Thursday already??

Life.  It’s an alternating pattern of joy and frustration, isn’t it?  At least, mine is, currently.

We’re still in the throes of Little League season.  Imagine your life as a homeschooling mom of five.  Then, imagine someone lopping off four hours of your day, four days each week, and imagine what kind of frustration that might lead to.  I was watching a game last night…  Well, sort-of watching, because my husband had to leave for kinship, so that meant I had to keep a sharp eye on 7yo Wesley and 3yo Audrey as they run around and play, plus make sure 5mo Fiala was still asleep in her stroller, plus talk with my Stepdad, who’d come to watch the game, plus watch the game.  Anyways.  I told him that if it wasn’t for, “THIS,” spreading my arms wide, I’d really be stressed right now.  Because, really, I love that the boys are playing baseball.  I love to see my kids run around and play with all the other kids who are there ostensibly to support their baseball-playing siblings.  And, yesterday evening was one of those that made me think, “This is why people move to Phoenix.”  It was in the low 70s or high 60s, breezy and clear and lovely, with a nearly-full moon rising on the eastern horizon, which we faced, as the sun sank behind us.  And, I so enjoy chatting with all the other baseball parents with whom we’ve been seasonal friends for the last few years…  It really is pleasant.  Plus, the facility at which we play our games is really top-notch for both players and fans.  But…. when I get home at 7:45 with a hungry baby and hungry kids and I’m trying to feed everyone all at once, and no one gets into bed until 9:15, my perspective on Little League shifts a little.  And that’s with the EARLY games, which start at 5:30, like last night.  With the 7:30 games, we are able to eat dinner before leaving home, but we don’t get home until nearly 10:00.


We’re sick again.  Audrey is in bed with a 102+° fever.  Hopefully, she’s done puking.  My husband Martin’s fighting a terribly sore throat.  Ethan has been feeling some sort of vague malaise since mid-last-week.  Wesley had diarrhea, which may have been from some unidentified source of gluten.  Poor dear Fiala’s skin is a MESS.  I’m healthy.  Grant is healthy.  Bless God.

I have the kids popping vitamins and drinking honeyed chamomile tea which has been doped up with colloidal silver at every opportunity.

I was afraid that maybe Fiala had some sort of fungal infection on her skin, and ordered a bunch of herbs (pao d’arco, marigold, and lemongrass) for a new decoction and salve.  However, after viewing a bunch of icky pics online, I don’t think she has any sort of bacterial infection OR fungal infection.  She “just” has some really, really bad eczema, which she keeps scratching, which makes it redder and oozing.  We have tried a billion kinds of creams and lotions, and what works best is an old version of my homemade salve — made from chamomile and marigold flowers, which I had seeping in organic sunflower seed oil for a several months, which I strained and heated, then added some organic beeswax, plus a bit of vanilla so it would smell nice.  It works, but only when I use it 4-6x/day, and only when I slather it on thick, so that she’s yellowish and greasy.  Ugh.  No other solution has made it better, and a number of them have made it worse.

Since we don’t cloth diaper, and the ONLY spot on her body unaffected by the eczema is on her chubby bum, I’m thinking it’s contact eczema, maybe from our laundry detergent, which is ultra-pure and supposedly hypoallergenic, and I don’t use fabric softener, and we have soft water… so you’d THINK it wouldn’t be the detergent, but it must be.

I think.

Poor baby.

She’s also teething.  She cut her first tooth on April 1st, no foolin’.  😉  The second one, also a lower central incisor, poked through yesterday.

I’m also bummed because my brother, who is really such an admirable man, with a brilliant mind and a spotless work ethic, is out of work, victim of, among other economic woes, the tanking price of copper.

And my sister is mad at me.  It’s been a long time since we’ve had a serious disagreement.  My sister is funny and witty and unique and talented and fantastic at her work, which is basically social work, which is so admirable in itself.  There are few women with whom I feel so well at ease.  She is precious to me, deep in my heart.  We talk fairly frequently, and I “had” to get unlimited texting on my phone because our text conversations were costing a mint.  However, she is… well, among other heartbreakingly misguided decisions, leaving her husband.   One minute, she says she doesn’t care about whether or not I agree with her.  But the next minute, she makes it clear that if I did agree with her choices, she would call it “supportive,” and it’s important to her that I be supportive.  But, since I don’t agree with her, she tells me I’m judgmental.  And, obviously, not supportive.  She thinks my perspective and values are skewed because I’m “so” Christian.  Guilty as charged, I’m sure.  I’ve been very silent on the topic of recent decisions which have negatively impacted her marriage, which didn’t go unnoticed by her.  Then, on Sunday, she asked me, basically, what I thought.  And, I told her, with as much love and gentleness as I could which, apparently, wasn’t enough.  😦  Our relationship will, eventually, recover.  But, that’s only a small part of her story, and I’m afraid that the wider picture of what she’s mistreating, including herself, won’t fare as well.  And, I’m sad for her husband.

