Orientation & First Days of School

I don’t even think I wrote about the last days of school, or most of the summer… But… Moving on! So they say, the past is the past!

Orientation was the Friday before school started. Nadia’s preschool session was during the day, so just the girls and I went as Eric was working. Nadia seemed a little hesitant but she showed me around, pointed out where she painted last year, where they wash their hands, have snack, etc. I wouldn’t say she seemed excited, but she didn’t appear terrified either, as I kind of expected. It’s all the same teachers, so that’s good, but mostly new students, as I think most of her previous class went onto kindergarten. I just didn’t think Nadia was ready yet… she needs another year to heal and prepare I think. God, please let her be ready next year…

Nora’s orientation was in the evening, so all four of us attended. We met Nora’s teacher, got a bit familiar with her classroom and walked around the school a little. Her teacher seems super, super nice, and so far Nora really likes her. Nora even went as far as to say her teacher is funnier than daddy! Imagine that!

So aside from Nora now being sick with RSV and missing most of this second week of school, I’d say things are going well for her so far. She does whine a bit each morning that she doesn’t want to go to school. Same as last year. She must be fine once she’s there though, as always smiling in pictures and when I pick her up! I did feel horrible the very first day though. The kids all lined up outside with their classmates, and Nora had tears in her eyes, waving to Eric, Nadia, and me. It was heartbreaking. But nice to see her teacher comfort her, I knew she would be fine.

Nadia has been attending just her afternoon preschool sessions so far, so not the morning daycare portions. Which is fine. I wanted to ease her back into school, and plus, I’m home all the time, she doesn’t have to attend the daycare part.

We’ve had a few tears with Nadia so far. She whines most nights, and days too, that she doesn’t want to go to school. The first few days she happily walked in, and according to her teachers, did very, very well. She is always smiling when I pick her up and all excited to show me her work from the day, paintings and such, so I take that as a very good sign. Still no underwear or pants. Her teachers said it would be fine for her to attend school in long dresses, and so far that has been okay. She is learning to sit properly in a dress. Scares me for next year though, when she has a uniform. Or heck, even this winter when it’s cold and they go outside to play for recess! Ah! What if she is still claiming the ‘wet’ feeling then??

Yesterday when I dropped Nadia off she was crying, and I felt horrible leaving her there so upset. The thing is though, she wasn’t just upset about school, she was upset about her socks, saying they felt strange. This sock issue isn’t completely new. We’ve been dealing with sensory issues for years with Nadia, although lately, especially since school started, they seem worse. Anxiety about school I assume is the cause. I also question how much is strictly a sensory issue, and how much comes from the PANS/PANDAS/Lyme. Anyway, yesterday we must have changed socks three times, and even then she was still uncomfortable. I have purchased every single kind of sock I can find, including multiple brands made for sensory issues. Nothing seems to help her. I’m at a loss on how to help Nadia. So I do the best I can, change socks multiple times a day, keep fixing them and re-fixing them, changing shoes, whatever calms her. Although sometimes nothing calms her 🙁 I wish I knew how to help her. OT for years and still I have no real fixes for Nadia. In fact, I don’t know if we’re going to continue OT, as I’m not seeing improvements, so what’s the point, you know… I

’ll post again soon about Nadia’s Lyme/PANS/PANDAS progress. Oh, and about her 5th birthday too! For now, I guess I should find the girls and myself some lunch.

Awesome First Day!

You guys, I can’t even tell you how thrilled and proud of Nadia I am regarding her first day back to school, which was Tuesday afternoon!!

I told Nadia ahead of time that she was going back to school, although I think she thought I was going into school with her, and maybe she thought I was staying, I’m not sure. She asked if I could go in with her, and I told her I’d see what the teachers said, as due to COVID this year, we just drop off at the door and parents don’t go inside. So… she put on pants on her own and seemed in a good mood, I wouldn’t say excited to go, but not dreading it either.

When we arrived at her preschool I helped her out of the car as usual, got her backpack and bag of snow gear to play outside, and up to the door we went. She would not walk in alone, she tugged at my hand and asked me to come in with her, which the teacher allowed, thank God! We put her coat and bags away, I went with her to wash her hands, and then the teachers came over and asked her if she was ready to play. She started crying that she didn’t want me to leave. I gave her a big hug as the teacher picked Nadia up and peeled her away from me. I walked out, wanting to cry myself, and drove straight to Starbucks. I needed a treat.

Not five minutes after I’d left the teachers were already sending me pictures of Nadia playing, smiling with friends, even a video of Nadia participating in the clapping and singing during circle time. I was honestly floored. They said she cheered up literally a minute after I left. I spent the rest of my first free afternoon in a very long time at HomeGoods looking for decorations for the house now that the place is bare since Christmas decor was removed.

