Hey! How YOU Doing?

Alright, so it’s been an amazing week of barf, diarrhea, diarrhea, and more diarrhea.

And you, How’ve things been for you?

I bet my week trumps your week, no?

On top of all that “fun-ness”, I reluctantly kept both Xandra and Jeremy home from school as school policy states that “your child should be 24 hours diarrhea-free” before you send their germ-y goodness back to class.

Let me just say that I so appreciate the teachers. Jeremy’s teacher in particular, but Xandra is a whole fun ball of emotional energy in her own special way, as well.

Now, it’s not entirely fair in that I get Jeremy “med-free” and we dope him heavily before we send him off to lay siege on his classroom, to war, to school.

I must explain…..well, actually – I really don’t have to, but I want to….because if me and my situation can in any way help you to understand some child and their parent better or to help you to give just a little extra grace to “that child” in church or at the mall or heck, even in your own family, or even if you just walk away and say “THANK GOD THAT’S NOT ME HAVING TO DEAL WITH ALL THAT” I think I might understand how or why that poor mom looks like hell so frazzled, nope I won’t ask her to bake 4 dozen cookies to bring to the “troop” meeting tomorrow night…..then my work here is done.

At this point, I’m actually just giong to go ahead and see if I can use a world record amount of punctuation marks, quotation marks and such in this post……

I choose to joke and laugh about the situation that we are in, mostly because I like to. I like to find the humor in things and well, in our family, there is a lot of humor to be found.

I can either choose to be angry about what’s going on and get all controlled and then get even more angry when “it” (life) doesn’t fit into my perfect little controlled scheme OOOOOOOOOORRRRR, I can laugh, and just kinda “Flow with it”.

I will honestly admit that I’ve been WAY more of a angry controlled type person for a lot of my life….not that I’ve had tons to be angry about, but the whole cycle of FEAR leading into CONTROL, leading into CHAOS, which makes us ANGRY mostly because we are full of FEAR, which cycles us right back into CONTROL and well….you can see how the cycle keeps on going, eh?

I’ve changed (some) over the past 3-4 years and it’s not been without counselling, but it has definately been for the better and not for the worse.

Okay, Back to my most wonderful son…..

Life with Jeremy is SO MUCH STINKING WORK!

It’s so true. Yesterday, after 2 days of being at home “med-free” I dosed him up. He was absolutely “pinging” off of everything. I had yelled at him lovingly helped him to understand the error of his ways, many, many MANY times, and this was all before 9am. Can you see how the day was shaping up to be a really awesome day?

So I did. I gave him some Ritalin, and even though it took a bit to kick it – yesterday was a pretty pleasant day….sort of. See, there is a HUGE sliding scale of what “pleasant” means. In my world, if nothing gets majorly burnt, irrepairably destroyed, no one gets seriously hurt, and there are no major screaming tear filled melt downs – then I consider it pleasant.

Did you notice all those adjectives in front of those words….yah…that there is the kicker. On a normal day….at that stuff still happens, but if we can “fix” the situation then I consider it to all be succesful.

Man, I’m tired!

I’m sure this post must be winning some award for the longest, worst punctuated, most run on sentances and poor grammer, but really…this is just how it is. Life is messy. My life might be messier than some, and less messier than others. But….this is my life, and I’m okay with it. Tired, but okay.

Okay, so I gave Jeremy some Ritalin….that’s where we were, right, and like I said, the day was okay.

The thing is…..I wonder sometimes…..I wonder what J would be like if he didn’t have ADD/ADHD. Would he be like he was yesterday? He was more subdued than normal. He worked his butt off helping around the house. He cleaned the TV room, he set the table, he wante to do the after supper dishes, he vaccumed, he cleaned his own room (and it looked like a nuclear bomb went off in there before), he got his pyjamas on without being asked, he packed his bag for the next day, he brushed his teeth and he got into his bed to “try” to go to sleep…..and then at 10:30pm he came out crying because he had been trying so hard to go to sleep and he just couldn’t….and that broke my heart.

This kid doesn’t sleep. It’s awful. I wonder if half his problem isn’t that he’s just sleep deprived. I don’t know what to do about that…but that’s a tangent….

He did all that stuff……NORMALLY….he would have ignored that mess and those responsibilites and created the worlds largest human-made spider web in the front room with my most favorite and most expensive ball of wool, and then would have been reduced to a sobbing mess when I didn’t leave it there as a work of art for the rest of eternity.

