Mar 10 2009

Complicated Birthday Day!

I have actually been meaning to post on the old blog-er-oo for a while now. I know! Crazy! I have had things to say that take more than the 140 characters allowed by twitter! I just haven’t had the time to sit down and write. Which is a bogus excuse because I’ve had time enough to play Fallout 3 on the PS3!

Today was Jocelyn’s birthday. I hope it was lovely for her, I think it was. It was not as lovely for James and I.

We planned to do her “party” at her school. Meaning, not really have a party at all, but make a bit more of a fuss than just send in cupcakes. We got party hats for all the kids, enough balloons for everyone in her class (36 kids!!) to take one home, and cake of course.

I was on my way from work when I got a call from Ethan’s school’s vice principal. Something had set him off in his classroom and he wasn’t able to settle down, so his teacher asked the VP to take him out of the classroom. She walked around with him for a bit but he still was giving her attitude. At one point he threw his library books, and finally, she had the Principal come get him, and carry him to the office (because he would not go himself).

Ugh. I mean… UGH. Our first objective was to make sure that Jocelyn’s birthday didn’t get ruined. James picked him up right away (he was planning to get him early anyway so we could all do to Jocelyn’s class) and we didn’t make a fuss about it. We basically didn’t do anything about it, except let him know we would talk about it later.

We got to Jocelyn’s class and she was so excited and happy. Birthdays are her absolutely favorite things EVER 🙂 Everyone was very excited to have cake and see the balloons and sing happy birthday. It was very low key, lower than I had anticipated, really. We sang, served cake, popped party hats on everyone, and after the cake was consumed, everyone went out to play outside. Jocelyn and Ethan went out and ran around on the playground a bit, and then we came home to open presents. We got her a new scooter, a little pink bin of legos, a Barbie mermaid, fairy, and (of course!) a strawberry shortcake doll (Rainbow Sherbet!)

After a few scoots around the driveway on the new scooter, we left and went to Jocelyn’s choice of dinner restaurant: Chuck E. Cheese. That place is so much nicer on a weeknight than it is on a weekend. Wow. The kids ran around and had a ball, eating bites of pizza in between video games and crawling around in the kid-sized gerbil tunnels.[1 Seriously. All they need to add is a big wheel and a water drip and the illusion will be complete.] Home, little more playing, and then bed. We still have a pinata that we will probably gather the neighborhood friends together for tomorrow evening. Overall, a big success, and all without the stress of planning a major party – which I love to do, and usually have fun doing, but still, the stress is there. I’ve had enough stress, thank you. I hope we can do something similar for Ethan’s birthday when it comes up, but I’m not sure what.

So, the birthday girl had a lovely day. James and I were pretty much on edge with that sick feeling one gets when their child is having issues. The Ethan update is pretty much, he’s got issues, man. He had a good spell in January, and DOES seem to be less in trouble for *hurting* others, but his behavior still has the same issues. Impulsive, inattentive, aggressive. The plethora of testing done by the school is complete, and tomorrow we meet with everyone at the school to discuss the results. James and I have the reports already and have read them over, and as far as we can tell, it’s really nothing new. Which I guess is good – no mention of any learning disorders or anything — just the same things that we already know. Hyperactive, short attention, impulsive, little self control… We’ll see what they recommend.

On the shrink front, we had an appointment with a psychiatric nurse practitioner but it got canceled for insurance issues. I called back and went ahead and made an appointment with someone different, a psychiatrist who was recommended by another child psychologist from a practice that doesn’t take our insurance. Our appointment with him is next week.

I’m feeling pretty down, but this is an atypical feeling.. just because his day at school today went so badly. I am usually pretty upbeat.. because I have seen a significant improvement in our interactions with him at home. He is playing with his friends pretty well, which was NOT the case at the beginning of the year. I am feeling down because I feel like we’re a step closer to an ADHD prescription which I really am not ready for. And I am definitely not taking the final step until I *really* feel like I’m ready.

