mangofandango: (ff/drankmywar/problematic)
And it's not pretty.

Sophie's detailed results of her recent allergy testing arrived today. This post provides a little background about the numbers and stuff, but: last year, her peanut result was 51.9 - strongly positive. (The threshold for "100% likely to react if exposed" is 14.) This year, her result was 85.9. That is a number, when it comes to peanuts especially, that scares the crap out of me.

Eggs went up too, but they are not as dramatic either in increase or level. This year egg white was 27.9 and yolk is 11 (last year it was 18 something and 9). She's still nearly 100% likely to react if exposed, but odds are better with egg in terms of the severity of the reaction.

I used to say that if I could pick one, I hoped she'd outgrow egg. I totally take that back. Egg is something people don't understand as well, and eggs are harder, I think, to avoid. But egg is generally less likely to result in anaphylaxis. Peanuts are generally much more dangerous. And I read that news not too long ago about the 13 year old girl who died because she took one bite of a peanut butter rice krispie treat, by accident, and then spit it out, was given antihistamines and stuck with 3 Epi-pens and died anyway.

Screw making life easier, I just want Sophie to NOT DIE.

(I am grateful that we are as lucky as we are, in so many ways, with her. She is generally healthy and happy and doesn't face certain death or anything. But sometimes I still get really, really upset that she can be killed by a fucking peanut. Or a trace of a peanut. It could happen so easily, and I know that's true of car accidents and everything else but you know, it's a fucking peanut. It's nothing. It's like everyone around us carries bombs that might go off any minute.)

After the results came in the mail, Sophie noticed I was a bit snappy with her, and I decided to be honest. I said "I'm sorry, it's just that your allergy test results came and the numbers were higher this year, which means you're still very very allergic to peanuts and eggs. I'm just feeling a little bit sad about that." She said "You don't have to worry about it Mama, that's just how life is." Yes. And yet, little girl, and yet.
mangofandango: (mango!)
I looked at last year's post, and the difference from the beginning of 2011 to the end is way more obvious than the difference in the span of 2012. But there are still changes, and it was fun for me to look back on the year with her this way. It was a really good one. <3

12 months of Sophie )
mangofandango: (ff/drankmywar/problematic)
I am going to write all this down for my own sanity, to sort it all out and to be able to find things later. I figure maybe someone will be interested, also, but if not, please scroll on by. :)

Things I have learned about allergy blood tests results, no thanks to the allergist: )
mangofandango: (community/isis2015/blanketfort!)
So we had the lip swelling incident last night with Sophie, and today she randomly started wheezing and coughing all congested and having labored breathing. It got better after a little while of reading books calmly and nursing, but uh, what the flying what? I guess I hope she has a cold, rather than whatever the alternative might be. (Both Ryan and I have asthma, so we worry - but I get the impression from the internet that asthma has a later onset than 2 years old for most kids?)

Now she and Ryan are playing in a blanket fort. I can't see her, and his head is inside. All I hear is recitations of nursery rhymes, and "Pumped Up Kicks", Sophie's current favorite song (she does not know it is about a homicidal teenager, she can't understand most of the words).
mangofandango: (sophie2011)
To counter the wallow of the previous post, here is a sweet thing Sophie said today:

Ryan and Sophie were out for a bike ride. She said to him "This is a good cool breeze, and good company. I like good company, like Mama."

I just can't even say how wonderful I think she is. And she's good company, too. :)
mangofandango: (ff/drankmywar/problematic)
The blood draw went well. We wandered through the health center for quite some time, and registering took forever, but then we met the phlebotomist. He was really nice and did a great job with Sophie. He did it all tourniquet-and-needle style, just like an adult! She was really brave and even watched him do the draw, and she only cried for a few seconds when he took the needle out. So, not traumatizing for either of us. We got ice cream after. :)

Now we wait two weeks for the results.
mangofandango: (dollhouse/xmaidelx/treatment)
Allergy testing is so stinking mysterious.

