Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Grass Allergies?

Does anybody out there have any experience with grass allergies in their little ones?

This rash that Deuce has been battling is not giving in.  The initial problem spots are getting better but new spots are popping up.  Not a lot, but enough to drive me nuts and they are leaving discoloration marks on his legs {they are supposed to go away over time}.  The only conclusion that I can draw after spending lots of time on google, is that he is allergic to grass.  The rash is pretty contained to his legs and even more so, mostly below the knee.  We are still applying the steroid cream twice daily, taking oatmeal baths every night (with a splash of white vinegar, based on advice of a football mom who I later found out her child is allergic to grass), using Aveeno lotion after bath and applying hydrocortisone throughout the day.  The grass allergy idea just kind of hit me this weekend, so I've been putting long socks on him all week, as opposed to his Crocs.  We'll see if that helps.  The football mom said her son used to break out in a bad rash too and over time he built up a tolerance to it and it doesn't really bother him anymore.  They still cover him up for football but that's to keep him from itching at all.

I feel like there is very little information out there about a grass allergy in children under 2 and short of having that very painful allergy testing done, I thought I would use my blog as a resource to see if anyone is familiar with this type of thing.  We haven't been back to the doctor since I came up with this grass thing because I don't think that there is much that can be done if it's proven true.  Much medically, anyway.  They can't really take any over the counter allergy medicine at 16 months so I am going to try things at home first to see if it clears up.  I spoke with the pharmacist as well to see what he recommended and of course he said consult my practitioner.  But once I told him I worked at GSK, and I wasn't asking for a diagnosis, I just wanted his opinion about allergy medicine, he lightened up and gave me some suggestions for things to check for at home.  He said to make sure we change the air filter regularly, change his sheets often, keep his legs covered when he goes outside, and pay attention to everything that goes in his mouth.  He could be putting something in his mouth that doesn't strike me as an issue but it could be causing this reaction.  I hadn't thought of that (other than foods).  We haven't given him any of the danger foods (nuts, fish, etc) so I don't believe it's that.  I am just really drawn to the idea of grass since it's primarily localized to the lower half of his legs.  He doesn't seem to be in any pain or bothered in any way so that's good.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Carwash.

Who doesn't love a trip through the car wash?  I took Deuce on his first ride through the foam wash and he was mesmerized.  We went after church on Sunday and all he could say was "WHOA!!!" 
I believe he got that from his brother.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene & A Few Other Disasters.

I haven't been able to find the energy to blog over the past few days.  I have been overwhelmed with all that has happened in the past week.  To begin, last Tuesday we had a 5.9 earthquake hit in Virginia and the effects were felt down here.  And I totally missed it.  I was on my lunch break, walking around Super Target (which is obviously really super, by the way) and I didn't feel or hear a thing!  I had left my phone in the car because I only carry my wallet (nowadays, I don't carry a purse. I carry a diaper bag with diapers, food, clothes & toys - which stays with the baby during the day) so I missed the phone call from Ed to make sure I was alright.  When I got to the car and called him back, I didn't believe him until I actually saw it on the news in Firehouse Subs.  Everyone back at work said it sounded like someone was dragging desks around the floor above us.  Ed's parents said they thought a helicopter was landing on the house because it was so loud and the house was shaking.  Deuce slept through it.  And Ed said his whole office shook for a good 30 seconds.  I'm slightly annoyed that I missed it...

Not sure if the earthquake is to blame or if it's some sort of payback for something I did or said, but our AC went out at home on Wednesday.  When Ed got home, the needle on the thermostat was beyond 90 degrees, the highest number on the thing!  Holy Cow!  So while he took TJ to football practice, he called the AC guys and told them that I would be there at 7 to let them in.  Except I didn't know I was going to be there at 7 to let them in, so I went to football practice instead.  When I pulled up, I was unloading Deuce when Ed told me that he thought I was going home.  So in my rush to throw Deuce at him and get back in the car to meet the AC people (because it was 7:15 at this point), I left my phone on top of my car.  When I realized it, it flew off and I saw it in my rear view just long enough to see a big Dodge Ram run it over.
I pulled over, got out and picked up all of the pieces.  The only thing I couldn't find was the mini-SD card, which really pissed me off.  That is what holds a years worth of pictures and videos of Deuce. Granted, I have put a lot of them on here and facebook already so they are not totally lost forever, but still.  I had also just made some super cute gifts for TJ's teacher for the first day of school and I had JUST taken pictures of them with my phone for the blog.  Guess you guys won't be seeing those. EVER.  After a trip to the Verizon store and a call to the phone insurance monsters, I still had to pay $99 for a replacement phone.  No phone + No AC = a really mad 5'2.5 person.  After 48 hours of gruelling time with no phone, I finally got the new one on Friday afternoon.  But our AC still wasn't repaired.

