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Thursday, April 21, 2011

I need a: How to Care Snails for Dummies Guide

Taylor got a little glass jar full of jelly beans at church this week.

The first thing he asked me was, "Mommy, can I pour these out and use this to catch tadpoles?"
But, instead, he found a snail and decided it would be his first pet.
Then another, and finally, this afternoon, another.
So now, we have 3 snails, in a jar, on my kitchen counter.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Farewell my beloved 20's

    At the stroke of midnight, it will all be over. Dooms day is staring me dead in the face. There's no going back after tomorrow. It's all downhill from here. I usually demand a week's worth of celebrating this time of year.  I gave my husband a hard time about it a few years ago.  He hasn't heard a word from me this time.  After tomorrow, it's all stuck where it's at and the wrinkles only get more defined. Gravity has won it's battle by now.
    I have yet to tell anyone that I will be turning the big 3-0...tomorrow! My whole life I wanted to be a 20-something-er. I remember being a teenager and thinking that being 22 would be glorious! That 25 would be the absolute most perfect age. It would be the peak of my life...
   I have never been concerned about age, taken my "Asian" blood for granted. No matter how much Clinique de-puffer I use, the dark puffy lines beneath my eyes are here to stay. No offense to my friends, but I think 30 is old. I guess I can say that now. I DO FEEL OLD! Everyone keeps telling me that their 30's have been the best yet. If that's so, I'm going to be blown away with what all God does to top my 20's!
   When I turned 20, I met one of my best friends- Kalee and her mom Debbi. God fulfilled one of my 2, lifetime dreams by allowing me to go to the Philippines to share the news of Jesus Christ in villages along the Agusan River Valley on the island of Mindinao. I lost my real mother/sister to heart failure that summer too. When I was 21, I celebrated it with the Maid of Honor from my wedding, Mary Martha. I spent that summer in China, planting seeds of the Good News in Harbin. I lost another sister the next year to heart failure as well.
   When I was 22, I think, I am already losing my memory, Mary Martha and I had the ultimate privilege of spending 3 months in Thailand, teaching English cultural classes at a college in Bangkok, traveling throughout the northern hill country near Burma. Even spending a week down in the deep southern part of the country near, Cambodia, which was probably wiped out by the Tsunami a few Christmases ago. I even spent the night in a Thai hospital with the flu, sinusitis and bronchitis that summer. It was a whirlwind, but sharing the Gospel with everyone we met was at the forefront of our minds. School was sort of a distraction!
  Then, I GRADUATED COLLEGE!!!!!!!!  When you are in 9th grade, graduating college never really seems a reality, kind of like the drive to Disney World, you never think you will get there. The end seemed like light years away!
   At 23, I attended the International Mission Board Conference in Virginia, and chose a missions position to be a salt trader in northern India. The next day, God, through the Holy Spirit, told me to go home. He had other plans.
    At His word, I moved to Okolona, MS, of all places, and had a dream job at Ann Taylor Loft in Tupelo, when, a month later, God blessed me by fulfilling my second life long dream--meet the man of my dreams, fall head over heels in love, get married, make babies and be a mommy! No lie, I wrote this one down in a journal somewhere so I would remember it. I only ever wanted to be 2 things growing up-- Miss America (I would have settled for Miss Mississippi! haha) and to be a mommy.
   My best friend Martha Ann and I married our husbands, a month a part.  At 25, the age I thought was the perfect age, I had my first child, less than 2 months later, we moved to Washington, D.C., and Jim had, what he thought, was his dream job.  At 26, I hadn't a care in the world, an entire foreign mission field in my condominium,  was a part of a growing church plant in Annapolis, MD, and being mentored and taught how to love my husband and children by an older lady in our church. I made one of my favoritest friends ever...Kate. She's a real life ballerina! God drew us close over the 2 years our little family lived inside the beltway.
   By age 27, Jim's job had moved us back to Tupelo, I had our second son and we lived in what seemed like an abandoned subdivision with only 2 other neighbors for the entire next year!
   Jim threw me the best ever surprise birthday party when I turned 28. Turning 29 wasn't so bad, I was preoccupied with just having my first baby girl and Jim was starting his mid-life crisis by starting an entirely new career. Oh, and the Green Bay Packers did win the Super Bowl while I was in my 20's too!
   I now know why Jim wanted to avoid the hype when he turned's dreadful. Like coming home from church on sundays to a messy house, hungry screaming kids and a headache the size of Texas-dreadful!
   I never could have imagined God would bless my socks off like He did over the last 10 years, but He has. I don't doubt for one second that He couldn't or wouldn't do the same over the next 10.
  Over the last few weeks, I've been praying about this. Pouring my heart out to God about my role as a wife, mom, and child of His. When I was young, early 20's--I hadn't a care in the world. Only myself to think about. No excuses to not be in God's Word daily. Absolutely no excuses or reserves when it came to sharing the Law with the people I met.  Now, even as an extrovert, I crave quiet, lonely moments, just so I can collect my thoughts, and focus on talking with God. Finding moments for Him to restore the joy of my salvation!  I find excuses all over the place now for why I didn't stop and love that person, or share the Gospel, when that is exactly what we should be about.
  So yes, I am sad about seeing my 20's go. It was a time of tremendous growth in my relationship with the Lord, lost loved ones, took a million and a half journeys, and began a family with my soul-mate.
   My hope and prayer for this new era (yes, I know I'm being dramatic!) of life, is that my zeal for Christ would only grow stronger and deeper.  That I would be even more burdened for the spiritually lost.  That I'd seize opportunities to share the Gospel and teach my children the same. MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT FOR SOMETHING! 
Oh, and that my memory would improve and that I would learn to embrace those gray hairs that keep popping up!
   Yep, that's about it! So, farewell 20's. It's been nice, sweet and even plain awesome!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm so mad I could, and might just scream!

