When you start blogging, one of the first big recommendations is to have a schedule for your posts. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, but a general guideline really helps keep your blog on track.
For Cradle Rocking Mama, I generally write one post per week (usually Monday) that is basically just an update on my family: how the boys are doing, food trials, work issues, parenting stories, etc.
The rest of the week I post recipes, insights into living with food allergies, or a series like Frugal Fridays or Brown Thumb Gardener.
While there are many of you who love reading our weekly family post (thank you!), a high proportion of my readers come here just for the recipes and other postings I share.
That makes sense, of course; people want to learn new things and benefit from what they read on the internet. Reading about my family may offer some insights into other peoples situations, but not necessarily. Reading a recipe, tip, or insight about living with food issues almost certainly will benefit my average reader far more than my family updates.
Still, I have no intention of ceasing the family update. It helps me keep my own situation straight and on path, and offers reference and perspective on the other things I share.
Knowing, though, that many of you aren’t terribly interested in those stories, I want to try something new with the blog to help encourage my average reader to subscribe.
From now on, my “family update” stories will be titled as “Summers Stories”. That should make it easy for my subscribers to easily skip reading the family stories they aren’t particularly interested in but still benefit from the recipes and tips shared the rest of the week.
On that note, here’s the first official Summers Story Family Update. The question of the day is: is this a normal baby thing or FPIES? (Which might wind up being a regular, non-family update post all on its own!)
For about a month now, Zac has begun acting like a chipmunk; he takes a bite of food, chews it, and holds it in his mouth. At least once he held the food in his mouth for an hour before anyone noticed!
It drives my parents crazy. When I speak to them from work, I regularly hear one or both of them telling Zac “Swallow it! Here! Take a drink!”
None of us could figure out why he’s doing this. He still eats; it’s just that towards the end of his meal, he suddenly decides to ‘chipmunk’ his food.
I’ve mentioned working quite a lot since mid-December. That makes it super hard to keep up with food trials and reactions. As a response, we’ve been doing a lot of gut rest time for Zac because of a couple of strange vomits that he has had recently.
More recently, he had a strange poop day (a total constipation poop followed by a diarrhea poop).
We had no explanation for any of these oddities; we thought it was perhaps a reaction to some water or trace food he picked up somewhere, but had no true answer.
Last week my Mom called me to report on how Zac did at speech therapy. Excitedly, she told me how she asked Miss L if she had any possible explanations for Zac’s ‘chipmunking’.
Miss L offered a few ideas, and her final suggestion proposed that he might be teething.
OMG I can’t believe I forgot about teething!
My Mom felt the same way. (Hence the excitement.) Zac is still due for his last back molars. Maybe, just maybe, he’s been teething the last month and THAT could explain some of the oddities we’ve experienced!
Sorry, I can’t remember where I found this teething chart.
My Mom took it a step further. “Remember those strange, one time vomits he’s done? Maybe they weren’t vomits at all! Maybe it was just that he chipmunked his food for so long, the wad of food and saliva got too big to hold in his mouth and he just spit it out wherever he was?”
So I asked Darrel (who was the one who found the vomits both times). “Honey, did you actually see him vomit, or did you just find the vomit after the fact?”
Both times he just found the vomit. He never SAW Zac vomit.
Mom felt around in the back of his mouth, and said there is absolutely some swelling and tooth activity going on in there.
So it appears that Mr. Zac is not having a rough FPIES month. It appears he is doing exactly what he should be doing as a normal young boy, and getting some more teeth into his head.
I’m relieved beyond belief; his weird appetite, the vomit, the strange diapers, the occasional strange sleep that doesn’t relate to any food trials, all of it has a perfectly logical and (for once) absolutely NORMAL explanation!
On that note, we began the beef trial again. So far, so good. I will be shocked if beef turns out to be unsafe for Zac. By next week we will know for sure.
The question now is what to trial next.
He and I both need some veggies in our diets, but veggies have proven problematic so far. According to my food intolerance apps, these are the ‘probably safe’ veggies for us as far as fructose and salicylates go:
- chard (which he had a weird reaction to)
- chinese cabbage
- cucumber (already a safe)
- honey fungus
- iceberg lettuce
- lotus root
- mung bean sprouts
- pak choi (bok choy)
- pascal celery
Aside from cucumber, iceberg lettice, parsnip, potatos, yam and zucchini, I have no idea what the other veggies taste like or how to prepare them!
Even with the stuff I know about, I don’t really know how to make it appealing to a toddler. Zucchini and parsnip are the easiest ones for me to figure out what to do with, but otherwise, I’m at a loss.
Much as I’d like to serve him all of these veggies, I’m clueless: how do I make them appealing to a 2 year old? If anyone has any suggestions, I’d appreciate the input!
Other than that bit of extraordinarily good teething news, Darrel and I are having a rather rough month.
He is currently on pager duty (a rotating responsibility that he has twice a year), and for whatever reason this month the computers at work have decided to have a total nervous breakdown. Normally he gets 1-2 pages the entire month when he has pager duty; this month, he’s gotten as many as 10 pages per DAY.
So even when Darrel is at home, he’s often in the office working. Weekends, holidays, middle of the night, it doesn’t matter.
Meanwhile, I’m working my tail-feathers off, and between the time I’m actually gone for work, my exhaustion when I’m home, and Darrel’s insane work schedule this month, well…let’s just say my house is a disaster.
A total, complete, embarrassing disaster.
I have no idea how I’m going to keep up the house with my work schedule being what it is. Hopefully, once Darrel hands that dratted pager off to the next
poor sucker co-worker on pager duty, he’ll have more time to do housework and next month won’t be as bad.
That’s my biggest hope and prayer right now, because otherwise, we’re quickly going to start looking as if we belong on “Hoarders” due to the mess that is our house. It’s bad, y’all.
Well, at least we’ve got good news with Zac! And hopefully February will be a little easier on us in other ways.
Have you ever gotten completely confused about whether your kiddo was doing a normal toddler thing or an FPIES thing?