Monday, September 18, 2017

Happy birthday Auntie Laura!!

Happy birthday Laura! I found another old picture of us. Look, we were dressing as twins! Wait, we still do that now too! Although now, it's just accidental. I have a feeling Mom was behind the twin clothes in this picture. 

When I do a blog about the kids' birthdays, I write a little bit about what they are doing that year. 

Auntie Laura likes to take walks with Pippa in September and October when the weather is cool and usually pretty nice. 

She is currently in her 12th year of being a dental hygienist. 

Books she enjoys include the cozy mystery genre, Harry Potter, and Little House on the Prairie. 

A favorite TV show is The Middle. 

She enjoys gardening, flowers and reading for hobbies. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Pink Clouds

We had such a pretty sunset the other night. The clouds kind of looked like pink cotton candy and everything had a pinkish glow. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Candy Mountain Hike

Thursday after school, the kids and Jeremy took a hike up the burned up Candy Mountain. They took the new, longer trail. Before, they had only climbed the steep, shorter trail. 

The top of Lake Lewis was marked here too. This is how high the water got during the Missoula Floods that occurred between 13,000 and 15,000 years ago. 

He did a panoramic shot overlooking the other mountain ranges in the area. 

Red Mountain and Rattlesnake Mountain are in the distance in this picture. 

Looking south from the mountain. 

Looking East toward Badger Mountain. 

Lots of black and burned land. 

Looking toward the unburned Badger Mountain. You can also see the Columbia River off to the left.  This is about at the top. When they got to the top, I got out the binoculars and was able to see them up there as little ants running around. They could see our house too, but couldn't make me out since they didn't have binoculars. 

Elizabeth always likes to pose on big rocks. 

Jeremy tried to get a picture of the blackened land. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Braces on the Top

Nathan is 19 months into his orthodontic adventure. They originally told us he'd be done in 12-15 months. At least they just charged us once and it doesn't matter how many times we have to go in but we are sure sick of going there every 6 weeks!  

After they fixed his bite, they made room in his mouth using brackets on just his permanent teeth. When his front permanent teeth finally came in, they put brackets on all his top permanent teeth. This was about a month ago. They tell me within 3 months he will be done! I sure hope so! From there, he will need to wear a retainer for awhile. But in theory his top teeth should never need more work. 

I guess we'll see how his remaining bottom teeth grow in. If they are not too crooked, we will keep our fingers crossed that he will be done with orthodontics forever! 

The orthodontist checked Elizabeth and told us her bite looks fine. Thank goodness no work for her! We'll wait and see how crooked her teeth come in when she's around 11-12. Maybe we'll get lucky with no braces for her. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Allergy Update

The kids had their yearly allergy testing a few weeks ago so I'm doing my update to see what changes occur throughout the years.

Both kids are allergic to pretty much everything in the environment and animals. For whatever reason, their immune systems are on overdrive. 

Elizabeth continues to be allergic to peanuts, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts. 

Nathan's had a rough year allergy wise. He missed 5 days of school last year due to sickness, and we were thinking his sickness had to do with allergies but we couldn't figure out what since we were avoiding everything we knew he was allergic to. He seemed convinced bananas and pumpkin were a problem. We spent a few weeks keeping track of what he ate and sure enough, whenever he ate one of those two foods, he would have gastrointestinal problems. No hives or anything anaphylaxis related.
He's also had a rough time saying that when he eats certain foods, his mouth and tongue itch.

Now, Jeremy has a condition called Oral Allergy Syndrome. It means he is allergic to the pollen that is in or on the food somehow. He got to the point where we couldn't eat most fresh fruits and vegetables. The allergist had him do allergy shots and it has really helped him. He seems to be able to eat more of the fresh fruits and vegetables.

 This may be something Nathan has to do someday but the shots are painful and he would have to go 2 times per week and miss a lot of school to do the shots. Apparently, this condition runs in the family as Jeremy and his grandpa and an uncle all have this. 

So, on to Nathan's allergies. 

He continues to be severely allergic to dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and kiwi. These will cause hives or anaphylaxis. 

This year, we discovered that he is intolerant or has a mild allergy to banana, pumpkin, zucchini and probably all the squash family. He used to be able to eat all these foods fine, but now gets terrible stomach cramps and other issues when he eats them. 

