Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Our doctor visit (LONG - sorry)

The younger two children had their annual checkups today. They are both growing well and developing well. We had, generally, a good report from their doctor. Blaine had to have three shots, which made me cry, but all in all I got a good report.

The only catch is, Blaine was awful. I mean, awful. I mean, tearing the cover of the exam table into little pieces; refusing to look the doctor in the eye, on his hands and knees, rocking, while the doctor tried to ask him questions. He would make statements that had nothing to do with the question just asked.

As you know if you know us, we have been concerned about Blaine's behavior for some time. One of our main reasons for homeschooling this year was to just see if it would make a difference in Blaine's attention span, in his ability to focus on a school day. He has always been what I would describe as a "wide open" little boy. His pre-K teacher loved him, I think (he's hard not to love!), but it got to the point that he was in time out multiple times in a day at school. The final straw was the afternoon he stood next to me at the sink and said, "Mommy, why can't I make better choices? I must be the stupidest little boy God ever made." I have tears in my eyes as I type this, just remembering the rock-solid feeling in my gut from that moment.

I thought he was getting better. It seemed to me that he was growing in his ability to do "school work," to behave appropriately in these kinds of circumstances. I mean, he is young -- he just turned five. But how long can this be an excuse?

I have always been against medication for ADD and ADHD, except for in the most extreme of circumstances. Nate and I both have family members who drug their perfectly normal little boys, because they want them to act like miniature grown ups.

Today, in this doctor's appointment, I addressed his behavior with our doctor. I told him that I did not think Blaine had a problem, beyond being a very active little boy of a mommy who had tried to fit too much into one day (Up early; to Bible Study where he had to sit; home to do schoolwork where he had to sit; no nap; to the Laundromat to wash the comforters, where he couldn't run; to the doctor). I told him about Blaine's academic abilities, and the behavioral things we do to control him when he reaches the point we call "meltdown."

I wanted him to say I was right. I wanted him to say Blaine was not acting in any way different than a little boy should. I wanted to hear that there was no need for anything further, that there was obviously nothing wrong with my little boy.

Instead, I heard that attention disorders don't affect just children who can't do school work -- that some children, who enjoy schoolwork like Blaine does, can focus on workbooks and such for hours but still have a "problem." I heard him say that he didn't know what would happen if we tested him. To me, as the mom, that means there is some possibility -- probably a good one, knowing this doctor the way I do and knowing how cautiously he phrases things -- that my child would end up "diagnosed" with something, labeled. Forever. I was told that as long as we felt we had a good handle on him through our behavioral techniques, it was fine to continue exactly the way we are.

I sit here now, a little shocked -- a little stunned. I know this seems worse to me than it is.

But it is not what I wanted to hear.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Not so very long ago . . .

On this date in 1983, not so very long ago, my mother and father brought home a belated present for me for my third birthday. I thought it was annoying, wet and loud, but they refused to take it back to the hospital.

That annoying present has grown up, and today my "baby" sister turns 23. Sherri is very different from me -- we have almost nothing in common, on the surface, but an insane amount of similarities once you know us better. I was, I confess, a terribly mean older sister -- think, "torture with fake rubber spiders," and "refusal to admit she was related to me in public." She, on the other hand, retaliated -- think, "white-out applied to my face in all the family portraits," and "refusal to admit she was related to me in public."

Man, it was fun!!

I loved you then, and I love you now. Happy Birthday, Sher!!

Love, Sissy

What was I thinking?

Apparently, I've used this title before, b/c it opted in automatically when I was posting today.

Well, as you can see, my dedication to blog every day was shortlived. In addition to homeschooling, right now Nate and I are participating in a small group training session led by one of our pastors, with the thought of praying about potentially leading a small group in our own home at some point in the not-too-distant future. This takes place every Sunday evening, and has a small section of reading and questions each day. I'm also participating in a woman's study by Nancy Leigh DeMoss titled "Lies Women Believe (and the Truth that sets them free)". It just started, but it appears to be very interesting, timely and helpful. I'm going to be one of the small group leaders. At the onset, this was supposed to entail mainly discussion facilitation. I'm concerned it may be a bit more. We'll see where that goes!! We also go to the library at least once a week to get books for school. So, it appears I'm not actually "homeschooling" so much as I am "car schooling." Nate and I also alternate months as Sunday School teachers, and that starts in October.

