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Monday, December 19, 2011

Set backs and milestones....

Ever since the hot dog two weeks ago we (I) have been on an emotional roller coaster. J went down hill for a while with a flare that we ended up taking her to the dermatologist for an inquiry. We thought maybe she had developed Eczema Herpeticum. It turns out that she did not (thank God) and she has slowly recovered and is actually starting to get baby soft again with just a few spots, even with a virus. In the not so distant past a cold/virus made her a mess, skin wise. But right now she is looking pretty good! We recently cemented another allergy for M....CARROTS!!!! Really?!?! Who is allergic to carrots. So with a flare under control, two little ones recovering from a cold, a new known allergen and Mommy finally in remission from whatever virus attacked me. We are looking up!!!
On a fantastic note....J had her Christmas show this past Friday. If you know J, you know that this time last year she was a mess.... eczema in full blast, paranoid behaviors and super anxious. To the point of not wanting to leave my side. I was SO nervous that she wouldn't allow us to drop her off at her designated spot before the show. Little did I know she owned the whole place. Before it was time to drop her in her assigned class she was running around completely oblivious that I even existed! The show began and J stood up there with the rest of her class and proudly sang "Jesus was born in Bethlehem." She humored me and made eye contact and gave me a cute little wave as she walked to her stage. Then sat with her class during the rest of the schools' performance. They then did a victory lap dressed as angels with wings and halos. She was so sweet! I was so very proud of where our little girl has come! I shed some tears, but most of all I was beaming at the confidence that she exuded and so thankful to her teachers and the staff at her new school for making a very special girl feel like she belongs. There are not words that I can find that describe what I felt when I watched her perform. I thank everyone who has been and continues to be a part of her healing. I am blessed to have so many people in my life who are willing to do, love, listen and share in our journey!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Revolutionary war meets South Park/Modern Warfare

I was sitting in my student's 7th grade social studies class. Their assignment was to draw a postage stamp from the revolutionary war. They had to draw three events. So I immediately started explaining this to my student and together we picked three themes and designed the outline of the stamp. Mind you he is using a camera that projects his paper onto a flat panel computer monitor to enlarge the image. So keep this in your head as you read.... He had no interest in hearing all of the options. He immediately asked me if he could draw the war. I told him no, but the Shay's Rebellion was an option and he could make that a battle scene. He started to draw his fighters. The first fighter started out looking a whole lot like Cartman, except with spikes! I told him part of the rubric was that the stamp had to represent the 1780s. I asked him if he thought George Washington wore his hair in spikes to the Constitutional Convention???? He looked at me with his Nystagmus(shaking eyes) serious as a heart attack and said yeah??? Then he added spikeman Cartman's was bigger than the fighter himself and looked like the gun you earn with like 50 gold stars in Halo and had a huge scope attached! Uhhhhh, I'm not real sure they had automatic weapons the size of a Hummer in 1780 Frankie ;) His response was "What??? Why??? Did they have grenades?" I think that's a negative old boy hahahaha. So you can imagine that he did not meet the rubric requirement on representation of the time period!! But he did have the best postage stamp if you ask me!!! I walked away very thankful that I have two sweet little girls!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Call me crazy.....I heart Ron Paul

These days we hear more and more situations where parents' hands are being tied in regards to the caring of their children. Morals are forced through public school curriculum, medicine is pressured on them at the ped's office and their authority is compromised even as far as taking them to court. The following is a link about a family who tried a prescribed medication, found that it did more harm than good and removed the medicine from treatment of their daughter. They tried a more holistic approach. This is what is happening right under our noses and if the UN has anything to say about it they will create a child rights act for the world. But that is a topic for another day. I for one do not want the government in my business about what is or is not good for my child. Hell I would have been hauled off to jail months ago if I were held to the same standards this mother was......

Monday, December 12, 2011

Filaggrin and eczema...

I have found that there are two schools of thought when it comes to is allergies and one is skin barrier. The two schools don't always play nice! Sometimes you can feel the tension when you mention allergies to dermatologists or visa versa. But can't we just play nice long enough to figure this out already???? I know the science is there. I found an interesting article about filaggrin.....Filaggrin is a
key protein that facilitates terminal differentiation of the epidermis and formation of the skin barrier. This definition was taken straight from the article and here is the link.

I just emailed this along with the MTHFR article to my allergist after speaking to him for 30 minutes via the phone about the problems with western medicine these days. He is about 80 :) I am hoping after he reads the three articles I sent him he will guide me to a place I can get some genetic testing done! I don't care if she might grow out of this! I have got to find out how to help her in the meantime and I don't want her next hurdle to be asthma like they predict with atopic conditions!

Crazy enough all of these things end up linking to autism studies because this condition is associated with lack of ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol. The searches on this led me to a pp presentation about autism that I will touch on another day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Some days :(

So this week has been a walk in the wrong direction! Ever since the hot dogs on Monday J has been a mess. M is all snot and J is dry and patchy :( Weeks like these should be locked away in a vault and never allowed to memory!! Tonight we learned a lesson....never put lotion on a dry belly without first taking a bath. Poor J was convulsing. It was one of the worst lotion sessions of recent memories. Poor Uncle Pat had to witness it. It is usually something only mommy and daddy have to witness and it the hardest thing EVER! After the burning and convulsing stopped she let out a huge exhale with a sigh of relief. A sound only to break her mommy's heart more. I wanted to cry for her. Instead I told her I was sorry that she had to go through that pain and that she is brave and I was proud of how sweet and amazing she is. She told me "Its okay Mommy!" Tear :( But one good thing came out of tonight...I realize when she was getting good and healed, she was getting good and healed. I had almost forgotten the scenes of this week.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Folate levels and Atopy....

