Welcome to the Wacky World of Food Allergies

Hannah Rose was recently diagnosed with milk and egg allergies. So we’ve embarked on quite the new journey.

We’ve replaced milk with Soy Milk. (Silk makes a very vanilla and a chocolate flavour that enriched for kids). In fact, we’re buying a number of soy “replacement” products: soy cheese, soy butter, soy yogurt–you get the idea. We’re also looking for alternative sources of calcium (like calcium enriched OJ, and the aforementioned enriched soy milk, along with foods naturally containing calcium).

We’re also reading labels like never before. Which is how we found the soy cheese that contains milk proteins. (No we didn’t buy that brand of soy cheese!) We’ve managed to find bread that doesn’t contain any milk or egg. (Thank you Whole Foods )

I’ve gotten a new cookbook:  Allergy-Free Cookbook by Alice Sherwood which contains recipes for avoiding eggs, dairy, nuts, and gluten.  (Although not always all 4 ingredients at once!)  I’ve also been researching on how to adjust current recipes with replacements for milk (and milk products) as well as egg.  It seems as if there are quite a number of options out there–it’s just a matter of trying out these “experiments” and finding the ones our family likes best!

We’ve been thinking, talking, and doing research into this whole thing.  Did I mention it’s still very new to us?  While Hannah Rose’s allergies are on the milder side, we still want to avoid them completely.

She likes to go to McDonald’s occasionally.  OK, so probably more often than occasionally–but like most of us, she doesn’t always get what she wants as often as she likes.  I decided to look up McDonald’s Nutritional Information.  I wasn’t too surprised to find out that the Chicken McNuggets have milk.  Most breaded items will have either milk or egg.  I was pleased to find out their hamburgers (including buns) have no milk or egg.  However, I found it oddly strange that their French Fries have milk.  Apparently hydrolyzed milk is a starting point for their beef flavouring.

I’m finding some good resources on-line in regards to food allergies–one being The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network

Like I said, this is the beginning of a new journey–and I’m sure I’ll have much more to write on this subject as we travel down this road!



This past weekend we took Hannah Rose to see the Broadway Musical, Oliver! Of course, it wasn’t on Broadway…it was a bit off off off off Broadway. Give or take an off or several.

It was put on by the Motor City Youth Theatre and Grantland Street Players in Livonia. (You can check out their website here )

We really enjoyed the show.  It had been far too long since I had been to the theatre–any sort, really.  Hannah Rose seemed to enjoy it–she said her favourite parts were when “the man’s foot got stepped on.”  She also liked it when Oliver pulled out a very long stream of hankies from Fagin’s pocket, and then fell on his bum.  She was incredibly well behaved during the show.

The director did a great job with the cast.  Working with kids is not always easy–but when it’s done well, it’s a pleasure for everyone!  As far as the cast went–the young girl who played Dodger stood out by leaps and bounds.

Even Chris–who hates musicals and isn’t that much of a live theatre fan (yet! ~wink, wink~) enjoyed the production.  Which, if you know him, is saying more than A LOT!

The theatre space was small and intimate.  The cast was almost as large as the audience!  It looked like the building had at one time been perhaps a small church.  I liked the set, and the costumes were great.  I was a little surprised to see actors doing double duty as stage-hands, but I know that’s not unheard of.

The story–it’s a great story, as long as you’re not reading Charles Dickens’ version thereof.  I was going to say I can’t think of any adaptation of a Charles Dickens’ novel that I haven’t enjoyed–but then I remembered that Great Expectations movie we were forced to watch back in high school.  I didn’t care much for that.  With that exception, I think his stories are great.  I just hate the way he tells them.  I know there are a lot of Charles Dickens fans out there–and I may get yelled at for saying so, but I don’t think he was a good writer.  OK, OK, to say I don’t think he was a good writer is putting it mildly to say the least.  And it’s probably a little silly how passionately I dislike the man’s writing.  But there you have it folks–my honest opinion:  Charles Dickens’ stories are great, the way he tells them not so great!

Driving after the theatre, Hannah Rose yawns loudly and declares, “I’m not tired.”  Chris laughed so hard at that, she did it several more times before arriving home.  She likes laughing and making other people laugh every bit as much as he does!

Prince Caspian

Last night, Chris and I saw the movie Prince Caspian!!!  It was awesome!!!  (Interestingly enough–it was also the sequel to the first movie we saw together: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.) 

I have to say so far they’ve done exceptionally well with these movies–and a good thing too.  I love the books.  They’re very special to me–my mother read them to my sister and I.  I was a bookworm–my mother was not.  In fact, she used to say she could count on one hand the number of books she had willingly read  for pleasure.  She didn’t read to me a lot.  But during the latter part of my elementary years, she decided to start reading to my sister and I.  We started with the Chronicles of Narnia.  I even remember going with her to the Christian Bookstore to purchase them.  Every night she would read aloud to us–and of course, I always wanted her to keep reading, but she’d stop and I couldn’t wait for the next day to find out what happened next.  (I wasn’t allowed to just read those books on my own, otherwise I would have!!!) 

My favourite character in that series has always been Reepicheep!  That mouse is beyond awesome!!!  In fact, I even had a stuffed mouse that I named Reepicheep.  I wonder whatever happened to him….  Truth be told, Reepicheep is one of my favourite literary characters of all time!  Crazy perhaps–but there you have it!

I do have one beef with the movie–and that was the minor romantic thing they threw in there between Queen Susan and Prince Caspian.  It didn’t really take away from the plot, but it was so Hollywood/Disney Princess Story-esque.  In short, it was just wrong!

