Like Mom, If I Could Be Like Mom (or The Power of Starbucks)

03/05
2012

So, I have been called upon to write a post that won’t make you cry.  I thought, oh, that’s easy, I’ll post a recipe but then I thought that would sort of be cheating.  Here is my attempt at a non-tear-jerking post but I can make no promises…

If the kids are good (well, even decent) in church, on the way home, we bring them to Starbucks.  I get my grande, no water, no foam, extra-hot soy chai. Gino, Lucy and Daddy get an orange juice. Milo and Sal get a cow’s milk.  We wipe down the table and chairs, and while doing so, we usually get a few what-in-the-world-are-they-doing glances.  Then we sit.  We sit in such a way that the baby, Lucy, can’t have accidental access to the cow’s milk.  Gino is now old enough to know he doesn’t want to drink the cow’s milk but still he sits closer to Lucy and can act as a buffer.  Milo knows he can’t take a sip of my drink because of the soy.  As soon as we are settled into our complicated and assigned, wiped-down seats, we open the orange juices first and then move on to poking the straws into the cow’s milk boxes.  This preparation takes awhile which is why I order my chai extra hot.

On the way home one Sunday a few weeks ago, Gino had a revelation.  From the rear of our minivan, he yells over a cranked-up Adele song, “Mommy, now that I am not allergic to soy anymore, can I order a chai from Starbucks like you next time?”  Luckily we were pulling in the garage so I could take him aside to explain the complicated concept of cross-contamination to a five-year old.  I explained to him that when they make the drinks at Starbucks, they make them really fast because there are always long lines.  He understood that.  I told him that when people are making drinks really quickly that they do not have the time to clean the equipment that they use to make the drinks.  So, if they don’t have time to clean between a coffee with cow’s milk and a soy chai, then cow’s milk could get into your soy.  Did he understand what I was telling him?  Was it going to disappoint him that he couldn’t get the same drink as I do?  He was quiet for a moment.  Then, ah-ha, he got it.  “Okay, Mommy.  Yeah, I do not want cow’s milk in my soy chai.  But I still want to be able to have a Starbucks soy chai like you.”

The mind-racing we all experience kicked in, racing to find an alternative, racing to figure out how I can make a drink that was somehow the same, but different.  When I remembered that they sold the same Tazo Chai Tea at the bookstore, we took a quick walk and picked up a container.   If I warmed that up with the newly-safe vanilla soy milk, voilà, a Starbucks soy chai.  When we made the soy chai together, I put a small amount in a plain white coffee mug.  I made a similar rice milk chai for Milo who has FPIES (food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome) to soy and they each took their first sip of a lukewarm chai. After the first sip, Milo guzzled his.  Gino drank it more slowly, maybe he liked the experience more than the actual flavor but he would never admit to that.

When I put Gino to bed that night, I could tell he had something on his mind.  When I pressed a little, he said, “Mommy, I loved that chai today but I am trying to figure out how I can make it like yours.  Can I make it and then bring it to Starbucks and pour it in a cup that matches yours?”  I had an epiphany.  I grabbed my phone and brought up a picture of the ceramic Starbucks mug that looks exactly like the paper to-go cup.  He took the phone out of my hand and used his thumb and pointer to make the picture as large as he could and then he giggled.  “Oh, Mom, I love that lid.”  (The lid is a simple black travel mug lid.)  He fell asleep dreaming about the possibility of having one of those mugs with that amazing lid all for himself.

When I picked Gino up from school the next day, I had a Starbucks bag with two mugs wrapped in tissue paper inside, one for him and one for me.  Before he even opened the bag, he threw his arms around me in pure joy.  He thanked me over and over.  “Now I can drink a soy chai in a cup just like you!!  Can we make it as soon as we get home?”  And so we did.  But when I was putting him to bed that night, he again seemed like he was thinking about something.  When I asked him what it was, he quickly explained, “I’m really happy that I got to have a soy chai in that Starbucks cup but do you think Saturday you could make us both one and then we can go do some running around like you like to do with your chai?”  “Yes, Gino, we can do running around with your chai on Saturday.  Good night…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is something powerful about the desire for a child to emulate his parents and something equally as powerful in the Starbucks brand.  It means acceptance to him.  It means doing what everyone else is doing.  It means fitting in. And he found a way to do all that but still do it safely.  As I looked down at him as we did some running around that Saturday morning and he held that heavy ceramic Starbucks mug clumsily in his little hands I realized that I, too, loved that Starbucks mug and that silly black lid.  As I was pouring love over him, he looked up at me, took a sip and smiled… and I suddenly felt a powerful desire to emulate my son, his purity, his easy satisfaction, so I did the same.  Soy chai never tasted so good.

