suzenelson's Profile

Display Name: suzenelson
Member Since: 4/28/09

Latest Comments...

I have a child severely allergic to sesame, peanuts, and treenuts. We are travelling on a plane for the first time this summer and plan to follow all the safety protocol (notifying airline, boarding early to wipe down our seats and trays, hopefully having an announcement made). Of course we will bring several Epipens, but it's maybe not common knowledge that emergency epinephrine is only a temporary solution, buying a few more minutes until an anaphalactic person can get to an ER. If my son were to experience a severe allergic reaction in flight, there's a good chance we'd be landing at the nearest airport for medical attention, and everyone on the plane would suffer a long delay. We can't control what other people bring to eat, but on a small space like an airplane, everyone's actions affect other people. I assume most people are happy, if asked politely, to refrain from eating a few certain foods for a 3 hour flight if it is a life-threatening situation.

Some easily-packed foods we like to bring for snacks are: individual packages of apple slices, string cheese, yogurt tubes (frozen ahead of time so they are more of a solid than a liquid), cheese and crackers, homemade white bean hummus and carrot sticks, roasted garbanzo beans, plain cooked pasta, Sunbutter (a great alternative to nut butters), small containers of grapes or other non-messy fruits, popcorn, hard-boiled eggs.

12 Delicious Foods You Can Pack for a Flight
7/6/14 11:19 AM

My 5 year-old son has allergies to sesame, peanut, tree nuts, soy, and lentils. My 3 year-old daughter has FPIES (a severe gastrointestinal intolerance) to rice, oats, avocado, and coconut. I avoid most wheat, as I have trouble digesting it. Obviously our family is difficult to prepare food for, and I would never expect someone to accommodate every one of our special issues. It's easier to bring a small cooler or eat ahead of time so that we can avoid most of the food being served. There is almost always something we can eat as long as it is served plain. A little common sense about cross contamination is really all it takes. Please don't use the knife you used on the banana nut bread to cut the fruit. Don't put the plain buns on the same plate as the sesame seed buns. Wash hands between touching different foods. Stuff like that. And if someone does go out of the way to prepare something they say is "safe" for my kids, I'm still going to give that person the 3rd degree and demand to see the ingredient labels before I let the kids eat it. Call me anal, but someone who doesn't shop for or prepare allergy-safe foods on a regular basis can't become an expert overnight.

Most importantly, as guests, we just want to sit at the table and enjoy people's company no matter what is (or isn't) on our plates. It's awful when, inevitably, the dinner conversation turns toward my children's dietary restrictions. "Oh, he still can't have nuts?" "Why isn't she having any of those crackers?" It would be nice to have a holiday go by without someone saying out loud how my kids are different than everybody else.

Holiday Meal Planning: How Do You Accomodate Special Diets?
11/12/13 09:24 PM

The above story sounds a lot like what we went through with our former security company and equipment. After we contacted the Attorney General for help cancelling the contract and were finally able to cut ties, we still had the control panel mounted in our home, which suspiciously began buzzing, tweeting, and sounding the alarm at random times. Once, when I was home alone with my two small children and couldn't get the deafening alarm to stop, I ran to my husbands workshop, grabbed a mallet, and bashed the panel until it broke.

We are optimistic, though, with our new one. Our new equipment includes touchscreen panels, that can also be controlled with our smartphones. The thermostat is now integrated into the system, so we can program heating and cooling remotely. We're hoping the home energy savings will offset some of the security costs. There were also lighting and camera options available at the upper tiers, which we didn't want to pay for.

Also, we don't have a landline, and this is something that always makes my parents nervous when they babysit, because they don't trust their cell phones. Being able to push a simple button in a 911 emergency, makes everyone a little more comfortable.

I still think that security and monitoring companies are a bit of a racket, but the newer technology seems useful at this time for our family.

How To Make Your Home Safer
on a Budget

6/11/13 09:57 AM

During a hard winter in the Midwest, I think it's comforting to re-read Laura Ingalls Wilder's "The Long Winter" and Lois Lenski's "Prairie School". Both were childhood favorites of mine, and the stories of survival during prairie blizzards help me put my own winter "blahs" in perspective.