In other news, in homeschooling, I recently promoted my middle son up to work with my older son.  For the last almost-two years, Grant has been working with my younger son.  The transition has been a lot more difficult than I had anticipated.  My youngest son, Wesley, is LOVING having the one-on-one school time with just me, and will frequently do his best to extend our study by whipping out random facts and conversation-starters.  But, my oldest son is not loving doing work with Grant.  It’s character-building for all of us, which is, by nature, not easy.

I didn’t accomplish nearly all I needed to during last week’s school break.  😦  Bummer.  Blame it on baseball.  I’m now saying, “I will do x, y, and z when we’re done with school in mid-June.”  Or, considering stopping school in late May, even though we won’t have put in a full 35 weeks.  To that end, I’m whipping the boys (not literally) through math and English because those are the two subjects that it’s most important, to me, that they keep at grade-level, since knowledge in both areas is progressive, and will produce a negatively-cascading effect if neglected.


That’s all for now.  ‘S enough, dontcha think???


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on April 9, 2009, in Arizona, Babies, Baseball, Celiac Disease, Christian Living, Digestive Woes, Extended Family Drama/News, Family, Homeschooling, Marriage, Motherhood, Sports Stuff, The Dear Hubby, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. WOW you are way busier than me. That is the one reason we quit baseball. It is my favorite sport though.

    Soccer I can handle for now. It isn’t nearly as time consuming.

    I hope you all get better. I have a cold/allergies. I think it is because the wind has blown all day everyday for about a week. At least 35 mph. Today it blew over the smoker, with all the jerky in it.

    Homeschooling is sometimes stressful and sometimes rewarding. I can’t decide which happens more. ;0)

  2. My Little Critter gets Eczema nasty on her bum and legs… Hers is a reaction to any soap/shampoo /lotion/bubble bath. So we stick with California Baby sensitive and Ecos laundry soap. K3 had facial eczema as a baby turns out that was due to food allergies.

    We’ve had the same sickies… First a vomiting thing, then fevers/sore throat/ runny nose… Then a solid two weeks of the poo’s. So not fun!!!!

    Hopefully everyone is feeling better soon!!!

    Baseball… Ugh! I won’t even go there!

  3. Unlimited texting? It’s a blast. My pre-paid plan would run out too quickly if I didn’t have free texting, so good deal…


  4. The Princess has eczema as well and I have found that Wal-Mart’s version of Eucerin mixed with sage did quite well.

    Hoping that all is better and well in the house soon.

  5. We just stopped using laundry detergent and started using Soap Nuts (just Google it). Love them!

    What I really wanted to say, though, was about you and your sister. My sister stopped speaking to me almost ten years ago, because rather than lose my home and my children, I chose to leave my husband instead….he had developed a very serious drug problem, and I was frequently coming home to missing electronics, he was using my son’s insulin needles to get high, and I was mightily concerned about the safety of my children. Obviously, I don’t know your sister’s situation, and it’s not really my business, but I wanted to point out that you may not know *all* of what is going on with her. I spoke with my sister several times a day, saw her almost daily, and she was my best friend. And until the bitter end, she knew nothing of what was going on with us, I was too embarrassed to tell her.

    Ten years, Karen, and I miss her every day. Her biggest obstacle was that she could not accept that I was doing something that she felt was wrong, and her church taught her that she couldn’t associate with me because I was such a horrible sinner. Do I even need to tell you what this did to me, who used to go to church every Sunday? Divorce is a horrible thing, and I hate it, but I stand by my decision. I lost everything I had when I chose that route, my family, my friends, my support…and I’ve not been back to church since. If God is able to forgive me, why can’t anyone else?

    I’m sorry for dumping my skeletons on you like that, but I hope to let you see another side…I don’t know how, but if you can find a way to support your sister, it will be so much better for her (and you, too). (((hugs)))

    And, feel free to delete this, because I’ll probably be sorry later that I didn’t just dig up your email instead…..

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