Thursday, February 26, 2015

Spring Like An Aardvark

I got this email today- just want to pass on for those looking for an activity for their little ones this spring! Yes, no matter what we see in the air and on the ground, spring is actually not that far ahead. We're almost there. We're almost there. Just keep repeating that to yourselves.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Summer Art

Here's another camp going on. The Drawing Room is doing summer camp. There are different options to choose from. There is a 1p-3p option and a 9:30a-3p one for the eight year old and up crowd. There is a 9:30a-11:30a choice for the 4-7 year olds. There are also NINE weeks. That, is awesome. Most day camps are six or eight weeks and most sleepaway camps are seven weeks, maximum. A nine week option is hard to find.

The age range for Budding Artists is 4-7 and the Art Experience is 8+. You can register online.

9:30a-11:30a: $215
9:30a-3p: $430

Each week has a different theme. So if you want to do one but not another, that works too. Drawing, painting, clay, collage, mosaics- they have and do it all. E has come so far in the classes he's taken there in one semester. I just signed him up for the second semester and he's so happy there.

Definitely consider them for your summer camp needs.

Drawing Room Fine Art & Sculpture Studio
27 Central Ave
Midland Park, NJ 07432

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Local Finds

While we're all in the cold, I thought I would spread some positivity and tell you of my cool little local finds. If you don't feel like taking a long drive, you really don't have to go far to find what you need. These businesses are definitely worth a try!

Marc's Cheesecake- 251 Rock Rd, Glen Rock, NJ 07452, phone- (201) 857-0880: I've written about Marc's before but I have to do a re-do now. He's making all kinds of stuff besides cheesecake and it's all fab. Crepes, ice cream, soups, and challah rolls, oh my! B has been eating the matzoh ball soup and he has been thoroughly impressed. He had a nutella crepe too and said it was fantastic. Marc really knows food. So, it's not just cheesecake- although, those are amazing too. Marc is open later than most town businesses too. Call/check web for hours.

Jade Massage- 658 Godwin Ave, Midland Park, NJ 07432, phone- (201) 444-1002: I went in on Monday for the first time. I've always been curious about it and wanted to stop in. I never did because there are curtains on the windows and door and you can't see in. I don't know what I thought was going on in there but it just didn't seem inviting. I had a massive head/neck-ache though. E was in his art class for the next two hours and I didn't have anything else to do. I normally go to The Healthy Way on the border of Glen Rock & Fair Lawn but I didn't have enough time to get all the way there and back on time. Plus, you never know if it's going to be too busy in there.

I walked into Jade and was pleasantly surprised. I was only doing twenty minutes because I just wanted to try it out. It's a little more expensive than Healthy Way but for the twenty minutes it was only two dollars more ($22). I was asked if I wanted a room or the massage chair. I opted for the chair because I needed to be able to have access to my phone quickly- I was waiting for an important call. But it's nice that they do the room option for a twenty minute massage too. Lee did my massage and she was great. She is STRONG. Like, where it hurt. But it was that good kind of hurt when you have neck and shoulder pain like that. I felt like she was really working out the knots. I've had a lot of bad massages so I know the difference. She's little but with a lot of strength.

Definitely don't feel weird about checking them out. They have a special for five dollars off a sixty minute massage. You can just ask about it.

Zen Pilates & Spin Studio- 175 Rock Road, Glen Rock, NJ, (201) 857-4188: They are new in the back of the CVS parking lot. That back building has some really great stuff in it now. I haven't been in there but I've heard great things about it. It sounds perfect if you want to exercise but don't want to go to a traditional gym. They also do a "SpinLates" class which is for cardio AND fat burning.

The Blissful Heart- 175 Rock Road, Glen Rock, NJ, (201) 857-4403: Also in the back building, is another new business that goes with the whole "wellness" vibe going on back there along side Nectar Café, Naturally Yoga, and Zen. The Blissful Heart calls itself a "Wellness Collective"- offering Massage Therapy, Ayurveda, Aromatherapy, Shirodhara, Nutrition Counseling, Pilates, and assorted other specialties and modalities in an atmosphere conducive to personal and professional growth. Check them out!

