Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Stokes allergy update

Stokes had a routine follow-up appointment at the Allergist back in October. I was really, really, really hopeful that we would discover that he had outgrown his egg allergy...and his peanut allergy, too, but I'm not trying to be greedy! They redid the prick test on his back with his allergens. The results??? See for yourself.

P= peanut, E = egg, H = histamine and S = saline (the control). So ideally you want all of the allergens, in Stokes's case, eggs and peanuts, to look like the saline prick, i.e. nothing. The histamine prick will definitely get a reaction, by design, so it's a way to compare what reactions the allergens create. As you can see, unfortunately, he has not outgrown either allergy.

Poor guy - this test is really itchy and you can't scratch or touch the back. It was driving Stokes crazy. iPhone to the rescue!

When we spoke with the allergist, she explained that there is a blood test that we could do to determine whether we could potentially allow him to try eggs in baked good. Basically, if the lab results came back a certain way, we could bring him back into her office, give him something that contained eggs there in the office, and then see if he had a reaction. We were eager to get going on that option.

We left the allergist and immediately went to the lab to get the blood drawn. One word to describe the blood draw - traumatic. Stokes figured out quickly what he was there for and screamed bloody murder (pun intended) before he had even gotten stuck. He was crying and sweating and it was just awful. I was so glad once it was done. I felt so bad for him.

Once we left, I told him I'd take him out to lunch and let him pick the place. He chose Wendy's. There's one right near their school and he and William were noticing it and asking me about it. Well I took that booger to the Wendy's and he ate every single bite of his kid's meal. That's saying a lot because he really doesn't eat much usually. He had such a great time at Wendy's and it didn't take him long to forget about the lab.

I got the results from the blood draw about a week later. I was so ready to hear those words about him eating stuff with baked eggs (cookies, cakes, etc.) but alas, his blood work was not agreeable. His allergist told me we'd wait another year and try again and see what it came back with.

*Side note: this is very unfortunate, but he does end up getting products with eggs every so often, or maybe eating something that is manufactured in a facility that processes eggs/peanuts. Oops. It's rare, but it has happened. I'm so thankful that we haven't seen major reactions. I typically give him a dose of Benadryl if we realize that has happened, just to be on the safe side, but he's done just fine. Because of this, I really thought it would be time to incorporate some (baked) egg products into his diet, but it's not meant to be right now. I will keep hoping and praying that we'll get different results next time!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

BBQ, a Birthday, bees (and apples)

As I alluded in the Family Gameday post, we had plans to visit Ashley and the family the weekend following the Clemson homecoming game. Tennessee had a home game against the Gamecocks and it was Granddad's birthday weekend. Ashley invited the family over to her house for a birthday celebration and to watch the UT game. Everyone was instructed to wear orange (no problem here!) and it made for a fun color-coordinated party in honor of Granddad, the handsome patriarch of the Peery family.

A little background here - Thomas was up in NY for a work meeting that week and it just so happened that Clemson was playing Syracuse on that Friday night.  Don't get me started on having to play on a Friday night. This is COLLEGE, for heaven's sake. Anyways....on the positive side, this was good for two reasons: 1) we wouldn't have to miss the Clemson game during Granddad's party on Saturday, and 2) Thomas was in the Syracuse area and got to go to the game and his travel was paid for. MaSha agreed to ride with me to Knoxville so that I wouldn't be by myself with all 3 crazies. We got a little bit later start than what we would have preferred, but Ryan had a horse therapy lesson on Friday afternoon that I didn't want to skip, so we left straight from there and drove to Knoxville. We hit a bunch of traffic near Asheville and it took way longer than it should have. I was so tired and it was dark and I'm not that familiar with the way since I've never driven there (and am usually sleeping while Thomas drives) so I was really glad to have her there in the car keeping me company and helping to keep the boys happy.

So Friday night wasn't all that great, because of the traffic situation in Asheville and I wasn't able to keep up with my Clemson football update texts due to driving, but my beloved Tigers lost in Syracuse. The #2 team vs an unranked team - quite the upset. So Thomas wasn't too happy either. He said he pretty much booked it out of that stadium when it was apparent that the game wasn't going to get any better. I can say, now that the regular season is over, that it was our only loss this year and it stung. Bad. But, Thomas flew in to Knoxville on Saturday morning, and it was a beautiful day and I was still in denial about what happened on Friday night, and we enjoyed the day big time!

