Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer Colds, Strep, the Guineas, and the Baby

Steve and a couple of the children are fighting light summer colds.  They would tell me it isn't that light, but compared to many of the colds they've had, it really is light.   I'd suspect allergies, except Steve is taking allergy medicine daily and still fighting it off.

4 yo M is sick with what I suspect is strep again.  He had strep in late April, although it took us 5 days to realize that was what it was.  He told me Monday afternoon that he didn't want to eat lunch, didn't feel well, couldn't pinpoint how he didn't feel well, but didn't think he was going to throw up.  He then proceeded to sleep all afternoon long, running a fever just over 100*.  While he slept, he was holding his head, as if it hurt.  One of the few times he woke up, he did tell me it hurt.  I asked him if his throat hurt, because he acted this same way last time he had strep, and he said no.  That evening, he woke up, but didn't want to walk anywhere, and threw up once. 

Yesterday, he woke up without a fever or headache, but by afternoon, he told me his throat hurt.  I looked down his throat and saw some very swollen tonsils, and suspected strep even more.  Today he's still feverless, headacheless, and up and around ... but his tonsils are still swollen and it still hurts to swallow.  He did the same thing last time.  Fever and sick for 1-2 days, then acted fine for a couple days, then the fever returned with a rash, tummy ache, and headache.  We took him in, with no clue what was going on, and the doctor said strep.  I have an appointment for him later today, although he is acting fine at the moment.  But I'm afraid if we wait, he'll have the fever, upset tummy, headache, and rash return like last time.

We finished our guinea enclosure on Sunday, and moved them outside Sunday night.  Except for one roll of chicken wire fabric, we were able to scrounge most of our materials from the outbuildings.  I managed to catch all 5 of them and move them outside one at a time that evening.  It wasn't exactly easy, but it wasn't as bad as I feared it would be.  I didn't get pecked or scratched, for one thing, and none escaped ... although two almost escaped.  Once they were released, they each stood there somewhat stunned and actually let Steve and the boys pet them.  They've never let me pet them before!  Steve went out later that night and caught them each to put them inside the dog house we hope they'll use as shelter from rain.  They were calmer then and he didn't have too much trouble catching them.  They're all doing fine now, although I think they're still adjusting to the wind, as we often find them huddled together in corners of the enclosure.  Our wind usually comes strongly from the south, and that is where we no longer have a tree-line or wind-break.   We need one, but it was cut down several years before we bought the house.  Our enclosure is on the south side of the house, so they get the full brunt of the wind.

I'm 31 weeks and 1 day pregnant today.  Just 62 days to go. My due date is 2 months from today.   It's fun to count down.  Baby is active, and growing well by the looks of me.  My prenatal for this week had to be rescheduled until next week, but I'll update after that.  I think I'm handling the summer without air conditioning fairly well for a pregnant woman.  I pray I can continue to handle it well, graciously, and calmly.  I don't want to turn into a complaining grouch.  I know many people live without air conditioning, but it has been so many years since I have lived without it.  My kids have never been without it.

I'm still able to carry laundry baskets up and down the basement stairs, and out to the clothesline.  I'm achy some days and evenings, but I just keep going.  I want to stay as active as possible, because I believe it will be better for baby and me in the long run.  I know muscles that are fit and used to working can work better to deliver a baby than muscles that just sit around too much.

I've been acquiring a collection of Dr. William Sears' books on pregnancy and parenting from Paperback Swap to add to my permanent bookshelf, as well as several books on natural childbirth (specifically using the Bradley method of relaxing and working with your body instead of fighting the contractions).   I'm refreshing my memory and practicing the relaxation techniques.  The last two births (fifth and sixth births) were very intense.  As I look back on them, it seems as if I was not as calm or relaxed as I was with my third and fourth births.  I'm trying to sort through the hazy memories and figure out how much of that was my own fault, and how much of that was just birth differences.  It's confusing, but I'm praying about it.  If there is anything I can do differently this time, I want to do it.  It's possible that time has just made the 3rd and 4th births *seem* less intense than the 5th and 6th, but they really weren't.  I should ask Steve if he can remember, and what his perception is.

We are winding down school this week.  Just two days left.  The children's minds are already on "vacation" it seems, and it is taking lots of prodding to get the last little bit accomplished.  I have begun doing some planning for next year.  I have all the curricula for each child listed on paper ... along with some stuff I'd like to add in.  Now I just need to figure out how much we really can add in, and what's most important.  I don't want to bog everyone down by trying to use too many homeschooling methods and curricula.  So, I need to find a good balance that covers all subject areas without being overwhelming.

We have two flat-faced Persian kittens ready to sell, and I need to get them to the vet this week or next for their shots and a health check so we can start advertising them.  We'll miss them when they are gone, but it will also be nice to return to just our 3 adult cats.  It's possible that our younger female is pregnant for the first time, but I am not sure yet.  We're hoping for more kittens in August, though.

And that's life here in the ElCloud Homeschool at ElCloud Homestead.  We're winding down our summer reading programs, and enjoying Vacation Bible School each Wednesday night.  The kids seem to be staying out of the poison ivy now, and all is basically well.  What a blessing!

Trusting in Him,

1 comment:

  1. I would really like to find out about what type of enclosure you used for your Guineas. We tried a baby gate in the basement, but they really stained up the concrete, even with all the bags of store bought pine chips. Right now they are in small cages that make me for sad for them. I have thought of putting them outside, but I worry about predators.

    I am so glad about your pregnancy going well. I remember how hard it is during the hot summer months. I hope everyone gets well soon for you to make it easier.


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