Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The never-ending job of managing ADHD

Yesterday I took the boys to the pediatrician for check-up's.  Dante put on 7.5lbs in the last 3 months so we're all pleased.  Alex is doing well, growing like a weed and hitting all the necessary milestones.  We just mailed the sleep journal to the sleep study today and will wait to hear back from them about bringing him in. 

While I was there, I mentioned my concern over Dante's zombi-like behavior after he comes home from school.  He's just vacant from about 2:30pm to about 5:30-6pm, and after that he's fine.  We talked about giving him a low dose (5mg) to help taper the drop as the meds leave his system and I felt good about it at that time, but once I got home and we dropped off the prescriptions, I felt much less fine with it.  His prescription is for Ritalin, and after doing some questioning I found out that his current medication is a long-acting form or the same exact he's basically taking Ritalin right now.  He's doing well on it, but I'd really rather avoid adding more medicine if I don't need to.

I looked up some research articles from my school's library (which I'm in the process of reading) and I went onto the Remnants board on Ravelry and asked if anyone had any 1st or 2nd hand experience and could lend any advise.  I was really surprised at the amount of responses I got, all positive, and all with good ideas and insight.  Some of the posters had personal experience as people with ADD/ADHD, and others are parents dealing with it.  I really appreciated how sensitive they all were, how respectful and how much they all just tried to help without making any judgements.  I was afraid to ask for help there, but I got a wealth of information in a short amount of time.  So, after reading the boards, the ideas are as follows:

  1. check into getting the boys tested for gluten/dairy allergies.  makes is allergic to both, and I'm allergic to milk.  The both showed sensitivities to milk as infants.  These allergies have symptoms that are exactly like ADHD.  This might be what's affecting Alexander's sleep too.
  2. look into behavioral therapy for Dante.  The schools just aren't teaching him the coping skills he needs to handle himself and stay focused.
  3. look into Neurofeedback.  In Providence we have the Neuro Development Center and they offer this type of therapy.  It basically trains the person on how to control their own brain and helps improve functioning.  I'll have to see if my limited medical insurance will cover this.
  4. Having Dante eat a snack first thing when he gets home.  Some of the posters mentioned that they have low blood sugar and their behavior was just like his.  The meds cause him to not feel hungry, so maybe he needs the boost.  He'll start this immediately. 
  5. He does better in the afternoons during the sports season.  This year he missed X-country and he doesn't play a Winter sport so it's been a little tougher.  Next year, we'll try sports all year and see if this helps.  He said he feels better in his body (physically) and his brain if more clear (mentally) when he comes home after practice.
  6. someone mentioned caffeine as an alternative stimulant.  I said that coffee and tea were out, but they did mention caffeine pills.  it's something to think about.  maybe when he's older and decides that he doesn't want to take the pills anymore
So, I've got a list of things to look into (per usual) and I'm just not sure how many of these I'll actually be able to follow up on before more things get piled into my lap.  At least we can try the food right now and I can make a few calls tomorrow, and see where to go from there (at least until I hear back from the sleep study on Alex).  I'm tired.  I'm going to do some reading for school, and knit something, and then crawl up the stairs and into bed.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The crack of 'Why am I awake'

So, this photo is terrible, but it's what I've been working on for the last two weeks.  According to the pattern, it's done but I'm going to add 2 inches in length because I need it to be a little longer.  It fits like a glove and I love the feel of it.  All I need to do is knit a hemmed edge, and the icord neckline.  Once it's done, I'll wash and block it and then I'll get some decent photos and then it's off to the yarn shop for 6 months or so.

I got my grade for my Child Development class and I got a perfect score on my final projects!  YES!!  So I start my new classes on Wednesday and I'll be much less productive as far as knitting goes.

Today, Naomi showed me how to set up a weaving loom and a little about how to actually use the loom.  I'll be weaving a scarf of my very own soon and then I'll know a little more about the process so I can actually be helpful to our weaving customers.  I'm also working on a series of workshops that I'll be teaching soon, along with some morning classes for the customers who can't attend our Wednesday and Thursday nights.  I'll be teaching different techniques like decreases, increases, cables, how to read lace charts, and all of these fun things will be taught while knitting dishcloths!  That way, people will have a finished project (or close to one) by the end of the session and they'll have learned all the different techniques that they'll need to be able to knit other projects, like hand-warmers and socks.  I'll be teaching different heel techniques and thumb gussets in later classes.  This is gonna be so darn fun!

Now... off to put my sweater on one single needle again and then to bed before my antihistamine kicks my behind.  Tomorrow aught to be fun...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

about stuff in general...

This is a photo of Alex from last Wednesday, which was his 'first day of school' (or more like his first of three days of school, but who's counting...)  You notice that he's posing with Thomas.  He asked me to take this photo, and put a great deal of thought into it, lol.