When I was looking into my malformed MTHFR gene and its implications I stumbled upon a couple articles. This one was particularly interesting!! J's IgE level was 750 when she was tested.

The results and conclusion of this study are as follows (copied directly):


Serum folate levels were inversely associated with total IgE levels (P < .001). The odds of a high total IgE level, atopy, and wheeze decreased across quintiles of serum folate levels, indicating a dose-response relationship between serum folate levels and these outcomes. Each of these associations remained statistically significant after adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and poverty index ratio. Adjusted odds ratios associated with the fifth quintile of folate relative to the first quintile were as follows: high IgE level, 0.70 (95% CI, 0.53-0.92); atopy, 0.69 (95% CI, 0.57-0.85); and wheeze, 0.60 (95% CI, 0.44-0.82). Higher folate levels were also associated with a lower risk of doctor-diagnosed asthma, but this finding was not statistically significant (odds ratio for fifth quintile vs first quintile, 0.84 [95% CI, 0.70-1.02]).


Serum folate levels are inversely associated with high total IgE levels, atopy, and wheeze.

I sent these articles to our allergist and alt. health care provider hoping that we get somewhere with this.  Hopefully both girls will be tested for MTHFR, 3/3 of my family members were positive. MTHFR comes with reduced levels of folate due to poor metabolizing. Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hot Dogs!!!

If there is something that makes my 3 year old's eyes light up it is a hot dog! She LOVES hot dogs. The sad part is I can't find a safe one. We were at a health food store the other day and I thought I had found one. She stayed home from school on Monday and we were looking for lunch and she said she REALLY wanted a hot dog. She never asks for anything food related, I think she is just used to eating whatever she is given. But she asked for a hot dog. I remembered the hot dogs at the store and thought we could try them. They didn't even have a lactic acid starter culture listed. So what was the harm???? But.....2 days later she is still an itchy mess!! WTH is in the damn hot dog?!?!?! I was looking at recipes for home made hot dogs from scratch and ewwwww. That may take a little build up for me to get the guts to try that, because literally.....that is what it looks like in the pictorials!!! GUTS! GROSS! Not to mention who has this machinery???? Here are two links for DIY hot dogs. I know everyone is dying to make some ;)

I'll do a follow up after I have taken the plunge and tried it. First I have to figure out what an emulsifying slushy is and how to make sheep casings!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cookie time....or not :(

I have hit a rut in baking :( What can you do when you can only use GF oat flour, oil, honey, baking soda, cinnamon and apple sauce? Everything tastes the same. I can't get the texture right and they just fall apart. My mother in law made a really great tasting oatmeal cookie Sunday night, but it too didn't stay together too well. It's IMPOSSIBLE!!! I can't get them to bind! Last night I tried to replace my MIL's cookies that we had fininshed and Tom took a bite out of one and the middle half of the cookie fell to the ground!!! Too much flour I guess. We had decided on Sunday that they could use a little more flour, but I added too much! It looked great, smelled great, tasted great raw, big thick delicious looking then.....plop! Eggs how I miss you :(

Sunday, December 4, 2011

MTHFR/atopic conditions

It has been staring me in the face this whole time! I was diagnosed with heterozygous MTHFR while pregnant with j. This gene mutation can be connected to so many issues I can't even name them all. Specific ones that affect my family are: breast cancer, fibromyalgia, diabetes, arthritis, insulin resistance, fibroid cysts and many more!!! Holy cow!!! Not only this but people with MTHFR can be low on an enzyme that detoxes the body and is linked to autism. Anyway when looking further into this I found this study linking it to increased risk of atopic diseases!!! I can't wait to talk to the doctor about this!!! Interesting read posted below!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bleach Baths....

Along our eczema journey we saw three dermatologists, THREE!!! One of the suggestions that we received from the doctor was to give our little princess a bleach bath. Yes, you read that correctly. I was told to put my child in a bath tub and add chlorine bleach to the already chlorinated water. The theory is that the bleach kills bacterial on the skin and prevents infection in the eczema sores. I was at the point in our journey that I was trying anything and EVERYTHING! I went ahead and followed the doctor's instructions and put my then 2 year old in a bath with a dose of toxic/hazardous chemicals. Something that we use to strip color out of things, sterilize and kill mold. We tried this about three time and then gave up after her big toes started to open up and had two wounds on them from soaking in this bath. Reflecting on this strategy I am completely amazed at what some doctors are willing to have their patience do to their still developing children. I am just now recently looking into the details about chlorine. Everything that I pulled up on chlorine bleach starts with the word toxic or hazardous. I even found an article (below) regarding the increase of asthma in swimmers. In recent research swimmers teeth enamel was worn down by the acidity level of swimmers due to the inhalation and absorption of chlorine. The article describing increase risk of cancers and other health risk due to exposure is linked below. So parents I urge you to look into the risks of bleach baths. There are other options. A couple drops of tea tree oil or vinegar to name a few.....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A fond memory....

