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Thursday, June 28, 2012

I lub you

It's the sweetest thing when your 21 month old knows how to say "I lub you" at the most appropriate time. How about 9:30pm when he keeps jumping out of his bed to tell you, "I lub you, I lub you, I lub you!" and gives wet kisses on your cheek? Sometimes he'll hand me a toy and just smile and say "I lub you" and then take it back. Huh?

The funniest is when he says "I lub you, daddy" but I'm mommy! Or even when he says, "I lub you, Tita" but Tita is his nanny who actually taught him to say I love you. I think these lovely three words is a modelled behaviour. I actually realize that I don't say "I love you" to my older children. They never said these words at 21 months. In fact they're only saying it now at age 5 and 3.5 cuz they learned about it at school preparing the Mother's Day and Father's Day card, or from their little baby brother.

Maggie often plays "house" with AJ. She tells him to call her mommy and she prepares his lunch and snack in the toy kitchen with the toy food. She calls him sweetie, dear and honey. "Your lunch is ready, sweetie" That's the funny thing, I don't say that in the house. I wish I did but I actually don't. Even my husband comments, ha you didn't learn to say that from Mommy. O well.

This is just an interesting observation about my own love languages. Well I have started to say "I lub you" more often to my kids now.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Little Champ

I filled out the survey questionnaire for my son's visit to CHEO (Children's Hospital of Easter Ontario) in Ottawa, six months ago but I forgot to send in it. I had really positive feedback and comments I wanted to tell the nurses but it's been too long so I figured it would still be appropriate to share my comments anyway.

CHEO is a world class children's hospital offers many services to children of all ages. It is very adequately funded by the government and private funding from charities, plus heavy weight support from the Ottawa Senators hockey team.  We've only barely touched the surface of using the services that CHEO provides with the kids' visits to Emergency for respiratory distress from reactive airways (asthma attack) twice, a dislocated elbow joint, unexplained weeklong high fever from a vaccination shot, infant bronchiolitis and in December 2011 from a previous post, when Lincoln suddenly stopped walking from Transient Sinovitis (Mr Jello Legs).

The survey responses below are written for Lincoln's visit.

How was your visit?
Your feedback helps us improve! Please take a few moments to share your thoughts about your experience with us.
Please rate your visit from 1 to 5, ranging from Needs Work to Very Good.
= 4

What was good?
The Triage set us at the appropriate priority given the symptoms. I knew we had to wait long and the nurses were kind and gentle.  Nice to see men and women in nursing, breaking traditionl barriers. The newly renovated Galaxy waiting room was very nice!

What could we do to improve your visit?
My child had to do a diagnostic test that required fasting, but I was not told this fact in the night.  After his blood test before dawn and he was crying like crazy, a nurse told me that I could give him his milk to calm him. He finished his bottle of milk before 6AM but when another nurse arrived at 8AM to bring him to the test, she had to tell me that it had to be postponed because of the bottle. As a result they could not run the test till 2PM. That was an uneccessary long wait.

Is there a staff member you would like us to recognize because they did something special for you or your child?
The porter who moved my son from room to room for the tests and ultrasounds made him smile/mobile with a high five and called him "little champ".

Perhaps it is still important to send this feedback to CHEO especially for the second question. If I can track down an email address or be organized enough to find a stamp and envelope I might do that (eventually).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Proliferation of Soy

Coping with a child's food allergy is a difficult but necessary task for alot of parents these days. As a child growing up, I only knew of one kid in the whole wide world (in my elementary school) who carried an epipen for his peanut allergies. Nowadays among my circle of friend, counting the ones with kids age 5 and under, I count 10 kids with nut, milk, egg or gluten allergies. Sometimes I have trouble figuring out what to do if I have to invite someone to my kids' birthday party. Fortunately I had a mom offer to bake gluten free muffins for her son to bring to the party and share with whoever; that's very nice! Another time, a mom told me not to go to great lengths to buy or bake an egg free cake but suggested that she would bring along Chapman's ice cream, peanut free and egg free. (Since when was EGGS included in ice cream?)

The whole threat with food allergies is that even trace amounts can be dangerous, even deadly. Most ingredients like nut, milk, egg or gluten just take some common sense or rapid ingredient-label reading to avoid. My friend told me, as odd as it may seem, potato chips or corn tortilla chips and most junk foods, were the only safe snack for her son. However, by far the most prolific, unassuming but prevelant ingredient in nearly all processed food that humans eat these days contains a very serious three letter word, soy.

