Thursday, December 07, 2017

Mama, I’m don’t want to have allergies anymore!

SS broke into a rash for the first time back in June, and ended up in urgent care at 2:00 a.m.  It's been a freaking nightmare because as the rashes worsen, we have NO idea about the cause.  Today I was making dinner (chicken parm which P and SS love) when SS wailed,  "Mama, I’m don’t want to have allergies anymore!" She was minding her own business, reading for her AR requirement, and this just happened.

I only mentioned what I was cooking, because I was in the middle of cooking dinner, and making two different pastas, where timing is of the essence when SS broke out. SS had a blood test that did not reveal jack, because her pediatrician is a hippy dippy guy who thinks everything is cured by fresh air and his herbs. No, we did not know this when we chose him as her pediatrician. He was highly recommended.  SS has been relatively healthy, so we had no idea he is anti ANY medication. As of January 1st SS will be with a different pediatrician.

The problem is that SS cannot have allergy medication 3-4 days before allergy testing. Our girl has not made it yet, and today was the breaking point. Abuela was wonderful remembering Caladryl,  a lotion I remember Papi using. But it only relieves itching, SS needs allergy med to stop the  rash/welts. We both would rather take it for SS but that is not how life works. She has been such a trooper and it really hurts to see in in sheer agony.

This is new it's never appeared on her ears. SS was rightfully scared, but my job is to be calm, give medicine, and make SS think it's not really that bad. IT IS!

This stuff was all over her body, but I will only show the G rated parts.

Disclaimer: The protrusions are her clavicles, so just move on sick puppies. 

Her beautiful little face.


After her allergy med, copious Caladryl, and a hearty serving of chicken Parmesan and angel hair pasta, SS was out before 6:00 p.m.  P had to carry her upstairs and although she is only 60 pounds,
51 " long, it's more difficult to haul her upstairs. As usual, SS fell asleep with DOG. She is sleeping on what used to be Mama's side of the couch, SS had built a fort on HER spot. She decided to colonize, pilfer my ottoman. P joked I could fight her and win. Nah, this is why we had her, because she was miserable but taking Mama's side of the sofa gave her comfort. It could have been Baba's side , but what matters is that it brings SS comfort. And she has colonized Baba's side many times, and will eventually own it.

We don't think anyone follows this blog anymore. The Abus were our sure thing but Maria really destroyed Puerto Rico. They have water and electricity, but cell and cable service are non existent at their home. They can get text messages but no pics. We are thankful they are alive and still have their home.   If you happen to drop by this black hole, please send positive vibes SS's way. We need to find out how to treat her allergy, she is just ten, and she is at her wits end.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Monday, August 07, 2017

SS beat us at Scrabble, but it was a great day.

SS starts school next week and we want to make sure we spend as much time with her as possible.  She definitely needed a haircut, some school supplies, and wanted two t-shirts she had seen. We started the morning by letting SS sleep until 9:00 a.m.. P wanted to have lunch at an Indian restaurant, then take SS to a movie, Transformers. P also had a medical appointment, we had a busy day ahead of us.

 All throughout her summer vacation SS has worked on reading, language arts, and math. It has not been easy, and she is a normal child who makes it clear how much she resents doing the work. SS loves to read, that has not been a problem. The language arts work is done with an online program provided through the school. SS completed sixteen of the eighteen units by the end of the school year. She needs to complete the last unit before next week. It was not required but we decided it was best for SS.

Not every aspect of learning is tedious work, we also have games that require SS to use language and math. She loves to play triominos, and that game is all about adding and subtracting (must subtract five points when you have to get an extra tile). We have also played multiplication bingo, a game her teacher played with the kids last year. SS loved it so much we bought one for her birthday.

This morning SS worked on her language and math skills by playing Scrabble. She was the score keeper, and we made her count our tiles as well. With the double/triple letter/word scores she got a lot of practice. Sure, we would have had a much faster pace if we kept score; but the point is to introduce knowledge even when SS thinks she is only playing a game.

Our girl did so well and paid us back by beating us. Yup, we got whooped by a ten year old, and we are not monosyllabic morons. The final score was 197 for SS, 179 for me, and 154 for P. Well played SS, well played. 

When we lived in Redding we used to frequent an Indian restaurant. SS used to stuff her little face with Indian food, and it was fun to watch. That is where her love of basmati rice originated.  I wish I had taken pictures of her at 16 months and up eating there. They had a delicious mango dessert that we all enjoyed.

