Friday, July 30, 2010

To the beach!

As mentioned in my previous post, we've had a busy and fun summer.  Or at least the past 2+ weeks have been busy.  We've been taking advantage of the fact that, a) we're not that far from the ocean, and b) we know people on the Cape.  So two weeks ago, we ventured down to Eastham (which for those of you who aren't from MA is at the "elbow" of Cape Cod) for the weekend to visit Rick's Aunt Sue, who had their vacation house to herself for a week.  Rick's mom came down as well.  In 2 days, we hit the beach 3 times!  Whee!  Dashiell liked walking out on the sand, collecting rocks (aka "eggs"), and eating grapes in the sun!  At one point we went during high tide and while he loved getting smacked by the waves, he liked it even better when I carried him and dipped him into the water!

After two days of fun in the sun and a missed nap, our kiddo was pretty beat!

A few days later when Rick and I both had the day off, we drove up to Gloucester for the morning to visit  Wingaershiek beach.  There were big rocks to climb on and he desperately wanted to go into the "cave" rock formation he found, but it was just a bit too small and I wasn't comfortable letting him in it when I couldn't go after him.  I know, I'm no fun.  But D had a good time anyway!

This past weekend we headed back to the Cape (Harwich, for those keeping track) to visit Rick's former co-worker and his wife.  Their home was amazing, and Dashiell was smitten with them.  I think I mentioned the allergy problem with their dogs in the last post, which was the only down side to the trip.  And once again we went to the beach!  Saturday afternoon before it rained, and Sunday morning before we had to head back home.  Dash mostly collected "eggs" the whole time, which kept him happy and busy.  I thought I took more beach photos, but they seem to be in our actual camera, not on my phone.  So here's Dash playing his favorite game in the morning before we had breakfast, "Where's Dashiell?":

And here he is on the drive home:

That was the best nap he's taken in a car in probably a year!  Normally he only naps for about 30 minutes when we're driving regardless of how tired he is, but this particular drive netted him a solid one-and-a-half hours!  Woohoo!

We have more fun planned for this weekend, and hopefully I'll remember to take more pictures.  I hope everyone is having as fun of a summer as we're having!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More allergy woes

So after processing all this allergy info for the past few days, I realized that the peanut allergy is not the one that's going to be a problem.  It's milk, especially in combination with soy.  We had a small incident this weekend that made me realize that we should probably pay more attention to this milk allergy.  We were staying at a house with dogs, which apparently Dash is also allergic to, and were keeping the allergy pretty well controlled with Zyrtec.  The second day we were there we gave D a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, and shortly after his eyes started getting itchy and watery and his nose was running, then he threw up his sandwich.  After that he was fine!  It seems to me that throwing up was his body's way of getting rid of this allergen, which normally wouldn't bother him but in a situation where his immune system was already compromised from dealing with dog dander it was just a bit too much for him to handle!  I talked to Dr. Dave about it and he agreed, saying that it's probably a good idea to eliminate dairy from his diet for a while.  Currently we're "limiting" dairy until we can figure out a menu for D.  Dashiell LOVES milk and cheese.  He drinks about 24 oz of milk a day!  How do we keep him hydrated?  He does drink water but usually only about 8 oz a day.  I assume he'll start to drink more, but only drinking water seems awfully boring.  And cheese?  What is a life without cheese??  Hardly worth living!  Okay I'm over-reacting but still, I feel bad for my dairy-junkie son, having to go through cheese withdrawal.  What's really throwing me for a loop is the fact that we can't replace his dairy addiction with soy products.  Most of the fake cheese recipes call for soy as a substitute.  We can't give him soy milk to drink instead of milk.  I'm just glad he doesn't care much for ice cream--Rice Dream just isn't the same as Ben and Jerry's.

