Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy Day

I have a made a new best friend.  Her name is LABEL MAKER.  We spent some time together today, and my house is happy!!

In other news, I also spent $45 on COPY PAPER ALONE for our school supply list for the kids this year.  YIKES.  I'm buying the supplies a few at a time so it doesn't kill the budget, but having 7 kids in school next year is already looking expensive!  (Tho I'm not complaining about having to provide the supplies, I know the teachers don't get them otherwise, yes, including copy paper, and I know the teachers provide a lot out-of-pocket throughout the year even with this :) ).

It has been an interesting almost-72-hours-home since our weekend away!  Yesterday I woke to Kristopher being "helpful" and getting everyone out of their beds for us, and helping them get to their potties.  Unfortunately, Micah had had a blow out nasty diaper and by the time I got to the family room he was standing in the hallway to the bathroom with no pants on, the nasty diaper in the changing pail, poop all over the pail, all over Micah, ALL over the potty seat, and... all over the light switch that he was playing with.  So... a bath, new sheets, clean clothes, and we were ready to start the day!

That is just one example of the fun we've had :).  We also had a dinner which involved both major spit up and pee.  And of course the notorious spills required of our fine dining experiences we have here at the Cornish home...

Anyway, a little review of our summer-so-far, since I've been a horrible blogger this summer...

First off, we've had a HEALTHY SUMMER so far!  I am SO glad to have this time home and healthy!!!  One of the many reasons I've continued to think about homeschooling our crew in the future...

We also have had a very productive and GROWING summer!  Micah has matured SO much!  He's listening to directions, attempting to dress himself (putting on a pull up and shorts, just needs help with the pulling up part...).  All of the kids have gotten more independent in being out and about with us.  Micah, and even James a little bit, is doing great staying with us and not needing to be in a stroller when we're out at a store or mall or even just out walking in the neighborhood.  Yesterday we spent almost an hour doing different color games and activities with most of the kids, and Micah and James both stayed with us and participated.  Micah and Emma are both doing great stringing beads by themselves and Micah is doing better with matching colors, tho there's still room for improvement.

Brianna is matching all her uppercase and lowercase letters and is able to choose the picture that starts with the letter without much assistance.  I need to find an iPad app that works like the Hot Dots to test her, but that also can do randomly generated things since I do think that there may be some memorization going on as well.    Not that that's bad... just doesn't give for true learning if she's not thinking about the sounds and letters.  Brianna already knows her colors except for some reason calls Blue, Yellow pretty frequently.  She is counting objects and just generally enjoying learning and growing.  She's also accomplished pedaling and we hope to get her to actually USE the skill on her bike... but so far she prefers other things outside.

Kristopher has been doing some of the Hot Dots comprehension cards as well as beginning multiplication.  He also loves the coins game on the iPad and appears to have conquered that deficit that he was having difficulty with last year.  He's reading at bed time every night and enjoying playing the Nintendo DS (which he earned through a behavior and helping chart using our Candy Land game board... the DS was Michael's that he no longer plays on much).

I have written a lot about Aleksa but briefly, she is doing ok.  She had a rough weekend without us and continues to struggle even with our babysitter that is here at the house WITH me, and with grandparents.  We knew that our trip would set her back... but we also knew that this was not only a time to celebrate, but a needed "time away" for the two of us, and we are still glad that we took it.  Aleksa now knows that if we leave... we will come back.  And she'll have to figure that out even more in the days to come.

Let's see... James... I don't know what to say about James :).  We'll back up a bit and do a medical review, since I didn't really mention test results.  James had an EGD, an upper GI, and a motility test in the last 6 weeks or so.  All of the tests came back "normal within limits" except that his duodenum (bottom part of the stomach) has some flat areas.  Tests for Celiac I haven't gotten back yet (it was just last Wednesday that they were done with the EGD).  So... basically there's no reason for his constant reflux, but it isn't affecting his esophagus (so the Prevacid is doing its job in keeping the acidity of the reflux down...), and there's nothing "planned" at the moment to keep him from spitting up all the time.  I haven't got his next GI visit yet, but soon we'll have that and talk more about the tests and results and plans.

That said, James' behavior continues to be a strong topic of conversation around our house.  He has times of listening and times of, well, just completely NOT.  He's a 4 1/2 (almost FIVE!) year old little boy, and I remember having these same thoughts and conversations about Kristopher at that age.  However, right now we're not just dealing with a high energy level or impulsive behavior, but the seeming inability to focus at all, or to do simple tasks which require some concentration.  Last week we had James' physical and he has gained 5 1/2 pounds this year! YAY!!  He's made some big gains in other areas-- walking (tho he's still very unsteady), taking all his calories by mouth (no tube useage) holding his bottle, getting OFF the bottle, and making big social gains, such as staying with us some out in public, interacting appropriately with the other kids, following familiar routines around the house, etc...

Ok, so at the doctor's appointment behavior was brought up because several of the questions just couldn't avoid it.  "How is his find motor developing?  Does he like to color?"  "Well, he CAN color, but it generally ends in a quick version of throwing the paper and getting up.  He doesn't sit still that long to focus on it."  That among others... and we then discussed his behavior.  Or, rather, the pediatrician did.  I asked her whether she had any concerns with using Ginkgo Biloba with James to see if it has any effect on helping his ability to concentrate.  She had no concerns, tho she said it's not her specialty and suggested we see a behaviorist that can then give us "more medical options" for behavior modification meds.  I attempted to nicely decline, since I'm in no way in favor of putting my 4 1/2 year old on a psychotropic drug so he can pay attention in PreK.  Just my own feelings on that one, tho I know others have different feelings about it.  Our ped's response was "some people can handle it, some cannot.  We'll talk about a referral to a behaviorist again when you get to that point."  Hmm... not super encouraging, but James WAS bouncing off the walls during the appointment, having just entertained two 15 year old girls in the waiting room for close to an hour and was yelling, giggling, and wriggling like crazy to be the center of attention again while I was attempting to talk to the doctor.

Anyway... we're going to attempt the Ginkgo for a few of the kids, i've ordered it and looked up the dosages both of the general use of Ginkgo and the "Changing Minds" website (which DOES suggest the use of Prozac which we will NOT be doing...).

Ok, that's most of the kids :)  Lynae is doing great.  Spunky, talkative, and way too smart for her own good since she's not helping the other kids along with stuff and she's not even 2 yet...

We have cardiology visits for Lynae and Aleksa in the beginning of August, school starts August 10th for everyone except Brianna who starts the 15th, and James' birthday is August 14th!

Even though we're only 2/3 way through July, it sure seems like it is FLYING...


  1. I was against behavior drugs until my 7 year old was failing school due to attention and getting behind on reading. I had him tested and he does have ADHD. We gave in and it has been an amazing turn around this last school year. All A's and B's, better in reading although he does test borderline for a reading disability, and he only decked another kid twice this year!! For us, that was a pretty good year!! But each parent and family has to make their own choices based on their child's needs, etc. I know I don't have to tell you that. I think you do an AWESOME job with your kids! Hoping for a great school year for all of you this year!!

  2. I'm sure you've already considered these things for James, but for our Wesley, after allergy testing him and doing an upper GI and finding nothing, we pulled him off of all dairy and soy products and found that he seems to be intolerant to them or at least has a hard time digesting them. We took both out of his diet and switched him to coconut milk and we have seen a night and day difference. Now his spit up is very infrequent.

  3. Also consider trying some Omega-3s (fish oil) for James attention. It takes about a month to build up in their systemt, but is really helpful for behavior.