Thursday, June 23, 2011

Peanut Allergy: Confirmed

We ended up taking the kids in to the ER last night. They were eating some chocolate chip muffins when Emma said she had something stuck in her throat. We thought she had a chocolate chip lodged in there. She was really upset about it and then threw up. I called the on-call pediatrician (it just happened to be their regular doctor) and left a message - turns out his battery died, but he called me back quickly. After awhile, she fell asleep and it seemed like things were ok. In the meantime, I got a bag together and got ready just in case.

But then, Hyrum threw up, too! That's about when their doctor called me back and we figured that since both kids threw up, it was some sort of virus and Emma had mistaken a sore throat for getting something stuck in it.

But while I was talking to their doctor, Emma woke up and had thrown up all over her bed and on the floor. I quickly got off the phone so we could take care of that and we started to draw up a bath for her. She still said she had something in her throat and started hyperventilating. She was SO upset and having such a hard time that we decided to take her to the ER.

John quickly cleaned her up and changed her clothes while I threw all the soiled bedding and clothing in the wash. We grabbed the bag and the kids and headed to the hospital. I called their doctor again on the way to let him know we were going in. He agreed that was best. He could hear her over the phone and said it sounded like either an allergic reaction or a lodged object. Either way, we needed to go in.

While we took care of all the paperwork, she started to break out into a red, splotchy rash on her face and neck. It definitely looked like an allergic reaction, but at the time we couldn't think of anything she'd eaten that could have caused it. She reacted to peanut butter back in August 2009 and we've always been super careful about avoiding anything with nuts in it. We were hoping she'd grow out of it since she was under 2 when it happened. Her cousins accidentally gave her a peanut butter cracker; they didn't realize she wasn't old enough to have it yet. We weren't going to let Hyrum try any until after he turned 2 as well.

The nurses took her vitals and she was NOT a fan of that. She fought the ER staff most of the time. The ER doc looked at her and got her a Benedryl shot and some zofran, then she got a chest x-ray to see if there was anything lodged in her throat. When Hyrum saw Emma get a hospital bracelet, he got mad because he wanted one, too. He was asleep by the time he got his.

While John took her to the x-ray, I noticed that Hyrum was breaking out with hives. He kept pointing to his diaper as if it needed changing, but he was dry. When we checked again, his diaper area was all red and irritated. He threw up 3 times while we were in the ER as well. Emma threw up twice in the ER. Both kids threw up 4 times each. Everything kept pointing to an allergic reaction, for both kids.

It was then that we remembered the brownie Emma got from her church class on Sunday. We didn't think it had anything in it, so we split it between the 4 of us. They ate the chocolate chip muffins at the same time. I called her teacher to ask about it since it was the only thing we could think of. Turns out it was a Reese's mix. Peanut butter.

We told the ER doctor right away. Once we knew what we were dealing with, we were able to get both kids the treatment they needed. They each got 2 shots: Benedryl and a steroid. Emma got zofran for the nausea and Hyrum got a breathing treatment.

We spent about 2 hours in the ER. We left just after midnight. The kids were soooo tired. They fell asleep in the ER but woke up during the transition from ER to car to home. This is where they slept last night:


John is such a sweetheart; he slept on the living room floor in case Hyrum fell off the couch. I tried to sleep, but I spent most of the night tossing and turning. The reality of what happened fully hit me after we got them home and settled down. Up until that point, we were in high adrenaline "let's take care of this" mode. It wasn't until after things settled down that the scariness factor truly hit me. It kept me up most of the night. I know it's no one's fault, but I still feel riddled with guilt. I know Emma has a peanut allergy. I unwittingly let her eat something she's allergic to. And now I know that Hyrum does, too. I am not mad at Emma's teacher at all; she didn't know. She feels bad enough as it is. But it's not her fault and I made sure she knows that. I can't expect everyone to keep track of my kids' allergies. That's my job. I have to be extremely aware of the foods around us.

My kids have obviously inherited my dad's peanut allergy. I've spent my entire life checking ingredients for nuts, so doing it with my own children isn't a new thing for me. The hardest part is checking every single treat at church activities, family gatherings, restaurants - everywhere that I'm not in charge of preparing or buying the food.

On the plus side, I've wondered for ages if this was something Emma had outgrown or if it was going to be a life-long allergy. We meant to get her tested but life kept getting in the way. Now I obviously have to assume it will be a life-long thing. I've also wondered if Hyrum would have the same issue or if he'd be able to eat peanuts. Last night gave me clarification on both - just not in the way I wanted it.

