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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Venting

I'm all for seeing the glass half-full and through rosy-colored glasses. Usually that is how I live my life, being optimistic, full of hope. But sometimes life is just a little tough. I feel like I can handle a lot, but there are times when I feel I've met my limit. 

I've been having a pretty tough few weeks. You know how it seems like sometimes you can't get out of a funk that life throws at you, and crazy icky things just keep happening no matter what you do? That's how I feel. I don't know what the problem is with my soul's energy in the world right now, but man! I need things to calm down a little! It feels like I'm being run over by a semi every day! If I dare to think that things will be ok and normal one day, BAM, more crazy unexpected things happen. All kinds of stupid things- from big to small. Like I dropped my phone on the sidewalk, it fell out of my purse. And smashed. It still works somehow, but I'm afraid of getting a glass splinter every time I use it. Alex says we have a warranty, we just haven't had a chance yet to go see if we can get it replaced. 

The school nurse called last Tuesday- Ben was feeling sick. He was home Wednesday too. Last week Ella started preschool. I had been hanging onto the shred of excitement about my 2 hours of quiet, with all four kids at school, but that plan had to change because Ben was home sick. Sometimes I wonder how much flexibility one person should really have to muster to deal with what life throws at you. Ben was back at school Thursday, so that was good. But I told him if you're home sick, you lay around all day. No computers, no friends. Just laying around. He fought me all day for two days about that. Because friends would get home from school and he'd want to see them and play, and he'd feel ok while he was doing that. So the second afternoon he was home sick I finally said great! If you feel up to playing you must be better! So tomorrow I will not listen to any complaining about feeling icky, and to school you shall go. So he did. Ben's been having a lot of anger management issues lately. Possibly his body was fighting a sickness, which always makes his behavior worse, so I'm hoping he's getting over it and will get back to more normal.

Aidan is another story. He is so complicated. I had a really long talk with two of his therapists yesterday about what's going on. He's been doing this training program all summer (called Astronaut Training) to integrate all his senses, especially his vestibular sense- the sense of where he is in space. It's a really cool program, supported by a lot of science. But when you work on one sense, and focus on it intensely, another sense can get all loopy. So Aidan's oral sense has gone a little bonkers. He's back to being super picky about eating, like he was a couple years ago when he needed feeding therapy to eat more foods than yogurt and Cheerios. He only eats bland, soft foods. He has his finger in his mouth all the time. Things like that are a change from how he was a few months ago. 

So Aidan's therapists came up with a plan for how to help him with his oral sense too. I'm going to give him whatever he will eat that takes a lot of work to chew. There are some candies he likes that are super chewy, so we'll try that. He's ruined his new water bottle by chewing it up, so today I bought a new necklace he can chew on, and ordered some more things like tubes for the ends of his pencils that are chewy. He just needs a lot more input into his mouth. There are also some exercises he can do, if I make them into fun games. Hopefully that will help. 

But it's just another thing to think through, figure out with therapists, work on. I love the figuring it out part of it all- it's so cool to talk with therapists about what I see at home and they put it all together in a Big Picture Of Aidan and figure out what the heck is going on in my little boy's body. And how to fix it. Love that. It's like an Aidan Mystery and luckily I know people who can help me figure it out. 

Don't even get me started on getting the kid on the bus! Some days it's really almost impossible because of his anxiety and meltdowns. It's so sad and it breaks my heart to have to carry my 2nd grader out to the bus, up the steps, put him into his seat and run out the door so the driver can shut the door before screaming Aidan escapes. It's heart wrenching. Some days he's fine, just a little worried. Today Jonah was so sweet and distracted him with scooter stuff while waiting for the bus. One day last week Aidan said he wouldn't cry when the bus came because the day before had been terrible. But when it was time to go out his eyes welled up and started leaking. It makes me want to cry too. I am trying to figure out what exactly it is that makes him so worried. I figured out the bus is too loud for him, but he refuses to do any of the things I suggest to help with that. I know school is hard in every way for him. And he just misses me and being home. But he has a great bus driver and teacher, both of whom we've had previous years. They are so kind and understanding. So we'll see how that goes. His new ADHD med is a non-stimulant that Ben takes also, and will take maybe 3-4 more weeks to kick in fully. Then we can see how that works and then adjust his anti-anxiety meds if necessary. It's just wearing me out to see him struggle. And homework can be SO SO hard to get him to sit down and do. But again, the positive is some of his math homework is fun games online! So that he of course loves and begs to do more of. 

The school messed up the boys' IEP meetings and scheduled them for last Friday, and told me they were Tuesday. So I didn't have a babysitter. I had to cancel Ella's 4 year checkup which means she has to wait a few more weeks, so I don't have the papers I need for her school with her health records until then. And Aidan had to be home for a little while alone because I couldn't get home before him and I was at the other school for the meetings. I sent a very upset email to the director of special ed about this, because it's the second year it's happened to me. The next day my email and phone were ringing off the hook with high up people calling to apologize. Which they should. This is ridiculous. 

I've had to reschedule our therapies this year too so we can fit in youth group for Ben and Jonah. So now we have to go to therapy every day except Sun and Mon. Whew. That alone is stressful. On Wednesdays I'll drop Ella at school, pick her up, have lunch, take her to her therapy group, go home, pick up Aidan, take him to therapy, hopefully my babysitter will work out every Wednesday and keep the other three to play and do homework, go home take Ben and Jonah to youth group. And that's just Wednesday. Fridays can be nuts too- I'll take Ella to school, pick her up, eat a quick lunch, go to the IEP meetings, somehow gather all the boys from wherever they all end up, take them to Aidan's therapy, and then we have a family therapy session after that. So I don't know when we're going to eat dinner. Insurance keeps messing up and not having authorizations for Ben and Jonah to get counseling. So they will have gone a month without it, because it takes so long to get the authorization, during their stressful transition to middle school. Great. I asked our counselor for the phone number of our insurance case manager yesterday because I want to understand the process of why it takes so long to get the authorization, when the boys need continuous therapy and they should see when the authorization will expire and renew it so there are no lapses! But I haven't gotten the number yet. 

Our oven died. We got it fixed but were without it for a week. Not so easy when you're trying to keep four picky eaters fed!

It's just one thing after another, you know? I feel like I'm going to have a breakdown. But then I just keep taking one breath at a time and putting one foot in front of the other. I keep telling myself I'm strong and nothing will break my spirit. But sometimes I don't believe it. How much can a person take in one month? There have been so many mixups with Ben and Jonah and their school. Just little things, but things I have to figure out and then demand because I'm right and they're wrong. Like Ben was supposed to get "structured resource" instead of just regular study hall. He wasn't on The List at the beginning of the year so the teacher wouldn't let him in. In his 504 Plan it says he does get it. So I had to get in touch with all the right people and make it right. Which I did. But it's just constant stuff like that. And we only got one gym uniform for each boy instead of the 2 I ordered. And they didn't get the water bottles I ordered. On and on. I'm worn out!

I am hoping that once we just get into the normalness of life, things will quiet down and stop being crazy. So far it hasn't happened. One of these days maybe.

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