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.


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.

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.