Where Were We?

This time last year was MASSIVE! I posted about it the day after it all went down, but today was the day.

Exactly one year ago, on November 30, 2015, we sold our house. While we were more than ready to get out of there, that house was a lovely home for us. It had lots of room, an open concept, a big finished basement, and the price of living there sure didn’t hurt. If it were in another location, we likely would have lasted in that house quite a bit longer.

But when it sold, we were THRILLED! It meant we could move on to the next thing! At the time, we had no idea that the next immediate thing would be quite so stressful – finding a rental, while trying to start our build, and actually moving. Basically, one year ago, the papers were signed, the sold sign went up, and we enjoyed a supper of apricot chicken with our realtors. It was pretty awesome.

Its been a pretty crazy year since then, and while not every part of it was blissful, I couldn’t be happier to be exactly where we are. If you’ve talked to me about our house, I’m positive you’ve heard me say what I’m about to say. I go back and forth between being in complete awe of our house and home and that its ours. This incredible place is ALL OURS. But on another hand, even the moment we officially owned it, it felt very normal, and natural, and comfortable. Because we’ve been here in our hearts for so very long, and it is exactly perfect for us. I am so happy to be living here.

Recently, I saw that our old house was up for sale again. I’ll be honest. My initial reaction was to kind of laugh, and throw a “good luck” in her direction. Houses don’t sell quick out there, and I had a bit of a “good riddance” feeling when it did finally happen. Even though I know how blessed we were to have such a beautiful roof over our heads for those many years.

I am SO thrilled that she bought our house one year ago, and I hope she can find the same relief and joy in someone buying it from her very, very soon. I’m rooting for her to have a cozy Christmas there, and an easy sale shortly thereafter 🙂

Things that are Hard when you’re Five

Dekker missed school last week because he developed spots on his hands. He was a little too happy to stay home, but I was glad he wasn’t disappointed either. Since he mainly goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, today was his first day back after only missing one day, and he was ok, but a tad hesitant. Just a tad.

We did the morning as normal and he was ready to go. Got out the door fine, walked from the van fine, etc. I took him into the boot room, where we ran into Kim. She had Em, and another little boy from Dekker’s class was there, too. They all dumped off their backpacks, said their goodbyes, and headed to the playground. Dekker was the last of the three, since he likes to make a big fuss over trying to get his backpack on the shelf, and I bent down to give him a big hug and kiss.

While we were face to face, he whispered “I want to stay home today…” and he looked like he was about to tear up. This is very unlike him, because 1. Dekker physically cannot whisper. I have tried. He honestly can’t figure it out. And 2. He is usually pretty loud about how he feels, whether he’s happy or sad. He makes it known. This was a very quiet cry for help. I didn’t want to downplay his feelings, but he did need to stay, so I took his hand and prepared to walk him to the playground and encourage him from there, but no! The two little boys had waited just outside the doors for him! I could point it out to him, and he let go of my hand fairly easily and headed off with them. It does good things for my mama heart to see that.

I guess the biggest thing I want to communicate through this post is how important it is to be nice. All parents do it different, and its very easy to nitpick about other kids behavior and how they’re being raised and how maybe you’d do it differently. At least its easy for me to get lost in that, even though I make a VERY solid point not to be judgemental, EVER, because of how hurtful I find it when I’m wrongfully judged.

Regardless of how other people do their thing, you need to speak for your kids, not theirs. So raise your kids to be nice kids, like the lovely mamas of those two boys who waited for my hesitant boy this morning. It may seem small, but its not. Its huge. Thats what I’m trying to do, anyway.


I’m quite confident we’re just about all healed up now. I haven’t had any pain medication since this morning, and I ate salty food for supper without consequence, so praise the Lord for that! Thank you all, once again, for the help, love, gifts, prayers, etc. They have helped tremendously. In the same breath, Rowan is in great shape, just rocking a few little pink spots where his bumps used to be, Dekker’s spots are lightening and he’s not sick at all, and Laela and Brady have seemingly dodged this bullet!! If you do feel led at all to keep praying for us, please keep Brady and Laela in your prayers, and let them remain healthy!