I don't often post about myself in particular, but I couldn't resist tonight. I received an email from my oldest sister today. I am one of eight, the youngest of eight to be exact. We are a big Irish/Italian Catholic family. The email that she sent me is a talk that she is giving for the Catholics Come home program at a church near her. The talk was regarding her reversion into our church. She told of her story about how she left her faith and then came home. It was full of tidbits from her childhood, I say her childhood and not our childhood because she is 18 years older than me and we didn't share a childhood. I shared a childhood with her two children :) Anyway, one of the stories, well many of the stories, but one in particular put a smile on my face. Though we didn't share a childhood we do have the same parents. My parents are AMAZING individuals! Both of them! They have been married 50 years! 50 years!!! They attend church EVERY day at 6 am. For a short time while at the community college I went with them a week out of every month, when I was a lector. For all of you non-catholics ;) a lector is someone who reads the "stories" at mass. Mass is the celebration that occurs in those buildings called churches haha I'm cracking myself up.....Gosh! I digress! Okay so the story... she told about how my wonderful father fed her faith by exposure to helping others, among many other things. When we were kids my dad drove the parish school bus from the church to the retirement home down the street from us, to pick up the "old folk" as we called them to take them to Sunday Mass. This was a trip!!! He would ALWAYS take us the "bumpy" way home if we were good in church. The bumpy way was driving down the alley haha. It was the city, we had alleys. This was something I really enjoyed doing with my Dad! It was a memory I had almost forgotten that I am so happy she stirred up! I hope there are things that we do with our own kids that they will be able to treasure the way I treasure those Sunday bumpy rides with the "old folk".

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My cupcakes are being asked back :)

You may remember that I sent cupcakes to school with J for her Halloween party. I was quite nervous about the approval they may/may not get from the typical 3 year olds. I made them with the Gooey Chocolate Cake recipe I posted a while back. I was looking in J's take home folder yesterday and there was a request form for the Christmas celebration asking for the cupcakes for 23 students. I was touched that the teacher is going out of her way to make sure J has a treat that the other students will be eating along side of her. I am pretty sure that is the reason she requested them and not the sheer deliciousness of the actual cupcake. Maybe I will go buy Christmas cupcake wrappers and Christmas decorations. I wonder if they sell Christmas tree rings like spider rings for Halloween. How do you make cake pops??? Maybe that is an option :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm a vision teacher...what is your super power???

At least that is what my shirt says that I bought from the vision conference last year. Today I felt as though I had super powers :) I will start with a little background. I work as a teacher of the visually impaired. My case load consists of a therapeutic day school, a few consult kids at the high school and FIVE 7th graders. They will be the death of me!!! As with most students who have a visual impairment they struggle with note taking. This has been both alleviated and exacerbated with increased technology. This year my goal has been to transition my students to high tech learners. It is not practical to use low tech devices such as (large print, hand held magnifiers, telescopes and even CCTVs) this day and age. So my biggest thorn in the proverbial side has been note taking. Students with visual impairments have difficulty taking notes from the board. They do not like to ask their peers to go out of their way, classroom teachers are lax about providing a copy of notes and contrary to popular belief...not all people with visual impairments have good auditory skills. So lies my problem....what do we do for notes???? Well the million dollar question was answered today. I started my day with the instructional technology rep from the district. I told him my dream is for the students to be able to have what the teachers' smart boards are projecting in the palm of their hands. I asked him if we could connect the teachers' projecting computer to the students' iPads and dun dun dun.....SPLASH PAD!!!! Splash Pad is an application on iPads, iPods and iPhones. If you download the streaming software onto the teachers' laptops you can connect to that through the app on ANY device that has it! The student is then able to have the smart board at his/her fingertips. At that point they can zoom in with the accessibility features built into the iPad. And don't worry about security!! The application in the laptop can be turned off so that the student can only access the teachers' computers when they want them to. For added security the application asks for a password when activated each time. If the district technology team cooperates with me this will be the answer to my problems!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thankful Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday started our holiday marathon. It was GREAT! My mother in law made dinner this year like she always does, but this year she was cooking for one highly food allergic kid. I am very pleased to report that she did it with much success and delishousness!!! J had her first piece of bread since Easter. It was very tasty and she also made it into a stuffing. So for dinner J had: steak, sweet potato, acorn squash, stuffing, carrots, bread, stuffing, gravy and apple pie. She LOVED every minute of it!!! She also stayed clear!!! NO flare!!!! Not to mention my in laws took our dog Carmen a couple of months ago when we realized how reactive J was to her. She didn't even react to that. Granted Carmen was at T's cousin's house and the house was cleaned from top to bottom. But STILL!!!! She was fabulous!! We continued our Thanksgiving by driving five hours to see my side of the family. She remained clear! She hung out with all of her cousins all weekend, ate many meals there and remained flare free. She watched everyone eat a whole bunch of stuff she couldn't indulge in and didn't have one issue with any of it. We kept her happy with muffins, "cake", left over apple pie and the newest addition.....honey suckers! She was so happy to be with her cousins and so CLEAR!!! We had a great holiday and were so happy to get through our first food allergic holiday reaction free!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The emotional piece take II.....