He says he has oral allergy syndrome now and will not eat the following fresh foods because they make his mouth itch: Carrots, peas, grapes, peaches, nectarines, pears, cantaloupe, watermelon, plums, tomatoes, 

We are running out of things to feed him. His immune system seems to be getting worse as he gets older which is opposite of what traditional allergy issues are supposed to do. 

 Banana was a really hard one to take. Bananas are such an easy, clean snack and I always used to make banana bread. We also used to make him smoothies all the time with banana. Pumpkins seeds are another hard one to take. He used to eat these all the time for protein since his protein sources are so, so limited. I also used to make pumpkin bread and zucchini bread and he loved them. More foods he cannot eat. 

It's getting to the point where the only food groups he will have left to eat are meat and breads/pasta and some cooked vegetables. 

This was the first allergist appointment I didn't cry when we got home. I think it's because before I always had hope that someday the allergies would get better and every year I was devastated when I found out that things were never better. Sometime over the last year, I've given up all hope that things will ever change or improve. Things just keep getting worse. I guess giving up that hope makes it easier to deal with. I've just accepted that things will always be very hard. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Fire Woes

This year has been  bad for fires. I've never seen it this bad. We had record rain and snow this winter and spring. Apparently, there was a ton of growth from all that precipitation and then it all dried out. The forest fires and smoke have been unbelievable. We are basically surrounded by huge forest fires in every direction from British Columbia, Montana, Oregon, and Western Washington. Whatever way the wind blows, we get smoke. Then, we've been getting weird inversions that just trap the smoke. 

The first 2 weeks of August were horrible. We had 12 days straight of smoke. We didn't see any sunshine or much blue sky. It went away for a couple of weeks and we thought we were in the clear when September started. NOPE!

We've had 8 days of the worst smoke I've ever seen in my life. It's so bad, people are supposed to wear masks outside. The kids are actually being kept inside for indoor recess. That is unbelievable. Never have kids been kept inside before for bad air quality!!! The only time they are kept in is if it's really rainy or really cold. 

We don't have any trees around here so no forest fires right in our backyard. However, everything is still dry and areas not irrigated are prone to fire. We had a weird thunderstorm roll through early Friday morning. It didn't drop much rain, but it did include lightning. Around 2 am, lightning struck the mountain just south of our house. The kids and I had no idea and just slept through it. Jeremy watched it from work 15 miles away. The homes right near by were evacuated. We are an irrigated hay field and several streets away so we were fine. Jeremy took these pictures when he came home at 4 am. I woke up at 4 when he got home and thought the house was on fire or the wildfire smoke had gotten really bad. Nope! It was just the fact the mountain was on fire. The smell was just seeping in through all the doors and windows. It was horrible. We woke the kids up so they could see the fires raging across the mountain. We knew they would want to see it. They went right back to sleep. I never went back to sleep. 

By 7 am when the kids got up for school, the fire had burned its way across the whole mountain. It was completely black. We'd always joked that everything in our neighborhood was brown. The houses, fences, and mountain was brown. Well, now we have a new color! The mountain looks like it's continually in the shade now. 

Nathan said several of his classmates had to evacuate so they were very tired at school all day Friday. 

Here are the pictures Jeremy took from our house when he got home at 4. 

Friday morning, the smoke finally cleared out! They say we will have good air quality for the weekend. However, next week, another inversion is going to start and the smoke from all the fires will settle in again. The kids and I biked down  to look at the black mountain on Friday night. 

You can see in this picture how Badger Mountain off to the left is still it's normal brown color. Candy Mountain is black!

We're having a nice Saturday here. Smoke is gone, it's sunny with blue skies,  and it's supposed to be 92 degrees! Off to play at the pool! This is the last weekend the pool is open and it looks like we'll have warm weather and low amounts of smoke. Thank goodness! 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Pool Party

The swim teachers had a pool party to celebrate the end of the summer. They invited all the kids they taught to come and play in the pool. 

The kids were most interested in the dog that came to play!

He is the cutest goldendoodle. He liked to jump into the pool after his ball. All the kids were so excited and they wall wanted him to come and play with them. 

Elizabeth before one of her belly flops. She does it on purpose. 

Everyone swimming after the dog. 

Happy birthday Auntie Laura!!

Happy birthday Laura! I found another old picture of us. Look, we were dressing as twins! Wait, we still do that now too! Although now,...