Year End Review (photo heavy)


Wow…it’s hard to believe I’m about to write this, but today is the last day of 2014.  What a year it has been.

January 2014
When FatherWinter and I started this journey on January 1, 2014, we were a family of three.  Today, on December 31, 2014, we’re a family of four trying to make it legal and permanent.

It’s been a year full of ups and downs for sure.  We started the year with such a low.  We’d received yet another call that a potential match had fallen through.  We were stressed and it was frustrating to say the least.

February 2014
Still, we were able to come together with grins and giggles for Valentine’s Day when this happened…. 

Superbug gets baptized!




The Visit

This morning, I woke up early not wanting a repeat of the past couple of days.  I made sure Honeybee had her morning bath and her breakfast, made sure she was her happy and vibrant self, and was tidying up a bit around the house when the doorbell rang.  My heart did a flutter, but I’d prayed about this; it was God’s doing now.

The guardian ad litem walked in and we exchanged pleasantries.  We went immediately to Honeybee where she was banging blocks together in the morning.  The GAL was a bit disappointed she wouldn’t see my son or husband, but I think I eased her mind when I gave her my phone.  She was able to see video of Honeybee playing with FatherWinter (dancing and singing—it’s so cute and I can’t wait to be able to share it with you all).  She saw photos of Honeybee and SuperBug’s daily ritual where she crawls over Superbug while he play screams as if she is the greatest villain, which in turn makes her scream as well.

We discussed the really great relationship that Superbug has with his birth father and the fact that we all get along and are very friendly with each other.  I understood the question to see the dynamics of how the family works.  She was very surprised to see that Superbug’s birth father had joined us for Christmas brunch and that we’d exchanged gifts with him.  I just told her the truth.  We do what’s best for superbug and we genuinely like each other.  Just because parents didn’t work out in a relationship doesn’t mean they can’t be cordial and supportive of their children.  Then I explained the adoption contact we have (after the GAL asked) with Honeybee’s birth mother. 

During the conversation, Honeybee (whom I was holding) decided she wanted a kiss and plopped one on me right there!  The GAL thought this was adorable and remarked that she certainly was connected and in love with us.  We then went to the baby’s room where I showed her crib and clothes.

Afterwards, the GAL left for her journey back to her office and I took Honeybee to daycare so I could return to work.  All in all, it was a very pleasant meeting and I hope that it means good things are in store for our Honeybee!

Writing again very soon
-WinterMommy


The Phone Call

I was running late to work this morning.  It’s been the story of my life for the week.  I can’t seem to make it pass the threshold of getting out of the house by 9. 

Photo credit: smartphones.wonderhowto.com
 Either I’m too tired to get up by 7 or something happens that requires me to redo a step that would allow me to be on time.  This morning, I left the house late again.  I’d managed to get Honeybee dressed, fed, locked into her carseat, and on the road.  I’d literally just dropped her off and was driving down the street when I noticed I’d missed a phone call from with an out of the area code.  I waited until I got into the office parking  lot, listened to the voicemail, and panicked a bit.  The call was from Honeybee’s ad litem.  I’ve only spoken to her once.  It was a three minute call prior to a court hearing to ask information about our Honeybee.  I answered her question and hadn’t heard from her again. I wasn’t surprised though.  The life of a Guardian Ad Litem is very, very busy and I know how difficult they have it with custody cases and the stresses of back and forth.

Today, she was calling to let me know she needed to meet with us before the end of the year, which is tomorrow.  Knowing the TPR case is rapidly approaching, I readily I accepted.  Now, I’m experiencing the familiar butterflies I felt prior to the first home visit from Honeybee’s social worker.

Will she like us?  Will she see that Honeybee is happy and healthy with us?  Will Honeybee feel like playing with her?

I’m still nervous.  I’m still a wreck.  But I have a feeling everything will work out as it is supposed to.  I’ll be sure to give an update tomorrow!  Just keep us in our prayers! 


-WinterMommy

Honeybee's First Christmas

Our Christmas tree by day...
The Christmas season is finally at an end in our household.  It was a wonderful holiday and we were very, very thankful that Honeybee was here to celebrate with us.  As is the tradition in our family, Christmas Eve was spent at my sister and brother-in-law's home (FatherWinter's sister).  We all gathered for a Christmas Eve dinner and to exchange gifts.  Because there are so many of us, the family has established some guidelines to help with the gift exchange.  We only give gifts to the children age 0-21.  Three people have your name, so you receive three gifts on Christmas Eve.  Honeybee received a closet caddy for all her accouterments (which was sorely needed), a Gloworm to keep her company as she sleeps, and a Learning Dog that identifies body parts and ABCs.  She LOVES this gift.  She has played with it over and over again.  What is so special about the gifts is they were from a first time giver.  Our nephew (FatherWinter's brother's son) aged out of gift receiving and gave for the first time.  All of his gifts were from the heart.  They were perfect.  He is in school right now, but is working a job and still finding time to do for others.  He will be a great man one day.  I look forward to seeing the contributions he brings to society.
A Christmas tree is beautiful in the evening...

After we left my in laws on Christmas Eve, we came home and SuperBug and Honeybee were tucked in for the night.  I gathered the wrapped gifts and deftly placed them under the tree.  Then, I retired with FatherWinter.  The next morning, we woke up and SuperBug began his household chores while I prepared Christmas brunch.  After brunch was prepared, SuperBug's birth father joined us and we ate, enjoyed each other's company, and then opened gifts as a family.

SuperBug has been hinting for quite some time that he would like an electric scooter. I mentioned it to my mother in passing and next thing I know I'm picking a package up at the local store.  Leave it to my mother to spoil her grandbabies :). SuperBug also loved his other gifts especially the Nerf foam shooters.  He, FatherWinter, and I all have one and have had great fun sneaking up on each other planning our attacks.

Our Honeybee enjoyed opening her gifts as well.  Her favorite part was tearing the wrapping paper.  As mentioned in one of our previous posts, Honeybee has minor developmental delays.  Nothing major, but enough that our pediatrician has recommended different activities we could engage in to help Honeybee to progress on her milestones.  With that in mind, we focused on toys that would help Honeybee with her fine and gross motor skills, hand eye coordination, and problem solving.  So far, so good as Honeybee has truly enjoyed stacking her new blocks and knocking over her train.

After Christmas gifts were opened and exchanged and wrapping papers cleaned up, we allowed SuperBug to play with his gifts while I began Christmas dinner and FatherWinter began assembling some of the gifts the family received.
Collard greens, macaroni and cheese, turkey, stuffing, baked beans, green beans, candied yams, cranberry sauce, all prepared in the kitchen.  While things were preparing, I came down and assisted FatherWinter with some of the more intricate pieces.  It wasn't too long before we got the scooter constructed and up and running for SuperBug.
FatherWinter assembling SuperBug's electric scooter
Later, after our guest had left for the day, we sat down with Superbug and discussed why we celebrate Christmas.  It is a discussion we have every year, but we let him tell us what it means.  We listen to his answers, correcting if needed, and enjoy discussing what he would tell someone who asks why our family celebrates Christmas.  Faith is truly important to our family and we don't take it lightly.  We look forward to being able to share the Christmas story with Honeybee and letting her explain to us why she celebrates Christmas when she gets older.  After spending some time together and enjoying the family moments, we all decided to catch up on our sleep for a while.  We realized we were all still pretty exhausted from the Christmas Eve celebrations.  We hadn't gotten home before midnight and I hadn't gotten in the bed before 1 and wasn't sleep until 1:30ish.  We were all up by 7, so a nap was certainly in order. After about a 90 minute siesta, everyone was up and ready to eat.  We had a wonderful meal, finished eating, and sat in front of the television to watch more Christmas movies.  It was the perfect way to end our day.

