very slightly sick

okay, moms of this world, back me up. 

By a show of hands, who here actually enjoys it when their child is just slightly sick ?

I’m not talking about barfing, or anything disgusting.  I’m referring to those times when your child is just not feeling quite right. They need rest, fluids and quiet.  But mostly they need to snuggle in your arms all day.

Maybe it is wrong of me, but I love that. 

Or when Ginny falls and gets a scraped knee.  Or stubs her toe.  She needs comfort, she needs me.  Does it matter to me that just half a minute before the fall I was telling her “don’t do that honey, you are going to get hurt !”  ???  Nope.  Has no bearing on that moment when I get to hold her close and lavish love on her. 

While I am sorry that she is hurt,
secretly, in my heart of hearts
I am rejoicing that she turns to me and wants to be held. 

Ginny is at an age where she is trying to accomplish tasks that are beyond her.  She grabs some tasks out of my hands that weren’t meant for her to even attempt yet.  Some are things she will learn to do eventually, others are things she shouldn’t even try.  Often she won’t let me help her….until she has achieved a high level of frustration.  I don’t want her to be frustrated, but I do have to watch her till she gets to the point of turning to me and saying “help me please?”

I don’t like seeing her frustration,
but I love it that she knows that she can bring her frustrations to me
…… and that I can still fix them. 

Sometimes she is just exhausted.  Ginny is still young enough that when she is worn out she prefers to be held.  I know when she is older she will just lie down and go to sleep on her own.  But for now, when she is plain ole worn out, she would rather be held.  And it feels fabulous to be the one to get to hold her.

she was so tired she fell asleep while we were drying her off from her bath

My heart rejoices that this beloved child needs me…
is it just possible that God feels about us the same way that I feel about holding Ginny ?   

The Bible certainly says so

“the LORD your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing”
Zephaniah 3:7

Why do I waste energy in self condemnation?  When my mind has been a little bit sickened for a while, and I need to be renewed, why do I fight against God?  Why do I try to raise my own mood?  Or strengthen my will on my own?  Why don’t I accept that He WANTS to comfort me? 

How often do I fall?  Everyday.  And what do I do?  I feel ashamed of falling.  I caused the hurt that is happening to me through my own stubborn actions or impetuous mouth.  So I mentally run away from God.  I say to myself “God must be so disappointed in me.  I messed up again!” 

How often do I run myself ragged trying to do or be too much to too many people?  I refuse to stop and take time to just rest in the LORD. 

Often I try to do things that are beyond my strength.  I fight and fight to accomplish things that God wanted to do in His strength, in His timing.  Why does it take me so long to hand things over to God?  He has been standing right there, waiting to happily take over the tasks that He meant for Himself, knowing that they weren’t intended for me to DO.  He meant all along for me to hand it to Him and give Him the glory.

When will I get it through my thick skull that God feels the same way about me that I feel about a slightly fevered toddler…..

I’m sorry you are hurting honey, but oh how I LOVE holding you.


joy to the world

this year Christmas was both more, and less.

less about presents (though some how the pile for Ginny was bigger than we had planned) and more about people.

We were very deliberate about making time for certain folks and digging time out of our schedule to make certain we sent out the cards, letters and presents.

Martin did Bethlehem as always.  Deirdre got sick and had to stay home.  Which is pretty much how it has been for the last three years running.  I have got to figure out how to stay well from October through January or the Worship Director from our church is never going to forgive me.

We even made time to go see Santa.  Now before anybody gets down on me for this.  Yes, I know, I said we don’t believe in Santa and will not be teaching Ginny to believe in Santa either.  However, that does not mean that she can’t participate in the ritual of getting pictures taken with a guy dressed up as the guy from the story of Santa.

Hence the next few photos…… Of the wrestling match as we tried to get her calmed down enough to take a decent shot.  Thank goodness this particular Mr & Mrs Claus were alone in the store with no line, so we had plenty of time to work with.  Also we are grateful that they are friends of ours…..or at least, they were….before we introduced them to our screaming darling………

mama sits with Santa to try to ease into this.....

mama tried to hand Ginny to Santa. uhoh....

daddy gives it a try

daddy sings, baby calms down

you guys aren't that scary after all.....

I will post photos from the actual Christmas morning tomorrow.

for now, good night.

all i want for christmas….

My memory verse for these last two weeks of 2009 is this –

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek:  that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple.