   I don't complain about much. Well, maybe I do, but I very rarely take to the web to vent my frustrations. I'll spare you the loud screaming, tantrum that my 2 year old threw when I had to take him into the North MS Pediatrics office in Tupelo this morning because he has been sick for a few days. He had gotten better by yesterday, but we were up with him all last night, hacking up his lung and throwing up at the same time, along with a fever.
   So this morning I whisked all three of my children, some still in their pj's, to the clinic before the early morning sick hours were over.
   Jim had to work out of town this morning and my babysitters were at school. So, Carrie Ann and Taylor really had no choice. Plus, I wanted to rule out that the muck in their eyes wasn't pink eye!
   We got there just in time and I was sooo impressed at how quickly they called us back to a room.
   Of course Andrew had a meltdown at the thought of having to stand on the scale to be weighed and his attitude only spiraled downhill from that point.
   I felt so bad for the staff. I had to weigh Andrew while the nurse held Carrie Ann. He screamed bloody murder.
   Then the nurse took a very light, very quick swab of the front of the inside of his nose. It's the first time any of my children had ever been swabbed, so I thought she did a great job, considering the fit he was throwing.
   While trying to get a swab of his throat, the doctor came in with his laptop, and wiped everything off the counter right into the trash, including the "swab" the nurse had just taken of his nose. I saw the nurse look, like, um...that was my stuff doc. What do you think you are doing.
   I was too busy trying to wrangle my squalling child, and keep a 1 year old off of the floor. The doctor said, I'll come back when he calms down. I didn't blame him!!!!!
   The nurse, reached into the trash can and took the swab with her. Um..........
   Had you been there, without a sinus cold yourself, not sweating and having had brushed your teeth, you would've had the cognitive sense to speak up.
   And honestly, I don't know that I was thinking about it at the time. My mind was too busy.
   When the doctor returned, he tried looking into his ears, listening to his chest, nose and throat, all without much love from Andrew. Andrew would not stop kicking him.
   The doc, rolled back on his little stool and repeated everything that I had told him already, congested, fever, mattery eyes, hacking cough. To him, it sounds just like the flu, but it's too late to give him anything. His ears are fine and we aren't going to do a strep test. No pink eye!  So, he'll probably have fever on and off the rest of weekend. If he starts having trouble breathing or wheezing, bring him back in because he could get pneumonia.
   At this point, I'm stressed to the max because Andrew is still screaming uncontrollably! But I was beginning to get frustrated because I brought him up there, went through this, to get answers. I don't blame the doctor for wanting to get out of there as fast as he could, I would have too, but he's a pediatrician, it's the nature of the job! The doctor stepped out and came back really quickly and stepped just inside the door and said, "Well, the flu swab is negative, but I still think it's the flu. So again, if he starts having trouble breathing, come back, but other than that, it's the nature of the flu. Oh, I forgot your chart, let me go get it."
  When he came back, I was gathering our things, with Carrie Ann in one hand, Andrew was sitting on the floor with his feet against the door. The doctor reached his arm in and put the yellow check out form on my bag and walked away.
   I thought, good grief! Are you serious? Goodbye, good riddens, never come back, please! Whew!!
   I can completely understand the doctor's frustrations, and his eagerness to get us gone, but can you see my frustrations as a mother, who has a sick child and feels the doctor could care less that something is wrong. I expect more than the status quo. I expect doctors to want to know what is wrong, I want them to want to know!!! I want them to find out!!! Rather than say, well it's not this, but I really "think" its this! I want a doctor to be completely satisfied that he fulfilled his role as a children's health care provider!!! Is that too much to ask of the person I am paying to check over the physical well-being of my sick 2 year old????
