Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Yes, please!

About this time of year, people ask "So, are you ready to go back to school?" They say this with a sort of sympathetic look. And I always seem to surprise them by saying "Oh, yes!"  I like my job. I like having some space from my own kids. The only other way it could be perfect is if I could be guaranteed part-time with the classes I want (fat chance!). I look forward to school beginning again. There seems to be a true rhythm to the routine that is definitely lacking during the summer. It's great for the kids to have free time, but me? I like being in control of my little pocket of the middle school.

Roman is very excited about school starting too. We won't find out his teacher for another day or two, but he has already started tracking down items, sharpening pencils, asking what the date is. We are talking up Charlie's daycare, and they have an Open House scheduled for tomorrow night. He is going to have a very hard time being away from Mama. It seems the more time he spends with me, the more he needs to be with me. It's very sweet - Ro did this with his dad - but clingy is not my style.

Here at home we've been ramping up too - getting back into a laundry cycle, planning the weekly meals, discussing who will take the kids in the morning, buying snacks for packed lunches. While I have a lot to do still to get ready, I'm happy about this time of year!

Monday, August 22, 2011

How many ways do we need to be told?

"Three out of four of the markers for bipolar."   "If the medication works, you'll know he's bipolar."  "What you're describing are the symptoms of bipolar."  And yet I still want to be in denial. Not that it isn't manageable with medication, but it's a life sentence. Roman will always have to be on medication. He will always need to see a specialist. For a boy who does not want to be in touch with his feelings, or sometimes can't even identify them, this is horrible.

We had been suspecting for a few weeks that the medication Ro was on to stabilize his moods wasn't working as well as it had. We were noticing more ups and downs, and they were getting both more frequent & larger in scope.  We had agreed that when we saw the psychiatrist today we would talk with her. But Roman put his bipolar on display Saturday - we haven't seen a low like that in months. Poor boy. Even as he is experiencing it, he can't explain why. He was sobbing, tears flowing, all the while saying "I don't know why I'm upset." Unfortunately this happened at my parents' house, so they had to see the ugly side of his usually bright and sunny (sometimes manic) disposition.

Based on our explanations and Roman's help, we have to add another medication to his day. This is the step I'd been dreading, although I had been warned - bipolar isn't as easy as one pill & he's fixed. In fact, Dr. told me that she was surprised we hadn't said anything earlier, as kids Roman's age with bipolar usually need 2 medications at this time.  This medication also requires blood drawing to check levels, so Ro had the unhappy experience of a blood draw this morning. He was very brave (and earned a new lightsaber). He has to do it again in 2 weeks to check med. levels. This is getting so much more complicated.

I'm glad, though, for a few things. That we know of this early enough in his life that we can manage it and help Ro learn to manage it. We're blessed to have a fabulous psychiatrist with a degree in pharmacology, worth every not-covered-by-insurance penny.  And so lucky that Roman has not shown any aggressive tendencies and still remains a sweet, lovable boy.  We know God led us to him and so we need to continue to be the best parents we can for him.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Success in many ways!

Charlie is in underwear all day now! He has only had one partial accident in 5 days. Awesome. 

Roman's neurofeedback is finally showing some success too - we have had 14 sessions now. In tracking some of his behaviors, we have noticed 4 of them, most significantly his anxiety/fear of being alone, have really decreased. We also no longer see the constant interruptions & overtalking; his "boredom" and arguing has gone down as well.  Ro still has trouble regulating himself and keeping on an even keel, and we have noticed his impulsive behavior has ramped up. But, it's all the 3rd month of summer, and who knows what will happen when school starts? We have been pleased with what's happened so far.

I have been on Weight Watchers for a month now and have lost a grand total of 13.5 lbs. What's even better though, is the every day things that have changed. I was able to pull 3 shirts out of storage that now fit me again. My belt has gone in one hole. A couple pairs of pants now need that belt to keep them up! I have been checking out different exercise programs (don't want to rush into things!).

I don't say much about my wonderful husband on this blog, but he is doing great as well. He is really thriving in the job he started at the beginning of June. He comes home happy & doesn't seem to mind going to work. A couple things he focused on at the start of the job have gone well, & he's getting good feedback. Sounds like a normal job, doesn't it? He's just thrilled to actually matter at work.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

In an homage to the truly entertaining Lego A Day, Roman has asked to create his own blog. It can be found at this link.
We just started it, but he is having fun thinking up ideas.

Monday, August 01, 2011

How will we get to it all?

(Proud Lake camping)

The halfway mark of summer has passed for us - that's VBS. It's always the last week of July and I dread it and love it at the same time. I taught Roman's class this year which was fun - but Charlie had a real hard time being separated from me every day. We had a very busy weekend a couple weeks ago - camping & the air show - so this past and this coming weekend we're being lazy and sticking around home. I am also excited for and dreading school starting again. Now that my kids & I have a routine down, there's lots we want to do - and we'll have to undo it in a few short weeks!

(P51 Mustang at air show)

On the losing weight front, I am proud to tell my gentle readers that I have lost an unofficial total of 13.5 lbs in a month (weigh-in is not until tomorrow, but I may have cheated this morning and looked). I have gone down a shirt size and probably a pant size too, except I mostly wear elastic baggy capris in the summer so who knows. There have been lots of fruits and veggies in the house - boy, is it expensive to eat healthy!  The three things I know to be true so far is: 1. Fruits and veggies make a person regular. 2. Within a week highly processed sugary stuff tasted bad. 3. I cannot function without 8 oz. of Coke.

We still have excitement for August. A swim birthday party for a friend of Roman's, camping with friends, Roman will be going to a week-long art class with my niece (longest he will ever have been away from us - 4 nights!), Doug is taking a day off to help me move into my classroom, & I have a wedding shower/bachelorette party to attend.  Not to mention all the local things we still want to do (a newly discovered arts & crafts store in Ann Arbor, bowling, swimming, zoo, Greenfield Village).