Friday, October 7, 2011


I started hiding from my blog when the depression started creeping in more. Why I'm so afraid to open up and share when I'm depressed, I don't know. But life gets stressful or I get sad and I withdraw. It seems to be a pattern.  Yesterday, I finally gathered up my nerve and called the doctor to make an appointment. Until then, I'll keep my escapism-through-books up and let DJ help me. He told me yesterday that he's on "Team Stacy" and will help me any way he can. I love that man.

This time, I think it's anxiety more than depression. I have two major stressors right now. First is Ike's school. He has no free time. Home from school, straight to homework, then to football, then back to homework and end up in bed too late. Next morning, he's tired from too little sleep, is cranky and hard to get ready and the cycle just repeats over and over and over. He spends 2 hours a night on homework and it isn't enough, to be honest. Thank God he is such a good sport and a 'do what I'm supposed to do' kind of kid. I hate feeling like the bad guy all the time and I hate that so much of our interactions are school based. It will probably get better when football is over but that's still a month away and I am exhausted now. I just wish I could do more to help him. I wish I could help him connect the dots on reading so that school would be easier for him. Watching your child struggle through something that most people take for granted is so hard.

The second is Ana. She started therapy a few weeks ago because of some diabetes issues. She was becoming obsessed about testing and was checking her blood 20 times a day. Literally. She was testing 12 times at school and it's only 7 hours. I found a therapist that works with children that are living with chronic conditions and we had a good first meeting. She was actually able to give us a plan that eliminated the test compulsion in a day. Unfortunately, she also brought up a lot of Ana's old separation anxiety issues. That same day she was crying about how much she misses me while she's at school. A few days later and she started getting crazy lows. It was a constant stress for me. No matter what I did, she'd end up in the 40s and 50s. One afternoon she had over 70 undosed carbs. SEVENTY. And I had her basals running at 10%. That night she was high and it was confusing. I reviewed all her settings, dropped quite a few and the next day she was worse. With a 1% basal. I was panicking and couldn't figure out how to stop it. And then the nurse called and told me that she'd had another unexplainable number and she checked Ana's pump. Turns out Ana had been lying about every number. She was intentionally pretending to be low to make herself high. Why?!?! What was going on in her head?!?  I left work, headed to school and picked her up then headed to a park to chat. She lied. She denied. She pretended like she had no idea what I was talking about. I finally got through to her and found out her plan. Ana knew that if she threw up, I'd come pick her up. And she knows that if she is really, really high, she throws up. She decided to fake lows to get glucose to spike high to throw up to get me to pick her up. She's seven years old and devised this plan. :(  We addressed this and I truly didn't expect any issues again. This week, her therapist seemed helpful again but Ana is not thrilled about going. In a follow up conversation that night, I learned that she is sad most of the time. *heart breaks*  Now, she does have fun and is a pleasant, happy kid. But then I think about myself and how depression feels and I realize that even on my worst days, no one would guess because on the outside everything is totally normal. And, what's more alarming to me is that her evaluation of herself is that she's sad all the time. Her impression of herself is sadness. I can't even express how sad and worried it makes me.

So that's my life.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Will you be my friend?

Ana came home yesterday with big news - she had made two new friends. She told me all about them and was beyond excited about it.

She's in second grade but is relatively new to school as her only other attempt at school was first semester last year. I think she's the only newbie in her class so a lot of the kids already have friends or are still in that 'play with everyone indiscriminately' stage. She's an old soul and will be one of those people that chooses a few, very dear friends and will be loyal and true to them. She's not the social butterfly type and making friends is a huge deal in her world.

One of her new friends is in her class and I asked how they became friends. Here's her story.
Everybody has to line up when it's time to get ready for the bus and we can talk and stuff when we are standing there. (Girl) was behind me in line and me and her were talking and I said, "Will you be my friend?" and she said, "Yes" so I told her I needed her phone number. She wrote it down and here it is!  And so now we're friends." 
 It's official, people. Ana asked, girl accepted and a friendship is born :)  They sit two desks apart and are in the same pod. I hope that this is the start of a great year for Ana!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I heart books

I am a mad library user. I'm there at least two days a week. I read actual books, listen to books on CD and my iPod and read on my PC and iPod with iBooks and the Kindle app. I go nowhere without a book. If you notice, though, they are all free. ;-)  What can I say...I'm a sucker for free...

Today, though, I actually went to a bookstore. And while I was there, I bought books. Yes, indeedy, people. I have a bag in my car with actual books in it. I did birthday shopping, Christmas shopping and car travel shopping. Plus, I also bought a book for Ike just to encourage him to read. I'm sneaky like that ;-)

Check out my fabulous finds from Border's 50% sale:
Wizardology for Ana. She has admired this book for months. It will arrive at Christmas.
Dragonology for Ike. Loves dragons and the layout of text really works well for him. Also a Christmas gift. 
Cool Mad Libs and Goofy Mad Libs for our next car trip.
Lego Harry Potter board game for Ana's upcoming Harry Potter themed birthday party.
A laminated, folded Rand-McNally map of the US kind of like this one.
A new version of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid DIY book to trick Ike into reading.

I love books. I love sales. It's like the best of both worlds :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's so quiet

And I love it!!

Everyone, I am alone. All by myself. DJ is at work and the kids are at school. I took a few days off in case the school needs me for Ana. So here I sit. Doing absolutely nothing. I love the sound of *nothing* because it's so thrilling.

I need to hit the grocery store some time today and I should do a little baking. And I have a stack of books to read. I plan to plant myself on the couch and do absolutely nothing but read or watch TV for at least 4 hours. The thought is positively exhilarating.

I'm glad to be back to my blog after a little hiatus. Vacation...then football started...then Ana had her tonsils/adenoids out...then school prep. Add in my recurrent depression and I just quit going online for awhile. But day filled with luxurious time is a blogging day :)

And, it might just be bubble bath day. And chocolate chip cookie day. ;-)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Our triple-booked day

I apparently developed vacation brain before we even left for the beach because I managed to schedule THREE appointments for Ike on our first day back. Not just three, but three in one hour. The nutritionist was expecting him at 4:20 for an evaluation, the family doctor was expecting him for a football physical at 4:30 and the psychologist was planning to talk IEPs at 5:15. I remembered the football conflict and took care of it from the beach but the nutritionist only became an issue on Friday when they called to remind me about the appointment. I canceled as the IEP was the most time-critical. *whew*