Anyway, before I go into work today I figured I'd give a quick update.  I have my grade back for my final project in my History of Psychology class and I finally got a perfect score!  Every paper I turned in this term has lost a few points for APA format errors, but I nailed this one!  She was impressed with my honor's portion of the project as well.  These projects were seriously challenging!  It took two weeks for me to finish them all (there were four between my two classes).  I should know in a day or so about the other class (which I'm a little concerned about...I think I misunderstood the directions, even thought I asked clarifying questions in class...) and I'll update again.

In knitting news, I'm four balls into the new shop sample project.  I've finished the top section and I'm close to working the linen stitch waist section.  Then it should be pretty simple, just knitting in the round, probably with a little shaping.  These sleeves are seriously too short for me, but maybe they'll lengthen a bit after blocking.  Either way, it'll be fine because kimono's look nice with shorter sleeves.
I also reclaimed two skeins of Cascade 220 in Olive Heather that I used to knit the Incognito cowls for the boys.  They both liked the cowls, but said that they were 'itchy' so they sat there unloved and unused for months.  I decided that I could find something better to do with that yarn (I love Cascade 220) so I ripped it back, wound the yarn around my arm and tied it off, soaked it in wool wash to remove the kinks, let it dry, and now it's waiting to be knit into something else.

Now, off to get ready for a day of playing with yarn :)

Friday, March 12, 2010


I have some knitting updates.  I finished the sock sample for the shop (Gentleman's Plain Winter Stocking with a Dutch Heel from Knitting Vintage Socks) and I'll upload a photo as soon as my husband stops playing Call of Duty I killed him when I tried to upload it a few minutes ago.  I really enjoyed knitting the Dutch heel and I think I'd like to knit this pattern again with one of my more busy hand-painted yarns.  (actually, now that I'm thinking about it...I might have posted about this already...if so, there will be an edit and we'll just pretend that none of this happened, lol).

I also finished the sweater for She-who-will-not-be-named-on-this-blog, and will not be posting photos just yet.  It's blocking right now,  waiting for pearl buttons and a label.  It grew after I blocked it so now it doesn't fit a newborn anymore (as I hoped) but it will definitely still fit a baby.  There could be matching booties too, depending on how things go.  Overall, I'm really pleased with it.  I love this yarn and the color worked out beautifully.  I knit the sleeves in the round so I have no seaming.  I'll be weaving in the ends, and sewing on a button or two (actually, it really is two) and then I have to find a pretty way to wrap it and send it on to Mommy in time for the shower that I may or may not be able to attend.  Either way, her gift is done.  Update: the package has been delivered, Momma loves it, and photos are now up :)

In new sample news, I'm three skeins of Misti Alpaca Tanos Worsted into this sweater and I'm in love with the yarn.  I love watching the semi-solid red play out in the stitches.  I like to watch for my favorite red to come off the needles.  The construction of this sweater is different from any of the others I've knit (for an adult anyway).  It starts in the back, at the top of the waste band.  The pattern calls for a provisional cast on so I'll be picking these up eventually and working the other direction.  I worked the back for about 4 inches, then cast on for the sleeves and worked them straight across for 11 inches.  This just about killed me because it was over 200 stitches a row, but I put my fingers in overdrive and pushed through.  I just bound off the back neck stitches and now I'm working on the left front, which in a continuation of the back.  So basically, start at your bra strap, knit your way up and over your shoulder till you hit the bottom of your bust, then pick up the stitches in the back and start knitting in the round.  This should give my nice, drapey sleeves which will likely not be long enough for me, but I have to knit these samples without changing anything so that customers can see exactly how the pattern works out and make changes for themselves if they want to.  This has really been a lesson in patience and discipline for me.  I always knit the body longer, add length to the sleeves, and usually toss the project in a corner after I hit a section like the 11 inches of 200+ stitches like I just finished in this one so I can knit something else for a while.  It's going to be interesting to see just how long it really takes me to knit a sweater from start to finish.

Now, Alex news.  He went to the Day program for three days, and they agree that he needs to be there.  He hasn't slept much this week and it's clear to anyone who sees him that he's exhausted, but he refuses to nap so I can't do anything about it.  I'm just waiting to hear from the sleep study.  In the meantime, the insurance company has denied payment for the day program because they don't feel that his behavior issues only being a problem at home and Sunday School translates into an issue that requires that level of therapy.  So...we're going to do some outpatient treatment where someone comes to our home for a few hour a week and we'll reassess in a month.  His counselor doesn't think this will be very affective, and when we show that lesser methods aren't worth the time we wasted on them, she'll ask again to have him back in the program.  He likes to go there, and they seemed sad that he wouldn't be back on Monday, but everyone is optimistic that he'll be back.  I feel a peace with it.  I know that in the end, he'll get exactly what he needs and if we have to hop through some hoops for the insurance company right now, that's what we'll do.  In the end, they'd save money if they just let us do this, but what ever.

