Monday, September 28, 2009

Soccer Saturday Can be Hard

This past Saturday was the perfect Saturday for soccer. Unlike the last 2 Saturdays, one of which had 90 degree temperatures and the other of which had lots of rain, the weather was perfect.

Even with perfect weather, soccer Saturdays can be hard.

Our 3 boys play on 2 different teams. On Saturday, both games were being played at the same time.

It was hard for my oldest not to have Momma there to see him finish his game and earn his first win.

It was hard for Coach Dad to miss his youngest boys game.

It was hard to wait until after the game to go swing.

It was hard for the soccer mom to remember to get in a picture.

And, hardest of all, it was hard (traumatic even), to fall down in the wet grass.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #105

Each Thursday I make a list of my thankful thoughts. I spend time throughout my day appreciating the little and big things in my life. My posted list gives you a glimpse of my thankful heart.

I am thankful for these things and so much more:

1. My niece's surgery went well
2. Encouragement from my husband
3. Impromptu Get-togethers with friends
4. Exercise
5. Cold, refreshing water
6. Baking
7. New Recipes
8. Peace in the middle of a storm
9. Sunshine
10. Friendly Neighbors
11. An Evening Walk
12. Soccer Saturdays
13. My kids...

Here's a picture of my kids last Saturday. We had been through one game in the pouring rain and we were at the end of the last game. My oldest was sitting out a quarter and the rest of the crew was cheering on the team. My kids make me smile. This picture makes me smile.

Thanks for stopping by. Take time a moment to be thankful for the big and small things in your life.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


This past week at church we talked about being vulnerable and the importance of vulnerability in real relationships. It was easy for me to think about and imagine. I long for intimacy and openness with my friends. I desire close friendships.

I should have known that there would be test.

Isn't that the way life often works?

I despise conflict. I avoid it. I tend to be a peacemaker and I usually work to find a diplomatic solution to challenging people situations.

Monday rolled around and I was faced with the reality of a disagreement. My inclination is to avoid the conflict. It isn't really a personal conflict. I just disagree with the way something is being handled. The problem surfaced with a group of people I love. For a variety of reasons, I hesitantly decided to be a part of the group again this year. Now, I find myself wanting to opt out of the group.

My loving, better half suggested last night: "Ya know, the mature thing to do would be to talk about how you feel and be honest."

Now I am reeling from the realization that real relationships aren't just sharing on a deeper level.

Real relationships require me being open with my frustrations. It needs to be more than just being honest, if asked. That's where it's hard for me.

Today I will stretch out of my comfort zone. I will share my heart. I will be loving and honest... and vulnerable. I will be real with a friend.

~The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.~

Monday, September 21, 2009

Update from John

I tried to wait to post an update until I got an email but I just couldn't. I knew I should have waited. I just got this update from my brother-in-law. It makes me smile. I just love the way he explains everything.

Thanks again for all the prayers!

Email Update From John --


ok, sarah had her surgery today,

guy version: hole was fixed, all is going good, should be home in a few days, won't know if it worked for a few months.

girl version: sarah had about a 2 hour surgery, the doc was able to find and fix a cleft right below the voice box, took about 2 stitches that will dissolve on their own in about a week or so all the repairs were done with a really small probe down the throat. The ENT is confident that this will fix Sarah's aspiration problems, but since we are only hopeful that this was the cause, we can only be hopeful that it works. We will not take a swallow test for about 2 months to tell if this worked. Due to all the work on her air tube, Sarah is spending Monday night in the PICU, then should be moved to a normal hospital room for Tuesday night, and if all goes well, will come home on Wednesday, but that is up to the docs to decide. Carrie is spending the night both tonight and Tuesday night in the hospital. She will resume normal diet on Tuesday.

If anyone cares, Dad and Matt are doing fine.


Sarah Update

I just got an update from my family.

Sarah's surgery went well. She's on fluids in intensive care. She is doing well and as long as she continues to do so, she will be moved to a normal room by morning. She will be in the hospital until Thursday.

They will continue to thicken her fluids for 2 months. Hopefully, after that time, she will be able to drink normally.

My sister and husband are understandably exhausted. They are also very relieved.

Thank you for your continued prayers as Sarah recovers. Your prayer support today was wonderful.


My niece, Sarah, is having surgery today at Johns Hopkins Children's Hospital to fix a cleft (hole) in her airway. The hope is that this surgery will allow her to be able to drink liquids without aspirating.

