Keeping Up with Ron, Sara, Jackson and Addie

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

An allergy update...

After another weekend of getting the boy back to the basics, we were successful in clearing up all of his symptoms. Today we sent him off to school rash-free and are anticipating he will get into something there and come home with another reaction. However, it is promising to know that we only have to go through two more weeks of this.

In two weeks we will be pulling Jackson out of childcare and I will stay at home with him during the day. This way I can monitor his food intake and start to introduce potential allergens into his diet so we can see how he reacts and narrow down his food allergies. I have a feeling it's going to be a complicated process, but I am very excited that we are on our way to our final destination. The schedule will be temporary, and we hope to get him enrolled in childcare again after four weeks.

During this time, I will continue to work, just doing so from home on a flexible schedule. I hope to put in a couple hours in the morning, at nap time and in the evening. The real hard part is going to be finding time in there to get my school work done as well. For the next four weeks I am enrolled in one class at Century and two classes at St. Scholastica. After these four week I'll be down to one class at Century and one at St. Scholastica.

Here is what we know Jackson can eat without reaction (updated):
Oats
Rice
Apples
Pears
Chicken
Hamburger
Gyro Meat
Enjoy life Chocolate Chip Cookies (allergen free)
Rice Krispies
Black Beans
Pinto Beans
Rice noodles
Bananas
Annie's organic fruit bunnies
Peas
Aspagargus
Squash
Sweetpotato
Rice Milk
Potato
Back to Nature Apple Cinnmon granola
Hol Grain Brown Rice crackers
Lima Beans
Spinach
Mashed potatoes (made with rice milk, no butter)
Green beans
Brocolli
Mango juice
Pork
Raisins
Fruit leathers
Banana juice
Pickles

Friday, October 24, 2008

Another rough day, for me, not him...


This a picture of Thursday's reaction


Jackson broke out again pretty bad from something yesterday, but of course I don't know what, as he was at school all day. It seems the harder we try, the worse he gets. I know that we have the weekend to go back to the basics and hopefully get him clear. He itched a bit from this reaction, but for the most part, he didn't mind.

It was me that got frustated last night. The list of ingredients that contain allerens is endless, and hard to figure out: stabilizer, kamut, binder, starch, monosodium glutamate, guar gum, gum arabic, lecithin, cassein, albumin and that is just a tiny portion of the monster list!

But as usual, Jackson is making us smile. He is counting to 10 now, all by himself. Though he does occasionally forget about number nine.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Jackson Update

Food allergies: We have taken a couple steps backwards, but we have found that Jackson reacts to anything with the ingredient "caramel color". So that's something we will read labels for, and hope he is cleared up by this weekend so we can try soy. It seems that a lot of foods contain either soy or dairy, so it would be great if we could add one or the other.

Coborn's Delievers: I was a big fan of SimonDelivers and was so sad to see it go out of business. Now Coborn's has bought Simon and we will see our first delivery tomorrow. Here's the best part: Coborn's has Fleishmanns light margarine which contains no soy or dairy!! I've been hunting all over town for this product. If all goes as planned, Jackson will be eating Rice Krispie bars this weekend, I'll keep you posted.

Halloween: I'm trying hard to find treats that will make-up for Jackson missing out on Halloween treats that all his friends will be eating! Maybe if he's eating a yummy Rice Krispie bar he won't be so likely to steal candy bars from friends (our kid is a thief for food). This year we have a couple Halloween events to attend, so we'll see if we can get Jackson to enjoy wearing his Halloween costume before the big night. This Friday we are heading to ZooBoo at Como Park, and next week is his Halloween party at school.

School Photos: It's picture day for Jackson today! Unfortunately the caramel color knowledge was not learned until it was too late, so we may have proof of Jackson's allergy in his school photo. We sent him off to school with his hair combed and a cute little sweater... we'll see what kind of shape he ended up in by the time the photographer came around.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Feature: Likes and Dislikes

The Boy's likes and dislikes change so frequently and this feature is such proof of that. It is so nice to see that his likes are always more than his dislikes!

Likes: Caterpillars, driving the bus, puzzles, reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, watching baseball, the farmer's market, Caliou, climbing into cupboards, pushing buttons on the computer, raking and jumping into leaves, singing ABCs, reading books on the LeapFrog LeapPad, animal pajamas, watching the rollercoaster at MOA, taking showers with Mama and rice crackers.

Dislikes: Pumpkin insides, spinach, brushing his teeth, wearing clothes and the scuba diver that talks from the aquarium at the MN Zoo!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Food List: Updated

Lately, I've been using this blog as a record to keep track of Jackson's food allergies/intollerances. So while some of these posts may be quite boring for you, it's good information for me to have written down somewhere other than on sticky notes on our fridge.

Here is what we know Jackson can eat without reaction:
Oats
Rice
Apples
Pears
Chicken
Hamburger
Gyro Meat
Enjoy life Chocolate Chip Cookies (allergen free)
Rice Krispies
Black Beans
Pinto Beans
Rice noodles
Bananas
Annie's organic fruit bunnies
Peas
Aspagargus
Squash
Sweetpotato
Rice Milk
Potato
Back to Nature Apple Cinnmon granola
Hol Grain Brown Rice crackers
Lima Beans
Spinach
Mashed potatoes (made with rice milk, no butter)
Green beans
Brocolli
Mango juice

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another week of the same...

