Can’t Catch a Break

There has not been a dull moment in this house since May 26.

That was the day E got the stomach flu.  Since we just went through this in February, this was me:

giphy (2)

It lasted a week.  I mean, the diarrhea and the vomiting and the declining energy and the fussiness lasted a WEEK.  We made a trip to urgent care because she was dehydrated and lethargic and couldn’t hold anything down.  Meanwhile, she was vomiting all over her bedding and her clothes and our washing machine F&*#ING BROKE.  Then she started to seem better, and she was eating again and more energized, and we dropped an absurd amount of money on a new washing machine, and then…

I got sick.  A week and a half ago I came down with my own stomach flu, and guess who got sick one day later?  Guess who got sick AGAIN one day later?

I was sick for a week and E was sick for another week.  We both started to feel better on the exact same day and it was like the sun was brighter and the birds were singing and there were little harps playing and sparkles all around us.

giphy (3)

Now, two days later, E has her top two incisors coming in.  They’re messing with her sleep.  She doesn’t want to eat anything but applesauce.

And did I mention my husband is having shoulder surgery today?

Like, I’m on the verge of a breakdown.  This is too much for three weeks.  I know I’ll come out stronger from it all in the long run, but CHEESUS.

I think I’ve earned the right to eat an entire cake all by myself.  In one sitting.

Breakfast can suck it

Can you tell I don’t like breakfast around here?

Let me clarify.  I LOVE breakfast.  It’s my favorite meal of the day.  My breakfast and my coffee make me such a happy woman.

What I don’t like is breakfast for E.

Seriously.  What kind of a breakfast do you give a toddler who can’t have dairy or eggs?  I don’t think many of us sit back and think about how much “breakfast” is centered around dairy and eggs until you can’t have either of them.

So, what kind of breakfasts do I feed this child who can’t have most of the breakfast-y things we’ve all come to know and love?

  • Toast with cashew butter.  Almond butter or sunbutter would probably suffice as well, but man my kid loves cashew butter.
  • Kashi frozen waffles.  Thank you, sweet baby Jesus, for the existence of frozen vegan waffles.
  • Cereal.  It’s surprising how many boxed dry cereals don’t contain milk.  We have the added bonus of having to check for peanuts, but those are rare in breakfast cereals so it’s not usually a hindrance.  The catch here is that E hates cereal in any kind of sub milk.  She’ll take it dry, thank you very much.
  • Fruit.  E will eat her weight in fruit.
  • Oatmeal breakfast “cookies.”  I usually steer clear of breakfast items that require baking because as a working mom, ain’t nobody got time for that.  But these are SUPER quick and easy, and I get to steal some of them so… #worthit.
  • Almond milk yogurt.  We buy the Kite Hill brand because it’s pretty thick (some almond milk yogurts are watery and runny) and it’s got five grams of protein, which is a lot more than many sub milk yogurts.

 

IMG_0973

No bowl needed, just give her the box.

Things I should be able to give E for breakfast that I can’t because she hates them and hits the spoon away:  Cream of Wheat and oatmeal.  E likes oatmeal in things like breakfast cookies, but she doesn’t like it hot off the stove.  These days she will at least take a bite and consider it before refusing more…the first time I gave it to her, she bawled her eyes out like I’d fed her a spoonful of thorns.

Allergy moms and non-allergy moms, what kinds of dairy-free and egg-free things do you feed your babies/kids?

Oh hi, remember me?

I’ve been MIA and I don’t even have a good excuse.  [Hangs head in shame.]  Okay, fine, I have a good-ish excuse.  For the past eight weeks I’ve been battling vertigo and I was finally diagnosed with a vestibular disorder after having an ENG/VNG test done, which is a nice way of saying I was tortured for three hours.  Anyway, I’ve started rehabilitation therapy and I’m feeling much better physically and emotionally.  So I’m back, yay!

So what’s new with E?  Well, for starters she’s WALKING.  And…RUNNING.  And…SAYING ALL KINDS OF FREAKING WORDS.

Basically, she’s turning into an actual “kid” and it’s beautiful and exciting and scary all at the same time.

E had her first dentist appointment, and she smiled through the whole thing.  It took me by surprise because whenever we tried to brush her teeth, she grew ten extra arms and threw the mother of all tantrums.  Ever since her appointment, though, she brushes her own teeth and she LOVES to do it.

IMG_0927

Not that I have to worry about cavities, because my daughter hates sweets.  She eats her weight in fruit every day but she doesn’t like cookies, candy, cakes, NONE of it.  Which is a good thing because a) sweets aren’t healthy and b) sweets are almost impossible with food allergies.  Still, sometimes I wish I could offer her an Oreo or a Peep or some other vegan goodie and see her lose her marbles over it.