We did follow-up testing today. Sophie's skin tests were very positive for egg and peanut. The tree nut row only reacted a teensy bit at the almond test site, so that's mostly good. What we don't know is whether the skin tests are accurate (there's a 50% false positive rate) or how allergic she is if she is allergic (whether we're talking anaphylaxis or just exacerbating eczema or something).

So, now that we have been through the morning skin test ordeal (which Sophie handled like a champ), we have to go to the university health center this afternoon for a blood test. The blood test will give us a number, basically, indicating whether she is allergic and if so, whether it's a mild sensitivity or a full-blown killer allergy. And THEN, if the number is low or if she tests negative on the blood tests, the allergist will probably do a food challenge test in their office, where they feed her, for example, a muffin made with eggs and see what happens.

I am feeling badly about Sophie having to endure a blood test after being so great and patient about the skin tests this morning, but I guess I am vaguely hopeful that it will result in finding out something good. (What does a blood test look like for a 2 year old? Is it like the heel slice that they do to check lead levels? Or do they actually draw blood like they would for an adult? I feel faint considering that option, actually!)

So uh, wish us luck?

hai thar

May. 25th, 2011 02:01 pm
mangofandango: (pd/thevividimagery/yaypretty)
You know, days keeps happening and I keep not posting. I'm really enjoying life right now, but it is not particularly interesting. :)

So let's see. Kelly is in the process of moving into our basement. We just got our car repaired, hopefully the last for a bit in a long line of Expensive Things That Come Up (boiler! roof! car repair! that's like $9000 worth of fun over the past 6 months - no wonder we feel poor right now!) for a while. We'll hopefully pay that off next month and then save a little bit of money for the trip to Boston we want to take in honor of our 10th wedding anniversary (and Sophie's 2nd birthday, also in July).

Today was grocery day. We bought watermelon, honeydew, strawberries and grapes. I am just so excited to have warmer weather fruit. :) Local asparagus is happening, too, and I have an unreasonable love of asparagus. In other exciting news, our CSA farm is back on its feet enough after the barn fire they had this winter to be selling mesclun greens and arugula, gorgeous basil and teensy baby bok choy at City Market - and thus, we will have a salad tonight and look forward to the summer, when CSA deliveries resume. I am so happy that spring is here from a culinary perspective, not to mention all the other good stuff. :)

Because I am really not full of things to talk about right now, I will post some photos behind a cut - a better summary of my life right now, possibly, than words are.

phototacular )
mangofandango: (art/Kurt Halseygoldfish painting)

Taken at ECHO, in front of what we call the "big fish" tank. She's pointing out the fish, in case I did not notice. ;)

Yes, it's blurry because of the low light and my avoidance of flash, but I love this photo. She's so earnest and interested!
mangofandango: (amelie/ _jems_/amelie with book)
Another thing:

I went to the library while Sophie and Ryan were sick on Saturday, and I got her some books. One of those books is "First Tomato" by Rosemary Wells. It describes picking peas, beans and one perfect tomato from a summery garden, and the smell of the tomato, and then the main character washes the beans and shells the peas and watches her mother cook. It makes me long for summer, and a garden, and oh oh oh.

At the end of the book, the mother serves tomato soup made from the tomato, and she says "I made you first tomato soup, because I love you so". Tonight I told Sophie I was making tomato sauce for our dinner. She said "I love you so."
mangofandango: (misc/ mouthfullofdust/ totoro)
Inspired by [Bad username or site: @]'s post, I bring you

12 photos in a year of Sophie )

Look how much my baby has grown! I miss her baby roundness, but I am enjoying her company more and more all the time. I know that is basically the most predictable commentary I could possibly offer, but it's totally true. Watching her grow up is bittersweet and amazing.
mangofandango: (sophie2)

While the preview image for this video is failing to work for reasons I don't understand, the video works if you click "play"! In it, Sophie is reading a book, and it is awesome. (She has always liked books, but lately she is OBSESSED with them. Sometimes she wakes up from nap asking for a book before anything else.)

