We’ve moved into the new house, and are slowly getting settled.  When everything is so cluttered and disorganized, all the necessary projects seem to take twice as long as usual because it’s a multi-step process.  Putting this box of stuff away requires finding this tool and locating this other box of stuff.

Will’s face is much improved with a more diligent regimen of keeping it rinsed with water and moisturized with Aveeno and his prescription steroids.

About two weeks ago, he looked like this:

This morning, he looked like this, after eating some yogurt for breakfast:

He’s still not perfect, but the pinkness is new skin that is replacing several layers lost to peeling over the past few days, so it’s a vast improvement.  We need to see if we can maintain this.

OK, back to work on projects, and to get ready for tonight’s fundraiser in Danville.

My baby Will is 8 months old today!

I just can’t believe he is already 8 months old today.  Where is the time going really?  And it has been a very long week and a half.  I think I am actually glad to be back at work where I am so focused and busy that it will be 5pm before I know it.

We are officially in the new house, but far from being settled and unpacked.  Gordy will be off work still this week working on putting the new house together.  At least clearing some walking paths from room to room so we are not stepping over boxes and such.

More to come!

Paul Lenny (1927-2008)

Paul Lenny, 81, of Troy, IL died Saturday, May 17, 2008 at Maryville Manor in Maryville, IL.

Mr. Lenny was born the son of George Wallace, Sr., and Florence (nee Schuchman) Lenny on Mar. 7, 1927 in French Village, IL, and was married to Norma Jean Doussard in Collinsville on Jan. 16, 1949.

Mr. Lenny was active in the Boy Scouts of America and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and was initiated into the Order of the Arrow.  After high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy and served in World War II on the USS LST 341.

He served ten years as a volunteer fireman in Fairview Heights, was active in the American Legion Post 708, and was a past member of the Troy Lions Club and the Edwardsville Chapter of the Illinois Wildlife Federation.  He was retired from 43 years employment with Bell Telephone.  He flew radio-controlled airplanes with the Sports Flyers RC Club of St. Rose.  He was an avid gardener, community repairman, and “grandpa” to many.

He is survived by his wife, Norma Jean, one daughter, Lois (Bill) Adomite of Troy, and a brother, James Lenny of Redington Shores, FL.  He is blessed with two grandchildren, Allen (Susan) Adomite of Troy and Pamela (Gordon) Hulten of Urbana, IL, one great-grandchild, William Hulten, and other cherished nieces and nephews, family members and friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, George Wallace Lenny, Jr., and two sister-in-laws, Florence (nee Tucker) Lenny and Bertie (nee Coggan) Lenny.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 22, 2008, at Lakeview Funeral Home in Fairview Heights.  The funeral and burial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 23, 2008, at Lakeview Memorial Gardens.  Memorials may be given to Hospice of Southern Illinois and the Troy United Methodist Church Journey of Faith Campaign.


Will’s face, after clearing up for a few days, is now as bad as it has ever been.

As you can see, he’s got red, inflamed patches all over his face and forehead. What you can’t see are the patches under and above both ears, and on the back of one leg. Some of the patches get yellow, scabby and crusty, leading me to believe they’re still infected even after two weeks of both oral and topical antibiotics.

Our latest theory is a food allergy (Yes, Dad!). We’re going to eliminate things one at a time to see if that helps. This seems to have started around the time that Will starting eating oatmeal cereal, so we’re going to eliminate that starting today.

Other theories:

  • Allergic to cats?
  • Allergic to formula? Then why did this only start six weeks ago, when he’s been on the same formula since birth?
  • Is this hereditary and related to my skin conditions?
  • Are we overwashing and overtreating it?

We’re trying to get an appointment with a new dermatologist, and we’re also calling in the big guns – the allergy/immunologists from Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis who treated Will for his e.coli infection through the winter.

At this point, though, everything we’re trying seems to be making it worse, and this is really making me feel like a shitty parent.

Can you say ‘da, da, da, da, da’?

That is what Will is saying over and over and over again.  We had an eventful weekend with my folks.  It probably should have been a nice, relaxing weekend while the men spoiled their wives for mother’s day, but instead we all worked our little tails off and packed up the whole house.  Not just one room, no, there is no time for that.  We packed up the whole house.  So much that we are sleeping on mattresses on the floor (are we back in college?), using lots of paper and plastic, (not so earth friendly) and cutting frozen pizzas with scissors because we even packed up the utensil drawer.  We have only 5 1/2 nights left in our current home and then we move – okay there is a week’s vacation in there, but we are really moving!

Will is doing much better these days with his skin mess (I guess that is what you call it).  He still has a few small areas that in no time blister up and ooze, but he is such a champ about it all.  We will continue on with the doctors ointment/cream treatment plan as it seems to be doing the job for the most part.

Stay tuned for new pictures of Will when we hit the sunny beaches of Panama City this coming weekend.  We really can’t wait for some R&R with our son.  Some might not think those words can really go together, but they do with Will.  I don’t know what life would be like without him – Thanks Will for the best Mother’s Day ever!  I love you dearly :*)

Will’s 1st Dermatology Appt.

