Caden’s Terrible Eczema

This is the story of a boy who is sweet as honey, funny as three stooges (combined), mature as his mother, brave as a lion that I am proud to call my son.

I want to share Caden’s story, in my first attempt to reach out to parents who might need some help, like I did, for an extreme/horrendous case of eczema.  I am not out to win any contest for who has worse eczema, but I will say, this is not your “run-of-the-mill” eczema that crops up occasionally in small patches.  This is type of eczema consumes the entire body from scalp to toes.

Caden started with eczema at around 9 months of age: at that point it wasn’t too serious, more like the simple eczema behind the knees kind of eczema.  Then, at the age of three, things started spiraling downward and didn’t stop.  One morning he would wake up with red swollen skin on his arms, then his legs, then it would retreat and come flaring back worse and worse.  Every night Caden was up 7-10 times a night.  My friends would say, “Gosh it’s like having a newborn again”.  Not really.  Because there are no newborns that I know of who wake up with half of their skin scratched off then are hospitalized from dehydration because so much of their skin is gone, they can’t maintain normal body temperature.  More like a burn victim who is fighting for their life, than a newborn needing a warm bosom for milk.   But I digress.  I am not here to vent, I am here to share what I learned.

What I learned is that it was hard to find resources for kids with this serious eczema- and I would like to invite anyone who needs help or has experience to contact me directly or refer me to your friends.  I took Caden to a place called National Jewish Health in Denver, CO.  They taught me how to handle his situation in a consistent and proven way that has given us some hope.  Mostly, their treatment consists of multiple baths and immediate and ample moisturizing with vanicream to protect his skin and keep bacteria from finding a home on his skin.  But there are so many additional facets to the treatment.

Ultimately, what I want to share with readers is that I have a new perspective on life as a result of Caden’s struggles.  I have a new level of respect for anyone who deals with chronic illness.  We have struggled for three years, and it feels like a lifetime.  If your child struggles from eczema, please feel free to comment, question or contact me.  I will responds quickly.  I can tell you that we tried MANY things to no avail.  As for Caden, since we returned from Denver, he has been improving but they’re still not great.  Kids and adults still stare and ask him why has sores everywhere or why he is so red.  He is incredibly well adjusted with his reactions and responses and I am really proud of his confidence.  Of course, he seems fine, but it breaks my heart each and every time someone someone stares at him.

Disconnect- for just one day


Three years ago, when I was in the midst of trying to take care of three babies, I felt completely disconnected from my husband.  Brad left the house between 5:30 and 6 every morning and wouldn’t return home until 6 at night.  Upon his arrival, he was expected (and willingly obliged) to help me get everybody fed,  bathed and ready for bed.  After all the work was done, we would collapse on the couch and stare at the TV.  We would always comment how there was really “nothing” to watch.  But we would sit there for an hour or two in a trance watching nothing!

As those days turned to weeks then months, I started seeing us as two trains chugging side by side down parallel tracks.  This wasn’t acceptable to me, because I saw those months turning into years, then decades.  Then, one day the kids are gone and Brad and I look at one another and say, “Who are you?”.  Maybe I was extrapolating too far, but something had to change. Continue reading

Yes, I scrub toilets!

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YouTube DirektKristin Scrubbing Toilet

The other day I was feeling sorry for myself (although the video posted is me being silly): the house was such a disaster and I didn’t know where to start  my cleaning.   I decided to take a front to back approach.  Starting at the front door, I began picking up and wiping down everything that was out of place.  When I made my way to the guest bathroom I caught my breath.  Dirty hand towel (something I despise- I  must admit I will even dry my hands on my shirt if I am a guest at someone’s house and see a hand towel that looks dirty).  This time I was the perpetrator with the disgusting towel.  Easy to fix.  As my eyes fell upon the toilet I was appalled to see dry yellow spots on the seat AND underneath the seat.  When my boys were first potty trained, I had them following strict regimen of lifting the seat, then aiming carefully and using toilet paper to clean up any stray drops.  My own mom once commented on how fastidious they were in the bathroom (ahhh, pat on the back).   At some point my boys wised up.  They realized that there was no way for me to police their carefulness in the bathroom and they started peeing with the seat down and leaving drips for me, the only seated urinator in the house,  to  sit on.

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HAVE to do vs. WANT to do- what does your list look like?

