Monday, March 24, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008


So what is your favorite Easter Candy? You can pick more than one!

I will admit, I am a huge fan of Marshmallow peeps. Especially when the pack has been opened and they start to get a bit stale!

PeepResearch funny, in a disturbing kind of way....not cool, to torture the peeps!

So the Easter Bunny will be hiding eggs and leaving baskets this year. I think it will only be a chocolate bunny, and maybe a small toy or book. The kids don't really like the sugar based candies, and we still have Hershey's Kisses from Valentine's Day left. (shocking, right?)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


We took the kids to get pictures taken yesterday, and it went better than I had expected! I knew that Maggie and Cassie would do fine, and that their pictures would turn out nice. I wasn't too hopeful that we could get Nate to do his 2 year picture (we had tried once with no luck).

When we got to the studio, Nate looked a bit unsure when he saw the photographer with her camera. We told him that it was just the girls getting their pictures, not him. After a bit, he warmed up enough that he wasn't on my lap and started to play with a bucket of blocks.
So, Lino told Nate that he had to move with his blocks (over to where the girls were) because the girls were going to take pics where he had been playing. The photographer was super, and pretended to take pics of the girls while Nate was playing. Then, she started taking his picture.

It worked!!! A couple of times he looked a bit suspicious, but we actually got quite a few nice ones of him alone, and he was even okay to having the girls take their picture with him, so we have an updated one of all 3!!! (of course, he has an M&M in his hand for it, but hey, bribery is okay sometimes!)

I am just so pleased! It took us a long time to pick out the pictures. The girl was very patient with us while we narrowed down our choices: one of just Maggie, just Cassie, just Nate, one of Maggie and Cassie, and the one of all 3! (and there are still 3 more that I would love to go back and get) I am so excited, though, that Nate fell for our trick!!

I didn't fuss with Nate's hair too much, because I didn't want him to get really mad. It is really long in front, and I am going to attempt to cut his bangs soon. Lino is okay with keeping it longer in the back, his curls are just so sweet, but it gets in his eyes, and that isn't good (even though he has no problem wearing the girls' clippies! )

So, yay for good picture day!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Happy Birthday to Maggie and Cassie!

A retrospective. We haven't done a birthday portrait yet, the last picture is from Nate's party. My baby girls aren't little babies any more! Next week we register them for kindergarten.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wasn't ready for this!

Wow. Her first lost tooth! Cassie has always had a space in between her top teeth. That is just how they grew. I figure that when those two big girl teeth grow in, they will be nice and straight as a result.

I was not expecting her to lose a tooth so soon! The girls turn 5 tomorrow! And, the tooth next to the missing one (center) feels a bit wiggly!

She is very excited about the tooth fairy coming. According to tv shows the girls watch, the tooth fairy takes the tooth and turns it into a toy overnight! Eek. The tooth fairy always left me a quarter! (I think 2 for molars!)

Sigh. My baby girls are turning into big kids.....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Nice. Really nice

This video clip was posted on antoher forum I visit. Definitely worth taking the almost 2 minutes to listen.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Results from the Allergist appointments

Just before the girls turned 2, Cassie had a pretty impressive (though not in a good way) contact reaction to a peanut that she had reached off of the counter. Thankfully, she didn't eat it, as she had instant hives all over her face where she had rubbed the peanut around.

We had her tested at the allergist shortly after, and it was confirmed, she was definitely allergic to peanuts. As far as we knew, she had never been exposed to tree nuts, and even though the test came up negative, we still avoided all tree nuts as well (why take the chance?).

At the time, Maggie wasn't tested; as far as we knew, she hadn't been exposed, and the doctor didn't think testing her would be reliable. Wait until before they go to school he said.

So, we have been practicing avoidence with both girls. No peanuts or tree nuts for either (and now Nate) Wait for the retest.

Well, they turn 5 this month, and kindergarten starts in the fall. So, I scheduled a test for each of the girls. We were keeping our fingers crossed that Cassie would be one of the very lucky few who outgrow peanut allergies, and that Maggie wouldn't be allergic at all. We will test Nate when he is 5.

They were tested with skin testing. A small amount of serum from the (potential) allergen placed on their backs, along with a control histamine spot. Then wait 15 minutes to see what happens.

Good news and bad news.

The good news is that Maggie does not appear to be allergic to either peanuts or tree nuts! Yay!

The bad news is that Cassie is still allergic to peanuts. She is also most definitely allergic to cashews, and it is a strong possibility that she is allergic to other tree nuts as well. Boo!

Her control spot was pretty big, and the peanut spot got really big and raised, very quickly. The cashew spot was big, too. They told me that the other tree nut spots weren't big enough to count, but I am pretty certain that if we test them next year, they will be. So, no peanuts still, and no tree nuts either. (Even though it was just cashew that was positive, the risk for cross contamination just isn't worth it.)

We have a slip to have a blood test done, a RAST test. That will give us a bit more insight for Cassie's levels, and to determine that Maggie isn't allergic. If you want to know more about RAST testing, HERE is its wiki page.

Basically, though, they will draw blood and test antibodies with allergens to get a level of allergic-ness. It is just for a baseline, there isn't really anyway to determine how severe a reaction could be, until the reaction is happening.

Maggie testing negative doesn't really change things for us. We are still maintaining a peanut and tree nut free home for Cassie. It just means that I don't need to worry as much. We also still need to read every label of every thing we buy, every time, because sometimes manufacturers change things.

Our comfort zone isn't rigid strict, compared to others. But right now it works for us. I still wipe down tables and chairs at restaraunts, and wipe down shopping carts. Depending on the manufacturer, and what I know of their labelling and cleaning practices, I allow some things that have been processed in the same facility as peanuts/treenuts. Occasionally, I will allow things made on same equipment as.

Usually, baked goods that have that warning are a no go. And, we are trying to teach the girls, that they can not take food from other people, unless Lino or I say it is safe to do so. We need to read labels, etc. Not that other people can't read, but unless you live it every day, sometimes things can be missed.

Just yesterday, even, my dad said that when he was shopping, he spotted a brownie treat he thought the kids would like. He read the label, and it had wording on it that he thought wouldn't be good (he couldn't remember exactly, but generally, brownies baked by others, not safe) Yay, that he remembered and read the label. He is usually really good at remembering and checking.

Then, he handed me a frozen treat box to look at. He wanted to know if the kids would like it. As I started to read the label, he said, 'Oh, I just assumed that because it said Hershey's it is safe'. Yes, Hershey's is sometimes safe for us, but this was made by a different company using Hershey's chocolate, who knows what else was in it. (It turns out that it was safe, and very yummy)

Every label, every time.

And, at Thanksgiving the past few years, my sister has made treats for everyone that are covered in hazelnuts. She makes a seperate nut free version for the kids, but it still freaks me out. My inlaws used to keep a bowl of mixed nuts out, and seemed rersistant to even moving it. Scary!! It took a while before they started moving it before we would get there, but the past handful of times we have gone there, I haven't seen it out. Yay!

I pray that Cassie never has an anaphylactic reaction. That would mean a shot of epinephrin and benedryl and a trip to the ER, and a whole lot of prayers.

We just have to stay vigilant, reading labels and advocating for her. I will admit, that part of my anxiety about the girls starting school, is that I lose the ability to completely control their environment, with regards to the peanut/tree nut allergy. I will have to rely on other people 'getting it'; understanding the real importance of keeping Cassie safe. Understanding the very real danger and that the next reaction she has could be the one that sends her to the hospital.