What's a MOM to do?

Posts Tagged ‘inspiration

Annalise and I 4 days before she was hospitalized

Annalise and I 4 days before she was hospitalized

I read a daily devotional a few days ago in a best of Our Daily Bread book, that really struck me. I wanted to find it online to post and have not had luck so bear with me as I summarize the story. There is a ship out at sea and it runs into heavy storms and high seas and is capsized, but rights itself, though it sustained significant damage. A coast guard cutter ship comes to help but is not able to get close enough to rescue the people on board because of the stormy seas, so the cutter pulls alongside the damaged boat and positions itself in front so that it takes the brunt of the storm, of the waves that would otherwise pound against the damaged ship. That is what God does for us when we go through the storms of life. I have really wondered a lot over the past year about how people get through difficult times without having the hope that God gives me. I know that during the storms of my life, God has been the cutter protecting me from the worst and getting me through and escorting me safely back. It doesn’t make the storms fun, or something I look forward to, but I know I am refined by them and that God is with me. When our daughter, Annalise, was in the hospital last year for 18 weeks, I had some talks with God about the storms and the ship out at sea. At the time, I had not read the devotional previously mentioned but I kept remembering the story in the new testament gospels where Jesus is in the boat with the disciples and he is sound asleep. A terrible storm has come up and they are afraid and the boat is being tossed around. They wake Jesus up and ask if he doesn’t care about what is happening to them?! I had those same conversations with God, “God, I know you are here but why won’t you wake up and calm this storm, heal my child, give us a diagnosis, let us go home and be with our other daughter, Help, Help, Help!” On Oct 6, Ananlise came home from the hospital, finally the storm had subsided, but it had taken its toll on all of us, here is a picture of Annalise the day she came home from the hospital, look at the difference after 18 weeks in the hospital and not eating for 14 of those weeks.

Annalise with her Gaga the day she finally came home

Annalise with her Gaga the day she finally came home

God delivered us through that storm, but we were all still battered from it. I now think of it somewhat like the stones you find on the seashore, how smooth they are after being tumbled by the waves, against the grains of sand, an abrasive action that smoothes off the rough edges. Even though I questioned God and his motives, his plan and why he would put our two daughters through that, I always knew he was there. I always knew that He loved Annalise more than even we did and that he plans for her, for all of us, plans to prosper us, not to harm us. Though, these plans could have included calling her home to heaven for her healing. I am so thankful beyond words that He chose to give us more time with her here and even to heal her! I pray I never take that for granted. Annalise was battered when she came home, but kids are so resilient, here is a photo of her 5 weeks after she came home, what an amazing recovery.

5 weeks post hospitalization, with her big sister

5 weeks post hospitalization, with her big sister

If you or someone you know is going through a storm in life, cling to God. If you don’t know how or what that means, please post a comment and let me know if  you don’t want it published and I will respond to you. “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save, He will take great delight in you, He will calm you with His love, he will rejoice over you with singing” Zep 3:17

If you would like to read about other families battling illness in a child, I would point you to this link for a friend of mine’s story about her daughter Charlotte and she also has links to many other families. I believe this can inspire you and let you know you are not alone. http://jenntousey.blogspot.com/2008/02/baby-girl-tousey.html

Please feel free to share your stories of the storms you have or are experiencing.

Is this safe for our little one's?

Is this safe for our little one's?

Becoming a mom has transformed me into a “green”,  healthy, and frugal person that I don’t even recognize. My husband (of almost 5 years), a biologist, shakes his head in disbelief, but, I think, in a good way. 🙂  Having had a chronically ill child has really opened my eyes to the impact our environment and what we put into our body, on our body, in our house, etc has on us and our vulnerable, developing children.  One of the hot topics about a year and half ago was BPA and it use in sippy cups and other disposable type products. That topic is resurfacing as it seems Coke and some other big manufacturers are trying to cover up the inherent risks in these products, rather than incur the cost and hassle of changing the containers they use for their products. But I digress, as I have researched the BPA and other harmful environmental contaminants, I discovered an organization that has been very useful for me, it is called Environmental Working Group at  http://www.ewg.org (sorry I can’t figure out how to add a hyperlink, feel free to advise). Recently they tested 1611 sunscreens and found 3 of 5 either contain hazardous chemicals or don’t protect as they claim. I hate to over-react, but as I am currently following 7 Caring Bridge sites, I can’t help but wonder where all these mystery diseases and cancers come from. I know our ability to detect and diagnose diseases has improved, but I don’t really believe these cancers, insulinomas, and mystery diseases have always been around. Actually, we know they have not always been around, reference your bible, until Genesis 3 where sin entered the picture, there was no disease. If you read through Genesis (http://www.biblegateway.com), you will see that the life expectancy is progressively reduced and that seems to have continued. It saddens and surprises me to contemplate the number of children under 5, who I have met or been connected with and praying for over the past 2 years. So, my intent is not to incite fear, but just caution, lets take a look at what we put into and rub all over our kid’s bodies (and our own). This site has also developed a great shopping guide (http://www.foodnews.org) that ranked a total of 47 different fruits and vegetables as far as pesticide load, this is a great tool to print out and take to the grocery store and help you decide when it is worth the money to buy organic. For instance, the “Dirty Dozen”, the ones with the worst pesticide load: #1 peaches, #2  apple, #3 bell pepper #4 celery #5 nectarine #6 strawberries … Tell me what you think and have a blessed day!

