Friday, January 21, 2011

Still Sick

Well, we've been working on the positive thinking the last few days, and my son has been much more positive. However, he is still sick. Later that day when I last posted, he had another severe bout of vomiting and had diarrhea all day. I took him in to the doctor after calling the nurse line for advice and they got us in right away. She is running more tests--this time on his stool. Unfortunately, he hasn't had a bowel movement since Wednesday before that appointment, so I haven't been able to collect and turn it in to the lab for the tests. I'm getting a little antsy as we are approaching the weekend (and the lab is closed over the weekend).

I've noticed that there is a little bit of a pattern in his bouts of stomach illness. He has it for a day or two. At first, he was only better for a day or two. Then after his third bout with the illness, he was better for a little over a week. Then he got sick again. Then he was better for almost 2 weeks and got sick again.

I've been pushing probiotics in the form of yogurt for now, until I can get more advice on what else to give him. I've been pushing vitamins. He has a prescription for Prevacid to relieve the acid reflux caused by so much throwing up. Hopefully something will work. If they can find out if there's a bacteria or virus or parasite that is in his digestive tract, they will probably be able to treat that. Otherwise, we've been referred to a gastroenterologist.

I'm trying to be positive and keep happy, but life is not normal right now. He does not act like himself. I'd hate to think this is the new normal. I want my fun, happy, energetic 7-year-old back. He's been replaced by this grumpy, sick, frowny, lethargic little guy that I don't even recognize.

I hope they can figure something out. Or that with lots of rest, lots of fluids (I'm pushing fluids too), the vitamins, the probiotics, and the Prevacid, he'll improve. And lots of prayer.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Right Motivation

Like I've said before, I am not a positive person. I'm pretty much a pessimist. However, my pessimistic ways are starting to rub off on my children. I guess that's the motivation I've needed to try and change my ways and become more positive. It's sad when your seven-year-old goes on and on about how horrible his life is and how it would be much better if he lived somewhere else or had something else. Kind of a wake-up call that I need to change so he can change.


I've given him the challenge of focusing on only positive things. At the end of every day, we will write down together five things that we are grateful for that day. I think I might start a "positive jar"--fill it with marbles for positive thoughts and take them away for negative ones, and try to earn something fun with it. And I have to do it too. I even talked to him about that, if he catches me complaining or being negative, he is allowed to remove a marble from the jar for me.

What do you think?

Maybe both he and I can change our thinking to be more positive. And then maybe he won't get "feeling" sick quite so much. I honestly think he doesn't feel well because he is so negative and always afraid of not feeling well, which causes him to not feel well. So we are going to work on that and see if there is any truth in "the power of positive thinking!"

Friday, January 14, 2011

What Lies Ahead?

Do you ever look at your children and wonder what they'll be doing in five years? Ten years? Twenty years? Where you'll be then?

I was watching my sweet three-year-old daughter play with her dolls the other day. She is very obsessed with princesses, as many little girls are. She loves things that are pink and things that are pretty. She loves twirling and dancing and singing (she even tries to put vibrato in her voice). I started wondering what her interests will be when she's eight. I started wondering what she will look like when she's a teenager. Whom will she be friends with? What will her interests be? Will she still like singing and dancing? Whom will she want to date? Will I have taught her about virtue and modesty well enough?

Then I started thinking about my other kids. When my daughter is sixteen, my oldest child will be twenty. He should be on his mission. Will he be on a mission? My second son will be nineteen and should also be on a mission. Will that be what he's doing? How well will I have taught them the gospel? My third son will be seventeen. Will he and my daughter still be buddies, like they are now? Will they watch out for each other at school? Will they hang with some of the same friends, like my brother and I did in high school?

It's these moments when I reflect on how well I am a living example of what I want to teach them. Do I study my scriptures enough? Do my children see me living the gospel the way I want them to live it? How am I doing?