Monday, February 23, 2015


Do you think bullies know they were bullies? Not as they were doing it, but later in life, as adults, do you think they know they were considered a bully? Do you think they think about it at all? Feel guilt or shame about it?

This came up on one of my message boards in talking about Facebook. It's come up a few times actually but this last time got me really thinking about it.

The word bully also means something different to different people. So I pulled the definition from the dictionary-

Definition of BULLY

1. To inflict physical or emotional harm upon <children who had been bullied by their father since infancy
2. To make timid or fearful by or as if by threats <the older boys constantly bullied him to the point where he was afraid to walk home alone
So we were discussing people receiving friend requests on Facebook by others who these people would have considered bullies back in school. The bullied were angry that these people had the gall to send a friend request. The reoccurring question, angrily, was, "Why? Why would he/she send me a friend request? He/She was awful to me". 
I thought about it quickly. My answer was that maybe they're different now and didn't think of their behavior as bullying. I know, from experience, that bullying wasn't looked at with the same microscope as it is now. There was no internet with "It's Gets Better" messages. You didn't hear about suicides from being bullied. I know when I had a problem with two girls harassing me, the school did nothing. My guidance counselor changed my study hall and lunch time and room. I was told to just avoid them as best as I could. Yet, I was threatened with bodily harm. Now, if the same things occurred, it would be a whole scene. I was traumatized by this whole experience, enough that I can remember it like it was yesterday. Yet, I have a feeling that the people responsible never thought about it again. I don't know if that's because it was just business as usual for either one of them and I was one of many, or they just didn't think it was as big of a deal as I did. 
I also think as far as social media and Facebook goes, not all people use it alike. Some like to keep their page tight to the vest, and then there are people who pretty much accept anyone who hasn't proven to be a dick, yet. I would be the latter. There are people I have accepted who I wasn't bullied by, but who I wasn't really friends with in grade school. Acquaintances. There were people I have accepted that I didn't think were that nice, friendly or genuine back in the day but I accepted them. I didn't feel bullied by them- I just didn't think they were that nice. They hadn't done anything exceptionally awful to me and if they did, it was a short blip in a long history. I was curious at the request and didn't have strong enough feelings either way to decline their online friendship. There have been those who were of questionable character years ago, but have surprised me in the present. They're funny, intelligent, witty, and maybe we have a lot of the same political views.
At first when it was brought up in my message board, I said something about people changing and maybe they want to make amends. But at the time of this conversation, I forgot about the two who bullied me. If either of them requested me, what would I think? I do not hold grudges, but I wouldn't accept them. I still feel uneasy when I think about them and what happened to me. I don't care if they changed. Actually, I hope they did. Especially if they have kids. However, that doesn't mean I want to be friends or friendly with them. The way the whole scenario went down changed the course of a lot of things for me. It's definitely not an experience I look back with any fondness or the feeling like I had any kind of overreaction to still feel that uneasiness. I do wonder if their behavior from back then ever crosses their mind.
I was watching the Oscars last night and Graham Moore delivered a powerful speech. He spoke of being sixteen and trying to kill himself because he felt weird and different. The main point was to "Be weird. Stay weird. Things change and it will all be ok". As I was watching, I was thinking about whether the people that probably bothered him knew it was them that might have had a strong hand in pushing him toward suicide. I can think of a handful of kids that I can remember all their names that were treated terribly as kids, tweens, and teens. I can also remember who the ones were who did the lion's share of the harassment. I wonder if those who inflicted the pain ever regretted their actions, reached out to apologize, or teach their kids any different.
I don't have any answers. I didn't ask these questions or put this out there because I really have the answers. It was just an interesting conversation where I thought I'd feel one way, but then in everything coming back to me, I felt the same as the rest of the people who felt bullied at any time in their childhood. I certainly never even considered suicide so I guess in the scheme of things, my own situation wasn't nearly as awful as what happened to others. I think about having a child though, how hard tween and teen years are to navigate, add in social media, and cyber-bullying, and I'm afraid.
I don't want a kid who is the bully or the bullied. This subject is forever on my mind. I can teach my kid, but my fear is that if others don't know they were a bully, what are they doing proactively to make sure their kid isn't? Or if not proactively, what are they going to do and/or how are they going to feel if they get that call that their kid is the one leading the bullying?

