Sunday, November 11, 2007


Remind me to tell you about why our pediatrician can no longer hand out suckers to his patients. Must drag out my soapbox for that one. More later.

strep and hugs

It's been strep throat week at our house. It began last Sunday night when we returned from visiting family in Eastern Kentucky. Abel and I came home with a sore throat, so Mark sent us to an evening clinic. Abel tested positive for strep but the doctor didn't test me. She said she thought I had a sinus infection, but even if I was positive for strep, it wouldn't change the treatment. Anti-biotics for both of us. It bugged me that my complaint was for sore throat, not sinuses, but I was so tired I probably wouldn't have argued if she had said my arm was broken. I just wanted to feel better.

By Tuesday morning, my tonsils were literally the size of grapes (the green ones!), and had big white patches on them. (Sorry to be gross and graphic.) I was in serious pain each time I swallowed. Do you know how often we swallow in a day? It's a lot, let me assure you. I called the clinic and told them my symptoms. The receptionist called back to tell me the Dr. had called in a prescription for a decongestant.

A decongestant??? Clearly I was not communicating well with this individual. I don't even have a medical degree and lots of experience treating sick people, and I know full well that a decongestant is meant to decongest. I must not have been clear. Congestion was not my problem. The thorny vineyard growing in my throat was the problem. My husband (oh, how I appreciate his wisdom) insisted I go to a different clinic and let someone else with a medical degree look at my throat. I did, and I was right. Congestion and sinuses were not even mentioned! I had the symptoms of strep or tonsillitis. Gee, that makes much more sense. A prescription for stronger anti-biotics, and I was on my way. (How did people live before Z-packs?) Oh, before I left, I asked about my babies. Not to worry, babies don't usually get strep.

Famous last words.

On Wednesday, Robert woke up complaining of sore throat. We decided to check it out, and sure enough he tested positive. Day four, three family members on anti-biotics. In the meantime, several of the family members we were with over the weekend were having the same results. Robert made the ninth person in our extended family to be sick since the weekend. That afternoon, Hope woke up with a high temp. Off we went for the second doctor visit of the day. Yep, she tested positive, too.

"But I didn't think babies got strep," I pleaded to the doctor (as if my pleading would change what they were seeing under the microscope).

"They don't," she politely replied. That's my girl. Already showing the she's exceptional.

Today is Sunday. I thought we were free and clear. No doctor visits since Wednesday. No sore throats or fevers. Regular disobedience resumed. Life was getting back to normal. Then Elizabeth woke up from her nap with a temp of almost 103. Back to the clinic. Oh, and it's the same one where my tonsillitis was diagnosed as a sinus infection. Great. But it's the only thing open on Sunday night besides the ER, and who wants to go there?

She tested negative, but they gave her anti-biotics anyway. Could be a false negative, but with all we've had in our house this week, Dr. thought that was best.

My sweet Elizabeth was such a trooper while we were in the office, though. She let the nurse stick that yucky swab in her mouth not once, but twice. (She got a lollipop from Mom for that one.) She had to hold the thermometer under her tongue. I guess this highly advanced medical facility had never seen or could not afford the thermometers that you just stick in a child's ear. I could go on, but suffice it to say, she was a trooper. While we waited for the test results, which I believe the workers needed to drive across town to acquire, she played quietly.

One of her games was hugging mommy. Sometimes she ran out of mommy hugs. She had to go across the room to get some more. She would pick up another shipment, put them in her pocket, then come back and give them to me. Sometimes she got four hugs, sometimes ten, and a few times, the shipment contained eighteeny-one. I'm not sure how many that is, but I got lots of hugs when that shipment came.

Such a sweetheart. I don't think I knew that you could love so much your heart hurt until I became a mother.

It's the beginning of a new week. Toothbrushes are all changed. Hand-towels have been replaced by papertowels, and everything has been cleaned and Lysoled (is that a word?). Here's to a healthy week and the destruction of all things, well, destructive at our house!


Monday, November 5, 2007

Sons and Daughters

My 14 month old had quite an impressive diaper production today. In response, my dear sons dubbed her Lady Poops Alot.