Our eczema/allergy battle takes many twists and turns on a daily basis. We have tried literally EVERYTHING, or at least a little of everything. Most recently, in addition to different water, we have been targeting the emotional piece. We have always seen a correlation of J's hives/itch with her emotional state. After reading an article that I linked into The emotional piece post last month, I realized that my personality/relationship with J could be an aspect to her condition. So following much reflection after reading that article I have made a few changes. This is definitely a work in progress and I have many slip ups, but I feel like we took a step in the right direction on many levels. Before reading this article I would find myself losing my patience at the drop of a hat. I am a very uptight person to begin with, I have a very hard time multi-tasking and get flustered very quickly. I am also a very empathetic person. I have a very hard time seeing people going through struggles. This is amplified by the fact that J is my daughter and seeing her suffer in anyway puts me on constant edge. I find that a ticking bomb explodes inside of me when she scratches. I am OCD about my daily routine and what I "have" to get done and when. I was in the habit of doing too much "busy work" and not enough playing with my kids. I have since tried, and I say try because old habits are hard to break, to not do busy work until after the girls go to bed. I have tried to just let loose and just be ridiculous with the girls. I am trying to put my phone down while they are awake and around. I am smiling more and stressing less. I can not put all of this effort into her skin and allergies and not into her spirit. I am LOVING it. Today I laid on the floor while my two girls tickled me until I was blue. At one point M got upset because she thought I was hurt. I LOVE it!!! J and I sat down and made three house rules, of which I had written in my head and steered her too. They were things that she struggles with because I have let her get away with too much due to certain aspects of our situation. She is loving it and has listened to me all day today, the first time I said something. Tonight she straightened the entire living room before she laid down. I am so ashamed at the point I got to where I was so driven by the business and lost site of the smiles! But hey, hind sight is 20/20 and all I can do is learn from my mistakes. But I did want to say that I have noticed a HUGE difference in both her behavior and her irritability. I hope that this lesson that I learned, may help someone else. I know how overwhelming and stressed out it can be to have a child that has daily struggles that can make them miserable and I know how much pressure that can be for a parent. It is easy to lose sight of what matters while doing the things you have to do to keep them comfortable. I am just happy I realized before it was too late. They are still young and I am determined to raise children who are atopic AND fabulous....Heck, they are already there ;)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My aha moment number 1

We have been really lucky this year with J's school and their full participation in her food allergy avoidance. We were very spoiled last year with a day care provider that rocks. She was willing to support us in ANY way she could in a very long journey that changed moment to moment.....LITERALLY!!! She never asked a single question as to why we were doing anything, just listened, did and helped try to piece together J's puzzle. So we had big shoes to fill this year. We had our first slip up on Friday. She somehow got a couple of pieces of popcorn from her "neighbor" across the table :-( She flared and had a couple very loose BMs. But it was probably for a good cause. We were able to realize how sensitive she is to corn, which is her lowest reaction in the RAST. She didn't flare as bad as she has in the past, so I am hoping her reactions start to decrease! But with this reaction brought my looking into the corn allergy deeper. I figured I had most things under control.....uh WRONG! The soap we have been using on her since birth, corn! The vanilla extract that I put into a vast majority of our baked goods, corn! Not to mention her antihistamine! Even her "safe" chocolate chips have been known to cause reactions in the really sensitive! My biggest aha moment was when I went to look at her toothpaste with the corn derivative sheet I noticed it has banana and strawberry extract! HELLO!!! How did I miss this??? Maybe we would have more time in between flares if I could get my act together with these sneaky ingredients! I guess I better look into home made toothpaste next!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vaccines take III

Hep B:
Aluminum Hydroxyphosphate Sulfate, Potassium Aluminum Sulfate:

When this vaccine is given at birth it contains levels of Aluminum that are 20 times higher than what is considered by the FDA as safe!
See Unfoiling Aluminum for more information

Amino Acids, Mineral salts, Dextrose:

Why are sugars, amino acids, and proteins added to some vaccines?
These materials may be added as stabilizers.  They help protect the vaccine from adverse conditions such as the freeze-drying process, for those vaccines that are freeze dried.  Stabilizers added to vaccines include: sugars such as sucrose and lactose, amino acids such as glycine or the monosodium salt of glutamic acid and proteins such as human serum albumin or gelatin. 

Formaldehyde or Formalin: See Vaccines take I and II

Soy Peptone, Yeast Protein:
These are both used to grow and feed the virus.

Two key points:
One, it is interesting to look at the ingredients in comparison to the main goal of Aluminum use in a vaccine (Refer to unfoiling Aluminum) and see the connection of them to the top 8 allergens.
Two, please read the attached pdf from think twice and do further research if you are not convinced of the dangers of the levels of aluminum we are ingesting and injecting.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What's the definition of cake??

In our house, aside from eating basically all whole foods, I bake something from scratch daily for our snacks/grains. This consists of making GF flour out of trader joe's GF oats and then creating a form of muffin, granola bar, cookie, crackers or pancakes. I was recently given a heart attack when the guy at tj's told me they couldn't get my oats in the other day :-/ I think he was wrong, thank god!!! Anyway, I went to do my baking yesterday and decided to make "granola bars". They are just oats, apple sauce, oil, vanilla and chocolate chips. NOT a big deal at all. Well when I gave J her snack she looked at it and then looked at me with a huge smile and said "are there chocolate chips in this cake mommy?" I told her yes and she said "it's delicious mommy!" she called it cake all day yesterday and today. I would like to know how this kid stays so positive with her eating patterns???? I guess if you define cake as anything in a cake dish, as long as it has chocolate chips it will do!!! I. LOVE. MY. J :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pizza is a.... Vegetable????

As Americans we assume that the government will uh.... Do what it's supposed to which is govern with the safety of the American people at the fore front. Stumbling upon an article that my niece directed me to today convinced me further, if that is possible, that they are failing miserably at their primary role. At one point I thought that if it is FDA, USDA, EPA approved it must be tested and safe....WRONG!!! Special interests, lobbying and profit driving has taken over our regulators, and hope in them, for me is lost! This article is further proof!