All that being said, I accomplished very little today. You’d think that I’d finally want to get stuff done, now that I wasn’t in crazy pain, but I didn’t. I did a load of laundry, and a load of dishes, and otherwise, I sat and rested with the kids and had a super relaxed day. Around 4:00pm, we loaded up in the van and went to get Brady. His van is doing some nerve wracking things and Brady has done as much as he can do without just spending money and trying stuff. So hopefully this new mechanic shop that we really really like can be super helpful. They’ve taken GREAT care of us in the past, and they seemed really confident that they could figure out Brady’s van. So we picked him up from the shop, grabbed coffee (I can drink coffee again!) and headed home.

We had a really comfy supper of chicken fingers and mashed potatoes, and now everyone is in bed. I’m singing with a girlfriend at a ladies morning meeting at our church this week, so we’re off to practice soon. Seems like a great, relaxed way to end the day – singing in the church, on a grand piano, with fabulous acoustics, and a friend. Definitely can’t complain!

I hope you all enjoyed your Mondays.

Our Particular Breed of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

Now that we’ve been sick for a solid week or so (and what a week its been!) I feel like I can identify the exact strains of this virus that we have. Be prepared. I’m a doctor, after all.

Dekker. Dekker has traditional Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. He has spots on the palms of his hands, soles of his feet, and around his mouth. THANK GOD he is in zero discomfort or pain, and is just going about life as though he’s not sick at all. This is my favorite kind of HFMD.

Laela had MD. Mouth Disease.  Or I suppose, Throat Disease. She only had sores in her throat. I’ll admit, we were never able to see them and confirm their presence, but I choose to believe that is the only reason why she coughed blood up on that one occasion, and also fought food and water for those days. Laela likes to do things differently, so instead of the traditional HFMD, as modelled by her older brother, she rocks MD instead.

Then there is Solly. He has EMD. Any guesses? Along with his case of MD, he got bumps and spots on his ears. Crusty-topped little zitty spots. Because why wouldn’t HFMD be on ears??

Why not, you ask? Because it can be anywhere. And everywhere!!!

Rowan. Rowan goes big or goes home. That is why he broke us in harshly with a solid case of IHFMD. Ironic Hand Foot and Mouth Disease is a tricky one, as it presents nothing like traditional Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. It does this by not appearing on the hands, feet, or within the mouth. His strain was the hardest to identify, but also the first, so its been simpler to identify the other strains as the week has rolled on.

While I appreciate my four children teaching me about four different (but the same) viruses all at once, I could have just asked my friends about it, or our doctor, or read about it online if I really needed this much info. I did not require this much information at all, but I suppose now that I have it, I can relate to a large group of people who have experienced any one of these individual strains.

All of this being said, my particular strain (Mouth Nose Sideburn Disease) appears to be on the way out. I say this hesitantly but very hopefully. I don’t know if I can give credit to inevitable healing with time, essential oils, or the prayers that have been prayed over us. Probably all three. I hope I am actually healing, and am not just numb to everything, thanks to the pain medicine I have to take in order to function and be around my family. Either way, I’ve felt reasonably well today. Praise God!

Now we wait and see how the next couple of days go. I don’t really know the rules about when to send Dekker back to school. Any tips? His spots appeared Thursday morning, but he’s never scratched them, fevered, complained about them at all! He is not acting sick, but obviously just had traditional HFMD, as I mentioned above. If you have any expertise on the matter, don’t hesitate to chime in! He would go back to school on Tuesday, if all went well.

Thanks, once again, for everyone’s care and concern for our family <3 Its helped me feel less crazy. Its always nice to know we have people in our corner. We all really appreciated all of you!

My Gift to You

My gift to you today will be a short post. I am still feeling super sick and even more grouchy. I lost an amazing amount of sleep last night due to the burning pain in the back of my throat. After a desperate cry for help on Facebook, I want to thank everyone for all of their help! Some of you messaged with me and helped come up with ideas on how to help me feel better. Some commented with ideas. Some actually brought samples and lovely gifts by. Some are praying. I am SO thankful for all of you who have taken an interest in helping my family get well again. While my kids are a priority VERY close to the top, I know I also need to be as functional as possible, as their mom, so I can care for them well.

But I will spare you the ranting about my pain for the night. Instead, I will hide out while my husband feeds the kids for yet another night, and then have a nice long soak in the lavender epsom salts made for me by a caring friend.

Thanks again, everybody! Have a great night!

Black Friday

Since getting my makeup artistry certificate, I haven’t bought any makeup! I’ve been thinking I’d do some serious Black Friday shopping and snag some deals. However, I did not. Not even once.