Would you give someone a chance now, via social media, who you would've considered a bully back when you were a kid? Do you think they may have changed or didn't realize how they were back then?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Camp Veritans

E goes to Spring Lake but any time I get info on any cool camps, I put them out there. Yes, it's been under twenty degrees for what feels like a month now, but it's never too early to sign up for camp. It'll be summer before you know it. While it sounds lovely to just be off with your kids, after about a week, that gets old, they're antsy, and you're wondering what you're going to do all summer. Some camps are booked up already for Summer 2015, but I just got this ad in an email, so I'm going to say they still have spots available!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Budding Picasso

One semester down, already into the next. I haven't had a chance to write about E's art stuff for awhile because I always want to include pictures. I have so many pictures and they were all unorganized. So I just didn't get to it. But here I am now, to brag about my kid.

It was actually a very long "semester". I remember thinking, when E was really little, that I was getting hosed on tuition costs for classes because they called a semester like ten weeks. This art class started the first week of September and just ended the last week of January. So you're really getting the best bang for your buck. It's the intensity though, of a two hour class, that is what I feel I'm really paying for. You can see it in his projects. He's really learning stuff! It all just gets better and better.

They've been using cray-pas, watercolors, acrylics, clay, pencil. They've been shown different artists work and been asked to recreate it in their own interpretation. They've learned to use space, dimension, and shading. E is excited every week for whatever new thing they're doing. I'm so happy I found this for him. So thank you Jaci, for walking into my store with your flyer over a year ago.

I'm going to show all the weeks I didn't get to write about separately. I'll try to interpret them the best I can but he's the one taking the class.

Clay on Canvas:

First they made some kind of clay figures or object that they want to fit into a scene. Then, they had to paint a scene on a canvas, leaving spaces for their clay figures. When the clay was dry, they painted it, let that dry, then affixed the clay to the canvas. E made some kind of superhero. His own, not a "known" one.

Gingerbread House:
They first had to draw the gingerbread house they wanted to copy. Apparently, a lot of the kids like to trace it from a light box first. They said E likes to just do his stuff free hand. I can appreciate that. He just wants to do his own thing. This was one of his best, and our favorite paintings. They used pencil, cray-pas and then watercolors. His really was spectacular, if I do say so myself.


They picked a penguin to copy from the pictures on the wall. This one also came out really well. These were done with acrylic paint I believe.

Cats (inspired by Laurel Birch)

These were interesting. They were to make cats like the Laurel Birch pictures. They were using cray-pas. When I came back I thought E messed his up. There was a giant white rectangle over the whole mid-section and most of his cat's face. Well, of course there was a whole story with it. Basically, the cat was reading a newspaper and hiding as he was watching/keeping an eye on someone. Alrighty! Great imagination and creativity.

What I thought his cat would look like
Paper Mache
They used pictures of Muppets and such as inspiration to make these paper mache puppet heads. These came out so nice. Very creative. E's teacher said he decided on his own to give the nose a hook. I think it looks like Gonzo.

A few of the finished puppets
Valentine's Day Clay
They were making hearts for Valentine's Day made out of clay and what looked like sea glass to me. I saw the original one they were using as a "template". When I came back to pick him up, I asked where his was because all I saw was the original. That one WAS his. He copied it so well, I thought it was the one I saw when I first walked in. I was super impressed. He gave it to me as my Valentine's gift. It was the best gift ever!


