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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sorry - Another Hives Update

This is 3 1/2 weeks into my hives. I went to a doctor and really did confirm that they are hives, but she said it sounds like it doesn't have a cause. She prescribed some medication that should "supress and reset" my system. Unfortunately, my insurance (while great) won't cover antihistimines becuase there are so many similar over-the-counter ones and the prescription was going to be $180 for one month. SO here is the low-down, in case anyone else ever gets hives:

1st: I took something with Loratadine in it (the ingredient in Claritin). That worked for a week, and then they came back.

2nd: After talking to the dermatologist and Russ's brother we got something with Cetirizine in it (the ingredient in Zyrtec and in Xyzal - what the dermatologist was going to give me). I've taken double the dose of that for 2 days now and there has been little to no change in the hives, but they itch now and they didn't with the loratadine.

What I do know is that even though I'm taking it and nothing is happening, it's better than if I took nothing at all. I didn't take ANYTHING for about 24 hours on the day I went to the dermatologist (in case she gave me something then and there) and THIS is what I looked like:


My lower thigh and calf. I drew circles around them to see how they changed during the day. By the way, on that one side of my thigh, there were 40 hives of various sizes (as you can see)

I believe that on that day, at least 20% of my overall skin was covered. I wore long sleeves and pants to school, but it was really uncomfortable. I took another picture that night, but these pictures aren't exactly glamor shots so I don't think I'll add anymore. But you could tell that some stayed there, some went away, and new ones appeared. However, the good news is that I did take a pill that day and at least they got lighter.

SO I think now I am going to finish out those new pills I got over-the-counter to get my money's worth out of them and if things don't clear up, march back to the dermatologist and ask for something stronger. All I have to say is that if this over-the-counter knock off of the $180 drug isn't doing a thing, I'm glad I didn't pay $180 because what if THAT didn't work either?

Hives are so annoying, so gross, sometimes itchy, getting expensive, and starting to affect my self esteem, actually. It's not that attractive to wake up in the morning and wonder where your new spots will be. Lately they like to be on my face and fingers (in addition to LITERALLY everywhere else), which makes my fingers swell up and my face have big red splotches.

Please pray for me! :(

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Madness in March

Basketball is great (my bracket is beating Russ's...wahahaha), BUT I am experiencing TRUE madness this March. Hives. Or at least, I think it's hives. I believe that in my post 2 weeks ago I thought they were bug bites. Oh no. I started taking allergy medicine last Friday that all but cleared it up, but now, despite that I take it every day...this is what I woke up to on my legs:



With the medicine, it's not as itchy, but it hasn't been this bad in a week! I hope my body isn't getting used to the medicine because then I don't know WHAT I'll do!



This is what it looked like in the worst spot last week. I felt like a monster with those raised bumps. In some spots they were about 4 inches across.

According to everything I've read, hives don't have any real cause and usually last ABOUT SIX WEEKS! Well. At least I'm already 2 weeks into it....

Oh. And in other news, I cracked a tooth and had to get a crown on it (I LOVE our insurance). I've had quite the month! I'm only 21 and my body is FALLING APART!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

French Toast Recipe

That french toast I made for Russ's birthday was SO GOOD that I wanted to share the recipe with you:


French Toast
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 T butter
1 loaf Kneaders Chunky Cinnamon Bread

Butter a glass 9x13 baking dish. Cut bread into 8 slices (about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick) and place it flat in the baking dish. Mix all remaining ingredients, reserving butter, and pour over the bread. Cut butter into pieces and dot over the top. Refrigerate overnight or at least 1 hour. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Adri's Note: I had to use a 9x13 and an 8x8 pan to fit the 8 pieces, but that was great because then we had one pan yesterday and one today!

Caramel Syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup creme (I used Whipping Cream)
1 cup Light Karo Syrup

Blend together and heat on stovetop until sugar is smooth.

I also really think the Kneaders bread makes all the difference. You could probably buy any loaf of cinnamon swirl bread OR here is a recipe I found:

1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 package (1 tablespoon) rapid-rising dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 egg whites, divided and slightly beaten
2 T butter, melted
cinnamon/sugar mixture

1. In a small saucepan, heat the milk with butter over low heat just until the butter melts. Remove from heat and add to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let cool 5-7 minutes (I have been hasty and added the yeast too soon and the heat killed it). Proof the yeast by adding it to the warm milk and butter. Add the sugar and stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn mixer on low and gradually add the flour. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium and add the salt and 1 egg white. Mix until the dough is no longer sticky, about 10 minutes.

2. Turn the dough onto the (very lightly floured) work surface and knead for a minute or so by hand. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

3. After the dough has risen in the bowl, dump it out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut off golf-ball size bits of dough. Roll into a ball. Dip in melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place in a greased bread pan.

