ashley non-dairy

There was a reason I wrote up that goofy story about Courtney Non-dairy. Not a great reason, mind you, but a reason.

You see, I have this great baby who I'm nursing. And said great baby seems to have inherited his mama's sensitive digestive tract. So far I've identified in him a decided intolerance for soy, peanuts, and tree nuts (like almonds and walnuts). How do you know your baby's intolerant to something? Believe me, you'll know. Words like "green" and "stinky" and "slime" describe the diapers you find.

Generally speaking, this is no big deal to me because I don't eat a whole lot of soy or tree nuts, and I only have the occasional pb&j or Reese's cup. And the peanut intolerance might be a good thing, because peanuts and peas are related and I kind of hate peas. It'd be a great excuse to avoid them in situations where I might otherwise feel compelled to choke them down.

UNFORTUNATELY, it looks like he doesn't just have some (normal) intolerances.

I noticed a patch of dry skin on his side that wouldn't go away with lotions. It got a little bigger over time, but not too much. And then last week it kind of exploded and spread all over his chest and tummy, with little patches on one calf, too. I suspected eczema. Normal, right? Loads of babies get eczema.

Well, because I am a dirty hippie crunchy, holistic type who thinks that frequently, a lot of "normal" issues are a result of things we ingest and expose ourselves to, I'm aware that a dairy allergy often manifests as eczema.

The pediatrician confirmed my suspicion that it's eczema, and pretty much immediately I stopped eating dairy. I've read on message boards that moms who suspect their nursing babies have a dairy allergy will see the eczema clear up 75-90% in the first two or three days. I figured that if it really is a dairy allergy, that I'd know pretty fast.

Sure enough, it's been a little over a full day since going dairy-free, and his eczema seems to be about 50% better. I'm going to give it about a week to see what happens, but I have a feeling I'll be giving up cheese and butter for the next while. Fake cheese is out because it's made from soy (and the fake cheese made from rice still has milk and whey protein in it) and nut milks are out, too, so I'm hoping that he didn't also inherit Brian's coconut intolerance. And if he did, I guess I'll be doing the rice milk thing for a while.

So I guess instead of cake and ice cream for my birthday, I'll be having some lemon ice and maybe I'll cheat and make some cookies. The eczema spread fairly slowly and didn't seem to bother him at all, so maybe his allergy isn't so strong that I can't cheat now and then.

In the meantime, I may tinker around with some DIY rice milk, because the store-bought stuff is sooooo expensive. It seems easy enough - assuming my blender can handle it. And if it works out, I think I can bake with it, make ice cream with it, and maybe add it to soups.

So yeah...if you have any leads on allergen-free cheese, let me know! Either that, or maybe I'll try the rice stuff and hope that the whey proteins are in such small amounts that they won't bug him.


courtney non-dairy

I spent the summer between 9th and 10th grade at science camp. High School Ashley was not really a "science camp" type of person (and for the record, Present Day Ashley isn't, either).

This science camp was pretty cool, though. It was at the now-defunct (as far as I know) Duke Marine Lab, near Beaufort, NC. Have I written about this before? I don't remember. Anyway, since it was a marine lab, all the different tracks of study were marine-related. I was in the marine invertebrate zoology lab. (The fact that I voluntarily signed up for a summer science camp about marine invertebrate zoology continues to astonish me, to this day.)

In general, the class was an odd combination of random hilarity and mind-numbing boringness. My instructor was a guy whose name was Scott Linenberger and he cried in the first grade because he was the only student who couldn't spell his own last name. Scott liked to use catch phrases - "do not molest the blue crab" was one we heard over and over.

There was a girl in the class who sat at one of the front tables. She was "good at science" and generally pretty spunky and outgoing. Her name was Courtney Creamer, yes, spelled like that. Scott teased her about her last name (and immediately followed it up with stories about him being teased for his) and then spent the rest of camp referring to her as Courtney Non-dairy, or "non-dairy" for short.

Because I was am kind of a spaz, and because my family doesn't really drink all that much coffee, I didn't get the joke. (It took about 10 years for me to get it.) (Don't tell anyone I said that. Totally embarrassing.)

For some reason, I've never forgotten Scott Linenberger who cried in the first grade and Courtney Creamer, aka non-dairy, who sang Natalie Imbruglia all the time.

Incidentally, and embarrassing for me, there's a girl at my church whose first name starts with K and last name is one vowel short of "Creamer" and is pronounced more like "Kramer" from Seinfeld. I know this girl's name, and it's NOT Courtney, and I often speak to her when she's around, but for some reason I keep calling her Courtney. It's frustrating and strange and I will sometimes even know that her name isn't Courtney but have trouble coming up with her actual name. It's so embarrassing and awkward-making for both of us. I mean, it's not like I'm going to launch into this whole story of my science camp experience, because that would be strange and she probably could not care less. I just apologize, say "I'm sorry K---, I know your name isn't Courtney and I'm sorry I keep messing that up," and then make an off-hand comment about how she reminds me of someone I used to know. You know, play it cool and whatnot.