We’re back, and here’s a funny story

By Mir
September 3, 2008

In case I haven’t said so lately, there’s just no way to put a price on great web hosting. I mean, sure, between the people who want to fill my blog up with links to Haitian pharmaceuticals and my own bumbling attempts to fix things (not to mention Otto’s valiant efforts to remedy the situation), there are gonna be a few days that the blog, it done get blowed up. (Yes, that’s the technical diagnosis.) And then it was all fixed and immediately was attacked in a different way, and yet my hosting service (Fusix! Love them!) continued on, barely muttering “Yeesh, this is a total pain in the ass,” under their breath as they fixed it. AGAIN.

SO ANYWAY, now that things are fixed (for the time being, anyway), I have to tell you something I keep forgetting about. You know, before my blog blows up again. (You so think I’m kidding, but guess what! Fusix just called to say they had to block the ENTIRE COUNTRY OF KOREA due to excessive network requests. And I’ve always liked Korea. It’s just been a really weird couple of days, okay?)

But here’s the funny little story I wanted to tell you.

Once upon a time, I had a beautiful baby boy who was bubbly and happy and fat and dimply and perfect. And that’s my completely unbiased opinion, of course. And one day he stuck his finger into some peanut butter and puffed up like the Michelin Man with an anaphylactic reaction, and he didn’t die, but I almost did. (He later became skinny and picky and positively riddled with food allergies, but primarily we worried about the peanut thing.) Doctors told us there was only a slight chance of him outgrowing the allergy, and half my hair turned gray.

(Being a parent is AWESOME!)

And then one day I wrote a very silly post because I was SCARED OUT OF MY MIND, because my darling child was going to be forced to eat some peanuts at the allergist’s office. Because he’d passed a blood test and was “most likely” no longer allergic.

Life is funny—it turned out that the allergist was correct, and Monkey was no longer allergic. My days of carrying Epipens and fretting were over, and Jif came back into our house, much to the delight of Chickadee and myself.

Mmmmm… peanut butter.

Monkey, by the way, still cannot STAND the stuff. He complains if he even SMELLS it. The rest of us love it, thought, because it’s PEANUT BUTTER and therefore delicious.

So, um, this summer has been kind of a difficult one in a million ways, but most notably in that poor Chickadee was diagnosed with Molloscum and then when it didn’t improve we went to the dermatologist, who insisted that she was allergic to berries, of all things.

We stopped giving her berries. She did not improve.

So I finally got her in to the see the allergist, and she had some testing. It was “largely inconclusive,” but she did have one small reaction that caused the allergist to recommend that we stop feeding her peanuts.

Chickadee hasn’t had peanut butter for a week.

Her skin is completely clear for the first time since June.

I think that someone—perhaps the March of Dimes, as I stopped supporting them when I found out that they get money from the National Peanut Growers Association and therefore refuse to recommend that pregnant women limit peanut intake if there is a history of food allergies, as the AAP is now recommending—is trying to tell me something.


  1. Jean

    So I guess that validates all of us who thought the dermatologist was, how shall I say?…wacky? I would’ve said nuts, but the segue was waaay too obvious.

    So sorry for the potential nut allergy, but glad to hear the skin is clearing, for whatever reason. May more health abound!

  2. jennielynn

    Seriously? Poor Chickie. Drama Queen would literally die without peanut butter. Which would mean we could avoid the whole dating thing…hmmm.

  3. Beachgal

    That is so unfair, but yes, hilarious. Poor Chickie.

  4. Nichole

    Poor Chickadee! My daughter’s diet would consist entirely of bread if she couldn’t have peanut butter.

  5. suburbancorrespondent

    So great to have that mystery cleared up! And doing without peanut butter isn’t so bad…at least you can still have ice cream and yogurt and all that good stuff that I have to regard as at least as dangerous as toxic waste.

    But my dairy-allergic kid may be going off to college next year….in which case I say, Bring on the Breyers!

  6. Patricia

    As a peanut butter hater myself — Oh, Monkey, you are welcome to live in this peanut butter smell free home — I think it is because peanut butter is not the food of the gods as some of you think, but really dangerous — you know like Love Apples, I mean tomatoes.

  7. tori

    Poor Chickadee! Peanut butter is one of my very favorite foods! Obviously if I had a kid with an allergy, I’d learn to cope without it but if that were the case, you might find me in the garage sneaking it like some kind of drug addict and then showering before going near my allergic child. I am THAT addicted to it.

    Hopefully now that you seem to have figured it out, she will remain clear!