Today was my second sick day. Yesterday, Brady stayed home from work, and I slept most of the day, with a soak and some water drinking in between my naps. I know, it sounds quite luxurious, but I was toast. I don’t know what I would have done if Brady couldn’t have stayed home with me.

I feel somewhat better today. I’m not so achy and I’m capable of walking on my own, so thats good! But my head is a good ways behind the rest of my body. If I walked down the stairs, I’d be fine, but then I’d turn the corner and wooooo! I’d get SO dizzy. Thanks to this craziness, Brady stayed home for me this morning as well. I send him to work this afternoon once both little boys had gone down, and while our afternoon was quite low key, I was shot when he made it home.

My mom was spectacular and made me one of my favorite soups for supper. She makes amazing corn chowder, so that was on our supper menu, with buns. It was such a good meal. It tasted amazing, though in all honesty, its really hard for me to eat. On top of feeling feverish and dizzy, I have joined the HFM club over here. Just in my mouth, though. And let me tell you. I now understand why kids scream when they have to eat or drink when they have HFM. It is incredibly painful. I find that eating hurts my mouth and tongue and throat, and then goes up and radiates into my cheekbones. Its pretty great, as I’m sure you can imagine.


As for the rest of the group, Brady is still healthy! PLEASE PRAY that he stays that way!!! So is Laela! Pray for her too!! Rowan is healing up in record time, which we’re super thankful for! Almost all of his spots have peeled off, leaving fresh pink skin underneath. He had a few crusty red ones left but they’re the ones that showed up later in the game so I’m sure they’ll be gone soon. Dekker’s spots are more pronounced today, but he isn’t acting like he feels sick AT ALL! I asked him if the spots on his hands were bugging him and he said “Aren’t they such cute little spots?” I agreed with him, and thanked the Lord that he isn’t clawing at them! And Solly is still struggling to drink but not as bad as a couple of days ago, so we’ll take what we can get! Hopefully we’re through the worst of it and only see improvement from here on out.

Test Results Are In!

After all of this back and fourth, I’ve taken three calls from my doctor as results have rolled in, and we have our answer.

This morning, she called and asked how Rowan’s skin was doing. She said if his rash was worsening, she wanted to try to get him in with a dermatologist today or tomorrow. She was very happy to hear that both of his rashes are healing well, and that we appear to be out of the woods on that one. She also informed me that Laela’s throat swab from Sunday night for strep was negative, like we thought.

Later in the afternoon, she called to tell us that she had learned that Rowan’s rash was in fact not chickenpox after all! We both agreed that it was great news, because we wouldn’t have to worry about Solly catching them so young, but it was also frustrating to still not know what this rash was!

This evening, I received a third call from Dr. Guselle saying she actually received another result that we weren’t expecting! I guess Rowan’s swab was tested for a small handful of things, and it was in fact positive for hand foot and mouth. After all of this, he just had a super strangely presenting case of what we originally thought!

So while HFM is still quite contagious and we’ll hole up for a while, its not as big of a deal as we thought. If Solly gets it, we’ll just work hard to keep him comfy and make sure he still drinks. Same goes for Laela. Dekker actually woke up with spots on the palms of his hands and the soles of his feet, so I’m pretty sure he has it. I’ve been very feverish and shivery and weak and achy all day, and as I sit here typing this post out, I feel sores on my tongue and in my throat :/ Merp.

This has been quite a week! Thank you, guys, for caring about our family and following whats been going on. Hopefully soon, we’ll all be well and can be at least somewhat interesting again! Doing our best over here!

Dekker’s Evening

When Dekker got home from school yesterday, he was trashed. SO overtired, very weepy, and he said his body was achy. And he wasn’t lying either. I watched him shake trying to pull him chair out at the table. It was clear he was sick when he ate three bites of macaroni for breakfast. It was confirmed when Laela requested a show that he doesn’t like, and he didn’t fight it. He felt like absolute garbage. After supper, he was arguing and struggling and was really seeming like he needed to go to bed, but it was 6:00pm.

So I was given the special, rare opportunity to have a date with him. I asked him to go to the bathroom and to brush his teeth, and then come to his room. When he came, he was so shaky and weak. I gave him a back rub and lotioned his arms and legs. I helped him get his sticky limbs into some fresh jammies, and we climbed into his bed. I had brought some books into the room, and we lay in bed and read about all kinds of construction equipment, and then Paw Patrol.

