Life. Love. Family. Our Perfect Imperfection. Living life as a Catholic, homeschooling family with three amazing, unique boys, a too-oft serious, frustrated and anxious but also loving momma, and a fun-loving, hardworking dad.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Very rough day and night

I picked the boys up from school yesterday, only to find out they both had "questions". It's the school's disciplinary actions. First they get a warning, then RTC questions (what was I doing? what should I have been doing? What can I change? etc.) then finally they go to the RTC (responsible thinking classroom) room for a little while and talk to the vice principal or whomever.

Alex always seems to get his questions from talking, interrupting or not listening to the teacher. His "problems" are never too bad, and he's 7, in the third grade and the whole class is a talkative bunch, according to his teacher.

Ethan, on the other hand, has been having some meltdowns. He's our Aspie. I love my children dearly, but there are certain things that I don't understand when it comes to E's frustrations and anxiety. I don't know how to help him. 3 or 4 weeks ago he had started hurting himself on a daily basis. He would get upset about something and punch himself, pinch his cheeks, smack himself with a book, etc. He was doing it out of anger. E has never hurt anyone else, and never seriously injured himself, thankfully. The worst incident was a few months ago when he smashed his head on the office wall and put a small dent in it, but he was uninjured. Anyway, about 2 weeks ago, after talking to him till I was blue in the face, for the gazillionth time about why we shouldn't hurt ourselves, that feeling angry is ok, but there are better ways to deal with those and ALL feelings, I came up with our incentive plan. If he could go all day with no self-injurious behavior, he would earn a star. After 40 30 stars, I would take him to go buy a used DS game. He loved the idea and it seemed to give him something to focus on and help him calm himself in class. E went 8 days of school (so Wed-Fri of week 1 (started on Wed), and Mon-Thurs of week 2(no school Fri) and Monday of this week) with no incidents. Then yesterday, every little thing started bugging him. He ended up punching himself in the right cheek, and it came to the point that the teacher, after asking him to stop, had to gently take his hand and hold it so he would stop. Then he went to the office for a break. He has a behavior plan and built-in breaks, for whenever he feels he needs them. The boys go to a public charter school and E is in a "regular" classroom, self-contained 6th grade, instead of switching classes with most of the middle schoolers. The school added a 3rd sixth grade this year and this is how they did it. We chose to have him in there, as he's a year younger (10) than most of the other kids and thought it would give him another year to mature and learn responsibility and organization. He does have a first hour that he goes to that switches each trimester, currently Spanish. This year, his IEP is focused on social skills and behavior, as academically, he is at or above grade level (even after being a grade ahead!).

So, after all that, I go to ask him what happened and he says "I'm sorry, I accidentally punched myself." Sigh. Really, buddy? How can you accidentally punch yourself, over and over. It makes me sad. Regardless, we talked to the teacher, and he had a better afternoon. I ask several times if he had all of his homework. Yes, mom, of course I do.

We get home and I tell the boys to do their homework, the play 60 challenge, and the March is Reading Month calendar. E proceeds to tell me that he forgot a sheet of paper to do his vocab pictures. Seriously? Well, I let him know he still needed to do them and to figure it out. I'm proud of him, because a few minutes later he lets me know that he's going to draw them on another sheet of white paper and paste it on the yellow construction paper when he gets to school tomorrow. Hooray for problem solving!!

At this point, I'm starting to not feel so hot. I've had a cold off and on for a few days, Alex has had a sinus infection and is on amoxicillin, and Jack is coughing and has a runny nose. E is the only one of us not sick. Jason's out of town for work and Alex has cub scouts. So I hurry up and make scrambled eggs, sausage and toast for dinner, we eat, I put Jack in his jammies, and we leave. By the time we get to cub scouts, I feel dizzy, chills, achey, and have a really bad headache starting.

We left a few minutes early and by the time we got home, I was ready to just go to bed for the night. I had the boys take showers and go to bed early and Jack was sleeping until five minutes before I was ready for bed (HA!). I had the worst sinus pressure. It was so bad, my teeth were hurting. We don't have any aleve, ibuprofen or tylenol (only 3 meds that I know are safe for breastfeeding for pain) and I can't take sudafed because I get heart palpitations from it usually. Jack and I laid down and I think between him waking up due to a stuffy nose or wanting to nurse - he didn't eat well at dinner last night, and slept right through lunch so he had a light snack around 3:30 and so he wanted to nurse on and off all night last night - and me waking up due to sore muscles and my head still pounding, we were up at least every two hours from 8:30 till 5:30, sometimes for over an hour. The little sleep I did get was very restless. Finally at 5, I dug through our medicine cabinet and found some advil congestion. It has pseudoephedrine in it, which I was leary about but I had to do something! By 5:30am, my headache/sinus pressure was waning, and I fell asleep on the recliner with Jack till 6:45.

Since I had told the older boys the night before that if I wasn't feeling any better, I might just keep them home today, E came out and asked how I was doing. I told him I was ok, and to go ahead and get ready for school. He looked very relieved. :) We were running a little behind and I think he was probably marked tardy for Spanish today, so hopefully that doesn't ruin his whole day. :(

Here's hoping they both have a better day and less homework! I really want to just come home and spend some time with them. We are going to sit and do cub scout stuff maybe. Alex has his Light of Christ book so he can get his religious pin, and the Fun for the Family book with activities we can all do together and earn pins/patches! I was thinking we can sit and pick out which ones they would like to start with from each section. Also we have to decorate their pillowcase for the talent show. I still haven't gotten everything I need, but I have some stuff around here, so I may be able to improvise.

Kudos to all the single parents out there. I have done it alone before, when Jason was in Afghanistan for 6 months and Louisiana for a few months with just the two older boys and when he was in California for a month when E was 2, and then when he first started working at this job and he was only home 2-3 days a week (usually the weekend) and he was living up here in an apartment during the work week for over a year. It was hard. This seems harder, having a third child thrown in. I don't know if it's because Jack is still so little, or maybe it's because we are (almost) all sick right now. But I miss Jason, I miss his help, and his jokes, just his presence. He and I really do feed off of each other, good and bad, but right now, I could use the calm, collected side of him. It always seems like when I have a bad day, he's able to be the rock, and vice versa. We are a pretty great team. Most of the time. ;)