Saturday, May 31, 2008

What Can You Control?

By doubling the amount Prevacid that Holly takes, she is totally, completely a different baby. She will sit happily in her stroller, for a really long time if you are outside! She will ride in the car anywhere, anytime, happily. I am amazed.

Of course, I have to wonder about giving her this medicine. Anyone would.

I remember, though, when Lee and I decided to take our oldest off of ADD medicine. At that same time new research was published to indicate that if your ADD child was left untreated, they would be more likely to be addicted to drugs later in their teen years.

What a very difficult thing to read at that particular time. But a friend threw a life line out to me. She said you can not control what will happen in the future, you can only do what you believe is the very best now.

That was 5 years ago. If you ever meet my oldest, or know him now, you'll agree the ADD diagnosis was not appropriate. Taking him off medication was a good decision for us.

So, I am left to trust that this decision, to double her medicine is a good one too. And pray that God will control the rest.

Company Beef

A friend passed along this recipes a few years ago. It is one of our favorites. Good to serve when you have company, simple to make.

3 lbs stew beef, or your choice, cut into bite size pieces
1 can mushroom soup
1 can onion soup
3/4 cup red wine (best) or water (very good too)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix soups and wine, add beef. Cook, uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Or in a crock pot on low for 5-6 hrs, on high for 3-4 hrs.

Serve over noodles or rice (for company) or on rolls for sandwiches. Yum.

I always pick up a pack of this stew beef or "kabob" cuts when I see them marked down to have in the freezor. 4 ingredients. So good.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

.ps Surgery Date

Next surgery for soft palate is next Wednesday.

Beast of Burden

Last note for today: What a sense of relief yesterday, to think: God can carry Holly all the way through this surgery. I trust Him that much. I can be free to pray for someone else. Thinking about trying to pray hard enough to "heal" Holly is wearing me down. Trying to just "think about that tomorrow" is almost as hard. Nothing takes your mind off your own problems like praying for someone else.

Jesus, I Trust Holly to You.

Enough? Feast?

How can enough be as good as a feast? Does the last bite taste as good as the first? Or does the first bite always taste best?

Certainly there are plenty of biblical references to "enough is as good as a feast." But I will share my favorite three:

1. Ruth eats lunch with Boaz. She eats her portion (enough) and saves the rest for Naomi. Ruth Ch. 2 14:18 How cool is that? Boaz gave her a feast, Ruth had enough, and sacrificed some to share with Naomi.

2. If you are dining with a great man, bring not a greedy gullet to his table, Nor cry out, "How much food there is here!" Sirach 31 12:20. There is really alot more to this, check it out! This is pretty cut and dried, no bones about it: Gluttony is bad.

3. When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him.. Luke 14:8-10. Even Jesus tells us not to be first in line. It is better to put yourself aside for others.

I have been thinking about this today, along with my sacrifice focus. The food is not more important than the people I am praying for. How much more simple can it get?

No Vanilla Baby

This week's speech therapy did not quite go as smoothly as the last. After an hour in the bland white walled office, Holly had had it. Really, I mean crying till she was purple. The OT was kind enough to "wait" for Holly to calm down. But you know, she can out last the Engerizer Bunny when it comes to crying. I finally called it quits, and requested we try again next week.

One thing I have noticed about Ms. Fiesty, is that she likes VARIETY. She likes outside especially with lots of flowers. She likes motion and color. Reminds me of Morgan Freeman in "Robin Hood" when he proclaims " Allah likes wonderous variety!"

God certainly does like wonderous variety, and Holly appreciates it all.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Enough is as good as a feast!

Really it is. Three years ago, God answered a prayer that I had made in my usual half hearted weak faith. I think I whispered it while sitting beside the neighborhood pool one summer day. "God, how can I lose this weight. I do not know how, please show me."

Shortly after that my sister called to tell me about a new prayer/wieght loss program. I really didn't listen and she had to remind me a few times about the first meeting. The program is The Light Weigh created by Suzanne Fowler. Bottom line: I lost 70 lbs in about 9 months and kept it off for another year and half, until Holly was on the way :-)

Now I have a few more pounds to get back to where I was, but have been having difficulty finding a focus. Today's revelation is this: You'd think Holly's upcoming surgery would be focus enough. But it is not. I am paralyzed by the thought. Not moved to action (sacrificing food) and prayer.

Fortunately, God is our God of Second Chances, and I can find a new focus, which I have something that will move me in mind. And I can trust that all the prayers on Holly's behalf will be sufficient, even if I am not focused on that surgery. Thank you God, that other prayers will carry us through the next several weeks. Thank you for showing me that I can sacrifice for someone else and trust You to take care of Holly. Me being paralyzed by fear does no good, but sacrifice and prayer, for whatever reason, will release God's grace and mercy into our world.

What a refreshing thought for my day: Enough is as Good as a Feast. Really it is.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Who is this really tall young man anyway?

