Monday, February 27, 2012

***Warning: Allergy Alert***

Lana has been bitten by black ants, red ants, and stung by a bee.  She didn't like any of it, of course, but never had anything beyond the typical reaction.  

Tucker got bitten by ants for the first time about a month ago, 
and had what I would call a reaction that was a bit stronger than the typical one.  
As a matter of fact, those bites on his ankle are still hanging around, bothering him, over a month later.  

This past Thursday morning, Tucker and I were outside in the front yard, enjoying the sunshine.  He was digging in the dirt with a stick, and I was sitting on the front step.  Since his bites a month ago, he's been terribly afraid of "ant pools" as he calls ant beds, and won't go anywhere near them.  So when he was digging in the dirt, I knew that it wasn't an ant bed.  I did casually ask "Tucker, you don't see any ants, do you?"  "No, mama."  Oh, I wish I had checked for myself!

Dan called on his way back to the church from a hospital visit to just chat for a minute.  He and I were mid-conversation when Tucker started screaming in a way I've never heard him scream ever.  It was so scary that it made me start screaming.  I threw the phone down, grabbed him, and began stripping him down, knowing immediately what had happened.  

I threw him in the kitchen sink, washing all the ants off.  I remember my mom telling me that white vinegar would take the sting out of the bites, so I pulled that out of the cabinet and started dousing his legs.  

As I was washing him in vinegar, I realized he wasn't having a typical reaction.
This is what his foot looked like at first:

The bites were turning into hives, and then his foot began rapidly swelling.
I don't have any pictures of it, because I was too busy watching and making sure his airways weren't swelling.  His left foot was the worst, swelling to over twice its normal size.

He also had a red line run up his leg toward his groin - 
can you see it on the inside of his thigh?

I called the nurse advice line at our pediatrician's office, and they told me how much Benadryl to give him, and suggested putting him in a tepid bath.  She was really wonderful - staying on the phone with me long enough to make sure his breathing wasn't affected.
In the meantime, the screaming had concerned Dan enough that he came home to see what had happened.

After the nurse and I were both confident that his reaction had peaked,
and that the Benadryl was going to be enough to help him,
she told me that he has a "true allergy" to ants (and probably other stinging insects).
She said that because his reaction was increasing in severity each time he was bitten, that we would need to watch him closely the next time, as there is a chance his reaction could be even more severe.

This is what his little feet looked like 24 hours later.

The swelling had gone down probably 75%, thankfully.

Still so pitiful - can you tell how much bigger his left ankle is than his right?

Ant allergies are more common than we thought, 
and we got lots of helpful advice from friends on Facebook.

Here's what has proven to be the powerhouse combo for Tucker:

Benadryl and hydrocortisone cream are the typical heavy hitters.
Epsom salt in his bath gives him a lot of relief from the itching, and even seems to reduce the poison under the blisters a bit each time we soak him in it.

Ellen Melton recommended Dermaplast - genius!
I thought this was only hospital-grade - boy, was I glad to find out that most pharmacies have it on their shelf!  Whenever he complains about the itching, we give him a "Tucker shower" as he calls it, and all is right in the world.   

This Benadryl itch cooling gel is what the pharmacist pointed out;
it seems to work as well as the hydrocortisone,
and Tucker prefers this for some reason.

Needless to say, Dan spent this past weekend covering our yard with "Over and Out," and spot treating any beds we have.  Go away, ants!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Dan loves nuts in the shells like these.
They immediately make him think of his Grandaddy Davis' house -
he says that as far back as he can remember, 
Grandaddy has had a bowl of nuts sitting on a side table in his house.
Memories are cool things.

It made him smile when I put a bowl of them on our big dining room table with a cracker and some picks.  Don't you love when you can make your hubby smile over such a sweet, simple thing?

He now has 2 buddies who love to sit at the table and crack nuts for a snack with Daddy.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Free shirts - thank you, Old Navy & Crowdtap!

Almost a year ago, I told you about how awesome Crowdtap is.

And then, this summer, I told you about my free jeans from Old Navy via a sample opportunity from Crowdtap.

Today, I got 2 free shirts from Old Navy!
I got in on a Sample and Share opportunity:

Old Navy wants consumers to try out their newest clothing items,
review them, and then tell all their friends about how awesome they are.
So that's exactly what we did.

I got 2 coupons: 1 for me, and 1 for a friend.
My friend Melissa is always game to use a coupon with me 
(she and her husband are grocery couponing experts),
so we headed out to Old Navy!
I don't have much style sense,
so we brought along 3 of her teenage daughters to help me out.

OK, so they might have done a little shopping for themselves, too.  :)

Melissa knew just what she wanted, and was ready to head to the dressing rooms.
I -on the other hand- was not.
It was a good problem to have - I loved all of the colors and styles,
and really had a hard time making a choice.

We're loving these spring colors!

Their new line of tee's are so soft.
I love the colors, too.  We both chose the springy colors,
but they have some in really beautiful jewel tones that I loved, too.
The only criticism that I have is that they are really, really thin.
It's usually fine because I layer up,
and perhaps they're thin because they intend for you to layer them,
but they really are basically see-through.

Melissa went home with a tee and a tank.
I couldn't decide between the tee's, 
so I went home with 2 of those and no tanks.
The teenagers went home with a few things, too.  :)

Thanks again, Old Navy and Crowdtap!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Disciple Now

Dan is neck-deep in planning the Disciple Now for our students coming up in April, and all the talk about it has brought back fond memories of Disciple Now/Breaking Free weekends at Eastern Shore Baptist.

I believe this was from our 10th grade year, right?
That would have been 1997.
Kim, your mom MADE these skirts for us, remember?!  
Wow, those were the days.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Family Science Night at Lipscomb Elementary

We just got home from another great family night at Lana's school!
We never cease to be amazed at the wonderful after-hours learning opportunities they offer.  It fosters a sense of community in the families of the school, and underscores to the children that school and home are connected.  I am so thankful for leadership that values these things!

Family Science Night took over the cafeteria!

Here are some pictures to show you some of the amazing hands-on experiments that were available.
You can click on any picture to make it larger.

They even provided dinner (for free), 
making it easy for working parents to bring their families.

 After we made the rounds in the cafeteria, we headed to the Science Lab to check out what was going on in there:

 Can you even believe this place?  In so many schools, funding for science labs has been pulled.  Our principal has chosen to use discretionary funding to continue providing a science lab for our students.  The results?  Some of the highest science scores in the county!  Three cheers for administration that really gets it!

 We chose to keep T-bone contained for these activities.
He just chilled in his stroller as long as we kept handing him snacks.

Lana was happy to have him along!

This sign is posted just down from the Science Lab,
and it nearly brought me to tears.
In this age of standardized testing and performance driven pay for teachers and no child left behind, this is not the norm.  But this is Lipscomb Elementary.

I am so thankful
for fun family nights at school
for a strong PTA
for a principal who values real education
for a school that has not turned its back to the arts and sciences
for a little girl who loves kindergarten.