I say that jokingly, but I am a little concerned I may have taken on too much here at the start of our school year. We will need to wait and see how it goes. I have a tendency to dive right in, become overburdened, and say yes to everyone who asks. I need to become more discerning, more prayerfully-led as opposed to need-led. It took me a long time to recognize that just because I recognize a need doesn't mean I'm called to fill it.

So, if my posts stop making sense, become incoherent, and my phone conversations drift off into nothingness, promise me you'll ask me whether or not I've managed to fit in sleep somewhere!!!!


Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's my birthday!!

In looking over this blog, I have realized that I have posted a lot about my family, but not a whole lot about me. Which is good, right now, I suppose, since I am so family-centered at this point in my life. Christ's ministry through me right now is primarily to my children and husband. At some point in the future, I may enter a phase of ministry that puts me outside with others. But, as I have said so many times, the only "thing" I can have with me in Heaven are the souls of those I love. :)

- Interesting note: Jesus works through children. At about 9:40 this morning, the children and I were praying together as part of our school day. For no reason, and without any prompting in this direction, B-Boo said, "I would like to play for Mrs. ___ and her family." So, we did. In talking with this person this afternoon, at exactly this time of day today, she was in a difficult situation unexpectedly. Praise the Lord that B-Boo was responsive to the voice of the Lord!!

- My children are on the front porch, painting. They are being quiet. This should concern me, but somehow, I cannot get up the energy to care. That's why I sent them outside, right? So it wouldn't matter what they painted?

- My house is having a major tissue shortage, which has the effect of causing random rolls of toilet paper to be sitting around on tables and ledges. Good thing I buy the soft kind, huh?

- My favorite color is purple. (Not sure what relevance that has -- just thought I should share.)

If you are wondering what this post is about, I would ask you to check the description at the top. I promised to let you inside my own little world. I realized that the recent posts have been coherent, occasionally well-thought out (or at least thought out), and timely. This does not accurately reflect my thought patterns or life, lol. So, I decided to be more accurate, and let this post reflect the little of this or that, unconnected bits of trivia and nonsense that are usually floating through my brain. If you come away confused, don't worry. I do, too, usually.


Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11, 2006

Five years ago today, I sat in my mother's Dodge Caravan in town. It was my first trip "out" with my nine day old son. We had both boys in the car, and I was at the University of Virginia parking and transportation building returning the parking pass I had used to park closer to the building during the last few weeks of my pregnancy. It was taking a very, very long time to get up to the front, and one of the ladies was talking on the phone. "How rude," I thought, "talking on the phone like this when the line is so long." Then I heard her say, "Well, I'm glad you're okay." She hung up the phone and turned to me. "Sorry," she said, "My sister is in New York." She said it like it explained everything. I must have looked puzzled, becase she said, "Didn't you hear? A plane has flown into the World Trade Center."

I didn't know it, yet, but America was changed forever. At that point, the news was still reporting that it was an accident. I ran back out to the car and turned on the radio. My mom was on the phone, having just received a call telling her what was happening.

We finished up in town and came home. I sat, glued to the television, and watched the video of the towers fall over and over. I heard the announcement that it was even worse than we believed -- someone had done it on purpose.

We were at war.

That war continues today, and in my own little way, I would like to say thank you to our service men and women who serve our country, protecting us from those who think we are worthy of death simply by existing.

So, today, in particular, I thank:

Wayne Ellyson, National Guard, returned from Iraq
Adam Graves, Marines, currently stationed somewhere near Baghdad
Brandon Graves, Marines, finishing boot camp in November, orders not yet received but expected to be deployed to Iraq by Christmas

And all of the civilian fighters, who died on the day our world changed forever.

