Monday, June 27, 2016

Church Picnic

We went to the church picnic at the park this past Sunday. 

We saw this big boat! 


They played in the Columbia River. 


Nathan and Jeremy played some badminton with some of the other kids. 


Elizabeth waiting her turn for the zipline. 


She got the zipline!


Zoom!




A big stick. 

Nathan playing badminton. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Swimming

We've had 2 weeks of swimming lessons this June. We are going to take 4 weeks in July! They will swim every week. They're not always in the pool. Here are some pictures pre-swim. 





Saturday, June 25, 2016

VBS


It was a rather rough week at VBS this year. When we weren't at the hospital or doctor's I was helping in the kitchen so I didn't take many pictures. I got a few. 

Here is Elizabeth with her crew leaders. She had two!


Nathan and his crew leader. 


A picture during snack time. Their tables were next to each other. The reason the kids are wearing little hats is because the theme was "Cave Quest." They pretended they were in caves. 


Since I was in the kitchen, I took a few pictures during snack prep. Every day, we had one age group come down to do snack prep and make 325 snacks that were required for everyone. Here was Elizabeth's snack prep day. This day, it was the 1st and 2nd graders helping us make all the snacks. 


They used an assembly file system to make up the snacks. 


Nathan's snack prep day was 3rd and 4th graders. He got to dump maple syrup into 325 little cups. Guess who got to wash the 325 cups? 


Eating her snack. 


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Elizabeth's first trip to the ER

We had a trip for allergies to the ER on Monday. We had had a good run. The last time this happened was when Nathan was 5 months old and had that super scary anaphylactic reaction to a tiny bit of whey. That was over 8 years ago. 

We got home from VBS on Monday at lunch and Elizabeth said "Mom, my legs itch." I pulled up her skirt to check her upper thighs and they were just covered in hives. I thought it was bizarre, but then turned her around to check her back. Her entire back and bottom were covered with hives. I could see little hives popping up all over her chest and shoulders and they were kind of making their way up to her neck. I wasn't sure if I should Epi-pen her or not since she wasn't currently having breathing problems, but I also didn't want to NOT Epi and then have it get really bad. Since I didn't know what to do, I just called the professionals. 

They were here in probably 3-4 minutes. Elizabeth was kind of freaking out because these huge welts were all over her body and she was itching like crazy. I took pictures that day, but they involved her underwear and her bare bottom so I didn't think I should post those here! 

The paramedic said he wanted to take her to the hospital and get an IV started in the ambulance. Nathan and I couldn't fit, so we drove behind. I was amazingly not freaking out because I knew I had done the right thing and that she would be ok. We drove to the hospital and had to wait until they found out where she was and then Nathan and I were allowed back. 


She was awake when we got there, but fell asleep shortly afterward due to all the benadryl in the IV in her arm. Her hives had completely disappeared at this point. Jeremy came over from work in uniform and managed to walk right in without any questions! Elizabeth woke up to see him. They observed her for awhile and then released her to go home. They gave us a prescription for prednisone and told us to get Zyrtec. 
We were hoping things were going to be ok. However, when I put her to bed Monday night, a huge patch of hives had developed on her leg again. I gave her the benadryl and put her to bed. In the morning, I gave her all the medicines again and she seemed to be ok. 

While at VBS again Tuesday morning, she came and found me and said she was super itchy again. I couldn't believe the hives all over her! This time, they were covering everywhere down to her feet. They kept spreading and moving and getting larger. I didn't know what to do so just left VBS and took her down to her allergist's office. They managed to get us in. We were told it was just the reaction still going on. She had been out in the sun and heat playing games and that caused it to take off again. They assured me at this point, the risk of anaphylaxis is super super low. Here are some of the pictures of the hives I took that day. They were all over her bottom and tummy too but I didn't put those pictures up.  

Our best guess is that sunflower seeds caused the reaction. We know she is severely allergic to these but had never had a reaction to them other than the first time she tried Sunbutter when she was 16 months old and got hives around just her mouth. She is not around them much and luckily they are not in a lot of common kid snack foods. At VBS that day, sunflower seeds were one of the snacks. I made Elizabeth's snack personally so I know she didn't eat any, but we made 325 snacks that day (only 6 that didn't contain the sunflower seeds-and I made those carefully) . That means that 300+ other kids had sunflower seed residue on their hands. I can't believe a touch from someone's hand or using the same pencil as them would have caused a reaction this big, but we just can't imagine what else it would be! The doctor agreed it looked like an allergy and not a virus that causes hives. 









