Monthly Archives: June 2009

So, I met the new doc today…

I met my new doctor today.

I needed a new general practitioner.  I had one, but I haven’t seen him for five or six years.  My old OB functioned as my regular doctor, but he retired, and my new OB seems unwilling to do regular-doctor stuff.  I have to get some health info, including blood pressure and cholesterol levels, or my husband’s insurance premiums will increase by 15%.  The words, “I think you should see a doctor” virtually never come out of my husband’s mouth.  But, when a cost increase of 15% was on the line, you can bet that he stayed on me until I had found a doctor and made my appointment.

You may recall that I pretty much just pulled her name out of a hat; I wanted a doctor who was on my insurance, who was a DO, who was a woman, and whose practice was close by to my home. This particular doctor fit the bill, so I made my new patient appointment.

I’m pretty particular about what I want in a doctor, though.  I prayed — seriously — that God, who knows what is important to me about my healthcare providers — would see to it that this doctor was the right doctor, even though me choosing her was really a shot in the dark.

Doctor’s office staff is also important to me.   The first good indication was the girl at the front desk: efficient, kind, polite, humorous, and thorough. Same with the “checkout” lady. The medical assistant or nurse (I don’t know which she was) was a rather odd: wry, a little bitter, quite mumbly.  But, two out of three is great, in my book!

The doctor walked in, and I realized that she was not what I expected. 😮 For some reason, in my imagination, I had pictured an earthy, homely young woman in her late 20’s or early 30’s, with wavy brown hair, maybe a tad overweight. A very small part of this mental image was semi-logical, but most of it completely not. I did a little research, and my doc got her degree in 2001, so I had assumed she was young. She wasn’t particularly. I’m guessing she was in her early to mid 40’s.  Her name, too, sounded semi-frumpy.  But, she was very pretty, blonde, stylish, and in good shape, though none of it in an overwrought or super-flashy way. She was bright, inquisitive, direct, made great eye contact, spoke to me like I was a real person, listened well, didn’t blow off any of my concerns, and even had several “teaching moments” where she explained things in depth — perhaps too great of depth! Some of it went way over my head.

There were a couple of things of concern with my health — perhaps minor concern; I don’t know yet, and I won’t mention the specifics until we know more from bloodwork and a visit to a specialist. But her recommendations to me were this, “Take more calcium (1500 mg; I’d been taking 1000 mg) and more vitamin D (800 IU instead of my previous 400 IU), divided as evenly as possible into three doses, which you need to take with meals.”

I could have jumped up and down for glee.

She didn’t try to throw medication at me; she actually prescribed more supplements! She didn’t rush to judgement; she said, “Let’s wait for the results of the bloodwork and your visit to the other doctor” until any other health decisions are suggested.

Continuity of care is also important to me. I’ve met a fair number of doctors who act as if they’re the only doctor in the world, and who seemingly don’t care about the opinions of other doctors, which has the effect of me tripping ’round to all these different doctors, who apparently don’t talk with each other, so I have to tell my story over and over and over.  Conversely, my new doctor specifically said that she wanted me to get my bloodwork done ASAP so that the other specialist could have it in hand when I go see him, and so that when I see her again, she’ll have both the bloodwork, and the opinion of the specialist to get a “well-informed” picture of what’s going on with me.

And the specialist she recommended? She said, “This is why I like either Doctor A or Doctor B. They’re both well educated, they’re both inquisitive, they’re both down to earth.” That’s not exactly what she said, but it was along those lines.

(What I mean by inquisitive is that, as a doctor, they look for the source of the problem, not just throw a pill at a set of symptoms. They’re like health detectives. Too few doctors, in my experience, are like that.)

I also mentioned in my health history that I have “presumed celiac disease” due to a cessation of x, y, and z symptoms on a gluten-free diet, and the fact that my son has it, and that autoimmune disease is rampant on my mother’s side. I told her that it was the opinion of both my former OB and my former general practitioner that I very likely had celiac disease. I’ve had other doctors quiz me suspiciously, “But you haven’t had an intestinal biopsy?” and fairly roll their eyes when I tell them that I haven’t. She, on the other hand, said that it sounded very likely that I had CD, and she wasn’t going to suggest, at this point, for me to do a gluten challenge, though she did suggest that I see a good gastrointerologist.

