The Big Girl Panties Come Back!

Everything looks better after a good night’s sleep, you know?

I don’t think there’s any way I can possibly THANK YOU ALL for the outpouring of support and encouragement we received yesterday. It means the world to me. Seeing how many people are “in our corner” and praying for my son was a boost like no other.

For everyone who sent a comment on the blog, a comment on Facebook, or an email to commiserate and encourage, THANK YOU.

(And thank you to the people who didn’t tell me but who prayed for us yesterday, too!)

Today I’m feeling much better; a little time, a good night’s sleep, and knowing I’m not alone made a huge difference. I’m busy putting on my big girl panties and attempting to rally in the face of our latest setback.

Yesterday was challenging because I was in such a funk. My heart had gone out of me. We even introduced Jed to a slip ‘n slide and I could barely muster any enthusiasm for his joy and excitement. (Which, in retrospect, is SO sad – the child stripped naked and screamed with excitement as he ran through the water! How could I not think that was the cutest and funniest thing on the planet? Damn you, FPIES!)

Plus, Zac had another icky diaper, and I noticed that he has some eczema on his face and head now. Not nice.

But life does go on, regardless of our desires to wallow in misery. I have two little boys who are happy, joyful, and enthusiastic about everything, and they need a Mama who can keep up with them.

So last night we talked it over and decided to keep lamb and quinoa off the table for now, and proceed with a formula trial. The big debate was whether we would do the formula trial before I left for work or after I’d already gone.

Here’s a funny anecdote: I posted a quick survey about our quandary on the FPIES boards, giving 4 options.

  1. slowly trial the formula before I go to work
  2. let me go to work, use breast milk until it is gone and then go fully onto formula
  3. let me go to work, start formula right away and keep breast milk in case he reacts so Zac has something to eat until I can fly home
  4. call out sick for August and declare bankruptcy

13 people voted for #1…and 3 people voted for #4! 

I don’t know why I found that so hysterically funny, but I did. FPIES Mama’s care about our kids more than anything else in the world, including our ability to keep a roof over our heads. “Bankruptcy? Whatev! Let’s talk food trials!”

That fact is simultaneously sad, though. Who should ever have to pick between those things?

Anyway, Darrel and I decided to slowly trial before I go to work. So once Zac gets to baseline, we’ll be giving Neocate Junior a shot. In case he has an acute reaction, I’d rather be here for it rather than being on the road.

I really hope it works for him and that my gut is proven wrong this time.

In other news, Jed is now 3 years old and of an age to head off to pre-school. There is a local moms group that does a pre-school co-op where the moms are the teachers and rotate responsibilities. That sounded like the best option for us; thanks to Jed’s food allergies, our considerable distance from all other pre-school programs, and our finances, regular pre-school didn’t sound like a good option for us.

So I sent an email asking how they handle food allergies at the co-op, since part of the day is designated for “snacks”. The response?

“I know last time we had a child who had a certain food allergy, so we try not to give that kid that he/she is allergic to. Our snack normally consists of cheese, crackers, fruits and parents bring their own drink for their kids and sometimes some mom would bring muffins or any goodies once in a while.”

Grammatical errors aside, as Jed’s Mama I read that going “Dairy…Egg…Fructose…more dairy…more egg…random unknown allergens and probably GMO’s…um, yeah, not gonna happen.”

And “try” to not give that food to the kid? TRY? TRY!!???

Trying isn’t good enough when my sons life is in question, folks! I know I will be there, as all moms have to participate. However, I’ll be wrangling Zac in a baby carrier and trying to fulfill my duties as teacher that day, and keeping an eagle-eye on Jed for snack sharing would be terribly hard under those conditions.

So I guess Jed gets to stay home for pre-school. He already knows a lot of his shapes, recognizes about half his letters, can count to ten, and knows how to “match” things by drawing a line between them. That’s with me not even trying to teach him anything yet! (Though I’m sure speech therapy helped with that quite a bit.)

Still, I think I can handle homeschooling pre-school. Anyone have any resources/tips/tricks you could pass along? Thanksomuch!

Oh, and I’m thinking of starting a betting pool on which food trigger Zac’s FPIES reaction: lamb meat, quinoa, or both. Five bucks for an entry, and we’ll split the pot 50/50 with the winner! What do you think? (Only slightly joking here, people!)

Well, maybe with humor and support, we’ll survive the latest volley of FPIES attacks and still win the war. It’s not over yet, FPIES!


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2 Responses to The Big Girl Panties Come Back!

  1. Ruth Pinnell says:

    Lamb meat! (Pass the hat so I can drop my fiver in).

    My son was enrolled full-time in a family home daycare (in Missouri, that means a nice lady taking care of kids that are related to her and also kids not related to her in her finished basement) from 6 weeks until he started Kindergarten. So he went through the progression of being the baby to the oldest, and as an only child, got valuable experience being with younger and older kids the whole time. The nice lady adored him, and believed in letting kids free-range and figure out how to get along with each other on their own. Lunches were actually homemade and quite nutritious. Those were the best parts. The wosrt part was that foods served for breakfast and snacks were typical processed, sugary, artificial junk, even though we talked to her about it. The daycare was licensed and received food subsidy from the state, so we could not send food once he was weaned. And because of the wide range of ages, not much preschool learning was going on. But, of our options, it was the only one that worked financially and with our work schedules (we are also rural).

    The only reason why I slightly regret not putting him in a more formal preschool setting for pre-K was watching how much he struggled with the rigidly structured time and activities for a good part of kindergarten. We did a lot of homepreschooling though, so he was actually ahead in most subject areas. I also didn’t realize that he would be the youngest kid in his class by a long shot, with the oldest kid fully 1.5 years older! (We didn’t get the memo about red-shirting.)

    I guess in my opinion, if you can homepreschool him, do it. You will never be able to completely control what foods he’s offered in an outside program, and he will absolutely and happily eat whatever is offered (mine does and he knows what the bad things do to him – the YMCA day camp is our current aggravation…). You will never regret spending the time with him, and there are tons of free websites out there with activities, ideas, printables, etc.

    Some good sites:,,,, and so many more just a google search away. We also used Rock-N-Learn and LeapFrog dvds, Reader Rabbit computer game, and several educational iphone apps. Does your school district have a Parents as Teachers program – they are a wonderful resource!

    Let me know if I win the pool… 🙂

    • Carrie says:

      Thanks so much, Ruth! That is a great perspective. I love those resources, too.

      I worry about how he’ll adjust to a school environment, eventually, too…at the same time I know that he is a highly physical learner, so a classroom environment will likely never be a good fit for him! LOL He’s the kid that will drive teachers insane with his “ants in the pants” tendencies!

      Anyway, I think we have a good chance of making this work for us, and I’m excited by seeing my son learn. Thanks again for the advice and links!

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