Has it really been five days since I’ve written? Hmm. It feels strange…that it doesn’t feel strange. You see, I’ve had a bit on my plate the last two weeks. In the course of fourteen days, my youngest daughter first came down with the rotavirus, had two days of relative good health, then got another stomach bug for 24 hours, and then to top it all off, is now fighting RSV. Ooph. Throw in the typical Christmas hustle and bustle, plus a sick husband, and another sick child in the mix, and you start to see why I’ve been kept away from the laptop.

Now I guess that’s not completely true. I’ve had time to write. Small chunks of time, but time nonetheless. So, then, what kept me from sharing my usual once-a-day posts? I just …

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“Run the bathwater. She’s puking again.” Not quite the way I envisioned our Christmas morning to end. Santa had come, the gifts had been opened. Breakfast consumed. Our toddler just got over a five-day stomach bug of doom four days ago, and I was ready for the Lysol/non-stop laundry days to be over. But once again, she was throwing up. I knew it was probably a new virus, one picked up from one of several family Christmas parties we had attended over the weekend.

After a phone call to my parents, my fears were validated. “Everyone’s got it over here. I’m the only one not sick…yet,” my brother quietly said over the line. Everyone there was sleeping off a night of sickness. We’d all squished into my parent’s living room the evening before, sharing laughter, food …

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Image from MyLot.com

If there’s one thing I admire about parents, it’s their refusal to “parent by default.” That is, they take a stand for something, anything, and give it their best shot to not let society trample their beliefs. They avoid activities they deem inappropriate, educate their children about their beliefs, and oftentimes have to duck and dodge popular culture with its ever-present marketing messages. It’s tough. But they’re trying. They question popular toys or customs, and don’t automatically participate just because “all the other parents are doing it.”

A friend of mine is one such parent. She and her spouse want their children to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, Christ’s birth. And they don’t want them distracted with …

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She looked so sweet, and smelled so…bad.

My sweet toddler has been sick for four days now. And if you’re squeamish, you may not want to read any further. But if you’re a new parent, or considering parenthood, I strongly urge you to hold your lunch and read on. After all, I believe expectation management is the key to happiness. If you know what’s coming, you’ll be better able to handle the “joys” of parenthood. Here is what you can expect when your little one gets a super nasty stomach bug, especially if they’re able to run through the house (while vomiting), yet not able to reason quite yet (around 18 months old or so).

Your child may seem cranky/irritated leading up to getting sick, but they can’t tell you they’re getting ready to throw …

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My toddler’s sick bed on the living room floor. Does she need me, or do I need her?

“Mommy, I thought we weren’t supposed to touch baby sister or we’ll get sick!” My preschooler was right. I’d warned her not to give her little sister the customary bedtime kisses and hugs, as she’d just started throwing up an hour earlier. She didn’t understand why I would be cuddling my glassy-eyed, vomiting toddler. But I explained. “Sweetie, this is what mommies do. We take care of our babies. Even if it means we get sick, too. Even when they’re smelly, or yucky, we just pick them up and give them love.”

She gave me a knowing look, and nodded her head. “It’s just what mommies do.”

And I can’t help but feel blessed that this is what I do …

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Now, more than ever, we need to hear some good news. We need to see a glimmer of hope. And right here, in our Wichita community, a program called Share the Season delivers on that need. This season, it’s important to remember not only to give back to your family and friends, but to find it in your heart to give to the community. To reach out to those you don’t know, and possibly change their lives forever. During the month of December, I’ll be highlighting a few causes that are near and dear to my heart, in hopes that you or someone you know will be inspired to support them with your time, talents or treasures. I’ve invited Shelly Prichard, CEO of the Wichita Community Foundation, to share a story about how this program touches …

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