She has to to be at the hospital at 1pm. The surgery will start at 3pm and take 2 hours. She will then be admitted to the intensive care unit. She will be in the hospital for 2-3 days depending on how things go.

Sarah had a procedure (a laryngoscopy and bronchoscopy) done last Monday that discovered the "laryngeal cleft" (or hole in the airway). We were actually thrilled with the discovery. She has not been able to drink liquids. All of her fluids have had to be thickened to keep her from aspirating. Until Monday, no one could figure out what was wrong. Monday's procedure found there is a cleft below the voice box in the trachea (air tube) that most likely is causing her aspiration.

We are thankful that Sarah is getting the best care possible. We are hopeful for incredible results from surgery.

If you will, say a prayer for Sarah right now.

Pray for the doctors. Pray for my sister, Carrie, and her husband, John, and my nephew, Matt.

Thank you so much.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Sweetie

Today's Soccer games were all played in the rain. It was also picture day- in the rain. It poured during the pictures and the first game (for my 4 year old and 6 year old). It rained until the 4th quarter of my 8 year old's game.

That's a lot of rain... especially when you are 1. My sweet girl was really happy when it stopped raining and I let her out of the stroller.

Here's a Saturday photo of my Sweetie.

My 4 year old has made me laugh all day. Go here for a smile: He's Not a Trooper

Friday, September 18, 2009

Feedback Can Make A Difference

My family was invited a birthday party tonight at a local pizza place. When we got the invite, I called to check on the food ingredients to see if they were safe for my son who has a peanut allergy. I was told not to put my son at risk by coming to the restaurant. I was not satisfied with the attitude that I received so I left a comment on the comment page of the restaurant's website. You can read that story here: Told Not To Risk It

Several commenters requested that I let them know if I got a response from the restaurant.

I did not get a response.

As week went on, we struggled with how we were going to handle dinner. Should we eat and then show up at the restaurant for the birthday dessert, presents and playing at the playland?

I asked my husband to call the restaurant today. I was curious if he would get a different response than I did. He called the corporate office first. They transferred him to the local restaurant.

He was told their food was safe, they did not serve anything that contained peanuts and that they even got rid of the peanut butter cookies they used to have "for that very reason".

You would think that would have satisfied me. However, it didn't sit right with me to get 2 opposite responses from the same restaurant.

So, I called the restaurant.

I asked to talk to a manager. The man on the phone said he was a manager. I explained the situation- that both my husband and I had called asking about their ingredients and food allergies and had gotten two very different responses. The man put me on hold and then another manager picked up the phone. He was very polite. He told me that he had received an email about the situation. He said that I should not have been told what I was told. He said that his employees should have checked about the ingredients. He apologized. He asked me what my concerns were. He said that restaurant makes all of their sauces. They use fresh ingredients and there are not any cross contamination issues. I told him that I was concerned about getting such different responses when we called. He said that should not have happened and that he was taking care of it. He said he is responsible for making sure the employees know the ingredients. He apologized again and assured me the food should be safe. I appreciated his kind response.

The restaurant did not call me or email me in response to my comments on the website. I think they should have.

However, my feedback made a difference.

It seemed that both the employee my husband talked to and the one that first answered my call knew about the situation. The employees are more aware of what they are serving. That is a good thing. And, maybe, just maybe, they are taking pride in their ingredients like their website states.

Never hesitate to give feedback in a respectful way. It can make a difference.

Now I better get ready to enjoy a fun filled night eating pizza and watching the kids play.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #104

Every week, I take time to make a list of my thankful thoughts. Here is a sampling of what I am thankful for this week.

1. Play dough. Man, that stuff is goooood. It is the only thing that has kept my little girl happy the last hour before I pick up my oldest son before school. She is really ready for her nap but I hold her off until he gets home.

2. Routines. I am starting to find my Fall routine and it feels good. Two activities- no, make that 3, start this week and after that, I think we are all systems "Go" for Fall.

3. Dandelion Flowers. I loved watching the excitement of my kids as they ran through a field today grabbing flowers. The flowers are as special to me as the most beautiful bouquet in any florist shop.

4. My husband. I guess I can put him on my list every week if I want to, right? Today, he came home and "saved" me from a little girl that was way, way, waaay to tired. Remember how I have to work to keep her awake for her nap until late? Well, her not-so-quiet brothers woke her up from her nap not too long after she fell asleep. This afternoon was tough. My husband came home, handed me a $20 (he suggested that I get a quiet dinner out somewhere), and took my really cranky little sweetheart.

