Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts

Children Have Love Languages, Too

I've read Dr. Gary Chapman's book, The Five Love Languages, several times in my adult life.  I have taken the quiz more times than I can count to make sure things haven't shifted or that I still convey and receive love in the same manner.  I even recognize when I get frustrated that it is partly due to my love language not being spoken.  When you apply the techniques and observe the information submitted, it really does make sense.  Which is why I can't believe it took me so long to actively pay attention to the fact that my children have their own love languages too. (Especially since there is a book by the same author discussing this at length).

Oh, in case you aren't familiar with Love Languages, there are five ways that people show, communicate, give, and receive love.  They are Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, and Acts of Service.

Photo credit: Pinterest find.  

Friday Thoughts: She doesn't have to hug you.

Hugs, optional.

This morning, my 4 year old daughter tried to get my 1 year old daughter to give her a hug. Baby A (our one year old) wasn’t having it and Honeybee (our 4 year old) was getting frustrated. “Mommy, she won’t give me a hug!” I smiled with so much love and gently told my beautiful 4 year old that her sister didn’t have to hug her. I reminded Honeybee that she and I had discussed feeling comfortable in your own space and that included hugging or kisses. If she [Honeybee] didn’t want to hug or kiss someone including adult relatives, she was not required to do so. The same went for her siblings. Honeybee stopped, looked at her sister, looked back at me and smiled. “Okay, Mommy”. When she hopped off the chair and went to play, her little sister followed her…and gave her a hug on her own terms a few minutes later.

National Stop Bullying Day

Today is National Stop Bullying Day.  I've written in the past of my absolute disdain for those who feel the need to bully.  I've written of the absolute heartbreak of having to have conversation with a younger Bug about why a child of 11 or 12 would feel no other recourse than to take their life.  Last year, I had to contact the school for a particular cruel social media bullying of my son who didn't even have access to social media.  The reason?  A little boy didn't like that Bug was friendly with a girl the boy had a crush on.  The silliest thing to his father and I?  Bug was only 11 and dating is absolutely not allowed nor to be encouraged at this age.  So the entire thing was unnecessary.  We were fortunate that it was addressed very quickly, but we'd heard several horror stories of when it was not.

Last Day of School 2018: What the First Year of Middle School has Taught US...

Well guys, we made it! After adjusting to buses that come a full forty minutes earlier than elementary buses, after navigating multiple classes throughout the day and week, after adjusting to the rigors of middle school, Bug has completed his first year of middle school. I’m so proud of him. It’s been a year and I’ve seen him grow and branch out in it. He’s wiser than before, a bit taller, a little more comfortable in his skin, but still learning about who he is and what his decisions mean for his future. The 2017-18 school year has taught us a lot about ourselves, but it’s the nuggets below that speak
the most. 

Friday Frazzle: I Love My Hair! A Book Review of a Melanin Inspired Birthday Gift

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Hi everyone. Today's Friday Frazzle is a book review for an amazing birthday gift Honeybee received on her 4th birthday. So, I am ALL about teaching my daughter to be comfortable in her skin and to embrace every beautiful part of her including her beautiful 4c hair. She knows that Mommy has a huge bag filled with wide tooth combs, leave in conditioner, shampoos, hair bands, etc. all for her hair. She sometimes asks me "Mommy, is my hair pretty" and even on the days it absolutely wants to be diva and not play, I assure her that her hair is indeed pretty.

That's why I was so excited about the "Hair Training" episode from Sesame Street and the reason I was that much more excited at the book my cousin (Honeybee's sitter) chose for Honeybee's birthday. I Love My Hair! authored by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley and illustrated by E. B. Lewis.

