Monday, April 30, 2007

The Worst Allergy

With Asher being allergic to so many things, sometimes, I fantasize about what he'll outgrown, or when I'm frustrated or bored by our limited menu, I focus on all the good things he can still eat.

I have come to the conclusion that there are 4 foods that are difficult for me to live without:

Corn: While I do love some fresh corn on the cob, that's not the thing I miss. The culprit is corn syrup; it's in everything! For a little bit, the allergist suspected Asher was allergic to corn. That month, potatoes were our only starch (wheat and rice were suspected allergens, too), turkey was our only "safe" meat, and a lot of fruits and vegetable (well, except for corn and peas). We couldn't eat processed foods like chips or cereal because they usually had corn syrup in them, and even if they didn't, they often were made at facilities that made other products with corn syrup. sympathies go to those who have corn allergies!

Soy: Soy is in lots of stuff too. Perhaps it's a cheap filler?

Now, I have to admit that corn and soy are not foods I eat daily in their "raw" state--they're great flavor enhancers, but they don't flavors, textures, smells, I love.

So, here are my other tough foods:
Dairy: It has been thirty days since I last had a glass of milk, a piece of cheese, a cup of yogurt. Two weeks after Luke was born, I was fed up with how much this kid cried and pooped. We were going through 20+ diapers a day, he was always crying, and he had the most horrendous diaper rash despite 4 different types of diaper rash creams, one perscription cream, and just letting him air dry 10+ hours a day (we did a lot of laundry those weeks!). With Asher's dairy allergy, and some other family members' sensitivity to dairy

Chocolate: I don't think I need to explain this one :)

Thursday, April 26, 2007


After long hours trying to figure out how to login to the blog site I finally get to see what my family looks like online.
Above are some pictures from Peru. I paid my dues to Peruvian cuisine.
1. Macchu Picchu at sunrise from the terraces
2. Guardhouse watching the Inca Trail approach to Macchu Picchu
3. Cusco monistary built on top of Incan temples
4. Cusco Plaza De Armes at night
I will post more on Kodak for anyone who is interested.

Luke's photo shoot

ok, a 4 week old isn't very photogenic, but here are some of Luke looking less vacuous than usual

Who's smarter?

the toddler or the dog?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

US House Resolution 296

Some of you may know that Asher was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis (more information about this disease is at This week, patients and their families are contacting our US representatives to try and get a bill passed (House Resolution 296) that will create a National Eosinophil Awareness week in May, which is the first step in increasing education and getting funding for eosinophilic diseases. This is the letter I sent to my congressman. If you feel so inclined, we'd love for others to call, email or write their representatives for support for this bill.

Dear Congressman Shadegg:

As the wife of a small business employee and the mother of a chronically-ill child, I was glad to see your work on making health care more affordable and easily accessible to small businesses and individuals last year.

Because of your background in health care reform and your position on the Health subcommittee, I am writing to urge you to co-sponsor House Resolution 296: Supporting the goals and ideals of National Eosinophil Awareness Week, and for other purposes, which is currently sponsored by John B. Larson of Connecticut.

Not much is known about eosinophilic diseases, and I am hoping that having a National Eosinophil Awareness week will help educate and raise awareness about these diseases. Currently, 50,000 people in the United States have been diagnosed with an eosinophilic disease. Our two-year old son, Asher is one of them. He was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis at the end of May 2006. This disease means that he has allergic reactions to certain foods that cause a flood of allergic cells, called eosinophils, to attack his entire digestive system.

We consider ourselves lucky. Asher was diagnosed relatively quickly, can eat a fairly varied diet, and we can afford to pay for his amino acid formula that our health insurance is currently refusing to cover. However, some families go for years with children that are chronically ill and underweight. Some diagnosed families struggle to pay for formula that can cost about $800 a month.

This is why I’m hoping that you will co-sponsor this resolution. Thousands of eosinophilic families deal with expensive amino acid formulas, restricted diets (or they cannot eat anything because of their disease), and uninformed healthcare providers. By passing this resolution, we’ll be able to raise awareness so that people who have not been diagnosed can be to get the care that they need, and we can work towards finding a cure for this disease.

As a mother who researches and studies every day to find ways to make life easier for my son, I am committed to helping him and other families that suffer from this affliction. I would be happy to help you with this important work in any way that I can.

Best Wishes,

Emily Clyde Curtis
Phoenix, Arizona

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Who do you love?

This week, Asher has decided that he should hold Luke like the rest of the family. After Asher had snuggled with Luke for a bit, we had the following conversation:

Emily: Oh, Asher, do you love Luke?
Asher: No.
Emily: (a bit surprised) Hmmm, well, do you love Mom?
Asher: No.
Emily: Ok, do you love Dad?
Asher: No.
Emily: Do you love Elmo?
Asher: (smiles and laughs--of course, who doesn't love Elmo?)