Rick thinks I'm being overly cautious, and that Dr. Dave was just telling me what I wanted to hear when he said to eliminate dairy.  That D's been fine with dairy so far, and the allergy is slight.  He probably threw up the grilled cheese because he was overtired and upset.  I'm not buying it.  As someone with asthma, I can tell you that every time I get a cold, I get short of breath the day before.  My asthma is normally very well controlled, but when my immune system starts to get stressed, I have a small attack.  It's the same thing with allergies!  You might be fine with the little allergies you have until you get hit with too many at once and your immune system starts fighting them all fiercely.  Has anyone ever had an anaphylactic response to dairy?  I don't know, but I also don't want to find out.  My plan is to at the very least try to eliminate the easy dairy products--milk, cheese, yogurt, etc, until we can meet with the allergist.  The stuff that's processed in food I'm not going to worry too much about yet, unless milk is one of the first ingredients.  I made an appointment with a different allergist who could get us in sooner--in 2 weeks instead of 3 months--so we should have more answers and information soon.  I already have a huge list of questions, and I'm sure that list will grow!

I never thought that a peanut allergy would actually be one of the easier allergies to deal with!

Despite all these allergy woes we've actually had a pretty fun couple of weeks.  I'll update on fun stuff later, complete with pictures.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sneezy, itchy, and blotchy

Well, it's been confirmed.  Dash is allergic to all sorts of stuff.  About a week ago he had an allergic reaction to his lunch--itchy skin, watery, puffy eyes, runny nose, and redness around his mouth. I quickly gave him some Zyrtec and called his pedi to see what I should do. He did not have any breathing problems, and the allergy symptoms went away about 10 minutes later, so we did not need to go to the ER. However, we did go into the pedi's office that afternoon for an allergy test. Dashiell had to lie down on the exam table, I laid with him to keep him still, one nurse held his arm straight and another drew 6 vials of blood. 6!! Dash's eyes welled up with tears and to distract him we had him sing the ABC song--the saddest version ever! But it worked, and he didn't squirm or scream, and I definitely cried more than he did (some strong mommy I am!).

A couple of days ago Dr. Dave called to let us know a few of the results--we found out he's allergic to chick peas (he had hummus for lunch the day of his allergic reaction), plus environmental allergies such as dust, dust mites, and a number of trees. At that time we were still waiting on the list of common food allergies.

Yesterday I got another call from Dr. Dave with the bad news--not only does he have the above-mentioned allergies, but he is also allergic to walnuts, shrimp, milk, soy, and PEANUTS. NO!! And the level of allergen antibodies in his blood was pretty high, meaning he's an all-around allergic kid.

Most of the allergen level were low--anything over .3 is considered an allergy, and mostly everything was in the .4 - 1.7 range, except for the peanuts, which were a whopping 12.1. Dr. Dave didn't use the words "severe", and we've definitely exposed Dash to peanuts before--he hasn't knowingly eaten any, but we eat peanut butter around him all the time--so my thought is that 12.1 must be a moderate allergy, otherwise we'd have taken a trip to the ER for this by now.  But we need to stop eating peanut butter around him, because we'd hate ourselves if he ever did have a reaction because of something we could easily avoid.

The milk allergy was one of the lowest at .71, and we were told he'd probably grow out of it in the next year and we could continue to give him milk if we choose (his mild eczema is most likely caused by this milk allergy). Which is good since that and water are the only things he'll drink! Plus he's allergic to soy too, so that limits our options on alternatives.  I'm considering switching him to rice milk to limit his exposure, but it's so much more expensive and I'm not sure if he'd get enough calcium.  I don't know if cheese is included in the milk allergy, but I sincerely hope not since our kiddo lives on cheese.

Dr. Dave also mentioned that there is a good chance that he could grow out of most of these allergies, though probably not the peanut and walnut allergies. 

We've made an appointment with an allergist, but of course can't get in until October. Until then, we just have to be careful, pay attention to ingredients lists, and carry an EpiPen with us wherever we go.  And start the master list of questions to ask, since we already have many. This isn't the end of the world, but it will be a big adjustment.  And as Rick pointed out, our guy is so perfect in every other way, he was bound to have a flaw sooner or later!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quick note about the new header and sidebar pictures!

We were a bit late getting D's 2-year-old photos done, then took even longer to decide which ones to get, but finally we have photos!  Once again we got them done at my good friend Meghan Moore's studio (, and she did a fantastic job!  Finally I have a new photo for the header!  And an updated sidebar photo!