I told her that, at the time of Wesley’s diagnosis, I became very suspicious of doctors, due to a) the mishandling and missed diagnosis by Wesley’s pediatrician; b) the very bad interaction I had with an allergist who was supposed to be helping Wes, who was pushy, imperious, of no help whatsoever, and became combative when I questioned him; and c) and the nearly-as-bad “care” we received from the fake pediatric g.i. doc we saw for Wesley — he misadvertised himself as a pediatric gastrointerologist, and it turns out that he was just a “plain” pediatrician, and not a g.i. specialist at all.   She didn’t listen to my story with an impassive face, then rise to the defense of bad doctors, taking offense that I should say something bad about a colleague, as has been the case before.  SHE KNEW WHO I MEANT regarding the fake doctor. She named him.

The lone thing about which I was dissatisfied is that I mentioned several reasons for thinking that perhaps my testosterone is elevated, and she agreed that, yes, I likely had high testosterone, but that, in her opinion, there was nothing that could be done about it, and it was of no concern. Maybe high testosterone isn’t a HUGE issue, but I was hoping to learn something about it.

Still, all in all, I was very impressed. I know it’s just one visit, but how she doctored is exactly as I had hoped.

Now, I just have to get over my intimidation of those cute kitten-heeled mules and perfect hair. Ugh. But, I will do that. I’ll push through, because a good doctor is really hard to find, and I am absolutely relieved that it seems that I have found one.

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Diapers, Worship, Matchmaking, and Jane Eyre

  • I’ve been cloth diapering for about two weeks now, and it feels very natural already.  After my hubby buys a dozen prefolds and one Bummi Super Whisper Wrap today (unused) off of Craigslist this afternoon (since the lady lives by his office), I will have spent a grand total of $48 and have 42 diapers and 8 wraps, all previously new/unused.  I typically spend about $40 every five weeks for disposable diapers, so even though Fiala is eight months, it’s still money spent wisely.  Most of my diapers are regular Gerber birdseye prefolds, which I heard were awful, but so far, they’re working great.  I had to learn a new language all about the different kind of cloth diapers.  Only one dozen (plus the new dozen, almost purchased, above) are 2x6x2 — meaning two layers on the outsides, and six layers in the middle, and those are my favorite.  The remainder are 2x4x2, and those don’t hold much, so I either double them up, or I put one on Fiala when I know I’ll be changing her diaper again shortly.  I may make or buy some diaper doublers (I had to learn what those were, too — thick strips of cloth to tuck into the diaper so that it’ll hold more, without being quite so bulky as actually using two diapers), but other than that, I think I’m set until she potty trains.
  • We had a worship team meeting at our house on Saturday.  I have a love/hate relationship with having loads of people in my home.  I love having everybody over, but I hate the drama of, “Don’t bring those toys out here!  I just cleaned that!” etc.  We were just going to order Rubio’s (yum!), but I looked in the fridge that morning, and figured out that with only a few things from the store, I could make a Mexican-ish/Cuban-ish meal for everyone.  I didn’t do a headcount, but I think we had about 20 people here.  In my past life, I would have gasped, “Cook for TWENTY???”  But, now that there are already seven people in my family, and every other week, I cook for nine when my parents come over, twenty didn’t seem like so many.    Everything turned out really well, too.  And, my kids were awesome in the back bedroom — letting me know when I checked in that they were bored of watching SpongeBob, but they were still very well behaved.  That may have been because Grant was spending the night at a friend’s house.  I love my son very dearly, and there are many excellent things about his character, but he is, in short, a firebrand.  So, without him, things were particularly peaceful with the children.
  • Speaking of worship team…  We are having a new potential member and his wife and their infant over for dinner tomorrow!  We are fairly salivating over this young man, whose name is Willie.  There’s a fine balance — we don’t gladly gather mercenary worship team members — there are a lot of musicians who roam from church to church, and they’re just, literally, looking for a platform on which to perform, and who let one of the pastors, or my husband, know on the first Sunday or two that they’re there, that they want to play on the worship team.  If they’re not immediately given a berth, they depart.  There are a couple of guest musicians whom we occasionally employ, but by and large, the worship team is made of volunteers.  We want people committed to the church and its vision and who want to become members of the church itself (or at least be actively involved) before they serve in the public ministry of the worship team.  But, it is also true that if God gave someone a talent, and they’ve invested that talent, and it’s now a skill, and they’re a Christian, well… it just follows that they would want to go to church somewhere that they could use that talent, and play their instrument.  So, we have to catch ’em at just the right time — not too early, and not too late.  I think we may have done just that with Willie.  And, he plays mandolin (which we’ve been craving), electric guitar, bass, and drums, too.  Excellent.  Martin auditioned him on Sunday, and now they’re going to come over and we’ll just eat and chat to see if the things that make their hearts beat are the same things that make ours do the same.
  • I used to marvel at women who delighted in matchmaking.  I totally did NOT understand that mindset.  However — is it because I’m older and now been married for almost 15  years?? — my mind has been wandering that way for the last year or so, mentally matching up this young single with that one.  This isn’t quite matchmaking, but on Sunday, there was a new young lady, and she came right up to the front row, and she was a worshiper.  Oh, it just makes me thrilled when someone really gives themselves in worship.  I introduced myself to her after worship, and it turns out that she is a “friend” of one of our drummers, and she was there to surprise him, as she usually works on Sunday mornings, and goes to a different church on Saturday nights.  I love that drummer — his name is Bobby — and I was pretty much ready to let ’em march down the aisle in matrimony, simply based on the fact that she was a wholehearted worshiper.  To me, that speaks volumes about one’s character, and relationship with God, and that’s what I want for Bobby.
  • Whenever I start a book, it often takes me weeks — weeks — just to get through the first few pages.  I get constantly interrupted, and I just lay it down repeatedly.  Then, I get past the first 50 pages or so, and I’m totally drawn into the story, and I start reading near-excessively.  I read in snatches whenever I can, stay up way too late to read “just one more chapter,” etc.  Then, when I’m within five or ten pages of the end, everything screeches to a halt again, because I’ve so enjoyed the book, and I just don’t want it to end, so I prolong reading those last few pages.  Such is the case with Jane Eyre, which I’d never read until this last week or so.  I think I still prefer Jane Austen’s poignant loveliness and simplicity to Ms. Brontë’s verbose drama and boatload of coincidences, but still;  I have very much enjoyed reading this book, and wish that there was Jane Eyre, part 2 to read after I finally do get the last few pages read.

