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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hope for New Furniture Thanks to Kids, A Dog, Eczema, Food Allergies and the Boston Red Sox

So now you're wondering, what does new furniture have to do with kids, a dog, eczema, food allergies and the Boston Red Sox? Let's see if you follow this one.

Many, many moons ago, when Hubby and I married, we did the typical new couple stuff. We bought a house and some new furniture, admired our new china (okay I did that one myself), and dreamed of a joyous happily ever after in our newfound wedded bliss. One furniture purchase was an incredible brown leather sofa, the type of leather sofa that has the rich smell of imagined wanderings into mahogany libraries filled top to bottom with beautiful leather bound books.

This leather sofa was a source of constant debate between Hubby and I. He grew up in New England proper, where leather furniture was quite frowned upon and thought to be a walk on the wild side. Me, on the other hand, grew up with lots of leather furniture, glass top coffee table, and lots of huge wild art lovingly created by my mom. Two different worlds. Two different styles. What's a newly wed couple to do to keep the peace? Hubby wisely acquiesced to my bold theory that leather sofas were far superior to traditional fabric covered sofas. So we managed to buy one gorgeous leather sofa instead of two fabric covered sofas. Because it's supposed to last forever. Gulp.

Hubby finally ventured to say, after sitting on this wonderful sofa, that it was pretty darn comfortable. And that it really did look quite marvelous in our sparsely decorated living room. And so we sat on this leather sofa, side by side. Hubby on his special spot, me on mine, enjoying life's peaceful, generous bounty.

Well after a couple years, the quiet peace was soon pierced with babies crying, cooing and growing; learning to walk; and falling into the safety of the gently worn leather sofa. Oh, did I mention jumping? Yes, jumping. To the distress of Hubby and joyous thoughts from me, "Our wild ones are so cute!" And yes, there's been plenty of cherished reading, lots of wonderful early books like: Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, Tumble Bumble by Felicia Bond, and Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann to name a few.

When we found out Middle Child had food allergies and eczema, we were relieved we had a leather sofa. Very few allergens can imbed themselves into leather. And it's incredibly easy to clean. Unlike fabric sofas which just soak in all the lived in goodness and then some. And is quite a pain to clean. Hubby was happy we didn't have to buy a new sofa. I felt vindicated in my ultimate wisdom. Even more so when Hubby's brother purchased a decadent leather sofa for his home.

Add all the goopy steroid ointments and moisturizing emollients Middle Child has on her skin to treat her eczema flareups, usually caused by food allergies and cold weather. When these lovely steroid potions lightly smear over the leather, after many years, you're well on your way to have the leather slowly erode right in front of your eyes. I finally figured that one out after a couple years once I noticed the leather seats cracking and shedding. Yes, shedding. After I properly thought about how these steroids work...they add oomph to heal the skin, but also thin out the skin, I had my Aha!Duh! moment and thrashed myself for not putting something on the sofa so middle child could sit comfortably on it, lotions and all. And forget about making middle child sit elsewhere. It's all about confidence building for this little one.

Then, last summer we had some interesting incidents involving our well worn sofa. Oldest child had a friend over, who left a nice turquoise butt shaped stain on our leather sofa because she forgot to change out of her wet bathing suit after playing in the sprinklers. Daughter's friend was aghast, friend's parents were upset, but who was I to claim injury? Nice to know people are out there that feel responsible for their actions. If the sofa were new, I'd totally freak, but the sofa was over ten years old, and in sorry decay, so this fun, butt shaped stain was just another decorative feature to add some vibrant interest to our lives.

The kicker was when we had a chance to dogsit Pookie, a lively Pembroke Corgi, for a few months this summer for a friend. Hubby thought it would be a good idea since the girls have been mercilessly begging for a dog. He also heard that exposure to animals might help lessen allergies in children with eczema and food allergies. Isn't he wonderful? Now, if you know anything about Pembroke Corgies, which we found out after Pookie lived with us, is they shed like nothing else. Two times a year. You can't vacuum enough to get rid of the hair.

