Friday, June 27, 2014

A New Chapter

I don't know where to start so I will start by saying what this post is actually about. I'm here to say that I will no longer be a blogger at the Howling Howl and how much I have appreciated everyone's support. This decision to step down from the blog was not an easy one. I really didn't want to do it because I have enjoyed sharing my preschool ideas, recipes, craft ideas, and family thoughts. However, life decided to present me with some major obstacles.


The minor obstacle I have been dealing with is my husband's work schedule. The job he has does a lot of mandatory overtime. And, I mean a lot. He works on average between 60 to 70 hours a week so that leaves very little time to do family activities and date nights.

We also own almost an acre of land so we have lots of yard work that has to be done. My husband does what he can, and then I do the rest because I hate having things in disarray. So I have been trying to balance blogging with raising a family and taking care of the home.

The major obstacle that I was dealt this year is one that will not go away. My precious little baby boy, Roo, was diagnosed with a rare disease. Roo has mastocytosis.

What is mastocytosis? Well, let me explain. Mastocytosis is when mast cells start to accumulate in the body's tissues. There are two types: 1) Cutaneous where the mast cells accumulate in the skin, and 2) Systemic where the mast cells accumulate in various tissues of the body. Cutaneous mastocytosis is the better one to have because systemic mastocytosis has more problems and can lead into cancer. Mast cells are part of the immune system and have histamine to regulate allergic reactions.

Roo has mast cells accumulating in his skin so he has lots of "spots" or lesions. When these spots get irritated, rubbed/scratched, the skin becomes red and the spots become like hives. If too many spots get irritated, then Roo can go into anaphylactic shock because all the mast cells mimic an allergic reaction even when no allergen is present. So we now carry two epi pens with us because we don't know when he could have trouble breathing, etc.

Symptoms vary with this disease but here are some: fatigue, nausea, abdominal discomfort/cramping, musculoskeletal pain, flushing, tachycardia, syncope, anaphylaxis, etc. I could go on for a while about this condition, but I feel that this sums it up without getting too technical.

Thankfully, I learned just a month ago that Roo has cutaneous mastocytosis. Roo will have to keep having blood work done every 6 months to a year to make sure his disease doesn't progress into systemic. Roo has struggled with sleeping until just about 2 months ago. I would be getting up with him about 6-8 times a night. Now, I get up with him 1-2 times a night because we have been able to help treat his pain and other symptoms.

What next?

Because I feel that I need to spend more time with my kids and spouse and take some time to refocus on what I want from life, I will be leaving the blog.

I will first take some time to relax. I haven't been able to truly relax all year so a much needed rest is in store. After my rest, I will be spending my time outside gardening. I really want to start up a compost pile so I'm going to learn how to compost really soon. I'm also making plans to make an herb garden and to expand the size of my current garden. I love my yard because I have plenty of grass for the kids to play on, berry patches (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries), a medium sized garden, fruit trees, a fish pond, chickens, and hopefully some bees soon. So don't worry about me, I will be plenty busy

My boys will continue to learn from me at home through our everyday activities. We are having so much fun going on walks to the local library and getting books. So far Monkey has only been picking out trains, trucks, and Curious George book. I'm okay with that because I want him to love books and pursue his interests.

We will also be enjoying the great outdoors by taking a road trip soon to explore the great sites my state has to offer. And, my family enjoys fishing so we will be going fishing several times a month. Like I mentioned several times before, my family needs some time with each other and just appreciate life. I'm so grateful for my husband and two boys!

You will probably hear from me every now and then with some book reviews or some guest posts. Again, thanks for all the support you have showed me! And I hope you will continue to support Hannah and this blog.


  1. So sorry about your little guy! I will miss your posts!

    1. Thanks, Anne! Your kind words mean a lot to me.