It completely destroyed any leftover vacation mood but it was worth it. I don't remember what results I've shared, so here is the scoop.
  • His IQ scored at 109, which means his achievement would need to be 99 or lower to have the 10 point disparity needed for a learning disability
  • He was not medicated during the IQ portion of testing but was medicated (ADHD) for the achievement portion. Unfortunately, his IQ test included three subsets of focus, attention and concentration type tests and he scored very low on them. Think 2-4 out of 18. The remainder of his subtests were 11-18. When he did the achievement tests, though, the medicine was helping and it likely impacted his score positively. So...the lows showed in IQ but not achievement. 
  • Because of this issue, he score at 100. Which is a 9 point disparity. To think we are one point from school accommodation and I could have delayed the meds a week and prevented it..
  • She believes his IQ score is over 123, as that was his highest achievement score and you can't score above your IQ. If this is true, we have at least a 23 point disparity and we could get him extra help..but not with the 109 he have as the final scoring.
Since we met last, I did even more research. The Wright's Law books are fabulous (this is my favorite) and one gave me several suggestions for parents stuck in a 'kid needs help but testing doesn't definitively show it' state. When we met with the doctor tonight, she didn't have a plan in place but agreed that the ADHD complicated his testing. I suggested an option from the book that says a score can be given based on incomplete data - remove the affected subsets and re-score the remainder. She thought about it, pulled out her manuals and scoring guidelines and confirmed the ability to do so. It's considered a pro-rated score and she's recalculating his results then making similar adjustments to the achievement tests. We talked about the accommodations I have decided to request and she is going to include them as her recommendations in her report for the school.

I am so happy that we will be able to push for the type of support he needs to catch up. And you know what else made me happy? She complimented me on my research and commented that she would not have thought to do pro-rating as she has never used that option. I am the researcher in the family - I read sites, find the most helpful books, read everything I can get my hands on, talk to experts, etc. It's one of those jobs that can be depressing and draining. But in that moment, it was so worth it. I did it. My goal was to have this ADHD and learning disability question resolved before school started. I was determined to have a report in the principal's hands by the first day. And I did it. Completely and 100% on my own and based on my own observations and research. It happened. Ike is going to get the help he needs.

I may not be homeschooling anymore but I am still able to help him learn. I am his advocate. When he starts 4th grade, he'll have plans in place to help him succeed. I am so happy.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ike's comments

Today, Ike and I were chatting about food rules in our house after he took a tube of M&Ms from my baking cupboard. I have been saving these limited edition black, gray and white candies for Survivor party foods and I'll never find anything that perfect again. After we chatted, I reminded him that he may not like the rules in this house but he does have to follow them. He sighed, then brightened and commented, "When I have my own house, I'll make my own rules!"  I started to assure him that he would be able to do that when he interrupted me with, "Oh, wait. Nevermind. I guess my wife will get to make them and I'll just have to follow hers." I laughed and said, "I'm sure you'll get much more say as a husband than as a kid so I think you're good."  He looked at me quizzically and said, "Really? I thought it would be like you and Dad. You make the rules and he just does it. It's okay, though. She'll be my wife so I won't mind."

He was so at peace with his future wife's rules. He's accepted it and moved on and he doesn't even like girls yet! That kid cracks me up :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Trying something new

My aunt has a doctor she swears by. Not a naturopath, not homeopathic, but also not mainstream. My aunt hasn't been in hospitalized since she started on the supplements recommended by this doctor. She's referred several people and all have had similar, fantastic results.

I look at Ike and feel like there is something at the root of so many of his issues. I've researched so many things, debated special diets, tested some basic eliminations like milk, and read so many books. I can't find a cause that explains everything...or even most things. Unsure where to go to find this answer, I decided to call my aunt's doctor and made an appointment.

Ike's first visit was today and I was fascinated. It's nutrition response testing. She started with a questionnaire that included tons of topics and a history that started before his birth. Then, she did an analysis. Here's an section of the explanation: The analysis is done through testing the body's own neurological reflexes and acupuncture points. Ike was instructed to lift his arm to the side and try to keep it straight. She would tap the points while pressing on his arm. These points on the body are related to a flow of energy in the organs and function of the body. Once she determined the problem areas through this checking of active energy, she figured out the nutrition needed to counterattack the active reflexes. It was crazy, weird and cool, all at the same time.

Three systems were identified as week. First was adrenal. Third was gallbladder. Second was something else in that area but for the life of me I have no idea what it was. *laugh*  No idea. Anyhow, it all sounded like a great match for Ike's needs. The doctor thinks she can get his body back in balance and it will address his stomach issues, leg pains, migraines, asthma and allergies. Seriously.

We left with 2 supplements - A-F Betafood and Drenamin. He takes 6 of each a day, 2 at each meal. He is less than thrilled about 12 pills a day, especially since he just learned to swallow pills last week when he started his ADHD med! However...I feel really good about this. I think that we need to try to find out what is causing him to have so many issues. We need to try and fix whatever we can. we are :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shock and awe

This afternoon, I told Ike it was time for chores. He stopped what he was doing, came into the living room and said, "Okay."

This morning, I came downstairs and Ike had everything on his morning list done. Everything.  Before I had said a single word.

Yesterday, Ike sat at the dinner table. Not perched, not hovered, not tipping, not fidgeting. He sat. For the entire meal. And he didn't complain. Not once.

Over the weekend, he didn't dawdle and make me late. He brought things to keep him occupied in the car, without me reminding him. He laughed and chatted with Ana for hours. He happily played with friends.

Oh, and he has been caught reading. For fun. Completely unprompted, just hanging out with a book, reading.

He's still fun. He still cracks us up with his wit. He still sings and dances. He says he doesn't feel any different.

He's been on an ADHD med for almost a week. I feel like he can finally show off his positives without people being distracted by his behavior. He's happy, he's calmer, he's still just as amazing as ever.

I feel like this is the best thing I have ever done for him. I've given him focus and in less than a week it's already impacting him in such a positive way.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Long time no chat

Still here :) I actually had something I wanted to blog about...until I sat down. At which point I completely forgot the point.

Ah, well....  Instead of something interesting you can just read an update on our lives :)

Ana is getting her tonsils removed next month. It's something I've debated for years but the diabetes had me worried. Once we had her on the pump, I was less nervous, but then her strep episodes slowed down so much I wondered if maybe we'd get through it. For us, it isn't the number of cases as much as the impact they have on her. She gets so sick, so quickly. Add in her naturally over-sized tonsils certainly don't help! And when she gets sick the penicillin allergy makes treatment hard. Talked to the surgeon last month and we're all set. We'll  have the first appointment of the day (thanks, Diabetes ;) ) and she gets to spend the night in the hospital. This was a a very fervent wish as Ike has been in the hospital before and she was apparently moved to intense jealousy over this. Hey, whatever it takes!

