Microblog Mondays – March break mess

Microblog_MondaysI survived March break…barely.  2 weeks!  Seriously?!  The first week pretty good, everyone slept in because of the time change and Boo and I enjoyed a nice bike ride along the beach on the west side with a couple of mums and their kids.  The weather was great.  It was such a nice break from the monotony of the school week routine. I also had my inlaws visit for 3 days.  I did have to work 2 out of the 3 evenings but I made pot roast (meh) and vegetarian shepherd’s pie (didn’t tell them), plus a red velvet cake and dietetic apple crumble ahead of time. At the end of the week, Boo had a chance to spend some time with his cousins and have a sleepover and he really enjoyed himself.

The 2nd week was looooong.  Boo was in a gymnastics spring break camp but I had missed the morning spots (enrolling your child in activities takes cat like reflexes apparently) and so he was occupied for 3 hours in the afternoon.  Unfortunately this precluded arranging play dates as our mornings were slow to start and the dog had to be walked and then back for lunch (or rather arguing about eating lunch) before the class and then back home because hubby was working nights on set and Boo wanted to spend time with him before he left.  Oh, and did I mention while roughhousing, he lost one of his bottom teeth and the other one came out the next day?  I had to fake not being nauseous.  (I have such a tooth phobia. Ugh.)  Also I spent most mornings wrangling a tornado kid so he wouldn’t disturb his sleeping dad (that didn’t really work).  I also had two auditions that I had to get ready for, drive to and then get back across the bridge by pickup time.  I started to have flashbacks of being my former self 24/7 mum who raced through the preschool hours trying to get stuff done existing solely on coffee and snack bars.  It was not pretty. The dog had to get walked, the kid had to be entertained every waking moment he was with me, I’m running back and forth playing with him and trying to make dinner (no, 2 dinners, as he wanted only mac and cheese).  I only made it twice to the gym in 2 weeks.  A friend of mine sent me a link to do an Oprah/Deepak Chopra 21 meditation journey.   Ahahahah!

Best moment:  playing the tooth fairy 2 times.  I had to dig under Boo’s pillow and his big heavy head to get the tooth and replace it with a toonie ($2). He asked me the next day why I was trying to get into his pillow.  “I opened my eyes and I saw you but you didn’t see me.” “I was just checking to see if the Tooth Fairy had been there.  By the way, I smelled flowers last night, did you smell them?  It was like roses.”  “It was the Tooth Fairy!”

Priceless.

Microblog Mondays – Whose story is it anyway?

Microblog_MondaysI came across this post  (and this post just sat in the draft folder for a year), “You’re Not My Real Mother”  on Motherlode while reading something else and I just had to read it. It is seemingly about the comment that adoptive mothers don’t want to hear one day but presumably will and what should be said in response and what should not.  I say seemingly because it really wasn’t about that, it was more about the author’s perspective on how she deals with a daughter that has (had?) reactive attachment disorder and the effect on her parenting.  And at the precise moment her tween daughter spat out that comment, she replied, “Oh, yeah, well then who is?”  Ouch. I’ll tell you what was enlightening – the comments and shitstorm that followed that article.  Usually comments are just so vitriolic that I can’t bear to read past 3 or 4, but these ones were really interesting, thought provoking and eloquent.  Frankly, I would have loved to see a panel discussion from those commenters.

First of all, I was really surprised that the author hadn’t figured out how to handle the situation she said she knew was coming one day.  She certainly isn’t uninformed.   Okay, well, no one is perfect and we all say things we regret to our kids, but how that moment played out was solely about her hurt feelings and not about her daughter’s feelings.  In fact her daughter had to comfort her.  From the day I brought my son home, I have pondered and researched how I should explain adoption to him, how to tell him the story of his life before us. From the moment he recognized that he was not the same colour as his daddy, the explanations began. I have already imagined various reactions to the moment he blurts out hurtful things in anger.  I have wondered how he will feel about his adoption as he grows older, how it will affect him, how he will feel and what I can do to help him discover who he truly is.  I don’t have all the answers of course, and I can’t certainly tell him how to feel.

Over the course of this last year, there were many developments with my son’s birth mother but I did not publish them.  They were things that were highly personal and had nothing to do with me, though would definitely impact him later in life.

I think writers should write about their lives, the good, bad and the ugly, but when it comes to adopted children, I’m not so sure parents should trot some of the more personal out there?  What do you think?

Microblog Mondays – Spring in my step

Microblog_MondaysThe last couple of weeks, I went easy on my gym routine.  Just did one spin class and then just took the dog for her usual walks. I was just worn out.  I had a bunch of little annoying things to do so I did those.    Last Thursday, I found myself stripping the bed, doing laundry, and vacuuming most of the house.  Nothing unusual about this really.  Except it was 5:30pm and I’m usually exhausted and bitter by then.  So I must be feeling better!!!!  Yay!  I noticed a bit of spring in my step when I was walking Juju.  The kind that says yep, maybe I can actually run a little without feeling like my legs are made of stone.  The weather has been spectacular – blue skies, warm temps, sunshine – and it certainly does pick up my spirits.

