Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone else had a great holiday. Ours has been awesome and dye free for all but the one Kool Aid slip. We had a close call on Christmas Eve. Our church handed out little bags with crayons, a coloring sheet and --you guessed it: candy canes. I never thought to check the bag for candy. Well try taking a candy cane away from a hungry 3 year old quietly in the middle of a church service. Yes, there was a huge temptation to let her have it to keep her quiet, but the 2 minutes of peace it might buy at church was not worth the three days of terror I knew we'd have as a result. So she fussed very briefly that I took a broken piece out of her hand when it was about 2 inches from her lips (phew that was close) and we went on to have a beautiful Christmas.

I do find it frustrating that I could not find any white candy canes, so my kids skipped out on that part of the holidays. I looked all over but it seems the dye companies have gone extra nuts with candy canes. Oh, well, it's a simple sacrifice to ensure my kids don't revert back to their toxic, dye exposed selves.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

sunshine returns

Well, not on the outside, we're getting another round of freezing rain out there. But on the inside, Lindsey is back to being her sweet sunshiny self. It's amazing that she can wake up the 4th day after food dyes and she is back to the sweet well behaved child I love so much. She even sat perfectly still for a haircut. Life is so much easier when we stay dye-free.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

and the party goes on and on...

...At least the effects of the dye has. Lindsey has alternated between fine and "beastly" all weekend. The car trip had plenty of shrieking over little things. It's interesting that she behaved much better for the 10 hour trip to South Carolina last summer (dye free) than she did for the 3 hour trip to my parents' house this weekend. (Sigh)

Here's the really sad part. When I questioned Ben again about why he didn't eat the cupcakes I made for his party, he said that he saw the red and green decorations and thought he couldn't have one, so he said "No." Maybe I've trained him a little too well to avoid the stuff. He thought I had come in to drop off cookies and didn't realize I had made the cupcakes specially for him. Next time I need to explain better when he can have something.
Here are the cupcakes I made for the parties: white cake, white frosting, chocolates wrapped in foil. Too bad Ben missed out. Sigh again.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I should have guessed

I obsessively baked and decorated 6 dozen cupcakes for 3 class Christmas parties to make sure my kids had dye free foods to enjoy. The preschool party went off without a hitch. When I walked in and saw they were serving blueberry bread for the breakfast with Santa I got worried. But the staff had it covered. Lindsey's plate already had her organic cereal bar that they are supposed to substitute for blueberry bread. I was so appreciative. One party down successfully.

I dropped off the next batch of cupcakes in Ben's 3rd grade classroom. I trust him not to eat the candy canes and saw that the juice boxes were OK for him to drink. I went on to Alex's 1st grade class. I had to keep taking away candy canes because well other intended moms kept handing him one. Alex asked if he could have the coolaid drink and I told him no. His awesome teacher overheard and said she keeps Capri Suns in her cupboard to make sure he has a dye free drink. She quickly got him one and everything seemed good. The class went about the party, enjoying the cupcakes. Lindsey was tagging along so I handed her a cupcake and sat her down to eat it. When I looked back, I noticed she had a drink. Then I realized what it was. Some "nice" mom handed her a coolaid drink and put the straw in the pouch for her. UHHHHG! There goes my dye-free holiday and we are driving to Grandma's house today. Just great! I'm praying for a peaceful car trip, but I'm realistic enough to know what to expect. At least she had the green one (with blue and yellow) rather than the total red #40 one.

Then here's the kicker. Ben later told me he didn't even eat a cupcake because his 9 year old self didn't feel like it. Well, at least the rest of the kids enjoyed them. Bah humbug.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

surviving school holiday parties

One party down, two more tomorrow. That translates to 24 cupcakes down, 4 dozen more to make. I decided to be proactive for Christmas and volunteered to provide the treat for all three kids' school parties. I came up with a plan about a week ago while chatting with my friend (also dye free with 3 kids). I'm making white cupcakes with white icing. I bought bright red and green wrappers for the cupcakes. Then I'm using chocolates wrapped in colored foil to put on top of the icing. I'll have colorful treats without any of the down side of the dyes. I'll post a picture if I get a chance.

follow up on dentist

I've been wanting to write all week, but...tis the season to bake, shop wrap, etc. We went back to the dentist on Monday for my own appointment. They were so impressed with Lindsey on Friday they thought she could get an exam after she did so well watching the boys. Originally they didn't want to see her until she was 4. I'm hoping I made a point to them.

I watched very closely and caught the hygienist before she gave Lindsey the bright red tooth paste. She searched all over until the other hygienist gave her the same white stuff they used on Alex. That's the first small victory.

Lindsey did a great job with her first teeth cleaning. She sat very still, did everything she was told and stayed totally calm throughout her own check-up as well as mine. I got the same hygienist both days. She was interested in hearing more about food coloring. She made comments about how good Lindsey was and asked if she is a laid back child. I told her she can be very calm and laid back most of the time, but that she's a a totally high maintenance kicking/screaming mess on food dyes. It was nice that she got to see all three of my kids at their very best. I'm hoping that behavior made the point more than anything else.