Friday night we went to the CHHS football game at East CHHS.  Deuce had not been to a CHHS football game yet and he had a great time running around the track and doing his best to get on the field.  Hurricane Irene brought a shower during the game so we spent most of the 2nd quarter huddled up under the bathroom overhang.
Saturday morning TJ had his first football scrimmage of the year.  He scored a touchdown and had a few big runs and some good tackles on defense.  Deuce just loves being at the field.  He was so tired after being at the football field from 9am until 1pm and then eating a big lunch, that he slept for over 3 hours on Saturday!  I mean good, drooling all over our bed type sleep.
While TJ was playing football Hurricane Irene was pounding the east coast.  My parents have a house in Beaufort, NC, which is on the IC waterway in an area called Merrimon (the red arrow).  Several of our family members have houses on Atlantic Beach as well (the green arrow).
Mom & Bob went down to the house yesterday to do some damage assessment.  These were the pictures they sent me.  There was no major damage to the house.  It appears to be mostly water damage and not wind related, as the roof and shingles were in good shape.  The poor dock... all that's left is the frame.  I believe mom said the boat lift is leaning also.
 The outdoor shower was also torn apart along with some of the siding on the lower level of the house.
The pump house was messed up too.
There is a shed way out in front of the house, several hundred feet away from the waterfront and it was hit with a tree and is now lopsided.  This houses the bikes, the lawnmower and other tool stuff.  It was raised up and the bottom of the shed/door was level with those cinder block stairs.
There are some other things missing from underneath the house, most importantly the infamous Margaritaville bar that my mom hand painted, but I think they were okay with the damage that was done.  I don't know if that's the right way to say it, because how can you ever be okay with any damage done to your house, but for a hurricane, it has been worse.  Bob did go down on Friday with the box trailer just in time and loaded up the kayaks and other stuff that would have gone missing.

Seriously, who has an earthquake and hurricane in the same week?

Well, we still have no AC in the house as of this morning but I am praying that it will be fixed by the time we get home.  After the AC guy was given the wrong part on Friday afternoon, he couldn't get back to the store until they opened today.  Poor guy felt so bad.  Oh, and did I mention that I had to spend $350+ on my car Saturday for a break job including rotors, alignment and whatever else they did. Geesh!

So in all of this chaos and disaster that has happened over the past week, there is one glimmer of happiness taking effect today...
I am now a permanent GSK employee!  YEA!!!!!!!  Today is my first official day as a regular, non-contractor, benefits & bonus earning, 4 weeks vacation employee! This has been a very long process {I applied for this job back in April!} but now that it's official, I can officially tell you!  And do you want to know the good part???  I am only working part time! I was able to negotiate my salary to comfortably close to what I was making as a full time contractor plus benefits, vacation & bonus!  FO' REAL!  So I will be working 24 hours a week, M,T,W leaving me TH & F to hang with my baby boy & work on my craft & decorating projects.  Hopefully, a full time position will open up and I will slide in to that, but the important thing is, is that I am a permanent employee of a great company!  Here are my new digs.  Since I am part time, I am job sharing with another part-timer so we share an office.
Hopefully this week will be much better than the last.  It has to be with the first Carolina football game on Saturday...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Family History Lesson. The Elkins.

A few weeks ago was the Elkins family reunion in Greensboro. Prior to the reunion, my cousin Autumn had the genius idea to bring her scanner so that anyone who has old pictures of the family could scan them in to Autumn's computer where they could be stored electronically, without giving up the actual copies. Since most of the family is on facebook, Autumn created an Elkins Family page where all of these pictures could be stored. At least until a central location is determined that would ultimately give everyone access, even those without a facebook. So I thought I would share a little bit about 1/4 of my family with you. {These pictures are for sure out of order but I have no idea of the dates so sorry for jumping around.}