They are doing MUCH better today. A bit grumpy from being up so late, but that's to be expected. Aside from the grumpiness, you'd never know they spent 2 hours in the ER last night. That and the fact that Emma refuses to take off her hospital bracelet. Such a funny girl.

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Crazy Little Man

It's been way too long since I posted updates on what the kids are up to. Since these posts tend to be insanely long, I'm breaking them up by kid.

And what is a kid update without pics? I need to sort through over 2 months of pics, but I hope these recent pics will keep the anxious pic-hungry grandparents at bay for a bit ;)

Hyrum is 17.5 months old now. He'll be 18 months on the 4th of July. Can you believe it? In 2 weeks, he'll officially be old enough for nursery. I've taken him for the first hour of playtime and he loves it - but only if I stay with him. We're introducing him to it slowly since he's very clingy around others.

Hyrum is such an adorable, sweet little boy. He's incredibly loving and snuggly. He climbs onto my lap all the time and randomly gives us all hugs and kisses.

But oh, is he a handful. He tries my patience in ways his sister never did. He gets into everything. I can't tell you how many times a day he opens the kitchen cabinets and pulls stuff out. We're not supposed to put baby proofing stuff on the cabinets at our complex, either. I soooo want those magnetic cabinet locks someday.

He loves to unroll toilet paper. He's the reason we keep the bathroom door closed.

And he's a climber. For instance...I was in the bathroom for maybe 2 minutes max, and this is where I found him when I came out:
Hyrum - June 2011
Yeah. He climbed onto the kitchen counter. He climbed onto the table the same day. He also climbs onto the toilet and flushes it when given a chance. And every single chair in my house. He likes to stand on them. The desk chairs especially freak me out. This kid is seriously going to give me a heart attack.

Hyrum finally started walking for real at 15 months. He could have done it earlier but he just wasn't motivated enough to do it. Now he runs around all over the place!

He's very curious and loves to explore. Sometimes his explorations drive me crazy. Other times they're just adorable or hilarious. Seriously, how can you not smile at this?
Hyrum - June 2011

Or this?
Hyrum - June 2011

Or this?
Hyrum - June 2011

Such a curious boy! One of his favorite things to do is put buckets or laundry baskets on his head:
Hyrum - June 2011
He seriously does this over and over and over again. He can't get enough of it.

He loves to go outside. If anyone goes outside without him, he throws the biggest fit. Especially if Emma goes out there without him (don't worry, she only goes out with an adult). Oooh man. Huge tantrum.

Thankfully, he doesn't run off much yet. He's still cautious and wants to hold our hands when we're outside. Except on the playground. He's really good at exploring on the toddler play structure. Climbing up was easy for him, but it took a few falls to realize that he had to pay attention to when it steps down. It didn't take him long to figure out that it works better when he holds onto the rail. He especially loves the tunnel:
Hyrum - June 2011

Hyrum - June 2011

He loves to go on walks in the stroller. We went to the zoo last week and he just loved looking at all the animals from the stroller.
Hyrum - June 2011
LOL, I love how he's like, "why are you taking my picture AGAIN, Mom?"

He roared at the tiger (who was hiding in his den).
Hyrum - June 2011

He loves to roar with Emma. They walk around the house roaring at each other. He knows several animal sounds: cats, dogs, ducks, lions, tigers, and frogs. He probably knows more but I can't think of them at the moment. He says "mmmm mmmm" for vrooming cars.

Speaking of cars...he's obsessed with them. Cars is his favorite movie at the moment. He also loves Toy Story 3, Monsters Inc, The Lion King, Tangled, and pretty much everything. The kids get 2 movies a day and I let each of them pick one. He loves it.

He's a smart little guy. It's so fun to watch him learn. That's definitely my favorite thing about this age.

Hyrum also knows several body parts now: eyes, ears, mouth, nose, hands, feet, bum, and belly button. He can point them out on himself or others.

He can say at least 30 words, including: mama, Emma, dada, more (muh muh), Hyrum (slurred together), amen, thank you (dee doo), please, cat, meow, dog, ruff ruff, duck, cow, moo, car, ball, bubbles, book, yeah, water (wawa), juice, cheese, hi, uh oh, bird, diaper, bowl, baby, bye bye, Jesus, temple, key, fish, cheerios, tree, and right there.

He can fold his arms for prayers, give high 5's and knuckles, nods for yes, shakes his head for no, imitate others coughing.