My 2.5 year old neice was recently diagnosed with an allergy for soy and pretty much every chemical or food additive that is made from soy.  You would think it to be rather sad for a Chinese kid to miss out on soya sauce and tofu. But it's not as simple as avoiding Chinese food.  Leah cannot even eat regular snacks, candy and desserts because of the common ingredient Soybean Oil.  What will she do at a friend's birthday party; just stick to the Veggie platter I suppose but avoid the dip.  MSG is somehow derived from Soy.

Even a trace amount of soy or even touching it causes a serious breakout of eczema rashes on all areas of her skin. The itching and scratching is so intense that my brother and his wife expect a bout of four sleepless nights to prevent the scratching. They've gone to emergency once or twice because of the sudden flareups and infection to open wounds. It's just so sad. They go to great lengths to avoid soy.

An unexpereinced player in the game of Soy Searching … will  definitely be overwhelmed by the amount of Soy used in all foods. Leah's parents read labels on literally everything at the store.  Usually Soybean Oil, Soy Protein is more obvious and will cause an obvious  reaction.  I don’t understand what Soy Lecithin is, but is found in countless products as well. She seems to be able to mildly tolerate that. Well I want to be that farmer who grows Soy Beans as a cash crop!

Vegetable Oil , 60% of the time it is Soybean Oil or a mix containing Soybean oil.  Avoid products that do not specify what kind of Vegetable Oil. Oil.  If you look at the find print on a jug labelled as Vegetable Oil, it will most likely be Soybean Oil.

Oils that are acceptable are Olive, Conola, Palm Oil; really heavy in saturated fat but does not cause a reaction

Cooking Oil used at home – Must be labeled as 100% Pure Canola Oil, or Pure Exrtra Virgin Olive

- Margarine – almost every brand contains soybean oil or unspecified Vegetable Oil. Olive Oil Margarine seems acceptable.
- Salad Dressing,  Mayonaise,  - Helmanns brand is ok.
- Peanut Butter – all cheap ones contain soybean oil,  Just Peanuts is ok.
- Bread.  Yes BREAD straight from Superstore.  Wonder Bread products, the most common hot dog and burger bun is made with Soybean Oil in the ingredient. 
- Multi-grain bread – Soy is a bean, and is ground up and used in multigrain bread.
- Chocolate . contains unlisted oils. ..
- Cake from Sobey’s,  Costco,
- Ice Cream Cake from Dairy Queen
- Flour can be mixed with Soy Flour.   So almost any unknown baking is avoided. Any baking from a store can contain soy flour.
- Margarine used in baking – margarine is made from unspecified Vegetable Oil .. most likely Soybean oil
- Campbell’s Mushroom soup and most canned soup
- Chips
- Prepackaged cookies and crackers
- Cheese
- Cakes, muffins, and cookies from a bakery can contain Soy Flour, Soybean Oil, and likely Soybean Oil in non cream based icing.
- Most definitely bakery buns, chinese bakery buns, muffins, danishes,
turnovers from a grocery store.
- Frozen Pizza – most brands.
- Tortilla Wraps. – most brands.
- Regular Snacks:  chips, dip, oreo, fudgee-o, most off the shelf cookies, crackers and snacks.
- Regular Chocolate bars: kit kat, coffee crisp, kinder-surprise

- hot dogs
- burgers
- Chocolate
- Bread
- Off the shelf cookies,  Oreo etc…
- Chips

- fruits
- plain steamed or boiled vegetables.
- selective cheese
- pasta with selective sauces
- chicken with little seasoning
- home made cream sauces
- tomato based sauces
- Helmann’s Olive Oil Mayonaise is acceptable
- City Bread brand Rye Bread from IGA/Sobey’s
- some Tortilla Wraps, PC Flat Bread
- Apple Sauce
- McDonald's plain burger (no ketchup no nothing!) and French fries
- McDonald's ice cream without the cone

This quote from my brother summarizes that whole daily struggle in a nutshell.

To be more fair.  Soy isn’t really hidden from us.  It’s perfectly normal to contain soy products in everything.  It’s just that it’s a problem for us, so it seems like a game that we’re trying to find all the hidden soy.    If Soy wins, Leah pays with massive itching for 2-4 days, and we pay with no sleep and fighting her itchiness.