DH and I have been talking a little bit more as well.  We went for a dog walk and I communicated that he needed to pay more attention to me.   I’ve lost track of the times his phone/TV suddenly held more interest to him in the middle of whatever I was saying.  Most dramatically, when we went to Disneyland and his mum had Boo in her room for the night so we could have the whole night to go out for dinner, etc.  We return at 9pm and he gets his mum to come to our room and recaps the evening with her!  So romantic, eh?  Hardly worth putting on makeup and high heels for.  Shit like that has been happening for so long that I just got used to it and gave up.  Not useful behaviour if you actually want to enjoy your married life. I’m finding it challenging to let go of the permafrost around my heart, though. What are my intentions and what is it that I need to do to keep sane? Clearly taking care of my health during this time in my life is crucial.   I keep thinking about Christiane Northrup and what she said here. But that’s another post for another day.

His business is starting to take off (safety on movie sets) and he’s really having fun and interested in what he’s doing.  However, having been in this business for 20 years or so, I know the busy times are cyclical and it’s just a matter of time before things die down and then what? Not to mention the crazy fluid hours which makes it incredibly difficult for me to take work during the day.  One minute hubby says he’s only on set for 4 hours and then suddenly it’s 8 hours. Or more. Now when he had a regular office job and I was on set, it was no problem because he could be flexible with his time.  I think a better angle would be for me to hustle up more transcription work.  I was really looking forward to getting out of the house but it would be more flexible.   Most of our stress is purely financial and it’s hard to admit that at our age we’re struggling while our peers are living more secure and stable lives. The temp agency hasn’t really panned out for me yet. I’m eyeing up the kid’s piggy bank while I wait for cheques in the mail.

But you know what, I’m feeling so much better, that I’m just going to take a chill pill, enjoy the sun and do daimoku.

Microblog Mondays: Is it Monday yet?

Microblog_MondaysI’ve spent most of the week fretting about diabetes.  Googling symptoms;  when they say increased thirst, do they mean wanting a glass of water at 10pm or  do they mean drinking litres and litres of water (which I don’t)? But I should be drinking lots of water, right?  I certainly have the fatigue. But is that due to adrenal fatigue or diabetes?  And I pee a lot especially if I have coffee or tea.  I know, I know, it’s a diuretic.  See how I’m driving myself nuts?

Then again, I felt better as of Friday.  A little bit more pep to my step on my walks with the dog. For the first time, I didn’t feel like my legs were as heavy as trees.  Yet I don’t feel up to hiking more than 45 minutes.  There is another walk we could do that is an easy 5k walk, but it’s up hill.  On the other hand, I went to bed at 1am Saturday and then slept (til I had to get up and pee at 7am and then a woodpecker on my deck started up but I fell back asleep) til after 10am (Boo was overnighting it with his cousins).  That was a rare and heavenly event!  Of course, I was moody when I woke up. I felt like I had wasted the morning just trying to get going and before I knew it, those tedious things like laundry and meal preparation were waiting for me. I swear to god I wish I could just open up my freezer and see a week’s worth of healthy food all ready to go. I didn’t get much of anything done other than a nice dog walk and I made delicious curried lentil soup and even gave some to my downstairs neighbour.

Hubby and I finally got around to visiting my mum’s storage locker.  You don’t want to know how much it has cost her to keep over the last 10 years, but it always seemed to be something preventing me from actually clearing it out.  It was overwhelming and always leaves me feeling sad.  The way she had packed is so chaotic, it’s hard to separate what to keep and what to throw away.  Previously we had gone through and donated a ton of clothes, but there’s still so much more.  We need to dedicate a full 8 hour day to go through all the boxes.  What do I do with the art work (probably not worth anything), the old plastic covered furniture?  I know we will call in one of those junk companies that remove stuff for you and the rest I will ship to my sister and I will keep whatever.  That visit really brought me down and I guess it’s been on my mind.  Anyways, by the end of March, it will be done.  Now that Boo is in school, I’ll just move that up to the top of my list of crappy things to do.  I know I will feel better once it’s done.  It’s like carrying someone else’s karma in the wheelbarrow of my own.

Could I be even more tired?

I received the results from my blood tests last week.  I definitely have low iron.  I also have a high A1C number (this is for blood sugar). The range is 4.0  – 6 and I’m a 6.   In fact, if it was .1 degree higher, I’d be pre-diabetes.  Now I knew this about a year and a half ago, but I guess I kind of forgot about it until I started to feel as fatigued as I did. I increased my workout schedule, but I was still tired, huffing and puffing up the same hill I walk every day, my legs ached, I became irritated very quickly, etc.   My TSH level also dropped a bit but it’s still within normal range.  I had to pay to get a T3 and T4 level done (at the same lab) through my naturopath’s requisition and  then I could see that my numbers were low.  So basically hypothyroid.  We suspected that for a while as I have the usual symptoms but unfortunately you can’t get a GP to order a T3 or T4 unless you drop out of the “normal” TSH range.

