Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cashews, who knew?

Frederic took Noah to the doctor yesterday to find out the cause of his vomiting episodes Sunday afternoon. It turns out Noah may have an "intolerance" to cashews. The doctor is saying "intolerance" and not "allergy," but we are going to make an appointment with an allergist to find out for sure.

I've been doing some reading on the trusty internet (oh, what did we ever do without it?), and have so far seen this:
  • an allergy is an immune system response to the irritant, and an intolerance is a digestive system response
  • an allergy is most often manifested with respiratory symptoms or hives, whereas vomiting is more commonly associated with intolerances
  • with an intolerance you can normally eat some amount of the food without ill effects
  • a food intolerance commonly shows up as a delayed reaction, and it can be difficult to determine which food caused it
This all leaves me pretty perplexed since he had no respiratory symptoms or hives, but the reaction was within seconds and after ONE nut, which I've read can happen with cashew/nut allergies. I found a lot about cashew allergies, and not much on cashew intolerance.

"They" also say vomiting is a "mild" response - I suppose if one is comparing it to anaphylaxis, then that is true. It certainly didn't seem mild at the time.

Some things I've read say you can introduce nuts as early as 12 months; others say to wait until after age 4 because nuts can be so highly allergenic. The doctor seemed to think Noah's digestive system was just too immature to handle them. There is some support for that idea - Noah didn't start solids until 7 months because he wasn't ready, and didn't eat foods with even the tiniest chunks until after 12 months because he choked on them, but in this case the reaction was so instant that I'm not totally convinced this is the answer.

So we'll see what the allergist says... the doctor didn't seem to think this necessitated a trip to the allergist, but we'd rather hear for sure from a specialist whether it was a fluke, or due to his age/digestive system's development, or whether we need to have Noah avoid eating cashews, or all tree nuts, and know to just what degree we need to be concerned about this.

On the bright side, it looks like we don't have to worry about our friends' kids catching this!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's been a busy week over here. Frederic was still on vacation, he goes back to work tomorrow. His brother and sister-in-law and their kids came over for dinner last Saturday, the day after we got home from the mountains.

Benjamin got sick just before we were going to leave for church last Sunday, so we ended up staying home.

Then Frédéric's mom came and stayed from Tuesday to Saturday, and his sister and brother-in-law and their kids came yesterday for lunch (a normal lunch by French standards, at 6 hours).

Today after church we went to our friends' house for lunch - and Noah proceeded to throw up several times in the course of the afternoon. He was perfectly fine right up until that point so we had no idea! He seems to be feeling a little better now so we hope it's only a 24-hour bug, AND that the rest of us (and our friends) don't catch it.

School vacation is over so Benjamin goes back to school tomorrow, for five weeks, before spring break.

Not a terribly exciting update, and no pictures. But I don't think you want pictures of sick kids!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Long, Picture-Filled Mountains Trip Post

Frederic followed the GPS instead of his brain on our way there, which meant we ended up taking the very scenic route and adding some time onto our trip. Oops.

We stayed in a mini-hotel room Friday night. It actually appears larger in this picture than it really was. I'm pretty sure it was about the size of my office - you know, my office, the one that we decided was too small to be the guest room - and the hotel room included a mini-bathroom and mini-desk as well. Maybe I should take over the guest room for my office and make my office into the guest room after all. If they can call this a hotel room and charge 49 € for it, people should be thrilled to stay in our room the same size for free, right?

This trip was Benjamin's first time on skis.

He tried out the kiddie slopes with Daddy...

before heading to ski class the next day.


They didn't allow parents to stay for ski class (which is the subject of a rant, but I'll save that for another time), so we hung out over by the snowman to peek on for a bit:

while Noah played in the snow.

From that vantage point, we had a great view of the resort.


Benjamin skiied with Frédéric a couple of afternoons.


and Noah kept on sledding


until he was so tired he just flopped down in the snow.

But this was really Benjamin's favorite part. There is a designated sledding area, to prevent the sledders from being crashed into by the skiers.

Frédéric managed to go skiing a couple of afternoons and one evening while the boys and I went sledding. Noah and I hung out in the apartment when we got too cold.

Three cold but happy boys!

I'm happy to report that we all returned home alive despite spending the week together in our very, very, very small condo. We're hoping this will get easier as they get older. Please don't disillusion me if you know that not to be true!

And last but not least, proof that I was there!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I guess this is why we had two kids

Because for all the fighting and whining, there are moments like these... you might almost think they like each other. Please note that I did not choose this book or pose them, honest!




And this is what we call: is winter over yet?
No, it's not quite over yet... we are headed to the mountains tomorrow for winter break, so there is at least one more week of snow in our near future.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

After the sunshine

came the snow. I couldn't believe it when we woke up to an inch or two of the white stuff on the ground yesterday. Benjamin was overjoyed, and had a few minutes before school to start on his snowman. This is the first good snowman snow we have had, everything up to now has been too powdery for packing.

Frédéric helped with the assembly.

And when he got home from school, I helped him with the head, arms and face. The snowman was a pretty good size for the small amount of snow we got!

Noah admired our work, and I think he was contemplating knocking it all down here.

Sadly, the snowman was slightly unbalanced and thus met an untimely demise when the snow began to melt. Reminds me of some of the Calvin & Hobbes comics, except of course that this didn't happen on purpose.