Sunday, September 28, 2008

Of Hope and Destiny

After this particularly trying two weeks and the many, many personal failures of self-control, one could begin to despair. How can I ever teach my children to be nice to one another when I am breathing fire every time I open my mouth? How can I ever overcome my own weaknesses if I am continually turning to food instead of Jesus? How can anyone, least of all me, achieve Holiness that we are called to, when I fail over and over?

I want to cling to Hope and not despair. I want to set Heaven as my destiny and act accordingly. In the midst of all these swirling thoughts, the Holy Spirit whispered "St. Therese, remember St. Therese of Liseux".

She didn't accomplish great things and her short life was so great that the best of the best in the Catholic Church decided she should be a Doctor of the Church! Then I began to remember the very little things that I had been able to accomplish. The hugs for Bill. The extra beads for Anna to make gifts for Mimi and Aunt Mary. A moment to encourage Lee Allison to keep researching a new computer program.

God is so very gracious to thow me a lifeline in St. Therese experience. Even though these last two weeks haven't been my very best, neither should I despair. As a Christian I have to keep clinging to the Hope that my failures are not fatal. God is merciful.

.ps My mom sent me the "Roses from heaven" (pictured above) this morning. Not knowing I had been thinking about St. Therese all night :-) Thanks Mom and St. Therese.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Vicious Red

Holly has a Super Nova Diaper Rash. Beyond Red. I've tried
  • Medicated Baby Powder
  • Balmex
  • DermaCloud Fanny Cream
  • Baking Powder
  • Monistat
  • Lotrimin
  • Mycalog (Nystatin)

Nothing. It is worse today than ever. So back to the doctor we go. And home with a new ointment: Batroban. Apparently, she might possibly have a slight bacterial infection on top of the yeast. One fight at a time. Infection today, yeast tomorrow.

Here's the Simple Solution to that bare baby bottom dilemma: Flannel Backed Tablecloths.

I hoard them. Stock pile, really. Facts are facts and there are plenty of reasons at my house not to use cloth tablecloths for everyday (or even holidays yet, thus the stockpile). Who knew?

Turn those cloths inside out and for Holly's crib tonight, I have a ready to go cheap disposable stack of Plastic Backed Flannel Sheets , and maybe even enough to cover the living room floor tomorrow. We may survive this yet. :-)

(And the silver lining will be a very, very good reason to go buy new for the next holiday!)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hello Out There!

It is just about 14 days until Holly's next surgery. And the cold weather has set in today.
So take a moment with me to enjoy the last few days of summer: Hey there! What are you up to?
My mom said this guy is 13 years old! I can't believe it. My brother is 13 and he doesn't sing and dance like this guy. Have you met Barney yet? He's GREAT!

Bill said he needed help with his spelling.

This must be just after our field trip to the All A Flutter, the butterfly farm. Mom found this chair on the way home. I like it better than the ADD chair. This one goes places!
My big sister, Anna, always shows me cool stuff!
All of these photos must have been taken just before Holly's most recent ear infection. The antibiotics are over for now, and we are dealing with the side effects, thrush and yeast rash. With such a little time left till the next surgery, please say a small prayer the thrush and rash clear up soon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sunday in the Park

Thankfully, Dan Nicholas is mostly in the shade. The heat did not do me in, as I feared. Even Milli, who is about 7 months along, managed to survive the 90 degree day. We had such a nice afternoon, meeting new friends, seeing for once, other babies with the Haberman bottle!

A few years ago, PBS ran a program about life on the frontier. One wife remarked how lonely her life was out there. Not connected. It is not hard for me to imagine how much more difficult these past 9 months would have been, with out the support of all the people on the Cleft Advocate and Wide Smiles sites. Lonely wouldn't begin to describe it. What a lifeline these connections have been. Thank you, Debbie Oliver and JoAnne Green for seeing a need and reaching out to help the rest of us!

God Bless you all! Check out pictures from our NC Park Day here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

NC Park Day

Can't wait to meet you!

Just a few more days until our NC Park Day in honor of Craniofacial Awareness Month. We can't wait to meet our new NC friends by cleft. This Sunday at Dan Nicholas Park at 1 pm. Covered dish picnic. Y'all come now, ya hear?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Bake Sale!

St. Ann's Circle is holding an Italian American bake sale in honor of St. Joseph. Partly to raise funds for our new church building.

Here's the background story: In Sicily, where St. Joseph is regarded by many as their Patron Saint, and many Italian-American communities, thanks are given to St. Joseph ("San Giuseppe" in Italian) for preventing a famine in Sicily during the Middle Ages. According to legend, there was a severe drought at the time, and the people prayed for their patron saint to bring them rain. They promised that if he answered their prayers, they would prepare a large feast to honor him. The rain did come, and the people of Sicily prepared a large banquet for their patron saint.

Here's my contribution to the event:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Late Night TV

"I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently.'' - Craig Ferguson.

Admittedly, I watch too much tv. And it just so happens that Holly gets up most nights when Craig Ferguson's show is on, opposite Conan O'Brien. Before I say anything else, I agree that all late night tv is a moral "free" zone. The interviews ar raunchy and the jokes tasteless.

Can't watch Conan because he is Catholic, admits it and behaves very badly on screen.

That leaves Craig Fergusons show. His jokes are also off-color. But then he will say something redeeming. Like the quote above. Unexpected.

Most of all, I would rather sleep through the night!


Holly and I made a solo trip to Winston today. She wasn't impressed by being in the car with out her playmates, Anna and Bill. With no one to distract her, except Mom who was driving, Holly was a little ticked.

Eventually, I found a sunglasses bag, with a drawstring that amused her long enough to fall asleep. She is definitely all about The New Stuff. The regular baby toys were promptly tossed to the ground.

Anyway, we made it to the ENT and yes, Holly will have tubes put in her ears at the next surgery. With her fourth ear infection behind us and fluid still in both ears, Dr. Kirse said better now than later. We want Little One Feather to be able to hear and speak as well as possible.

Not like she is having any trouble NOW getting her point across... Bill has even noticed what a good life a baby has. But he declined to chance to sleep in a crib and drink only milk.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Holly has a tooth! Hooray! One small but very sharp tooth in the bottom front. We are so excited. Bill and Anna have been showing everyone, and Lee Allison has been carefully protecting his hands from Holly's attempts to bite him.

I have totally abandoned the "food fight" with Little Miss One Feather. She likes food. She has no oral aversions since she will cram anything she can in her mouth. And the food was not making a difference in her sleeping habits, like I had hoped. And of the few choices for babies, so many caused her difficulties in one way or another, we will just wait a month or so longer. At least until the next surgery.

One last update: I have heard from a fourth parent that sees our plastic surgeon who has had fistula develop. This has caused me to be anxious. But on Sunday, as I was walking back from the nursery (Holly's first 20 minute visit :-), I saw a statue of Jesus with his arms outstretched. I just thought, Jesus your arms are going to have to be big enough to cover Holly and our doctor too. There is no real explanation for why the fistula occur. And if even if we follow the doctor's orders after surgery to protect the stitches to the letter, there is no guarantee that fistula won't occur anyway. I can't carry this worry. I can't control it either.

Jesus' arms will have to be big enough to cover them both, every day, any way.