Whenever we walk over the canal or drive over the river, he points at the water and says, "wawa!" He gets really excited about it. One rainy day he kept exclaiming wawa over puddles! Hyrum is fearless about water. He loves splashing in the tub and dumping water over his head. I can't wait till it's really warm enough to take him to the spray park. He'll LOVE it. He's also taken to putting his hand directly under the faucet when we clean him up after meals. He thinks it's SO funny to spray us!

Hyrum will point at a picture of Jesus and then say His name ♥ He also points out pictures of the temple, babies, and immediate family members and labels them correctly.

Yesterday he pointed at a tree and said "tree" - I didn't even know he knew what a tree was!

He's totally fascinated with technology. He always wants to play with my camera, phone, or computer. Once he even opened Photoshop! I'm still not sure how he managed that...I had the mouse way out of his reach when it happened.

A few days ago, he sat down on my belly and the baby kicked him right in the butt! It was hilarious! He didn't seem to notice, though. Brotherly love, anyone?

Sometimes when he needs a diaper change, Hyrum will grab a diaper, wipes, and a changing pad. Then he'll put them on the floor, point at his bum, and say diaper.

Just recently, he's taken to throwing food on the floor when he's done eating. We tell him that's not ok and such, but it takes time to nip that in the bud. Ugh. It wouldn't be as frustrating if our table wasn't on carpet...someday we'll have a real dining room with hard floors. I hate cleaning food off the carpet.

He loves to feed himself. He's really good at using a spoon now. He gets super messy sometimes, especially with mac and cheese. He just inhales that stuff. He eats a TON. Seriously, this kid out-eats his pregnant mother. And he's only a toddler. Imagine what he'll be like as a teen! John jokes that he'll have to get a 2nd job just to feed this kid. He just loves food.

But he is kind of picky. He won't touch meat unless it's mixed in or hidden. Even then he usually picks it out. The only veggies I can consistently get him to eat are corn and potatoes. But he inhales the corn whole and it comes right back out. I need to start hiding veggies in his food so he can't tell they're there. If you have any favorite recipes that hide veggies well, I'd love to hear them!

Hyrum loves bread, pasta, cheese, yogurt, jello, bananas, diced peaches, diced pears, mandarin oranges, crackers, and any kind of dessert. He drinks milk, water, and any kind of juice (when we let him). He's a total pro at using a straw and has been since the moment he tried it. He loves juice boxes, which we use for picnics and such. Here he is drinking a juice box at the zoo:
Hyrum - June 2011

We took him to the dentist about a month ago and the dentist confirmed my suspicion that he was cutting at least 6 teeth at once. Poor little guy! Actually, the dentist then said it's probably more like 8. And sure enough, he had all 4 side teeth and the first set of molars coming in at the same time. He's still working on 3 of them. He has 3 of the molars in now and 2 of the side teeth. It's funny; the 2 side teeth he has are the top and bottom on the right side. Poor Hyrum was miserable with that many teeth coming in at once. Especially at sleep times. But I'm glad they all came in at once. I'm all for getting teething over and done with.

We've had some sharing issues. Hyrum gets really upset if Emma is playing with something he wants or if she takes a toy from him. I'm constantly having to play referee. "Who had it first?" "Did you take it from him/her?" "If you can't share nicely, no one gets to play with it." "If you take it away again, you're going to get a time out." And on and on and on, all day long. Hyrum of course doesn't get the sharing concept as well as Emma, but now is the time to learn. Ah, the joys of siblings.

Thankfully, he's pretty good about time out. He'll stay there and doesn't usually fuss about it. Sometimes he'll put himself in time out!

Hyrum is a great sleeper. He cries in protest for a minute, but it doesn't take him long to fall asleep. If he cries longer, it's usually because he soiled his diaper right after we put him to bed. We change it, give him some snuggles, and put him back to bed - and he's out. He rarely wakes up at night. When he does, it's for a good reason (diaper, teething, sick, etc). It's awesome.

Oh, you may have noticed his hair is long in some pictures and short in others. I just gave him his 3rd haircut last week. I messed up in the back, but it grows so fast that soon it won't even be noticeable. I have to cut it every 2-3 months. I cut John's at the same time. Hyrum is pretty good about it, for the most part. He sits and doesn't fuss...until he reaches his limit. Then he cries and squirms. Thankfully it's mostly done by that point. The back and around the ears are the hardest parts. I tried ear guards for the first time this time and it worked out pretty well...until I botched the back.

