Posted in Health, Kids

Anxiety

I wrote that title with a certain anxiousness, not to be silly. That word has wormed and weaseled and made its way into our home, our lives, our days and our nights and our schedule.

It’s not something I am well-acquainted with. At all. And yet, I am learning.

Laura has general anxiety, which is currently being treated with both counseling (2x/week) and meds. The meds made an amazing difference. For the most part, she is even-keeled again and even the storm a few weeks back didn’t reduce her to worrying that the house was going to fall down and we were going to die. And I say that without a trace of mockery. That was where her brain went. All. The. Time.

Catie does NOT have general anxiety. She does, however, get panic attacks. Last night was another one, which is what prompted this post. She just started counseling and has her first medication meeting later this month with a psychiatrist. Her medicine journey will be different from Laura’s–she can take pills (something Laura can’t do), she’s younger (so we have to be a little more careful about side effects) and she’s doesn’t have the general anxiety. I’m curious as to what he’s going to try first.

When my kids were tiny and in the NICU and I was utterly powerless to do anything for them other than pray and cry, it was a very helpless feeling. As a parent one wants to HELP and FIX and MAKE IT BETTER! Last night, watching Catie shake and try to use breathing to calm herself down and being utterly unable to do anything for her other than be there with it, again, there is that helpless feeling. We have “rescue meds” in the house for if and when Laura would need them. Catie took one last night. I know, I know, but you know what, you would have done the same thing. She finally slept. I went to bed around midnight with her permission, there to pray and hope for the meds to kick in. When she wakes up this morning I’ll ask about what happened after I left.

I can only hope and pray that Catie’s doctor quickly finds the right meds and dose and that she is able to learn how to cope with the attacks. And maybe even not get them anymore. And that Laura’s meds continue to do their job.

Posted in Health

The First Flu

Somehow, through 21+ years of marriage, my husband and I have managed to never get the flu.

That record has now been broken, and broken but good. Everyone but Ethan has it now and it is SO NOT FUN.

The kids’ progress check ends of Thursday (all their schoolwork is due then), so I’ve requested an extension for them. I can’t sit up at the computer for long and certainly don’t expect them to, either.

So my one word of advice for everyone:

WASH. YOUR. HANDS!!!

Posted in Health, Me

Something Other Than the Kitchen

I did something I don’t typically do today and went to see an actual doctor. Other than my annual OB-Gyn, annual ophthalmology, and annual/semi-annual endocrinology, I don’t see the “regular” doctor much. I just don’t get sick that often. And I’m not sick now.

But I’m also not sleeping.

Other than the changing of the seasons, where 4x/year I typically have a night or two of restlessness, sleep hasn’t been much of an issue for me once the kids got past the getting-up-in-the-night stage. Insomnia is just not something I’ve struggled with. Two nights I tossed and turned. Two nights I did Benedryl (which worked the first night and didn’t the 2nd), two nights I woke up, rolled over and went back to sleep and last night I finally got up at 1 and took one of Bennett’s melatonin pills. It worked, but I’m DRAGGING today.

So yeah, I went to my GP’s office. She wants me to get my thyroid checked (good idea!) and hormone levels checked (good idea too!) and take a melatonin before bed every night for 2 weeks. Not sure if I’m supposed to stop it after that, or what, but I’m willing to try it.

Because, at least for me, sleep is NOT optional.

Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Health, Kids, School, Sick

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 Quick Takes Friday

 

Last week’s #1 topic was my sickness. If you are grossed out by grossness, don’t read this week’s #1.

1. So last Friday I posted that I was on Day 14 of being sick. I hadn’t gone to the doctors, not because I’m anti-doctor, but because it really just felt like an annoyingly long virus that I needed to last through. Saturday morning, though, I got up and took a shower. I felt worse–like my health was going downhill instead of up. I blew my nose and it was BRIGHT (like the 7 Quick Takes label bright) yellow. YUCK. I went to walk-in hours at my doctors and lo and behold! I had a sinus infection! WooHoo! Z-pack to the rescue! (I’m allergic to penicillin).