Ike is officially ADHD. We start meds this week. The script was written tonight, we'll pick it up tomorrow and his first dose will be Wednesday morning. We're starting with a 10 day supply as I'm not sure we'll be able to get capsules into him. *fingers crossed* If not, we'll start with a patch and see what happens. It was a very interesting visit as the doctor talked to me about hypersensitivity and sensory processing disorders. Ike is incredibly hypersensitive and the somatic complaints section of the ADHD evaluation support it. Something to consider. The doctor's daughter is in therapy for it right now and he commented that Ike reminds him so much of his daughter.

I'm three days away from Harry Potter 7, Part 2! We're doing a double feature and watching part 1 at 9:00 and part 2 at midnight. The theater recommended we be there at 7:00 to wait in line for our seats so we'll be there about 7 hours. Ike and DJ think we're crazy so they'll be home and comfy, while I'll be in line and in crowded theaters with Ana. I'm already dreading the bathroom breaks this is going to take. I did find a neat gadget I'm getting for the wait though - folding camp stools! So awesome for long lines!  Oh, and I also have molds for chocolate frogs on the way! We're having Harry Potter candy during the movie ;)

That's about it for my world :)  Talk to you later!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

This is how awesome I am

Ike and I were listening to bunches of Weird Al songs on iTunes tonight. For the record, nine year boys think the Complicated parody about being constipated is the greatest song ever written... ;-)

Anyhow, while we were perusing through the 258 options (seriously!! 258!!!) available, I stumbled across a song about me. Yes, it's true. I am so awesome that there is a song in my honor.

I can't find a lyrics site that isn't filled with pop-ups and annoying crap or link to the complete song, but here's a snippet of it for you. Without further ado, a song about me!

Okay, so it's about my job. Not everyone gets to spend their time being a replacement for a random organ belonging to someone else. I'm just lucky that way :)

And, for those of you that are thinking, "Gee, I wish I could read all of the lyrics because they must be amazing!" I offer you this...
Oooh oooh oooh ee-oooh oooh oooh
Ahh ahh ahh ahh ahh ahh-oooh oooh

I'm always thinkin' 'bout it
I don't know what I'd do without it
I love, I really love
My pancreas

My spleen just doesn't matter
Don't really care about my bladder
But I don't leave home without
My pancreas

My pancreas is always
There for me

Secreting those enzymes (bap bap bap)
Secreting those hormones too
Metabolizing carbohydrates
Just for me

Ba-ba ba ba-ba ba ba ba-ba ba ba
My pancreas
Ba-ba ba ba-ba ba ba ba-ba ba
My pancreas
Ba-ba ba ba-ba ba ba ba-ba ba ba
My pancreas
Ba-ba ba ba-ba ba ba ba-ba ba
My pancreas

Ba-ba ba ba-ba ba ba ba-ba ba ba
My pancreas
Ba-ba ba ba-ba ba ba ba-ba ba
My pancreas

My pancreas attracts every other
Pancreas in the universe
With a force proportional
To the product of their masses
And inversely proportional
To the distance between them

Woo woo woo woo

Don'tcha you know you gotta
Flow, flow, flow, pancreatic juice
Flow, flow, into the duodenum

Flow, flow, flow, pancreatic juice
Flow, flow, into the duodenum

Insulin, glucagon

(Won'tcha flow, flow, flow, pancreatic juice)
Comin' from the islets of Langerhans...
(Flow flow, into the duodenum)

Insulin, glucagon
(Won'tcha flow flow flow, pancreatic juice)
Comin' from the islets of Langerhans...
(Flow flow, into the duodenum)

Lipase, amylase, and tripsin
[Insulin, glucagon]
(Won'tcha flow, flow flow, pancreatic juice)
They gonna help with our digestion
[Comin' from the islets of Langerhans...]
(Flow flow, into the duodenium)

Lipase, amylase, and tripsin
[Insulin, glucagon]
(Won'tcha flow flow flow, pancreatic juice)
They gonna help with our digestion
[Comin' from the islets of Langerhans...]
(Flow flow, into the duodenum)

Can't you see I love my pancreas
{Lipase, amylase, and tripsin}
[Insulin, glucagon]
(Won'tcha flow flow flow, pancreatic juice)
Golly-gee I love my pancreas
{They gonna help with our digestion}
[Comin' from the islets of Langerhans...]
(Flow flow, into the duodenum)

Can't you see I love my pancreas
{Lipase, amylase, and tripsin}
[Insulin, glucagon]
(Won'tcha flow flow flow, pancreatic juice)
Golly-gee I love my pancreas
{They gonna help with our digestion}
[Comin' from the islets of Langerhans...]
(Flow flow, into the duodenum)

Can't you see I love my pancreas
{Lipase, amylase, and tripsin}
[Insulin, glucagon]
(Won'tcha flow flow flow, pancreatic juice)
Golly-gee I love my pancreas
{They gonna help with our digestion}
[Comin' from the islets of Langerhans...]
(Flow flow, into the duodenum)

Can't you see I love my pancreas?

Try not to be jealous, everyone. I know it's a sweet life.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Left behind

That's me. I've been left behind!

On Saturday, Ike left for the beach with my parents. He was so excited that he asked my mom if he could spend Friday night at her house so that they could leave earlier. Good thinking on his part because I wouldn't have been up before 8:00! Mom reported that at 5:08, he woke her up and announced it was time to go. He was completely dressed and ready and had his suitcase in his hand :)  He has been having so much fun and has spent about 1.2 seconds thinking of home. If that! According to my mom, he's running her ragged! I love that he has this opportunity to spend time with my parents and I hope they are able to have as much fun as he does! This is his second summer with a grandparent trip and I feel so comfortable with him away - Mom is so protective and loves him so much, and Ike is so easy going and pleasant and funny. Just a perfect match for a fabulous week.

On Sunday, Ana went to diabetes camp. This is a first because she's never been old enough to qualify. DJ and I were nervous because she is one of those kids that can have a hard time separating from us and I had visions of her crying and me trying to peel her off and calm her down. Yeah, that so didn't happen. Instead, she waited patiently while we went through the drop off process (which, let me assure you, is very involved when you are talking diabetes and kids) and wandered along with us to her cabin. She picked her bunk, helped make the bed and arrange her gear and then got quiet. I asked about us leaving, figuring that she was on the edge of breaking down. Imagine my surprise when she politely informed me that she was ready for us to go. In fact, she was rather pushy and suggested we leave. Politely. I was not ready. Not ready at all. Not even remotely ready. Leave my diabetic daughter for four days? Seriously? What was I thinking?!?! She agreed to a few hugs and then we left. Just like that.

