Thursday, April 30, 2009

Grad School Update

I was finally assigned to a campus for grad school yesterday. This means I can complete the paperwork required for admission. I had already been accepted into the program I just wasn't sure which campus I would be assigned to. The university uses two campuses for the program and assigns students based on where they live and what they request.

Tonight I filled out the background check forms so that I can be assigned to a field assignment for next year. I am really hoping to get a placement in a government agency working in child protective services. I have requested it and applied for the program but won't know for sure for a little while yet.

I also ordered my official college transcripts. I had already sent the university unofficial copies but they needed official transcripts to complete my enrollment. This is no small task. I have attended four colleges while getting my associate and bachelor degrees. It took me seven years to complete my bachelor degree. I plan to finish my mastor degree in only two years. No more excuses for stalling. I just need to work hard for two years and be done with it.

Now I am back to waiting. I should hear if I am accepted into a grant program in the next couple of weeks. The university will be signing me up for my classes but I know which ones they are and when they will be. I will also be getting an email address through the university soon that will be used to communicate with the universtiy until school starts. I am guessing this will mostly be about my field placement since that will start a week before classes.

I have started looking for clothes to wear for the field assignment. I have worn a uniform for work for so long that I really don't have any clothes appropriate for an office setting. I started looking earlier this spring but quickly became frustrated. My brother's girlfriend has volunteered to help me find some so I am hoping we have some luck. It is hard to find clothes I like at a price I am willing to pay (cheap). I have a few more months to find some though.

I am nervous about going back to school. It doesn't help when people tell me I won't be able to do it and raise my kids. I know that I can do it though. It is the best way for me to get career options that won't require me to work 3 out of 4 weekends every month. It will also allow me to move into a job I like more. I am motivated and know that it is the best thing for my family in the long run. Even if it does mean the next couple of years will be busy and difficult.

Another Swimmer!

M is learning to swim! I finally took him in the little pool during Jacob's lesson last night. I have been feeling guilty for awhile about leaving M in the nursery during Jacob's lessons. I feel bad when I don't spend as much time with M as Jacob but also realize that M just can't do as much as Jacob can because of his age.

As of last night, there is now one less thing I cannot do with M. M asked to go swimming last night when I was preparing for Jacob's lesson. Not only did he say he wanted to go but he clutched the swim diapers all the way to the pool. Once there, M ran into the water and even put his face in it. He isn't completely comfortable but he was willing to go down the slide and get his whole body wet. Not bad for a kid who screamed the last time I tried to take him.

It will be another year before M is old enough for swimming lessons himself. I also am not sure that he will be happy going into the large pool. Until he is okay going in both pools with me and wearing a life jacket, I will still have to take him to the nursery for open swim times. I need to be able to take Jacob into the big pool so he can practice the things he is learning in swimming lessons. M can come on the nights that Jacob has lessons though. Hopefully, it won't be long before M is comfortable in both pools and it won't be an issue anymore. It was so much fun to be able to swim with both kids last night and not worry about anyone being left out.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Favorite Things

Jacob is the child of the week this week! He is loving it. I actually forgot all about it (bad mom) until after school today. He was suppose to turn in his papers and pictures by today. Oops! We will take them in tomorrow.

Jacob gets to be line leader all week. This is the most prized assignment in the classroom. He also gets to listen to his favorite CD (Sesame Street from around the world), read his favorite book (Mickey Mouse Easter Hunt), bring in a toy and bring a treat for the last day. I am pretty sure he will bring cupcakes but I have no idea what his toy choice will be. My guess is it will be a garbage truck or fire truck but who knows. I'll let you know at the end of the week what he chooses.

Here are Jacob's favorite things:

I like to play with: Hotwheel Cars.

My favorite sport is: soccer.

My favorite place to go is: Ethiopia (as long as Mom promises to go with me.)

I like to draw: Hotwheel cars.

My favorite game is: soccer and baseball.

I like to collect: toys.

My favorite hobby is: swimming.

My favorite color is: all of them.

My favorite food is: Ethiopian (Doro wat).

My favorite holiday is: Christmas and Easter.

My favorite book is: E is for Ethiopia.

My favorite toy is: fire truck.

My favorite song is: Elmo's Song.

My favorite animal is: cow.

My favorite web site is: (he likes to look at the pictures of him).

Tonight in the car Jacob wanted to add a category not found on his worksheet.

