I’m drinking my coffee and spending a little bit of time blogging while waiting for Rich to get back.  He’s out walking the dog. . . .


As was expected, yesterday was a busy day around here.  The basement workers were on time and it was a flurry of activity downstairs all the way until 4pm.  They have the whole basement framed in already and we are so excited.  This is our first experience in hiring people to build for us, and it has been a great first day~the guys were so kind, and really seemed to enjoy the children and I checking out their progress now and then.  They also were impressed with all the different sized boys we have around here, and the frogs and turtles that they were carrying around. 

Having all the hammering and sawing going on was an expected part of the day, but taking Grace to the doctor’s was not.  Yesterday morning, after breakfast, we all got ready to go outside.  For whatever reason, Grace didn’t wear her usual long dress or pants…..she put on a pair of little short biker shorts instead.  Outside in the bright clear sunshine, I was shocked to see a large round “bulls-eye” rash on her leg.  It was then that her “red eyes” made sense to me. . .for the past couple of days she’s had a funny look to her, almost like she hasn’t slept a wink all night.  Her actual eyes are clear, but the skin around and under her eyes was pink, like a raccoon mask.  After checking her out, I found another round rash under her arm.  The rash was pink, smooth to the touch, with a darker pink ring around the outside.  I called the doctor and they got her right in.

That feeling, in the pit of my stomach, when I am concerned about the health of one of my children, is so hard for me to deal with.  I drove with my sunglasses on, and cried a little, which helped some.  My heart goes out to all the parents who truly have seriously ill children.  It’s heart-wrenching. 

We arrived at the Pediatrician’s and got settled in the room.  Dr. came in and was curious about how David’s bite was healing, so I took him in to be looked at, as well.  I left sleeping Caleb in the van, with Jacob and Ethan looking after him.

The doctor checked Grace, and we found another bulls-eye rash starting on the back of her arm.  He said right away that it was the beginnings of Lyme disease, which is sadly almost common round here, because of the dreadful ticks we have.  (oh how I HATE them, they are part of the curse for sure).

I am so grateful for antibiotics, and wise doctors.  Grace will be on the meds for 3 wks, and it will completely cure her of Lyme.  In the old days, children often died of Lyme disease, and that has been such a sobering thought for me.

(Did I mention that I hate ticks???  They are the blight that proves to me I do NOT live in paradise!!  That, and the venomous spiders!!  LOL)

The doctor was pleased with David’s bite.  He wants me to rub Neosporin on it 3 or 4 times a day.  He noticed David’s blotchy eczema on the back of his knees. . and guess what he told me to do?!  He said to run him a bath and pour 1/4 of a cup of BLEACH in the water!  He said that soaking in bleach water would take care of the eczema and also sterilize his bite, as well.  Good grief, I just had to laugh.  My mom laughed and laughed when I told her as well, she had the mental image of me sterilizing my children in bleach baths!  He said I could do it 2 times a week.

Just goes to show, you learn something new all the time. 

The other thing I learned, which I am so grateful about, is the use of PROBIOTICS.  Last week, when David first started on his strong antibiotic, the medicine was making him sick to his stomach.  When I mentioned that to the Dr. I was told that I needed to get “probiotics”, I had NEVER heard of them before!  Antibiotics not only kill bad bacteria, it also kills healthy bacteria, like what you have in your tummy.  I was told that a course of antibiotics could destroy that bacteria in your stomach, and sometimes it never recovers!  The Dr. told me to give David 2 capsules a day, of a probiotic, while he was on his antibiotic, and continuing another month beyond that would not hurt.  I just open the capsule and mix the powder into applesauce.  He never was sick again from the meds!  So I was sure to get another box (you have to ask the Pharmacist for it) when I filled Grace’s prescription yesterday.  I will give it to her, as well.  (I’m using a brand called “Culturelle” click on link to see more info.).  I personally am also going to take it as a supplement. 

While I was at Target, I also got 2 big bottles of “OFF” with Deet in it.  Apparantly it repells ticks.  I don’t like spraying bug spray on my kids, unless the bugs are really bad, but the Dr. encouraged me that a small amount of deet, absorbed in the skin, is much better than coming down with lyme.  Okay then!

I let Grace pick out a small toy while we waited for her medicine, because she was sick, and I like to baby my sick ones just a little bit.  On the way out of the store, I gave Jacob and Ethan the evil eye and said, “Don’t you boys even think about getting sick!!”  And Jacob said, “Well, I’m seriously thinking about it, so that I can have a new toy.”  I had to laugh. 