How do we stand behind a governing body with confidence that they will keep us safe when their business of the day is to make sure two tbsp of highly processed tomato paste on something that resembles pizza(I am a teacher and was a student, I know these pizzas well)will be classified as a vegetable and receive recognition in all areas as such? After all these pizzas are staples in school children's "nutritious" hot lunches.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bring on the STINK!!!

Just wanted the world to know that I will be making my own deodorant this weekend!!! YAY!!! The reason I feel the importance of this information to be shared is because apparently there is a detox period where your body tries to rid itself of the aluminum. During this time you could have some extra stinkiness. I have tried the switch to aluminum and propylene glycol free deodorant before, but I was nursing and poor T and my friend at work staged an intervention. I tried many brands and may have used a small fortune on them. So this time I will try making my own. I will be using a recipe recommended from a cool blog I stumbled upon today. I will be using the amaranth or tapioca starch as opposed to corn starch. First of all because J's allergic and I don't want corn starch in the house. Secondly, it is hard to find corn starch that is for sure non GMO. So here is the link if you are interested in trying this healthier option. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The white T may be the end of me!

We all have our own obsessions, my dear husband's just happens to be his white T's.  I have never seen anything quite like it and I don't know whether to be completely crazy about it or thankful. On one hand they are EVERYWHERE and on the other hand it makes for a cheap wardrobe :). I think this past summer he may have bought 10 packs of white T shirts. He is kind of the jack of all trades so he is always working on something that makes him dirty, so inevitably it makes the white, not so white. This doesn't stop him....going out shirt, oh I'll just go buy another pack! The problem this causes is drawers overflowing with WHITE. V-NECK. T-SHIRTS!!! AHHHHHH!! :) Well good news!!! A dream of upcycling the white/not so white T has come to me. J's obsession is her beautiful art work! She loves to color and has started to want to color on things she shouldn't. I have decided that I will cut the T's that are over flowing into squares and give J a new canvas. Then I will take these squares and learn to sew. I will then hopefully create a beautiful quilt for J. And the good news.....white T's are 100% cotton!!!!

Now who is going to teach me ;)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chronic illness is a side effect of SOMETHING!!!

There is nothing that inflames my emotions more than the phrase "I didn't ____ or we ate like____ and we are fine and healthy." or "We use this and have seen no side affects." Are we really healthy? What is healthy??? What is a side effect???
Just some simple statistics:

• The National Institutes of Health (NIH estimates up to 23.5 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease and that the prevalence is rising.
• Researchers have identified 80-100 different autoimmune diseases and suspect at least 40 additional diseases of having an autoimmune basis. These diseases are chronic and can be life-threatening.
• Autoimmune disease is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in female children and women in all age groups up to 64 years. of age.
1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism, with 67 children diagnosed per day. That is equivalent to a new diagnosis almost every 20 minutes (Autism Speaks, Inc.).
·  Approximately 9.5% or 5.4 million children 4-17 years of age have ever been diagnosed with ADHD, as of 2007.
·  The percentage of children with a parent-reported ADHD diagnosis increased by 22% between 2003 and 2007.
·  Rates of ADHD diagnosis increased an average of 3% per year from 1997 to 2006 [Read article dobe PDF file] and an average of 5.5% per year from 2003 to 2007.·  Children with each of the diagnoses were more likely than children with neither ADHD nor LD to have other chronic health conditions.
·  Children with ADHD (with and without LD) were more likely than children without ADHD to have contact with a mental health professional, use prescription medication, and have frequent health care visits.
Data from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (released Jan. 26, 2011)
Total prevalence of diabetes
Total: 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes.
Diagnosed: 18.8 million people
Undiagnosed: 7.0 million people
Prediabetes: 79 million people*
New Cases: 1.9 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older in 2010.
Under 20 years of age
  • 215,000, or 0.26% of all people in this age group have diabetes
  • About 1 in every 400 children and adolescents has diabetes
Age 20 years or older
  • 25.6 million, or 11.3% of all people in this age group have diabetes
Age 65 years or older
  • 10.9 million, or 26.9% of all people in this age group have diabetes
  • 13.0 million, or 11.8% of all men aged 20 years or older have diabetes
  • 12.6 million, or 10.8% of all women aged 20 years or older have diabetes
In 2005-2008, of adults aged 20 years or older with self-reported diabetes, 67% had blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg or used prescription medications for hypertension.
In 2008, 48,374 people with diabetes began treatment for end-stage kidney disease in the United States.

  • Percent of noninstitutionalized adults with diagnosed heart disease: 12%
  • Percent of adults age 20 years and over with high serum cholesterol (greater than or equal to 240 mg/dL): 15% (2005-2008)
  • Percent of non-institutionalized adults ages 20 and over with hypertension: 33% (2007-2008)

  • Percent of adolescents age 12-19 years who are obese: 18% (2007-2008)
  • Percent of children age 6-11 years who are obese: 20% (2007-2008)
  • Percent of children age 2-5 years who are obese: 10% (2007-2008)
  • Percent of adults age 20 years and over who are obese: 34% (2007-2008)
  • Percent of adults age 20 years and over who are overweight (and not obese): 34% (2007-2008)