 

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100 Responses to Like Mom, If I Could Be Like Mom (or The Power of Starbucks)

  1. Krista says:

    STILL got teary! So simple, so sweet, so wonderful of you to make him the happiest little boy he could be!

  2. Eileen says:

    I thought this one was not supposed to make us cry. As I wipe tears, I can tell you that your blog has done it again. Your words capture my thoughts perfectly. If there are 2 things I love in this world…one is my 6 year old son with food allergies and the other is chai from Starbucks!

    • Sarah says:

      Eileen, I have to admit I got a little teary-eyed myself at the end but I tried my hardest!! :) I think we have a lot in common! Have a great night!
      Sarah

  3. Marisa Nachman says:

    A breakthrough

  4. Bridget Marion says:

    Love the pics. Great blog. The kids are getting so big. Miss you guys.

  5. Erin McCarter says:

    Still brought tears to my eyes. You are a good Mom.

  6. erin says:

    Omg, the 4 of us @ sbx………..similar thing, esp cloroxing everything when I don’t have a newborn. Love this post…..our 5 y/o’s would prob be a good match for each other :)

    • Sarah says:

      Erin,
      Well, when you come back to Chicago!! :) Thank you for always reading and being part of the conversation!
      Sarah

      • erin says:

        I’m in town 36 hrs in May….how pathetic is that. :) My non-FAK (the 5 y/o) told someone last wk @ a local coffee place to clean up so my FAK won’t “die from dairy or hurt his esophagus……” ha. AND my Fak always asks for my coffee….iced black grande extra ice americano”…..at keast if mine were to spill in sbx I’m always next to him! You do hit home every time. Btw…..it was 85 here today. :)

        • Sarah says:

          That’s a quick trip! It’s supposed to be 58 here today… sort of 85, but not really! Enjoy your day!

  7. Charlene says:

    You did it! No tears this time! (Well, maybe a little misty-eyed at the thought of those little hands holding the big mug just like mom’s…)

  8. I still got misty eyed! But no tears actually hit my cheek, so I guess I’ll give you this one. :-)

  9. Wilma says:

    You said I wasn’t going to cry, but I did … soooo cute, loved it

  10. Christine says:

    I also got teary eyed, that feeling of knowing that your child is so happy because he gets to share the same joy as you always get’s to me. Great writing as usual :) Thank you!

    • Sarah says:

      Christine,
      Thank you very much. I’m even letting my non-food allergic son drink a decaf from home every once and awhile… Oh well. :)
      Sarah

  11. Yep, that made me tear up. Haha
    What a good mom you are! It speaks volumes as a whole to our kiddos, in general, the wanting to fit in – to emulate, to be like everyone else. Often times they feel left out or told “no you can’t have that” and even when you explain it to them as best you can and the reasons why (for their own safety), you can often see that sparkle in their eye fade and you know it broke their little heart hearing that answer, again.
    This is another reason even though there are things I can eat/have that my daughter can’t, I will often times eat or have what she is so she doesn’t feel isolated even in her own home. (She has a severe peanut allergy and is now on a gluten-free diet, as well.)
    So many simple pleasures and gestures can help them feel included – One reason I bake a lot of her foods/ goodies and let her help. Then she feels like it’s something made with love, the both of us did together, and it’s special that way.
    Great post! :) Very inspiring.

    • Sarah says:

      Keeley,
      I always got away with drinking the Chai by myself because coffee was for adults but when he realized that it might work for him, I thought, he deals with enough adult-type issues, he deserves to try it! All of my food-allergic children LOVE when I eat the same thing as they do. A few years ago, I would make the kids dinner and just sit there and count down the hours till my husband and I would order something in to eat. One day, I realized what terrible eating habits that I was modeling so I started to push myself to make meals that we ALL could eat together. It has been totally worth the effort!!
      Thank you for reading and for your comment.
      Have a wonderful day!
      Sarah

  12. Tina says:

    I still got teary, Sarah, but it was a great post. Amazing the lengths that we, allergy moms, go through to normalize things for our children. I hope my daughter will be as well-adjusted and accepting as Gino, when she gets older.