Okay, that’s enough.  I’ve written a lot this morning.  Rich came in, and then went right back out with Caleb.  They are mowing the yard.  I’ve given David, Caleb, and Grace breakfast during this time, too! 


It’s the last day of May.  Seize it.  Hold it.  Enjoy it.  And if your little one puts his hand on your knee, cherish the moment, that small light touch.  Kiss the little hand.  Love is a beautiful thing. . . . . .


0 thoughts on “

  1. When I was at the camp there was a little child at the site next to ours she was sitting next to her father with a thumb in her mouth and one hand on her fathers leg, it was so dear.  I miss having one young enough to always want a hand on me.
    I had never heard of probiatics before, it makes so much sense!  The bleach bath is hilarious, I would never thought of that!  I would have thought that the bleach would burn the skin, let me know if it is effective.

  2. For the probiotics you can also just eat lots of yogurt or kefir (similar to yogurt, different bacteria culture I believe)…..natural probiotics right there!! The bleach bath I wouldn’t do if they paid me since bleach is so bad for you…there has to be a better way….maybe some olive oil rubbed into the skin for the eczema? I wonder if hydrogen peroxide would have the same effect as the bleach?? It would be safer anyway!

  3. You have such a beautiful style of writing.  I just love it!!  I love reading about the kids and their daily adventures.  Praying for Grace and little Davey Do’s continued healing… Children truly are a treasure – thank you for reminding me of that every single day!  ~ Stephanie

  4. Poor Gracie!  I hope she’s feeling better today.  Your kids are giving their momma a run for her money lately.  I think they are trying to shorten your life. 🙂  I’m glad you caught the Lyme disease before it got too serious. 
    I was going to tell you yesterday that if you need to get away from the noise of hammering and sawing in your house, that you are welcome to come here if you’d like. 🙂  How long is all the work going to take?

  5. All of my kids seem to get eczema.  My doctor has recommended hydrocortizone cream if it is itchy at all and to use every night and after every bath the lotion Aquafor.  It keeps it moisturized.  Whenever we have stuck to this routine, it seems to work.  Isaac gets it really bad on the back of his legs too.  I hope your children feel better soon.

  6. oh my, Shanda, so sorry for all the health issues lately…..I hate it too, when the kids are sick. 
    I’ve taken some probiotics before too for my stomache issues, and yogurt or kefir would have some stuff in them also~
    Thanks for the reminder to sieze the day, oh, and exciting about your house stuff!!

  7. Goodness! I am so glad you were on top of the rash Grace had. I know Lyme’s disease is terrible and can cause all kinds of bad stuff. Bleach for eczema? WOW! That’s a new one! I know when my kids had a large plastic swimming pool in the backyard I used to add a little bleach to the water. You never could be sure what they were doing in there! Taking worms for a swim…… etc. LOL!  Usually if I have to be on antibiotics for any period of time I eat yogurt for a week or so. I often have it for breakfast anyway with some uncooked oatmeal mixed in. It’s a Danish thing.  It sounds like the workmen are going to have the basement done in no time!

  8. My daughter lives over in your area of yonderlands.She has to check her kids every day for ticks. They keep a record of any and all ticks on the calendar. They have all been treated for Lymes.You do what you must, you know?I even got a tick once while visiting her and had to go on the antibiotics. I can sympathize with Grace.Happy May 31st!A year ago today, my dear mum passed into the presence of her Saviour! Oh, happy day it was for her!!!

  9. PROBIOITICS Rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We use them faithfully around here.  We take them everyday.  It does wonders.  It even builds your immune system.  It also helps prevent yeast infections and upset tummies.  We get them at a local health food store. 
    I can’t believe he recommended a bleach bath!  I have never heard of that!!!!  That gave me a little giggle too.  I guess there is always something to learn!  LOL
    Poor Grace!  I hope she gets to feeling better soon.  I am so thankful she wore shorts so you could see the rash!!!! 
    Have a wonderful weekend with your sweet family!!!!

  10. Oh No! Poor Grace…it sounds like you have a very good doctor. Thanking God for that blessing…Please give Grace another hug and kiss and tell her I’m praying for her

  11. I was guessing Grace had ring worm. I couldn’t believe ticks had done that to her. I have heard of yogurt when taking antibiotics. And, bleach? Luci uses a prescription cream called Elidel for her eczema. But what do I know?? Guess your children won’t get tan this year – not after being bleached and all! Just kidding! *JUST* KIDDING!!I just bought that new type of Off (with DEET) that’s called “Smooth and Dry” because we have a morbid problem with mosquitoes here and Rissy and I are VERY allergic to their bites.I’m so excited for your basement project. Aren’t you???!!!

