Happy 2017!

I’ve been wanting to post for a while, but things have been a little crazy lately.  We spent Christmas weekend through the end of the year moving, so it was hectic living out of boxes, and uprooting out lives, even though it was a local move.  Working during a surprisingly busy holiday season didn’t help things.  Now that I have some time off, I can finally get around to the things I haven’t had a chance to do.

WZW is now 16 months old, and it was interesting to see his transition to the new house.  He was of course excited to explore the bigger space, with all new drawers and cabinets to check out.  The first night, going to sleep wasn’t a problem.  I think it was another night or two in that he realized that this wasn’t a temporary trip, and he refused to go to sleep.  He would cry and cry, so we finally let him out of his room, and you could see him playing to fight the fatigue.  One morning I took him on a brief outing to go to the bank, and when we came back, he got very upset as I carried him in through the front door.  So much so that he held onto the door frame with both hands in an effort to prevent me from bringing him back inside.

But after a couple of days, he seemed to get used to it for the most part.  These days, he is busy climbing everything he can get away with.  We don’t have a gate for the new kitchen, so he has figured out that he can push a chair into the kitchen so he can climb up and try to touch the buttons on the oven or stove.  Which is just great for us parents.

He just recently started talking a little bit.  We’d been using a few hand symbols for things like eat and milk.  One of the newer ones was more.  Our little guy loves food, so it wasn’t too surprising that he first attempted to say “MO” for more oranges.  It started as a long “MOOOW” and now turned into a short “mo.”  He kinda uses the eat and more symbols interchangeably, but it’s easy to know he wants to eat.

It’s fascinating seeing how they pick up language and communication at this age.  He even used symbols to communicate something new to us.  WZW typically waves good night to us, and only uses his pacifier when sleeping.  So one evening, my husband was changing his diaper, and he did a symbol like eat (hand to mouth) followed by a wave.  At first he was confused- you’re hungry at this hour?  It took my husband a minute to realize the eat symbol was his way of communicating that he wanted his pacifier, and the wave was to go to bed.  What a refreshing change from the newborn days when it was a struggle to get him to sleep.  Now he readily tells us he’s tired, and will walk himself into his crib (which is on the ground) and put himself to sleep.

He says mama but not in reference to me.  In fact, since I’ll point to myself and say mama, and then point to him and say his name, he’ll then point to himself and say mama.  What’s even funnier is that when he says dad, my husband will ask him to say it again, and he’ll say mama.  Oh, toddlers.  If adults exhibited this kind of behavior, they’d be called bad names.

So we have an interesting update on WZW’s allergies.  We’d taken him to an allergy doc, who confirmed with testing that he has egg and peanut allergies.  The plan was to bring him back in a year (when he was around 2 years old) for repeat testing, since they often grow out of the allergies.

Well, one day when our neighbor was watching him, I’d thought to myself that we should probably remind her of his allergies since she doesn’t take care of him regularly.  We had told her initially, but it’s easy to forget.  I wondered if I myself would accidentally forget about things like peanut oil that might be used at a restaurant.  Though these days I would hope anything with peanuts is clearly labeled on a menu.  My husband apparently had been thinking the same thing, but didn’t end up telling her when he dropped WZW off at her place because she’d mentioned what leftovers she had that she was planning on feeding him, and they sounded safe.

Well, it was a good reminder that we need to remind caretakers of his allergies, because she fed him a poached egg.  Afterwards, he didn’t have a reaction but the Advice Nurse said to go ahead and give him Benadryl, which we did.  But given the time course, he definitely would have reacted by then.  We asked her if it was just the yolk, but she said he ate the whole thing.

A week later, we got around to emailing the allergist about it, to see if he needed further testing or anything.  The allergist said that feeding the actual food is the best test, so if WZW didn’t have a reaction to the egg, it meant he was no longer allergic.  Hooray!

