Saturday, March 23, 2013

The AD/HD Medicate Debate

A few weeks ago I took Trevor to the doctor to get the results of his AD/HD evaluation. The biggest question going into that appointment was if we were going to medicate or not. There are lots of different opinions and ideas when it comes to medication and AD/HD. I read a lot, I talked to a lot of people, Dave and I discussed it, we prayed about it, we thought about it over and over again. I was scared and nervous: would he get side effects? Would he lose his appetite and lose weight and not grow? Would he be like a zombie all day? Would his personality change? I didn't know what to do. I was lost and confused. And my doctor helped me feel better. I know a lot of people are weary of doctors prescribing medication for AD/HD, but I trust my doctor. He's been treating my kids for 10 years. I've had lots of experience with him. He makes his AD/HD appointments on Fridays at the end of the day so he can spend as much time as needed listening and talking. He answered all of my questions and helped put Trevor and me at ease. He explained things to me and gave me a lot to consider. And I know the last thing he wants  to do is something that is going to hurt or harm my kids. I honestly feel that way about him. So I got a prescription and Dave and I talked and we decided we would try it for a month. If it worked, then great! If we didn't like what we saw then we would talk to the doctor and try something different. So here is our medication experience so far:

  • Trevor does not have so much of the hyperactivity as he does attention issues so we started at a very low dose of medication, one that is an extended release medication so it lasts all day
  • Side effects we have noticed were headaches, upset stomach, loss of appetite, and a hard time falling asleep at night.
  • Positives we have noticed: an easier time controlling his emotions/anger; he gets along better with his brothers; does not argue as much as he used to; has been able to complete school assignments all on his own without getting super distracted; wrote a clear, organized 5 paragraph rough draft all on his own (usually he'd do about 3-5 sentences and stop or it would be very disorganized); follows through with directions better; was able to sit QUIETLY thought church on Sunday; is more patient in situations where he would usually freak out or lose his cool
  • His personality has not changed. He's happy, still playful, still the same interesting, fun boy.
  • Most of the side effects he experienced the first week have gone away
He's not been on medication for very long so I know things can change, but so far we are very happy with the results. One thing my doctor said that really struck me was that Trevor's ADD is not just a school issue. It's something that effects him at home, at church, at scouts, with his friends and family members. We give him a pill every single day because it's helping him in all situations. So far things are going well. We've had a lot of struggles with Trevor and for a very long time and it's been very frustrating. It's such a blessing that we  have been able to have so many positive experiences as a family these past few weeks.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Recipe - Warm Balsamic Garden Salad

Since I had a brownie with frosting for my morning snack and since my muffin top seems to be expanding (what happened to the Wedding Dress Challenge??) I decided I needed something super healthy for lunch. I had a bunch of asparagus from the garden in the fridge so I knew I wanted to use that. My spinach has been growing really well so I picked a few leaves, added some peas and came up with this delicious Warm Balsamic Garden Salad. Here's how I did it if you want to give it a try:
Asparagus, washed and cut into small pieces
fresh baby spinach leaves
frozen or fresh peas
minced garlic
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar

Just heat the olive oil in the pan and add garlic. Add the peas and cook until tender, add the asparagus and cook until tender, add the spinach and a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, toss and serve warm.

This took just about 5 minutes to cook and was perfect for a light lunch. I loved it and wished I would have made a little bit more. I might try it for a dinner side dish one of these nights and see how the kids like it. Too bad Dave hates peas...he's really missing out.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pinewood Derby - Lego Car

Tonight was Trevor's last Pinewood Derby....and I had to miss it. I had a Day Camp meeting I needed to attend. I was pretty sad, but Dave was there with the boys and my parents were there so I knew Trevor would have a big cheering section. His car may not have been very fast this year, but it sure did look good. Trevor wanted to do a car that looked like a Lego, but Dave had the idea to actually make the car out of Legos. Sunday after church was spent with all of the Legos scattered on the table and Dave and Trevor busy building the car. I love the way it came out and I think Trevor was very creative. And the best part is he can take the pieces off and re-build it any way he wants. I have a feeling Logan will be itching to play with this car - he's the Lego genius in the house. I don't think this car has seen it's last race. It might be getting a complete new look for some future races. And maybe we can figure out a way to make it go a little faster next time. It's things like this that make me love living in a house full of boys.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pinterest Post - Oil Cleansing Method

