57 In Life

Hi folks!

My goodness, I was here a week ago telling you that I was recovering, little did I know what was about to hit! By God’s grace, up until this weekend, we had avoided ear infections. We managed to get away this weekend with some friends for a little low-key Fourth of July celebration at the lake. Despite weather that was overcast we had a great time… until Sunday night when Paige came down with a very intense ear infection. I suspected swimmer’s ear because she has become quite the little fish; twirling, spinning, and flipping in the water– beautiful little moves but all of which are ear fillers!


Dear friends of children who suffer from ear infections: I am SO very sorry! It is Thursday morning and we are still managing pain and dealing with sleeplessness. We went to the pediatrician on Tuesday morning, which is always a good experience for us, but Paige wanted to be held the whole time and I had Morgan and JM with me. And did I mention that John Martin is two? And a boy? I always like to be careful in the pediatrician’s office about them touching every thing, putting hands in mouth etc… well, it all went out the window this visit. I held feverish Paige in my lap while Morgan and JM were wide-open.Β  Next time I will get a baby sitter for the well ones. She did have swimmer’s ear, we were sent home with medicines and they placed a wick in her ear. I was hopeful for a quick turn around but unfortunately I’m learningΒ  swimmer’s ear isn’t something that is recovered from in 1 day.


I’ve done what I can to keep her comfortable but short of taking away her pain there’s not much more I can do. We have had lots of snuggles and spent many hours on a pallet watching movies together! Rover stands in front of our movie and makes us laugh! I can’t blame him, I love his buns too!


On our way home from the lake on Sunday we stopped by the garden to pick some veggies and Zinnias. Paige found a cold Fresca in the fridge and considering her state of sickness we let her have a few sips… she was completely delighted!



I cut flowers from the garden while Justin and the kids picked veggies. Our garden is almost finished… which makes me a little sad! I guess it’s the reality of living in the Deep South and starting early. We will likely have enough time to squeeze another one in this season if we can get our act together.


As we were pulling away from the farm I took a picture of JM in his car seat and realized that soon he may notice that he is sitting on a flowered-y car seat cover! I may have to make him a camo one or one with cowboys… his latest fascination!


I’m hoping my spunky little Paige is back to her old self soon!!

Many of you asked about the rug with the streets and town on it in the last post… it is from Ikea. He loves it!

I’m also taking the month of July off fromΒ  offering advertising space! My travel and sickness threw me for a loop and I haven’t been able to catch up enough to get my act together! The posts may be more sparse this month… rest assured I am enjoying time with my family, away from the computer… excepting pouring through Italy pictures late at night!

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  • natalie @ our old southern house
    July 8, 2010 at 7:41 am

    glad everyone is on the mend. hope they stay that way through the rest of july.
    every time mary margaret comes down w/an ear infection she gets to sip sprite through a straw. it makes it all better magically! haha

  • Katie
    July 8, 2010 at 7:41 am

    I hope Paige gets to feeling better! It’s hard to keep up with blog posts in the summertime {especially when there’s so much to do}! PS Rover’s hand on the buns made me laugh out loud at work!!!

  • Ashley Williams
    July 8, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Good Morning, D!! So glad to wake up and find pictures of your cute kiddos and to “hear” your voice this morning! πŸ™‚ So sorry Paige has been feeling bad! Allyson & I had about 40 cases of swimmer’s ear as little water bugs, so I totally feel her/your pain! In case the dr didn’t inform you, a drop of rubbing alcohol in her ears will dry that water up and prevent her from getting it again. It took us 40 cases before a wise doctor informed us of that little secret, but it totally works. So, when she gets out of the pool, get a cotton ball and drop about 2 or 3 drops in there. Hope that will help for future occurences!! Bummer that she can’t swim for a while too, right? We really want to come! (Sorry for the novel on the blog comment!) Love you!

  • Hickory
    July 8, 2010 at 7:44 am

    I was a sufferer of ear infections for YEARS as a child….so much that I remember them and the pain they inflict. I was a swimmer as well and suffered them until I quit competing at age 16. I will tell you the only thing that ever worked for me and maybe it will work for your little one….a heating pad (which it looks like you have that covered) to sleep with and warm tea. My mom would make me a cup of warm tea (decaf of course) with milk and sugar and I awear the warm drink running through me made me feel soo much better! I would drink cups and cups of it!
    Good Luck and I pray she feels better soon.

  • Heather
    July 8, 2010 at 7:56 am

    My daughter suffered from chronic ear infections until she had tubes placed at only 8 months old and she still got/gets them from time to time (now almost 2 years old. That said, I think swimmer’s ear might be even worse! Usually, within 24 hours of starting antibiotics her pain is tolerable or gone (based on her mood, eating and sleeping). All my friends whose kids have had swimmer’s ear just seem to take a bit longer to get passed it. Poor girl! Hope she feels 100% soon!