The book discusses how every evening a little girl names Keyana sits between her mother's legs while her mother combs her hair and oils her scalp with coconut oil.  My Honeybee related immediately, especially the part where sometimes it may hurt when there is a snag or tangle.  (Incidentally, I love Shea Moisture Kids Extra-Moisturizer Detangler, Coconut & Hibiscus,)

Letter of the Week "M"

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Hi Guys!  Look, I have to tell you that I have been absolutely enjoying the home school experience with my preschooler.  To be clear, I am not homeschooling her in the traditional sense of the word.  We have a former preschool teacher, who just happens to be family, who comes in and goes forward with lessons, ideas, activities, and experiences that we have cultivated together.

This week, the letter is "M" and as it turned out, I was able to participate in a LOT of the fun activities.  On Wednesday, Honeybee and I started our day with a healthy breakfast and delved into our "M" day activities.

We started by doing pages in our Big Fun Kindergartner Activity Book.  We traced the "M" letters and searched for the hidden "M" in the pictures.  After that was completed, I wanted to boost her confidence a bit, so I took a piece of cardstock and duplicated the write your letters page.  She traced each line and continued from their to write the letters on her own.  She was so very proud of herself.

Weekend Recap: Part I- Museum Hopping w/ Honeybee (photo heavy)

*This is NOT a sponsored post. I have a couple of links to some interesting places, but I promise it’s just sharing good fun and no monetary stuff for me!

Hey loves! I hope you had an awesome weekend! We certainly did and I am so excited to share it with you! I am a huge history buff. Since well before The Mummy movie series, I have always wanted to view the Terra Cotta Army in person. It’s a bucket list item. Seriously, it’s been one of my most desired things in the world. I almost had the chance many years ago before Father Winter and I dated to see a very large exhibit, but my chances were dashed after Snowmaggedon. I figured I’d never see them unless I high tailed it overseas. But nope! The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has an exhibit and I was so amazingly happy to go and see them for myself!

Happy 5 months, A!

Hi everyone! Today our A. turns 5 months. It’s amazing how much she has changed in such a short amount of time. She’s a ball of quiet energy, inquisitive and fun. Her laughs are the absolute best thing on a daily and it is pretty easy to decipher her “I’m hungry” cry from her “Where are you? I don’t see you” cry. She has rolls for days and this love of jumping. I seriously need to invest in a jumperoo or something, lol!

So, how is A. doing?


I abhor bullying!

I abhor bullying. I really do. I can’t stand it. It’s getting so prevalent. Kids can’t go home to escape it because they see it on their social media at home. Don’t have access to social media at home? Their friends tell them and show them on their electronic devices. Then, because the kids don’t want to seem like weaklings they don’t say anything to anyone who can do something about it. And then something tragic happens.

That’s what happened in our county. A sixth grader, the same grade as my Superbug, was allegedly being bullied by an 8th grader. It had been going on for a while. I don’t know all of the details, but I do know that based on the information slowly trickling out, the little boy went into his parents’ bedroom, retrieved a weapon kept there, and committed suicide. I am absolutely floored. FLOORED.

I can’t imagine what the parents are going through. I can’t imagine coming into a room and finding the lifeless body of your child. I can’t imagine not being able to assist him, not knowing there was even an issue. The internal questions of how they missed, did they do enough…I can’t imagine.

Then, the parents of the bully. What do you say? What do you do? What is the impact of knowing the reason a child is dead is because your child thought it fun to bully someone else. What do you do?

Please pray for the family of the little boy and pray for children everywhere. They need to know that bullying is never okay and that they are never alone. I HATE A BULLY.


Recognizing Middle Child Angst and What You Can Do to Address It

Hi lovies. I hope you are all having an amazing week. It’s been all kinds of interesting here. First, we had the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday. We spent the day spending time together as a family and catching up on some of the familial tasks, while discussing the importance of Dr. King’s legacy today. Then, yesterday, the area experienced a crisp clipper that dropped an inch or two of snow during the morning commute that shut down everything. The school alerts went from two hours to closed in about an hour. I ended up staying home to #telework (thank you, God for flexibility and internet) and caught up on work documentation. It was also then that I received confirmation of something I’d suspected for a while. Our eldest baby, Honeybee (3) is regressing. Well, no, not really.  That's been overly dramatic, but she is feeling left out and has been giving not-so-subtle hints for a while.