As a teenager, I was always told by doctors and dermatologist that I needed to avoid products with oil in them. So for years I checked the labels on face wash, moisturizers, night cream, sunscreen and made sure they were all 100% oil free. Imagine my surprise when I found a Pinterest post on how to wash your face with oil. It seemed crazy to me, but I read the post and then did some research on my own. I researched the Oil Cleansing Method and learned that when our skin is stripped of oil, it produces more oil in order to make up for what was lost. I also learned that Castor Oil is a great cleaner and that it helps to pull out all the junk from your pores. I learned that Olive Oil and Sunflower Oil and lots of other oils are great at moisturizing your skin and they don't clog pores. The more I read the more I wanted to try it myself. I went to Walgreens and got some Castor Oil and a little plastic bottle to mix up my own face wash. I had Olive Oil already at home so I did about a 50/50 mixture of the two oils in the bottle. From what I have read, if you have normal skin you want a 50/50 mixture. If your skin is oily, try a little more Castor Oil, and if it tends to be dry, try more Olive Oil. You just play around with it until you find what works for you. To wash your face, pour about a quarter size amount of the oil mixture in the palm of your hand and massage onto your face, make up and all. Massage for a few minutes. I read different things about how long to leave the oil on you face. Some things said you can leave it on for 10 minutes if your skin is really clogged, other posts said to leave it on just a minute or two. Next, take a clean wash cloth and get it wet with hot tap water. Not too hot to burn your skin, but hot enough to steam it. Wring the cloth out and then place over your skin until it cools. This will steam your face and open up the pores. Some posts said to rinse the wash cloth and steam your face 2-3 more times and then gently wipe the oil away. Other posts said to just steam once and then wipe the oil. I guess it all depends on what you want to do and how much time you've got. I have been washing my face like this for the past 4 days and so far I've been very happy with the results. The first night my skin felt a little dry so I added a little more Olive Oil to my bottle. My skin feels really soft after I wash it and I don't need to use night cream anymore. In the morning my skin still feels great and it not oily at all. Usually, half way through the day my skin is pretty shiny with oil, but since I've been washing it with the oil I've noticed less shine. I have read that it takes some time for your skin to adjust to this method, so I will re-post in a few weeks to see if I am still doing it and how it's working. So far, though, I am pretty pleased with the results. I read this is also really good for people with sensitive skin or skin conditions like eczema so I might even try it on Colin's hands and feet where his eczema is really bad. I have never had great skin, but not for lack of washing and trying to take care of it. The first night I tried this I had a nightmare of waking up with my face totally broken out, but it seems to be going well. If you want more information on this method, just google Oil Cleansing Method or look it up on Pintertest, and  let me know if you try it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Homeschool update

A lot of you asked for me to let you know how home school was going. Let me first say that I am not, by any means, a home school expert. What I am about to say is what is working for us, but it may not work for other families. Let me also say that I love public school. I love the school my kids go to, I love their teachers and the principal and how the school is run. I feel like they learn so much at school and that their teachers do an amazing job with my kids. I did not take Trevor out of school because I didn't like the school or his teacher. I took him out because he was struggling, he was not focused, he was not improving. I took him out because I felt prompted to. I felt inspired to. I felt like he needed to be home so that he could grow and learn to love learning. I took him out because he was feeling defeated and I needed to do what I could to lift him up, to put him in a place where he could succeed and feel good about himself and the things he did. I needed to work with him on learning from mistakes and realizing that it's okay to fail sometimes because it teaches us what we need to do better the next time. I will send him back to school for 5th grade, but never again will I hesitate to bring my child home if I feel prompted.

I have a very structured home school schedule. I know some people like to be more relaxed, but for us, we needed something that mirrored a public school schedule and kept us on task every day. Mondays and Wednesdays we do scripture reading, math, spelling, fiction reading and comprehension, essay writing. Wednesdays we also do science. Tuesdays and Thursdays are: scripture reading, computer math games, cursive, grammar lesson, non-fiction reading and comprehension, social studies and Thursdays we also do science. Fridays are for math and spelling tests, final draft essay writing, and Nevada history. We read from a novel every day at the end of the school day and then he writes about what he read, what he thinks will happen next. I grade his work and I put it in a grade book and right now he's on the A/B "honor roll" and he is so excited about that. When he gets something wrong we talk about WHY and we figure out where the mistake was made. Last week I typed up a story he wrote in school and he drew pictures to go along with it. Now he is working on part 2 of his story, on his own, not even as a part of school. He did a research project on Mars and tonight he'll present it to our family. I used to fight with Trevor over homework almost every day but since he's been home we rarely fight over home school. Sometimes he gets discouraged or upset when he gets something wrong, but I'm trying to teach him that it's okay, it's not the end of the world, he can try and do better the next time. I can tell that he's happier, that he feels better about himself. I can tell that he is becoming a little more independent. Our relationship is better. His relationship with Logan is better. So far it seems to be working for us. It's not easy and my days are very different now, but I would not change this for anything. When I look at him now I see his potential, I see who he will become someday. Maybe this whole home school thing was more for me and less for him. Maybe I was the one who needed to learn the lesson. I needed to learn to love my son more and see him the way his Heavenly Father sees him.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Recipe - Lemon Rosemary Chicken

I saw this picture on Pinterest and it looked so good to me. It looked like something that you would make for dinner in the Spring or Summer. It's been getting warmer here and I have been anticipating Spring, so I decided to try this new recipe for dinner last night. I changed it a little from the original. Here is my recipe for Lemon Rosemary Chicken:

1 - 2 lbs Chicken Thighs (bone in, skin on)
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 - 1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped (I got mine from my front yard)
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk everything together (except the chicken, of course). Place chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour marinade in. Refrigerate for 2 hours, turning bag often to get all of the chicken coated. Preheat oven to 425. Place chicken in baking dish skin side up, season with salt and pepper and pour marinade over chicken. Bake for 50-55 minutes until skin is crispy and golden brown and chicken is cooked through. 

I made mine with diced potatoes in the same dish as the chicken. So good. The marinade got all over the potatoes and made them so yummy and lemony. Everyone loved this dinner. Colin and Logan asked for seconds and Trevor said the crispy skin was very tasty. Dave broke the rules and pulled out BBQ sauce....he and Logan can't eat anything without dipping it in BBQ sauce or ketchup. I loved it. I will definitely make it again. (If you want to see the original recipe just click HERE).