Almost Ready Blogs

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy 2010 to You and your Niblets! May it be a safe one!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Maizey Folks! Big Poppa, Sissy and DB are all off until January 4th, and because family time is such a precious commodity, I, too, am going to take a “Christmas Vacation” until January 4th. Until the 4th, have a beautiful, blessed Christmas, always remembering that we celebrate that God gave us the gift of his one begotten son, the gift of salvation, the gift of grace that we don’t deserve.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Corn Facts!

  • An average ear of corn has 800 kernels arranged in 16 rows.
  • Corn always has an even number of rows on each ear.
  • There is one piece of silk per kernel of corn.
  • Each tassel releases 5 million grains of pollen.
  • Each corn plant is male and female. The silk is female, while the tassel is male.
  • Corn is grown on every continent except for Antarctica.
  • Corn is thought to have been domesticated in 6700 BC in Mexico.
  • Corn consumption breaks down like this:
    • Mexico – 400 pounds annually per person.
    • USA – 160 pounds annually per person.
    • India – 15 pounds annually per person
  • 2005 corn production looks like this:
    • World production – 686 million metric tons.
    • USA production – 282 million metric tons.
  • One bushel of corn makes:
    • 33 pounds of sweetener
    • 32 pounds of starch OR
    • 2.5 gallons ethanol fuel.
  • One bushel of corn also makes approximately 400 cans of soda.
  • One bushel of corn fed to livestock produces:
    • 5.6 pounds of retail beef
    • 13 pounds of retail pork
    • 32 pounds of chicken OR
    • 28 pounds of catfish.
  • Cookie Jarvis, a competitive eater, holds the record for corn on the cob. He ate 33.5 pounds ears in 12 minutes.

Quite a catch ladies, am I right? Hubba-Hubba. (This is not a picture of Cookie Jarvis).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Frugal Finds – Baking Soda

Earlier this year, I wrote a post about the many uses of hydrogen peroxide. Well, it’s time for another edition of frugal finds and this time, we are talking baking soda. So many of the cleaning products we use have toxins which are dangerous to all kids and pets. When you also consider that many of those same cleaners contain corn, you get a very hazardous condition for your corn allergic lovey.

Most of us use baking soda to freshen up the fridge and freezer, and of course several baking recipes call for baking soda, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.


  1. Shampoo! It’s natural and works great.
  2. Deodorant (apply with a powder puff).
  3. Facial scrub (bye-bye blackheads).
  4. Toothpaste (either by itself or make a paste with hydrogen peroxide).
  5. Add ½ c. to bathwater to soften skin.
  6. Soothe bug bites.
  7. Soothe sunburn and windburn.
  8. Soothe poison ivy.
  9. Bathe baby in a bath with baking soda to relieve diaper rash.
  10. Antacid (1 tsp. baking soda in a half glass of water).
  11. Relieve canker sores.
  12. Draw venom out of jellyfish sting.
  13. Draw venom out of bee sting.
  14. Add a teaspoon to a vaporizer to relieve a stuffy nose.
  15. Take the funk out of dishrags.
  16. Sprinkle in trash can to alleviate stinky garbage syndrome.
  17. Sprinkle on a sponge to gently clean marble, stainless steel.
  18. Use it to clean the bathroom (sink, faucet, tub, toilet outside and in).
  19. Remove crayon from walls.
  20. Soak combs and brushes in it.
  21. Clean coolers and water bottles with it to alleviate stale smells.
  22. Run through coffee pot to clean.
  23. Run through dishwasher to clean.
  24. Add a teaspoon to the water in your vase to keep the flowers fresh longer.
  25. Put in ashtray to alleviate smell and control smoldering.
  26. Sprinkle in shoes to get rid of the funk.
  27. Put on a windshield and rub inside and out to repel rain.
  28. Put around your flowerbeds to keep rabbits from a smorgasbord.
  29. Wash fruits and veggies! (The store bought stuff has lots of corn.)
  30. While soaking dried beans, add soda to mute the fruit.
  31. Put 1/2 c. in wash machine with each wash to deodorize and brighten.
  32. Pour on greasy spots on garage floor to clean.
  33. Soak pans with burned on food for 10 minutes to ease cleaning.
  34. Clean retainers and dentures.
  35. Soak and wash cloth diapers.
  36. Clean the grill grate.
  37. Polish silver.
  38. Mix with toothpaste for a cheap spackle.
  39. Take scratches out of CDs (NOT DVDs) – take a wet paper towel and dip in baking soda- rub CD gently.
  40. Put 1 tsp. soda and 1 pint water in a spray bottle to douse grill flare ups.
  41. Clean and deodorize fishing gear.
  42. Remove porcupine quills from the dog. Mix 1 tsp. soda with 1 c. vinegar – apply and let sit for 10 minutes. Reapply and wait another 10 minutes, the quills should come out easily.
  43. Remove skunk smell from Fido.
  44. Deodorize the dog between baths – sprinkle with soda and comb thoroughly.
  45. Deodorize a mattress after an “accident”.
  46. Sprinkle on icy stairs and walkways.
  47. Clean stuffed animals. Place 1 c. soda in plastic bag, put animal in and shake well. Wait 15 minutes, then use hairbrush to remove soda.
  48. Clogged drain? Pour in 1/2 c. soda, then put in 1 c. vinegar. Let foam for 10 minutes, then follow with very hot water.

