a little hello

May 31, 2014

it’s been so long. life has been intense these days – a word i keep coming back to, and fitting. self-employment, long long work hours for hubby, unstable income, parenting challenges, 2 small and nonstop boys, josiah’s consuming skin issues and subsequent sleeplessness. three years of fatigue and sleeplessness *does begin to impact one’s sanity, i’ve concluded. it’s pretty real.

that said, it’s also a time of fullness – and growth. a precious dear friend said this to me last week: this is one of the most difficult but also one of the most valuable times of my life (her words were more eloquent). indeed. for starters, we are completely dependent on GOD’s provision and have experienced it and HIM in ways that we *never* would have, were we still ensconced in the system of jobs and steady paychecks.

hard and good.

and i am being stretched way beyond my capacity and skills as a parent, particularly with my precious teenage daughter. my instincts are just not there Рor really, my instincts lean way too far toward the comfort and happiness of my child. i *know* what i want as far as character training and i *know* the deep lessons and discipling that i am called to do and yet i fall so short. i am so thankful for a partner with  great wisdom, strong instincts and who is the leader GOD has given our family. and most of all, i am seeing that perhaps in this area of struggle and lack, GOD is really calling me to HIM: to His strength that He promises for me, His wisdom that he generously supplies. oh, that i would move quickly out of discouragement (self-focus, really) and look UP.

and now, for a few pictures? many of these are repeats from instagram ( oh, i love that social media outlet that allows sharing of lives through pictures!) …

this is happening right now: my beloved, taking the boys on an adventure, sporting the dora backpack filled with snacks and drinks :))

this is happening right now: my beloved, taking the boys on an adventure, sporting the dora backpack filled with snacks and drinks :))

 

 

yesterday, when he figured out he could spray me! cracking up!

yesterday, when he figured out he could spray me! cracking up!

 

and another, because Oh.My.Word.

and another, because Oh.My.Word.

 

 

a little painting time with my boys which they love - for about 15 minutes. a ton of mess and effort but worth it  :)

a little painting time with my boys which they love – for about 15 minutes. a ton of mess and effort but worth it ūüôā

 

 

this boy is serious and unwavering in his love for balls. all balls. last week, it was the basketball at the park - watched these folks mesmerized by the ball for several minutes.

this boy is serious and unwavering in his love for balls. all balls. last week, it was the basketball at the park – watched these folks mesmerized by the ball for several minutes.

 

 

my big boy, at the same park last week.he is fearless with slides!

my big boy, at the same park last week.he is fearless with slides!

 

 

*such a fun time at sweet zeke's 4th bday party last week. love those bigboys

*such a fun time at sweet zeke’s 4th bday party last week. love those bigboys

 

 

speaking of big boys (lol), where did my baby go?!

speaking of big boys (lol), where did my baby go?!

 

 

loving our time with dear friends and their littles - the boys love their friends, i love my mama friends, and love the sweet learning (sharing, playing together, etc). good stuff. especially with friends who show abundant grace, don't sweat the small stuff like messes and funky kid's behavior, etc.

loving our time with dear friends and their littles – the boys love their friends, i love my mama friends, and love the sweet learning (sharing, playing together, etc). good stuff. especially with friends who show abundant grace, don’t sweat the small stuff like messes and funky kid’s behavior, etc.

 

 

friends! super fun play time with winter last week :)

friends! super fun play time with winter last week ūüôā

 

 

this day? they were driving me bonkers!! grabbing each other, hollering out for me to stop running, walk a certain direction, pick up their dropped toy etc etc etc. oh boy.

this day? they were driving me bonkers!! grabbing each other, hollering out for me to stop running, walk a certain direction, pick up their dropped toy etc etc etc. oh boy.

 

 

this picture is *huge. had to capture it to show hubby, who wasn't at the appt. josiah is complying with the nurse - typically he *flips out. so thankful this day that he was obedient and delightful. (and this was a visit back to see the derm to get back on the high powered ointments to stop a *MAJOR* un-liveable flare for him. hate it. )

this picture is *huge. had to capture it to show hubby, who wasn’t at the appt. josiah is complying with the nurse – typically he *flips out. so thankful this day that he was obedient and delightful. (and this was a visit back to see the derm to get back on the high powered ointments to stop a *MAJOR* un-liveable flare for him. hate it. )

 

 

perhaps my FAVORITE PICTURE EVER!! taken at the jville park a couple weeks ago. LOVE them.

perhaps my FAVORITE PICTURE EVER!! taken at the jville park a couple weeks ago. LOVE them.