  12. Probiotics and bleach baths…ha! I’ve actually done both! My mom does TONS of research on nutrition and such; she introduced me to the probiotics. Yogurt (the plain kind w/o sugar), as danishdoll mentioned, is also VERY beneficial…SO GLAD you were able to catch the Lyme at this early stage!! That is what they thought my sister (Patti) had for a long time, and I have a couple of friends who have had it. A difficult thing to deal with… motherhood is a constant learning experience, isn’t it? Wow! I do believe my mom has learned more about healthcare and such from motherhood than she did in nursing school.Have a GREAT weekend with your hubby and kids!

  13. Oh how I hate ticks too! We don’t have them where we live, but last Sunday after church we went hiking with the dog and brought home a whole pile of them! (American Dog Ticks — “big” ugly things!) I washed and combed, and washed and combed some more. We even bathed our pup with flea and tick shampoo.  I think were all okay, but I’m still keeping my eyes open.
    I am so thankful to read you caught it early with Grace. Lyme disease is a scary thing! 
    May you have a blessed weekend! I’m off to watch another thunderstorm roll in. Love it!!

  14. Good Morning Shanda…..I’m glad that Grace is doing better and that you found out why she had “red eyes.” I’ve just been thinking about ticks and mosquitos and the disease they can bring. When I go for groceries tomorrow I am buying the “Off,” I think there is one type for children. Lots of people here were getting that West Nile Virus. You practically have to learn how to speak and walk all over again if you get bit by a mosquito which carries that disease. So far we have been lucky. Its very dry here so no chance for mosquitos…yet.
    Thats so funny about the bleach bath.
    I like the part too about the workers amazed at the sizes of your boys and the turtles and frogs they “carry” around. I can just imagine that.
    Oh one more story….when Jasmine was little about 5 years old. We lived out in the country. And there were millions of ticks where we lived. Everyday, during the day I was checking the children for ticks. Anyways I guess I missed one on Jasmine. The next morning I was feeling the back of her neck where I usually find the ticks and O.H.  M.Y. I found one. It was big, fat and REALLY, REALLY stuck to the back of her neck!!!! Hubby got it off……YUCK!! Luckily she didn’t get sick…..
    Have a wonderful day!!!

  15. Poor Grace!  I’m so glad you caught it in time so that it didn’t get any worse!  I hope she heals quickly!  I’m glad Davie is doing well too.  Marie Culver was just telling me about bleach in bath water a little while ago.  Her little boy Caleb has so many allergies and always has the exima (i know i spelled it wrong) and she says she has to do the same thing and it helps him so much.  I often romanticize the pre-1900 years but I am so thankful for modern medicine and a lot of modern technology!  I can’t wait to see the finished product of your basement and your garage!  I love you and hope you have a great weekend!

  16. OH, I will be praying for Grace! and for you! and for David! wow! What a few weeks you have had Shanda!!! It is so hard seeing your kids go through things isn’t it? It is so heartbreaking! You just wish you could take it away for them! That is how I feel with Calvin and all of his health issues! But then I have to stop and remember that God is doing His perfect will and work in His life and teaching Him about Himself and that He can take care of him!! But it is so hard! I just went through that with my antibiotics that I have been on for my infection in my abdominal infection…I have been also trying yogurt that has the active bacteria in it :o) That has helped!! and it is yummy too! Just an idea to add to the other things you are trying for David. I hope that you have a good weekend and that all calms down and you will get some rest! Happy Weekend!! :o) (I love your music playing on here! Ahhhhhhh….that is how it makes me feel! Peaceful! Rested! Refreshed!)

  17. I know that must have been so nerve wracking for you as a mother. I hope that Grace is doing much better now and glad to hear that David’s bite is healing. I hope you have a blessed day today. I have haerd great things about probiotics. Have a great weekend friend.

  18. glad you caught that w/ Grace – bless her heart. I’m w/ ya sister – I HATE ticks too!! have so many around here.. last wk. after walking through a field we were all covered. Shayne had the most – like 20 ticks!!! we came home striped down and all got hot showers. I itched for days.. :/ and kept checking everyone. I check the dogs and cat all the time too~ Kate said to me, “Mom, I know ALL of God’s creation is wonderful. But what do you suppose He was thinking when He created ticks?” thanks for all the med info. too I’ll remember those things. Bleach in water.. never heard of it!have a great Sunday~

  19. Goodness girlie, I hope the drama of life slows down for you. I am glad grace and david are ok. that would be scary for me too. ooooh those ticks and spiders eewwww!!! Have a great weekend. Send some of that nice weather my way please.

