Monthly Archives: November 2015

Makeup & Allergies

When my son’s multiple allergies were first discovered, I also realized that much of my makeup contained these allergens.   One of the common components in some of my products was oat.  Therefore, I looked for alternatives and was extra careful that it did not touch my son’s skin with them.  If I am home with my son, I do not use any makeup as I find it is best for both of us.

The following article by Allergic Living discusses this topic.   Check it out and smile on with us…

Safe Makeup Tips for Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

Source: http://allergicliving.com/

Makeup & Allergies

A Cold or Allergies?

Since playing “detective” with food allergies and eczema is common in our lives, I found this article resourceful and wanted to share.   Wishing everyone a great Sunday, we smile on…

 

Allergic Rhinitis or The Common Cold

Source: http://allergicliving.com/

SEARCHING

 

 

Favorite Finds Friday: Pouches

Since eating actual vegetables was very short-lived with my son, we are currently so thankful for pouches! While there are many great companies out there, our two favorites right now are Earth’s Best and Gerber.

Some of our favorites include:

IMG_4841

IMG_4843

IMG_4844

See more here:

Earth’s Best Puree Pouches

Gerber – Organic Baby Food Options


While we still try to give actual vegetables, I find comfort in knowing that my son is getting these nutrients through other products like these.   Therefore, we smile on with veggies and fruits in our bellies…

Tbt – Thankful

With today being Thanksgiving, I am making this post short but very sweet.   When I think of the significance of this holiday, I am reminded of how incredibly blessed I am.   Thinking back,  I am beyond thankful for two of the greatest days that I have been lucky enough to experience and the gifts of love that I received during them.

  1. The day that I became a wife marrying my best friend, my soulmate, my amazing husband
  2. The day that I became a mommy giving birth to my incredibly special little guy

As I reflect back to both of these life-changing memories, I have no choice but to believe in fairy tales and true love.

The Lilypad(1)

Because God gave me my two perfect princes and the life I prayed for, we smile on with a thankful heart… 


It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.


be anxious about nothing.but in everything by prayer & petition

Food Allergies – In It Together

At the start of our journey with my son’s food allergies, I reached out to a bunch of other allergy moms throughout the world for support, advice, and guidance.    It is what gave me strength and direction during a time when I feared everything.   Because of this, I love, love, LOVE this following article as it definitely makes us smile…

Food Allergies – Let Us Be the Scaffolding for Each Other

Source: http://robynobrien.com

Learning to Trust

To start, I must admit it has been a difficult two weeks for me.  Both my physical and emotional health have been a battle.  However, I am taking new avenues to try to get back to my healthy self.

With that being said, while talking to a close friend last night about some of my “worries” with starting some new products that I will post more about at a later date.  She said to me, “I think you have learned how to mistrust everything in your environment due to TJ’s allergies.” 

This is soooo true! This past year has opened my eyes to so much knowledge and thus, it has empowered me but also has made me super vulnerable.

One of the topics that is often in my thoughts these days is GMOs.   Check out the following article regarding this…

FDA Takes Issue with Term ‘Non-GMO’

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=MastheadLogo&region=TopBar


My friend went on to remind me that I need to learn to trust again which is what I am trying to do with the new products and resources that I have reached out to.   To start, a few nights ago I started to meditate and last night I began using essential oils.

Anxiety is such a tricky battle as it can manifest in so many different ways.  The reality is that we must do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our family.  However, we must also remember that comfort and peace in found in trusting God.  Therefore, we smile on trusting that God is leading our steps…


“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You,

Because he trusts in You.”

  • Isaiah 26:3

Gluten-Free Baked Stuffing

Another recipe that looks like it would make a perfect, allergy-friendly addition to our Thanksgiving. Getting hungry for some turkey and stuffing, we smile on…

Making The Holidays Happy AND Allergy-Friendly

Gluten-free Baked Stuffing

Source: http://allergicliving.com/

Worry-Free Wednesdays: Be Strong & Courageous

Before my son was born, my husband had a decal created to decorate the wall above his crib.   These words could not be any more perfect for us. They read:

Bring your special someone to an unforgettable night(1)

 

Walking with that message of faith today, we smile on…

 

 

TIPSy Tuesdays: Preparing for a Safe & Special Holiday with Food Allergies

In my experience with having a son with multiple food allergies and skin sensitivities, everything new is a scary ordeal.   Every new food, new lotion, new soap, new visitor, new school year, new milestone, new experience, new environment, and everything else you can have a new of. In addition to the new experiences, holidays and parties also add some challenges and worries. However, there are steps and precautions that you can take to ensure the special holiday that you deserve. The more prepared you are… the less likely it is that fear will enter the scene.

how to have a safe and special holiday season with food allergies

With my son’s initial anaphylactic reaction and learning of his multiple food allergies last December 2014, the holidays that year were a rough time for me.   As I tried to process it all, I was fearful of everything. It was not an enjoyable time because of this intense anxiety and stress.

While a whole year has passed, many challenges still remain for us.   However, this holiday season I plan to smile into it prepared and ready to enjoy this special time, having faith over fear….

Making The Holidays Happy AND Allergy-Friendly


Here are some tips on how to have a safe and special holiday season with food allergies:

1.  Be prepared: If you are traveling far, check to see where the local hospital/urgent care is.  Also, make sure to bring the proper medications and emergency plans.  My son’s up-to-date “Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan” is always packed in my diaper bag with his EpiPens and Benadryl.

