Monday, June 30, 2008

Deep Thought

Why is it that we do our most profound thinking while sitting on the toliet? Even at 2 years old, she just sits there swinging her feet and singing or telling me all about her day.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

From the PH to the ATL

10 months ago, I came to Port Huron, MI for my yearly visit. What should have been a two week visit turned into a life changing, for the better, journey.

Port Huron holds a lot of memories for me as I was married here and my son was born here. It is a quaint town where neighbors speak to one another and children ride their bikes to school. The boardwalk is peaceful and serene giving you a place to sit and clear your mind.

Of course when people learned that I was moving back to Atlanta, I received the same reaction over and over again. The phrase, "But you hated living in Atlanta" was the common theme from everyone. True, at the time I lived in Atlanta, I hated it. I was so miserable and for 4 years, I constantly spoke of how all the bad things that happened to me while living in Atlanta happened because I moved to Atlanta. Well, of course that is not true. Neither my former employer, the city of Atlanta, nor the state of Georgia were to blame for my dysfunction. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the source of my emotional dysfunction was me. (Shocking reveal I know- HA!)

Identifying and addressing my emotional dysfunction, as I like to call it, was paramount to me experiencing true freedom and happiness. Today, that is where I am. While Phoenix will always feel like home to me, I can live anywhere because the place is not the determinant of my lot in life. I am.

The hardest part about returning to Atlanta is that I will always be remembered and viewed as that awful, hateful, spiteful funk bucket of a person that I was. I often equate my recovery to that of an addict. While using, the addict is unaware of the hurt she is causing. When she sobers up, she can clearly see the path of destruction. No matter how many apologies she gives or the length of her sobriety, she will always be viewed as an addict. That is me. People will always see me as that hateful person. They will not see the happy, emotionally healthy woman that I have become. Returning is actually a sign of my growth and maturity. In some ways, things would have been easier had I decided to move to Podunk America because no one there would know the old Dayna~only the emotionally healthy Dayna. We are not always given a second chance to right a wrong.

No matter what the future holds, I am looking forward to embracing it with joy and my children by my side. This is an adventure. A new beginning. A fresh start.

Monday, June 23, 2008

“How did she do that?”

In the past 11 weeks, I managed to:

• Give birth,
• Care for a spunky, active, talkative toddler,
• Sleep by the hospital bedside of my 7 week old seven who battled pneumonia for 3 days,
• Complete a 53 page research proposal,
• Draft a 15 minute power point presentation with sound,
• Submit 10 journal entries,
• Write 2 5 page research papers,
• Take 3 exams,
• Participate in the weekly discussion forums for my classes,
• Get a perfect score of 800 points in my marketing class,
• Pack our belongings for shipping,

And oh yeah, get A’s in ALL three of my graduate courses!

Yeah Baby Yeah! I so freaking ROCK! I don’t know how I do it but I thank God He gives me the strength to keep doing it.

Nine graduate courses down; only three to go!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Picnic

My father's fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, hosted a picnic this afternoon. Now, people will probably consider me as UnAmerican but I do not like picnics. Being outside with no running water or way to go to the bathroom in a sanitary environment is just too much for me.

But in my show of support for his "frat," I put aside my view and attended. We actually had a good time. Of course there was music and dancing. My mom and Kari joined in the somebody shuffle dance. (I don't know the name of the song.)

And NyCee just played and danced and ran around.

She had a ball. It was a beautiful day. It was nice to just relax and enjoy the company of the other picnic participants.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Power of Pride

Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

A man's pride will bring him low but the humble in spirit will retain honor. Proverbs 29:23

Since posting A Fall From Grace, I have been thinking a lot about the power of pride. Pride is a very powerful thing and I have been meditating on the two verses above to be sure to not allow myself to ever get that prideful again.