  20. We were in “tick country” during our last two trips – Minnesota and Maine – and were delighted to not see any.  I so dislike them.  We took our Maine family to Sturbridge a few years ago, and really enjoyed it. 

  21. “probiotics” – my sister told me about that awhile back and I am so glad — I hate giving my kids antibiotics and this makes me feel better about it ~ so glad you were able to catch the lymes disease with Grace — my heart goes out to you – I know how i feel when one of my babies is not feeling well or has something I can’t cure myself! Oh to trust Jesus so assuredly that it doesn’t overwhelm me. At the same time, i do believe the Lord has made us mommies that way — tender hearted towards our little ones. I am the same way with wanting to baby just a bit the child who is ill! :)Happy Sunday! I’m off to dress the troups. I’m usually getting ready in the car on the way there LOL — but at the least the rest of the family looks nice 🙂

  22. Wow. . .Lyme disease. . .that’s sobering.  We have lots of ticks around here too and I pull them off of our kids and myself too often for my comfort.  Just the other night at Sam’s baseball game, Will laid his head in my lap, and as I was stroking his cheek I saw a tick nestled in the curled part of his upper ear.  It wasn’t really attached and I pulled it right off, but it makes my stomach drop.  I completely relate to your feelings about sick children. . .it almost overwhelms me when one of mine is so sick.  I will pray for her and thank God for good doctors and antibiotics and probiotics, which we’ve used a lot too. 
    People in these parts recommend Clorox as a “cure” for poison ivy, but I can’t bring myself to put it on my kids’ skin.  I tried it when I got some on my wrist a few weeks ago, but it burns and I hate the thought of bleach in/on my skin. 
    I LOVE summer, but the poison ivy, ticks, mosquitoes and sunburns are definitely a part of the curse. . .looking forward to heaven when there is all the beauty, warmth and fun without the scary stuff—

  23. Our littlest one (3.5 months) is really battling the eczema…in fact, it is getting so out of control that we’re concerned it has become superinfected with a fungus…he’ll be going to the doctor this week.  The poor little guy just scratches and scratches…but smile through it all in his amazingly good-humored way!

  24. As soon as you said that bullseye rash I thought….uh oh!  Lymes.  So glad you saw it early and went into the doctor with Grace.  I take Probiotics all the time and definitely would during and after antibiotics.  Yogurt is good for health but now nearly as strong.  We don’t have much Lyme disease on this coast and I always wondered why…..the naturalist on one of our walks told us it was the Western fence lizard we have.  The baby ticks ride on them and the fence lizards blood neutarlizes Lyme disease and makes it so the ticks cannot carry it….isn’t that awesome?  I know what you mean about your kids and the feelings we have about illness.  As a mom I cannot even see a child fall down without getting a shock through my middle.  I think God made us nuturing that way so we will see and deal with their needs….but we sure do need to give all those feelings consantly to Him so we don’t get overwhelmed!
    Enjoying a few days with all my kids….my sis took pictures….so some of those will be on her site!
    Lord bless you and all of yours! Jenny

  25. Hi. My friend has been telling me about your blog for ages as your Caleb reminds her of my 3 1/2 yo, Weston. We have six children as well, 21yod, 11yos, 9yod, 6yod, 5yos, and Weston. I just have a moment but wanted to share some thoughts with you. I hope you receive these and they are of some assistance now or in the future. Eczema – I highly recommend using some natural soaps with no chemicals and look into purchasing lotion with emu oil. I have some soaps that I will be selling but they aren’t ready yet. Lotions are on the agenda for perhaps this summer. However, I’m sure you can find someone selling them online. You might want to check out firmeadow.com. Our future website is greenerhomestead.com. I only typed up the About Us page so far this morning. Also, it sounds like y’all eat really healthy. You might want to see about getting some more essential fatty acids in the diet and see if that helps too.Probiotics – great. And I would also 2nd the yogurt info as well.Deet – I am also working on making a natural insect repellant this week as I’m concerned about that as well. Sometimes it’s so tough making those calls as a mother. You are right that a little Deet is better than Lyme’s. Ticks – I don’t know if you are up to the task but guinea hens are supposed to be GREAT for ticks. Let me give you a little tip though. We bought some guinea babies and they just hopped out of the brooder and marched right out of their safety in the garage. So, if you get some, read up on them. It’s my understanding that if you can keep them on your property successfullly for 6 weeks, they will know that is their home. They love to look at themselves. My daughter, Avonlea, wanted to hang mirrors in the woods for them so they could see themselves. Bleach bath – I know it’s too late for this but I’m wondering if you bathed your son with bleach? Also, I would think that vinegar might have the same effect as bleach would and be less harsh on the skin.Many blessings,Stephanie

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