Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A few things.

1. Naomi's language abilities are really starting to take off. My two favorite things: she has started to say "Hi!" a lot and expect you to say it back to her. And anytime she seems a picture of a duck she says "qua-qua". Adorable.

2. You should all seriously read this post, written by a friend from Greenwood where she talks about having her daughter who she was surprised to discover had Down Syndrome. You will be blessed.

3. I have loved reading Ali's African Adventures for several years. She is a pediatric nurse serving on Mercy Ships. She recently got a devastating diagnosis for her unborn son, Ethan. Please go read and pray for baby Ethan and his Mama and Daddy.

4. I've decided that I've been going through sort of a dry spell lately, especially as it comes to writing. I love writing. I miss writing. But every time I sit down to write, the words just don't come. So as much as I'd like to get back to regular writing about things other than what we did last week, it's just not happening. I think part of it is that motherhood has been kicking my butt lately. In a good way. In a sanctifying way. Motherhood is tough. And some of the things that are tough about it have surprised me. So excuse me for a bit while God deals with me and my hard heart. Hopefully at some point I will be able to write more about what's been going on.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


We had a great visit with Jeff's mom and drove down to the Long Beach Aquarium while she was here. I always love aquariums, and this one was no exception. One of my favorite parts? The Chambered Nautilus! I have never actually seen one of these swimming around, but it looked like something out of a deep space alien movie. I guess I assumed they moved more like a snail, with the shell on top and so was surprised to see the shell in front.
Judah's favorite part was the outdoor play area complete with water spraying animals.
There were also penguins and seals,
and my other favorite, jelly fish. I think I could watch these guys swim around for a long time.

The reef exhibit looked just like the scenery in Finding Nemo.
After the aquarium, we came back and played outside for a bit. Naomi is really getting into holding and picking flowers, which is extra cute.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


I have been very jealous of all the snow pictures I've been seeing on Facebook. I know that those who have been pounded with snow would be jealous of the beautiful LA weather we've had, but I would have loved to be in SC for the big snow storms they got.

Instead, I had to settle for rain. The way the weather people talked about this rain storm reminded me a lot of how snow storms are talked about in the South. It did rain intermittently for 3 days, which is definitely the most rain we've seen since moving here, though in my mind it's still hard to understand why there was so much fuss. We made the most of it by going out and playing.

 Obviously, it wasn't that cold - Naomi's flip flops are a testament to the mildness of the weather.

 The most fun thing we did was play a game Judah called "River" - a game in which I made tiny boats out of aluminum foil that we then launched down the run-off from the rain.

And of course, after playing in the rain, we all came in and drank hot cocoa. It wasn't a snow storm, but we'll take it.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014


I had my first clinic this morning. Or I was supposed to, anyway. The office didn't actually open up my schedule because our secretary was worried I would end up with a full clinic and knows I am still getting a handle on how to use our EMR. I did see a few patients to help out some of the other docs and had one of the more unsettling interactions I've ever had with a patient.

She came in for a routine follow up for her blood pressure - she was higher than her goal at her last visit, so her doctor had started a few medication. This was a visit to recheck how that medicine was doing, as well as keep an eye on her diabetes. As I was talking about how her blood pressure was better than last time, but still a smidge higher than where I would like it, she began to tell me about how stressful her waiting room experience was today.

Apparently, a mom was waiting with her child, who was crying. I told her I understood how stressful a crying baby can be.

"No, no, no. There was something wrong with this baby. This baby obviously had some kind of mental defect, and was making this terrible noise. That poor mother."

"Hmm," I said, trying to move the conversation along.

"Sometimes, I think a pillow to the face might be the best solution. That kid was straight out of a Stephen King novel. Or Carrie. Or a Horror film. That poor, poor mother."

I really had no idea what to say. I was completely horrified that someone could even say such a thing. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised - this is not exactly a new idea. But to have someone say it directly to me - and mean it - was almost more than I could handle.  I thought about the many beautiful moms I know who have equally beautiful children with special needs, children whose right to life was being insulted right in front of me. I thought about my aunt, who has spent her entire career working hard to teach and love children like this. I thought about a good friend who has done the same - and is currently teaching a group of high school students with severe disabilities who I'm sure all love her because she takes them bowling every single week.

And I said nothing except "I'm sorry you were stressed. We'll recheck your blood pressure in a few months."

I honestly have no idea what I should have said. As a Christian physician, what should my response be? I feel like I would push back if I heard someone say this in a context when I'm not their physician (but maybe this conversation is proof that I would rather just avoid conflict.).  At that point, all I could think of was how much I wanted to finish the visit and get her to stop talking. But she just. wouldn't. stop. She kept talking and talking about how stressed it made her - to have to listen to this crying child. I would mention something else - why she needs an aspirin, what to do in an emergency, if she had her eyes checked, and she would answer me and then again get back to talk about the child in the waiting room.

As I was leaving clinic a few minutes later, I was sorry that I didn't find some way to affirm the beauty in all who are created in God's image without lecturing or condemning. Anyone out there with things you would have said? Any doctors want to chime in on how you react to patients who are saying things that are inappropriate?

Saturday, March 01, 2014

In which I am encouraged.

Two weeks ago, I came home from my long day at work to a house that was spotless, and was greeted with flowers and a delicious homemade meal of pasta served on our fine china. I have an awesome husband. Obviously. It was such a sweet gesture for Valentine's day - and really made my week.

At the same time, I was also in awe and intimidated that he was able to clean the house, make dinner, get both kids to nap, and get to the grocery store, all before I got home at 5:30. (!!) Because some days I can barely get dressed before Jeff gets home.

Today, though, I came home after receiving several texts talking about "everyone being sad" and "descents into anarchy" to a house that looked a little like a tornado had come through. Naps didn't really happen, and I think maybe there were lunch dishes still on the table.

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has days like that.