Sometimes, I'm not sure that I'm doing what I should be. And, of course, there are no guarantees. And sometimes I worry that they will go astray during that time. I get saddened by the thought that their young, innocent days of childhood are too short and soon they will be teenagers and young adults and making their own choices. I certainly hope that I will do all that I can to teach them to make good choices. And that they will do just that.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sharing Rooms

Why does society have a problem with a brother and sister sharing a room? So many people on message boards that I like to read have a problem with anyone over the age of four sharing a room with a sibling of the opposite sex, even if that sibling is only two or three years old. I mean, I get that society is highly over-sexualized, but what on earth are these parents teaching their children to think they have something to worry about in that regard with a four-year-old and a three-year-old sharing a room? Or a seven-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl? It is ridiculous.

I shared a room with my two younger brothers until I was about eight years old. When I moved out of that bedroom, one of my brothers was six and the other was four. When we shared a room, we each had our own bed and we slept in our own bed and generally stayed off each other's beds unless we were playing some game, like pretending the bed was a family car. Even if we did cuddle up together to nap or just because, what is the harm in a brother and sister being loving by giving hugs and being next to each other on a bed?

My six-year-old son and three-year-old daughter currently share a room. It's just the way it has worked out for now. Partly due to the fact that when we bought the beds we did, we didn't think about the fact that they are bunk beds that do not separate into twin beds. So we have to have the kids share rooms because we own two sets of bunk beds that cannot become separate twin beds. That was a hugely stupid oversight on our part, but we'll deal with it and move on.

Our seven-year-old son and four-year-old son share the other bedroom and then we have a huge room that we use as a playroom for now. Probably in the near future, when baby number five is ready to move into a separate room from us (we like to keep them near us in our room for the first several months), we'll have to buy a twin bed and move the three older boys into the big playroom as a bedroom and move our daughter into her own room and the baby in the other room. At some point, if we stay in this house a while, we'll have all four boys share a room and use the third room as a playroom or office space.

In addition to people having a problem with opposite sex siblings sharing a room, they also seem to think that all teenagers need their own room. Now, I'm not arguing that having their own rooms wouldn't be nice, but often it's just not doable, nor is it absolutely necessary. My older two brothers shared a room until the oldest left for college. My younger three brothers shared the same room for about five years. Then we moved and the youngest got his own room and the other two shared a room until they left home for college/missions. I had my own room from the age of eight on, being the only girl. If I'd had a sister, I guarantee we'd have shared a room.

I think sharing a room teaches children to live with another person. I wished I'd had that before college. I had a really hard time sharing a room with roommates, to the point that by the end of college, I always found apartments with single rooms so I wouldn't have to share. I still have trouble sharing a room with my husband, even after nearly ten years of marriage.

What do you think about opposite sex siblings sharing a room? What do you think of teenage siblings (of the same sex) sharing a room?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Again, the Dreaded Words

I am one stressed-out mama. I've been trying to take this stuff one day at a time and be positive, you know the whole "power of positive thinking". But it's not working. My oldest child is still fighting the stomach bug. Tomorrow, it will be FOUR WEEKS of the vomiting and diarrhea, on and off. On Saturday, it will be ONE MONTH of it. He has been to the doctor two times and I've called three times for advice and reassurance. He has been tested for celiac disease, diabetes, autoimmune issues, even cancer. I am really starting to worry that something is really wrong.

He was really, really sick last Thursday. Throwing up, diarrhea, and he was having SEVERE stomach pain. This went on for about three hours on Thursday morning. After that, he slept for several hours and then felt fine the rest of the day. He went back to school on Friday. On Friday afternoon, he called from school, saying he felt sick to his stomach, the words I dread to hear, so I went and picked him up. The rest of the day he acted fine, and he ate a decent dinner that night (we had beef stew, but I only let him have the potatoes from the stew and some fruit and bread on the side).

