The Mommy Bloggy

Reflections of a Mother's Heart

The Gift of Luke October 28, 2009

Filed under: The Ferguson Family — Michelle Ferguson @ 12:13 am

I have to confess that when it comes to my youngest son, I am weak!  There is just something about his three-year-old smile and tender blue eyes that make me melt.  He is the icing on the cake that completed our family!  God knew we needed this precious little boy to make us laugh at life and to help us see life in a fun, care-free kind of way!

Luke has a wonderful personality.  He laughs all the time, and sometimes I just have to stop and laugh with him.  He makes me “stop and smell the roses,” and I love that about him.  He finds joy in the small things, and his excitement is contagious.  He is funny and too smart for his own good!

Besides, he thinks I’m cool!  In the car this morning on the way to Classical Conversations, he said, “My mom rocks.  My mom is cool.  My mom is a rock star.”  I’ve never practiced those phrases with him, honest!  He just came out with them and giggled himself to pieces over his words.  October 2009 080

I am quite smitten with this little boy, however I do not live in a continuous state of smittenness (is that a word?).  He is just as sinful as any of us, and I have to do some occasional “training.”  He is a joy for sure, and I thank God for sending the gift of Luke into our family!

 

A Week in the Life of the Ferguson’s October 21, 2009

Filed under: The Ferguson Family — Michelle Ferguson @ 9:00 pm

I feel like I am a single parent this week.  My husband is on a mission trip to Honduras.  I was planning to go with him (even had my plane ticket purchased), however when my youngest son got sick last month, God showed me that my place is home with my children.  There will be a season in my life where I will be readily able to travel, but right now my children need me, and I want to be here for them.

It’s been a busy week.  Brad left last Friday, so the kids and I headed to the Zoo for the day.  Aunt Betty and Uncle Gene met us there, and I was so glad because keeping up with three little ones at the Zoo was easier when we had a one adult to one child ratio!  Lindsay’s favorite thing was watching the penguin feeding.  Logan liked the reptile house (complete with an anaconda) and climbing the rock wall.  Luke liked lunch the best!

Friday night Lindsay had a soccer game, and her team won their first game!  Whoo Hoo!  Her brothers and I looked on with pride!  We stopped at Jersey Mike’s for dinner.  It’s just too easy not to cook when Brad is away!

Saturday was filled with shopping trips.  I bought groceries and even managed to buy a couple of Christmas gifts!  When we found out Logan’s soccer game was cancelled due to rain and muddy fields, we headed out for another shopping adventure.  I was looking for a new pair of jeans.  Let me tell you how much fun I had in the dressing room trying on jeans with three children!  Oh, how they got a talking to in the car!

Sunday was busy with church.  The kids had RA’s, GA’s, Mission Friends, and Choir.  It was Luke’s first night of Precious Praise, his preschool choir.  There is nothing cuter than a room full of 3 and 4 year olds singing Christmas songs!  I am trying my hands at ringing hand bells with our bell choir this year.  I told our Worship Leader that I should have started practicing our Christmas songs in May!  Logan asked me how practice went that night.  I said, “I was awful!  I don’t know if I’ll be asked back.”  He replied, “You are not awful.”  My little encourager!  One of the pieces of music we practiced noted to play “With Mystery.”  I said, “This will definitely be mysterious because some notes will be there and some won’t!”

On Monday, we went into Charlotte to Trader Joe’s.  I just love shopping there because their prices are great and their foods are even better!  I also went into Home Goods with the intention of buying clothes, but I came out with a “mug and a rug” as Lindsay put it.  I added to my Portmeirion mug collection and found a rug for my front door area.  Well, sometimes you end up with what you weren’t shopping for at all!  Then I whisked Lindsay off to her piano lesson.

Tuesday is our Classical Conversations day.  It’s a home school group that meets once a week for memory work.  The kids memorize a history time line, geography, Latin, math skip counting, and lots more.  During class, they also have a time of presentations, where each child stands in front of his peers and shares on a topic of his choosing.  My kids have shared on everything from missionary heroes, the Dead Sea (complete with a salt rock from the Dead Sea), and a sugar cube pyramid to a rock tumbler, writing their own names in hieroglyphics, and the country of Kenya.  We ended Tuesday with two soccer games played at the same time.  Lindsay and Logan won both of their games!

My daughter Lindsay had a play date Wednesday with a fellow homeschool friend and they made homemade chocolate chip cookies.  Lindsay also had a drama rehearsal for our church’s Christmas play, The Best Christmas Pagent Ever.

Thursday I plan to get my hair and our grass cut!  That is one chore Brad left for me to handle.  He tried to cut the grass before he left, but the weather would not cooperate.  The children and I have another homeschool group that meets twice a month called “Fun Friday.”  It’s a co-op of moms who teach age based classes on fun topics, like science and geography.  The kids enjoy this time with new friends.