27 Central Avenue, 2nd floor, Midland Park, NJ 07432
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Folded Notes

The other night I pulled a Tara. I had every intention of going to bed. I needed to just ONE MORE THING. I think I was looking for nasal spray, actually. From the corner of my eye, I spyed my "black box". The box I accused B of losing in the move from Englewood to Glen Rock. In 2006. Then I found it last year, in a bag in the attic, some time when I was looking for something else, all hopeful, that I thought got lost in the move. In that box were notes from class. Not notes like, academic notes. As in notes, people wrote, before texting. Before cell phones. Yes, it sounds crazy, right. Actual, on paper, social notes. In long-form. About nothing and everything. With no pressure to only use a certain amount of characters.

The box has other things in it too. Pictures from high school and college. Receipts, letters from high school boyfriends, college boyfriends, in-between boyfriends. In-class back and forth conversation notes between me and one or two others at a time. A lot of Ann- notes, pics, letters she wrote me when I was away at school. Movie ticket stubs. Birthday cards, anniversary cards, the little card that comes with floral arrangements. All kinds of goodies.

I've looked through it before. Deeply. Like, examined every piece of paper. When I first found it after thinking it was gone forever I went through it. The other night, I don't know what made me think I needed to do this at one o'clock in the morning when I had to be awake at seven o'clock. The urge just came upon me. As I was sitting on the floor, with pictures, letters, and cards around me, the light bulb went off. I have these things. I have them. Whenever I want, if I want to laugh at Aimee quoting Richard Jeni on all corners of the paper as an addition to an already amusing note, I can. That's something that kids just don't and won't have anymore. Unless they print out all their texts.

I used to save everything. I was reading notes from people, involved notes, that I couldn't even figure out who I was getting so personal with. I definitely stayed up an extra thirty minutes worth just trying to decipher who I was writing with in one group of pages of back and forth where this other person went on and on about taking her boyfriend's virginity. I would think this would be a conversation I would remember. Rider wasn't a big school, classes had maybe twenty people in them, and I feel like I knew practically everyone in my major. It actually didn't matter who it was though, the point is, it was funny, and it was just warm and fuzzy to bring myself back about twenty years to #collegekidproblems.

I have hilarious drawings and loving handmade cards. I have ridiculousness and arguments. Short ones, some that are like novellas. Making nice and making up. Ann, Aimee, Dean, Jon, Brian, Jenn, Joe, Dave, Yoav, Damien, Megan, Eric, Bobby, Cathy, Yules, Michele, Stephanie, and a random girl in what I think was a psychology class. My mom. Even a Dirty Hangman that got some of us kicked out of Geological Resources & Hazards 101. These are just the ones off the top of my head, while I'm at work (otherwise, I'd actually look again). There is even one that now sounds like the creepiest of the creepers, reason to get a restraining order, "secret admirer" letter. Whatever- I'm a Leo. I was young. Flattery will get you everywhere. And I can see where I thought it was kind of...nice?

Me & Aimee. Conover B hallway.
I stayed up until around three in the morning, just laughing to myself. I don't get to see Aimee, my college roommate hardly ever. She lives in Pennsylvania somewhere that I just can't seem to get out to in this lifetime. But having these little bits of her is like a hug. Not as good, but definitely puts a smile on my face and makes me feel like she's close by. It also reminds me of when we had fun in silliest situations, without having to be drunk or do drugs. As all this heroin stuff is hitting me from every news outlet, how it's taking over our backyards, and our kids. It's nice to remember back to a time, for me, for us, when we could be amused by dressing in matching sweatpants or cat and dog pajamas we wore in public.