And when I picked up Nadia, big smiles! This afternoon will be the next time she goes back, I pray we have a similar outcome.

Zoloft

Nadia’s doctor emailed me back yesterday and agreed that something for anxiety might help Nadia while we try to figure out her PANS treatment. The pharmacy had to order in the liquid version of Zoloft, so hopefully they will have that today for us to start. I know that won’t be a quick fix either. My fear though, is it will mask a lot of these PANS symptoms and we’ll never actually get to the root cause…

When Eric got home from work yesterday he started talking to Nadia about how if she wears underwear and goes to school we will all go to Target and get a toy. Yes, we are not above bribery at this point. But sadly, as much as Nadia loves Target and toys, even that didn’t work. She got all dressed today, but perhaps 30 seconds later, took off her underwear… I question her a lot, she says she doesn’t want to wear underwear because she thinks wearing them will make her pee. Although this has never happened. And she says she doesn’t want to go to school because mom isn’t there. I’m running out of ideas on this, and trying to focus on the positive… I am able to stay home with her. She is in preschool which isn’t required. And maybe staying home will prevent her from getting COVID? As rates here are really, really high.

So yes, she is home with me again. And again I feel like I will get nothing done around the house, as she is constantly asking for my help, for me to go to the basement to get a certain toy with her, to play with her, to braid her dolls hair, etc.

I better start some laundry quick before she notices I left her playing in the basement!

So Overwhelmed

I’m so overwhelmed! So much change, so much to do…

We moved… I know, I didn’t even post about that! There are still boxes everywhere! More on that another time, but so far, it’s great. We need to order some new furniture and decorate, and, well, unpack, but it’s good.

A few of you wrote comments about the ‘hurricane’ in Iowa. It was in Cedar Rapids, about an hour south of where we currently live. I used to live in Cedar Rapids though, my mom still does, and I just happen to be in town that day for a doctor’s appointment. I had just gotten into town, so I pulled off to the side of I380 when the wind was too strong for me to drive straight. I honestly thought I was going to die. There was so much ‘stuff’ flying through the air hitting cars, obviously along with the wind and rain. It was like nothing I have ever experienced before. And then once it was over, driving through town, well, trying to, as it was almost impossible with all the trees down… Just unreal the damage. My mom’s home had some damage, as most in the city did, and they didn’t have power for quite awhile, so they came to my house… but we are all safe. I can’t thank God enough.

Nora had Kindergarten orientation last week. Can you believe she is going to Kindergarten??? I seriously can’t. Each family was given a 15 minute block of time, and only one parent could attend, all due to COVID, but Eric was working anyway. And thankfully Nadia didn’t cry for the sitter!!! Nora was a little shy, but it was good to meet her teacher, see where she will be all day, get a feel for the building…

Nadia got glasses! I think she looks adorable and they must really help her see, as she actually wants to wear them!

Nadia’s 4th birthday was this past Sunday, August 23rd. Eric was on-call this weekend and quite busy, so he was at the hospital on and off that day, but we were still able to celebrate Nadia! The girls and I had donuts for breakfast and we went out for Mexican for dinner, as Nadia loves Mexican rice. And of course she opened tons of presents, mostly toys. I’ll have to plan a time to celebrate with extended family soon.

And finally, the first day of school was yesterday. Both the girls seemed a little excited, and neither cried, which really surprised me. After being home for so long with really only me during the days I was sure there would be tears and lots of drama on the first day. But no, they saved that for the second day… I guess today they knew what was to come, meaning leaving mom for a few hours. I know it’s good for them, and for me, but I still feel bad pushing them in the doors. Parents aren’t allowed inside the buildings, so it’s even harder this year with drop-offs. And yesterday with Nora, well, sending her into Kindergarten for the first time didn’t feel at all like I expected… I guess I thought I would hand her off to her teacher, but all the kids from K-4 were just all walking in the same doors. I think the gym teacher was at the door and asked me if Nora knew where she was going… And no, I doubted she remembered which room was hers on the second floor for the 15 minutes we were there last week. She obviously found her way though! And she came home with lots of things to tell me. She seemed to really enjoy the day. So the tears this morning the minute she was out of bed, her and Nadia crying they didn’t want to go to school really tugged at my heart. I hope they both make some friends very soon!

Another Monday

Another Monday. Eric went back to work today. He was both a huge help with the girls last week, and a huge annoyance to me. That’s normal, right??? When he’s the only adult I ever get to see anymore!

So far I’m totally mastering parenting alone. The girls had noodles for breakfast, which they love. (I just didn’t want to fight with them over food again.) And they have been on their iPad’s since they woke. Another fail. And I didn’t log into Nora’s preschool at 8:30am this morning. Ugh.