Lindsay is having a little girlfriend come spend this weekend with us, and she is so excited!  Lindsay will wrap up the week with her final soccer game Friday night complete with a team party.  Logan will play his soccer game on Saturday.  In between those games, around midnight Friday, Brad’s  plane arrives from Miami!  I will be so happy to see him.  It’s been an exhausting week!  To God be the glory!

 

“Cooking the Israeli Way” October 7, 2009

Filed under: Brad and Me Plus 3 — Michelle Ferguson @ 8:01 pm

Our home school curriculum comes with a wonderful book list of recommendations for each week of study.  I fill up a basket in our office with these library books and for 15 minutes each day, my kids browse through the selection.  As we study History through the Old Testament, one of the recommended books was “Cooking the Israeli Way” by Josephine Bacon.October 2009 005

Lindsay found a recipe in the book for Israeli Doughnuts that she begged me to try with her.  Well, this afternoon we finally got around to it!  While Luke napped, Lindsay, Logan, and I did some baking!  I even got Logan to perform a little math with this question, “If each of us wants three doughnuts, how many do we need to fry up?”  He answered “Nine!  But I used my fingers!”

Baking together is sometimes a little stressful, but today it was really fun!  Our recipe yielded a most delicious snack, too!  In fact, I ate Luke’s doughnut that I was saving for him!  He will ask me about it when he gets up from his nap, so I will quick fry another!

The secret of really delicious doughnuts is freshness, so fry these just before serving.  The dough can be made well ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use.

Israeli Doughnuts/Soofganiyot

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

1 ½ cups sour cream

2 TBSP sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 ¼ cups vegetable oil (for frying)

1 cup powdered sugar (for coating doughnuts)

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except oil and powdered sugar.  The batter will be very soft.  In a deep skillet, heat oil until hot and carefully place dough, 1 TBSP at a time, into oil.  Fry doughnuts, a few at a time, 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown on all sides.  Remove from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  When all doughnuts are fried, pour powdered sugar into a plastic or brown paper bag.  Add a few doughnuts at a time, close bag, and shake gently until well coated.  Repeat until all doughnuts are coated with sugar.  Serve warm.  Makes about 25.

 

Clearance October 4, 2009

Filed under: The Ferguson Family — Michelle Ferguson @ 1:52 pm

I love the clearance rack at Belk!  I was at the mall last week without my children, and I just happened to make my way through Belk!  I spotted the clearance rack, and decided to check out the bargains.

Then it happened.  I found the most gorgeous skirt in my size!  It had a white band across the top, a band of black under that, and then the bottom was khaki.  I could not believe my find!  My size!  My colors!  Why was this thing still on the clearance rack?

I found the closest fitting room and tried that skirt on.  As I pulled it up, I had trouble zipping it around my hips.  It was tight, so I double checked the size.  It was my size, so I tried again to zip up.  It was then that I noticed a significant gap at the top of the skirt and wondered what that was about.  I pulled the skirt up to adjust it and then it suddenly became clear.  This was no skirt!  It was a strapless dress!  I was so disappointed…that was not my style at all.  Now I knew why that “skirt” was still on the clearance rack…and that’s where it went back!

 

Comfort in Crisis October 3, 2009

Filed under: The Ferguson Family — Michelle Ferguson @ 7:42 pm

September2009 092My reasons for sharing in this post my journey through sickness with my child are two-fold.  One, it is a great release of emotion for me.  Two, hopefully I can encourage another mom who may experience or has experienced a crisis where her children are concerned.

Last Monday, September 21, I took my three year old son, Luke, to the pediatrician’s office, thinking he had an ear infection.  He had awakened fussy several times throughout the night, which was so unlike him.  About three weeks before this, at his yearly check-up, he had fluid in his left ear and the doctor told me to watch for symptoms of an ear infection.  So surely, this must be it, however, it turned out he did not have any ear infection at all.  The doctor diagnosed him with impetigo around his nose and told me to use neosporin for that and gave me a decongestant for his runny nose.  I took him home and doctored him up at bedtime, giving him the first dose of decongestant.  Tuesday morning, I gave Luke a second dose of the decongestant and noticed around mid-morning, he started breaking out in a rash around his neck.  The rash darkened through the day and spread to his groin area.  My first thought was that he was having an allergic reaction to something, and I suspected the decongestant because I had not introduced him to any new food at all.  I was concerned at this point, but not fretful.

