Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmas 2017 Wrap-Up

Just three days after Christmas and my tree and decorations were packed and put away. I love the holiday season -- watching classics like White Christmas and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, listening to crooners Bing Crosby and Andy Williams on the "all Christmas" stations, but after a month of baking (and eating!) countless peanut butter blossoms and agonizing over the purchase of "perfect gifts", I'm ready for something new.

Recently I saw an allergist. It had been more than 20 years since I have seen a specialist for my asthma and allergies. According to my testing I'm allergic to the outside world (grasses, trees, hay, molds, ragweed) and animals -- anything with fur from hamsters to horses. Grr.

Animal allergies are toughest because most people have pets. Typically after I've visit a friend who has a cat or dog - I go home and get into a shower because my ears and eyes are itchy and I'm beginning to cough and wheeze. My kids are also expected to strip and shower after visiting friends who have pets.

What a pain.

For years Natalie has been researching furry things. She has spent countless hours reading books, researching online and making her own slide show reports about "excellent pets for people with cat/dog allergies" -- gerbils...hamsters...guinea pigs...rabbits and rats.


Last year we got two gerbils and while Noah loves to feed them and talk to them. They really don't like to be held and frequently bite. Not much of a pet.

In the spring we almost got a bunny. Natalie found a local rabbit rescue -- we visited, I held some and interestingly enough -- didn't react to their fur. I returned a week later to begin "Bunny Training 101" and while sitting through a lecture on proper nutrition and cage selection began sneezing and coughing like crazy. It seems although the rabbit fur did not immediately affect me -- the hay they feed them does.

Natalie spent weeks reading everything she could get her hands on about rats because she had read somewhere "they were really just like little dogs".

"Mom, please read this book. It's really good."


Sometimes I'd find little post-it notes on our door handles or my bedside table with things for me to ponder...

"A pet would allow me to learn responsibility."

"Rats are really clean animals."

"How long will you have your allergies?"

This year for Christmas my gift to the kids was to begin rush immunotherapy (one half day session equals six months worth of shots) in hopes that we may add a doggie to our home this summer.

Natalie reading her "Santa" letter and trying to take in that she may soon have a pooch to call her own.

Brian and Steve sizing up the prizes.
Alicia chose a jar of Steve's homegrown pickled peppers as her Bingo prize.
They aren't that hot...wait for it.
Nat's wins the moose this year.

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