After 8 days of Jackson being clear from his zero allergen diet, I was super excited to give soy a try this evening. I stopped on my way home for some dairy free margarine that still contained soy, so that I could make Rice Krispie treats for the boy, a reward I thought was well earned after 8 days of an extremely bland diet. But when I picked him up from childcare, he was all broken out. He had gotten a hold of a chunck of an apple cinnamon nutrigrain bar off the floor. I have to admit, I was quite bummed. Now we are back to square one, another week of the very limited diet before we can try soy. If he had gotten a hold of something with just one of the allergens we would have a better idea of what he is allergic to, but nutrigrain bars contain wheat, soy and dairy, so we still do not know the culprit.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Food List

Lately, I've been using this blog as a record to keep track of Jackson's food allergies/intollerances. So while some of these posts may be quite boring for you, it's good information for me to have written down somewhere other than on sticky notes on our fridge.

Here is what we know Jackson can eat without reaction:
Oats
Rice
Apples
Pears
Chicken
Hamburger
Gyro Meat
Enjoy life Chocolate Chip Cookies (allergen free)
Rice Krispies
Black Beans
Pinto Beans
Rice noodles
Bananas
Annie's organic fruit bunnies
Peas
Aspagargus
Squash
Sweetpotato
Rice Milk
Potato
Back to Nature Apple Cinnmon granola
Hol Grain Brown Rice crackers

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Results are In...

The bloodwork has come back for Jackson, which unfortunately doesn't tell us anything. I had a lengthy conversation with the doctor just now and she said it's very common for these food allergies not to show up in blood tests at this age and we just have to start with a trial and error process, being very careful to read labels so he is not exposed to something we are unaware of.

His blood was not tested for tree nuts though, so the blood will go back to the lab for additional testing.

We are to continue the strict diet minus the top allergens -- no wheat, soy, dairy, fish, shellfish, nuts, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes and eggs -- for the next couple of days while he is at childcare. This weekend we can start with soy and watch him for 5-7 days to see if he has any reaction. We'll do this for a while, trying wheat and dairy last.

She advises not giving him nuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, or egg until he is at least three.

We also talked about his platelets levels being high (404). It's nothing to worry about at this time, but she will check his past platelet levels and see if there is anything to be concerned about.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Horwath Update:

Jackson's allergies: We have gone back to the basics and removed any potential allergen from Jackson's diet. So this means, no wheat, soy, dairy, fish, shellfish, nuts, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes and eggs. What CAN he eat? Good question, the diet is a bit trying, he can have meat, vegetables, rice and any of the fruit not mentioned. It doesn't leave a lot of options, but the good news is that Jackson's face has completely cleared. Now we will just wait for the results of the blood test before deciding what to do next.

Jackson's song list: He now has his ABCs down, though still working on the "Next time won't you sing with me" part. And he mumbles a bit through L-M-N. He is also known to belt out Wheels on the Bus, 5 Little Monkeys, Twinkle Twinkle and Ring around the Rosie from the back seat.

Jackson's vocab: Is doubling daily. Ron dropped 100 as the number of words Jackson knows, I knew it was way more than that, so we wandered around the house pointing out objects and Jackson got close to 100 in under 5 minutes and that didn't count any of the objects outside of our home. Here is just a list of my favorite additions lately: Crocodile, Elephant, Obama, Trick or Treat, Stand Up Please, Possum, TV Show, Motorcycle, Bumblebee, Asparagus, Computer and FireMan Sam.

Favorite toys: Jackson doesn't play much with toys. It'd kind of strange but he skips over his toy corner for things like: Ron's wallet, keys, cardboard boxes, toilet paper rolls, bottle coozies, cellphones, radios and such. But when he does play with his toys he likes to color, play catch, work on his toolbench, vacuum, read books, or play with his Bob the Builder digger, Scoop.

Ron: Ron has been working a lot lately, putting in hours for special events and in-services. His favorite new find is the woodworking section of our local library, so every couple of weeks Ron gets a new stack of books and magazines to bring home and peruse. He is also trying out his skills in the home decorating world. He finally talked me into moving our furniture around in the living room and the new layout is a fresh change, and I like it!

Sara: I was accepted into the Accelerated Bachelor's Program at St. Scholastica. It's going to be a lot of work, but I am ready for the challenge, which is good because classes start October 27. I'm still taking a Macroeconomics class at Century, which is proving especially interesting during this time of financial crisis. This weekend I will be attending the Mason Jennings show at The Orpheum with my friends Bob and Libby.

Go Obama!

video

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fall fun...

Another weekend in pictures:

Playing in the leaves



At the MN Zoo



Carving pumpkins. Jackson did not like this, when we opened up the pumpkins and started pulling the "guts" out, he started to gag!



The final product


We found cookies that Jackson can eat at Whole Foods. They are free of the top eight allergens

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Slimey and Slippery...