Our Christmas weekend was rounded out with the building of a new gaming area in the basement for the family, a visit from Nana Winter (who famously spoiled her grandbabies), and a birthday phone call to my honorary father.  NanaWinter came bearing gifts and bought new outfits and toys for her grands and sweet treats for FatherWinter and I.  Finally, today was the last Sunday of the year.  We went to church service where I sang this afternoon and enjoyed the fellowship of the family one more time.

As I sit here even now,up much later than I should be, I am extremely happy with Honeybee's first Christmas.  I took a ton of pictures.  I look forward to being able to construct a little photo book for her that she will get to look at as she gets older.  I have the same thing for Superbug.  My plan is to present the book and photos for each child on their 18th birthday or their wedding day.  I am looking forward to 2015 and a date that will allow us to move forward in Honeybee's adoption.

She had an amazing, amazing Christmas.  I am so very thankful that she got to celebrate it with us, her forever family.  I pray she gets to enjoy many, many, many more.

-WinterMommy

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  Luke 2:10-14King James Version (KJV)


The last visit of the year

Merry Christmas for Honeybee's social worker
Earlier this morning, Honeybee and I were visited by Honeybee's social worker for her last visit of 2014.  As usual, we chatted about how things had progressed with our Honeybee, how big she has gotten, how she is dealing with the RSV and breathing treatments.  We spoke about how she is becoming such a big girl and how she is progressing in those minor developmental delays I wrote on a few weeks ago.

Honeybee smiled, played, laughed, and had a great time.  She showed off her new skills of waving and picking up cheerios.  Afterwards, we discussed the progress or lack thereof in Honeybee's TPR hearing. FatherWinter and I are certainly looking forward to the day where we can call Honeybee our daughter and it be true in every form, not just our heart.

It was a bit of a disappointment to acknowledge that during this Christmas holiday, we still have the moment of worry.  This will be Honeybee's first Christmas.  I hope it won't be her last with our family.  I must admit thoughts of the upcoming TPR appeal hearing do not fill me with a warm and fuzzy.  Still I trust that God will have His way in all things.

I find myself thinking of her birth mother a lot today.  I wonder if she is thinking about Honeybee.  If she wonders what she looks like, how big she has gotten.  Does she imagine what she would be getting her for Christmas?  Does she cry from missing her?

I wonder if every holiday will be like this.  Will every moment have me thinking of Honeybee's birth mom and the emptiness she may be feeling?  I wish I could reach out to her and let her know that I think of her often, that I am loving Honeybee with every breath in my body.  Right now, we can't communicate.  It'a frustrating, but I understand the reasons.  Still I hope she knows that someone is thinking of her in the most positive of ways right now.

In a thoughtful frame of mind...
-WinterMommy

Christmas Concert

This past weekend, it was my joy, honor, and pleasure to participate in our church's annual Christmas concert.  It was a wonderful opportunity to honor the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  It was a beautiful program and an awesome and amazing day.  There were several selections that were sung, but my favorite was one from one of the other music ministry groups of our church.  The young woman singing the song is a truly a beautiful person inside and out.  As she sings this song, you are truly ushered into the season of Christmas.

It was a wonderful blessing to participate and I was equally blessed that our daughter was able to attend. While she did need to receive a breathing treatment while at the church, she did enjoy the program.  I hope one day, if it is her desire and God's will, that she will be in the choir stand too...singing praises to the King.


Finally, the great news of thee evening is Honeybee seems to be doing a lot better.  Her cough is pretty much gone and, while she is still congested, it is no where near where it was and the breathing treatments are helping.

Let's keep fingers crossed that we are beating this thing!

-WinterMommy

We have a diagnosis..RSV

This week has been something hectic in our household!  After fighting the respiratory infections of A cold by any other name, I sprayed everything down with Lysol.  I changed sheets.  I sanitized everything.  I thought I had a Clorox and Lysol approved home, then Monday morning struck.  I woke up and noticed that Honeybee looked a little flushed.  It didn't look like an eczema flare and I noticed that Honeybee wasn't her bright and chipper self.  I took her downstairs, gave her the morning bath,and once we returned to the nursery, I decided to play my hunch.  I took a rectal temperature and found it read 101.  Oh no!!!  My poor Honeybee!  Her only other symptom was a nasal discharge, but I called the pediatrician's office anyway.

The charge nurse told me to give her the proper fever reducing medication, monitor her fluid intake and outake, make sure she stayed hydrated, and if the fever wasn't gone completely (not recurring) by Wednesday to bring Honeybee in.  So, I called the daycare and let them know we wouldn't be in.  I called worked and made arrangements to telecommute (so thankful for a job and boss who is understanding).  I made sure Honeybee had he breakfast, which thankfully she ate with gusto, and laid her down after.  She slept for 5 hours.  I woke her to check her fever, change her diaper, and make sure she was okay.  Aside from the every present nasty nose, she seemed fine. I gave her a good sized lunch and she immediately went back to sleep.  Again, she slept for 5 hours.  I was certain she would throw off her bed time schedule.  She didn't.  She slept all night long.  We repeated this action for the next day with no fever and on Wednesday, she was fine.  So, she went to the daycare.  The only complaint they had was the runny nose, but even it had turned clear. No fever.  No crankiness.  Smiling and happy.  On Wednesday night, my mother in law came over to watch Honeybee on Thursday and Friday as is our current custom.

While I was at work on Thursday, I received a call from her.  She informed me that Honeybee had a cough that sounded very bad and she thought she needed to go to the doctor.  In the background I heard Honeybee and agreed the cough sounded awful.  I contacted the doctor only to find no opening until the next morning.  I agreed to take it and, after going home to Honeybee was sad to see how uncomfortable she was.

As a matter of fact, she didn't sleep very well at all that evening.  You could tell she was very, very tired, but she couldn't sleep because the cough was so bad.  The all natural cough syrup we were using wasn't working and a next shocking symptom was the vomiting.  She kept throwing up everything she was eating on account of the cough.  So not only was the cold miserable, but she was hungry as well.  It was an awful night for her.

Photo credit: Dreisner.com
The next morning, we all but rushed out the house into the doctor's office.  The first thing the nurse did when we arrived was check Honeybee's fever.  The temporal reading showed 100.  My poor Honey
bee!  The nurse wanted to confirm that was actually her temp and next took a rectal temperature.  It was 101.2!  The nurse immediately took the other vitals from our daughter and then performed nasal swabs for flu and RSV. Ten minutes later, our daughter had a positive test for RSV.  Her ear infections still remained.  The medicine had not repaired them.

My heart dropped.  My poor, poor baby.  I know enough about RSV to know that it is a nasty virus and highly contagious.  I also know that it can be particularly nasty for preemies like our Honeybee.  Deeper still was the knowledge that Honeybee very well could have caught her virus from the evil nastiness from me while I was fighting my cold.  The ear infections explained why it was so hard for her to lie down in addition to the cough.  The fluid in her ears must have been so painful.

I was SO sorry for her and immediately wished I could take it from her.  The doctor came in and did an additional examination.  Afterwards, Honeybee received a breathing treatment in the office and a nebulizer came home with us.  I was teary eyed as I watched her receive the treatment, but glad to see all the mucus finally starting to run out ( and there was tons of it).  The coughing stopped and Honeybee's breathing sounded a lot better.  The pictures she struck while connected to that machine reminded me of her brother when he was fighting breathing problems as an infant.  I hated seeing it again.

