That, and burning baby fish swimming all around your head

Well, it's my weekend off and, naturally, I'm fighting off a poopy feeling. I don't know if I'm sick or it's just allergies. Grass pollen is wicked high, so that could be it. In Austin, *something* is always triggering someone's allergies ... I guess that's the price we pay for living somewhere that otherwise knocks it out of the park.

The kids have been knocking it out of the park as well, on both sides of the behavior spectrum. Miss O treated her daycare teacher to a full-fledged 30-minute meltdown the other day ... Miss Sabrina was duly impressed. For those who have not witness an O tantrum, they are truly amazing to behold. After all, she's been honing her craft for years now ...


At least she hooks you up with considerable cuteness to balance it all out

It's Rainbow Collection ... do you like *that*?

Bean started at 'regular' preschool again on Tuesday. So far, so good, best I can tell. When I picked her up after the first day, she was outside trying to talk a kid off the swing she wanted, which is way better than throwing a hissy fit. I also heard that she laid quietly on her mat fro naptime, but they understand that may not always be the case :)

On her last day at her inclusive school, all the kids got fish, and Bean was allowed to take hers home. Meet the newest family member:

She named her fish ...

(wait for it)

Isabel. Shocker, I know.

I've gotta say, betta fish are actually kind of ... personable? I find myself talking to the fish, and it's always interested in what we're doing. I actually moved the fish bowl back to the bar in the kitchen so it wouldn't feel so alone; I had moved it to a niche because Max was drinking the water. And I'm actually going to go buy it a nicer tank and some other, betta-friendly, fish to hang with.

Yes. I need help. I'm down with that.

I'm well aware of how lucky I am. Like, lottery lucky.

I'm writing this with Deadliest Catch on in the background ... I have no idea why I'm hooked on this show (Mike Rowe), but I'll seriously watch it for hours on end. I'm glad that I'm on mommy duty for Memorial weekend, as the all-weekend-long Deadliest Catch marathon would otherwise hold me captive.

And I *heart* the Time Bandit crew.

Thanks for the encouragement about Bean's new labels. Don't get me wrong - I'm down with any ammo they provide us as we embark on the whole school journey. For that reason alone, I'd be willing to embrace ADHD. It's just the mood disorder part that bugs me. I just can't accept that one. Dave's more willing to take it at face value and use it as a tool - I'm more digging my heels in and in full denial that it's even possible.

I talked at length with Bean's former PT this week, and have talked extensively with her current OT, and neither thinks there's even the smallest possibility that Bean has a mood disorder. So that fuels my resistance as well ... I just don't want these labels to obscure other things - there's no guarantee the neurospych was right. There's a degree of subjectivity here and with so much overlap in this stuff it seems better to be resistant to something that doesn't sit right.

She's been doing great in so many ways; I've been talking to her a bit about how the school she's currently at (her last day is Friday) has teachers who are better able to help her learn the skills she needs and when she switches to Miss O's school in June, it's going to be more up to her to help herself. Ditto Kindergarten.

Is it okay to talk to her like that? I never know if the fact that she understands me means she can process it all without it weighing her down ... But her behavior has actually been improving since I started talking to her about how she is the only one who has control over her choices. I temper it with telling her every night how sweet, loving, funny, amazing and magical she is and how lucky I am to be her mom.

Because I really, really am.

For those of you who've just tuned in, everyone here is a crazy person.

If you ever want to freak out your boss, wear a dress and heels to your place of work when all they've ever seen you in is jeans. And then mention you have to leave early ... When I was getting dressed I knew there would be commentary; business casual means that dressing up is out of the norm. Poor guy was sleep-deprived from staying up for hockey playoffs and didn't get that I was joking about leaving early ...

So, the results are back from the neurologist and the neuropsychologist, and I'm just ... hell, I don't know what I am. I can see glimmers of Bean in the results, but the negatives are just too negative.

Neuropsych: ADHD and "mood disorder, not otherwise specified (NOS)".
Neurologist: basically just that she's a very smart kid

Now, if I had my druthers, I'd just go with the neurologist's diagnosis and put my fingers in my ears to "la-la-la" my way out of the neuropsych's diagnosis. Because, honestly, I don't want to hear that crap. And I truly don't believe that at her age it has a *ton* of validity ... I mean, yeah, we all have a little crazy that we lovingly nurture and show to the rest of the world from time to time. We're all a little tetched; it's what makes us interesting.

It's so hard to know what to accept, what to believe, what to challenge, what to throw out altogether ... and so much of the diagnostic criteria overlap. How do you know that a single assessment is valid? Just because someone's a professional, does that mean their four-hour view of your kiddo is accurate?

Going forward, there will be a psychologist and a month of 6-hours-a-week OT camp, as well as a switch back to a "regular" preschool, in the hope of better preparing her for Kindergarten. The psychologist thing has been a long time coming, I know. Between the time off work for OT, life in general, denial, hoping it will get better, pursuing diagnoses ... I've got a lot of good excuses. But no more - this summer begins the full-court press.

Wish us luck.

Now, we can do this the hard way or... well, actually, there's just the hard way

Oh. Hi.

Yes, I'm still alive .. it's been like 2 months since I posted, but I'm still here. Things got progressively busier at work as March wrapped up, and early April was insane. Then we all got the chicken pox and ...


Yes, we *all* got the chicken pox. Turns out Miss O was exposed as a parting gift at her last daycare. Maybe 10 days later I got an email (I'm still on their distribution list) that there was a confirmed case of the pox, and within a couple days, she had 'em. Hers were mild, she had maybe 50 in total.

Dave and I kept her, and Bean, home for two weeks. At the very end, Bean finally started showing symptoms. And so did I. But it was no mild case for us - we both got hammered. Bean had probably 350 and I had more like 500+. It. Sucked. Naturally, Dave *and* my folks were out of town while Bean and I were sickest ... my parents did drive in from where they were RVing a couple times (they were only about an hour away), but still ...

I'm not sure I've been that sick in a looong time. Maybe when I was pregnant and had a kidney infection. But this was a couple days of a 104-ish temp, then a few more in the 102 range. And taking care of a sick kiddo, too. And a well one.

Had I done my reading when O was sick, and not just assumed I'd be fine, I would have seen that because chicken pox vaccination is so common, adult immunity isn't challenged as often, and actually wanes. I *could* have gotten vaccinated myself after O got sick, and that supposedly would have mitigated my illness.

But, we're all better now. Bean still has a few healing pox, I have a few more. I am *hoping* nothing I messed with on my face scars, but I had sooo many pox that it was impossible not to mess with some of them. I think I'll sign my kids up as pox-friendly babysitters when they get older, just to make sure their immunity os challenged! As for myself, I'm hoping that a second, full-on case will cover me for the rest of my life!

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