If I was attending to our infant daughter, she would laugh extremely loud and talk baby gibberish to make sure she was included in the conversation. Then, her subsequent conversations would be barely discernible because she would continue to talk in baby talk. If I asked her to do something that she has been doing on her own for months now, she would suddenly need help to complete the task (like dressing in the mornings or making her bed). I knew pretty quickly that she was crying for attention and spent some extra time with hugs and kisses, but she still seemed to be reaching. I decided I’d do some research on what she may be experiencing and came back with all kinds of hits for “Middle Child Syndrome”, which has some pretty scary stats by the way.

Baby's 2 month well-baby visit

Hi guys! I just wanted to drop a quick one to let you know how Miss A. is doing and how she did at her two month check-up. I went in a bit sad because I knew she would have to get shots and it would make her cry. Let’s face it. No mom wants their kid in tears. So, we went in and met with my favorite nurse and got A.’s height and weight. She is now 11 pounds even and is 23.5 inches long. That’s great considering she was 7 pounds, 4 ounces at birth. I answered all of her milestone questions and was pleased to see she is pretty on target with everything. I did have one concern and that’s the baby eczema she seems to have. Bless God it is nowhere near where her sister’s was and she seems okay with it. The pediatrician came in and looked it over and gave us a cream to put on it. Since she knows how much interaction was had with my elder daughter, she trusts that I will use it as needed, but will also continue to use shea butter and coconut oil as well.

Our nurse re-entered with an oral vaccine, which A. took readily especially after getting some milk to wash it down. However, the others… (3 shots that combined inoculated against DTaP, Hib, Polio, Hep B, and Rotavirus) were administer via shot. A. was heartbroken and the look of hurt on her face that I’d allowed it to happen broke my heart. She even stopped and thought about it for a while and then got the saddest pout and cried some more as I comforted her. Poor baby. The good thing is she was over it pretty quickly and slept most of the evening away just getting herself together. That meant no Joy Night for her because we didn’t want her out and about if she was cranky. We’ll take pictures and post later.

So, that’s that. Have a great day and we will be posting again soon.


The return to work

You know it would be more than awesome if the mothers in the United States of America had the same maternity leave rights as mothers in other developed countries.  Canada and countries within Europe have up to 12 months to bond with their baby and it's fully paid.  I wouldn't even need 12 months.  But man, I would have loved to have had three months just to spend time and bond with baby girl.

Last week was my first week back at work. I walked in to clients' excited over my return and a mountain of catch up.  I immediately missed the baby, but I dived back into the tasks at hand and it definitely helped the time pass quickly.

Our sitter, who also happens to be a highly qualified and loving cousin, kept me smiling by sending pictures of the girls while I was away.  Before you know it, by week's end, I'd amassed quite an impressive to-do list.  Sigh, work sucks.

In pumping news, I have managed to get up to four ounces.  Yep, four whole ounces.  It's frustrating to say the least.  The good thing is I've been able to nurse the baby for several minutes and then I follow up with formula.  I nurse several times a day.  It just never seems to be enough to boost my supply.

I'm actually afraid of a repeat of what happened the last time I was pregnant.  My supply dried up.  It just decided that it didn't want to play any more.  It didn't matter how much I pumped or how much water I drank.  The supply went away. I think this time is going to be the same.

The great thing is I'm only fifteen minutes up the road and away from the baby.  The bad thing is I'm fifteen minutes up the road and away from the baby.  Man, this sucks.

The Young Graduate

Hello everyone.  It's been a busy couple of days in our household, but I am so very pleased to share with you that our son is officially a 6th grader!  Last night, our family watched as he and his fellow fifth graders crossed the stage with certificates in hand.  They have completed their academic requirements.  They have succeeded.  I am so proud.

