Sunday, January 24, 2010

Open Sesame: Mystery Solved?

Just up High Street from us is a lovely Middle Eastern cafe. We love it and in late pregnancy and throughout our hectic summer, we ate there at least once a week. I have jumped around the menu, but I usually return to the lamb kabob sandwich wrapped in lavash bread. The lamb is a nice treat and the tahini sauce makes the whole thing a messy and delightful lunch or dinner. Most often we would also get a side of hummus and pita with our meals. The hummus is so good...creamy and mellow with all the favors harmoniously blended together. I could and would eat it by the spoonful.
Yesterday we took a family walk up to the cafe and as were happily eating our sandwiches, Milo was contentedly munching on little pieces of pita dipped in hummus. I noticed his face was getting red, so we offered some water and he went back to eating his lunch. The next time I glanced at him, his face was even more red and blotchy. I rinsed his face off with a wet napkin and noticed some hives appearing around his mouth, on his neck and on his hands. We quickly decided to wrap up lunch and walk back home. By the time we had Milo back in the stroller and out of the restaurant, the lower half of his face was a mass of hives and was swelling. Other than being itchy, it didn't seem to bother him.

After checking with our pediatrician, we gave him a dose of Benadryl, the swelling subsided and he was back to his smiley self. I have never seen an allergic reaction to food, so watching one happen so quickly to my own baby was a tad upsetting.

I'm glad he was eating something with so few ingredients in it when the reaction happened...hummus is a made up of chick peas, garlic, lemon, olive oil and tahini (sesame paste). I'm pretty sure he was reacting to the sesame, since he has had the other ingredients with no problems.

Once the immediate concern was taken care of, I've thought of my eating habits over the last 10 months and realized that while I have at different times cut out eggs, nuts, dairy and gluten, I never cut out sesame. So the hummus I eat weekly, the Kashi cereal I often have in the mornings, the sesame coated nuts I snack on, the everything bagels I sometimes have on the weekends...all of these things have been sensitizing him.

I'm hoping the sesame is it and once that clears both of our systems, we'll have taken care of the allergy mystery. At least we know for sure sesame is off the list.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

10 Months

The difference between this month and the last nine months has been astounding. Milo has gained so many new skills in the last couple of weeks that his little brain must be working overtime.

One of my favorite things Milo does these days is to clap. It's so cute! He claps when he is excited, he claps when he starts to cry, he claps to say bye, he claps to ask for more and he claps when he hears music. He also claps when he hears anything that sounds like the word snapping up a coat results in clapping. I may come to regret it, but I totally encourage all the clapping because I love it!

In the movement department, Milo can now stand with support (having his hands lean on something). He can sometimes pull himself to standing, but most usually just pulls up to knees and stays kneeling. For these reasons (and that I routinely would find him standing his crib) we have lowered his crib mattress to the bottom position. The army crawl is still his go to method for getting to something quickly, but he now also crawls on all fours for a few steps at a time.

Milo now eats whatever we eat and he sure does like this development. I've been yelled at several times for not getting bits of food onto his tray quickly enough. Although I push the fruit and veggies and he does eat them, our little guy is a carnivore and will find and eat all the meat on his tray before sampling the other items. We joke to him that everything tastes like pork, as he's a big fan of pork tenderloin.

Along with the eating, we've seen a rapid improvement in fine motor skills. Milo loves to operate light switches around the house. He'll flip the switch up or down and then look to the ceiling to make sure the light cooperated. Sometimes he looks up a little prematurely and wonders why there is no change. He also points up to the ceiling (and at everything else he can see when we are out and about).