On Saturday through Monday, he acted normally and ate normally and seemed totally back to normal. He even did this morning. But, at 1:30 today, he called again, telling me that his stomach felt sick. He hadn't thrown up yet, he wasn't sure if he felt like he would, so I told him I wasn't going to come get him. I called his teacher to get the whole story and then felt like I needed to go to the school and talk to him, but by the time I got there, 2:30, he had already gone back to class and the secretary said he just felt better and wanted to go back to class. But he didn't act like his normal self all afternoon--he was sluggish and quieter than usual and just seemed tired. I took him to piano lesson anyway and he did his homework. He ate a decent dinner and when asked, said he didn't feel sick anymore.

So now I don't know what to do. Something isn't right. I checked into problems with bullies or academics or just being bored at school, but his teacher didn't think it was any of those things because he always seems genuinely disappointed and upset when he has to miss class.

I wonder if he's psyching himself out. At family prayer this morning, he blessed himself that he wouldn't feel sick. At the blessing on the food at dinner, he blessed the food that it wouldn't make him sick. Maybe he is so paranoid about being sick again that he is making himself sick? Is that even possible for a seven-year-old? I know the power of the mind, so maybe it's possible that he is doing this. But how do you get a seven-year-old to change to more positive thinking if that is indeed the problem?

I was really feeling great yesterday and today, feeling like we'd finally seen the end of this horrible stomach virus. But now I'm worried that it's something else that happened to coincide with a stomach virus or maybe there's something in our house causing him to get sick? And how on earth would I ever figure that out?

What do I do? I just don't know what to do next. Help!

Monday, January 10, 2011

How Much Does Technology Really Help?

Recently, I heard a news story about the decision of one school board about whether or not to give each student their own ipad. My husband and I had a lengthy discussion about this.

Do kids as young as first grade really need such technologies? I mean, I can understand high school students, who probably use the Internet a lot and need to be a little more up-to-date on technology, but little primary grade students are still trying to learn basic skills in reading, writing and math. I'm beginning to believe that the advancements in technology and the expectation for little kids to use it has been a huge factor in contributing to the dumbing down of our children.

Yes, dumbing down. This generation of children does not need to learn basic math. Why should they? They can just access their calculators on their cell phones. This generation of children doesn't need to learn how to read either. There is probably some app on some phone or ipad or laptop that reads out loud for them whatever e-book they are "reading". This generation doesn't need to know how to read time from a face clock when there are digital clocks all around them (although I'm fairly certain this has become a problem since the late 80's, early 90's). And writing is even worse--nobody needs to perfect their handwriting anymore and make it legible because we can type. Even though there are great other skills that are learned with perfecting one's handwriting--like patience, perseverance, etc.

Future generations won't even need to learn face-to-face communication skills because everything will be done by technology. With the way things are evolving, children will sit at home facing a computer screen for all their schooling and there will be little human interaction.

Not sure what to do about this trend, but I think the lack of interpersonal communication, the changing over from real books to e-books, all of this is losing certain skills that enhance our ability to think and reason and will truly contribute to "dumbing" our society down. It's already happening everywhere.

I have a nephew who is a genius on the computer at the age of 8. But he has no idea how to interact with other children. He struggles with basic skills, like tying shoes, and keeping himself entertained without a screen of some sort in front of him. I think that it's sad that an 8-year-old has so little imagination because his whole life technology has just been shoved at him as a way to keep him quiet and entertained. Yes, he may be able to navigate an i-pod better than I can (and that's an understatement--I still own no sort of mp3 player--I like listening to old-fashioned radio and CD's), but he can't come up with something to do on a rainy day where the power has gone out and he's all out of batteries.

I don't think we are doing our children any favors by offering so much technology. I think they need to learn basic skills first and master those before switching to technology. I think that elementary age children don't need a personal i-pad or other form of technology--buy paper and pencils and use the money the school district would have from NOT buying such things and pay 5-6 more teachers and have smaller class sizes.