Sophie likes to read catalogs when they come in the mail. This catalog has both a dog *and* babies, so it is the best one. ;)

There are more videos of Sophie reading, and some new photos, @ the flickr, yo

Sophie had repeat allergy testing last week. It was bad news - she is still allergic to eggs and nuts. The plan is to retest in a year. Her allergist says that she is likely to outgrow the egg allergy, but not so likely to outgrow the nuts. Please to be crossing fingers that she a) outgrows them all this year anyway and b) that I never have to use the Epipen on her, ok?
mangofandango: (sophie2)
Sophie is almost 14 months old, and so now and then I am starting to get questions about when we will wean. My answer is the same as it was before she was born - I don't know. When it's no longer mutually desired, is the short answer.

The long answer is something like this:

When she was small, I pictured myself wanting to wean after a year, which is the AAP recommended minimum. I felt that way because nursing small babies is more consuming, and because my particular baby had sensitivities that made eating hard for a while - I was off dairy, wheat, eggs, nuts, and briefly other stuff because I didn't know what the heck was wrong with her.

But now, I only have to cut out eggs and nuts, and that's only until we get repeat allergy testing to confirm or deny the sensitivity. Okay, and goat cheese, which seems to be a problem for her. ;) But really, it's not too bad. That and...nursing her is no longer something that takes up so much effort and time and thought, at all. Nowadays, she nurses when she asks to nurse - less when she's busy, more when she's in pain or tired. She nurses for usually 5 minutes or less at a time. At night, she does want to nurse when she wakes up, but I can just latch her on and pass back out - I think I'm getting WAY MORE sleep because of nursing. I still pump a bit for when I'm away from her in the evening now and then, but otherwise I don't need to worry about it.

Plus, she can communicate so much better. She doesn't freak out about nursing much these days, because she knows she can just ask me nicely and I will let her. It's peaceful and so, so sweet. (I don't really understand why people sometimes say that it's weird to nurse once the child can ask for it. I mean, newborns ask for it, just in different ways! If language is the thing that makes it weird, why is that? Knowing words for breastfeeding doesn't magically make it sexual all of a sudden, which is the only squick anyone can ever really name regarding this issue. I mean really, stopping nursing because the child can ask for it seems a lot like stopping hugging because the child can ask for it - equally arbitrary. But anyway, I digress.)

So what's left for us is the good stuff. We can take a break and be quiet and still (or not - she is a toddler! But she's largely past the nursing gymnastics stage unless she's really wired or uncomfortable). We get to snuggle and look at each other. It's her greatest comfort, and it's comforting to me, too. We get more peaceful rest. And all the benefits remain, so I don't worry much about her nutrition even on days when she doesn't eat much food, and I get the added bonus of a kid who gets antibodies from me. If she gets sick, her immune system will get stronger and she has help from breastmilk in fighting it off!

There are a few things I am giving up or putting off to do this. Food will be easier once she is weaned or deemed non-allergic, and I look forward to that. I also look forward to making fashion choices that are not entirely built upon easy breast access. :) (Plus, nursing bras tend toward the frumpy, and I miss my cute non-nursing bras! There is a lot of white and beige in my life right now, and I am really more of a red or polka-dotted kind of girl. ;)) Lastly, I imagine the tether will be longer once we are not nursing, and evening babysitting and such will be easier. But the tether gets longer every day on its own, because she's growing up, and so it'll happen eventually. She's only a baby-type person for so long, and I treasure this time. (I did not treasure her newborn period, so I am happy to have this feeling now!) I did not expect to feel this way about nursing, but it feels absolutely right to keep going and absolutely foreign and arbitrary to stop now.