What do I mean by a spider web….well, take a ball of wool or string or something and attach it to and around every surface in a room, weaving under and in and out a couple of hundred times……yah…it’s awesome….and hell, to clean up….it usually involves scissors, lots of bad words mumble under your breath, maybe a yell or two, and almost always sobbing…..OH MY GOODNESS THE SOBBING!

Really, honestly, i have no idea where I’m going with all of this….I’ve just had 3 days at home with my darlings (I haven’t even talked about the “special-ness” of Xandra) and today is the first day that they are back at school and I have a moment to breathe.

I love my kids. I love their creativity. I hate that Jeremy needs some extra help to be able to function well in the world. I hate being tired. I hate worrying about Siah….that one’s weighing on me right now, but it must be a post for another day. I……..

Well…I have a lot of other “I’s” that I could say, but……couldd I hear from you?

What do you find is the most troubling, stressful or difficult thing that you deal with in your life? Heck, it doesn’t even have to be the most difficult….just something difficult or stressful?

Help a girl out, eh? Let me know that I’m not alone stressing about things?

Some Thoughts on Community

The week of our vacation was eye opening in some different ways, and it actually really cemented some of what I want or am looking for in my life.

We had two large families – by today’s standards – in close quarters for 9 days, and we all did really well together.

It was like a huge family unit.

All our different strengths and weaknesses were apparent, and there was such a sense of love and unity and working toward togetherness…it was amazing.

This is not to say that everything we did, that everyone else agreed or even liked what we were doing, but that we trusted each other enough and loved each other enough, and truley believed that each of us had the best interests of the other at heart.

I think that in “society” today, we have such an sense of independance and isolation, and individualism and that we’ve lost a good part of the community or “village” mentality. I think that we have lost out on the support and help and the wise input from others in raising our families and also in growing and maturing ourselves.

I remember when I wa younger and lived in North Vancouver. We were a part of a local church, and there were many different people from all walks of life….young adults, singles, young marrieds, young families, parents of older kids, empty nesters, and the elderly. There was so much imput that all could have to offer and we as kids growing up in this close community knew that we always had someone close who could help us out or who we could talk to or that if we were doing something that we shouldn’t be doing, we knew that we had a hundred pair of eyes and ears watching our for us and over us.

I think that it created a very safe place to grow up in, and a very safe place to learn in and so many different views to learn from.

I think that there is something to say for having different views and insight on any given situation. It enables you to learn to think through different situations before coming up with a plan.

Our vacation was such an example of community or family at work. When I needed extra support with my kids, I always had another adult gently reminding my kids of what I had said, and I was able to offer the same support. I also love the fact, that there are different things that are important to different people, and that we can see be watching, what different things are important to different people and then you ven have the opportunity to watch and work out why those different things might be important, and you have the option of learning and growing from what they are doing. Not that you are trying to be exactly like them, but you can learn and adapt what others do to fit within your family life.

In dealing with Jeremy, specifically, I don’t feel like too many people understand him or where he’s coming from, or us and specifically us dealing with him.

Dealing with a child who has ADD can be utterly and completely ovrwheling, and tiring beyond all reason. And there are no signs that show that there in anything “wrong” with the child aside from the destruction that follows him, and the stressed out parent hovering closely by.

I spend so much of my time trying to protect both you from Jeremy and Jeremy from you.

It was amazing to me, that this past week – I was able to relax a little and to let others help me in parenting Jeremy. There were still moments that I stressed, and problems that had to be dealt with, but to feel that there was someone else that I trusted with him….that even if they didn’t completely understand Jeremy and what was “up with him” that they wanted to understand, and that they loved him and us and had our best interests at heart.

I couldn’t have said all that to you…..what I did know was that I felt safe. Safe to let Jeremy be Jeremy and safe to just be me.

Over the course of the week, Jeremy did do some things that were not acceptable. It is all related to the ADD, and dealing with things “NOW” without thinking through the consequences and having him dealing with Jason or Lise as opposed to me was interesting. It’s not that no one was upset (it wasn’t about being upset or not being upset), but that even in our upsettedness (is that even word) that there was a different way to deal with and/or explain things to Jeremy. I love that. I love that in love and trust there is safety.

I want to try and find a way to foster and grow a village for my family. I love the idea of many people pouring into my kids and even me, and I want to be a part of pouring into others in the same way.

How? How does this happen? I’m still working that through, but I think that honesty, openess and just being real – plays a big part of it.

The more open and real I am about my struggles, as oppsed to trying to put on the “perfect face” and trying to be “perfect” in front of everyone, the more others will grow to know and understand what I’m going through, and the more understanding and caring they will be.

I’m still working all this through, but it’s what I’m working towards.

