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Today's pregnancy meltdown


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  • 1 Post By sisera

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  #1  
June 7th, 2013, 03:53 PM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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Let me preface this by saying that this is going to be a pretty lame post. Really. I almost didn't write it because I was embarrassed that this is upsetting me as much as it is.

Thanks to my Facebook news feed, I realized that today is National Donut Day or something stupid like that - in other words, Krispy Kreme is giving away free donuts.

For those who don't know, I have a nut allergy. Peanuts, specifically, will send me into anaphylactic shock and if I were to be exposed to even trace amounts, I would need to be stabbed in the leg with a giant needle full of epinephrine and brought to a hospital immediately (otherwise I could suffocate within minutes). It's scary, but my allergy was discovered when I was 3 and so it's just been part of life for a long time. Things like excessively reading ingredient lists, emailing or calling companies to determine cross contamination risks (because in the US, labeling for cross contamination risks is not required - you're only required to call out allergens if it's actually an ingredient) and keeping a list of companies whose labeling I trust (and those who I don't trust), explaining my allergy to waitstaff and asking to speak to kitchen managers and flat out passing up on a lot of normal foods has just been the norm for me. I'm pretty used to it at this point, and it's a big part of the reason that I eventually went to culinary school and learned how to cook as many things from scratch as possible.

It isn't just the things you would expect, either - baked goods and candy bars and ice cream and nut butters are expected to have cross contamination risks. I mean EVERYTHING - dried beans, rice and quinoa have showed up with warnings. I once had to throw away a box of microwave popcorn because the company ADDED peanut to FREAKING POPCORN. I can't go to Chic-Fil-A or most Asian restaurants because they fry in peanut oil. I can't eat anything fried from restaurants that have deep-fried Snickers bars on their dessert menu because the oil is shared. I can't order salads from almost any restaurant because inevitably, the restaurant decided they HAD to have a walnut or pecan topped salad (I have seen chopped peanuts too - apparently people think adding peanuts or peanut sauce to just about anything makes it "oriental", despite the fact that most of the cultures traditionally would use sesame seeds, not peanuts, in their dishes). TGIFridays has/had a peanut butter and peanut topped HAMBURGER on their menu.

There are some benefits to this - it's a lot easier to walk away from most junk food because I can't eat it anyway, and making food from scratch is healthier than buying convenience foods from a preservative and salt perspective alone (let alone the fact that I can opt to use things like unrefined coconut oil or butter in place of margarine or shortening or raw sugar in place of HFCS, for example). I'm also not totally out of luck - there are lots of companies who do label accurately and lots of restaurants that have peanut-free menus.

Sometimes, though, it really sucks because it means I can't do things like go out for ice cream or dessert with my husband. It means we can't order Chinese food on nights that I don't feel up to cooking. It means I can't just go out to eat somewhere new and relax because I'm too busy trying to see everything on their menu and trying to figure out how likely it is that an allergen shares a station with something I want or whether something is made in house or brought in pre-made from a factory that may or may not label well. If I want to buy something from a brand I've never heard of, I need to go on their website or call them or send them an email to figure out well they label. More or less, if I want anything baked, I have to make it myself - which isn't a terrible thing, either. I think I'm a fairly good cook and baker, and I enjoy baking overall.

Sometimes, though, I just want a freaking cookie or muffin without having to put a ton of work into it, and then have way too much because you can't bake just one cookie and you and your dh are only two people so you either eat too much junk food to use it up or you throw out food.

Today was one of those days - I really just wanted a donut, but there are no safe manufacturers. I considered doing what I usually have to do, which is bake it myself. We were going shopping today anyway, so I figured it wouldn't be a big problem to pick up a few things. I don't have a baking pan for donuts, though, and am too nervous to try deep frying in the saute pans I have, so I figured I would just have to grab one of those too - most grocery stores have modest baking pan sections.

Well, the store didn't have a pan. It was already after 5:00 PM and it's rainy and awful out today, and I knew I was making an involved dinner tonight that I should really get back and get started on if I don't want to eat at 8:00 pm. So we considered buying things to bake something else, and I was okay with that - but then I realized I had NO butter or eggs, and I couldn't decide what kind of flour to buy because I still didn't know what I wanted to make. So we decided to look at the pre-made mixes for the sake of convenience and my sanity, because I was starting to lose it over baked goods in the middle of the grocery store. So we looked at all of those options - one of those brands used to be safe, but they now have a few peanut butter mixes and their labeling hasn't changed which makes me wary, and I couldn't look at their website or do a search on them because I have no cell service in the store. The other brands were never safe, so that was out too. We considered looking at the pre-baked aisle, but figured it would be a waste of time. I resigned myself to the fact that I'm not baking **** tonight.