I'll pick up kidlet 2 Wednesday morning. Kidlet 1 arrives home Saturday night. In the meantime, let me just add that this house is quiet. Very, very quiet!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

When you let the kids choose

As we do every Tuesday, the kids and I visited the library. I have a few books at home still and I have several books in transit so I didn't need to find much but I needed 2-3 fictions to tide me over. I wasn't motivated to look around, though. I grabbed one book from a display rack and then told the kids to each pick out one book for me.

Just like the day I let them pick out something at the grocery store, I was amused by their choices.

Ike was back first. It took him all of 2 seconds to announce, "I saw a book you will love!" and tear off down an aisle, only to return 5 seconds later with this. Yep. A Star Wars book. I don't mind sci fi...but Star Wars?! According to the cover, Luke Skywalker is married. I think I saw one or two of the movies many, many years ago but I didn't realize he was married. Give me a day or two and I'll let you know how their relationship is working out. ;-)

Ana headed down the youth fiction aisle and I was hopeful. There are several Harry Potter-like book series and she had been perusing them earlier. Seemed like I had hope of something better than Star Wars. And then she came back with this. A graphic novel about a witch who might be 8 or 9 years old. *laugh* Turns out that it was a cute read and it's part of a series. I think I'll request the others from the library because Ana would really enjoy them.

The upside of letting them choose my books is that Ike was wandering the library and was actually interested. And when Ana turned in her weekly books and claimed a prize, he was hooked. I cannot believe I am saying this but Ike checked out twelve books yesterday. Ana does this every week (she's prize-motivated and the Book Bingo game takes 12 books to complete, which means she checks out and reads 12 books every week in order to maximize her prize count) but Ike has never cared. Even more shocking - he has finished 2 of them and started on a 3rd! This one is almost 100 pages and it's text heavy but he is still reading it. Every word! I've waited years for this moment. Forcing my way through a Star Wars book suddenly seems like a small price :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

What I Eat

I mentioned a few days ago that I had checked out What I Eat at the library. I love everything this husband-wife duo has ever produced and was so excited. By the time I read the intro and the first few pages, I knew I was going to be doing my own version of this. Today was that day.

And, being a fat woman, I was a bit nervous. I knew immediately that I was going to be on my good behavior on photo day. However wrong it was, I planned to eat healthy foods and end with a decent caloric count. Instead, I woke up starving. *sigh*  Ate breakfast in the car (although it was packed and not McDonald's, thanks to this project). Discovered that the cafeteria was out of baked potatoes and French dressing at lunch and ended up with a hamburger and tater tots and just a small side salad. I don't mind raspberry vinaigrette but I don't love it enough for a full salad. ;-) Then, there is this fabulous coworker that keeps candy on her desk. Which is right next to mine. And did I mention I was hungry this morning? I can go days and days and never actually feel hungry...until I am admitting to every bite I take... Ugh.

Now that my excuses are out of the way...I present my "What I Eat" story. And yes, my coworkers think I'm a little odd for weighing and taking pictures of all my food today.

Sweet tea (Decaf Lipton with Stevia) - 24 ounces

Dove chocolates - 4 squares 

Cheeseburger with provolone
Tater tots -
Salad with egg, cheese and carrot
True Delights Blueberry Crisps - 35 grams
Sweet tea (Decaf Lipton with Stevia) - 24 ounces


Peanut Butter Crunch cereal - 112 grams
Leftovers (homemade mac and cheese) - 319 grams

That's 2,292 calories. Seriously. Who knew mac and cheese and Cap'n Crunch would totally do me in? And, for the record, who knew that bowl of cereal was FOUR SERVINGS??

Throw me in the mix of the What I Eat project and I would be number 22 of 80. Of course, "American Cubicle Farm Inhabitant" isn't unique enough to qualify so I think I'm out of luck for any future version of the book ;-)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What's old is new

I recently decided that I needed a new way to chill. TV just numbs the mind and I hate that I spend so much time watching it simply because it's there. I wanted something portable, inexpensive and easy. Most important, though, is the requirement that I enjoy it.

And that, my friends, is why people often find me with my nose buried in a book :)

I was bummed to discover that my LibraryThing account only allows 200 books on the free accounts. I switched to GoodReads tonight and I am excited about finding new books to read!

In the meantime, I'm happy to report that it's already working! A few nights ago I kept giggling and DJ was giving me the "what's up with you??" expression. My book was so quirky that it actually made me laugh out loud. If you are looking for an amusing, quick read, check out Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk. I will warn you - if you don't like absurb and slightly profane stories, this isn't the book for you. ;)  Luckily, that's exactly my kind of book!

Today's visit to the library revealed a new (at least to me!) book from Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisiso! I loved Women in the Material World and What the World Eats,and What I Eat is no different. Oh, and Hungry Planet! Also awesome!

Any books to recommend? Any GoodReads users?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I want a day off.

A real one. A day without work, doctor visits, school work, dinner, whining children.  A day spent in pajamas with a pile of books. Oh, and if someone would cook me a fabulous dinner, even better. If my house suddenly sprouted an extra bathroom with a jacuzzi tub, that would be superb.

Ana came back to homeschooling in January. For the next four months, I did school with her on Wednesdays, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (I'm off on two of those days and work evenings on the other two.) The other days, I went to work. While I'm only part-time, it's still so time-consuming. Up early, spend 50 minutes getting myself and the kids ready, one on the bus and one to the sitter, commute to work, work, reverse route, get home and spend 2 hours going through backpacks, doing homework, starting dinner. I was exhausted. And my days off weren't really days off.

In my head, though, I kept telling myself that it was okay because summer break would eventually get here. I finished Ana's school and started doing more intensive work with Ike. His doctor appointments starting piling up, then school finally ended but Ana's appointments began.

How do I spend my days off? I spend hours in the car, drive all over, juggle tons of appointments and all their related paperwork. When the kids are sick, how do we cover it? Well, I work with a company that is always open and I have a job that is rather flexible so I cover everything. Not everything, I guess, but 98% of stuff. And that other 2% doesn't fall into my lap - it's stuff that I've specifically told DJ to handle.  I write Ana's health plan, I research diseases, I learn about diagnoses, I design the summer school program, read stacks of books about everything we're facing. I track logs and order meds. In case you haven't noticed, I'm basically pointing out that I have a serious Martyr Syndrome outbreak in my head. I've convinced myself that I am juggling everything. That everything is in my court. That the world would grind to a stop if I didn't do so much. Is that true? Nope. In fact, DJ handles our finances. He does 98% of the household stuff. With the kids each taking 1% and me doing nothing. ;-) He plays with the kids, teaches them how to ride bikes and listens to all the (really bad) jokes they make up. Do I want to trade jobs with him? Not at all. No way, no how. But, do I want to stop doing my jobs? Sometimes.
I've had Ana to the doctor twice and hospital once in the past 3 weeks. In that same time, Ike has been to two appointments. Our eye exams may fall in there somewhere, too. On my calendar, I have five more medical appointments in the next three weeks, plus I need to get Ana ready for camp and Ike ready for vacation. I have paperwork to complete for one of those visits and I have to make a two week diabetes log. That will be so much fun because we're having crazy times around here. Poor kid has been on multiple medications and have various infections (three labels so far) and each one has screwed with her numbers in a unique and unpredictable way. I'll take this log to the doctor and they will be appalled. And who will look like the crappy mom? Me. And since she's still not cured of everything, it's not like the charts are going to get any better.


