Helping Those Who Need It Most

January 7th, 2011

I woke up early this morning to retrieve Big Boy from Children’s Hospital. We’re so fortunate. In and out world-class medical care just 30 minutes from our home.  At Children’s, they treat anybody – from the children of DC’s power brokers to the poorest kids in our nation’s capital.  As one of the doctors there said to me yesterday,

“We’re $50 Million in the hole this year. We can be doing fine financially, but then one bone marrow transplant for a patient without insurance will set us back. And can you really say no to a child with cancer?”

And while I give thanks for the incredible staff at Children’s National Medical Center, I also thought of others with cancer – adults. Do people say no to them?

According to my friend Susan from ToddlerPlanet, they do. Susan has world class medical care and  tons of resources at her disposal to fight her fourth recurrence of cancer in four years. She just found out about this latest round, and while she’s intent on beating this back, her focus is also on a very personal campaign: getting lymphedema sleeves onto the arms of cancer patients.

If you haven’t heard of lymphedema sleeves, you’re not alone. In fact, when I first met Susan at BlogHer this summer, I gasped and said, “You blog about everything! How come you never blogged that you have tattooed arms??!!”

Well, this brilliant astrophysicist does not have tattooed arms – but she does have lymphedema sleeves, which reduce the pain and swelling associated with cancer – while looking like radical fashion accessories.

Read more here.

– Lynn

Happy Christmas: It’s Epiphany

January 6th, 2011

I interrupt this New Year to remind you that some are still celebrating Christmas! Depending on how you count the days from Christmas, the twelfth day of Christmas may be celebrated on January 5th or 6th, with Epiphany on the 6th.

This year, we celebrated Epiphany early in order to avoid having it at Children’s Hospital, where my son will have his appendix removed today. (The final stage of that awful emergency of a ruptured appendix!)

Epiphany King's Cake

It’s one more thing we do in our household to focus on friends, family and faith, as opposed to what I call “the commercial Christmas” and what my @GreenMoms friends call “holidays without the hoopla.”

My last post here was on the eve of Advent, when I blogged that I was going to try to do as my church advises: Relax. Slow Down. It’s Advent.

Of course, life doesn’t stop. I confess, I did work through the holidays,  stopping only on  Christmas Eve, Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. And of course I didn’t get around to everything on my agenda, but I adapted. Who says a gingerbread house needs to be made before Christmas? Voila! I decorated mine with “2011,” transforming it into a New Year’s gingerbread house!

NewYearsGingerbread

But perhaps it was the hours gleaned through “neglecting” my blog that gave me time to bake cookies, something I never got around to last year.

If you’d like to celebrate Epiphany, here’s the key part:

Boo looks at our collection of King Cake "fievres" from years past.

Boo looks at our collection of King Cake "fievres" from years past.

Get a great King’s Cake! They’re hard to bake, unless you’re a master chef, so I’m not going to suggest that. A better bet is a French bakery. In years past, we always got our King Cake at Patisserie Poupon in Georgetown, DC. This year, we tried Café Cocoa on Bethesda Lane, and were thrilled with the cake.

Cut the cake into pieces. The person who finds a small porcelein figure in their piece is crowned “King” and gets to wear the gold crown that comes with the cake. (I’ve “upcycled” our gold crowns by passing them along to a dear friend so that her daughter could play Queen Esther at the Temple’s Purim festival. Talk about Interfaith Dialog in action! :) )

Because by Christmas Eve I typically discover that we have overabundance of presents for the kids,  I set a few aside to give as “gifts” from the Wise Men.

This year, the boys each got a watch.

AdventGifts

I dodged their question about whether the Wise Men shopped at Gap or had a toy factory by asking, “What do you think?”

My eight-year-old responded, “I think   Melchior

Caspar and Balthasar got the watches because telling time is really wise, and they’re The Wise Men.”

“How did you know their names?,” I asked, wondering if something from that “boring” Sunday School was sinking in…

“From the Advent calendar!” he exclaimed.

Happy New Year! If you celebrate Epiphany this year, let me know!

– Lynn

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