For a tribute to the 2,996 victims of September 11, 2001, please see here.

God Bless.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Somebody loves me!! I've been tagged for my first meme, ever!! :)

So, I guess I better do it, huh? :)

3 Things That Scare Me

~Something hurting my boys that I can't fix
~Being left

3 People That Make Me Laugh


3 Things I Love (only 3?)

~My Family
~That quiet time of night when the boys are asleep, and Nate and I have the TV off and are just talking, or reading, or doing a devotional.
~When my children obey (a girl can dream, right?)

3 Things I Hate

~Not being able to make everything better
~Being wrong
~Arrogant people

3 Things I Don't Understand

~ Democrats
~ Feminism (I have to echo this. I mean, seriously, I just don't get it. What is any better as a woman than fulfilling your God-given call of wife and mother?)
~ People who hurt children, on purpose

3 Things On My Floor

~ Dirt (I'm not the world's best housekeeper)
~ Puzzle pieces (And I have three kids)
~ Lady (the dog)

3 Things I'm Doing Right Now

~ Listening for the next fight on the porch
~ Answering this meme
~ Listening to Praise and Worship Weekend on Sirius 66

3 Things I Want To Do Someday

~ Travel
~ Hire a housekeeper and cook
~ Wake up when I want to, instead of when I hear a suspicious crash in the living room or the boys' bedroom.

3 Things I can do

~ Type quickly
~ Simultaneously make dinner, type in my blog, supervise three smallish children, listen to the radio and talk on the phone. It's a gift, I know.
~ Ignore the mess my house is, b/c of the millions of people who were here this weekend with muddy feet after ten inches of rain.

3 Ways To Describe My Personality


3 Things I Cannot Do

~ Cook well
~ Drive well (just ask Nate)
~ Care that my house is not clean (sorry, this is a sore spot today.)

3 Things I Think You Should Listen To

~ the sounds of a baby nursing
~ the words to your favorite hymn. Really hear them
~ your mother (See Cathy -- I don't necessarily mean obey, or heed. But listen.)

3 Things I Think You Should Never Listen To

~ That little voice inside that says you are not good enough
~ Mean, petty people
~ Whining

3 Absolute Favorite Foods

~ Lasagna
~ Cheesecake
~ Ice Cream

3 Things I'd like to Learn

~ To shut up, when necessary
~ To just go with the flow, a little more
~ How to make children obey. The first time. Every time.

3 Beverages I Drink Regularly

~ Iced Tea
~ Mt. Dew
~ Root Beer

3 Shows I Watch
~ The Fairly OddParents
~ The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron
~ Clean Sweep

3 Bloggers I Tag...
I only know bloggers who have already done this, lol. Sorry. :)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, B-Boo

On this day, five years ago, you entered the world. At the time, I was a young mother, scared to death that I wouldn't know what to do with two little boys. As we left the hospital, your daddy and I both wondered how much like your big brother you would be.

The answer, it has turned out so far, is not at all. Wide open, where he is introspective. Outgoing and overly friendly, where he is quiet and shy.

We have often joked that if you were born first, we would have strongly considered having only one child. You are always a challenge.

But in return, you are openly loving, exuberant. So much like me, as you live with your emotions displayed on your sleeve for the whole world to read. You are the one who gets tears in his eyes when told that everyone grows up and moves away from their Mommy and Daddy, and sobs that you never want to be big. Then you ask when you will be old enough to drive, and say you can't wait. Flexible - when your birthday plans had to change this year, due to a lack of electricity at the park, you said, "It will be more fun at home!"

I love every moment, every challenge. You keep me on my toes, little boy. You are adorable -- and you know it.

I can't say in this brief moment how very much you mean to me, but know that it has been a fabulous five years. I adore you, as only your Mommy can.

Happy Birthday, my prince. Mommy loves you.