I think my next completely unscheduled day is July 20. And I'll have both kids home with me all day.

Perhaps it's time to plan that movie day I wanted for my birthday :)

Or perhaps it's time to take a day off work and not tell anyone ;-) Drop off the kids, buy a bar of chocolate, pick up some new chick lit books at the library and just hide at home until it's time to pick up Ike and Ana.  You know, I think that's the most brilliant idea I've had in awhile. My little martyr self and I can hang out for awhile and then I can give her the boot!

Friday, June 10, 2011

I love the bread store!

I already loved the bread store...but now they take debit cards! Woohoo!!  Spent $19 and came home with 10 loaves of Nature's Pride bread (which has no HFCS!) in whole wheat, honey wheat, country white and extra fiber wheat and  6 packages of non-HFCS wheat buns. And did I mention that they take debit cards now? Because, seriously, my life just got one step easier :)

DJ asked a few weeks ago about going fruitarian-ish again this summer and I jumped on the idea. I love living on fresh fruits. I can go more fruitarian than the rest of the family since I don't like bread but even I'm not hard core. I try to increase fruits to an extreme amount, but I also include veggies (raw and cooked) and more grains (them more than I) and meats than the official plan recommends. However, my $52 at the grocery store included pink ladies and red delicious apples, lots of potatoes and carrots, bananas, a nice big watermelon and some applesauce. I'd like to get to the farm market early next week and I have frozen berries on hand for smoothies. I'm looking forward to fresh pineapples and raspberries the most!

While we were at the store, I told the kids that they could each take home one thing I normally don't buy - with the caveat that it still had to match our family food rules. ;-)  Kids were thrilled and checked every aisle for treats. I expected some type of breakfast bar or perhaps a candy bar. Instead, Ike chose a bag of bite-sized pizza rolls and Ana decided on a bag of breaded chicken patties. *laugh*  I apparently need to give them more credit because they made fairly innocuous decisions.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


It's official. Ana has been diabetic for 5 years. It may sound crazy to outsiders but I always celebrate the day. Don't get me wrong...diabetes sucks...  The celebration, though, is a way to remember that our reactions and our everyday actions can be positive. We can make it a part of life, work within the disease to keep her as healthy as possible and always be there for her when she is so tired of it that she can't deal with it anymore.

This is a huge knock-wood thing for me, but I greet each new anniversary as a time to pat myself on the back. "Another year without glucagon!" I proudly think. And knock on wood. "Another year without hospitalization!" I compliment myself. And knock on wood. "Ana is amazing!" I brag to everyone I know. Because, you know what? She is. She's been doing her blood checks for years. Since she was 4, maybe? Perhaps even earlier. She was handling all of own boluses at 6. At 7, she is starting to calculate her own carbs and will tell me things like, "The serving size is 5 crackers and it's 10 carbs so since I'm having 11 crackers it's 22 carbs." She's in that middle ground of knowledge - she's realized that diabetes isn't going to go away but she doesn't realize the dangers or complications of diabetes. She's so hopeful of a cure and has already planned what she will do, which is throw everything in the driveway and jump up and down on it and then tell us to drive over it. She tells me this with awesome joy in her hope and I hide the cynical part of my brain that says, "Honey, you won't need us to drive over it because there won't be a cure before you learn to drive!"

This year, since diabetes management is slowly sliding into her responsibility, I explained that I have always had a party to celebrate the anniversary because I'm so excited at how fabulous we are at kicking diabetes' butt. Then I told her that she's old enough to decide how to acknowledge the day...and even to decide that she didn't want to, if that was her preference. She happily picked dinner and ice cream at Friendly's. Ike was struck down by a massive migraine so she was able to pick her date and she happily skipped to the car with DJ.

While they were away, Ike was able to sleep for about an hour. At that point, his pain increased to the point that he woke himself up with his own screams. That's our worst migraine scenario. Ideally, he notices the migraine at early onset and we give him a painkiller and get him to bed. They make him tired and he can often fall asleep before it gets bad and then sleep it off. Not that night. He woke up, screaming, with full body pain, chills, sweating, abdominal pain and a massive headache. Nothing hurts a mom's heart like seeing their child suffer and knowing there is nothing they can do to help. I laid in bed with him, unable to touch him because of the pain and able to offer nothing but my presence. It finally went away and he drug his exhausted little body to bed to recover.

Ana's diabetes is there. It's always there. We never get a break. We think about her blood glucose levels all the time. Her pump administers insulin every six minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's such a massive thing and we have just absorbed it into our lives. She'll eventually move out, have roommates, boy friends, husband...she'll have this disease in her relationships and it will affect so much of what she does. Whoever loves Ana will need to understand and support and help her. She'll know this from day one of any relationship. It seems massive. And then I watched Ike's misery and pain and I realized that little guy doesn't have diabetes...but someday he'll have to disclose asthma, allergies, migraines, ADD (officially diagnosed last week), stomach issues, anxiety...and maybe dyslexia. Oh, and he's had a few surgeries...both for genetically passed birth defects. Ana has this one thing. This one huge thing. But Ike has so, so many. He'll need to learn how to juggle new relationships, exams, jobs...everything...against this list of randomly occurring issues. And the idea of a husband with that list of diagnoses seems huge...but it will be a reality for my someday daughter-in-law. They'll work through everything and adapt because that's just what you do.

Ever since she's been diagnosed, Ana has been the one whose health I've worried about. She's the one with this all-consuming disease. I've had this little part of my heart that allowed itself to actually feel sorry for her. And, in my mind, I've always thought of Ike as the lucky one just because he managed to avoid the diabetes prize in the health lottery. Five years in and I've suddenly realized that I spend more time worrying about his health. Ana's diabetes has become our 'easy' disease; Ike's litany of diagnoses has become my challenge. We'll never have a day to celebrate as things have evolved one issue at a time over the years but we'll eventually get everything under control and it will become so totally normal that in 5 years I'll look back and think, "I remember when this seemed overwhelming!"

