A New Routine and a Walkabout Westgate

A New Routine and a Walkabout Westgate

The day started as usual around 6am, getting kids ready for school. Along with encouraging everyone towards rapid movement and a timely departure, there’s been a new addition to our morning routine.

I should back up. Prior to the Christmas vacation, our family was slogging through the flu bug that’s been making the rounds. It was long and frustrating, and while most everyone was through it by Christmas, I was pretty much the last to get it so I am only now coming out of the woods. But Ruben seemed to have a slightly different variation that involved his stomach. And through the last week or so before vacation, he kept struggling with stomach troubles, throwing up and having to come home and then of course school rules required he stay home another day for good measure. So he didn’t get much class time in throughout the month. And the pattern had emerged that he tended to throw up directly after lunch. Over the holiday he improved and, while he was concerned that he would throw up again when he went back to school, I assured him that he would be fine.

Welp, right on schedule at about 11:16 I got a call from the school saying could I please pick up Ruben, he had thrown up after lunch. Now I know for a fact that he is no longer sick, it’s been weeks since he had any fever or other symptoms, so this looks like it’s directly related to what he’s having for lunch. When I picked him up I delved into what he has for lunch on a regular basis, and I think I narrowed it down to the chocolate milk. There’s something about either the milk itself, or consuming lunch very quickly and then drinking it very quickly that leads to dramatic expulsion.

So I called the nurse and we had a little discussion about what I think is going on and that I don’t see any reason why he needs to come home if he has a little upset stomach at lunch time, nor should he have to miss another day of school when it’s not really illness. She agreed, so back to school he went this morning, with a little something new. We decided to try having him bring his lunch for a while, and avoid both the food and the milk. He was VERY excited about this, since he’s had a little lunch box that he’s never gotten to use because we are on the school lunch plan. Right away he came up with his menu. With some help from Ellie, he packed a lunch that included apple slices, a small stash of Fruit Loops in a ziploc bag for a snack, and a Crying Johnny sandwich (he’d seen it on Sponge Bob!). Since we had no hamburger, I thinly sliced some turkey pastrami, and then he went to town adding ketchup, mustard, shredded cheese, spicy pickles, and sliced purple onions. Left off the lettuce and tomatoes, but it was a fairly gourmet looking concoction when he was finished.

So that is the new addition to our school prep each day – Ruben’s lunch box. I’m thrilled that he gets to utilize his passion for food in a productive way, since I can’t afford too many culinary disasters like the noodle making fiasco…

Ruben’s noodle making fiasco

A little while after coming home from drop off and having a morning catch-up nap (my night was brutally disrupted and I was groggy as a dwarf after an all-night kegger with the Riders of Rohan) I grabbed Jacob and we set off on a photo jaunt. I didn’t know exactly where I wanted to shoot, only that it had to be outdoors. We ended up at Westgate by the stadium. I had not been there in so long, I forgot they have a beautiful Christmas tree and a skating rink set up! That was fun. I loved being there in the morning cold, with very few others wandering about. The silence was peaceful, and I would have loved to stay longer but my camera battery ran out unexpectedly so I made do with the few shots I did get. I’ll have to try again with a full battery next time.

Annette Heidmann

I homeschooled four kids all the way through high school and then fostered/adopted 7 more children. I am wife to a very smart mathematician; I dabble in photography, write and sing, paint in bright colors, and love being Catholic!

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