2. Within 48 hours of starting the Z-pack I felt like a different person. My voice was back, instead of sounding like someone who had smoked for 75 years. I wasn’t coughing all day every day. My energy was back. I would say that today, Day 21, that I’m at 95%. I’m still needing to keep tissue boxes handy, but I cleaned and vacuumed the living room yesterday AND started washing the couch cushion upholstery that got chicken broth spilled on it on Day TWO of this whole fiasco.

3. I’m not one to talk about products (no one is paying me for it!), but I wanted to gush a little bit this morning about a new hair care product we just stumbled upon. I got a free sample in the mail yesterday of Cantu Coconut Curling Cream. It’s AMAZING. Our daily issue is Laura’s hair. She got my curls and Jim’s crazy-thick hair. This has been the bane of our mornings for YEARS. We’ve been working with a stylist with a good cut, growing it out to try and pull some of the curl down (so far that’s not working!) and trying product after product. Before we found this, gel seemed to be the best answer, except it left her hair sticky or crunchy, neither of which is good. This morning she showered and toweled dry her hair. I put the conditioner in and blew it dry a little on low (because she was leaving the house and it’s 10 degrees out!). Her hair looks, feels and smells AMAZING. I’m already trying to find it online (WalMart carries it, but not in our local store). If you have thick and curly hair, I HIGHLY recommend this!

4. I ventured out after our snowstorm to Bella Med Spa for my consult and first laser hair treatment. After talking with the technician, I opted not to do my upper lip. There wasn’t enough dark hair to see a good return for the money. The technician said some people think it feels like tweezing (no big deal) and others feel like it’s needles being stuck into the follicles. I unfortunately fell into the latter category. She rubbed an ice cube on a part of my chin and then immediately lasered it. OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH. And that was on a low setting! I smelled a burning hair smell (lovely) and managed to just grit my teeth and bear it. After 2 hours there was no pain or itching and the spot just felt like my chin again. It’s worth it to me, in the end, for no daily plucking.  I go again March 7th.

5. The above-mentioned snowstorm netted our area about 8-10 inches and two snow days. We are now up to four snow days and I’m guessing they are going to start taking days from their spring vacation. Which is already short. Another reason to like cyber school. No snow days!

6. Jim and I were talking yesterday about weather in general, and how the weather channel tries to hoop everything into a bigger deal than it really is. Naming a winter storm, for heavens sake! I’m 45 and still can remember days out at the bus stop waiting in single digit weather. Or in the snow. Sure it was freezing (literally!), but it was winter and you dealt with it. Now it’s a polar vortex and Winter Storm Janus and we must FREAK OUT ABOUT IT. Oh brother!

7. I emailed Catie’s every day teacher and her gifted teacher, asking them if they would fill out teacher recommendations for the application process for the gifted program of PALCS. I haven’t heard back yet from her regular teacher, because she’s out sick. Her gifted teacher’s response was as follows (direct quote):

“Thank you for thinking of me with your request.  Unfortunately I will not be able to help you.  I am not a proponent of charter schools and can not support one.  I wish Catie the best of luck as she continues her schooling and will be happy to help you in the future if it doesn’t require that I aid a charter school.”

Wow. Just…..Wow. I instead emailed her teacher from last year and she was quick to respond that she was thrilled to give Cate the recommendation she needed.

Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Cleaning, Clutter, Health, Kids, School, Sick

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 Quick Takes Friday

 

1. You know we’re one sick family when I bought SIX boxes of tissues and five are already open and 1/2 used up. I’m on day 14 and still coughing like crazy. I just popped a cough drop in to try and help and pondered this question: What exactly IS menthol-eucalyptus and why did someone put in something we suck on? It’s not as if it tastes good. And I still cough. But for some reason we keep sucking on cough drops.

2. A year ago we were trying to figure out public or cyber school for two of our older kids. We are now at the same place for our younger child, with the added twist of a gifted IEP. The public school has a program whereby Catie would be “enriched” four times per cycle (not sure what a cycle is). She would wake up at 5:45 or so to make the 6:35 bus to start school at 7:15 and finish at 2:15 and be home by 2:40 when she would start homework. Snow days, sick days, problem students–these would be a part of her life. Cyber school would be 90% gifted, with the exceptions of gym, music, health, art and tech ed. We would have the option of having her do it fully cyber or 1/2 cyber and 1/2 classroom. Classroom sizes have an average of 11. It would mean driving 35 minutes each way 2x/week one week and 3x/week the next. She would learn at her own pace, at her own speed, with her interests highlighted, and no dealing with troubled kids. I’m on the fence. Seriously. Stay tuned for updates!