Skin Update

Teensy Fiala-skin update: Being soy-free, PLUS smearing her all over with fresh aloe (why didn’t I think of that before????) seems to be really helping. Her skin is still awful, but the edges of the largest patches really look like they’re healing — pink instead of flaming red and oozing.

This last week, though, and especially this past weekend, I fairly gorged on dairy products, as I’ve been dairy free (or virtually so) for the last six months or so… And, I think that maybe dairy is causing a problem for her, as well. I’m going to go back to being dairy-free, in addition to soy-free (with the possible exception of half & half in my morning coffee!), and see if that helps even further.

Believe it or not, this is an improvement

Fiala's skin

Sweet baby.  Sad skin.

I think we may have really had a breakthrough.  In case you didn’t see it in a comment I made on a previous post, on Monday, I couldn’t find my pure vitamin E oil (as suggested by my pastor!), so I got out an older bottle of vitamin E oil blend, whose first ingredient was soybean oil.  Almost immediately, her skin was inflamed, worse than ever!  That’s bad;  I have cried this week over the sorry state of her skin.  But, that terrible reaction appears to have been an answer to prayer, as I now have myself on a soy-free diet, and her skin does indeed seem to be improving.

My first reaction was, “I hardly eat any soy!”  I thought it would be a snap to eliminate.  But… that stuff is pervasive!!  It is in my non-dairy creamer (I’m back to regular half & half in my morning cuppa).  It’s in the protein bar I usually have on Sunday mornings.  I use soy lecithin in a homemade marinade I make about twice a week.  It’s even in my beloved Lay’s Stax!  And in my cheapo chocolate chips that we eat, and I bake with.  I buy them because they’re totally dairy-free.  But, they’re not soy-free!  Bummer.  AND,  soy oil is in the store-brand tater tots that we eat 1-2x/week.  It’s crazy, because virtually everything in my home is gluten-free and dairy-free, and it feels so good to just be able to pull something out of my pantry and know that it’s safe.  It’s been a weird adjustment to re-reading every label, checking for even minute traces of soy.  I don’t know how sensitive she is, exactly, but right now, I’m not taking any chances.  Often with food sensitivities, it’s the protein that is the problem, and the oil in the offending food isn’t nearly as big of a concern.  But, since Fiala’s bad reaction was to oil, I’m being very cautious.