His favorite babysitters are Grandma and Grandpa, Uncle Chuck, Maddie, Jasmine, Brooke and Jenni. (Pretty much all of them)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tired Of The Rain

It has only been two days of rain and I already wish it would leave. Jacob was suppose to have a soccer game today. I was going to take off work early to watch it. Due to a communication issue, I was not able to get off work. Now his game has been canceled due to the rain.

It is suppose to rain the rest of the week so the grass and flowers should be growing. My tulips are blooming and I am just waiting for the daffodils. My other perrenial is growing quickly. I plan to add some dirt this year and hope I can replant it as well as planting some other vegetables and flowers.

April showers bring May flowers. How I love May flowers! Hopefully the thought of sunny summer days with colorful flowers and garden fresh vegetables will help me get through the rainy days. That and our normal busy lives. After all, there will be more soccer games, softball starts in a week and the major league baseball season is in full swing. Go Cubs and Brewers!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pictures From Today

Nothing too exciting. We went to the children's museum again. I was able to renew our membership for another year. They allow us to get a year's membership for just five dollars. It is the subsidized rate for low income families and those families involved in foster care and certain charities. The kids really enjoy the museum although I doubt I would get a membership and we would go as often if we didn't get the cheap membership rate. We do though so I enjoy it greatly. I am looking forward to when they build a new museum in a couple of years.

Spring Soreness

We had beautiful weather in the low 80s yesterday. It was the first time I have really gotten outside and moved a lot since last fall. It was wonderful! Now I am sore.

I love spring and even look forward to being sore every year. This year is no different. Jacob decided to stay home from school so we spent the day together. After a quick breakfast, Grandpa, Jacob and I headed off to the batting cages. I need a lot of practice. It did not go as well as I had hoped it would. After looking or swinging at about 98 pitches, I gave up for the day. I will go back again next week after I give my body some time to rest. I finally began seeing the ball a little better at the end and making progress. I tweaked my swing a bit and seem to be doing better. Now it is just a matter of practicing until it becomes habit.

Jacob enjoyed watching me and did a wonderful job of waiting outside of the cage. He looked great in his batting helmet and carrying a bat around! I didn't bring my camera so you will just have to trust me. There is something about little kids and big batting helmets that just make me want to laugh. We talked about how he will be old enough to play t-ball next year and how much fun it will be.

After the batting cage, it was time for lunch. Grandma wanted to walk to lunch so we walked about 20 minutes to Subway. It was so nice to just be out in the sunshine again and enjoy the nice weather. I loved not being too hot or cold and just being able to walk around in a t-shirt.

We ended the day by going swimming after dinner. Jacob has become very good at it. I am enjoying swimming with him and watching him have so much fun. He was a little disappointed that there weren't any kids from lessons at the pool and decided he will have to come back when there are swimming lessons. The new session starts Wednedsday so he won't have to wait long.

Today is another busy day but one that is cloudy, cool and raining. I am taking the kids downtown for a little while and then cleaning the house. Nothing too exciting. Maybe the children's museum while waiting for my muscles to relax and recover.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Ray!

Jacob passed another level at swimming lessons! I was really surprised and had actually signed him up for the previous level. He can now swim a few feet above water and several feet underwater. He loves to swim underwater and is getting really good at it. Over the past few weeks, he has gotten good at floating on his back and other skills he needs for the next level.

As a ray, Jacob will continue to improve as a swimmer. The skill that he is beginning to do that really amazes me is treading water. What a wonderful skill! It is so nice to know that Jacob is able to swim a small difference and to the top of the water. I don't have to worry if he falls in the pool since he can get to the side now. I was speaking to the director who stated she has seen children who are four and five years old be able to pass the deep water test and swim the length of the pool. I think Jacob will definitelly be one of those kids soon!

I have been hesitating to take M swimming during Jacob's lessons. M really likes playing at the nursery and I have wanted to watch Jacob. I think I am finally ready to see how M does in the little pool now. He listens better and behaves better than a few months ago. I think he would enjoy playing in the little pool during the lessons and I think he is less likely to have major tantrums and behavioral problems while we are there. I plan to let him come with us next week and just see what happens. If he doesn't enjoy it, he can always go back to the childcare area next time.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Soccer Update

Jacob had his first soccer game yesterday. I was really nervous about it. He had practice last Wednesday and it did not go well. Most of the kids had trouble with it. It is hard to explain soccer and get three-year-olds excited about kicking drills when they have never played before. Besides the short attention spans, they just didn't understand what they were suppose to be doing.

