Saturday, January 17, 2009

Time marches on

Time is definitely marching on here in the Stevens' household. We came through the storms and flooding unscathed, and just mildly annoyed by the unexpected schedule changes. Most of the changes close to home involved road closures due to landslides. I've NEVER seen so many landslides! The clean-up continues, but all roads are now open.

Dane continues to wrestle and is at tournaments most weekends and some weeknights. Its a bit of a brutal schedule some days and, of course, I worry about him. Thursday night he was at a tournament and didn't get home until 11:00 pm. Spent all day at school on Friday, with practice after school, flew home for dinner, and then back to the school to play in the pep band for a basketball game. This morning, he left home at 6:00 a.m. for another wrestling tournament and, though we've talked to him via cell phone after each match all day, he's still not home and its 8:00 p.m. I don't expect to see him for a few more hours. While we would love to attend more of his tournaments, we've found that its just not practical. The tournament itself often lasts for 10+ hours and if he's doing well, he could wrestle up to three times in that 10+ hour period. WIAA rules require a minimum of one hour between each match. So........there is a LOT of waiting involved. Even when adults can be that patient, his sisters are definitely not! :)

And, Grant had his first basketball game today. The boys in his class have played pee-wee basketball together for several years already, and they have always done well. This year, they appear to be starting off with a bang. They won 45-15. Grant was pleased to score 7 points. They're a very athletic bunch with 2 boys over 5'10" (not bad for 7th graders) and they play a pretty fast-paced type of game. They're going to be fun to watch!

Tiersten seems to have suddenly taken a huge jump in maturity again. Its amazing how it always seems to go in spurts. Maybe it was that conversation about thong underwear. :) In any case, its fun to see her growing and changing. She's beginning to obsess about her ballet recital in June, and regularly asks when her costumes will be fitted, as she knows that they have been paid for. I think I'm going to get a calendar to hang on her bedroom wall with all the dates marked, so that she can count the days at leisure.

And Jennica, last but not least, is progressing. I think we've finally found our niche with the gluten-free/casein-free diet. We still haven't found a bread that she'll eat, but we're simply working around it. We've finally got a large number of foods and meals that she's eating regularly and, as much as I hate to admit it, its not nearly as tough as I had convinced myself it would be! We're actually ALL eating more of her food, which is truly better for all of us anyway. Basic meats, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables........nothing wrong with that! Obviously, we're eating out a lot less, which also doesn't hurt us any! We've also found a coconut milk yogurt that she loves, GF pretzels, GF peanut butter crunch cereal.......which all helps fill in the holes of her meals for things we don't do home-made. And the results? She hasn't turned into the perfect child, if thats what you're wondering. And I don't know quite how to explain it other than to say that her behavior is much more "raw". There is less "fog" in her reactions to things. Her anger and frustration is stronger at times, but she's expressing it more clearly. When she's happy, she's truly happy and able to express that as well. The mood swings are still wild, but at least now, we feel like we have CLEAR mood swings. I don't know how else to explain it. All the other parents with which I communicate about GFCF diets totally understand it. So, now we begin the next phase, which involves testing her system for a gazillion different issues. We've already submitted one test, and are waiting for results. We have three more to go, and then it will be a 2-4 week wait for results. I'm looking forward to it all! It will certainly be interesting to see where we're at.

And lastly, I guess with a chance to finally absorb the education, OT, diet, and all the other changes we've made in the last 2 months, I can finally see that Jennica has a genetic vulnerability for SOMETHING. There is no other way to explain that her biological mother, full brother, and half sister all live in different homes, in two totally different areas of the country, have no contact between them, and yet all have somewhat similar neurological conditions. From what we know, Jen is by far the highest-functioning. But an objective, scientifically-based outlook demands that we recognize that there HAS to be a common genetic link. The success of thousands of parents across the country in treating these conditions keeps us motivated that we need to continue. We're on the right track, so lead, follow, or get out of our way! :)

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