November 1, 2012


November is here.  And with it, is the official beginning of cold/flu/RSV season.  I think it actually began a few weeks ago and it seems like lots of folks have already had some sickness, but for us, November 1 marks the date.  The end of freedom.

The doctors have told us that we need to keep Clara as confined imprisoned quarantined protected as much as possible again this year.  She's already not in preschool or daycare, but for us this means no more church nursery, no more playdates, no more indoor museums or playgrounds or grocery stores or really anywhere that she could come in contact with other children and/or their germs.  It's pretty limiting.  Although I keep trying to remind myself that it is not as limiting as being confined to a hospital room.

You may be wondering why this is really necessary.  Clara seems to be the picture of health!  You would never know anything was wrong with her!  I know, that all seems true.  And for the most part it is - we hope!  But she was born with essentially no left lung.  And so even though it's grown a lot in nineteen months, it's probably not anywhere near as developed as a typical child's.  A chest cold could easily turn into pneumonia for her.  RSV is rough on a healthy kid; for Clara it could be devastating.  We just can't take that risk right now.  We are giving her some time to grow and develop and have the strength to better fight off something like that, should she catch it.  The diaphragm is also the muscle that we use to cough.  Hers is partial gore-tex and we don't really want to test its ability to cough up a bunch of crud right now either.  Not to mention what kind of a setback a really bad virus would be to her progress with eating and drinking.   As much as I love the folks at Brenner Children's Hospital, I'd just as soon avoid another visit there this winter.  

Unfortunately, short of putting her in a plastic bubble, the best way to keep her protected is just to keep her away from the world.  And wash hands. A lot.  We will be doing both along with praying for another very healthy winter for her.  Our first request for the synagis vaccine (for RSV) was denied by our insurance, but we have appealed it and are crossing every finger and toe that they will approve her for another year of that torture (two shots every month, through the whole season, yikes!) extra protection, too.

I'm having a harder time with the whole idea of it this year than I did last.  Clara is easier than she was last winter (how did I survive those months of pumping and dreamfeeds?!) and she only naps once a day so we've gotten used to the flexibility of being able to go and do... a lot.  We've had such a fun summer and an insanely busy October as we prepared for project-shut-in that the thought of no more playdates, no more parties, no more dinners with friends and no more church just seems stark.  Clara is quite the social butterfly these days and even know I know that the time with other people is not worth the risk, the thought of me and her stuck inside the house all the live long day is a little maddening right now.  We have really gotten used to our fun outings.  So, we'd appreciate your prayers for Clara's health and my sanity.  Starting........... now.

Because you can take the teacher out of the school, but it's hard to take the school out of the teacher, I have a plan.  It involves a monthly bucket list of activities and excitement for us to work on while we're at home together.  There's not much I love more than a checklist, so here goes!  I'm hoping that we'll get to everything on the list every month and if not, it can roll over to the next month.  I'll try to take pictures and document our fun along the way.  My thought is that on days when I'm desperate and panicky and totally stir crazy with cabin fever, I will look at my list and be inspired to change my attitude by doing something fun with the sweetest girl I know. 

So, here is

November's Bucket List

Take a nature walk and collect things we find
Rake leaves and jump in them
Visit the horses at Tanglewood
Go to the zoo
Fingerpaint (for the first time!)
Make turkey handprints
Do leaf rubbings
Read Leaf Man and make leaf people
Play in the rice table
Make a list of things we’re thankful for
Read books about Thanksgiving
Visit GA for Thanksgiving (and use lots of hand sanitizer)
Take Mama Wore That photos
Go for walks/jogs
Bake together (perhaps in honor of National Cake Day, November 26)
Read Stone Soup and make veggie soup together

November is a time of being thankful, and let's be honest: we have so much to be thankful for.  So as we batton down the hatches, may we also prepare our hearts....

Thanks be to God.


  1. That should keep you busy enough for November and December will take care of itself. January brings SNOW, February brings valentines, March = kites and leprechauns and then SPRING and you are off and running with the world once more. You CAN make it ... take a deep breath and find your confidence in God!

  2. It's been a long road, hasn't it ? You're gonna get through this year just like you did last year, one day at a time. Don't worry about tomorrow, enjoy today. I'll pray for you, Clara and Daddy again this year. Look how far you've come.


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