January 29...I know it's old news now, but I had to pay homage to my old camera with a first photo of my brand spanking new camera before I even took it out of the box! I can't tell you how long I've waited for this day! And I do know that it's just a thing. As fun as I know it will be to use this camera, it's hopefully a tool I will use to build my photography business, help support our growing family, and bless others in the process.
January 30...Mindy and I headed out for Abby's first day of Winter Guard competition. I took a turn chaperoning the bus trip to Fort Wayne, and Mindy came along to help out. We were waiting to load the bus with snacks and coolers of ice and water. I found this scene extremely entertaining. Mindy was trying desperately to send a text message to her sister from an area of the high school that is notorious for blocking cell phone signals. Believe it or not, her strategy worked.
January 31...one of the remote controls went missing today, and that created an emergent situation for somebody in our family. Somebody who routinely goes into a panic when he can't find the remote in question. Somebody who has a mustache. Somebody I've known for more than 20 years. But I'm not naming names. Actually, when one of the remotes is missing, it is a crisis. We can't change the channel on the digital signal box (not cable, just digital), and we can't operate the menu of the DVD player. So it's not like I didn't empathize. Heaven help us all if I can't find the remote on Bachelor night! It's just that it's much more comical when it's somebody else. We finally located it, but the kids couldn't resist tucking it under an innocent bystander's paws. By the way, they're really into this Project 365 thing, constantly giving their two cents. "Really, Mom, THIS is your picture of the day." Many times, though, I'm sold on their vision. This cheesy staged photo is one of them.
February 1...never will the first day of this month pass without me vividly remembering the adventure it brought. Three years ago, we left for China to bring home our sweet Caroline. I'll write more about my thoughts on this day leading up to the momentous Gotcha Day in another post. I will, however, take this opportunity to reflect on how much the world has changed from my perspective in three short years. The truth is that life changes every day. Life changed in 45 seconds for the country of Haiti. I'm ashamed to say that I was mostly unaware of the specific details of that country's suffering before the earthquake. But I know that it's human. I find it difficult, even as a Christian, to always keep my heart and mind centered on the Kingdom. It's overwhelming to think of the need that exists just in that country. It hurts my heart to think about it too much.
We found one teeny tiny tangible way to lend a helping hand to the people of Haiti. The high school collected jeans of any size to send to Haiti as part of a local charitable organization's efforts. We managed to come up with 36 pairs of jeans (okay, there are six of us), mostly from piles of outgrown clothing in our basement. Now we don't have more than two or three pairs of jeans each that we really wear. Still, I should probably be a little embarrassed that we could come up with so many pants that we're not wearing. But I'm going to choose to be thankful they were piled up and that all those pants are going where they're going.
February 2...what I didn't mention about yesterday was that I also made a trip to the pediatrician with Caroline. She had a nasty cough and cold last week, and she started complaining about her ear early Sunday evening. My poor little girl spent pretty much the entire night alternating between whimpering and all-out wailing from an ear ache. I wasn't surprised to find out she had an ear infection. We weren't able to see our own pediatrician, a fairly unusual circumstance, so we had to see one of the family practice doctors there. A little background here...when we first came home, Caroline was traumatized by anyone in any medical capacity. Now, my girl isn't the timid type. Instead she demonstrated her traumatic state in a manner similar to that of an angry tiger cub being dunked into a vat of snakes. It was ugly. It was ugly in China, and it didn't get any better when we got home and discovered that both ears were completely impacted with wax. Imagine her blood draw. It took no less than FOUR adults to hold her down for that one.
Gradually she's made friends with our doctor, and I've been blessed by the consistency our doctor's office provides. It took more than a year, but she finally stopped bursting into tears and climbing me at the sight of our doc. Caroline doesn't have any reservations about going to the doctor these days, but, considering her ears were the issue, I was slightly apprehensive. I prepared her for seeing a doctor on the "grown ups" side, and she handled it like a champ. She was pleasant, chatty and not the least bit afraid. I admit that I drugged her up before we went...I usually don't because I want the doctor to see them actually acting sick. Ever been there? Your kid is lethargic and/or writhing in pain at all hours of the night, but you walk in the doctor's office and they're performing gymnastics routines off the exam table? Yeah.
Anway, I found it quite hilarious that as soon as the new doctor left the room, Caroline informed me that she didn't like "the big girl doctor" and that she wanted to go back to her own. Hee.
Note...this photo of Caroline is SOOC, taken with existing light. Not bad, eh?
February 3...the troops fell one by one, this week. Mickey was next, with the cough and cold. He spent a day home, despite disclaimers that he wouldn't be playing any computer or video games...the true barometer of whether or not he's really sick.
February 4...Mindy was next. She started feeling puny Tuesday and spent most of the next three days with her head plastered to a heating pad. She had horrible ear aches in both ears, and nothing really helped besides the heating pad. Trust me, we tried it all. By the end of the week, she ended up in the doctor's office. Abby fell ill, too, and missed a day of school, but somehow I managed to miss getting a photo of her sick little self.
p.s. I would have let Abby stay home at least one more day, but the world would surely have stopped spinning had she missed guard practice. Perish the thought.