 

 

an indescribably sweet night out with a lifelong friend.

an indescribably sweet night out with a lifelong friend.

 

 

had to capture his growing hair :) it's actually much shorter and less curly than josiah's was at this age.

had to capture his growing hair ūüôā it’s actually much shorter and less curly than josiah’s was at this age.

 

 

 

 

 

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healing path

April 5, 2014

our sweet little guy turned 3 this week. the aching love i feel for him is hard to put in words – he is *that* special. in so many ways, older than his three years … astute, hilarious, energetic, tender.

and his struggle with eczema has never been worse.

there is a black cloud of sorts – the only way i can really describe it – that hangs over me, over us … as his body is gripped with unyielding discomfort, consuming itching. i am SO DESPERATE for his healing.

things have shifted in to high gear the past couple months: i have done more research, more trying of new products, more dietary adjustments … and the end result: his skin is worsening.

last fall, we got him in to see a local allergy, asthma and dermatology MD and his recommendation was a long-term (no end in sight and certainly no “cure”) plan including the regular use of steroid creams. his opinion was that diet was negligible; he offered some great insight about immune system action and the way his body was manifesting a reaction to something – but no clear understanding of causes or cures. just symptom management. and because we were – again – desperate, we implemented his recommendations. josiah’s skin did improve but i also began seeing this intensity in his behavior (steroids?!) and he became *severely* constipated. direct causal relationship from the ointments? impossible to prove but after a few weeks, we tapered off.

another serendipitous happening this fall was my husband’s conversation with a local pharmacist. my hubby was at a local chain store, trying to decide which anti-itch ointment to try this time and decided to approach the pharmacist. they ended up having an amazing conversation that was followed by an email exchange in which the pharmacist (a fit, 30-something handsome guy) recommended a number of things that we are familiar with and in fact recommended a specific book that i had *just come across in my research the previous week and had ordered (“the eczema cure”). ¬†a lot of confirmation about the path that we are on and validation that the path is not an easy one, for sure.

i want to share a portion of one of his emails as it is pretty incredible – heartening, honestly, to hear the words of someone deeply embedded within our medical industry: ” I am¬†one of the few in my line of work who believes we are providing the¬†farthest thing from healthcare to our population as a whole. ¬†We have¬†a system designed to keep people dependent and sick, and at no point
along the way do we seek to make them healthy or show them how to be¬†healthy. And frankly, most people aren’t intersted. ¬†They are far too¬†ingrained in the system that feeds them a diet the makes them sick,¬†then more sick, and a healthcare system that maintains their existence¬†so they will forever be dependent, but never healthy.”

to say that his words resonate to my core – and my hubby’s – would be a deep understatement.

so fast forward to january,and our family does another Whole30. as always, i am hoping the changes in our diet lead to healing for our boy. i eliminated even more suspected triggers: tomatoes, coconut. still, no improvement.

i took josiah to see a local naturopath in january, and she was a  lovely woman. she was conscientious and covered a lot of ground, giving recommendations that included some topical ideas, a homeopathic, some vitamins and supplements.

nothing helped.

last month, deep in the throes of research, i sent an email to a local listserv and received over 50 heartfelt, insightful responses. so many ideas, healing suggestions, things that have worked for someone else’s eczema.

there is JUST SO MUCH. SO many ideas. so much information. and i have honestly tried so many things. in the past month we have easily spent $50 on the very best creams, each one feeling ok but none making a change. we are back to using some of the high intensity ointments because we are desperate for him to have relief.

what this looks like for our family in real time is that most every night, for several hours (typically 1-5am) he is awake and *miserable, consumed with itching. hubby and i take turns soothing, rubbing, trying the latest topical option, and have found our best tool is distraction. so he often will be curled on the couch, laying on a soft cool cotton sheet, with his beloved blanket and paci, and “ice pack” (plastic bag filled with crushed ice) and watching an episode of “Dora”. this seems the only thing to take his mind away from his skin and allow him to settle.

clearly, this is an untenable way to live. we are miserable and mostly just so SO desperate for our boy to be well.

we have a couple of next steps: i’ve had phone consults with two other local providers (a chiropractor/naturopath that has experience with eczema and begins with a round of thorough diagnostic blood work; and an accupuncturist that also performs NAET – google it!). we have an appointment with one of them this week.

as i’ve held josiah this week, praying over him, crying out for healing, i have been reminded of the meaning of his name:

GOD HEALS.

i am claiming that healing for our boy and am believing for complete restoration of his body to strong health. i pray that our journey becomes something that allows us to share and encourage others on their healing path.