I it was yesterday, how little Lee was riding in the car beside me to visit Dad at the job site, with that little toboggan just big enough for Dad to see the top of your hat.

I it was yesterday, that your first word was "no" and that I knew at that moment I must quit my job to be at home with you all the time.

I it was yesterday, you read every book on the list to earn that reading trophy. It was almost bigger than you!

I it was yesterday, that I was taller than you. Maybe that was yesterday!

Congratulations Lee on this milestone in your life! You are a fine young man. Keep learning, keep the Faith. Love Mom.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sing a New Song

Somehow, I have got to replace this broken record in my mind. After the most recent doctor visit, this time to a speech therapist, all I can think is "Why didn't some one tell me?" Isn't there some Star Trek like Computer for medical information?

Computer, what is the schedule for treatment of a cleft lip and palate, include all possible treatments?

Computer, what are the effects of reflux on an infant with a cleft lip and palate?

Can't you just hear Picard confidently commanding information? Then, of course, the whole problem would be solved with one of those benign shots that sound like an air freshner?

So, Holly does need speech therapy, now. Not later. And the drooling is related to weak muscles in her mouth, not reflux. Wow. Now Holly and I get to sing silly songs and excerise her lip. I can not tell you how very grateful I am that I read about the other babies already getting speech therapy. Nothing like the voice of experience to spur me on! Why wait for a doctor?

Someone did tell me, just not who I was expecting too. Thus, the need for a new song. Instead of repeating that broken record over and over, I need find a new song to sing. One that is more grateful, way less resentful. Sing a New Song Unto the Lord!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

May Crowning

What a terrific way to celebrate the end of our Co-op this year. The children processed around the parking lot with flowers for Mary. And crowned her with a wreath and rosary. The moms did our best to carry a tune or too, hopefully Mary appreciated the effort, even if off-key!
Many, many thank yous to all the moms for filling in for me, when I dropped out of the classes I volunteered to lead. I tried to uphold my last remaining responsibility, Coffee Lady, as best I could. On Wednesdays, I would think, "this is what it has come to, at least I bring the coffee!"
In honor of our mother, Mary:
Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. (Luke 1:28)
Blessed art thou amongst women and
blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. (Luke 1:42)
Holy Mary, Mother of God (Luke 1:43),
pray for us sinners (Acts 8:24),
now and at the hour of our death (Luke 18:1).
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of Good Remedy.
That we may deepen our dedication to thy Son,
and make the world alive with His Spirit.

Monday, May 12, 2008

.ps Mother's Day

A friend's reply so gracefully pointed out the beauty of our very wonderful children: Although it may be the initial diagnosis that takes our breath away, it is our children's resilience and ability to go beyond every prediction carelessly made that will forever leaves us breathless!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mothers Day!

Mothers Lie
By Lori Borgman

Expectant mothers waiting for a newborn's arrival say they don't care what sex the baby is. They just want to have ten fingers and ten toes.

Mothers lie. Every mother wants so much more.

She wants a perfectly healthy baby with a round head, rosebud lips, button nose, beautiful eyes and satin skin.
She wants a baby so gorgeous that people will pity the Gerber baby for being flat-out ugly.
She wants a baby that will roll over, sit up and take those first steps right on schedule (according to the baby development chart on page 57, column two).
Every mother wants a baby that can see, hear, run, jump and fire neurons by the billions.
She wants a kid that can smack the ball out of the park and do toe points that are the envy of the entire ballet class.

Call it greed if you want, but a mother wants what a mother wants.
Some mothers get babies with something more. Maybe you're one who got a baby with a condition you couldn't pronounce, a spine that didn't fuse, a missing chromosome or a palate that didn't close. The doctor's words took your breath away.

It was just like the time at recess in the fourth grade when you didn't see the kick ball coming, and it knocked the wind right out of you.

Some of you left the hospital with a healthy bundle, then, months, even years later, took him in for a routine visit, or scheduled him for a checkup, and crashed head first into a brick wall as you bore the brunt of devastating news. It didn't seem possible. That didn't run in your family. Could this really be happening in your lifetime? There's no such thing as a perfect body. Everybody will bear something at some time or another.

Maybe the affliction will be apparent to curious eyes, or maybe it will be unseen, quietly treated with trips to the doctor, therapy or surgery. Mothers of children with disabilities live the limitations with them.

Frankly, I don't know how you do it. Sometimes you mothers scare me. How do you lift that kid in and out of the wheelchair twenty times a day. How you monitor tests, track medications, and serve as the gatekeeper to a hundred specialists yammering in your ear. I wonder how you endure the clich├ęs and the platitudes, the well-intentioned souls explaining how God is at work when you've occasionally questioned if God is on strike.

I even wonder how you endure schmaltzy columns like this one-saluting you, painting you as hero and saint, when you know you're ordinary. You snap, you bark, you bite. You didn't volunteer for this, you didn't jump up and down in the motherhood line yelling,"Choose me, God. Choose me! I've got what it takes."

