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Archive for the ‘Phinehas’ Category

5 months!

It’s been 5 months since I’ve blogged and that’s got me feeling panicked about trying to recapture all that has happened in the last 5 months.  Fact is that I’m really bad at capturing moments in pictures and then actually writing about them.  Since I don’t keep actual photo albums, I worry that someday my kids will grow up and I’ll have nothing to hand them except for a hard drive and tell them to “go get whatever you want”.  Such is the risk of the digital age, I guess!

So…to recap the last 5 months:

  • Finn started Kindergarten at a private school called Trinity Classical Academy.  He goes 2 days/week and we homeschool the rest (using their curriculum and lesson plans).
  • He recently got tested and it’s been determined that he needs glasses and has a vision disorder.  We expect to start vision therapy in 2018.
  • He and I went to visit my sister & her family in South Carolina for a few days in October.  We got rained out at the beach, but had a wonderful time!
  • He learned to ride a bike without training wheels.
  • Stephen started preschool 3 mornings/week at Little Lamb preschool.  He loves it and sings songs from there all the time.
  • Stephen turned 4 years old.  Which he was obsessed about and told me every day what he wanted “for my next birthday”.  Everyday it was a new list.  Frequent items included a cupholder and a robot that will help him do a handstand without leaning against the wall.
  • Stephen had his Christmas program for preschool and actually sang!  He did great!
  • Both Finn and Stephen are in Cubbies this year and loving it.
  • Sam & Ben are home with me all week.  Both have had a language explosion over the last few months.
  • I continue to be a stay-at-home and Jeff continues to work at Union Pacific, having made it through a big layoff this past Fall.
  • Jeff has been working hard on our deck.  The coating put on by the previous owners was flaking off, so he’s been sanding it off.  It’s taken several weekends and only the “floor” of the deck is left.  We’ll tackle that in Spring.
  • We still don’t have a family picture of all 6 of us!  At least not a decent one.  I hope to fix that this Spring when the weather is nice and we can do an outdoor photo shoot.

Last5Months

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Preschool Graduate!

Finn graduated from Preschool!  (Which is a strange thing to write – since when did preschools have graduation?  I don’t think I had one?)

Anyway, they just had a little program where the kids walked up in their little graduation hat and tassel and hugged their teacher.  They sang some songs before and after and that was it.  Short and sweet.  He was beyond fascinated with his tassel – kept touching it during the program.  The tassel of the kid next to him kept falling off, so Finn helped him put it back on his hat a couple of times.  It was cute.

We went home and had brownie sundaes in our pajamas.

Anyway, I was the mom who forgot to take good pictures of him with his teacher or at his program.  So I had him “re-enact” it a couple of days later in front of the fireplace with his hat and tassel.  He humored me!

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Graduation

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Finn’s 5!

A couple of weeks ago, Finn turned 5!  {Insert comment here about how fast its all going…}

He’s really starting to grow up – his personality is showing itself more and more every day. He’s a great storyteller – both of true things that have happened AND of things that could be, like what things we should invent.  He has a great idea for how carseats should just be bubbles that attach to seats – you put the child in there, but you don’t have to buckle them, they’re just already safe.  That’d be great for me!

He’s a wonderful big brother.  Usually.  He’s often looking out for what needs his brothers may have.

He’s all about numbers these days. Adding numbers together.  Counting things.  Figuring out the differences.  He kind of likes letters, but not nearly as much as his numbers.  His preschool teacher says he’s one of the few students in his class who plays with their math games, by choice.

He’s a ball of energy.  Having at least one little brother (I’m looking at you Stephen!) to always rumble with doesn’t help, but he’s almost always on the go.  He does focus well on tasks when he needs/wants to, but the energy is there!  He’s doing really well with the diet restrictions we’ve been trying (both in terms of being agreeable to them AND responding well to them).

He’s our Finn!