So, like many things, we are taking it one day at a time. But I am happy with this right now, and I know it is a huge part of her world that she is far from ready to be done with. If either of those things change, we'll re-evaluate.
mangofandango: (mouthfullofdust - choo choo choose you)
Sophie learned to kiss recently. It started out as mouth-completely-wide-open thing, but it's progressing into something more resembling a pucker. Let me just tell you - being kissed on the lips by my daughter is just about the sweetest thing that has ever happened to me ever in my life.

A list of other things she can do that are new or fairly so: )
mangofandango: (Default)
Sophie slept from around 11 last night to 5:30 this morning without waking up once. This has not happened since she was very small and slept 7 hours one night, randomly, never to do it again. She was in bed with us and that is good, because I woke up like 4 times and felt the need to check on her since she had not woken up yet. :) Still, after those checks I went RIGHT BACK TO SLEEP. After weeks of teething-related wakings that last 1-2 hours each night, this is quite something!

I have a migraine today. More sleep than my body can handle? I don't know, but it's UNCOOL. I am plotting a going-out-to-lunch-to-console-myself plan. We will see. :)
mangofandango: (sophie)
Hi there.

My Sophie is one! I mean, she has been this way for a week now, but it is still a big thing and I am slow with the writing posts. :)

As Meg said, we did it - we turned our baby one! Yes, that resonated with me, because really feels like that - like we survived several rounds and now we've leveled up or something. Getting a baby to one year is hard work!

Some things about Sophie at one year old:

She is working on communication. She says a few words and imitates a few others, and most of them aren't understandable to people other than Ryan and I. There are some exceptions though - she recognizably says "car" (it's more like "cah") to mean going out, not necessarily just going in the car...though she did point out some cars in a book yesterday. She says "boom" at appropriate times. She says "Adele", usually in the form of excited shouting when she sees Adele (it kind of varies, she has said the whole word but she also sometimes just yells DEL or ADA.) She says dog, which lately sounds like "gawg-a". She also says "that" a lot, and gestures to something. She does sign, but only a little bit - "more" sometimes, her own sign for "want" a LOT, and now and then "eat" or "drink". Mostly she communicates by leaning, yelling, reaching, and generally making herself quite clear. ;)

She doesn't walk yet, but she crawls and cruises all over the place. She was practicing standing unassisted until recently, when teething started to really hit her hard.

She has two bottom teeth, and a fraction of one of the top ones is out. Teething is an absolute nightmare - it's taking FOR EV ER and causing her a lot of pain and sleep disturbances. It's so bad. I hope she gets like, 10 teeth because we have certainly done our time already. She chews cold things and washcloths and we've tried homeopathy even though I'm not a big homeopathy person, and we're doing the teething necklace and all that other stuff, but the only thing that really allows her to sleep is tylenol or, better, ibuprofen.

We got her new board books for her birthday, because she loves to read. She also got some blocks, because making them go "boom" is the best thing ever. She loves it when Ryan makes our rocket ship nightlight fly.

She loves to eat, and she likes just about everything I offer her, except super spicy stuff, and she's kind of lukewarm about most fruit. But she shares all our meals now, to some degree. Eating with her is really fun, and really messy.

Some things about parenting at one year:

People, it is SO. MUCH. BETTER. I mean, really. Honestly, I was often miserable when she was a newborn. She was a difficult baby - colic and reflux and various exciting infections and birth injuries and so on, and I had a rough recovery period from her birth. But all that aside, even, I just find it a zillion times easier to parent someone who can express things in ways other than screaming, who can interact and smile and play. It's so much more fun, and easier. She expresses love, excitement, and happiness. She understands a lot of what I say to her, and she enjoys the rhythm of our days. It's nice. The only thing that is still hard is her sleep. Her extreme difficulty with sleep makes me really anxious about changes in our routine, travel, that kind of thing. But it's still so much better than it was before, even in that regard. She's on a schedule (this definitely works best for her and I like it too) and she's much easier to soothe. So. I'm happier and my life is easier. This is good. I'm also completely in love with her, this little person she has become.