   I guess what I wanted was for him to want to find out what was wrong with my son as much as I wanted to know what was wrong with my son! That's why I brought him to a doctor.
   Now let's get started on that swab. As I was leaving the office, it hit me, OH MY WORD.... the "negative" swab was the same swab that the doctor swiped into the trash, and the same swab the nurse had retrieved from the trash can, and the same swab that she had brushed just on the inside of the front of his nose!!!!! YES, I'm serious.
   I don't fault her for not getting a better swab, Andrew thought she was trying to kill him and was acting partly in self-defense, the other part, he was just plain mad!
   I was boiling, I wanted to cry. But I was done. And I really didn't know what to do!
   I called my good friend, who is a pediatric nurse, and who has two small kids' that are my kids' ages. She  was appalled. She said a good, swab of the nose, should collect, not mucus, but membranes from the lining of the nose. And usually, when she gets a swab, sometimes the nose might bleed. I told her what happened. The whole dramatic story. Her advice, among other information was: Past behavior will represent future behavior.
   I have left a voicemail for the clinic's manager. In the meantime, I will never, and I absolutely, mean ABSOLUTELY NEVER use the North Mississippi Pediatric Clinic in Tupelo or recommend them to anyone, ever again.
   Is this how I should think, how I should feel? I'm beside myself with anger and dismay. I mean, what do you do in a case like this? Any suggestions?
This isn't the first problem I've has with this same clinic. Twice, I've had to wait longer than 2 hours to have my newborns seen for their 2 week check-up. Most clinics, whisk newborns in and out, as to avoid any illnesses being spread. The most recent, I waited almost an hour to get a breathing treatment for my son who was having chest retractions and wheezing. Then, when I wanted to purchase a nebulizer to use at home, they gave me the biggest most ridiculous fit for wanting to purchase it from a third party, because it was more than $100 cheaper! Then earlier this week, when I called to get an appointment for all three of my children to come in, the lady on the other end of the phone, scolded me for not having the same pediatrician for all three of my children. (Taylor and Andrew have the same, and Carrie Ann has a different one--{she had a tummy issue when she was born, the clinic gave me the doc on call, which I chose to stick with because he knew her from birth and really seemed to care!}) She informed me that was just not right and who ever had scheduled my children's appointments in the past had not made me aware of the "rules" that a family of children should all be seen by the same doctor!!!!! I asked her if she was getting on to me for choosing different doctors. I was then told that I didn't let her finish--that it wasn't my fault, but that they had newer help in the clinic and they had simply made a mistake! So, you mean it's like a sorority and this is my hazing? WHAT????
   I know what different care looks like, I couldn't believe the quality of care Taylor received from his pediatric office when we lived in Northern Virginia. Dr. Baldrate-- I really, really miss you and your office!!!!
   There's not many options in Tupelo when it comes to pediatricians. We stopped using the pediatric clinic after my 2-hour wait for Andrew's 2-week checkup. and began seeing a family practitioner. However, last summer, he and his family left for the mission field and I have yet to find good, quality care for my children.  HELP!!!
   I'll take your recommendations and your suggestions!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Carrie Ann is turning 1

Twelve Months Pink Birthday Invitation
Wish them a happy birthday with Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.