All in all, Hyrum is a very cute, curious, sweet, cuddly, smart, and lovable little boy and we just love having him in our family.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Trying Out Cloth

[Edited a large chunk out; don't want to offend my close friends who have different opinions than me.]

I have a lot of friends who use cloth diapers. I've heard tons about them, how they save money, etc. I've heard pros and cons. I've thought about a lot...I like the idea of how they can save money. I wanted to try it out, but without making a huge commitment. I didn't want to buy a ton of cloth diapers only to find out I don't like them.

I got a surprise package from Kimi recently. She sent me some of her son's cloth diapers (he's potty trained and doesn't need them now). So, I tried some out. But after a [very] brief trial, my answer thanks.

First, I tried a Dream-Eze. It's supposed to be a very trim all-in-one diaper, but it's still much bulkier than a disposable. I know this sounds ridiculous and superficial, but...I don't like the bulk. Even of the "trim" cloth diapers. My son is a chubby little guy, so it made his butt look huge. Not a fan. But the diaper itself fit well and did a good job. He napped in it and it didn't leak.

Next, I tried a short wing quick snap flap wrap with a separate cover. Again, good fit and no leaks. But it was super bulky compared to what I'm used to. Way bulkier than the Dream-Eze. I had to put him in larger clothes than usual to fit over the bulk.

Now here's where it gets gross and gritty.

Lastly (there's a reason for this), I tried a regular quick snap flap wrap with a cover. Like the others, it fit well, no leaks, and was bulkier than I'd prefer. But...he pooped in it. And we're not talking roll-right-off-the-diaper kind of poop. No. This kid has sticky cling-to-the-diaper kind of poop. Everyday. 3-4 times a day, at least.

If I could magically do cloth only for pee, I'd be more willing to do it. But with a kid who poops so frequently and not always predictably...not so much.

Also, I couldn't tell when he needed to be changed as easily with the cloth. I can tell by feel with disposables. With the cloth diapers, I had to take a peak - which is harder to do with cloth than disposables.

But then there's the hassle of washing them. Cold rinse cycle, hot wash with tiny amount of detergent, hot wash with no detergent. Plus longer dry time. It takes too long to wash them. And the frequency of having to wash them for full-time cloth diapering. Yeah...I'm not willing to wash diapers every 2-3 days. I only do 3-4 loads a week on average, and typically all in one day. I'd be more than doubling my laundry time. No thanks.

So after a [ridiculously short] trial, I know cloth diapers are not for me. As much as I'd like to save money by switching to cloth, I'm not willing to deal with the hassle of poopy cloth diapers and the extra laundry. I'd rather buy disposables. I like being able to throw the poop away.

John feels the same way. To be honest, he wasn't really interested in cloth diapers to begin with. He didn't want to deal with the mess, either. But he was open to trying it out, just to see. And we found that it's definitely not for us.

I know 3 diapers isn't much of a trial. It didn't give us a feel for all day everyday. But we got enough of a feel for it to know we don't like it. That's enough for us. At least now we can say we tried it.

To my cloth diapering friends: I commend you. You're stronger than I am. I don't think I can handle it. Kudos to you.

As for me...I'll stick with disposables.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Dresser Project

Finally, the post I've alluded to several times. I know some of you are anxiously waiting to see these pics. And now I finally am ready to post them!

When we found out we were having another baby, we knew we needed to get him a dresser. Poor Hyrum was stuck with one of those cheap plastic drawer units all this time. I wanted to find something that would work for him and the new baby to share.

I browsed around online, checking out Craigslist, the school's bulletin board, freecycle, Amazon - you name it, I checked it. But even the ugliest of ugly dressers at the thrift store cost way more than I wanted to spend. Either I'm way too cheap or dressers cost way too much. Whatever the case may be, it wasn't really working for us.

But then a nice dresser practically landed in our laps - FOR FREE. Now that's my kind of price!

The circumstances around it weren't exactly ideal; we basically inherited it from my grandparents after they passed away. Grandpa passed away last August and Grandma in April, just 3 days before we left on our trip.

The dresser came home with us. It needed a little TLC: minor repairs, cleaning, sanding, and staining. But hey, I can't complain - it was free.

I totally planned on taking a true "before" picture, but the dresser was wrapped up in a blanket in our van until we took it out for cleaning. In my excitement to get started, I forgot to take one until after we cleaned it. So...the earliest pic I have is an after-cleaning pic:
dresser project
It was actually lighter in color before we cleaned it. I read on the cleaner afterwards that it's not supposed to be used on unfinished wood...oops. Too late now!

