Friday, July 25, 2008

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Allergist Update

I took D'arcy to the allergist today. I was really pleased with the doctor. He was very personable and interacted with the kids wonderfully. They tested D'arcy for 36 common allergens, and discovered....that she is allergic to a lot of things. Most of her allergies are slight. The highest ones are live oak (a tree common in texas), elm, dog dander, strawberries, and pecans. None of these alone caused her to have this continual bout of hives, but the constant presence of allergens have caused (according to the doctor) both the severity of her eczema and this rash of hives, pun intended.
SOOOOO...he is suggesting that she be placed on an anti-histamine long-term. Something like Zyrtec. She will need to take the medication once a day before bedtime. I'm fairly pleased at the answer. It's nothing serious, just annoying, and can be easily maintained without much change in routine or diet. The doctor did not recommend getting rid of Begbie who the kids have found a whole new level of love for in the last couple of months (A blog I intend on writing soon). Basically, he just suggested that we treat the symptoms and try to locate which allergens are the most severe and limit those.
Stephen, on the other hand, is pretty bummed about this diagnosis. He isn't particularly pleased with the idea of D'arcy being on medicine all the time, and he doesn't want to perpetuate the idea that she is allergic to everything. He experiences allergies on occasion, too. I've seen his lip swell up and seen his body break out in hives, and, let me tell you, I've never seen him more annoyed or stressed than when this happens to him. So I can imagine that part of his reaction to this diagnosis stems from his own experiences.
So as parents, we are learning loads of things from our firstborn. She is now not only our first social experiment but also our health experiment. So there's the update, and now we are leaving for our weekly trip to SeaWorld.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Why is it that our kids get sick when we are about to leave for vacation? Last November, D'arcy was in the hospital the weekend before our Tennessee vacation with the croup which she inevitably passed on to Julian who got sick on vacation. This year, we were scheduled to leave for our Indiana/Rhode Island trip on Thursday. The Saturday before we left, D'arcy started having hives all over her body. Nothing serious, just persistent.
Long story short, after a week and a half of hives everyday, we took the advise of the Humana nurse and ended up in the ER on our vacation. They pretty much told us to continue giving her benadryl and see our pediatrician when we returned.
Now, almost five weeks later, bouts of hives are still showing up on her body every day, some days worse than others. There doesn't seem to be a lot of rhyme and reason to them, except that they are usually worse around mid-morning and right before bed. They also flair up if she gets excited, angry, or really hot, and show up in areas of pressure like around her waistband. She doesn't scratch them much, and they don't last long (maybe a half hour).
As a mom, I'm learning how much I don't have control over (aka how much I have to rely on God to keep my children healthy). I'm also discovering how distinctly different D'arcy's skin is than mine. I guess I should have been clued in when she was born looking almost albino. She has persistent eczema, and now persistent hives. I really want to learn how to care for her skin better.
I've read a lot about hives over the last couple of days, and I've discovered that our next step is to go to an allergist. Eighty percent of the time, the allergist won't be able to pinpoint what is causing the outbreaks. can be in prayer that 1) These bouts go away on their own 2) That the allergist can find a cause 3) The cause is something easily removed from her environment/diet etc. Very occasionally, chronic hives can be a sign of a thyroid disorder or cancer. This is rare, but my hope is that her hives have nothing to do with either of these.
D'arcy is learning about faith through this, though. We have prayed for her at home and have taken her up after church to have her prayed for. I've been asking her before we pray if she has faith that God can heal her. And she says yes. She's been using that faith for other things too (see Fear Conquered by Faith post).