And, Diabetes, if you are reading this, you had better watch out. I'm tough but Ana is going to be a ninja of diabetes control. She plans to stomp you out of existence. And I completely believe in her.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Happy birthday to me!

I'm another year older. For years, growing older was hard. When I was younger, I would dread my birthdays. Turning 25 was the hardest. When I turned 30 I was pregnant and that helped offset that milestone. Anymore though, I think of my birthday as a fun novelty - nothing extravagant, nothing to be dreaded, just a day to have a little fun. 

I was thinking about it this year after complaining to someone that it's so unfair that my birthday falls during the one week of the year that my allergies are at their worst. I realized that I have spent some birthdays in memorable (and not always pleasant) ways :)

When my mom was getting the house ready for my second birthday, I fell down two steps and started screaming. My mom took me to the hospital and endured four hours of waiting for them to fix me. Four hours of a screaming two year old with a broken leg. Since this was my third broken bone and I had a history of hospitalizations, Mom was viewed very negatively and with suspicion. Every time I think I have it bad, I remember my mom's stories about that day and realize I don't have it so bad ;)  Came home in a cast from thigh to foot and when people showed up at the party, they were stunned. (For the record, I was not abused. I promise :) Just one of those sick kids that the doctor's couldn't figure out based on the knowledge of the day.)

When I turned six, my mom and grandma made an entire tray of flower basket cupcakes for my class. I still remember them. They made icing flowers, arranged them on the cupcakes, twisted pipe cleaners into basket handles and tied little bows on them. I was so proud and excited when I passed them out to my class.

When I turned nine I was allowed to have a party and sleepover for my friends. With my mom and my grandma, we made personalized aprons for everyone. Sounds crazy but it was awesome. My friends loved them.

When I turned thirteen, my parents decided to put in a pool. They started digging on my birthday. I annoyed my brothers by telling them that the pool was my birthday present and it would belong more to me than to them. Just to be annoying, of course :)

When I turned fifteen, I had another sleepover party with my friends. We watched Nightmare on Elm Street on the family's new and exciting VCR. *laugh*  About 3/4 through the movie, we heard a scratching sound on the screens of the window behind us. I bravely pulled up the blinds and there stood Freddy Krueger. Okay, so it was really my dad with a striped sweater, a hat pulled over his eyes and 4 steak knives taped to his gloved fingers. There was a moment of panicked silence, broken when my dad flicked on the propane torch. The screaming and running ensued. It was a night every one of us probably still remembers. We were laughing about it years later. It's one of those crazy things that you had to be there to understand how fun it was....afterward, of course. It was a bit terrifying in the middle ;)

When I turned sixteen, I took the SAT. Most draining thing I have ever done. Including that calculus final in college. It came out okay and my scores were enough to get me the scholarships I needed...but what a miserable thing to do on a birthday.

When I turned eighteen, I graduated from high school. I was born at 1:44 PM and my ceremony was 18 years, 16 minutes later. My older brother and I were in the same grade and I remember gloating because I had twice as many presents - my birthday and graduation versus his graduation. I asked for, and received, a typewriter. I was telling my kids about this a few days ago and Ike said, "What's a typewriter?"  *sigh*

When I turned twenty, DJ gave me a small ruby ring and presented it as a promise ring. We had been dating for about 6 months and we knew we would get married as soon as I graduated. He was two years ahead of me and had to wait for me to finish up. He proposed my senior year and we were married the fall after graduation. 

When I turned 27, I was in the midst of my first bout of depression. I was a mess. I'd had my first miscarriage the fall before and my system was thrown completely out of whack. It couldn't seem to rebalance and I was barely functioning. I spent this birthday in therapy and on Prozac. I really believed that I would be back to normal 6 months later. At 38, I have a bottle of Wellbutrin on the counter. It's evolved into SAD but it's clear my hormones never figured out how to go back...

When I turned 29, I was a mom. Ike had been born that February. We were getting ready to start trying for a sibling.

When I turned 30, I was busy packing up my house to move. In the previous year, I'd been through another miscarriage, managed to get pregnant for the 4th time, listed and sold our house and bought a new one. Since the 2nd babe was a boy, we had painted the room blue and yellow and I had tons of stars painted and ready to go on the wall. Of course, in September we found out she was a girl and DJ was busy repainting for her November arrival.

When I turned 33, I was worried about my daughter. I had this idea that she had diabetes but it was too crazy to really consider. Within a week of my birthday she was diagnosed and we had spent a few days in the hospital with her. Life turned upside down for awhile.

And now I'm 38. I no longer schedule anything around my birthday. Just in case ;)  This year, I asked DJ for a day full of movies. One day, as many movies as possible. I get to pick them all :)  We don't have the day set yet as we need to find someone to spend the days with the kids but I'm looking forward to it!

Happy birthday to me!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Exercise. No, seriously.

Guess what, peeps!!

Last night, DJ fixed the Wii for me :)  Now, that might be because I put it on my birthday list and he felt guilty. But I suspect it was because he accidentally stumbled across the reason it wasn't working. :-p  So, after plugging something back into something else, it works again. We'll need to chat with Ike about now pulling the console out and unplugging it, I imagine...

Anyhow, with the Wii in working order I was able to do my Walk It Out game again! So happy :)

I started a new person (ever so creatively named Stacy 2) and I'm going to add a page here for my game totals. I'm not setting any specific goals so that I don't get inundated by an immediate sense of failure when they don't happen. We have a few hectic weeks coming up and I'm not wasting time on guilt.

I need to get my GoWear Fit charged and set up an account again, then I need to buy a battery for my scale. After that, I am ready for a slimdown summer!

UPDATE: I was so excited to start my workout (and was highly motivated by a picnic with skinny people) that I walked again when I came home!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Our introductions

New blog, new names :)  I asked the kids to pick new ones and they have surprised me by picking actual people names!

My son, Ike, is 9 years old. He's this hilarious kid that cracks me up. He's thoughtful, kind, giving...unless you are his sister. ;)  He's got a gift for being social and friendly and can walk into any room and make a friend. He's always on the go and can't even sit still at the dinner table. Instead, he sort of fidgets and perches and wiggles around. We laugh because he's like a mini-DJ. In fact, his red hair and blue eyes, combined with a tall, thin frame even make him a physical mini of DJ. Like his father, he's all about sports. Playing them, watching them, playing video games of them...he knew more teams and mascots at 6 than I know now. He's also our family homebody - when given a choice, he stays home. In fact, on our last date night, instead of wanting to go somewhere, he opted to send DJ and my daughter out of the house so we could hang out here. Yes, our date was too send them on one :)  He's into movement and music and spends him time singing and dancing. He already knows the lyrics to more songs than me. As a baby, he was this happy, laid back little guy. He'd stare at ceiling fans for hours, smile and wave at everyone he met and carried a toy in each hand for the first 5 years of his life. First 2 pacifiers, then 2 balls, then 2 cars...even now he's happier when he has something to play with. He never thinks past today and completely lives in the moment.

