Busy Weekend

May 30, 2009

I got back yesterday afternoon from my night away to attend the TIANS AGM in Pictou.  I had a great time.  Every time I attend one of these meetings, I come home energized about Tourism!

I was quickly thrown back into reality and have a birthday party, our nephew’s First Communion, Sarah’s Dance Recital & a celebratory dinner here this weekend.  I have to do some baking to make sure we have safe cupcakes for Olivia at our nephew’s gathering tonight since my SIL told me she made cupcakes, but they aren’t safe.  I’m glad she let me know (this morning!) because cupcakes are one thing Olivia is going to want that the other kids have.

D’Arcy & I cleaned out our linen closet and our own clothes closet this morning, so we are slowly-but-surely getting organized after the winter.  I have a whole bag of things to send along to our great-nephew; fun stuff like a potty seat and crib sheets, some clothes that are too big for him…  We’ve thrown a few toys in too, so it’s not all boring!  D’Arcy’s parents will take it all home with them tonight after Mass and make sure they get it.

Sarah has requested ham, broccoli & carrots for dinner tomorrow night, so that takes some of the pressure off to do anything too fancy.  The boys & I are going to make cut-out ballerina cookies this afternoon to have for dessert and D’Arcy will pick up the groceries while the van is getting an alignment.

I can’t wait to see Sarah in her first dance recital – I have a feeling I had better wear waterproof mascara!!

Advertisements

It’s only taken me three full days, six rags, part of a roll of paper towel, a vacuum cleaner bag and two swiffer dusters, but my laundry room is clean and organized once again!

I realized last week that one of these days, now that tourist season is underway again and we’re regularly getting drop-ins, that someone is going to want to do their laundry at some point.  Quite frankly, I would have been mortified to let anyone in there.

As I was cleaning, I was trying to remember the last time I had really housecleaned that room, and I think it was when Olivia was a baby.  (I can’t believe I just admitted that!)  We have an air exchanger on our dryer so in the winter the exhaust from the dryer heats the laundry room, but you can just imagine how much lint & dust it creates too!

I’m so pleased to have a space that’s actually pleasant to work in again.

I have two or three bags of stuff to give away and a counter with nothing on it!

Unfortunately, I have a feeling that won’t last long…

A shot for posterity - who knows when this momentous occasion might happen again...

A shot for posterity - who knows when this momentous occasion might happen again...

Today was Sunday School Closing at the United Church and Alex was asked to sing “Any Dream Will Do” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  This was the song he sang for his Musical Theatre Performance in the Music Festival in April.  Again, we were so proud!  This time we were able to record it with the camera.

We were so proud!!  Can you tell?  

I love the way Sarah is obviously enjoying his performance!

The kids all got their participation certificates for Sunday School, and their photos taken with the children who were there and their teachers.

 

The 7 & 8 year old class

The 7 & 8 year old class

 

The 9 & 10 year old class

The 9 & 10 year old class

 

My class - the 3 & 4 year olds with a couple of two year olds thrown in!

My class - the 3 & 4 year olds with a couple of two year olds thrown in!

Olivia had her first appointment with the GI specialist yesterday.  She was referred to him as  an urgent case last July and we were given an appointment this month.  

The appointment went really well and, to make a long story short, she is back on Prevacid for GERD (reflux).  She takes 15mg first thing in the morning before food and 15mg again at suppertime.  We’ll monitor how much she throws up, wakes up at night, complains of pain, etc. for the next six weeks and report to her allergist, Dr. K, at her dairy challenge in July.  If she’s no better, her GI specialist will do an upper GI scope (which involves her being under general anesthesia for 5-7 minutes) to look for Eosinophilic Esophagitis.

Her GI doctor told me that another option is that she is unable to digest sugar properly, but I mentioned that since the child can eat a handful of mini-marshmallows as a treat with no ill effects, I’m not even going to entertain that one!

He gave us the okay to start challenging some of her fruits since they all cause either skin or GI problems.  We’ll start with avocado tomorrow morning.  That seemed to be the most important since it will add some good fat to her diet.  (I hope she likes it!)

Dr. K gave me the results of her CAP test today:  Soy & Dairy were undetectable for IgE reactions, so we will challenge dairy in July.

 Egg was 6.7.  This means she has a greater than 95% chance of having an anaphylactic reaction if she comes into contact with eggs.  That’s always fun considering she lives in a B&B!  

