First and Last

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First Day

My creation

This was your very first day of pre-school, Kate (September 4, 2008).

You did not let me leave. In fact, I attended pre-school with you for the first few weeks. Over time, you grew to LOVE school and your teachers. You made so many friends. You took ballet and tap. You loved music and art. You walked away from me every morning with a smile.



Today was your last day of pre-school. It was pajama day and you wore your favorite cupcake nightgown. You brought in pink cupcakes so that your class could celebrate your birthday. It was so sad to say goodbye to Miss Erica and Miss Lucy!

You had a great year, Kate Emerson Ru and I love you!!!

P.S. Kate gets these HUGE marks from mosquito bites. She has one on her face right now that is hard and purple and huge (and several more elsewhere). Anyone else get this or know what to do about them? Aside from DEET (which I will not use on kids)? Do you recommend any natural repellents?  

Thanks Linda...I googled it and found this info....

Some studies suggest that taking thiamine (vitamin B1) 25mg to 50 mg three times per day is effective in reducing mosquito bites. This safe vitamin apparently produces a skin odor that is not detectable by humans, but is disagreeable to pregnant mosquitoes (Pediatric Clinics of North America, 16:191, 1969)


  1. I can't remember which form of Vitamin B, but Robert's mom used to give all of the kids Vitamin B when they traveled to Wisconsin to ward off mosquitos. According to all of them, it worked like a charm. To this day, Robert takes it when we go camping.

    Bruce's mom

  2. What a sweet post. And yes, the Tongginator reacts to mosquito bites in the same way. We've found that taking benedryl and even using hydrocortisone cream can help. And sometimes the Tongginator has to have an antibiotic because her bites become infected so, so easily.

  3. Doesn't it make your heart smile to see your children blossom! Glad she did so well in preschool. I have heard Skin So Soft by Avon is a good repellent.

  4. I love those pictures! Kate looks so excited with her crown! What a special day.

    My son is also very sensitive to bug bites. We use a kids bug lotion made by All Terrain that I buy at a natural food store, but I am sure you could find it online. It's made with citronella, peppermint, lemongrass & some other oils. Although it does not smell like chemicals, it is a bit strong. It takes some getting used to, but works.

    I'll have to look into the vitamin B info someone else posted. We live in WI & the bugs are out in full force already.

    We are cooking the GF lasagna recipe you posted a while back. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

  5. I know this may sound crazy but dryer sheets work like a charm. Take a dryer sheet and rub it all over the skin. I found out about this from a family friend who is a Marine and this is what they use on Parris Island. Women can even put them under their bra straps while outside and the mosquito's stay away. I've never tried that but I have rubbed my girls down with them. Also, Avon makes a wonderful spray that is from there Skin So Soft line. It's in a green spray can and DEET free. You don't even have to wash it off. It works like a charm.

  6. Kate is so darn cute!! She just has the sweetest smile! :)

    And thanks for the tidbit on natural repellants...I hadn't heard about taking Vit B1 before...interesting! And living in Minnesota where the mosquito is our "unofficial" state bird...we can certainly use any help we can get!!!

    God bless!

  7. Awww....your sweet girl has come so far this year!! I remember that post the first day of preschool.

    Nick gets the same way from misquito bites.....we use anti itch medicine and to prevent we use the skin so soft.....My Mom told me about it and it really does work!!


  8. Fun to see and remember the first day and see her now -- what a change! So sweet!


  9. I love Kate's PJ date pictures :) Such a cutie :) Can't wait to hear more about the natural repellents.

  10. My daughter gets those too! Her whole leg got very swollen once from a bite. Tehre is a benadryl spray that works so much better to treat them than anything else we have tried- and we have tried a lot of things. I don't know a good preventative. I was worried that my daughter would also be very allergic to bees, wasps, etc. The dr. assured me they have nothing to do with each other.

  11. I can't believe how much more mature she looks -- I'm sure you don't want to hear that:)! She's a doll baby. And on a side note, dryer sheets really do work!

  12. Great post... LOVE IT..
    Love to see how she has grown so much.. she has spread her wings and is soooo cute in her little cupcake p.j's..
    Have a great week..

  13. It is so fun to read about your family. Thanks so much for sharing. Love looking at the pictures. Beautiful little faces. :::sigh::: So, I wanted to let you know that I am passing along an award that was given to me. Feel free to accept it or ignore it. : ) Feel free to read my blog for the details.

  14. K has the same HUGE welts from bug bites - we use (I carry it in my purse)"After Bite" - It is the size of a pen - you can get it at the chain stores - it is basically ammonia in a stick - the second I see a welt - I put it on it - I sware it works magic -and the bite goes away with in 1/2 hour...also stops the itch. K has learned to stand REAL still when I use it near her eye/face...I blow on as it stinks - but it WORKS. I will use the bug spray on her - but on her clothes - not on her skin - but only if we are hiking or outside at dusk...give it a try!!!
    Carol in FL - where we grow big bugs!

