And the Teachers Say…

Today was parent teacher conference day. And I dreaded it. I never scheduled one for Beth (yeah yeah yeah, I know) because I was trying to be all slick and hold off on scheduling until Jolie’s was scheduled and instead I lost the paper and ran out of time. Peter doesn’t get conferences, but Head Start does them so I scheduled one for Xander.

Xander’s I didn’t dread. That kid is too funny and well-loved by his teachers. He’s blossomed so much at Head Start. Apparently he’s a ladies man and has his favorite girls. He’s not really playing WITH anyone, but he’s careful to make sure he talks to everyone. He’s ahead of the curve in a few areas and has some work to do in others but all in all is on target for a 3 year old. I absolutely love our Head Start and I’m already sad that we only have one more year there! 

Jolie’s conference was the one I dreaded. Husband and I recently discovered that Jolie wasn’t turning in her homework and I really just wasn’t in the mood to be lectured by a teacher. I went though because I’m a responsible parent… or something like that. (Go with it, it sounds good!). It turns out that Jolie’s teacher isn’t the lecturing type! She talked about how intelligent Jolie is and expressed that she finds it hard to challenge her because she’s so advanced. She does find ways to work in more challenging things. She said Jolie loves to read but doesn’t like to read to friends during the “read to others” part of their day. Jolie says the other kids pick books that are boring and too easy. She knows that Jolie hates homework because its so easy but at this point she’s learning responsibility. I liked her. 

Aside from that I’ve spent the day crocheting, doing some laundry, and catching up with some new/old friends. Oh, and the snapchats with one of the besties, who keeps me amused. I adore her! 

Cold…

It was 19 degrees this morning. 

Xander was insisting he was going to freeze to death on the way to church. Today in church was the first time since we started going that I didn’t have a child with me during the service. It was a bit strange to me to just be able to listen and not have to keep an eye (and an ear) on the kidlets. I admit I didn’t really know what to think of that. It felt like something was missing during the whole service. I did learn that I don’t remember much about joining the church. New members were joining the church today and I had to ask my sister if the service went the same way when I joined the church. Not surprising, really.

I’m happy to report that Xander did not, in fact, freeze to death going to church. Once we got home we stayed home. I like going to church. I like building a “church family” and having a place that my children are happy, safe, and are encouraged to try new things. So far this place fits. Really, it was Jolie’s idea, but it has worked for all of them. My spiritual views are very eclectic but this seems to be working very well for me too. Today’s sermon was much needed and absolutely appreciated. 

Aside from that I did some homework and did my best to keep my kidlets occupied. 

I’m officially exhausted from the weekend.

 

 

 

It’s Friday!

I’m so glad Friday is finally here, and is mostly over. This week has been so incredibly busy! I’m not even sure where to start…..

I went to a bunch of meetings. (Fascinating, I know).

Today, though, that’s the real gem. Today I took Beth and Peter to a new dentist. Our local dentist was okay, but when they tried to do some routine maintenance work on Beth and fill in two cavities, she became convinced they were trying to poison her and ended up fighting her way out. It took weeks to come down from that disaster. Recovering from (perceived) trauma sucks, in case you were wondering. It sucks for the person recovering and for the people around her/him. The dentist was adamant, though, that this be taken care of and gave me a referral to a dentist in a bigger city that would do sedation dentistry. I wasn’t quite feeling it but as I had already ignored the same referral for Peter, I figured I might want to follow through since special needs parents are often judged harshly for not following recommendations.

So, off we went. I won’t lie, I was SO nervous. I was worried that I was entering Beth into a situation she wasn’t ready for. I wasn’t so worried about Peter. He tends to adapt pretty well these days. Beth was nervous and I think our nervousness was feeding into each other. 

We made the 20 minute drive, and I managed to not get lost. This is massively huge too. We got there and instantly the kids were excited. There was an Xbox Connect and a massive video game tablet on the wall. A member of the office staff came out and reviewed the paperwork with me quietly while the kids played. We covered Beth’s uniqueness without having to discuss it in front of her, which I appreciate. (While a lot of parents feel that its best to discuss it in front of the child, Beth has requested that we not discuss it in front of her unless she initiates the conversation.) She went off and ran it all by the hygienist so I wouldn’t have to have the same conversation twice (awesome!). Peter decided he was going first and he did wonderfully! The problem we were told to fix by the local dentist isn’t really a problem at all!  Yay! 

Then it was Beth’s turn. Beth allowed the exam, and after a little coaxing allowed the x-rays. While she was getting the x-rays Dr. Dan explained that she has two small cavities on baby teeth. While they use nitrous oxide in their office, it should not be used on a child with mental health concerns. He went on to explain that because the gas changes the way you feel and think it becomes scary and traumatic to a child who already experiences disturbances in thoughts and feelings. I really had no idea, but totally grateful that Dr. Dan took the time to explain that and didn’t just try to use it anyways. He said if he can’t convince her to let him fill the cavities then we need to just drop it because they are tiny and not affecting anything, and on baby teeth. By the time we were done she volunteered to let him try to fix her teeth and we scheduled an appointment to get it done.

