Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brain, I command you to work!!!

Trying so hard here to stay on top of it all... It feels like the ground is crumbling under my feet.

Called the MCHN to reschedule Thursday's appointment, only to find that the appointment is actually TOMORROW! Ok, so no need to reschedule, per se. Only it makes tomorrow more busy again... Two things on tomorrow, two things on Thursday + shopping for Erik for the trip and packing because we're leaving the house at 6am on Friday...

Ari is very restless today, so here it is 12pm, and I'm still in my jimjams. Jayne is bringing Bryn and Sienna over in an hour, so I really need to take a shower and get dressed. I know I need to do this stuff, but my brain isn't working...

Thank the gods Sienna is coming over, Bryn will be so happy and they can play and keep each other company while I try to organise myself. Dave is home today, as he was yesterday, even though he's supposed to be finishing up at work this week (yesterday, actually, or today). There is some sort of infestation at working which needs fumigating, so he isn't able to go there to finish up. I wonder if Mercury is in retrograde at the moment, rofl, things seems to be going backwards, not forwards... Ok, just checked, and Mercury is not in retrograde atm, so can't blame that but HERE is a REALLY interesting article about Mercury retrograde which tells how MR mirrors an exact point in history when Mercury travelled the exact same path and similar events occurred. The 2009 MR mirrors the 1930 MR - which was, of course, the time of the Wall Street collapse and the beginning of the Great Depression...

Anyhoo, there is a prime example of how my brain is doing that irretating scattered thing right now...

Ok, better take a shower...

Monday, March 30, 2009

This is the sound in my head right now...

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

Is there any wonder I can't seem to do what I need to do with all that static going on???

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Gearing up for a HUGE week...

Gawd, I feel tired just thinking about it...

Monday: Poss. visiting a friend with another friend or two, then an appointment with the Hospital Outpatients clinic for a post surgical check up.

Tuesday: All the usual Tuesday stuff, Bryn at creche, Kids coming over for a play, etc. so forth

Wednesday: BaBs or visiting a friend if the visit on Monday was changed to Wednesday, need to find out which day it is.

Thursday: Well, I have a MCHN appointment at 10.30am and an optometrist appointment at 10.45 (rescheduled from last Thursday). Obviously, I can't go to both, so will have to try and reschedule the MCHN as the optometrist appointment is fairly urgent. Then there is a BaBs Inc. meeting at 12.30pm. I also needed to get Erik something a bit decent to wear to mum and s-dad's graduation ceremony on Saturday, as well as pack for our flight to Adelaide on Friday morning...

Friday: fly to Adelaide...

Ok, I'm going to stop now because I'm starting to hyperventilate...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Blog Bling...

I just completed a little tutorial in adding a permanent signature to my blog, so I thought I'd give it a spin - cute, hey?

Motivations and misleading information...

It's a sticky topic, birth.

Someone will always be offended, feel attacked, or disagree with what is being said...

That said, something has been playing on my mind this week...

People have different motivations for choosing the kinds of birth they aspire to. Some aspire to have painless, predictable births. Others to simply have a living baby and mother at the end of the birth. Some aspire to have the birth Nature intended for them, whatever that might end up looking like.

Problems arise when people start pushing one another to have the birth they themselves are motivated to have without fully ensuring the other people has the same understanding and motivation as themself. This goes equally for medical and natural frameworks.

Another problem arises when the information provided is misleading, or misguided.

For the purpose of this post, I'm going to look at free birthing. I will say now that I am fully aware all of what I'm about to say could equally be said about a fully medicalised birth overseen by an OB in a hospital...

A lot of motivation for free birthing stems from wanting to get back to nature. To trust nature and the process of birthing "as nature intended". Women who choose this for themselves, independant of peer pressure, do so with full acceptance that in nature death is a part of life and not all babies or all mothers are intended to survive the birthing process. Their motivation is seperate to the "ideal" of the living, breathing, healthy baby outcome that most of Western society is focused on atm.

Some, having chosen this path for themselves and their babies, and often having experienced a birth where the healthy baby outcome was equally achieved, will go on to promote free birthing as the "best option" for any woman, stating that "a woman's body is designed to birth so why would nature do something to endanger the mother or baby"...