Although this stage has us absolutely exhausted by the end of the day (keeping our little adventurer away from power cords, plants, cats, cat food bowls, and the front door, is a full-time job), it is so much to fun to watch. We can clearly see Milo's persistent and delightful personality come through. He is one determined and yet light-hearted little guy. He is so interested in the people, cats and everyday objects around him. Each day is a learning experience to discover new skills, new tastes and new joys.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Sun Came Out

Oh, there is nothing like being in Ohio in the middle of January when snow covers the ground, it's been gray for weeks and suddenly the bright rays of sun peek out. I go digging for my sunglasses and open all the blinds. While I probably don't have full-fledged SAD, I do feel so much better when the sun shines. My inner dialogue switches from being punctuated with gloomy ellipses to perky explanation points. I start to do things again - vacuum, write, repot all the plants in my house, cook, smile and otherwise enjoy my life.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

One in, One out

After finalizing my 2010 resolutions, I remembered something I really need to work on. I like stuff. I like stuff a lot. I like cute kitchen gadgets, I have a particular fondness for ribbon and I can't seem to say no to a variety of food stuffs. This would all be fine, but our small little house is only so big and with the edition of a new body (who seems to acquire stuff at an alarming pace), our house is seeming a little more cluttered than I would like. So this year I am implementing a new rule: if something is brought into the home, something has to leave. This new policy will be applied to a variety of things, but particularly to tea, wrapping paper and it's adornments, toys, dental floss (why did I just find 8 packets of it), lotions, candles, clothing items and various decorations. Not only should this new policy cut down on clutter, but I am hoping it will curb some shopping as well.

In the spirit of this new one in, one out, I am also getting rid of one of the prior resolutions. I will, can and should exercise more, but the truth is I don't like running. There are other forms of exercise I enjoy more and I will be concentrating on those. It is nice to have the sense of accomplishment working toward a goal and then completing a 5k, but I'm not going to make it my focus.

There I have, one it, one out and I feel so much lighter already.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Resolution Time: Looking Ahead

Earlier this week I took the time to assess where I was in terms of annual resolutions. Now it is time to look ahead and talk about the goals for 2010...not only a new year, but a new decade. So here goes:

Schedule, schedule, schedule. Ugh, I've been talking about implementing a schedule since I stopped working (more than three months ago). I know it would help both Milo and me to have more structure to our days. The thing is though, I don't like being on a schedule. If I feel like working out on a Tuesday afternoon rather than a Thursday morning, I want that freedom. However, babies aren't so much into giving mom too much freedom, so a schedule it is.

Better nutrition for me and my boys. Which for me means less sugar and for all of us, more veggies. I'm a little bit of a sugar addict and once I start I have a tough time stopping. So it is better to just not get started. A healthy fruit and or vegetable will be involved at every meal.

Exercise. I'm bringing back the goal from 2008 to actually run a 5k. I'll pick a race, train and run it. This will be good me time and also good for my cardiovascular fitness (which is the part of fitness I usually ignore in favor of flexibility).

My word for keeping all this in mind will be mindfulness. I'll be mindful of my schedule, of what I am putting in my body and how I am treating myself. I'll also be mindful of being present in the moment with Chris and Milo and enjoying this coming year.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Resolution Time: Looking Back

With the start of each new year, we get the opportunity to think about ways to improve our life. We can reflect on how our actions are making our daily lives better, or not so much better. I'm looking forward to making a few little tweaks to make 2010 really shine.

Before I look ahead though, I wanted to revisit last year's resolutions and take stock. I always think it is key to know where you've been before you know where you want to go. So how did I do with the 2009 list? Okay.

I could probably still work on going with the flow a little more. (Although it seems to me that little anecdote about the birth plan and my OB should have sounded a warning siren to me). Parenthood seems to be a constant lesson in getting over one's self and going with the flow is a big part of that for me. It could use some work, but I'm not losing sleep over it.

I did better at the second resolution. Not only did I lose all the baby weight, I lost those extra 10 pounds, too. While this is great, I can't say it took any Herculean effort from me. Instead, the combination of breast feeding, diet restrictions and lugging around a 20+ pound baby did it. Still, chalking that up to a new year's resolution met.

The final resolution - having an identity outside of Milo's mom - is probably the most not met resolution. Especially since I quit working, this could use some work. I really treasure being Milo's mom, but it is time consuming and it is all new so it takes up most of my attention. This will stay on the list for 2010.

Later this week, stay tuned for the rest of my tantalizing resolutions for this year and decade.