girls lunch out!

10:58 PM

The girls and I met up with Olivia's old speech teacher Rachel for lunch today! Her sister Becca came too, and sweet baby Owen. A fun "girls lunch" was had by all... Check out Rachel's funky pink pants and Olivia's funky dress! What a pair they are! ;)

in other news, Avery is sick AGAIN...she complained of a sore throat, and slept from 4-8 tonight. Woke up with a runny nose and achy's either some sort of sickness, or spring allergies!

Gotta love missing school! :(

the one where Winnie gets shaved...

10:52 PM

seriously, why on earth does THIS cost $50?

this is after i cut off a bunch more hair from her fro. she seriously looked ridiculous when i picked her up, and i couldn't believe i had to pay so much. i really like how her body looks, but her bum, stomach, and head/face...grrr....

i mean, do they really need to do THIS to her bottom...poor thing...

Winnie seems to like having less hair. we sure don't like how she looks yet, but i suppose as long as she tracks in less dirt, ticks, and bugs, we're happy...

Winnie, what do you think about your new look?

like the "before" MUCH better...

the month of March

4:55 PM

I have been pretty lazy with this blog here of mine. Been doing a lot of sewing and designing instead. But, I sure do need to update this here blog of mine with my girls!

Some of these are from my phone, so not very good quality :)

Olivia has been doing a really good job with learning to read. I would say she can read about 10-15 words that considered reading? Here she is one day at the Library!

sweet ol' Bernice was on her last leg, and was throwing a monster fit each time I would get on her. So, Daddy ordered me this new laptop. So far so good, and I think his name is Mr Wendell.

Olivia has decided that she is now going to dress herself. I can't believe that I am actually allowing this kind of nonsense, but it is super funny right now. She thinks she is just the best fashion girl ever!

Last Friday we went up to our church friends' house, and had Culver's for supper! Here is sweet Quinn, who is 19 months I believe! She's also going to be a big sister right around her 2nd birthday! :) Such a fun time we had!

Olivia had kindergarten screening yesterday, and I had to stop at the clinic to pick up her immunization records. To my surprise, they think she is of hispanic origin...this was hilarious to us!

speaking of screening, Olivia did awesome. I wish I would have gotten a picture of her outfit she put together. It actually went well together! ;) She is "more than ready" for kindergarten, and has "wonderful hand eye coordination". So, I guess we're excited about that!

Both girls also had conferences in March. Olivia's went great. Her teacher said that she is "ready for kindergarten", and Liv thought that was super cool! The one thing her teacher did say, is that she thinks the transition in the beginning may be a bit difficult. She is pretty clingy to her teacher for the first 15 minutes of class, and then warms up a bit. So, we have to be sure to get a teacher that Olivia will love and feel comfortable with! We already have someone in mind!

Avery's conference was this past week, too. Her teacher said great things about her, and we just basically talked about her health, her emotions and anxiety, and preparing for 4th grade. We are 80% sure we will send her to public school next year, but that 20% is still there. Avery would like to be home schooled as of right now, but that changes weekly!

We invited Avery's BFF Kylie over after school yesterday. We stopped at the school playground before we took her home, and the girls wanted to show everyone they made it to the top of the star. I wouldn't let Liv go all the way up...i was a nervous wreck!

Winnie has a boyfriend. His name is wishbear.

When I say that she likes him, I mean that she really REALLY likes him. after they "play" for a bit, she is a panting mess, and is a little wild. So, I have decided to separate them. Yes, Winnie needs to get fixed....soon...

Speaking of Winnie, here she is today! She is getting her summer cut tomorrow, so check back to see what kind of a hot mess she will be! :) I love the curls, but she will love not having all that fur with this weather!

one month....

7:41 PM

....since the test read "positive"...

....since the excitement and "are you kidding me's?" began....

....since this momma's heart began preparing for another....


so much has changed since that day.....

Olivia Funnies

3:58 PM

"Winnie, stop chewing on Justin Bieber!"