Dante had try-outs for Track and he "thinks [he] might have made the team" there's really a doubt.  He was one of the best runners on the team last year and the coach had her eye on him already.  I think he did just fine.  They were taking the first two finishers from each heat, and he won his, so I say he's in.  That means that I'll have to pick him up from practice every day at 4pm, and meets every Thursday by 5 (if I don't get to go), so between him and Alex's possible schedule...I've become a soccer mom.  Aaron's talking about getting me a gym membership so I can try to get some strength back into my back (I think he freaked out when he saw me standing in front of him in a pair of crocs, wearing a breath-right strip, with a griddle on and a hot water bottle on my back...) and somewhere in this mess I'm supposed to work at a yarn shop, knit samples, and do school work.  Oh! and there's my responsibilities at church too, so I don't know how this is all going to work out.  I sure hope Aaron get a high paying job at the end of this, because I'm too busy to go back to work lol. 

Photos will be added to this sometime tomorrow.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy Birthday to me

Today (well, yesterday actually, but let's not get too technical...)I finished the last part of my last project, and then I spent the rest of the night with my headphones in, trying to proof-read my papers until I couldn't think straight anymore (which was about 12 minutes ago).  I finished the sock sample for the shop last night and delivered it today...and I forgot a photo, but I'll take one on Tuesday and upload it.  It turned out surprisingly pretty, considering that the yarn is so masculine.  I think Dante will love this pair (when he finally gets them).  He wore his first pair today to church (all on his own) and I was so proud.  When I wake up in about... 6 hours... I'll make some creamy polenta for breakfast, have some tea, finish proofreading my work, and then knit on the baby sweater (which is almost done).  Then I have to cast on for the new sample sweater and try to remain focused on it while all these skeins of sock yarn call my name. 

Looks like I may be wrong about the weather tomorrow...I hear it should be beautiful.  Rats.  I hate breaking with tradition.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I've been Supermodelkinized

Courtesy of Old Navy, I've been immortalized in least for as long as this post survives on the web.  They have this fun little thing where you can build yourself as a manikin so I figured I'd try it out.  Not too bad, right?

Anyway, I'm just taking a minute to check in again.  I've written my papers (1st drafts, anyway), banged out the paper and powerpoint for my honor's component, and I've got a pamphlet left to work out.  The next three days will entail revision and editing, and hopefully I'll have these bad boys sent off right on time.  I have discussions to do for class, but these things are worth huge points so I'm doing them first.

In knitting, I'm working on a sock sample for the shop.  I might get it finished tonight, and then I'll be back to my baby sweater for people-who-shall-remain-nameless-on-this-blog.  I'm almost done and can't wait to get it off the needles. 

In random news, be prepared for possible rain on Monday.  It has rained on 27 of my 32 previous birthdays, and snowed on two more so... maybe you should consider yourselves forewarned...just sayin'.  It's local to me too, so if you're in Rhode Island, then I'm talkin to you!  Now!, go off and make plastic images of yourselves.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hi everyone...remember me?

Well, I've been gone so long that my blogger post template looks completely different and I'm all out of wack.  I have finals this week, and with these being Honor's classes and all, that means that I have four projects to turn in on Tuesday next week by 11:59pm.  I had two big projects two weeks ago, got them turned in and immediatly started working on these projects last week, building my outlines and finding my resource material.  I've done my History of Psychology first draft and Honors component, and will tackle the Child Development stuff tomorrow and Saturday with the help of lots of mountain dew, and my trusty iPod.  You won't see or hear from me unless you come to my job, or my church (and I know most of you readers out there go to church with me, so...).  I'm really missing reading for fun, going to bed at a reasonable hour, knitting, and going to Krafty Night most of all.  I've had to miss three weeks in a row (on purpose!) and that just kills me.  But what's going to suck most of all is that I'll be spending my entire birthday working on my projects which are due the day after so no fun till later.  I'm not the best at delayed gratification.

A quick update on Alex:  He has been referred for a sleep study, and will be going into their "day program" from 9am-noon so they can address his defiance issues.  He was in complete rare form on the day we went for our appointment, which was both embarrassing, but good because at least they got to see what I've been talking about all this time.  They will be working on getting him to be obedient, take direction, and get along well with his peers.  He's being referred to Head Start as well, which he should start in September so hopefully he'll be totally ready to go by Kindergarten.  I found out that he should be getting 10-12 solid hours of sleep, but he's only getting 8 non-consecutive hours of sleep on an average night.  No wonder he's so darn whiny and cranky all the time!  I would be too...(wait...I *am*!).  Now, off to bed.  You won't likely hear from me till this time next week so until then...knit something, will ya!