Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cinnamon buns and rollercoasters

I don't know how other allergy moms have dealt with it, but I've been in a total baking funk since we realized the full scope of Andrew's allergies. Yes, I'm confessing to almost 3 years of buying safe pre-packaged stuff full of chemicals because I can't figure out what -- and how -- to safely cook for my kid.

But now that Andrew's in kindergarten, there are all sorts of treat days and birthdays and other opportunities for other parents to bring in not-so-safe food that he's not allowed to have, so I'm kicking myself in the butt and trying out a bunch of recipes.

And here's my total plug for the cookbook in the photo below: What's to Eat? The Milk-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free Food Allergy Cookbook. (And now that I've found the link for that cookbook, I see that she's got a new cookbook out too -- it's going on my shopping list!)

She's got a cinnamon roll recipe in this cookbook that's so good, only one survived past the first hour out of the oven. I forgot to get a shot of them when they came out, and that's Geoff's hand stretching out as far as he can reach (anything that's a few inches onto the counter is out of his reach), to get another one.

Last Friday was Tim Horton's donut day at school for the kindergarteners, so we made another batch of cinnamon bun dough on Thursday, and deep-fried it for Andrew to eat instead of donuts. They were really good, he reported that evening, and he didn't even seem sad that he hadn't gotten the Tim Horton's ones.

I've also gotten the kindergarten teacher a bag of mini-Oreos and a box of Transformers fruit snacks for the random birthday parties. Apparently that's gone over well -- some of his friends have wanted his Oreos over the treats that the birthday kid's folks provided. Oh, and apparently Andrew was kissed by a girl in kindergarten last week. :-)

The other thing Andrew's been doing is asking us to cut his rice cheese up into thin slices. He's been seeing all these ads for cheese strings on TV, and I guess he's also seeing cheese strings at school, so he wants his cheese to look long and stringy too. I have such mixed feelings about this. I'm glad that he's so resourceful and creative, but I hate that he's feeling like he wants his food to look like everyone else's food. And I'm sad that he might be feeling left out.

And there are the boys in car #3 of the kids' rollercoaster at Playland. They're both such adrenaline junkies that they would get off the ride and run back to the beginning of the line to do it again. I think they rode this one about five times before they finally wanted to move on to the mini-golf. We went yesterday, on the second-last day of the season, and they had a fabulous time.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Heading off to school

My two kids headed off to school today -- the big kid to kindergarten and the little kid to his first day of preschool.

Andrew's had a couple of partial days of kindergarten already -- the teacher phases them in a little bit at a time. Today he was in for 90 minutes, and he'll be in for the full 2.5 hours on Wednesday, with his full class. He had a great time at school today, and is already looking forward to when he gets to go every day.

Geoff loved preschool last year, when we were dropping Andrew off there, and now he gets to stay there the entire time. We've warned the teachers that he's got two volumes: loud and louder, and they still think he's a charmer.

On the allergy front, things are still looking positive. The elementary school's newsletter came today, with a beautiful (to my eyes) "no peanuts" graphic on the back page. (The editor of the newsletter is my next door neighbour -- I love her!)

We found a Transformers backpack for Andrew, and it's got a clear plastic pencil case attached to the top -- a perfect size for his epipen, and since it's a clear case, all the adults around will be able to see it right away in an emergency. There's another epipen stored in the nurse's office at the school, along with a bottle of Benadryl.

As an aside: when I dropped off the epipen at the school, they showed me where it will be stored. Every allergic kid at the school has their medication stored in plastic cases in the same shelf. There were about 20-30 cases in that shelf, so I'm pretty confident that if anything were to happen, quite a few epipens would be available to any allergic kid. (Many of the older kids carry their epipens on them.)