  8. celticbuffy

    At least it’s limited to peanut butter. My niece has peanut, soy, certain dye (food additives),and dairy allergies. The poor kid has never had a real pizza in her life!

  9. StephLove

    I’m glad you finally have an answer to C’s skin problems. Sorry the answer is a beloved food, though.

  10. Linda

    My husband and my daughter both hate peanut butter and bananas, (not that I like them together), but I love them both but hardly ever get to have them because they can’t stand the smell.

  11. Karen

    First of all, I have to commend you on your choice of peanut butters. After all, JIF is the only REAL peanut butter in existence, as far as I am concerned.

    Send, I am very happy that you have found out what your little Chickadee was allergic to, and even more happy for you that it was not gluten. I can still have peanut butter, but without the white bread what use is it?

  12. Lia

    Pea butter to the rescue. Tastes almost like the real thing. Really!

  13. RuthWells

    Holy mother of god. It never ends, this parenthood thing! But I’m so glad Chickadee is on the mend.

  14. Crisanne

    How ironic that it turned out to be peanut butter! The derm may have been wrong about the berries, but it does support the idea that you can suddenly become allergic to something.

  15. Jan

    Costco sells a delicious almond butter that we use to supplement our peanut butter intake (because some tiny part of my brain thinks is maybe not so fabulous that some days they have peanut butter at ALL THREE MEALS).

  16. Heather

    Aw poor kid!
    By the way, I just picked up Sleep is for the Weak from the library and am loving it :D

  17. C.

    We have kids with peanut allergies in dd’s class, so I can’r send anything to school that has peanuts touching it EVER. Which is okay, since we don’t want to see anyone puffing up in class, but what in the world do you send for snacks and lunches that’s remotely healthy?

    Caesar salad?

  18. mama speak

    Can she have sunflower seed butter? I’ve never had it, but I’ve seen it at TJ’s & wondered if that would work. Is it just peanuts? Is nutella out too? Cause if yes,then OMG how will you all cope?

    Ironically, no peanut allergies in my family but no peanut butter in our house growning up, mom was not a fan. I never had a PB&J until college. I turned out relatively ok.

  19. Melanie

    Some friends of ours swear by Soy-nut butter. I think that Trader Joe’s sells it. I may have even seen it Target.

  20. Angela

    Oh, my goodness. Thats crazy timing!

  21. the gazelle

    I love Peanut Butter (so much that I capitalize it like a proper noun), and would die without it. However, other nut butters such as cashew & almond are almost as delicious, and usually not TOO much more expensive.

    At least you know?

  22. Randi

    Another one allergic to peanut butter! Oh no!! I’m so sorry for Chickadee! Is it just me, or are more kids become asthmatic and allergic than ever before?!

  23. Jamie AZ

    To have to stop eating something you enjoy is awful – sorry, Chickadee! I was misdiagnosed w/a dairy, wheat and egg white allergy some time ago and it was awful giving up everything that possibly had diary in it – especially ice cream! Thankfully, the doc read the tests wrong and after limiting dairy for a year, I go to add it back into my diet! (Of course, in that year, I saw no change in my symptoms, either, so I suspected it wasn’t really dairy that was causing my hives.)

    I hope she grows out of it and/or you can find a suitable substitute.

  24. Flea

    Poor little Chicky! I hurt for her. But yay! to the clearing of the skin! And yay! to the fixing of the blog! And I’m not sure I approve of this new comment format. Carry on.

  25. Sharon

    I’m glad that your hosting service was able to get you back up and running, even if they did mutter a bit. Muttering is allowed. And I’m glad that you now know what caused Chickadee’s discomfort. I’d always rather know what I’m dealing with, even if it’s not what I want to hear. Which brings me to the March of Dimes and how disappointed I am with their irresponsible response to recommendations regarding a history of peanut allergies. They have showered me with address labels and notepads for the past year – I’d rather have them spend that money in the lab researching the causes and treatment of allergies.

  26. Leandra

    You know, I think I would rather give up peanut butter than berries. Or orange juice which was one of the culprits initially identified by the dermatologist. And hey, she can’t have Reese’s Cups, but she can still have chocolate, so that’s all good, right? Anyway, I’m just glad they figured it out.

  27. Tootsie Farklepants

    WOW. That is soooo not fair! Your karma, it doth sucketh.

  28. Amy

    Glad to hear that you may finally have an answer. The worse is just not knowing. So even if it is horrible to not have peanut butter at least she won’t be itchy anymore!

