Tuesday, August 24, 2010

September So Soon???

I'm not sure where this summer went, but it certainly vanished in a FLASH!  School starts in just 8 days!  WOW!  School supplies and clothes are bought.....and we're good to go!  Or are we?

For those of us with special needs kiddos, I think the anxiety surrounding the beginning of the school year is tough.  And I'm not talking about tough for our kids, although that is certainly the concern that drives us.  But as a parent, my own anxiety goes through the roof.  Last year, our first few weeks of school didn't go so well.  I reached a point where every time the phone would ring, I would groan.  I poured my heart and soul into school preparation last year and it all went bust anyway, so its hard to think positively about how the first few weeks will go this year.

This year, I'm anticipating the bumps and bruises in the first few weeks.  Even with the best situation of preparation, a great teacher that is willing to accomodate, and a great 1:1 paraeducator that will be able to assist my daughter where its needed.......I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that its going to be smooth sailing.  Part of me feels that its a cop-out to think that things WILL go badly, but then again.....its reality.  And I'm trying not to think of it as "going badly", but maybe "going forward with adjustments"???  :) 

And I'm not going to allow it to get me down this year!  Hoo-yah!  Last year, it was a complete and total drain of energy to deal with school issues in September and October.  This year.....I'm not going to allow that to happen.  I'm going to approach things with the attitude that I WILL have to make adjustments and changes to the routine, and I WILL have to educate teachers/paraeducators, and I WILL have to work with my daughter to make sure that she is also working to her full potential each day. 

So......with Mike and the boys already buried in "daily doubles" high school football practices, they are engrossed in what they do best and enjoy most.  My goal this year is to enjoy the boys enjoying football, and not letting the energy-sucking even get started across the street in the elementary school. 

Maybe I need a theme song for the next few months to keep me motivated?  The theme song from "Rocky" sounds motivational, doesn't it? 

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Let's do the twist!

Jennica is a "twister."  And I don't mean tornado.  She is a hair twister.

The hair-twisting started at age 3 or 4.  For awhile, we obsessed that it was a "stim."  I still wonder at times, but our occupational therapist and neurologist have both observed and stated that she is NOT stimming by twisting.  Okay??

At age four, she twisted so hard for a time that she ended up with a bald spot.  When Mike took a photo of the back of her head one night and showed her, she was appalled.  So she stopped twisting to the degree that she was yanking hair out.  But the twisting didn't stop.

And then last year, for a few months, the twisting ceased for no discernible reason.  But it came back. 

She twists with her left hand.  She twists with her right hand.  Sometimes, she twists with both hands at once until she has little "devil horns" sticking up on both sides of her head.  For a child that already struggles with handwriting skills, trying to write and twist at the same time definitely doesn't help. 

We're going through another phase right now where we're trying to discourage the twisting.  So far......no progress.  Sigh.

I guess from an objective standpoint, there are worse nervous/anxious habits than hair-twisting.  Any suggestions from parents out there on how to overcome this? 

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Squeaky clean!!

On our recent trip to Eastern Oregon, we visited a Farmer's Market where a local man and several of his children were selling hand-made goat milk soap.  With Jennica's allergies, we're always searching for reasonably-priced natural soaps and body care products that don't contain gluten, or any other allergen that she's going to absorb through her skin.  (Did you know that most body care products contain gluten, not to mention a whole host of nasty chemicals?  And yes, gluten most definitely is absorbed through the skin!)

I was fascinated with the soaps that he was selling, and we immediately struck up a conversation.  He was displaying many scents (11 in all) and, of course, my touchy-feely daughter had to pick up and smell them all.  He was so gracious as we talked about Jennica's allergies, and he was so kind to let Jennica pick out a bar of soap to take with us!  He also gave me an informative flyer about the ingredients and a business card, and asked if I would please let him know if we saw any reactions.

Jennica picked out a scent called Applejack, which smells absolutely delicious.  She was anxious to try it and, while I tried to talk her into waiting until we got home, she was insistent and used it to shower with that very night in the hotel.  I had visions of completing our vacation with the little twerp covered in an itchy rash, and was pleasantly surprised when she didn't react.  At all!  Enticed by the wonderful scent, I tried it out, too.  And loved it!!  While I like to feel moist from soap, I don't like to feel "slimy."  This soap didn't leave a slimy feel at all, and left it feeling smoother, non-itchy, and refreshed.

Now....let's be honest......with four kids, I'm not a Mom that typically buys expensive soaps and shampoos--even for myself.  Its just not where I'm at in life right now.  But I gotta tell ya........this soap has done great things for my skin.  I had been fighting some itchiness before using this soap and was trying to combat it with lotions.  My itchiness is gone and I'm no longer going through lotion like crazy! 

I'm a tad ashamed to admit that this bar of soap ended up in my shower upon returning from vacation, and Jennica only used it a handful of times.  And unlike other home-made soaps that I have used in the past, this one didn't turn into a wad of slime after three uses!!  And, at $5.00 per bar, which includes the shipping from Eastern Oregon, the price is affordable!!

I have already contacted the seller of this delicious soap and I'm placing an order!  If you are a sensitive-skinned person, OR have an SPD or ASD kiddo on a gluten-free diet and are trying desperately to keep chemicals away from them, OR are just looking for a great product at a great price, (OR maybe you're all three, like me!) I hope you'll contact The Gotzman Family via email at pearls4him@eagletelephone.com

I hope my order comes quickly because Jennica really wants to know what happened to her soap and I used up the last sliver this morning.  And.....mmmmmmmm........I can smell it already......I think I might need another bar of that Applejack scent.  Who knew that apple-cinnamon smelling soap would smell so good? 

And for those of you that know me really well....No, I'm not getting a commission.  This soap really IS that good!  Try it....  :)