Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ben's health update

Two things to report:

1. Ben has had increased allergies since Cassie (Nanna's dog) has been staying with us. We aren't sure if its Cassie or the spring wind. She's going home tomorrow, so we will see if it settles.

2. We had our follow up appointment with the ENT surgeon. There hasn't been much (if any) improvement in Ben's symptoms since we started the nasal spray 3 weeks ago. He rechecked the pressure in Ben's ears and they both now have worsening negative pressure. Ben is booked in for removal of adenoids and insertion of grommets in a months time. We assumed this would be the case, and we are happy that this should help his hearing, speech, snoring and dribbling problems.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Riding Bikes without training wheels!!


We decided it was time to take the training wheels (stabilisers) off Ben and Ethan’s bikes. We talked about it with them for a couple of weeks. We got out their old balance bikes from the garage, and they played on them for about 2-3 hours, over 3-4 days. It didn’t take long for them to learn a bit of balance on their balance bikes.

Last Monday, we went to Sal’s Mum’s house (Nanna) and took the boys bikes. Nanna lives 2 houses away from the local primary school oval. There is a turf covered cricket pitch that is flat, wide and surrounded by grass. It is where I (Sal) and my sister (Aunty Shell) learnt to ride bikes when we were kids. It seemed like the perfect place for the boys first attempt at riding.

They did so very well! I am so proud!!!

We spent less than an hour riding on Monday, but in the videos below, you can see how quickly they progressed and how well they did.

Below is a video about Ben.


And Ethan….

Cassie visits

We have a visitor. It's Nanna's dog Cassie. She has come to stay with us for a few days so we can see if the boys (especially Ben) are allergic to dogs. Ben gets a rash most times we visit Nanna (Sals mother), but we are never sure if it is the dog, or some plant in her yard, or something else.

Cassie arrived yesterday and the boys are having so much fun playing with her. They feed her, walk her, play with her, and they would even sleep with her, if we let them!

Ben woke up with an swollen itchy red eye and a lot of sneezing this morning. (Not normal for him) It disappeared within half an hour of giving him some claratyne... Allergy? Coincidence?

Time will tell....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

iPhone's panorama

The new IOS6 on the iPhone has a panorama feature in the photo app.
Here is our backyard in panorama
(Please ignore the long weedy grass!)

Making cookies (and a mess)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Feeding the ducks

Feeding the ducks is still a popular activity. We haven't done it for a while (over the winter) so we decided it was time to go again.

The boys were delighted to see a family of ducks and their cute little ducklings. They followed them around and tried to feed the little ducklings.

Food art

We made this for breakfast last week

Whole grain toast (trunk)
Apple (branches/ leaves)
Blueberries (fruit on trees)
Walnuts (ground)
Strawberries (flowers)

It was something fun and different! Tasty too!

Sal's Birthday

I (Sal) had my 31st birthday last weekend. I had a wonderful morning with my family :)
I was lucky to receive some great presents, and the cake I asked for :)

Flourless chocolate cake and Flourless lemon cake (and dairy free for Ethan). - in the shape of a 31!

Thanks Tracie, Ben and Ethan for making and decorating my cakes :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ethan's dairy intolerance

Ethan has developed a dairy intolerance. It's quite sudden and surprising to us, as he has never had any problems with dairy since birth.

Over the last 2 months he has been having accidents of loose poo in his underpants. He races to the toilet, and just doesn't make it. At first we thought it was an attention/behavioral problem, and tried different techniques to try and stop it, but with no luck.
We decided to keep a record of his bowel motions to see if we could see any pattern. We noticed he had about 10 motions a week, and 5-6 were 'accidents' in his pants. Often soft/loose.

We brought up the issue with his doctor, and she suggest we take him off various foods as a trial to see if there is an intolerance. We choose dairy first, and it's worked!

Ethan has been off dairy for 3 weeks, except for one day that he "accidentally forgot" and drank some milk. He has only had one episode of poo in his pants, about 4hours after he drank that milk, and has been totally fine every other day!

We are happy to have solved the problem. We have gone from poo in his pants almost every day, to no accidents!

We plan to keep him dairy free for the rest of September, then gradually introduce some "dairy" we are going to start with goats cheese, and then some good quality yoghurt.

Tracie did some research, and apparently a dairy intolerance can develop from a nasty virus of diarrhoea and vomiting...(which irritates the lining of the bowel and strips away the body's ability to digest certain foods) Ethan had a gastro bug (stomach flu) for over a week during our trip to America back in April/may.

She also learnt that high fat dairy (cheese/butter) is easier to digest than low fat dairy. When he resumes dairy, we will have to work out what he can tolerate. If he can't tolerate it, he will be off it for a few more month, and we will try again.

Poor Ethan isn't enjoying being dairy free, he loves his milk. We are trying to provide alternatives (cashew milk is his favourite), and mostly eat dairy free as a family so he doesn't feel like he is missing out.

Spring in the garden

We have been working hard over the last month to get out garden ready for spring.
I'm excited that some of our fruit and veggies are looking good :)
We have broccoli, kale and spinach all getting bigger :)
We have some sunflowers, basil and cucumber that have all grown from seed and are now nice little seedlings.
We also have some Spanish onion that is looking healthy, but it's months from being mature.

Our blueberry and strawberry plants from last year are also starting to flower and fruit.
Yay for spring :)

Once again, this app doesn't let me choose the order of the photos or comment on each photo, so you will have to guess which plant in which! ;))

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ben's hearing

We've noticed a change in Ben in the last few months. He's not hearing properly and as a result, he's not speaking properly. He often asks us to repeat what we have said, and he pronounces words wrong.

We mentioned this to his doctor and she sent him for a hearing test. This showed he has a lot of wax in his ears, and one ear has hearing loss.
We then got referred to an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist.

We saw the ENT specialist today. He removed large amounts of wax from Ben's ears and tested the pressure in his ears again. He said one ear is good, the other is blocked. He said Ben has large adenoids (blocking the eustation tube, and therefore the ear) He gave us a steroid nasal spray to try for 3 weeks, to see if it helps shrink the adenoids. If it doesn't work, he will take them out. We have another appointment in 3 weeks to see how it's going.

We have long suspected Ben has enlarged adenoids, as he snores, mouth breathes and dribbles. We have mentioned this to a different ENT specialist about 12-18 months ago. We got dismissed at that time. We are pleased this doctor is taking action.

We will update again in 3 weeks when we have our follow up appointment.

Ben was fantastic with the doctor. He let him look everywhere he wanted, and held very still while he pulled out the wax that must have been completely blocking his little ears it was so big!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Farmers market

We went to the farmers market on saturday morning. We are thrilled with the produce available! Yumm!

We bought:
Kiwi fruit
Carrot (orange and purple)
Sweet potato
Goats cheese
BBQ sauce (organic and free of nasties) for BBQ sauce loving Ben!
Chilli jam

We could have bought SO SO SO much more, but we restrained our self and left some for next time.