Jacob really did not enjoy most of the practice. He kept saying he did not like soccer which made me sad. I knew if he just gave a game a try that he would love racing other kids up and down a field while kicking a ball. The problem was trying to convince him that it was fun.

Yesterday was a drizzly and damp day with light rain showers. I was surprised to find out the kids were still playing. I had to work so Jacob's grandpa took him to the game. Jacob was excited to be doing something with just Grandpa. They returned shortly before I got home from work.

I walked in the house and was greeted by a very excited Jacob. He was very happy to tell me he had fun at soccer and listened to his coach. He explained how they took turns playing but he didn't score any goals because the other kids were really fast. I was relieved to hear that it went so well. I am hoping to be able to leave work a couple of hours early next weekend to see his game. It kills me to be missing them but there just isn't much I can do. I am very grateful that other people are helping him get to his games and that he is able to have fun.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Some Good Days

We have had some very good days the past week. Of course, everyday with my children is a blessing but some are better than others.

People who are close to us know that Jacob has hit a rough patch in his development. He is 3 1/2 now and has been experiencing some of the same behavior issues as other children his age. Nothing major but more difficult than normal. Thankfully, I am in enough parenting groups to be able to see other parents struggle during this age and know it is just a phase. I also see enough other three year olds to know how lucky I am that his behavior is not any worse (and to worry how M will be at this age since he is a more difficult child).

The past few days have shown an improvement in behavior from both kids and allowed us to really enjoy ourselves. The kids went to school yesterday and I worked. After work, I picked them up and we picked up our friend, P. P and Jacob were able to have a lot of fun playing outside while M and I made pizzas inside. M wasn't thrilled about being stuck inside with boring me but we made it work.

We finished eating pizza just as M's social worker arrived for a home visit. She really didn't have much to say except that she will work on finding out if M can go on vacation with us next summer. It would be hard to leave him behind but I do have a friend willing to take him if needed. She is approved for respite care so at least he would be with someone he knows. I am really hoping M's mom or the courts will approve him to come with us though.

After dinner, I took M, P and Jacob to the park. P exclaimed, "this park is fun!" after we had been there for a few minutes. We stayed for about forty-five minutes and all left tired and thirsty. Jacob and P had a great time chasing each other around the park while I chased M and tried to keep him off the really high equipment. It is so hard to be too small to keep up with the bigger kids. I think he had fun with me. It will be nice next year when he is big enough to play with the older kids.

The weather has been absolutely perfect. Highs have been in the low 70s and the sun has been shining. It is so easy to see the good in life and enjoy the kids when the weather is wonderful. Today is another gorgeous day and I look forward to taking the kids to a local community center for our monthly single parents meeting. It is a chance for single parents to get together and let our kids play. Most of the kids were adopted and most of the parents chose to become single parents. It is always a fun time when we can get together.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring Cleaning

My goal of getting the house cleaned up for spring and ready for an adoption study is progressing well. Actually, it is going better than I thought it would. I got the living room carpet cleaned on Tuesday. It was the first time I have had it professionally cleaned since it was installed about five years ago. It looks wonderful and definitelly will work for awhile longer. That is a big relief. I really didn't want to replace it until I know if I am moving or not. I hate to replace carpeting now just to replace it again in a year or two when I decide it is time to change careers and move.

Today I spent time cleaning out the boys' clothes. I know that spring in this part of the country is a time of change. The temperature will go from shorts to sweatshirts in just a couple of days. Today and the next couple of days are warm enough for t-shirts and light jackets. Next week the highs will be in the 50s and we will be back to sweatshirts.

I removed the heavy sweaters and sweatshirts from the dresser and fixed a couple of broken drawers. I went through the t-shirts and shorts to make sure that both boys have enough to get through the summer. I was happy to find that both boys should have enough clothes to get through. It will be nice to be able to take a few months off from searching for new clothes. Jacob will need some next winter again but for the next six months I can take that out of my budget.

I also got the toys in M's old room organized and cleaned up. I was able to find a few to get rid of but really only found a few that they don't play with. Jacob and I disagreed on some toys and I decided it doesn't hurt to let him keep them for a few more months. It was really only about six toys that we disagreed about keeping.

I still have some work to do especially in the boys' bedroom but I am making progress. It is nice to have two rooms down and only three to go (the boys' room, my room and the kitchen). I think I will even have enough items in the garage sale pile to have a decent sale when I am ready to move again.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another Jacob?