Happy birthday to our Sophie-love!
mangofandango: (sophie)
For Mother's Day I got a card from Sophie. Ryan gave her crayons, prevented her from eating them, and she smacked them on the paper and made little dots and lines. Also there was cake, and baby snuggles, and we worked on our house. If there had been sun and thus a walk to get ice cream, that would have been perfect, but this was close. ;)

Sophie will be 10 months old tomorrow. For her 10 month birthday we have given her the gift of learning to sleep without swaddling. Yeah okay it's not awesome right now, but I think she will appreciate it in the long run. ;)

talk about baby sleep stuff )
mangofandango: (sophie2)
I took Sophie to the allergist today.

Read all about it, if you happen to care! )
mangofandango: (misc/ mouthfullofdust/ totoro)
Every parenting-related thing I read lately has been all uppity about the Itzbeen. The Itzbeen is a timer for baby stuff. You hit the button when the baby sleeps, when the baby eats, and when the baby gets changed. "For new (lobotomized) parents!" says Free Range Kids. "Why not just feed when hungry, change when wet, nap when tired?" says the Booj. P101 just laughs loudly and points, though I am pretty sure P101 does that about everything that is not a Britax.

But hey! I totally had an Itzbeen on my list of things I ,wanted for baby! It's not super important to me, but it was a thing I would have liked to have. I'd still consider having one, actually. Not because I need a "thingy" to dictate when I take care of the baby, or because I have no sense of what she needs...but because I like keeping track of things things, and writing them down doesn't always happen. In the early days, sometimes my head was not on straight and it was helpful to know what had just happened and when. Also, sometimes this sort of information is useful - for example, if there was ever any doubt in my mind that Sophie was getting enough when nursing, I know that the best indicator is that she's having enough wet and dirty diapers, along with her growing and all of that. Keeping track over time helps me know what's normal, and if we never wrote it down, I wouldn't have any idea. The Itzbeen would help a lot with Ryan's record-keeping, which he's doing in part because it's sometimes useful now and a lot because he thinks it will be interesting later.

So yeah, I keep track of my baby's care on paper. I'd do it more reliably with a button I could push. I AM DUMB OKAAAAY?

Getting around to the more important parenting stuff, I've been doing that whole deal for 6 months now! Sophie had a half birthday on Monday. In honor of this semi-momentous occasion, I made a cake to celebrate our survival this far ;), and Sophie got a piece of sweet potato to play with and explore. I put a little bit in her mouth, she was kind of freaked out. She's showing most of the readiness signs for solids, but not all of them, so I think we'll play with it more but not push the issue. Next I think I will mush some sweet potato up on a spoon with some breastmilk and see what happens. Note to self: buy another sweet potato.

Sophie has allergy testing on the 26th. She has also seen a chiropractor who know, chiropractic-style allergy testing, in addition to my chiropractor whom she has seen for quite a while. Allergy testing is sort of notoriously iffy, so I figure if we gather enough data points, something may be clearer. For now, I have cut wheat out of my diet, which seems to have helped. I am also giving Sophie some digestive enzymes, on the recommendation of the nutrition-focused chiro, to help heal her digestive tract and hopefully help her become less sensitive. I'd like to be able to eat freely again, yo. I have to say though, perspective makes it much easier. It's important to me to continue nursing, and it's only temporary no matter how long she nurses or how long she remains food-sensitive through my milk. When she's finished, or when she is better sensitivity-wise, I can have all the wheat and dairy I want! So, you know, I complain... and I really, really miss pizza oh good LORD. But really, it's a choice I am okay with for now. I just have to make sure I eat enough, because I do need to eat a LOT. I don't like how much my body has deflated lately, and I wish I could fix that.

Wow, I think this may be the longest I have spent updating LJ in a long time. Baby is sleeping, and tends to reliably do that for a few hours in the evening. YAY. (It makes me want to go to bed when she does, though. Oh sleep, I miss you.)


mangofandango: (Default)

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