Tuesday, July 24, 2012


So this July has brought us our first bout with whooping cough. The night I got the call that our 2-yr. old son had tested positive for his pertussis test, I drank a humongous green coffee drink and fretted the night away.

I was really worried. And really caffeinated. And maybe that's the same thing, really.

But then the morning came. We doled out the antibiotics to everyone, noted that the 3-mo. old still had no symptoms, and stocked up on juice, popsicles, humidifiers, and yogurt.

Gideon is the only one who has developed the distinctive "Whoop! Whoop!" and he handles it like a real soldier. He pushes through the coughing fit, rests for a bit, then continues tormenting his 4-yr. old brother.

It really has only marginally slowed the mayhem down. Almost indistinguishably, really.

I've limited my online time, only getting on for emergencies ("Am I supposed to roast the garlic first?") before about 8 PM. The minutes after 8:00 have been spent researching whooping cough, the pertussis vaccine, and recipes (always). Short story: whooping cough is currently an epidemic, the vaccine may actually make things worse (at least, it doesn't help: 80% of people who get whooping cough have been fully vaccinated), and I seem to be inexplicably drawn to recipes to which you can add salsa, sour cream, and cheese.  

But also this July brought us Independence Day. I like those pictures better, so I'm sticking those in here.

For the Fourth of July, we visited the Frontier Culture Museum, ate bratwurst and watermelon, read the Declaration of Independence, and found singalong patriotic songs on YouTube.

And right now, we're busy drinking drinking drinking, filling humidifiers, bleaching towels, reading books, and trying to sort out our homeschool schedule.

Happy July.


  1. oh no...I've never had whooping cough, but I know people who have, and it is no fun! I hope the rest of the family stays healthy!

    Meanwhile, I'm glad to hear that life as usual is pretty much going steady. :) The pictures are great--I especially LOVE the last one with all the kids in a row! Such a beautiful crew! :)

  2. Thanks for posting. I'm really enjoying your blog. :)
    (MamaGroff here)

  3. GAH! Sorry about the whooping cough. We thought Everett (5YO) had it a couple of weeks ago, turns out he had just been drinking an inordinate amount chlorinated pool water. We've started watching him a liiiiiittle more closely when swimming (OOPS!). And, it's been a while since I've checked in here....congrats on beautiful #9!!! LOVE the 4th pics!
    I had a creepy Facebook/Real Life incident, so I am off of Facebook and TRYING to get back to my blog.

  4. Yuck, yuck, yuck! Any illness is, well, Yuck, but when you have a name like "whooping cough" it sounds so much...more!!
    I Love to hear about what's happening in your corner.
    We've been putting together some goodies to send you all!! If it wasn't so embarrassing, I'd admit it was intended as a new baby gift... :)
    Your next post doesn't seem to be accessible. Can you re-post "You know you live in a small town when"?
    Love to all,

    1. Huh. Thanks for pointing that out...I don't know what happened, except my computer was being super slow that day.

      Everyone's much better, so the yuck is past tense (can a yuck be that? yucked?) and I'm so thankful for that.

      Just sent you a very very very pitiful box....I mean really. A better one should be on its way -- don't worry about a baby gift - I'm still trying to get your birthday stuff sent!!! Gah!!

  5. I'm not trying to be creepy or anything, but I'm just curious---were/are your kids vaccinated against pertussis? My ped has warned us about "outbreaks" of pertussis in schools, which I always thought was interesting since the vast majority of public schooled kids are vaccinated. We homeschool, some of my kids are fully vaccinated, some partially. After child #4 had a weird reaction to her first DTaP, we delayed vaxs with her & the babies. There seems to be so much conflicting research/info out there that I've had a hard time determining what is the best course of action. I don't want to be negligent either way. Thanks.

  6. Oops! I also meant to say: I'm so sorry you all have had a sickly summer. Sickness in a big family is hard anyway.

  7. Sara,

    Well, we *do* vaccinate, sort of. Meaning, after our #5 had a bad reaction to the rotovirus vaccine, I got a lot more vigilant about what I was allowing. We delay, giving what vaccines we do get starting at age 2. Gideon and Salem had not yet started their vaccines b/c Ada was born right after they turned two and I never caught up.

    Having said all that, I'm not convinced having the vaccine would have helped anything. As it was, my 10-yr. old (vaccinated) son got whooping cough, and so did I (also vaccinated). Gideon's was the worst, but he ALWAYS gets a terrible, terrible cough when he has a cold. And even his was manageable, although he sounded like he was going to choke to death. We just kept calm during each episode, he handled it like a real trouper, and that was that.

    I found this article quite enlightening and it represents what I have been finding from even the medical professionals around here: http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/final-vit-C-and-WC.pdf. The vaccine just is *not* that effective.

    So my personal take (because you did ask) is to continue vaccinating how we are and not get stressed out over it. "God's in His heaven; all's right with the world," as Browning put it. We made informed decisions on how we would vaccinate, and each side (vaccinating/not vaccinating/selectively vaccinating) takes a bit of faith. The Lord has sustained us, and a good bit of prayer and humor (my husband is GREAT for this) helped even this "sickly" time to be a sweet one.

    And I'm not joking.


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