Wow! It was almost like travelling back in time to Jacob's adoption. I have a friend who is trying to adopt from China. I was looking through some waiting children to see if their were any that she might be interested in. I often look at the waiting children knowing that I am not in a position to adopt now but might adopt again in a few years.

Today I found a little boy that really jumped out at me. He was born almost two years after Jacob and is currently living in China. Other than that, he sounded just like Jacob. He has a port wine stain but no signs of Sturge Weber. He is outgoing, gets along with other children and walks well. He is developing normally and has a lot of personality. That would be almost exactly how I would have described Jacob at that age.

Jacob was featured on the waiting child list for seven months before I found him. I really hope this little boy does not have to wait that long for a forever family. I also hope his adoption works out as well as Jacob's has.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Jacob's Ideal House

While driving to Grandma's house today, Jacob was looking at all of the houses we drove by. He has heard me talking about possibly moving in 1-2 years and has been trying to decide what type of house we should buy. Here is the conversation we had:

J: I want a stories house.
M: Do you mean a house with two stories?
J: No, Mom. I want a STORIES house.
M: What's a stories house?
J: A house with books and stories in it.
M: That sounds good to me. I like to read stories.
J: It has to have at least two kid stories though.
M: Sounds good.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Pictures

Easter Celebration

Happy Easter! Jacob, M and I had a great two day celebration. I picked the boys up from the sitter's house after work yesterday and we officially started our Easter celebration. The first stop was for new haircuts for both boys. They always look so grown-up and handsome with fresh haircuts!

Haircuts did not take long and I found we were forty-five minutes early for church. The church is directly across the street from a very nice park. I had never been to this park but often look at it as we drive by and think that we should stop there someday. Saturday was a very nice day outside and the perfect day to check out the park.

After the park, we attended church and enjoyed a great service. I really enjoyed church and Jacob was able to make some wonderful projects in church school. We left church happy and feeling wonderful.

I headed home worried that it was getting late and the boys might get cranky. They didn't and we had a great time coloring eggs and preparing their baskets for the Easter Bunny. It amazes how much fun the simple things can be. The kids were in a hurry to go to bed though since they knew that the Easter Bunny would not come if they did not go to sleep first. I have never seen Jacob go to bed so easily and quickly. That made the evening even nicer for me. By that time, I was exhausted and just waiting for everyone's eyes to close so I could finish helping the Easter Bunny and then go to bed myself.

I woke the boys up early this morning despite complaints from Jacob. Jacob loves to sleep in and even the Easter Bunny is not enough to make waking up early fun for him. Once he was out of bed, it did not take him long to find his basket and help M find his. It was a great time and the boys enjoyed their baskets.

Unfortunately, I had to work so they were off to my parents' house for the day. Jacob was amazed to find out the Easter Bunny also felt bad that I was working and had hidden baskets for the boys at my parents' house also. The kids had a great time going to breakfast and church without me though. They took nice naps and I got there shortly after they woke up. Mom had cooked a nice dinner and I enjoyed just spending time with everyone especially my brother.

Jacob and Uncle Chuck did the dishes while I chased M around the house and helped clean up the toys and treats from earlier in the day. Everyone is now tired and it will be time for bed soon.

I hope everyone had a nice Easter. While I don't like working on holidays, I was grateful to be able to spend time with my family and had a good holiday. I am also very grateful that I have family nearby who will help me when I have to work.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Preparations and Celebrations

As the countdown to Easter comes to an end, I will update on our festivities and preparations for this year. Hopefully, I will have pictures to post soon.

Easter is one of my favorite times of the year. I am reminded of God's love while watching the end of winter and the beginning of Spring. I love watching the animals and plants come alive and the neighborhood children venture outside again. It is fun to see how much the children have grown and to see neighbors I haven't seen since the weather became cold.

Our festivities this year are a little less extravagant. I have to work all weekend and I am trying to save money for graduate school and life after. I am enjoying a smaller celebration this year. It is giving me a chance to focus on how lucky I am to be blessed with two beautiful children and lots of family and friends who care about us. With fewer activies, we are spending less time concentrating on getting tasks completed and more time just being together. It has been wonderful.