4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. Place a large pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Bring 3 cups water to a boil on the stove. Pour the hot water into the preheated pan to create a steam bath for the bread.

5. Bake the bread for 30 to 40 minutes until crust is golden. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on a rack.

Happy Birthday Russ!

Russ's birthday this year started on Friday night when Garrett and Krystal drove though Provo on their cross-country trip to flight school. We were able to take them to the Cannon Center and then play games with them. That may be the last time we see them for a while! Then our friends, Eric and CJ, came up to Provo and decided to take us to the Quarry. It's an indoor rock climbing gym that neither Russ or I had been to before. I was a little wary of it, but it was a ton of fun. They trained us on the knots and then let us go off on our own. I wish there had been more of the easy walls because I am not a fan of feeling like I could die at ANY MOMENT :), but Russ was incredible at it (I think it helps that he's so tall). We had a TON of fun, and it was great to see the Carters again!

Most of the things we did yesterday, on Russ's actual birthday were surprises to him. It started with this:



We love the french toast from Kneaders (I think it's only around Utah, but it's a little bakery/boutique) so I decided to look up the recipe and make it myself. It doesn't look that appetizing in pictures, but trust me...it's GOOD!



After we ate brunch, we cleaned up, lounged around for a while. Our next adventure was scheduled to start at 2:00, but Russ received a phone call from a family he Home Teaches asking for a favor. He is always willing to serve, even on his birthday. SO, we headed out a little later than planned, but it still worked out.

I just told Russ to get in the car, but he didn't know where we were headed. He listed a bunch of really good ideas that, while incorrect, I'll have to keep in mind for next year. Where we really went was to a church parking lot in Lindon to pick up our friends Brian and Bonnie, who then rode with us up to Salt Lake. We went to a really good pizza place there that we'd been talking about going to for a while and then drove home. Then Russ opened his presents and we took a nap (I think they put sleeping pills in the pizza because we were all drowsy). We woke up just in time to frantically clean the house, call family, and bake a cake before the guests arrived!

We just had a few people over to play games and eat cake. It was a lot of fun.


(we didn't have an "8" candle :D)







It was a really fun day, and (besides the three inches of snow outside) a great start to a new birth..year...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cheeeesecake!

I made some cheesecakes for the ladies I visit teach and since it seems like the new bloggy thing to do is to share the recipe, so I will. That way you can salivate and make it too. It's so easy:

1 grahm cracker crust
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz (1 container) whipped cream
1/2 cup sugar

Mix it up and spoon it into the crust. Refrigerate.



I usually let it set up overnight, but one recipe I saw said 3 hours. I made this once last year and it seemed to go more smoothly then. Maybe the cream cheese was softened...either way, it tastes SO good with chocolate sauce or fruit sauce. MmmmMm!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

This Week's Beginning and End

This week started early Monday morning with nightmares all night and a stressful 7am trip to turn in my Teacher Work Sample. I've worked on it off and on since September - it was 58 pages long and my final requirement for graduation.

Some of my fellow 1st grade ECE intern classmates and I turning in our hard copies!

However, I believe that the major relief of getting that project finished caused my body to shut down! I had all sorts of strange symptoms throughout the week and actually called in sick on Thursday and went to a doctor. I thought I had allergies or some sort of allergic reaction, but not so. Instead, this was the result:

1. My eyes were not getting enough oxygen and blood vessels are starting to grow over my cornea. I can't wear contacts for about a month.

2. I am getting a cold - not surprising with the weather giving us spring and then taking us back to a winter wonderland this week!

3. We have some sort of spider mites or bed bugs in our apartment. They feasted on me for 2 nights, resulting in about 45 bites on my arms and legs and MUCH itching. Last night I went to bed early because I was so exhausted...physically from scratching and mentally from constantly feeling like little tiny bugs were crawling all over me.

Russ has been an incredible help! On Thursday we went to the doctor and I had to get blood drawn. Over the past 2 years or so, I've developed quite a weak stomach, so Russ rushed across the street to get me a soda while they drew my blood. On Friday he had to cancel most of his plans to prepare for and be there when the exterminator came. I'm so lucky to have a husband like him!

On a completely unrelated note, today my cousin, Katrina, got married in the Boise Temple. We weren't able to go, but I did watch her wedding slide show, and she looks so happy! One of Russ's RAs in nearly engaged, and just seeing him light up as he talks about getting the ring and planning the wedding is really a special thing to be a part of. Weddings are truly a singular event. I've never seen people as happy as they are as in their engagement and wedding photos. I know that as you grow together as a couple you realize you didn't even know what love was when you got married and children add a new kind of joy to your life, but that doesn't change how happy you really were on your wedding day. I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!