My daughter, Ana, is 7 years old. Like her dad and brother, she has red hair and blue eyes. She's also the one that inherited DJ's and my freckles - she's got this spotted face and tons of missing teeth - looks just like a typical 7 year old that loves being outside :)  She started life as a colicky babe that needed a specialized formula in order to eat. She was known as "the Banshee" as a babe and it took us 5 years to calm her down. She was fearless as a baby - by her first birthday she was scaling everything and we'd find her on counters if we turned our backs for a second. She's the one that wants to skydive as an adult and loves roller coasters and is counting the years until she can be a goth teen and has already planned her first tattoos. At the same time, she is this loving child that takes care of her babies, makes us presents, plans parties to celebrate everyone she knows and is fiercely loyal. She's more reserved than her brother, taking a long time to warm up to people. She's as devious as Ike is guileless and her mad scientist laugh is so cute you almost forget that she's planning something sneaky. She's so like me it's scary. I can see her thinking and know exactly what she's going to do next  because it's exactly what I would do. She's so similar in appearance to me that my parents marvel at it. They've taken pictures over the years of her holding pictures of me at her current age and the similarity is scary. Except for hair and eye color, she could be my clone.

I talk about them quite a bit on my blogs. Sometimes it's just regular life but other times it's about specific things. Right now, Ike is being evaluated for ADHD and dyslexia. He struggles with reading and it impacts everything at school. He's also our most-often-operated-on family member with five surgeries under his belt. He had hypospadias correction at 13 months and then had three surgeries at 5 and 6 to correct unilateral microtia. One of those required a rib graft. Through them all, he was happy and cheerful. He had us in tears (from laughing!) during the last two because he was hilarious on anesthesia. Surgery never got him down.  Ana's most common post topic is her diabetes. She's developed Type 1 diabetes when she was 2 years old. We did MDI (multiple daily injections) for several years and switched her to an insulin pump just before her 6th birthday. Just this morning she commented, "I never forget to check my number because I've done it about a thousand times!" I agreed and told her it was way more than a thousand and it made her curious. We calculated it out and figure she's around 16,425 finger pokes so far. Further math suggests 7,665 insulin injections just in the MDI time. She's had approximately 250 site changes. I am curious what her totals will be by 90 but I'm too afraid to calculate it because I think I'd cry! As a bonus from diabetes, she also gets every crazy, weird, rare disorder that could possibly come her way. She had skin issues professionals had to work hard to diagnose; infections that sunk into her joints; mono; etc. Her and Ike are also crazy-addicted to scarlet fever, apparently opting to be so asymptomatic to strep throat that we don't know about it until the scarlet fever rash appears.

I'll talk more about myself another day. It must be a mom thing - it's always kids first ;)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Insurance is frustrating

I haven't been able to find anyone to test my son for dyslexia. No one. Well, that's probably not true...I'm sure there are docs...they just aren't on my mental health provider list (and how is dyslexia a mental health issue anyway?!?!)  I tried to find one person to do the ADHD testing and the dyslexia testing but it's apparently not meant to be. Either they weren't taking patients or wouldn't call me back or, my personal favorite, they don't actually do that testing.

Tonight, I was talking to my son about why, after four years of school he still acts surprised that every sentence has a punctuation mark at the end. I was frustrated, he was crying and it finally came out. He said, "I just don't see them, Mom! When the letters are jumping and moving, I don't see them! I'm trying to read the letters!"  Ah. The moving letters? When I asked, he explained that they jump over each other while he's looking at them and it makes them be in the wrong order.

I've been claiming phonological dyslexia for a few months and the testing was to see if it was actually there. He has mentioned moving letters twice in his life - once when watching Percy Jackson and once when I was talking to him about dyslexia and specifically asked him. In 9 years of life, that doesn't seem like a lot, you know? If my letters were moving, I would tell somebody. I would complain. I would ask why they did that. I would make sure every teacher I had knew that the stupid letters were dancing. But my son? Nope. But what if he thought they did that to everyone and he worried that he just wasn't doing as good as everyone else at figuring out the word anyway?

I called insurance again tonight. I explained that I was willing to double my search area and split the testing into two practices - one for ADHD testing and one for dyslexia testing. Total number of names: Nine. That's the total for BOTH. I'm feeling defeated before I've even begun.

The school won't test him. Few doctors even do the testing and the first group of 6 couldn't help us. He needs help and I can't seem to make it work. I think I need to check the balance in my flexible spending account because I suspect I'm going to end up paying out of pocket for this. But at least we'll have answers...and that's money well spent.

**Update** I called several offices this morning and one actually talked to me.  I was flabbergasted. Even better - they had just gotten a cancellation for tomorrow afternoon! Believe it or not, he has an appointment tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Just imagine for a moment...

...that you are an I-cup, making your bra is a serious piece of your wardrobe
...and that one day, while you are at work feel the last hook and eye unsnap.

That's exactly what happened to me today. The feeling you are overwhelmed with is panic.

Of course, I set myself up for this massive wardrobe malfunction. I have 5 hooks on the back of my bra, so this should never happen. If only I weren't such a lazy washer, though, because then the hooks wouldn't get tangled in everything else in the washer and they wouldn't bend out of shape. And if I actually sewed on the replacement hooks I bought a few months ago, it wouldn't matter. Or, if I did laundry more often, I wouldn't be forced to wear one with only 2 1/2 good hooks. But, alas, I am a lazy, distractable person and all of those 'shoulds' failed to occur.

Which is why I shouldn't have been surprised when I felt the give and instantly realized that I must have somehow previously undone 1 1/2 of those hooks throughout the day.

Very carefully, since the bo.obage (gotta watch those google search terms ;) ) is still in the cups, I stood up, walked over to the cubicles nearest me and managed to bum a few safety pins off a coworker.

Even more carefully, I headed for the restrooms, locked myself in the handicapped stall and removed my shirt. I had this theory that I would pull the bra around my body so that the back was in the front, then pin it and twist it back around. Yeah, maybe that worked at efforts were a laughable disgrace. My bo.obs were in the way, my band isn't baggy at all, I was sweaty. I then thought about removing my bra, pinning it and pulling it over my head. I quickly discarded that as unlikely because how would I ever get the band over, then under, my breasts?? I tried pinning the bra while wearing it. Not a good idea.

