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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Aches and Growing Pains

P1: September has been relatively quiet for me because my course for school had a pretty light course load compared to the others so far. At first I loved having some time to slow down but then I started getting nutty and feeling unproductive and worrying about the future, as I tend to do when I don't have enough to keep my mind busy. Fortunately, my new course - Counselling Methodologies--Behavioural and Cognitive Modalities has a lot more reading and assignments. In addition, I've started the next course for my certificate in miscarriage/infertility counselling and it has more reading required than any of the others have had. So I am definitely busy now. Unfortunately, I feel like crap. For the last week I have had severe sinus pain and been utterly miserable. My allergies are probably the worst they've been in 10 or 12 years. I tried Advil, Tylenol, Benadryl, my steroid nasal spray and nothing gave me any relief. I was having a difficult time functioning through the pain. Finally, I went to the pharmacy and asked the pharmacist for help. He suggested I try Claritin Allergy and Sinus. I started taking it yesterday and was very quickly sinus headache free. But decongestants have a tendency to make me a bit nuts and I ended up being completely wired last night and getting hardly any sleep. So today I have no sinus pain but I am exhausted. Today I am only taking the Claritin in the morning and skipping the second daily dose and seeing if that helps me sleep. If not, I'll have to decide what's worse: excruciating pain or insomnia.

P2: Little A is doing great at daycare. She is behaving well and usually doesn't even cry when I drop her off in the morning. If she does cry, the teachers tell me it is just for a minute or two. Along with her precious stuffy, Pink Bear, she has suddenly become attached to Big A's Elmo doll. She calls him "Melmo". Big A lent it to her but today decided she wanted him back so she could sleep with him at naptime at school. I felt terrible ripping him out of her arms this morning as Adam carried her to the car to take her to my mother-in-law's, while she yelled, "Melmo!". It was heartbreaking. But it is, after all, Big A's doll.

Things with Big A have reached a tipping point. I have been reading "The Blessing of a Skinned Knee", a parenting book based on Jewish philosophy. The author talks about how important it is that your children know you are the boss. I am really trying to drive that home with her. But I often feel helpless and ineffective when I am trying to discipline her. So my friend Megan recommended that I try her friend's new consulting service. They basically do what Supernanny does and come into your home and observe your interactions with your children and give you advice and feedback. I really do feel like I need professional help!

Big A is increasingly obsessed with taking medicine and complaining of all sorts of physical ailments and it's driving Adam and I crazy. We keep trying to explain the whole "Never Cry Wolf" thing, but she doesn't care. She wants medicine for everything, she begs and pleads with us to give her some of the sugary-sweet children's Advil, Tylenol or cherry flavoured throat lozenges. Yesterday she pulled a huge stunt claiming she had a stomach ache and was very sick. We figured out she was faking because I poked her all over and asked if it hurt when I poked and she said yes regardless of where I poked her.

This morning she said nothing about it until it was time for school. All of a sudden she told me her tummy hurt even worse that yesterday and she can't go to school. She said she needed a throat lozenge because the pain started in her throat and went into her tummy. Huh? We got in a huge battle and I told her she was going, even if I had to throw her over my shoulder and carry her out of the house kicking and screaming. I asked why she did not want to go. She told me she was scared because at school they make her do things she can't do. Puzzled, I asked her to give me an example. She mentioned some puzzle. Some performance anxiety is natural, so I told her we don't expect her to be perfect and that making mistakes is how you learn. We only care that she puts in effort. I told her how much Adam and I love her and how proud we are of her. She seemed to feel better and we went to school. Once there, I mentioned to the daycare teacher what she had said. She was very surprised because apparently she doesn't express any anxiety while she is there. Before I left, Big A said again that she was scared to go to school. I tried to get her to explain why in a bit more detail but then her daycare teacher said, "Is someone bothering you?" I tried to indicate to her with gestures not to give Big A ideas (she has been known to blatantly lie). Big A told us that, yes, someone was bothering her. A girl who she had told me a few days before was her friend. "I thought she was your friend?" I said, but she replied, "She is but she distracts me when I'm doing my work." So her daycare teacher said they would sit down with this girl and have a discussion. I warned her that she better be telling the truth. I am so worried this poor girl is doing nothing of the sort and Big A will simply be alienating herself from a new friend.

F1: My newest food find is coconut milk powder! I'm obsessed with coconut products right now, apparently. Anyways, I love this stuff because it is 29 cals per tablespoon and it doesn't take much to make a recipe creamy and coconut-ty. I used it for a Caribbean style black eyed pea and cabbage curry last week and it was fantastic. I find a can of coconut milk sometimes adds too much liquid and this had more intense coconut flavour. You basically add whatever ratio of powder to water you want to make it as thick and as rich as you want. Yum!

F2: My exercise of the week is a straight leg tricep dip



Sit on the edge of a step or bench with legs extended out straight on the floor. Place your feet on another step or bench (or chair) at approximately the same height as what you are sitting on (For an added challenge, put a weight plate-start with 10 lbs and work up-on your lap). Put your hands beside you on the bench you are sitting on so your elbows are pointing back and your fingertips are wrapped around the edge. Lift your seat off the edge and use your arms to lift and lower your body by bending your elbows and then straightening them. Do at least 2 sets of 15 repetitions.

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