I started this journey with just my son and I.  It's amazing to see where God bought us from. Congratulations to my heart string.

My Week with Honeybee

What an amazing week I've had...and it has been unintentional. Due to an employment change, I had the opportunity to stay home this week. Every day I have had the opportunity to stay home with my Honeybee and have uninterrupted time with her.  I could not have asked for a better week even with the unexpected surprises.

Last Friday, my Honeybee woke up with a very high fever and a pitiful countenance.  My poor Honeybee.  I took her to the pediatrician's office and discovered that she had an ear infection yet again and would require a shot of antibiotics in that visit, another shot the next day, and a 10-day course of Cefdinir for the next week and a half.  The first two days, she was miserable and not at all like her fun loving and energetic self. On that third day, she was almost back to normal.  There were no fevers and her smiles had returned.  And by that evening, she was back to Honeybee status.

So, I've been home with her every single day and I am amazed at the little person that she is.  Her personality is amazing.  She is feeding herself.  She is putting words together. She really gets that mommy and daddy are hers. Today, FatherWinter called me on the phone.  I put the phone on speaker, but muted the call on my end because Honeybee was babbling.  Once she realized it was Daddy on the phone, Honeybee shouted in a perfect pitch "Hi Daddy". I was amazed!  I was disappointed because I had the phone on mute and FatherWinter didn't hear her.  So of course I took it off mute, but she wouldn't repeat it.

This week I have seen my Honeybee put balls in holes, play with cars on the floor, and have bonded with her in wonderful ways.  I am so blessed to see her little personality and get to have the moment with her just she and I.  And how perfect is it that I get to do it at home without interruption.

I'd actually planned on taking us out for walks and walking in the mall while shopping for hats for an upcoming tea. Our car had other plans.  The engine light has come on and she is currently in a state of jerking.  So we've been spending time in our home and I wouldn't change those memories for anything.

Honeybee had her first taste of salsa con queso. She liked it so much she licked the bowl.

Am I the only one who has an issue with this?

I was very recently at an event where two toddler boys were running around and enjoying themselves--being normal little boys.  Their parents were within eyesight and the people the children were running among were all friends, family, and trusted associates.  One of the little boys noticed a doll lying on a seat.  He grabbed it to begin playing with it and the other little toddler boy joined him.
A woman from within the onlookers quickly grabbed the hand of the little boy and removed the doll from him.  "No honey.  You are a boy!  You cannot play with dolls!".  I politely asked why she thought this and she responded that she didn't want those boys to become gay.

WHAT?!  Say what, now?!

I calmly told her that allowing a male child to play with a plastic doll would in no way, form, or fashion make a child gay.  I also informed her that my son actively plays with his sister and her dolls with her to make her laugh and smile.  That boy already has eyes for the fairer sex and has began to ask questions about when he gets married and has children, etc. (sigh, he's growing up).  I certainly don't think playing with dolls is going to change that anytime soon.

The woman looked positively shocked that I allow Superbug to play with dolls if he so desires and told me she was always raised that little boys were not to play with doll babies because of the reason she mentioned to me.  I was about to list all of the male members of my family who actively play dolls with their daughters, sisters, cousins, and are not gay, but decided to politely excuse myself from the conversation.  The two toddler boys were now running again and I decided to enjoy watching their play.

After the event was over, I found myself fuming.  I'm from the south. My great-grandmother raised me.  I know all about the old traditions that were passed along from generation to generation.  You would think that someone would start questioning some of them.  I was a huge tomboy growing up.  I didn't even start carrying purses until I started dating my husband.  This never seemed to be an issue except once.  My uncle came home one day and I was wearing overalls and boots.  I'd been to school like that with my signature ponytail and one cornrowed braid across the forehead (ha!).  My uncle looked at me and asked shouldn't I be wearing dresses or girl shorts like the other girls.  He didn't want anyone thinking I was "playing for the other team" (how rude!).  My great-grandmother was within earshot and told him that as long as I was bringing home good grades, behaving as a lady when I went out (i.e. respectful, polite, and non argumentative), I could wear all the non-feminine clothes I wanted.  She invited him and anyone else who had an issue with that to speak to her.  It's one of my favorite memories.