Speaking of preschool online… The girls HATE it. And I hate forcing it, as I don’t want them to have a bad idea of school. Which I fear they are developing. Last night on Facebook an ad for Hooked on Phonics came up. And in my desperation to have them do some type of learning, I signed up. We’ll see… I haven’t shown them the app yet, and some other materials are being mailed to me. Maybe it will be a success…

Last week Eric built, well, sort of, part if it came built but it was still a lot of work, a little outdoor playhouse for the girls. I had hoped it would excite them enough to go out into our fenced yard alone, since I can see the whole yard from the house… Nope, they still want me right there! But they do enjoy their little house, and it got us outside a bit more last week and over the weekend, as the weather was beautiful here!

A few other pictures of playing last week, Jenga, their little outdoor slide, gathering rocks… and paper airplanes, amongst other things.

Preschool Conferences

Yesterday I met with Nora and Nadia’s preschool teacher, the same woman, as their classes meet at opposite times of the day. Both girls seem to be progressing well. Nadia had no idea where she lives, and Nora didn’t know the color of our home, but… I’m not gonna worry just yet! Nora has mastered quite a few more letters than she knew just a few months ago, and while Nadia definitely knows the ABC song, she refused to sing it for her teacher during the assessment. In fact, most of the negative marks on Nadia’s report were her choosing not to cooperate, and not necessarily because of a lack of knowledge. Sounds about right, as Nadia is certainly my spicy child.

We did chat a bit about Nadia’s OCD tendencies, such as her not wanting to get her hands dirty, freaking out if she gets even a drop of water on her clothing… Her teacher is definitely aware. I mentioned how back in August at her three-year well-child check our pediatrician referred us to occupational therapy for a consult… but that we are still on the wait list. Clearly not enough occupational therapists in this city! Her teacher mentioned she could have AEA, Area Education Agency, meet with Nadia and assess her behavior. I guess I didn’t even consider that option, nor do I really even know much about their services. I’m so used to setting up therapy through our doctors, being we’ve had so many appointments since birth… So, more to come on that. Not sure how quickly anything will happen, but I’m definitely open to a professional’s opinion on Nadia’s behavior.

This morning was Moms Morning Out with my MOPs group of ladies. Several of us met for breakfast, minus kids, as the MOPs daycare option was still available. One girl in our group had a little girl on Tuesday, and another girl, who was at breakfast this morning, will be induced with her little girl tomorrow. I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous. I know I have so much to be thankful for, but sometimes I still get so angry that having children couldn’t be a bit easier, if even in some small way easier, for me. Why does it all have to be such a production and process????

Speaking of babies… The rude woman from my fertility clinic has not yet gotten back to me regarding the medical necessity of us using a surrogate. I was just looking up some stats though, out of pure curiosity. I knew frozen embryos were more likely to split and therefore produce twins, but I’m a little confused by this statement:

So, still no idea how common it is. I’ve also read that IVF produces boys 56% of the time. So chances are our frozen embryo is a boy. But then again, we got Nora from IVF, so…

Eric is working out of town at an outreach clinic today, the second day this week he’s driven to this location, which is 90 miles from our home. In other words, he won’t be home for dinner. Again. I do need to pick up the girls from school soon, and then pick up a grocery order… No idea what I’m making for dinner or how I will occupy them until bedtime, considering it’s really windy and cold today. And oh how I love giving them baths alone. How many of you do showers with three and four year olds? Easier than baths? We tried it a few times, but it was a mess as I had to get in with them, and then I sent one of them out at a time to Eric to dry off. It just seemed like way more work than baths… No one tells you baths are a pain in the butt 🙂 Anyone discovered an easier way to clean their children, let me know!

Nadia’s OCD

Can a three year-old have obsessive compulsive tendencies? For the past several months Nadia has been overly conscious of ‘food’ getting on her pants. I say ‘food’ because she thinks it’s food, but more often than not it’s nothing, maybe a TINY piece of fuse I can’t believe she can even see. She basically freaks, cries, won’t continue eating, wants her pants changed, etc. It’s gotten to the point where she didn’t eat lunch at school today because the first bite she took she thought got on her pants. I’m hoping I didn’t cause this be wiping her hands often with wet wipes…

Both of the girls have been coming home from preschool/daycare extremely CRABBY! I know it’s a big change, but something tells me this situation isn’t good for Nadia. Maybe she should just be going Tuesday and Thursday mornings to preschool and not the daycare hours that make up the rest of the five days a week… Nora doesn’t seem as upset but this change, but she’s older, she eats better at daycare and perhaps just needs less sleep than Nadia.