He's a good man.

5. My Elsie Daisy. She's a sweetheart. It was hard to see her so upset all afternoon when I knew it was just because she was extremely over tired.

Here she is during one of the only quiet moments of the late afternoon.

6. $20. What would you do with $20? Remember, I said my husband gave me $20 to get a quiet dinner for myself? Hee, hee... I went out to Starbucks, picked up a frappicino and a gift card for myself and then came back home for the dinner that I had already made. That's $20 well spent!

7. A Messy Room. I looked around at my living room today and just laughed. A tub of dress-up clothes was dumped out. There were costumes everywhere. A 4 year old Ninja turtle was drawing on a Magna Doodle. There were baby toys spread out on the remaining carpet. And, Elsie Daisy was bringing the toys in the kitchen. The closed tub of play dough was still sitting out next to the table. One child was reading a book on the couch and had various other books on the floor behind him. My other son was running from place to place. I laughed. I thought to myself- I am thankful for this. One day, when my house is neat and way too quiet, I will miss this.

8. Prayer. I have said it time and time again. I am thankful for prayer. I believe in it.
I have to end this thankful list with a prayer request. And, I am thankful for those of you that will lift this up in prayer.

Please say a prayer for my niece, Sarah. I'd love for you to pray tonight, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday... but if nothing else, say a simple prayer for her right now.

She had a procedure (a laryngoscopy and bronchoscopy) done this week that discovered a "laryngeal cleft" (or hole in the airway). The discovery was quite exciting. Sarah has not been able to drink fluids because they caused her to aspirate. All of her fluids had to be thickened. Until Monday, no one could figure out what was wrong. Monday's procedure found there is a cleft below the voice box in the trachea (air tube) that most likely is causing her aspiration.

She is having surgery to fix the cleft on Monday at Johns Hopkins Children's Hospital. This is a rare and serious surgery. Sarah has to to be there at 1pm. The surgery will start at 3pm. The surgery will take 2 hours. She will then be admitted to the intensive care unit. She will be in the hospital for 2-3 days depending on how things go.

Here's a picture of Sarah on Monday. She is such a tough little girl. She has been through so much.

Pray for Sarah, my sister Carrie and her husband John and their son Matt.

THANK YOU so much for your prayers.

I am thankful for your prayers.

~Take time to be thankful today. You will be better off for it.~

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Works-for-Me Wednesday: Organizing School Papers

Organization does not come naturally for me. I have to work on it constantly.

I really struggled last year with keeping up with papers from school. Way too many nights (or mornings) before school, I ended up searching for a missing paper that required attention or had information I needed.

This year, I have 3 boys in school (one in preschool and 2 in elementary school). I recognized before school started that I was going to have to do something different. I came up with a new system. So far, it is really working for me.

I bought 3 baskets and put the kids' names on the outside. When the kids bring home papers from school (or cub scouts or soccer), I put the papers in the baskets. Later when I have time, I throw out what I don't need to keep and I note the dates of activities on our family calendar. I keep the baskets on the top shelf of our desk.

Every Tuesday my older boys bring home a "Tuesday Folder" from school. It is full of papers like notes from their teachers, work completed in class, fliers for extra activities and the school newsletter. My kids come home from school hungry. They have to have a snack before homework and reading. I make a quick pass through the papers and then I file them away in the correct baskets.

My youngest son is in preschool. The baskets provide a safe keeping for special pictures that he draws or paints (until I can file them away in his art binder).

Yesterday, my kindergartner took his first trip to the school library. No more trying to figure out where to put the library book! It has a home in his basket.

The beauty of this system is that it is easy, it is accessible to my children (they can easily grab their homework or library book), and my children love it (probably because they no longer have to wonder where everything went).

I am posting this as a part of Works-For-Me Wednesday. Stop by We are That Family for other Works-for-Me ideas.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

It's been a while since I have done a Not Me! post and I have had a lot of Not Me! moments. I started this post this morning and I am forcing myself to post it now.

I did not forget to pick up my son from school on the 1st early release day. He didn't have to stand and wait by the school door with the other forgotten kids. I was not at home just wondering how I was going to hold off his little sister's nap when I was already late to pick him up. I was not embarrassed at all when the school called me - not one bit - not me.

I am not being watched today. (Whose cat is this and why is it watching me!??) I am not slightly paranoid that this is payback for all of the not-so-nice cat jokes I have told in my lifetime. Please, please tell me that isn't happening to me.

