We were plugging along with everyday stuff. I went to visit with a dear friend to catch up. We hadn't seen each other for way too long. As the conversation unfolded, she started chuckling... apologized for it & then proceeded to tell me that our family sounded like a snippet straight out of an Erma Bombeck book!
It made me take a step back from the stress-filled time. We sat back and had a good laugh, shifted gears and found the humor. Keeping a sense of humor is one of the things that gets me through the drama & shenanigans that seem to be a constant with our family. The last few months have been full of, well... just about every thing.
Let's start off with kiddo's allergies and the domino effect.
I have to give a little back-story here. In the spring, they were moved from their bedroom to the new bedroom (used to be our office) so that new baby sister would have a room (their old one). This could be it's own story. Transitioning rooms went so very smoothly. Or so we thought at first! Little did we know the veiled ways the upset to familiarity would rear it's ugly head!
Okay back to the allergies. It all started around September. They would be fine most of the day. Sometimes getting an asthmatic cough. At first there was no pattern that we could tell. Hindsight's always so enlightening.
The worst times were overnight and sometimes after resting time (in lieu of a nap). They would wake up coughing so hard. Coughing up a lung puts it mildly. It was so violent they threw up some nights from it. After a few weeks, we figured out the ceiling in the bedroom was moldy. From an old roof leak that was patched several years ago. Apparently the patch gave out.
Great. We have to move them out of the new bedroom until the mold can be dealt with. Joy of joys. More change for someone that very much likes routine & predictability. And they were just finally getting used to being in the new room. It only took about 6 months. And moving rooms was not simple. Because it just never can be simple. To move kiddo meant that we had to also move the baby. A friend asked if we couldn't just let them share a room. I tried not to laugh out loud at the images that brought to mind!
There was no way sharing rooms would work. So Lil Miss needs to bunk with... you got it - Mom & Dad. Well we couldn't very well move all her things into our room. So in a very real sense the kids had no choice but to share a bedroom. Kiddo got a bed - only mattress at first because it took us awhile to get the frame moved. And they were able to slowly move some comfort things in like books & more books and a few toys for good measure.
Lil Miss's changing table/dresser had to stay in the shared room along with stinky diaper pail. Boy, that one did NOT go over well to the super-sensitive sniffer of kiddo.
Ok, so one would think that by moving out of the moldy bedroom that the awful hacking up a lung cough would clear up. Right? To our bewildered amazement, it did not. It actually got worse.
Come on! What else could possibly be causing it? Stumped, desperate to help kiddo feel better and desperate for just one less thing waking us all up at night, I started back on the vigilance of trying to track the elusive pattern of cause & effect. It's such a frustrating dance!
Being the awesome big sibling that they are, kiddo loves to hang out with us while Lil Miss is getting diaper changes. Now with them sharing a room, if they werer home, they wanted to help. "Help" can have so many benefits. With this it helped crack the case of the lung-hacking cough.
Another short back-story - due to diaper moisture with Lil Miss we started using baby powder. But oh so sparingly. I was not comfortable using it since reports came out a few years ago saying that it's not good for infants lungs to be around the fine dust.
With kiddo's devoted attention to baby sis, the cough got worse. And they were sleeping in the same room as her changing station. And then out of the blue, it happened.
The light went on. Baby powder has corn in it. Kiddo does not tolerate any form of corn. And then the second-guessing pops in. Surely, they're not reacting to the residue in the air. Stopped using the powder for a few days. The cough was improving. Lil Miss's lack of moisture control made her rash flare up. So, I used the powder again for a day. Cough was worse. Really?
Yes, really. Un-freaking-believable.
Now, what! We moved the changing table into the moldy room to get it away from kiddo. Wiped down the walls & floor to get rid of the residue. Threw out the rest of the baby powder.
Can't use baby powder because of kiddo's cough, which also knocks out cornstarch. So, we started powdering Lil Miss's bum with arrowroot powder. Then get this...
...her rash was improving. We don't have to constantly powder her with every diaper change. She was reacting to the baby powder, too! No lie. Seriously!
And this is where it starts to improve & to go back to Erma Bombeck... when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Kiddo is so much happier in the old bedroom. Not fighting that battle anymore. Knowing when to fold has it's advantages. Like bringing down their super high maintenance self.
With the anticipation of holidays and birthday past, they slowly start coming back down to earth. The last piece to bringing calm to them (for now at least) is reclaiming the original bedroom. So over the weekend, we made it a priority to move them back in completely. It's their room again. And only theirs.
Next step - finish de-molding the other room & getting Lil Miss moved into her room and out of Mom & Dad's.
So you see, it was the perfect timing for a roof leak. Without it, the kids would've continued to be "corned" for who knows how long. Kiddo would've continued to struggle internally with the new bedroom and asthmatic cough. And Lil Miss would've continued to have rash flares that seemed to improve only to persist. Having a leaky roof means adding another thing to the mix, but it also helped us find answers at a crucial time.