We texted our neighbor to tell her the good news.  In the course of it, we mentioned that he just has the peanut allergy left.  She said um, he had a peanut butter & jelly sandwich while he was there as well.  My response was, are you serious?!  She said yes, they were all eating them so WZW had some as well.  Our response was shock, relief, and laughter.  We won’t be winning any parenting awards soon, but sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.  We accidentally found out that WZW has outgrown both his egg and peanut allergies.

Please don’t try this at home.  This could have turned out very differently, so make sure to remind caregivers, particularly if they’re not frequent ones, about allergies.  We got lucky.  Very lucky.

 

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One Year!

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WZW turned one on Monday!  Last year, I was due on Labor Day, and this year, he turned one on Labor Day.  It really is amazing how much has changed in a year.  Last year, I was coming off of the delivery, we were figuring out the whole parenting thing, and I was dealing with the new challenges of breastfeeding.  WZW was this immature little creature who would cry for no good reason, despite our best efforts.

Now, this guy is tons of fun and tons of work- in a different way.  For the most part, he’s a happy guy who is a joy to play with.  In the last couple of weeks or so, he has started walking.  He’s already been getting into everything- reaching as high as he can, opening drawers, taking items and strewing them all about, and rarely putting them back in.  When he does put an item into a container, it’s often his random decision.  So if we’re not careful, an item could end up misplaced since he put it somewhere strange.  The toddler phase has arrived.

His first word was “up,” said appropriately in context when going up the stairs.  Alas, he says “Mama” a lot, but not in reference to me.  He finally started using sign language recently.  We only did a couple of signs for “eat” and “milk” and have yet to expand on that.  But it is helpful to have him be able to signal his hunger as an alternative to crying loudly, which he still does as well.

He’s generally been doing well with feeding himself, so we’ve been giving him a variety of “real food” cut up into small pieces for him.  We still give him some baby food pouches, mostly for convenience when we’re in a rush or out in public.  And he’s now adept at drinking out of a straw.  Again, for convenience we’ll still give the bottle, but he’ll probably soon phase out of using them.

At 10 months, I discovered his egg allergy.  After that, I fed him a little of the peanut butter we happened to have in our pantry.  Then I realized it contained honey.  So it wasn’t until close to his first birthday that my husband gave him more peanut butter.  Well, unfortunately he developed another rash, so the pediatrician recommended that he see an allergist.  The allergist did tests for a bunch of food allergies, and confirmed the egg and peanut allergies, as well as one to brazil nuts, which hopefully will be a rare issue.

He said that there is a higher likelihood that he’ll grow out of the egg allergy, but less so with the peanuts.  There is a 25% chance he’ll grow out of the peanut allergy.  In hindsight, I wish we’d introduced peanuts to him earlier.  It was something I’d known about, that lately the recommendation is early introduction, but it was just one of those things we never really got around to.

Plus, I had been eating tons of peanuts while I was breastfeeding- a regular snack had become these particular Trader Joe’s snack bars that contain peanuts.  In my mind, I’d felt like that was early introduction for him.  And I had no reason to think he’d develop an allergy to peanuts, since no one in our families has a peanut allergy.  Well, my husband says he’s “allergic” to peanuts as a euphemism for them causing gas.  But that doesn’t count.

This is the first time that I felt disappointed in myself as a parent for failing to do something, which potentially caused an impact on my son.  I’m sure it will happen many times in the course of parenting.  And of course, as a parent, you can’t predict how everything will turn out.  But still, I do feel some regret at not trying to feed him peanuts earlier.

I really hope he grows out of it, but if he doesn’t, my concern isn’t necessarily the allergy itself.  A lot of people have allergies that cause rashes and such.  But what I fear is that it might risk an anaphylactic reaction.  The allergist recommended that we get EpiPens to keep on hand just in case.  These days, there is much more awareness around peanut allergies, so it hopefully won’t be an issue.  And I hope we never have to actually use one of the EpiPens.

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