    • Sarah says:

      Tina,
      I am sure that she will! The harder you work to make it less of a burden, the more well-adjusted she will be and I have a feeling you’re working pretty hard! Thank you for your comment. Enjoy your day!
      Sarah

  13. Dianne says:

    I’m new to your blog and just want to say that I love what you write and how you write. It’s hard for others to understand that “racing mind” concept when you have to adapt a recipe on the fly so that your child can have something just like everyone else.

    • Sarah says:

      Dianne,
      Welcome! I am so happy you found it! Oh, yes, the mind-race… Thank you for your comment and I hope to see you here again! Have a wonderful day!
      Sarah

  14. Jennifer says:

    I think as moms we bend over backwards to make our allergy kids feel included. We have a rule that whatever we do/eat/go has to have a safe equivalent for our allergic child. Your post shows that with a little creativity we really can include our kids in the little things that make life fun! Unfortunately, Starbucks is OUT for us since my DS had a serious reaction to the milk protein in the AIR there. And let me tell you this has been a serious blow to my lifestyle! Apparently this is pretty common…. Thanks for your blog!

  15. Beverly Rhodes says:

    I love this story. What a beautiful mother this lady is. My daughter and son-in-law have a 4 year old little son, Paxten, our grandson. Paxten has many allergies also, beef, pork, all dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, potatoes, green peas, apricots, watermelon, and environmental issues as well, plus asthma. He will start to school soon, and our family has been working hard doing fundraisers since last September 2011 to raise the funds to purchase him a highly trained allergy sniffing service dog, which will be ready for Paxten in mid-April. I feel so sorry for all of these little kids such as the one in this story, for I watch my own grandson at birthday parties and family outings as the crowd is called to eat, etc.; Paxten does not react to the call for he knows he is not apart of this food that we all take for granted. His parents are so in tune to Paxten and his many needs and they always have him his own special plate and his own special cake and cupcakes so he is also apart but he knows his food is different. It never occurred to me until this story, that if his food, and his cake or his drink is just served in plates/cups just like ours that the child feels more apart of the event. Thanks so much for this simple but yet very effective story. Much love and prayers goes out to you and your family. May GOD bless all these sweet and special little ones. beverlyrck4@embarqmail.com

    • Sarah says:

      Beverly,
      Thank you so very much. It sounds like your grandson, Paxten, is very well taken care of! I do notice that the novelty of the “special” plates is wearing off as my children get older and, more and more, they want to look like they are doing what everyone else is – even though the food is different. I think it is a very normal developmental stage and you will know when they start that transition.
      Please continue to read and share and big hugs to Paxten and his mom and dad!
      Sarah

  16. Deanna says:

    Happy Tears!! :) LOVE this story. And now wondering if my little guy can have a soy chai.

    • Sarah says:

      Deanna,
      I left out the part of the story where I lined up the Zyrtec and EpiPens when I let them drink it for the first time because there were a few ingredients in the tea they hadn’t had before. I literally felt sick the first time they tried it. Since then he has also asked to try the decaf coffee I make at home… How can I say no??
      Glad they were happy tears! I hope if you decide to try the soy chai that it works out as well for you as it did for us!
      Sarah

  17. Colette says:

    Awww… you did make me cry, and smile at the same time. You rock!

  18. Allison says:

    Oh- I teared up anyway! My daughter has life-threatening peanut and almond — she cannot even touch the stuff or she gets head to toe hives and her eyes start to swell shut (we found out when she walked over swept up pecans in our home – to which she is not allergic – that had trace peanut and almond warnings…ugh)! Thankfully we are now even trace-free in our house. She is 4.5 yo and we didn’t want to risk it anymore. We try to make her feel the same and equal and always try to ensure she doesn’t feel left out — it is hard and you do such a great job explaining just how I feel every day….Best to you and your family.