Easter preparations and celebrations really did not get started until Thursday. It was the last day of daycare for the week and the school had an Easter party. Jacob made an easter basket out of a milk carton as well as an edible easter basket (including edible grass). Both boys had fun at the school easter egg hunt where they filled their baskets with chocolate eggs and plastic eggs of jelly beans. Jacob's class spent time preparing different kinds of eggs and then tasting them. By the time I got the kids home, they were tired and excited.

Friday I spent time getting some pictures of M together for his mom. We then had our friend P over for dinner. I cooked spaghetti and garlic bread while the kids played hard. We finished by making ice cream sundaes. The kids had so much fun that it took over an hour for them to settle down enough to go to sleep. They did sleep hard after that.

Today we are attending church after work. There is a candle light service to celebrate Easter. It is a much shorter service and less involved than the traditional candle light service. I have never attended a candle light Easter service though so I am excited. Jacob is not excited that there will not be children's church but he will live. Hopefully, he will behave well enough for me to enjoy the service. M will go to the nursery as usual. He just isn't old enough to get anything out of the service and I won't enjoy myself if I am trying to control two little boys who do not want to be sitting in church.

After church, we will return home to prepare for tomorrow. I plan to dye Easter eggs before helping the kids get their Easter baskets ready for the Easter Bunny. They will spend Easter day with my parents and brother while I work. Hopefully, they will also attend church and enjoy their Easter goodies. I'll write more about that after it happens tomorrow. Hopefully, I will be able to post some pictures as well.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A New Play Room

What started as a few toys, has turned into an overflowing mess. I finally couldn't take it anymore (which means for me it must be really bad). I have decided that no more toys will be stored in the living room.

I have moved almost all of the toys into the bedroom I use for new foster kids. Since I am not really expecting a new foster child in the near future (although did say I would take one if they need me), I decided that room is the new playroom. I am about half way through cleaning it out and changing it over. I need to find some shelves for some of the larger toys. I would also like to get something to store stuffed animals in.

I plan to keep the crib/toddler bed and dresser there for awhile. At least until I am sure I won't have another foster child for a long time. If a new child does come, I can always move toys again depending on the needs of the child and how my other kids are handling the new child.

This is all part of my plan to complete a major cleaning project and reorganize the inside of the house. I hope to have all of the toys and clothes cleaned out and the inside of the house painted by the end of summer. I am off to a good start. Hopefully, I can stay motivated.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Look What Jacob Picked Out!

Jacob dressed himself today. He has done this before but today's outfit was perfect. I loved it and thought it really looked comfortable. It was one of his favorite pants and shirts as well as his new socks. Sorry for the picture being sideways. I'm not sure how to rotate the picture.

Cleaning House

It is time. The worst part of adoption for me. I have to begin to think about preparing for another home study. While there has been no move to begin the adoption process for M, I was told to start thinking about it. That means cleaning top to bottom and having my entire life scrutinized by a stranger. Not exactly fun.

Those people that know me know that I hate to clean. I had a cleaning service for a short period of time but had to stop due to expenses. I am serious considering tryign to find a way to get it back into the budget. I'm not sure how but it may be the best thing for us right now. Anyone know a good housekeeper in this area?

I also want to begin to get my house in order and cleaned up in case I decide to move in the next two years. I have begun today but have a long way to go. My first priority is to begin to clean out the toys. After 2 years home, Jacob has acquired a lot of toys and many have not been used in a very long time. My plan is to go through them in the near future while the boys are at school. I will keep them in the basement for a little while to make sure there aren't any toys that they really wanted and are now misisng. I'll also start with the toys at the bottom of the toy baskets that haven't seen daylight in the past year.

The next goal will be to get the walls repainted and a new rug for the dining room. I will probably end up replacing the living room carpet as well but I'm really not looking forward to it. I'll see what I can do with just hiring a professional to come in and clean it.

The next few weeks will be very busy. I have a lot of things I want to get done before another home study/adoption study and before I can sell my house.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A New Playgroup

Our church is starting a new playgroup for mothers with young children. It is pretty exciting. This is a church I have been a member of for a very long time. While I know many of the older members, I really have lost touch with members in my age group and with young children. I am hoping this group will help me get to know those members and let Jacob, M and I meet some other families with young children. So far it looks like their will be a lot of very active 3 1/2 year olds. I am hoping the kids all get along and have a ton of fun. That will give the moms a chance to talk and just recharge our batteries while spending time with the kids.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Fun Friday In Pictures

Just some fun pictures and a reminder that most days are much better than today has been. Jacob, M and our friend P went to Chuck E Cheese for some pizza and fun. Jasmine came along to help out with M. Everyone had a great time and left tired.