The short answer is NATURE wouldn't endanger the woman or child. So long as everything is equal. The thing is, EVERYTHING is NOT equal!

Women in Western society today, do NOT live as nature intended.

Nature didn't intend for women to sit on their behinds all day, particularly in pregnancy.

Nature didn't intend for women to eat diets high in refined, processed foods.

Nature didn't intend for women to have 50 hour long labours - that's a very long time for a woman to hide from predators and keep her energy up and keep herself and her baby safe.

Nature doesn't intended for MOST women and babies to survive birth - as long as 1/2 the population survives, nature is doing just fine.

Nature didn't intend for women to be overweight and obese - and YES fat women ARE fat on the INSIDE. Fat sorrounds and impedes the organs, as well as messing with other body functions.

As well as these things. Not all illness is evident in tangible symptoms. We don't always know when our bodies aren't functioning properly - for example, I had two pregnancies where my internal organs were all stuck together, and I should have been in excruiating pain, but I wasn't...

And so, if a woman chooses to free birth in the full acceptance of these things, it is for no one else to judge that by their own standards, because she has taken on responsibility for her choice for herself and her baby.

The thing is, I often wonder, when I read such sweeping statements, "Women are designed to birth, so you will be fine..." or, "If something is going to go wrong, you'll have plenty of time to get to hospital" if the person saying that is even aware that they may be misleading the person they are talking to by making assumptions about what "Nature intends"...

My mum once told me it was ok that my seatbelt wasn't working because we were headed to church for a Sunday evening service and God would take care of us. 20 minutes later, she was sitting in the middle a road holding the flesh of her thigh to her femur while someone called an ambulance.

Let's not speak on behalf of God, or Nature, especially when we so often make choices in our lives that ARE well and truly outside of what God/Nature actually might have intended for us. And let's be sure that the person we're trying to convince to do what we'd do - because it validates our own choice - is motivated by the same things that motivate us, and are willing to take the same responsibility for the outcome and live with the same consequences that we are...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Playing with the ant song...

The ants go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah!
the ants go marching two by two, how small they are!
The ants go marching two by two, their world feels big, down there by my shoe
But they can't see the Universe that spreads out before my eyes...

The ants go marching four by four, hurrah, hurrah!
the ants go marching four by four, how strong they are!
They swarm en masse; mad and blind, but are no match when I have a mind
to brush them away with barely a second thought...

And I am an ant, I see that too, it's true, it's true!
And you are an ant, believe it or not, you are one, too!
We are all ants, just marching along, feeling so brave and righteous and strong
But no more "in control" than the tiny marching ants...

When loss of status is the rub...

Dave told me yesterday that next Tuesday will be his last day at work.

He is being made redundant.

He was told this just before I went in for my operation 10 days ago, but didn't have the heart to tell me because he thought I would be worried and that it might impact my recovery etc. He did tell my mum though - which I'm greatful for, because to think of him carrying this burden on his own while I was sick (and he was sick) would have made me very sad, indeed.

I'm not stressed. As I showed him yesterday - when he wasn't doing "overtime" - which he hasn't since mid-December - he was actually ALREADY earning LESS than he would receive on NewStart. Yes, the Government provides a huge incentive for people to go to work, LOL.

Dave is fairly confident he'll find work. I'm glad he's confident. Being 50 (in a fortnight's time) and now unemployed, and working in a relatively competitive field (graphic design), he's going to need plenty of confidence to find a job at a time when economics is not exactly encouraging people to spend extra on outsourcing design jobs (which is kind of why he is being made redundant in the first place).

We'll be ok, no matter what. We always are :)...

The worst thing, for me, I guess, is that we really are going to be a "welfare" family - at least for a little. It's more about the loss of status, than the loss of income...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wait for me guys...

Was Bryn's cry to his brothers just now as they went out to play... I wonder how many times he'll say that in the next few decades?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gosh! I should update before you all give up on me completely!

Well, the operation was a success and I did get my laproscopic procedure - that was 9 days ago. Today has been the first day where I felt anything close to "my old self", and I'll add (as a caveat) that that would be my old self *with* a case of pharyngitis (but as the throat infection was not a direct outcome of the op, I'm choosing to overlook it in my assessment of post-op recovery)...

Anyway, as I've been walking around with my head in a post-op anaesthetic induced cloud, I've decided to share a few pics from the past 6 days since I got home...

First up, this pic is a prized possession now. I've been waiting for almost a year to get these two awe inspiring women in my life in the same room! On the left is my mum, and on the right, my midwife :). Both women are strong women of faith who are not afraid to stand up and be counted when it comes to matter they feel strongly about, I LOVE that about both of them! I see so many other smaller similarities in ways of thinking and mannerisms that I'll just keep to myself, LOL, as I'm sure they aren't terribly interested in being compared to one another in a public forum, haha!

Anyway, I feel truly blessed to have these strong women in my life as role models and now I have a photo of them together!


While I THANKFULLY have no memory of my four hour long operation, I've been sporting some amazing bruises all week... These following photos really don't do the bruising any justice as they were taken the day the bruises started to surface. Twenty four and forty eight hours later they were all shades of deep purple and black, and were found up and down my arms, mostly where ever I'd been punctured by a needle of some sort (managed a lovely rounded 13 needles of varying description in my three day stay...




So, let's talk about something much nicer! We were the recipients of a wonderful generosity this week. Rohana and her Dh had picked up a fully functional BMX type bike on the hard rubbish and because their son is still too small for it, and Erik was riding it at their house (without training wheels for the first time ever!!!), they gifted it him! I remembered today that about 5 years ago, Dave and I did a similar thing for someone else. We'd been given two large bikes for Erik and Luey when they were just little, little, and because they couldn't use them, we ended up giving them to another family who could use them. So, the adage IS true, what goes around DOES come around, too!


Look! No training wheels! (Dave is so proud of him because Dave never learned to ride a two wheeler bike. I did learn, but I was older than Erik (already 10), so he's bested both of us!)


Oh, and I had to show you guys... I bought my first new winter coat in 20 years!!! And to go with her, I bought a gorgeous fringed scarf and TWO pair of boots (second pair was 1/2 price, and Unca Kev paid for it)...


I really wanted the purple boots, but thought they wouldn't go with everything, so bought the black because they're "safer"... But then it just so happened that the very day I go to buy the black boots, the shop I bought them in is have a "Second pair 50% off sale", so for that price I couldn't resist the funky purple ones.

I'm not sure if you can see it on this photo, but the scarf has flecks in the very same purple as the boots!

A girl has to feel "stylish" sometimes, right?


Can't go wrong with a classic cut like this, am actually looking forward to the cold weather. Definitely can't afford to put on any weight this winter, but the "IV Diet" from this week has actually made me shed nearly 3kg since I bought the coast, so I'm feeling fairly confident now...

Anyway, when my brain decides to be a bit more co-operative, I'll try to post something a little more stimulating, LOL...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Be Back Soon...

Well, op day is here - that is, assuming it doesn't get bumped for any reason...

Some of the realities of it all dawned on me last night. For some reason I thought I'd probably be coming home tomorrow (Friday), if it was just keyhole surgery. However, after talking to mum, it seems the earliest I'm likely to come home is Saturday. If it ends up being open surgery, I might not get home until mid-next week... Hmmmm, I really wish the hospital had discussed this a bit more with me so I had some idea of what to expect...

If you're someone I know in real life, feel free to contact Dave at home and find out if I'm up for visitors - I find hospital SOOOOO so boring, so if I'm not actually unconscious, I'll probably be hanging for a visitor or two!

Gosh, gosh, gosh, gosh, gosh... I'd so much rather be giving birth, I have to tell you!

Talk to you all again when I'm free of this pesky gall bladder...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stuff and Nonesense...

The other night, about two hours after the boys went to bed, Erik comes out to the loungeroom rubbing his eyes and mumbling something about Bryn being in his bed... We went in to investigate and found this...

Bryn has obviously gotten up half asleep - usually he comes out to get a drink of milk and then go back to bed - and made it as far as Erik's bed (10 cm away) before crashing out...

I've decided Ari will be JUST FINE while I'm in hospital... He discovered Bryn's "pimple" ball...




In preparation for Mum coming to visit, Dave excavated our study (Bryn informs me it's "Dad's Study" and when probed further on the topic, further informs me that I don't have my own room in this house...) and found this set of Ikea drawers that I masacred the construction of a few months ago (before Ari was born)... Dave was set to pack them into the garage, but not wanting to see YET ANOTHER basically functional item thrust into the great vacuous void of the garage - never to be seen or heard of again - I offered it to the boys. Then to Dave's endless horror, I encouraged Erik's idea of decorating the shelves themselves...


They spent a relatively quiet (for them) hour or so doing this...


This is Bryn's side (he also owns the bottom drawer)...


Luey's side...


Erik's top...

Each boy also decorated their own drawer, though I heard Erik helping Luey quite a bit :)...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Red Shoes...





I LOVE red shoes! Red shoes are fun! Dorothy wore red shoes on her way to the Emerald city! That's pretty cool! I've almost always had a pair of red shoes in my wardrobe since becoming an adult, sometimes several pair. I have had red Mary Janes, red Clogs, red Docs, red pumps, red sandals... Whenever I see someone on the streets in red shoes I think, there goes someone with a definite flair for fun hidden inside!

And of course, I've had to dress my boys in a variety of red shoes and sneakers over the years as well...

Bryn received his latest pair in the mail yesterday, and then last night - while trying to find a suitable jacket for Ari for this sudden burst of Melbourne cold - I found Bryn first ever red pair of shoes... So, today I just had to get a pic of my boys in their red shoes...

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Cosmetic surgery for me?

Well, now that I've broken the surgery seal (well, give or take a week, hahaha), I've just set in motion the wheels for having myself a little cosmetic surgery...

GASP!

Yes, I hear you all spitting your coffees at your computer (have you considered a rubber keypad cover for that?)...

No, I haven't lost my mind, hahaha...

I'm not having any kind of lipo or lift or tuck... Rather, I'm planning on having the muscles on my left eye shortened. You see, being completely blind in that eye, it doesn't function autonomously, and over the years - mostly the last five years - the muscles closer to my nose have lost condition causing my left eye to drift slightly outward...

I've mentioned this to a number of friends and family, andout of kindness they've said they never noticed or that it's not noticeable. However, just recently, a few strangers have thought I was talking to them, or that I wasn't (when I was) because it looked like I was looking in a different direction to what I actually was.

Also, it's quite noticeable in photos, in fact, my eye is actually LOOKING blind of late...

So, when I took Erik to our optometrist this morning, I asked if anything could be done and Petra said she could refer me to this excellent doctor who could assess me for possible surgery. He'd have to be sure the muscle wouldcontinue to stretch etc. She thought it could possibly be done publicly, or for a reasonably inexpensive price, privately... So, I'm off to see Petra in three weeks time for acheck up anda referral...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

For Dave...

Fantastic!

What a full on 24 hours!

Ok, after having a minor (internal) freakout last night about how to make sure Ari's needs will be met next week, I pulled myself together this morning and went and saw my maternal and child health nurse (who is, btw, SO lovely, and I'm so glad I decided against my decision to not see one this time - based on previous less than satisfactory experiences)...

She called the ABA for me, and they told me that I should be able to feed after an initial pump and dump, woot!

Then went to BaBs, talked about it all there some more, and was given the name of an LC/midwife at my local hospital would who be able to clue me into the hospital link some more...

Got home, talked my local ABA group leader, and she told me about the same LC/midwife at the hospital and also told me to ring Rodney White at the Monash Medical Clinic to find out about the anaesthetic and breastfeeding. He said that for my procedure, if it was keyhole, I could feed immediately after surgery if I physically felt up to it. Lovely man, hahaha, he actually said, "If they say they INSIST you wait 24 hours, then you say you INSIST you will breastfeed..." He said if it ended up being open surgery, then maybe it would be a good idea to pump and dump, but certainly nothing beyond that. He said post surgical pain relief would be inconsequential to Ari at 4 months of age...

Have also called good friend and breastfeeding counsellor, from whom I'm hiring the pump, to make sure I can take it to the hospital, and to check when the last hospital certification of the appliance was done, and if she has the details of that - might save me a trip to the hospital get the machine checked.

Then called the LC/midwife who, again, was lovely. She did confirm that there are no provisions made for the person who will come in and help me with Ari, but that there should be no problem getting nurses to help out if I decide to express off overnight and send A home with mum or Dave instead (if I'm too out of it)... There will also be somewhere for me to store ebm if I need to etc. and I can ask for her specifically if I need any assistance wrt breastfeeding, milk supply etc...

So, feeling much better.

Still pretty outraged that the surgical department (or whatever) did not offer any information whatsoever. Had I not had so much knowledge from the communities I travel in, or had I not been the resourceful person that I am, then I may have turned up at hospital COMPLETELY unprepared to ungo surgery with a 4 month old, breastfed infant in tow!

As it stands, I feel the hospital support is still somewhat lacking if I can't so much as get a cot for Ari or for my helper (Ari can sleep in the bassinet of my bug, thankfully)... Oh well, baby steps...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Too Great Expectations...

I'm not really sure what I was expecting as Dave and Ari and I headed off for my pre-admission appointment at the hospital yesterday, but when I got home I felt dazed and confused and sorely disappointed at the whole experience.

Everyone had been very nice, and in fact, they'd fast tracked us through the process, which was a godsend (I heard several elderly patients complaining about having been waiting around for 6 hours for consults, and we were in and out in just 2.5 hours)...

However, when I got home, I realised they had been so very efficient that I hadn't had a chance to ask any questions and still didn't know how long I could expect to be in the hospital, what do to with regard to breastfeeding Ari, where in the hospital I might be post-operatively, whether or not I'd have the support of lactation consultant or any of other things I might have wanted to know...

What I did know what that, as far as they were concerned, Ari really doesn't factor into my care AT ALL.

As the registrar said to me, "Well, there is a good chance that the anaesthetic will dry up your milk, so maybe you would prefer to wait until baby has weaned?"

LOL, it hadn't occurred to me that this surgery was truly "elective".

Considering that I'm currently on a VERY low fat diet and am still have week long gall bladder attacks requiring antibiotics for treatment and extended periods on Panadeine, which doesn't actually provide any significant relief anymore, I was fairly certain the surgery was an imperative.

I said to the registrar, "Well, if I waited until he weaned, that would be another four years or so, which is a long time to wait..."

She agreed it wasn't really advisable.

Of course, underlying this conversation was the silent assumption that I would have finished with this "breastfeeding caper" in another couple of months time, when he weaned onto solids. Afterall, most Australian mother DON'T breastfeed past 6 months.

Really, my wanting to breastfeed Ari is more of a nuisance to them than anything.

I am welcome to have him with me at the hospital as long as I can take care of him. Obviously, I can't do that by myself while having surgery or immediately after coming out of surgery. So, yes, I'm welcome to bring someone to help me with Ari. That person will not be provided with a bed, of course, and so would have to sleep upright in a chair. I'm not going to get a single room because they're used for infectious patients and, "You wouldn't want one, anyway..." I'm not sure what that means, LOL, as I'm assuming you can't CATCH an infection from a single room, can you?

I asked about seeing a Lactation consultant about breastfeeding before and after the op, and was told to talk to my maternal and child health nurse.

Ok, so, just getting my thoughts clear here...

  1. I'll be admitted at 10.30am for and afternoon op. There are 6 scheduled surgeries in the afternoon, anddepending on where I am in the line-up, I might go into surgery at 12.30pm, or as late as 4.30-5.30pm. If I'm the last scheduled surgery andsomething else comes up, I might be bumped to another date...
  2. I am to be nil by mouth from 8.30am onward. Which means I could potentially have nothing to eat or drink between 8.30am and at least 4.30pm...
  3. I don't know if there is anywhere on the ward for me to store expressedbreast milk.
  4. I don't know if I need to pump and dump after the surgery.
  5. I don't know if the hospital provides a pump for this purpose.
  6. I risk becoming dehydrated while on nil by mouth and still feeding Ari while waiting forthe op.
  7. If I don't feed Ari that day, I'll still need to pump in order to avoid mastitis (which I've only just recently had).
  8. After the operation, if Ari is to stay with me, Mum or Dave will haveto give up a night's sleep to help me with him.
  9. Best case scenario; keyhole surgery, no complications = one night in hospital, worst case scenario; open surgery = several nights in hospital.
I guess what surprised me the most was that even though Ari is only 4 months old, and still fully breastfed, he was not a consideration at all if I chose to go ahead with the surgery. Ari is my problem and they are not at all interested in supporting me in my endeavour to breastfeed him or continue breastfeeding him after the operation.