This was huge. I might have already said that once or twice… but it needs to be said.

As we were walking out to the parking lot, both Beth and Peter asked if we could just go there from now on instead of going back to the local dentist. 

Um, yeah! 

 

Busy, busy, busy…

This week has been so busy. I seriously need to stop booking so much at once!  

Today I ran my very first Parent Committee meeting. I was told I did a great job. I was nervous, cuz I don’t do well speaking in public. Or at least I don’t think I do. Apparently I do fine. 

Beth’s behavior has slid back into the “stranger than fiction” category. 

I ran out of white yarn and I can’t find the shade of blue I want. 

Tomorrow is going to be soooo much busier than today. 

I received a very nice message on Facebook from a middle school friend. 

OH! And my blood sugars have almost all been under 150! And I made an appointment with a great endo. So excited! 

 

 

Random thoughts for today:

I feel better and get more done when my blood sugar cooperates.

I will be SO happy when my new glasses come in.

I didn’t reply to my snapchats today. L is probably sad. Or not. Who knows.

I’m pleased with today! 

 

Almost forgot!

It just dawned on me that I almost forgot my daily post!  I got very caught up in reading my Forensic Psychology text book. I find that topic incredibly fascinating but it’s not where I intend to make my career so I soak it up in my book.

Hmm. Lots to choose from today.

I saw the diabetic nurse today and we made some great changes to my insulin and tonight I actually hit 132. This is HUGE! Pretty happy! I’m going to be seeing an endo soon for a full work up and see if we can fix some other stuff. I felt heard, I felt like someone was listening, and I felt validated. I also felt like she wants to help me and is invested in my success and that’s so rare lately. I’ve gained more weight but that appears to be mostly insulin related and hopefully the new endo can help solve that problem too.

Beth is having a rough time in school again. Her aid is reporting to the adjustment counselor that she’s emotionally spent by the end of the day. The AC (adjustment counselor, because I’m lazy) spent some time with Beth and talked to the adults around Beth and discovered that somehow Beth’s morning break was forgotten because they were too busy. So the morning break is re-instated and an afternoon break has been added and we see how this works. I’m not quite sure how the break was “forgotten” but I’m willing to sit back and watch provided they don’t decide they are too busy for it again. November is typically the month we see her true feelings come out. November is when the reviews are over and more is expected of the kids. I’m not at all surprised that she’s struggling. The extra stress added to her concerns about her voices and hallucinations are taking a toll on her. She’s terrified someone will find out about her “friends” and that she will be made fun of or hurt. So far we haven’t seen any sign of self-injuring but I will definitely be watching out for that. They are having the aid watch just a little more closely, and the teachers around her are supposed to be watching more closely now too. 

I read a blog today, written by a mother, that discussed how her son’s mental illness had made it impossible for her to give all of her children the time and attention they needed. I found that her blog hit a huge cord with me as that happens from time to time here. We’ve been lucky in 2013 and it hasn’t been so bad but in previous years we ran into that a lot. It hurt to read, and I think that is because reading it made me feel incredibly guilty and incredibly sad. I know that this is pretty much exactly how Jolie ended up with the attachment disorder. Her therapist says I have to forgive myself for that and I’m really trying and doing very well most days but when I read things like that it all comes flooding back again.

Reading all of that someone might think I’m depressed. Actually I’m doing quite well. I feel seriously overwhelmed this week, but that’s related to the sheer amount of appointments and meetings I need to get through. The husband has some blood work that needs to be done soon so we can see if his kidney functions have improved at all too. 

I’m finding calm and peace in my yarn and my music.

What is Autism?

A few minutes ago I was reading through my blog reader and I came across Diary of a Mom‘s post about the This is Autism flashblog. Now I’m not a big fan of flashblogs or jumping on a bandwagon just because someone else is there, but the I started thinking about Beth and wondering what she thinks about autism. Most of you know that Beth has co-morbid diagnoses of very early onset schizophrenia and autism, and most of you know that Beth isn’t aware of her schizophrenia diagnosis. She knows she has hallucinations, delusions, hears voices, and is unique in that respect but she doesn’t know the word schizophrenia.  Anyways, after reading the blog I decided to ask Beth for her answer to the question “What is Autism?”.

Her response:

“Autism is something that changes development in a child. It could be good or bad. For me, in a way, things are different than I expected but at least nothing bad happens, really. I think for me, being autistic is a good thing, but for some others it might be a serious condition.” 

I left that as a comment on Diary’s post, but I started to think more about it and decided to write my own post. Beth answered that, like she typically answers questions, with the impatience of a person who believes that she’s been asked the question too many times. She never hesitated with her answer and I wrote it down word for word. 