I did not forget to remind my husband that my son had a bellyache during his soccer game on Saturday. I did not feel bad when my husband (the coach) told me he had forgotten and would have been a little easier on him if he had remembered. I was not so busy cheering for him, feeling proud of him, and taking pictures of him that I forgot about his tummy ache- no, not me.

I did not take my son with the on again off again bellyache to a birthday party yesterday at a park, let him run around like crazy and eat candy from a pinata, only to finish off the party by puking beside my van. I did not do that- not me.

I did not work really hard when stuffing candy in the PTO meeting reminder treat backs to ensure that I had just a few Heath bars left. I mean, I wouldn't have supplemented from David's leftover pinata stash just so I could eat a few Heath bars. No, no, no... I do not love those little treats that much - not me.

I did not do the happy dance right in the middle of Wal-mart when I found the nut-free cupcakes. My son had that birthday part to attend on Sunday and I didn't have anything for him to bring- that would be remotely close to the cake the kids were going to enjoy. I did not call my husband from the store to tell him the great news. I wasn't that excited over pre-packaged, nut-free cupcakes - of course, not- not me.

I have not had a little too much fun playing with my son's Nerf guns. He got them for his birthday and they are so much fun- er, I mean, I wouldn't know if they would be fun to shoot at my husband. It wouldn't have been me crawling around on the floor, hiding behind the chair, shooting at my husband in all out Nerf gun war. That wasn't me - nope, not me- but don't ask my kids about that either.

I have not lost my mind looking for my digital camera this afternoon. I have cleaned my car and the stroller but I have not found the camera. I had it at the park. I remember carrying it over toward the car right before my son started puking. I am not feeling sick to my stomach imaging life without pictures. If you know me, you know I always have my camera. NOOOOOO, don't let this be the truth. I can't be camera-less, NOT ME.

I am not in a bad mood right not because my camera is MIA- no, not me.

I am not leaving all of that above just to prove that I am crazy about pictures... even though, literally 2 SECONDS after I posted the post, I remembered using my camera this morning and I know right where it is. I am not in a bad mood any more. I am so, so, SOOOOOOO happy. I am not leaving this here to remind myself that I have an obsession with taking pictures of my kids. Now, I am not going to go do the happy dance all the way down the hall to grab my precious little camera- no, and I am not at all glad you can't see me right now!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Told Not To Risk It

I just wrote the following comment on a local restaurant's website.

Comments: I called the location to ask about your ingredients. Since your website brags about the pride you take in your ingredients, I was very surprised by the response I got. My son has a peanut allergy. I called to find out if your pizzas, sauce or other ingredients, contain peanuts or peanut ingredients. Although the man that answered the phone was not rude, I was surprised by his attitude. He put me on hold to ask the manager about the ingredients. He then told me that the manager said that he's "not really sure" and "you shouldn't risk it because you are better off being safe than sorry." I asked if they could check the labels and I was told that "the ingredients come in boxes. The boxes are unwrapped and the labels go right in the trash. I'm sorry." I don't expect that your restaurant would be safe for my son. However, I wanted to let you know that the employee that answered the phone and the manager did not have an attitude that expressed what your website states: "All of us at (local restaurant) take great pride in our ingredients." I was disappointed in the attitude I received.

I was surprised by the reaction I got from the staff at the restaurant. We were invited to a birthday party there. That's why I was checking about the ingredients. I suppose we will eat before we go to the birthday party.

Here's the thing- I would be happier right now if the staff had cared, checked on the food, and told me the food was not safe. It is the attitude that irritated me.


We don't eat out much. For all I know, this might be a normal reaction from a restaurant. It's a poor one. But, I imagine I might be surprised to find many restaurants would react a similar way.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Soccer Saturday: I'm Hot

This was my 4 year old today waiting to get back into his first soccer game. He was hot. It was 91 degrees. He started to come off the field a couple of times, saying, "I'm hot." I was so proud of him for continuing to play.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Flashback: Oh My Watermelon!

The year was 1989. My sister was graduating from high school. I dressed up in my best watermelon attire...

I'm linking up with Alicia today at
More Than Words. Join in the fun with her Friday Flashback meme.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #103

I am thankful that this week is over. Ever felt like that? It's O-V-E-R.


It's Thursday night. My week- my week with my long to-do list- is done. It wasn't a bad week - not at all- but it was a very busy week.