Do you have other uses for baking soda? Please share!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

There's Corn in That?

Yes, Virginia, there IS corn in that...
1.   Aspirin
2.   Disposable diapers
3.   Splenda

Friday, December 11, 2009

Conditioner? I hardly knew her!

Hello Maizey Folks!

I am sorry it has been so long since I last posted, I have been trying to finish my Christmas knitting. On the upside, I have done so much knitting I can crack a walnut with my bare hands (you know, probably).

Sissy has been having a terrible time with skin sensitivities as a result of her corn allergy. Because of that, I wanted to keep her bathwater completely free of any chemicals, so I have been washing her hair with baking soda. Like you, I am addicted to my "Organic Pomegranate Shampoo Infused with......." but to be perfectly honest, the baking soda works really well. Her hair is quite clean and soft and there isn't the typical shampoo/conditioner build up that can occur. We've done this for about a month and not only is her hair shiny and soft, her skin issues have cleared up and we are all much happier!

Do you have any chemical free bathtime tips? We would love to hear them!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy to be back give-away!

I have three Mabel's Labels magnets to give away! Tell me two things - your favorite "Label out Loud" motif (you can find it here) and a topic you would like me to address in the upcoming blogs! I will pick three winners randomly at 9 p.m. MST on Thursday.

Good luck, Maizey Folks!

I'm Back!

More accurately, Talulah is back! She came home today - I am so happy! So I will be posting again within the next couple days!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Snack Attack

Hi folks, I wrestled my husband's laptop out of his hands long enough to put up a quick post! I am hoping my laptop, Talulah, comes back soon - I miss her. Sniff.

Sometimes snacks are difficult to procure for a little person with a corn allergy or food allergies in general. On that note, a great friend, Mary, sent me an email about a product she found that I wanted to share with you.

Brother's All Natural Fruit Crisps

There are a variety of flavors including, Fuji Apple, Strawberry-banana, Pineapple, Banana, Asian Pear, White and Yellow Peach and Strawberry. Mary found them at Costco. I checked the website, they are also available at: Whole Foods, Walmart, 7-11, Toys-R-Us,, Walgreens, CVS and Rite-Aid.

Check out the website, and check out some for your little niblet - and a big thank you to Mary to keeping her eyes open and her willingness to share what she found. As always, if you come across a product you love, let us know!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blogging Break

Hello Maizey Friends. My computer has developed a serious case of dead - so it is going for a vacation to India to see if they can do anything. Until it returns, I will be blogging fairly infrequently, but please keep checking back - as soon as my computer comes back we will be back on track!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sale at The Maizey Store

If you order before midnight today and receive *UP TO 50% off your order. Just use code CAPSLOCKDAY9


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

There's Corn in That?

The theme for this episode is dedicated to Ethyl Alcohol. Ethyl Alcohol you ask while adding that we talk corn not alcohol. There is one thing that Ethyl Alcohol is made from - #2 Yellow Dent Corn!

  1. Rocket Fuel
  2. Whiskey (There's some whiskey that could double as rocket fuel)
  3. Hand Sanitizer

Monday, October 19, 2009

Extreme Blog Makeover

My previous layout was really dark so, thanks to the Template Mama I have a new and improved look. Come on in, look around, tell me what you think!

Book Report

I am a book junkie, a word nerd, a bibliophile - Big Poppa calls me an addict, but I can stop at any time, it's just a social thing.... Alright, between you and me I am an ADDICT. When Sissy was first diagnosed as having a corn allergy I went looking for books. I found a few that were very helpful so I want to share them with you. Please know I am not getting paid to endorse these books, I just found them really helpful. They now take a prominent place on my overrun bookshelves - having been run over with high-lighters, notes in the margins, dog ears and flags. I am hoping that some of the things I found helpful will help you as well.

1.) Food Allergies For Dummies

While I may not be the biggest fan of the name, the information provided is second to none. The book contains a tear out sheet with a food label crib sheet, symptom check list and reaction response plan. There are chapters on what to do when you are first faced with a diagnosis as well as how to live well with food allergies. There are helpful items for sending kids to school, camp and Nana's house. The last section is dedicated to "The Part of Tens"; which are top ten lists that are really helpful and very on topic.