I don't write as much about my kids' behaviors off the food dyes, but it's nice to be able to get through things like a new dentist and walk out proud rather than feeling embarrassed by my children.

Friday, December 12, 2008

food dye at the dentist

We went to a new dentist today. I was busily filling out the paperwork and they ushered us back quickly and said I could finish the paperwork as they got started. Before I knew it Ben's teeth were polished and the dentist had made his appearance. I opted for no fluoride because they only had a red one or a green one. I explained my kids can't have anything with coloring in it. Our previous dentist used white fluoride. I commented to the hygienist and dentist together that the dyes in medicines are often the ones banned form food. The dentist seemed a little interested saying, "Really?" and then he was out of there.

Then it was Alex's turn. I was no longer filling out forms from the corner so I could pay attention better. When it was time to polish his teeth she got out a nice little tin of dark red toothpaste. Why on earth does it need that much color? How can that be good for your teeth? I quickly asked if there were any other options. She had already used the stuff on Ben (big sigh). She quickly got a white paste and moved on. She did apologize that she didn't know on Ben. She also offered to put an allergy sticker on their new charts so they will know better next time. So, despite my best intentions of refusing fluoride and watching like a hawk, we still had yet another slip up. I'm not telling Ben he had anything.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

20 minute car ride

It seemed like 2 hours. She screamed all the way because I could not reach the book she wanted. Then she cried for Daddy who was not in the car. Not sure how Ben could stand it without comment. I sure couldn't stand it. We all had headaches. That's what food dyes do to my family. Lindsey is normally fun and cute in the car. 2 days down, 1 more to go until the chemicals wear off. Lets hope I can survive it. It's still kind of hard to believe a cupcake could have such an effect. But it's not really the cupcake, it's that little bit of petrochemical coloring that somehow short circuits the brain of a normally nice child and brings out the demon.

Monday, December 8, 2008

1000 hits!

I just checked my counter and I have reached the milestone of 1000 hits. So maybe word is getting out. Tell your friends and have them tell their friends about food dyes. This is an issue that Moms should get together on. If it were not common procedure to put petrochemicals in all the food targeted at kids, it would really make our "Mom job" a whole lot easier.

3 year old high on dye AGAIN

Well, all I can say is, they really tried. They had yellow cupcakes for snack in the preschool room yesterday. They even left them unfrosted because they knew Lindsey usually can't have anything frosted. She was supposed to have animal crackers instead of the yellow cupcakes, but somewhere somebody forgot and she ate one anyway. Oh well.

I'm hoping that if I shower her with lots of good 1 on 1 it will help stave off the beast she usually becomes. She already had her moments yesterday. It would help if she could go outside and run it off a little, but with sleet and freezing rain setting in, that's not going to happen either. This is the part that bugs me, fighting the same battle over and over again. I wish there was more nationwide attention to the effects of dyes so that every food wasn't so loaded. Maybe some day.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

red 40 site

Someone just told me about a site all about red #40 and the foods, candies, drugs it can be found in. Here is a link if you want to check it out.

Red 40 site

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

will bacon bits ruin the day?

We've been very successful avoiding the dreaded red #40 for quite some time. I was beginning to run out of things to write about. Well, here we go again. We had friends over for dinner. They brought a really nice salad. I served some up for all the kids. She had even called to make sure the dressing was OK for Alex (no dairy or wheat, very thoughtful of our needs). As I bit into the delicious salad with homemade dressing I knew instantly, there were bacon bits. Maybe not all bacon bits have red#40, but I checked the website for Bacos and they definitely have it.

It was a frustrating and defeated feeling. There was no way I could think of to politely stop my children from eating it. It would have made my friend feel horrible. So we ate it and enjoyed it. Maybe the fall-out won't be too bad. I think I felt the effects myself last night. Lindsey was running around naked slapping her rear end saying "booty" over and over again instead of getting in the tub. (You gotta love 3 year olds) I had to fight off strong urges to spank her. Hmm, I've written that before. I only think about spanking her when I have eaten food dyes. Strange to admit that, because I'm pretty opposed to spanking. Well this time I resisted the urge and took away her favorite pajamas that she had put out to wear. That got her promising profusely that she won't say "booty" anymore so it seemed effective. So now I'm really wondering, is it Lindsey that makes me reconsider the "no spanking" philosophy or is the petrochemicals? Something to ponder, I guess.

I'm not sure Lindsey really ate any of the salad because she was having too much fun socializing. I've wondered if Ben is finally a little less susceptible to the effects of the dyes now that he's been off them for a while. He also turned 9 this week. I've fantasized that he will be able to "grow out of it." For most of this year it has seemed like all of my kids react even more strongly to dyes. It's like they have no tolerance for chemicals since they eat mostly pure foods now. Maybe I just see it easier and know the reason rather than blaming it on other things.

So, we'll wait and see what happens.