I don't know what else to say to that one.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

David Copperfield saga

I've been reading a bit of the news stories about David Copperfield and the trouble he's being investigated for. A young woman claims that Copperfield raped her, but there's much, much more to the story. The claim is that when the magician sees a woman he likes in the audience, he instructs his assistants to invite her to be one of the volunteers in the show. She is invited backstage afterwards, and I guess things progress (or not) from there.

That's what this 21 year old is claiming happened to her, that she and her family were given special seats at the show, and invited backstage. There, Copperfield allegedly told her he could help her with her modeling career. Later, he invited her to his island (the guy owns an island!), where she discovered she was the only guest. It is there that the alleged rape supposedly occured.

Now, I am in no way condoning rape or any other act of violence. Let me repeat -- I am not saying it is a victim's fault when something like this happens. But I do want to talk about decision making. Just what did that girl (woman) think would happen on the island? What did she think would be expected of her in exchange for Copperfield's help with her career? Was her family invited to visit, or was it only the woman who was invited to visit the home of a man she barely knew, at his expense? Did that not send any red flags flying? What did her family and friends have to say about this rendezvous? What was she thinking?

I remember being 21. I can only imagine how I would have felt and reacted if an older, handsome, RICH, charming man began calling me, flirting with me, inviting me on exotic vacations. Gee, I would have had wobbly knees if that had happened when I was 31. But you have to make wise decisions. You have to overcome the EXTREMELY POWERFUL emotions you feel, and think with your brain. You have to remember all those things you learned growing up about being careful, not talking to strangers (!), not going to dangerous places alone (and, yes, a man's home is a dangerous place for a single, young woman to go alone, whether that home is in the middle of the Atlantic or three blocks down the street).

I don't know what happened between Copperfield and his accuser. I don't know if Copperfield is guilty or innocent. I believe if he's guilty, he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. But I know that his accuser is lucky to be alive and that she made a bad choice, likely several bad choices. We cannot be responsible for other people's actions, nor can we control them. But we can choose carefully where we go, and what we do and say. I don't mean that a person needs to live in a bubble where they never take any chances, have any fun, or enjoy life. I mean that you have to think. A man old enough to be that girl's father is not going to offer to help her move forward in the modeling world just because he's kind and caring. Surely her father knew that. Surely, somewhere deep in her heart, she knew that, too.

Make wise decisions...


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wise Decisions

"Make wise decisions" is something of a mantra at our house. It is even said more often than, "Because I said so." Mark and I repeat it to remind the children to think before they make choices, and it can refer to something simple like whether you really want that extra serving of pasta, or to a serious temptation like should you take that piece of candy while no one is looking. We want them to learn that all actions have consequences-- some good, some bad. Those consequences can be short term, a stomach ache from eating too much, punishment for stealing, or a peaceful conscience for doing the right thing simply because it's the right thing. Or they can be long term, like losing your privileges for a day (big stuff when you are 11!) or enjoying the toy you saved your allowance to buy.

My husband is only partly joking when he says one of our jobs is to brainwash our children. We want to instill certain lessons and values so deeply that when the children are tested, they will hold firmly to what they know is right or have the thinking skills to analyze a situation carefully and make an informed choice.

I don't mean that we are trying to create little robots that grow up to be just like us (oh heaven help them if that's what they strive for!). We want them to be intelligent, independent, THINKERS. For example, Mark sometimes says he would rather one of the children decide as an adult to attend a different church denomination than he/she was raised in because he has studied their beliefs and practices and find those to be more in line with scripture, than to attend a Presbyterian church all his life because that's what Mom and Dad do. We want them think about their words and actions, and make wise decisions. Hopefully, if we say it enough, and teach them how and why to do so, they will hear it in their minds (and hearts!) always and will listen.

Life is all about making choices. They will choose careers, spouses, purchases, and lifestyles. Our desire is that Hannah, Abel, Robert, Elizabeth, and Hope will learn from the small lessons while they are growing up, and will be well equipped as adults to make choices that will bring them the joy and happiness we so desire for them, and more importantly, will draw them closer to their Lord and Savior and allow them to serve Him well.

May God bless our feeble efforts and give us the wisdom to guide our sweet children.