It's definitely one of those things that those who know a time without portable technology don't take for granted. Tangible memories. Hey- I'm not saying I could live without my iPhone or texting. I love the text. In a general sense. I love being able to say a quick this or that, at my leisure, without needing to carve time out to be talking on the phone. I love the convenience. There just a lost...something when you have nothing sentimental on paper. I'm sure B has written me a lovey text that I have forgotten about and is long gone because it was on my old phone. I have cards and notes from him- we met on the cusp of everyone having a smart phone. I remember when he went on his "vision quest" across the country on his Harley, in 2005, we went to Verizon and got him some kind of updated "Palm Pilot". I doubt even exists anymore (I don't feel like looking it up). I think it was called a "Treo". So I have stuff when we were first together, and I have old cards, but definitely nothing else hand written from more recent times. Except, of course, notes to remember to turn down the heat before I leave the house.

It was just such a treat, yes, I say a treat, to even have that stuff to go through. I wish I had more. Since I know most of my school days were filled with note writing, folding, and receiving, I know there are too many that got away to the circular file over the years. I'm sure not all of them were save worthy, but there are some that I know did get accidentally thrown away that I'd give anything to have now. There is nothing like having something like that from someone gone but never forgotten. When you lose someone, there is that awful feeling when you start to forget what they sounded like, smelled like, spoke like. Having their handwriting and their words written down, as their last link to this living world can mean everything.

So moms & dads, I say moms & dads because we're the ones old enough to remember notes and letters, if you have one thing to teach your kids, is to use their handwriting. Texting is great for directions, to tell someone you're going to be late, or just to say a quick "hey, how you doin?". But for something more, longer, or even just to kill time, write a letter. It doesn't have to be written correctly, or without "bad" words (those curse-laden ones were some of Ann's masterpieces). It doesn't have to be anything more than nonsense out of boredom, but write something. Hand someone a note you wrote while you've been stuck at DMV for an hour. I don't know if it will be the same but you can try!

All I know is I will have to be buried with my box. B- note that one. This box is one of my most precious possessions. If there is "the other side", I want to be laughing there too.

Me and Ann. Ninth grade? 1989

Those are mini-lockers on the table. Favors from my Bat Mitzvah circa 1988.
 I used to keep notes locked in there.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Isn't that Special

I know, I know. I'm a slacker. Except, really, I'm not. I haven't had one normal week of work in I
don't know how long. Work is where I write, in between customers, and if I'm not here, it means I'm off and running with no time to get my thoughts together enough to share with you. But here I am, today, at work, in eight degree weather, where I suspect, I will be alone for much of the day. Sucks for business, but good for blogging.

So this one stems from a conversation in email that a friend and I had yesterday. The whole crux of it was, "Why does everything have to be special?" That's a good damned question.

I'm not against fun. I feel I need to preface that. But some of us don't get why everything needs to be a huge thing either. I don't know if it's the 50 Shades madness or what, but when did Valentine's Day become the new Christmas? It's now a gifting holiday? I feel like I wrote something like this before, but I'm not going back to look. I name these entries sometimes where I'd have no idea how to look up the subject matter. Maybe it was complaining about Easter becoming Christmas too. This notion that every holiday is bigger than it really is, or what's become of it is so far off what the meaning is supposed to be.

Now, Valentine's Day IS a "Hallmark Holiday" and should be treated as such. I'm certainly not against celebrating the idea of love. Or celebrating chocolate, which for the record, I'm a huge fan of Lindt truffles and Russell Stover crèmes. And back when we were footloose and fancy free, pre-E and sometimes after E being born, I wasn't turning down jewelry. Yay for gifts.

But I feel like everything is over the top and it's like a freight train with no stops. I find this irksome and I'm trying to figure out why. Why do I care? It's not like I feel guilt for not wanting to do things over the top or just not doing them. I think it's at least partially because other people are saying they FEEL BAD that they can't or don't or won't go crazy with gifting, decorations, fun activities centered around said holiday. It's annoying to me that people are feeling guilt over such...nonsense? Even that reason- I shouldn't care. It's really not my problem. Maybe it's that it seems like people are trying to out-do each other and I have to see it?