Night before last, Martin came home to me nearly in tears, and VERY CRABBY because things were going very much awry with the kids.  He said after dinner, “Why don’t you go to Starbucks?” and at first, I was so ill-tempered I harumphed that I just wanted to stay on the couch and watch the baseball game.  Then, I changed my mind about two minutes later.  I said, “Call me when Fiala wakes up” and Martin replied, “No, there’s a bottle in the fridge;  I’ll feed her.”  Great!  But, we both realized the next day that the milk was pumped on a pre-soy-free day.  Ugh.   (Regarding Starbucks, they were out of the new gluten free Valencia orange cake.  Bummer.  And, at that Starbucks location, my options are always sit inside, where they keep the temp at 65° or something ridiculously chilly like that, OR, sit outside under the misters and cigarette smoke.  I chose cigarette smoke, and very much enjoyed reading Jane Eyre for about an hour and a half.)

So, it’s been very difficult to entirely eliminate soy.  But, this morning, for the first time in a very long time, the edges of the patch on her left cheek are pink (instead of red), and look like they’re truly healing.

Her skin problems have placed a near-permanent knot in the pit of my stomach, from seeing her in pain (when she scratches and draws blood) and discomfort (from itching)…  she hasn’t been sleeping well (meaning, neither have I, and not sleeping well at nighttime lends to her daytime crabbiness)…  I have felt very powerless to help with her skin, because nothing I have tried, both on my own, and as suggested by doctors, and as suggested by other concerned souls, has really worked.  A few things have slightly helped, or appear to help short-term, but mostly, it’s simply been a search for products or anything I can do to not make her skin worse, and it has been, by and large, a losing effort.

I’m also weary of fielding questions from others when we go out.  Maybe that’s dumb on my part, but we get so many comments from others, and I’m just tired of answering questions, and seeing multitudes more look at Fiala in concern or even fear like, “Can I catch that?”  I have seriously seen people recoil when I kiss her face.  I’m tired of that.

Obviously, my biggest concern is Fiala’s health.  I’m starting to be very concerned about scarring.  However, I find myself going out — even on simple errands, or to the library — less frequently, just because I don’t want to deal with others’ reactions to her skin.

I really, really, really hope that eliminating soy will solve her skin problems, or at least improve her skin greatly.

We do see a doctor on July 10, but that doesn’t mean that I’m just going to sit back, watch Fiala’s skin fester, and wait for the appointment.  😦  And, anyways, Fiala’s pediatrician has been of such little help, it’s hard to hold out hope that the pediatric dermatologist is going to have a miracle cure that the pediatrician didn’t know about.

So.  That probably sounds whiny, but there ya go.  Keepin’ it real.

Well, I guess he can’t fix everything

I had a rocky relationship with my Dad when I was growing up, but one very good thing to be said for him was that the man could fix/make/build anything.  Cars, household construction and remodeling projects, large and small electronics, appliances, anything.  He even built a “fort”, which was a playhouse accessible by a trapdoor, with its floor 9 feet in the air, swings and rings and a rope ladder underneath.  It rocked.  Not literally.  Its posts were made of telephone poles.  It was awesome.

One of the difficulties I had adjusting to marriage with my husband was the blank look he’d return when I told him something was broken.  I was expecting him to hop right on it with his Super Fix-It Skills, and he was like, “What do you want me to do about that??”  We replaced with new, things I knew my Dad could fix, if only he were close by.  We called in repairmen, which I had never seen, my entire childhood.  Our cars went in the shop when broken down.

My husband is extremely clever, and, given the time, could likely build a house from dirt to completion (although he says that he’d need help with the electric and plumbing).  But, he’s just not much of a fixer.  Or maintainer.  Plus, my husband would rather spend his lone weekend day (Saturday) with his family, than being hyper-industrious like my Dad is/was on Saturdays.  I do very much appreciate that my husband actually likes our children and me.

Anyways.

My 12yo son Ethan has been saving for a couple of years, and now has close to $200.  He decided a while back that he wanted a laptop, but despaired over how much new ones — even the cheap ones — are.  So, yesterday, I hopped onto Craigslist to poke around.  I found broken laptops (usually some problem with a virus, or needing a new $80 battery) from $40, and refurbished ones for $80-150.  $100 still seems very steep to Ethan, to spend on something with no guarantee on it.  So, I thought, “I’ll call my Dad!”

My thought process was that we could either buy a cheap one and ask him to fix it, or buy one that was closer to $150 and still have him take a look at it to make sure it was in good running condition.  Plus, I have a digital camera that won’t power up, and I thought he could fix that, too.