Do you have any thoughts on the matter?

Enough with the Pizza’s and the Cheesecake….

Alrighty, so I have exactly 2.348 seconds before my little (large would be more accurate) Hoover starts complaining that I’m on the computer and wants to knock over the 1,079, 342, 457th block tower this morning.

I’m not sure exactly what’s up, but ‘Siah was up from 2-3:15am last night or this morning or however you want to call that…..like happy and in that half drugged/asleep state, but talking and singing and most definately AWAKE.

He finally went back to sleep, but it took me a little bit to settle back down, and I was DREADING this morning with everything in me.

It went pretty well though, and everyone was off to school on time and didn’t forget anything and there were no tears and no melt-downs, and as far as I’m concerned…that’s a very positive morning.

Yesterday, ‘Siah was up freaky early (like 615am….that’s freaky early in my estimation) and then went down for a 2.5 hour nap that started at 9am just after the kids eft for school and if you can do the math – ended at 11:30am, AND…….I had crawled back into bed and managed to (minus a few phone call interruptions) sleep the whole time as well. So, lets just say that yesterday was a good day, and after last night, I was really hoping for a re-run, but NOPE!

Little stinker fell asleep, but didn’t want to let me go, and then woke up at 10am. Stupid Expectations…they get me every time.

I had mom and dad and Chris out for dinner last night, and they stayed until the kids were in bed, so that was SO HELPFUL.

Everyone at J’s school is raving about how wonderful he is doing, and cynical me is wondering if he’s really doing that well, or if they are all just saying it so that we keep him on the Ritalin. Not that we are planning on taking him off it right now…we are still in the trying it out stage and have no intentions of mucking around with stuff until we give it all a good shot, BUT…..

….it’s still as messy and frustrating in my head, and as much as I could just ramble on and on about everything that’s flying hrough my head – I’m not going to subject you to that….I’ll keep it until I have some clearer, more consise things to say.

Regardless, J’s doing okay, but night times are rough and he seems to be more hyper when the meds wear off…..Is this normal? or is it just our perception? I dunno.

Siah is cruising the furniture and even the walls like a monkey and is clapping and waving hi and bye and he is just happy and darling and everything that we’ve been waiting for and hoping for the past long years.

Xani is her happy bubbly self….and we adore her. She is being so helpful and seems to really be “getting” responsibility and pitching in and we are so proud of her.

Angelica is getting so big, and honestly is struggling a bit. She is so upset that we ask her to help out or pitch in with housework…she doens’t like that she has to prove that she’s responsible. She just wants us to blindly trust her, and the problem with that is that she’ making some stupid, stupid choices, and tends to react when confronted with a situation or issue. It must be so hard. I don’t know what’s going on or why she’s acting like this, but we are talking and so that’s good. I wonder what of it is hormones, and what is preeteen stuff and what is….I dunno. She’s a great kid and we love her, but she’s making some hard choices and learning (in our minds) the hard way….but she and we’ll figure it all out and it’ll end up good.

Jon’s been away for the past 2 nights, and is coming home “sometime” today. That’ll be nice. I’ve missed him.

Well, I gotta go and dig ‘Siah outta the plants….he’s discovered dirt…..:rollseyes:….and that’s just so much fun!

Two Medium Pizza’s, one and a half pieces of Cheesecake and Five Pounds later…..

Apparently, that’s how much dairy is too much.

I feel BRUTAL today.

I’m supposed to be trying to add some dairy into my diet to see how it affects Josiah (and myself). We are both on some naturopathic “stuff” to help us to deal with the different affects that it has on us. And apparently I’ve figured out how much is too much.

‘Siah has a tiny bit of a rash on his cheeks, and while it could be the starting of exczema, it could also be from teething and his fingers and slobber in and out of his mouth ALL FREAKING DAY. But….he has been dealing with what seems to be acid reflux, and has actually been barfing a little bit. All of that would indicate to me that it would be okay for me to injest a little bit of dairy if I came across it at a restaurant or even going to someone’s house for a meal or even if I wanted to cheat a little, but apparently 4 days of cheating with a half a piece of cheesecake, and then splitting a medium pizza with Jon , and then splitting another medium pizza with Jon because the first was just that good, and then my veryown piece of cheesecake…..apparently that it where the line is drawn….somewhere in all the middle of that.

And for me….I feel bloated, and people in the next city can hear my stomach as it grumbles its complaints to me feeding it that horrible, terrible, no good dairy….and I just feel sluggish and have a headache and feel like I’m in a brain fog, and not to mention that I’ve gained 5 pounds. Nice, eh? It was so not worth it.