Now that I said - let me share a bit more about the things that make me grateful.

I am thankful for:

1. Company- We had the best weekend with out-of-town friends.

2. A good SEC football game on TV in Oregon (and a happy ending for Bama fans)

3. Being able to pull of a birthday party after an insane week

4. A fun and safe 1st day of kindergarten

5. Concerned and conscientious school staff

6. Teachers that care

7. A supportive and encouraging husband

8. A husband that makes me laugh and laugh. Yes, that's right, he really did win. Oh my gosh, I cannot stop laughing because he is sitting next to me with his winning shirt on. (Go back to that second link and check it out. My husband is crazy.)

9. Hand-me-down clothes for my kids. I received two different boxes of clothes recently in the mail, as well as a bag of clothes from a friend here in town.

10. Seeing my kids excited about school

11. Pumpkin Spice lattes. They aren't my favorite, necessarily, but they mean my favorite (Gingerbread) is right around the corner.

12. Having the 1st PTO meeting of the year under my belt.

13. Heath bars. Mmmmm... homemade cookies... mmmm... homemade blueberry buckle cake... baking... I love baking and heath bars. I think I better made a heath bar coffee cake soon.

14. Friday morning with 2 kids in school and 1 kid in preschool. Honestly, I am not sure what I am going to do with those 2 1/2 hours. Maybe I will just paint my daughter's toe nails. Seriously, maybe I will take her to playground. The possibilites are endless... she likes the starbucks smoothies.

That's it for me this Thursday. I am too tired to think and my husband will be at work at 6 so it's all me in the morning.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A Good Start to Kindergarten

Kindergarten started on Tuesday. I started the day as if I was on a mission. It was going to be a busy, busy day. Some moms talk about how they tear up after leaving their children at Kindergarten. Not me, I was just too busy. However, the night before, I was a mess.

Back to Tuesday.

I went to school with my son and took tons of pictures. Due to his peanut allergy, his room is being kept peanut-free. The kids left their lunches outside of the room. Here's a picture of my son before class. Notice the lunches behind him and the peanut free sign on the door.

I got him settled in his room a bit and as the other parents continue to watch and snap photos, I snuck out to talk to the nurse. I went and signed in all of my son's meds. There were forms to fill out. I found out that I didn't have (and needed) a prescription labeling on his Epipen and Inhaler. I should have known that- I just didn't think of it. I went back to the room, took a few more pictures, and then told my son I would be back.

I headed home so my husband could get to work. Then, I dropped off my other 2 little one's at a friend's house.

I went back to the kindergarten class. The class had already been on a school tour that included the cafeteria and a good explanation of the peanut free table.

I brought sunbutter to the class. The kids got a chance to taste sunbutter on Ritz crackers. Many of the kids tried it and most all of the kids that did said they liked it.

I read the class the book Allie the Allergic Elephant and the teacher explained to the class the room would be peanut free. Here's a picture of me reading to the class.

At lunch, my son sat at the newly established peanut free table. The aides worked hard to make sure that no one sat there with peanut butter. There was one sweet boy that was excited to sit at the table and seemingly devasted (he seemed like he might cry) because he had to move because his dessert was a Reese's peanut butter cup. There were other kids at the table (much to this mom's relief) and my son hit it off with another little boy with a beautifully nut-free home-packed lunch. Here's a picture of my son at lunch.

The only thing my son mentioned that was hard on my heart a bit was that all of the other kids 'had to wash their hands (after lunch) so that they wouldn't touch me'.

Even though that was hard to hear, I don't think he was all that bothered.
He had a wonderful day at kindergarten. He is excited about school. His claims his favorite part is recess. He was thrilled to see his big brother on the playground. More than anything, he looks forward to learning to read.

Here he is on his way out of school.

The "Tuesday Folder" that my son is carrying contained another copy of the letter to the school about a new student with a peanut allergy. (It originally went out in the registration packets.) In her letter to the parents, the teacher wrote about my son's allergy. She also included the safe classroom snack list that I provided to her and mentioned that she had a list for classroom parties, as well.

We had a good start to Kindergarten. My son is very excited. I am thankful for the support I have.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Just Hold Me

My little girl will be 2 in November. The other night when I went to put her in bed, we headed for the rocking chair and I was shocked to find that she wanted me to rock her. I needed to get her in bed sort of quickly because it was getting late, it was a school night and my boys were waiting for me downstairs. It was my 2nd son's birthday. I put her in her crib and she started crying.

