20 April 2005


Some days can be much harder than other days as a mom.
Even more so when your baby is injured or not well.
Yesterday was fine. Last night was very difficult.

Before starting dinner, I made the mistake of reading some statistics about long term effects of brachial plexus injuries. Ouch. It was painful.

It seems that if the child is 'fully recovered' by the age of 3 months, then they have a 70% chance of maintaining full recovery by the age of 5 years old.

However, should the child still have some deficiancies at the age of 3 months, their chance of full recovery by 5 years old is only a mere 5%.

For some weeks, I have felt internal pressure to somehow 'get' her completely functional by her three month mark. Her reevaluation is for Friday, 6 May. Barely more than 2 weeks away. Yes, she is improving, and we see her doing more with her arm, but inwardly I continue to think "Will she recover enough? Is it going to be okay?" PRESSURE PRESSURE PRESSURE. At times like this, it is harder to remember that God is still soveriegn and He is still very much in control. But, He is.

So, last night, upon finding these not-so-promising numbers, the blues began...deep inside. I tried in vain to make dinner. I turned off the rice to let it steam for 20 minutes and turned to the package of chicken to cut it up. That's when the tears began to fall. I sat on the floor and picked up my daughter. I cried as I held her. Quiet, hurting tears. I realized they were not going to stop, and went upstairs with her. And cried some more. Each time they'd start afresh, my sweet little girl would look at me and smile. She'd coo a little and smile some more. I think she just knew I needed her loving...her sweetness poured onto my battered heart and soothed me.

19 April 2005

in defense of boys

There is an attitude that really bugs me.

Since having my daughter, I have had many, many people say…
“So, you finally have a girl. Isn’t it great?”
“Don’t you love having a little girl?”
“Now you have one of each…”
“I know boys are great, but aren’t you glad you had a girl this time?”
"There's just something about a girl..."

The variations go on.

I know these people mean well, but such comments are actually offensive and I find them highly obnoxious. Why does everyone think girls are that much ‘better’ than boys? At one time, I’d have said I was partial to boys (that was all I had then--now, I'm partial to both).

I adore my son. If I’d had another boy, I’d have been thrilled. I used to say I’d take a houseful of them and be happy. And I would have been.

I equally adore my daughter. I am not disappointed that she’s a girl by any means—she’s perfect just for who she is. And yes, she is definitely more fun to dress (it is way too easy to buy too many clothes for her).

But, I do not love having a girl more than I have loved having a boy. I think boys are awesome. Little B thrills me and delights me (while pregnant with Miss C, I was heard to say “Boys are the best” to a new mother of a baby boy). My daughter also thrills and delights me. I am glad to have ‘one of each’ for one reason: I believe brothers and sisters can learn from each other and learn how to treat one another…wonderful life lessons. Boys learn to be nurturing from their sisters (especially if the girl is older)…girls learn to be a little tougher and are protected (usually when the boy is older) by their brothers. Most important, they have one another to care about and be loved by. No, sibling relations are not always perfect. But a nurturing family atmosphere goes a long way.

I’d have happily taken just boys or just girls. We didn’t want an ‘only child’ if we could help it, but there was no preference about boys or girls. I wanted children to love. Children to be a family with. Children to care for. Children to be deeply seated in my heart. I got that.

With both of our children, we waited until they were born to discover their gender. It did not matter to us if we had a boy or girl. We simply loved the new little life for whoever they were. I actually ‘thought’ Little B would be a girl. (Gee, what kind of mother’s intuition is that?) And, when he came out a boy, I had a moment’s grief for the girl that was not. Likewise, when Miss C was born, I had a moment’s grief for the boy that was not. In both cases, I was absolutely astounded by the incredible little person I was holding in my arms. Awe and love consumed me. To this day, I am increasingly consumed by that same awe and love for my children. They are miracles to me.

My husband and I enjoy watching our children sleep. We can be found at night gazing at either of our kids as they slumber peacefully and our soft sighs and small comments are occasionally emitted.

I love both my children so deeply. I simply cannot understand the attitudes I have heard—even from moms of an older boy and younger girl. Had Miss C been first and Little B just been born, the only comment I think I’d have heard would be “Now you have one of each.” I doubt I’d have been on the receiving end of “You finally have a boy.” I was not waiting for a girl. I was waiting for another little person to love.

16 April 2005

sonic boom

I have discovered Sonic.

Well, let me back up a little. I have known about Sonic for many, many years, thanks to a good friend of mine in Arkansas. Back then (pushing 10 years now), there was not a Sonic in my area. There has been one a few miles from me for the past 3 years, I guess. I have only eaten there a small handful of times. My friend, on many occasions, told me about her fabulous deals during their 'happy hour'...half price sodas, slushes, etc. These things did not seem to apply to me since I was never near there or thinking about it at an opportune time. Such information slipped from my mind like sand in a sieve. Great idea, but...

