Friday, March 30, 2012

Bruce the budding photographer

Ever since Bruce started his own blog, he has gotten more confident with the camera. He knows where to find it, how to turn it on, put the flash up, and snap pictures. My sister's kids are just as confident; here is some of their work.
When Bruce has the camera, Phoebe is most likely in front of it. She is doing a ballerina twirl in the top picture. Directly above, I am not quite sure what is going on there but she looks like she is having a good time with the camera.
Phoebe wanted her blankie documented. My sister made this for Phoebe and she is very much attached to it. We have reached the point where it does not have to travel with us to school and back every morning, but she cannot sleep without it and it's the first thing she asks for when she is hurt or sad.
I'm glad Bruce caught this on camera: Phoebe scarfing down some broccoli. Phoebe is a serious snacker and loves to swipe items off the kitchen counter while I am cooking. I can't get her to eat broccoli while seated at the table, but I am not going to stop her from stuffing it in her mouth on the run. She also loves to get into the pantry and chew through cardboard boxes until she gets to crackers or whatever she wants.
Miss J is growing up: she has enough hair for a tiny ponytail, can say a few words in English and French, loves to read books together and on her own, and can walk around and make mischief faster than ever.

This weekend we will be watching general conference and I will race a 15K. Happy weekend!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Run, eat, sleep, run, eat.

Happy Tuesday!

My Sundays are reserved as my Sabbath Day when I can relax, ponder, pray, and sometimes sleep past 6 a.m. My Tuesday nights are reserved for the gospel of running - track practice. I have often thought how imbalanced my life might look if someone just looked at the 12 hours between 7 p.m. on Tuesday and 7 a.m. on Wednesday. It goes something like this: run 3 miles to track practice, run 6-8+ miles during the workout, run 3-5 miles home, eat leftovers for dinner around 9:30 p.m., head straight to bed, wake up between 5:15-5:45 and run another 6-10 miles, eat breakfast.

But from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., I am fully enveloped in Mom Mode. And because I get my morning run, I am just fine with that.

Labels: ,

Phoebe the Explorer

While Bruce is wading through a Star Wars phase (one that I hear takes years to pass), Phoebe is in a Dora the Explorer phase. She inherited that shirt from a cousin at least a year ago and still wears it even though it's getting too small. She also has a slew of Dora undies, which were highly motivating during the whole potty-training process. In this picture, Phoebe has climbed to the top of a mountain and is clapping for herself and saying "We did it!"


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Ides of March

To celebrate the ability to calculate the circumference of a circle, we had our annual Pi Day Pie on 3.14. We've done this every year, but I don't think I have posted a picture until now.Above, Phoebe is painting a picture of a rainbow. She has officially entered little-girl-hood: she loves pink, babies, princesses, kitty cats, rainbows, horses....
Bubbles too. She is quite good at blowing them.It's a little more challenging to blow bubbles with a Darth Vader mask on, but the heavy Vader breathing sounds right on.Bruce has about a dozen loose teeth. I told him when they fall out he is going to have to eat applesauce and baby food for months until he grows new ones. He is also going to make the tooth fairy very poor. This morning Bruce was eating his breakfast and one of his front teeth started bleeding. I refuse to yank teeth or even look at them (especially while trying to eat my breakfast), so I sent him to school with a dangling tooth and I'm hoping it falls out there where I don't have to deal with it. Speaking of stuff we don't have to deal with anymore, we're done with this debacle. Finally; no more ranting.

Labels: , ,

Friday, March 16, 2012

We matched... MGH.

We are staying!


Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day at the Museum

The big news of the week will come tomorrow. We've just been waiting, and waiting...

but while we are waiting, we are having some fun. I took Bruce, Phoebe, and Miss J to the Children's Museum this afternoon. It must have been while the rest of the world was napping because we had the place to ourselves (meaning we had more toys and less people to share them with - yea!). There was a room full of hundreds of golf balls and little tracks, ramps, slides, and spirals to put them down; Bruce has always loved this room and even at six years old is still mesmerized at the beauty of a ball rolling down a spiral track.