Ashley's house is perfect for entertaining. Not only is it beautiful and decorated so well, but they have this amazing back screened in porch with a tv and comfy, beautiful furnishings and it's just awesome. We had BBQ for lunch and the boys got lots of loving from all the family and we watched football - nothing better!

Ryan getting some attention from Jerry and Mag

Granddad opening gifts and surrounded by
great grandchildren

One of my favorite gifts of the day! Granddad got a new sport coat from Zack's dad, Thompson.
Dapper young man looking very handsome!

Check out the inside! Lined with UT fabric!!!
Group pic

So this was a BIG hit! They love that Uncle Zack has a tractor!!!!

The next day, we had to come back through the mountains to get home and since it was October, aka apple time, we stopped by SkyTop Apple Orchard!

We walked around (most of the apple picking was already over), the boys played in the kids area/playground, we got apple donuts, stretched our legs and got some fresh air. The downside though was that the bees were out in force and people were getting stung left and right. We bought some fresh apple cider, but it was hard to drink because the bees were swarming it. The boys got a few tastes, but we ended up having to throw it out and get back in the car because we were on borrowed time until someone got stung!!

Stokes loved the wagon and kept wanting to pull it, which proved to be difficult at times and on certain terrain.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Family Gameday!

Wow, this post is old. Again, I'm trying to go in chronological order, and I'm back in mid-October for the blog, when it's actually mid-December (in real life) and all I can think about is Christmas and the holidays. Onward!

Our first Family Of Five Gameday Experience happened! October 7, 2017

Don't we look great?!?! Read below!

We didn't have a babysitter MaSha (our "go to" sitter!) to watch Ryan for us on Clemson's homecoming football game this year, so we got crazy and took him with us with only 4 tickets to the game. You see, you can take small toddlers in with you without a ticket if you carry them in and they sit in your lap. Sitting in the lap is no big deal. Even if he had a ticket and a seat, he'd still be in the lap. The tough(er) part is carrying him in since he's getting big and doesn't reaaaallllyyyyy look like a two year old anymore. But we didn't want to skip the game, and decided to take a chance that they wouldn't question us.

So let's start at the beginning. This was back during Stokes and William's soccer "season" (hee hee) so they had a game at 8:30 AM. The football game was scheduled for a noon kickoff. And a little tangent here - NOON KICKOFFS ARE HARD. Traffic is crazy, the morning seems really crammed, you have to get up early on a Saturday (yuck) - it's just hard. So anyways, we knew we'd had to go straight to Clemson from the soccer game, so there was a lot of pre-planning and car packing going on ahead of time and early risers (well, me) to get everything ready to go before soccer started . We went to soccer, had fun, got the boys dressed for game day and out of soccer uniform in the car, and then took off to Clemson.

Post soccer game team huddle
Cute team! We loved our team, the Frogs!
On our way to see the Tiger play!

We had snacks in the car on the way and luckily (or unluckily??) hit some traffic, which afforded us time to eat said snacks (I have to feed Ryan so I could feed him more easily when we're not moving) before the mad dash to the stadium. Traffic was brutal and we did not get parked until close to 11. We park FAR, and I repeat, FAR from the stadium so I knew it would be a struggle to maneuver through the crowds and get to the game in time to see all the festivities, hear the band and watch the Running Down The Hill. However, I could not be dismayed and was GOING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. We had a double stroller with us for Ryan and 1 brother and then between Thomas and me, we switched off carrying the 3rd and the other adult pushing the stroller. Ummm...we were sweating. It was hot. It was a struggle.

Let's go!

Lots of people trying to get in before the game

Guess what! We made it there in time. We seriously booked it the whole way across the entire campus lugging around three 4 year olds with us and all the gear in clear bags (insert eye roll). Our clear bags (you know the clear bag policy, right?!?!) had diapers, wipes, Pull-ups, extra underwear, Ryan's cup, our tickets, our wallets, our sunscreen, hand sanitizer, etc, etc, I could go on. So when we got to the stadium, we carried Ryan in, checked our stroller at the gate (thank you, Clemson, for the stroller check!), made it up the incline to the upper deck, fought off a lot of whining for Skittles and popcorn concessions, walked up another bazillion stairs to our seats and.....exhaled. We were seriously exhausted and it wasn't even 12 noon yet.