This is my maternal grandmother's side of the family. Her name was Rachel Lugenia Elkins and she was one of 10 children (8 girls and 2 boys). There were actually 12 but 2 died at a very young age. Here is my great-grandparents with their 10 children. My grandmother is sitting on the left side of the sofa with the bow on her dress.
This is my grandmother on the left with her sister Ree on the right.  My grandfather is behind my grandmother and Ree's husband Sam is behind her.  I am not sure if they were all married at the time of this picture or not.  I think that my sister looks a lot like my grandmother in this picture.
I find it humorous that I was named after my grandmother and Ed has always called me Ree (my initials before I was married), just like my grandmother's sister. Ed's entire family calls me Ree. My grandfather was in the Army Air Corps. According to my mom, the Army and the Air Force were combined during WWII.  They became separate divisions around 1948.  Grandaddy was a pilot instructor in Dodge City, Kansas, which is where my mom's older brother was born in 1944.
Here are portraits of my grandfather and grandmother: Carl Edison & Rachel Elkins Wallace
My grandparents with my uncle and my mom, who are almost 10 years apart.
This is another picture of my great grandmother with her 10 children. This picture is how I remember all 10 of them.  This is closer to how they looked when I was born, although I wasn't born during this picture.  I never met my great grandparents.  My grandmother is in the front left with the super cute yellow print dress on.
This is at my christening in Hampton, VA in THIS church.  My grandaddy officiated at my baptism and used water that he had brought back from Jerusalem, I believe... I'll have to ask my mom and correct myself if necessary on that one.  In this picture is my grandparents and my aunt, uncle and 3 cousins.  We are all roughly 2 years apart.
This shot is from a family reunion back in 1984.  Can you spot me??
YES!  That's me...the little boy in the front with the bowl haircut!  I still give my mom grief about that one.  Check out my cute sister with her chunky cheeks like Deuce sitting with my mom behind me.  I'm sure people thought my parents had a boy and a girl...
This is a picture of my grandparents in their last house, which just so happens to be right down the street from where Ed and I currently live.  When I think of the few memories I have of my grandparents, this is how I picture them.  That couch still sits in my mothers house and has been recovered on multiple occasions.  Below is a picture of a reunion we had in 2007 at my parents beach house.  The group was not as large at this event but it was still fun and a beautiful day.
And here are some pictures from the 2011 reunion.  Out of the 10 children in my grandmother's family, there is only 1 left.  Aunt Jerry, who is 89.  She & Deuce both learned how to fist bump at the reunion.
Nana just loooooves showing off her grand baby to all of her cousins.  My uncle Wally had his first grandchild about 6 weeks before Deuce was born so they became grandparents at the same time. My Aunt Diana said that she thought Uncle Wally was going to lick Kate, he was so in love with her and my mom said well she would eat hers...
We took pictures of each individual family.  Grandpa Bob had shoulder surgery a few days before so he wasn't able to come.
And then the big group shot.  I still can't believe we were able to get everyone in it and actually looking at the camera, for the most part.
We missed those that were not there (like a good chunk of people couldn't make it - there are so many people when you come from a family of 10!) but we had a great time catching up.  I loved every second of Deuce meeting and hanging out with his new cousins!  He was worn out from playing so hard.  I hope to pass on these pictures to my children who will then continue the tradition.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Just a Normal Weekend...

...where we spent very little time at home. Friday night we went out to eat at Chili's.  I think I have decided that we will be eating a lot more take out over the next few months. Eating out becomes quite challenging when your toddler likes to throw everything that he can get his hands on from his sippy cup, to his spoon to his crayons (which go really far) and even his mashed potatoes that he threw so they stuck to the restaurant window. And when they figure out how to get out of their highchair or scream really loud because they know you will get them out, the enjoyable dinner becomes all too stressful. My mom has always said, "I'm not sure why it's called terrible two's because it starts long before they turn 2." She is so right. My child is soon going to think his name is "NO!" because I feel like that's all I say to him. I always try to praise him when he does right and even after I tell him NO - and he puts down the golf club he's holding over his head, preparing to whack me with - I still try to say "thank you" and smile or "good job" or something like that. But seriously, challenging right now!
Saturday, after Zumba for me and a workout at the Y for the boys, we went to Lake Macintosh in Burlington where the Elon MBA program was hosting their annual Pig Pickin'. I have had very little time to be as involved with the MBA program as I was pre-baby so I wanted to take Deuce out to see some of my old classmates and professors. It was a beautiful day and the turn out was great. There was lots of good food and a beautiful setting. I only took 1 picture the whole time and that was Deuce playing in the leaves on the playground. He was too little last year so I guess it was his first experience playing with them. He kept picking them up and throwing them over his head! He had a ball!
Then we went down the road further to Durham and had dinner over at Harrison's house. We cooked out burgers and hot dogs {actually Davis did the grilling} and there were 7 kiddos running around their house.  Deuce ate a hot dog and his favorite, tater tots. He also got to play with Harrison's dog Felton, whom he absolutely loves!  Val & Davis were so gracious to have us over!
photo courtesy of Val & Davis
Yesterday we got up and went to church and then went to the Y again so I could Zumba and the boys could play basketball. Needless to say, we were exhausted last night and even more so this morning!
And my sweet little Civic hit a milestone last week....and it only took 3 years, which means I still have 3 more years of payments.  YuCk!
PS... Deuce is 16 months old today!  Already???

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sleep Baby, Sleep.

I love me some sleep.  Just ask my husband.  I can go to bed at 9:30pm and still be laying around at 9:30 the next morning.  If you wake me while I am sleeping, it's not pretty.  Honey usually gets in the bed after I do and he has learned not to wake me, on purpose or even accidentally.  I make awful faces and mean noises.  Even though I have become a much lighter sleeper since having Deuce, I still love to get my sleep.  There is something about sleep that brings the calm, the resting, the snuggling and in my case, the dreams.  {I dream a lot!}  It seems as though someone else in our family was born with the sleep gene...and because of that, I am able to snap lots and lots of pictures of the calm, the resting and the peaceful... enjoy it now little man, because once you get older, you'll never sleep this good again.
{again, trying to get out of his carseat...}
{the only time I can cut his nails is when he is asleep.}

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