We’re making a lot of progress on finding E-friendly foods she will eat, but we’re stuck on the milk part.  She’s still drinking 14 ounces of Nutramigen daily because she doesn’t like any of the milk subs.  I just learned about Ripple milk (pea milk) so we’re going to give it a whirl this weekend.  I’m changing up my strategy. I’m going to offer it to her first by adding it to a bowl of Cheerios and trying to get her used to the taste with something she loves before I pour it into a cup and expect her to guzzle it down.

Being an allergy mom is ALL about strategy.

Also on my list of new things to try is reusable puree pouches.  E is gaga over those pouches but at two bucks a pop, they’re killing my budget.  It’s one of the only ways I can get her to eat her vegetables, so I’m not giving them up (TIPS, MOMS?  I’m losing it over here!).  After reading approximately 907 reviews on Amazon, I settled on some ChooMee reusable pouches and I’m going to make my own purees to fill them with.

Lord, help me to overcome my procrastination.

Last update for now:  at 14.5 months old, E’s hair is finally long enough for a bow.  BOOM.

FullSizeRender (18)

Not a Party Planner

Yesterday we celebrated E’s first birthday, even though it’s not until next week.  B is about to leave on an 11-day business trip, so we had to throw E’s party a little early.

For two months, I’ve been in party planning mode.  I made a Pinterest board for the occasion, and I’ve been Googling and brainstorming and fantasizing about how adorable E’s birthday party was going to be.

Friday night rolled around and my mom came by to help me construct the party favors.  My first bit of advice to anyone planning their first one-year-old’s birthday party is that any ideas you have that have to be “constructed” should be tossed right out the window.

The party favors, although they turned out quite adorable, fell apart the second the air in the room moved just the right way.  My mom and I were silent as we put them together–they required maximum concentration–except for the occasional “shit” and “DAMN IT” whenever one of them fell to pieces and we had to start from square one.

img_3988

My next error was that I was unaware that handling a good-quality balloon (i.e., NOT the dollar store) full of helium is no easier than handling a balloon greased in butter.  I had big plans to turn five balloons and baskets into little hot air balloon food holders, but in the end I settled for two.  The other three balloons floated randomly around the house for the duration of the party.  The kids enjoyed this, so I don’t consider it a complete failure.

img_3986

I’d also planned to bake some cinnamon pastries, but I put this off until the night before the party (because who wants a 2+ day old pastry?) and ended up with so many other things to do that I ditched my plan to make anything myself and bought Valentine’s cookies from the grocery store.

The morning of the party (scheduled for noon) rolled around and I got down to business as soon as E went down for her nap.  Within 30 minutes I realized I had no idea what I was doing, I’d worked up a sweat, I was stressing about every little thing, and I was arguing with B over stupid things.  I took a step back and asked myself if having the party I’d envisioned was REALLY worth it.

It wasn’t.  But I still stressed anyway.  #momlife

By the time the first guest arrived, I’d scrapped a few minor things I had planned.  I’d realized I forgot some of the major things I’d wanted to do.  I hated the way certain things turned out compared to how I had envisioned them.  Yet E still had a great time.  She had no idea that all of those details had been a massive headache for me.  She didn’t care that we only had two balloon baskets instead of five, or that I forgot the hummus for the pretzels or that I forgot to make a poster all about the words she can say and how many teeth she has.

After the party ended and the cleanup was over, I was exhausted, sore, and starving.  E had an incredible day but I had to ask myself if it was because of all the extravagant things I’d planned, or if it was because we had good company and lots of presents.  I told B that next year, I’m buying some streamers and cheap balloons, because E is going to love it just the same.

One thing that did require extra work and planning (but not on my part) was E’s cake. Your average baby isn’t restricted to a vegan cake for their first birthday.  My wonderful friend, who was a vegan once upon a time, made E a special little cake that turned out beautiful and ridiculously delicious.

img_4026

E only gets a first birthday once, so I don’t regret everything I did for her special party.  But I also won’t be quite so creative for her second birthday.

Ten Months

E is ten months old.  I’ve now had a baby for the same length of time it took me to conceive a baby.  I’m WAY overdue for this update, so the highlights:

  • E’s first Thanksgiving was great!  She had a few bites of turkey and wasn’t too impressed, but she was really fond of the potatoes.
  • We’re still battling chronic constipation.  E’s pediatrician suspected some delayed GI maturity due to A) genetics, and B) her hypoallergenic formula.  He increased her solid and water intake and put her on daily Miralax along with a daily prescription laxative, and we’re still struggling.  We have a follow-up soon and I think it’s time to request some tests.
  • E can say four words:  “mama,” “daddy,” “kitty,” and “that.”
  • E points at everything these days.  She points when she wants to study something more closely, or when she wants us to give her something, like her water cup.  It is kind of nice because it’s easier for her to communicate with us now.
  • She also picks her nose……and eats it.
  • E can pull herself into a standing position when holding on to some things, but she’s still not cruising along the furniture and still doesn’t care for walking while we hold on to her hands.  She can do it, but she gets impatient and plops down so she can crawl because it’s much faster.  I think she’s going to be a bit of a late walker.
  • E is obsessed with books.  Almost nothing keeps her attention for more than a few minutes, but she can sit down with a book for 15+ minutes at a time and flip back and forth between the pages.  At day care when she’s extremely fussy, they put her in a high chair and give her a stack of books, and her mood instantly improves.  Her bookworm mama couldn’t be any prouder.

img_4777 img_4800

  • E has learned how light switches work and she loves when we pick her up so she can turn the lights off and on.
  • We are finally getting some sleep!  For the past month and a half, E has been sleeping through the night half the time and only briefly waking 1-2 times the other half.
  • We introduced E to Christmas music and she squealed and danced.  December is going to be so much fun.