He came just short of refusing to even look at the camera, saying that he didn’t have the right tools, and the way electronics are made nowadays, you almost have to break them just to get them open.  I told him that, as the camera is as good as gone as it is, I wouldn’t be upset if he ended up pushing it over the edge.

He semi-agreed to the laptop idea, and then the conversation got interrupted.

Last night, at dinner, my husband pretty much nixed the idea of Ethan getting a laptop.  It’s his concern that Ethan will just load a bunch of games onto it, and want to tuck himself away in his bedroom for hours on end, playing on it, something that neither he (Martin) nor I want.  So, he told Ethan to write an essay today on why he wants a laptop, and what he would do with it, and that he may reconsider, depending on the substance of the essay.

Then, my Dad called this morning to suggest something different.  He said that “the company” (which he runs as chief technology officer — it’s funded by investors, fueled by my Dad’s ideas, operations are run by someone else, as that is not my Dad’s strength) has a couple of laptops that he could sell to us.  I hadn’t thought about that.  The less expensive one he’d sell for $120.  Both Martin and I feel better about buying a used laptop from my Dad, rather than some dude off of Craigslist.  It’s a nice piece of equipment, too, newer, and with a wider viewing screen than Martin’s laptop, and it has Windows XP on it.

The whole thing is still pending the outcome of Ethan’s essay, though.

My Dad did say, somewhat vaguely, “You may as well ship your camera over here, and maybe I could take a look at it,”  which I will certainly do.  I apparently still have more faith in his ability to fix stuff than he does.

Still, though.  I feel like it may be a minor turning point in my marriage.  I can’t help thinking, “My Dad could fix that” to a billion things in partial (or full) disrepair around here.  But, this whole episode, of my Dad saying, “Hm.  I don’t think I can fix that” is going to send that whole process into doubt, likely for the better, if that makes sense.

Happy birthday to Ethan…

I really can’t believe I’m a mother to a 12 year old.

He’s kind;  he lets me talk about the days when he was fat and smiley and when his favorite thing to do was knock over our hamper and roust about in the dirty clothes, and say things like “potock” for pocket, and “sobby” for strawberry, and “pleedo” for pillow, and how he used to call Grant, “Dwat.”  I wish that, at the time, I would have recognized what a fun baby Ethan was.  I spent a lot of his infancy stressed out because it was a lot more difficult to be a mother than I had anticipated.  But, I guess that just adds more joy to mothering now, because at least with the little-kid stuff, I have a good perspective, and five kids’ worth of experience that I just didn’t have back then.

I really need to do a post where I compare baby pics of both Fiala and Ethan.  They’re virtually identical.  But, my camera died.  I thought maybe I just needed new rechargeables, but even with those, the camera will hold power for about 2-3 seconds, if at all.  I’m thinking about asking my Dad if I could send it to him to fix.  He really can fix anything.

So, tonight was the big family shindig at the park.  It went well.  With all the leadup in my thoughts and prayers, and the way the Holy Spirit set it in my husband’s heart to invite our former sister-in-law, I thought that maybe God had Something Big in mind.  Well, maybe He still does, but if so, it didn’t happen tonight.  The FSIL and I hardly exchanged more than 10 syllables.  Part of that was because she came late;  she had to work, so my father-in-law picked up her kids, and then she came when she was done, not arriving until nearly 8:00.  Then, the lights inexplicably turned off at the park at 8:45, so we wrapped up the party.

I think maybe it’s maturity — either that, or apathy — but a big part of me really doesn’t care what FSIL does or says or thinks any more.  I used to get all worked up, rolling my eyes, and exclaiming with horror, “Can you believe she…” and now, it just rolls off.  I just prepare myself in advance, that she’s likely to say or do something with which I completely disagree, and I just don’t let it sink in.

I just did my best to take the best of it — like the fact that she loved Audrey’s spunk, and that she thought my cake was good — and just not worry about the rest.

Now, FSIL is set on having a joint birthday party for one of my neices and Grant.  I was glad to see Martin totally noncommittal to that.  I mean, it may work out, and that could be a good thing, but I don’t think either of us are ready to have her be our new BFF or anything like that.