I also feel down because I took the most ridiculous fall down the 3 steps down into the garage pre-party. I mean, RIDICULOUS. I don’t even know HOW I fell. I just went ass over end and I hurt ALL OVER. It doesn’t help that I’m having back issues again, which really sucks. So basically… HOST BODY BROKEN. MUST FIND NEW HOST BODY. (god don’t I wish!)

Ahhh well. In other news, I have become a chainmaille weaving addict. I bought a jump ring cutting system and am impatiently awaiting my latest order of silver wire so I can go crazy with the SILVER chainmaille. In the meantime I have oodles of copper wire and even have a few new things up in my etsy shop, so take a look 🙂 I had my very first silver byzantine bracelet up there, but it was purchased by an old friend from High School who saw it when I posted to facebook! How’s that for a go ’round, I love it! I’ll post more about the jewelry soon. I have LOTS to say, especially about how much jewelry photography can suck it, and how sick I am of taking a photo I think will totally ROCK, get it into photoshop, and it looks shitty. SUCK IT, JEWELRY PHOTOGRAPHY! I used to think I could take a decent picture! No! I can’t! I suck! Ahhh well. I will learn.

I hope!

That’s it for now. Wish us luck for our meeting with the school tomorrow!

-amy hears the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, of the tumbler, tumbling her newly cut jumprings to a burnished, awesome shine!

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Jan 26 2009

Ethan Update Part 2

Published by under amy's head,kids

Ethan had a pretty good spell at school right after his 2 week break for the holidays. He was very excited to get back to school, colored in 8 pieces of his space shuttle that first day and was “green” for the first two weeks (they get greens for good behaviour). But I think now, he’s pretty much back to “normal”. One good thing – normal seems to not include nearly as much hurting other people. There was always something going on, each week, kicking someone, punching someone, some sort of scuffle, and thankfully, it seems to have lessened quite a bit – he did do some pinching last week, but that has been it so far this year.

Just a general sort of round up on his behaviour: He has a few friends in our neighborhood that he will play with, but James and I feel the need to “hover” if they’re outside or even inside, to mediate any issues that come up or step in if things get rough. When he is over at their house(s), we worry the whole time. At school, he will roll around on the floor at times, if too close to his neighbors, he will get in their space and/or poke them – his desk is generally pulled away a bit for this reason. He will sometimes circle his desk around and around. Some sensory things we’ve noticed, he will also often chew on things, and will make a sort of whistling noise through his teeth. He loves to wear super soft clothing – he won’t wear jeans, and loves the pants that are made from sweatshirt-type material. He loves footsie jammies partly because he prefers to be on the warm side when he’s sleeping, but partly because every inch of his body is covered in softness.

Actually, now that I think about it, I think he’s stopped the chewing (or if not stopped, it’s lessened a great deal) as well as the whistling through his teeth.

He is very inventive and curious about all sorts of things. They were doing surveys and votes in class, and he decided to do one at home – he counted up all the smoke detectors and all the sprinklers and tallied them up with tally marks. He loves to tinker on James’ workbench – taking apart an old printer, or attaching components to an old mother board. He knows how to make a computer fan work by attaching the wire ends to a 9volt battery. We used to have him read us a book every night, but during the winter holidays he complained he was too tired at the end of the day, so we switched it to mornings, and we call it our snuggle reading time. He is growing more confident with reading, but still will sometimes just look at the beginning of a word and guess at the rest instead of seeing the whole word. He’s grown so tall that it’s hard to snuggle with him (and yet we still manage somehow!)

He is very sweet and compassionate, loves anything that is “cute” (puppies, kittens, wee little robots, the color pink) and lately the WALL*E obsession in our house has reached epic proportions. A number pad has been installed in front of the stairs where numbers are entered before walking up them. “Trash cubes” are made from anything handy (blankies and laundry mostly). Anything picked up is picked up with robotic WALL*E-ish movements, and whole conversations from the movie can be repeated verbatim. “Give me the plant! -Tell me Auto! That’s an ORDER! -Very well sir.” “HALT!” is also a common order given around our house, like the steward bots on the Axiom.