2.) Food Allergy Field Guide : A Lifestyle Manual for Families

I really like this book because first of all it includes corn allergies, which can be hard to find, but also, there are a ton of recipes that I have had really good success with. It includes how to deal with family members that don't get it. We all have those family members who say, "Well in my day, there was no such thing as food allergies. These kids just don't want to finish their plate" - or some other such nonsense. That's why I appreciate a chapter subtitled, "Grandma's Not Trying to Kill you, She Just Doesn't Know".

3.) One Of The Gang: Nurturing the Souls of Children with Food Allergies

This is one to read to the little people in your lives who have food allergies. It's great. It contains help with the grief and sadness of it all as well as famous and successful people who also have food allergies.


Do you have books that you have found helpful? Please share!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Tracee Sioux, over at one of my favorite websites The Girl Revolution informed me that my comment section was having issues. It has been fixed and you can comment away!

Also! I have new products at the Maizey Store - click the link at the right!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


With Halloween coming up soon, I was wondering what you do to help your food allergic kiddo celebrate! Please share your ideas and comments! We could all use the ideas!

witchsillo004armhrk.png image by snowiecats

Monday, October 12, 2009

Frugal Find

Part of the difficulty of managing a corn allergy is the incredible expense. You can not find very many things that are generic because those items contain corn. That's pretty hard on the average family, however. So in that vein, I am going to feature a frugal find. Watch for more frugal finds in the weeks to come!


I think most everyone has hydrogen peroxide lurking around in their medicine cabinet. You can usually find 16 ounces for under a dollar. We all know to pour it on a cut or sore to disinfect it, but there are hundreds of uses for peroxide around the house. Other than the family friendly price point, there is no corn in peroxide so it is safe.

  1. Pour a cup into a washer full of white clothes to whiten your laundry.
  2. Make a 50/50 peroxide and water mixture and keep in a spray bottle to use as sanitizer for cutting boards, kitchen counters, bathroom surfaces, etc.
  3. Soak fungus riddled finger and toe nails in a 50/50 peroxide/water mixture twice every day.
  4. Dab liberally onto acne with a cotton ball at least a couple times a day to clear up acne.
  5. Sanitize toothbrushes by soaking for ten minutes in peroxide.
  6. Produce wash! (The stuff they sell at the store contains corn)
  7. Remove blood from clothing by soaking in peroxide for ten minutes, rub together and rinse with cold water. Repeat as needed.
  8. Use as a window cleaner.
  9. Whiten teeth by swishing in mouth 5 to 10 minutes every day.
  10. If your dog eats poison give her 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting.
  11. Fill a spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide and spray your tile grout. Let set for 15 minutes clean with a toothbrush dipped in peroxide, repeat the spray and rinse off.
  12. Kill mold. With a spray bottle filled with h2o2
  13. Add 2 ounces (2 tablespoons) of peroxide to the dishwasher to make those glasses sparkle!

Do you have a use for peroxide that you want to share? We LOVE comments!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Genius Product

Have you heard of Mabel's Labels? They are a Canadian company of moms who really understand the need for good labels.

My favorite is the package of safety labels. They are dishwasher and microwave safe as well as UV resistant. Sissy takes a water bottle to school, church, shopping - everywhere. I have a safety label on her water bottle. The plate and lid combo in which I take Sissy's meals with us is decorated with one on the top and one on the bottom. I cannot recommend them highly enough!

I love them. They are bright red with a cute icon, your kiddos name and allergy. Hop on over to Mabel's Labels to check out their products! I am not getting paid to endorse Mabel's Labels; I just REALLY love them!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mommy Time

As the caregiver of Sissy with severe food allergies and asthma, and DB who has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, sometimes the stress can become pretty overwhelming. I know I am not the only parent in the world who feels overwhelmed, so here is a list of ideas of things to do for yourself to relax and refresh. I call this the Airplane Mask Principle - you have to put on your own mask so that you can help someone else; likewise you have to take some time to do something good for yourself to be able to take care of someone else. Enjoy!

  1. Listen to Music
  2. Laugh - check out YouTube! Here are some of my favorites!
    1. Sneezing Panda
    2. Very Angry Cat
    3. Best Baby Laugh
  3. Cuddle up to your family dog, cat, turtle or goat
  4. Knit/Cross Stitch/Crochet
  5. Yoga
  6. Take a nap
  7. Go outside - for even 5 minutes
  8. Call a friend
  9. Read a book - here are some good ones - for the most part they are really funny
    1. Island of the Sequined Love Nun
    2. A Dirty Job: A Novel
    3. Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings (Today Show Book Club #25)
    4. Little Green Men: A Novel
    5. God Is My Broker: A Monk-Tycoon Reveals the 7 1/2 Laws of Spiritual and Financial Growth
    6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  10. Buy yourself flowers
  11. Gather the kids in bed and watch a movie
  12. Take a hot bath or shower
  13. Prank text - it takes a little of the prankiness out of it, but, I do sometimes text people, "This is the Sears repair center, is your refrigerator running?"
  14. Celebrate Jammy Day! Spend a whole day wearing your jammies, if they have duckies on them, that's even better.
  15. Take a walk
  16. Do something nice for someone else
  17. Take a class - here are some of the classes offered at our local community center.
    1. Navajo Weaving
    2. Stained Glass
    3. Tap Dancing
    4. Fly Fishing
    5. Scuba Diving
    6. Snowboarding
    7. Learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese or Russian