3. Having triplets, it’s been very interesting (to say the least) entering puberty. Laura, being the girl, is definitely leading the pack in height, weight and general heading-towards-adulthood. One son’s voice has changed but the other’s has not, but his facial hair is starting to show up instead. Acne–whew! Acne!! Growth spurts! Stinky bedrooms! We’re in for a bumpy road the next few years, I’m thinking.

4. All four kids received rather substantial monetary gifts from various relatives. To the extent that, I went onto ebay this week and won three Nintendo 3DS’s. We started out with the plain DS, bumped up to DSI’s, but I was NOT willing to fork over the fundage necessary for this ladder rung. All totaled including shipping, $322 for all three. Ethan, being completely uninterested in handheld games for obvious reasons, is spending some of his money on I Love Toy Train DVD’s and most likely Braille books.

5. I have said before that I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). One of the more annoying side effects of this is hair in places that a woman doesn’t want it–for me, specifically, it’s my chin and upper lip. I pluck literally every day. EVERY DAY. So, with Christmas money in hand, I’ve made the first of six appointments at a laser hair removal place and am hopeful that plucking is not in my future. They were conservative with my condition, though, and said that future treatments will most likely be necessary. The weird part about the time leading up to my appointment is: no tweezers. I have to SHAVE. With a RAZOR. It’s very, very odd doing something to my face that I have previously only seen my husband do!

6. Inspired by A Slob Comes Clean, I finally went through my wardrobe–dresser and closet. Pants that don’t fit. Tops that are too snug across certain part of my anatomy. Bathing suits I will never wear again. They are ALL heading out the door for donation. Suddenly I have plenty of room in my dresser. Jim has more room in the closet (I have a tiny section because I don’t have many dress clothes. Jim is the clothes horse in the family!) It feels GREAT.

7. Here’s a tiny view into my brain-deadness: Yesterday I heard the microwave beep. I was on the living room floor folding laundry and told Bennett and Laura that whoever put food in, it was done. Both denied it was them. I tried to think of what I would have set the timer for, but came up empty and just kept folding. We watched an HGTV show together. Eventually I got up and went into the kitchen and found THE POT OF WATER BOILING THE EGGS I HAD PUT THERE ABOUT AN HOUR BEFORE. It was down to about a half-inch from the bottom (from being an inch above the eggs when it started). The eggs were still fine for egg salad, but I wasn’t about to eat them out of hand like I normally do. See? Brain dead. There’s just nothing left up there except the kids’ medical histories and the occasional hair appointment. If you want to keep your brains intact, people, do not have children!

Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Bible Study, Health, Kids, Marriage, School

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. It’s FALL! Well, ok, IF YOU WANT TO BE TECHNICAL, it will be fall on Sunday. But here in Southeastern PA, IT’S FALL! I sleep with my windows open and the quilt on. I sometimes need a jacket if I’m going out. The sky is starting to show that amazing BLUE that only happens in the fall and winter, jeans are making an appearance. It’s WONDERFUL.

2. Except for The Great Wardrobe Changeover. That’s the one thing I dread over and over and over as the years go by. Trying on clothes, buying clothes, getting rid of clothes, putting summer clothes into bins and fall/winter clothes into drawers times four kids and two parents.

3. We are finishing up our 3rd week of cyber school and it’s still relatively easy. I keep waiting for the 6-8 hours at the computer that they warned us about this summer at orientation. So far it hasn’t happened. The kids are learning. They have projects, tests, regular lessons etc. But it’s all accomplished in WAY less time than 1) I’d been warned and 2) public school. Makes me wonder what happens all those hours that the kids are stuck in school!