Will saw his first dermatologist yesterday, Jeremy Medler, through Carle Clinic. This is the same dermatologist that Gordy is seeing currently as well. We have a completely new treatment plan for Will’s skin and here it goes:

  • Finish up the Cephalexin oral antibiotic to make sure the staph infection is gone
  • Because he still has sores on his face, we need to use another antibiotic ointment called Altabax for the next 7 days.
  • We will also be alternating between Desonide Ointment Cream and Protopic Cream for a while to help keep the underlying eczema under control.

The dermatologist noticed several things going on with Will’s skin. He does have an eczema problem that once we get the infected areas under control, we should just be able to treat for eczema. The hope is that this will all go away and hopefully never come back. We do have to realize though that he may always have an eczema problem, but it maybe just have bad times every now and then and not always be present. It could go away for 30 years and come back later in his life. There is no way to now for sure what will happen with all of this at this stage.

It was interesting to learn from the doctor that everyone has this gene in their body that can mutate multiple things: allergies, asthma, and eczema.

Frustration Increasing

Will’s face is actually getting worse, to the point where his school called me this afternoon, so we’re taking him to a dermatologist tomorrow. I’m tired of screwing around with this, and want someone to fix it before it gets any worse.

Through it all, of course, Willpower is remarkably cheerful and fun to be around. This is a great age!

More Random Stuff

Long post, brain dump, in three sections.

First, Willpower stuff:

  • Willpower’s face really isn’t getting that much better, despite an initial improvement. I insisted on taking him back to the doctor today rather than waiting until Wednesday. The infection is cleared up, but the rest of his face is still really red and chapped. The doctor was going to write a prescription for Metronidazole cream, but I told him that I already had some (I use it twice daily for rosacea) and he suggested we just use on Will the same stuff that I use on myself, also twice daily, and see if it improves in a week or so. He also wants us to start using a lanolin-free moisturizer called Vanicream as an as-needed moisturizer. Will is seven months old, and already has high-maintenance skin. Here’s what he looked like tonight, chilling on a John Deere at Lowe’s:

  • You can see some of the redness around his mouth and nose and cheeks, but you can’t see the scabbed over sores that he has underneath both ears, which is why we know it’s not necessarily related to just his mouth or saliva or formula. And you can see why we’re not doing too many fancy pictures, although I’m trying every day to put at least one iPhone snapshot up here. Not as high quality as Grandma’s stuff, but still fun.
  • We have a dermatologist appointment on May 14. Same dermatologist that I see for my latent ugliness, actually. He’s pretty good, so hopefully we’ll get this taken care of.
  • If none of the high-maintenance skin-care and dermatology tricks work, the doctor wants to begin allergy screening for Will. No, it’s not a formula allergy. And Willpower has already been through a battery of tests for the immunologists and allergy specialists at Cardinal Glennon, but they want to make sure.

Second, house stuff:

  • Roof is finished, and I’m sore and sunburnt. I put a new ridgeline on the main ridge, and above the front bedroom. The home inspector came back today to review all our repairs and tweaks, and the buyer left happy. I asked them directly, “Are you OK with everything, and are we closing on May 30?” Their answer was yes. Whew!
  • Finalizing a revised contract with the builder of our new home. We’re asking for early possession on Saturday, May 24 and closing on May 30, so that we’ll close on both properties on the same day, but already be moved by the time of the closing. If you’re going to be in town for Memorial Day weekend and want to participate in The Great Hulten Move of 2008, this is your chance! Sign up via email at gordy@gordyhulten.com!
  • Shopped for refrigerators tonight. Pretty sure we need a white one, but our Realtor is going to ask one more time if the builder will pull out the white oven/stove/microwave and dishwasher and give us an allowance so that we can pick our own stainless. Ain’t gonna happen, but you gotta ask, right?
  • Getting ready for vacation is fun. Getting ready for vacation and a move all in the same month is overwhelming. I think I was more excited about vacation, but now that the buyer is fully on-board, now I’m more excited about the move.
  • Our 30-year fixed rate mortgage will be at 5.875 percent, if anyone is wondering. Our mortgage broker is Associated Capital Mortgage, which is one of the companies affiliated with my engineering/architecture companies in the Devonshire Group. They really are fantastic, and I’m not just saying that because we own them. They beat every rate I got from Zillow.com and Lending Tree. If you use them, ask for Marty and tell them Gordy sent you.
  • We’re starting to plan projects. Burying gutter downspouts before the lawn is planted. Hanging blinds. Wiring the antenna for HD local stations. Closet system for the master bedroom.

Finally, other stuff:

  • My little brother Andy, who is just finishing up his freshman year at St. Louis University, is going to spend the summer with us and go to summer semester at UIUC. We’re pretty excited to have him for eight or ten weeks, and we’re hoping we can talk him into getting a haircut while he’s up here.
  • Our bank mistakenly made a large withdrawal from our checking account late on Friday afternoon, and despite my insistence that the error was theirs, they refused to correct it until today. It’s a little disconcerting knowing how unwilling they are to listen, even when they’re clearly wrong. They finally figured out the error today – someone had mistyped an account number from someone else’s NSF debit – but it was pretty nerve wracking not knowing all weekend if they were going to completely screw us. Needless to say, we’re switching banks after we move.