It’s all about the Chocolate, Baby!

Living with food allergies can be difficult at times but it’s not the end of the world. Yes, there are definite challenges, but we manage work within the limitations and still live and eat amazingly.

Any effort that we have to go through is SO worth the vibrant health that we get to experience….ya know, minus that whole cancer thing….ummmmm, yah moving on….

Siah has an egg and dairy allergy and to look at him, you would never know that he has allergies. He doesn’t have dark circles and bags under his eyes or eczema on his skin. He is almost never sick and never seems to have “bowel issues”…trying to be subtle here. He is one healthy little boy.

In this picture, if you look, you can see all the little scratch marks on his face. He would claw himself all day and all night because his skin was bothering him so bad….I had already eliminated dairy from my diet at this point

Making a Funny face when talked to.

In this picture, you can see some of the eczema on his face. I remember when I saw this picture I was so excited, because he looked SO AMAZING. He was starting to heal at this point. At it’s worst, he was an oozing mess all over the top of his head, down his forehead, into his eyes and all over his cheeks and chin. It was horrible.

'Siah and Me

The rest of us, don’t eat dairy because it does not agree with us. It’s not an allergy like Siah, but more of an intolerance. When he eats dairy, he gets sick with vomiting and diarrhea and has eczema and it’s nasty. The rest of us might get bloated, or have tummy aches, headaches, or might just feel “off” or “icky” and most of the time, it’s just not worth it, especially when there are so many amazing tasting substitutes.

One thing that I’ve tried to do ever since we found out about Siah’s allergies is to make life as normal as possible. We eat ice cream, and pizza and have chocolate and pretty much anything that we want to eat…..we eat. I’ve just found dairy and egg free substitutes.

Special days like Valentines and Easter and Christmas can be difficult, but I’ve tried very hard to not have my kids feel like they’ve been denied “normal” while keeping things safe for everyone.

With the Christmas season comes Chocolate Advent Calendar’s and in past years, I’ve done many different things, from creating envelopes with different “things” to do or eat. I’ve put Jelly Beans into an Advent Calendar and that’s worked, but the best thing that I’ve done is to just “alter” the advent calendar’s so that they are dairy free.

First thing to do…..Get your Calendar and slice open the flap at the back, trying not to destroy the flap because you’ll want to seal it up again when you’re all done.


You’ll need to open it carefully and pull out that tray that’s inside. It might be glued to the cardboard and so you’ll have to carefully pull it apart and away from the box in order to get it out.


Then you’ll need to dump out all the original chocolates, and dispose of the original’s….I had 2 big girls that were willing to deal with a bit of an upset tummy to be able to eat the chocolates.


Then you need to get yourself a dairy-free chocolate bar. This particular one is from Super store. You can find dark chocolate that has no dairy in it if you search and read a million labels. This one is great because it doesn’t taste too dark and bitter and *the bonus in my eyes* it has almonds in it. YUM!


Break it into hunks and melt it down. I used about half the bar and melted it in the microwave for about a minute and a half.


I used a spoon to drop the melted chocolate into the plastic try.


You take your completed tray and pop it in the freezer to set the chocolate. It only takes a few minutes to set it enough to continue on with this whole ordeal.


While you are waiting, you could clean up the dishes that you’ve used, or just use the time to finish up any of the leftover chocolate…..MMMMMMM Chocolate!


After a few minutes, the chocolate is set enough to carry on. I pulled out my glue gun and heated it up and glued a few strips on the tray…..this will help the tray to stick to the box and then all the chocolates won’t fall out or slide all over the place.


You have to work quite quickly here because you want to get the tray back into the box before the glue cools and hardens….so slide it back into the box and you’ve got to make sure that it’s facing the right direction….one way it lines up with all the little doors and the other way it doesn’t….I’ve learned the hard way. Not fun!


You can just press on it gently to make sure that the glue is stuck to the box…


This picture has nothing to do with anything….I just think he’s very cute and he was sitting watching me with this “What the heck are you doing?” look……


Flip the box over and run a strip of glue along the back flap


and then seal that sucker up…..My 2 big girl helpers managed to shred the top of this flap and so it required a little extra lovin’ to get it sealed up properly.


Here are the calendar’s waiting for the kids to open them.


Opening the special Dairy-Free Christmas Calendar that is totally safe for him……


Everybody is excited about chocolate….


These two have almost the same hair-do…


I think he approves….


These pictures would be so much cuter if he didn’t have that giant booger in his nostril…Oh Well…just keeping it real. I wonder if I coulda photo-shopped that sucker outta there….yah probably, oh well…..


Definately a happy boy with his “daiwy-fwee chawclut”…….


Even the older ones still get excited about their chocolate calendar’s….


I love having my kids be able to participate safely in some of the treats and special things in life, and any extra effort that it might take to make this happen is SO worth it, to me.

Author: Patricia Culley

I'm the ringmaster of my own circus. Just trying to stay one step ahead of the monkeys.

7 thoughts on “It’s all about the Chocolate, Baby!”

  1. Patti, I just gotta say it. You rock. You’re an incredible mother.
    (and that picture wouldn’t be quite as adorable without the booger in it 🙂 )

  2. Hi to you all! Such great pictures and before I got to the comments I thought”What a great Mom you are Patti” now I see some one beat me to it, but am saying it anyway.Sweet pictures Judah and Siah and all of you. The hair is coming Geli . It is funny Verne camethe other day and he had shaved his hair and feeling a little off about it and I said “You look pretty normal to me” we have had a lot of shaved heads in the family lately .Hope your week ahead is a blessed one in everyway. Love Grandma

  3. I agree you are an awesome mom Patti. And no matter how old you are you look forward to advent calendars with chocolate. I still by them every year

  4. It’s so great that you find a way to let Siah participate in all the fun.

    And that chocolate looks REALLY GOOD. 🙂

  5. you are amazing. you find a positive side to everything in a creative way. i started advent boxes this year. we do elf on the shelf so he leaves goodies and notes in their boxes (pics on my facebook page)

    but for my friend i made some advent elves. that way you can put whatever you want in the pockets.

    anyway, if you would like a set i would love to make them for your family for next christmas

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