When Luke woke up Wednesday morning, his face was swollen, including his lips and eyes.  That was when I started to fret.  I gave him Benadryl, which did not seem to really help him.  His lips were so puffy that Luke could not hold saliva in his mouth and it drooled down his shirt.  His mouth started getting crusty and cracked.  I also noticed that he was tender to the touch.  It was difficult to lift him, especially under the arms, into the bathtub or his car seat.  He did not want me to hold him or dress him.  I did not understand, and I became very frustrated.  I called the doctor’s office and scheduled another appointment for him.  This time, he was tested for strep, which came back negative.  The doctor checked Luke’s throat and saw white puss, so she gave me an oral antibiotic.  She also noticed the impetigo and gave me a prescription for an antiobiotic cream for his nose and right ear.  She also felt he was having an allergic reaction to something, since the swelling only involved his face.  I went home, feeling somewhat nervous about caring for this sick child.  He was absolutely a  pitifully sick child, and I felt so helpless to do anything for him.  Wednesday was a terrible night.  I was concerned he would stop breathing, for the swelling had increased, his appetite had decreased, and he just wasn’t himself.  He awoke very often through the night, just in total misery.  Brad and I did not sleep well either, concerned for him.  We even started out sleeping in the room with him until he asked us to leave!

When I went in to check on Luke Thursday morning, his eyes were completely swollen shut and I noticed his forehead was red and peeling.  The sight of him really frightened me, and I called his doctor’s office as soon as they opened and got an appointment for 10:30.  I had asked Brad to go with me, as I was emotionally and physically exhausted.  My mother was in town visiting with us and was planning to leave that morning to go home, but I asked her to stay home with our other children, Lindsay and Logan, because I did not want them exposed to a germy doctor’s office unnecessarily.

As I showered that morning, I sobbed and cried out to the Lord.  He reminded me that He, too, has a Son, and He knows the heart of a parent for a child.  That thought was so comforting to me, and God’s peace filled me, though I still had no idea what lay ahead.  I repeated to myself 2 Timothy1:7 which says, “For God does not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, and love, and of a sound mind.”

When the doctor made an evaluation of Luke, he suggested right away that we go to the Children’s Hospital and have him admitted.  He felt like Luke had something systemic going on in his body.  He left the room to go make phone calls to the hospital, and I thought my world was falling apart.  Brad called his mother and asked her to come relieve my mother and take over care of Lindsay and Logan.  The doctor came back into the room and told us to go straight to the front desk at the hospital, for they would be expecting us.

The half hour drive to the hospital was quiet and tense.  Here we had this very sick child, who was being so brave and so uncomplaining.  He sure did not understand what was going on, but he completely trusted us to take care of him.  I don’t think Brad and I spoke eight words to each other on the way to the hospital. For some reason, I grabbed Luke’s favorite CD of Wee Sing Bible Songs as we left the house for the doctor’s office.  It is a comfort thing for him, and I realized it helped comfort me as we listened to the songs on the way to the hospital.  Lines from two songs popped out at me:   “He’s got the itty bitty baby.  In His hands, he’s got the itty bitty baby.” and  “It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, Oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”  I knew God had His hand on my baby, and when I felt too weak to pray, I was comforted in believing that someone had to be praying for us.

We pulled up to the front door and Brad handed his car keys to a valet parking attendant and we were off.  At the front desk, we had our pictures made for ID badges and a lady escorted us to Admitting and then to our room on the 8th floor.  It was a very smooth and quick process, and I was so thankful to have been able to bypass the ER!

Lots of doctors and nurses streamed in and out of Room 8022.  We were asked dozens of questions and finally a diagnosis was made:  Staph Scalded Skin Syndrome, which is basically a staph infection of the skin.  I was so relieved to have a diagnosis that had a cure:  high dose antibiotics.  Luke had probably picked up the staph bacteria on his fingers and introduced it into his body through the open wound around his nose.  It was so scary to see how pitifully sick a microscopic bacteria could make my child.  All this makes me want to keep my children in a bubble forever, but that is not reality.

About five torturous and unsuccessful attempts were made to insert an IV into Luke.  A neonatal team and an anesthesia team were included in those who tried to find a vein.  I was not present for the IV attempts, as I could not handle the pain and screaming of my own child.  It about killed me not to be there, but I just couldn’t handle it.  So I went and called a friend who prayed with me over the phone.

When I returned to Luke’s room, Brad told me the doctors had decided to schedule Luke for surgery to insert a PICC line.  This news upset me terribly, although I was concerned about how they would get him hydrated and started on antibiotics.  Finally late Thursday night, Luke was started on oral antibiotics and IM antibiotics (a shot in his muscle), which were given every eight hours.  He never ran a fever, at home or in the hospital.  He was given Lortab for pain and Benadryl for itching.  He was in such discomfort that he had great difficulty in sleeping on his back, so most of the time he slept sitting up, eventually falling forward onto his stomach.