When we got Honeybee home, she slept for a very long time.  Tonight, she is resting after fighting sleep for several hours.  She's been much better today--full of smiles and spunk.  She has had two breathing treatments.  She's still taking the meds for her ear infection and had to take Motrin earlier for her fever that has returned.  Hopefully, she will feel much better in the morning, but I'll definitely be giving her extra  love until she does.

-WinterMommy

Winter Break Awesomeness

Christmas Break started for our SuperBug on Friday afternoon.  He is looking forward to a couple of weeks (yes, you read right, weeks) out.  We were a bit worried.  We know how much information students can lose if they are not in school.  Fortunately for us, SuperBug has an AWESOME teacher who has thought of everything to keep the kids on task during the time out.

Yes, that is a pot on his head
First, if you have been following the blog for a while, you know that I and SuperBug love to read.  It's something we both look forward to everyday.  Currently, Superbug reads a minimum of 30 minutes a day for his school and as a requirement of FatherWinter and I.  To ensure the reading continues and there is a fun incentive for students to read, SuperBug's teacher has included a reading sheet that has some really cool prompts that must be followed before reading can commence.  Yesterday's prompt invited Superbug to grab a stuffed animal and read out loud to it.  You'd think an 8-year-old boy would look a bit sideways at a stuffed animal reading, but our son took it in stride and read to a toy his grandmother had given him some time back.  Today's prompt invited Superbug to read with a pot on top of his head.  It was certainly something we'd never tried before, but funny to look at and different from the norm.  I decided, after reading the prompts, that I would have to take pictures everyday of his readings and would turn them in with the initial sheets behind the prompts.  Superbug also has math worksheets that he must do daily.  In addition, his class is currently studying the Roman culture.  So, I'm making sure we do some fun and interesting study on that as well.

It's going to be an interesting Winter Break for sure.  Let's see how motivated we can keep SuperBug. Looking forward to tallyling it all up with pictures.

-WinterMommy

Weekend Recap: Adventures in "Camping" aka the Sleep-in

"I have an idea" started the conversation.  I slowly turned my eyes toward the voice of FatherWinter and held my breath.  We were laying in bed, me reading my book, he watching Sportscenter, and suddenly he had an epiphany.  "Let's go camping...tonight". What did you say?

It was now about 6 PM.  The sun was down and it was ridiculously cold already.  My husband is not a fan of the great outdoors, so I had no understanding of how he could suddenly suggest a camping trip and I told him so.  He replied that he knew I wanted to go and had mentioned it a couple of times.  He thought it would be fun.  The entire family camping...and then he continued.  "We'll be indoors.  Let's grab blankets and pillows and watch movies all night long".  I smiled.  It was a cute idea and I knew that SuperBug would love it.

So, since it was FatherWinter's idea, I let him tell Superbug.  He was so excited.  So, sure enough, after dinner (FatherWinter bought crabcakes YUMMO), we brought all our blankets and pillows to the basement, set up the big screen, and settled in.
Super Bug all ready for his indoor camping adventure
Christmas movies are always the best
We started with Christmas movies on the Disney channel.  Tonight's suggestion was Arthur's Christmas, a cute story about the Claus family and the dynamics of being Santa, the generations or Santa, and the desire to be next in line.  The heir apparent, Steve, have done away with all of the "old-fashioned" way of doing Christmas deliveries and has everything wireless, with apps, and technology leading the way.  Under Steve's watch, the Christmas gifts are delivered in a sleek new ride and in record time...except for one thing.  One of the gifts gets lost in the shuffle and isn't delivered!  A child will not have a gift on Christmas!  Santa is of course heartbroken as is the clumsy and nerdy Arthur, but the heir apparent Steve simply considers it a minor anomaly.  Arthur makes it his and Grandfather Claus' mission to deliver the gift and have to focus on the old ways to get it done.  Along the way, Steve and Santa get wrapped into the business as well.  In the end, a great lesson is learned and a really good  story is shared.  I definitely recommend it.
                                                                            After we watched Arthur's Christmas, we settled in for Spider-man 2.  Yes, I know.  I know.  It's not a very Christmas movie, but we're always ready to celebrate super heroes saving the world.  Plus, with everything we had going on this pas summer, we were not able to see it.  Again, we enjoyed the movie, but by the time it was over, I was TIRED. No joke, I was struggling to keep my eyes open.

As soon as the credits rolled, I got up to check on Honeybee (who started the evening with us until her bed time).
Honeybee was all in for family fun!
Finding her still sleeping soundly, FatherWinter and I bade Superbug to go to bathroom one last time and then, after we all returned to the makeshift campground where I settled in for my winter's nap.  By now it was 2 a.m. and I let the men keep it going.  I was exhausted.

Now, I have to say in theory sleeping out on the basement floor seemed like a great idea.  Unfortunately, my hip and back proved otherwise.  I found pretty quickly that I am not as young as I used to be.  Still feel like it!  But FatherWinter and I definitely woke up the next morning with more than a couple of bruises and aches.  But it was worth it to fellowship as a family.

When we woke the next morning, everyone was in the greatest of spirits.  We talked about making this a new annual tradition and how we couldn't wait until Honeybee could join us all night as opposed to sitting with us until her bedtime.  Next year, God willing, she will be a vibrant 1 year old, close to turning two, who will look forward to a "camping" journey with the family.

And since I LOVE planning these kinds of events, I plan on going all out!  Next time, we'll have a camping trip inspired menu.  Bring down the air mattresses to go with the actual sleeping pallets.  We'll have a bit of kettle corn to eat while we watch the movie.  The next morning we'll have a breakfast's casserole.  Sausage, eggs, cheese, onion, peppers, and hashbrowns.  It will be awesomely yummy.

I'm already excited about it and it hasn't happened yet, but I am really looking forward to it and hope Honeybee will too!

Where there's smoke, there's fire...right?

Beverly Johnson:
Photo caption:Beverly Johnson.com
Yesterday afternoon, I was doing my regular lunch break skim of current events making sure there was nothing I needed to bring to FatherWinter’s attention during our daily evening share and saw a bold headline that caught my eye.  “Bill Cosby Drugged Me.  This Is My Story.”  Like everyone, I’ve seen and heard the numerous women who have stepped forward and stated that Mr. Cosby allegedly sexually assaulted them or drugged them.  I listened to their story and reserved judgment as I have no idea who is or is not speaking accurately.  This one, however, stopped me in my tracks.  This article was written by Beverly Johnson.  Yes, African-American CEO, model, legacy, ICON, Beverly Johnson. 