SS has not eaten Indian food since we moved here, and yes that is a shame, it just had not worked out that way. We were a tad worried she might not like it, since it's been so long.

 No need to fret, because SS chowed down, she just picked up where she left off. And of course she loved the naan bread, because SS has yet to meet a bread she does not like.

 SS has never been a dark meat eater, it's chicken breasts for her. She saw P's tandoori drumstick and asked to try it. SS ended up eating his chicken and requested more. Here she is in her tandoori zone, laid back, eyes closed, enjoying her chicken.

The sweetest part was when SS proposed a toast. We did not even know she knew about toasts. When asked what we were toasting, SS said "being in this restaurant, and spending time together." Excellent toast little girl, cheers. We will definitely return to make more memories.

We then watched Captain Underpants, and it was actually not awful for us adults.  SS had to do some language arts done in the car. How? Because we linked her laptop to our phones, something SS LOVES when we use it with her tablet for her entertainment. Today, not so much.

SS had her haircut, four inches cut, but she was sad to see her lighter hair go. I knew that was going to be an issue because really likes the contrast. The hair stylist explained it was damaged hair from the pool chlorine. That actually made SS feel much better.

Our little bundle of attitude is in bed now, because she needs to return to a school bedtime routine.  It was a very good day, even if we got our butts kicked by a fourth grader. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Farewell Shark Week 2017, until next year.

SS has been looking forward to Shark Week for a few months. I had to Google the start date to reassure her we had not missed the event of the summer. When P first began his indoctrination of SS on day one I just laughed. It was cute to hear him say sharks need love too, and talk about their unique characteristics. I was never part of the indoctrination because cults are not my thing. It's remarkable that at ten SS is as passionate about sharks as she was as a baby, toddler, and little girl.

She went through a Wonder Pets stage, then Toy Story was her main focus, followed by Cars, and ultimately super heroes of any universe. Oh goodness I almost forgot her Star Wars obsession when she was barely four years old. All that love for the good one, Darth Vader. Like any other child, SS has evolved in her likes and dislikes. The only constants have been Snoopy and sharks. P is going to be mad but while I get Snoopy, I'm still baffled about SS's loyalty to sharks.

During the week there were shark PJs to be worn, with the official SS Shark Week hat. 

Sometimes I'm jealous of SS's cool pajamas, too bad I can't buy a set. I'll never look as cool, but I'll wear them with pride. That is because I'm shameless.

SS reprised her role as shark interruptus and took over our bed.  That's pure concentration there, because watching sharks attack is SS's zen zone.

Check out that Hammerhead shark, but I think SS's shirt shark is more ferocious. SS is rather ferocious there, we can see her attacking under water.

Same Hammerhead.

SS looks beyond cute and innocent in this picture, especially that cute little smile. Because that is what we all do when we see a huge Mako shark lunge towards a person. The photographer was not in a cage when it happened. But it made SS happy so who are we to judge. She now starts the countdown to Shark Week 2018.

Friday, July 28, 2017

SS is not a fan of needles.

As much as SS was against a blood draw we needed to find out what made her break out in a rash twice.  One thing I forgot to mention is that I used Dreft (baby laundry detergent) for SS's clothes until an age most would think ridiculous.  After I stopped using Dreft SS's I have used the mildest laundry detergent available. SS has eczema and we are always mindful to be gentle with her skin. When asked about products SS used at urgent care, I was a bit embarrassed to report that SS still uses baby wash for bathing. The doctor did not see anything wrong with that due to SS's eczema. However it made it more difficult to pinpoint what could have brought on the sudden rash.

As usual SS milked her fear of needles and dragged her feet as long as she could to stall our departure. Our leverage was that SS was fasting, the sooner the blood was collected the sooner she could eat. Lousy parenting but sometimes we have to use what we have.

SS brought Mudzie along because the pink pig has a storage compartment where she stuffed DOG, and other friends.
Hang on to your pig but you will have to let go in a few minutes. DOG is between Mudzie and SS.

For real, I can't hide behind my friends while she draws my blood? And SS was indeed very scared because unlike her Mama, she has not been a human pin cushion since early childhood.

Luckily for us the phlebotomist was very nice and took her time to put SS at ease. As much as anyone can with our stubborn child. She made me feel very comfortable and that is no easy task when dealing with my child.