The prevalence of food allergy among children under the age of 18 increased 18% percent from 1997 to 2007.8
·  Atopic dermatitis affects between 10% and 20% of children and 1% to 3% of adults.19
·  As many as 15% to 24% of people in the United States will experience acute urticaria (hives) and/or angioedema at some point in their lives.25
It is estimated that the number of cases of anaphylaxis from foods in the US increased from 21,000 per year in 1999 to 51,000 per year in 2008, based on long term population studies of anaphylaxis from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.35
·  Food allergy related hospital admissions increased from 2,600 per year (1998-2000) to 9,500 per year (2004-2006), according to a study from Branum and colleagues.36
·  It is estimated that food allergies cause approximately 150 to 200 fatalities per year, based on data from a five year study of anaphylaxis in Minnesota from the Mayo Clinic.37
·  Anaphylactic reactions to penicillin cause 400 deaths.7 (more that the flu)
  • Sinusitis accounts for approximately 20% of office visits to specialists in allergy and immunology.21
  • Approximately 12% of Americans under the age of 45 have symptoms of chronic sinusitis.21
  • In one study, 55% of patients with sinusitis also had a history of allergic rhinitis.21
  • Sinusitis is one of the leading forms of chronic disease, with an estimated 18 million cases and at least 30 million courses of antibiotics per year.22
  • About 40,000 people have sinus surgery every year.22

  • Percent of noninstitutionalized adults who currently have asthma: 7.7% 
  • Percent of children who currently have asthma: 9.4%     

-Nearly 1 out of every 1000 people in the US - around 266,000 people - suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS). This figure is 50% higher than that estimated by a similarly large literature review published in 1982 (Neurology, vol 32, p 1207).
Analysis also estimates that 67 out of every 1000 people aged 65 or older in the US suffers from Alzheimer's disease.
About two out of every 1000 youngsters have Tourette's syndrome, which is characterised by uncontrolled movements and speech.
-A recent study projected that the number of people living with Parkinson's disease will double from about 4.3 million to 9 million people worldwide over the next 25 years (Neurology, vol 68, p 384).
Journal reference: Neurology (vol 68, p 326)
  • Number of women ages 15-44 with impaired fecundity (impaired ability to have children): 7.3 million
  • Percent of women ages 15-44 with impaired fecundity: 11.8%
  • Number of married women ages 15-44 that are infertile (unable to get pregnant for at least 12 consecutive months): 2.1 million
  • Percent of married women ages 15-44 that are infertile: 7.4%
  • Number of women ages 15-44 who have ever used infertility services: 7.3 million (CDC)

Incidence extrapolations for USA for Male infertility: 2,000,000 per year, 166,666 per month, 38,461 per week, 5,479 per day, 228 per hour, 3 per minute, 0 per second. Note: this extrapolation calculation uses the incidence statistic: at least 2 million annual cases (based on NWHIC) 

- Birth rates have lowered by about 11% in the last 50 years! 
Prevalance of Polycystic ovary syndrome: 5-10% women of childbearing age (20-40); 30% of women have some PCOS symptoms (NWHIC).
It is an essential part of survival to look into what we breath, eat, smoke, drink, take and live in order to better our heath. We can not function under the notion that a professional can do it for us. Each aspect of our lives affect us in a domino effect positive or negative. Most research done by regulators of things we consume are short, minimalistic studies that last small chunks of time. They are done in optimal, very controlled samples and can not be used as gospel!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The little one learns fast...

They always say that the youngest doesn't talk as fast, as often or as well as the oldest did. But I am not sure "they" are right. Sure M doesn't say three word phrases at 17 months like J did, but there really isn't a moment of the day that we don't know what she wants or thinks she needs. I have decided to speak a little about my little M. Sometimes my little M gets left in the shadow because her bigger sister has more obvious needs and demands more attention. I just call it a learning curve and M has learned :) She is/was our easy going flexible child and she still is to some degree. She can entertain herself if she wants to, has less known food allergies and we aren't always watching her with baited breath for the itching to begin. But M sure has learned how to play the game. She has recently found a passion for having books read to her. She finds ANY book and brings it over and hands it to whoever is handy, grunts and then resorts to yelling if you don't immediately pick her up, sit her on your lap and start reading. She points to everything within the pages and tries to name it as best as she can. She has also learned how to get her sister's goat. She knows where every single one of J's buttons are and will push every single one of them until she gets the desired result. It is actually pretty funny to watch. Lately when I bake I give the girls the opportunity to lick the bowl. I put it on the floor (civilized I know) and give them both a utensil. I never give M the right one, she always wants J's. She also "needs" to have full control of the bowl and will not let J take it. I am not real sure how the powers have changed, but I am loving to watch the growth of our little power house! I am not quite sure where my two girls have gotten their need to control the situation ;)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The need to feed!!!

Disclaimer: this may just be a rant!!! I am including myself in these actions that will be described. I am simply stating an observation of our times!!! I took the girls to the mall today to ride a little train they have next to the play area. We were excited that we got to wave to Santa, listen at a storytime and make a little craft as a bonus. But because of all the things that were going on today there were kids galore. As best practice in our house we usually eat a snack before we leave. They can't really eat anything prepackaged so it is just easier this way. Since switching our eating life style around I have noticed the need to feed in our country. You will NOT go ANYWHERE where there are kids and moms and not see tons of snack type foods being given to kids all over the place. We have the need to entertain with food. This goes beyond just bringing lunch to save money. 9/10 diaper bags across America contain a traveling pantry! These magic bags would probably feed a small country in a nuclear fallout!!! Sometimes this traveling diner gets me in to trouble with the girls because the snack options are usually visually appealing to all kids, mine are not immune. J has gotten pretty good about not asking. She is surprisingly aware of what makes her itchy and wants to genuinely avoid it. That being said I really need to come up with some travel easy treats for them! Cause let's face it this need to feed obsession on the part of mom's across America is not going to go away and neither is the sudden hunger that strikes j right after seeing kids all around eating vibrantly colored foods!! Even if she has just eaten a huge breakfast.

