Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Coffee date and peanuts

Finding time to bond with my older children can be difficult with all of our busy schedules and their reluctance to answer a bunch of questions about their day upon their return home from school.  Not that I blame them.  I remember, all too well, getting the third degree about my day after school and hating it.  Those innocent, "What did you do today?" questions can drive kids nuts!  I've learned to back off the questions right after school and save them up for dinner time.  They seem more apt to talk about their day after they have been home a little while.  But even then, it can be hard to get serious one-on-one time with my oldest.

So, I am trying a new tactic this year.  I'm taking her out to coffee.  Well, at 10 years old, she won't get coffee, but we will end up at a coffee house.  This is one of my favorite things to do with my girlfriends.  Coffee houses are a great place to sit back, sip something warm, talk, and relax.  I am hoping that these outings will give my daughter and I that much needed girl time together.

Tonight, was our first coffee/hot chocolate date.  I indulged in a pumpkin spice latte, (I love the fall flavors) and she got a hot chocolate, carmel drink.  My daughter is allergic to peanuts.  We have gotten her hot chocolate at other places without checking.  However, as I am ordering her drink, I start to wonder..."Is the hot chocolate nut free?  Is the carmel flavoring nut free?"  I've never had to worry about allergens at a coffee house before.  With my allergic daughter with me, I suddenly feel unsure whether this was a good idea.  I asked the barista if the carmel flavoring was nut free.  She read the label and it said that it was made in a facility that uses peanuts but there were no peanuts in the product.  I felt that this was o.k. and we sat down to enjoy our drinks.

We had a great time on our coffee date.  We went out after dinner, just the two of us.  Those questions that she does not like to answer after school were not so bothersome to her at coffee.  Since I think this will be our new thing, I am going to dive into coffee house ingredients.  I need to know if a peanut allergic individual can drink safely at most coffee houses and what to watch out for. 

Would love to have some comments from those with peanut allergies that drink coffee at coffee houses.  Any advice to share?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Asthma - ugh!

It's such a laid back, lazy, fall afternoon.  The type of Sunday afternoon that I love to enjoy right before the start of the work week.  The only thing missing from this perfect afternoon is complete relaxation.  I can couch potato it up all I want, veg out with the best of them, and my lungs for some reason will not cooperate. 

As I write this, I am feeling a tightening of my chest.  I know this feeling all too well.  Right now, I can ignore it and take some deep breaths to try and calm down what is coming.  However, I know that tonight will be an albuterol night for me. 

If you have asthma, you know just what I am talking about.  Feeling good one minute, after taking your rescue inhaler, and feeling that asthma monster creep back in the next minute.  It's not always a wheeze either, and not always a worrisome register on a peak flow meter.  However, you know what is coming and know that asthma tightness when you feel it. 

As an adult who has had asthma since infancy, I don't use peak flow meters anymore.  My biggest problem is to get on that maintenance medication before the fall comes instead of waiting for the symptoms to begin.    It's so hard to stay on top of your own medical issues when you are trying your best to stay on top of your family's as well.  Right moms! 
Even flight attendants tell you to take care of yourself before taking care of your children (put on your oxygen mask first).  However, who really does this?  I'm willing to bet that most moms don't miss their child's annual well check up as often as they miss their own.  You make sure your children get their daily medications before the end of the day, but did you take yours? 

As I reach for that rescue inhaler (thank you albuterol), I realize that I should be reaching for the phone next.  Calling in my renewal for asthma maintenance medication is definitely a must.  I've done it already for my kids.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

No Coffee!

I write this while enjoying my morning cup of coffee.  Yesterday was rough and today is shaping up to be quite busy, but this cup of coffee sure is soothing.  I like mine in a big mug that I can wrap my hands around.  Hot coffee makes you pause.  You have to take slow sips which is a great little break in the hectic morning routine.

A tried to give up coffee for Lent one year.  I figured that Lent is close to spring and the weather would be getting warmer.  Coffee wouldn't be impossible to give up for Lent.  Well, it wasn't impossible.... However, I don't think that I will be doing that again without my husband giving it up with me.  Smelling his coffee brewing the morning was a bit much.  I'm pretty sure that he doesn't want me to give up coffee again either! 

With all the allergies we deal with in this house, so far there is no coffee allergy.  However, I must mention that coffee allergies are out there and real!  For those allergic individuals, their immune system will react to the proteins found in coffee beans, the caffeine, or even cross contamination issues from the processing and packaging.  This can cause reactions similar to other food allergies such as hives, wheezing, and stomach cramps, to name a few.

Giving up coffee is definitely a kryptonite idea for me.  However, I would be willing to forgo that morning cup o' joe if sitting with a friend that was allergic.  Even the smell of coffee can set someone off that is highly sensitive. 

Well, my coffee cup is empty now.  Time to start tackling the day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fall - A love/hate relationship

I love fall!  The warm days, the cold nights, and kids are back in school.  By the time September rolls around, I am ready to begin the structured, chaos that is the school year.  You mom's know what I am talking about.  Hectic schedules are still schedules and there is something nice about getting back into the fray.  Admit it...a part of you will always laugh at that old commercial with the mom joyfully riding her grocery cart through the school supply aisle.

I also hate fall.  The colder weather and the start of school starts spreading colds around.  I have already started picking up used tissues around my house, and even took my daughter's temperature today.  On top of it all, are the ALLERGIES!  Fall is one of the worst times for allergy sufferers.  It beats out spring by a hair for us.  Although beautiful, the trees are dropping allergens all day long, and they are blowing through the air and into my house.  Since we choose not to live in a bubble, we still enjoy the days outside (with a little help from antihistamines) but keep the windows closed at night.  There's nothing like a night bought of asthma to cure you from the desire to enjoy the fresh night air through your open window.  We just enjoy the fresh autumn air during the day.

Do I love or hate fall?  It's a beautiful time of year full of pumpkins, colors, and transitions.  Also, I did name my youngest daughter Autumn.  So, I would say that love won!