  • Ashley
    July 8, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Ughhhh for swimmers ear. Your poor babe! And poor you! Love all the zinnia’s that you’ve been picking! Beautiful!
    Hope everyone starts to get on the mend over there! It’s no fun being sick in the summer! Oh..and the pic of your little guy with his hands in his pants is a HOOT! ha! Thanks for a good morning laugh πŸ™‚

  • Emily
    July 8, 2010 at 8:10 am

    That swimmers ear is awful. I used to have ear infections all the time when I was little. No fun! Hope she gets to feeling better soon!
    Love the black and white photo! Thanks for sharing.

  • Michelle
    July 8, 2010 at 8:11 am

    I used to get ear infections my whole childhood — they were awful! I hopw Paige feels better soon! Enjoy you’re time off with you’re family – you deserve it πŸ™‚

  • Nancy
    July 8, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Ear infections are the worst. I sooo feel your pain. Hang in there. Swimmer’s ear is awful too. My youngest had them…. are you ready for it? Every 6 weeks for the first year of her life. Poor baby. Poor mama too! Once I got those beloved tubes in her ears, my whole world changed and hers too. Hang in there. It will turn the corner soon.
    From “ear-infection survivor” mom: Nancy
    By the way, I LOVE the hand down the diaper shot. That is classic. Great capturing the moment.

  • Krysta
    July 8, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Welcome back!! I have missed your updates, but despite sick kids, I always wonder how you have the time regardless! Take care and I hope to see you back in blogland soon!

  • Sam
    July 8, 2010 at 8:32 am

    How awful! Ear pain is so intense; poor Paige. I can sympathize with the ped. office experience. Praying for Paige! Enjoy lots of family time with a healthy family!

  • Melissa
    July 8, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Ah so sad about poor Paige and about the end of the garden. Awesome you can plant a second garden though – I am still waiting for mine to take off.

  • Susan Kokat
    July 8, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Swimmer’s ear. I will 2cnd the rubbing alcohol suggestion. Works like “magic”. A few drops in each ear when the children get out of the water. (There is also a “swimmer’s ear” over-the-counter product you can buy that is easier to tote around in your beach bag. I just use the CVS generic.) Hang in there.

  • Cat Moore
    July 8, 2010 at 8:46 am

    so glad you’re feeling better, but so sorry for ear infections! Those are NOT fun…..know from experience. The flowers are beautiful and my fave pic if JM in his flower car seat. he’s such a handsome little boy and is getting so big. my two year old love to stand RIGHT in front of the tv….with his hand down his diaper. boys…..

  • Sarah's Fab Day
    July 8, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Poor Paige! Having been in the same boat ourselves we’ve gotten to the point that we always do swimmer’s ear drops everytime after being in the pool. It’s just easier. I’ve also heard that you can just make them yourself.

  • Tara
    July 8, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Glad you are better, hope the little ears get well. Why does it seem everyone is more sick in the Summer…accidental sunburns, swimmers ear, sun poisening, dehydration, and with travel- I hear you- it takes a toll on my body. I still want to make one of those heatbag beanbag things you have on Paige’s head. poor sicky bear. Enjoy the rest of the summer, take it easy.

  • Shara
    July 8, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Glad you guys are recuperating! Will you post how you make the carseat covers? I think it’s a great idea, but I am creatively-challeneged (but I can follow directions like a champ!). Thanks!

  • Angela
    July 8, 2010 at 9:54 am

    I love the carseat cover! If you make another one for him, please include a tutorial or the pattern. I need to make a couple myself. Thanks!

  • Ashley Eiler
    July 8, 2010 at 10:12 am

    us too…last week mia had a HORRIBLE case of the “MY EAR HURTS”…poor baby…they called in steroid drops for us and we are still tending to it…poor raiger…poor lucy goosey…
    my sorries…no fun!!!

  • hilary
    July 8, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Ditto to Angela’s comment. PLEASE show how you make carseat covers πŸ™‚

  • Stephanie
    July 8, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I’d love to see more Italy pictures!!

    Poor little Paige – I know from first hand experience what a bda ear infection can feel like – my junior year of college I bawled my eyes out in my door room and no one could help me – so painful!! I hope sweet girl is already back to her old self and that momma gets some days where EVERYONE is healthy and a few more sleepful nights! πŸ˜‰

  • Dianne
    July 8, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Hoping Paige is feeling better everyday. My grown girl was a lifeguard during the summer at camp and kept swimmers ear. It is painful. Alcohol drops work. Enjoy your family and get some rest.
    xoxo Dianne

  • kelly
    July 8, 2010 at 11:14 am

    love the diaper pic. so funny!


  • whitney @ oursweetstory.com
    July 8, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I’m sorry ya’ll have been so sick. I’ve missed reading your posts but hope all are getting better and you can enjoy the rest of your summer!