I did very much enjoy spending time with my neices and nephew, especially the youngest, who is almost 11.  She’s just sweet, and trailed nearby me most of the time, often holding Fiala.  And, my nephew is 17 and about 6’4″, but seemed to think nothing of playing with his much-younger and much-smaller nephews, putting wrestling holds on them, and running around in the sprinklers with them.

It was a good time.

Thanks to the many of you who prayed.  Part of me feels like a dork, because maybe all the prayer wasn’t necessary;  it all went so smoothly.  BUT, maybe all of our prayers averted what could have been disastrous.  And, there’s no such thing as wasted prayer, IMO.  So, it’s all good.  😀

Note to “Voice of Wisdom”

Hey, “Wisdom” ~

Since you supplied a fake e-mail, I thought I’d address you here.

You recently left a comment which I have since deleted.

On my blog, conversation is encouraged.

Arguing is tolerated.

Abuse is deleted.

Telling someone — on a post about homeschooling — that they sound like an idiot has a whiff of prejudice to it. Apparently, you do not realize that prejudices are rooted in ignorance. Ignorance is fairly synonymous with “idiot.”

Come back when you can play nice.

~Karen

p.s.  Since both WordPress and Sitemeter harvests your IP address, I know that Qwest is your ISP, and you’re in Boise.  It wouldn’t be all that difficult to track you down directly.  Not that I’m going to take the time to do so.  It’s just that, apparently, you don’t know that those who hit and run on the internet are not truly invisible.  So, be careful!  And, be kind.

Makes my heart beat a little faster

Martin

One day, when I’m grown up, I’d like to marry a man who looks exactly like that. Brooding brow, almost-black hair, guitar, and everything.

Oh, wait. I am grown up, and I am married to him!

Lucky me. 😀

Father’s Day, My Birthday, etc.