Still, gender and sexuality beliefs have always been there.  I'd like to think that children can be children and play with toys be it doll, truck, or jump ropes for all long as they have an interest in such things.  In a world where almost everyone has their face glued to a screen, it's refreshing to me that children are still using their imaginations and not letting screens do it for them.

I don't know.  Am I wrong for being upset with her line of thinking?  It just bothers me that people can make such generalizations.  I actually Googled it and saw a lot of people think similarly to her.  I don't get it.  Since when did playing with a doll equal an indication of whom a person will become when he or she is older.


Of sickness and apologies (aka Worst mommy ever)

It wasn’t his fault—not really.  He’d only been trying to do what FatherWinter and I teach him. He was only trying to be a bit independent and handle those tasks that he was old enough to do.  It ended in a big mess, a frustrated sigh, and a lot of milk. 

Yesterday, while sitting at work, I suddenly got hit with a wave of nausea and fatigue.  It came out of nowhere and I simply was not prepared.  I felt hot and cold at the same time and I suddenly did not want to be bothered.  Like really didn't want to be bothered...

When one of my dear colleagues presented me with a ridiculously difficult task in a ridiculously short timeline, I was uncharacteristically gruff.  I didn’t mean to be, but I was and I wasn’t happy about it.  I worked the document still feeling awful until I realized that I didn’t have a choice.  I had to leave.  The family had a church leadership conference to attend that started at 7:30.  Here it was 5:30 and I’d not yet picked up Honeybee from the daycare nor prepped dinner for the meal.  So, I left, picked up my daughter, and went home.  When I walked through the door with a sleeping Honeybee, my Superbug greeted me with his cheery “Hi Mommy!”  I responded with a polite “Hi, sweetie”.  He knew something was wrong because it lacked energy and exuberance.  I told him that I wasn’t feeling very well and that I was going to go upstairs for a while.  I laid Honeybee in her crib and I went to the bedroom. 

FatherWinter was already there with blinds drawn, lights off, and in bed resting before we had to leave.  I decided I’d lie down for just a few moments, but as soon as I lay down FatherWinter asked me to turn the heat off downstairs.  I was immediately frustrated.  I wasn’t feeling well.  All I wanted to do was to rest, but I sighed loudly, went downstairs, turned off the heat, and began to cook dinner.
In the course of cooking, my stomach started rolling.  It was all I could do to keep myself focus and NOT go running back to the bed.  I managed to make a hamburger stroganoff and plate it for FatherWinter and Superbug.  I then went upstairs, washed, and got Honeybee.  The guys had finished their meals and we left for church—late.

Because I was still feeling so yucky, I was not talking.  I wasn’t chipper.  I wasn’t too happy about being outside in cold weather and certainly not happy about attending the church lecture series late.  However, when we walked in, it was awesome.  The speaker was amazing.  He was articulate, engaging, kept our attention, and stepped on our toes with good WORD.  He was a great teacher and I enjoyed listening to the lesson until Honeybee got antsy.  By now it was approaching her bedtime and she wanted nothing to do with sitting still and listening to someone talk, so I excused myself and went to our fellowship hall where I fed Miss Honeybee her baby food and a follow-up bottle.  When she was done, so to was the service L.

As I walked back into the sanctuary past the exiting crowds, the wave of nausea hit me again and instantly my mood soured.  I was ready to go, go like right now; but it wasn’t to be.  Yesterday was my father in law’s birthday.  He turned 67 years young.  He has truly had a blessed life and I was happy that he was able to see it.  However, I STILL wanted to go home.  FatherWinter, however, had other plans.  He arranged for the entire family including all available siblings in laws to go to IHOP.  It was now 9:30 p.m.  Work would need to be attended the next day.  SuperBug had school.  I still hadn’t eaten because the thought of doing so didn’t appeal to me and now, now at almost 10 husband wanted to go to eat pancakes?!

