Friday, January 29, 2010

The Incredible Inedible Egg

I bet you had no idea*!

The following ingredients found on a label indicate the presence of egg protein. All labels should be read carefully before consuming a product, even if it has been used safely in the past.

Contain Egg:

Cholesterol free egg substitute (e.g. Eggbeaters®)
Dried egg solids, dried egg
Egg Egg, egg white, egg yolk
Egg wash
Fat substitutes
Meringue, meringue powder
Powdered eggs
Silici albuminate
Whole egg

May Contain Egg:

Artificial flavoring
Natural flavoring


*You probably did know this if you have or your kids have an egg allergy. But I can say I had no idea before this morning.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Aaron has Allergies

I'm not surprised he has allergies. I am VERY surprised about which allergies he tested positive for!

The whole reason we ended up at the Allergist's office today was Aaron's near constant congestion and coughing. At first, his pediatrician was willing to dismiss it as asthma caused by respiratory illnesses. Well, I believe that is true in certain instances (he's been sick about 10 times in the last year or so), but I didn't really believe it wholesale. Many times Aaron has been the only one who was "sick." Nobody else got the "virus" that was causing all of Aaron's breathing troubles, not even Ian...and keeping those kids from sharing germs is impossible.

On Monday, while at the pediatrician for yet another episode of bronchiolitis, I asked if Aaron should be tested for allergies. His pediatrician agreed that perhaps Aaron did have an allergic cause for some of these respiratory problems.

So today, Aaron was tested for a bunch of different things. He didn't seem to mind the test at all, in fact he was really good the entire time.


If you notice, the 2 hives on the bottom left... those are Dust Mites. The egg allergy was a much more mild reaction than dust mites, but it is the top dot in the 3rd column.

Eggs??? REALLY?? I'm shocked! Although Aaron never eats eggs outright (scrambled or whatever, he doesn't like them), of course he eats things with egg in them all the time. His doctor said that it is obviously not an anaphylactic allergy to eggs, he is certain now that is what is causing Aaron's rampant eczema. (So I asked about Ian & my dad because they both have bad eczema too, and the allergist replied, "I bet you they have an egg allergy. Allergies & eczema run in families.") Intersting tibit- Ian & Aaron have never really liked eggs. Often when a child has a strong aversion to a food it is because he is allergic or sensitive to it!


So we have some work to do to cut down on Aaron's exposure to dust mite dander & eggs. Dust mites is going to be the easier of the two allergies to handle, and is the most probable cause for any allergic breathing problems Aaron has. We already don't have carpet and he sleeps on a crib mattress, which is not dust-mite harboring), his linens are washed regularly, not too many other cloth things in his bedroom, etc.

Reducing the amount of egg & egg products Aaron (& Ian) consume is going to be much more difficult. We're open to any & all shared experiences with egg allergies! We want to know your tips, tricks, etc.

Aaron will also now be taking Singulair in addition to his pulmicort and hopefully it will be a miracle-cure for you sweet boy! If I am tired of him being sick, he must be really tired of it!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lesson Learned: Teaching your kids to throw things away

We think it is super that Aaron will take diapers to the garbage can. And banana peels. And other miscellaneous things we ask him to take there.

But, we've learned a valuable lesson. Children don't possess the ability to know what is garbage and what isn't.

Aaron now likes to throw EVERYTHING he is "done" with into the garbage. And since we clapped and cheered for him for putting diapers in there, he thinks it is a game.

Last night, Aaron was happily playing in the can cupboard in the kitchen. At least that's what we thought. I mean, we could hear him playing with the cans of beans and tomato sauce... Then Roger went to check on him... and discovered that Aaron was actually systematically removing all the cans from the can cupboard and putting them into the garbage can.

This morning, I pulled out a cast-off sippy cup, spoon, and plate out of there.

And it has become my habit of checking the garbage can every time we walk past it... we're also now securing the garbage can on top of the counter. Kinda gross, but necessary while we wait for this phase to pass.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another Reason I love to buy local!

Today Roger asked me to go to the Strip District to our favorite local coffee roaster, La Prima, to get more coffee.

I went prepared, knowing exactly what I wanted to say because they're pretty "technical" in there and I never want to look like a dummy when I go.

I spent 20 minutes just chatting with the "coffee guys" there and they gave me a cup of coffee AND a 1/2 bag of beans to try!

All because I asked, "What's new? Do you have anything thing different? Anything really interesting?"

They appreciate that we are regular customers and that we are not a business, we drink our coffee at home, but we *kinda* know what we are talking about. Ok, Roger knows what he is talking about and I try to repeat his words when I'm talking shop with the La Prima guys.

You just don't have that kind of experience with places that aren't locally owned/operated.

