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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Friday, August 26, 2016

With vinegar and brown paper ...

from Google Images

The other night, I was reading aloud to the boys from The Five Little Peppers and How they Grew when we came to a scene when little Phronsie Pepper fell down the stairs.  She was checked for injuries and then her head was covered with vinegar and brown paper.  What?! 

I had no idea that the second line from the old "Jack and Jill" nursery rhyme was legitimate! (Where his head was mended "with vinegar and brown paper.")  So I just had to google it.  I learned from the "History House" website that yes indeed, apple cider vinegar was used to treat bruises, wounds, and other injuries.  (We still use ACV today for many health issues!)  The brown paper used in the 1700s-1800s "was made of old rope, canvas and other sacking, and could be very coarse, but it was found to be useful when applying a substance to the skin." So, brown paper was soaked in cider vinegar and then applied to the skin.

Not the most pleasant smelling treatment, but it sounds like it was quite effective!

Earlier this month, Hunter's chick Carla was murdered.  We were all so sad and wished it had been ANY other chick than Carla.  Hunter had really bonded to the little fuzz ball and had surprised us all in rising up to pretty much exclusively care for the four Silkie chicks.  He was proud of his work.  So yes, it was sad. He had me frame a picture of him holding Carla and he put it in his room.

Thankfully, some friends had some new baby chicks and offered us one.  Hunter was delighted to pick one out and become the proud owner of Kelly.  Here are pictures from today - Kelly is almost 3 weeks old:

Kelly gets to have all kinds of fun.  She plays in the sandbox with the boys, rides in a big toy train Hunter has, and yesterday she went to Tabby's cross country meet with us:

Hunter has also been working on becoming an electrician.  He wanted me to replace the old, discolored switches, receptacles, and plates in two rooms that I have painted.  Since the parts are super cheap, I let him.  Great life training!  He did a great job, was very safe, and everything works nicely.

Tabby is still having the stomach problems, at least once a week.  She has an appointment with a pediatric GI doctor in September.  Until then, we are treating them as "abdominal migraines" which is the best we can currently figure.

I wanted to put the treatment we are using here, in case it helps someone else.  Whenever possible, we try to begin treatment as soon as she feels the pain begin.  She gets Ibprofen (600 mg.), a (non-drowsy) Claritin, and we apply our "heating bear."   (It's a little bear that I had gotten to use with Lilly that is heated in the microwave.)  She lies down until feeling better.

Last week it lasted a couple days.  This past Wednesday it, thankfully!, only lasted a few hours.  One new treatment we added this time was to rub on Young Living's Pan Away essential oil onto her belly.  (I mixed 5 drops with a teaspoon of fractionated coconut oil. Here is where I got the info.)  I put a hot washcloth on the oil on her belly, then some thin plastic (clingwrap would work), then the heating bear on top.  We were shocked that her pain fell from a "9 out of 10" to a "5" in only about an hour.  By bedtime, she was very sore but pain free!  We will never be without Pan Away now, that is for sure!

Yesterday she was happy to go to school and even run in her cross country meet.  She went a bit slower, pacing herself, but finished strong and felt great after.  Thank you God!

check out that smile!

Lord willing, we will have some answers soon.  And thank you everyone, that have been praying for her.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Pencil portraits by Tabby

This summer has been absolutely unpredictable and crazy.  Slowing down for those hot, lazy summer days? Ha!  Not us!  I've been trying to declutter the house, get two rooms painted, I've had some harvest from the garden to deal with, I've got Hunter's school books ordered but still need to plan his next school year and start that very soon, I need to also plan some things for Solomon, and then there were all those hospital visits with Tabby.  Oh - and about two weeks of computer and printer woes for me to battle.  June and July are also crunch time for a big annual work project I help my dad with.   Throw in 3 kids, regular chores, cooking meals, taking care of the dogs, chickens, and goats, etc etc and well ...  you see why summer days are not relaxing and my "therapy sessions" (blogging) haven't been happening.

And - Tabby was in the hospital emergency room, again, part of last weekend.  (We really thought her appendix had ruptured!)  If you think of it, if you would pray for complete healing of her stomach, we would be grateful.

School started back for Tabby this past Thursday and she is SO happy.  She loves school.  She's been really looking forward to a "graphics and website design" elective that my brother Patrick is teaching.  But alas, last night, her laptop seems to have died again.  Tabby had bought a refurbished Apple laptop last December.  A few weeks ago it died.  The Apple repair people couldn't fix it - they said it was "vintage."  However Hunter looked at it, pushed a few buttons, and the thing sprang to life again!  It was hysterically funny and amazing.  Maybe he can work his magic one more time so she doesn't have to drop Patrick's class.

Computer woes - aren't they just the worst? We've become so dependent on those pesky things!

One thing that Tabby did get done this summer, in between health problems, were drawings.  She started out by doing several pencil portraits for friends of movie characters and celebrities they liked.  Then my mom hired her to draw a portrait of each of mine and my brothers children.

Here are Tabby, Hunter, Lilly, and Solomon:

If you know my brothers and their children, you will recognize them below:

Several people have asked Tabby about doing drawings for them, which is great.  She needs a little side business.  If you are interested in hiring her to do some portraits here are the details: 

- cost is $20 per drawing (they take her an average of 4 hours)

- she is only comfortable, right now, in doing drawings that only feature one child, no groups.

- she works from photos - she likes photos that feature the person close-up (see above examples). 

- photos need to be clear - and she will look at them to decide if the angles and such are so that she feels she can successfully draw them

- she is comfortable drawing both children and adults

- now that school and cross country have started again, she won't have lightening fast turn around on projects - but she'll get them finished the fastest she can

If you are interested in hiring her, just let me know! 

Now I must get out to milk those goats, feed the dogs and chickens, and then my own kids, and start another crazy day.  :)  Being busy is ... GOOD.