See Thomas's hair? It was so hot and we were
so sweaty!

RyRy and mama

Also, once we got to our seats, I realized that I didn't change Ryan's diaper at the van before we left our parking spot, as I was planning to do. I was in such a rush to get going that I totally forgot. UGH. You know what that means? Wet shorts. Soaked through. At that point, I didn't even care. I just sat there with the wet shorts on my lap for like 10 minutes so I could catch my breath. Ryan didn't care either. We were just living the dream. So when my heart rate got back to normal, I trekked back down the bazillion stairs with Ryan and clear bag in tow, to try to find a family restroom to change him. As luck would have it, there AREN'T ANY family restrooms on the upper deck. Not kidding. I was walking around peeking into the restrooms, looking for a Koala changing station and nothing. I didn't even know what to think. Except that I wanted to throw the towel in and go take a nap somewhere. Also, Ryan is around 32 lbs so my arms were already hurting, just after holding him on the bazillion stairs. So I found an employee and asked about the family restroom and he took pity on my sweaty mess self and kindly escorted me to the suite level, via my request of an elevator (praise the Lord). He even told me I could help myself to some popcorn and cookies free of charge before I went back to my seats. The suite life is just that - sweet. It's just a liiiiiiiittle bit better than the upper deck. That's all. So Ryan's diaper was changed, no change of shorts though because I didn't have extras in the clear bag (sorry, RyRy),  I grabbed a few cookies in a napkin, stuffed them into the clear bag and went back up the elevator and a bazillion stairs and got to sit back down again. Stokes and William were already whining for snacks and potty breaks, but I let Thomas deal with that for a few minutes. I think he picked up some hot dogs, and snacks and some waters for us to share so there were a few more trips up and down the bazillion stairs, within the first 20 minutes of us being there. So, I just have to laugh when I see this picture below. Apart from Stokes looking miserable and Ryan flushed and sleepy (it was so hot and he was napping) and probably not happy with his wet shorts, we actually look kind of like we have it together. But after that story, you probably realize what a mess we actually were are! LOL #memories

Handsome boy at the game

The morning wore him out, too!
He had a nice little nap on Dada's shoulder.

These two took their shirts off and just wore undershirts because
we were feeling the heat!

Stokes selfie

William selfie

So we did enjoy the game for a little while. We made it through the first half. I did mention that it was homecoming, which means that all the fraternities and sororities had floats decorated on Bowman. I totally wanted the boys to experience that and see them. We had no chance of seeing them before the game, with our mad dash across campus, so we decided that one half of football was enough for us to see and we peaced out in favor of checking out the floats, and leisurely strolling back to our car to make our way home.

We stopped by Carole's tailgate spot in Lot 2 first to see our Tribe!

Tribe love

The boys love playing football with Rick

Then started the trek towards Bowman. One thing I haven't mentioned yet is that Ashley and her family were in Clemson for the game, too. She was there to hang out with her college friends, so we knew we probably wouldn't see her, and we had plans to see them all the following weekend, so we wanted to make sure that we didn't intrude on her time with her friends. soon as we got to Bowman field, who in the world did we run smack dab into?!?!!

No way!!!!

It was so crazy and amazing! Even though they had already walked around and looked at the floats, they did another round with us. The boys just love their cousins so much. It's awesome.

The floats looked great, as always, and they made some fun backdrops for pictures for me! There were lots of National Champions references on the floats. Yay!

Clemson cousins

The boys with Taylor and Anna

Ryan, my champion

Love this crew

Ashley held Ryan and gave our arms a break

We LOVED seeing our family right there in Clemson. The timing could not have been better. Once we said our goodbyes, we went back to our car and turned on the radio so we could hear the play by play on our drive home. The car ride was very peaceful and looked a little like this...

Sleepy boys

A prayer for next season - please let me think long and hard before taking all these boys to a game next season unless we have a handicapped ticket and Ryan's wheelchair. Amen.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Mini pizza party!

We've been reading a Curious George book about a pizza party before bed at night. George, of course, gets into trouble at the party and makes a big mess. It's a cute book and the boys have been enjoying it.

Reading the book inspired me to do our own little pizza party a while back! We got all the ingredients and let the boys make their own pizzas!

The finished product:

Boys approved :)