The point is to do something good for yourself. Have a good book to share? We'd love to hear it!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

There's Corn in That?

Every so often, I will post three surprising things that contain corn. So here's our first!

  1. Bedding products - Target sells "Ingeo" brand bedding including pillows, mattress covers, comforters and fiber beds that are made of corn according to the Kentucky Corn Growers Association.
  2. Prang products - water colors, tempera paints, etc.
  3. Bottled water - Biota brand uses plastic made from corn.
  4. Technorati Tags:

Sunday, October 4, 2009


For kids of any age, bullying is an issue. For kids who are different in any way, it's a BIG issue. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, kids with disabilities are more likely to be bullied. While severe food allergies may not be what we think of when we think disability, that is how our kids are protected with section 504 under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Kids have a hard enough time feeling different without the teasing of other kids. In the light of trying to keep our kids happy and healthy, let's talk about bullies and bullying. 

The BBC Website gives a really helpful list of of a few symptoms your child may exhibit if they are being bullied. There is also helpful warning signs and symptoms over at US Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Your child gets upset at the thought of going to school.
  • Your child says he doesn't feel well enough to attend school everyday.
  • Complains frequently of headaches, stomach aches and other physical symptoms.
  • Your child starts to exhibit unusual behavior - they may become quiet, resentful, or more "clingy".
  • Has difficulty sleeping and/or frequent bad dreams.
  • Your child is depressed or weepy when she comes home for school.

Here's the list, it's not exhaustive - it's a few basic guidelines. But, you know your child. You KNOW when something's up. Here's the secret that shouldn't be...communication - is the key to disarming a bully. As mom's we want to think we can swoop in and solve a problem but this is a case where we CANNOT do it alone.

Here's where the communication begins, if you suspect your child is being bullied, sit down and talk to your lovey.

The US Department of Health and Human Services has some really great ideas for discussion starters. Subtle and direct questions to help your kiddo open up and let you know what is going on at school.

Please check out the list to help begin a conversation. Here's the key with my little people - I ask open ended questions; questions where the answer has to be more than one word. Instead of "Did your day go well?" try "What was the best/worst part of your day?". Sometimes when you let kids ramble, you stumble upon a hidden gem.

Your next course of action should be to contact your child's school. Make an appointment with his teacher. Remember to keep your "mama bear" temper in check. Right now, you are on a fact finding mission, and it won't be helpful to alienate anyone. Ask questions and listen to the answers; take notes. Information is crucial. Once you speak with your child's teacher give him or her some time to work out the issues in her classroom. You will know if what the teacher is doing is being effectual or not. If you feel like you can do it congenially, consider contacting the bully's parents. Sometimes these parents have no idea what is going on - and parents can have a profound impact.

In the meantime

Teach your kiddo about how to handle teasing when it occurs. Here are some IDEAS - this is what I've gathered from research and speaking with teachers and principals, however, please speak with your pediatrician, school counselor, religious leader or some other trusted individual who can give appropriate advice for your situation.

Here are some things that I have told Sissy.

  • It is okay to say, "I don't want to play with you until you are nice to me".
  • You do NOT have to allow yourself to be picked on.
  • It is okay to walk away from someone who is teasing you.
  • Tell your teacher, principal, Mommy - tell a grown-up.
  • Many times bullies are people who feel sad on the inside, so it is important that we pray for them everyday.
  • You have power! The power to say stop - the power to walk away - the power to tell an adult so they can make it stop.

If you find that your meeting with the teacher has not been effective, it's time to talk to the principal. When you speak with the principal, you may want immediate decisive action. Please be aware that most schools have a well established plan when dealing with bullying behavior. Try to be patient and allow the school to do what they have prepared for.

Remember you can always go to the superintendent and/or school board. You have channels. You have to be persistent, assertive (not aggressive) and remember that the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Squeak! Find an ally in the school who can help if possible, keep speaking/emailing your school.

Good luck. If you have advice or questions please ask!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Maizey Home Remedies Part 2

Ready for more?


100% Aloe Vera. You can find it in a tube in the drugstore, or you can get a plant and take off one leaf and use the gel inside. Frequency is the key. Put on Aloe every time you think about it.