This woman was the first African-American woman to grace the cover of Vogue.  In 1975, she was the first African-American woman to appear on the French magazine cover Elle.  This woman’s pictures were in Jet and Ebony.  I remember seeing her in various media mentions as a youngster and well into young womanhood.  As simple and wrong as it sounds, this woman immediately had some clout with me.  This is not to say that the other women who have come forward have not struck a chord.  They have.  I have said in recent weeks that something must be going on because suddenly everyone is coming forward with the same story, same method of delivery, and same deep scares.  Coming from a woman who has faced sexual abuse, I know how difficult it is to come forward and tell your story.  I know the doubt and mockery that can come.  I don’t take that away from any of these women.  However, seeing Ms. Johnson’s face next to article and then again during her television interview on Today this morning drove this story a more out into the open for me.
The Cosby Show
Photo Credit: In Flex we trust.com
Just what is really going on with Mr. Cosby?  Like millions of other Americans, I grew up watching The Cosby Show on television.  My great-grandmother, cousins, and I would sit in my great-grandmother’s room and would watch the antics of Cliff, Claire, Sandra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa, and Rudy.  We loved the anniversary episode where Rudy sang to Cliff’s parents.  I laughed out loud when Clair politely and assertively put Elvin in place after her spoke chauvinistic babble.  This was our show.  We were pleased to see positive representations of African-Americans on the television.  Here, there were doctors and lawyers, entrepreneurs, business executives, musical artists.  I saw possibility and familiarity as I knew I had relatives who’d attended college and knew it what I was going to do given the chance and opportunity.  It was why I kept my grades up, why I studied hard, why I stayed out of trouble and didn’t follow the crowd.  Mr. Cosby was a “good guy” to me and filled my desire for a father in a time when my father was unknown and not present.  You can imagine my shock at the first case alerting of this issue.  And, I sorrowfully admit that I thought “is this someone who is trying to blackmail him”.  But then more and more women started coming forward.  It seemed everyday someone else was giving an interview and showing support for the original alleged victim.  And my thoughts took me to Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods
Photo credit:  Desktopcover.com
Remember when Tiger and his former wife had their famous holiday episode where he crashed the car and she chased him with the golf club?  At first it seemed some a small domestic issue, crazy, but isolated.  Then, suddenly there was a woman who claimed she was having an affair with Tiger.  The world laughed, but then came another, and another, and another until finally Tiger admitted that ALL of them were telling the truth.  He’d been intimate and/or inappropriate with ALL of them while married to his wife.  There was so much smoke in this instance and the fire was certainly revealed.  Is it so wrong to wonder the same in this instance?

We’ve gone from one woman who has been mocked and ridiculed to several dozen.  Each one with similar instances, similar storylines, and we’ve had no rebuttal from Mr. Cosby.  This is definitely a smoke, yell fire situation, right?  I have to say I am not in any position to judge anyone.  I certainly don’t want to be judged, but with all of the noise that has been raised from these events recently, I’m not sure that my thoughts of Mr. Cosby’s brand will ever be the same.

It would appear the public is thinking the same. Mr. Cosby has lost his upcoming television show with NBC.  He's resigned from his Board of Trustee position with Temple University.  Endorsements are being lost. In a strange way, it appears the alleged victims of this heinous act will have some comfort in they are being believed and heard despite what they feared.

I leave my musings with this:  I will continue to watch this story develop, await to see if there is any word from the Cosby camp, and hope that appropriate punishment, apology, and change occurs.  

-WinterMommy

A cold by any other name...and thank you is never enough

So, I went for a visit to my primary care physician two days ago.  I love him and his office.  They believe in a health and wellness approach.  I walked in with two crimson eyes that looked as if I'd been crying all day.  Turns out the conjunctivitis was bacterial and could be treated; the cold was an upper respiratory infection.  I sounded like a combination between Barry White and Mike Tyson.  It wasn't pretty especially with the nasty cough.   After the examination, I left the office with four prescriptions.  The first one, the trusty z pack, made me feel right as rain within 24 hours.  Seriously, EVERYTHING cleared up with just a hint of the cough.  That needed additional meds that I am still treating the cough with.

I have to say neither ailment was fun at all.  I am thankful for technology as I was able to work from home in the early and latter stages of being sick.  In the middle, I was just no good to anyone really and really appreciated those moments where I could lay my head down and rest.  Truth be told, the week has truly been something.  It wasn't all that bad.  There were some periods that I would not like to repeat, but overall, I was fine.  The reason was, in no small part, because of FatherWinter.

It just so happened that my illness started right before some planned days off that FatherWinter had.  I almost expected him to cancel his leave and return to work since I was certainly contagious for a while.  He didn’t.  He stayed off work and was simply there.  He wasn’t underfoot.  He wasn’t hovering.  There wasn’t a constant “do you need anything”.  He was simply there.  Our daughter needed to be changed.  He was up and there.  I needed to go into the home office and attempt to process documents.  FatherWinter picked up our daughter and kept her entertained.  He played with her, loved her, and created new memories with her.  He became that ever present, wonderful, and steadfast knight in shining armor.  I so appreciated that.

When I finally received medication, it did a number on my stomach.  The nausea was there, real, and palpable.  It was FatherWinter who noted that I wasn’t eating, didn’t feel to enthusiastic about cooking, and decided to quietly go into the kitchen and prepare dinner for the family.  In times of calmer stomach and less pain, he sat beside me and talked.  We had conversations that were sorely needed, spent time together in a way we hadn't in what felt like ages.  We spent time allowing our thoughts and words and our time to be a soothing balm one for another.

My husband became my Superman…just by being there.  It was so appreciated.  There’s something really awesome seeing your spouse walk in the room and your heart does flip flops not from sickness, but from pure love. i can't remember when it's flip flopped this much.   I hope it stays this way lol.

The Word of God says in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.  FatherWinter and I definitely needed this time, a time where I couldn’t really talk (hoarse voice) and he had plenty of time to be heard.  We sat down, conversed, enjoyed each other’s company, healed some misunderstandings, and reaffirmed our love and commitment to each other.  It’s always a great thing when you are in a place and position to love and be loved.

I’m extremely grateful to God for the allowance of an “inconvenience” which turned out to be just a great affirmation of the wonderful and loving heart that FatherWinter has always displayed.  It’s what made me fall for him in the first place. 

All love and health…

-WinterMommy




Man (er...Woman) Down...part duex

Man, I sound like oohwee on top of uh-uh.  I am sick!  No, sick is the polite way of saying what I am.  I am SICCCCCCKKKKKK.  Lol.  It's a good thing that I am really interested in science and the human body because mine has been doing all sorts of interesting things.

First, the conjunctivitis still remains.  Every time I close my eyes for the evening, I wake up with the oh so yucky yellow and green crust that keeps the eyes closed.  (insert shiver of disgust here).  During the day, I'm fine.  It's just the bright pink shade that looks like I busted a blood vessel.    Oh, but in the morning, I look like someone's science experiment.  Not to mention the horrible cough and voice that sounds like someone flattened me.  

Thank You, Father, for a boss who allows me to work from home.  I look and sound awful.  And I feel that way too.

This morning, I woke up and my head was stopped up too!  Ugh.  I'm so thankful for today's doctor appointment.  I'm hoping for medication.  This thing is UGLY. Lol.

But I am alive and I am not complaining.

Man (er...woman ) Down...

Can you believe it?!  Both Honeybee and I are down with colds.  How ridiculous is this?!  While I've been hyper-vigilant on keeping the germs out, I suppose I failed in making sure I kept the germs out of me.  Two days ago, I woke up with a  slight pink tint to my eye.  Despite being warned a few weeks ago that conjunctivitis was making the rounds at Honeybee's daycare, I wasn't concerned.  I'd sprayed down, wiped down, and cleaned everything I could possibly treat.  I figured I'd just slept a little hard, a little long.  The tickle in my throat I attributed to the previous night's choir rehearsal where we were holding notes just a little too long.  Nothing to worry about.

I went to work, got things done, noticed that I was a little less peppy than usual, but hey the weekend was approaching.  Nothing to keep me down.  Imagine my surprise yesterday morning when I attempted to open my right eye and found I could not.  Immediately I groaned inside.  I'm a former Certified Nurse's Assistant; my mom is a nurse; my sister in laws are all nurses; I was originally in school to become a nurse.  Yep, I knew that this would not be good.  I rushed to the bathroom mirror and saw the yellow crust that immediately identified conjunctivitis.  DANG IT!!!!  Washing my hands, I then gathered the tiny white linen cloths used to remove makeup and removed the crust.    I opened my eye and saw it was a bright pink...yep, no doubt about it...conjunctivitis.  UGHHHHHHHH!!!!!  Now, let's just add to that feeling with a massive headache and a throat that feels like Hades.  Daggone it!