Maybe I just liked things during times that were more simple. It's the whole overbearing level of it that I think must be a trigger for me. Overbearing in general, in any way, helicoptering, is a trigger of annoyance to me. Like where kids feel like it's the norm to have to go overboard or it's not as "good" or "as fun". It's setting the bar really high for materialism and the need for constant stimulation. Not activity- but stimulation. I feel like the appreciation for simple is getting lost and I feel like that is allowed to bother me. Everyone has their thing, right?

My husband always says our son has too much stuff, he doesn't like when people give him gifts, and he loves to tell me how he got tape and scissors as gifts. I usually just blow off these rants, but I realize, that I'm sort of in the middle. I don't think it's a big deal for E to receive Lego sets or whatever, and truth be told, B likes when he gets those things too. It's more seeing just an abundance of stuff- like a pile, it doesn't matter what it is, it's just excess to him. Possibly his disenchantment with excess is finally rubbing off on me?

When we were kids, I distinctly remember being asked to bring an empty cereal box into school like a week before Valentine's Day. We'd spend time- remember when we had that in school for frivolous art projects in class?? - we'd spend time decorating those boxes as our "Valentine's Mailbox". Then we'd spend time making Valentine's in class, I think- that part I'm not 100% sure about. You'd be nervous and excited about who you might get one from. I'm remembering this as 1st grade I think. Ms Butler. Hoping to get one from a certain boy I won't name. But yes, I do remember every crush I had in elementary school and even nursery school. I was boy crazy from the womb. There was no sending home of a class list to make sure everyone got one. I think the teacher must have given everyone one so they'd have at least that in their box. Then they gave us like ten minutes at the end of the day to "deliver" them and then open them. Or maybe you took the box home to open it.

B asked me, tentatively, last night, if I remember boys ever giving each other Valentine's. He thought I would scream at him that he's being homophobic, which he isn't, but he wanted to know because it seemed odd to him. I actually didn't scream at him, because no, I don't think the boys ever did do that. We didn't grow up in that time of everyone gets a trophy and everyone gets a Valentine. Now, they do, and boys give each other Valentine's because you give the whole class or you give none. Don't get me wrong- I'm not against that. I now feel sad for certain kids I remember as being the picked upon, that probably had an almost empty box. But hey, we learned coping skills and disappointment from it. I didn't ever get the Valentine's I really wanted. NOT. ONCE. It also wasn't a "super special" holiday. It wasn't something parents made a big deal and it was a relatively small thing in school. It was more "something to do" craft in school because teachers had the time to do that sort of thing. I am hearing that there are parents, GOING TO THE SCHOOL, ahead of time, to decorate their kid's desk??! What the what, now?

Everyone knows I think Pinterest is the devil. Not because it makes me feel inadequate, but because it's just making everything into a big thing. Someone just told me yesterday that she went to Disney and saw a ton of people wearing some kind of "Family Shirt"- like something they got from Pinterest or Etsy. It's not the shirt so much that I object to, as someone else I know did that, and I won't say why because you won't even get it, but it ended up a hilarious mistake. It's that nothing is easy. The guilt is palpable because you now see everyone's doings & happenings. Craftings. And people seem to think their time or their kids time is ruined or going to be ruined because there aren't custom shirts, favors, cards, or decorations. When really, strip it down, when you're with the right people, get that special smile, or have that belly laugh that feels better than an orgasm, none of that tangible stuff even matters. I just don't like that kids don't know that it doesn't matter because it's all the norm.

Of course everyone is different and there are the moms that make dollhouses and dollhouse food. I had a neighbor friend with a mom who did all that and more. There are moms who don't. It's all fine. Before I get hate mail, which I have, on this topic, I'm not saying anyone is wrong for their holiday hoopla. There are people that love holidays, love doing crafts, and love just creating these memories. And their reasons are totally for the joy it is to them and it brings. I just happen to know that there are people that do this stuff, make everything, special, as yet another way of keeping up with the Joneses. Their kid can't be the one without. Theirs has to be better. Or they feel some kind of guilt - either because they work or don't, that this kind of thing should be in their genes. I'm here to tell you that if it's not, it's not. And it's all OKAY. One mom I ran into yesterday is taking her six year old daughter for a mommy & me mani-pedi as a Valentine's treat. I thought that was spectacular. It's time spend, and while it costs something, it's more experience than just needing more....stuff. Doing something with someone you love. Sure- I get that.

