Category Archives: Uncategorized

Heaven in Poland…

Nungesser Family

You have no idea how HAPPY I am at this moment.

I know…I may be a year behind this beautiful article, but ah well…As the old mantra goes, “Better late than never!”

So, I have noticed that the need for expanding Max’s diet has changed like CRAZY ever since he actually went to school.  He was no longer home for me to prepare his food.  And the city that we live closest to has a VERY small selection of hardly anything that is Max friendly in terms of cheese or meats or spreads.  Yes, there are always carrot sticks—but, come now!  How many of those can we actually eat?  Enough—but that is usually not all.

Since Max had a horrible reaction once to chick peas, we don’t risk hummus, although it could have been cross contamination?  Who knows.  But, in any case, we avoid foods that we notice he has reacted to before (And, when I say reaction, I mean, “Mom, my mouth is burning!  My mouth is on fire!”) …Therefore, I emphasize again, we could send him with carrots for lunch every day but we sure would like to send him with more!

There is a brand of bacon that is milk free—but cold bacon?  unless you’re serving me a fresh BLT, then, umm…not the same, eh?!

And sliced ham?  Well, much has milk additives for flavoring—not all, but much.  He doesn’t seem to like ham that much, though, but should that really hurt my feelings?

He’s allergic to beef.

He doesn’t like chicken.

He does like items with eggs in them but not eggs by themselves.  Currently ruling out egg-salad sandwiches.  Maybe his taste buds will change in this year for that one???

But, my point is, packing second breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack is getting more difficult as he grows.

I don’t mind that he doesn’t have a huge palate for meat.  I mean, I love meat but what?  Am I going to force my children to eat it?  Not if they don’t care for it.

THANKFULLY he likes cookie butter.  He likes jam.  He likes tons of fruits.

We still gotta work on the veggies—but, hey!  What 6-year-old doesn’t need to expand his veggie palate, eh?!

In the MEANTIME…I am seriously OVER THE MOON THRILLED!

I was desperately Google searching today to figure out how I can make Max grilled cheese and pizza with cheese that is NOT nasty soy tasting when I came upon this beautiful article!

You have to also understand…I found Max a DELICIOUS…seriously, a fantastic cheese once at the grocery store in Germany with a rice/coconut base to it.  Not only that but it melted beautifully.  And, have I mentioned that it was DELICIOUS?  If not…YUM YUM!

And so I thought—I’ll just order from Germany this same cheese.  UMMM?  Euro costs, plus shipping, plus tax?  Yeah.  It was like a $40 could be purchase for cheese for at that time—a 5-year-old.  No, thank you!

But today—in my Mom wants to avoid laundry moment—I began to compensate for “Bad Housekeeping Mom” with “Good Feed Your Son Mom” and the search commenced.

And it led me to this…This beautiful piece of gold:

http://www.mintel.com/blog/food-market-news/vegan-cheese-gets-creative-in-poland

Thank you, beautiful Honorata Jarocka!  You are my new heroine…

After searching all the brands/companies she has mentioned, I have found SO MANY cheeses to order and try for my little man!

And, if they are good enough—I think I’ll just switch the family over in one fell swoop…so that way I’m not busy making two of everything.  Two cutting boards.  Two knives.  Two bowls for two different yet similar meals .

Well, if you are a dairy-free mom of a little and nut free one (too) — well, hey !  You know what I am talking about.  Especially if your kid reacts even to the slightest touch.

And, believe me…prep work is WAY harder than you think…ask my mom.  She kept setting Max’s knife directly on the counter.  NO!  Set it on a paper towel or plastic clean plate, please, while prepping.

Wait!  New cutting board, please!

Yes…My mom is the best in the world…but it is way harder parenting an allergy kid than ANY mom would think.

Anyhow, if you are like I am and live in Poland or perhaps Europe and are having the SAME trouble as I am feeding your little one—may this article lead you to the companies and the search and the FIND for what you need!

All my allergy-momma love to you on your journey,

B (which stands for Brooke—but most commonly known as Mom of Adelyne, Max, and Jo)

 

Bucket List? Become a Musher!

Here’s a little on what Max was up to during his winter school break! And, yes! France is a VERY dangerous country for our boy. We fed him only at home 😉

And 2 Makes Crazy

Mushing Nungessers

Okay.  So, technically, I had to look up the word Musher.  And really figure out what it meant.  I mean, we went dog sledding.  That one is obvious.  Musher.  I mean, I am a mommy, I am a “Professional Musher” of mashed potatoes, right?  That sounds like a musher.  You know, like smashing a lot of potatoes so they are mushy and buttery and delicious.

Or I love my children so much my daughter sighs, rolls her eyes, and proclaims, “Oh, Mommy, you are SO MUSHY!”  Making me a Musher Mommy, right?

