This blog is brought to you by the letter A

I run an educational based home daycare business.  I started it when my son was seven months old, and I love that it allows me the best of both worlds. I get to be a working mother and a stay-at-home mom. For the last year I have been on maternity leave so I could have my daughter and spend some time focused just on my family.  It has been a wonderful and busy experience, and I never thought I would say this, but I am ready to start working again.  I think the routine of the daycare, and the other children at our house everyday will be good for my kids.  This means that I am now back to the reality of juggling a family and a business.

As part of my educational programming, each day during circle time I pick a letter of the alphabet to examine with the kids.  We read a book with that letter in it, we sign the letter, we hear the sound(s) that letter makes and then for the rest of the day we look for that letter in our world.  This week I started thinking about this educational practice, and I was thinking about the ways I could improve and expand this exercise.  For obvious reasons I started at the letter A, and then our family got ravished by a bout of gastroenteritis and I couldn’t move onto the next letter.  So all week I have had the letter A stuck in my head, so I figured why fight it, I will work with it to help inspire my blogging.

     Absent: My first A word for today’s blog. In case you haven’t noticed I have been absent from the blogging world for over a month now.  When I last left our family was just told to assume by the doctor that my daughter has a peanut allergy.  So the last month I have been adapting to a life without peanuts, and I tell you it has been hard.  I have been attempting to expand my family’s repertoire of menu items. It has been awfully challenging on my son and my husband, but I will expand on that in more detail later. Our family also went on a vacation to Niagara Falls, Ontario (which was awesome).  I have also been arranging things for the daycare, and I decided to join Weight Watchers.  So needless to say I have not had a lot of free time lately.

My family in front of the level 6 rapids in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  Can you believe people have been absurd enough to try and swim these?!

My family in front of the class 6 rapids in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Can you believe people have been absurd enough to try and swim these?!

Accountability.  This word has been in my head for days now, ever since I signed up for Weight Watchers.  After my son was born I was able to just run all the weight off, however I never got down to my ideal weight.  I looked pretty good, but I was disappointed with myself for never attaining my goal weight.  After having my daughter I am a lot busier, I am getting less sleep, and there is just less free time.   My husband and I are working very hard to find the time to work out each day, but some days it is just not possible.  However, I am sick of the excuses as to why I am the weight I am.   They say it takes 9 months to put the weight on, so expect it to take 9 months to come off.  Only problem is my daughter is 10 months old now, and I am still carrying around 45% of that weight.  So I figured it was about time I held myself accountable. I know that I have an unhealthy relationship with food.  It is not that I make unhealthy food choices, I just eat too much.  So after being sick of seeing the extra weight in the mirror, and wanting to show my daughter a healthy body image and positive self-talk, I decided to join Weight Watchers.  I had success with their online tools in university, and this time I wanted the meetings too.  This week was my second weight-in, and it was a successful first week!  I tracked everything I ate, even when I had a horrible case of gastro and had to stick to the BRAT diet for 3 days. I am proud to say my accountability translated into 4.4 pounds down, and a few pairs of old pants I can now fit into again! Astounding!

Allergy.  We got a cancellation appointment yesterday to see our new allergist, so we took my daughter in to get tested. Despite my husband’s optimism that it was all a mistake, it was confirmed that my daughter has a peanut allergy.  So now we acclimatize to this lifestyle change.  Yesterday I picked up my daughter’s Epi Pens, and learned how to use them.  We brainstormed all the foods that are off-limits now, like Chinese food, peanut butter cups, Pad Thai, and Tim Hortons (not that we ate out much before, or that I would even eat any of those foods since I joined Weight Watchers). I think for me it will be much easier to assimilate into this new peanut free world, especially since I am going through a change in terms of my diet anyway and I more conscious of what I eat now.  However this new reality is a lot harder for my son and my husband to accept.  My son doesn’t quite understand what an allergy is, or why it means he can’t eat peanut butter anymore.  At first he ate other alternative like soy butter (which did funky things to his bowels), but now he is having a real hard time finding things he wants to eat.  This kid is the pickiest eater I have ever met, he also isn’t good with change, and now I have taken away his power food.  I can’t help but admit that I am worried about how he will adapt, and what he will eat.  I have attempted many recipes of things I think he will like; however it is not easy for him to try new things.  As for my husband, I feel sad for him, and I am proud at what he is giving up. My husband loves his daughter, and there really is no contest when it comes to the choice between his daughter’s health and peanut butter. I love him even more for giving up his most favorite substance to eat in the entire world without any hesitation. As for my daughter, I am just grateful it is only an allergy.  As she grows up, all she will ever know is a life without peanuts, so I hope it will not feel like she has been deprived of something.  I am relieved by how accommodating our society has become towards allergies.  I couldn’t even fathom how scary this diagnosis would have been 20 years ago before the food labeling standards of today were implemented. My hope now for my family, with this challenge, is that we never have to deal with an anaphylactic reaction.  I also aspire for my daughter to grow up without ever feeling like she negatively affected our quality of life.  A life with my daughter is more important, rewarding and fulfilling than any peanut.

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3 Comments

  1. Hi. Our daughter is also anaphylactically allergic to peanuts.This was discovered when she was 18 months. Many adjustments have to be made obviously and it sounds that you are on the right track and have a great attitude. You might like the new made in Winnipeg rhyming children’s picture book my wife wrote called The Girl Who Cannot Eat Peanut Butter. The url is http://allergypicturebook.com

    Cheers, Marsh

  2. Hi. Our daughter is also allergic to peanuts (discovered at 18 months). Obviously, many adaptations have to be made. It sounds like you are on the right track and have a great attitude. You might like my wife’s new rhyming children’s picture book – The Girl Who Cannot Eat Peanut Butter. The url is http://allergypicturebook.com

    Cheers, Marsh from Winnipeg

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