A favorite book at the time was Go, Dog, Go by P.D. Eastman. My girls were quite interesting. They loved to listen to the book, chat about the games they wanted to play with Pookie, and wave to the little guy as he sat in another room. But, as soon as Pookie came near them, the girls would jump onto chairs, tables, and the much loved leather sofa. Corgis are short and can't jump very high. And we tried to train Pookie to live by our rules. But Pookie sees freaked out girls jump, and all training, if any, goes way out the window. Enthusiastic dog jumps to play with screeching girls and slashes through not one or two, but three sofa cushions that are weakening from the effects of six years of steriod ointments. Oh. No. When it was time for Pookie to leave, we were all a bit sad. But boy, it was ever so nice to say for the last time Go, Dog, Go.

This wonderful sofa needs to be replaced rather soon. Any throws or fabric put on the sofa just irritates Middle Child. So we need a new leather sofa for us adults, and something special for the kids.

So here's how the new hope for new furniture comes into play. Check out the Monster Deal, as advertised by a local furniture store, Jordan's Furniture.
Consumers purchasing a mattress, dining table, sofa, or bed at a Jordan’s store
location between March 7, 2007 and April 16, 2007 will receive a rebate of the
purchase price paid for the Deal Merchandise if (but only if) the Boston Red
Sox® win the 2007 Major League Baseball World Series®. Rules here.

This middle of the line furniture business comes out with an unbelievable advertising gamble. So I'll meander over there to see if I like any furniture. Just. Because. I really need some new furniture. Regardless of whether the Boston Red Sox win or lose the 2007 Major League Baseball World Series. But I have to wonder, what are the chances of our hometown team winning this year?


whimsy said...

I'm always interested in what you have to say about food allergies. My daughter has eczema and is allergic to eggs. I mostly just use vaseline on her eczema, so we have greasy vaseline marks all over our couch. I guess I'll have to try a leather one next time.

HipWriterMama said...

Leather sofas rule. There's this great cream that comes in a one pound jar, called Hydrolatum--it's a mixture of Vaseline and water and costs around $9. It's still greasy, but not as much as the Vaseline. And quite soothing to the skin. It's not a prescription cream, but I do have to ask for it at the pharmacy since they have to special order it for me.

Food allergies can get quite overwhelming at times, especially when it's a food allergy found in alot of things. And the eczema, well I'm at constantly at war with eczema and trying to help middle child find comfort from it all. So if you ever have any questions, just ask away.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

HipWriterMama: A skincare person told me that Vaseline clogs pores. Is that an issue with eczema, or do the benefits of Vaseline outweigh the drawbacks?

I had to laugh about the "turquoise butt-shaped stain" on the couch, mainly because I can relate to being the child who forgot to change out of her wet-swimsuit. Only when you're really living in the moment can you forget that you're wearing damp clothes. Now, I have to change out of a shirt even if I've just given my daughter a bath.

HipWriterMama said...

Alkelda the Gleeful,
Yes, Vaseline does clog the pores, but is incredibly moisturizing for really dry skin. A total aside, but my mom actually put a thick layer of the stuff on her face and then steamed her face for her own weekly home beauty treatment .... you can't imagine how beautiful her skin is.

I don't like to use Vaseline because it is too greasy. The Hydrolatum is still greasy, but is absorbed into the skin better because of the water content. Hence supposedly better moisture for skin and hopeful healing. It's kind of like the Eucerin heavy cream without the fragrances.

I hope you're feeling better. And I have to say,nothing better than living in the moment.

Jen Robinson said...

That Jordan's furniture thing is SO cool. I want to go out there and buy furniture myself, so that I'll have two reasons for wishing that the Red Sox would win the 2007 World Series. It would be amazing anyway. But to get money back for a nice couch - awesome!

HipWriterMama said...

I know this Jordan's furniture place is pretty cool. These guys are marketing mavens. And I agree would be so amazing anyway if the Red Sox won the 2007 World Series. That would be unbelievable. Add a rebate on a leather sofa. That would be icing on the cake.

Have a great day!

Liz in Ink said...

This is soooo funny! What a great pitch. (tee hee. pun intended...)
Go shopping, sister!

(And thanks for all your well wishes, Vivian...)

HipWriterMama said...

You're welcome. Who ever thought I'd have a great excuse to go shopping?

Liliana said...

I know this blog was written a couple years ago but it did help me decide on what kind of couches to get. My son also has eczema but luckily his cream isn't greasy at all and has worked wonders for skin. His skin looks so pretty now.
Thank You!