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.