Friday, July 27, 2012


I am fortunate enough that from time to time this summer my parents have come over and watched the kids for us.  I usually have things all set up and ready for meals.  My Dad can microwave a mean hot dog!

But, from time to time there are situations that come up where I am thinking UGH.  All Grandparents mean well, right?  Even if they don't do it like Mom does.

Yesterday Molly was going with a friend to a local Vacation Bible School.  We needed to get my parents home quick so we could race back and get Molly a sandwich to eat for dinner.  My Mom had called earlier in the day and asked what Molly was going to eat.  I told her I would make her a sandwich when I got home.  Some how that got translated to "make Molly a peanut butter and jelly sandwich."

In case you didn't all ready know this, Amanda is allergic to peanuts.  And, even with age, her allergy number does not seem to be going down.  It actually is going up.  I am not an expert on what those numbers mean so I'm not even going to try and explain them.  All I know is that we have Epi Pens, an Epi Pen is needed at school, and I know where they all are for emergencies.

So back to my dilemma with the making of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for my non-allergic daughter.  The ONLY time Amanda has ever had a reaction to her peanut allergy is when I (myself) cross contaminated the jar of jelly by using the peanut butter knife in it.  I know, you've cheated and done the same thing, right?  So I am now very, very careful to never do that.  Two knives are required to make a sandwich. It's just not something that my parents would think of since they didn't have a child with a food allergy.

I need to add a line in here that the only reason we have peanut butter even in our house is because 1) Mr. Shook loves it on a bagel or english muffin, especially good for him after running.  Peanut butter is excellent protein.  and 2) Molly loves it on a sandwich and celery and we need to find ways to bump up her weight and peanut butter is excellent for that, as well.  But, it is up very HIGH on our shelf, no one is to get it down on their own, and Amanda knows not to eat it.

But, Amanda loves herself a jelly sandwich and there are times where that is lunch.  Sad, I know because it just can't taste that good and therefore, our jelly can not be laced with peanut butter.

I do not think I am a food Nazi.  I am very careful to ask ingredients of things that I don't know what they are.  We avoid bake sales.  I already know we can't eat at Chik-Fil-A, Five Guys Burgers and I ask for Amanda's food to be cooked separately at places like FlatTop.  I mean ABSOLUTELY no offense by this next statement but the place where I have the most uncertainly is our church.  For our Wednesday night meals many desserts are brought in and the servers simply don't know the ingredients.  Not a big deal, we just don't have anything that we are unsure of.  Our church has a fabulous Egg Hunt every Easter.  It rocks!  But I always make a point of telling Amanda's Sunday School teacher to please not let her eat any candy before I look at it.  Our trick-or-treat candy gets an inspection, too.  It's just what we have to do.

Preschool was great about her allergy and I pray that Kindergarten will be the same.  From what I have seen the school does a good job.  It does bother me that their solution for lunch is to have a peanut free table.  I guess segregating them is safer.

I thank the good Lord that we have never had to use Amanda's Epi Pen.  Her only reaction was solved by a dose of Benedryl.  I think I have freaked out a baby-sitter or two with my Epi Pen instructions.  It scares me that I have to end that conversation with "and after you use the Epi Pen then you call 9-1-1."  I hope that we NEVER have to do that.

And, don't get me wrong about Grandma and Grandpa and them being helpful.  They both felt really bad that I now have to pitch the jelly.  If you know my Mom then you'll know she offered to buy a new jar.  Not the point.  A food allergy is just something that you have to be on top of all the time.

And, just writing this post has made me crave a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg!

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