honey, hopefully you can go back to eating peanuts at least, we’ll see what the doctor says.”

And she says, “Good. I wish I WAS nuts, I love ’em so much.”

(we are still awaiting the results, yet determined by the reaction she had to eating three cashews, Doc suspects that we will need to have an EpiPen handy)

Lastly, this morning I overheard the two girls in a conversation about nuts.

Red: “You can’t have a peanut butter sandwich, YOU have to have HAM.”

Blue: “Well, if I eat nuts, I might not be able to BREEAAAAVE.”

Red: Well, when I have my head under the covers at night, I sometimes have trouble breathing!”

Blue: “Then you should stick your nose out!


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It felt like Fall the other day and instead of going to the beach one last time before the girls headed to their dad’s for a week’s vacation, we headed out to a craft fair.I’d really like to go for a trail run in some nearby woods, but that will have to wait until this week when I am not towing the two around in a 150 lb double wide stroller (I kid you not…people, if you are in the market for a double stroller, make sure it is LIGHT…unlike mine).

The running has been going well. I am fairly consistent and the foot isn’t giving me any trouble. My cardio is building up better than I expected, probably because it isn’t the dead of winter and I don’t have the lung issue to deal with at the same time, ease into the breathing, but I still have trouble with the hills. Especially the UP hills. Especially when pushing that double wide stroller (with kids). I know, it’s stupid. Pushing that thing. But it is the only way I can get a workout in when the kids are with me. If I had a spouse, I could get up at 5 and get my run in while everyone is sleeping. Now I have to wait until they are 13 and legally can stay alone. Or I could get married.

Or not.

Anyway, the other day felt like Fall and we headed to the craft fair.

It was our last day before the girls went away for a week with their dad and the day after they get back home with me, school starts.

I have to say, I am not quite ready for the changing of the seasons, other than THE SCHOOL SEASON. I am ready for some structure and for the kids to get some stimulation that I just don’t have in me anymore…summer is ending, as I feel I am too. I could use some time other than 8pm-midnight, where I can work in my studio uninterrupted (and without guilt).

So, we went to the craft fair and it was gorgeous and very windy and the vendors in their tents were holding on to their tent frames for dear life, whilst trying to make a sale. Especially the hand painted mirror tent. And the wood inlaid mirror tent. (lots of mirrors at this place) and especially at the tide clock tent.

Upon entering the fair, it was near lunch time so I thought I would buy the girls some lunch. I somehow ended up behind about a dozen three hundred pound tourists, in line for the fried dough.

I started to rethink my decision.

But then I looked at my darling girls’ faces waiting in the stroller. We only do this once a year.

When it was my turn, I ordered three. Fried Dough makes my day, I have to say. There was no way I was sharing mine, so I bought us each one. Twelve dollars worth of fried dough.

One for each of us.

Have you ever had a fried dough?

Much like peanut butter and fluff sandwiches (grilled is the best), I had no idea about this stuff until I moved to New England.

And then an hour later, we were hungry again so we got some ice cream for dessert.

I’ll be needing to stay on this workout schedule now, for sure. 

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