  29. Asianmommy

    Wow–poor girl. I’m glad you found a cure for the rash, but it’s tough to give up peanut butter. Have you tried soynut butter?

  30. BarryH

    Korea called. They want their web site back.

  31. D

    My son hates peanut butter. Won’t touch it. [what, no Elvis sandwich – peanut butter, bananas and honey? Child – you’re 1/4 Southern – you’re killin’ me here!] Poor Chicky, but clear skin is better in the long run [honest, it is, C!]

    Glad your hosting service fixed stuff … whew!

  32. Heidi

    That is SO awful! A life without PB. I can’t imagine.

  33. Kailani

    No Way!! So….Chickie doesn’t have scum on her butt?? It’s an allergy?? Huh…..
    I sooooo didn’t know that about the March of Dimes and the whole “don’t eat PB pregnant” thing. If I had known, that maybe would have possibly, kinda made a difference. Or at least Girl Child would have had a better shot.

  34. ladybuginak

    I too, have an allergy child. Well, 2 really. My son is allergic to peanuts, egg whites, mustard, garlic, wheat, beef, milk, oatmeal. He also has illness-induced asthma (when he gets sick, he gets REALLY sick), and eczema. My daughter, to a lesser extent, is allergic to peanuts and egg whites, but no skin or asthma concerns. Things have calmed down, though we still heavily monitor the peanuts and eggs. School is difficult, we ALWAYS pack their lunches, and always have to check on alternatives at birthday parties, Sunday school, overnights, etc. The boy can mostly manage his stuff, he is 9, and my daughter is pretty good for 4 years old. The first day of kindergarten this year, the teacher tried to pass something out that my daughter said she couldn’t have for allergy concerns, and went off with her own snack and friends. I was very proud of her for that. TJ’s, as mentioned, does sell soynut butter and other nut butters, it is a worthy enough alternative. No chocolate that could also potentially have a peanut concern, such as plain M&Ms made on the same equipment as peanut M&Ms. We even have to watch for cross-contamination in an open jelly jar, when someone has used a peanut butter knife, then put it in the jelly. So, the kids can’t even get by with a jelly sandwich at a friend’s house unless it is an unopened jar when we get there. (Not that it is a great choice anyway, I know!) Their Grammy keeps small jars in the cabinets for us so we can open them fresh when we arrive, and she stocks our soynut butter too.

    I feel very guilty, personally, about my son’s allergies. I ate a TON of peanut butter and mustard when pregnant with him, 2 of my very favorite things, and the protein of peanut butter was so heavily advised then. By the time my daughter came along, I ate peanut butter maybe 5 times while pregnant, and 2-3 times while nursing. When the next one came, it was totally off limits, and with the exception of an occasional Reese’s, I have been doing exclusively soynut butter with the kids. I don’t really think about it too much, though now that a brother has moved locally, and LOVES peanut butter as much as me, I told him I am going to bring my own spoon to come have a spoonful sometime.

    As you know, Mir, from Monkey, the allergies can be dealt with. I think allergies are an inconvenience, but things could be so much worse. We have worked on an alternative therapy called sub lingual immunotherapy, whereby we did allergy drops under my son’s tongue daily, to desensitize his body. I don’t know for sure that it worked, but he was too small for allergy shots, and I was going to do anything that might help him. Since we have moved from Alaska, we have lost that clinic, and no longer do the drops.

    Good luck…

  35. Hecticmom

    Hey – my daughter has a peanut allergy too! She hasn’t had a reaction in 5 years (although we are uber careful) and we are going to the allergist next week. You mean that they can actually out grow it? How weird is that?

    And slightly humorous that Chicadee is now allergic.

    That’s interesting that the AAP suggests limiting peanut butter while pregnant – I lived on peanut butter when I was pregnant with my daughter (10+ years ago) and I’ve always blamed myself (and her father who also has weird food allergies.) And I didn’t have drop of peanut butter when pregnant with my son (7) and he doesn’t have any food allergies. Go figure! (although with your story, maybe I should be cautious.)

  36. LiteralDan

    You have my deepest sympathies on the loss of your peanut butter. I’m not sure how I would cope.

    And good luck negotiating with the Koreans. Just one of the standard hassles of running a blog.

  37. elizabeth

    I see two (semi?) good things:
    1. it doesn’t appear to be a life threatening allergy
    2. you’ve been thru this before and know how to deal

    but what do the Koreans have against you?