SS could not care less how wonderful Mrs. Phlebotomist was, as far as she was concerned the whole thing stank.

SS was disturbed by the amount of labels with her name, thinking there would be that many tubes of blood needed.

After all the drama, and claiming she could not move her arm, SS survived and was able to smile. She made it to swimming class and her arm had a miraculous recovery.

SS results are back and it seems she has a mild allergy to shrimp. The thing is she did not eat shrimp prior to either outbreak.  We were afraid about SS being allergic to seafood, because that is her reason for living. Everything else was within normal limits except for her cholesterol. Our ten year old daughter has high cholesterol. Causes usually are obesity, diet or heredity. We are not medical doctors but feel very certain SS is not obese. We are blessed that SS is not much of a junk food eater, eats plenty of vegetables, and can finish a gallon of milk in two days. The only thing we can guess is heredity. It does not make us feel any better.

She has not had another breakout and hopefully those two will be the only ones. If it happens again we will request allergy testing with a specialist. We are glad to have the blood draw drama behind us, and very happy SS is not allergic to seafood or milk.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The strange case of SS's possible allergy.

We have been fortunate regarding SS's health; a few colds, about three fevers, and that MRI that turned out to be normal. In early June SS came to me to show her waist because she was itching. I wondered what the rash was about, it had not happened before, and SS has no known allergies. I asked to bathe then come back to show me the area. I wanted her to be clean and ready to go in case we needed to take her to Urgent Care. SS stayed upstairs playing after her bath, and did not complain about itching again. That night she said she was not feeling well and asked to sleep with us. She did a lot of tossing and turning, scratched and said she was uncomfortable. SS then fell asleep but woke up around 1:30 a.m. crying, said her itching was now hurting.

The rash now covered her body from the waist up to her neck, as in all over. We took SS to urgent care where the intake clerk asked us in a very condescending manner if we thought about giving her Benadryl.. Well Mr. Judgy Pants,since it covered such a large part of her body, and it was a first, we silly parents wanted our child examined by a physician. SS received a prescription for steroids, a recommendation to use over the counter allergy medication for a week, and to have her pediatrician provide a referral to an allergy specialist.

SS's pediatrician (we are still desperately looking for a new one) did not think a referral was necessary, and ordered blood tests. He asked if this had happened before, and that was a big no. Also, SS had not tried any new foods, no new items, no new environments.

SS simply felt it was time to jolt us so we won't get too comfortable about this parenting thing. The steroids worked well.

Barely three days after her doctor appointment SS was sleeping on our bed again. It was Sunday morning when I entered our room to get something. SS was asleep but scratching, I lifted her top and guess what I found.

It's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

At least this time it did not cover her entire upper body.

A new concern this time, SS's swollen lip, and she wasn't happy. This time we felt comfortable giving her Benadryl and all was well again. As of today he rash has not returned and we hope it never returns.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Summer Camp 2017

SS is enjoying her time at summer camp, and it turns out E, her best friend from kinder is also attending. E moved to her home school after kinder, and SS has missed her a lot. This picture was taken on her first day. Check her out pretending she is a big shot basketball player.

Every Tuesday the kids get to go out and do something fun. Actually spending time at summer camp is about fun. Let's say they kids get to do something even more fun. Imagine our surprise when we were told they would be going to the skate/bike/scooter park the next day. We are nervous about leaving our child under your care, and you tell us tomorrow you are taking her to a place where she can break every bone in her body. I was not even sure about letting SS go, I was really afraid she would get hurt.  

P was not concerned since he felt SS is very timid about doing things on land (water is no holds barred). He knew SS would not do anything risky, and he was right. I was very relieved to see an intact SS that afternoon. The poor girl really needs a new helmet and elbow/knee pads.

More fun to be had at Mulligans, where SS played Laser Tag, mini golf, and got soaked at the water slides (bathing suit top on, and bottoms under her shorts) . It was really difficult leaving SS again, but I'm now a pro at dropping her off at places I'd rather she only go with us.

E (SS's kinder bestie), M, and our girl. Still blows my mind E and SS are the same age. They had a blast.

CH splash pad, where E and SS frolicked in kinder while the parents had a meeting. I can't believe that was five years ago. I really need to look for a picture of the girls from that day.  SS told me that day that she felt like a teenager. Way to rub it in kid.