  • We had a really good Father’s Day celebration at my father-in-law’s.  We had a cookout, watched baseball, then watched Bad Day at Black Rock, which is sort of like a Western film noir.  Very cool.  My kind of movie, for certain.  Well, pretty much everyone got to watch all that stuff.  I was off, attempting to get Fiala to go to sleep.  She woke up at 7:00 a.m. (after being up at 4:00), slept about 10 minutes in the car on the way home from church and DID NOT SLEEP at all until she was home in her bed at about 8:00 p.m.  😮  She was one exhausted baby.  Still, it was a great day.  I have to be so careful not to be envious of my in-laws.  I mean, where they live.  They’re in Desert Hills, which is just west of Cave Creek.  They’re on several acres, and their house backs up to the “landscape” of the Sonoran Desert.  They have horses.  I’m not really into horses, now that I’m a grown-up and know how much work it requires to take care of horses.  However, I spent a lot of the day looking into the back, and seeing Wesley climb on the bales of hay, and watching him train one of my father-in-law’s dogs, a big yellow lab, to climb on top the bales, and to climb into a huge wood-sided wagon and let him pull her about.  Kids just need to be outdoors and do that sort of thing.  I love our home, I love our neighborhood.  But, I would dearly love to have room to spread out, and to be in a more natural setting.  I don’t need a bigger house, but it sure would be nice to have more property.  *sigh*
  • I have a few disposables left, but I brought all our cloth stuff to the nursery at church for the first time yesterday.  One lady in the nursery, who I do love so, said a few gentle but pointed comments like, “I cloth diapered my kids, but I made sure to bring disposables along when we went out.”  I changed Fiala right when I brought her in, and told them that, unless she pooped, they wouldn’t need to change her again.  But they did change her, because that’s their SOP.  I may eventually change my mind about bringing disposables along for trips outside the house, but… I don’t think so.
  • My Dad and I have had a rocky past, but it’s been steadily improving over the last… four years or so.  I had a great conversation with my him on Father’s Day, at night, after we were back from my in-laws.  Many thanks to my husband, who wrangled our four older kids, fed them, and got them into bed so I could chat with my Dad.  He gave me an update on his life…  He really does have an interesting life.  And he’s dating, which shouldn’t be such a weird concept to me, but it just is.  Then he asked, “How are my granddaughters?”  which made me all warm and fuzzy for a couple of reasons.  The first is that, for years, he was in denial that he was an actual grandparent, so even for him just to say “granddaughter” is a huge growth step for him.  The second is that, even though I adore my boys, I found it especially sweet that he inquired about the girls.  He thinks Audrey is a hoot.  To him, she’s the classic “sanguine” which he finds amusing and intriguing, especially since there are no true sanguines in our family, like for generations, at least on his side.  Since Audrey fits nicely in the sanguine box, he could easily relate to both our joys and our struggles in raising her, because he classifies pretty much everyone with those four personality types (sanguine, melancholy, choleric, and phlegmatic).  Martin and I need her to obey (not be a robot girl, but, nonetheless, obey) but we don’t want to squash the sparkle of her personality.  And, he listened with concern about Fiala’s skin, and prayed for her, over the phone.
  • Speaking of Fiala’s skin — coconut oil makes it worse, though I sincerely appreciate the suggestion from everyone who mentioned it.  Her little body broke out in a whole-body rash after I applied it.  And I used it for a good week, just to make sure that the reaction wasn’t coincidental to something odd I had eaten.  I Googled it, and while it appears to be rare, allergy to coconut does exist.  I’m not 100% certain she’s allergic to coconut, but I’m not going to use the oil again.  I’m back to my homemade salve, which really does help, better than any topical lotion, salve, prescription, over-the-counter, etc., I have used.  However, if it helped having me completely egg- and nut-free these last two weeks, the benefit was minimal.  I had a g.f. cake with eggs and butter in it yesterday, but I still think I’ll stay off of eggs and dairy, just in case.  On Sunday morning, my pastor suggested rubbing pure vitamin E oil on Fiala.  Duh!  I slathered myself in E oil my whole pregnancy.  Why didn’t I think of that?  I will try that starting today.
  • My birthday was Saturday.  My hubby and I had a date night — only the THIRD since Fiala was born, eight months ago today.  😮  I had no problem leaving my other kids with a babysitter, even when they were tiny.  But, it’s so hard with Fiala.  Martin says that she is my security blanket.  🙂  Maybe so.  Part of the reason it is so difficult to leave her with a babysitter is, I’m leaving her with them during her fussy time of day, and as her mom, many times that’s extremely difficult for ME to manage — fussy baby plus four other children — and I’m her mother!  But, I love our babysitter, Mackenzie, when we can get her!  She is lovely, intelligent, extremely competent, artistic, lots of fun, and my children adore her.  She’s now 22, and has been watching my kids since she was 13 and we only had two children.  There is a guy at my church that I so want her to marry.  Mackenzie works at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and he comes in there from time to time.  She knows who he is, but he has no idea who he is.  She used to have responsibilities at her church, but she recently stepped down, so on Saturday, I was like, “Cooooommmmeee to my chuuuurrrrrrrrrrch,” so that she could spend time with that guy.  😀  Anyways.  On our date, Martin and I went to P.F. Chang’s, then saw Star Trek, which rocked.  And, he gave me a case of wine for my birthday!  That seems like a weird gift… but four years ago, we went to the historic La Posada for our 11th anniversary, and we had the BEST WINE EVER, and now, every glass we have had since is, “It’s just not as good as that wine.”  A couple of months ago, I finally found it online.  It was difficult to track down, because it turns out it was a custom crush with a private label.  So, I had to find the vineyard that produced it.  They did have a few cases left, but we’ve never purchased a whole case (12 bottles!) of wine before.  Martin raided my e-mail, found the info, had a case — which turned out to be the last in existence — shipped to his work, and then stored it at a friend’s house for a week.  So, it still seems weird to get wine for my birthday, but it’s such good wine, and it has such lovely memories attached.  It’s a 2004 Fairfield Pinot Noir, from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, made by LaVelle Vineyards. Maybe next year I can get a Stan Fellows painting.

In lighter news for the day…

Last post was pretty heavy.  To counteract that, here’s some girlie and baby fluff!

  • I am only on my third day of cloth diapering, but it’s going great!   I have decided there’s nothing cuter than a puffy baby butt in cloth diapers.  All of the diaper covers I got for Fiala are white or light tan, and I can see her spending all summer in a diaper cover and a tee shirt.  Now I understand why there are 20 billion colors of diaper wraps available…  Every mom wants to cutely coordinate the diaper cover with a top, and NOT put any shorts/skirts/trousers on them!
  • I gave Audrey an old lip gloss earlier today to play with.  I should have known better.  She has been putting it on, NONSTOP.  Licking the wand, too.  Like for the last five or six hours.  She also put it on Fiala.  Well, on the top of Fiala’s head.  On “accident.”  It’s a very light pink, but very frosty/shimmery, so now pretty much Audrey’s whole face is asparkle, and she is fruity-scented, like the lip gloss.  😀
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