May 1, 2016: Our Marriage Survived a Kitchen Remodel!

I’m baaaaack!! And happy first of May to you all!

Before I say anything else, let me just tell you that we survived our kitchen remodel! If you want to read about it (in probably way too much detail, but I figure some readers might be interested in doing a remodel of their own and might want to know about our hits and misses) and see pictures, click here.

Also, if you want to read about my summit weekend in Seattle, which was fabulous, click here! So much good conversation and food!!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. In addition to the kitchen remodel, we had Theo’s Open House at school. It’s so much fun to see how hard the kids have been working all year on projects! Theo had an art portfolio full of stuff to show us, but he was most excited to show us the owl pellets his class recently dissected. Apparently Theo’s and his partner’s owl had eaten a mouse—he was very excited to show us the skull. Ha ha, he wants me to order some more owl pellets for him to dissect off Amazon! As much as I want to encourage this interest in science and think it would be kind of cool, I’m not entirely sure I want owl pellet parts floating around in my house!

Sam also did a trial day at a local preschool, which went well. For a variety of reasons, we’re considering changing preschools for him in the fall. He’s doing well where he is, but I think he’s hit a limit there in some ways. And we’re taking the summer off of school for him to do an intensive communication program through Down Syndrome Connection (and for us to take a two-week trip up to Oregon in August), so it might be the right time to make a switch. The school he tried is literally walking distance from our house—I can see it from our backyard! And they offer some things that would be beneficial for Sam and more convenient for us. The downside is mostly cost—it’s about $250/month more than his current school, which is already quite costly. So we need to think about how that will work. But anyway, the main hurdle is out of the way: He did well at his trial day, so we feel pretty good that he’d be happy there if we decide to make the switch. And actually, we went to the Art & Wine Festival downtown on Sunday, and a little girl from the class recognized Sam from his trial day and came over to say hi!

Speaking of Sam, one day while I was painting cabinets, I phoned in for a two-hour seminar on potty training a child with special needs. It was hard to get all of it in between all of the construction noise in our kitchen, but I did pick up some useful bits, and I got access to the web presentation, which I can go back and read when I have time. Long story short, I may decide to try with Sam after we get back from our vacation, in the last two weeks of August. We’ll see. That’s right when he’d be starting a new school (if we switch), and I’m afraid that would be too much at once. But at the same time, I’m so ready to make some progress on potty training with him! We’ve been trying for two years and are having absolutely zero success. He will sit on the potty happily but never does anything. Sigh…

I will say, though, that in the seminar they gave a bunch of “readiness” cues, and it was as I suspected—Sam has absolutely none of the readiness cues. He shows no signs at all of being ready, so the past two years of us putting him on the potty…well, it hasn’t hurt, but it’s not really surprising that it hasn’t helped.

Theo was the easiest kid ever to potty train, so I’m a bit at a loss with Sam. He’ll get there someday…but heaven knows when that will be!

I also found out something interesting about myself this week: I have mild sleep apnea! I’ll be doing a trial with a CPAP device in a few weeks to see how that goes.

Long story sorta short: I was feeling really awful a few weeks ago—dizzy, exhausted, foggy-brained, racing heart. It felt different from how the usual migraine stuff feels, and I had a hunch it was low iron, which is chronically a problem for me. So I emailed my doctor and asked if she’d run an iron test on me. (I would just take a supplement, but it makes me sick, so I didn’t want to do it unless I had to.) She agreed and said she’d run a full blood panel and that I should make sure I was getting eight hours of sleep a night.

At that, I laughed out loud and replied, “I haven’t slept eight hours a night in more than 25 years. In fact, I’ve barely slept a full night in 25 years! I average about 5.5 hours a night, and that’s broken—I’m usually awake at least three times in that 5.5 hours.” (Chris and my mom have previously said to me that I must be exaggerating—that I must get more sleep than that! But the FitBit I’ve been wearing for over a year tracks my sleep—among other features—and confirms my crappy sleep. I generally have at least three wakeups and at least six restless periods in any given night, and I tend to get anywhere from five to six-and-a-half hours total.)

So my doctor suggested I do a sleep study. I had one like twenty years ago, but I didn’t sleep long enough for them to get reliable data, so they ended up telling me, “Your study shows that you don’t sleep normally, but we don’t know why.” That was incredibly frustrating, but I never pursued another study because it was just so unpleasant to go sleep at a clinic hooked up to all manner of wires. And I do everything I can to promote good sleep—no caffeine, alcohol on very rare occasions, bed used only for sleep, plenty of exercise early in the day, no really stimulating activities right before bed, etc.—but yet I still don’t sleep well. So I pretty much just gave up on it and resigned myself to a lifetime of crappy sleep.

But as it turns out, they now do sleep studies at home! You just wear essentially a big, clunky monitor on your wrist and a couple of monitors on your fingers, and you sleep in your own bed! Easy peasy, so I agreed to do it. I honestly thought it would show nothing, because I’m told I don’t snore very much, and snoring is the main sign of apnea.

However, I was wrong—it showed mild sleep apnea. It’s mild enough that they left the decision about the CPAP up to me—I could try it or not. But I opted to try it because after a lifetime of crappy sleep, I’m willing to try anything that might improve it. So we shall see how it goes. I’m sure it will be quite attractive. 😉

Oh, and I was right—my iron was really low. Everything else looked lovely, but I was very low on iron. So I started a supplement, which promptly tore up my stomach. I guess I need to figure out which is more tolerable—the effects of low iron or a messed-up gut!

Anyway, I must go put kiddos to bed. See you all next week!

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