Then I sanded it the next day, which took off some of the Orange Glo cleaner look:
dresser project
I was able to get off the white paint streak and most of the black sharpie on the top.

Then we took it over to Nathan and Jessica's to stain it. Our apartment complex doesn't allow staining type projects, so we couldn't do it at home. It started to rain just as we were finishing up. We quickly moved it into their shed to dry:
dresser project

I didn't realize it at the time, but the stain we bought didn't come with the clear protective sealant. All the other stains I've used had it mixed in; I didn't even know it was possible to get stain without it. So of course we had to put on the clear protective coat a few days later:
dresser project

Aaaand the finished dresser in it's new home:
dresser project
The skinny top drawer is for socks, the next one down is for newborn clothes, then 0-3 months, followed by Hyrum's shirts in the next and his pants in the bottom drawer. His PJs are in the clear plastic dresser.

Of course, our dresser project encompassed much more than simply fixing up the dresser itself. It involved reorganizing a significant section of the kids' room. Namely, the toy corner. Which meant completely reorganizing the toys. It was desperately needed and was on my to do list long before we got the dresser in the first place.

I mean, check out how awful this is:
dresser project
Embarrassingly horrible, isn't it? I promise it wasn't always that bad...I snapped this pic at the absolute worst. We were in our post-vacation-still-unpacking-and-readjusting-to-being-home mode. And I'm pregnant, which is pretty much my excuse for everything these days.

This is a more accurate portrayal of the "before," but it's still pretty bad:
dresser project

BUT...check out how awesome this is:
dresser project

And with the book boxes (and the cutest little boy ever) added in:
dresser project

See that storage cube unit with the pink drawers? It used to be full of various baby and kid gear: burp cloths, bibs, baby towels, shoes, socks, blankets, extra sheets, etc.

Now? It's toy storage. Cars, balls, dress up, baby doll accessories, little baby toys, electronic toys, large toys, and miscellaneous. The clear plastic bins beside it have blocks, kitchen toys, music, and baby dolls in them. We used to have those bins out as toy boxes and the kids had unlimited access to them. No more. Now they can only have one bin out at a time and they have to put the toys away before they can pull out another. Sooo much better. Less mess = happier mom.

Most of the stuff that used to be in the cube unit is either in storage or in the baskets that used to be on the changing table. The changing table is now in our storage unit as well. I'd love to have it in their room, but we just don't have the space. And honestly, we haven't really used it much in ages anyway and Hyrum kept getting into the baskets. This definitely works better.

I plan to make cute labels for all the toy bins. We also just got a nicer laundry basket for all the stuffed animals. The one pictured is super old and falling apart. The new one is bigger and better supported. I don't have a picture of it yet.

Now that I have a dresser for the boys, I couldn't resist washing all the teeny tiny baby clothes...

dresser project
Hopefully I'll get more than 2 weeks' use out of them this time...

0-3 months:
dresser project
I have more 0-3 clothes that wouldn't fit in the drawer. They're in the clear plastic dresser. I put the cutest ones in the actual dresser of course.

And there you have it! Our dresser project is complete! I just love how it turned out :D

A Little Scrapping

I haven't done much scrapping at all this year, what with pregnancy and taking care of 2 munchkins. Life has been crazy stressful off and on. But I do have a few pages to share :)

First, I made this cute page with geniaBeana's Verdant Splendor:


Then I played with her Dood kit:

silly goof

And finally, today I made a Father's Day card using geniaBeana's He's the Man and one of Cluster Queen Creations templates. They made an awesome template pack together and this is one of the templates from it.

Father's Day 2011

Haha, I totally cheated and sent my dad the same card but with different text. It took me most of the day (while my kids trashed the house), so it balances out.

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dad's out there! Most especially my amazing husband. He really is the best dad ever. He's always so patient and loving and willing to step in and help when I hit breaking point (which has been happening a lot lately...). Happy Father's Day, John! And Happy Father's Day to Dad, too. Tomorrow is also my mom's birthday, so Happy Birthday Mom!

I'm soooo ridiculously behind on scrapping and posting in general. I hope to get caught up someday. I think I'll try to tackle both in small doses. I still have like 2 months of photos to sort through. And I want to get Hyrum's baby book done before the new baby comes...

So many things I want to do and so little time to do them in. *sigh* And I don't exactly use the time I do have as well as I should.

But at least I have something to post :) I hope to post more soon.