Monday, March 31, 2014

heat rash March

(Now that March is nearly over...)

We moved to Kenya in March. March is the hottest month of the year in coastal Kenya. It was brutal. Nate, Ben, and I all had heat rash until the weather cooled. I thought it was malaria-prophylaxis-induced skin sensitivity, until we all got it again the following March, when we weren't taking anti-malarials. And we have it again this year.

Internet advice about treating heat rash assumes it's not ongoing. "If you get a heat rash, go back into the air conditioning, drink some water, and take a shower." Wouldn't that be nice?

So I'm kind of bumbling along to find a treatment by trial and error, for the 4-6 weeks that we have it each year. By the end of March, I have to wonder whether my current protocol is working or whether the rash is getting better because the weather is starting to cool (just a tiny bit).

Most of my experiments are on Nate because his rash is the worst. Ben's and mine go away overnight almost every day. Nate's persists. It is mostly on his trunk, but also a little on his legs and face. His face looks the worst because he scratches it all day long. I think his is the worst because Ben and I have fans blowing on us all day, and Nate's classroom is stuffy. And they play outside in the heat of the day. When he's home over the weekend, he usually improves a lot.

My advice, at year 3 of heat rash:

  1. Limit outdoor (or "away from the fan") activities to before 10 am and after 4 pm. Stay out of the sun.
  2. If you get really sweaty, change clothes.
  3. If you are under 7 years of age, you can probably go without clothes for the most part. We call it "undies time."
  4. Add baking soda to your bath. Bathe (or wash the area that is rashy at least) more than once a day.
  5. Apply aloe to the rash. We have a cooling aloe that's for sun burn, but it is also very soothing to heat rash.
  6. Drink water.
  7. Take an antihistamine.
I'm not sure how much the antihistamine is helping. I think Benadryl would be the best, but Nate would only be able to take it at night, and he cools off overnight (with a dedicated oscillating fan targeting his bed), so the rash doesn't really bother him then.

We found a cream today that we will add to our trial and error, which contains an antihistamine, calamine, and an anti-inflammatory. 

I am looking for 2 products: a water-based lotion which contains colloidal oatmeal and Magicool Plus, which is a cooling and anti-itch spray specifically for heat rash. If I ever find those in this country, I will save them for next March to test out.

I wish we could prevent it entirely - or at least prevent it from becoming so miserable - but I think Nate will have to be older and start treating it himself.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

flying with kids - top 5 tips

Getting settled into our seats after early
 boarding, when Ben was in the easy
"naps 11 times a day" phase.
Boarding a flight to or from Kenya, there are always a lot of European and American vacationers, usually young adults, no kids. There is a large percentage of businessmen, often African or south Asian. And there are always several families.

When they call for boarding of families and anyone who needs extra help, you can see the child-free passengers anxiously tallying up the number of small children who will be on this flight, praying that they will not get stuck near them.

Long flights are tough enough without cranky kids. And parenting cranky kids in public is tough enough without being trapped in very tight quarters with hundreds of grumpy strangers.

Friday, March 14, 2014

8 scriptures to pray over our marriage

Five years ago today, we got married in the rain.

I love praying Scripture. As an introvert, I don't always have words to say, even in prayer. I do pray my own words, but many times, especially with specific requests, I have found verses in the Bible that express what I am praying, and I use them as a starting point for my prayers. What better starting point than the Bible? It's not just for introverts, either!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

International Women's Day

This week one of our girl MKKs (Maisha Kamili Kids - click for Maisha Kamili's website) told us, "I was so discouraged (before Maisha Kamili offered to help me) because my family members who were supposed to be taking care of me told me that they wouldn't waste their money on my education because I'm female." We quickly told her, of course, that we value the education of girls and that, because we know the attitude of her family abounds, we have set a priority on finding girl orphans to help.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

February half-term

In order to make sure the kids get plenty of breaks from school, there is a 2 day "half-term" break each term. I suggested to Rodgers that we go somewhere for half-term. He made reservations at the same hotel where we stayed in August.

Rodgers had to be in Nairobi most of the week before break, so we were all ready for the family time by the time Friday came.

The boys had a wishlist for our little vacation:

  1. go swimming
  2. go to the beach
  3. go shopping
  4. eat pizza
  5. eat ice cream