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Well, shoot: Todd has a peanut allergy!

It all started on Friday, May 1st. I sat Todd in his chair for lunch, and I gave him some cantaloupe slices to start with. It was really sweet and juicy.  He’s such a good eater, so of course he loved it.  He’d had slices the day before, and 2 days before. Two weeks prior to that, he’d eaten his first cantaloupe.

About 10 minutes later, I quartered a banana and smeared some peanut butter (PB) on it. It was a thin enough layer to not pose a choking hazard, but the amount of PB was more than he’d been exposed to in the past. Before this peanut exposure, Todd had handled and tasted some pancakes made with banana and peanut butter. Probably very little was ingested, though. He’d also had some small smears of PB applied to his lips, and he’d been fed tiny amounts of frozen banana with PB from a spoon. Obviously, he’d had no reactions to these initial exposures.

The Lunch! - May 1, 2015

The Lunch! – May 1, 2015

As a side note, Todd slurps/eats about 1/4-1/3 cup of green smoothie every morning. This nutritionally dense smoothie contains frozen banana, along with orange, kale/collard leaves, frozen celery, canned pineapple chunks, frozen blueberries, avocado, pea protein and hemp protein. So– Todd’s banana consumption is frequent.

After I gave Todd the banana with PB, he chomped and munched and licked it right up. Because his hands and tray were already wet from the juicy melon, his face and arms were covered with everything.  His bib and clothing were getting soaked through, too.  Everything seemed fine, though.  When Todd was finished with what he wanted, I started cleaning him up.

Cantaloupe Face - May 1, 2015

Cantaloupe Face – May 1, 2015

I typically start by picking up a hand to wipe his forearm.  That’s when I noticed the large, red circular “welt” underneath his wrist.  I continued wiping and immediately noticed that both arms had multiple red spots with white centers.  My heart sunk, as it was a blatant food reaction.  I took off his clothing and noticed more spots on his chest and neck.  Fortunately, he wasn’t showing the severe symptoms of facial/throat swelling or difficulty breathing.  Other than the spots, he seemed fine.

The first big hive I noticed - May 1, 2015

The first big hive I noticed – May 1, 2015

More spots on the opposite arm - May 1, 2015

More spots on the opposite arm – May 1, 2015

I phoned the pediatrician’s office, and the outcome of that was the recommendation that I take Todd to the ER.  They knew that the hives were already fading, but they said that was the standard protocol since we were still within 2 hours of the reaction.  (Apparently it could have still gotten worse.)  I thought about it, I monitored Todd, I spoke with family, and I ultimately decided not to go to the ER.  My gut said it just wasn’t warranted.

The next morning, I felt quite confident that I could feed Todd his usual smoothie, and he was fine with it.  The banana was easily ruled out, I felt.  I doubted that the melon was the culprit, but I decided to withhold cantaloupe, just in case.  Obviously, I wasn’t going to expose Todd to any peanut.

On Tuesday, May 5th, the pediatrician’s office called me for a follow-up.  The MD referred Todd to an allergy doctor, and we were able to get seen the next day, May 6th.

Todd was tested via scratch test for the 7 “primary” foods (i.e. high risk foods:  chicken, corn, egg, milk, peanut, soybean, and wheat), plus banana and cantaloupe.  Of note, the doctor said that a negative test is more significant than a positive one, because there’s a high false positive rate (did he say 45%?).  The false negative rate is very low.

The doctor also confirmed that current data suggests that it’s good, from an allergy standpoint, to give an infant his/her first exposure to peanut in the first year of life.  (So, I did the right thing by exposing Todd).

Hanging out in the doctor's office - May 6, 2015

Hanging out in the doctor’s office – May 6, 2015

The test administration involved marking Todd’s back with pen, dripping the test liquids in the set distribution, then scratching the spots to allow the test liquids to penetrate the skin.  Then, wait 15 minutes.  There were 3 controls including a saline drop (S), nothing at all (I), and histamine (H).

Allergy testing - May 6, 2015

Allergy testing – May 6, 2015

Anything less than 3 mm isn’t considered significant, so even though Todd had a small hive from the soy (2 mm), they didn’t consider that cause for any concern about soy. Todd’s reaction to peanut was 8 mm. Nothing else caused a reaction.

