Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Anything But Cats!

About a week ago I had my first ever allergy test. 

I knew I needed one... last September around my birthday, I pigged out on shrimp and then proceeded to break out in hives.  It's not like I had never eaten shrimp before.  It's just that it had been a very long time since I lived somewhere that shrimp wasn't ridiculously expensive (compared to say, chicken).  So, I went and bought a huge bag of frozen shrimp, cooked them up and ate them on a lovely salad.  It was delicious.  But it was also more shrimp consumed at once than I had probably ever eaten before.  And I got all red and bumpy.  A few days later, we did another test, where I ate more shrimp, one by one, until I stopped eating due to itching.

Well, only a few weeks later I discovered I was pregnant!  Hooray!!  And then the midwife informed me:  No, you have to wait until after the birth to have an allergy test, and you shouldn't eat any shellfish in the mean time.


And here we are, almost a year later.  It took me a good 2 months to get up the courage to call the doctor for the test.  See, I had grown up hearing about how awful allergy tests were.  My mom had over a hundred performed on her back and arms as a little kid (She's allergic to all sorts of random things.  You can ask her about it sometime.) and I had other friends have them done when they were little, too.  Even my hubby had an allergy test done when his parents discovered he couldn't hear very well because of sinus swelling (he's allergic to dust mites).  Anyways, you hear about the scratches, the pain, the grids of little stabbings... not fun.  But it had to be done, and I made the call, and... they couldn't fit me in for a month.  A whole month of anxious waiting for a not-so-fun appointment.

When the day finally arrived, I had my little Willow with me, and a wonderful friend at my side to keep my fears at bay as well as hold Willow during the appointment.  I talked to the doctor, and he decided to do a general panel of western Washington plants, as well as a common allergy panel (dust mites, animals, etc.) and of course, shell fish.  Looking back, I sort of wish he had done other common foods while we were at it.  Maybe I will talk to him about it at my follow-up appointment?  Hmmmm.  Oh right. Story...

Ok, so the pain wasn't anything like what I thought it would be.  Yes, they draw a grid on your back and number it.  But they don't do scratches anymore.  Just little pokes that make you jump.  Not even stabs, really.  More like someone poking your back with their finger, and they kinda need to trim their nails.

The results:  I'm allergic to Washington!  Hahaha... no, but really, I am.  Coast Maple, Cottonwood, Poplar, English Plantain and Lambs Quarter, and CATS.  Of which we have 2 that sleep on my face at night.  Oh, and sensitivity to dust mites and Western Juniper.  Fortunately, shell fish came up negative, which is great, since I love it.  They did do a blood panel, just to make sure, and I haven't gotten the results quite yet.

What am I going to do about the cats?  That explains a lot... the waking up with headaches, consistent post-nasal drip that I always had and thought was normal... it's not.  We are NOT getting rid of them.  Ian and I love our kitties!  The doctor told us to get the out of the bedroom.  No more nighttime snuggles.  I dunno... we're trying it out to see if it helps, but it kinda makes me sad, and I can tell the kitties miss us.  We'll see how long this lasts.  In the mean time (once the blood work comes in) I'm going out for sea food!

Oh yeah, why did I break out in hives from the shrimp?  If I'm not allergic, the doctor said it could have been a bad batch of shrimp, and it was the toxins I reacted to.  Not fun, but should be a one-time event.  Whew!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Year One

I was looking at the calendar the other day, and realized that we have now lived in Washington an entire year!!  It doesn't really feel like it.   Yes, we have lots of wonderful friends here, and I've finally learned my way around without a gps (most of the time), but I don't feel like a "local" yet. That takes time.

Looking back over the year, there are some things that happened that we were expecting/hoping for, as well as others that didn't occur that we thought would.

What did happen?

We had a baby!!  Awwww... she is such a cutie!!  This was taken at her 3 month "photo shoot."  Ok, it was more like 3 1/2 months.

We bought a house!  Which, we are currently in the middle of painting (hallway: check).  I'm really excited for the new colors!  YES!

We got another kitten!  Oh Rupert, you are so fuzzy!

Ian started a new job at Fluke, which is going really well!

We joined a church out here: Canyon Creek.  Come check it out!  Everyone is so friendly. :)

And what didn't happen?

No earthquakes yet.  Not that I mind!

I didn't get the job I thought I would.  When we moved here, I began looking for an admin job immediately.  A few months in with no nibbles, and I was wondering what was going on, when we realized I was pregnant!  Yay!  That really changed up our plans.  Someday I'll go back to working as an admin assistant, but for now, my job is Mommy!

We still aren't all the way moved into our house.  Hah!  That's what happens when your baby comes 5 weeks early.  Oh well... we'll get there eventually.

Our summer goal (that we made before Willow arrived) was to get the back yard drainage figured out.  Like, dig french drains, take out middle plant island (which is also messing up drainage), etc.  Oh, and build raised beds for next year's veggies.  Looks like that is going to be another year in the process.  At least we're keeping up with the mowing!

We also haven't been hiking up here yet, or camping.  Yup, thought we were going to do those things, since we really love to go!  Maybe we could at least squeeze in a hike this fall.

Ok, well... here's some more pictures of Willow.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Liar Liar, Ants on Fire

And now an ant story for you:  

The other day I was getting paint supplies from a cupboard in the garage, when I discovered a whole frenzy of ants and a large pile of... eggs?  Apparently they had decided that our cupboard made a good nest. 

Which was weird. 

No food there... nothing to dig in (wood was intact)... no reason for them to be there at all!  They were only on one shelf, even.

We ended up vacuuming them up, since we didn't want a brood of ants being raised in the garage.  Then we poured gas on them and proceeded to light them on fire.  And by "we" I mean Ian and our friend Brandon.  Lighting ants on fire must be a guy thing.  Anyways, they had a good time at it, and it took care of the issue.  No more ants! 

The end.