"Can we go to outer space sometime? I really want to. I wanna see the earth."

"I wish I were a dog 'cause then I wouldn't get sick. But, if i was a dog, i would NOT lick my ooh la las or my bum"

"Mommy.....can you play Words With Friends with @ConanOBrien "... :)

"God is like my daddy, but he's not a real person. "

"I think I know why Winnie gets scared sometimes. She sees God, 'cause he's right next to her, and she gets scared."

School Board Meeting

2:31 PM

Last night, I spoke at a school board meeting on a proposed ban on peanuts in our district. I took many articles and my ideas, and came up with the below, that I spoke on at the meeting...

The Food Service Advisory Board has met 2 times recently and have spoken at length about food allergies, and what the ********** School District should do to protect these students.

At this time, our board would like to ask the School Board to follow through with the letter that was sent home to the families in the district. This would mean that nothing containing peanuts or peanut butter would be provided or sold by the schools. We also want to discourage families from sending peanut products with their children in their sack lunches or for class treats. If peanuts or peanut butter is brought by students, these children will be assigned to a lunch table away from other students.

Right now, the ******** School District has around 40 children with a life-threatening peanut allergy. *****: 10 *****: 6 *****: 9 *****: 10 *****: 8 I also contacted 4 preschools in town, and in just 4 schools, there are 12 children as well. These allergies are not going away, and are not isolated to only one building, but they are spread throughout the schools. Studies show that 16-18% of children with food allergies will have a reaction to accidental exposure while in school. These exposures happen in multiple locations throughout the school, and are not limited to just the cafeteria. And, studies also show that as the children get older, as teenagers and young adults, they are at an even higher risk of a fatal reaction. It's not just an issue for elementary children.

There are school districts in (OUR STATE) that are abiding by peanut free policies in some nature. (EXAMPLE) Elementary School has a peanut prohibition that is in effect 24 hours a day 7 days a week. All of (EXAMPLE) Elementary schools state they are PEANUT FREE. Brandon Valley requires that all items made with peanuts not be allowed into the Elementary School. (EXAMPLE) prohibits the use, serving, or selling of peanuts. (EXAMPLE) School District is peanut-Free. In (EXAMPLE CITY) , (EXAMPLE) , (EXAMPLE) , (EXAMPLE) , and (EXAMPLE) schools are peanut free. (EXAMPLE) Elementary is also.

That is what the board has met and has agreed upon to bring before you tonight.

I myself would like to see the district go above and beyond this. While I understand that a complete peanut ban can seem unreasonable, I do think that more than what our board is advising is required. I believe that all children and staff should be prohibited from bringing to school any food products that contain peanuts, peanut oil, and peanut butter. I also believe that no products containing peanuts should be sold at concession stands or sold in vending machines in or on the school grounds.

I fully understand that to make this possible, other children, parents and staff will have to make substitutions in their lunches to protect children with food allergies like Avery. I realize also that this may seem extreme to some, especially since some children refuse to eat anything but peanut butter and jelly. While I am sympathetic, let me explain why this is as important as it is.

A lot of people do not understand the severity of peanut allergies. The reason is rather obvious: education. I will admit before Avery's allergies were discovered, I had no idea how life-threatening food allergies could be. Once Avery was diagnosed, we had to re-evaluate everything that was brought into our home, every place we went, and everyone that would come in contact with our daughter. Once she became 5 and ready for school, our anxiety and hers, increased to the point where we held her back a year so she could be more capable of managing her allergies.

I have heard time and time again, well, “why can't these kids just learn what to eat and what not to eat?” The answer is that these kids ARE taught...and once they're old enough to understand, most will only eat the approved foods. The problem in the school setting is peanut residue. Peanut butter is very troublesome because it is sticky and oily and not easily cleaned off of hands. Unseen residue on lunchroom tables, library books, bathroom fixtures, art materials, pencils, computer keyboards, desks, basketballs, and water fountains can cause immediate reactions with an allergic child. If the peanut allergic child accidentally touches some of this residue and then rubs their eyes or nose or mouth, they can react within seconds. These reactions can be mild such as hives, or as serious as anaphalaxis. Anaphalaxis is when a child's throat can swell shut, blood pressure can drop rapidly, and they can literally drop dead within minutes of even a trace of this peanut residue. Some children, by just smelling a peanut product, can have a deadly reaction.

