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"Confetti Skin, Beauty Within" is our blog about ichthyosis and its effect on our lives. Rachel and our three boys are affected with the form of ichthyosis called "icthyosis en confetti, type 2".

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Here's our summary of our best and most important posts of 2012.

Ichthyosis and School: Air Horn Reveille

School started yesterday. School, for us, starts at 7:40 in the morning. This creates a bit of a problem for our family, since we need to get all three boys bathed and out the door before daylight.

The summer sunshine makes things worse. Up until last week, it was still somewhat light after 9pm. All summer, our kids have been on a daylight schedule, up sometimes until 11 at night. “Bed? What? It’s still daytime out!!” protested Monkey. And Kitty’s sleepovers would end up with girls up until 3am.

So last week I started pushing earlier bedtimes. Rather than trying to force them to go to bed three hours earlier, I just put them to bed a half hour earlier each night until we were down to 8:30 over the weekend. Fortunately, the sun cooperated and went to bed at a reasonable time, too. Breakfast at noon just won’t work once school starts. And the boys HAVE to have a bath in the morning. Three kids. Forty minutes of bathtime each. Even with two showers going and two kids crammed into each shower, they still need time to cream, dress, brush teeth, eat, etc, and all must be done by the time the bus rolls by at 7:10.

So I threatened to buy an air horn if the kids couldn’t start getting up in time. They laughed.

But on Monday, I stopped at the store and really did buy an air horn. I also replaced the alarm clock.

Air horn! And a new clock!

Air horn! And a new clock!


Rachel laughed and took this photo when I got home. Cookie thought it was pretty funny, too. Kitty, however, was NOT impressed. “If you use that on me, I will kill you!! I will put something nasty under your pillow!!” But Monkey was all over it in a different way. “Can we try it now? I want to push the button!!!” And Momo was happily oblivious.

Everyone went to bed right on time on Monday. While they weren’t looking, I changed every clock in the house to 20 minutes fast except my own and the computer/phone clocks.  So when they dilly-dallied at bedtime and I said, “Eight. Twenty. Bed. Now, ” they were all willing. We even had clothes all laid out for the first day!

I woke up shortly before the alarm. It was 5:20am. Two kids were in my room, heading for the linen closet.  “Aren’t we supposed to be up?” asked Kity. “Not yet,” I replied. “The alarm hasn’t even sounded yet.”

“Well, we didn’t want to get honked by the airhorn,” said Cookie. And he jumped right into the shower! Everyone got to school on time, although the boys were so eager to get on the bus that they left their water bottles sitting on the counter.

But last night, after the first day of school, they were all pretty tired. Cookie was trying hard not to fall face-first into his plate. He went right to bed. The other three poked around a bit more, giggling and playing with the cats — they were trying to get one of the cats to stay in their room and other delaying tactics. The last child conked out around 8:40, which made me think that I was in for a rough Wednesday morning.

It turned out that someone shut off the alarm without waking up. I came in at 5:45 and they were all still sound asleep. I turned on the light and gave them a few minutes. When I finally called out, Momo and Monkey woke up and started their routine. But Kitty and Cookie continued to sleep soundly. After another 10 minutes, it was 6am and TIME TO GET UP. I stood in the hallway outside their room so the blast wasn’t aimed right at them. The younger two watched from around the corner.


Kitty covered her ears but didn’t even raise her head. Cookie slept through it. I put the younger boys in the shower and went back to the room.


Kitty sat up and started sobbing with her hands over her ears. Cookie continued to sleep.

“Kitty, get off that bed and into the shower before I blow this again.”

We had a small back-and-forth argument. She still didn’t get off the bed. She was clearly going back to sleep if I would only let her.


Cookie woke up and buried his head under the pillow. Kitty yelled at me again. Finally, Cookie staggered out of bed. But Kitty still refused. I ended up grabbing her ankles and pulling her over to the bunk bed ladder and lifting her down.

The boys all got in the shower. Kitty follows me to the bedroom. “I’m NOT TAKING A SHOWER. I’ll take it AFTER SCHOOL.”

“Get in the shower. You stink.” (A/C died yesterday – the room was sort of hot last night)

She got in the shower. It was 6:20.

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