Assuming you are NOT allergic to a bee sting and would need to take more decisive action, cut a potato in half and put the starchy inside against the sting. This will ease the pain and draw out the toxin.


This works really well on...spider bites that are puffy, inflamed and painful; an inflamed and painful in-grown toenail and a million other EXTERNAL maladies.

Poppy's Poultice

Bar of Ivory Soap

White table sugar


Wood Match (it HAS to be a wood match)

Shave a small part of bar of soap into a spoon and add equal amount of sugar. Add one drop water (just enough to make a paste) and then stir with the business end of a wood match. Using a match under the spoon - or over a burner on the stove, heat until warm - NOT HOT. Apply generously and cover for 24 hours. Check it and repeat if necessary.

This is actually my Dad's recipe and family and friends come from miles around for him to treat them with a poultice (he is our local Miracle Max). Please know that the business end of a wood match has sulfur in it. So if you have a sulfur allergy, please use caution.


I got this recipe from Parent Hacks several years ago and it is the BEST!

Indian Milk

12 oz. warm milk

1 Tablespoon honey

Dash each of ginger, turmeric and cardamom. (Be judicious with these. When it's all mixed you want it to be the color of parchment.)

Serve while still warm.

There is a home remedy book I really like:

There is some really good information in there, but there is also stuff that's...well...crazy and dangerous; bee stings, turpentine and kerosene. Please use good sense and if you have questions call your doctor.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Maizey Home Remedies

Alright, folks - you requested home remedies and I am here to serve!


Gargle every four hours with warm salt water


Mix 1 tsp. of honey and 1/4 tsp. of turmeric. Apply as needed

Take a mouth full of Aloe Vera juice and hold in mouth for 1 minute. Repeat several times daily. Warning: Aloe Vera juice IS SAFE to swallow, however it is a natural laxative.


Go into the bathroom, shut the door and turn on the hot water. Read a magazine in the steam and wait for your nose to clear up. Should only take 5 to 10 minutes.


This is my dad's recipe. As a kid, when we saw this stuff coming at us, we RAN! That being said, it really does work.

Graveyard Stew

  • 2 pieces toast
  • Warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar.

Tear the toast up into pieces in a mug, add sugar and cover in warm milk. Eat while still warm.


Put mentholatum on the bottoms of the feet, wear two pairs of socks overnight.

Here are some for now...coming soon PART II

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Movies and Subsidies

 have been laying sick in bed for two days and that gave me time to catch up on a little movie watching. This afternoon I watched "King Corn". It's incredibly informative, if not a little scary. To follow the food supply from seed to consumerism is nothing less than shocking. This movie is incredibly interesting for those who are dealing with a corn allergy in some capacity, but equally interesting for consumerist America.

Part of what I learned is this: the government, with subsidies, rebates and "incentives" essentially control food production in the United States. 60% of non consumable corn is used for feed for cattle, pigs and chickens - those in the corn allergic community already knew that. According to Wikipedia, high fructose corn syrup in soda can produce 10 times the carbonyl compounds (which are incredibly harmful). Increased carbonyl compounds can lead to diabetes and diabetic complications such as foot ulcers and eye and nerve damage.
Large amounts of HFCS can lead the liver to produce large amounts of triglycerides and can induce insulin resistance. For those who say, "yes, but you would have to consume gallons of that to cause those problems" - on average, Americans consume approximately 70 pounds of HFCS per year - that's almost 9 gallons. A 2004 study found a cause and effect relationship between HCFS and obesity.
Here's my thought. The government, with their money, control corn growth - of which 30% is turned into sweetener. By extension, they are funding America's obesity problem. Now, they want to provide subsidized health care - in 2008, an estimated 24 million people in the US suffered from diabetes; as a matter of fact, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, diabetes costs $132 million dollars in healthcare every year.
I have a novel solution, decrease the amount of money subsidized to HFCS! That would decrease the cases of high triglycerides, diabetes and obesity (which costs 147 billion dollars in healthcare annually). We would save money in taxes, decrease the amount of money spent by health insurers on the results of obesity and diabetes; which would drive the costs of healthcare down incredibly for the insurers and the public. Maybe we could call it "trickle down sanity".

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Not at all corn related, but......

DB said the cutest thing at supper. As he devoured a chicken leg, he screamed, "ME FOUND DINOSAUR BONE!" Apparently he found a dinosaur bone in his chicken. Big Poppa almost spit milk all over the table! It was so funny, I just had to share.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Safe water bottles for people with a corn allergy.

I went water bottle hunting. It took a little while. I sat with my cell phone in a camping chair at Dick's Sporting Goods and started calling companies. I hope you can find my research helpful. If you have found a great water bottle safe for corn allergic folks, please share!


  • Nathan's water bottles' straw is made out of polyethanol. Ethanol is made of corn.