I’m so confused! If Nadia doesn’t go to daycare I don’t see how I could ever do anything, workout, go to mops…

Preschool

It’s the start of week two in preschool, and so far, okay I guess… The first day was a Friday, which was also Nadia’s 3rd birthday, so we kept her home to celebrate.

Drop-offs in the morning are as expected. They both scream/cry. Their teacher tells me they calm quickly and then are happy, so that’s positive. But I still feel horrible leaving them each morning. Breaks my heart. And the teacher actually thinks it’s better if I just pass them off to her at the front door, rather than stick around and prolong the good-bye. So I really feel like I’m throwing them in and running.

The biggest issue, by far, is poop. The girls are both potty trained for pee, and actually, they can both stay dry overnight too. But poop. Well, that’s another story. Nadia hasn’t pooped in almost a week so who knows what is going on there. We’ve been pumping both the girls full of Miralax so both probably had blowouts at school today… Nora consistently holds in her poop. She claims she is scared of pooping in the potty, but I fear it might be more a behavior issue. After sitting on the potty for an HOUR Saturday she finally went enough to fill the entire toilet. But.. now she is back to holding it again, as I find random amounts in her underwear. One day last week at school she had so much in her underwear they had to change her clothing. They keep saying accidents happen and they are used to dealing with kids and potty accidents, but… I guess my biggest fear is Nora is going to continue to poop small pits in her underwear, whatever she can’t hold inside, on a daily basis, and sooner or later the school will be sick of changing her. And I feel like we’ve tried everything… We’ve read books about pooping, even ones made for kids afraid, who fear it will hurt. We tried bribing with candy, screen time, huge expensive toys… We tried all kinds of different rewards. I don’t know. Nothing really seems to work. We need to figure this out soon though, as sending her to school each day, hoping she doesn’t poop, is causing me a ton of anxiety!

Do most of you pack your kid’s a lunch for school? If so, what do you normally send? So far the girls have been eating at school, so they get either the hot lunch, whatever it is that day, or they can choose a cold sandwich. I think most days they pick the cold sandwich, but I’m not sure how much they eat. Nadia seems to come home starving some days, so maybe I should start sending their lunches with them… It’s so much easier to have them buy lunch though, and plus, then they are exposed to different items, which I think is somewhat good as they are both really picky!

 

Preschool Orientation

I honestly thought the preschool orientation would calm my fears and make me more comfortable. You know, address all my questions.

Not so much.

It was kind of a mess with all the kids running around and tons of parents, and one teacher trying to talk over all the noise. We were able to meet the preschool teacher, her associate, and the two main women that work in the day care area. I spent most of my time after the ‘official presentation’ to question the daycare associates. I feel like this is a huge transition, but yet, hardly any information was provided. And yes, I read the entire handbook!

Nora will have preschool on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons, with daycare the remaining times during the week, so all day Wednesday and the other mornings. Nadia just has preschool Tuesday and Thursday mornings, so much more daycare time for her. It’s nice they will get to be together some in the daycare!

I think my biggest concern is potty training Nadia. I knew for preschool they had to be trained, but for some reason I figured the daycare ladies might still assist the kids if there were accidents and such. Like, I know Nadia can stay dry during the day, although nap time is sometimes difficult for her, and she will nap everyday there in the afternoons. I guess I’m just afraid she isn’t 100% potty trained, and therefore I fear they are going to tell me she can’t come back after she has a couple accidents. Especially since this environment is all new to her.

So last Friday was Nora’s first day, and would have also been Nadia’s first, but we kept her home since it was her 3rd birthday. Nadia went for the first time today. And she screamed when I left. Is that still normal for preschool??? I honestly fear she might be too young. The cut off was children needed to be three by mid-September. Well, if she was born around her due date, she wouldn’t have qualified for this program this year… I really hope this wasn’t a mistake.

The pictures below were taken just before we headed to the orientation. I’ll post separately about our vacation last week, Nadia’s birthday, and more about preschool so far!

Five More Days

Can you believe the girls only have five more days at their current daycare/preschool?? And they are both still crying at drop-off. I swear it’s something about the place as Nora didn’t even watch me leave at dance camp last week…

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I still need to finish buying school supplies as preschool for both the girls starts next Friday! I know, can you believe summer is basically over?? Orientation for preschool is next Thursday… I’m nervous, I feel a little clueless about how this new place works… Do all parents feel this way?

We leave Sunday for a quick end-of-summer vacation with Eric’s brother and family. The girls are super excited, me too! I still need to find a swimsuit… gosh, my favorite thing to do is shop for that! The only thing more fun is shopping for jeans!

I’ll leave you with a cute picture of Nadia… I love snuggling my girls after bath time!