Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Weird Rash, New Daycare and Some Recipes

Why is it that your child will be moping around the house, glued to you, whimpering, sniffling, moaning with unhappiness due to illness, but the moment you get to the walk-in clinic, that same child jumps out of the stroller and starts pushing it around the waiting room like it's the best toy ever?

If it wasn't for that awful rash all over his body, they might have kicked us out for faking.

At some point last year, Ben had the same rash. We couldn't find a doctor who could tell us what it was. They just said it was probably viral, not contagious and would go away on its own eventually. FYI: the rash is red, slightly bumpy, everywhere, but mostly on the heat zones of his torso. It doesn't seem to bother him, and it doesn't itch.

The only reason we took him in yesterday was that he had been running a moderate fever all night and was acting very miserable. Because they are thorough, they tested for strep and did a blood draw to test for measles, though he'd been immunized. We won't get the results back on the measles for a couple of days. The best guess the kind doctor could give us is that it was a delayed reaction to the pulmicort that he's been on for three weeks.

Last night, after Ben had napped for most of the day and was finally starting to act a little perky, we threw him into a lukewarm bath to wash him up. And it dawned on Chester... we figured out what the rash was from the last time this happened when a few days after the rash appeared, Ben cut four new teeth at one time. It's a freaking teething rash, and we were worried about the measles.

Though a teething rash as extensive as Ben's is rare, it's happened to him before, and it explains all of his symptoms. The poor appetite, the fever, the fussiness. And of course it explains why he would shriek with pain when he'd chew on pineapple. The acid would hit his raw gums and he'd flip out.

We've decided that for the next baby, we will write down when the baby is sick, what the symptoms are, and what eventually explains it. That way we'll know and not waste the time of the nice people at the walk-in clinic. We had recognized Ben's rash, but we didn't really remember what it was from. Ugh. We'll learn eventually.

You can imagine our anxiety this morning as we tried to explain to our new daycare lady that the rash IS NOT contagious and that Ben is healthy enough to be at her house. He looks awful, and though he's acting cheerful and goofy and wonderful, one glimpse of that awful rash still sends us into a bit of a panic, and we've been looking at it for more than 36 hours now.

That brings me to my next topic. Ben's new daycare. Her name is Amber. She's a few years older than I am, and she lives in a beautiful house in a nice neighborhood that manages to be just five minutes from downtown, but still kind of on the outskirts of town so there's not a lot of traffic.

Last week was his first week with her, and he loved it. Amber says that he fits in well with her crew. The kids are nicer at her house.She says that everyone plays together well, and Ben seemed very happy to interact and play with the other kids. Thank goodness.

When we dropped him off this morning, he ran right up to her for a hug. We're all very pleased with Amber, Chester especially. To him, it feels more natural to leave Ben with someone who is allowed to really bond with him and nurture him. At the group center, there had to be more of a professional wall between the teachers and the kids since the teachers weren't always the same and there were more kids. In contrast, Amber is able to really get to know Ben and speak lovingly and glowingly about how his day was, how he's adjusting, what a joy he was, how much she loves his little smirk when he's trying not to smile.

Of course, that same closeness is what makes me more jealous. Family daycare feels more like a mother replacement because it mimics more closely what Ben would experience at his own house if we had more children. And watching him thrive at the new daycare makes me really anxious for the summer to be over so the next phase of our life can start: when I quit my job to stay home with the children.

In other news: I made a chili in the slow cooker yesterday. It was AMAZING. Three cans of dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed. Three cans of diced tomatoes, two of which were sweet onion flavored, undrained. Two cans of tomato sauce. One chopped green pepper. One vidalia onion chopped up and sauteed with a pound and a half of ground beef. I started it around seven thirty, and by noon, the whole house was infused with this delicious aroma. After adding a whole bunch of chili powder and black pepper, it was perfect. I served it with chunks of cheddar cheese over macaroni.

At lunch today, I'm throwing together another recipe to have in the cooker while we finish our workday. Cranberry chicken barbecue. It calls for a can of whole cranberry sauce, a cup of barbecue sauce and chopped onion. You layer that in the cooker with chicken breast (we use skinless, boneless), and let it cook. I bet it will taste wonderful. I've made a cranberry chicken before, baked in the oven, but never with barbecue sauce in a slow cooker. I think I'll like it a lot.