A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.


The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

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Articles tagged with: allergies

What not to look for in an allergist
Tuesday, 29 Jun, 2010 – 14:53 | Comments Off
What not to look for in an allergist

I’d been lucky in my lifetime to have never run into a truly bad doctor. Sure, there was the guy when I was in high school who told me my nose was definitely broken but …

Improve your love life with Claritin!
Tuesday, 14 Apr, 2009 – 1:10 | 3 Comments
Improve your love life with Claritin!

The latest study from the files of “Why Can’t I Find Work Like This”:  Hayfever puts stress on relationships, for reasons ranging from keeping partners awake with snoring, difficulty kissing, lower sex …

Kids and Allergies: Peanut-free treats aplenty at Panhandle Premium
Tuesday, 7 Oct, 2008 – 1:03 | Comments Off
Kids and Allergies: Peanut-free treats aplenty at Panhandle Premium

I ran across Panhandle Premium two years ago during a particularly bad allergy spate.
Big Guy had just been diagnosed allergic to garlic, thus eliminating many favorite foods. He definitely mourned the loss. I eventually …

Another autumn, another FDA attack on cold meds
Thursday, 2 Oct, 2008 – 11:21 | Comments Off
Another autumn, another FDA attack on cold meds

Let me first say I’m not in favor of kids walking around hopped up on antihistamines like junior meth addicts.

Let me also say that the guys rarely take over-the-counter cold medicines. We’re big fans of saline nose drops, and humidifiers are such a constant in their lives that they remind me to refill them. We never use cough syrup — Big Guy can’t take it because he’s asthmatic, and I’d just as soon let Little Guy hack it up on his own.

However — and this is a huge however — there are times when Little Guy in particular is so obviously suffering that the only humane thing to do is hit him with Dimetapp and let him breathe freely for a while. And he has to be really sick before I do that, because I’d just as soon not have him walking around buzzed up for hours.

Which is why the Food and Drug Administration’s latest move on medicines for the under 6 set really ticks me off.

Kids and Allergies: How Kellogg could have killed a kid
Thursday, 2 Oct, 2008 – 1:20 | 2 Comments
Kids and Allergies: How Kellogg could have killed a kid

There’s a certain irony in the fact that when I clicked on the Kellog’s SpecialK Web site tonight to see what I might have missed in its ingredient label, a popup appeared asking me to complete a customer satisfaction survey.

Oh, I’d love to!

Turns out they wanted to know how well the Web page worked for me, not how satisfied I was with the product.

Since they weren’t interested in my input then, I’ll put it out here now.

Simply put, a Special K Chocolately Drizzle bar made Big Guy very sick Monday. It might have killed him if his teacher hadn’t rushed him to the school nurse after she noticed tell-tale hives march across his face roughly 10 minutes after he ate one.

Omega-3, probiotics wonder drugs for Big Guy
Friday, 22 Aug, 2008 – 17:21 | Comments Off

We’ve finally found the substance so vile, so disgusting that Little Guy won’t go near it. And he’ll eat anything.
It’s L’il Critters Omega 3 Gummy Fish, which claims on amazon.com to have won a “best …

The semi-annual letdown of allergy testing
Saturday, 16 Aug, 2008 – 17:40 | Comments Off

I’m a big Cincinnati Reds fan, so a baseball analogy for Big Guy’s allergy tests is an obvious comparison for me.
Going in for the tests is like spring training. There’s a bit of pain …

Big Guy’s big ouch not so bad after all
Tuesday, 12 Aug, 2008 – 6:17 | Comments Off

“The only thing we have to fear is the fear of fear itself.

OK, so that’s not exactly the way Franklin Roosevelt put it. But he would have if he’d met Big Guy, who learned a lesson last week about fear feeding on itself.

I’d promised Big Guy he wouldn’t have to go through allergy testing again until the fall, but under the “”three barfs, you’re out”" rule, his bout of birthday sickness earned him an early trip. It was the third time he’d thrown up after eating hamburgers, and since nausea is one possible sign of a food allergy, I wanted to have him checked.