Well, I think that’s enough for now. We’ll see how it goes from here.


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Jan 24 2009

Ethan Update

Published by under amy's head,kids

I haven’t updated on Ethan in quite some time (except for my cryptic twitters), and so it’s about time I did so.

He has been going to a weekly “Social Achievers” class at the counseling center for about 2 months now (big gaps for the holidays) and each time, they’ve said he has really struggled with it – giving attitude and fighting the redirecting they’ve done. The last few times have been better though, with less attitude and more cooperation.

In the meantime, he was tested by a psychologist in the same center for ADD/ADHD in mid-November, and before we received the results of that testing, the school asked us to come in for a child study. This was in early/mid December.

The child study went well. “Well” being defined as my ability to hold it together and not be too devastated by what was discussed! Also defined by the sensitivity and obvious compassion those involved displayed for my son. His teacher, the vice principal, the reading specialist and the school’s psychologist were present at the meeting, as well as James and I. We went over areas that he shows strength (science, math) and areas that he is weak on (reading) and his behaviour throughout everything. Even though he is struggling in reading, he loves nothing more than to sit with a book or be read aloud to.

His teacher and the reading specialist have worked out a system of rewards for good behaviour, when he is on task and staying focused he will get to color in part of a space shuttle. When he has colored a certain number of pieces he gets a bigger prize, such as lunch with his teacher, extra time in an activity he loves, lunch in the classroom with a fellow classmate, etc. His teacher also has been charting how often he is on task, with the goal that he stays on task 70% of the time. This means that she marks down how he is doing every ten minutes throughout the day. She also keeps James and I appraised of how his day went with an email home at the end of each day. I can’t tell you how blown away I am by the school, his teacher, and the administrative staff. I am so grateful that they have been so open and helpful and truly concerned about helping him be the best student he can be.

After discussing Ethan in great detail, they basically said that we can just continue as we have been, and have another meeting in the spring to see how he is doing, or we could start testing to see if there is more going on that we don’t know. We opted to start testing. They will test for a wide spectrum of items and hopefully it will give us a bigger picture and more insight into how we can help him.

In the meantime, right before the holidays I received a few voice mails from the psychologist who did his testing at the counseling center, and after playing phone tag, got a meeting set up to go over the results. We met with her last week, and she has diagnosed him with ADHD with a recommendation for a psychiatric consultation for medication.

I don’t know if it’s because of some of the possibilities that were tossed around in the school meeting (Asberger’s was one) that totally freaked me out and made ADHD a walk in the park by comparison, but I took this news very well, although it was exactly what I had been dreading. I am totally freaked out at the possibility of giving my SIX YEAR OLD a DAILY medication. (Totally. Completely. Did I mention I’m totally freaked out? LIke, WAY FREAKED OUT. A medication EVERY DAY. That will screw up WHO KNOWS WHAT as a side effect. Just want to be clear here! Me = FREAKED.)

From what I’ve read, ADHD can be a pretty subjective diagnosis. But I can’t avoid the fact that Ethan definitely has some problems that points pretty clearly to ADHD. I am not fighting this diagnosis, I just want to make sure that the help we give him will be the best for him, his health, and his physiological well being. I’ve talked to a few friends whose kids do use medication, and heard their stories. I’ve talked to my sister who has kids with ADHD and does not medicate. I am definitely more open to medication THAN I WAS before the holidays, but I honestly don’t feel the rush to make a decision RIGHT NOW.