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Finn turns 5 next month.  In our state, that means that they expect him to start Kindergarten in the Fall.  So they send you a letter reminding you of that and giving you your choices.  In the school district we live in, we have these choices:

  • His assigned school, which teaches a “Core” program.  It’s the only elementary school in the district that does this.
  • A Montessori-based Kindergarten, which has a tract that stays Montessori through Grade 8.  This is at 1 elementary school in our district.
  • An International Baccalaureate (IB) program, which is available all the way through high school.  This is at 1 elementary school in our district.
  • A normal/regular/standard school that the rest of the elementary schools use.
  • A private school (religious or otherwise)
  • Opting into another public school district
  • Homeschooling
  • Waiting a year til he’s 6 to decide.

Right now, we’re waiting a year to start Kindergarten.  For a variety of reasons, this is the right choice for him.

But, man, all the choices!  Let’s say I rule out other districts, private school and homeschooling (which we haven’t ruled out, but let’s just say) — that still gives me 4 educational options in 1 school district.  4!?!?  I’m appreciative of having choices, but geesh!

When my mom wanted to enroll me in Kindergarten, it was simple.  What’s your assigned school? That’s where you went – all the schools in that same district had the same curriculum.  Sure, you might prefer a different elementary school because you knew of the principal or the location was better, but there wasn’t a difference in how the material was taught.

Choices are good.  But they also cause analysis paralysis!

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Someday I’m going to forget all kinds of things.  I hope I don’t forget these things.

  • Finn (age 4) sings song so proudly.  At the beginning of this school year, he hated singing time at both church (Awana) and preschool.  The teachers made him stand with the group, but he didn’t have to sing or do the movements.  When asked about it, he said it was “too loud”.  He’s slowly coming out of that, but even in the beginning of the year when he hated singing time, he was learning the songs. And he’d come home and just randomly start singing them.  It’s fun!
  • Finn also tells great stories about how things have come to be.  He’ll tell me all about something he’s built with blocks.  Always an elaborate story.
  • We were going to the movie theater the other day and I asked Finn about the rules.  His answers: “Don’t Hit.”  Okay.  “Stay in your seat.”  Okay.  “And if anyone gets on the roof of the van and they want to ride up there and they beat on the top of the roof like it’s a drum, we should tell them to get off.”  What!?!
  • When Stephen (age 3) falls or something and I ask him “Are you okay?”  He always answer “I’m okay.  I’m fine.”  He always says both phrases and in the cutest voice.  (He voice is still baby-ish.)
  • Sam (almost 2) is so observant.  Call it being Kid #3, but for months now, I only need to mention something and he’s all over it.  I can just casually say “I’m going to go get the mail” and he’ll bring me my shoes.  If the baby spits up and he sees that I don’t have a towel, he’ll go get me one – without me saying a word.
  • He’s also always watching his older brothers and mimicking them.  They start dancing – he will too.  If they sit down for lunch, he will too.  If they start running around all crazy – he will too.

But I do think the thing that I’ll miss the most is right after bathtime – especially when a kid has gained confidence in their new walking skills.  I think I’ll miss seeing little naked baby bottoms running down the hallway to their bedroom.  Is that weird?  It’s weird I know.  But seeing a kid who is just so tiny but fully capable of walking is fun. And seeing them run is even more fun.

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And the results are in!

And the results are in on Finn’s food allergy/sensitivity testing.  (In case you’re wondering, we did an Organic Acids and IgG testing from Great Plains Laboratory on Finn a few weeks ago.)

The results?

  • He has a pretty decent bacteria problem in his digestive system.
  • He also has a little bit of a yeast problem in his system too.
  • He has a moderate sensitivity to egg whites.
  • He has a low sensitivity to: casein, whey, egg yolk, cow’s milk, cod fish, cashews and yogurt.

Some of those things are related like casein is the protein found in cow’s milk and yogurt.  And egg whites and egg yolks can never really be completely separated.

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So…what does this all mean?  The answer has 3 parts:

#1: Remove the irritants from the system:

We’ll be removing more things from his diet.  Namely, eggs and casein products (milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream).  We’ve already been gluten-free for a month as well as having eliminated food dyes, artificial flavors, preservatives and a lot of fruits & veggies that have salicylates in them.  Those things (well, not the gluten free) is the basic tenet of the Feingold Diet that we’ve been on since end of October.

