So. . . Poison Ivy. . .

So Ele woke up on Sunday morning with this kind of red rash on his face. I thought it might just be from sleeping, but it got worse through the day. He also had a patch of raised, itchy bumps on his arm.

Today they were worse. His face was pretty red, and a bit swollen around his eye, and he was obviously really uncomfortable.

So off to the Dr. we went. Normally, I’m not crazy enough to brave the Dr.’s office without another adult for backup, but it couldn’t be helped. It actually didn’t go that badly, by double-toddler-mama standards (i.e. no one fell down the stairs, no one pinched any fingers in the doors or finished unloading any drawers full of medical implements while my back was turned, only 2.5 sagging-to-the-floor screaming fits, and only three disappearances around the corner into the filing room while I was trying to pay), and the Dr. only had to look at Elliott for about 10 seconds before she said,

“It’s poison ivy.”

Poor fella.

We Googled it, of course, and armed with photos we did a thorough search of the backyard, and came up with some maple-leaf viney things, and others that resembled raspberries, some dead grass, an old rubber ball, a brick, and a whole lot of pine needles, but no poison ivy. So we figure he got it during a walk at the Trail Park (one of the Cary greenways), where the kids are always stopping to pick up harmless-looking greenery.

So he’s all doped up on Benadryl tonight, braving through his itchy face (which he must have rubbed with some of the oil still on his fingers - he’s got a perfect finger-shaped rash just above his eyebrows, and then it extends on down to his cheeks) and an itchy arm, and two parents who are going to be WAY more careful what we pick up around here. Man. Can’t turn your back for a second, huh? At least not if you want to keep the Dr. visits to a minimum.

So, you toddler mamas, and former toddler mamas, what IS a “Dr. visit minimum?” 3 a month? 4? Do you have one really accident-prone curious and inquisitive child? For some reason, Elliott just gets into a lot more scrapes and bumps and.. well.. poison ivy.

Is it really sick that I want to take some pictures? 

Learning About Poison Ivy

But you know, it wasn’t a total loss. In the Googling, I learned something really interesting.

Over here at this Poison Ivy tutorial, I learned that there’s a plant whose crushed leaves and stems counteract the effects of Poison Ivy, called Jewelweed:

In the summer, along streambeds, you can find touch-me-nots (also known as jewelweed). The stems and leaves can be crushed and smeared directly onto the location where you brushed the poison ivy to neutralize it.

I just find it incredibly cool that there’s a plant out there that directly negates the nasty effects of another plant. There’s some life lesson in there, too, I just know it. Something about the great balance of the universe, and doors closing and others opening (as long, apparently, as it’s summer and you’re near a streambed with jewelweed). But it totally makes me want to get a plant guide. There are actually only about 4 trees in North Carolina that I recognize. And two of them them (the Dogwood and the stinky pear) are thanks to you guys. ;)

Alright. I lied.

There are only two trees in North Carolina that I recognize.

And it’s the Dogwood and the stinky pear.

And.. now I recognize poison ivy, too. :P

Big Happy Smiley, for when regular smiley isn’t enough 

Okay, I’ve had a lot of people ask me what this means:



This is a regular one:


This is a BIG one:


For when a :) just won’t do.

I tend (as if you can’t tell) to get really excited about stuff. Jump around in my chair, and say “Oooh! Ooh! I know! Wouldn’t it be awesome if …” A lot. That’s a good time to bust out the :D.

If you do this in a Google G-chat, it’ll actually turn that around to look like a big happy smiley face, so I’m clearly not the only one using it (just saying that to prove that I’m not out here by myself in lala land).