Friday Catch-ups

One week of college is down for Liz. It has definitely been a week of firsts for her and learning how to manage on her own. Thankfully she is managing quite well.
The other day Maggie picked up a toy phone and brought it to me and said “Call sister Liz.” It was too cute. When I told Liz she almost cried. I think homesickness is starting to kick in a little for her. I know everyone around here is feeling a little bit of a loss too.

The others started school yesterday so everyone is adjusting. Mandy is in 10th grade, Douglas is starting 6th grade, which starts middle school here so he is dealing with a new school, a lot of class changes, lockers and riding a bus. Becky, Emma and Patrick started 4th grade.

The three little girls missed having their older brothers and sisters around yesterday. They keep calling for them. When everyone arrived home they were tackled by the three littles. It was cute.

Over the next couple of day I am going to establishing the the school year schedule. I have children in 3 different schools, which means 3 different school start and end times and 3 different times people are getting up to get ready or arriving home. The past two mornings have been quite hectic. Hopefully by next week things will be settling down. Yesterday afternoon was spent filling out five sets of back to school paperwork. One would think in this day and age you would be able to do most of this type of stuff on online. Enter the family info once and be done. It would have definitely helped the writer’s cramp. 🙂

I hope you are are enjoying the back to school rush.

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Big Changes at the Zoo

Sorry I haven’t posted for the past week. We have been having some happenings going on at the zoo. The major one, and the thing that took the most time was getting our oldest prepared and off to college. She has officially become a college freshman as of last Sunday.

But before that we were literally rearranging the house. Liz’s room has now become the “babies” room. She made sure that happened before she left since she wanted to be here. That was bittersweet. Richard and I now have our room back after almost 3 years of sharing with my girls. Needless to say I didn’t sleep very well that first night. Almost as bad as the first time a baby sleeps through the night.

Then two days later we packed up the car and headed up to Mount Saint Mary’s. They have a wondeful family oriented Move-In Day for the freshman. You pull up to the dorm, lots of people label the boxes, unload the car and then carry the items up to the dorm room for you. We were able to quickly get her half of the room in some semblance of order. Then we headed over to the cafeteria for lunch. After that the girls decided they were tired and done so at 3:00 we left Liz there and headed home. Again a very hard thing for a mom to do. I am extremely proud of her and know she will do well.

We have been talking frequently as she is making a lot of new friends, learning how to be independent and manage her time. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the semester goes for her.

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Allergies Rearing Their Ugly Head

This week has been a very interesting week around the elementary school. Friday afternoon I received another phone call from the nurse. (Hi Ms. Teresa!) Becky was having another reaction. This was her 3rd one in 2 weeks. We are trying to ferret out the cause, but can’t seem to figure it out.

For those that don’t know, Becky has a severe allergy to latex. We found this out when she was 3. While sitting in the dentist’s chair her entire body started breaking out in hives while the dentist was cleaning her teeth. Needless to say the gloves were immediately taken off, benedryll was given and the reaction calmed down.

The next week she was eating a banana and said her mouth was all “tingly.” Then we noticed the rash again. I called the doctor and said to have her tested. So we had that done. Turns out that she was “highly allergic” to latex. The allergist mentioned the words “deathly allergic” in there too. So we started carrying an epi-pen. And we got very attentive to anything containing natural rubber, which is where latex comes from.

Do you all know how many things have latex in them? Here is a short list of things I had never thought of:

Tennis shoes
Playground balls
Carpet padding
Some socks
Bathing suits
Chewing gum
Band Aids
Medical tapes
Some glues
Rubber cement
Some stickers
Some crayons

And the list goes on and on. Not to mention the food cross reactions, like bananas.

And with Becky being so allergic we had to be very careful about things. I know the school was not happy for a long time since I refused to allow regular pencils into her classroom. The teacher’s love to put tennis balls on the chairs, that can’t happen when she is in the classroom (or her brother or sister’s classroom either since the dust can settle on backpacks and cause issues).

Because we were so vigilant (and some would say militant) her sensitivity level decreased to the point where we were not so afraid. Well now she has had these reactions and we can’t figure out what is going on.

So next month we are taking her back for more testing to see how bad the allergy has become and if she has become allergic to anything else. Now to keep her safe until then.

We made the news!

During the hoopla of the holidays we had to postpone our interview with the local paper. The reporter, Marissa Richardson and the photographer, Matt Button, came out on Friday, January 4th. Ms. Richardson was very polite and was pleasure to talk to about our family. “Mr. Matt” had blast taking pictures with all the children.

I admit I was very apprehensive about the article being written. I was worried how the family would be portrayed. Overall it was a very positive article. Unfortunately I can’t post a link to the article because it requires a subscription. But I have scanned it in and will post it here. Now for the Copyright info. The article was published in The AEGIS, the local paper for Harford County, Maryland. It was released in the Wednesday, Janaury 9, 2008 edition.