Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Springy Thoughts

On a dreary February day, like today, it is easy to find yourself in the winter doldrums. I went outside to fill the bird feeder and found some hopeful signs that Spring will indeed return! My daylilies have started to poke their green shoots out.

And here are some little leaves emerging.

And even if true spring is still a couple of months away, the sight of so many cheerful little finches always brightens my day.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hannas wear well...

I was first introduced to Hanna Andersson clothing when E was a baby. Although the clothes were cute, I wasn't sure if it was worth the price. Since then I have purchased many "hannas" during their biannual sale, on ebay, and even on special trips to their outlet store in Kittery, Maine ( I was very tempted to visit their VA store when I was visiting my sis, but I resisted!). I have been really pleased by the quality of their clothing. This "Jeepers Creeper" was worn by all three of my kids and still is in great condition. I love the cute striped pattern, and that it is unisex.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I was driving my car, when that unmistakable feeling of nausea came over me. My heart fell, "Oh no! I have a stomach bug", I thought. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat, took my eyes off the road for a second and found myself careening off to the side, my brake peddle pushed uselesslly to the floor. Just as my car did a roll, I woke with a shudder.

Breathing deeply to calm myself I realized with a sinking feeling that although I had just woken from a dream, my stomach ache was all too real. I lurched out of bed and headed to the bathroom. It was 1:30 am, Friday morning. I prepared myself for a long night. First I pulled back my hair into a ponytail and then....

what did I do next- any guesses?
Did I
a) wake up Ed for moral support
b) clean the toilet
c) take a drink to speed up the process

The correct answer is "b- cleaned the toilet". There is nothing nastier than staring down a dirty toilet bowl just as nausea is about to overcome you. So I lysoled the toilet and sat on the floor to wait for the inevitable. For the next 4 hours my body emptied itself and I swore I would never eat another meatball again. I got snatches of sleep in between episodes when I dropped myself sweating and trembling onto our air mattress in the spare room. All through the night I prayed for protection for the kids and Ed against catching this bug, as well as a quick recovery for myself. It also gave me time to pray for my dad, for his comfort and healing.***

At 5:30 I heard a cry from K's room. She usually doesn't get up that early, so I went in to check (having just finished my last bout in the bathroom). She was lying in the corner of her bed sucking her thumb, and in the opposite corner was her vomit. Poor thing. I don't even know when she threw up, because it was kind of dry. She must have done it at some time in the night and crawled off to sleep in a clean corner. I called out to Ed to come down and help out. He gave her a bath while I cleaned up her crib.

I went back to bed after nursing her and stayed there most of the day in a state of nausea, aches and pain, only getting up for brief periods to nurse or eat a couple of crackers. I woke up at midnight, and felt remarkably better.

This morning I felt almost normal, although my diet has not strayed from the "white" family- crackers, rice, noodles. K has thrown up her rice cereal today (and immediately splashed her hands in it to "play" with it), but has been able to keep down breast milk. I am just so thankful that the other members of my family remain well, and have been spared, for the time being...

***As I was praying for my dad in the wee hours of the morning, he woke up with an unstoppable nosebleed because of his low platelet levels. My mom rushed him to the hospital, via train, because of the snow storm. He will be at HUP for the next few days getting a new chemo treatment. Please continue your prayers for him***

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I don't usually get involved in the political posting, but I really liked this quote...

"To encourage a country with only rhetoric rather than sound and proven ideas that trust in the strength and courage of free people is not a promise of hope. It's a platitude."
~John McCain

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Visiting Cousins

My sister, Katherine and her family(2 kids, 4 and 2) live about 4 hours away, in Virginia. She has invited us down several times in the past couple of years, but for various reasons we have not made it. Last week she was visiting my parents, and we decided that we would do it the next weekend. So Saturday morning Ed and I packed up the 3 kids and the dog for the journey. The kids were happy most of the trip, eating snacks and watching movies. Even K was content to look around, or nap most of the trip. We arrived midafternoon, and settled in. The kids played inside and out, running in the woods and having fun with "new" toys. After a delicious dinner our kids went to bed and Ed and I were able to relax in front of the fire and catch up with Katherine and Rusty.

The next day we had lunch at a pizza place and went next door to an indoor arcade and playplace. After returning home, the kids colored and then raced around the house, playing chasing games. We packed up and then had dinner together before leaving. We drove home as the kids slept in the back, and arrived home around 10:30.