  • Nalgene water bottles contain polypropylene which MAY be made from corn.


  • Sigg refuses to say what their lining is made from; Sissy is way too sensitive to take a chance on a mystery lining.


  • Camelbak is totally safe and reasonably priced!

They have both metal and plastic - which is actually a form of polyester and is BPA free.

  • Klean Kanteen is made from 18/8 Stainless Steel and has no lining. The cap has polypropylene, but not on a part which touches the water. Safe for people with a corn allergy.

Klean Kanteen Stainless-Steel Water Bottle with Loop-Top Cap - 27 fl. oz.The only downside to Klean Kanteen is the price. They can be expensive - but you really are paying for quality.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Eating Out

Since Sloan's diagnosis with a severe corn allergy - I have found it most convenient to make almost everything.  But I get tired of cooking 3 meals a day, 7 days a week. So we consider eating out - but that is easier said than done. Almost every restaurant has a specialty menu for people with allergies to the Top 8. Unfortunately corn allergy is not in the top 8. So we CAPs (Corn Allergy Parents) do what we do best - research and innovate.

Denny's and Culver's both include corn, on their allergy awareness menus; they, as far as I know, are the only two. When dining out at a restaurant with a food allergy not listed in the top 8, there are some steps you can take to ensure a safe trip to dine out.

  1. Plan ahead. Give yourself a couple days if you can.
  2. Have a plan B. There are some restaurants, believe it or not, that are not at all cooperative to people with food allergies. It's too dangerous to take a chance, so it is worth it to tell the restaurant, "I'm sorry but we will be dining somewhere else until you are able to accommodate people with food allergies".
  3. Call ahead. Try to call at times when the restaurant is not experiencing a rush.  I typically try to call at either 11 or 2.
  4. Ask for the kitchen manager or the general manager.
  5. Have a pad of paper and pen handy - TAKE NOTES! Note the name of the person to whom you spoke, their recommendations and other pertinent information.
  6. This conversation can be lengthy so make yourself comfortable.
  7. Explain your situation - most managers are VERY helpful. Ask a lot of questions, and be very friendly - remember that you catch a lot more flies with honey!
  8. If they simply do not have anything that you or your child can eat, ask if you can bring in a meal.
  9. Stick with what you know. We have maybe 10 places where we know exactly what Sissy can eat; they range pizza joints to a place to get a nice steak dinner. We go primarily to those places to dine.
  10. If you find something your kiddo can eat - WRITE IT DOWN! I keep a binder in the car that contains a list of the restaurants that can accommodate Sissy and exactly what to order. That way, if Big Poppa and I have the kids out, we can stop somewhere to eat without going home and researching.
  11. When you get to the restaurant ask to speak to the manager to whom you spoke on the phone. Tell him who you are - it's good for restaurant management to know when people with food allergies are in their restaurant. They are going to make sure you are well taken care of. They don't want someone going into anaphylaxis in their dining room.
  12. Remember to check drinks! Sissy typically sticks with milk or water.

Most of all, remember to have fun! Eating out can be a difficult task - so enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Have you been to a restaurant that was very helpful? Tell us! Share your stories with the rest of us!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Epinephrine shot how-to

Most parents are lucky enough to have never have given their child an epinephrine shot. Unfortunately it is something I am all too familiar with. But for those who have never given a shot, it can be scary. How do I give it, how does it work? Here is the how to. Feel free to print and post somewhere you will see it in an emergency.

* Know in advance that when you give an epinephrine shot, you must immediately seek emergency medical attention - go to an ER or call 911 for an ambulance.

* Know the signs of a reaction and act quickly - every minute counts when you are addressing an anaphylactic reaction.

* You may need another person to help hold down your kiddo while you administer the shot. If you are alone, WebMd recommends that you place your leg over your child's upper body to keep them still.

The last time I had to administer an epi-pen to Sissy, we were at a high school football game. When I took out the shot she bolted! The good news is she tripped and fell on the grass by the paramedics. I was able to give the shot and have medical attention right there. Since then, however, we have talked about why we can't run from getting a shot.

1. Grasp the shot firmly with the black tip pointing down. DO NOT TOUCH OR PUT YOUR FINGER OVER THE BLACK TIP. Remove the gray cap.


2. Hold the black tip close to your child's outer thigh. Press the black tip firmly into your child's thigh (through clothing if necessary). The injector should be at a 90-degree angle to the thigh. DO NOT give the shot in the buttock or a vein.

3. Press firmly until you hear the "click" or "pop". Count slowly to 10.

4. Remove the injector and rub the area where the medicine went in. Look at the black tip, if you see the needle, then your child has received the shot. If not, your child has not received the shot and you need to repeat steps 1-3.