Look at the size of these ones on her feet! She was miserably itchy!!


Her whole leg was covered. It was terrible. 


Monday and Tuesday were horrible with the hives. Wednesday morning, she woke up fine and I gave her all the medicines again. It's Wednesday evening and we haven't seen another hive. I'll give her medicine at bedtime and then another round of all of it tomorrow morning. Hopefully that will be all it takes! This was horrible! No one slept, she was super cranky, horrible!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Birthday Pippa!


Pippa is 4 years old today. 


While visiting Gram, Pippa likes to come and stare at me while I'm trying to read my books. She gets really close so here is the picture I took while she was staring. 

With my children, I write a yearly update about them. With Pippa, I'm not sure what to say. She continues to do her normal things she does every year. I guess I will list them? If I'm leaving off anything, Laura, let me know and we will add it!

1. She likes to nap all day. I never see it, but apparently she does. 
2. She likes to ride around in the Kubota with Papa. If she doesn't get to go, she cries and makes life hard for Gram. 
3. She likes to chase bunnies and gets "bunny brain" something terrible. She would sniff all day for those things and never catch one. 
4. She's afraid of the vacuum. 
5. She loves social events. This year, she got to take place in an Easter Egg Hunt! Hopefully next year, she can do the Halloween events, a 5K, Bark at the Park, the Dog Film Festival and the Doodle Romp. I take my kids to all kinds of fun events. I don't know why her mother doesn't take her! How rude!
6. She likes to give Gram heart attacks. She gives Gram heart attacks yet never wants to leave her house. 





Friday, June 17, 2016

Annual Allergy Testing



The kids had their annual allergy testing done today. As usual, no good news. Same old bad news. I don't know why it upsets me so much when it happens every year. I should just be used to it by now. there is no hope. 

 Last year, Nathan ate a kiwi and got hives around his lips which we thought was weird since he'd eaten kiwi many times. Today, the test confirms he is definitely allergic to kiwi! It's the big hive next to the "K."  26 is his hazelnut hive. We just wanted to check on that one since his skin test last year said it was borderline. But this year, it's definitely an allergy. We won't be eating any nutella!

4 and 5 are his milk and egg. The doctor seems pretty surprised that instead of getting better they are actually looking worse. Again, he says there is little chance of outgrowing for Nathan. 80% of kids do, and I know so many people that had kids who were allergic to these who grow out of them. But, being almost 9, I guess Nathan is in the 20% that don't outgrow. It's just so hard to live without milk and eggs. 

We would like to start traveling more with the kids, but we're unable to eat at restaurants due to the fact that everything is cross contaminated with milk. And Nathan eats a lot of "staple" foods that he eats constantly. Could I find all these at random grocery stores in unfamiliar places? I just don't know. How can I cook easily if we are on the road? I mostly have to cook from scratch. There are some frozen type things he can eat, but how can I carry frozen foods around? A cooler wouldn't be cool enough. And then there's the whole peanuts on planes thing and peanut dust supposedly floating around in the air. Would the kids react to that? I don't know. I don't want the kids having to just eat hot dogs and oreos while traveling. They get sick of that. 

So, his food allergies are as follows: Milk, eggs, peanuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios and now kiwi. All have the potential to be anaphylactic. 




Below is the picture of Elizabeth's back. 25 is her peanut hive and the SF is for sunflower seed. Both are very large and could potentially be anaphylactic. #20 is hazelnut. She's definitely allergic to the hazelnut. Her hive isn't as big with the hazelnut as it is with peanuts and sunflower seeds, but it's still there. 23 was cashew. Since Nathan is so allergic, we wanted to check her, but she's fine for cashew. 


The one piece of good news is that neither child is showing signs of asthma yet. I'm not bothering to hold out hope this will always be the the case. We just do our best to keep them away from too much animal dander, smoke, and mold. Not sure what else we can do. 

One other piece of good news. We went a whole year without any serious allergic reactions. We had no ingestion of any of their allergies. A few times, they got milk, egg, or peanut on their skin and got a little hive, but no one actually ate anything. It's tough work going a whole year with no ingestion, but we did it! Let's hope the next year is the same!




Wednesday, June 15, 2016

First Piano Lesson

Elizabeth had her first piano lesson yesterday! She was desperate to start taking lessons like her big brother. I wasn't sure she was quite ready since she's just starting 1st grade, but the teacher said we can try over the summer and if isn't something that works. we can start up again next summer. 


Learning how to hold her hands and fingers over the keys.