Fear Conquered by Faith

Leave our neighborhood, turn a corner, go up a hill, and there is Sea World. Because of its close proximity, we have bought season passes for the last two years. D'arcy loves SeaWorld, but there is one attraction that she has always feared. In Shamu's Happy Harbor (a little area just for kids), there is a huge two-story rope net that leads you to a fun slide and tubes that hang above the whole area and lead to a pirate ship. Both the net and the tubes are made of interwoven fabric which means you can see the ground through the holes.
D'arcy decides to try the net pretty much every time we go, but about half way up, she freaks out and wants us to come help her down. She doesn't mind climbing to high places, but she doesn't like climbing on something you can see through especially when the ground is so far away.
Today, D'arcy asked again to climb the net. I was expecting the same scared reaction, but D'arcy surprised me today. She climbed slowly. When she got a little flustered, she took a break, but ultimately she got to the top. We went down the slide, and then she turned around to do it again. When she reached the top, she decided she was ready to conquer the tubes. About a half a mile of tubes later (and some majorly sore knees on my part), we all made it to the pirate ship. She was really proud of herself.
Tonight when she saw daddy, she proclaimed, "Daddy, I used all my faith to climb the nets."
Daddy replied, "You mean your courage?"
"No, my FAITH."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hey Jude

The kids and I occasionally break out our Beatles' record, and the kids ask specifically for the song "Hey Jude". They go wild when it comes on. They run around the room dancing and singing. It's so cute to hear Julian sing, "na na na, hey juwd".
Julian has lots of nicknames, JuJu, JuJu Bean (or Grammy's version "the bean") and Jude. If you didn't know, Hey Jude was supposedly written for Julian Lennon which is why we occasionally call Julian Jude. Our position is that a kid can't have too many names : )...Edward Julian Theodore Williams agrees.
Jude is thus far the only name he has called himself. Whenever he sees a picture of himself, he points and says either "Baby" or "D'arcy" and we'll point and tell him it's Jude. So whenever I hear him sing Hey Jude, I catch myself imagining us dancing to this song at his wedding, and I get all emotional picturing my sweet little boy all grown up.

Grandma & Grandpa's House

Stephen and I spent five wonderful days in Block Island by ourselves while D'arcy and Julian spent five wonderful days at Grandma & Grandpa's house. Among other activities, they had the opportunity to swim, play with their cousin Gabe, and as the picture shows, ride on Grandpa's fathers day gift. D'arcy and Julian are so looking forward to Christmas when they'll get to hang out at their house again. So a BIG THANK YOU to Grandma & Grandpa from all of us (and Aunt Connie who helped out too).

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rhode Island

D'arcy and Julian's Top 10 Moments from Rhode Island
10.Naming the animals in this very random Animal Topiary garden that we happened to find ourselves in Portsmouth.
9. Seeing BIG, fresh lobsters.
8. Watching Nickelodeon...this is a perk for kids who only have broken bunny ears at home.
7. Discovering all the little gifts Grammy brought for them. They both got "plane totes" which were a huge hit. D'arcy's was made of Dora fabric and Julian's from "speed" fabric (aka Cars). Then when we arrived in Rhode Island, Grammy brought her signature gift bags, and the kids picked out one toy for each day. This is always awesome for mommy, too, since I didn't have to pack toys. Who can fit toys in a bag when you can only bring one suitcase under 50 pounds?
6. Running on the cliff walk. Wow...did they ever tire? As we causally strolled, they ran ahead of us and then back to us. As we looked at the mansions, they ran all over the mansions' yards.
5. Wallowing on Uncle Josh and Abby. This was our first occasion to meet Abby, but you wouldn't know it by the way my kids acted towards her. "Abby, will you watch me paint, etc, etc?" Julian spent much time chanting, "Un-cuw Joshhhh Un-cuw Josh".
4. Seeing the ocean. Julian's vocabulary was blossoming very quickly on this trip, and he quickly told us what he liked the most, "Daddy, O-cean!" and "BOAT!".
3. Swimming in the hotel pool. This was one of the first times D'arcy swan without floaties and one of the first times Julian swam with them. Plus D'arcy enjoyed shooting out of the indoor slide.
2. Spending nights with Grammy & Poppy in their hotel suite. Julian had no problem telling us goodbye every night, and Mommy and Daddy were pretty excited about it too.
1.Playing in the sand. We went to a couple of beaches, Easton Beach in Newport and a a beach in Watchill, RI (where she got to play in the sand with Miss Emma Gustitus). D'arcy doesn't care if the water is freezing as long as there is plenty of sand!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the trip. Check out our online family photo album for more pics.




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