    • Sarah says:

      Allison,
      We ended up going completely “allergen-free” at our house too. Avoiding all the top-8 plus about 6 more is tough but I think EVERYONE feels better that way (except maybe my oldest son without food allergies who struggles with pizza cravings:) Thank you for your sweet words. I hope that you keep reading and sharing. I appreciate it.
      Sarah

  19. Sonia says:

    You did NOT succeed at not making me cry. My allergic daughter is so understanding and accepting of the limitations but I also know how she desires to be “normal” and not have those limitations. My heart breaks a bit when she can’t have what others have and it brings tears to my eyes when she responds with such peace and understanding (she is 5). This was such a great story!

    • Sarah says:

      Sonia,
      Aren’t they amazing the way that they accept what they have been given? If my kids would just sleep in a little, I think I would pause them at this age forever. Adorable. Thank you for the positive comments! It really means a lot to me.
      Sarah

  20. Michele says:

    Suddenly it all became clear why both my kids are so obsessed with the travel mugs! It has nothing to do with f/a, even though my 8 yr old son has them, but in this case it is because they see Dad with his D&D cup or his reusable travel mug and they want it because he has it. They have both asked for their own travel mugs & I didn’t get it they could just use their reusable water bottles but they don’t have the same “coffee cup” lid…aah, thank you now I get it:) sometimes you have to be reminded to look through their eyes and not the mom’s eyes who just sees 2 extra cups to buy, wash and find a place in the cabinet for them. Thank you!

    • Sarah says:

      Michele,
      When I picked up the ceramic Starbucks mug and read that it said “do not put in dishwasher”, I wanted to put it down. When I got home, Gino said, “Now I have to wait for the dishwasher to run before I can use it?” “No, Gino, it can’t go into the dishwasher” to which he responded, “YES!! Then you can clean it now and I can use it right away!!”
      Are you gonna get those kids a mug with a lid??? :)
      Have fun!
      Sarah

  21. I love this post for so many reasons. My 3 year old loves going to Starbucks as well, but for now she is satisfied with juice. I know the safe, but not safe conversation is coming soon and I love this idea of getting a matching Starbucks cup. There is nothing better than having a plan!!!

    • Sarah says:

      Emily,
      Gino is still pretty happy with the OJ when we are actually in the store, thank goodness! Because there really is NOTHING else there that he can eat… You’re so right! You’ve gotta have a plan!
      Thank you for reading!
      Sarah

  22. Theresa says:

    I welled up with tears, but was able to keep them from streaming out of my eyes onto my face :) In all fairness though, it happened when I read the part about doing what everyone else is doing and fitting in, and issue which is painfully raw with me from school issues this past week. So that’s on me, not you – I think you accomplished your goal! Nice job, I really connected with this.

    • Sarah says:

      Theresa,
      I hope that the school issues have been resolved. Sorry that you have had to be dealing with that… as if things aren’t hard enough. Thank you for reading and commenting on this post. It is important to me to hear from you!
      Sarah

  23. Oh my god, I am balling!!!! My son is deathly allergic to dairy eggs and all juts and has sever eczema!!! He loves start bucks!! He Is starting the gaps diet so now when we go he gets a peppermint iced tea with honey, but he used to get a cold chocolate soy milk, that w ay it comes right Out of the box! And it is dairy and nut and egg free…..we never get his warm!! He loved it…..maybe how could try that??????? Or yu could do vanilla soy! Anywy such a great story!! If you want to follow kline’s journetpy on the gas diet, to hopefully cure his eczema qdn food allergies, check us out and pass us on! Thank you for your story, ou are a great writter! Xoxox Loren

    http://klinesjourneyongapsdiet.blogspot.com/2012/03/hi-my-names-loren-and-im-turd-hoarder.html

    • Sarah says:

      Loren,
      Thank you for the kind words. He might be able to try the soy milk poured into a clean cup… I would just want them to open a new container :) Thanks for reading and for the good ideas!
      Sarah

  24. Theresa says:

    well your post did make me tear up…every time i get a starbucks my peanut/ tree nut allergic 4 year old says…mommy when i am big i can get a chai tea just like yours… :( but at least you gave me an idea with the cup!

  25. Tracy says:

    What a sweet story. You are a great Mom!

  26. Thanks for sharing. My son has a peanut allergy, and we get the curious stares when we do everything we can to prevent contact with the allergen!

    • Sarah says:

      Virginia,
      Those stares… I am slowly, very slowly getting used to them… Now I just look up and smile :) Thank you for reading and SHARING!!!
      Sarah

  27. Kim says:

    Thank you for this post. My son, while not allergic, was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease and your simple statement about being able to do something for them – a simple pleasure – is so right on. It’s why I have just about every gluten free flour known to man in my pantry. :) Again, thank you.

