How to have a healthier, safer and more successful school year.

As y'all know, this is Luka's first year in public school. *Yeah* And while I'm rejoicing and doing the happy dance every day that he's in school, at the same time I worry a bit about all the new germs, situations, and challenges that he is experiencing (and bringing home) each day. After all, this is the kid that licks all the railings at SeaWorld.

To try and keep the roto- and rhino- viruses at a minimum, and do my best to prevent any more trips to the emergency room, I've implemented a few new procedures to keep the kid healthy (short of duct taping his mouth shut). And, at the same time, I'm trying to keep him motivated and excited about learning. I was inspired to really think about this list by Beth Aldrich on Lighter, Safer, Greener.

1. Move bedtime up earlier: We have found these past couple of weeks, that being a PreK student is very taxing. Who knew playing "Duck Duck Goose" and learning letters makes one very tired. And tired children seem to get sicker easier and recover from sickness slower. Being well-rested also makes for a happier Luka. A healthier Luka. A Luka that follows directions at school. A Luka that does not think a game called "Lick Gabby's Shoe" is a good game to play.

2. Antibacterial Wet Wipes are our new best friend: We keep them in the car. I can wipe Luka's hands off every day when I pick him up. Before he sticks his fingers in his mouth. (For some reason, this is where he thinks they belong. And Lord knows what that child's been doing all day.) We've also get some in the kitchen. During the day, I'll take a wet wipe and wipe the light switches and door knobs, the refrigerator handles, and the flusher on the potty. And anywhere I think lots of us have touched. Better safe than sorry, eh?

3. Make sure we visit the pediatrician for a well-care check-up each year: She checks Luka's hearing and sight. He may end up with glasses like my husband and I both have now... his vision is not exactly 20/20 in both eyes. We get him a flu shot, and all his immunizations. He calls these shots the ones that keep you from ever, ever, ever, ever, ever getting sick. And you get a Sponge Bob band-aid, so it's worth the pain.

4. Add more nutrition in food: I hide sweet potato puree in anything red. I hide cauliflower puree in anything white. I sprinkle Flax Seed Meal on just about everything. I try to incoporate Organic items in Luka's lunch whenever I can find them on sale. And we add a Spiderman Chewable vitamin every day, just to make sure. Keeping kids full of good stuff keeps them healthy and helps them stay that way.

5. Feed Luka's brain: Along with keeping Luka's body healthy, to have a successful school year he needs to keep his interest in learning up. He needs to have a positive attitude about attending school. He needs to crave letters, numbers, meanings. We try to read books to him as much as we can, especially right before bed, as a part of our bedtime routine.

We play Scrabble Jr board game with Luka, and he loves it. He learns letters and spelling. He has magnetic numbers and mathematical signs (+, -, etc.) that he plays with on the metal dishwasher front. We play card games like Go Fish. And we make a big deal about big brother's "Homework Time" and how important it is. We also try to go to art gallery openings and museums, and he takes an art class once a week. Creativity is the beginning of problem solving in my opinion.

6. Keep myself healthy: Moms tend to take care of everyone else first, and themselves last. This means that if mom breaks down, the whole family system tends to break down. Part of my job as mom is to keep myself healthy, so I don't cause system-wide failure. *I'm sure you know what I mean.* So, the past few weeks I've tried to add more substantially nutrition-packed foods into my menu, rest more, take vitamins, and go to bed earlier myself. I even got my eyes checked once again, and am sporting the new glasses you see above. I choose the indestructible lenses from Airwear so I can see better to drive, to read, and to use my computer. Added bonus, Luka can't seem to destroy them. When I can see well, I have less eye strain, less headaches, and sleep better!

Mommy's Wish List Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Airwear.

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