5. Get medical assistance immediately.


For more information check out these sites:

Or contact your doctor.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cold and Flu Season

For kids with a corn allergy, cold and flu season takes on a new difficulty and danger. Many liquid medicines (Tylenol, Advil, etc.) contain corn syrup and their tablet or orally disintegrating tablets contain corn starch or corn syrup solids. Therefore, again, reading labels is VERY important. Make sure to check inactive ingredients as well as active ones.

A good amount of my effort is spent on prevention. Sissy takes a probiotic every day - this was recommended by her allergist - we drink lots of water, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Milk, exercise and a good night sleep every night. Sometimes we struggle with the sleep, so Sissy and D.B. both take 1 mg of Melatonin each night before bed - this was recommended by their pediatrician. I encourage playing outside in the sun to promote activity and help in the acquisition of vitamin D. We don't take vitamin pills, because it has been quite difficult to find ones without corn. All those things that our moms told us to do are surprisingly effective in preventing illness. I try to enforce hand washing and keeping our fingers out of our noses, but, with a 6 and 3 year old, that is a constant up-hill battle. I mean if the Queen does it........

 Here's the thing, no matter how much prevention you cram into your daily lives, kids are going to get sick; Sissy did this last week. When you can't rely on the pharmacy department at Safeway, it's easy to get overwhelmed. So I went old school. Push fluids, stay in bed (watching cartoons of course) orange juice (Vitamin C and Folic Acid). For a super stuffy nose, we went in the bathroom, closed the door and turned on the hot water. A little steam therapy and the stuffiness had subsided. Turmeric is a natural antibiotic and antiseptic. So for a cut I use turmeric, for a sore in the mouth I mix a little honey with turmeric and apply as needed - honey is a natural anti-microbial and has even (according to some studies) shown effective for MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)

I make my own cough syrup. Remember that a lukewarm bath, a glass of ice water and a pop-sicle will effectively bring down a fever. Be sure that you are in contact with your doctor. If your child's fever won't come down or they have trouble breathing, get your child to the doctor ASAP PDQ Right darn now. Before you start your child on probiotics, Melatonin or other over the counter remedies, please consult with your doctor or pediatrician. Using home remedies is not a way to exclude your physician - they still need to be involved, but when you explain why you are using these home remedies and what they are, your Doctor should be able to give you other ideas as well.

According to Big Poppa, my homemade cough syrup tastes like feet (although the kids never mind taking it) so here is the recipe for...

Foot Funk Cough Syrup

1 large onion - sliced

Approximately 12 oz. of honey (CHECK LABEL! Sometimes you find "honey product" which contains corn products)

1 Jar with tight sealing lid

Layer the slices of onion in the bottom of the jar and cover with honey. Seal jar tightly and shake well.Leave it on the counter and shake it every time you walk by. It will take about 8 hours for the onion to break down and thin out the honey.

Give 1 Tbs. four times a day.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Creamed Corn Blues

There are days, many of them, when Sissy gets overwhelmed by her allergy. When there's a birthday party at school and she is eating something different than everyone else; when we go out to eat and D.B. has the Rootin' Tootin' kids meal, and she has an unseasoned chicken breast and plain vegetables she gets the blues. It's hard for a little person to be different from the crowd.

Even the best substitutions don't quite cut it when you're 6 and your friends are pigging out on stuff that could kill you. It gets equally overwhelming for mom and dad who wish that they could make the allergy go away and are exhausted from being terrified about all the things that could potentially hurt their child. So I have been brainstorming ideas to have non-food related fun to include everyone!

1.     Run through the sprinklers.

2.     Take a walk and collect leaves.

3.     Learn pig-latin.

4.     Make funny faces on the window with dry-erase markers.

5.     2 words...DANCE PARTY!

6.     Make up a story.

7.     Talk into a fan and sound like an alien.

8.     Jigsaw puzzle

9.     Board games

10.   Play dress up.

11.   Make flashlight shadow figures.

12.   Twirl!

13.   Lay in the grass (on a blanket) and check out cloud shapes.

14.   Go to the park.

15.   Read a book.

16.   Look at family pictures.

17.   Make a tent with blankets.

18.   Tie Dye something!

19.   Take up a hobby - knitting, stamp collecting

20.   Write a letter.

21.   Draw a picture.

22.   Play catch.

23.   Back yard race

24.   Summersault contest

25.   HUG!

Do you have ideas you would like to share? We'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Travel Tips for the Little Kernels

Recently, Big Poppa and I took the two sproutlets to Nebraska. Road trips with kids are always a test of patience and ingenuity, however, when you add a severe food allergy the difficulty level increases exponentially. I learned some things that I thought I would share. I hope this helps! Do you have any tips to share?

1.  Make a list

This sounds tedious, but sitting down to think about what your child needs daily can really help in packing and planning.

2. Don't wait until the last minute

Give yourself a week or two so that you can do all the things you need to do without rushing.