I just feel like a little simplicity and not so much focus on the material, the Etsy and Pinterest quality, can go a long way. I was in the bakery in town yesterday, getting cupcakes for ME, when I saw this heart cookie with pink frosting. I spontaneously grabbed one for E. I gave it to him last night as his "Valentine". He was thrilled. I'm glad that's all it takes because it wouldn't even have occurred to me to make heart shaped cake, bacon & eggs or any other food. Thank you Today Show for that useful segment.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

She's ALIVE (E health update)

That "she" would be me. I am alive. My Facebook blog page is telling me that I'm all but on a milk carton. I'm here to tell you that my absence hasn't been by choice. I wasn't kidnapped or anything. I just haven't had one normal work-week in I don't know how long. Between sickness and snow, and crazy people encounters, it's been...interesting. And a time-suck. I'm sure some people see silence and just think I must have nothing to say. No, no. I always have something to say. I actually have a back-log of things I've been meaning to write about but just haven't gotten to it. Good thing I don't have deadlines or advertisers.

I'm going to talk about E's health. For those of you who are interested in that, I have a bit of a (long) update. I went to a pediatric neurologist (Dr. Daniel Adler, Englewood) recommended by an old friend. It was a good recommendation. I was spazzing out because I got the address off the internet and he apparently hadn't been at that location in five years. Touche! Now I know how all the people who go to old locations of my store (address listings that we can't get rid of) based off the internet feel. The only way to contact the doctor seems to be by cell phone in an emergency. Well doc, not being able to find you IS quite the emergency to me. I called that cell. He answered. Gave me the address. Didn't bat an eye at the intrusive call. Came out and met me when I got there just to calm me down. He said I sounded like I was in a frenzy. I was. Because I'm not late for anything- EVER. To me, early IS late. I was freaking out- especially because pediatric neurology appointments "in-network" are not easy to come by.

I wish I could remember the nurse's name who took all our information and really got down to the nitty-gritty with us. She was terrific. She did her thing for the bulk of the appointment and then we saw the doctor. He said that E has "Tic Disorder". That versus "Tourette's". I didn't really read up on all the differences but I think the biggest one is that there needs to be a verbal tic for at least a year before it is considered Tourette's. It seems to me though, that it's really six one way, half a dozen the other. The bottom line is that either way- the end result is to medicate or not to medicate. Of COURSE, E has an atypical case, which I was in no way surprised to hear. I would've been more surprised to hear he had anything typical. He has no other behaviors like OCD or whatever and the tics aren't affecting his learning abilities or focus. Picture a kid who can sit for hours doing Lego sets way above the suggested age, having to use his hands, obviously, but doing this weird finger tic, THE WHOLE TIME, that I can't even describe. Finishing these sets all in record time too.

We're not going to medicate. The medications for this are like tranquilizers. We don't want to change his awesome personality. We've been down that road with the Singulair and Albuterol. Where he was pretty much a little a-hole for a month and we had no idea why. No thanks. I don't need my happy, go-lucky, funny kid becoming a zombie at six years old. He's reading, he's writing, and he's putting together really difficult Lego sets. We're leaving him be for now. The doctor and nurse said to keep an eye on it. See if any of the tics get to the point where they're affecting him negatively. Email the doctor. Alrighty, then.

Edit: The neurologist doesn't believe in PANDAS so we're not even looking into that. He has no tonsils and the doctor said that even if PANDAS was a thought, it would have been right after he had strep. He hasn't had strep, in any form, and only once, since well before his surgery. He also said he would not suggest medication. Not at this point anyway. So we're going with his recommendation. This is not my area of expertise. I have to trust someone.