However, what we are going to do RIGHT NOW, is get him in to see a psychiatrist. I’ve always felt like what we’re doing for him now is not right, or rather, not enough. I think he would benefit with one on one sessions, and I think James and I would benefit as well – part of the reason I don’t like what’s going on now is it gives James and I no feedback with how we should be doing things. When he acts impulsively or throws a tantrum, or comes home from school with a report of a bad day – are we handling it adequately? Is there something we could be doing better? I feel like we could use someone to help us with ideas on the homefront that we can employ in specific situations. I mentioned this once to the counselor who runs his class, and I think she thought I was playing a “But I’m such a BAD PARENT!” sympathy bit or something and told me I’m not a bad parent, I’m doing fine.

But I didn’t say I was a bad parent – and I don’t think we are bad parents. I don’t have to be a bad parent to want better parenting skills and skills to help Ethan cope better, not to mention, skills to help ME COPE BETTER. I think some one on one sessions well help Ethan, but also help us, and after a psychiatrist knows him and has worked with him a bit, I’ll be interested to see what their opinion on medication is.

So, once again, I’ve looked around for a new psychiatrist/clinic we can switch him too and once again I keep looking at this clinic that was recommended to us and moaning that they aren’t in our insurance. I called to get their self-pay rates, and even though we would be reinbursed 50% for out of network providers, AND we pushed our medical flexible spending account sky high for this year, it would be tough to say goodbye to that much money. The office staff person actually had one of the doctors call me back and after talking with her for a minute, she recommended some other psychiatrists in the area – one of which I had actually looked up after finding him on the insurance website’s network of providers. Relieved, I called this clinic and set up an appointment.

So right now, we’re kind of in a wait and see mode. Wait and see how it goes with the psychiatrist. Continue taking him to his social achiever’s class until we see the doctor. Wait and see what the school testing results looks like.

Since this is getting pretty long, I’m going to write more about Ethan himself tomorrow, lest I kill anyone with all these words!


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Nov 24 2008

children update

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids,likes & irks

Well, it’s definitely time for an update on the children.

Saturday I finally broke down and took Ethan to the doctor because of his eyes. I’d noticed that they’ve been bloodshot off and on for 3-4 days, looking fine whenever I tried to point it out to James, and they looking vaguely watery and bloodshot whenever james was nowhere in sight. The two items (bad looking eyes, and James) finally coincided and I took Ethan to urgent care. We waited around FOREVER, and then the doctor had the nerve to tell me that yes, it was pink eye, but too mild to be treated. It would clear up in 3-4 days.

“But it’s already been 3-4 days..?!?”
“Yup, that’s normal.”

I was annoyed. We came home and I started giving him some of the drops we still had in the house. (that’s right. I defied the doctor’s orders. Shoot me.)

Saturday night was very nice – James and I got a sitter and went to see a movie, “Rachel Gets Married” – a nice, light hearted jaunt starring Anne Hathaway as a drug addict getting out of rehab for a weekend to attend and participate in her sister’s wedding. There were such light happy go lucky moments as when we learn that Anne’s character was responsible for the death of their younger brother years ago, when she was in charge of him and was high as a kite – there was a car accident, the car went into a lake, and she couldn’t get the brother out. The movie revolved around the family and their disfunction, and how this event changed them further. Yeah, it was pretty much the feel good movie of the year!

I wouldn’t have chosen it if I’d known how heavy it was (as james said, “would you CHOOSE a kick in the balls??) but I can’t say I didn’t like it. Can’t really say I liked it either, but I didn’t DISlike it. It was interesting.

Then we got pizza at a place in Georgetown that has a huge beer selection, talked over the movie, the kids, our life, beer, the kids, work, the kids and then some more about the kids.

That night Jocelyn woke up just as we were about to head to bed, crying about her ear. So Sunday came around and once again, I was at the urgent care center, this time with Jocelyn. We saw a different doctor who confirmed, yup, she has an ear infection, and got a prescription for the super strong good stuff, augmentin es (for extra strength). Unfortunately for us…. the strong stuff is also the awful tasting stuff.