Escape the Winter Blahs this Weekend:
10 Book Genres to Get You Started

2/8/13 11:02 PM

After reading all these comments, I would say that the biggest problem between hosts and guests is failing to communicate beforehand. I don't think there is any restriction that can't be worked around. I'm a vegetarian who suspects a gluten intolerance. My two kids (ages 2 and 4) have multiple food allergies and not even the same ones. Our family could be a big PITA to have over to dinner, but I try to find out what's being served ahead of time to we can plan accordingly. I bring along some of our own foods, bring a safe dish to share, snack in the car on the way; whatever seems most appropriate for the situation. We also have frequent conversations with the kids about never taking something to eat without checking with us first. This has been their life as long as they can remember, and they understand that some foods may make them very sick.

Because nice hosts usually do want to know how they can accommodate us, here's my two cents: don't throw away food labels until we've had a chance to scan the ingredients; serve an assortment of plain, fresh fruit and veggies-- safe for almost everyone; leave out some plain potatoes before mashing the rest with milk and butter; if grilling meat for my kids, cook a plain piece on some aluminum foil so it doesn't touch anything else; serve salad with dressing and nuts on the side; and watch for cross-contamination with utensils. Also, I'm embarrassed if someone attempts to find or prepare the vegetarian or allergy-free substitutes for every single dish. It's way more work and expense, and really not necessary. And don't be offended if I swoop down on the nut bowl you've left on the coffee table and place it out of reach.

If my family is invited somewhere for a meal, we're going for the friendship, not the food. We may not eat a lot of what's prepared, but we appreciate being included and really do want to work with you to make it easy on everyone.

Dealing with Food Allergies as a Host
11/14/12 06:46 PM

From a parent's stand-point, I absolutely love this room. The monochrome look seems very calming to me and the textiles look soft and inviting. My own son has some sensory issues and actually requested we remove toys from his room one night while he was trying to sleep because there was too much to look at. Let's give this family the benefit of the doubt; the rest of the house could be an explosion of color and blinking wind-up toys. I bet it's soothing to unwind in a bedroom like this.

A Monochromatic Room for Siblings My Room
8/2/12 03:21 PM

I kept every issue of Domino, Cookie, readyMade and Blueprint. They are in labeled magazine files on the very top of the bookcase where they stay out of the way, yet within easy reach when I need nostalgia/inspiration. We do keep a lot of Dwell, Martha Stewert, and Elle Decor, too, but occasionally go through them to rip out and purge. I store my ripped-out pages in a binder that goes back to when I moved into my first apartment w/o roommates and got to decorate from scratch. It's so fun to see what appealed to me then, and how some of my tastes haven't changed at all.

The Matter of Magazines: Keep or Toss?
3/16/12 05:37 PM

I'm another fan of the new Orla Kiely bag. I was actually shopping for a new O.K. purse for myself for my non-mom outings when I found it. Yes, it's a little expensive, but for a bag that does double-duty, is easy to clean, and has such a beautiful print, it makes sense. The changing pad is fabulous because it's actually well-cushioned, not just a flat, plastic germ barrier. The only thing I would improve upon is that, unlike most diaper bags, it does not have a bottle/sippy cup pocket on the outside. And we still do have to keep our other (J.J. Cole) diaper bag around for my husband.

Seeking Handbag/Diaper Bag HybridGood Questions | Apartment Therapy Ohdeedoh
4/5/10 11:46 PM

I can't vouch for the quality, but they custom make sofas in retro styles with your choice of hundreds of fabrics.

Apartment Therapy New York | Similar Curvy Couch? Good Questions
7/16/09 09:57 AM

I have nothing to suggest as far as your career future, but for heaven's sake, mess up those shelves a little! I say, if you love your books, keep them where you use them. Orderly stacks arranged with photos and other keepsakes look so much more natural than this grid-like configuration.

Apartment Therapy Boston | Good Question: Design Career Advice?
4/28/09 10:39 AM