In June 2006, I had only been a mother for three months and my old selfishness was still prevalent. I understood, in theory, the concept of sacrificing or working jobs that you really didn't want to for your children, but I didn't have any practical application. You know the story that I have been unable to secure gainful employment since that time but I no longer count that as a bad thing. I have a friend who had many challenges when her son was younger and she often spoke of how she wouldn't change any of the times they spent together because it made her a stronger woman. I completely agree with her.

My children give me the strength to continue to run this race. There are days when I reflect on the fact that I was good at and enjoyed my job. Yet, I refuse to regret the road that brought me to this place. The smiling faces, boisterous laughs, gentle quiet breaths, of those blessings from God are the highlight of my life. I joke about swinging on a pole or selling snow cones on the freeway in the middle of August in Phoenix to support them but in reality, they are the reason my faith in God has grown.

For the past ten months, I have lived like an Israelite. I LITERALLY had to believe God for EVERY SINGLE THING the kids and I needed. I am not joking. (Either it was believing for money to buy the item or for the item itself. But I count that as positive.) Even though the Israelites complained constantly, God blessed them over and over and over again. Not only did he release them from Egypt, they were rich, healed, clothed, and fed. God parted a sea for them to cross on dry land, closed up Pharaoh and his army in the sea, rained manna and quail out the sky, provided water from a rock in the wilderness, and defeated the enemies that came against them. While that generation, save Joshua and Caleb (see Numbers 13 and 14), didn't enter the promised land~that's their bad. I know that God will reward my faithfulness. I know that He will honor the sacrifices I made for my children. And I know that I am headed to the promise land of my life.

Had I never experienced destruction from my pride, I wouldn't be at the place of humility today. Parenthood really humbles you. There are decisions I made when NyCee was Ty's age, that I would not DARE make today. All I can write is thank God for maturity and growth.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Clean Bill of Health

My little guy has had quite the busy last two weeks but he has been a brave little trooper. He beat pneumonia with a one-two punch, endured a week of oral antibiotics and breathing treatments, and today he once again braved the X-ray machine and immunization shots. But even after all of that, he was still smiling and flirting with the ladies at the hospital and doctor's office. I am so glad he is feeling better and to celebrate, we are going to have a peanut butter cookie. (Yes, just one. I am forcing myself to eat just one. But they are so super soft and chewy. YUMMY!!!)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Silence is Golden

This morning Tyler woke up just as dawn was on the horizon. I lifted him out of the crib and laid him on my chest. Instead of returning to sleep, I just sat there and thought of...well nothing really. I just enjoyed watching the sun break through the clouds, listening to the birds chirp, and the gentle breaths of my two beautiful children.

After about an hour, I laid Tyler in the bed and proceeded to the bathroom to start our morning routine.

My silence was shattered when NyCee exclaimed, "MOMMY WHERE ARE YOU?" in a voice so loud, it caused Ty to wake up screaming at the top of his lungs.

Oh well. It was good while it lasted.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Small Things

This is week 10 of this quarter. Only one more week to go and then another quarter will be completed. I am mentally and physically exhausted.

Just as I began to study for final exams, I was given a bonus. In my labor relations class, the final is comprised of six (6) short answer questions and I only have to answer 4. Wherein lies the bonus you ask? I have already answered four of the six questions as assignments during the quarter. I contacted the professor to ask if I could use the same information previously submitted and he replied, "Yes."

THANK YOU LORD! I thank God for His favor this quarter and placing me in these particular sections of the courses. I did not have to write a research paper for this class. I simply had to complete the required number of journal entries and other written assignments.

WAHOO!! You can not even imagine the load that lifts off my shoulders to not have to try and study for a final exam. It is truly the small things that make me happy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"I do it."

Lately, "Mommy, I do it" has been NyCee's favorite phrase.

When I get her dressed in the morning and grab her shoes, "Mommy, I do it."

When we get in the car and I put her in the car seat, she grabs the seat belt and recites, "Mommy, I do it."

After walking in the house from "school", I told her to go and get her bedroom shoes. She ran to the bedroom so I of course assumed she was following the instructions given. She took a little longer than normal and when I called her name she didn't respond. So I proceeded to the back and found her engaged in putting on her "big girl panties."