NOT Happy. 

BUT I remember a conversation my husband and I had many months ago where we discussed sacrifice.  There is no guarantee that any of us will see another day, let alone another birthday.  Why not take advantage of the opportunity to spend time with someone to express how much you love them?  So, not feeling well at all, I and our family trudged to the local IHOP where we met up with sister in law and a couple of brother in laws. For two hours, I stayed quiet while they laughed and discussed football, basketball, Kobe, Lynch, Superbowl, and finally (when I could barely keep Honeybee from fretting), we left.  My in laws were very happy to have been loved and celebrated.  I was pleased to have been able to do so.  But make no mistake about it.  I still wasn’t feeling that well.
So, when we got home, I went inside, changed Honeybee into sleeping attire, brushed my teeth, and went to bed.  Head. Pillow. Out.  I barely remember FatherWinter giving me his goodbye kiss this AM.  When the light streamed through the blinds, I knew something was wrong.  Light streams through blinds way too late for that to be the first thing I notice when I awake.  I looked at the clock and saw 7:40!  I was supposed to have been up at 6AM!  I immediately grabbed my phone and was so angry at myself to see that I had forgotten to set the alarm on my phone.

I was also sorely disappointed to find that the nausea and lump of ugh in my belly feeling had not gone away.  I rushed into the bathroom, got ready, and rushed downstairs.  Immediately I was happy for two things (1) Honeybee would be at home with NanaWinter today so I could make up a bit of time getting to work since I didn’t have to drop her off and (2) SuperBug was up and functioning.  When I went downstairs, he gave his cheerful greeting and asked for cereal.  I reached up, grabbed the yellow box, and deposited it beside him.  I then realized that even though Honeybee would be with NanaWinter, she still needed to be fed and changed for her morning.  So, I left SuperBug downstairs and slowly climbed the steps and went to Honeybee’s nursery.  I still felt too sick to do pretty outfits this morning, so I put her in her purple sleeper and bought her downstairs to feed.  And stopped mid-step.

The kitchen was chaos.  I don’t know how I missed it last night, but there was a pan that had cooked the stroganoff still in the sink.  There was burned food on the stove that, again, I’d missed the evening before.  While Honeybee was waiting for her food to warm, I started scrubbing stovetops, pots, and plates left in the sink the evening before.  The timer dinged to let me know Honeybee’s food was ready.  I grabbed it and her and bought them to the family area so that she could eat.  As I did so, I was again hit with a massively sick feeling such that I was on the verge of vomiting.  I closed my eyes and realized things were taking a turn.

I was sitting at the table, sick as all get out, the craziness of the day surrounding me, Honeybee vocalizing she wants more to eat and I hear “Mommy, I don’t think I want all of this”.  I knew he wouldn’t want all of the cereal he’d poured.  It was way too much and I told him to just toss the leftovers.  That’s when it occurred.  As Superbug tried to move the overloaded bowl, he dropped Cheerios and milk everywhere.  It was on the newly cleaned stovetop, the floors, his clothes.  He was a mess.

I heard him say “I am sooo sorry” and I felt the sincerity of it.  I didn’t yell.  But I was terse.  I told him I would get it.  I told him to go upstairs and clean.  And I watched his little lip quiver and his eyes well up as he left the room.

Worst. Mommy. Ever. Sighhhhh…..