The walk in clinic doctor called me back to discuss my results and I have to admit, I was pretty alarmed when she told me I should talk with my GP about the possibility of going on metformin.  Then by the time Boo and I had reached the car, I was over it.  I’m not going on metformin until absolutely necessary because with diet and lifestyle changes, I can lower that number.  That’s what I’ve been trying to do as a matter of fact, but despite my gluten free diet, quitting drinking, and working out, weight loss has been brutally difficult.  Of course, I’ve had low iron before and this was an impediment to my weight loss before.  Add on top of fluctuating hormones, this is an uphill no fun slog.  Sigh.  Why can’t I be one of those naturally lithe people?

So no freaking out, it could be worse.  At least now I know what it will take to get me feeling better and I’m taking those steps.

Mama bear

When my son first started kindergarten, I was happy as a clam, dreaming of what I would do with all that free time.  At the same time, I was a little adrift – he was without me by his side to navigate the world.  He’s a real social creature and thrives on playing with his buddies, in his mind, there is no prejudice, people are different by virtue of basic physical characteristics and that’s pretty much it.  Innocence.  I love that about kids before us adults mess them up.

There are two special needs children in his class, one a little boy who seems to have problems with self control and boundaries.  He’s a nice, innocent child, but he’s a hitter.  Of course, the first few weeks of , my son is telling me that this child is hitting him or scratching him.  He’s upset about it but at the same time he likes him and plays with him, and it’s not just him, it’s other kids so it’s a random thing. I watch the kids carefully as they play in kindergarten play area after school.  I see this boy’s mum watching her son intently and she has to run up to him several times and correct his behaviour or pull him away from someone.  She makes him apologize to someone and then its play time again.   Once, he even hit me cause I didn’t have time to take my son over for a playdate.  I finally arranged a play date because both boys wanted it so much.  I admit it, I was quite hesitant, but I thought I would give it a shot and I would stay and try to get to know the mum better.  Everything went really well, in fact, in a quiet setting, we didn’t hear a peep out of them.  The mum didn’t say too much, we just talked about the usual kid things.  They played nicely together and we even made a Christmas craft. I have seen him at kids parties and his mum is always there because he gets easily overwhelmed by noise and yelling and can get out of control physically or start crying.  At the playground, I have seen this child throw rocks and pinecones at older children’s privates, flail and hit other kids and though his mum is always there after that fact, she does zone out every now and then and miss it.  I don’t blame her really.  Lately, he was hitting another little boy, and I talk to this child’s mum quite a bit.  She was very upset and asked me what I thought I should do.  I suggested talking to his mum or speaking to the teachers.  She is of the opinion that at least out of school, the mum should prevent these incidents from happening even if it requires her to stick to his side.    It’s not like the mum is neglectful, she’s always right there and takes excellent care of her child.   It’s just that “letting the boys sort it out” thing is not working.  My friend has moved her child away to the other side of the school to play because she has an infant and she was watching another kid and just didn’t want to be aggravated.

Now, lately I’ve been hearing that child’s  name again and just yesterday, the teacher told me my son hit his head on the cement wall just moments before I arrived.  My son told me how exactly it happened and this kid was swinging his backpack and that’s how it happened.  Two weeks ago, this kid punched my son and that I actually saw that.  The grownups intervened and he explained that they were seeing how strong they were.  My son was hurt though. There are always apologies and my son doesn’t hold grudges but these incidents happen over and over again.  We left, my son crying and for the next two days when I saw this child running around (and I found out he’s taking taekwondo now by the way), we made an early exit.

So I went and spoke with his teacher and the special needs assistant about the incident just after dismissal and before I picked him up.  I was a little peeved.  One teacher said that the child’s movements were just so exuberant and he’s not really seeing what he’s doing.  I get that.  It’s obvious.  He’s a sweet kid and it’s apparent he’s not malicious. I told them that though he apologizes and gets a time out, it keeps happening, so it’s a comprehension issue that they can’t control.  I don’t even know all the facts.  What I do know is that the two little boys that pushed him back, this child doesn’t bother anymore.  And one boy is even protecting others from him.  They all play together but at times it’s problematic because little boys are always very physical in their play and if they’re not running into stuff or jumping off the slide, they’re play fighting.  It’s often hard to distinguish the difference but they’re learning about controlling themselves.

I have told my son that the first time someone shoves him or hits him to use his words to stop it.  Then if they don’t stop, go to the teacher and if it still persists, he has my full permission to hit the kid back.  My kid is such a peaceful kid and he doesn’t want to get into trouble but I can’t be there every time for him.  I made all this perfectly clear to the teachers.  So they just said why not speak to the mum.  Oh, I will, don’t worry about that.  I have my 1, 2, 3 rule for that as well.

*****By the way, strike 3 happened today after I wrote this post.  I’m having a little chat with the child’s mum today.