Well, according to the real dictionaries my Mommy-ition of Mushers is all wrong.  Apparently a Musher is a driver of a dog sled.

So, I am happy to report that as of nearly 1 week ago, I have become officially (for an hour) a real-live Musher.

Also joining the “Musher Nungesser Crew” are:  Richard (the dad), Adelyne…

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Polish Apple Fritters and the Polish Housewife

Recipe for Polish Apple Fritters…

Just thought you should know that I made this dairy free. I can imagine gluten free flour would also produce the same divine results. Egg free ??? You may have to experiment a little more. In any case—smacznego! Which means, enjoy your meal!

Much love…
Mom of Max (aka Brooke at And 2 Makes Crazy)

And 2 Makes Crazy

My food heroine strikes yet again!

You should first of all know that I know Lois.  Yes.  You can insert envy 😉

She was a beautiful part of our ladies Bible study for years, as well as making Rich and I beautiful comfort food while Max was fighting for his life in the ICU.

She is as beautiful as the recipes she creates or makes…and I love every one I have ever made from her site!

On top of cooking, however, you can also buy her guide book on Berlin!

This woman is beautifully unstoppable!

Here is what I made Adelyne before school.  I just “whipped” it right up.  To be honest, I kind-of did.  That’s the beauty of her recipes.  Some require the simplest of ingredients and produce the most divine results.

In any case, here is my masterpiece via the recipe of my favorite Polish Housewife:  Polish Apple…

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Listen to your children when they talk about their bodies…

A read about the importance of listening to our children when they talk about their bodies and health, how we can walk with them, and encourage them along the way!

And 2 Makes Crazy

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“Adelyne, what is your greatest fear right now,” I asked my 11-year-old over a private Italian dinner we were eating, just the two of us, following the EEG she just had in Poznan, Poland.

“My biggest fear,” she repeated the question.

“Yes, with all that has been going on in your life, what is your current greatest fear,” I wanted to hear the heart of my daughter, and I had her alone, no little brothers or sisters to distract her.  Just Ada and Momma.  Together.

“The fear of being afraid,” she replied.

It makes tears come into my eyes right now.

If there is one thing we want to do as parents, it is to protect our children.  To be their stalwarts.  To be their walls.  To be their protections.  To be their everything.

And then you realize you can’t.

Unless you lock your child in a bubble, never letting…

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The 504 Plan for your allergy kid

max swinging at school

I studied and wrote many plans for individual student’s education called IEPs.
These are plans designed to meet the educational needs of your student that is receiving special education services.  There, however, is another plan out there that many may not know about and is just as important.

It’s called a 504 Plan, and you, if you have not yet, should really look into this plan for your child.

According to the USDA, “when in the licensed physician’s assessment, food allergies may result in severe, life-threatening (anaphylactic) reactions, the child’s condition would meet the definition of ‘disability’.”

FARE recommends that parents of children with food allergy create, in collaboration with their school, a written food allergy management plan. One type of plan is called a 504 Plan, which is available under a federal civil rights law, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Like I have stated many times before, I am not in a country that is yet versed or advanced yet for children like my son, so the school that we are attending is learning with my son’s very attendance on how to properly care for an allergy child.  I am grateful that they want to learn.  This is huge.

As an allergy-parent with a kid finally entering kindergarten alone, this is also a new and scary world for me, too.  Perhaps you are where I am.  Where your allergy-kid is attending, for the first time, public or private school, and you are not sure where to go or what to do to ensure your child’s safety.

Hopefully this post will help guide or direct you on how BEST you can advocate for your child’s educational care, safety, and needs.

The greatest thing you will also have to remember is that this is your right as a parent.  This is your student’s right as a student.  There is no shame in advocating for your child and seeking a plan to remind the school that they need to address his/her needs.  This makes you a mom or dad with the best mission of all: fighting for your child’s life while providing him/her the best education out there!

I hope you find the following information as helpful as I have:

What is an IEP?

Understanding 504 Plans

504 Plans for Food Allergies 

Section 504 and Written Management Plans (by FARE) 

SAMPLE ACCOMODATIONS FOR 504/IEP/IHP

Side note: a private school must be receiving federal funding in order for the need to comply to the 504 regulations.

If you have any other sites regarding children and education in regards to allergies, I’d love for you to link them in the comments.  Also, remember that sharing is caring because there are probably many other parents out there like you and me walking this road for the first time and in need of good and proper help and direction, so please share freely to help the moms or dads out there just like me!

Be blessed, fight hard, and keep that kid safe.

 

 

 

Dedicated or Shared? Cross contamination is a VERY real thing.

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If you must know, my children LOVE Oreo cookies.