4. Jim and are starting to plan our 18th anniversary weekend away. For the first time we’ll be going to historic Philadelphia. I’ve lived near it for nigh on 45 years and have NEVER EVER done the sights. How ridiculous is that? I’m looking forward to seeing the Liberty Bell and where our Constitution was signed and where Ben Franklin lived etc. And, of course, eating some amazing food. Because one of the positives of cities are their amazing plethora of food choices. Which here in the boonies we don’t get. Our here only one place delivers pizza!

5. I had my semi-annual bloodwork and appointment with my endocrinologist. She, in a nice, gentle way, yelled at me. I have high cholesterol and high triglycerides (which are going to put a little bit of a crimp in the above-mentioned eating!) and desperately need to lose some weight. Oh, yay! Because that’s SO EASY with PCOS! i’m starting two new medications (one is a fancy fish oil and the other is a weight-loss thingy). One of which my insurance point-blank refuses to cover. Because they’d rather I be overweight and out of shape?

6. I went to Bible Study last night! It’s on Brave: Honest Questions Women Ask. I’m much more used to ‘book studies” where you take a book of the bible and work your way through it. But since I haven’t been part of a bible study for several years and I really want to find a place in our new church (which we haven’t visited ALL SUMMER!), I figured I’d start here. Just meeting with other Christian gals was nice. And being reminded of Jeremiah 6:16 helped as well:

This is what the Lord says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.

7. Have you ever done that? Been so touched by a verse and then completely forgotten about it for years and then have it hit you anew? That was me last night and this morning. Being intentional in my choices. Thinking through my actions before doing them. Counting the cost and then obeying. And finding rest for my soul, because honestly–obedience just feels GOOD!

Blessings on you today.

Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Health, Kids, Vacation

7 Quick Takes Friday

 

1. I’d love to sit here and say that I haven’t blogged in a week because there was just so much interesting stuff going on that I didn’t have time. The reality, unfortunately, is that Tuesday afternoon I picked Laura up at school. She stayed home with a stomach thing Wednesday and Thursday. Bennett stayed home with the same stomach thing Thursday. Ethan has a fever/congestion/tired virus Wednesday and Thursday. So yeah, I didn’t blog.

2. I’m currently waiting for a call from a producer of the Chica Show. Ethan and I had an audition on Monday for a short part in one of their shows. They needed a blind child. The producer is from the Overbrook area and knew about the school, so she called someone there. That someone called the parent liaison, who then called several girls and us. The audition went really well, surprisingly, but I’m not getting my hopes up. Mostly. Ok, a little bit. It would be a lot of fun to do it and I KNOW that Ethan would have a great time.

3. Jim starts his new contract on Monday. Hallelujah and hear the angels sing!

4. Because of #3, I just made reservations for a summer trip to Beaver Island, which is near the top of Lake Michigan. Jim’s family has  a long history of going there. They have a cabin there, so that’s helpful. Please note, however, we live in southeastern PA. It’s a two-day drive each way, plus a 2.5 hour ferry trip to get from the mainland to the island. Lots of planning and stuff has to happen, but thankfully we have a few months to work everything out.

5. Because of #1’s amount of sickness, I had to postpone Laura and Bennett’s audition at CPFA. Both were actually happy about this, as it allows for more practice time. Laura is having absolute conniptions about singing BY HERSELF in front of people. Which I completely get, because I did a fair amount of trying out in my school days. She is so like me sometimes!!

6. Backstory: Ethan receives free Braille books during the year from different organizations. One of them, Braille Institute, actually sends a small catalog that he gets to choose from. We go through the books and their descriptions and he narrows it down to four and then we order. This time around, two of the books sounded actually pretty good to me. So although he didn’t order them (and it wouldn’t have mattered anyway since I don’t fluently read braille), I got them from our local library. And let me tell you, if you are willing to read YA fiction READ THIS BOOK:

The Emerald Atlas

It was FANTASTIC. I read it in about 2 days–had a hard time putting it down–and am anxiously awaiting Book #2 to get into the library. Book #3 isn’t out yet, so I’m going to have to be patient with that.

7. Did anyone get threatened with the big ‘Saturn storm” like we did and then literally absolutely nothing beyond a little rain? I don’t understand how meteorologists keep their jobs when they are so consistently wrong!