I gave her the first dose as soon as I got it, in Target, anxious for it’s to start working it’s antibiotic mojo, and she compained about it’s awful taste. That night’s dose went down too, with some complaints afterwards, but not too much trouble. Well, this morning… it took me a half hour to cajole her into taking it.

This is really dangerous territory. There are a LOT of things in a child’s life that a parent can just outright control. Child doesn’t agree? Parent can just pick Child up, and deposit her where Parent wants, despite Child’s wishes. However, there are 3 things that Parent Just Simply Cannot Control Or Order Away. Eating, Pooping, and Sleeping. You can’t make them do any of those things, so you should just give up trying.

Now, if I had to characterize our two children, I would say Ethan is the stubborn one (like a MULE) and Jocelyn is the more flexible one. If Ethan doesn’t want to do something, then by god he is going to try everything in his power to not do it. And I mean tooth and claw. Jocelyn however, will protest while she goes along with whatever it is she doesn’t want to do.

So when Parent (that would be me) lines up the treats and the glasses of water for afterward and talks about how the “medicine is going in there to beat up those germs! take that, germ! and THAT! HIIIII-YAH!” for a good 60 minutes and still is getting nowhere with Child (that’d be Jocelyn) and Parent starts to lose their patience/temper and starts to try to just start order Child to “take this medicine already!” with cold hard voiced counting to 3 (after which the child is just supposed to magically open their mouth and take the medicine) — Now this is the child who is “flexible” mind you, and she was having none of it… that should say something about how vile this stuff is.

Tonight, after almost nearly just about forcing her to open her mouth and squirting the medicine inside, she kept her mouth open, letting it drip out all over the place while crying plaintively.

This was only Day 2 of 10 days of medicine people. I waved the white flag and had our pediatrician paged. We’re taking Jocelyn in tomorrow for another looksee at the ears and a new prescription. She said not to worry about the morning dose.

Have I mentioned how much I love our pediatrician?

So that is the medicine drama. The actual The Girl Is In Great Pain! drama is much worse 🙁

Last night she woke up crying just as we were about to go to bed. She did not stop. she clung to me and wouldn’t let go. James helped me get everything situated and we quickly brought her into our bed with me while James went to the guest room. She would quiet down just to start crying again in 30 seconds. After singing and stroking her back and holding her and putting her down and laying next to her and holding her again and nothing helping, finally I decided she really just needed to get her mind off of the pain. So we grabbed our blankies, went downstairs, whispered about how CRAzy it was, sneaking around in the middle of the night, and put on Finding Nemo. I kept telling her that if she wanted to fall asleep, she could, but she stayed awake the entire time, with only a few plaintive, “My ear hurts!” throughout. Afterwards, we went back up to bed and she slept until morning.

Today she cried about her ears (and yes, it was BOTH now, instead of just the one) a few times, but seemed to be much better in the afternoon, not mentioning her ears at all, so hopefully she can sleep through the night tonight.

Ethan has been doing pretty good in school. He has a very good week with a few isolated incidents. But when those incidents happen, ARGH. He seems to just LIKE punching his fist out in front of him. Even when there’s no one there, he just likes doing that. Unfortunately, sometimes he does it AT OTHER PEOPLE. Sometimes you just want to shake him and say, “THIS IS NOT HARD, JUST QUIT HITTING PEOPLE.” Erg.

With Jocelyn home today, I let him ride the bus home from school, something he’s wanted to do for a while. He had a good day at school, but doh – he hit a girl on the bus on the way home. His reason: She was singing a song and he wanted her to stop.

We walked over to her house and he apologized, but jeez, it just totally deflated me.

He is currently in a group class for social achievement once a week and he HATES it. the counselor said that of course he hates it, they’re calling him out on the things he’s doing. I feel OK about it, but I am still melancholy about a specific doctor that was highly recommended but is not in our insurance. One of the comments one of the recommenders said was that it was eye-opening for her. For her. It would be nice to know if James and I are handling things well, and get advice and help for anything we may be inadvertently doing to reinforce bad behavior.