So, I think that what I’m going to do is to just go back to taking it easy on the dairy in our own house and with the way that we normally eat. I feel SO MUCH BETTER off of it, and apparently, so does ‘Siah.

In Jeremy related news….

He had another good day. He was thrilled to bring home 4 stickers, AGAIN, and even more thrilled to bring home a friend. Yup! He actually brought home a friend from school, and they played so nicely together for about two hours, until the kid’s father came to pick him up. That is the first time that J has brought a kid home from school, and again….it could all be coincidence or not.

Now, after my whole…..no negative side effects blah, blah blah from yesterday….

We found his lunch from yesterday (almost the entire thing) in the front pouch of his backpack….so that’s not good, especially seeing as I found almost his entire lunch in his backpack again today….so appaerently lunch is not going so well.

We’re going to go in and talk to the principal tomorrow and we’ll mention that, and see what he says about it all; and see if he can help us out with it.

Jeremy seems to be eating well at home, and if lunch is the only meal affected, then Oh Well! He’s eaten an apple and a muffin and some popcorn since he came home, and we’re just about to have dinner so we’ll see. I still think he’s eating enough during the day, as a whole, just not “in school”.

Oh well! I’m sure it’ll all work out. Right?

On the Second Day…

Jeremy Goofing AroundCan’t you just see this continuing on until day 46, 389, 271 and you are all sick of hearing about it?

Nah, I can’t either, but seeing as it’s kinda what’s consuming a large part of our brain space at this exact moment….this is what you get to hear about.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers and best wishes and what ever else encouragement that you guys sent our way. It means so much to have you there cheering us on, especially on the hard days.

We got a call from the principal last night and apparently, yesterday was a FREAKING AMAZING day. He figures that it was a different child that showed up to school yesterday morning. Still cheerful and full of life, but not frantic, in a manic sort of way.

He sat through an assembly, people!?!?!

An entire assembly, a whole row away from the teacher (or any teacher, for that matter) and stayed still and focused and engaged the entire thing, and then at the end when the entertainer said that he wanted questions from kids who were sitting still and quiet with their hand raised and a smile on their face, apparently Jeremy sat exactly like that for about 4 minutes. It’s almost hard to believe that was my child that he was talking about.

I’m still all over the place with emotions and feelings and such. It’s hard to know that Jeremy is having his “Good” time at school, and not with us. I still don’t really have a good idea of how this is helping him or what his behavior is like or how it’s even really different.

We get about half an hour or so at home when we think the medicine has kicked in and then we get the tail end of it between 3-4pm before it’s completely worn off.

The RitalinSR slow releasing drug that lasts about 8 hours….so basically it’s just a morning dose and an afternoon dose but in only one pill. It wears off and then we get “normal” Jeremy for the afternoon and evening.

I feel guilty that we are using the Ritalin, and I feel guilty that if it’s working in his favor, then how come we waited so long. I feel happy that he might have good days at school and be a little easier to deal with, for the teachers, and I feel jealous that we don’t get to reap the benefits of him being on the drug. I feel guilty that I’m upset that I don’t get the benefit, and I hate that I’m admitting that my son is sometimes tough to handle. I hate that I have to deal with any of this at all. I hate that others often don’t “get” Jeremy. I hate that anyone has to “get” Jeremy in the first place. It’s all just a huge messy ball of feelings and emotions and questions and wonderings.

He had another good day at school today. It was a 4 sticker day. He has a chart and can get a total of 4 stickers per day, if he behaves appropriately in the AM1 (up until recess), AM2 (up until lunchtime), PM (the entire afternoon) and OTHER (PE or an Assembly or Library, or somthing like that).

So, this is Day 2 on Ritalin, and Day 2 of 4 stickers….I still am, not for certain, tying the two together as his week typically goes something like 4 stickers, and then 1 sticker and then 3, ad then 4 and then 2, followed by a week of 4, 4, 4, 1 and 3…..there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to his behavior pattern.

I told him that if he gets 4 stickers tomorrow and Friday that we’d go and get a Booster Juice on Friday, so we’ll see.

So far, we’ve not had any negative side effects, and I’m hoping it stays that way. He ate a HUGE breakfast, and all his lunch was gone when he brought his backpack home (he has to eat in the principal’s office at the moment because of a prior transgression). He’s come home from school and had a snack, and so I’m hoping that the “loss of appetite” side effect never materializes, and the other two common side effects are jittery-ness and a difficult time sleeping.