  • Sarah
    July 8, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Love your zinnias! try finding a chiropractor for the ear infections. The adjustment they do opens the ear canal and lets the fluid drain. My husband is one and he’s adjusted our 2 yo often this summer to battle swimmers ear. We can always tell it gives her relief afterwards and she bounces back quickly. https://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=69 for a brief explanation. Hope everyone feels better soon!

  • Starla
    July 8, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Poor baby girl! Swimmers ear is awful…I had it when I was 7, that was 30 years ago and I still remember it, so that should tell you how much it hurts. Hope she’s better soon!

  • whitney @ oursweetstory.com
    July 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    I am sorry ya’ll have been so sick. I’ve missed reading your posts but hope everyone is better soon and you can enjoy the rest of you summer!

  • Karen
    July 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I hope Paige gets better soon! I remember getting swimmer’s ear a few times as I swam competitively from childhood thru high school. I will 3nd, 3rd or 4th the above suggestions for rubbing alcohol or the over-the-counter drops.

  • melissa stover
    July 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    sorry to hear about the ear aches. maybe, living in a house full of girls, rover will never notice the flowers on his car seat cover. my son has the same problem.

  • Letty
    July 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Hi Darby! I feel for you and Paige; I suffered from constant ear infections as a child and eventually had my adenoids (sp?) removed– all better!

    I’m not sure if you’ve said this before, but what camera do you use? Your pictures always come out so lovely! I’m sure it’s half skill and half camera, of which I have NONE of the former! Thanks!!!

  • Joy Cronauer
    July 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    HA! Glad to see another little boy sitting in a flowered car seat! Those seats are just to expensive to worry about a little flower power. But if you do make a cover be sure to give us a tutorial, my two year old will thank you for it (or more so his father). As for ear infections our Ben had tubes put in a few months ago. Thank God for modern medicine, and of course good health insurance!

  • elizabeth
    July 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    My daughter has a double ear infection right now and is feeling crummy. I thought at first it was maybe swimmers ear because we had went swimming over the weekend. The doctor said no, but told me swimmers ear is much more painful. Ouch! I hope she feels better soon! Enjoy the rest of your summer!

  • Pru
    July 8, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    As always Darby I am in awe of your posts and photos, but poor little Paige looked so sad sitting on your lap at the doctors. I have no remedies to offer for ear infections, but I do hope that you are all back up and running soon.

  • Lauren
    July 8, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    So sorry about the ear infection! I hate those and my baby boy has had his share of them~they are not fun! Glad everyone else is doing good!

  • gilda
    July 8, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    So sorry to hear of the swimmer ear hope she feels better soon. I just love the buns pic your Rover is a cuttie!

  • Kay
    July 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Sorry to hear about Paige! I had that so much growing up, even in high school- my ears are tiny. I used to get relief by turning the hair dryer on low, and holding it out from my ear and letting the warm air run on my ear. It brings at least short-term relief until the medicine clears it all up. Take care!

  • Tessa
    July 8, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    I didn’t read through all the comments so I’m sorry if someone’s already mentioned this…but there are drop you can put in your kiddos ears after swimming that prevent swimmer’s ear. I forget what they are called, Aqua something (or Swim Ear). I think they are just alcohol but they dry up any water left in the ear after swimming and are a real life saver. My eldest is a swimmer year round with swimteam and lessons and we had a few painful swimmer’s ear infections before we discovered the drops. Hope they help! πŸ™‚

  • shelby
    July 8, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    poor baby! We have only had one ear infection here and it was awful! Hope she feels better soon!
    Question…just wondering where you got the adorable ear infection in the first picture…so cute!

  • Emily
    July 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Poor little Raiger! She looks so sad and sick in that picture with her blankie. I remember the pain of an ear infection… soooo awful. I hope she’s feeling relief soon! Beautiful pictures as always!

  • Emily
    July 8, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Whhops – that’s not her blankie – it’s a rice bag… my rice bag always makes me feel better! Even the smell is soothing now.

  • Whitney
    July 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    So sorry Paige is sick! I hope she gets to feeling better soon. Can you please tell us how you plan to make Rover’s carseat cover? Are there patterns you can buy? I can’t figure out why all of the “standard” carseats are so hideous!!!

  • midwestmom
    July 8, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    When your kiddos are done flipping and spinning and swimming, fill each ear with peroxide to get the water out and avoid swimmer’s ear. This was told to me by my pediatrician. Hope she’s feeling better quick!

  • Regan
    July 9, 2010 at 5:04 am

    I feel your pain! Literally… son #2 suffered from his 1st ear infxn (both ears) this week… never had any with son #1… (all the while, son #2 was cutting 1st two teeth… at the same time!) misery, pure misery. I didn’t even know I could go so many days with no sleep. And the worst is, as you say, not being able to take away the pain. Hope you guys are on the mend. I guess I’m a blog stalker from a far and absolutely LOVE your blog.