As much as I love having email, Facebook, blogging, and webcams to communicate with friends and family everywhere, I really detest how much technology rules our lives.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sickness Update

Well, this morning my oldest felt well enough to go to school. I'm pretty certain with the others it's been a bad virus, but with him, I wonder if there's some underlying problem that's causing him to get it so many times. Today I'm going to disinfect his whole room--the walls, the bed, the mattresses, the bedding, the dresser, and even rent a Rug Doctor and clean the carpet. I don't know what else to do. But I wonder if it's something in their room, because he shares with his younger brother, my 4-year-old, who is going through his second round of the illness. So that's what I'm beginning to think. I'm afraid to have them sleep in their normal beds (right now, they are all at floor level so I have nobody throwing up over the side of a bunk bed again). Not sure when I'll feel comfortable letting them go to bed in their regular beds without a throw-up bowl again.

Well, I'd better get back to work, since I have a ton of cleaning to do again.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stomach Virus, You Have Beat Me, I Surrender

I need to vent. My oldest child is sick with a stomach illness AGAIN. He was sick from December 15th through the 18th with this bug. Then he was fine for two days. Then on the 21st, he started throwing up again and having diarrhea and then that seemed to subside a little on the 23rd. Over Christmas, from the 24th through the 27th, he was sick again with it. On the 27th we took him in and the doctor ran tons of tests. They all came back negative. At that point, he seemed to be doing better and starting on December 28th seemed back to his usual self. But starting yesterday, one week later, he started feeling grouchy and tired with an upset stomach again. Today he has been throwing up bile pretty violently since about 7:30 a.m.

But it's not only him. I was sick on December 27th and 28th and bad enough that I had to go in to the hospital for i.v. fluids. My third child, age 4, started with the diarrhea on December 27th also and he didn't improve until Friday, the 31st. He was well over the weekend, but on Tuesday, January 4th, he started with the diarrhea again, which turned back into throwing up and he has been sick with vomiting since yesterday morning.

And that's not all. My daughter, who is the youngest, had a one-day bout with diarrhea and vomiting (December 22nd) but she seems fine since (knock on wood). My second son had a one-day bout with diarrhea on Christmas Day. My husband hasn't had the stomach bug, but he's had issues with vertigo and neck stiffness since January 1st.

Okay, I've had it. I can't even think straight anymore. This sickness is all-consuming. I feel like life sucks terribly. I feel like there's no point in praying or getting blessings (which there have been many blessings administered, all to no avail). When my 7-year-old asked me to call someone to come give him a blessing an hour ago, I told him no. I honestly feel like what is the point. I've been praying for guidance on how to nip this thing in the bud, but I get no answers, no directions.

I feel totally hopeless and alone. I feel like I'm walking on eggshells every second and that at any minute, one of my other kids will start vomiting. I'd like to ship them away to healthy homes until this is gone just so they don't get it. But I have nobody to help me out. My mom lives far away, my mother-in-law lives far away, my siblings and their spouses and everyone lives in another state. My visiting teachers don't answer their phones; the RS president doesn't answer her phone; the compassionate service leader is not answering her phone. Where is everyone?

Life is pointless right now. My son is now missing his 5th day of school due to this illness. He's had every blood test and urine test out there and all came back negative. He's perfectly healthy, meaning this is just some bad virus that keeps hitting him. Why does it keep hitting him? What have I done wrong as a mother that my son is so susceptible to this?

And yes, I'm very angry at God right now. Seriously, three weeks of this with no end in sight? I'm afraid to feed my children anything. I'm afraid to eat anything myself. I have cleaned and scrubbed this house clean, so much so that my hands are dry and cracking due to all the cleaning. I have washed loads and loads of sheets, pillowcases, blankets, clothes, and towels. Every day I do at least 3-4 loads of wash. I've used Lysol wipes all over the entire house.

We've gone through bottles and bottles of Powerade, applesauce, Gingerale, 7-up. I don't even know what to grocery shop for anymore, the kids can't eat anything I buy. I just am overwhelmed. I don't know what to do.