Well, he’s pretty much ALWAYS had a hard time sleeping, and so last night I didn’t even try to put him down until 9pm. We’ll try for a bit earlier tonight, but I wouldn’t say that his behaviour has been any different yesterday after school/evening and today after school so far – than it normally is.

So far, the positives seem to be outnumbering the negatives…..I don’t think there really have been any negatives so far…..except for the mental and emotional stress, but I was feeling that before in regards to him and so basically the stress has just been been changed to a different matter surrounding the same situation.

So, basically we’re doing okay?!?! I think? I hope?

The First Day…….

This is such a head trip.

Have we done the right thing? Have we done the wrong thing? Is is going to be okay? Will there be negative side effects? Will this be the absolute best thing in the world with AMAZING results? Will the dose be too small? What will today be like at school? Should we have done this sooner? Should we have not done it at all?

So many questions, and for right now, there are no clear and comforting answers.

We picked up the prescrition of Ritalin for Jeremy last night, and even that set off a whole ton of questions and concerns for us. We had figured that we’d be picking up a bottle of 5mg pills and that we’d start off with one pill for a few days, and then re-evaluate if he needed a mid-day dose or if it needed to be upped to 10mg, and that we’d go from there.

The bottle we picked up had 20mg of the Slow Release formulation.

It was unexpected, and after the day that I’d had – it just about sent me over the edge.

It was such a bad day, and I’m not sure why. I felt so insecure, and every encounter with every person that I ran into just exacerbated that feeling of inadequacy and insecurity. it was like I was the stupidest, uninformed, person alive. I felt like a huge burden and an even bigger inconvenience, and I couldn’t seem to pull myself together enough to handle even the stupidest, most meaningless tasks.

I couldn’t call the Pharmacy to see if the pediatrician had called in the script for Jeremy. I couldn’t call the school to tell them that we were going to be picking Geli and Jer up 15 mintues early because they had a Chiropractic appt. I gave Geli my Chiro appt because I couldn’t handle going to another appt and letting the Dr down (he told me to lose 10lbs and to go to a cardio core boot camp). I dropped off a test of Jeremy’s at the Natuopath’s office, and after talking with the receptionist – left feeling stupider than dirt….over something that I have a fair amount of knowledge about.

It was just absolutely overwheling.

And then, to top it all off, I ate almost a whole bag of chips by myself after all the kids were down for the night….talk about stress eating. I haven’t been that down for a VERY LONG TIME.

I’m feeling a bit better today, but the desire to hide and not talk to anyone is still quite strong, and that leads me to believe that I’m still not doing all that great. It has honestly been so long since I felt like this, that the feeling is almost foreign to me.

I recognize that I used to feel like this ALL THE FREAKING TIME and I’m so thankful that I don’t feel like this anymore. I do think that this is just the stress of it all, and that I’ll be okay soon.

It’s very to hard to explain how I’m feeling because I don’t feel like I’m in a hole, or even that I’m close to “the HOLE” but it’s more like a cloud settled down around me, and I’m waiting for the fog to burn off.

Jon talked to the principal at Jeremy’s school, yesterday….he is probably our biggest advocate. I mean, the Learning Assistance Teacher is also a huge advocate of Jeremy’s, but the principal is just amazing. UTTERLY AMAZING!

He asked that we not mention to anyone that Jeremy is on the drug, and because he sees Jeremy everyday in his reading group and other times through out the day, he’ll be able to get a good feel for how this week goes, and then at the end of the week, he’s going to talk to Jer’s teacher and see if she’s noticed any change at all….as well as the LA guy.

I can’t say that there was anything life shattering in a scary or positive way this morning. He wasn’t a zombie, and he seemed like his happy, lovable self….Jon thinks that he was maybe a bit more focused….for example….

…..Jeremy decided to clean the TV Room because he didn’t want Josiah to get hurt by any of the stuff in there(video games and cords, etc.). Geli called him away in the middle of it to see something in the front room…he went looked and came right back to cleaning up the TV Room….rinse, lather, repeat…..it happened twice….that’s two opportunities for distraction, and he was able to stay focused. I think that he’s done that before, but it certainly is the exception, and not the norm…..

….so, are we seeing into things because we’re watching for them or is this for real….

I guess we’ll find out eventually, won’t we.

I’m really hoping that we don’t end up dealing with any of the funky side effects, and only get the good and positive effects. That’s not too much to hope or ask for, is it?

Have any of you dealt with any of this? Any advice or suggestions? Things to be watching for or looking out for? Positive feedback or otherwise?

So, you are more than welcome to come along for this wide roller coaster ride as we travel the Ritalin Highway.

I’m hoping the pit stops are few and far between.