There are 3 things he seems to be constantly doing around the house – throwing things, swinging things around and around and around, and punching his fist out in front of hime (whether someone is there or not, it’s not acceptable). Today after the bus incident, he seemed to be doing all three more and more and more. We finally decided (we probably should have done this a while ago) that any TV shows with fighting in it is hereby not acceptable. The kids favorite show is Avatar, which james and I both reall like as well, it’s won awards and shit — but the fact is, there’s fighting in it, in EVery episode, and that can’t be helping, so, no more Avatar. Ethan didn’t take it well. I told him that maybe after there’s no more reports of hitting or punching, we would consider putting it back on the tivo.

I don’t know if this is just me, but Ethan seems to have gone a bit backwards in his communication skills. He used to be able to relate things to me that were understandable and mostly, in full. But it seems like he hasn’t been doing that for a while now. For example, say there’s something he’s thinking, or remembering that spans 1 through 10. Well, he will start talking, and only say the parts 3-5, and I’ll have to try to figure out or ask enough questions to get the 1, 2, and 6-10 (did that make sense??) If it’s something that is home related or that we talked about before, I can do that fairly easily, but if it’s something I’m not familiar with, like something at school, then I’m totally in the dark. I’m pretty sure this is normal behavior, but it makes me wonder sometimes too.

Ethan is having his testing done next week, which is another source of some anxiety. Well, it is when I think about it, but truly, I don’t think about it very often, so I’m OK. when I do though, I worry about what the results will be and what those results will mean. James talked me down from the cliff on our date though with the simple truth – we’ll deal with it when we know what it is we’re dealing with and whether it even is something that needs dealing with.

I realize that was long — if you’ve stuck in here this long, I hereby award you a gold star for fortitude. If not, that’s ok too – I think mostly this post was for me, getting all this off my chest out out of my head is always good.

-amy skims the goo… OF HER BRAIN!

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Oct 29 2008

a post that is all about ME.

In list form!

  • I took a jewelry beading class a few weekends ago, a class I thought would mostly be stringing, but ended up being wire working, and I have to say, I loved it. However, it has brought a few things to light, namely:
    • Cheap pliers are just that. Cheap. The teacher had tools for us to use, which I did, and then when I got home and tried to use the cheapo pliers I had initially purchased, my hands were killing me. Ouch.
    • Silver wire is expensive! She gave us all copper wire to work with, because it’s relatively cheap. Silver is pretty expensive. However, I am not particularly drawn to copper. I don’t hate it, I just don’t usually go for it. And now, after the class, when I look at the copper wire, I have no idea what sort of beads to pair it with. I am paralyzed with inactivity. I have no wish to make copper jewelry. I ache to make something, but I don’t know what. I just am more partial to silver, really.

    So, I’m kind of antsy and anxious to get started with some more jewelry, but a) i need some good pliers and b) I want silver wire. Both of which cost a decent amount of money. But after wobbling about for a week on what to do, I bit the bullet. I bought some very good pliers online, along with a small amount of sterling silver wire, and a bigger amount of (silver-looking-in-appearance)(cheap) nickel wire. I figure I will use the nickel and if I make a piece I really like, I can redo it in the silver. Now I can’t wait for my order to arrive!