What amazed me was the fact that she found them in the clean clothes basket and put them on correctly. She then stood up and said, "Mommy. Big girl panties. I did it. High five." And stuck her hand up for a high five.

Of course she was wearing the panties on the outside of her skirt but given all she accomplished at the age of two, I think we can let that one slide.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


If a woman eats 5 large peanut butter cookies,chases them with a glass of skim milk; yet walks 1 hour each day, will her rump still spread?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Pin Cushion

It all started Thursday evening…

Tyler had two bouts of projectile vomiting. After the second bout, I decided to call the after hour nurse’s line for assistance. What I thought was just a cold...

In accordance with the nurse’s instructions, I proceeded to the emergency room. The physician’s assistant (pa) came into the room and stated that she was ordering a chest x-ray. Immediately, I knew it was more than a cold but I was not concerned.

She came back several minutes later and reported he had pneumonia. I couldn’t believe it. I tried to think of everything I could to determine how he could have contracted pneumonia. The pa explained that he aspirated some vomit and it formed an infection in his lungs. She proceeded to advise that he would have to be admitted to the hospital immediately. Okay, so I am still calm. In shock, but calm.

Four nurses came into the room in an attempt to start and i.v. None were successful so they called two nurses from the maternity ward. They too, were unsuccessful. The two nurses from the maternity ward called the pediatric unit and asked for assistance. That nurse came down and didn’t even try because she didn’t want to subject Tyler to anymore unnecessary pokes. Finally, the anesthesiologist was called and he located the vein on the first try. My little guy was trying to be a trooper but he just hurt so much. He screamed and screamed to the point where I started crying. He was in so much pain that tears couldn’t even flow. He wore himself out from crying.

Finally, he was admitted around 200a. By this time, he was sleeping. When he arrived in the pediatric unit, he was subjected to more testing which set him off again. However, this nurse gave him something called "Sweeties." One doctor described it as baby crack. It is a high fructose water solution which helps to take the edge off of a baby's pain. To a degree, it worked.

On Friday, Tyler was still very sick. He would barely open his eyes and he just whined and cried constantly. When he settled down, he just slept and slept and slept. It was so hard to see him lying there in pain and I was unable to do anything for him.

By Saturday, he opened his eyes but he was still very much out of it. The doctor switched his antibiotic because the original version administered wasn't working as quickly as she wanted. He was on O2 because he as having difficulty breathing on his own. His i.v. came out so he wasn't receiving enough fluids. But despite all of that, my little guy was a trooper.

Each night, I stayed at the hospital and only left for about 1 hour each day to return to my parent's house and shower.

When I left Saturday morning around 545a, he was still on O2. When I returned, he was off the O2 and breathing on his own. The nurse stated he had been off the O2 for about an hour and was doing well. He has a slight relapse later that day but after that he was off the O2 for good.

This morning, I left around 600a to go to my parent's house and shower. When I returned, he was sitting bright eyed at the nurses station smiling and cooing with them. I was so glad to see his eyes wide open and him smiling. (He is quite the ladies' man already.)

When the doctor made her rounds, he was up and alert and she readily released him this afternoon. He has some medication to take for about a week but overall, he is healthy and happy.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


My little guy has been in the hospital since Thursday night. I am unable to update the blog but as of right now, he is breathing on his own but still needs an I.V. for fluids and nutrition.

I will update the blog again soon. I hope he will be released on Sunday, June 8th but that remains to be seen.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Quote for the week

This quote was shared with me. I found it to be simplistically compelling. Therefore, I thought I would share it with you.

If a man is called to a streetsweeper, he should sweep

streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven

composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should

sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth

will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who

did his job well.
--- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Mall Madness

Will someone please tell me who is the inventor of merry-go-rounds in a mall? I would really like to shake some sense into that person and ask, "WHAT THE PISS WERE YOU THINKING?" What was a quick trip to the mall, (as quick as the trip can be with two small children) has now become this huge ordeal. NyCee has discovered the merry-go-rounds actual work and are not just for show.