While we were transplanting an abundance of raspberry bushes in our back yard this weekend, I gave Jackson this nightcrawler to play around with (keeping my eye on him every second, incase he got curious enough to see what worm soup tasted like). Well he never thought to eat the worm, thank goodness, he just held it in his hands for quite some time. You can kind of see in this picture that the worm was trying to make his way up Jackson's jacket sleeve. Eventually worm made it a good way up his sleeve and Jackson didn't like these tricks, but he never dropped the worm, only kept his grip and screeched!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Allergies Tested

This morning we took Jackson to an allergist. After many many days and weeks of hives from head to toe and rashes on his face, we made an appointment with a specialist.

It was obvious to the doctor that he was an "allergy kid" and she also thought that his snoring and cough were probably asthma related. While Jackson sat on my lap and ate a Nilla wafer, the nurse did a scratch test (picture) that unfortunately didn't come out with any definitive results (a small reaction to subjects 3 and 4). After already spending an hour and 45 minutes in the doctor's office it was decided that he would go in for a blood test to get some better results and to also check in on his immune system. Jackson was a real trooper and didn't complain with any of the pokes or pricks.

The doctor also found that his left ear was infected, which I had suspected. His ear was draining yellow/brown fluid over the weekend.

While he was a great little kid, all of this got him well off schedule and feeling a bit out of sorts. Which meant for a ROUGH afternoon. After FINALLY getting down for a nap after many tears, Jackson woke up thrashing in his crib from what we believe to be a nightmare. Loads of whimpering, whining and crying later, Ron and I were plum tuckered out!

We headed to Target to get all of his presciptions filled anyway. He'll be taking Singulair every day to help control the asthma, and he's on another antibiotic for the ear infection. We also have some Zyrtec for when the allergy symptoms start kicking in. At Target, we checked out hepa filters while waiting for the prescriptions to be filled. The doctor suggested a hepa filter run in his bedroom all the time to clear out any allergens, along with special pillow and mattress protectors (the filter she suggested costs $300!!). She suggested using a different detergent, but I already don't purchase anything with any dyes or perfumes, so I am not sure that a more expensive brand of the same thing will do any good, but we will discontinue use of dryer sheets in his laundry. It's all a bit overwhelming presently and we'll be digesting this over the week and deciding on how many of these precautions we'll be taking.

The blood tests will come back in a week, and we will have a follow up appointment wiht the allergist in 4-6 weeks. Whew! That's a load of information to share.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Brain cells on the loose...

There was a time not so long ago that I was pretty much on top of it. I didn't need to be reminded of doctor's appointments or work meetings. I never locked myself out of the house or my keys in the ignition while I stood outside peering in. I didn't misplace my car keys, my sunglasses or my mittens or even an entire book of stamps. I mostly knew what was on my calendar for months at a time and I didn't need to keep a daily lists.

Since having Jackson all of this has changed. Now, a day isn't started without a list made. I can tell myself to stop at the gas station on the way to work as I pull out of my driveway, but forget by the time I come upon the nearest gas station just two miles down the road.

So, this weekend's misstep was no surprise, and the thing that managed to remind me of how forgetful I am these days, was also ridiculously funny, which is why I felt the need to share.

The brisk fall has started to set in, which typically means that the hardwood floors throughout our house can be a bit chilly. While I cleaned up our bedroom during Jackson's naptime I came across my Cabela's slippers and decided to slip them on my feet to keep my toes warm. I spent the rest of naptime indoors, doing homework and a bit of picking up, then I fixed a snack for Jackson when he woke up from his nap. I thought it would be fun to take the boy to Como Zoo since the weather was so beautiful. I packed up Jackson and myself into the car and zipped down 94 to the zoo. I found a good parking spot and stepped onto the road, got Jackson's stroller out of the back and flipped it open on the sidewalk. Believe it or not, it was only then that I realized, those wonderful Cabella's slippers were still on my feet. Now what?!?

There was no way we were going to drive all the way home so that I could put on proper shoes, I can't imagine the look Jackson would have on his face after I told him that it was going to be awhile before we could go in search of lions and tigers. No one seemed to notice and they were actually relatively comfortable footwear to stroll around looking at the zebras and giraffes!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The bibs in question...


I found these bibs at a garage sale over the summer and fell in love with them. With the weather getting chilly, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to show off the cutest bibs in town. However, some folks disagreed with me. Ron for one didn't care much for them, and his childcare teacher took Ron's side as well. And just when I thought I would put the bibs to rest, on the way out of school another mother commented on how "darling" his bibs were! Yay! Now before he dons these overalls again, we need consensus, take the poll in the right column to weigh in.

This week in photos...


This is Jackson's favorite spot lately. In this picture, originally just his butt was down and his feet were up in the air, he was yelling "stuck, stuck!" and all I could do was laugh.

I found this train set over the summer at a garage sale for a dollar or two, we pulled it out this week and Jackson had fun watching Thomas make the rounds.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Election

With the election only a month away do you know who you are voting for?
Take the Select A Candidate Survey now.