After a while, the books were done, and Dekker was starting to feel better. “My medicine has kicked in, Mommy!” But I was enjoying our date too much to release him back to the others. Instead, I lit a special Bath and Body Works candle and shut the lights off. He was mesmerized by the shadows it was casting, and we lay in silence for a while. Eventually, I started interviewing him. I asked him about school and he finally told me about it! He accounted for minute after minute, telling me about each activity they did, who he did it with, who his friends are, what jobs he does, what songs he sings, etc. I am SO thrilled to know about his day. FINALLY!

We took our sweet time chatting and snuggling, and finally we just lay on his bed in silence for a good while. He was mouth breathing, his nose all stuffed and crusty. He was sweaty, but didn’t want to change out of his long sleeved shirt. I convinced him to swap out his pants for shorts, so we did that, and then he lay back in bed, totally unmoving. It was so peaceful.

Brady got the kids brushed and changed and ready for bed in Laela’s room, even though it usually all takes place in the boys room. When the door finally opened, all three of the other kids came over to Dekker’s bed, and I picked them up and brought them to him for a hug. Then everyone went down, in the dark, in their warm bed, totally calmly. It was awesome <3

Dekker slept well, and Brady and I had a super difficult night with Solly. We’ve never had a night quite like that. Oy. And now, this morning, Dekker feels WAY better, Laela is chipper and great, Solly is incredibly tearful and won’t drink, and Rowan’s second rash that he acquired is growing. And his feet are swollen. Guys. I’m at SUCH a loss with whats in our home. But it was SO nice to have a soft, safe moment with Dekker in the midst of all of the crazy.

I sure love you, Dekker Thomas. I really enjoyed our date 🙂

Yet Another Dx

Last night, Rowan developed another rash, completely different than the one we’ve been dealing with. We thought it could just be a bit of an irritation or heat rash from his bath, but as we got him dried off, we found yet more of his first rash. He had been on antibiotics for over 24 hours and it was still growing. I had put a call in with our doctor earlier that day, and it was right around this time of discovery that she returned my call. After chatting for a few minutes, she said she would happily get us in the next day around noon.

We dropped Dekker at school, took our time in the morning, and got to the clinic just in time. Being that we were an added appointment at the end of her morning, we waited quite a while before we got in, but it was ok. Just to slip it in here, Laela weighs 29 lbs, Rowan weighs 27 lbs, and Solly weighs 20 lbs 12 oz!!! I love learning their stats 🙂

When Dr. Guselle came in, she got into it right away. She checked Laela’s throat and unlike our experience at the walk in clinic, Laela cooperated perfectly! She wasn’t defiant at the walk in, to be clear, but she cried and cried through her entire exam. This time, she opened her mouth, hung her tongue out, and then answered all of the questions herself. She and Solly both had red throats, and Solly has a fever, but it seems like we all have a bit of a virus. Brady, myself, and Laela are all improving. Solly is just starting his cold, and Dekker still seems pretty healthy. (Though observing him trying to get into his winter gear at school, weeping on the floor, I think he’s pretty wiped out as well :/ )

Rowan was the main event today, and he did wonderfully!!! Dr. Guselle is so gentle with him while being super thorough. She looked over every single cluster of spots and bumps, pointing out their similarities and differences. We discussed the few things we’ve considered it could be, the diagnosis from the walk in, and a few other possibilities. She was incredibly knowledgable, as usual, and told me why she wasn’t convinced it was this or that. Her biggest suspicion is actually that Rowan has chickenpox! Yes, he has been vaccinated for it, but it can still happen. Because he’s been vaccinated, though, it presents differently than the chickenpox we all experienced as kids. That would be an explanation as to why its mostly on his limbs but not necessarily on his trunk.

A positive about this is that chickenpox aren’t terribly scary. They are contagious, but the masses of them that were on his legs (the worst area by far) are hardening and peeling off. This is great to know, because that indicates drying out and healing! So less contagious anyway.

I was SO proud of Ro. He had a few good blisters on his hands that weren’t entirely crusted over, and Dr. Guselle asked our permission to open one up and swab it so she could send it for some tests. Ro sat very still, and she just nicked the top of it and swabbed it up. Easy peasy, he didn’t even cry.