Finally, in a moment of desperation, I removed the bra, inspected the hooks and then, using my teeth, managed to bend enough back to make them work. Sort of. I had to do a little shoving to get some of the hooks through the eyes. But, with the 2nd hook half-hooked and the 3rd and 5th completely hooked, I re-dressed and headed back to my desk.

Where I made no sudden movements and never shifted my upper arms for the rest of the afternoon.

I think perhaps I'll actually take the time to replace the hooks on a few bras tonight...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Maybe I should clean more often

Not that I will, of course. Just that I should.

The kids are having a friend over to spend the night and both have their rooms cleaned. I realized today that the upstairs bathroom could use a quick clean, too. Once I was in there, I thought, "Since I'm cleaning the bathroom I may as well clean the bathroom!" and I sent my daughter downstairs for a trash bag while I began to sort through the drawers.

I never use the bathroom for anything more than brushing my teeth, taking a bath and going to the bathroom. That's it. I don't wear make-up, I don't have a skincare regimen that extends beyond washing my face. I don't even use shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, etc.

Among the things I found...

~Hair spray. Which I haven't used since 2005
~Kotex pads. Switched to cloth in 2004
~Ovulation predictor tests. 2003
~Purple hair dye. And bleached blond. Both unopened ;-)
~And my favorite...a Crash Test Dummies cassette. If I wanted to listen to Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm, I could. Of course, I'd need to drive to Goodwill and buy a tape player first. 1993. I kid you not.

Now, in my defense, we didn't live here in 1993 so it's been a more recent addition to my bathroom drawer. But still...

Decisions, decisions...

Am I ever in a state of calm happiness about my kids' schooling? Ever??


Nope. Not at all. Right now, I feel so much pressure to find the right place for my kids. And, of course, my children have completely different needs so finding one school is hard. How is it that so many parents send their kids to school, are happily content with the results and then watch them eventually graduate while I obsess over everything?

Here are my issues:
1. My son struggles with the basics of writing/reading. He can read. And he has acceptable fluency and comprehension levels. However, he doesn't understand punctuation. Or grammar. Or capitalization. How he manages to do the reading and comprehension when he doesn't understand the concept of a period is beyond me.  He has been taught these things multiple times but his brain simply won't retain them. We're working on it at home and he'll learn it all again and this time I'll push very regular repetition so that it eventually sticks. He may someday be the only 10th grader doing comma worksheets ;-) I feel in my heart that once he finally absorbs the basics, everything else will fall into place. He does great at every other subject but his reading is holding him back to such an extent that his teacher recommends retention. This summer will be spent on the building blocks of language - sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, spelling - and drills in math. Adding, subtracting, multiplying...lots of flashcards in our future. I'm not concerned with him going to fourth grade and feel that this summer will help him start fourth grade with a better grasp of basics. For him, I'm looking for a smaller classroom, teachers that interact with students, more individualized learning and a willingness to communicate with parents. At the same time, I want a student body large enough to give him the social life he thrives on and the fun extras he likes to participate in.
2. My daughter, on the other hand, thrives on challenges. She gets bored easily and is a very focused, serious child. She is diligent to a fault. I need to find a school that will let her progress at her level and will give her a push when she feels unwilling to do something because it's new. She needs someone that will accept her reserved nature but encourage her to play well with others. She's creative and needs an outlet. I want a school that can handle that...and keep her safe. Because, as you know, our number one goal in life is keeping her safe. Diabetes management is a 24/7 job. There is never a time where you can slack off or take a break from it. I need her in an environment that protects her. She needs to be surrounded by people who want to help her and are willing to learn about diabetes and become experts in the care of a 7 year old that happens to be diabetic.

The solution isn't our public school. I feel like they have failed my son. The teacher complains about his focus but won't help us with assessments. The principal and teacher tell us he isn't achieving what he should but won't offer additional support. No tutoring, no one-on-one teaching, and they denied him testing. Yes, you read that correctly. I requested it in writing, twice. Denied. As long as he is learning something, he can't have a learning disability. Seriously, that is their approach. My next step is to contact the state's department of education and work through them to force the school. We decided to opt out of that and pursue testing on our own as we are looking at a likely delay of 6 months during the fight. I consider that shameful. Now, they did well with my daughter's diabetes care last fall...but she would be transitioning to my son's school this year because of the grade change. And, honestly, if they can't provide testing for a student they want to fail, do I really want them keeping my daughter alive?

(Never knew that dyslexics are often creative and imaginative thinkers? One famous example is Albert Einstein; another is Thomas Edison!)

So there we are. I've looked at open enrollment. In my quasi-rural area there are very few choices. In fact, the only one I would consider due to my son's needs is already capped on enrollment thanks to other parents in my district that thought of it first. Most of their open enrollment comes from my school. Nice, isn't it? Homeschooling again isn't an option I want to consider. If it needed to happen, I would do it...but it's not the best option for my son or I. For my daughter, it's an option but she has requested to try school again so it's not my first choice. Private schools are few and far between. Most have religious affiliations I would prefer to avoid. And let's not even talk about the costs - yikes!

Through a friend we found a non-denominational, small private school. I'm not sure I believe the true non-denominational label but I'm willing to pretend. It's more conservative and narrow-minded than I am but I'm comfortable with re-educating at home ;-) Surprisingly, it's affordable. Barely, but we would find a way. No school nurse, though. And no organized sports. Everything else is a good match.

Right now, this school is winning. But I'm not convinced. And that school nurse thing...huge.

I hate this. And we still have 10 years of school to figure out! Eek!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Welcome to my life :)

I know, I know...another blog.

It's like an addiction, isn't it?

First, I had a homeschooling blog. Loved it. I talked about my family and our schoolwork. It was such a fun record of what we'd done and gave me a place to document the cute kid things that happened. I started getting hits from Google searches and the loss of privacy made me decide to close the blog.

Then there was my frugality blog. Code names, no locations...privacy was back. I enjoyed this blog, too, but for completely different reasons. This blog was about me. As time went on and my 'follower' list grew, I found myself having to defend myself against commenters. And defending my own life to strangers was a little crazy. I decided to step away from blogging and I made it private. Couldn't bring myself to delete it, but not willing to keep it out there.

And now I'm back. I've realized that I missed having an outlet for the frustrating things, an audience for the fun things and a record of the things I used to track. So, if you are here, you probably know me personally...or I feel like you do ;) Welcome to my new blog. Welcome to my life!