Seasonal Meltdown – Coping with Cabin Fever

I love snow. I have to preface this with essay with the fact that not only do I like snow, but I’m crazy about it… Like, I dream of snow 11 months out of the year, and the 12th month, I just appreciate the heck out of Colorado – because we GET snow.

But there does come a point of time when snow outside means I’m stuck inside and it reveals the fact that I always manage to get at least one winter cold. YUK! I hate having colds, flu, or any of those “bugs” that come along in the winter (or summer) when I end up feeling STUCK away from people, wishing I could get out again. I’ve always been a believer in staying away from others if I’m sick, because I don’t want to make the whole family sick. And I definitely don’t want to carry a cold around to the whole countryside by going out in public with a cold. So, instead, I choose to stay home when I’m feeling yucky.

This year, Cabin Fever took on new meaning. With a new baby, a pregnant daughter, a two and a half year old, and two teenaged boys… not to mention a son-in-law who thinks we’re all crazy, the house got a wee bit cramped at times during the cold season. Of course, it might not have been so bad had we not all come down with the same yucky cold.

But, I coped with the crisis by ordering pizza, buying lots of soup, and making a big pot of chicken noodle soup. Everyone loves the concept, but nobody ate much of it. We’re all too busy feeling yucky and sick, but it smells good.

The other way I coped is by reading and getting a lot of writing done. YAY!!! That’s what happens when we cope with cabin fever — I get a lot of work done.

Sisters: The Gift of Love

Sisters - The Gift of LoveThere are days when I wonder if my kids even like each other, but those days are seldom and few…

As a parent, you always see your children in the worst light, no matter how wonderful they are. You see their mistakes, the things they do wrong and the imperfections, because you want them to be perfect and any flaw is giant in the eyes of a mother… But then, those same flaws disappear from view when your child does one small thing right. Perfection may be flawed, but it belongs to you, and no matter how flawed, your child is always perfect.

I know, the philosophy of this post is a bit out of whack, but you know there’s more coming…

Sisters.

When my daughters told me early last summer that they were both pregnant, expecting shortly after the first of the year, I knew 2010 would be a year to remember. It’s proving to be more…

As the days rushed on, my older daughter grew more and more restless, before her son was born on January 5. But her little sister was there, every step of the way encouraging and loving, sharing and supporting. Even when she felt the stress of her own pregnancy, Tatia encouraged Brenna with a smile, a glance or a touch… or even just a dinner of chicken and rice prepared and ready when Brenna got home from work.

A single parent, expecting her second child, Brenna struggled to maintain her income and provide for her family. Tatia and her husband choosing to move in and share the apartment lightened the financial load, but stressed the confines of apartment living slightly beyond comfortable. With little or no furniture, Tatia’s move in wasn’t a major difficulty, other than where to sleep.

Kevin had an air mattress that lasted for most of those first months, but Tatia wasn’t comfortable sleeping on it after a few months. The couch became her bed. During our visits, I found a comfy chair and ottoman and the boys brought along futons. For Christmas a family member promised Kevin and Tatia a new bed, but when Kevin joined the Army and would be leaving, they felt the new bed would be superfluous, and a burden to move.

With her growing little bundle, Tatia became increasingly uncomfortable on the couch, until her sister said, that’s enough… You need a bed. Pinching pennies and saving every dollar she could, Brenna found a sale on beds and, even knowing there was no steady income, she bought her little sister a bed for those  uncomfortable last weeks of pregnancy.

We’ve always managed before, and we will manage again, but for nursing a baby… You need a bed, not a couch.

It’s exciting, watching sister love in action. Our world is exactly as it should be, filled to the brim with love and family. We may not have a lot of money, but it just don’t get better than this!

In case you can’t tell, I love my kids.