Note:  being vegan, I had considered declining testing for the animal products, but I ultimately decided to go along with it just in case Todd is accidentally exposed to those animal products in the future, without our intent.  We certainly don’t plan to give him any animal products.

The recommendation given to us from the doctor is to avoid peanut for 1 year.  Todd will get a baseline blood test during his 9 month well baby appointment (in 2 weeks), and then a repeat blood test in 1 year.  We’ll see the allergy doctor again in one year, and based on Todd’s blood work, there’s a possibly of peanut re-introduction.

For now, we have an EpiPen Jr®. 2 pack and a bottle of children’s Benedryl (diphenhydramine) in case we need to treat any future severe or mild symptoms.  (The dosage for a mild reaction is 1.5 ml, which isn’t much!)  I assembled our “peanut allergy travel pack” to include the Pens, the diphenhydramine, a sterile syringe, and the information leaflets so that we can easily bring it with us wherever we go…exciting!

Allergy Medication Travel Pack

Allergy Medication Travel Pack

Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan

Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan

And so we wait a year!

6.5 months old - March 4, 2015

6.5 months old – March 4, 2015

SEVENTH MONTH (FEBRUARY 21 – MARCH 21)

WEEK 27 (PARTIAL WEEK)

Isn’t this an interesting way to start a blog post…

On February 25th, Todd started his morning by pooping in the toilet for the 41st consecutive day.  He went a lot so I figured he was done.  After I put him on the incontinent bed pad that I use for his “diaper free” time, I walked away briefly to start some laundry.  When I came back, I discovered that he’d pooped on the mat.  More?!  Yikes!!  Fortunately, he hadn’t yet rolled in it.  Phew…crisis averted!

Later that day, I gave Todd his first taste of (organic) 100% peanut butter by letting him suck a thin smear off my finger.  So far, so good re: food allergies.  Check out this article…

Study finds peanut consumption in infancy prevents peanut allergy (NIH clinical trial)

February 25, 2015

February 25, 2015

Here’s a BIG milestone!  This week Todd sat himself up for the first time!  For a few days prior, he’d gotten so close.  On February 26th, he did it for Eric, but I was in another room.  I missed the first instance, but then Todd repeated his new skill 3 more times within about 10 minutes.  He showed that he could do it with a bulky diaper on, too.

To sit up from his belly, he starts on all fours, then he gets himself into something like a “pigeon” yoga pose (with one leg drawn way up so that his foot is right under his butt), then he manages to bring the other leg under/around, and finally pushes up with his arms.

Highlights:

  • 1st sit-to-stand without help – by pulling up with the wooden rods of a chair (at Mission Ridge, 2/22)
  • took one arm out of his long sleeve shirt (2/22)
  • doing “down dog” and “pigeon” yoga poses to attempt sitting up or crawling
  • record sleep, 11.75 hrs (2/24 to 2/25)
  • using fingertip to deliberately feel the corner of a book (2/25)
  • 1st time sitting up from belly (2/26)

New (vegan) foods this week:

  • minestrone soup
  • chickpea fritter & Romesco sauce (made with pistachio, roasted red pepper, kidney beans & more)
  • lick of peanut butter
  • chocolate “shake” (made with frozen bananas, coconut milk, soy milk & cocoa powder)
  • peach oatmeal banana jarred organic baby food
  • angel hair & pasta sauce with Field Roast Italian Sausage
"Green" (brown) smoothie aftermath - February 26, 2015

“Green” (brown) smoothie aftermath – February 26, 2015

WEEK 28

Geez, Louise!  Now that Todd learned how to sit up, he will NOT stay on his back for dressing and diaper changes.  He whips over to his belly and launches himself up to sitting in literally less than 5 seconds.  I had to break out the larger (size medium) cloth diaper covers to give myself more room for error, as I fasten his diaper while attempting to restrain Todd in a sitting position.  It’s not always easy!

In the last week, I noticed that Todd’s ability to weight shift when standing has gotten to where he now purposefully adjusts his feet after he’s up, to seek better traction and balance.  Before, his feet would remain where initially planted.