Fluoride....oh geeze!!!

Did you know...

  • That according to the handbook, "Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products," fluoride is more poisonous than lead and just slightly less poisonous than arsenic.
  • That according to the Physicians' Desk Reference: "In hypersensitive individuals, fluoride occasionally causes skin eruptions such as atopic dermatitis, eczema, or urticaria. Gastric distress, headache, and weakness have also been reported. These hypersensitive reactions usually disappear promptly after discontinuation of the fluoride."
  • That the Canadian Dental Association recommends: "Fluoride supplements should not be recommended for children less than three years old."
  • That from 1990 to 1992, the Journal of the American Medical Association published three separate articles linking increased hip fracture rates to fluoride in the water.
  • That in the March 22, 1990 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Mayo Clinic researchers reported that fluoride treatment of osteoporosis increased hip fracture rate and bone fragility.
  • That a study by Proctor and Gamble showed that as little as half the amount of fluoride used to fluoridate public water supplies resulted in a sizable and significant increase in genetic damage.
  • That in 1993, researchers from the National Institute of Environmental Health admitted: "in cultured human and rodent cells, the weight of the evidence leads to the conclusion that fluoride exposure results in increased chromosome aberrations [genetic damage]."
  • That in 1988, the ability of fluoride to transform normal cells into cancer cells was confirmed by Argonne National Laboratories.
  • That the research of Dr. Dean Burk, former Chief Chemist of the National Cancer Institute, showed that about 10,000 or more fluoridation-linked cancer deaths occur yearly in the United States.
  • That results from Battelle Research Institute showed that fluoride was linked to a rare form of liver cancer in mice, oral tumors and cancers in rats, and bone cancer in male rats.
  • That since 1990, the National Cancer Institute, the New Jersey Department of Health, and the Safe Water Foundation all found that the incidence of osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, was far higher in young men exposed to fluoridated water as compared to those who were not. 
Taken directly from

After reading about the impact of Aluminum on the human body and its synergistic reaction with fluoride we decided to try RO water with J and M, so far so good!! Tom is convinced that it was the water and not chocolate chips that were impacting her final steps towards healing. We will see, fingers crossed!! Two days and we have already seen a change. But sometimes looks can be deceiving.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Egg and wheat free meatballs..

Tonight for dinner I wanted to make the girls something besides meatballs or burgers and chicken for M. I had some grass fed ground beef and I didn't really want to hassle with a vegetable. I cut a spaghetti squash in half and threw it in the oven. But lately the girls have been resisting veggies so I have been trying to get a little more creative. So with some inspiration from a weelicious recipe I made before, I threw two carrots, half an onion, a couple garlic cloves in the veggie mix to chop then added that to some minced spinach. I mushed it all together with the GB and added garlic powder and a pinch of salt. I rolled it into about 1/4 cup sized meatballs then baked them at 350 in muffin tins. The girls ate them up! They were yummy, very flavorful!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Finally!!! 100% cotton socks!!!

As previously posted I have been on a hunt for 100% cotton socks for months. My Mother-in-law has been to every store in the mall to find some. We have been scrambling to save poor J's feet!!! I even wanted my cousin to knit a pair, but she said they wouldn't stay on her feet :-/ Well good news!! Today we found the sock!! It is a boy's crew sock made by Ralph Lauren at Macy's. They didn't have it in the store I went to, but they do have it online. They only carry them in the boys department and not girls, who knows why, and not all white crew socks by RL are 100% cotton so if you buy them make sure you are clicking on the ones that say 100% cotton:
Basically you are SOL if you are not a boy or shoe size 2-4 cause that is all they have, but at this point we are desperate. I hate seeing her little hands and feet flaring from socks and we need them at night as a preventative measure and for obvious reasons for winter in the midwest. Luckily there is another site that has more of a "variety", but they are $6 a pair!!!
Old Navy also has some boys argyle socks online that say 100% cotton. What is up with them only being boys???
There are also some baby socks at BBB. They would make a cute gift for a baby with eczema or just cute for any baby.
I am not real sure why this search today came up with more options that any other search before, but I don't care!!! I am just glad we have some options now :) If these socks arrive at my door and are not 100% cotton and they did the whole play on words advertising I will erupt!! Keep your fingers crossed ;)


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Label reading/cross contamination...

When we first started on the elimination of the girl's allergens I was completely clueless. No wheat...oh okay I will take the bun off the burger. No milk....okay I won't eat cheese or drink milk. Note to the world there is wheat in licorice!!! There is dairy in just about all chocolate candy!!! I was eating butter thinking I was dairy free. Okay I was really naive. But WOW!!! How expansive elimination is!!! I have come to realize that the time I don't read the label is the time there are allergens in the product. I am so thankful to have allergen warnings, but my gosh EVERYTHING is a derivative or corn!!! Did you know some plastics are corn based to be more "green"? Almost all supplements/drugs have corn in them! Needless to say my understanding has grown by leaps and bounds. With allergies at the high rates that they are in the world today I wish this was common knowledge. I feel so bad when a trusted friend or family member offers food and I have to read the label or ask what is in it. I am not meaning to be rude, but it is essential for health of the girls. Ingredients are so gray! There are moments, although rare these days, that I slip when it comes to label readings and their allergies have become my job. So world know these things: you can't just pick the allergen off, Its not a trust issue if I double check a label or ask twice what ingredients are, if you own a dog and sit on J's stuff and I wash it don't take it personally, if I walk in your house and don't want your dog to touch me or sit on your couch it is not you, if I ask if you have a pet and then decline your invite know that its because I will be up for 2 nights watching my LO try to scratch herself out of her skin! I still love you world and I hope you can understand my need to carefully try to control these situations because I can't control the misery she feels when she is smack dab in the middle of a flare. Though she did go into the neighbor's house the other day who has a dog and didn't get itchy :) Anyway, label reading is intense, allergen avoiding is daunting. I am glad I learned quickly on this topic. It has been a major step in J's improvement. Hopefully it continues to work and her reactions become less severe over time!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A turkey carcass, you shouldn't have :)

