Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our House Gets a Face Lift

After four years in our 1921 brick bungalow we decided that it was finally time for a new paint job. At some point in our home's history somebody did a really half asked job painting over lovely red brick, what a shame. Our only choices were to re-paint or to put on stucco or siding. The least expensive option was painting. This option also leaves the house with the most original feel, I think.

As you can see, the paint was peeling off everywhere. I've actually been embarrassed to have people come to my house because it looks so crappy on the outside.

To save money, Ian decided to do the soffit and fascia himself. He pressure washed and then painted with a fancy new paint sprayer he bought for the job. He worked non-stop for two weekends to get this part done.

After Ian finished the soffit and fascia, the professional painters pressure washed, sanded, and scraped the brick . . .

. . . for this lovely result.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Vicious dog eating baby on the loose!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Aven and Grace

Grace is very interested in Aven and Aven is really starting to pay attention to Grace. We keep telling Grace that if she's patient Aven will be petting her in no time. I'm sure that before the petting there will be tugging and pulling and climbing on. Grace is a tough girl, she'll survive.

Digging for gold.

She has discovered her hands and can't seem to keep them out of her mouth. I often have to pull them out of her mouth so she can eat. Silly girl.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mission Aborted!

If you read my last post, you know that due to Aven's gastrointestinal issues she was set to eat a special formula, Elecare, which is described as "unflavored medical food" for 2 weeks in order to heal her little digestive tract from food allergies. Well, after a mere 18 hours (about 5 feedings) she had what I would describe as A LOT of blood in her stool. So, back to breast milk she went and within 18 hours was almost back to where she was before the formula: not completely normal, but pretty darn close. The nurse practicioner was perplexed as this usually works. Her explanation was that Aven must be allergic to the corn syrup in the formula. My explanation, which she scoffed at, is that it can't be good for your system to go from eating a completely natural food that is manufactured specifically for you and your needs to a completely chemical based food with absolutely nothing natural in it. Am I crazy? Does that not make sense?

Anyhow, I've been told that Aven will just have to grow out of her allergies, which is just fine with me. The above picture was cathartic for me. I didn't dump it all out because Ian was concerned about me polluting the Earth with unnatural chemicals.
Aven's reaction to going back to breast milk: "No more yucky tasting milk that makes me cry."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Aven's Exciting Trip to the Pediatric Gastroenterologist

Over a month ago I wrote about Aven's digestive issue of having blood in her stool. The pediatrician recommended that I go dairy free as most babies with this issue have a milk protein allergy. So, not only did I stop eating dairy, I stopped eating anything with any milk protein in it. Within a few days her eczema cleared up and her problem was significantly better. Since it didn't go away completely after a week the Dr. put her on a hypoallergenic formula called Nutramigen. In his experience kids with milk protein allergies usually clear right up on this formula. Aven was not so lucky. She actually got a lot worse, so I went back to breast milk after only 5 days of formula.

At this point blood and stool tests were ordered. Ever try to get a stool sample from a baby? Hope you never need to. Blood tests showed a slight inflammation and stool tests showed some white blood cells. Both indications of an allergy. She also got sent to Primary Children's for a scan of her intestinal tract. The Dr. wants to rule out Meckel's Direticulum. That test was negative, luckily. Next I tried a gluten free diet. This made no difference. Meanwhile, our pediatrician was trying to get us an appointment with a gastroenterologist at Primary Children's. I finally got an appointment today because there had been a cancellation.

Our appointment started with a really great nurse practitioner who spent almost 30 minutes with us (my mom accompanied me to the appointment, which turned out to be extremely helpful when it came to family history). She got a full history and asked lots of questions. She came up with a probable diagnosis an then brought the doctor in. He agreed with her diagnosis, Allergic Colitis, and said the best thing, in his opinion, was 2 weeks on an elemental formula where everything in it is broken down into it's chemical element, so it's supposed to be completely hypoallergenic. The hope is that it will give her little system a chance to heal and settle down at which point she can go back to breast milk. I was also instructed to go soy free and corn free for the time being. I guess when a baby develops this kind of allergy it opens the door for her to be allergic to all kinds of things. If the system isn't given a chance to heal before reintroducing potential allergens her chances of having severe allergic tendencies at an older age is much greater. Here's to Aven's little gut healing up speedily.

At 30 bucks a can, lets hope we only need this stuff for 2 weeks.

Here's a recent picture of our almost 14 pound Buddha baby lounging in the rocker. At least the Allergic Colitis isn't affecting her growth.