Wow! It's been a while since I wrote last. Lana is doing fabulously and has enjoyed her first "new heart" VACATION! Never thought those sweet words would come so soon but they did. 3 weeks in beautiful Florida for us with a little escape for mommy to NYC kid free and MUCH needed. We left Bentonville on the 13th on June with the car loaded to the hilt...yes, I said car.........we drove from Bentonville, AR to Jacksonville, FL. Call me crazy but it was a great trip overall and Lana wasn't quite ready to fly yet and needed an appointment to check everything on our way down. SO, I packed the car full of clothes, toys, diapers, medicine and G-free food for Isabelle and we headed out. First stop, Little Rock where we checked into a hotel versus an apartment and settled in for the night before heading to Lana's appointment on the 14th.
I will back up a tiny bit but in the last several months, Isabelle had dental surgery that led to a respiratory distress that led to inhalers that led us back to our allergist in Bentonville which led to another food and environmental allergy panel to see if anything else might be triggering her recent "asthmatic symptoms". We are not not only Gluten free but peanut and dairy free also with allergies to mold and ragweed which one is in spring and one is in fall - poor kid. On top of that, during the visit with the allergist she noticed Isabelle has what is called a "flow murmur" in her heart. Given what we've been through and the fact that I also know that murmurs are not harmful and very common, I floated somewhere between panic and disbelief for several weeks. At Lana's appointment though, she did amazingly well and got the final all clear for vacation and the head of transplantation listened to Isabelle for me to calm my nerves before our trip. And calm she did. She heard the murmur and said to have the referral so they can run a few tests but said she was fine. Nothing to worry about.
We continued on our way from Little Rock to Atlanta. Flowery Branch to be exact. And we had an amazing night with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Robyn and her family. It was only a night and part of the day but it was so wonderful to be in her home, with her kids (and a bonus and awesome treat, her mom) and get to swim to get the car jitters out and catch up with her. She is and was then on an elimination diet from dairy, sugar, caffiene and gluten do to some medical issues she's been having and what a treat for me to get to share some of what I've learned with her to help her journey be a little bit easier. Now we text and share holisitic and helpful hints in life and food almost everyday. How I love that woman and her friendship! We left the Atlanta area and headed for Jacksonville. The wildfires were so bad we adjusted our trip from 75 and went down 16 to savannah and down 95. Not a bad drive and the kids were again, very good.
Our trip in Jacksonville was an amazing trip for everyone with great seafood, Whole Foods, lots of eating out and lots of friends and family, water, beach, boats, and ending with an amazing 4th of July at my Aunt Shiela and Uncle Jimmy's. It is a age old tradition to be at my aunt and uncle's and it was so much fun. Unfortunately, during the trip Isabelle was exposed to gluten, dairy and peanuts and in and out of the pool left her skin itchy, scratchy and eczema prone and her stomach was in knots. We did out best but traveling is SOOOOOO hard to do with food allergies. I want to mention that we ate out at Sakura Japenese Steakhouse and I brought Izzy's gfree soy sauce and they made her a meal while we watched the Habachi going and she was pleasantly not sick afterwards and they were so accomodating about her allergy with that and shrimp. We also found an amazing local bakery that is completely gluten free! OMG, yes i did just say that. Talk about a kid in a candy store! AND THEY SHIP, at least most of their items. Their name is Cookie Momsters and they are on Hendricks/San Jose for those of you that live in Jax, right next to Steve's Seafood Market. They offer everything you can think of from cupcakes and cookies and bread to predone gfree meals.....HEAVEN...wish we lived back there again so we could take advantage of everything
It was an amazing trip with amazing friends and family and we were sad to leave and come home but yet at the same time, so ready to get home and get back to normal and in our own environment. I have been cooking up a storm with frittatas and all sorts of things and ready to get into a groove where we are trying some new things I've learned. A new website I've discovered, thanks to a close friend is Gluten Free Girl and a Chef author and her website is www.glutenfreegirl.com expect many more new recipes that I am tweaking with our other allergies as well coming soon. She even has a homemade recipe for creme friache, although not dairy free, does not bother her lactose intolerant family members at all.....1 pint of good cream in a jar (less pastuerized the better) with a dribble of 2 tbsp of Buttermilk....shake jar and leave it on the counter for 8-24 hours to thicken. I would love to think we can make this with the new coconut kefir out now but I will have to practice it and let you know.
1 pound of green beans, sliced on the diagonal at 1 inch and blanched for 3 min in salted water
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 pd chopped baby bella mushrooms
4 TBSP unsalted butter (2 chopped and 2 whole) or Earth Balance olive oil replacement
salt and pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning or 1 TBSP fresh tarragon chopped
1/2 C shredded or grated parmesan cheese
*optional add 3 strips chopped turkey bacon cooked in oven aprox 1 min
Melt unchopped butter and add bell pepper, onion, garlic, mushrooms to saute about 7 min, add salt and pepper to taste and then add blanched green beans, saute another 2 min. Meanwhile crack and beat the 12 eggs and stir in Italian seasoning, chopped butter pieces and season with salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over sauteed veggies and let set. transper frying pan to oven preheated at 400 degrees for about 4 minutes, add bacon if using and parmesan cheese and allow to cook another 4 min or until golden brown and firm.
Expect alot more in the coming weeks with my new trials....The big girls will be heading out with thier dad on vacation and in between my sister's visit and some playdates I'll be cooking and preparing for school to start back.....I am also writing another article for Peekaboo Magazine for back to school on kids with food allergies and how to deal with the fear of sending your children to school to the unknown of dealing with food allergies......will post a link when it's finished....