They know I have 2 little boys who come with me to buy coffee. I know one of them is about to become a father for the first time. And the other one has separate clothes for work and for home because the smell of coffee roasting doesn't come out of his clothes. They know that I'm just the gopher and enjoyer of good coffee, that my husband does the criticism of the beans and brewing.

And they're starting to figure out his likes and dislikes.

And they're asking our opinion.... today we got a not-yet-public Espresso blend that the just came up with so we can try it and give them our thoughts! Won't be released to the public for sale for a couple more months! It doesn't even have a name yet!

Another encouragement to buy local. Good prices, nice people, supporting the local economy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pictures of the baby

Today I met with our geneticist at Magee Womens Hospital. No, there is no indication of any problems with #3, but our OB thought we might have some peace of mind if we did the first round of genetic testing.

Aaron's congenital kidney defect (aka Unilateral Renal Agenesis) was a fluke as far as we know. There is no reason to believe that the chances of the new baby having a congenital defect are any higher than any other baby. They did really want/encourage Roger to have a kidney ultrasound to find out if he has 2, but they said that would "simply be to satisfy curiosity."

So I had a blood test this morning and an ultrasound.

The blood test results will not be back for a few days, but the results of the ultrasound "were normal."

So we got our peace of mind we went looking for! And a couple cool pictures, too.

No, they cannot/did not try to tell the gender at this point. We have to wait 7 more weeks for that! (...holy crap only 7 more weeks until the big ultrasound!?!?)

We did see arms and legs and a beautiful beating heart at 156 bpm.

Major thanks and congratulations to Roger for spending the morning at home with Ian and Aaron! He said it went fine! That's GREAT! They were really excited to see me when I got home. 3 hours away with no hysterical crying is most definitely a step in the right direction.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Year Ago This Week

My mom had 2 bypasses and a valve replaced. This was in the hospital almost a week later...not lookin' so hot. (But trust me, this was an improvement over the first few days!)

Didn't want the event to go unnoticed. She's doing great now!

"You've really latched on to this one"

That's what Roger just said to me. And I think he was using his "teasing" tone. I didn't really appreciate it because you know what? WHO WOULDN'T LATCH ON TO THIS? If you don't latch on to this, if your heart isn't at least stirred by this, you are not a human I want to be associated with. I know he's probably going to feel like a jerk and be mad at me for posting what he said and rightfully so, because I know if he wasn't super busy with work he'd be taking the time to follow this story too. He's not really heartless and he gets passionate about the things I get passionate about when he has 2 minutes to actually think about stuff that isn't work related. So I forgive him for teasing me and making me feel like I shouldn't be "latching on."

Anyway, now that my little disclaimer and rant is out of the way...

There is an orphanage in Haiti that is being run by 2 young women from Pittsburgh. You can read the back story on them here: Love and Haiti

You can read their current situation here: It's Getting Real Bad

You can continue to read updates by following @JanePitt on twitter. She has been faithfully tweeting/blogging the updates on this story as they come in.

My current feeling is this: I know that there are probably hundreds of stories just like the BRESMA orphanage and the McMurtie sisters. I DID latch onto this one because it is local to me. It is being lived by girls for Pittsburgh (Western PA), one of whom is exactly the same age as me. They are working to save children who are the same age as mine. They are doing good work (the Lord's work) down there and darn it, if I can't help them in a tangible way, I'm at least going to try to help them in whatever way I can.

Please do continue to pray over the people in Haiti. Most of us cannot help them in any other way, but we all know that prayer works. So do it. Now.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Singing Happy Birthday to Daddy

There are 30 dots on the cake. And 6 dots on each of the 5 cupcakes. Aren't I creative!

Happy Birthday Roger!

We love you! (Even if you're so old! :-))

Happy Birthday to an amazing daddy!
Happy Birthday to my best friend!
Happy Birthday to an incredibly smart, funny, tough, loving man!
Happy Birthday!

The snot fountain has finally subsided...mostly.

I'm happy and thankful to report that finally, after about 13 days, Aaron's epazoodic has waned. I'm not going to say it is completely gone, because it isn't. He's still got some mucus discharge from his nose, but he is dramatically improved. 13 days. That's a LONG freakin' time to be sick with a bug that is making it hard for you to breathe.

We started the albuterol treatments on New Years Day and did them pretty close to the "every 4 hours as needed" prescription. That's a LOT of Albuterol. He took an entire 5-day round of oral prednisone. He took an entire 5 day round of zithromax and will begin the 2nd phase of the prescription (another 5 day round after 5 days off) on Wednesday. Countless doses of tylenol. An entire refill package of baby wipes, hundreds of sucks from the "snot sucker" (bulb syringe), a fever, a brother who threw up 2 times, and several loads of laundry just to wash the snotty linens, he's finally feeling better.

It was a REALLY long road this time.

While the doctor deemed it unnecessary to test him for RSV because the treatment would not change, I'm almost certain he had RSV.

