Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Feeling Closed In...

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My son has major food allergies and last week we had a food challenge for soy, since his latest round of tests showed he may have outgrown it.  The test takes four hours and we were confined to a room the size of a small area rug the entire time.  We packed enough toys and snacks to keep us occupied for the full time, but being in such a small space for so long can make anyone go a little nuts.  I felt so claustrophobic, but after about 45 minutes, we were completely at home.

We made a small 'family room' in one corner, where the portable dvd player was set up playing Elmo over and over again.  :/  We had a little 'kitchen' AKA his stroller, where he ate his snacks.  The torture chamber  examining table :( acted as his 'bedroom' where he took a short 15 minute nap in between force-feeding soy milk testing.  We also had a little 'learning/family room' area where we did puzzles, played with blocks, and flipped through tons of flashcards.  He loves his flashcards!

It really got me thinking about small spaces and how you really have to get creative when you are low on space.

Here are some of my favorite 'on the small side' multi-tasking spaces:

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I have had this in my file for at least three years and did not save the source. If you have it, please let me know, so I can give credit.

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Seeing such great images where the best was made of their spaces, I took this as a sign (much like my speeding ticket as a sign to slow down in life) that I needed to make the best of our situation with food allergies. I was becoming crazy thinking about traveling or even going out to eat and what food can he or can he not eat. I felt almost claustrophobic, if that makes sense....like I was trapped in this food allergy world. Will his diet be so limited because he can't eat wheat, dairy, eggs, and peanuts? Is he going to starve? No more...Make the best of it. I have decided...finally...to make the best of it. This whole experience really opened my eyes to foods I never even would have thought to feed him at this age. Who knew he would love polenta or quinoa or spinach cakes. Cooking for him has become so fun. It has always been fun, but the challenge of coming up with healthy, allergen-free foods for a 15-month old has been such a learning experience and has made me realize that allergies don't have to be the end of the world...much like a small home or room really isn't that bad when you can learn to make the best of it. :)


Sarah @ Designmarc said...

Poor baby! I am sorry to hear about your son's food allergies. As someone with a severe peanut allergy, I know how frustrating things can be and I only have that one allergy. I cannot even imagine having all of the other ones.

Once again, I am in awe of how your mind works and you come up with a post like this where you can compare allergies to small spaces. It is so fascinating! I love it.

Connie @ SogniESorrisi said...

Sorry to hear about your son, but I think you really have the right attitude about the situation.

Leah said...

Poor little guy!

I love how people are so creative with small spaces they are amazing!


Ana Degenaar said...

I am sorry to hear about his allergies, I can only imagine how you feel as a mom, my daughter has not allergies but we are aware that she could develop them, my husband has caffeine allergies and there are a huge amount of things he cannot have that I was never aware had caffeine in them. It's really crazy!

Big hugs to you!

Torrie said...

I admire your decision to to make the best of this situation instead of viewing it as being "trapped in." What a good message for all of us dealing with "limiting" situations- with work, family, space, money, allergies...

I have a friend whose children have major allergies, and she has really amazed me in regards to re-teaching herself how to cook, use a HUGE variety of ingredients, substitute as necessary- so that her kids can experience food that tastes great and keeps them healthy. I love what you said about how he enjoys food that you may never would have introduced him (or yourself!) to!

Rachel @ Delight said...

So sorry you guys are going through this. I feel like to those who have never had experience with food allergies, they see than as no big deal and do not realize how life-threatening they can be. It really is scary and wish there was more awareness out there about the severity. Your outlook is great!

My daughter had the same allergies and outgrew all of them but peanuts by the time she was three. I will hope the same for your son, if not sooner! :o)

Great images, too! I just love your posts and how you can give design inspiration when speaking about something so serious.


Suzie @ cupcake monkey said...

Thanks so much for your comments, ladies! They truly mean the world to me. It nice to feel so supported!! XOXO

Kristin said...

Poor little munchkin. That must be so tough! I loooooove that first space btw!