Our biggest challenge at ten months old: discipline.  E understands the word “no” and she is not a fan.  When we tell her no, she smiles at us mischievously and carries on doing what we told her not to do.  Sometimes we can’t help but laugh and we know it’s just encouraging the behavior but how do you not laugh at a baby who insists on shoveling cat food into her mouth?

Tongue

It’s amazing how one day a baby can have no idea how to do something, and the next day they’re doing something new and it’s constant and it’s like they’ve been doing it since the day they were born.

E discovered her tongue yesterday.  I’ve never seen her stick her tongue out.  Yesterday morning, as soon as she woke up, she stuck out her tongue and she spent half the day with it hanging out of her mouth.  She blows the occasional raspberry and looks at us proudly because how cool is this new skill?  It’s the kind of cute that makes me truly squeal out loud.

Although E’s rash is gone, we’re still battling some pretty awful constipation.  For the past two weeks, we’ve cut her solids back to once a day (about 1-2 ounces max), we give her Miralax nightly, we’ve upped her daily water intake to 3-4 ounces, and we give her an infant probiotic every day.  And somehow she STILL ends up constipated.  Her 9-month checkup is in less than a week, so it’ll be the number one question for the doc.  In the meantime, I’m doing a poo dance because #momlife.

Poop Drama and Other Updates

I haven’t posted in a while, but…I have a good excuse, I really do!  A month ago, E got a diaper rash out of nowhere that went from nothing at all to broken, bleeding skin in less than a day.  It was so bad that she began to hold her poop, which in turn made her severely constipated, and suppositories and enemas only made it worse.

Over the course of three weeks, we saw two doctors at her normal clinic a total of four times, and we also had one trip to urgent care for the constipation.  No matter what we tried, nothing was touching the rash and baby girl was beyond miserable.  The rash wasn’t spreading but it was as red as a tomato and inflamed, bleeding, and angry.  I couldn’t blame her for holding in her poop—it had to have been so painful.

First the doctors treated it for yeast, even though they admitted it looked nothing like a yeast rash.  They ran a culture for strep and it came back negative, but they prescribed an antibacterial ointment anyhow.  The ointment stopped the rash from getting worse, but we didn’t see any improvement.  E’s regular pediatrician then prescribed amoxicillin, claiming the rash appeared to be bacterial and that she needed an oral antibiotic in order to kick it.

After the third week of no improvement, we finally sought out a second opinion.  The doctor we saw agreed it looked like a bacterial infection, but he was confused about why she was on amoxicillin.  He said you have to treat perianal bacterial infections with a different type of antibiotic.  He prescribed a new one and the morning after her first dose, her rash was 75% gone.

What the actual fuck was her primary care doctor doing?

E was back to normal in just a couple of days, after almost a month-long battle with the diaper rash from hell.  We’ve officially ditched her original pediatrician and made the “second opinion” doctor her new PCP.

So anyway, during this whole battle I found myself emotionally drained every night.  I spent hours reading about what could possibly be going on with E.  Now that things have calmed down, I’m a bit mad at myself for neglecting my blog.

E turned nine months old last week.  She’s constantly on the move around the house and she’s started to climb things and pull herself up on things—drawers, her crib, her toys.  She still hasn’t grasped the concept of cruising along the furniture or even walking while we hold onto her hands, but she’ll get there.  In the meantime, she almost never sits still from crawling so much and gets into everything she’s not supposed to.

dvd

Fun fact:  DVDs make good chew toys.

E is babbling a lot and very clearly says “mama,” “dada,” and “hi,” but I’m not counting any of them as her first word because I don’t know if it’s just coincidence or if she truly knows what she’s saying.  I’m honestly starting to wonder how the hell any parent actually knows when their baby says his or her first REAL word.

Separation and stranger anxiety are in full effect and to top it off, E is going through a mommy phase right now.  If I’m in the room I have to be the one holding her.  She cries if it’s daddy, she cries if it’s grandma, and she loses her mind if it’s anyone else.  As soon as I take her, she calms right down and starts to dance out of excitement.  Part of me secretly enjoys it, but I do feel a little pang of guilt whenever she refuses to let her daddy hold her.

Last thoughts for this post:  to all the parents that always warned me how much the time change sucks when you have kids, I GET IT NOW.  UGH.  I honestly never guessed one measly hour would throw off my baby’s schedule so much. *tears* *sips wine*