So we continued shopping, and went down the cereal aisle. I don't usually buy cereal because we don't eat it fast enough and it goes stale, but I wanted to pick some up because we've been trying to be better about breakfast lately and another option would be nice. All of the types I normally would have bought have peanut or other nut varieties that they didn't used to have. The types that don't are full of dyes and sugar. I didn't get any cereal.

After that, we went down the dried foods aisle. This is a new store for us, so we weren't sure of the selection. I need quinoa, though, and went looking for it - and found one brand, that has a "made on shared equipment with peanuts and tree nuts" warning on it. I didn't get it, either.

At this point, I have to admit that I full on started crying in the middle of the store. My poor, sweet dh just hugged me and agreed that it's stupid that everything is made on all of the same equipment and these companies that have had successful brands for decades suddenly adding a new peanut item to their line is dumb. It sometimes just makes me feel really *different* in a bad way, because something is wrong with my body and it means normal stuff like buying groceries can be stressful. I'm SURE that hormones are part of why this is hitting me so hard.

Also, though... I can't help but wonder about our little girl. Will she have the same issues? Worse? What if she's allergic to EVERYTHING? Is she going to feel like this one day? There isn't conclusive evidence to say these types of things are genetic, and most likely it's a combination of a genetic propensity towards it and environmental triggers. My parents don't have allergies. My only blood-related sibling is also allergic, though, and so it's not totally crazy to wonder about my own children and what sort of issues they'll face.

Anyway, if anyone has felt like a lunatic lately, I hope this helps. It's been a long several weeks, too, so I'm guessing that's also part of why I'm just tired and overwhelmed and frustrated. Dh has been sick with one thing or another for going on 4 weeks. We spent part of Wednesday night in the hospital, and he's doing fine now but is on some antibiotics and resting while he gets rid of a nasty sinus infection. I've been trying to be the supportive wife, and I really do want to support him and want him to feel better and am happy to take care of him - but it also feels like I haven't gotten to be the one who really needs a hug for awhile. He feels bad - after we got back from the ER the other night he said he hates that he's been sick and the one who needs to be taken care of while I'm pregnant and working hard to take care of him and the new house. I don't want him to feel bad - he doesn't want to be sick, either. Thankfully, the antibiotics should help.

We've also had our move, and are frustratingly still messing around with dates for summer visitation with my stepkids because their mother is spiteful and miserable and has refused every compromise we've offered. At this point, it's pretty obvious she's trying to run out the clock (the judge was booked well into summer, which is why we started to offer compromises). If it goes before a judge, it won't go well for her at all, so long-term we're not worried - but as it is, the summer is ticking away and we still don't know when we'll have them up here, and it's for no reason besides she's an unhappy person who likes to blame us for just about everything wrong in her life. She's actively trying to destroy the relationship between my stepkids and their father, and actively trying to stop them from ever having a relationship with our daughter. It's not surprising, but it's very upsetting.

If you've read all of this, bless you. I feel a little better and probably just need some rest. It's just been one of those lousy afternoons.
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  #2  
June 7th, 2013, 04:28 PM
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I read it and just wanted to offer some virtual hugs. :-D

I have had students in the past with peanut allergies, and it is pretty crazy how many different products, even those you would think were safe, say "may contain nuts"!

Sounds like you should start your own company, since you said you were pursuing culinary arts. You could be the one who offers future kids nut free cookies, crackers etc. that their parents don't have to make for them! :-)

Anyways, hang in there, your body is growing a special new life, and probably shouldn't have the junk food anyways (at least that is what I told myself today as I also really wanted a donut, but didn't get one because they are not good for me or baby).
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  #3  
June 7th, 2013, 06:07 PM
iCathy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I'm so sorry you felt so alienated! It's not a life threatening allergy, but I can't have dairy, so I kinda feel your pain. I agree, start your own company!! big (((hugs)))!! You are not being irrational, I can only imagine the frustrations!!
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  #4  
June 8th, 2013, 08:18 AM
ValyntineG's Avatar Based on a True Story
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Oh, honey

On a much smaller scale, I get the allergy thing. Sounds like we have to jump through all the same hoops just to EAT (which is ******* ridiculous in my opinion) so I do understand on some level. Granted, if I eat gluten I don't have anywhere near the kind of immediate reaction that you do. It does slow damage to my body over time... and there are some things that make my face break out in sores, but nothing I need to go to the hospital over. I'm not sure how I would handle it if even eating it accidentally would cause a reaction like yours. However, I have definitely broken down and sobbed in more than one grocery store recently.

I'm sorry your hubs is still sick. That must be really hard

As for his ridiculous ex.... SIGH.... I just don't get women that act like that. It's SO bad for your children to try and keep them from a relationship with dad. What is her reasoning behind it? (Not her ACTUAL reasoning... we know why that is. I mean what's the reason she's giving you?) We're kind of in a reverse situation right now where the kids' mom wants a long summer visitation, but we straight up CANNOT give it to her. But that's due to drug use and other really serious issues. If none of that was going on, we would be happy to give her as much time as she wanted.