Allaboutvision.com
I went to FatherWinter and informed him that I needed to make a trip to the ophthalmologist.  Turns out, I have viral conjunctivitis.  There's nothing I can take.  I just have to let the virus run its course.  In the meantime, I feel like blah!

I did manage to keep a promise to Superbug and let him go out last night with the family last night.  I made sure to stay covered and mouth and nose areas covered so as not to spread my germs.  It was a very short trip and when I returned, the men went downstairs to watch a Christmas movie.  I went straight to bed and slept from 8:30 PM to 9 AM.  Honeybee wasn't feeling well either with her runny nose and crankiness.  Before I laid down, I gave her her antibiotic for her ear infections and let her rest.  She slept for 13+ hours.

She woke this morning and I gave her her breakfast of rice cereal and applesauce with a bottle of formula. She played until 1:00 pm and then gave me the sign she needed to go back to sleep.  She is presently napping.

I still have the headache of Hades, but the throat feels better.  My conjunctivitis is still there per the nice pink eye and crust that arrives when I awake.  So, looks like it will be a work from home day tomorrow. Oh...joy...

The boys are currently at church and I hate that I am missing an awesome Word, but I am sure the congregants would be more than appreciative that I stayed home.

I do plan on reminding the daycare to spray down a little more.  UGH, I hate being sick.

-WinterMommy

Of Doctor Visits and Delays

Yesterday was our Honeybee’s 9-month well baby visit.  FatherWinter took her to the doctor’s office and was met by Honeybee’s social worker, Ms. Care.  We wanted to make sure that Ms. Care received all of the medical documentation.  We’ve found that sometimes the doctor’s office forgets to forward it on to Ms. Care and we need it to build for Honeybee’s court file.  We weren’t really expecting anything at the visit.  Honeybee has been all smiles and coos lately, with the exception of a couple of flares.

Imagine my surprise to receive a phone call after the visit to inform me that Honeybee has not one, but TWO ear infections!!!  My poor baby!  She hadn’t been pulling her ears or complaining or anything.  We had no idea.  My poor, poor Honeybee!!  The NP suggested that the culprit could be the cold that Honeybee has been fighting all week long.  Honeybee was prescribed an antibiotic.  They did the measuring and found out she is 13 lbs, 2.5 ounces and has only gained 1 pound 7 ounces since her last visit.  I was a bit concerned about that, but since her appetite is so voracious (Honeybee can EAT), there wasn’t much concern from the office staff.

There were, however, items requiring observation.  Honeybee has a slight developmental delay with her fine and gross motor skills.  She will put food in her mouth, but can’t use her thumb and forefinger.  She tries to feed herself with her entire fist.  She pulls herself up to her knees, but not to her legs consistently as the doctors said she should.  She also doesn’t wave or respond to bye-bye.  Sigh.  When Ms. Care told me that, I was a bit worried that we’d done something to fail Honeybee.  I was assured that we had not.  Honeybee’s delays are slight and could be simply a biological development. 

She reminded me that our Honeybee is a mobile machine.  She gets everywhere she wants as fast as she wants.  She is more than inquisitive and has learned to vocalize to get her point across.  While the delays were something to be aware of, there was no need to panic.  We would just govern ourselves according to the need.  I appreciated the assurance, but made sure to immediately start seeking developmental toys that could help in her development delays and games she and I could play that would encourage the same.
Our Honeybee is a mobile machine!

 Then, there was our friend, the dreaded ECZEMA.  Ugh….I thought we’d slain this beast (or at the very least knocked his butt out).  It turns out the weather change has been doing a number on Honeybee’s skin.  While last week it was smooth, yesterday Honeybee’s back, ankles, inner thigh, and side were all alligator like and ridiculously dry DESPITE the momentasone and tons of SheaMoisture Shea Butter Eczema cream that I grease her down with every morning and night.  (Not paid as a promotion or anything, but my personal opinion is this stuff is AWESOME!)

The NP, with the doctor’s approval, has now given us a new lotion prescription that we are to use daily, as well as orders for a very specific brand of soap that is not inexpensive.  SIGH.  I’d noticed 
the skin fluctuations, but thought I could get it back in line without the harsh products minus her cream of course.  Hopefully, we will be able to find something soon.  Honeybee hasn’t really been complaining, but she hasn’t really been sleeping as peacefully as summer months either.  Occasionally, the itching keeps her up until 10 and awakens her at 2. Maybe the new additions will help.

Overall, the visit may not have gone as great as I would have liked it to have gone, but I have no complaints.  Honeybee is a happy, babbling, energetic, and loving baby girl who is so loved, it is ridiculous!  I am still looking forward to exposing her to some great new experiences whether she remembers them or not.  With a less itchy belly and finer motor skills, the experience can only enhanced!  Stay tuned to see what’s coming next!

-WinterMommy

Of Gratitude & Grief

 
Yay! Honeybee just celebrated her first Thanksgiving!  It was great!  Thirty people graced our home for tables upon tables of food and desserts, beverages, conversation, and fellowship.  Everyone wanted to hold her, smile with her, dance with her.  It was amazing.  She missed two naps just playing and meeting everyone.  Plus, she one of her bottom teeth started peeking through.  It was a great holiday.  Because of what happened with her recent allergy flare up, we were very careful with what we allowed her to eat. We kept her to the things we'd tried before.  Sweet potatoes, collard greens, and dressing are still her favorites.  Anything sweet (sweet potato casserole) is also a friend.  She still managed to have one flare up the first night of everyone visiting, but it was minor and only cause an hour's slip in nap time. 


As I watched her interact with the family, I was struck with how happy and grateful I was that she was here.  Here was a child who was loved so much it made my heart swell.  She went from arm to arm and smiles and played the entire time.  






And in the clamor and din that was making our festivities memorable, I suddenly felt an intense way of grief.  It was palpable.  It was there for only an instant, but I recognized it immediately.

 It was the grief of loss.  In that moment, I thought of my grandmother, my great-grandmother, and all of my relatives who’d gone to Glory, who had not had the opportunity to hold Honeybee.  I thought of the mothers who recently lost their sons and would not be able to sit around a table and enjoy hearing their voices again.  I thought about Honeybee’s birth mother.  I wondered if she was thinking about her, if her heart still aches for her, if her arms felt the same emptiness.  I felt such gratitude for this woman and such grief for her loss.  I can’t imagine what it is like for her, but I fear the possibility of knowing.  After loving Honeybee for so many months, we are rapidly approaching the date that will decide her fate as our child.  I have cast my cares on the Lord and have allowed Him to sustain me (Psalm 55:2).  I know that His will shall be done regardless of my desire.  Nevertheless, I chose to recognize that grief and store it within me, so that I didn’t forget the mother who was aching for her baby.  I never will.

Afterwards, the family disintegrated into a loving bunch of story tellers, memory revealers, and culinary geniuses.  Honeybee and Suberbug enjoyed every moment of it.  Best of all, the house was full of children from womb to 16 to play with and 17-70 to converse with.  It was a really great time with the family and we were pleased everyone enjoyed themselves.

We hope your Thanksgiving was equally as, if not more, blessed!


-WinterMommy

It Could Be Worse

Wanted to share this with you guys.