3. Research!

Check out local restaurants and hotels and ask a lot of questions - don't be afraid people will think you're obnoxious. Better obnoxious than put your kiddo in danger.

4. MapQuest/Google Maps/Bing

Find pharmacies and hospitals located near your hotel. Print a map and have this information readily available.

5.  Plan your route

If "Road Tripping" choose a route that will allow you to get medical attention no matter where you are. Typically traveling via the interstate is the best choice.

6.  Oh Sheet!

There are very few laundry detergents that don't use corn so, depending on your child's sensitivity, consider packing bedding and towels.

7.  Check medicines

Check expiration dates on epinephrine shots and other medicines. Also check storage requirements. Do you need to keep medicines cool? Take extras if you have them. Remember that from the time you administer and epinephrine shot, you have about 20 minutes. Depending on how far you will be from medical attention, plan appropriately.

8.  Find travel friendly snacks

There are often times when finding food can be difficult. So take snacks! Just remember: can opener and plastic flatware!

9.  Ask for what you need!

Most hotels will provide a refrigerator and microwave on request. When you make hotel reservations, ask for those accommodations. Also make sure (depending on your needs) your room is smoke free and pet free.

10. Trust yourself!

You have done the prior leg work. Trust your research and planning. Even if, Heaven forbid, you child has a reaction you have planned for it. Try to remember to have a good time. If you are relaxed and having fun, your child will too!

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Section 504

The difference in a corn allergy and other food allergies, e.g. a peanut allergy, is that corn is found in so many "non-food" items. Dry erase markers, crayons, play-doh, kleenex, cleansers and more. Sending a child to school with a corn allergy is a stressful and highly involved proposition. In this case, I have found that it is best to get all teachers and staff on board. The best way to do this is by filling out a 504.

According to Wikipedia, a 504 is defined as...Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act created and extended civil rights to people with disabilities. Section 504 has provided opportunities for children and adults with disabilities in education, employment and various other settings. It allows for reasonable accommodations such as special study area and assistance as necessary for each student.

Essentially, a 504, ensures that all people who interact with your child at school are made aware of any special requirements and are held to a FEDERAL mandate which ensures that any reasonable provisions to keep your child safe will be followed.

So how do you fill out a 504? Call your school. Ask for the school nurse and/or school counselor. Explain your situation and how there are serious concerns for your child's health that are not limited to the lunchroom. They will set up a meeting for you to meet with any number of school personnel involved in creating 504 plans. You will have the opportunity to specify what actions need to be taken to keep you child safe. For instance, my 504, for Sissy includes that she cannot sit too close to the white board because the fumes from Dry Erase markers are mostly corn alcohol.

1.  No one will fight for your child if you don't, so don't be afraid to firmly assert yours and your child's  needs.
2.  Public schools are held more stringently to federal codes than private schools are. So in the case of food allergies and any disabilities requiring a 504, public schools are the safest option.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Top 10 Unexpected Places to Find Corn

Corn is ubiquitous in the American culter/diet/lifestyle. Here, in no particular order, are the top 10 most unexpected places to find corn!

1.  Wallboard - Cornstarch

2.  Drycell Batteries - Cornstarch

3.  Explosives/Firecrackers

4.  Adhesives on envelopes, stamps and packing tape - Pyrodextrins

5.  Toilet Paper/Kleenex - Cornstarch

6.  Paints and Varnishes - Tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol is a resin made from processing corncobs

7.  Wallpaper

8.  Tires - Cornstarch is used to prevent the rubber from sticking to molds

9.  Antibiotics

10.Finished leather

Friday, September 11, 2009

Niblet News

I thought I would share a little background on corn in the United States. When we see how much is produced, how much money is made and the tremendous amount of products in which corn or a corn derivitive is used - it's easy to see how difficult life with a corn allergy can be.

* Corn accounts for more than 90% of total value and production of feed grains
* 80 million acres of land is devoted to corn farming - that's approximately 125,000 square miles - which is an area slightly larger than the state of New Mexico.
* In 2007, the total gained from American corn exports was $11.2 billion.
* Approximately 332 million mentric tons of corn are grown anually in the United States.
"* Of 10,000 items in a typical grocery store, at least 2,500 use corn in some form during production or processing.
* Your bacon and egg breakfast, glass of milk at lunch, or hamburger for supper were all produced with US corn.
* Besides food for human and livestock consumption, corn is used in paint, paper products, cosmetics, tires, fuel, plastics, textiles, explosives, and wallboard – among other things."

Other Sources:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Welcome, friends!

My daughter was diagnosed with a severe allergy to corn. Once I had the diagnosis in hand, I went to the internet for information. Unfortunately there wasn't much out there. So, after a ton of research, I decided to share what I have learned so that hopefully it will help someone else. If you have questions or comments please feel free to email me!