  • My upper back is having some sort of reaction to something. At first I thought our cat had scratched me or something, because I just had this very mild irritation on the back of my shoulder, and indeed, could feel a miniscule scratch, but it has progressed to a much larger area than just the invisible scratch area and wtf? No rash or other visual indicator is present, but I’m telling you, not a minute goes by where I don’t feel pain somewhere in this general area. Not a big pain, but a pain-in-the-ass pain, because I keep being made aware of it, over and OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Time for some hydrocortisone cream I guess.
  • Today at the office there is a potluck, and OFFICE MASSAGES. When I wondered over to the front desk to sign up yesterday, I was aghast that there were hardly any people signed up. I was tempted to put myself down twice. Don’t these people like to relax and be massaged? After the last week, I CANNOT WAIT.
  • With the potluck today and a class party in Jocelyn’s classroom on Friday, I made a whole crapload of pumpkin cupcakes. I just LOVE these things. I wish I had the time to decorate them like Melissa from Suburban Bliss did her BOO cupcakes – LOVE THESE – I’m telling you follow the link and just scroll down for the pictures. Creepily DELIGHTFUL. But I did not have the time, so I just dipped them all in halloweeny sprinkles and called it good. And spent the entire trip into the office this morning thinking of some ghoulish names to accompany them. I’ve settled on “Putrid Pumpkin Pustules Slimed With Creepy Creamed Cheese of the Occult” I’ll take any suggestions!
  • This year when I bought out the hat and gloves department at Target for the family, I hit on something. I usually buy several pairs so that when the first glove goes missing (as they all inevitably do) there would be back-up gloves. This year – I bought TWO PAIRS OF THE SAME GLOVES for everyone. Why did I not think of this?? Then when the end of winter comes and tons of gloves are missing, we are much more likely to have MATCHING GLOVES. I can’t tell you how many times Jocelyn has gone to school with one supergirl glove and one transformer glove. Hopefully this year it will be Supergirl FTW! Also, I bought some fingerless gloves to try out in the office and I HAVE NOT NOT USED THEM SINCE. I LOVE them. My hands are warm, but my fingers are not constricted by any bulky material. In fact, these aren’t fingerless gloves, they’re more like fingerless mittens, because there’s no individual fingers to them. Yet another idea I should have adopted YEARS AGO.
  • And just not to leave anyone hanging, Ethan has been doing well this week. No major incidents. He appeared to have totally brushed off the girl in his class telling him he was kicked out of daycare. His teacher said that he replied, “No I didn’t.” and he hasn’t brought it up to us at all. The counseling center got back to me and we decided to do some initial psychological testing just to see what’s what. Now that everything seems to be going OK, I feel like maybe I’m overreacting with the whole professional help thing, but I know that it is still the best thing for him. Even if the worst is over, this still can only help him, not hurt.
  • The kids expressed astonishment that there was CHRISTMAS stuff up at Target already. And when we were there yesterday they had already taken down the major Halloween setup. Ethan: “Don’t they know that Halloween isn’t even over yet???” I know, Ethan. I KNOW.

That’s it. I just leave you know with the conversation James and I had last night. I had just been blathering on and on about who knows what and after a short silence, this came out.

Oh, what sweet marital bliss:

me: God. I hate the sound of my voice. I don’t know how you can stand it. Blech. I wish I could just STOP TALKING.
james: (SILENCE.)
I look at him.
He looks at me.
I give him THE LOOK.
He grins.
james: I am racking up the points right now!
james: What? I am too! I am totally keeping my mouth shut! You know what I COULD BE SAYING RIGHT NOW??
I fix him with a stony glare.
me: You are losing more points with every passing second, mister.
james: What??!!!
me, taking on a fake voice: “Oh, honey! Why would you say that? Don’t be so hard on yourself. You have a lovely voice! That’s why I married you! I love you! You’re perfect in every way!
james laughs, and takes on his own fake voice: “I wish you would stop talking! You’ve been driving me nuts for the past 20 minutes! That voice is the voice that is going to drive me to my grave! That voice—
I cut him off, and retort: LOSING POINTS. EVERY SECOND.
james just grins.

Internet, you have been duly informed.

-amy howls at the moon.

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Oct 23 2008

Behavior, Boy, School, Daycare, F*ck.

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids,random

Last week, Ethan did well in his 1st grade class at school, but had problems (mostly on the daycare bus) nearly every day at daycare. We’ve been dealing with behavior problems from Ethan, off and on, since the end of summer now.