I dropped my daughter off at daycare this morning, came into work, and was unbuttoning my coat knowing that I have a lot to do today and am on some pretty tight deadlines.  I put my hand in my pocket and felt the clip and pacifier of my daughter. Oh no!  I  told my colleague out of frustration and he replied that it could always be worse.  It certainly wasn't what I wanted to hear. I just sighed, looked at my cube wall where Philippians 4:6-7 is posted, said a small prayer because it looks to be one of those days, and called the daycare on the office phone to see if the spare (that I always keep in the diaper bag) was there.  It wasn't.   -_-

Fine, I decided I'd get it to her during my lunch hour as she only uses it as a go to sleep aid and not really then (unless super tired). Then, it dons on me that I called on my office phone because I didn't have my cell.  That meant I'd left it in the car.  It's super cold today and I didn't want to go back downstairs, but I keep my music on it and am able to use it with headphones during the day to block out people and focus on my work.  So I bundle back up, go outside, get in the car, and see...no cell phone.  As I know I had it during the drive in, that means it must be in the baby's blanket...at the daycare. Sigh.  So, I turn the ignition and start driving to the daycare knowing I'll kill two birds with one stone.  I'll grab my cell and give the pacifier to the baby while there. 

All at once, while I am driving, it hits me that I left my purse upstairs and inside the purse is the pacifier.  At this point, I am beyond frustrated.  I pull over, wait for traffic to pass by, and then pop a U-turn when it's safe to legally do so.  I get in the car and drive back to work without the phone and unable to drop off the pacifier.  I am hot.  I get out the car, realize that I left my juice in the car, turn around and grab it, and I am literally saying in my spirit, "This is one of those days that I should have laid my butt in bed and not done anything".  Then I growled.  I mean it.  You know those Homer Simpson growls of frustration when he is "Angry Dad". Yep, that was me as I walked across the parking lot.

Then, just that quick, I step on the sidewalk and step behind "Blessed".  "Blessed" is a colleague of mine who is truly an inspiration.  She is a Christian woman with the sweetest spirit.  She is a younger woman (about 30-40 something), married with children, and terribly infirmed with rheumatoid arthritis.  She has to use a walker
to get around.  She is bowed low because of the disease.  She moves in severe pain daily and always at a very slow pace.  Whenever I see her, I pray for her.  It's an automatic thing to desire her pain is ended.
She never complains.  She just keeps going and keeps smiling. Immediately after seeing her, I rush ahead to open doors and ease her journey.  I walk with her even at the very slow pace just blessed and pleased to be in her company. You can tell the cold is hurting her a great deal, but she doesn't say a word about it.  I am put to shame.

I am so thankful that I was outside and in a place that I could help her this morning because navigating with the size of the walker can be troublesome.  I'm thankful that's where God had me. I understand that perhaps that was His plan for me this morning--to be in a place, time, and position to help one of His children.  I am thankful I was able to be used.  But I am so ashamed that I complained about my "problems" in the first place. I've already asked forgiveness, but it doesn't erase the fact that I am disappointed in my thought process.

I write all of this just to say no matter what is going on, how crazy of difficult your situation may be, no matter how much it bothers you, or annoys you..Remember, it could always be worst.  You never know when you delay or frustration is an opportunity to be a blessing to others.  Be blessed in the moment you are and flow in the Spirit.  God will ALWAYS direct our path and work those situations out for our good.

Remember that if nothing else... No matter how frustrating, unfortunate, or unhappy we are in our present state, it could always, ALWAYS be worse.

Love you, all.

-WinterMommy

Of Flare Ups and Social Media

Recently, Honeybee's little cousin had a birthday.  He turned a ripe young age of four.  It was a wonderful birthday.  Tons of relatives all gathered around in their best green donning their Turtle attire for a TMNT Birthday.  It was a party of legends.  The kids ran around my brother and sister-in-law's home while three infants rested contentedly in their mothers arms and two toddlers ran around the floor.

Have I mentioned we're a rather large family?  The brothers (or uncles as was the case for the birthday boy) lounged around the kitchen table talking sports.  The sisters (aunts, mothers, grandmothers, etc.) held down the living room talking all things motherhood and femininity.  As the guests began to get hungry, one remembered the theme of the party and grabbed a slice of the Turtles'favorite food...PIZZA.

We had the standard pepperoni or cheese decision.  I debated and grabbed the cheese.  I'm a cheese girl at heart and love it on EVERYTHING.  Honeybee has recently become a lover of all things edible.  I do mean all things.  She will eat whatever you allow her to try.  She'll be 9 months next week and, despite her size, she can EAT.  Well, she is sitting in my lap surveying my pizza and decides to deftly grab a bit and put it into her mouth.  I pull it back and watch as she smacks her lips and gives the audible for 'more'.  Because we know that Honeybee has eczema and has had a history of flare ups after new foods were introduced, I hesitated and distracted her for a while to see if she had any flares.  After five minutes, there was nothing.  Remembering that she eats lasagna (Gerber baby lasagna) and spaghetti (Gerber) with no issue, I decided to give her very small pieces of the cheese on the pizza.  She loved it and enjoyed one small slice like this.

The party wound down and pretty soon it was time to go.  Honeybee had received her final bottle and was ready to go to sleep.  We wrapped her securely as it was very blustery and drove home.  We got home, gave her the evening medicine, and as she was super tired, we laid her down in her crib and turned ourselves to sleep.  Ten minutes later came the cry of irritation.  It's a cry we haven't heard in a while.  Not since the doctors have found a new medicine that works well with our little one.  This was the cry of "ugh, I can't sleep".  I went into the nursery and turned on the light.  There I saw it.  The underside of her chin, the back of her neck, and the side of her face were full on flare.  A bright red and welt flare.  I knew immediately that it was the cheese from the pizza.  She'd had nothing new to eat that day except the pizza cheese.  I immediately grabbed her cream especially for flares and put it on the affected areas.  I waited the usual 15 minutes, saw some of the redder spots were slowly fading to a pink, and sighed a bit with relief.  Another 30 more minutes, Honeybee closed her eyes and drifted into sleep.  She slept her regular schedule.

I was pretty annoyed with myself for not being more vigilant, for not simply denying her the cheese in the first place.  I had other alternatives available for me.  I chose to give her the cheese.  Almost as quickly, I realized that I was being too hard on myself.  We've had allergy testing done.  She was not allergic to milk.  I have tried some dairy before (baby yogurt).  She didn't flare.  There was no way of knowing she would this time.  Still, I remained pretty annoyed as I laid my head to pillow.

The next morning, my cell phone alarm went off and I, out of habit for my job, hit the social media page to see if there were any updates that I would need to be aware of for the day.  In my newsfeed, I saw my brother in law's post celebrating the birth day of his son.  He'd chosen to post a collage of events from the party.  On one of the pictures there I was actively conversing with another party goer while holding Honeybee face forward in my arms.  Immediately buzzers go off in my head.  I look to see how many people have "liked" the picture.  None.  How long had the picture been posted?  Only 3 minutes.  Immediately, I send a text to him (he rarely answers the phone) and my sister-in-law to remind them of the faux pas and ask that they quickly remove the photo.  Seconds pass.  Ten...fifteen...and then a response.  It was being done right then.  Forty-five seconds later, I refreshed the page and the entire post was gone.  A minute later, the post was there and the picture including I and Honeybee was not.  I received a deeply apologetic post from my brother-in-law and I assured him there was no harm.  He'd forgotten.  I understood completely.

Our Honeybee has been with us since she was 1.5 weeks old.  She is family.  She has been here for birthdays, programs, promotions, college farewells, and the family dynamic that is us.  Again, she is family.  It's hard to remember sometimes that there are still rules associated with her.

Someone asked if we were going to pierce her ears.  I hadn't even thought about it. For one, I'd rather she make the decision about having a hole in her ear (though mine were done when I was 10 weeks old).  For two, she's not our legal daughter.  It would require permission from her parent or guardian.  We are her prospective adoptive family who has physical custody of her.  She has a guardian ad litem and a legal custodian; neither of whom are FatherWinter or I.  If we were so inclined to have her ears pierced, we wouldn't be able to make that decision. Someone else would.