#2 Add good stuff back into his diet:

His behavior has been much better (by that I mean a lack of big meltdowns and outburts and he shows more impulse control), we’ll be able to start adding in some things that we originally took out.  Hello tomatoes!  Hello cucumbers and pickles!  Hello bell peppers!  Hello berries!

It’ll be a long process though.  Since his tests came back all clean for those items, we feel good about re-introducing them.  BUT…we still want to re-introduce them one at a time just in case there is a reaction that wasn’t caught on the tests.  And it can take up to 4 days before you see a reaction from a food.  It’s not like his hair will automatically turn purple once a tomato hits his lip.  Instead, the food will get into his digestive system and his body will start to react to it over the next couple of days.  A bad day on Wednesday could have easily been caused by something eaten on Monday.

Our doctor actually recommends waiting a week between introducing new foods.  We’ll see how it goes, but whether it’s 4 or 7 days, it’s gonna be a while before we have a bunch of new foods into our life.

Tomatoes are first though.  Pizza! (Though, no cheese sadly.)  Sloppy joes!  Salsa!  BBQ!  Spaghetti!

#3 Fight the bacteria!

Probiotics to the rescue!  A heavy dose.  A really heavy dose.  Our goal is 50 billion cultures a day.  Yes, 5-0.  Yes, billion with a b.  I was shocked when our doctor recommended it.  But we won’t get there all at once.  We started mid-last week and my goal is to be at 50 by the end of this week – assuming he continues to tolerate it.  We’ll likely stay at 50 billion for a month or so, then back it down to a maintenance kind of dose.

We’ve decided to hold off on treating the yeast problem.  It wasn’t that severe and you can really only medically treat it with an anti-fungal, which isn’t too kid friendly.  So we’ll limit his sugar intake and hope the yeast dies off as the gut gets stronger.

Is this permanent?

I hope not.  For 6 months we’re going to:

  • Do the milk-free and egg-free life.
  • Limit sugar as much as reasonable.
  • Treat heavily with probiotics, then continue a maintenance dose.
  • Continue with the chiropractic care (I don’t think that will be for 6 more months – just a couple heavy-duty).
  • Treat him as if he has a leaky gut and add in fermented foods, switch to organic food as much as possible/reasonable/budget allowed, make our own bone broths, and changing to grass-fed beef.

Then in 6 months, we’ll test again and see what the results tell us!

 

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Christmas Program 2016

Finn had his first Christmas program tonight.  Brought tears to my eyes – not in a good way.

It was essentially a really short church service where the kids came into the sanctuary, lined up in the front, (posed for pictures), sang 3 songs, a pastor gave a really short message and then the kids sang 3 more songs.

In the ‘pose for pictures’ part, he did okay.  Not great as he kept trying to block parents from taking pictures of their kids.  He kept hug-wrestling the boys next to him.

But when the singing started, he did better.  He mostly stayed in his place, but he didn’t sing.  (He has this thing with singing in a group – says it’s ‘too loud’).  He didn’t do many of the actions to the songs either, but it wasn’t too bad.

During the message, things started to go south. He tried to leave the front, but the teacher stopped him and she sat with him in her lap and he stayed there.  Great.

During the 2nd group of songs, it went really far south.  Texas south.  Mexico south.  Brazil south.  Tried running away again.  Wouldn’t stay in his spot.  Distracted others.  Random-but-luckily-not-too-loud outbursts of other words.

When it was time for the other kids to file out, he then refused to go.  Went all “spaghetti” and wouldn’t move.  Wouldn’t be moved.  Eventually, I went and got him.  Needless to say, we skipped the cookies afterward.

I knew that he had been having a bad day, but wanted to stick with the Christmas program.  If I don’t give him (reasonable) situations to obey and perform, then I’ll never how he’ll do.

We’ve been on the new diet for 8 weeks now.  Been seeing a Chiropractor for 4 weeks (12 treatments).  We have some really good days.  And a few good days in a row too.  But then there will be ‘something’ that will happen and we’ll have 2-3 bad days as if he’s reacting to something.  We just can’t identify what the something is.  It may even be somethings.

Sigh…makes the date complete as our washing machine died today unexpectedly.  Had to replace it.

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