  38. Megan

    Aha! So my not having peanut butter whilst pregnant was because I’m smaaaaart and not because, having downed it by the spoonful as a child, I honestly don’t care for the stuff anymore! Yay!

  39. Maki

    I’m so fortunate that my two daughters are not allergic to anything, at least for now… They eat peanut butter and jelly sandwich like food sent from heaven! I can’t imagine of a lifestyle where you have to worry constantly what goes into your child mouth. I’ve heard some may outgrow it — I hope it does for your lovely child….

  40. Lady Euphoria Deathwatch

    Hi Mir and kids,

    I have been reading for a long time but never posted a comment before and this one is to your kids.

    I have food allergies, peanuts included. I am never more then an arms reach from my Benadryl bottle. That said. I have lived a good and long life. I have gone weeks without having to take a drop. I just have to use care when I eat anything and that includes the same old stuff I eat every day.

    I have become a label reader. Because they don’t always say new and improved on the box when they change ingredients to include something I can’t eat.

    As long as you are careful and know where your help is, go have fun. It’s like looking both ways before crossing a street. Practice being careful and you will do it without thinking about it.

    Last, Give your mom a break. She loves and cares for you. It’s hard on her to have to give that level of care over to your control. Mostly because she can still see you as her baby. Let her remind you to watch out and be careful. The more you show her that you can do it yourself the more she can back off. And if she doesn’t it’s because it’s just her way of saying ‘I Love You.’ Smile inside and move on.

    Thanks for listening.

    Sincerely, Lady Euphoria

  41. vanessa

    A. Poor Chickie.
    B. So…can you tell me more about web hosting? I really want to start a blog that reviews a book a day, but I have to figure out what kind of web hosting/blog building tool I need.

  42. MomCat

    I recommend puking for five months straight and then having your baby at six months. My daughter has no allergies!

  43. Tammy

    Um, well, at least she’s NOT allergic to berries, right? It could be worse…peanut butter AND berries! Glad you found out what it was.

    So, given the amount of Oreos I ate with Boy #3 both while pg and nursing, do you think that might turn into an allergy? It might be a tough choice between him & my Oreos. Kidding!!

  44. Burgh Baby

    Interestingly enough (OK, not at all interesting), I was gorging myself on canned peanuts as I read that. Poor Chicky. Life without nuts is, well, nutless. And bad.

    BTW, it takes mad skillz to piss off Korea. Well done!

  45. Kelly

    So we have my little girl’s Allergy test Friday – should be interesting! If I survive we’ll be visiting your signing on Saturday.

    Also – I am going through updating my wordpress, and it went swimmingly for blog #1. For blog #2 – deleted the database??? I have a backup that godaddy does not seem to want to restore property – sigh.

  46. Anna Marie

    It’s a miracle my kids aren’t allergic to peanuts as my morning sickness meant that ALL I could eat for 4 months was PBJ sammiches. Sorry about losing Korea. That’s just…odd.

  47. Amy-Go

    We do the allergy dance here with Sammy…and boy is it fun. Glad to hear Chickie’s is a “small” reaction…whatever that means.

  48. Aimee

    Wow… poor Chickie, and yet what a relief to know what was causing the rash, and what a relief for her to finally have it cleared up.

  49. Cupcake40

    Poor kid. My son and daughter would be lost if they were allergic to peanuts. Their diets consist of a peanut butter and jelly(in my daughter’s case) sandwich every day.

  50. Astrogirl426

    Speaking as someone who LIVED on pb&j sandwiches when she was Chickie’s age, I feel so badly for her. Poor thing – but perhaps it’s not all tree nuts? In which case, there are some really yummy options out there – almond butter, soy butter, etc.

    (sigh) Sometimes life has a really twisted sense of humor.

  51. Karen

    try sunflower butter – not bad tasting and less pricey than other alternate butters. We used it for a while to fatten up one of our babies who had problems eating & was therefore cleared to eat anything but peanuts and seafood at 6 months.

  52. Katie in MA

    Hee hee hee…you have to laugh, Mir. You HAVE to. It stops the tears of frustration.

    How is Monkey handling this turn of events? Taunting and laughter or brotherly support?

  53. Lylah

    Whaaaa? Peanuts?

  54. Melisa

    Clear skin = happy :o)
    No Peanut Butter = sad :o(

  55. Shannon

    Wow. You know I bet Chickadee would get all mad and pouty if you told her that Monkey “gave” her his allergy.
    Which is exactly what I would have done in her situation.

    I have my own theory about peanut allergies and it involves a vaccine which includes, of all things, peanut oil.

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