Lately I have been stuck in a rut.  I have so many things I want to do but haven’t been able to get started.  Last week I decided to make a list of what I have to do vs. what I want to do.  I have promised myself that I am going to check a few things off the WANT list this week.  One of the things I wanted to do was get updated and send out my newsletter.  Okay now I can check that off.  Here is the rest of my list:

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Ten things I learned after becoming a mom

Photo on 2010-05-09 at 21.51To the left you can see my Mother’s Day gift from my boys….3 coffee mugs.  Each one asked whose mug I would drink from first…wow, lots of pressure!

Today I learned how to do a flip on the trampoline.  I didn’t quite land it and I also of pulled a muscle in my neck from the whiplash of over-rotating; but it was pretty impressive (at least my kids enjoyed it).   It got me to thinking of some of the crazy  things I have learned since becoming a mom over eight years ago.

I have learned how to use the restroom in 15 seconds flat- including washing hands.

I have learned how to play with light sabers. Continue reading

The race is on!

15331445.JPGThe book:  Is there Really a Human Race? by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell is an amazing book for children aged 3-10. Each time I read it, I realize that this is a great book for adults as well as children.  I particularly like the following passages:

Is the race like a loop or an obstacle course?  Am I a jockey, am I a horse?  Is there pushing and shoving to get to the lead? If the race is unfair, will I succeed?  Do some of us win?  Do some of us lose?  Is winning or losing something I choose?   Why am I racing ? What am I winning?  Does all of my running keep the world spinning?

It ends with : Sometimes it’s better not to go fast.  There are beautiful sights to be seen when you’re last.  Shouldn’t it be that you just try your best?  And that’s more important than beating the rest? Continue reading

Don’t give up- when the going gets rough.

CIMG0356If you have ever dreamed of owning your own business you will enjoy this story about Phyllis Calza.  Phyllis started her career in education working with children as the Program Director for a reading intervention program. Her job was part of a special program that was funded by the state of California (back when there was money to spend).  In 2002, the funding for this reading program was cut and Phyllis was left wondering what she wanted to do for a career.   She and her husband wanted to start a family; but, just like so many of us, Phyllis didn’t get pregnant as easily as she had hoped. While she was in the midst of career decisions and trying to get pregnant, Phyllis realized that she would really like to start her own stationery and gift business.  However the timing didn’t feel right because she was more focused on getting pregnant.  So, she took a short break from working and wound up pregnant with her first child, Austin. Continue reading

Mother’s Day 2009

Photo 30I am sitting in the same chair I sat in one year ago when I wrote my very first “blog”.   I am amazed at what I have learned in the course of the year.  I have learned about courage and kindness from the women I have featured.  Talking to others has caused me to examine my own strengths and weakness too.   I am thankful for my readers who keep me going through their kind words.  I hope I can put together another year of interesting articles!

This has been an emotional (both happy and sad) week for several reasons:  I started a new birth control pill, which has made me slightly crazy.  Space Studio, where I have taught spin class for 2 years is closing (last classes were today). My first grade son performed in a class play at school.  And, most importantly, today is Mother’s Day.

I am anxious to hear how all of you spent your day- I imagine it will be a topic of conversation for the next few days as we all run into one another at school drop-off etc.  For me, today wasn’t much different from most the days of my year.  But, I say that in a positive way because I really enjoy most the days of the year!  If you all are reading and rolling your eyes at me- just give me a minute to explain: Continue reading

She was inspired by you, now you can be inspired by her!

About once a month I find myself asking the same question,  “Why I am blogging and does anyone care?”. Each time I think about how I will find the inspiration to continue updating my website I hear from a reader. About a month ago, my neighbor and I were walking home from dropping our kids at school and she started talking about my site.  She was reading up on the amazing moms who are featured on my site which, got her to thinking about her own dreams and goals.  When she read the article about writing down goals she picked up a pen and paper.

She read about Jania Fox running a half marathon and Beth Armstrong doing the Ironman- but realized as much as she likes fitness- the desire to run anything more than 3 miles wasn’t creating that fire in her belly.  She wasn’t burning to start her own business or create a charitable organization.  Then she remembered a dream that had occupied her in the past but never quite got off the ground.  Lisa had written a children’s book when her daughter Lauren was just over a year old.  She sent it out to a few publishers- but when those publishers passed on the story she let the project die.

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