Friday, January 30, 2009
Yesterday Caris said, "I'm so lucky!" I asked why and she said, "I don't know, I just feel so lucky. I have a nice mom, I got to be in that play . . . " I forget what else she listed but man, how's that for gratitude? Would that we would all feel so lucky over the little things in life! This is a girl who literally suffers every day with itchy, broken skin and lately her tummy hurts every day, and she feels lucky anyway. Lord, please heal my sweet daughter!
My husband was so sweet today. He called to check on me when I'd been gone longer than he expected, and when I got home he had to explain some paperwork to me (not my favorite thing). He asked why I looked stressed out and I told him I had too much to do. He asked how he could help, and would I like him to drop off some paperwork for me? HECK YEAH! Then, even better, he offered to take the boys to guitar so I wouldn't have to wake Caris & Canaan from their naps. Praise the Lord!
That Financial Peace University class we started last week? I can't even tell you how great it is. It is boosting our marriage in a way I could never have seen coming. I don't want to speak for Alif too much, but I'll just say that for him, it has made him think of our finances in a totally different way, and beyond finances, I see him stepping up in our marriage in such confidence. It's amazing to see him so empowered! I prayed for years that God would make him the spiritual leader of our home, but during those years I think I felt like I was the tool God would use to make Alif the way I wanted him to be. It was once I shut up and let God take over that He was able to start really working on Alif's heart, and watching him grow in this way has been such an adventure. I can only hope that he is seeing the same growth in me as a wife!
As for my heart and FPU, well, God is already doing some major construction there too. I was driving around the other day and suddenly had this overwhelming feeling of being a team with Alif. For our entire marriage I have not been trustworthy with money. I have spent without asking Alif, spent money we didn't have, charged things he specifically told me not to - you get the picture. I felt like it was me against him all the time. Every purchase I wanted to make felt like a competition between he & I, and every time he bought something that wasn't completely necessary I begrudged him for it. I'm sure I still have a lot of learning and growing to do, but feeling like - dude, we're on the SAME SIDE here - that's huge for me AND for Alif. What a gift!
Friday, January 23, 2009
Wednesday night we were scheduled to start a class at a local church and there was no way I was going to miss it. I have been looking forward to this class for months and we were going to be there. The church had arranged for my kids to take part in their Awana program, which was really nice of them since my kids are already active in our own church's program. The commander let me know that it was stack-a-t-shirt night, which meant that the kids could wear as many t-shirts as they'd like, layered.
Can I give you some unsolicited advice? If you have two pre-teen boys, do not send them into their room alone to get ready for stack-a-t-shirt night. Malachi wanted no part in this madness so he donated all of his t-shirts to Graham's cause, and when they came out Graham couldn't even lower his arms to his sides, he had so many shirts on. Over 35 of them, in fact. Just as we were leaving he looked a little flushed and said, "I can't get a deep breath." I realized that he had so many shirts on that they were crushing him, even if only slightly, and he literally couldn't breathe properly. I removed about 5 shirts and he seemed a lot better.
I'm going to wash those jeans and put them on eBay. I loved them for the few times I wore them, but I'm very happy to be moving down to the same jeans in a smaller size!!
And finally, a portrait taken by Canaan the other night. He kept saying, "smile mommy! cheese! picture!" He took like 20 pictures of me, Caris, the floor, his toys . . . kinda fun to see the world through his "eyes". Oh, and he's such an ego-booster - after each picture he'd say, "cute!" LOL
Thursday, January 22, 2009
On January 5 Graham had an appointment with a neurologist. I went into this appointment knowing that Graham has Tourette Syndrome, but wanting to avoid leading the doctor in that direction, just in case I was wrong and something else was going on. I wasn't wrong. The doctor kept us waiting for over 2 hours, but he was so lovely that within a minute of meeting him my anger melted away. He was great with Graham and listened carefully, asked lots of questions and spent his time examining him. Then, as if announcing that he prefers butter over margarine, he declared that my son has Tourette Syndrome. Just like that. We discussed some testing, medication, scheduling a follow-up appointment and he was on his way. He had a doctor shadowing him that day. I gathered my children and belongings and as I opened the door, I heard our doctor telling his shadow that Graham is textbook Tourette's - classical.
