We have a little tiny house and nice big super great yard. I mean, look how pretty!
Jeff said he looked Chinese.
But there are a few dangers, the creek and the busy street we are on, for starters. But the one that sneaked up on us has been the worst... poison oak. Here's how it went down.
During 2006 Spring yard clean-up, (you know raking up dead leaves and things that were buried in the snow) I developed an allergic reaction to something I touched. It was horrible. It would itch beyond belief, but scratching or rubbing it was like setting my arm on fire. NO JOKE. It kept me awake at night for over a week. It had hard blisters that would "weep". EW. EW. EW.(I've spared you the nastiness of the weeping sores photos- but I do have them!). I finally saw a doctor and found out it had gotten infected too. He had no idea what caused it except that it looked like a plant allergy. FINE. So we looked for new plants that I may have come in contant with, and Jeff killed it with poison. My arms took nearly 4 weeks to heal.
There are all kinds of wild vegetation that we can't identify in our yard. We don't care though, it's pretty. One spring purple wild flowers sprang up, and they continueto bloom every spring. Awesome. Then another spring this dark leafy ground cover started growing along the creek. I loved that too- so pretty! It got a little taller as June progressed but I still thought it was pretty.
At the end of June 2006, Jeff went on a trip for about a week. We were just fine at home. On Sunday night I let the kids play in the yard for 30 minutes before bed, got them cleaned up, in pajamas, and kissed them goodnight.
No one was sick or unhappy, but after 3 year old Bear took his nap the next day he looked like this:
Odd. Slightly swollen but nothing alarming. I decided to take a picture to so I could compare it later to see if it got worse. IT DID.
My mother-in-law-offered to take the kids overnight so I could have a break from being a single mother (she's crazy awesome like that). But she called me the next morning to tell me that he looked worse. MUCH worse. When I saw him I was horrified- so I rushed him to Insta Care.
The strange thing was that he really didn't seem uncomfortable. They did a lot of shoulder shrugging and one doctor suggested it was probably poison oak. Of course! My neighbors had mentioned in the past that there was a lot of poison oak in our area.
Over the next few days he got a little worse...
... and then slowly better. By the time Jeff got home, Bear looked like this:
Jeff said he looked Chinese.
Unfortunately, by the time Jeff got home, MY lips looked like this:
I had kissed Bear goodnight before I'd known he'd rubbed flipping poison oak all over his face! I don't know why it took a few days longer to affect me, but I'm glad it waited because I was able to focus on my poor swollen baby.
I swore to Jeff that if we ever got poison oak again we were MOVING. I was not going through this again. We finally figured out which plant it was and got rid of it (it's that nice big leafy plant behind Bear at the creek's edge). And every spring we carefully watch for new growth and keep it at bay.
The End. (Don't use this for a bed time story. I've found that these pictures frighten children... and some adults.)