Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vitamin D Issues

I got a call from my doctor Friday, a week after I had 6 vials of blood drawn - mostly because I hadn't had any bloodwork in three years, but these headaches/backaches/constant fatigue just weren't going away.

Turns out my vitamin D level is low. Not just low, but 'severely deficient'.

The NIH has a page on vitamin D here, where you can see the normal levels for adults should range from 30.0 to 74.0 ng/mL.

Mine was 6.

I'm on 50,000IU of vitamin D (prescription) M/W/F for six weeks. Four weeks after my last pill I have to have a redraw to see if my levels have improved. If not, we have to start trying to figure out why.

I've never had a vitamin D blood draw done before, but looking at the symptoms it's very likely I've been deficient for a long time.

If you haven't had a D test done, you definitely should. The statistics vary from 8 percent to 55 percent in estimates of people with a D deficiency... but your risk is higher if you're inside a lot, don't eat a diet high in vitamin D or have certain health problems (check here and here). It causes some major problems with your bones (makes them soft and easy to break, osteomalacia/rickets), headaches, energy levels, weight gain... and much more.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kisses and I Love You's

Probably the best thing ever...

JT has started spontaneously telling me he loves me and giving me kisses :)

Yesterday, The Hubs asked him, "Do you love daddy, or mommy?"

JT looked around, and said, "I love mommy. I LOOOOOOVE mommy. I love mommy, I love mommy, I love mommy."

Then he came and gave me a hug with his little arms around my neck.

He is the sweetest little man ever!

Friday, July 22, 2011


We've had a lot of luck with playdates this summer.

JT isn't done after an hour, screaming and ready to go home.

He's playing with other kids (SO cute, he will grin SO big and try to play games with them like tag!).

He's happy the whole time.

He takes redirection if he's doing something we can't do.

These are all HUGE improvements. Very, very proud and happy!

Cool kids.

Audrey has always hated jeans. Every time we pick jeans for her to wear, she throws huge fits, telling us that jeans are horrible and uncomfortable and she hates them.

This makes picking out clothes and outfits for her very difficult... so I was trying to figure out a way to encourage her to wear them in the upcoming school year. I decided peer pressure was the best way. When she brought up jeans yesterday, I decided to try my new tactic.

Audrey: Mom, do I have to wear jeans next year?
Me: You should, cool kids wear jeans.
Audrey: (thinks for a minute) But mom, I'm not a 'cool kid'. Why would you want to make me something I'm not?
Then later, I get the lecture: "Mom, my friends will like me for who I am. It's okay I'm not a cool kid."

This cracks me up. What 7 year old is set on NOT being a cool kid?

I did notice last year that she had a small circle of friends that she stuck with. These kids were all on her level academically and their interest in science and nature were aligned with hers... the 'smart' group. I just didn't realize that there was a 'cool' or 'nerdy' group in 1st grade... or that she would be dead-set on being in the smart group and NOT the 'cool kid' group.

At least we don't have to worry about her doing stupid stuff because her peers do. They can't even convince her to wear jeans :P


Two days ago, JT was eating his oyster crackers. I handed him another, and I said, "Look JT, it's an octagon! Like a stop sign!"

JT grabbed the oyster cracker and set it down in front of me.

"Octagon have eight sides. Let's count. One, two, three, four, five, six..." (he looks at me, clearly showing me that was the last side), then saying, "Seven, eight" purposely recounting two sides.

I realized I was WRONG (haha), and corrected myself. "Oh, you're so right. It's a hexagon!

"Hexagon have six sides. One, two, three, four, five, six. It's a hexagon!"

I think he might have an easier time in Geometry than I did...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mirror time!

JT practicing his angry face in the bathroom mirror.

Too funny!

Birthday Girl!

For her birthday Monday, Audrey went to work all day with The Hubs.

She came home with a crown and sash, super excited that she won the
green bear in the claw game at the mall :) Lucky birthday girl!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy 7th Birthday, Audrey!

7 years ago today, a beautiful baby girl was born.

I am so, so proud of that little (big) girl.

She has grown into an incredibly intelligent little girl. Never would I have imagined myself searching google twenty (or more) times a day for my 7 year old (flamingos are pink because of shrimp and algae, cats' tongues have fingernail-like keratin formed in hooks to give it that rough feel, for example). I love the way she thinks about things, the way her face lights up when something clicks, the neverending curiosity that she has.

Perhaps my favorite thing about Audrey is her kindness and compassion. I have never met a child that is as sweet, giving and understanding as Audrey is. She has always been called an "old soul", and it becomes more evident as time goes on that she is something very special. She wants to help everyone - and jumps at the chance to help anyone. Everyone is a friend... Her response when someone compliments her on her kindness is telling: "S/He's my friend. We always help our friends."

Audrey challenges me every day to be a better person, to try to be like HER. She is everything and more I could ever ask for in a daughter.

I love you, Audrey. Happy, happy birthday to my heart.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Brats and Compassion.

Today, an article was published on CNN. While I really don't want to post the link, because I hate giving it more attention, it is here.

And to be honest, it's not the first time recently I've heard people blaming a kid behaving poorly on parents.

