And together we learn

Friday, October 31, 2008


Happy Halloween!!

Calvin was a giraffe blocker, and he was the cutest dang giraffe blocker I've ever seen! A giraffe blocker, if you missed that post, is one of 'dose guys who ropes da giraffes and fros dem in da water."

He never wavered in his choice, and has been very excited for it. I was kind of on my own for his costume--there just aren't many giraffe blocker costumes at Target this year. He had his giraffe on a rope that swung from his arm like a purse all evening. So cute!! Next year he wants to be a lion blocker. I can do that.

My girls were flowers, thanks to Martha's inspiration and my sister's very capable hands.

Yes, the baby is sideways. It's late and I'm really tired and I'm not feeling like messing with sizing and such. Sorry. If you tilt your head, you can see that he's strutting his stuff in a little baby tuxedo.

Here's all my little trickertreaters with their cousin, all ready to go get sugared up. Such a fun day.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Guess what??? I smell again!!! I'm a smeller, officially, completely, and very happily. The steroid was doing some really funky things to my body, so I stopped taking it. My good friend is an herbal genius, and she gave me some stuff that I've been taking religiously, and things are much much better.

I'm so grateful now for smells. The world is a beautiful place. All the things I didn't realize were a part of life now make me catch my breath and take a second to just be grateful. I think that losing my sense of smell for a few weeks was a small price to pay for this increased awareness and joy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I went in for my CT scan the other day. Good news--the little smell receptors aren't permanently damaged; my whole head is just filled up with goo. Funny, because my nose is perfectly clear and I breathe freely, it's just the rest of the cavities that I didn't really realize I had that are all impacted.

So the doctor prescribed a month of a strong antibiotic and a month of the steroid Prednisone. He was pretty dismissive of any side effects and mentioned he didn't know it's effect on breast feeding, so to check with my pediatrician.

I googled. Google is not that comforting of a place, folks. (shudder)

I called and called and called. Pediatrician, baby/medication help lines. Pharmacists. Everyone I talked to said that the dosage and the duration of this particular medication put it in a very gray area for breast feeding, and good luck with this tough decision. Not so helpful!!

And can I just mention how outside my comfort zone this was? Calling doctors to ask questions. Lots of questions. Holy cow, but these are things I abhor!!!

The problem was that I'm not willing to stop nursing my little four month old baby boy, nor am I wanting to not take the medicine and completely lose my sense of smell. The solution that I finally came up with is to take the whole steroid dose in the morning, rather than spread it out over the day. The half life of the steroid is 2 hours, so within 4-5 hours it's completely out of the milk. So I am giving him a bottle during the morning hours, then I'll pump and throw away that milk and be able to nurse for the afternoon and overnight. I feel great about this solution. A bottle or two of formula a day won't kill him and I can get better and we can continue to breast feed. The reason they wanted me to space out the steroid is to prevent a stomach ache. But I'll take it if it means I don't have to wean my baby!

So far, he's less than impressed with the whole bottle thing. But it will work out. And, this morning, I'm going to use all capital letters for this:


It was like explosions of sensation in my nostrils. It was beautiful. Then it left again, and I changed Calvin's horrible diaper with impunity. Talk about superpowers!

So I'm very hopeful that this will work out smoothly, and I'll be fully recovered soon. Then I can start posting happy cheerful stuff, instead of all the woe is me sinus garbage that you've been plagued with for the last little while.

Monday, October 20, 2008


It's been over 2 weeks since a single smell has registered in my brain. I haven't been posting because this is just so weird, so hard, and so very not normal--I just don't really know what to say.

I go in for a CT scan this afternoon. I should have some kind of an idea about what is going on, and what to expect.

If I'd known that I would be losing my sense of smell, I would have kissed each of my kids and Steve, and tried to memorize their own particular smells. Calvin smells like graham crackers, and the baby is pure deliciousness. But the memories of the girls smells are fading. Kissing Steve feels like kissing through a layer of plastic wrap.

But, I know that this is just a teeny little blip in the grand scheme of things. I'll wait until I know what I'm facing, and then I'll deal with it.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Sammy has found his thumb, making him the fourth baby in our family to be a thumb sucker. Matter of fact, that means that we have three of them living here, now.

I can't find a photo of Calvin sucking his thumb, but trust that it's a constant, daily thing. Fortunately their dentist isn't worried about it, so they're ok for another little bit.

We went to the pumpkin patch tonight for family night. Only problem was, the temperature dropped to about 40 degrees. I'm not ready for this kind of cold yet!! We had a great, although freezing time. Sammy was all bundled up and cozy in his snuggly outfit.

Oh, he's sweet!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

An olfactory void

The cold, it does not end. Ever, I'm convinced. But that's not good positive thinking, so I need to visualize a healthy Becca, an energy-filled Becca, a Becca who can...smell.

My sense of smell is absolutely 100% gone. Disappeared and not coming back anytime soon. It's the weirdest feeling to suddenly be without one of your senses.

I got into one of those autumn-y moods yesterday where there just had to be baking, and lots of it. So I made apple bread with apple butter spread, a roast chicken with rosemary and lemon, chocolate mousse, and roast potatoes. Delicious, all of it, no?

Unfortunately, I couldn't say. It all tasted the same to me, but my sisters and children say it was delicious indeed.

It's a little surreal--I can't smell Sammy's little velvet head, or the smell of warm leather when I get into Steve's car, the scent of my body wash in the shower, or the crisp autumn air. It's a bit like living in a void. But there are some definite advantages--changing toddler poopy diapers and washing out revolting milk sippy cups has never been easier! But honestly, NOTHING is registering in my brain, even when I'm not stuffed up. Someone please tell me this will end someday. Can you imagine having a sense permanently taken away? I wonder which one I would choose if I had to.

Monday, October 06, 2008

This and that and the state of my sinuses.

I'm on day 10 of the Cold from Hell. This one deserves it's capital letters, as evidently it has decided to stay. Urrgh. I'm getting really tired of sinuses that feel like a semi truck has planted itself firmly up there. Today, to break up the routine amalgamation of essential oils, tylenol, mucinex, massage, and fist shaking, I bought a Neti Pot.

Oh, how far I've come in this journey to be a little more natural!! 2 years ago I would have laughed at the thought of a nasal wash that comes dripping out the other nostril. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not sure if it's an attempt to embrace natural cures, or the willingness to try anything if I can only breathe again.

Results? Interesting. Not horrible. Not the miracle cure I was hoping for, but definitely has it's place.

Other news besides the state of my sinuses. Like you need any other news. Surely this is a fascinating enough topic for anyone!! Anyway. We had two nights in a row here with only our 4 little people and us sleeping in the house. First time since August that's happened. Why yes, things have been very busy around here!

My wonderful sisters and I picked apples (can't believe I forgot the camera) and canned them. We did 54 quarts of sauce, dried some, did apple butter and apple syrup, and only got to half of the apples we picked. Holy cow, that was a lot of apples!! We took the kids picking with us. The girls worked steadily, and Calvin roamed and played underfoot. Every time we looked at him, he was munching on an apple. Only when we started picking up the bruised apples underfoot did I realize what he had been doing. There was one bite taken out of about 25 apples, and periodically in our buckets we'd find another apple missing one bite. Calvin! (and please say that like you're Jerry Seinfeld saying "Newman"!)

Hazel has the very worthy goal of not praying for the same things night after night. Admirable. I try to do the same thing myself. Tonight, she did herself proud, and I think the Lord himself must be pleased with this request:
"Please bless that Verdi will write more beautiful music, or if he's dead, make his great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren write some because I like it."

Wowza to that one!