    ~Kim

    • Sarah says:

      Kim,
      Sometimes I feel like I personally finance a few of these top-8 allergen-free companies! It’s all about the simple pleasures.
      Thank you for reading. I am so happy that you didn’t look past this blog because your son doesn’t have food allergies… we are all going through similar situations. Please feel free to share with your other friends dealing with celiac disease.
      Thank you!
      Sarah

  28. BRW, I stumbled and shared this post.

  29. Sue says:

    Hello!
    Thank you for such a wonderful post. This was the first introduction I’ve had to your blog, and I’m already hooked!

    My 2 year old is soy/gluten/dairy/nut allergic and I’m constantly trying to find ways to give him “normal” food experiences … we cook adapted recipes together a lot, and really enjoy the togetherness it brings.

    But as he’s getting older and more aware of the world around him, I know his feelings might include sadness over exclusion from popular activities and experiences. Cupcakes, sure, I can make them… but what about strolling together down an avenue and *spontaneously* deciding to walk into a bakery and having a special treat just because? It’s not about the cupcakes at that point, but rather the experience. That special time doing something together.

    So… this post gave me hope. And we all need that. :)
    Thanks for being here!
    Sue

    • Sarah says:

      Sue,
      The loss of the spontaneous food experience is very difficult. It actually hurts to walk past a Dairy Queen – when I grew up my grandparents had a Dairy Queen and I got to make my own butterfinger blizzards – and it is sad that he won’t share this experience. But it means we have to be more creative!! My son loves getting a book at the bookstore, a bottle of orange juice, a pop, a bag of chips… I’m hoping that he will have other great experiences I never had!! :)
      Thank you so much for your comments and I am very happy to be here.
      Sarah

  30. megan says:

    ok….so now I’m covered in tears…over tea!!! Thanks for sharing, I’m sure those who don’t deal with allergies have no clue why an article like this would make a mother cry, but the rest of us do! Great job being inclusive for you son!

    • Sarah says:

      Megan,
      That’s cute… crying over tea! As always, I am very happy to share our experiences. Thank you for taking the time to read them and share them with others.
      Sarah

  31. Aunt Barb says:

    Beautiful Sarah, there were tears here, grateful tears that God has chosen the absolute perfect mother for these severely allergy stricken babies. God bless you Sarah and your precious little family. Rian is sleeping in the next room, I think I will whisper a prayer of thanksgiving that our little Rian can eat whatever he wants, something most people take for granted. Love you, Aunt Barb

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you, Aunt Barb. It means so much to me that you continue to read all my posts and comment with such kindness. Thank you.
      Love,
      Sarah

  32. deidra says:

    FAIL! I am so tearing up at this. You’re such a sweet mommy. No wonder he wants so much to be like you. I know this blog is about your children, but my food allergies have me feeling like a child again, just wanting some normalcy. I just want to go to lunch with my Mom, dinner and a movie with a friend, eat the same dinner with my daughter more often…and so on and so on…My 3 y/o baby girl is always so happy when we can eat together, she wraps her arms around me just like your Gino did when you brought Sbux home. (Sbux’s soy chai used to be my favorite, but i am now allergic to soy and cinnamon) I am also allergic to coffee. Now, if you can believe it, I only go to Sbux to pick up chocolate chip banana bread from the drive thru for my daughter! We now drink tea using her plastic miniature tea set in the mornings. Its one thing we can share together, she can be like Mommy, as we stick out our pinkies and say “Cheers!”

    • Sarah says:

      Deidra,
      LOVE at-home tea parties!!! Lucky little girl! This is just as good of a memory as going to Starbucks. It’s about being with you. Thank you for reading and sharing with me.
      Take care,
      Sarah
      PS- If I knew where you lived, I’d send you two Starbucks mugs for your little mommy-daughter teas :)

  33. Amanda says:

    I love this story! That is our life every day too with our FPIES gal! (Except I only have one small fry right now– the other is still in the oven! Kudos to you for being able to keep everyone safe and included!)

    • Sarah says:

      Amanda,
      Oh, a new little one on the way! How wonderful! Thank you so much for reading this post. God bless your growing family!
      Sarah

  34. Jennifer says:

    Still cried, but it was happy tears!

