Monday, April 4, 2016

News & Notes, Winter Returns Edition

After a month of spring-ish weather, we got a few inches of snow today.  Normally snow in early April is annoying but not unheard of.  This year it's hard to be mad since we had very little snow this year, but it still stunk because we felt like that was over.  It's going to be cold for another week or two, which stinks, particularly since the daffodils were just starting to come out and the trees are bursting at the seams to sprout their leaves.  Hopefully spring will be back soon enough.  We had a close call in the car this morning, as I was stopped to turn into daycare and someone apparently wasn't paying attention and almost rear ended us.  They swerved at the last second, but it was very scary seeing that car coming in my rear view mirror full speed.  I was even more upset after because Carter definitely would have taken the brunt of it in the backseat.  So scary.  I felt fortunate that God had better plans for us today.

We were coming off a good weekend.  Craig was off, so we had a chance to hang out as a family.  There was a lot of father-son video game playing, as the big boys are trying to beat Lego Indiana Jones 2 on Wii.  We went out to dinner on Saturday, and had some frozen yogurt (thanks to Jacob's certificate from school) last night.  The weather was crappy and cold, so it prevented us from really getting out and having fun, but overall it was a decent weekend.  I realized I neglected to mention Jacob's week off from school last week.  He went to the afterschool program for the week, but Craig kept him out Wednesday and took him up to Canada for practice.  Then they had a father-son day Friday and went to see Zootopia.  I feel bad I didn't have more time to spend with him, as he was not thrilled to have to go for his week off, but I think it was good for him.  Personally, I am looking forward to Thursday, as Craig and I are taking off for a date day--taxes, lunch, movie, and elliptical shopping.  Exciting, no?

Tonight we had our last night of family counseling.  Over the past few weeks I started to feel like we were running out of options.  They were giving suggestions, but they either weren't a great fit, or they were the same stuff as we've already been trying.  It was becoming more apparent that everything comes back to Jacob's stubbornness.  It's not that we can't improve as parents or that Carter doesn't cause issues himself, but at the end of the day it's Jacob's dislike of Carter, Jacob's inability to listen, Jacob's overactive behavior...and ultimately if we can help him manage those issues, a lot of the other problems resolve themselves.  He needs more specific coping mechanisms than this group could give him.  This counseling is more about the family unit as a whole, and I truly feel that Jacob needs more guidance than the rest of us.  I'm not trying to blame him, per se, but his stubbornness is a big stumbling block for improving the atmosphere in our home.  We've gotten a lot of validation that we're doing things right, and Carter is still young so there's only so much we can control there.  But if Jacob can see more clearly how his attitude is holding us back, I think we could make progress. 

We've tried the private therapist thing before, but I really think we have to be intentional about finding a better fit for him.  Perhaps a guy who can relate to him about sports and games, rather than a woman that reminds him of another mom or teacher figure.  He's been evaluated by the specialist at one hospital, but now we want to get a second opinion--two years later--from the other hospital in town.  Apparently there's a long waiting list, but we'll just need to get on it.  I think another evaluation for ADHD isn't a bad idea, and I'd just like to see if we can get some better direction in general.

Even though we didn't feel like we made a lot of clear progress through the district's counseling, I do think it was a good exercise for us.  It was good to get us all in a room together.  It was good to talk through our issues.  It helped us feel like we weren't crazy and that we were at least trying some of the right things.  We have a few possible solutions that we can check off as ineffective.  But mostly I feel like it helped me mentally hone in on our biggest issues.  I worry that Jacob has a physical reaction to Carter getting near him...or me, for that matter.  I worry that he still insists he hates him and always will.  I worry that he can't control his impulses to constantly move and constantly draw attention.  I worry that he sees no reason that we should be authorities in his life.  If he can be taught to manage these issues and understand that they're not okay for living functionally within society.  So, tomorrow I will make a call, and then we wait. 

I'll leave you with one little moment from tonight.  It had been so cold and snowy all day, but when I came out of work, the sun was trying to come out.  When I got up to counseling, the sun was bright and it took the edge off the subfreezing temperatures.  The walk into the building was almost pleasant.  The thought that came into my head was, "With the sun, you can get through anything."  Of course, I meant that the sun makes any sort of intolerable weather a lot more tolerable--it warms the air, brightens the mood, and melts the snow, even when it's cold.  But the second the thought ran through my head, I realized the double entendre.  "With the Son, you can get through anything."  Indeed, when you bring Jesus into the picture, life becomes much more manageable, too.  Pretty profound, eh?  Oh, and speaking of which...yesterday I signed up for my first church activity ever.  I've been going to the same church for over 15 years, but I've never really felt drawn to a specific activity.  Yes, I felt like I should go to a Bible study, but with my work schedule when I was in sports, and Craig's schedule, and the kids...it just never worked out.  But yesterday they announced a mom's night out group, which meets at 7pm every other Thursday.  That's a pretty good night for us (my workout night, but that's why we're getting the elliptical, right?), I'll be home before bedtime, and it's a group specifically for moms of young kids.  I feel like I need to get in from the beginning so I don't miss out on early connections, so I really need to push myself to go.  I've been going to the same church for too long without any meaningful connections, without a large circle of people to say hi to on Sunday mornings.  You might think that's a sign of a bad fit, but the church offers great stuff for kids and for people that make the effort to connect, and I think it's a good place to be in the long run.  And this just seemed like my chance.  So I signed up, and we'll see how it goes.  Pray I actually get up the guts to do it.  I need this chance to reconnect to my faith like I did in college, where fellowship is the starting point for reminding me why faith can be so powerful. 

So...lots to think about these days...and hopefully big things ahead.

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