There is still another piece to this. Now bear with me because I don't have a lot of information here. We took him to the immunologist a few months ago and she saw "something" in the bloodwork. To be honest, she talks so much. So, so, much. I just don't have the attention span myself for this amount of talking. So I don't know exactly what it was that she saw. From my understanding, it was something sort of rare, that could be an indication of some kind of auto-immune thing, but also could be nothing. She ordered blood work again to see if it was a false positive the first time. She told B and I to "go to a neurologist OR a rheumatologist". I chose neurology. I don't know why. I guess because so many people wrote me from the last blog about his health that had to do with neurology stuff. I thought maybe that specialty encompassed more. Whatever- I did eenie meenie miney moe.

This brings me to last week when E started coughing like the old tonsil & adenoid laden days of yore. I took him to the pediatrician because I forgot what to even do for coughs and sickness. It really has been that long. I don't even think he's been sick with a cold since his surgery in June of 2013. I wasn't even sure he had a cold. But. That. Cough. It gave me flashbacks. And not in a good way. Every coughing fit is a knife through our hearts. It's pitiful sounding.

The pediatrician said he read the immunology report and asked if we took the recommendation to go to a rheumatologist. No, we had not, because we did not realize that was imperative, through all her talking. We thought that was more of a suggestion, like whenever we got to it. So that's my next appointment to make.

The pediatrician did a strep test and a flu test, and both were negative. We have no runny nose and boogers. But we are back to that sniffle with nothing coming out when we blow his nose. That indicates to us, that infection in his nasal cavity. So I arbitrarily decided that I was using the one refill of Cefdinir (antibiotic) we had in E's CVS account. I don't wait - when I see a potential cure, I take it. Why, if I'm not a doctor? Well, because every single doctor seems to have a different diagnosis and course of treatment for him. If I can knock it out without co-pays and conflicting diagnoses, I'm taking it. What I've also learned through this 5+ year medical ordeal- you do what works. Whatever works. Holistic, medicinal, big pharma- I don't CARE. I will DO WHATEVER WORKS.

I started giving him antibiotics this past Saturday. I'd say it's helped some. But we've been awake, all of us, on and off, all night, every night, for a good six days now. It's like having a breastfeeding newborn. Uh, read that correctly please, I'm not saying I'm breastfeeding my six year old- I'm saying I'm up every damned two hours with a coughing child. I've given him cocktails of different Robitussins, Vicks on the chest and feet, Chestal, and who knows what else. We bought a humidifier thing that you put Vicks liquid in. I'm pretty sure all that did was make him moist and hot. Just get me a cauldron and a black pointy hat. Lastly, in two or three days he's had three bloody noses. We attribute that to the dry, dry air in the house and using non-allergic nasal spray and saline spray up his nose daily. From being dry and then poked in the nose twice a day, that's what I'm going with for $1000 Alex. Because I don't have any other explanation.

Today he is going to the ENT. So, you'll just have to stay tuned.

***Update*** ENT (Dr. Surow) thinks it's a kind of croup and gave him a steroid. Steroid supposed to knock the cough out within 24-36 hours. It is not contagious. Croup usually doesn't affect kids his age. But of course. Continuing Cefdinir per the doc anyway- just in case. No cauterizing of the nose- unless he continues getting bleeds.

Good times.

On the positive side- he lost his first tooth. He asked for a quarter. We gave him two. THAT, my friends, is how you manage the expectations of a six year old. No $20 bill per tooth in the D-K house. Best part- he has "shark teeth"- adult teeth behind the baby teeth. So the baby tooth just kept growing forward until it came out. With the big one already in place perfectly- NO. SPACE. Good thing, because this non-stage mama wasn't buying a flipper. No Toddlers & Tiaras, thanks.

I didn't realize this would be so long, so I'm going to end here. I'll start a new entry for anything and everything else.

1st tooth out! Bottom front. No space!