Friday, March 27, 2009

Allergen Labeling Study

A study at the University of Nebraska found that peanut, milk, and egg proteins were found in products labeled with "may contain", "shared equipment", and "shared facility" warnings. Even more unnerving were the results from a separate study showing that a handful of products with no warnings whatsoever did indeed test positive for milk and/or egg protein.

The Nebraska study found that milk was commonly present in products with a variety of labeling terms:

23 of 50 labeled as "may contain milk"
13 of 57 with "shared equipment" language
9 of 40 with "shared facility" language
16 of 29 with milk listed as a "minor" ingredient
1 of 3 with other labeling terminology

In order to keep our food allergic children as safe as possible, we should all remember that if there is *any* type of may contain warning on a package to assume that it could, in fact, be contaminated and avoid it.

You can view the article in its entirety here:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why have you forsaken me Sara Lee?

One of my biggest pet peeves of all time is when a specific brand of food that I have grown to trust over the years to be safe for Brody suddenly reformulates their product and adds one of his allergens! Arghhhhh!!!! For many years I have been buying Sara Lee Honey Wheat bread, and considering the fact that Brody takes a sandwich in his lunch box to school every single day, we have gone through countless loaves during this time frame. Just recently Sara Lee has now started adding milk to every variety of bread they make. Why??? Why fix something that isn't broken? I'm betting that adding that small amount of milk will not change the taste what was even the point? I'm irritated for myself and all the other families with milk allergic children who will now have to try to find a new brand of bread that they trust. Thanks for nothing, Sara Lee.

If you would like to take the time to contact this company and let them know how much this change will affect your friends/family with milk allergic children, you can do so here:

Here is the message I sent:
As the mother of a severely milk allergic little boy, I am very disappointed that you have now begun adding milk to all of your breads. I have been buying Sara Lee Honey Wheat bread for many years because it was one of the only brands I felt safe with for my son, but unfortunately I am now left trying to find a new brand to trust.

On behalf of all milk allergic children and their families, I ask that you reconsider the new formula and bring back what was once safe for these children.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Trixie Pics and an Uh-Oh Moment!

Just thought I'd post a few more cute puppy pictures. Trixie certainly has been a welcome addition to our family and she keeps us laughing! Those sharp little puppy teeth sure do wake you up though! The boys like to call her The Little VamPoodle (vampire poodle) when she gets overly excited and tries to gnaw on any body part she can sink her teeth into! LOL

The boys love to take Trixie for walks every day now that the snow has finally melted. Her legs are so little though that she gets tired out and ends up getting carried back to the house. =)

We did have a bit of a problem last week though. I keep telling Josh not to let Trixie lick his face and to always wash his hands after playing with her. Josh was upset about something, so Brody picked Trixie up and put her by his neck so "Trixie could give Josh some love". Of course she got excited and started licking Josh's neck. A few minutes later he came out into the kitchen by me and the entire right side of his neck was covered with hives! I had him jump in the shower, rubbed some hydrocortisone ointment on the hives, and gave him his nightly dose of Zyrtec. He was itchy for a while, but by the next morning the hives were completely gone. So obviously we now know that Josh is definitely allergic to Trixie's saliva, but he hasn't had any other problems whatsoever since we brought her home. When the boys see the allergist in June we will definitely be talking about those allergy shots. But as long as Josh doesn't let Trixie lick his face he seems okay for now and he certainly has no desire to give up his little pup. I hate to think what would happen if he wasn't on antihistamines twice a day though!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Karate Kid Strikes Again!

This past Sunday Brody participated in the Capitol City Open Karate Tournament held in DeForest. This turned out to be a very intense competition because Brody ended up tying for first place in his division and had to do a face off! And once again he walked away with a First place trophy!

When I asked him what was going through his head when the judge explained there would be a face off, Brody said he was thinking "yeah, now it gets exciting!" and he was happy that he would get to show off his form again to the judges that he has been working so hard on.

Way to go Brody!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Puppy Love

We did it. We adopted a puppy. And we are all head over heels in love with her! I can't believe just how much I have missed having a dog. She is the sweetest little thing and her tiny face just melts my heart. So far so good with Josh! No signs of any allergy symptoms rearing their ugly head yet. Of course that could have something to do with the fact that Josh is already on antihistamines twice a day anyway for other allergies, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all will be okay.

So this is Trixie the Wonder Pooch! Isn't she absolutely adorable? She is a Silky Poodle which is a mix between a Silky Terrier and a Toy Poodle. Her parents were only 5 pounds each, so she will always be a tiny little thing. Little is good! Little means less dander to set off allergies. Little also means less mess to clean up...I could really do without the whole potty training aspect! But then she looks at me with her insanely cute puppy face and my heart melts all over again, so I forgive her little accidents.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hypoallergenic Dog?

The boys have been asking (more like begging) for a pet for years. Specifically a dog. I want so badly to let them have some normalcy in their lives. Along with all of Brody's food allergies, he is also allergic to cats and has several seasonal & environmental allergies. Josh tested positive to cats and dogs, along with seasonal & environmental allergens. I myself grew up with lots of pets...cats, dogs, bunnies. I honestly can't even imagine what my life would have been like if I had been told I couldn't have a pet when I was a little girl. They were such a huge part of my life back then. For the boys, we have tried fish and hermit crabs...neither of which give you the warm fuzzy feeling that you get when snuggling with an adorable puppy. We did have a small dog many years ago when we first had the boys tested for allergies and found out Josh was allergic. However, we never saw any evidence of Josh reacting to Sasha whatsoever. This could certainly have a lot to do with the fact that Sasha was a small older dog at the time and the boys didn't interact with her much at all. On the other hand, I have seen Josh get very congested in a short period of time just from being in the same room as a large shedding dog. I asked Josh over the weekend how badly he wants a puppy and if he'd be willing to go through allergy shots if that is what it took for us to have a pet. To my surprise, he said he would "happily take weekly allergy shots for the rest of his life if that is what he needed to do".

So my husband and I have been giving this a great deal of thought lately. Although there is no such thing as a "hypoallergenic dog", there are supposedly certain breeds that seem to create much less symptoms in allergic individuals. A few of these breeds would include Poodle (including cross-breeds such as Labradoodle), Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier, and a Portuguese Water Dog. Apparently the latter is what the Obama family has chosen as their family pet since one of their daughters is allergic to dogs. I personally always wanted a toy poodle when I was little because I thought they were cute little puffballs! And since a small dog equals less amount of dander to interfere with allergies, this seems like a smart choice for us. So after we talk with the allergist and get his thoughts on the situation about whether allergy shots would be a good idea for Josh, we are leaning towards possibly bringing some type of a toy poodle mix into our family. I have found there is a breeder about an hour from our home that raises SilkyPoos (Silky Terrier/Toy Poodle mix). Is this not the most adorable face you've ever seen?

Of course my fear is that we will bring a puppy into our home and totally fall in love with it, and then the boys will start having allergy symptoms and we would have to decide whether to or not to give the dog up. I really hate feeling like allergies rule our lives! Between the food allergies, pet allergies, seasonal & environmental allergies, asthma, eczema, and a vision impairment...Is it so much to ask for my children to experience a little normalcy once in a while?