Enter this week. I was craving, and I do mean craving, their tater tots. And had been for days. I drove up just minutes past the 3:00 hour and ordered myself a soda to go with those tater tots (that I had to share) and my son a strawberry slush. Whoa. Happy Hour? Half Price? All the times my friend had mentioned it to me came rushing back and I knew I'd hit a gold mine. What a fabulous place to get an inexpensive treat or reward for Little B! What a great idea for those late afternoon blues that need an outing and yet there's not really anything to do or anywhere to go. Hey, I'd be more than happy to pay 55 cents for a small slush for my son! Real fruit in some. Fabulous summertime drink.

In addition, though perhaps not the world's greatest dining, I can sit in front of their menu for contemplation for as long as I want before ordering. No pressure. No lines behind me. Pure time. Okay, maybe a four-year old impatient for his slush and a potentially fussy 2 month old in her seat, but hey, I'm a mom and that is just every day stuff for me. No big deal. I can tune them out (temporarily, at least) and look at that menu to my heart's delight. Then sit right there to eat before driving away. No getting my two kids out of the car; no finding some place to park in a crowded parking lot.

I am a happy woman when I realize what is just minutes from my driveway. Oh yeah! That's my sonic boom, thank you very much.

11 April 2005


I feel exhileration. Elation. A huge thrill that reaches to my toes.

My daughter used 'shoulder flexion'...a HUGE deal in her healing process. HUGE. It is the anterior deltoid that lifts the arm straight up. She only moved it a little, and definitely needs to do more with it, but we are now sure that the muscle is functioning. It works!

Yesterday, 'playing' and exercising with her, I noticed that she appeared to move it, perhaps a couple inches up, then dropped it back down. My husband agreed that it was what he saw, too. However, we are not physical therapists and could not be sure. Today, Jeff saw her move it. He was very excited with us. She only moves it a few times, then is worn out and won't do anything else with it. We still need her to move it a lot more to be "out of the woods"...but I am so encouraged right now that I believe it will happen.

Jeff admitted to having grown somewhat concerned by her lack of progress in that area the past couple weeks. He also suggested that if she can raise that arm to eye level, they will probably not recommend surgery.

At her 2 month checkup last week, I asked the pediatrician what her experience with past cases has been. She gets 2-3 brachial plexus injuries a year, and she said so far they have all been resolved. Excellent odds!

Usually, by Fridays, I begin to feel discouraged and worried and fretful over her arm and anything that has not yet begun to function enough. Today, my heart is uplifted. This will carry me through the next week on angel's wings...

06 April 2005

a glimpse

I love my two children. Deeply and passionately. They are the center of my world. I find myself joyfully talking about them when they are not nearby and I am constantly delighted by them. I'm glad I'm the chosen person to wipe their noses and read them stories. I don't mind the dirty diapers that leak through onto my favorite outfit or middle of the night cries of a bad dream. I want to cry if they hurt and snuggles are never frequent enough. "Mommy" is my favorite word. Sure, there are days when I've had only small person touches and I long for grown up conversations and my head is pounding with the echo of "Why, Mommy?" and I just want to go potty alone. There are even days when I tell my husband I've had all I can take and he's got to come home NOW--mommyhood is not easy by any means. But, at the end of a frustrating, tiring day my heart will melt every time when I see their smiles. I truly am amazed that God saw fit to bless me with these incredible little people to love and be loved by. I am priviledged beyond words.

Last night, I told my dad that I always knew my brother and I were loved. A lot. That was never, ever doubted by either of us. But now, as a parent, especially of two kids, I see deeper into their hearts and feel I have glimpsed a bit more of just how much we are truly cherished.

My heart is overflowing.

05 April 2005

small world

I feel like in the past two weeks, my world has shrunk to the size of my living room...and doctor's offices. My son's virus became a double ear infection a week ago, and I managed to become horribly congested and develop a nasty cough myself. Between Miss C's therapy, and Little B's and my illnesses, we've been averaging three doctor's visits a week...today beat them all, though. We made FOUR appointments in ONE day. Yep.

I saw my asthma specialist this morning to get an antibiotic since my chest congestion is not going away. Then, Miss C had her 2 month checkup...she was a champ! While there, Little B was seen to re-check his ear infection. What do you know? They were both still infected. They changed his antibiotic for that. That makes three...so, as I pulled into my driveway, I decided that I'd call our chiropractor. The last time Little B suffered ear infections they cleared up with some chiropractic adjustments. So, they had time and off we went. That would make four in one day.

Now, "Dr." Shea is a friend of ours, so Little B was totally comfortable and easily hopped up to get adjusted and ran around like he owned the place. I fed Miss C twice, passed her around (Lindsey, Shea's sister works there, as well...it's just the two of them for now), and chatted. It was lovely to talk to grown ups for a little bit. I made it meet my social needs...extending my small world from the living room and doctor's offices to friendly faces. What a breath of fresh air!

Miss C is now 13lbs 3oz...exactly 2lbs past her birth weight. She was as good as gold showing off her strong head and neck while on her tummy, barely crying during her shots, and just being her precious self.

Now, to make my world a bit bigger this week...