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009, originally uploaded by raisingbrainchild. 

 
I’m offering you a glimpse into my backyard today.  This past week has gone by so quickly, it is nice to slow down for a moment and appreciate the world around us, don’t you think?
 
My husband and I did some “slowing down” and “appreciating” this past weekend.  After a crazy week full of EpiPens and learning code words for soy, we both needed a break from reality.  Instead of going out to eat with Bear, which is something that suddenly is no longer easy to do, we stayed home on Saturday night and grilled steaks (yes, we are Good Midwesterners) in our driveway.  We usually prefer to cook our meat in the backyard on the deck and away from the curious eyes of anyone who happens to walk past, but my husband had big plans to stain the deck the following day and had moved the grill and just about everything else into the garage and driveway.  So, after thoroughly enjoying our steaks, and putting Bear to bed, we took a bottle of wine and two rocking chairs to the driveway.
 
It was a beautiful evening for mid-July.  The weather was nearly cool.  Fireflies seemed to hover over our lawn in the dusk, and no one was about.  We sat there rocking and drinking for hours.  We had better conversations that we have in years.  When the wine was gone, we were both hesitant for our sweet moment to end.
 
Life all too often is frenetic, and it would do my soul (and my marriage) good to invest in more moments like these.

 

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Our new companion

 

A new friend of mine told me today, “don’t go looking for trouble,” in response to some questions that I was asking about food allergies, since we are frantically trying to educate ourselves on this topic.  

Two days ago, a nurse from Bear’s new pediatrician’s office called with the results of her CAP RAST, a blood test that the pediatrician ordered to give us a better understanding of some foods that Bear might be allergic to, in light of the soy milk debacle.  Although we are still trying to understand what all of this means, as the world of allergies seems to be a great unknown where nothing is black and white, her pediatrician believes that she has an allergy to soy and likely has an allergy to peanuts.  The test results and her reaction to soy necessitate keeping an EpiPen with her at all times.  Until we know more about her allergy, keeping her away from all soy will be quite difficult.  I suggest that you take a look at food labels next time you are in the grocery store.  Soy and its derivatives are in most processed foods.  

I have been living and breathing food allergies for the past several days, and I will not even attempt to share what I’ve learned here.  Frankly, I’m a little weary of it.  

However, I have “met” some wonderful people over at www.kidswithfoodallergies.org, and they have been more than willing to share their knowledge with me, probably because they remember feeling exactly as I do now.  

When we introduced solid food to Bear, we followed the basic “rules” about solids.  We waited a week after introducing a new food.  We did not give her the big “no-no’s” of nuts, honey, and milk prior to when we were given the OK by her pediatrician.  We still haven’t knowingly given Bear nuts or honey, but I suppose that does not mean that she hasn’t encountered the food in some other way, perhaps prior to birth or through my breastmilk or cross-contamination or at daycare.  Neither my husband nor I have significant food allergies.  We have some family history of some minor food allergies, and I am allergic to certain drugs and a variety of other non-food items, but we were blissfully unaware that this did not really matter.  We had no reason to suspect that Bear would have a major food allergy.  

I feel like we went “looking for trouble” when we gave her soy milk in the first place, since we were concerned that she wasn’t digesting milk well.  Even if we couldn’t have known that we were “looking for trouble,” trouble found us.