Bundt cake pan and corn?

Bundt cake pan and corn?

I love this time of year when all of the produce is coming in and there are so many choices of fresh food to eat. My sweet sister brought me a mess (that is southern terminology for a lot) of corn yesterday. Well the thing about corn is, once you pick it, you have to be ready to do something with it, for me that meant cutting it off the cob to put away for the cold winter months. However, cutting is not my strong  point to begin with and on top of that I am dealing with a broken hand, so innovation was key to holding the corn still and getting it off the cob without another emergency room visit. So here is the trick I learned from a friend today, shuck your corn, then take the hard end of the cob and stick it in the hole of a bundt pan (you know, like a bundt cake, see photos) to hold it steady, with a sharp knife, cut the corn off the cob and it conveniently falls into the cake pan!


Second brilliant fresh produce moment came from one of my favorite blogs, 5dollardinners, and it was a recipe for Easy Peach Cobbler, click on the link following for recipe http://www.5dollardinners.com/2009/07/easy-peach-cobbler-guest-post.html

I had some peaches that needed to be used so this seemed like a great plan, but my hubby is not a peach fan, so I coupled them with strawberries and blueberries from the fridge, awesome! Look at the beautiful colors, before cooking! Yum.

Strawberries, Blueberries and Peaches

Strawberries, Blueberries and Peaches

Hope you enjoyed a sweeter and lighter post tonight, share your creative summer cooking ideas with me!


My Blessings

As promised yesterday, here is a list of what you can do for someone who has a chronically ill child or a child with a long hospitalization.Most of this list was derived from what people did for me and our family. Some things cost nothing, some are expensive, some take a little time, some take a lot, figure out what you are willing to do/give and go from there.

pray, for them and with them

clean their house, yes I mean scrub the toilets, or pay for and send over a cleaning company

bring a meal, or a milkshake, or muchies

mow the grass

get an ipod, load it with their favorite music, kids music, instrumentals for sleep time, inspirational messages

go visit, don’t expect to be entertained, or even talked to but go and sit, hold the child, hold the parent, just be there

organize a fund raiser, but don’t let them know about it

send care packages

bring an area rug to put on the floor in the hospital room for play time

maintenance at their home, power washing, planting flowers, trimming shrubs

take mom for a haircut (or bring someone to the hospital to do it there), manicure, pedicure, etc

if appropriate, bring playmates to visit

bring sidewalk chalk, bubbles, Wii, books, toys, videos, art/craft supplies

make a hospital survival kit for parents: ear plugs, eye mask, fleece blanket, snacks, pillow, toiletries

do laundry

pick up things from their home and bring to them

help them do research

find out about local resources

bring an air mattress to them

help with other children

make a photo collage for the child of their family and friends to hang in the room or on the bed

decorate the hospital room

give them gift cards for the cafeteria or restaurants close by

send them a card

bring fresh flowers


We were so blessed by friends, family, even strangers who carried us through. Let me share an example, though all of the above are examples, this is priceless. Our youngest (15 months) had been in the hospital locally for 10 weeks, we were about to fly from NC to PA for a more specialized hospital and our oldest was about to turn 3. My dear friends handled the birthday party, suggested a location, made party favors, made invitations, bought supplies, picked up the cake, sat with the one in the hospital so we could all attend, brought the food, EVERY detail was handled. I still cry when I think about how my friends made that birthday party possible, and wonderful.

Please don’t send a text message, email or voicemail to say “hey, I  am thinking about you”, go and do something.

If you have other ideas, please post them and I will compile them.

Sisters having fun, even in the hospital

Today I got ANOTHER link to a Caring Bridge website for a 3 year old boy with stage 4 cancer. As I read it and then thought about it while preparing dinner, okay pancakes and bacon counts as dinner, right? Back to the point, it occurred to me that I have become a member of a club that no one really wants to join, actually the only people who want to join it have walked a much more difficult journey than I. I am a member of the club of parents who have had a child hospitalized or seriously ill for an extended period of time. The only people who want to be a part of this club, I believe, are those like my Mom, my friends Stephanie, Michele, Michelle, Maggie, Anne, and others who lost a child to an illness or accident. So, as a member of this club, what can I do, because clubs do something right?

Well the latest thing I have been “doing” is reaching out to other parents who are walking the path we did of long hospitalization(s) for their children. What can I do for them? Thats what everyone asks when you have a tragedy like this, what can I do? The funny, okay not so funny, thing is that there are a million things they can do, the first would be to not ask what they can do but to just do something. I think tomorrow’s post will be a list of “somethings” you can do.

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An Inspirational Storm Story: Charlotte Ruth


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