The new rash that he came up with last night is entirely different, and she said it looks like one of two things. Baby measles (which aren’t actually measles, don’t worry) or it could be a reaction to the medication he was taking for the impetigo that he doesn’t have. So to be on the safe side, we’re stopping the antibiotics. I really don’t want him to be allergic to antibiotics for his whole life, so Dr. Guselle said we’ll go forward with a small allergy test in a few years. No rush on that. Until then, its a “maybe” in his information.

All in all, I feel SO much better after todays appointment. And not for the reasons you might think. I am not 100% confident that Ro has the chickenpox. I’m not 100% confident that he is allergic to that antibiotic he was taking. But I am 100% confident that we are going in the best direction for his health. I know why Dr. Guselle is thinking what she’s thinking, and I know the results of the tests could show something entirely different. Once we had talked for a good long while, she asked me “So how does this all feel? What else can I tell you? What other questions do you have?” She didn’t want me going anywhere feeling uncertain or uneasy. None of this “This is your diagnosis. Trust me, I’m a doctor.” I LOVE that about her.

You guys are probably getting bored with these posts about what Rowan has or doesn’t have, and just watch us never actually find out! Hahaha! Oy, let’s hope we get answers soon! These are big days for us, and Brady is back to work tomorrow. The five of us will happily hang out in our quarantine for the next little while 🙂 Making the best of it!!

New Dx

I took Rowan and Laela in to a walk-in clinic yesterday afternoon. Rowan’s rash was worsening quickly, and Laela had spat up some blood. They just needed to be seen, and I had some questions about how to do life with the rest of the kids without getting everyone sick.


While we were at the doctor, Brady took Dekker and Solly to Walmart for some medicine, cleaning stuff, and a few other things. It was really good that they weren’t stranded with us at the clinic.


The middles and I waited in the waiting room for two hours. I had left the diaper bag with Brady, so our group at the clinic were ill-prepared. We had no snacks, no toys or books, nothing. And this particular office has no toy area. I can proudly say my kids were absolute rockstars through the wait! They barely complained, minus Laela’s quiet occasional “Go home now?” Instead, they stood in a coat area and ran into chairs. Then back to the closet. Then back to the chairs. Over and over again. They weren’t loud or disruptive at all, so I let it happen, and it passed the time.


They even had another kid join the fun for a while, but she got called in before we did. That being said, we were finally called in shortly after that.

The doctor we saw was wonderful. He even sat on the floor to talk to the kids. I loved that. The one thing, however, that I did not like was his diagnosis. Ok, I actually am somewhat ok with it, but I don’t like it because it is totally different than what I was thinking, and what a lot of other people think, too.


The moment he saw Rowan’s legs, he said it was impetigo. In my research, it seems like impetigo and HFM are mixed up often enough, but impetigo comes from either the staph or strep bacteria. I’m happy about this diagnosis because impetigo can be treated, where HFM can’t be. So Rowan came out of his appointment with prescriptions for both a topical and an oral medication. Laela, on the other hand, was more puzzling. He said he didn’t think she had the bumps I thought I saw, and couldn’t see anything in the back of throat either. Like Rowan, though, she had a very red irritated throat. Because Rowan has impetigo, that could indicate strep, so its possible Laela has strep. So she was the lucky winner of a throat swab, which she didn’t much care for. So we’re waiting on those results. Hopefully we hear soon.

On top of all of this, I really hope the doctor is right and this can all be treated and no big deal, but if not, I don’t much care for medicating my kids for things that aren’t there. I understand why we got the diagnosis we did, but I’m uneasy to write off HFM so quickly, mostly because its really been rampant in my town this year! I wish I could just call my doctor and get her take on it, but I think that wouldn’t be smart until we have test results back. What else could she check? I’m just frustrated as I sit and wait.

As for stats on the kids, Dekker still seems well. He’s moody, but thats it, and thats likely because everyone else is moody and sick. Laela is in good spirits but has a pretty good cough. Rowan is happy, and only a bit on edge. But his rash is absurd. It hasn’t spread a whole lot further, but its blistering now. Its on his faec, shoulders, armpits, elbow bits, hands, tummy, bum, legs, knees, and ankles. Sooooo he’s practically covered. And Solly. Sigh. Poor Solly.


His voice is hoarse and he doesn’t want to drink anything. He feels awful.

So those of you who are praying, please keep on it! And anyone who has any information at all, or experiences to share, I’m ready and waiting to hear them! I welcome any input. We are new at this, and also super unhappy with it. *waves white flag*