  35. Kim Leibovitz says:

    I come prepared to wipe tables and chairs down at Starbucks too. My Starbucks LOVES when I come and know our usual order. A chocolate milk from the back with a glove – straight into a bag. This is to avoid any chance of contamination from egg or nut products. My daughter and son go on occasion in the late afternoon to avoid the cooking of egg. We have a similar story- my son wanted so desperately to get a frappaccino or anything for that matter in a starbucks clear cup. We bought one there and whallah I made him his very own (milkshake) Vanillla Bean- just like Starbucks. It’s amazing to figure out a matching treat for my children and to see their satisfaction.

    My 6 year old son recently started writing his own allergy book (I wrote one this summer). His is entitled “Super ME with Food Allergies” It’s all about how he CAN do anything in life except one thing- eat his allergens. He draws pictures of all the special treats I have made him and all of the things he CAN do. Allergy moms ROCK. We make a HUGE difference in the lives of our children- even in the small gesture of finding a match to our favorite drinks.

    Thanks for this post.
    Kim

    • Sarah says:

      Kim,
      It is all about the matching treat right now! That is so great that your son is writing his own book – great way to work through his feelings and celebrate the things that make him unique! Love it!!
      Thank you for reading and your comment.
      Sarah

  36. Sunitha says:

    I had a similar experience with my daughter with all the pizza birthday parties. I dint want her to feel bad about cake & pizzas, which i avoided for so long butever since she turned 3 and when i found pizza hut does pizzas without cheese and just the base with some chicken i was all excited. I make her feel so special among the other kids that she gets her personal pan pizza in a box and i say its a very special pizza, cant resist my tears to see that spark in her eyes:)

  37. jen says:

    What a sweet story! Oh the power of being like mom! Of course sometimes it really is just the thrill of the mug. They are terrible for the environment, but I buy the styrofoam cups with lids at the grocery store during the winter just for filling with dairy-free hot chocolate and hot apple cider (although this year it’s been so warm they also have doubled as bug catchers LOL). My kids just love those. Our restaurant supply store also has styrofoam boxes like you get for take out in a restaurant and paper boxes like you get for Asian food. Sometimes it’s the change in the little details that can make an ordinary night at home something a lot more fun especially for kids that don’t go out to eat that often. We also do things like line a martini glass with superfine sugar and fill it with pink lemonade. Not healthy, but who doesn’t like to pretend to be grown up and drink lemonade from a fancy glass once every so often. Sparkling grape juice and the good champagne flutes come out for every celebration around here too, although I don’t recommend that with the toddler set. :-)

    • Sarah says:

      Jen! How true! I love switching up the presentation of ordinary things to make them a little more special! I think I may grab some Asian food boxes and fill them with spaghetti tomorrow… Thank you!
      Take care,
      Sarah

  38. Corrie says:

    It made me cry… Great story!

  39. Debra says:

    Well, so much for no tears, but it was a light shower followed by a laugh. And I much appreciate your beautiful and inspiring story. Thank you!

  40. Such a great post….I hope that in a few years I am as adjusted as you to dealing with food allergies!

    • Sarah says:

      Michelle,
      I definitely didn’t start this way. It really was a decision and when you’re ready, you will have a choice to make that decision too. If your children are very young, it is much harder to be well-adjusted. As they get older, they watch you more and since they model so much of what we do, it’s great if we can model being well-adjusted. (There are plenty of times that I am not so good at this though! It’s a work in progress…)
      Thank you for reading and commenting!
      Sarah

  41. ali says:

    this So made me smile!!! I am so happy to discover your blog and look forward to reading more!!! :) )

  42. Bea says:

    So much for not crying. My heart melts. Thank you for such great read.

  43. Gina C says:

    This definitely brought tears to my eyes…but I think I might be in a state of heightened emotion at this time…I’m happy to find your blog and hope to rely on your words as a valuable resource. My son has been diagnosed with allergies since he was as young as 4months old, but just this past week at 16 months old we did more testing to reveal they have become much worse and more than we could ever expect. I fear we will not be able to feed him hardly anything! So far he has a very high allergy to dairy, soy, peanuts, all legumes, wheat, cats and dogs. He also has moderate allergies to corn, rice, coconut, banana and some tree nuts. We will have to do more testing as we didn’t think he was allergic to so much and failed to test for everything he currently eats. I’m glad to know there are other moms dealing with the same issues and hope that we can learn to try to live a normal life as could be possible.

