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.