This was unusual behavior for her. Normally, I try to rock her and she wants to get in bed. She will point to her bed as I am trying to rock her. If I say, "Do you want to get in bed?" She will nod her head up and down to say yes. I have tried all sorts of things - singing to her and reading books. She enjoys me reading books but she doesn't settle in and snuggle. She is not much of a cuddler. She wants her blanket and pacifier and then she wants to go to bed.

I went out of the room and told the boys to carry on without me. Then, I gave my little girl some extra attention.

I savor the moments when my kids are in my lap, relaxed and peaceful. I love being with them. I love wrapping them up in my arms and holding them close.

Sometimes, my daughter's independence saddens me. She wants her "paci" and "blankie" and space. I give her what she needs. I provide for her. But, I love to hold her.

Often, I am not all that different than my two year old.

I approach my days with my faith but I just grab what I think I need to make it. I go about my activities praying here and there. I may grab an encouraging word - reading a few Bible verses or even writing them down. God provides for me. He is there with me and I can turn to him when necessary.

It is just that too often, I don't sit with him.

I need to draw to close to God. I need to rest with him. I need to walk in his open arms and let him hold me.

I need to be still. I need to know he is God.

Psalm 46:10 - Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth.

This is always true. It is especially powerful for me to remember during this busy season when school and activities are starting up.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

I cannot stop laughing

My sweet friend, Jill, had a fun contest a while back. The contest was to win a cute t-shirt like the one her daughter is wearing here.

The contest is over.

During the contest, my husband made several humorous entries. I won't list them but trust me, they were hilarious. He made several of his entries when some friends of ours were in town.

Last night our friends came back to visit us. They didn't get in until about 1 a.m. We sat around chatting and laughing until around 3 a.m. At some point during the conversation, Jill's contest came up. Our friends were wondering who won. And then...

My husband jumps up grabs a T-shirt and makes his own winning t-shirt.

Please, really, go check out this link: I Win! I Win! I Win!.

It makes me laugh so much .

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

This is His Week

It's countdown week. I'm counting down until my 2nd son starts kindergarten.

This week, it seems, is all about my son.

I began preparing for my son starting kindergarten in the Spring of last year when I first met with the school nurse and principal. My son is the first student at the school with a severe food allergy. We had more than one meeting and determined that the majority of work would have to take place the week or two before school started.

Kindergarten starts one week from today.

I found out his kindergarten teacher on Friday and we began emailing over the weekend. Yesterday, I stopped by the school to see what needed to be done to have the peanut-free table set up. The rest of the school (including my 3rd grader) started school today. I talked to the head of the cafeteria staff. I talked to the person that is going to be in charge of the health room this year (and that's a recent change for her- she's performing a dual duty- working in the office and manning the health room).

I was on the phone with his allergist yesterday, trying to get his opinion about the best protocol for handing my son's Epipen at school when he is at PE or on the playground.

I set up a meeting with his teacher for this Friday. Now others will be attending- the two other kindergarten teachers, the health room staff, possibly the cafeteria lady and possibly the principal. The more people I talk to, the better off my son will be. If I have learned one thing in the process so far, it is that constant and effective communication is essential.

We also have the normal meetings. His district health assessment on tomorrow and his kindergarten assessment on Thursday.

I am counting down until he starts school. I trying to cover all the bases, knowing that it isn't possible to cover them all before school starts.

I cannot stop thinking about my son starting school.

On top of everything - Tomorrow is his birthday.

I had been so focused on preparing for school that his birthday snuck up on me. On Sunday I took him out to look for school supplies, browse the toy store for gift ideas, and enjoy a dinner date together.

My son's birthday suddenly seems perfectly timed- it's making me have a dual focus - providing for my son and celebrating him.

After all, I have much to celebrate. He's a boy full of energy. He is a talker. His favorite color (today, anyway) is gold. His favorite superhero is Superman. His favorite food is Chili, which he has requested for his birthday dinner. His favorite song is "Sweet Home Alabama." He is my miracle baby (born 5 weeks early). He is a gift from God.

When asked what he is looking forward to most about kindergarten, he gave me 2 responses.

1st, he said - "Not having homework!" Clearly, he got that idea from his big brother.
2nd, he said - "Learning how to read!"

This is an exciting week for him. I am trying to keep that in mind so I don't get bogged down with the details of his peanut allergy and keeping him safe.

This is his week to celebrate getting older.

Here's a picture of us from dinner the other night.