Peanut was greater than 100.  To put this into perspective, a result of 14 is a positive predictive value that a child will have a greater than 95%  chance of reacting if coming into contact with peanuts.  What a greater than 100 result means: she will NOT outgrow her peanut allergy

(We can expect by her numbers that she WILL outgrow the egg allergy; but not right away; I can live with that!)

When trying to decipher the results, I did some research and came across a study that I hadn’t seen before about the correlation between infantile egg allergy, eczema and their chances of developing asthma.  I read the actual study and it would appear that Olivia has an 80% chance of developing asthma by the age of four – and that doesn’t even factor in the fact I have it, so there is a family history…

We’ll worry about that when we get to it.

I was pretty disappointed by her numbers, but at the end of the day, our lives are no different than they were before I got that phone call.  We knew we had to strictly avoid those foods and that is still the case.  I still live in hope that she will outgrow everything except the peanut.  (And that she won’t develop asthma!)

Hey, a mother can always hope, right…

In the meantime, her two epi-pens go everywhere she does!

What a great long weekend we had!!  We packed up the van on Saturday morning and as soon as we had finished feeding breakfast to the guests, left the B&B in my parents’ capable hands and headed to Halifax so that the boys could participate in the Blue Nose Marathon Youth Run.   Erin had picked up their race kits for us, so we met her at the water stop where she was volunteering and the boys made a quick change before running with D’Arcy to the start for warm-up.

With Aunt Erin before the race

With Aunt Erin before the race

The girls were strapped into their stroller, and we headed down to stake out a spot near the finish line.  Most of the crowd was watching the start, so we were able to get really close and  after the race started, had a visit from “Myles” the Marathon Mascot.  He interacted with them for about five minutes.

The crowd watching the start on Citadel Hill

The crowd watching the start on Citadel Hill

There were over 1200 kids, Grade 9 and under who raced and the first runners got to the finish line in a little over 15 minutes.  (The Youth Run isn’t actually timed…  

Evan ran the whole way without stopping and Alex finished about ten minutes behind him.  I was so proud of them both!

The girls, being entertained by Myles

The girls, being entertained by Myles

 When Evan finished, he went straight into the Metro Centre to get a drink and some food, but I had stayed at the finish line to watch for Alex.  D’Arcy had been watching from part-way through the course, so he came down and met me.  We watched Alex run by to the finish and caught up with him.  D’Arcy hadn’t confirmed with Evan where we were going to meet him after the race was over, so Alex & I went into the Metro Centre to find him while D’Arcy & the girls stayed outside where we had been standing in case he came out to look for us there.

To find a child wearing the same t-shirt that 1200 other kids are wearing is quite an adventure.  I was getting worried that he would be panicking so just went straight to the announcer and asked if he would call Evan’s name to go to the “Lost Kids Bus” to meet us.  He had a big grin as he approached and said he was “just starting” to worry about finding us.

Evan, approaching the finish

Evan, approaching the finish

Alex, approaching the finish!

Alex, approaching the finish!

Two very proud & happy boys

Two very proud & happy boys

When we were all back together again, we got into the van to go play tourist. We stopped at Aunt Erin’s for a potty break, then went to Planet Organic to pick up a jar of Sunbutter for Olivia, then to the Italian Market for sandwiches for the rest of us and drove to Peggy’s Cove for a picnic.   We ate on the rocks and then spent the rest of the afternoon exploring.  

IMG_5232

D'Arcy & Sarah exploring the tidal pools

D'Arcy & Sarah exploring the tidal pools

Newlyweds, getting their wedding photos taken

Newlyweds, getting their wedding photos taken

Trying to arrange the kids for a photo - Olivia was not cooperating!

Trying to arrange the kids for a photo - Olivia was not cooperating!

Anne & D'Arcy

The girls had a ball with the hand-dryers in the bathroom!

The girls had a ball with the hand-dryers in the bathroom!