I didn't have a good day that day. Like I said, I knew going in that we were dealing with TS. It didn't come as a surprise to hear him officially diagnosed - it just came as a big, fat punch in the gut. My son is textbook, classical Tourette's. There's no doubt in the doctor's mind. Since I started suspecting this in Graham, and doing research, and discussing it openly, I have heard countless friends say that they never noticed that I have TS. You can't even imagine how this shocks me. Since I was around 7 years old, I remember feeling like an oddball, trying desperately to hide my tics and often failing. I had a frog sound that annoyed my family. I had a lip-curling tic that the clarinet section noticed in band. I had so many tics that I tried to disguise, which I now learn is a great coping mechanism for TS sufferers.
So when I heard that doctor pronounce my son's official diagnosis, years of discomfort built up in me. Parents want better for their kids. We don't want our kids to suffer. We don't want them to feel weird. We want them to be comfortable in their own skin, to be well-liked, to excel.
I've done fine with TS, I really have. According to others. Many of my tics are what we call "internal", meaning that they require me to tense my muscles over and over. It isn't comfortable. I still have tics that make me feel that I appear odd to others, whether or not they actually notice. The mental energy that goes into TS for me is indescribable to someone who doesn't deal with this.
Ohhhhh, I hate this for Graham. He, however, doesn't seem terribly upset . . . on the surface. When I talk to him about TS he seems pretty open about it. He asks questions, talks pretty openly. I'm worried, though. I've noticed a few things that are cause for concern that I want to talk to the doctor about when we reconvene to discuss the results of his testing.
Speaking of testing, he had an EEG today. That means that last night Alif kept him up until 11, he got to sleep from 11-3, I got up with him from 3-5 and Alif took over from 5-7. His test was at 8. I couldn't imagine that he would be able to sleep in that office, sitting in a recliner, with an electrode-filled cap strapped on, plus electrodes on his arms and earlobes, with a technician and me both staring at him. Well, he did. I couldn't believe it. He did just great! I think this test was just to rule out seizures.
So - his next appointment is next month. We'll see where we go from there.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
In totally non-related news, Caris has her first loose tooth!! She woke up from her nap two days ago and came bounding down the stairs, wiggling that tooth for all it's worth. My big boys were a full year older than this when they first lost teeth so it was a big surprise to hear this big announcement from Caris! She keeps saying, "I am SO EXCITED that I have a loose tooth!" and then she will glance at me and add hastily: "but a little bit sad too, because I'm growing up so quickly." LOL My girl knows her Mama's heart!
Friday, January 09, 2009
BUT - I lost 1.8 pounds this week, and unlike last week, I am THRILLED with that this week. My Mom and I went out of town last week and I didn't do very well with point-counting. We had a blast together though, and I did eat pretty well. It just goes to show how bad my eating was before, that even on a "bad eating" week I am losing weight! I can't wait to see what next Friday holds! I'm down 15.6 total now. Still lots to go.
Friday, January 02, 2009
I love to watch Biggest Loser, and I am so excited that it's coming back for another season next week! It's a great motivator for me mid-week, and then I have my WW meetings on Fridays. Good timing! When I watch Biggest Loser, I always roll my eyes a little at the contestants who lose 2 or 3 pounds and act like they are total failures. Give me a break, I think, you lost a great amount of weight! Well, guess what? I only lost 1.8 pounds this week. I weighed this morning on my scale, which I thought was totally the same as the WW scale, and according to my scale I was down four pounds, so to see 1.8 at the meeting was kind of depressing. Depressing - geez, I'm rolling my own eyes at myself. 1.8 is great! 1-2 pounds a week is the Weight Watchers standard, and if I lose at that rate I will reach my goal weight around the end of summer. I'm gonna have to just keep plugging along, be patient and celebrate along the way. I exercised almost every day last week and stayed within my points for the week and those are great things. So - moving onward!
One of our New Year's Eve traditions is to let the kids bang pots and pans at 9:00. This year we pulled some party poppers too. It was especially fun when my father-in-law wandered over from across the street to see what all the commotion was about. :-)