Sunday, June 20, 2010

Great America

Yesterday was Phil's company summer picnic, but because of his health issues he didn't feel up to going. Instead he offered for me and Conrad to invite one of Conrad's friends to come along for a day of fun in Santa Clara! That was a great idea and together (the two moms and the two boys) we had a fun and thrill filled day at the amusement park. The boys kept count and at the end of the day we had gone on 26 rides! It was a perfectly sunny day with almost no lines and a small breeze to keep us from getting too hot! Of course the water rides also helped to cool us down - Brr!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Challenge!

Conrad has struggled this spring with skin rashes, hives and some lip swelling, but on Monday afternoon the glass flowed over. we had just got the results back from some allergy tests (blood tests) that he had done two weeks ago and they were all negative - shows no allergies when this happened:  

Needless to say he was very unhappy, especially since he got even more swollen than what the picture shows. After almost a whole bottle of Benadryl, many hours at the allergist's office and an injection of epinephrine, we came to the conclusion that he probably has a sensitivity/intolerance to Salicylates. 

Salicylates are the chemical compounds found in Aspirin and many other pain medicines, but it also occurs naturally in almost all plant material (read fruits and vegetables). A sensitivity is different than an allergy in that with an allergy you will react to the smallest amount of whatever you are allergic to, but with a sensitivity you first need to reach a threshold. For some people this threshold is much lower than for others. It now falls to us to try to find Conrad's tolerance level. The first step is to try and avoid as many Salicylates as possible, let his system reset itself and then slowly reintroduce different foods one at a time. Food additives, dyes and medicines containing Salicylates will be off-limits for a very long time, maybe forever. For now his diet is limited, but he is taking it like a champ. I think he realizes he already feels better, for the first time in months he is completely free of rashes and hives - of course that might have something to do with the prednisone he is taking right now.

On a much more cheerful note. Kajsa is off on her Europe adventure and she seems to be having a fun time with her friend exploring, sightseeing and just enjoying being young!

Monday, June 14, 2010

College Graduation!

Yesterday the whole family, grandparents included, drove up to Davis for Lars' college commencement. He now holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California, Davis.
It was a very special day with several thousand people in attendance during the commencement ceremony. The atmosphere was both celebratory and festive but my emotions ran the whole spectrum from happy and proud to sentimental and sad. When Lars walked across the stage to receive his recognition I cheered, smiled and cried all at the same time! I am so very proud of him, he has grown from my precious little newborn into a wonderful, responsible and capable man. I don't know how or when that happened, but it did and now he is truly an adult.

Things move at a fast pace at our house and early this morning I took Kajsa to the airport and now she is on her way to Barcelona for her summer of train travel in Europe. She was very excited and I must admit that I am a little envious of her, I think she will have a great time!

Lars is going camping with friends this week and perhaps next week as well, before he starts to move his stuff back home from Davis. He has secured a job, starting in August, and at least to begin with he will live at home.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

High School Graduation!

It's hard to believe, but our little girl has graduated from high school!

During the graduation ceremony she performed the Alma Mater together with six other graduates.