Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas from the Blackham Bunch
Maybe we should have tried a few of these family photos without the kitties ... they are less cooperative than the kiddies! Colton actually seemed to have Joy handled, it was Oreo in MY arms that was causing the most commotion!

The Blackham Christmas festivities begin right after Thanksgiving.
The annual Leg Lamp Lighting at Uncle Clay's house ...
... a lot of people, a LOT of donuts!

... about a week before Christmas, the extended Blackham bunch gets together, and for several years, Santa and Mrs. Claus have put in an appearance. We were sad that Callahan had to work and missed out on the family and fun.

Callahan also had to work Christmas Eve, and missed out on the Westra family party too. Soup and breadsticks for dinner. The annual slideshow (Westra2016) viewing, the candy bar game, and we even did the nativity this year, after skipping it for several ...

Uncle Derek was definitely the STAR of the show! A big thank you to some of the older cousins who were willing to dress up and play a part. The Blackham Boys are noticeably absent ... absolutely uncooperative. 

It was a rather lean Christmas (not a bad thing! I mean what do you do when you already have everything?). Grayson HAD put in a hot tub ... so I guess that was the "big gift" for the family. He even hit it first thing in the morning, before the boys were awake. We did have a white Christmas, so he had to shovel a bit to get there, and we had to put the boys to work clearing the driveway after our Christmas morning was completed. 



Landon had sent us a cute picture ...

...and then we got in a family one via Facetime a little later.


Hope you all had a Merry Christmas ...

A video posted by JenB (@jenblackham) on

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Allergy Alert

Oh no! Allergic Alert!
When Keaton was a mere munchkin, we figured out he had allergy issues. He would react badly to cow's milk and cheese, egg(pasta), even to steak. The worst was when he grabbed a nut, a cashew. His little face would get spots, there would be some swelling ... not enough that it interfered with his breathing thank goodness.

Ironically, on the day I was taking Keaton in for allergy testing, I dropped off the older boys at Maga's. Little Landon ate a brownie (with nuts) and immediately said his throat was hot.  I finally put two and two together, that he had allergies as well. Through the years, after eating a bit of a cookie, he'd want a popsicle out of the blue. His throat was hot and itchy, and that was his little way of counter-acting it! He hadn't shown physical signs like Keaton had, but now noting Keaton's reactions, I finally figured it out!

As we added baby Colton to the family, he appeared to have allergies as well. We did end up at the ER with him once. Through the years, Landon and Colton have several accidental exposures to nuts. Nothing too serious. Usually, they would feel the tingle in their mouth immediately, so much so that they rarely even swallowed the offending allergy item. Benedryl and a sleeping it off was the usual result.

Keaton outgrew his allergies to dairy and egg. Over the years, he added in peanut butter with no problems. Nutella (hazelnuts) has been a happy recent addition to his diet. He has eaten Maga's pastry wreath (with almond paste and slivered almonds) and had a banana nut (walnut) muffin without incident. In fact ... since that last cashew catastrophe when he was about 15-months old, I don't think we'd had ANY allergy issues. Had he outgrown them all?

He decided on a little experiment.  
He ate a cashew. 
Still allergic.

It took a couple minutes (and he ate more than one cashew) ... but then it started. First, with a tingle. Then his lips got swollen. Then the spots appeared. First on his face, then all over his body. I mean ALL over. His nose was running and would not stop. He went through an entire box of Kleenex. And oh, the itching! His head, his chest ... other manly areas. Keaton put oven mits over his hands in an attempt to not scratch himself silly. He was red, and hot. He stalked outside, sans shirt, into the snow. I kept asking about breathing, but the swelling didn't seem to extend to his throat, but we kept constant tabs and were ready to rush to the ER if needed. I called a doctor and we were given a prescription for oral steroids and an epi-pen (we had administered Benedryl immediately as it al started). We were still on the verge of heading to the hospital when Keaton emerged from a cold shower, which had seemed to help. He'd moved out of the scary, angry itchy phase into the funny, drunk Benadryl phase. This phase was much easier to handle ... and even get a photo and video.

This initial eating of the cashew had been around 9:00 at night. We didn't figure we were over the hump until almost 11:00. After the exhaustion of the attack itself, plus the Benedryl, Keaton was out cold in no time. I had a little trouble sleeping after all the "excitement" and also was still somewhat worried, so I was up and checking on him every hour in the night to make sure he was still breathing. There was some residual swelling around his eyes in the morning, but other than that, he seemed fine, and was off to school and sports as usual the next day.

A few days later, Keaton had a school assignment to write a poem for Language Arts. Of course we turned to recent events for inspiration. First, our attempt at a limerick ...



The boy's face was swollen and red.
He was itching all over his head.
He ate a cashew
He's allergic, it's true
Some Benedryl, and then to bed!


... and then Keaton and his friend came up with this rhyme ...

I ate cashews
I nearly died
My throat swelled up
My tongue got tied
My eyes dilated
My skin was dried
"I guess I'm still allergic"
I sadly sighed

No more cashews for Keaton!





Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...