  15. Congratulations sweet Katie Ru!
    Hannah gets eaten alive too and they take forever to go away and leave scars. I have heard if you make a paste of meat tenderizer and water and pack the bites with it that it takes away the itch and helps them go away quicker.
    love and miss you,

  16. Oh, Yeah. Just read one of your comments.... Avon's Skin So Soft lotion does help keep them away. I had forgotten about them..... must go order some. hehee

  17. How funny! Kate and Da Xin share the same birthday (although 8 years apart) and the same jammies, too. I sent the same jammies to Da Xin in her first care package. I thought they were so cute.

    I wish I knew the cure for mosquito bites. We had to take Leila to the Dr. this morning because her eye was nearly swollen shut. She had a bug bite on her eyelid. Yikes! I hope you get some good advice.

  18. Happy Day for Kate!!! She looks darling in her pjs and her crown. She is a little princess. Like many others, we use Skin So Soft. Hope you all are doing well! :)

  19. I haven't visited your blog in a while! I LOVE Kates birthday celebration - I will have to do that for one of Sarah's birthdays. I love how she is such a girly girl even with two brothers. I hope Sarah is! The boys baseball pictures are priceless. I love your beach shots too - Kates bikini is the cutest thing on her. Time flies - she is so beautiful.

  20. What a cutie! No wonder she's a mosquito magnet :) I've heard good things about vitamin B-certainly worth a try.

  21. CONGRATULATIONS KATE!!!! We are so proud of the great year you have had!!!! Ruby can't wait to be in pre-school next year! We miss you!

    Miss DI

  22. What a special year for sweet Kate!!

  23. What adorable photos. I love that her preschool had a pajama day. What fun!

  24. This is so ironic. I just received an e-mail from a friend of mine who is a chemist and lifes in Mosquitoville (aka Wisconsin). She said that putting Listerine (believe it or not) in a spray bottle and spraying it on clothing would repel the mosquitoes. She also suggested spraying it on the grass around a pool and where a picnic was planned. It was also suggested that you spray around doorways (not directly on the wood, but as you faced toward the outside from the doorway). I am planning on doing this whenever we will be outside for anytime, and especially when my grandson, who is very reactive to mosquito bites, visits.
    Now on the Kate pictures. I just love those dimples and smiling eyes. What a precious little doll. I am reliving raising my daughter through her "expeditions through life".

  25. I haven't read all of the comments to see if anyone suggested this. We use Buzz Away Extreme. One of the active ingredients is geranium oil. You can find it a Whole Foods. WF also has Bug Bands. They are just ok. I found a couple of bites on my girls when they were wearing the bands. Our yougest has the same reaction to mosq. bites.


  26. This is so interesting to me. Katie does the exact same thing. She had a mosquito bite last year and I had no idea that's what it truely was until I took her to the pediatrician - it looked more like a spider bite to me - huge purple and ugly. She has horrible reactions to mosquito bites.

  27. YES!!! Melaleuca Oil. We have gigantic mosquitoes and it works. You can order it online at, but you do have to "join." If you don't want to do that, you can find someone in your area who sells it. We buy all of our cleaning products through them as well, so we did join. It is all-natural and it works!!!

    S. gets the big, hard knots and so do I. My doctor says mosquitos actually inject a deadening agent when they put in their stinger and some people are just allergic to it and others are not. So some people welt up and show signs of a reaction while others don't.

    BTW, the melaleuca oil will stain clothes, but I don't know how we would ever go outside here w/out it. Hope this helps.

  28. Our daughter, also from China, reacts the same way to mosquito bites - I STILL haven't found the best way to treat them. My Melaleuca Oil works well for us. SHe is such a cutie!!

  29. How wonderful to see Kate blossom! Such darling photos, Kim ... I use to love pj day at preschool :)

  30. I have tried EVERYTHING. I have tried Tea Tree Oil, Skin So Soft, Vit B...I even tried the drier sheets (tied in her hair as fancy pony tail holders!)

    I am convinced that mosquitoes LOVE "Chinese Food" I am about ready to put her in bubble wrap.

  31. Kate has grown up so much this year!!! She is such a cutie!

  32. Goodness gracious, what charming kids!!

  33. My daughter from Vietnam also reacts to any insect bite the same way as does my bio son. We have to put a prescription antibiotic cream on the bites to keep them from turning into cellulitis. I found some Deet free wipes at Target in the baby section that have worked really well so far.

    Adorable pictures of your children. I check your blog often, but don't post very much.

    Dana E.
    LID 3/29/06


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