After leaving the post office, she ran to the "hel-a-toper" and said she wanted to get on. I thought, okay, what is the harm of her sitting in there? Oh, no just sitting. My child genius knows that money goes in there some kind of way to make it work because she exclaimed, "Money. Mommy. Money" as she pressed the buttons.

I put the money in the machine and as it began to move, she attempted to jump out. She cried, "Mommy moving." Mommy."

I reassured here several times that she was not going to fly away and that the "hel-a-toper" was safe. After she calmed down and the ride stopped, she wanted to ride it over and over again. I had to nip that in the bud because at 75 cents for a 1 minute ride, the bill was adding up.

Monday, June 02, 2008

A Fall From Grace

This entry is hard for me to write but I must do so as I am compelled by God to tell this story. The story of my journey is not for me but for someone else. God receives the glory for His faithfulness is unmatched.

Two years ago this month, I, in a hasty and cocky manner, quit my job. That was the beginning my fall. Since that time, I have been unable to secure gainful employment with the salary that I once made. I begin to wonder why? It’s not the economy or the positions would not be posted on company websites. Friends and family members have secured awesome jobs. There was a reason why.

Reflecting on my time with my previous employer has brought me to a place of humility because there were so many people in my life who saw the potential in me that I could not see. There were people whom I hurt with my actions and words. I have since apologized to them but words are a powerful force. Once they leave your lips, you can not take them back. King Solomon said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit” Proverbs 18:21. My words brought me to where I am today.

In just two short years, I lost my home, my credit, my dignity, my pride, my furnishings, and clothing. These losses became a good thing because my ego was a little too big and I needed to be brought back to reality.

For the past ten months, I had to live in my parent’s home in the frozen tundra of Michigan. I left Michigan nearly 10 years ago but because I had no where else to go, they took us in. Their home was invaded with blinky-blink toys, Dora the Explorer episodes, wooden blocks, counting piggy banks, crayons and more. Yet, they never complained. I was so embarrassed to have to move back into my parent’s house after so many years of being on my own. I now recognize that was the best thing that I could have ever done.

Being in Michigan, I was led to a church that embraced NyCee, Ty and me with open arms. Cross Current Church was a place where I sought help to become an emotionally healthy person. These past few months have been the hardest journey of my life. But I would not change any of the roads I have traveled. To do so, would modify my path and I wouldn’t be where I am today. There were nights when I would cry myself to sleep after NyCee was in bed because I didn’t want to upset her. Why the tears? I went from a place where I could spend $300 on a purse and not blink to where I didn’t have $3.00 to buy her a kids’ meal. Yet, God always provided everything we needed.

This journey was more about me losing myself and my pride to gain humility and be humbled. God knew that no matter how embarrassing I would tell this story so that some other woman would be encouraged. God knew that although I cried at night, I would wake up in the morning, wash my face and take on the challenges of that day. God knew that I would never give up on Him regardless of what obstacles I faced. Friends and family often comment about my ability to juggle school and my children. It is God who gives me the strength to complete this journey. My children have no one else in this world to depend on but me. I know that completing my education helps to ensure their future.

My loss is God’s gain. He has gained the glory, honor and praise that He is due. I am proud that God allowed me to walk this path, to be a testimony for others, to share this story of His faithfulness and love. In just a few days, we leave MI to begin another part of life’s journey.

The one thing I have learned is to appreciate everyday. Take things one day at a time. Jesus prayed, “Give us this day our daily bread.” God will give you the tools you need to make it through each day. Reflect on God’s mercy and accept His loving kindness every day. Be humble, yet strong. And always remember, no matter how dark the day, God always makes a way. A had to finish writing this chapter of my life so that the next one could begin. Today, I am a happier, healthier person. My future is bright and am I looking forward to embracing it with my children.

Thank you for all the prayers, encouraging phone calls, and emails. Please continue to pray for me. The best is yet to come……