We convinced the kids to get back into the van (they would have climbed on the rocks all day!) and we started back towards Halifax, stopping in Prospect to show the kids where it all started… We showed them Grandma & Grandpa’s old house, where we had our wedding reception, then drove in to see the church where we were married and the house we lived in when I was pregnant with Evan. I was devastated to discover that “our” house has been torn down and a brand-new two story house has been built in its place. We had the opportunity to buy this house last summer, but decided that it was impractical since it was so small. (One bedroom, a bathroom in the bedroom, a kitchen & a living room.) It had a beautiful backyard and we could see the ocean out of every window in the house! Of course, the memories of our time spent there, getting married and the excitement of our first pregnancy, make it even more special. Evan asked me if I was going to cry. I didn’t quite get to that point, but I was pretty sad…

We got into Halifax in time to pick up our race kits and check into our hotel, the Marriot Residence Inn. They had run out of women’s small t-shirts for me, so I ended up with a men’s small. Oh well. Once we got settled in, we took the kids swimming, then got them some treats from McDonald’s since we were still full from our picnic lunch.  Our apartment hotel room, was perfect – we had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, a living room with pull-out couch, and three tvs!!  The girls & Alex were happy to go to bed and watch tv, but Evan stayed up with us until after ten.

IMG_5257

IMG_5260

IMG_5266

IMG_5267

I didn’t sleep very well Saturday night, as I was worried about whether or not I’d be able to complete the race, seeing as I hadn’t trained. (My “training” was “running” with the P-2 Running Club once a week for four weeks, and one longer run by myself…) D’Arcy took the three older kids downstairs for breakfast while I kept Olivia in the hotel room with me (to avoid the eggs & peanut butter and a potential disaster!) and got our things packed up and ready to go. D’Arcy’s brother, Uncle Mike, came to take the kids for us while we ran. Olivia was not impressed that I was leaving her with a “stranger” (she doesn’t see him enough to know him) and cried until they finally ran into Aunt Erin.   

The energy was amazing.  The full and half marathons started at 9:00, then the 5k at 9:10 and the 10k at 9:20.  We ran into a few people we knew and when the men in kilts shot of the starting gun, we were off! D’Arcy & I ran together for about a km, but I knew that I don’t run as fast as he does so sent him along and we ran separately from that point on. The crowds were amazing and the encouragement that everyone was giving to one another was inspiring. Although I don’t actually like running, it was easy to get caught up in the moment! I ran almost the entire course, stopping to walk a few steps only twice. At one point, as I was losing steam, a man pushing another man in a wheelchair passed me and I decided I had better pick up the pace!

The conditions were great, with just a light mist falling and the wind was at our backs for most of the race. I actually had to take my sweatshirt off part-way through. The end of the race was on an incline which I felt was just cruel! Uncle Mike had the kids all situated near the finish line and I managed to get a smile & a wave into them. I was so proud of myself, I was close to bursting into tears, but I was also wheezing slightly, so concentrated on getting across the finish and using my puffer!

 Before the race

 

D'Arcy at the finish - his time was 26:35.7

D'Arcy at the finish - his time was 26:35.7

 

5k in 32:00.7

5k in 32:00.7

The runners & the cheering squad, after the race

The runners & the cheering squad, after the race

 

The kids with Myles

The kids with Myles

 

Sarah wanted to take a photo of my medal

Sarah wanted to take a photo of my medal

We checked out of the hotel, and because the weather was bad, decided to just head home. We watched the marathoners running over the bridge to Dartmouth and we went to Boston Pizza for lunch.
 

The girls

The girls

The boys

The boys

The whole family at the end of a fun family staycation!

The whole family at the end of a fun family staycation!

We got home early afternoon and brought our things into the kitchen and after a quick nap (Mom & Dad!!) started a marathon game of Canada-opoly. Shortly after supper, the doorbell rang and we ended up with two rooms of drop-ins. We got the girls into bed early and the rest of us followed not too long afterwards.

We’re now tentatively planning to run 5k as a family in the Annapolis Valley in October, and I’m planning on running the 10k at next year’s Blue Nose, although D’Arcy is pushing to do the half. I think that might be pushing it…

D’Arcy & Evan discovered yesterday that Evan is in the video with the highlights from the 2008 Youth Run.  He’s in the orange shirt in the front right hand corner in the very beginning of the video!  Luckily, the weather was so much better this year than last year!!

I’m a runner!

May 17, 2009

We ran the Blue Nose 5 k this morning.  Just to clarify – I am not a natural runner so this was big for me!   I didn’t train the way D’Arcy did, but still managed to run the 5k in 32 minutes and finished in the top 1/3 of the race!  I loved it.  I couldn’t believe it, but I loved it!  The boys ran yesterday and our race was today, so we turned it into a little mini-vacation.  It was a great family time and I will write all about it tomorrow, but in the mean time, will leave off with a  photo that makes me happy…

 

Approaching the finish of my first 5k!

Approaching the finish of my first 5k!