He’d actually looked forward to the trip, figuring the early testing would be worth it if he could go back on his burger binge. Plus, during our last visit

9to5to9: Killing 56 bucks, the ants and (almost) the kid
Thursday, 31 Jul, 2008 – 7:25 | Comments Off

I try to teach the guys to accept responsibility for their actions, so I must accept the blame for today’s misadventure.

Trouble started when I annihilated the 11th Commandment — thou shalt not go to the grocery store hungry. I paid for my sin, to the tune of $56 for items I could carry into the house in one trip.

And for that sum, I slaughtered a dance company of ants and damn near killed Big Guy, too.

It started as a quick trip for essentials: Milk, two gallons for $6.19; orange juice, two cans of concentrate, $1.89 each; bananas, two pounds at 78 cents a pound.

Then I moved to the “”pricey these days but important”" aisle: Coffee beans — French roast on sale for $6.99 a pound; strawberries, $3 a pound; Nestle Quik, industrial

Barfing on your birthday — no fair!
Monday, 21 Jul, 2008 – 6:35 | 2 Comments

“I won’t say it’s always unfair to be sick on your birthday.

I’ve had my share of sick birthdays, the most notable being my 24th. My roommate had made shrimp scampi — this was before my seafood allergy had fully emerged. I took one look and hurled.

That was my fault, though. I don’t think Big Guy had near as many whiskey sours yesterday as I’d had the night before my 24th, so that makes what happened to him today officially unfair.

Unofficially, it makes it frightening. It’s the third time Big Guy’s lost his lunch when lunch has been hamburger or steak. And the third time wins him a doctor’s appointment. I’m praying it’s not another food allergy.

The day started out bright and sunny, as a birthday should be. Not that today was Big Guy’s actual birthday, but it was

Big Guy’s first day at the Big Kids’ school weird for everyone but him
Thursday, 10 Jul, 2008 – 7:04 | Comments Off
Big Guy’s first day at the Big Kids’ school weird for everyone but him

Long before the guys came along, I’d dream of the moment:

A freshly scrubbed 5-year-old trudges up the sidewalk on a crisp September day. He reluctantly loosens his death grip on my hand and heads for the classroom door. He turns and waves hesitantly as I flick aside a delicate tear. My baby’s first day of kindergarten!

I’m not capable of dreams wild enough to conjure up Tuesday’s reality:

Four-year-old Big Guy bounced out of bed on a 96-degree July morning, cheering, “”It’s time! It’s today!”" I swiped at the chocolate milk on his face, but he was half-way down the block on his scooter before I could catch him.

As we waited outside his classroom, he did his “”ants in his pants”" dance and incessantly asked how

Two summers, two kids, two stings, no anaphylaxis!
Monday, 9 Jun, 2008 – 17:46 | Comments Off

Little Guy was having a happy-go-lucky day today until he slipped past me and bounced into the back yard bare footed. He had almost reached the promise land of the swing set when he dropped …

A new step in the Epi-Pen drill
Sunday, 8 Jun, 2008 – 17:47 | Comments Off

Originally publish Dec. 10, 2007, thehive.modbee.com
I’ve added a new step today to my monthly Epi-Pen fire drills – practicing on the potential patient.
For about six months now, Big Guy has had his own emergency drill. …

When food attacks
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 19:48 | Comments Off

Big Guy “helped” bake his daddy’s birthday cake, dumping flour in the mixer and spooning sugar into measuring cups. He licked the bowl afterward, smearing batter roughly from eyelashes to toenails. He watched me ice and decorate it, picking colors and testing frosting repeatedly, to “make sure” it was all right. He begged for cake all afternoon.

When it came time to dig in, he eyed his plate suspiciously. “This looks like an egg cake,” he said. “I’m not going to eat it.”

I’ve never been so proud and so heart-broken in my life.

Big Guy, you see, is allergic to egg. Deathly allergic. The last time he had egg – roughly three bites of a shepherd’s pie that had one egg in the recipe – he was 10 months old. We called an ambulance.

He’s also deathly allergic to peanut. When he was about 14 months old, a girl at day care who had eaten peanut butter an hour earlier touched his teddy bear. She didn’t even have peanut butter visible on her hands. Big Guy in turn touched the bear, then touched his face and broke out in hives.