There is a room with bubbles and odd-shaped bubble-makers that the girls loved. There is a Peep and the Big Wide World-themed room with sand and water tables that left us with wet, sandy clothes. Phoebe made the above picture in that exhibit. There is an Arthur exhibit where you can green-screen yourself into the title sequence and walk alongside Arthur on TV. Phoebe has a crush on Arthur and plays the part of little sister D.W. quite well. We also went to a "get ready for kindergarten" exhibit where we boarded a school bus, checked out bugs under magnifying glasses, and put puzzles together. Phoebe is already convinced she should be in kindergarten: she now insists on having her lunch packed regardless of whether we're going anywhere, and she swipes Bruce's backpack and wears it around any chance she can get. If kindergarteners could go to school in their underpants, she would be all set: keeping Phoebe fully clothed throughout the day is a chore!

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Friday Friday Friday... the big day.

Match Day.

It is the day we find out where we will be for the next five years. I will put up a post when we find out, probably around 2-3 p.m. EST.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Weekend Update

Youngest to oldest, here is the latest:
  • PHOEBE is growing up! She has been stringing phrases together for awhile, but now she is talking in full sentences and paragraphs. She loves the color pink, picks out her own clothes, loves swimming suits, and has a really funny robust loud laugh. Phoebe just stinkered, laughed at herself, and said, "There's a sheep in my bum. Silly sheep."

  • BRUCE signed up to do a dance in a Cub Scout fundraiser talent show. When it was his turn, he got on stage while I cued the music. He looked out at the crowd, got a look of terror, and ran out in tears; my genes emerge. On a more positive note, Bruce had a few playdates this week and created a lot of cool stuff. Check out his blog soon.

  • EMILY is keeping the kids happy and fed, trying new recipes, and running lots and lots. I ran 75 miles this week, including a rainy 22-mile run where I ran out to Concord with Anna and then took the train home. The treadmill has come in handy this month, but thankfully I don't have to run on the "dreadmill" (as Anna calls it) exclusively.

  • SCOTT started his final rotation in the hospital, this time in the medical ICU. His daily hours aren't too bad (6:30a-6:30p), but he stays overnight every fourth night and comes home exhausted. When he tells me about his day, it usually starts something like this: "This is the saddest story..." He had Saturday off, so we hung out, watched movies, and cleaned the house.

Labels: , , , ,

Not so long ago in a galaxy not far away...

To celebrate the end of the week, Bruce had a playdate with a friend. They played Lego: Star Wars on the Wii for awhile before drawing comic books about Star Wars and then making a Star Wars board game.

I sense a trend.

(check out Bruce's shirt)

Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Curious Bruce Flies a Kite

I've been reading a lot of Curious George books lately. They always start out with one simple event (playing with a ball), followed by a string of other random events (climbing a wall, letting a bunny loose and finding it again, going fishing), and finally ending with an event loosely related to the title and not related at all to the beginning of the story (finally, they fly a kite). I feel like Bruce is stuck in this story, somewhere in the string of random events, and I'm not sure how this one is going to end...

It all started 2+ months ago when Bruce did something naughty at school and was taken to the principal's office for a solid lecture. He also sat with the school counselor for a little Q & A. When the counselor said she was going to call me, Bruce freaked out: "Don't tell my mom!" He started shaking, repeating himself, and having some sort of panic attack.

So of course the counselor wanted to know why he was so scared. She asked if he was abused at home. Sometimes, he said. She called me and explained what happened and asked me the same question. No not ever, I said (but doesn't everyone say that?). She interrogated me with other questions: any deaths in the family? disturbances at home? No and no.

I got off the phone and called Scott in tears. "What do I do with Bruce?" I asked. I was mad at him for getting into trouble in the first place, and then lying about being abused, potentially getting me into trouble.

I picked Bruce up and we walked to Dunkin' Donuts and ordered some comfort food. I asked him to tell me what happened and we calmly talked about the incident. I asked him why he did what he did and he didn't have an answer; when I pushed a little more, he made up an answer that I knew was a lie. A-ha!: when he is pushed or interrogated, he gets anxious and lies. No wonder he freaked out with the school counselor.

