Tuesday, September 22, 2015

News & Notes, Halfway There Edition

We're pretty much halfway through our stint without Craig.  As I said yesterday, we're surviving.  Some annoying moments for sure, but we're managing.  Just a few updates on random stuff...

Potty training - It's still happening, but not going particularly awesomely.  It still seems to be going pretty well at daycare, but home has been a challenge.  If I don't bug him often, he seems to forget to use the potty and he pees in his pull-up.  Sometimes he does really well, though.  I'm not sure where his head is at, honestly.  And maybe I should be more into it and try real underwear or something, but I just don't feel like he's serious enough about it yet.  I don't want to be cleaning up accidents.  Maybe I should send undies to daycare if they think he's ready there?  Maybe I should do a sticker chart?  I don't know, I should be in more of a rush, but for some reason I'm just not.  I've been praising him, though, when he's dry so he knows how proud I am.  I do need to lay off a bit when he does pee in the pull-up, but I want him to know that he needs to try to stay dry.  I saw some Paw Patrol undies somewhere lately, so maybe those will be good bait.

School - School is still a bit of a mystery.  Jacob still doesn't seem to love his teacher, but he hasn't been directly complaining about her as much, so maybe that's a good sign.  He seems to be doing well with his work and has been doing his homework at the afterschool program.  Reading 20 minutes five times per week is still a bit of a challenge, especially this week with Craig gone and me doing double bedtime duty.  I won't lie, I've been dozing off when Jacob's reading because these books aren't exactly riveting.  I guess 9pm is a terrible time for me!  His reading is pretty smooth and he knows a lot of words.  He still struggles with some, but considering how little we made him read over the summer, he is doing well.  His behavior has been consistently in the middle of the pack, per their color chart, but he's been telling me he's been trying to be helpful and earn "Bucket Filler coupons", which is a behavior thing at the school.  Picture day is next week and by then we'll be well into the swing of things.

Seasonal clothes - I never did get around to Carter's clothes over the weekend, but I did do Jacob's.  His are a bit less of a chore, but it blew my mind a bit when I got into it.  He gets into severe clothing ruts where he only wants to wear a handful of items.  He likes "plain" clothes, does not wear pajamas or jeans at all, and will completely discount an item of clothing for random reasons.  He gets a ton of hand-me-downs from his cousins from time to time, and I had an overflowing crate full of them up in his closet.  I pulled that down and sorted through, and most of it I was able to pack away, even if it wasn't too small just yet.  I just know it's not stuff he will wear.  I also packed away a huge drawer of pajamas since he hasn't worn pj's in nearly two years.  That was one battle we gave up.  I filled an entire bin, probably 1/3 with too-small clothes and 2/3 stuff he simply won't wear.  Ugh.  Luckily his closet is big enough to keep off-season clothes handy, but I had a few bigger shirts to move down the line.  We'll see how those fit soon.  Pants will be an issue, but he's between sizes, so I still need to figure out where to get them without breaking the bank. 

Reflux - A few weeks ago I was sitting in my chair in the evening and I suddenly felt this discomfort in my neck/throat.  It felt strange, almost like my throat (not neck) muscles were stiff.  Within a couple days, my throat was burning and felt like something was perpetually stuck in it.  Now, I self-diagnosed myself with acid reflux last winter, and I take two medicines.  I could not fathom why I was suddenly having problems again.  It was really bothering me a lot, and finally a couple weeks ago I did some research and called the ENT practice I visited a few years ago for my smell-taste issues.  I decided that since the symptoms were in my throat (not my chest), the ENT was a good place to start, since most people said that GI doctors are more concerned with the belly and if they don't see anything there, they don't care.  I got an appointment for the next week, but the appointment got postponed at the last minute when the doctor got stuck in surgery.  I went on Monday (and interestingly I ended up with a different doctor who's an alumnus of the UR School of Medicine, so we had some chats about that!), and it turned out to be a really good appointment.  I won't lie, I was concerned going in.  I worried that it could be a tumor or an infection or even something called Barrett's Esophagus, which is when the tissue is impacted by the acid and changes, to the point of becoming pre-cancerous.  Luckily, the doctor eased my concerns.  He was funny, though, because he said that when you're dealing with a mom like me, you need to assure them that "they'll be around" and confirm that it's not a tumor or anything worse.  Hate to say it, but he's right.  He didn't see anything concerning, but did say that my esophageal sphincter is spasming.  It's caused by the reflux, and he said to just change the time I take one of my medications for two weeks, and it should resolve.  If it doesn't I might need a scope, but it already felt better today, so I'm hopeful.  It was a little scary for a bit, though.

Cheerios - So, you may have seen that Cheerios has released five varieties of reformulated gluten-free Cheerios.  We were eager to try them.  And as I found each variety marked gluten-free, I bought them.  He tried each one and loved them all!  It was so nice to see him so excited and loving his new breakfast options!  And then tonight I came across a blog post saying that a lot of Celiacs have reacted to them.  Apparently their testing process isn't ideal--that they do "mean testing", which means that instead of testing each box, they test a batch.  Within that batch there may be iffy results, but as long as the batch itself is less than 20 ppm (parts per million--the usual standard), they're fine.  But if a certain box ends up with a patch of bad stuff, he could get sick.  So now I'm torn.  While there are plenty of Celiacs who have been fine, it worries me a bit because his symptoms have traditionally been less obvious and I might not even know if it's impacting him.  I don't want to risk his health, but I'd hate to take something he loves away unnecessarily.  I guess I just need to monitor him more closely, but it's frustrating that General Mills is being so lax about this.  Completely safe oats would be better, but better testing would be sufficient for now.  It's so hard to know how he reacts to small amounts of gluten since we don't have any 100% clear glutenings, so this all makes me so nervous.  But I also hate the thought of taking them away because I know he's really into them.  This stuff is just hard.

Craig comes home tomorrow night for half a day, hopefully for one bedtime and one morning rush.  We miss him and it will be nice to have him around for a bit.  After that we'll see him again on Sunday.  I wish the week would move a little faster, but I'm trying to make the best of it.  We'll get there!

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