On Tuesday, I got a call from the daycare that Ethan had some pretty serious incidents on the bus. Namely, he was licking the seatbelt, then he hit people with it, then he pulled a girl’s hair and pushed/pulled her down to the seat. Then as he was leaving the bus he kicked the glass on the front door, told everyone to shut up, and tried to punch the girl in the face. She brought her backpack up, so he didn’t hit her, but rather the backpack. While sitting in the office, he continued to tell people to shut up.

They called me and requested I pick him up immediately.

On Tuesday after the incident, James and I agreed that these issues had been going on too long and it was time we sought professional help in the form of a child therapist or psychologist.

Yesterday I got recommendations from our pediatrician, ruled them out because they weren’t in our network, researched some others IN our network, and submitted some initial paperwork to get us started.

This morning, the director of the daycare called and informed me that because of the dangerous nature of the incident on Tuesday, Ethan was no longer welcome to attend.

It’s a pretty emotional day… nay, week.

I will have more to say on this later, but for now, just wanted to get that down and see if it helped me carry on with my day any more.

– amy struggles along.

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Aug 18 2008

School News

Published by under kids

We had another incident with Ethan on Friday, which just breaks my heart because it was the last day at this school. They called me and I came and picked him up. He had bitten another kid — his very super best friend, to boot. He did fine at home, and we allowed him to go back and participate in the end of summer camp event — campout night! That’s right, our son spent his first night away from mommy and daddy and any family member. The reports go that he fell asleep late (i’m guessing 11ish) and then woke up at 2am ready to go play some more, and then went back to sleep an hour or so later. He was dead asleep when James picked him up at 8am, and slept until noon. When we had lunch, he kept correcting us – “It’s BREAKFAST!” and we kept correcting him, “You SLEPT through breakfast!” I’m very glad that he left our old school on a good note.

Today both Ethan and Jocelyn started at a new school, a daycare that is closer to home, and does afterschool care for Ethan’s elementary. They were both excited, and I bought Jocelyn some new shoes this week, purposefully waiting until we were done at our previous school (our old school had a sandbox. Do you know how quickly sand RUINS shoes?) She’s very happy with her new shoes, “SKECHERS!!!” and tried them out yesterday by running races with Daddy (who graciously let her win).

I am nervous about Ethan because he’s going from this woo-hooo! sUmMeR cAmP! mentality to a more structured class (thank goodness) where he won’t have his Nintendo DS and be able to play on the computer all day long. This is a FANTASTIC thing, but he may be a bit bummed about it. He also won’t be taking his lunch in, until after school starts in two weeks, so he is bound to not like that. Jocelyn was a bit clingy when I dropped her off, but when I peeked in at her before leaving, she was happily playing with some puppets. There are a few girls in there that I’m sure will become her best friends, or as James put it, her best friend one day, and then not her best friend, and then her bestest friend ever, and then “I’m not playing with her,” even while she tells us all the things she did with them (typical jocelyn behavior!)

One thing I gotta say – it’s nice to have their school so close to home! While I will miss our old school, it was NOT close, and I won’t be missing that!

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Aug 06 2008

Perhaps the worst week of my life?

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Well. Hi There. How’ve you been?

Me? Oh, I’ve been really shitty, thanks for asking! Brace yourself, this is a long one. I don’t blame you if you don’t read it all.

Ethan is having a tough time at summer camp. I’ve already mentioned his change in attitude and behavior. He’s been sent to the office a few times, usually near the end of the day, and we’ve done something like taken his DS away for a day and he’s shaped up.

Monday and Tuesday, James had some stuff going on, so I was on my own for both nights.

Monday, I got to the kids’ school at about 5pm, thinking about what I could do with them. It was pretty hot, so I was thinking maybe we could head to the pool, or maybe stop somewhere fun for dinner, like California Tortilla. I had just bought a couple of board games and maybe the three of us could play some. I was in a great mood, looking forward to spending some fun time with my kids, just me and them.

I walked in the school and saw Ethan sitting in the office. He saw me and gave me his grumpiest face.

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