PRINCSSIS SPEAKS...you may listen

Anyone who knows me and my family will know that I am "Princess Sister" to my three younger brothers. I'm a fairly quiet woman, so when I have something to say, I expect to be heard. I mean no disrespect or place myself on any kind of pedestal. My brothers gave me this name, so I honor them by using it.

Name:
Location: United States

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The teacher called...

CJ is in the third grade. Since Kindergarten, his teachers have been saying he has difficulty staying focused and on task. When he was in 1st grade, I took him to see a psychologist and he was tested for ADD and giftedness. At that time, he was a little young for the testing, but he was considered below threshold for ADD. There were some suggestions the doctor gave us that we tried. Some seemed to help - for a while. In the second grade, the teacher was personally very close to the first grade teacher, so they had discussed CJ's problems. She continued to voice concern and we followed up with the doctor. We filled out some surveys about his behavior and problems. This time, the doctor said CJ was borderline ADHD - inattention. I guess they use ADHD with a qualifier now. There is no ADD term used. However, she stated she felt he is "gifted" in reading, as his comprehension is several grades above his current grade. I have been concerned that maybe he's just been bored with the work.

Now you have to understand, that academically, CJ was doing great. He also has a very small class size. There's been anywhere from 8 to 12 kids in his class. We have some migrant worker families that come at the beginning of the year, so there are more kids then. We live in a small school district - about 100 kids total for K-8th grade. WE are fortunate enough to still have the school open. If it were to close, the kids would go to the neighboring town where they go for high school (CJ will NEVER go there). We have been very pleased with the individualized attention he gets. This year, being third grade, is the first where he has actually received letter grades for his work. For the first two quarters so far this year, he has earned high honor roll - straight A's.

This has made it difficult to warrant putting him on medication. Although, his teacher recently told me that she felt it was time somthing more be done. She was constantly having to direct his attention back to the work at hand. His handwritting was atrocious! His sentances looked like a string of ill-formed letters with no spaces between the words. He could write legibly, but it took a LOT of effort and time. He was always the last one done - if he completed the work. He rarely got to do the fun things others were doing after they finished thier work. His teacher was concerned it was affecting CJ emotionally.

Now, AR and I have been reluctant to medicate our son, especially given his good grades. We have also recently decided to eat and use healthier foods and products. We are buying more organic items and have started juicing. It was going against all we were trying to do for the health of our family to give our CJ medication for this condition. I was searching for a natural alternative when I asked the nutritionist at our chiropractor's office. She suggested we try a DHA (omega-3 fatty acids) supplement. She encouraged me to research the internet using "DHA" and "ADD" for my search. I came across this article as well as others:

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/T040400.asp#T040408

An exerpt of this article is: "DHA is the primary structural component of brain tissue, so it stands to reason that a deficiency of DHA in the diet could translate into a deficiency in brain function. In fact, research is increasingly recognizing the possibility that DHA has a crucial influence on neurotransmitters in the brain, helping brain cells better communicate with each other. Asian cultures have long appreciated the brain-building effects of DHA. In Japan, DHA is considered such an important "health food" that it is used as a nutritional supplement to enrich some foods, and students frequently take DHA pills before examinations."

Anyway, CJ started taking DHA supplements less than two weeks ago. I was told we may not see much change for up to four weeks. CJ's teacher called me today, asking if I'd come in to see her. We had discussed scheduling an Occupational Therapy consultation to investigate a reason for his handwriting. The teacher told me she spoke with the OT person and she suggested it sounded more like a cognitive issue. Then, she showed me samples of his handwriting. Even from just last week, the words are now appropriately spaced and it is legible!!! She told me she has seen a marked change in CJ since starting the supplement. She doesn't have to "keep on CJ" as much. He is getting his work done in the time allowed and having time left to do fun things. Imagine the joy I feel right now!

Thank you, God for giving us the wisdom to try this! We will continue CJ on the supplement and see if some of the issues at home start to change.

Monday, January 23, 2006

TUB UGLY

I just got out of the tub. I usually take showers, but tonight my legs were aching, so i decided to take a luxiourios soak. First of all, my tub is not your ordinary tub. It is a sunken concrete squared hand-made (i think) tub that is covered in one-inch tiles. It is mostly teal with single tiles of tan, yellow, black and grey scattered throughout. It's not the prettiest thing to look at. My bathroom walls are assorted shades of pink tile half-way up the wall. Then there's pink floral wallpaper. ICK! Around the toilet (which is pink), the tile are the same style, but baby blue. There is a custom one-inch teal tile counter surrounding the pink sink. One word describes this bathroom. UGLY!

The tub is very deep (did i mention it is sunken?) and very square. It's nice to sit in, as you can literally empty the water heater and nearly have water to your armpits. However, you can't really lean back and relax due to it's squareness. There's no support for your back and no where to lay your head.

Tonight, I used like a third of a bottle of skin milk to make lots and lots of bubbles. I imagined those movie shots with the woman so relaxed in the tub full of bubbles. Well, I had the tub full of bubbles, but I was not relaxing. I could feel my shoulders slump forward so much that I feared I'd look like I had a hump. My neck is so tight and I'm yearning to lay back. Ugh. The water started to feel cool coming out of the tap, so I turned it off. I had given Belle a bath a little earlier, so I probably didn't get a full water heater to start with. My tub was filled no where near my pits. Anyway, shortly after turning off the water, it seemed the water level was lowering. I bet the drain isn't holding. It's time to remodel the bathroom.