Should I call the CDC? I mean, seriously, 3 weeks!?! It's hit two of my kids multiple times, one of them is on his FOURTH round of it. He is throwing up nothing but mucus and bile. The doctors can't do anything. He's not dehydrated. He's not feverish. The only symptoms are diarrhea and vomiting.

Between bouts of it, they all feel fine. They've even been trying to eat normal food because I've been letting them eat what sounds good to them. Maybe I should just let them go without anything to eat and only drink for 24-48 hours. I don't know what else to do. I'm at my wits end. I'd like to hop in my minivan and drive as far away as I can and not come back.

Sorry, but the pregnancy hormones are probably worsening the helplessness I feel. I just don't know what to do.

And the fact that money is in short supply around here doesn't help either. Just adds a whole new level to the stress.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Resolutions 2011

I wrote this post last year about goals and what I'd like to accomplish in 2010. Was I successful?

I talked about being more patient with my children and spending more time with them. I think I did all right with that. I didn't really track that one, but I feel like I worked at it.

I talked about being more fit and gaining some flexibility back and also taking the vitamins in my cupboard. I was not so successful at that.

I talked about writing a book. Still something I've always wanted to do. But I didn't even put an idea down for such a thing this last year. Not so successful there.

I talked about re-learning the violin. I did accomplish that goal. I started taking lessons in January and took lessons all year until August, when I took a small break and am now on a break from it because of my pregnancy and other issues. But I feel like I learned a lot in my lessons and I even performed a few times in church.

I talked about being more spiritual, reading the scriptures and praying every day. I still struggle with that. Not very successful this year at it.

I talked about managing the family finances better, saving some money and preparing to buy another house some day. We didn't do too badly in that. We invested some money by setting up a Roth IRA that we contribute to regularly as well as opening a savings account that we are trying to contribute to regularly (though we had to already use up some of that with some end-of the-year expenses). We also were able to buy our house. Hopefully that was a good decision and not a bad one--we'll see how that turns out.

So that's a recap from my 2010 goals.

This year, I decided that I try too hard to take on too much. With baby #5 coming, I think I need to set some goals, but not try to do too much.

I like to set goals in each of these categories: spiritual, mental, physical, financial. Often I set several goals in each category, but this year, I'm going to keep it simple.

For spiritual, I realize that I still struggle with doing the basics--praying every day and reading my scriptures. I have set these goals every year for years and I can't seem to do it. So this year, I'm only going to focus on one. If I can make that a habit this year, then next year I can focus on the other. So this year, I am making it a goal to make praying, really praying, morning and night, a habit. I'm hoping this will help increase my faith and build a better personal relationship with Heavenly Father, something I feel has been lacking in my life lately.

For mental, I definitely have some things that need work. I feel I get discouraged and depressed quite easily and I don't handle life's challenges very well. Part of that can refer back to my spiritual goal of praying--I often feel quite alone in my challenges and I wonder what the point of it all is--why does everything have to be so difficult? I think I need some counseling to work through some of my anxieties, fears and even anger about certain things. So my goal in that category is to get some counseling. It's a huge leap for me to do that, I don't even know quite where to begin finding someone who can help. Or what to say to them when I'm there. But I'd like to give it a try.

In physical, well, I resolve to keep taking my thyroid pills (I have had a very hard time remembering to do it during this pregnancy) and take my vitamins regularly. I'm sure next year I will be committed to regaining some of my pre-baby body, but I don't want to focus on that as a goal for this year, since the baby won't even be born until March.

For financial, I'd like to make it a goal to keep up with the checkbook. Instead of letting receipts pile up and then having to input a whole bunch into my checkbook at once, my goal is to input the receipts the very day I spend the money. It will make keeping up with the budget much easier.

So those are my goals for 2011. I will pray every day. I will get counseling. I will remember to take my thyroid pills and my vitamins. And I will input receipts into the checkbook on the day that I spend the money. Simple enough? Manageable, I think.

I think I'm ready now to take on 2011. At least as ready as I can be.


Related Posts with Thumbnails