While Superbug was upstairs, I cleaned the mess, finished packing his lunch, and waited for him to come downstairs.  When he did, I asked him to come beside me.  I then knelt in front of him to get eye level and explained that Mommy was not upset at him.  I explained that I was frustrated because I was not feeling well and that I seemed to be a bit overwhelmed.  I told him that it was not his fault and he had done nothing wrong.  I told him that I loved that he wanted to be a big boy and help out and that I appreciated him and his thoughtfulness very much.  I told him that I loved him to the moon and stars and back and that I always would.  And then, I told him that I was very, very, very sorry that I’d hurt his feelings and caused him to think that I was upset with him.  I reached out and gave him the biggest hug that I could possibly manage.  And he returned the same.

Later, after I was on the road driving to the office, still feeling poorly, I found myself extremely sad.  I’d hurt my little one’s feelings and I didn’t mean to at all.  All day long that feeling stayed with me.  It was the feeling that I’d hurt someone, not just anyone, but my firstborn, my heartstring.  I was ashamed and knew that even in sickness my being short with him was not a fair response.
When the work day ended, I rushed home, but wasn’t greeted with my usual “hi Mommy” and I was worried.  It was okay.  He was upstairs and hadn’t heard me arrive.  As soon as he knew I was home, there were hugs and kisses and stories about the day.  When I reminded him again that I was very sorry about being so short with him that morning, he simply shrugged it off. 

“It’s okay, Mommy.  You weren’t feeling well and you apologized.  So, it’s okay. Thanks for saying sorry though”

I love that kid.  Seriously, I love my son.  I’m so glad he is who he is and his heart is as big as it is.  I pray he never changes.

So, here we are tonight preparing to hear another night of the leadership series.  While I’m still not feeling the best (more tired than anything), I’m hoping tonight will be less stressful.  I have one stop to make (Valentine’s Day cards for class), but other than that; it should be a pretty good night.

Talk to you soon, family.


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.


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.


Moments like this...

This morning, 5 a.m. to be exact, I found myself in a rather unusual location.  I was at my dining room table helping my son with his homework. I have to admit that I was frustrated.  I am not a fan of sitting at a table at 5 in the morning when I could be catching up on the last hour of sleep needed before beginning the day.  Yet there I was helping a stubborn SuperBug who'd given up on his homework the night before.

It was easy homework to solve in my opinion.  All he had to do was read and follow the directions, but it wasn't clicking.  I'd finally allowed him to go to sleep last evening and awake early this AM to try again.  As we sat at the table and my Superbug was slowly getting the concept of the morning's assignment, I thought to get a visual aid.  I told Superbug I would be right back, went up the stairs, grabbed some dollars and change (math homework) and was coming down the stairs when I saw it. Out the window was the beautiful start to the lunar eclipse.
Photo credit: Huffington Post

The edges of the moon were turning gray and I knew its face would soon be red.  I went downstairs and told Superbug that if he and I finished this particular problem soon, I'd have something neat to show him.  About 6 o'clock, I went back to the stair window and say the eclipse was well underway.  I bid Superbug to get his robe and shoes.  He looked at me with confusion, but did so.  Forty seconds later, we were standing in our driveway looking up at a beautiful lunar eclipse.

"Mommy, the moon is red.  Why?"  I explained to him the science of the Earth's rotation between sun and moon.  I explained the shadow cast.  I also explained some of the bible verses associated with a red moon.  We had a very fascinating conversation about it.

What I loved the most about the time was, despite the fact that I was up at crack of dawn, my son and I were sharing a private mommy son moment.  He was excited to see something that he would have missed otherwise as he is not required to rise until a few minutes before 7.  The sun would have hidden the night sky by then.

It was a great and wonderful moment.  We stood looking at it for a while and then returned to our dining room table and finished the homework.

I realized that had Superbug finished his homework last night as he was supposed to, he would have missed the eclipse this morning, as would I.  We would have missed that moment of awe together.  It would have been a missed experience.

While I am still not too thrilled that Superbug simply gave up on doing a task, and we are working on that, I must say I'm glad the opportunity was available for us to do something together and capture an amazing memory.  Hopefully, he'll think the same.