Monday, September 24, 2007

Tuesday randomocity

A few bits and pieces as we start the day:
  • Pete and I went to the school yesterday to bring cupcakes for Graceful's birthday. No, I didn't bake them. That's what the bakery at Whole Foods is for, people.
  • While we were at school, we talked briefly with the teacher about our concerns. She was receptive, but also explained why there had been so much review in the first month of school. We reached a compromise and the teacher put together a new word study list for Graceful for this week.
  • We took Graceful to the orthodontist for an initial consultation yesterday. The orthodontist wants to take a conservative approach and let Graceful's mouth grow a bit more before we embark on major reconstruction. One baby tooth has to be extracted now and we've set an appointment for early November. Graceful is less than thrilled, as you can imagine. I'm not sure what the problem is, as this child has just recently been through a tonsillectomy, so pulling a tooth is a walk in the park by comparison. Plus, I'm certain that Olivia Whitetooth will be QUITE generous afterward.
  • I emailed Elegant's teacher yesterday to ask for a progress report. She responded quickly and we concluded that there's so much to discuss with regard to El's attention span issues that a face-to-face conference would be better. It's scheduled for later this week, after which Pete and I will decide if we should try ADHD meds, which we've been avoiding up to now.
  • In spite of my earlier post about Halloween costumes, we have made some changes in our plans. Elegant is still going as R2D2, but Graceful has now consented to go as Princess Leia. (Okay, I had to bribe her.) To keep with the theme, I will be wearing a black cape with a hood and calling myself the Emperor and I've talked Pete into being either Chewbacca or a Jedi. We'll be going out with Melissa and her crew, who will also be carrying on the Star Wars theme, all the way down to baby Ava. Yes, we're all geeks like that, but at least we'll get some damn fine photos out of the deal.
  • Contrary to yesterday's outfit, today Elegant is quite coordinated. A dress with a sedate floral pattern, a matching sweater, matching shoes, and even a matching hair thingy. I wanted to ask her, "Who are you and what have you done with the real Elegant?"
That's all for now. Happy Tuesday.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jen,

I've lurked around your blog for awhile now, enjoying your posts and thank you for sharing them. I feel compelled to comment about two things about which you posted today because they are both near and dear to my heart.

Regarding Graceful's mouth, there is a wonderful holistic dentist in McLean VA. You can check out his website here: I take both of my boys to him and he has been doing wonders for them using the ALF appliance. You can read about it on the site. It is a pain to drive up there, but he has plans to open an office in Cville soon.

Regarding Elegant's attention issues, my stepson was diagnosed with ADHD in kindegarten and we were immediately pressured to medicate him. He had problems with impulsivity and distractability and was moved into a special education program for awhile as a result. Being aware of the harmful effects of those medications, we worked very hard to avoid them. We found that we were able to resolve 80% of the problem by doing four things: eliminating all artificial and processed foods from his diet, adding vitamin supplements (whole food multi, a probiotic, and fish oil) to his diet, eliminating all TV, video and computer games, and putting him (and us) on a strict home routine to which we stuck even on the weekends. Along the way we also did some sensory integration therapy and chiropractic therapy that helped a lot as well, but it was doing those four things, and working closely with his teacher to support his efforts in the classroom, that enabled us to avoid medication. In third grade, he was mainstreamed once more and today, he is 15 years old and attends a highly-competitive (to enter) charter school that specializes in independent learning in Rochester NY. Even though much of the work he does is independent study, he stays focused and is an excellent student. Of course, you may already be doing all these things and still need more support. It is not my intention to tell you what to do - I know how much you and your husband have agonized about this decision, and I just wanted to share with you our successful experience with avoiding medication.

Good luck to you, Malena

Jennifer said...


Thanks for your kind comments and helpful suggestions!

As for Ellie's ADHD, we've tried much of what you are doing with your son. No TV during the week, but we do allow a couple of movies on the weekends. A consistent schedule all the time. Organic foods and complete vitamins. Extra milk and protein to help dopamine production in the morning. We're also working on some SID issues, but those are minor. We haven't tried the fish oil yet, which is something I need to research further.

We are also visiting private schools now, with the plan of putting Ellie in a Montessori or Waldorf school next year, as our elementary school is clearly not the right place for her. I start my visits next month and hopefully will do applications and interviews after that.

Thanks again! I always welcome your ideas.


Anonymous said...

You are very welcome.

The fish oil is pure brain food because of the high amounts of essential fatty acids it contains. I give my boys the Nordic Naturals capsules for kids in the summer and cod liver oil in the winter because it is a great source of vitamin D (they don't need the vitamin D in the summer because their skin manufactures it when exposed to sunlight). You can find both of these at Whole Foods or sometimes cheaper online.

Both of my boys attend the Charlottesville Waldorf School and I cannot say enough wonderful things about it, nor adequately express how happy my kids and my husband and I are with the school. The best thing we did for my stepson was to move him into it in the 6th grade (when we moved here from Rochester). I am happy to answer any questions you have about it - just email me at maleyna at gmail dot com.