Seriously, there were about 40 pictures that I really liked, and it was so difficult to narrow it down to just a couple.  But I feel like these two really capture Dashiell's personality.  And I know they're not your traditional posed photos, but when have traditional posed photos ever honed in on what a 2-year-old is really like?

Thanks Meghan, for taking such great photos!  Anyone who wants to see the whole folder of pictures we had to choose from should email me and I'll send you the link.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Logic of Two-year-olds

Like many kids his age, Dashiell has a thing against eating "crusts", whether these crusts are of the bread variety or the apple peel variety (or peach, or get the picture).  Usually when I give him apples I just cut up some slices and leave the skin on, in the hope that some of it will find its way into his mouth and he'll realize that it's not so bad.  But one day I decided to be a nice mommy and peel the apple for him so he wouldn't have to eat just the middle part, and he'd be able to enjoy more of its appley goodness.  Turns out that an apple slice just isn't an apple slice if it doesn't have the peel on it!  He got all upset that his apple slices were nude.  Thankfully I'd only given him part of the apple, and the rest of it was yet to be peeled! And you can see the fun he's having eating his apple slice with the peel in place!

Note how much apple is wasted.  Sigh.  For now we'll live with this, and take it as a good thing that he's at least eating something other than grilled cheese.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Papa Jack's birthday

Last Friday when I picked Dashiell up from his Nana and Grandpa's house, Nina and Papa Jack (Dash's great-grandparents) were there, too, hanging out with our guy in the back yard.  Earlier in the week it was Papa Jack's birthday, so after a yummy pizza dinner we all shared a small cake to celebrate!  Dashiell sat with Papa Jack while we all sang happy birthday, and helped him blow out the candles, too. 

He also tested the frosting for us, just to make sure it was okay.  Very thoughtful of him.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I think it's so special that Dashiell has such a close relationship with his great-grandparents.  How many of us can say claim the same kind of relationship with our own great-grandparents?  I didn't know mine at all!  Dashiell is one lucky kid--he gets to see his usually at least once a week, if not more.  And it's obvious how much he loves them and loves spending time with them--his face lights up when they're around, and he loves giving them hugs and kisses.  I am so thankful for Nina and Papa Jack and the joy they bring to everyone, especially my little guy!

Happy Belated Birthday Papa Jack!  

Who the heck is this kid?


That's how I feel looking at this picture.  Where's Dashiell?  When did he get replaced by this kid, who is obviously much older than my little guy!  I doesn't help that he just had his hair cut short, and he's doing a "cheese" smile for me (without me asking him to!), which isn't his normal smile--though cute nonetheless.

Time is passing too quickly.  Everyone warns you about that, but when you're in the midst of trying to raise your child you don't see it day-to-day, it just creeps up on you and suddenly you're looking at a picture of your little guy wondering how he got to be so big!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Who's the best boy in the world?

Nana Hanson has been singing this song to Dashiell since he was a wee baby, and lately he's been singing it back!  The words, in case you can't understand them, are "Who's the best boy in the world?  His name is Dashiell Weber Hanson!  Woo!"  But listen closely to the "Hanson"...yup, he slips in "handsome" instead!  Can you tell we dote on him just a bit? ;-)  It probably didn't help that he just got his hair cut yesterday and we were telling him how handsome he looked for 24 hours straight...

On a separate note, Dashiell's friend Evan is back at the gym again.  He hadn't been there for a couple of weeks since his mommy twisted her ankle, but Dashiell finally got to see him again on Wednesday!  When I picked D up from the gym daycare that evening Dash and Evan were sitting shoulder to shoulder at the snack table again, and according to the babysitter they had been that way for about 15 minutes, eating their respective snacks.  Every so often they'd look at one another and say "Hi Dashiell!"  "Hi Evan!".  I so wish I could have seen that!  When we left Evan gave Dashiell a big hug and they both had huge grins on their faces!  I'm so glad Evan is back--it gives me more motivation to hit the gym, knowing that Dashiell's going to have a fun time, too!  At some point I should probably figure out who Evan's mom is and introduce myself--maybe we could schedule an actual play date!