What I found surprising was what happened about 10 minutes later. Jolie was watching Dr. Who with her daddy and I was untangling some yarn when Beth started talking about how she’s the only 4th grader left who still has imaginary friends. She said the rest of her friends all gave theirs up already. She went to talk about how she tried to give hers up but they just don’t go away and she really likes them. I asked if they bother her at all and she said they don’t, she just doesn’t want to be the 4th grade baby because she still sees things and other kids don’t. I thought she already knew that she was fairly unique in that manner. After some talk about her voices and her “friends” (the ones she sees and others don’t) she decided that the best thing to do is to only talk about those friends with adults she feels she can trust. She left the room with a much lighter step  and is now playing video games with her siblings.

I had never thought to ask her what her answer was to the “What is Autism?” question. I’m glad I did because not only did she confirm that she understands the spectrum that is autism, but it opened up another conversation she’s clearly been wanting to have.

Sunday Evening Rambles

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2013, Xander… my snapchat response to a great friend who sent me a snapchat of herself.

I’m not writing about Xander tonight… but he’s just too cute not to share. Your life has been made infinitely better by seeing my youngest beloved. You’re welcome.

Today started way too early. I woke up around 7 and started thinking about getting up for church. At the thought of church I was filled with overwhelming dread. I did NOT want to be anywhere near church today. I’m usually fairly good at trusting my instincts but today I couldn’t just stay home because the kids were singing in choir and they only sing one Sunday a month. I managed to roll out of bed and make it to church with about 2 minutes to spare. The panic was so bad I could taste it at times but there was absolutely nothing to worry about. Church went fine, the kids had a great morning and nothing horrible happened. 

After church Beth went out for lunch with Grandma J and Grampy. She had a great time and from what I hear they enjoyed it too! Going anywhere with Beth can be quite the experience. Jolie was pretty annoyed that she didn’t get to go. Jolie already had some time alone with them and it was Beth’s turn but Jolie doesn’t do sharing very well unless it’s her idea. She has this way of making people pay for what she decides is an infraction against her. I think we avoided that today because she curled up on the couch with us and watched some Dr. Who. Jolie seriously loves Dr. Who. She doesn’t always understand it but she asks all kinds of questions and learns a lot from it.

Tomorrow starts a new week. There are several more appointments, some meetings, some odds and ends to take care of. Endless amounts of planning and running. Ongoing attempts to forget about the medical testing and medical issues plaguing my family. Attempts to fix the medical issues prove to be in the way of my attempts to forget them. I am having no problems forgetting most of what I do every day. Funny how that works out.

Tonight I am seriously exhausted. 

Aside
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2013 – Xander and Peter hanging out on the wall

These two do not get near enough attention when I’m writing. Oddly enough, when I’m playing around on Snapchat with my friends they are usually the main subject there.

It’s rather funny to me how my attention ends up divided out. When I sit down here to write lately there’s no game plan. I’m literally just rambling. Often, like tonight, I stare at a blank page waiting for something to write about to pop into my head. And there’s plenty I could write about but some of it just doesn’t belong here. I’m really only writing because I have a goal to have at least 1 post a day for the next 6 months. I haven’t quite finished out a week, and I gave up on the “grateful” posts on Facebook because it got boring. I’m not exactly known for finishing what I start. I have a good feeling about this though. It’s a good challenge for myself.

I have nothing witty, insightful, or even remotely interesting to say tonight. Honestly, I’m just exhausted. The husband and I stacked our outside furniture today for winter. It seemed so odd to be putting everything away when it was 60 degrees outside but it’s the middle of November and I really don’t want to be out there in the snow protecting the patio furniture, so it’s all done. Really, for some reason I don’t remember much of today. This happens a lot and really gets annoying after awhile. I usually plan for that and take a lot of pictures or leave myself notes, emails, or even FB messages to myself if there’s something I really need to remember, but today that must not have seemed important. For this reason especially, I am never without my cell phone. It’s my only guarantee to keep notes throughout my day.

 

Random thoughts:

The song “Price Tag” – Now I haven’t checked but I’m fairly positive the song/album is NOT free. So she can’t really claim that we should forget about the price tag, or that it’s not about the money and she just wants to make the world dance. This is totally null and void if it is actually free.

Some people enter your life and refuse to leave it. Assuming these are good people, keep them. Don’t push them away. I push people away on a regular basis. Blood does not mean family. The good people who refuse to be pushed away are family.  I love you (you know who you are).

I get nervous when the music stops. No real reason to be nervous, but my heart always starts beating a little bit faster when I realize that my music stopped. I calm instantly as soon as the music starts again.

Somehow I knew all the words to the song “Payphone” by Maroon 5, and yet I only recently realized that it’s not a nice sweet song. 

 

 

That’s all I got for tonight! 

 

 

 

A quiet Saturday