I am so glad we went. It was really nice to finally see their home and spend some extended one-on-one time with Katherine, Rusty and the kids. When they visit up here, they stay with my parents, and our visiting time is usually very busy and chaotic with the whole family together. Growing up, you take for granted the time you have together as a family, never realizing that it will never be like that again, with everyone under the same roof. Reconnecting with my siblings as adults, has been such a blessing. I love having the shared past of stories and family history, but also interacting as adults, and having our kids know each other and spend time together.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A word about Scorpions and Dragonflies

"Sorpins can
kill a hoomin.
Sorpins have ieys
but can not
When a sorpin
atacks it puts
its tal owr
it boty.

DrAGonFlies can be
vary big. DrAGonFlies
live neer laks.
and can Fly
back wods.
the boy holds
the gril wall it lass
its eggs."

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Long Day, K

Yesterday we got home from church and the kids were finishing up their lunch. I picked up K, and as I was wiping her mouth, I noticed that her lips were blue. Then I looked at her hands, and her fingers felt cold and were blue as well. I turned to Ed, "K's lips are blue-- we may need to take her to the ER!" She didn't seem to be in any particular distress, but she has had a cold and is being treated for an ear infection. Also, the past few days she has had a fever of 102. So I went to get her changed out of her church clothes and noticed that her toes were blue as well. I called the urgent care line, and talked to a nurse. She asked me a series of questions, "Is she breathing ok, or is she wheezing?"

"Um, I don't know. I mean, she has had a cold, and she is congested, but she doesn't seem to be wheezing, particularly"

"Is she sucking in air, is her belly moving in and out, can you see her ribs between breaths?"

"No, I don't think so."

"Let me listen." I put the phone to K's mouth and she did a few raspy breaths into it. When I came back on, the nurse said,"She's wheezing."

At this point K's lips and hands were still blue, so we took her temperature, which came back perfectly normal, not under. But the nurse was concerned, so we bundled everyone up and left for the hospital. On the way, we dropped N off at a friend's house, where E already was on a playdate.

When we arrived at the ER we were taken back to the triage area where they took K's pulse-ox, which was normal, at 100%. It was at this point that I breathed a sigh of relief, and felt that she was probably OK, and maybe had just been cold. Her lips were a rosy pink again, and she was blowing kisses to us as we got her undressed. Her temperature was rising though, and it was now 99.3. I had given her motrin at 7 am for a 101 temp,so by this time (1:30 pm) it had worn off.

Nevertheless, we were now in it for the long haul. We got a room, they kept her hooked up to the pulse-ox, and we kept answering the same questions over and over, and different nurses and doctors came in. Poor K, she was getting warmer as time passed, as well as more tired since we were way past her normal nap time. Ed and I took turns holding her and she would lie in our arms, occasionally letting out a cry before sucking her thumb. We got her to sleep a couple of times, but she was still very uncomfortable and slept fitfully.

Around 2:30 I left to get lunch and as I walked back to the room I could hear her crying. She was just finishing the RSV test in which they put a tube down the baby's nose into her lungs to get a sample of mucus. They gave her a dose of tylenol since her fever was now up to 102, and I settled down on the bed with her to try to nurse her to sleep. Ed left to get something to eat and I was left alone with K. She pressed up against me and nursed for the next 45 minutes as she slept.

After Ed came back he immediately left to pick up the kids and take them home, to wait for my call. K went for her chest x ray, to rule out pneumonia, and then we came back to wait for the results. K was feeling a lot better, as her fever had gone down. Instead of bright red cheeks, they were a healthy pink. Her eyes were bright, and she was in a great mood. Not looking at all sick. She ate her dinner- some baby food that the nurse kindly got for us. And then, to pass the time, we played on the bed with every single thing in the diaper bag. Spoons banging on the wipe container to the tune of "Skinny Marinky Dinky Dink", water bottle sucked on and shaken, empty food containers were knocked over like blocks, and put on my head for her to knock off- to her delighted giggles. Finally, around 6:15 the doctor came in to say the tests were all negative, she was free to go home. We were very thankful for this news, but still a part of me felt a little foolish for bringing her in. We had wasted an entire Sunday afternoon, put our sick baby through unneccesary medical procedures and all she had needed was a sweatshirt and some tylenol.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

This morning, around 10:30 N had a tantrum, so I sent him to his bed to calm down. 10 minutes later he was still there, so I went up to see if he had fallen asleep. His back was to me, and he was curled around his cloth "baby", which is now more a pile of rags held together by a couple of stitches. Since I was feeling tired myself, I lay down next to him. He turned to me and we just talked--nothing in particular, it was more in the line of him asking questions.

"Who is make our teef?"


"Why is, God make our teef?"

"Why do you think?"

"So our can eat."