2. Pick your setting and population: Yes, I know that you cannot pick your family. However, if you have an option of where to celebrate the holiday, pick the place where people are most understanding of food allergies and the precautions needed. If you have the means to, even offer to host.   (I am not there yet.)

3. Scope Out the Scene: Check out the place you are visiting and/or staying.   Scope out wherever and whenever you child will be eating, wipe down the surfaces all around, and scan the floor.   Since babies and toddlers love to put objects in their mouths, it is important to make sure that there is nothing unsafe to start.   From our experience, you would be surprised what food products are often around.

4. Communication/Setting up the Meal: Before the meal begins, have a plan in mind.   For example, plan ahead where your child will sit, eat, and when this will occur.   In addition to wiping down the surface, we bring Mickey Mouse place mats, his own plate, and utensils.

5. Announcement: To help with those guests who are not aware of or educated about food allergies and your family’s situation, make an announcement that your child should not be fed any food.   At a family BBQ in the summer, a person in our extended family came over to my son with her plate of cake, cheerfully and innocently asking, “Can he have some of this?” With my son in my arms, I jumped back as her spoonful of cake was way too close for comfort.   Therefore, an announcement before eating begins is a great precaution to take. Sometimes, people just don’t know or understand.

6. Washing hands/Kissing: This is another part of the reminder or announcement.   Our family has been great with accepting this request. Even though I take many precautions for my son’s safety, I do also make sure to brush my teeth always before kissing him.    We also ask everyone who is with TJ, (friends, family, daycare, etc.) to not kiss him on the face or lips if they have just eaten and especially if they have not brushed their teeth. I struggle with this because I know he deserves a million kisses every day and trust me, I want to be able to give him everything in life. However, right now, this is what we must do to ensure his safety, his health, his life.   He is still too little to speak and therefore, it is even more critical.   We show him love in soooo many other ways in addition to giving him lots of hugs. And of course we kiss him, when we know it is truly safe to do so. With that being said, inform all guests that blowing kisses is a must especially after eating has begun.

 In addition to the kissing, it is important that people understand they must wash their hands after handling or eating food of their own before they hold or contact my son.  After explaining the reality of cross contact with our family, we have been extremely blessed with their support and diligence with this. It makes my heart smile knowing that we have this support.

7. Plan Meals Beforehand: Since my son is only 18.5 months, we still make most of the food that he eats.  Therefore, we plan ahead, making sure that we had enough of his food for the duration of the visit.  If we are staying over, we also make sure that the place we were visiting has a kitchen with a refrigerator and oven to help with his food.  If it is just a day visit, we bring our own cooler with his food. Because of the reality of cross-contact, we also bring his personal pots, pans, trays, containers, and utensils. (Whatever is necessary for the visit.)

8. Allergy-free Options (Safe Food): Pass on food that you are unsure of.   For now, my son will only be eating what we provide.   In the future as he begins to talk more and expands his diet, I do plan to make allergy-free versions of some of the main course foods.   I look forward to this. However, this year we will stick to his safe foods that we will prepare beforehand.

9. Watching/Keeping in Eyesight: With young children like my son, my husband and I take turns watching him.   Throughout the event, we have one set of eyes on him the entire time.   This does not mean you are a “helicopter parent” instead it means you are the biggest, must-needed advocate.

10. Enjoy yourself: This is the step that I failed to do last holiday season.   However, this year will be different.   I find comfort and confidence in knowing that through our advocacy, my son will have an amazing, safe, and special holiday.   Therefore, we will smile on to a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and Christmas.

(And when I get home, I will be celebrating by hitting up that bottle of wine. )

SMILING ON WITH WINE

Cheers to a safe, special, and allergy-friendly holiday season!


Read more about the following topics at the links below:

Peanut Butter Kisses

Making Sure Not to Bunk Up with Cross Contact

Chef Amanda Freitag’s Food Allergy Recipes

Making the Holidays Happy and Allergy Friendly

Clarity in the Driver’s Seat

Searching for the

Because often the the answers are unclear,

Learning to let go of the steering wheel,

Is the option that stands alone to take,

Yet often runs as the most difficult to make.

Be held and let go for hope is near,

Have faith for smiles can overcome fear.

  • © Smiling Away Allergies

Learning to be “present” despite the bumps in the road, we smile on today…


Clarity

by: David Dunn

“I am looking for signs, searching for directions
I’ve been trying to drive from the passenger’s side for ages

Waiting to find the answers to the questions
Wishing that I could know what You were thinking
I just wanna know why it can’t be easy.

So what do I do when I don’t know what to do

Oh my God can you show me who to be
Cause my life it gets confusing
I feel lost in the dark in search of your heart
Without you there is nothing to see
Oh my God can you be my clarity, My clarity

I wanna hear your voice drowning out commotion
If I looked in your eyes would I see that the skies are clearing.

So what do I do when I don’t know what to do

Oh my God can you show me who to be
Cause my life it gets confusing
I feel lost in the dark in search of your heart
Without you there is nothing to see
Oh my God can you be my clarity, My clarity

When what to do becomes a mystery, be my clarity
When confusion is the death of me, oh be my clarity “

Source: http://www.newreleasetoday.com/lyricsdetail.php?lyrics_id=89398