After pretty much a sleepless night for all three of us, Luke began wound care Friday morning to blisters on his arms, back, and rear end.  We were told that Luke would look worse before he got better, and it was true.  As the antibiotics were killing the staph, the bacteria released toxins which made Luke  more red, blistered, and tender to the touch.   Throughout the day, he started peeling severely, especially around his neck, mouth, eyes, underarms, and between his sweet little toes.

God’s Word is always a source of comfort, but in the midst of a crisis, His Word is all the more comforting.  A recurring scripture reference kept coming up with different people we talked with.  My husband’s aunt was lead to Psalm 91 after praying about how she could specifically pray for Luke.  As she shared this with a prayer warrior friend,  her friend also told her God had lead her to Psalm 91 in praying for Luke.  This also happened to be the same place where Brad had been earlier in the week for a devotion.  My mother mentioned this Psalm was on a bookmark she kept in her book and went to it to read it.  We pulled out our Bible and read the chapter to Luke one night in the hospital, and how much peace it brought us!  “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty…He will call upon me, and I will answer him;  I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.  With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”  (Verses 1, 15, and 16)

Luke perked up some on Friday morning, which really encouraged us.  I was so happy and so relieved to see a little improvement in him with the first dose of antibiotics, even though that improvement was not in the way he looked, but in the way he acted.  He absolutely refused to wear any clothes on Friday because he could not stand the weight on his skin, so he kept his “Bobby” (the name for his favorite blanket) near by and allowed me to drape it over his shoulders when he complained of being cold.  Luke was taking fluids very well orally, so the doctors saw no need to insert the PICC line, and I rejoiced!

Luke got conditioned to the point that whenever he heard his door open, he’d snap his head to the left to see who was coming in.   If it was a nurse with something in her hand, he would get fussy.  He said every time to every nurse that entered the room and stepped near his bed, “Mama do it.”  He wanted me to take his vitals, handle his wound care, give him his oral antibiotics, and he even wanted me to give him his shot!  The nurses were wonderful and allowed me to do everything, except the shot.  In fact when a new nurse came on duty, she’d walk in the room and hand me the syringes with the oral antibiotics and ask me to get his temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure!  Luke had gained a reputation!

After a really decent night’s sleep for all of us, Luke woke up Saturday morning acting a little quiet and tired.  When the doctor came in that morning, I asked if Luke could leave his room and ride on one of the cars around the hallways.  She agreed!  I had to insist Luke put on his gown so we could go ride.  He was all for it, and he had the best time!  It was wonderful to hear him squeal and laugh up and down the halls.  As I passed other children’s rooms, I had the opportunity to see children sicker than my own, and my heart was pricked with sadness for them.  It made me even more thankful for God’s healing and blessing in Luke’s life.

My mother-in-law brought Lindsay and Logan to the hospital Saturday night for a visit.  By then, Luke had been on antibiotics 48 hours, so he was ready to see his sister and brother.  It did a world of good for Luke and Lindsay and Logan to be together again.  Luke showed them his car, and they went for a spin.  They ate dinner in the room with us, and it was nice to have some form of normalcy.

We all slept very well again Saturday night, which is truly a blessing for being in a hospital!  A doctor of Infectious Diseases came by our room Sunday morning to evaluate Luke.  He asked if he could take a couple of pictures of Luke’s neck for a slide presentation he would use in teaching about Staph Scalded Skin Syndrome.  We agreed, so Luke’s illness is going to help doctors in training!  By Sunday afternoon, we got word that Luke could be discharged if we felt comfortable, and boy were we comfortable!  We were so happy to be going home!  That news was music to our ears!  We would be home back together as a family, and I could not wait!

When we got home around 5:00pm, Luke was sleepy so I put him down for a nap.  He slept for a couple of hours until I woke him up for dinner and his antibiotics.  He is currently on a course of antibiotics 3x a day for ten days.  From what the nurses, doctors, and even the pharmacy technician told us, his antibiotics taste horrible, but Luke takes it so well.  He just is not a complainer!

It was so wonderful to go to sleep in my own bed with my children back together under one roof!  I praise God for what he brought us through, and I can’t wait to share with Luke one day all that God has done for him.  God has a special plan for our little boy!  Of that, I have no doubt!  I also have no doubt that God’s power is awesome and amazing!

Luke is once again a lively, energetic, happy little boy!  He is playing and fighting with his brother, and even that thrills me…a little.  He still looks a little rough with his scabbed blisters and peeling, but he is on the mend and is healing day by day.

We are so thankful to our church for their steadfast prayers, visits, calls, e-mails, and meals made on our behalf!  You are the best!  We are also thankful to my mother, my mother-in-law, and my husband’s Aunt who came to help us with our children and got us back on a routine.  I am grateful for our friends who prayed for us and with us and for your love and concern!  May God bless you a hundred fold!