Now, to be fair... is it sometimes poor parenting (or as the article above calls it, 'permissive parenting')?


But let me present a different side.

Because we have been THAT family.

The time we were in Target, and the checkout transition that JT dreads started a screaming spree and I overheard a woman saying "I can't *believe* she lets her son act like THAT!" Or the time at Walmart the checker gave me the advice to 'spank him until he felt it' and 'put him in timeout all day until he gets it'. Countless other times I have seen 'the stare' that LZ Granderson talks about giving these parents in the article. Yes, I've been on that side.

And you know what? It SUCKS.

Not to be full of myself, but my husband and I are very good parents. Normal parents don't invest half the time we have in parenting, interventions and other classes. We have had countless professionals in our home, early intervention observations (AKA the government agencies) watching our every move. And you know what? Not ONE SINGLE PERSON has EVER questioned our parenting. In fact, we've gotten countless compliments on parenting our kids.

So an article saying that a child with behavioral issues is just a bad, poorly parented kid really, REALLY rubs me the wrong way.

My son is incredibly sweet. He is very polite and has great manners. He learned 'please' and 'thank you' before he learned the regular vocabulary and labeling of general objects that most kids learn.

For comparison on my parenting, I have a (one week away from) 7 year old who in an entire school year had ZERO minor behavioral issues. She is the only kid in her class who never moved her 'fish' for talking out of turn, being disrespectful or worse. I'm *obviously* doing something right.

But according to LZ and people like him (oh, and there are LOTS), my kids' behavior should be controlled by 'the look'.

Give me a freaking break. My kid is overwhelmed by (likely YOUR) perfume/cologne, by (likely YOUR) loud voice/noises, by bright lights, by unpredictable things... don't you DARE call him a bad kid.

Perhaps the most ridiculous part of LZ's article is the premise that airplanes and grocery stores are some sort of adult-only, priviledged thing. I can't avoid grocery shopping with my son sometimes, my husband works a minimum of 60 hours a week. We may have to fly someday - we've never visited our immediate family, it's a 20 hour drive. Now, as far as restaurants and such, my family absolutely tries to be respectful. When we go out to eat (rarely), we choose family restaurants, and plan on one of us walking outside with my son when he gets irritated. I want everyone to enjoy their meal, and will happily box up my food to not disturb other diners.

I've seen the argument 'he's not talking about special needs kids'. Well, hell yes he is. Autism has no distinguishable features. He can't tell if that kid is autistic or not by looking at him. (I've also seen the 'autism is a diagnosis handed out to anyone these days', which is not only incredibly offensive, but insanely ignorant... that is my next post, though... I refuse to address it here because it has no merit).

As angry as I am, all I can say to people like LZ is, autism rates are rising. It's at 1 in 91 the last time I checked, and rising quickly. It's coming to a family near you. You may feel high and mighty now, but it's coming. You WILL know someone close to you that is what you're calling a brat, and you will hang your head in shame when you realize that you're wrong. You might want to show some compassion now, because your 'my kid will never do that' line will bite you in the rear...

And if you're not sure if a kid is a brat or is autistic - and there's no way for you to be sure - go for kindness. Because that kid may not be a brat. They may have been dealt a really crappy hand in life and are doing the best they can. And those parents may be wonderful parents doing their best to navigate a disability. Living a day in their life is harder than you think.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Questions and answers

JT is now consistently answering ALL questions with a yes/no response (HOORAY)

He answers any where questions. He answers some what questions and most who questions. These questions he answers with full sentences, not just a one-word response like he was doing.

He's also responding to any requests... such as today, I said, "JT, go play!" His response was, "Okay, mommy! I go play!"

He's reading words I didn't know he could read. Colors, 'you' (admittedly, I wrote I love you on a piece of paper and when he read it, I had him read it several more times just to hear it ;) ). He's reading so many words I didn't know he could read, though, it's awesome!

He's starting to stick up for himself, which is a BIG thing I'm trying to work on. With his desire to please, and his newfound sensitivity (being more aware after starting his meds made him really 'feel' things because it slowed him down to realize what was going on), I can see him being the target of other kids getting him to do 'bad' things or picking on him. I want him to stand up for himself and not just play along to make them happy.

Seeing some awesome things around here... LOVE it!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer <3

We're having an awesome summer.

JT is making phenomenal progress - because his sister needs
attention constantly and demands it ;)

They are having the best time together just hanging out.

We're reading at least 30 minutes a day for a library program (Nick
Bruel is both their favorite author - JT loves Bad Kitty and Poor
Puppy, Audrey loves Happy Birthday Bad Kitty and Bad Kitty Gets a Bath)
we're practicing K (for JT) and 2nd grade (for Audrey) spelling.
They're both blowing me away with how smart they are. Doing science
experiments, cooking...

And donating a TON of stuff to the VVA. SO proud of Audrey letting go
of stuff to give to those who need it.

Knowledge building. Character building. Fun.

What more could I possibly ask for? (Maybe the energy to exercise
myself... Haha... Working on that one!)

Play time :)

We've been hitting playgrounds early in the mornings to play before we

Here's JT balancing at Weatherstone.

Monkey bars!