Anyway, I'm sorry things have been so lame lately. Try to get some rest if you can... it'll go a LONG way!
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  #5  
June 8th, 2013, 09:16 AM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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Thanks so much, ladies. Your words are appreciated. I notice that every allergen-free/gluten-free bakery I've ever heard of is run by someone with a child or grandchild or niece/nephew with food issues so I definitely wouldn't be the first to take it into my own hands, but it is something I've considered before.

I'm feeling better about that particular issue today, but I did just have a sobbing fit over a skirt that I bought it like, 7 years ago (it's starting to wear out and I can't find skirts like it anymore) so the hormonal craziness still seems to be in force.

As far as the ex goes - I'm not sure what her "official" reasoning is. We're only talking about it through our attorneys, and all that we've got is that she feels anything over two weeks is too long (we had two weeks when we saw them every other weekend, so in other words she's not interested in giving dh any more time whatsoever) and she doesn't think we should get more because we "haven't made any effort to see them since the move". I guess it's true in a way - dh has had a jam-packed work schedule and has been traveling at least one day per week (usually more - the last 3 weeks he's been up at a customer site more often than he's been home) and it just hasn't been feasible to fly down to GA for a weekend (and it wouldn't have mattered if we flew down for spring break or any other longer times off school because on those stretches she sends them off to her friend who lives 4 hours away's house ). We went to Canada for a funeral and dh almost lost his job over it. It just hasn't been an option. He's called them and emailed them on a regular basis, though, and we've otherwise done whatever we can to stay involved with their lives from further away.

So I guess the logic is, "He hasn't seen them enough so he doesn't deserve more time". Everything we've asked for is standard for long distance visitation so she's going to be disappointed if she thinks a judge will agree with her, but again that doesn't help us for this summer, which we really want to go well because it's our first summer away and the last chunk of time we'll have them before the baby is here. I will add that even our initial proposal gave her two weeks on either side of the summer with them so it wasn't like we were demanding she give up all of her summer time with them either. She always gets full access to call the kids when they're with us. We willingly provide her with phone numbers and addresses and if we've ever missed a call from her during a visitation period we get back to her as soon as we reasonably can. If it's about missing them, I can sympathize, but again... I have a hard time buying that as the main reason knowing how much time they spend at her friends' houses or her parents' and brothers' houses while she flits off to be with her boyfriend who doesn't want kids.

Sorry you're dealing with something similar, Brie. Given the situation I don't blame you guys for being wary of really long visits. I hope something can be worked out that everyone can live with. These situations are so hard sometimes.
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  #6  
June 8th, 2013, 06:33 PM
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It sounds like you have every reason to be having a meltdown! I've had meltdowns for much less! Your DH's ex sounds like a piece of work, and dealing wth an allergy such as yours is never a good time - my sister can't eat anything with wheat or dairy, so it's always something else to prepare food for her! It seems everything is contaminated woth everything else. I second the thought that you should start a baking side business for those with allergies! I know when Harmony (my sister) finds something she trusts she makes it a habit to give that company her business. Glad that you're feeling a bit better. I hope you guys are able to see the kiddos without much more drama, but it doesn't sound like she'll make it easy!
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  #7  
June 10th, 2013, 07:48 AM
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Aww, I could cry just reading this!! I am so weepy the last few days. I understand your frustration. My 9 yr old son is deathly allergic to tree nuts, we carry epi pens everywhere we go. My 3 yr old son is allergic to milk and peanuts. (Who knows what else) Trying to find stuff they can eat sends me into panic attacks sometimes. To top it off my older boy is type 1 diabetic making it even harder. I feel bad because it seems like they just eat the same old stuff all the time. What's weird to me is my husband and I are not allergic to anything. I have no idea where this comes from.
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  #8  
June 10th, 2013, 07:51 AM
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I wanted to offer huge hugs to you Kayla...I cannot imagine going through that especially while pregnant.
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  #9  
June 10th, 2013, 01:18 PM
mirdeemrlvs's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Sometimes, though, I just want a freaking cookie or muffin without having to put a ton of work into it, and then have way too much because you can't bake just one cookie and you and your dh are only two people so you either eat too much junk food to use it up or you throw out food.


WOW. I can see why you are overwhelmed. Poor thing. It's so hard to buy "natural" stuff with no MSG, no HFCS, sugar, etc.. let alone the peanut thing. Major HUGS to you!! I think your entitled to a break down!! So good dh was there to comfort you. <3.

About the baking thing.... you can freeze cookie dough. You can also freeze baked goods. I've made a big batch and then put them in balls in the freezer. Then you just have to plop them on the baking sheet. I freeze a lot of baked goods. Muffins, etc.. like if we buy them at Costco. Otherwise, we eat them all!!!
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