Our family takes photos throughout the year and up to the holidays.  I then create a beautiful Christmas card to distribute to friends and family worldwide.  They look forward to this picture.  we actually have people who frame them and keep them in their homes.  This year, the photo will be a bit different.  Honeybee is not allowed to be photographed in any way that will allow her to be recognized (no front shots).  So, our options are taking a picture in front of the camera, but holding her back towards it.  We can also take a picture of her feet or some other non identifying feature and use that.  I have some very cute ideas for the card as I would love the tradition to continue, but I have to admit, it's frustrating not to be able to share her in the family way yet.  So, I wasn't upset with my brother-in-law.  I wouldn't let him be upset with himself.  He quickly removed and no harm was done.  That being said, we are placing a limited photo rule during the massive Thanksgiving celebration that is being planned at our house this year.  Cameras will be allowed, but Honeybee's back will be in all or she won't be in them at all (unless by FatherWinter and myself).  It's extreme, we know.  But we aren't willing to take chances.  Too much could happen and we prefer that none of the "too much" occur at all.

-WinterMommy

Happy Veterans' Day

Today is Veterans' Day.  I don't take this day lightly at all.  My family has been blessed to have military service members defending our country's freedom since the Vietnam War.  I grew up in a household where you held your hand over your heart when the National Anthem played.  As a young man, you took off your hat.  You told servicemen and servicewomen thank you when you saw them in public.  You helped the family members left behind while their loved one was on deployment.  God forbid there should be a knock on the door of a neighbor or friend's home with news of death, you prayed for them, you sat with them, you cooked for them.  You were there.

Today, in a time where there is danger at every turn and the opportunity for heartache in every deployment, my family pauses to say 'thank you' to all who have served, are serving, and those who will one day serve. We recognize the sacrifice you undertake daily and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

With Respect,
-WinterMommy

Man down! Sniffles, and coughing, and vomiting....oh my!

There's a picture I enjoy watching from time to time called Friday after Next.  In the movie, there's a memorable character played by comedian Katt Williams.  After some particularly laughable hijinks, Williams' character is running down the street yelling "Man down, pimp in distress!!"  The "man down" was actually a slang trend for some time in some urban settings.  We have a man down situation here.

Last night, I was looking at Superbug while he and Honeybee played on the living room floor.  Despite his laughter and smiling face, I noticed his eyes looked weak.  He had a bit of pallor that I recognized as a warning of a probable illness.  I asked him if he was feeling okay and he assured me he was, albeit it a bit tired.  I left it alone.  About thirty minutes before his bedtime, I noticed he was lying on the couch.  Occasionally he would cough and he definitely had the "sick" eyes that our children can get.  I listened to the cough, got his some cough medicine and told him to go to bed much to his disappointment, as we had a guest over.  But he was sleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.

FatherWinter had today off, so I decided to go into the office early.  As I preparing to walk out the door, I see SuperBug standing in the hall, hand on his tummy, looking ill.  I immediately stopped and asked if he was feeling okay to which he replied he felt "just a little under the weather" followed by another cough.  I checked for a fever, found none, and decided to give him a bit of medicine for his cough.  Then after wishing him a good day, I was on the way.

This morning, I received a phone call from my husband who informed me that SuperBug had vomited at the bus stop, in the grass, on the sidewalk.  FatherWinter had covered the vomit and SuperBug was resting in his room.  FatherWinter assured me he had it handled and so I weathered work and was grateful for the early entrance time because it meant an early release time as well.

When I got home, SuperBug was still a bit tired, but had not vomited since that morning.  He was able to do his homework that I'd gotten from his teacher and was able to get some rest.  So, it appears to be a 24 hour bug with no fever.  But, our house of fun doesn't end there.

Nope.  Now, Honeybee's is running like a faucet and she has a bit of a cough as well.  Fortunately, she is still happy and still smiling, but my goodness all these bugs.  Time to pick up some extra Lysol.

-WinterMommy


Honeybee's in daycare now and....

It. Was...Hard.  I can't even pretend that it wasn't.  I didn't even remember it being this hard with Superbug, but oh this?  This was awful.  I got up early in the morning, made sure her little diaper bag was packed, and everything ready for her first day of daycare.  I went through the same motions that I do for my big boy.  I took pictures of her in her "first day" outfit.  I made sure she was full and happy and she looked up at me with those great big trusting eyes.  Sigh, I wasn't ready.

I really was okay until I rang the bell to be allowed inside.  Inside I noticed the little girl with the toothless grin and runny nose and thought "oh no".  I looked around at the cheerful walls and the bright decor and, though excited about it previously, I just thought....this isn't home.  I was relieved that I knew the teachers and was familiar with the staff, but my very soul was trembling as I had to let go of my baby. SIGH!!!

She went willingly, without fuss or cry.  I went to the car and felt the lead ball in my stomach and the heavy gorilla on my chest and knew that I needed to hurry up and put the car in gear lest I run, grab her, and say let's try again next week.  I made it a full two hours before I called and was assured she was okay, that she was eating impressively, and chewing on her pacifier. I wondered, after hanging up, what she was doing. Was she okay?  Did she know that Mommy was coming back?  Did she worry that she'd done something?

When I went to pick her up (albeit early with the convenience of SuperBug's grading period teacher conference as an excuse), she was resting.  She was cranky as I woke her to place her in her carseat.  She smiled to see me and my heart relaxed, but she fought sleep fitfully that night.  I wondered if it was because of the day's experiences.

The next day, she clutched my shirt as one child woke from sleep and started crying.  Another did the same, simply mimicking the other.  My HoneyBee looked at me and grabbed super tight as I tried to put her down.  It was heartbreaking for me.  I sat with her for a while until she was content to let go.  This time, the deadlines of the office allowed several hours to go past before I called the center.  She was fine, they said.  She was napping.  She'd eaten and wasn't a fan of her bottle this day.  When I walked through the door to her on this evening, she was all smiles and huge bouncing grins.  She was so excited to see me and I was so excited to see her.

Yesterday was supposed to be the last day of the week for her until next week.  NanaWinter won't be able to watch her, so she returned today. Oh, and after three days, she already has a runny nose (clear and only a little, but still ).  The great thing is she is still happy, still healthy, and still smiling.

I am thrilled she is doing so well at the center, but this is definitely going to take some adjusting to.   Stay tuned!

Hopefully, I'll get better on saying my see you laters.

--WinterMommy

Of Strawberries and X-Men

It's over.  October.  My favorite month of the year.  The harbinger of Fall.  The great and wonderful month. It. is.  Over.  That being said, it was a pretty awesome end.  Our family doesn't celebrate Halloween. We do, however, allow our children to participate in the church's Harvest in the Trunk.  Harvest in the Trunk is similar to the Trick and Trunk activities done in countless churches and locations nationwide.  Our is done with a Christian theme.  This year was the first year our church participated and I have to say we enjoyed ourselves despite it being ridiculously cold and windy.

One of the trunks was absolutely amazing.  She is an events coordinator and caterer.  You could tell!  She had these amazing cake pops and gummy bears. The trunk was so well done.  Everyone stopped by her trunk and we actually hesitated taking the goodies. But we did and they were SO yummy!

After the Trunk and Treat was over, our family ventured to a sister in law's home for a costume party.  The costume party was a reward for the kids for doing well in school.  Everyone had to come dressed and it was a great time.

I did something rather unusual for the event.  I came out of my shell and dressed.  I donned a caramel wig, a 70's bodysuit with some platform stilettos and became #FoxyCleopatra.  It was great.  A very fun opportunity to do something new.