Even with that, I loved the movie and totally recommend it.  I am looking forward to when Hannah Rose is old enough to watch the movies.  Of course, she’ll have to have read (or have had read to her) the books first.  That is the proper way to do it after all.  ~grins~

Long Live Reepicheep!!!  The cutest Knight of Narnia!!!!  ~laughs~  (I’d be in so much trouble if he ever read that line!!!)



Xaxu gets a Bath!

Xaxu got a bath last week.  I’ve not been the best at bathing him as often as I should.  (More for my allergies than for any other reason.)  But he was due.  And yes, I still bathe him and by myself.  I’ve been doing so since he was a wee kitten. 

When I took him in the bathroom, he cried plaintively.  He really did not want to go into that bathtub full of water.  But he was better behaved than usual.  He didn’t start yowling till I had him up and out of the water.  Once I had him towel dried he ran off to go fix his fur.  Being a warm day, I decided not to subject him to the added horrors of being blow-dried.  (He hates that as bad as the bathe itself!) 

Once he has half-dried and his fur had been properly combed, he latched onto my shoulder and didn’t want to leave for awhile.  He was definitely more clingly than usual–which is normal after his baths. 

I shot some pics of him all wet.  Thought Hannah Rose would get a kick out of them.  Maybe you will too!


Off to See the Polar Bears…

Last week on Friday I took Hannah Rose to the Detroit Zoo.  We had a good time.  We went out to lunch first, at  Pizza Hut so she could use her reading award.  Afterwards, onward to the zoo.  It was my first time at the Detroit Zoo.  I had been warned there wasn’t much shade there–and there’s not!!!  Not a good thing for a woman of my complexion.  The day was comfortable out.  Even so, the several hours I spent there with Hannah Rose netted me my first sunburn of the season.  Time to bust out the Coppertone Water Babies Sunblock SPF 50 (unless they’ve a higher SPF now!!!). 

From the get-go, she wanted to see the Polar Bears!  Since the Arctic Exhibit was at the back of the zoo, we enjoyed our rather long walk to get there!  Of course, we made a number of stops on the way.

There was a playground towards the front of the zoo that Hannah Rose had a lot of fun playing on. 

Here, she’s in the Penguinarium.   The Detroit Zoo has 3 different species of Penguins.  They were pretty active and doing a lot of swimming while we we’re there.

This is outside the Amphian House. 

You can’t really see it–but there’s a baby frog in the crown of this big gloomy frog King, and another by his front “feet.” 

Hannah Rose was awesome here–she wanted to play on the turtle, but there were other kids there before us.  She waited very patiently for her turn.  I was very proud of her!

Hannah Rose was very excited about the Reptile house.  She loved seeing all the snakes and critters.  Ugh!  (Although I will admit, my mind did flash to the scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when Harry inadvertently made the glass disappear, freeing the snake and freaking out Dudley!)  Here’s a pic of Hannah Rose by a nesting crocadile.  What’s odd is her mouth (the crocodile, NOT Hannah Rose) was open like that the whole time we were there–almost made her look fake!

Finally, we arrived at the Arctic Exhibit!!  When we got to see the Polar bears, turns out they were taking a siesta!  They were all cuddled up together, it was rather cute. 

This is what Hannah Rose looked like when we got to Grandma and Pappy’s house.  I was amazed.  I’ve never seen her just konk out in the car before.  But we had been walking around that zoo for hours, so I understood.  In order to take the picture I stopped the care, put it in park, engaged the parking break and then took the pic.  Once I turned off the engine she awoke in a flash.  Then she wanted to go out and play in the backyard! 

Concert Postponed

Have to say I’m a little bummed.  Chris was taking me to see Def Leppard in concert (in Detroit) tomorrow night.  It was to celebrate my upcoming birthday (next week….).  

Seems that Joe, the lead singer, has an upper respiratory infection.  They’ve had to postpone a number of concerts now–ours being the latest.  We won’t get to see them now until August. 

Busy Day

Have a busy day today–followed by a busy weekend. 

In just a few I’m headed out to take Hannah Rose out to lunch.  We’re going to Pizza Hut–she’s earned a free personal pizza through a reading program!  Yay! Hannah Rose.  After that we’re headed out to Northville to go a live musical version of the Velveteen Rabbit. 

After dropping her off at Chris’s parents, I’ll be meeting up with Chris here at home and then we’ll be heading off to The Twisted Shamrock.  We’re ordering our rings tonight, as well as starting our wedding registry there.

We’re hoping to get our reception site locked in this weekend as well.  I have an appt. for us to go see one venue on Saturday afternoon.  Saturday night we’re going to a concert.  Sunday we’re doing more wedding planning. 

Somewhere in the midst of all of this I must remember to breathe!!!

I’m off!

Edit:  I spoke too soon!  Went to get directions to the theatre and turns out Metro Parent had the listing wrong–they’re not showing the play during the week anymore.  That was just for Spring Break, so Hannah Rose and I will head over to the Detroit Zoo after lunch since the weather’s not too fierce for me.  (Have to watch my sun exposure!!)

The Henry Ford

Today we went to the Henry Ford!  It was my first trip there!  For some of my friends back in Cali, the Henry Ford is a museum started by Henry Ford in Detroit!  http://www.hfmgv.org/  We had oodles of fun and are considering getting a membership so that we can go back often. 

Thought I’d share some pics from our adventure: