Monday, July 26, 2010

Hi. It's been a while.

And so much has happened. Let me explain. No, let me sum up.

1. Working way less (3-8 days a month)

2. Staying home way more. Matt back to work full time in Raleigh.

3. Trying to sell the house. Matt living in tiny apartment in Raleigh.

4. Enrolled Lindsay in Raleigh magnet lottery. Lindsay protested, begged to be homeschooled. Didn't match to any of our choices. Enrolled her in Spanish language immersion program here. Lindsay protested, begged to be homeschool. Thought I knew better since Lindsay loved preschool. Decided to move to Raleigh despite house not being anywhere CLOSE to selling. Enrolled L&M in summer art camp in Raleigh that is a preschool during school year. Kids LOVED it. Decided to register Lindsay as a homeschooler (oops, haven't done that paperwork yet) and home/unschool but send her to Arts Together preschool because (1) she loves it (b) there just happened to be 1 spot left in the entire preschool (3) they have yoga in the afternoon and (d) the teachers are FABULOUS.

5. Put Michael on the waiting list for Arts Together. He says, "I like black now because Miss Lauren (dance teacher) has black hair and wears a black shirt".

6. Working WAY more days this month than intended so spending time at my parents house so they can babysit. Being back at home, now that's humbling.

7. Started "officially homeschooling" - way more structured than I'd planned. Tweaking it. Some days I get out the workbooks. Other days I just record what we do to prove that Lindsay is "accomplishing something". I know I'm not a radical unschooler. I don't have it in me. But I do believe in natural learning. I don't want to do more damage at home with curriculum and my own agenda and strip Lindsay of her natural love for learning. And Lindsay is INCREDIBLY aware of and resistant to being coerced in anyway. "Try this!" ... "NO!" So we take it one step at a time.

8. Lindsay remains in remission (YEAH!!)

9. Lindsay's blood lead levels remain slightly higher than typical. This is something that happened a year prior to her being diagnosed with leukemia. Long story. Rental house, crappy landlord (would love to post a link to his prominent profile but will resist, you know who you are you jaguar-driving insert-expletive-here), crappy painters hired on the cheap by aforementioned landlord. Lead levels up, leukemia a year later. My suspicions have been up ever since. Michael's levels are normal (he was too young for significant risk of exposure when we were in the rental). We hoped Lindsay's would drop, apparently that happens. But they haven't. So I'm up in a state of irrational anxiety. The kind that mothers are good at, but cancer moms perfect. My fears are as follows: (1) did we cause her leukemia by allowing her to be exposed to lead paint (thus far I am unable to find any connection and her levels are actually within the "normal range", just a tad higher than most kids), (2) if we didn't cause her leukemia, will this low grade lead exposure cause some other problems for her down the road (obviously the IQ reduction that has been published is not apparently a problem, she's so bright... but... what would she be like without the lead exposure, without the chemo, without the 6 months in the hospital without Vitamin D)... she how crazy it feels in my head?

10. So, I'm awake at 1:22 am, in my parents house, thinking about how tired I'm going to feel tomorrow morning. But I'm also kind of looking forward to that cup of coffee and just getting the day started.

11. I'm also thinking about advertising this blog a bit more. Now that I've gotten the crazy out of my system, what do you think? Should I recruit readers? Or just write for the 2 of you who are reading :)


Samantha said...

It has been a while. Welcome back.

I remember the lead story well and I know I'd be thinking the same things you are if it had been me rather than you. I think most people would always wonder and worry and thus wouldn't think you are crazy for thinking it. I worry that I gave my cat cancer by going away to South Africa for almost a month, causing her stress.

Strangely, just before I saw your blog post pop up, I'd been searching the internet for information on mercury in fillings (went to a new dentist this morning and she wants to remove all my silver fillings...). Some people blame mercury fillings for just about everything.

Best wishes for selling the house and for homeschooling!

Ellison said...

Ok-just saw this since you posted it on FB. The winter that Sam turned 1 we got one of those mailings from Meriter that talked about toddlers eating lead paint from window sills-Chuck and I looked at each other and proceeded to flip out. We had much of our house tested and indeed, between the window and the storm window of all of our windows had an incredibly high level of lead. We proceeded to move out, have the windows sealed off and replaced and had much of the house covered in some kind of funky rubbery stuff (it is bizarre if you touch the walls and trim in some rooms). However, Sam's blood levels are also in the high normal range, which freaked me out for a long time. All I can say is he seems ok so far (not as smart as L, but you know, he's a boy-they myelinate slower:)). I think it's ok. Stressful, but ok.

Ellison said...

Oh, and to add to that comment-that window paint was essentially nothing but immense flakes of poison that probably scattered everywhere when Sam was crawling around. Horrid.