It has been a while since I have taken the time to blog. I am trying to maintain a full school load with the children while in the midst of major home remodeling. We are FINALLY getting the boys' bathroom rebuilt after gutting it due to water leaks almost 3 years ago. Yes, we are slow about some things. Thankfully we have 3 bathrooms so we have not been too terribly inconvenienced all this time.
"Worker men" have been here for several days each week for the last three weeks and Jeff took off three days. It is extremely hard to get a 6 year old boy to sit down and work on letter sounds and counting with mom when there are nice men with jackhammers in your bathroom cutting through the concrete. He has learned a lot these last few weeks about plumbing and shower building.
We have lived in this house for 12 years and Jeff has decided this is the time to get all of the remodeling done and the broken things fixed. He is a man on a mission! The older boys are now old enough to be a tremendous help to him. The boys' shower has built built and tiled. It now has a nice glass door. The walls are painted. The floor is tiled, but still needs grout. Then we do the baseboards, the door, molding, toilet, vanity, mirror and cabinet. Half of those items are in my dining room. Boxes of all kinds have been shoved in the boys' bedroom and it was too cluttered for them to clean it up. Yesterday we removed all remodeling paraphernalia, thus eliminating their excuse for cleaning their room. Tomorrow, it WILL be cleaned from top to bottom. There is so much dust from drywall that everything is gritty. I have slowly been cleaning the living areas as we finish up the messy work in the bathroom.
In other news, we have been hit again with some strange illnesses. I have suffered from dishydrosis for several years. This is a severe form of eczema that occurs on your hands and feet. Incredibly itchy blisters of which there is NO cure. After a recent flair up I went to another dermatologist and had a steroid shot and was prescribed two different steroid creams. After another visit I am now on oral steroids. Women are more prone to this form of eczema and those who have eczema and asthma are more likely to get it. It is not painful, but extremely itchy and frustrating. Stress also causes flair ups. Seven children, homeschooling, dealing with multiple food allergies, major remodeling and a type-A personality=stress. In addition, my IBS has also been flaring. I have had IBS for years, but after the removal of my gall bladder last year, it has worsened. Some days I cannot leave home. One perk, however, is that I continue to lose weight! Got to find something good about it!
Aaron, Jackson and Caedmon continue with their usual eczema problems that need daily attention. Caedmon has had two food allergy reactions that really scared us in the last two/three weeks. I will no longer live the house without his Benadryl, Epipen and nebulizer. Jordan is my only child who does not have asthma and/or eczema, but a couple of weeks ago he broke out in a very strange rash ALL over his body. It looks like very small patches of eczema, but there are hundreds of them. Jeff finally took him to the doctor Wednesday. She just looked at him and was speechless. Had no idea what the rash is! Gave him a long-acting steroid shot and Benadryl ointment. Repeat visit this morning added a staff infection to his diagnosis. Now he will also be on an antibiotic for a couple of weeks. Please pray for the rest of our eczema kids who have some spots that could be easily infected. Staff is contagious!
I have been going back to visit my chiropractor the last couple of weeks as my back and neck have been bothering me (stress?). He has told me for YEARS that we need to get off of gluten. He is big on the blood type diet and we are all B and apparently gluten will cause skin and digestive issues for those with B type blood. In light of all that I wrote above I think I need to investigate more and try a gluten free diet. My problem with gluten-free is that two of my children are also allergic (deathly) to eggs and most gluten free recipes contain eggs. Any body with any experience with gluten free and/or diets for blood types? Would love to talk with you!!
And, today is Jeff's birthday! Both of us are sliding ever so closer to 50. We are planning a nice birthday dinner for him tonight. I asked him last night what he would like and he requested a Roman roast. We got this recipe from The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines when we were studying ancient Rome. You take a nice roast and cook it on the cooktop in a Dutch oven. I inserted sliced cloves of garlic in the roast, covered 1/3 with white grape juice and let cook slowly all day. Half way through the cooking process, I added mushrooms cut in half. We will serve this with spinach rice, roasted broccoli and carrots and a green salad. We were trying to make his favorite apricot nectar cake for him, but two of our local Walmart stores are no longer carrying apricot nectar! I bought mango nectar instead which I think will taste great. I hope to get the dining room at least dusted and swept well for the evening meal. Kaelan will be in charge of setting a celebratory table in honor of her father. The kids pooled their money together to buy the BBC's Return to Cranford today, so it seems we will have an evening in Cranford tonight. A pleasant end to what I hope will be a nice celebration for my hard-working husband who is such a wonderful example of a Godly man for our children.
Sunday is Aaron's 14th birthday! So hard to believe my fourth born child is so old. Aaron is growing into an extremely hard worker. He loves to read (ALL of my kids love to read), is becoming more serious about his Bible study, loves to eat and is a clown. We will be spending the day with Jeff's parents on Sunday. Aaron requested bratwurst and saurkraut with all the trimmings for his birthday meal, so the grands are getting the grill ready for his special day now.
I hope to have pictures of the bathroom as soon as it is completed and birthday pictures as well. Hope you all have a great weekend!