"That's right."

"Who made our ears?"

"God did."

"Who made our pillow?"

"A man."

And so he continued, asking who made this and that, one of his favorite little games. As he talked I studied his face, inches from my own. Even though I treasured this time with him as it happened, I couldn't help but feel melancholy as I thought of how fleeting time is. All too soon he will speak in perfect English, with correct sentence structure and pronunciation. He'll be too big to snuggle. I won't feel his little hands on my face asking who made our eyes/cheeks/nose. It's so easy to try to rush our kids through their childhood, willing them to "grow up", be more independant. But I think most parents feel this tug, even as we cheer on our kids as they learn new skills, we feel a small loss as our babies slip away.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Fauschnaut Frenzy

This morning I was watching the news and realized that it was Fauschnaut Day. It is also known as Shrove Tueday, or Fat Tuesday, but we have always called it Fauschnaut Day. On this day my great grandmother would make special donuts that are in a diamond shape. Since then, my grandmother and now mother have carried on the tradition by purchasing the donuts at a bakery. They come in a variety of "flavors", but our favorites are powdered and cinnamon-sugar, without a filling. On the news it had people lined up at dawn outside area bakeries to get these donuts. Usually my mom buys donuts for the whole family, but given the situation with my dad, I wasn't sure if she would get out. I was going to be in the vicinity of the nearest fauschnaut making bakery, so decided to stop in. Even though it was around 9 am, the parking lot was packed and there was a line of people to the door. I grabbed my number, 26, and queued up. About 5 minutes into the waiting, number 20 was called and the couple in front of me decided to leave. I was relieved because it would mean I moved up a spot in the line. Then they handed their number to the woman behind me. I thought "What the heck?" and my mind started racing as to what to do when #25 was called. I could feel my blood pressure rising and my heart beating faster as I anticipated the confrontation. Because I wasn't about to give up my rightful spot. (Some may say that it shouldn't make a difference to me if the lady behind me took the place of the couple in front-- my placement wouldn't change. BUT I really couldn't stand by and let her "butt" in front.)


The counter lady called out "#25!" and I was ready with my answer.

I stepped forward and said,"They left, I'm next, I'm #26"

The lady behind me protested, "I'm here! I'm #25"

"No, #25 left, I am next, I'm 26" I repeated, stepping closer to the counter. The lady also repeated, "I'm here! I 'm #25!"

At this point all eyes were on us in the bakery. Everyone in line just stared. The counter lady looked at us wearily, "What's going on?"

I then explained,"There was a couple in front of me, they were # 25. They left, and handed off their number, but I should be next, I am 26".

The other lady scowled at me but conceded, "I'm 25, but just let her go first!"

I placed my order as the other lady stepped up to the counter and glared at me. When I turned to look at her, she just shook her head and looked away. I decided to ignore her. Unfortunately I spent an uncomfortable 5 minutes while my counter lady took FOREVER to get my donuts in the box and ring me up. Meanwhile, another counter lady called,"26!"

The lady next to me said,"I'm #25, and she is 26, but she went first!" as she turned to give me one last glare. At that point my order was done and with my adrenaline surging, I carried my fauschnauts away, a whole 5 minutes saved.

Monday, February 4, 2008


On a more serious note, please pray to the Only One who can heal, on behalf of my dad. He has been fighting multiple myeloma (a cancer of the blood) for 4 1/2 years now. He is currently enrolled in a clinical study of an immuno therapy for the next 2 weeks. He is only the 4th person in the study, but our hope is that this will knock out the cancer. He is feeling very weak and tired, and because of his weakened immune system, he is unable to go out. My mom, is also confined to the home because she has not wanted to pick up any germs that she would pass on to my dad. So they are both feeling isolated. I just went over yesterday and visited with them for about half an hour, the first time I have seen them since Christmas. Please pray for healing for my dad, and protection for both of them from sickness. I know the Lord will hear you, no matter how far away you are.

Here is a sweet picture of my dad last spring with K...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I'm In

OK, after repeated urgings by a certain friend, I am finally on Facebook. I hadn't joined earlier for any other reason than my own orneriness. I had read an interview by the creator of Facebook, who said his goal was to get everyone in the US in it, so I resisted for the sake of resisting. I know, dumb. So. If you know me, come find me, and we can be cyberfriends.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Oh, Really?

An little blurb from Reader's Digest (Feb 08)

"Healing from Afar?

No one knows for sure how the mind-body connection might make this leap, but praying for someone who is sick really seems to work, according to a recent Arizona State University review of 17 studies on people with heart disease, cancer, infertility and other conditions."