AR has been working seven days a week and is exhausted when he gets home at 2:30pm. He's in bed by 8pm most nights. He has absolutely no energy to do anything. So, I don't foresee my bathroom getting remodeled any time soon. Besides, he still has to do the inside finish work around the upstairs windows he replaced this fall. Do I continue waiting (we've been in the house 12 years and it was the first thing on my list), or........
What do you suggest?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Where have all the bloggers gone?

At least I'm not the only one slacking off on blogging. Although, Blond Girl has a fairly legitimate excuse - moving. I'm just glad I'm not the one packing up everything I own to move to a smaller, temporary home until summer - only to move again. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they are moving here. My kids need to be around their cousins more.

We went to Motor's house on Monday so he could help me with my computer. Spark and Belle were so cute playing together! And CJ was "supervising." There was one incident were Spark squealed and Belle came running to me saying, "Mommy, mommy! Spark dlakjg lhfljhld;hgjah" I have no idea what the jibberish was, but I could tell she was tattling. I've noticed her doing that at home as well. As a matter of fact, a couple nights ago, she was in her high chair coloring while we were preparing dinner. She started her squalling (for no reason but attention) and AR hollered, "HEY!" I swear Belle looked straight at me and said, "Mommy, mommy, mommy! Daddy want bl*w j*b!" Now, before you criticize my language in front of my kids, we never use those words, especially around the kids. I just thought it was sooo funny that whatever she said turned out to sound the way it did!

Belle is really starting to have quite an array of facial expressions. I can't believe how much she reminds me of CJ when he was that age. They are so much alike. They both started talking early, are very dramatic in their expressions, and have such tender hearts. They love each other so much. I know there will come a day when they will say, "I hate you!" to each other, and I dread that day! It is so nice to see Belle run to the door when CJ comes home from school yelling "Bubba!" and giving him a big hug. He likes to love on her just as much. I look at the two of them and it's hard to remember just having CJ.

He was the only one for 7 years and he has adjusted quite well. Oh, he's had his moments of jealosy, but really, he's done remarkable. I remember when he would tell me, "All you have to do, Mommy, is pray for a baby. It's up to you if you have a girl or a boy. I just want to be a big brother!" Pretty soon, it wasn't good enough for me to pray and he started the praying. Up to the very time Belle was born, he said it didn't matter to him whether he had a brother or sister, as long as the baby was healthy. I was sure I was having another boy. I was so surprised when they announced I had just given birth to a daughter. I feel so blessed to have them both, and so thankful they love each other the way they do.

Friday, January 06, 2006

HO, HO Hack and Happy New Year!

Well, just as I said in my last post, what gets done, gets done. The upstairs bathroom sink drain didn't get fixed, family pics weren't taken, and I didn't get Christmas cards sent out. I think I'll do more of a New Year's letter this year. I still want to send one out - after we have the family portrait done. We have friends that always send out their family letter after the holidays. I always look forward to it after all the hub-bub. I don't know if I'll make it a tradition, but for this year, anyway.

I'm so thankful that Tank was able to get in earlier than expected, so he was here along with everyone else! He showed some video/pics from Iraq - anything from scenery, weapons they found, the destruction of the elimination of the weapons they found, sweet children, and the soldiers horsing around! It was fun. He says our troops need to be there. There's so much good going on that we don't hear about on the news! He goes back on Monday! :'-(

We survived Christmas Eve. Everyone had a great time. Apologies go out to Blond Girl about the chili! And I don't think I even got to try your cookies! (DARN!) Anyway, there were some things that didn't get done, but it was all good anyway. Then, Christmas night, AR got sick. I think it was the flu that's going around here. I was so tired from the short nights prior to Christmas. I fell ill on New Year's Eve, so we didn't do anything except rent Star Wars III and go to bed by 10:30pm. Oh, well. It's just another year.

Over the course of the holidays, AR and I started talking about eating healthier. We didn't really make New Year's resolutions, just a decision to do better. AR's cousin is big into organic food and AR's been reading up on it. We've decided our health is important, so we will buy more organic food and try making our own juices (after we buy a juicer). I asked for and received a blender for Christmas to make smoothies. I've tried one recipe so far, but I need to get more fruit. We also will be more dedicated to our large garden in respect to pesticides and such, and not letting as much go to waste. Now that Belle is older, it will be easier for me to do more canning this next year. Our garden this last year mostly went to waste. I just didn't have time to harvest and can. We also had some late summer storms that damaged some of the crop and made it difficult to control the weeds. CJ is old enough to help as well. That could be a Boy Scout activity. He loves helping his dad plant the garden, but his interest is suppressed when it comes time to harvest.

Back to the sickies, last night, Belle had a fever and was VERY clingy - she would not let me put her down for anything! So, I held her all night and all morning. I had been giving her Tylenol through the night and day and decided to try ibuprofen tonight. She's like a new little girl! She did go to bed a little later than usual, but I'm hoping she sleeps through the night tonight. I better get to bed soon so I'll be better rested.

Good night and belated Happy New Year!