I am fully aware that it's almost impossible to monitor each child in the district to be sure that they thoroughly wash their hands before and after lunch, and for each table to be cleaned with special cleaners, for the musical instruments that my daughter is going to touch to be cleaned before she touches them, and the paint brush, and the bathrooms, seems to me that eliminating the chance of peanut exposure to these children all together would be far safer than dealing with each and every instance that a peanut butter sandwich is brought into school. It would be easier on the child, and also easier on the staff at the schools.

Peanut bans in schools are NOT immoral. These are very real, and very serious unchosen and unwelcomed allergies. Peanuts are a genuine threat to the child, and if they are severely allergic, they can die before getting the appropriate treatment. You can't necessarily know how severe any given reaction will be.

I know that some, and maybe some in this room, feel that these children with food allergies should go to a private school or should be home schooled as to not be an “inconvenience” to the parents of “normal” children. My child has what I consider to be a “special need”, and just like others in our district that receive care, thanks to Section 504, my child has the right to be accommodated any place that receives federal assistance, and that includes our schools. Ultimately, when I drop Avery off to school in the morning, I am entrusting her care to the school. They, then have the responsibility of taking care of her and not exposing her to undue danger, and peanuts deliberately exposes her to a unreasonable risk of harm.

When I hear that a parent is upset by not being able to pack a peanut butter sandwich with their child, I try to remind myself how lucky they are. Yes, It's hard when they are saying things that scare me to the core for my allergic child. Yet, they have never had to live with Epi-pens, ER visits, countless allergy tests, and a fear that never ever goes away. Nothing is worse than realizing that your child's school environment is unsafe, each and every day because of parents who fight NOT to have empathy or understanding. Every day we send our children to school, and pray that we don't receive that dreaded phone call.

The debate, to me, boils down to my child's life, or your kid's's as simple as that. To keep my child alive and safe, or your child content. The fact that some people don't want to be inconvenienced by prohibiting peanut butter, does not negate the life threatening nature of this allergy......hopefully other students, staff, and parents value the life of my allergic child more than they value their peanut butter sandwich.

The challenge that is being presented to our schools is to create a safe environment for ALL students. The challenge for other parents is to put themselves in the shoes of these students and their parents, and understanding that these precautions that the schools are taking, while they can be an inconvenience, really are necessary.

I hope that you as school board members will understand the severity of what these allergic children and families deal with every day, and help to implement a policy that will keep these children safe.

Star of the Week, Nana Dianne visit

1:40 PM

Olivia got to be Star of the Week a couple of weeks ago at her preschool. She was so very excited, and apparently, so was her mother. The instructions were to include 5-10 pictures. I think I went a tad overboard...

Nana Dianne came to visit a couple weeks ago, as well. Not a lot of pictures were taken,
but these 2 summarize the week.

Forts, and Nana's IPad....that's all they wanted to do!

a week later....

10:10 PM

it's been a week since our lives were shaken by this loss....

the tears come less frequent and the pain is less as well...

not an hour goes by that i don't remember what has transpired...will i ever be the same?

tonight Olivia said to me that she didn't want to go to Heaven because she would miss her family. She then stopped herself and said "but, the baby is in Heaven, isn't it?" ...she then went on to talk about hoping that there is also Hawaiian punch to drink, too :) moments like that bring the tears on, and I realize that there will always be a piece of us not here...

i keep wondering what God is doing, or trying to teach me in this... getting pregnant after believing for over 9 years that we could only become pregnant with medical intervention....maybe i am to learn to fully trust Him and believe that He and only He can do miraculous things....

still learning, growing, and grieving...


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