It was quite obvious they'd never encountered this scenario before. I guess other mums just give their babies formula. I really feel like I'm viewed as making a mountain out of a mole hill.

I'm not *too* worried about my milk drying up but, if anything, hearing that has made me more determined to avoid formula because I don't want to do anything to create more difficulties if my supply does dwindle. Giving Ari formula isonly likely to fill him up longer, lessening his demand at the breast and telling my body it's ok to reduce milk production, which if the anaesthetic IS going to compromise production, would be disasterous...

Let's hope the keyhole sirgery is a resounding success, and I am home by Friday lunchtime with Ari feeding like a champ!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Homework in primary school...

I've long railed against the injustice of homework during the primary school years, or even beyond. Arguing that enough time was spent sitting passively at a desk during school hours without adding the same to the after school hours at home...

This is the first year (grade 3) that Erik has had homework and, quite frankly, I've been dreading it! I'm philosophically opposed to homework, to forcing children to spend their time doing stuff they themselves are not motivated to do, and to making the parent the "slave driver" in the relationship in order to make sure homework is handed in and on time...

So, anyway, the first week at school, Erik brings home his homework book for this term. At the front of the book is a grid of 15 exercises. These of these are bolded and are "compulsory". then of the remaining 12, he is supposed to choose a further three to do. If he WISHES, he may do as many of the remaining 9 exercises as takes his fancy, and although not stated, I'd assume this might give him some sort of "extra credit"...

So, that was three weeks ago, or so... The last two weekends we've heard a bit of "I'll do some tomorrow/next weekend"... LOL, didn't take long, the procrastination gene is alive and kicking in my mini-me...

Today Dave starts nagging Erik a bit about this homework, and then I butted in (as I tend to do, bad me) and said, "Erik knows what is expected of him, it's his responsibility to do the work, when he's ready we'll go over it with him, and that's the last thing we're going to say about it for now"...

About an hour later, Erik brings out his homework book, plus a sheet of "extra credit" maths that he's been told he "can" do if he has the time this weekend, and feels like doing it... He decided to the do the maths first, and it starts out very easily with 2x tables... He whizzes through those.

The comes the sum: 2 X 9 + 2 = ? I ask him to break the sum down and ask him what part he'll do first. He says the multiplication, so I ask him what 2 x 9 is... He replies, "20". I look at him, and Dave says, "Try again, Erik" He goes, "No the answer is 20" Dave says, "Erik, think about it..." Erik goes, "2 x 9 + 2 is 20"... And then I realise he's done EXACTLY what I used to do at school, and what used to get me into no end of trouble... He's intuited the answer. His brain has raced through the equation, found the answer and popped it out of his mouth before he is able to rationalise it enough to explain how he got to that answer.

This is such an Attention Deficit trait that I was at once thrilled and concerned. I told Erik he was absolutely right, but that had he answered the question in class that way, the chances were that his teacher would react exactly the same way Dad had, and assume he was guessing and not thinking the problem through. That he had to clearly STATE how he came to that conclusion one step at a time, so people could see his thought processes... This means, slowing down his thinking (a very good exercise for people with ADD) and accounting for the intuitive leap...

OMGoodnes. I swear Erik is ADD like myself - or maybe I'm NOT ADD, but either way, he thinks so much like me!

It was great, when he got to the sum that said, "A number, under 20, is multiplied by two, then added to 150 and the answer is 172, what is the number?" He was able to say, "11" and then explain to me how he got to that number (172 - 150 = 22 /2 = 11)...

So, HOMEWORK this weekend became somewhat of a bonding experience for us, where I came to really appreciate how my son's brain work!!!

We then went on to do the three "compulsory" exercises, one of which he'd already done, and two which he worked on between doing other things (he simply CANNOT sit still and finish something in one sitting - another trait he shares with me)...

One final note... I just had to say, I find it incredibly cute that Erik still (aged 9.5 years) calls Daddylonglegs spiders "Dandylonglegs", LOL. I have images of spiders in top hats and bow ties twirling walking canes like batons....

Teenagers and the failing parent...