  • Cami {Good Craft Day}
    July 9, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Oh that poor little girl! That one picture breaks my heart πŸ™ I hope everyone is feeling 100% soon!

  • angela
    July 9, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I had to laugh out loud about your comment on the car seat cover. Too funny!!

    Hope Paige is feeling better by now. There are so many sick little ones that I know….Seems like it would’nt be so bad in the summer time!

  • Rhonda
    July 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    So sorry about the ear infection- they are the WORST!

    Enjoy your kiddos, and remember- blogs and business stuff will wait. Babies won’t. Take all the time you need…We’ll all be be here when you get back. πŸ™‚

  • Lynn
    July 9, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Hi Darby!
    I was so excited to see you guys in Target today! I wanted to speak to you while in the check out line but was afraid I would embarrass my 17 yr old! Ha Ha! When we walked out I was telling her all about yall! So when I backed out of the parking place and saw you coming in my rear view mirror, she said “go ahead mama! Roll down the window and talk to them!” YEA!!! That was all the encouragement I needed! Thank you for being so gracious and friendly! I just LOVE your blog and have been reading it for a LONG time but had no idea we lived in the same community! What FUN! We live outside the circle on the southside (near Hidden Lake school.)
    Those beautiful babies are just as adorable in person as in all the fun pictures you’ve shared! Rover just cracked me up smiling and waving to me as we talked! I could eat him up – he’s so cute and such a little character!
    I’m inspired to start blogging regularly again so we can keep in touch! My blog has been inactive for almost 2 years but I’m gonna crank it back up so you can get to know our family!
    It was a pleasure to see you all and get to meet in person. So happy Paige is on the mend too. She looked like she was feeling better. Hope to see you all again somewhere around town! Have a good day and weekend!
    Lynn (Target buddy!) : )

  • Nealy
    July 9, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    oh no! so sorry to hear about the ear infections!!! hope things get back to normal soon. get some rest! πŸ™‚

  • Joy
    July 9, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    so sorry that you have a sick little one, hopefully she will be back to her self soon.

  • Joy
    July 9, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    I hate to hear that you have a sick little one maybe it will not be too long and she will be back to her old self. I completely understand about the dr’s office, you never have enough hands to keep your children from touching everything that they can reach.

  • Joy
    July 9, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    sorry for the multiple posts. can’t figure out how to edit a comment after posting.

  • tyne
    July 10, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Swimmer’s ear is the worst! Hope she gets to feeling better soon and can’t wait to see some pictures from your trip!

  • Melanie Gore
    July 11, 2010 at 9:09 am

    You have had a rough few weeks! Take care and hope all gets well soon!

  • Jen Fanucci
    July 11, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Dear Darby, I’ve been without a computer for weeks now and I have to tell you how much I have missed reading your blog! It’s been nice having a “low-tech” summer and all but enough is enough already! We’re having to purchase a new computer but are hoping to hold off until fall when we’ll be needing it for school, work etc. For now, just trying to lay back and enjoy the fam…though laying back is far from what I’ve actually been doing with 3 kiddos 5 and below under-foot. Love ’em to pieces though and wouldn’t have it any other way! Enjoyed your pictures and hope that you are all feeling 100% soon. Ear infections are no fun at all and we’ve had our share over the years. Just love that little Rover of yours! The flower car seat pic is too funny! And my Noah (who completely reminds me of your Rover) is also currently loving putting his hands down the back of his pants – what is up with that?! LOL Much love!

  • Miriam
    July 11, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    This is going to sound weird – but here is my natural remedy for a painful ear ache. Crush a clove of garlic and put it in olive oil, gently warm the olive oil by putting the container (holding the olive oil and garlic) in hot water. Strain out the garlic and put a few drops of the oil in the affected ear. Put a warm cloth or heating pad over the ear. Child will be pain free and, usually, asleep within 15 minutes or so. This works especially well for soothing a painful swimmer’s ear. I keep some in a bottle with a dropper in my refrigerator all summer!

  • Tara McClendon
    July 12, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Hey D! Just thought of something that my grandmother did for me when I was young and had swimmers ear multiple times a summer. Ever heard of sweet oil? I’m sure you can get it at any pharmacy. If you can get your hands on it, pour it in a teaspoon and hold it over the eye of the stove for a few seconds to get it nice and warm. Pour it down in her ear and close it up with a cotton ball and it will feel so good to her. Worth a shot, bless her!

  • Alexandra
    July 14, 2010 at 4:54 am

    Hi Darby! I hope you all are fine! Do you think you will post more pictures from Italy? Pleeeeaaaasssseeee! Love, A.