Psalm 27:4

Not a terribly Christmas-y verse is it?

But for me, right now…it works.

See my body has this horrendous habit of getting sick right around the holidays.  Sometime in late November or early December I almost invariably come down with a cold, the cold sinks into my lungs and I spend the next two months hacking, sometimes losing my voice, but mostly sounding like I belong in a ward full of consumptives and tuberculosis patients.

This is very very frustrating for someone whose primary avenue of worship is, and has always been, song.  Singing to God is my highest joy.  Most years, when this sickness hits me I tend to get very angry and frustrated and depressed.  This year, thanks to a song and this particular bible verse I’ve got a different outlook.

There is a song on Travis Cottrell’s album “Found” that is called “Rest”  One of the verses goes like this –

Cure my heart of chasing whirlwinds

Of needing earth to quake

Of wrestling made up angels to keep myself awake

Oh bid my restless wandering heart

To find its pulse in you

In stillness know that you are God

In rest…….

You make me new.

I’ve spent a lot of time this season just letting various songs wash over me.  There is a different message that can be found when I am not spending so much time physically participating but instead participating by listening.  That seems like such a simple thing to say, but for me it has been a hard thing to learn.  In years past my silence has been that of an actively frustrated bystander. Now I choose to deliberately immerse myself in the flood of words and music.

Its kinda of the difference between swimming with the current or being a leaf that the current is moving.  The leaf puts in no effort, but is still moved.

I used to think that if I couldn’t participate in the music that I wouldn’t be moved by it.  I am learning differently this year.

bragging on Ginny

alright.  I am going to brag on my child.

It is going to be sickeningly sweet and gushy.  If you don’t want to read it you don’t have to.  But I’m a mom and it is good for me to occasionaly wax eloquent about my darling child.  Ask Missy over at It’sAlmostNaptime.  This was her idea.  and I like it.

If you don’t already know, my adorable 7 month old girl, her name is Ginny.  Actually it’s Virginia Altie Aspen Gerard Russell.  Her name story is long and has a lot to do with our wanting to honor the wishes of her birth parents.

so here’s my Ginny

on a recent camping trip

on a recent camping trip

and my favorite photo of her so far in life

five months old

five months old

Yes, she is almost always that cheerful.  And just to add some perspective she was sick with RSV when we took that photo.

I have the worlds most cheerful baby.

When I wake her up in the morning she laughs at me.

When I sing to her she giggles and hums along (not on key of course, but she is only 7 months old after all).

She loves restaurants.  People watching is her second favorite skill, next to napping in public. The child has never once given us any trouble in a restaurant.

She pays attention in church.  okay, I know Ginny is not actually listening to the sermons, but she sits up, at full attention, and gazes at the pastor while he talks, and the choir when they sing.  Oh and she has already done all of Beth Moore’s Daniel Bible Study.  Okay, she attended, but never did any homework.

Ginny loves her daddy.  She goes to him with squeals of glee.  He is an incredibly entertaining person in his own right, but nothing he ever did before was so worth watching as the times he lavishes on Ginny. (I guess I’ve kinda wandered into “bragging on my hubby” here, but I’m sure Missy will forgive me)

She is friendly.  I can’t hand her off to just anyone to hold, but she bestows her biggest smiles on just about anyone who says “Hi!” to her.  This child is gifted in the hospitality department.  I mean, just look at this smile:

happy baby

happy baby

She thinks things through.  I can almost see her thinking sometimes.  Especially when confronted with something new.  She stops and examines things with a sober look on her little face that is absolutely endearing.

figuring out her play gym

figuring out her play gym

Before Ginny came to live with us seven months ago I was frankly worried about mommy-hood, but now that I know Ginny, I’m no longer worried. I’ve got the worlds easiest, most cheerful baby.

thank you Jesus and thank you Mel & Steve for this incredible gift.

update on Ginny’s RSV

okay, we saw the doctor Wednesday and she said that Ginny was very very much improved and that she is gonna be fine.

the big thing now is to keep from re-infecting her, or adding any new infection on top of the one she has just fought off.

So Martin and I are sort of in a limited version of quarantine.  There is a certain amount of danger in that we are both still in work environments where we can’t control the state of the people we interact with all day.  But we try to mitigate that by hand washing and such.  the radical change in our lives is that we aren’t allowed to take Ginny to any of our usual places.  We can’t take her grocery shopping, or go out to eat with her (restaurants ARE her favorite place to sleep you will recall), or bring her to choir, or even church. Our friends are all convinced that we have dropped off the face of the earth.