Parenting Is Not Always Fun

I love my boys. Everyday I realize that I love them more than the day before. This is amazing because I never knew I could love anything or anyone this much. I am not a person who cries easily but yet my sons can move me to tears. Tonight I had one of those moments.

The church school kids were going parading around the sanctuary holding palm branches while the adults sang the opening song. While this sight was beautiful, the proud smile on my son's face was even more beautiful. Jacob was so happy that he was shining. He waved his branch high while walking with an older child he had been paired with. I was moved to tears. The woman sitting behind me saw me wipe my eyes reached over to rub my shoulder. She was smiling and I could tell she understood my feelings. She must be a mom also.

Unfortunately, that is the only moment tonight where I can say I really enjoyed my children. Not because they aren't great kids but because their behavior and choices were not great tonight.

It started at McDonald's. We made a fairly lengthy stop to have dinner and play between work and church. The children played well while I had the opportunity to talk to a woman I haven't seen in about three years. After about 45 minutes, I told the kids it was time to go. M came to me immediately. Jacob yelled, "No!" and continued to climb around the play equipment. It took several more minutes and being told he would lose his movies before he finally came down. Only to put his shoes on and then run back up the slide laughing.

We went to church where Jacob showed how wonderful he can be. Until children's time. Then the poor behavior started again. He didn't sit still or follow the pastor's directions. He played with the offering plates that were set up for communion and enjoyed laughing and playing with the palm leaves rather than listening. When he came to the pew I was in, I told him to sit down. He ran away instead and back up to the front of the church. Luckily, children's time was still going on and nobody seemed to mind (except me).

Now we are home and the boys are not happy with me. Jacob is going to bed early for his antics. He has also lost the privilege to watch any of his movies tomorrow. M decided that he also did not want to go to bed tonight. Usually bedtime is not a problem but tonight our home looks like an episode of Supernanny. I have made numerous trips down the hallway to put the boys back into their beds. I am ignoring their calls for me knowing that they are only stalling.

I am also trying to remember to be patient and that they will only be young for a little while. After all, this too shall pass. It will pass quickly and someday I will wish that they were little again. Tonight I wish I had a partner who could tagteam with me or maybe just give me a break. Instead, I will continue to discipline and try to remain consistent. I will look forward to the quiet once they are both asleep and be thankful that nights like tonight are rare in this house. They are growing up too quickly for my likes and even tonight is a blessing. Just not as much fun as other nights.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Party Ideas

M will be two years old in just over a month. With some recent court rulings, I now can be sure that he will still be living here. That means,I will need to throw him a birthday party. Yipee!

I am looking for creative ideas for a 2-year-old birthday party. I have a few but am interested in hearing more. What has worked for you? Is there anything you have tried that really didn't work? I love birthdays and birthday parties.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Feeling Better

I am almost afraid to say this out loud but I think everyone is beginning to feel healthy. It has been a tough couple of weeks. M and Jacob have been exchanging colds. Thankfully, no ear infections yet. I know better than to let my guard down. It seems like M gets an ear infection every 8-10 weeks so I am constantly watching for signs that they are getting bad again. I won't take him in unless he is acting sick and has a fever but that seems to come on very quickly. I try to stay on top of it so that he is not sick longer than absolutely necessary. The ear infections don't seem to be affecting his hearing or speach so that is good.

Jacob woke up this morning and promply got sick. At first I thought it was from guzzling water to soon after waking up. He had gotten into a disagreement with M and wanted to drink the water quickly before M had a chance to take it from him. I decided to play it safe and he spent the day with my parents. He really hasn't eaten much all day but he also hasn't gotten sick again either. He is playing nicely and seems to have about as much energy as he normally does. I don't think he feels quite right but he isn't acting very sick. Assuming he doesn't get sick again, he will be able to go to school tomorrow. He has to go twenty-four hours without getting sick. That will occur at 5:30 tomorrow morning. I am pretty sure he will do it.

While I am easily frustrated by my children's illnesses, I also know how lucky I am. I complain about ear infections, cold and stomach bugs. Meanwhile other people are watching their children fight for their lives with cancer, liver tranplants, heart problems and other serious illnesses.

Tonight I am grateful that my children don't have major illnesses. I will give Jacob some extra love and relax on my rule of no snacking unless you eat dinner. We can resume that rule when I know his stomach is better.