I spend the majority of my life thinking, talking, obsessing over allergies, hives and eczema. I research, read and obsess over as much information and possibilities that I can get my hands on! This obsession pours over into every facet of my life. This is including, but not limited to my lunch room discussions with the girls at work. They hear everything whether they want to or not ;) It is actually why I started blogging. I wanted to therapize myself as well as keep all my thoughts and obsessions in one place. And hopefully cut down on some of the allergy talk to the poor people I work, live and socialize with on a daily basis. Seriously even the Trader Joe's and Whole Foods checkers hear about it. I know I am crazy and obsessive, but hey, the first step is admitting you have a problem. Anyway, my point is that I have discussed many things with my favorite lunch ladies. One of the topics includes my desire to feed J more broth to help heal her gut. So this brings me to a text I received last night from one of my friends at work. "I made a turkey breast tonight. Want me to save the carcass for you?" My response "YES!!! PLEASE!!! Thanks so much for thinking of me :)" I immediately reflected on this conversation. When people I know think of me and a nice thought it is (I was actually very thankful), they are thinking turkey carcasses!!! HILARIOUS!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


It has been since Easter since we have started our alternative care journey with J and her skin and let me just say we have come a long way!!! We have been through many ups and downs and lots of emotions. She is the strongest little girl I have ever met. She has the kindest heart and the spirit of a warrior. She has spent much of the last year having many many restless nights and lots of tears. Baths have been a terror and lotion applications have been something out of a horror film. Some days I have felt like she was in a strait jacket trapped in her itchy body screaming to get out. She has had her diet restricted too many times to count and has gone on the journey with a positive attitude and a loving heart. I could not have asked God for a bigger blessing in my oldest daughter. I thank God everyday for giving me a child who could endure these challenges and still have a gleam in her eye and a hop in her step. I love my little J and am so happy to say she has had three restful, peaceful nights of sleep in a row. I pray to God that this is just a sign of what is to come for our little girl. Not too long ago I posted some before pix of J's skin at its worst (see The Journey Continues...)
  and today I am going to post a couple at its best. These were taken today.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Unfoiling Aluminum...

Aluminum is a heavy metal with known neurotoxic effects on human and animal nervous systems. It can be found in the following childhood vaccines – DTaP, Pediarix (DTaP-Hepatitis B-Polio combination), Pentacel (DTaP-HIB-Polio combination), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae B (HIB), Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), and Pneumococcal vaccines.[2]

In 1996, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a position paper on Aluminum Toxicity in Infants and Children which stated in the first paragraph, “Aluminum is now being implicated as interfering with a variety of cellular and metabolic processes in the nervous system and in other tissues."

Let's start with why Aluminum is used in Vaccines:
After reading many resources my understanding is that Aluminum is used for two reasons: number one because it stays in the system for a long time with your body unable to expel it efficiently. This allows the vaccine a vehicle to do its job. Number two is to target the up regulation of the humoral arm TH2 to drive production of antibodies. This is what gives us the protective nature against the ingredients in the vaccine. It creates over activity of TH2.

Now for a little background and breaking up of the function of T-cells and the immune system (very basic background, too complex for me to wrap my brain around so this is what I understand): The cellular mediated immune system is made up of TH1 cells, TH2 cells that have a main role in allergic response and TH3 cells which are the regulators of 1 & 2. The early months and years of life the immune system is learning how to balance these cells and target what is the enemy and what is "self". This is the time we are injecting numerous vaccines in our children containing a main ingredient that's main purpose is to drive up TH2 production to do the job of the vaccine. When these cells do not learn to work together this is when the breeding ground for chronic illness is born.
We have no scientific studies in infants, children or adults to help us understand the nature of the progression of TH1, TH2 and TH3 immune responses to any of the injected materials in vaccines.

What is even more concerning is the lack of accepted scientific data explaining whether injected aluminum interacts with other vaccine ingredients to cause harm to our children. Boyd Haley Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky completed lab experiments showing the damaging effects on nerve cells when he exposed them to aluminum, especially in the presence of other vaccine ingredients like mercury, formaldehyde, and the antibiotic neomycin.[6] [7] His data, however, have been ignored by the scientific, medical and governmental institutions making vaccine policies.

Aluminum enters the brain by attaching to glutamate(vaccine ingredient) and fluoride. 
Aluminum has been exempt from testing for safety by FDA and carries no restrictions for amount or use.
No test has been done to test its carcinogenic affect even after extensive research has proven it carcinogenic in animals.
All research in the last 35 years has shown every aspect of Aluminum is unsafe.

A MUST READ!!!! Much of info here is taken from this source:

Studies on Aluminum that have been ignored:

Please check out this blog for more information and resources !!!