Thursday, October 22, 2009

Parenting Day

Today was Parenting Day at Briggs' school. Parents were invited to come and make a time capsule with their children. We had to bring a picture of us when we were in the first grade and write a letter to them about our experience in first grade. Briggs was so excited, his teacher said he organized the reading center for her in preparation for all of the parents coming. Briggs showed me a poster on the wall with his name as part of the four member "Skinny Pencil Club." This exclusive club is for students who have mastered their penmanship enough to write with skinny pencils! So far there are only three other students in "the club" and apparently it is a big deal because at least two other boys came up to me to make sure I knew Briggs had made it in the club. First graders are so cute!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Allergy Tests & Donkeys

Last week we took Briggs to the allergy doctor to get a second opinion on the treatment of his asthma. Last Christmas, Briggs got sick, which turned into walking pneumonia. The cough never seemed to go away. It was worse in the spring and he been really bad this fall. When Briggs got the flu and then bronchitis a few weeks ago, he got an inhaler to take to school with him. We had been doing two different medicines in the nebulizer in the mornings, the inhaler at school, and sometimes another breathing treatment at night. Then, for the last two weeks he had been coughing a lot and the breathing treatments did not seem to help. So we decided to take him to a specialist. I did not really prepare him for allergy testing, since I was bringing the results from when he was tested at age 3. Apparently, they had only done testing for a few things and this new doctor wanted to to a complete testing for environmental allergies (everything but food). So, the nurse did the first one which was interrupted with kicking and screaming. He was pretty hysterical. Another nurse came in and tried to hold him down to do the rest of them, but I could not stand it. I asked them to stop. We decided that he might do better with dad there, so we scheduled to come back that afternoon. We had already been at the office for 2 hours. So we met Rod at the bowling alley and ate Chik Fil A and let the boys bowl. Rod talked to Briggs about finishing the testing and offered to get him a new game if he let them finish. Briggs agreed, but we still had to hold him down, but at least it was his mommy and daddy holding him and not a stranger. (That almost seems wrong, but it really was better). The doctor told us that he believed Briggs would be allergic to almost everything they tested him for (called pan-allergic) because of the progression he has shown so far of going from eczema, to nasal allergies, to asthma. Boy was he right.

It was even worse than it looks. It itched terribly and I had to fan him for twenty minutes because he could not scratch it. He was allergic to everything (38 things) except for 3 things: cats and two kinds of mold. The doctor recommended allergy shots to hopefully stop the progression of his asthma getting worse. He said that it is the closest thing to a cure and that he has a 50% chance of his asthma going away. The allergy shots would go like this:

3 shots once a week for 1 year

3 shots every 2 weeks for the next year

3 shots once a month for 3 years for a total of 5 years.

Dr. Soong reports that the shots are not that bad, since they don't go in the muscle, only under the skin, but I guess we will see about that. His first ones are on Oct. 21.

And not to forget about little brother. He got to observe the whole thing. He did rather well, considering we were there for over 4 hours total. He was very loving towards Briggs and very concerned about him. While we were waiting, I read a Winnie the Pooh book to him about Eeyore being sad. I think somewhere the stress of it all got in his head and made an association with Eeyore. That night he did not want to sleep in his room because he was scared of the donkey. He even dreamed that night about "that bad donkey." Poor Max. I hope he never has to have allergy testing, there won't be enough nurses to hold him down. For now, he'll just stick with entertaining everyone with his push ups.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Max: Bye Bye Terrible Two's

Last Monday was Max's third birthday. He has been so excited about his birthday, he has been talking about it for several months now. So we decided to celebrate all week long with friends and family. Sunday, his cousins, Jessica and Samantha, Angie, and Aunt Sue came uphere and we went to eat at the Cheesecake Factory. Max got an ice cream Sunday and the waiters sang "Happy Birthday" to him. Then Monday morning, I(Leslie) made him a chocolate chip muffin with three candles in it and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to him. Then, he wanted us to do it again, so we re-lit the candles and sang again! At lunch, before our family had to go home, we went to P.F. Changs and got him a little dessert with a candle and sang again! Thursday, we had his party at Jumpin' Jax and he had a great time playing with his friends. Granny and Papa came up and picked Briggs up from school and were the first ones at the party. Then we loaded up on Friday and went home to have a family birthday party with Eli at Aunt Brooke's house. The funny thing about Max is that he never ate one single bite of his cake, dessert, cookie cake, or ice cream sunday! He was just happy to feel special (and get presents).

When we were at the toy store getting Max a present, Briggs did not understand why we were only getting Max one thing. Rod told him that the present would be from all of us. With tears in his eyes, Briggs said, "but he's my brother, I have to give him something too." Sooo, Briggs got Max a trailer for his "Cars" collection.

Although Max can be strong willed, mischievious, and difficult sometimes, he is also such a sweet, loving, empathetic little boy. He wants to do everything that Briggs does, from playing baseball and golf, to bowling (Max beat him this week!) to saying his Bible verse after Briggs says his. This evening Briggs was in danger of getting a spanking and Max thought that he already had gotten one, he ran into the room and started standing up for Briggs by making muslce arms and saying "don't spank my Briggs!" So I (Dad) spanked him for talking to me like that. Kidding ;-) a stern talking to took care of that.
Max has the strongest sense of smell and says, "what's that sme-ull" at least 5 seconds before anyone else smells anything. Briggs thinks it's so funny. Max loves to snuggle and always wakes up sweaty and snuggley after his nap. He is afraid of the bathroom door in his bedroom and the donkey that he thinks is after him (I'll explain later). He amazes us with his ability to use words that I didn't even know he knew! He can be shy but also a social butterfly who loves to talk to strangers and enjoys showing off his amazing push ups.

I will miss greatly these days of having my two young boys to play with, but look forward with wondered anticipation at watching them grow into young men. It is amazing to see how different and yet alike the two are. I am already so proud of both of them. I am amazed at how God, in these two wonderful and "spirited" boys, has blessed us beyond anything we could have ever dreamed of.

Happy Birthday Max! We love you so much, sweet boy!