I mean, I have read the studies that refer to them as #addictive as cocaine (by the way, unsubstantiated).  And I have even blocked a “former” Facebook friend when I posted the first picture of my youngest, Josephine, enjoying with great delight her first Oreo at about a year old.  This said “friend” went on to share my post of my daughter, attached with said articles mentioned above, and then wrote how HORRIBLE I was to feed my daughter these delights.

Needless to say, I wrote this lady a letter that shared my opinion of her exploitation of my daughter and immediately blocked her.

Some people!

But, regardless of this lady’s opinion on my parenting, I love Oreos, my husband loves them, and my children love them.

Best of all, they are “supposedly” allergy-friendly for our Max.

That’s a miracle.  To find a cookie that does not include any sort of nut or milk product?  It’s like finding an oasis in the desert.

When we go to birthday parties?  I always make sure Max has his Oreos to eat while the other kids gorge on cake.  Because of the creamy goodness, Max has never yet complained!  And, thankfully, that has allowed me to not make my kid his own cake for every birthday party he attends.

I mean, I am not a baker, folks!

But there is a big thing about processing, and Oreo just recently had to answer to the calls of it.  It is called “Dedicated” or “Shared” processing lines.

Basically, it means that there are processing lines dedicated to be free of any allergen product to touch it.  Or there are shared lines that mean that allergens touch the processing line.

This may sound like a lot, but, believe me, I have the child that IS the one to respond to cross-contamination from “Shared” lines.

Just the other day, I returned from Torun.  Torun is my favorite city in Poland, and it is where the Polish people claim to be the “home” of gingerbread.  Many parts of Europe claim this.

But it is DEFINITELY the home of Nicolaus Copernicus, the Polish astronomer that discovered that the earth revolves around the sun (heliocentric theory).

In any case, it’s a wonderland of science, beauty, history, and GINGERBREAD!

Most gingerbread, my son has been able to eat.

Therefore, when I checked and double checked the ingredients of the cookie I was going to bring him from Torun, I bought it confident of the fact that it contained no allergens.

Max was so excited.

He had his cookie!  It was a bear!  He couldn’t wait!

And then he took his first bite.

“My tongue is burning, Momma!”

An then welting began on his forehead.

Needless to say,  my heart sank.

It was IMPOSSIBLE to give my son ANYTHING!  My heart broke, tears filled my eyes, and I began our allergy routine to care for my son.

I told Max how sorry I was that he had owies, and I was so sorry that I couldn’t buy him a special souvenir.

As is with most allergy kids, my son, used to his fate and greatly disliking pain that comes with eating something “owie”, said in utter graciousness, “That’s okay, Momma.  Next time just bring me some gum or Oreos.”

Most likely, the gingerbread I brought Max was baked on a cookie tray that apparently must have been shared with something that makes Max hurt.

Dedicated or Shared?

This wasn’t the first time Max has reacted to something that was made with allergy-free ingredients.  But it was the most recent time.  And it just reiterates for me the fact that ingredients are NOT enough.

Dedicated or Shared?

Either word carries with it joy or pain.

My son is proof of that.

***

Here is a recent article sharing the “safety” of the plain varieties of Oreo Cookies for those of us living in the allergen-world:

Regarding the Manufacture of Oreos with Respect to Peanuts and Tree Nuts

Good News! I am to be published again…

first day of school

Well, I got GREAT news again today.  I have a second article picked up by The Mighty that will be published in the future.  When it is published, they will send me the email with the link, which I will then pass along to you.

In the meantime, my ALLERGY BOY is officially in the 5/6 year old class at our local school, and the school is scared.  I am scared.  Max’s dad is scared.  I think we are ALL scared.  In a small village, Max is the first to arrive carrying EpiPens and life-threatening allergies.  But it has been hashed out: he will only ever consume or touch his food.

This may not seem like a big deal in your country where food allergies are well known, discussed and people are pro-active on the fight-BUT in the country which we reside, it is still a very big unknown, under discussed, and, therefore, very scary for all of us in the game.

Emphasizing how scary this life we walk in this world we walk is, I bring you an absolutely tragic story of a woman that, after being repeatedly assured at a restaurant in Hungary her food was nut free in all ways, suffered anaphylactic shock that has left her in a state of suffering from life-altering brain injuries.

I have already watched my son receive CPR treatment while he was in a full-coma in the ICU.  The nurses kicked us out and bagged our son while waiting for the doctor to arrive.  It is because of their life-saving treatments, he appears okay.  Eventually they were able to intubate him and get a steady flow of oxygen going.

But, the thing is, every single day that I walk my son outside and purchase a food item for him, I risk this exact thing happening.  Because, no matter how many guarantees of safety we are given, my son walks a very unforgiving road.

Fear makes me want to hide him away.  But that is not living.

And so we walk.  Hoping for life.

***

Please click here to watch the video and read the link:

Heartbreaking scenes on This Morning as ex-producer left paralysed by nut allergy is comforted by Ruth Langsford on show