He's a little boy, not a baby - February 28, 2015

He’s a little boy, not a baby – February 28, 2015

Developmental Highlights:

  • 1st time sitting up in his bed (2/27)
  • 1st time (briefly) sitting with legs extended instead of flexed (3/1)
  • 1st unsupported standing of ~10 seconds (after assist to be “placed,” 3/3)
  • sit-to-stands with close supervision but no assist, using dresser drawers, couch, and stacked couch cushions. Todd lets go with one hand, then both.
  • from standing, when he “plops” down, it’s more often straight down on his butt rather than doing the “Nestea Plunge.”
Sitting up in bed - March 3, 2015

Sitting up in bed – March 3, 2015

Other Highlights:

  • during his bath, Todd kept wanting to drink the water (3/1)
  • repeatedly flicking the nipple of his bottle with his left index finger
  • started using size medium cloth diaper covers (3/2)
  • started using #4 (Fast Flow) Philips Avent bottle nipples (3/3)
  • tapping toys together to make noises
  • moving mouth like he’s chewing gum
  • loves his daily green smoothies
Bath time - March 1, 2015

Bath time – March 1, 2015

New (vegan) foods this week:

  • dried fig (loved it!)
  • cucumber stick

WEEK 29

Scary moment!  On March 5th, I was going to brush my teeth, so I put Todd in the middle of my queen-sized bed, completely surrounded by 2 body pillows and 2 regular pillows.  He was playing with a toy when I took my eyes off him for just a minute to step into the bathroom. When I came out, I saw him frog-leaping so fast toward the corner of the bed.  He was nearly over a pillow and he would have certainly gone over the edge next, if I hadn’t launched through the air and grabbed him.

It used to be that pillows were an easy way to put up a “barrier” or to “cushion” hard surfaces while he sat.  Now– we have to be very careful because the pillows are acting as an invitation for Todd to leap-frog and scramble over them…or he does a seated lurch toward them…or he tries to use them to stand up.

This video is from Week 30 but it shows what he does…

Eric took a vacation day on Friday March 6th, so we stopped for lunch in Leavenworth, at the Munchen Haus Bavarian Grill & Beer Garden, on the way to our condo in Wenatchee.  Eric and I enjoyed the Vegetarian Wurst (made with Field Roast) and a porter.  Todd enjoyed the bun!

Munchen Haus Bavarian Grill & Beer Garden - March 6, 2015

Munchen Haus Bavarian Grill & Beer Garden – March 6, 2015

Exploring the condo grounds - March 6, 2015

Exploring the condo grounds – March 6, 2015

March 10th was the day that Todd “finally” pooped in his diaper.  It was just a little bit, and I was able to get him to the toilet to finish a lot more.  Then it happened again that evening.  So, for the record, he officially went 52 days without pooping in his diaper.  Not too shabby, eh?

March 9, 2015

March 9, 2015

Developmental Highlights:

  • 1st time “butt walking” from sitting (he kind of bounced himself forward) (3/6)
  • from sitting, he started lurching forward with a lot of momentum– toward a toy or something that he wanted to use for standing himself up
  • gets in and out of a half-kneeling position frequently
  • 1st full kneeling, in crib– to reach up for his musical aquarium (3/9)
  • rapid inhales/exhales so that his lower lip moves in and out, often done when concentrating
Kneeling in crib - March 9, 2015

Kneeling in crib – March 9, 2015

Other Highlights:

  • lots of smiles and laughs daily
  • gets very excited about various things:  mouth agape and arms wave
  • shaking toys
  • does not like to stay put for diaper changes and often cries in protest
  • loves to help play the guitar with Eric
  • 1st time using the portable high chair for eating at a restaurant (Cafe Rio, 3/7)
  • visitors at home:  Eric’s parents and brothers (Jeff and Darren, 3/11)
  • 1st time meeting Uncle Darren (3/11)
Todd meets his Uncle Darren - March 11, 2015

Todd meets his Uncle Darren – March 11, 2015

New (vegan) foods this week:

  • homemade corn muffin
  • corn tortilla
  • spicy BBQ sauce with broccoli
Eating broccoli - March 9, 2015

Eating broccoli – March 9, 2015

WEEK 30 (AND PART OF 31)

On March 12th, we had a nice family gathering because Eric’s brother, Darren, was in town visiting from Wyoming.   We went out to eat at Jimmy’s Pizza & Pasta, in Stanwood, where you can get a superb vegan pizza.  Todd loved being the center of attention and he enjoyed tearing apart tomato slices!