And this morning, I read a note on a blog about another baby, Gavin, who passed away January 7th due to complications from RSV at 8 weeks old. You can read about him here:

Why am I posting this? Another reminder about how dangerous RSV is for tiny babies and children who have lung problems. Another plead to please try to keep these babies healthy. I mean, obviously, you can't know you're about to get sick before you DO get sick and there's no way to tell if your child's clear runny nose is going to turn into something crazy (like we didn't when Aaron was first getting sick this time...), but if you are in the throws of a cold, just don't go near the babies! Don't even come to visit. Trust me, your friends/family will understand. They might even THANK YOU. It is incredibly important. It can be the difference between life and death.

Here I am, counting our many blessings and breathing a sigh of relief on the flipside of 13 awful days for me & my son Aaron. I'm also sitting here reading about a sweet little baby who didn't overcome his "cold." And I'm so sad for them. I walked that road last February. Although Aaron didn't ever get admitted to the PICU, his doctor told me several times that it was practically imminent that Aaron would be admitted to the PICU. He also told me that he usually holds off on "the talk" because it is so scary for the parents, so if you get "the talk" it means that your baby is very, very ill.

Just something to think about today. Thanks for praying for us. Thanks for checking up with us and checking on Aaron. (And Ian, during his pukies...) We appreciate it deeply. Would you kindly say a prayer for the babies and parents who are still fighting their viruses, and the ones who have sadly lost the battle?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

You can make your bed

But then you have to lie in it.

Isn't that how it goes? Here's Ian on Sunday, with his Grandma Bishop. He decided he wanted to make a bed on the 2nd shelf up of our bookshelf in the living room. He laid there a good long time while she read him stories. We all thought he *might* fall asleep! He didn't but it was still really cute.

On New Years Eve, we had the best snowman-making snow! It was really heavy and wet, it stuck together really well. So, after we cleared off the driveway, Roger and Ian made a snowman. Ian calls all snowmen "Frosty" and he's been talking about Frosty in our front yard ever since.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Possessed Phone

See this picture? This is a picture of Ian from Christmas morning. Last year. (AS IN, 2008.)

See the phone in the picture? That cute green doggie phone with candy in it?

Ian broke that phone later in the day on Christmas day 2008. It wouldn't stop making its annoying beeping sound. We tried bashing it, immersing it in water, nothing. So we put it in the freezer.

Yesterday, while cleaning the freezer, I found the sweet little dead doggie phone. And tossed it safely into the garbage. It was dead, right?!


Today, after an entire year plus a week in the freezer, after being immersed in water, stomped on, and other forms of torture, That damn phone started beeping again from beyond the grave!

It took me a minute to figure out where the strange beeping noise was coming from, but I finally narrowed it down to the garbage can... and remembered putting the phone there yesterday.


You drop a $200 cell phone into a puddle and it's dead forever. You try to kill a $1 doggy candy phone from Rite Aid and you can't.


"Though he doesn't appear to be FEELING as bad, dear Aaron is not really doing much better yet. We expected that just as in the past the oral prednisone would work very quickly and he'd be back to breathing well right away. This doesn't appear to be the case this time. His pediatrician explained it by saying that Aaron is probably not as "far long" in the virus as he has been on other occasions and so he's taking longer to recover because he just hasn't finished up with the virus part of the illness. His lungs/bronchioles are not going to get less mucus in them until there is less mucus being produced. This will happen when his little body has finally fought off the virus, you know, in the usual 7-10 day window course for the common cold, a bit longer if the virus causing all this is RSV.

So we are in a holding pattern.

Except, one other thing... He now has an ear infection on top of all the other crap! Aaron is fortunate to not seem to get as many of them as Ian did (pre-tubes) and for that we are very thankful. But right now, it really is the last thing he needs, to have his ear hurting right now.

And our regular pharmacy didn't have the prescription ready for us when we got dthere, a full hour later, so we came home empty handed and will have to make another trip out in the sub-freezing temps and snow to get it later. GRRRR. I don't understand why it is so dang hard for our pharmacy to get and fill our prescriptions properly and in a timely fashion. I hope the pharmacies over on the other side of town are better. Just another reason to get out of Monroeville.

Ian's pneumonia is not back, I had him checked this morning.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Aaron could use a little prayer

What we though yesterday to be a little bit of a cold has now become a full-on asthma/bronchiolitis attack and Aaron is not doing well.

He has 102.4 fever and I have packed my bag for Children's Hospital, just in case. The roads are not very nice here tonight and I would be going alone because Roger will stay home with Ian. I'm just hoping and praying that this is the lowpoint of this illness for Aaron and we will see marked improvement very soon. I do NOT want to go to CHP.

If you could pray for us, we would really appreciate it.

Night is the hardest time.

^this was taken on Christmas Eve.