But really, we are still here.  We are just living in a “very quiet style”

Continued prayers are appreciated.  My mom also got RSV because she is older and has already weakened lungs.  So it hit her kinda hard.   The timing was such that we don’t know if she gave it to Ginny, or if Ginny gave it to Grammy.  It really doesn’t matter.  But she too is feeling much better now.

in-take and out-go

nope this is NOT a post about the economy or my personal finances.

This is just a note to say that Ginny is doing okay still.  The breathing treatments are helping with that aspect of her sickness.

She still doesn’t have a fever, so that’s good news.

But she had some eating troubles yesterday.  Well….not so much trouble eating, but trouble keeping it down.

She consumed 21 ounces, but over the course of the day approximately 6 of it ….left her.  precipitously……all over my mom.

Not all at once of course.  It was on two separate occasions.  Might have been better for my mom if it had been all at once.  Then she would only have had to get cleaned up and change clothing once, instead of twice in one day.

*sigh* oh well.

The major worry for me at this point is that Ginny’s total intake levels dropped down to essentially 15 ounces in a 24 hours period, when she typically takes 30 ounces a day.

So pray that she keeps her food down and that we don’t have to start worrying about dehydration and all the attendant problems that come with it.



baseball bat sucessfully applied to nurse

okay not really.

mostly the metaphorical bat got applied to my overactive guilt complex.  Thank you for all your encouragement, comments and prayers.

So this morning at 4 a.m. Ginny was breathing really heavily.  wheezing and rattling and just having trouble.  She wasn’t struggling per-se and she still had no fever, but…

yes, sad to say I, logical I,  am not immune to


apparently neither is my hubby.

We both listened to Ginny breathe, clocked the seconds till we could expect her breathing treatment to work, waited …..and waited……

“well it’s kinda better. ”

“yeh, a little bit.  sorta.”

“um, you know, it’s not really any better is it?”

“no, you are right, it’s not.  Shes still struggling and rattling”

“well, we have two hours till the doctor’s office opens.  Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“Yep.  Let’s go camp on their doorstep and be there when they arrive”

So that’s what we did.  We were there before the nurse opened the door.  We got to see Dr Jenny again and clarified a lot of stuff.

First of all, my written instructions which said to only give the albuterol “every 4 to 6 hours as needed” ARE correct.  BUT she clarified the “as needed part” to mean that Ginny basically is in a CONSTANT STATE of “as needed” right now. And will be for the foreseeable future.

oh.  okay.  Then why oh why did they bother to include the words “as needed”??????  Turns out they have to say that for some obscure reason.  Whatever.

Also it turns out RSV can hit old people really hard too.  So I’ll give two guesses as to who else in our family now has RSV…yup, you got it in one guess.  My Mother.  As the daytime caregiver, we had to have my mother tested, to make sure she didn’t have anything she could pass on to Ginny right now.  So now they are both ensconsed in the nursery.  With individual nebulizers.  I’m starting to feel left out here.  Maybe I need a nebulizer too?  nyah.

The heavy sounds in her little chest are just mucous building up and we have to make sure she is getting alternating, four hour apart treatments of saline and of albuterol.  Which means she will be attached to the hated nebulizer once every two hours for the next two weeks at least.  Joy oh joy. (can you hear sarcasm in there somehwere? )

Oh and if someone can figure out when Martin and I are supposed to sleep I’d love to hear it.  Cause it turns out we are supposed to wake her up to give her the treatments every two hours.    Beg pardon?

Isn’t one of the cardinal rules : NEVER WAKE A SLEEPING BABY??????

Ever been in the hospital?  Ever been awakened every two hours by “helpful” nursing staff who just want to give you medication.  It’s a real bummer.  No one gets any real rest from two hours of sleep.

Poor kid.

On the other hand Ginny still seems cheerful. Sleepy, snotty, bleary eyed and wheezey….but cheerful.  Apparently she hasn’t yet decided to hate us for the breathing treatments, though from her language while the treatments are actually happening, you would think she was planning to murder us all in our beds.  This child can CUSS  a blue streak.  It’s all baby talk and screams, but even I don’t need an interpreter to understand.