Yay they dedicated one week to super heroes and the kids were allowed to wear costumes one day. SS was very excited to wear her Spiderman costume.  She insisted on wearing boots and I warned her it would get hot. Mami said nadie aprende por cabeza ajena (no one learns through someone else's head), and she was right. I was packing SS's lunch when she told me she needed different clothes that would not be as bulky under the costume. When I saw SS next she was already suited, and off to camp we went.

As I predicted SS did get hot under the costume, and I was greeted by this garish sight. OMG this is what she wore under the costume. We have not received a visit from the CPS social worker, so I think while concerning, we are on the clear by now. Without the boots the outfit is almost passable, if you are color blind.

Oh goodie comic con week, and an opportunity for SS to dress up as Black Panther. I made sure she showed me what she was wearing before she put her costume on. SS really enjoys super hero dress up and role play. 

This was the day after we went to Disneyland, perhaps the retro hat is a shout out to Guardians of the Galaxy.  I have no idea where SS had stashed that fedora she wore when she was barely three years old. I do know I need to confiscate it and place it with her baby memories stash.  School starts in twenty one days, enjoy the last three weeks of summer SS.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Growing up, making progress, moving on.

It's been SS's summer ritual, four two week sessions of swimming lessons. It began in kindergarten and this is her last year. There are six Red Cross swim levels, and our city only offers one through four. SS has taken level IV classes the last two summers, and this one. Last summer we knew SS needed to move on. But there was so much going on we really did not look into alternatives. Actually we knew what would be next, a swim team. JJ was in a swim team at SS's age, and my three nieces and nephew were in teams since they were in first grade. Swim teams are great, but participation is also time consuming, including mandatory parent volunteering, and fundraisers. I'd rather give birth again without an epidural than engage in fundraising. Also, it is costly, probably why there are not many lower SES kids involved.

The cost was not the issue since we only have one child to provide for at this time. The time commitment and our doubts as to SS's readiness were the issues. We are referring to willingness to do the work involved, not SS's ability. Swim classes are fun and short. Twenty five minutes go by fast, and the teachers always do something fun the last five minutes. Who can make the biggest splash diving in, who can jump the farthest, diving for rings, and many other contests. Then the teachers do not have the kids constantly swimming those twenty minutes. There is a lot of individual swim to me then swim back. The kids get plenty of rest during that time. Twenty five minutes of swim team is a workout. I know because when JJ was swimming the parents were given the opportunity of doing masters swimming. I was there waiting for JJ anyway and stupidly joined in. That was some serious hard work, and I was in decent shape then, an runner, biker, and hiker.

SS is one lazy child who as of two years ago sat in a huge bike trailer stroller when visiting Knott's Berry Farm , Soak City, and Disneyland. We realize we only have ourselves to blame, but it was very convenient to store our belongings in the Hummer (P named the stroller). While watching SS swim these past few weeks we knew it would not be fair to have SS return to level IV for a fourth year. SS also expressed a desire to do more, she is obviously done with this part of her life. Then we go back to SS's laziness. It's going to be a one hour drive round trip, at least three times a week. No big deal, but it is also at 6:00p.m. Get home, eat and hit the road. We decided to wait until SS is done with day camp and swim lessons to have her try out for the swim team. SS's last swim lesson is next Thursday.

SS began her last session Monday, and like with every other first day we needed to sign in with the director. The staff know SS because, how could they miss the kid who has done every session for five years. The director greeted SS and off she went to find her teacher, while I signed her in. He told me how much they enjoy having SS in the classes, but wanted to let me know that SS should be at level VI now. Yes we know this, at least one of us watches her swim every class. The director suggested we look into a swim team to make sure SS refines her strokes, works on speed, and stamina. Wait, was SS gently nudged out of the program? That is exactly what happened, and he was very gentle about it. I informed the director of our plans and he seemed very pleased for SS. But seriously, was SS nicely told to move on? Quite funny.

What is SS doing?

Cheeky Monkey
SS requested a haircut, and great timing because it would be a pain to get all this hair inside a swim cap. She has requested haircuts before, then once on the chair cries and says only a trim. P was on board with cutting at least four inches, then told me he wasn't sure he was ready to let her long hair go. Spoken like a man who won't be the one helping SS put on her swim cap. We will see what happens when SS and the stylist's scissors meet next week. 

Alien shot.