    Gina

    • Sarah says:

      Gina,
      I’m sorry, it is so difficult to get bad news at your allergy appointments. Please remember you are either allergic to something or you are not. Lab tests cannot determine what kind of reaction you will have, can’t tell you whether your reaction will be mild or severe. This may be something to discuss with your allergist. I hope that things can be clarified for you. Thank you so much for reading and please feel free to share any information in my blog that will be useful to you.
      Take care,
      Sarah

  44. Erin says:

    Nope. Still cried!

    My daughter is atopic, and at 20 months we’re entering into the stage I’ve been dreading! Birthday parties, trips to the zoo, family dinners – she has to take her food everywhere…but now? She’s starting to notice. Notice that we eat things she can’t eat – we even touch things she can’t touch, and she’s hurt. She thinks she’s in trouble or has done something wrong :( I love your idea & will definitely have to steal it! THANK YOU!

    • Sarah says:

      Erin,
      Please steal it!! :) It is a difficult stage. Just keep as upbeat as YOU can so that she can model your behavior. I always tried not to eat too much around them that they couldn’t eat until they were older and could understand… at your daughter’s age, she just wants to be like you!
      You will get a method down for dealing with these situations that works for you and your family. It can be hard to figure out at first but be patient with yourself. It is not easy.
      Thank you so much for reading!
      Sarah

  45. Mary Pat says:

    I’m new to your blog and fairly new to the food allergy world. (2 yr old with a peanut allergy). Thank you so much for putting so much of what I’m feeling into words. It helps to feel not so alone in this crazy food allergy world. But this last post of yours made be bawl at work! :) And crave a Starbuck’s chai (Venti, no water, extra pump)

    • Sarah says:

      Mary Pat,
      Oooo, extra pump? Now you got me thinking…:) I am so glad that you have found this blog and happy it has been a help to you. We are all in good company! Thank you so much for reading and for your comment.
      Take care,
      Sarah

  46. Marisa Finlay says:

    Dear Sarah,

    I just found your website (by Googling “angry allergy mom” of all things). I have been too scared to go to any coffee shop since my daughter was diagnosed with peanut, nut and now soy allergies. I really miss it. Maybe we can try again?

    Marisa

    • Sarah says:

      Marisa,
      I am so glad that you found my website… no matter what you googled :) I grab my chai and they usually get their orange juice, I scour the table and chairs and we enjoy a few minutes together. (Always with an epipen close at hand, of course!) Obviously I don’t know how sensitive your daughter is so I can’t guarantee it will be safe for you guys but it may be worth a try if you are comfortable and you, as always, bring your medications. You could also ask your allergist what they think. Let me know if you decide to try it and how it goes! I hope you keep reading and following!
      Thank you for writing!
      Sarah

  47. Nikita (@RantingRaving) says:

    What a beautiful post! I’m new to your site and want to thank you for being so honest in your writing.

    My 2 year old son is allergic to legumes (peanuts soy etc) but peanuts were the only obvious reaction. The other reactions were all delayed and we didn’t know for far too long what was causing the issues. Now he is happy and healthy and eats much healthier than he probably would if we didn’t have this allergy to deal with. :)

    I love my Starbucks chai as well and I’m SO glad you posted this. It honestly never occurred to me about the possibility of cross contamination when they are heating the milk! Thankfully I’ve never brought him there yet. I’m learning new things every day and I’m so thankful that he is so far not ana to soy.

    We’re very lucky to have understanding friends, he’s even had the opportunity to eat cupcakes made by another mom because she called me and asked all the right questions before she made them!

    Thanks for sharing your life, it is great to know that we aren’t alone. :)

    • Sarah says:

      Nikita,
      Thank you very much for your kind words. I am so happy that you are enjoying the stories that I have posted! There is nothing better than understanding and supportive friends! Talk about a blessing! And we are all very lucky to be in the company of each other and have the reassurance that we are all in this together.
      Thank you so much for reading and for your comment.
      Sarah

  48. emily says:

    I just found your blog today and love it, thank you! Ironically two other “allergy”moms and I met and talked about school issues over pumpkin chai lattes just this morning!

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