Our Honeybee won best Children's costume under 5.  That's really awesome for her though she won't realize lol.

Overall, Honeyebee's first Harvest in the Trunk went very well.


Of Streams and Waterfalls

It’s been a while since I’ve written.  I can’t say it’s because a lack of things going on.  There is always something going on in our household.  Actually, my lack of writing has been a combination of things.  I’ve been busy at the office.  I’ve been busy at home.  I’ve been busy building another business.  [And] I’ve been fighting through some really honest and open places in my mind.  I haven’t been in a place where I wanted to share.  If I was in that place, I found the words wouldn’t come.  Plus, not too many people are clamoring for my thoughts, so I’ve been comfortable with keeping them to myself.  That being said, here I am ready to dump my streams (trickles of information) and waterfalls (a lot of information) for you to consume.
So, where shall we start?  Let’s start with my Honeybee. 

Honeybee.   She turned 8 months recently.  It’s amazing how quickly she hit that mark.  With that mark comes increased mobility as she all but has the hang of the crawling thing.  She has this lopsided crawl going on right now, but it doesn’t stop her from getting where she wants to get.  She’s tiny still.  Her 3 month old clothes fit her just fine, but she can comfortable fit some cuts of her six month old clothes as well.  She’s recently learned the word “hi”, but is confused to what it means.  When someone says “hi” to her, she jumps (literally) jumps from your arms to that person.  She did this in rapid succession for about 7 minutes last night jumping from me to Nana to SuperBug every time someone would say “hi”.  She did the same thing this morning and the spectacle is quite comical, but we are still trying to teach her that it is a greeting and not a request.  In the meantime, it’s her new favorite game.

She’s eating a lot now.  You know those Gerber containers?  She eats two of the smaller ones or one larger one and two smaller ones in one sitting.  Then she wants a few ounces of her bottle to wash it down.  No, we aren’t over feeding her.  She actually yells if she is still hungry and then turns her head when she is no longer interested.  Her personality is quite strong and very independent.  I love learning her moods and the person she will one day be.

SuperBug.  SuperBug is doing well.  Picture Day was this week.  I was looking forward to a nice Fall picture of him in a Fall sweater and colors.  It was not to be as the temperature was a balmy 79 degrees.  That was very surprising.  He ended up in a long sleeve shirt with a short sleeve underneath (the trend).  He then took the long sleeve off some point in the day.  I myself went to work and was surprised to see people in linen summer suits and short sleeves.  The office actually had the air conditioner blasting.  Yep, the air conditioner.  I ended up working a bit late and then left work to get some errands done.  When I got home, Superbug greeted me with his usual hug and enthusiasm.  I asked if he’d gotten a chance to go outside and play in the warm weather.  I was disappointed that he had not.  FatherWinter and I have an agreement with SuperBug that he may not go outside and play until and unless he has completed his chores and his homework.  Some nights he does it in minutes (it should not take more than 20) and some nights he does it in hours.  We were worried at one time that it was because he was having trouble understanding the work.  During a parent teacher conference we found this was not the case.  He simply gets distracted.  So, we are actively working on that.  That being said.  I was very disappointed that he couldn’t go outside and play.  It was probably one of the last arm days we will see for a while.

The TPR thing.  Things are still going forward with the TPR case (See Of Scents...).  It’s nerve wrecking to say the least.  I have said this before.  I know God has not given me a spirit of fear, but I also know that I do not presume to know the will of God.  I certainly hope and pray that Honeybee will remain with us—the only family she has known.  I just don’t know what God has in store.  I know that I love this child with every fiber of my being.  Every breath I watch as she sleeps soundly in my arms, every smile she throws my way, every snuggle just reinforces that I would move heaven and heck for this girl.  She’s my daughter and I love her.  I understand that she wasn’t birthed from my womb, but she was birthed in my heart.  I ache to think that one day I might not get to hold her or kiss her or give her the nighttime routine that has become her comfort.  I have always worn the banner that there is no weak woman here.  I still wear it, but must admit that to be without her would be devastating.

Stepping Out on Faith.  Things have been very busy in our household and the action has been centered in my home office.  Several years ago, I believed I felt God’s calling on a business venture that I’d dabbled with in college.  I have a passion for writing and communication and I love to help people achieve their own passions.  One day, after a particularly stirring sermon, I felt like it was time to restart the venture.  I put the thought away and went to sleep, but remembered occurrences in the week that had seemed to confirm what I’d been feeling.  That night, I was awakened from a slumber and started retyping and revamping a business plan.  That same night, I officially launched my business.  That was several years ago and like rivers, I’ve had some ebbs and flows and shallow places.  Things had gotten quiet because I was pretty uncomfortable with stepping up and out of my comfort zone.  Recently, things started happening in such a major way that I could no longer deny that God truly wanted me to continue this venture in earnest.  So, that is what I have been doing.  I started a social media and content management firm that specializes in small business owners.  I’ve been blessed to receive referrals, recurring customers, lock on and negotiate some pretty great media moves, and secure some of my client’s place in the limelight.  I love what I do and hope that one day it will become my full time career, if that is God’s will.  That notwithstanding, I still greatly enjoy my daily temporary full time and the work I do there.  But, when it’s quitting time, I go home, get the family taken care of, and then I’m locked in the home office for hours.  For the past week and a half, I’ve not gone to bed before 11p.m.  More often than not, it’s midnight.  I’ve been waking at 5-7 depending on how many times I need to hit snooze and making it to my TFT to give it my 100% here.  Pure transparency, it’s starting to catch up with me.  I’ve missed more than a couple of dinners and have subsisted on breakfast smoothies (which are AWESOME) for my energy and grilled cheese nom noms for lunch.  Today, I feel a little less peppy and recognize that I need to recharge.  It was a great night last night with a new monthly contract signed, two requests for prospective client meetings, one media opportunity secured, and the successful release of press for a client.  It was about 1230 when I made it to bed this morning.  I think I will have to take a bit of respite for tonight.

Daycare.  You all remember a few weeks ago I shared that Honeybee will be joining the ranks of millions of other children who venture into the doors of daycare.  Well…next week is the start.  I. AM. SO. NERVOUS.  I mean it.  I mean, I am nail biting, twist my hair, eating junk food, planning my surprise drop ins NERVOUS.  My baby is going to be away from me for a bit.  Sigh.  She’ll only be there a few days a week.  It’s more to get her acclimated to other people and children besides NanaWinter and ourselves.  Plus, now that she is mobile, it will be easier on Nana.  Still, I am NERVOUS.  The great thing is I know where she is going.  The daycare is the one that so loving cared for my son many years ago.  I know the staff.  The director is one of the kindest and sweetest ladies I know.  That being said…I am still nervous.  I wasn’t even this nervous when I allowed my son to be cared for there at 9 weeks of age until he aged into pre-school at 3.  Part of that was because I knew the people caring for them.  I mean I knew all of them.  I worshipped with them, sang with them, cried with them.  They were my family and I theirs’.  They were the strongest, most wonderful people I have ever known.  And I love them to this day.  But, they were elders and as elders typically do, they retire or fall ill.  That and my son grew up.  His last time there was 5 years ago.  Now, there are new people.  People whom I know, but not intimately.  People whom I know will love my daughter, but not like I can love her.  People who may confuse her size with weakness.  Something she most certainly is not.  I want to make sure she is healthy and happy when away from me.  I know she will be, but still I am nervous.

More…well, I’m sure there is tons more that I can tell you, but I won’t right now.  But be on the lookout J.  I’ll be sharing soon!