Todd with his Grammie, Cousin Kylie, Uncle Darren, Uncle Jeff, mama & dada - March 12, 2015

Todd with his Grammie, Cousin Kylie, Uncle Darren, Uncle Jeff, mama & dada – March 12, 2015

Todd with Cousin Kylie & Grand dad - March 12, 2015

Todd with Cousin Kylie & Grand dad – March 12, 2015

Cousin love! - March 12, 2015

Cousin love! – March 12, 2015

Jimmy's Pizza & Pasta - March 12, 2015

Jimmy’s Pizza & Pasta – March 12, 2015

On March 14th one year ago, we found out that our 18 week old fetus was going to be Todd Patrick…a boy…instead of Emmy Todd…a girl.  This outfit was one of 3 that I purchased for Eric back then, to tell him the news.  Little Dude, Big Plans!  (See this “20 Week Ultrasound” post for the picture of Eric holding up this onesie one year ago.)

Little Dude, Big Plans -  March 14, 2015

Little Dude, Big Plans –
March 14, 2015

On March 16th, I decided it was time to stop writing down the amount of every bottle fed to Todd during the day and night.  It’s a not a bad idea after almost 7 months, huh?

Standing alone - March 12, 2015

Standing alone – March 12, 2015

Developmental Highlights:

  • sometimes able to sit down in control (instead of always “plopping” down)
  • more receptive to spoon feeding and helps pull spoon to mouth
  • improving ability to move food in his mouth:  “chewing,” tongue lateralization, managing particles (to swallow or bring forward and out)
  • 1st time “kissing” me and trying to “feed” me some of his dinner (3/13)
  • 1st 20-second unsupported standing and without assist for placement (3/18)
  • 1st coordinated crawl across living room (3/18)
  • 1st stand up in crib (3/19)
  • beginning “couch cruising” after standing himself up with couch (3/19)
  • able to pick up and drop green peas

Other highlights:

  • loves frog-leaping on my bed into pillows surrounding him, like a pinball machine
  • sitting at the keyboard in his booster seat to play piano
  • no more changing table…too unsafe!
  • noticeable preference for rubbing items (including bottle nipple) against his left upper “molars”
  • sucks his lips in so he looks like an old man without his dentures in
  • likes touching our faces with index finger during bottle feedings
  • says “ma ma ma” and “a ba ba” frequently
  • making clicking sounds with his mouth
  • Out to eat at Jimmy’s Pizza & Pasta with Eric’s parents, Eric’s 2 brothers, and our niece (3/12)
  • Visit to a friend’s house (Sebastian & family, 3/12)
  • appeared very scared by me folding some tissue paper (3/13)
Playing the keyboard - March 14, 2015

Playing the keyboard – March 14, 2015

New foods this week:

  • dark chocolate
  • tomato slices
  • steamed cauliflower
  • homemade tempeh bacon
  • homemade tempeh Rueben with sauerkraut
  • Gardein Fishless Filet & Crispy Tenders
  • coleslaw & cabbage leaf
  • homemade peanut butter and banana muffin
  • pears and mango jarred organic baby food
  • sweet potato jarred organic baby food
Eating Tempeh Rueben - March 16, 2015

Eating Tempeh Rueben – March 16, 2015

SEVENTH MONTH WRAP-UP

Food–>  Todd seems to be an adventurous eater and his fine motor skills are improving rapidly.  I try to feed him solids about twice per day.  In the morning, I consistently give him green smoothie and maybe a pancake/mini muffin.  In the evening, I give him bits of whatever dinner we’re having.

As of the end of this month, he’s down to the bottom of his 39th can of organic soy formula.  Every time we open a new can, I record the number!  How many cans do you think we’ll go through before he’s all done with “formula milk?”

Sleep–>  Todd continues to sleep ~10-ish hours per night, and he might wake up once in the night ~1-3x per week.  One thing that’s changed in the last week is that he’s back to being basically asleep when I put him in his crib at night.  He literally wears himself out all day and he’s ready to crash after his last bottle feeding.  I’ve been enjoying extra cuddle time rocking him in my glider chair before I put him in bed.

Snuggles before bed - March 17, 2015

Snuggles before bed – March 17, 2015

Toileting–>  After his “off day” on March 10th, Todd’s been back to doing all poops in the toilet ever since!

Well, I guess this post started and ended on the topic of poop.  I swear I didn’t plan it that way, haha!

See you next month!

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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