You're a woman who doesn't have time to step back and put things in perspective, so let me do it for you. From where I sit, you're way ahead of the pack. You've developed the strength of the draft horse while holding onto the delicacy of a daffodil. You have a heart that melts like chocolate in a glove box in July, counter-balanced against the stubbornness of an Ozark mule. You are the mother, advocate and protector of a child with a disability. You're a neighbor, a friend, a woman I pass at church and my sister-in-law. You're a wonder.

Lori Borgman is a syndicated columnist and author of All Stressed Up and No Place To Go, her latest humor book now available wherever books are sold.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Two Must Sees

Oh, the internet is not such a bad thing! There are so many intelligent, thoughtful women out there. So glad for a way to share ideas and be inspired! Here are two blogs I have to share today:
A note about cleft baby, blues eyes and God and this really great reflection on windows in our life.

Happy Holly

As I mentioned before, with just a slight change to Holly's reflux medicine, Happy Baby has been at our house more often than not lately. Wow. Not yet Sleeping Baby. But so very grateful for Happy Baby to be here at last.

We finally have a referral to a pediatric gastro-interologist. At this point, the visit will be to confirm the changes we have made to her meds and verify no more changes are needed. Hopefully, this appointment will be soon. If changes happen, it will be a few weeks before surgery.

Finally, today, I have heard about a third child that has had the palate repair, by the same tam we are seeing, and has had holes open in the palate. This is not uncommon. And either the holes close on their own, or more surgery is required. Please pray for these little babies, that the parents will keep the faith, stay strong for their children, that the holes will close and God will comfort these families.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Where the Wind Blows

so go my thoughts. Today my mind has wander far afield from home, distracting me from...everything. Time for a friendly reminder. A friend has started a new blog and here is her blog description:

This is a blog about my attempts to fulfill my duty to my husband and my children, in that this is the charge of my state in life and the path Our Lord has laid out to lead me to my ultimate and foremost goal of heaven!

What a lovely, simple reminder to get back in the game. Right here at home!

Monday, May 5, 2008

I am NOT Hyacinth

Although there is a precedence for Hyacinth running in our family. I am not Hyacinth! I realize that I have been fighting a "Martha" complex for many years, but Hyacinth is a whole new level. Just this morning, when I, harmlessly, suggested my husband not wear a particular t-shirt to work, he called me Hyacinth! Me, Hyacinth. That just CAN NOT be. Despite the dust bunnies and piles of laundry, I CAN NOT be Hyacinth. I thought I had this "Martha" thing beat. Will have to work on my "More Mary, Less Martha" mission statement more. I CAN NOT be Hyacinth.

Simply Dessert

Best dinner plan ever! The menu plan for this week calls for Ice Cream Sundaes, for dessert, next Friday. We had bananas too, so all the ingredients for Banana Splits in the house. Why wait? My favorite story about my grandmother is the time she served Strawberry Shortcake for dinner when my father was young. I hope my children tell their children about the time we had Banana Splits for supper! What fun!

(don't worry, it is not a trend in our house, just something fun for a night!)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Simply School, Menus and Life

Reflux continues to rule the roost at our place. So in an effort to continue Keeping It Simple, the blog fell to the bottom of my list. So many thoughts I have wanted to post, but will mention just a few Simple Ideas for this week:

1. For our homeschool, we use a simple table for daily assignments. The days of the week are across the top, the subjects down the side. It all fits on one piece of paper each week, one per child. This is simple enough for our 7th and 4th grader to clearly see their assignments each day. What they don't finish from one day the continue the next. Checking off each subject as they go.

For my first grader though, this has proven more of a challenge. So I have been leading him to each assignment, as in "now do this." Finally, I implemented a simple numbering system. I numbered the subject 1-7, then put stickers on his books 1-7. Now even he can see what pages he should be working on. Currently these are all consumable books, next year though he should be in the habit and the whole assignment sheet will hopefully work better for him (and me too!)

2. I am still loving the Menus4Moms and will be printing this week's grocery list and recipes today. The best part is just knowing for certain all the ingredients are in the house! No wondering, do I have???? But even better is this: last night I did not want to make the suggested meal, too tired. But since I had "ingredients" I made this menu instead: Ham, mashed potatoes, cornbread and baked apples. Not as healthy as the suggested menu, but it took less than 20 mins to make and the whole crew was happy.

3. Last thought about Menus4Moms: Some of the ingredients are just too tempting for my children plain, as is, no recipe required. So although the grocery list may say "$75". I buy more. Like two cans of pineapples, not one. The first can is gone before the groceries have hit the shelves. One carton of strawberries? Who are you kidding, those are currently on sale, I bought 4. So if you are cooking for a crowd keep that thought in mind. No sense in being frustrated because you thought you got everything you needed!

Peace be with you this week!