We talked about repentance and what he needed to do to make up for his mistake. He decided to bake cookies for the person he had affected, so we made a batch that night. He brought them to school the next day and sincerely apologized. We discussed it, he repented, and he learned a valuable lesson. Time to move on, right?

The school counselor called back. She said Bruce needed to see a child psychiatrist for his panic attack. I said I didn't think that was necessary seeing as it's the first time he has ever been in trouble in his whole life. I'd be concerned if he was indifferent about having me called by the principal. The counselor insisted and I scheduled an appointment with our pediatrician to appease the school.

"Why are you here?" the pediatrician asked. He agreed that this was a one-time incident and not worth following. Thanks for backing me up, doc. And now this thing is done, right?

The counselor called back a few weeks later and said Bruce wrote a disturbing poem in class. The first line was "life is strife" and the following lines rhymed with words like "knife" and then "death" and "health." She insisted again that Bruce see a psychiatrist and even suggested that he see a team to evaluate him at the school. I recounted what our pediatrician had said and told her I didn't think a workup at the school was a good idea.

I asked Bruce about the poem that night. He recited it by memory word for word. I asked him if he knew what "strife" meant. He did. I asked him if his life was full of strife. No, he said. I asked him about the "knife" part. "I was just trying to rhyme," he said. "My life is more like the last line: Life is cake." Clearly, no one at school discussed the poem with him.

I called the pediatrician back and told him about the poem and the counselor's recommendation. He said because it was a second "red flag", it wouldn't hurt to see a psychiatrist.


We made the appointment and took great care to tell Bruce how much we love him and how we were going to see a nice lady who would teach him to control himself a little better. We went to the appointment and met the doctor, who talked to Bruce for awhile and then Scott and me for awhile. She asked Bruce lots of questions, but he refused to talk about what happened at school. She asked if he heard voices. He said he heard the voice of Satan tell him to lie once.

"What did it say exactly?" she asked.
"Lie." said Bruce.
"And what did you do? she asked.
"I did not lie," he said triumphantly.

The doctor fixated on the voice thing for awhile. She was also disturbed by an unexplained fever and some sleepwalking that he'd had a few months ago. At the end of the appointment, she talked to me privately and could see by my expression that I wasn't pleased about being there (why is my face so darn honest?!). I told her my concerns, foremost being that I didn't want Bruce to feel like something was wrong with him by having to come to all these appointments. She said we would just meet a few times so that she could get to know Bruce. That's all.

Fine, I said. I grouched about it to Scott later and he said, "at the very least, Bruce will get to play board games with a nice, intelligent lady once a week. It's more attention than he's getting at school anyway."

We went to the next appointment. The doctor asked more about the voice of Satan and asked if Bruce could picture Satan. He said she could google it, so they did but didn't find a picture to match the voice (and I wonder again what the point of all of this is). The doctor explained several theories and diagnoses that she had in mind and recommended a few referrals to various neuropsych and developmental pediatricians and such. Really? All this from one incident at school? I said I'd talk it over with our pediatrician. I never got in touch with him (not for lack of trying though!).

By the third appointment, I was more than annoyed. I dragged Phoebe and Miss J along with me and we all crowded into the doctor's tiny box of an office. I told her I was tired of these appointments and asked what his most alarming symptom was in her opinion. She said the auditory hallucination of hearing Satan was most disturbing. I asked if she went to church. No, she said. I told her we talk about this in church and that this finding does not worry me at all. According to her, every Biblical prophet from Elijah to Moses probably has epilepsy or Asperger's or something. She talked with Bruce alone for awhile, then told me at the end that he may need a social skills evaluation referral too.

"What on earth for?" I ask. She said he didn't want to talk much and had his nose stuck in a book the whole time. I told her we had just been to the library before coming to the office, so Bruce was holding a fresh Star Wars book that was way more interesting than anything she had to say (I was a little nicer when I said it to her). Even still, she said he could have social skill problems.

As I roll my eyes and grumble about this whole thing, I read this article about overdiagnosis in healthcare. I have this printed and am crafting my argument for what will hopefully be our last appointment next week. Wish us luck!

Labels: ,