Monday, May 19, 2008

It never goes as planned

I was supposed to go into work for four hours today. I never made it.

The boys had their first dentist appointment this morning at 9am. I LOVE their pediatric dentist (the website is under construction), despite the two hours I spent in the waiting room this morning. I really thought it was going to be a quick first visit--count and clean, maybe half an hour each. And I was a little nervous as they don't let the parents go back with the kids. I turned over my boys, not yet home for 5 months, hardly speaking comprehensible English, to complete strangers who were going to poke and prod around in their mouths. Sigh. But I did it, and two hours later, they had complete x-rays for both of the boys, they had cleaned all of the iron stains off of Zhenya's teeth, and the boys loved it and are ready to go back! Both boys had a completely clean dental bill of health--no decay at all and no apparent problems with their developing permanent teeth. Dima should be getting his 6-year molars in towards the end of this summer, according to the x-rays.

So the boys made it to school at noon, and I spent a little bit of time tracking down Dima's class, who had walked to the local library. I got everyone deposited and realized that with my commute, by the time I got to work I'd have to turn around and come get the boys.

It's been kind of an up and down few days (or as the boys say, up-up-up-down-down-down--every time we go up or down a hill). We've had some great times and some not-so-great times, which I think is probably par for the course. Lately, though, the boys have been really tired. I've been mentioning it to Mark for the past couple of weeks, but we hadn't decided what to do. This past Friday, we had a graduation party to attend. Since we knew the boys would be up late, when we got home from school I read to them until they fell asleep. They slept for about 45 minutes at which point Zhenya woke up crying. All I could get out of him was that he wanted a Kleenex, so I told him he was welcome to get up and get one. By this time Dima was also awake, and so they both got up to play for a little bit before we left. I don't even know what happened, but within 5 minutes they were both a weepy mess and I sent them back to their bedrooms, where they both started wailing. I opted to let them cry it out, and after about 5 minutes Dima wasn't crying anymore (he was really only crying in the first place because Zhenya was). Once Dima figured out he didn't have anything to cry about and he could be out playing, he stopped crying and was sitting on his bed just watching Zhenya. I opened the bedroom door and asked Dima if he was ready to come out, and he hopped off his bed and came to the door. As he walked by he said, "Mama, Zhenya loud," with a somewhat bewildered expression on his face. :) :) I asked Zhenya if he needed or wanted anything, and he shook his head no. I asked him if he just wanted to cry for awhile, and he nodded. So I told him whenever he was done crying he could come out and play and left him in his room. He cried for a good 10 minutes--not wailing, just crying. Then he came out and wanted a hug. I'm not sure if this is some grieving starting in or not. It didn't seem to be a bad dream or anything he could vocalize.

That was sort of a long tangent from the tiredness.

Continuing...they went to bed late Friday night but slept well and got about 10.5 hours of sleep. Saturday was baseball (and I got a massage in the morning!!!) and the boys were out playing all day, so we put them to bed at 6:45 pm. They were asleep within a few minutes and slept until 7 the next morning. Sunday was pretty normal, but their behavior still seemed to show that they were tired, so we put them to bed again at 6:45, and they were both asleep within 10 minutes, and got up at 6:45 this morning. I put them to bed again tonight at 7 pm, and they were both asleep by 7:15. I don't know what to make of it. They are playing outside a lot more now that the weather's nice, so maybe the extra physical activity is taking its toll. It makes such a difference in their behavior when they get enough sleep that I really want to make sure we're giving them that opportunity.

Diana: Yes, Dima is still doing OT. It's going okay. It's hard to see if progress is from therapy when he's only going once a week and they're focusing on a lot of the same stuff at school. We're going to keep it up for awhile and we'll probably reevaluate at the end of the summer. At this point, they have some pretty lofty goals for him so we'll see how much progress he makes towards those.

Unrelated to OT, Dima can now recognize all of the letters of the alphabet except K, which he usually confuses with X. And the alphabet song goes "A, B, C, D, M, N, O, P, W, X, Y, Z" with occasional other letters thrown in depending on how long he's singing. ;)


Diana said...

Hey, thanks for the answer. For a variety of reasons, we're wondering how much to invest in OT right now. I'm pretty sure the school will pick up with some of it in the fall.

As for the sleep/grief thing, yah, you're probably right on AND it's pretty likely that the two things are related, too. Sleep is something we really struggle with at our house. If your little guys are that tired that early in the evening (mine are, too), there's a pretty good chance they're not sleeping as well as you may think. There could be several explainations for this. You're welcome to email me offline if you want more ideas other than the one I'll offer below.

The first thing I can suggest is to really pay close attention to their sleep cycles. We still have a baby monitor in the boys' room for this very reason. After our kids had been home for awhile, maybe about as long as yours, we started noticing a definite pattern. After about 1 1/2 - 2 hours after falling asleep (right before hitting REM sleep), our little one especially would get really restless.

At first it was just at night and he'd just start fidgeting and moaning, but never wake up. Often times he'd just turn back over and go to sleep. It didn't take long before we started seeing it during nap time as well and for the moans to turn to blood-curdling screams...sometimes awake, sometimes not. Most likely they are night terrors, although I do think both boys are also having nightmares as well. Night terrors they don't remember and are more like "creepy crawlies" or feeling like someone is chasing you or watching you, but nightmares they will remember in detail...and at least for us, they're most likely in the form of remembering (and reliving) many of the hurts of their former life.

Either way, though, their sleep is still interupted and they never really hit REM sleep for very long, which is where the real restful and restorative sleep happens. Of course, the little one would also wake everyone else up, so all of us were pretty much walking zombies. We finally had to put our little one on medication. Though he's still pretty tired and consequently much more grumpy by late afternoon, the night terrors have least for the moment. I'm not sure he's still getting real restorative sleep as opposed to just "medicated" sleep, though.

Hopefully you don't have to take things that far. I only offered it as something to maybe keep an eye on and pay attention to.

David & Monica said...

Just a thought on the sleep. Kids will often increase their sleep right before a growth spurt. If you are noticing a nice weight gain as well, you may be getting ready to have to buy new shoes and longer pants! If my memory serves me, it will last 2-3 weeks. You are so right though to follow your childs lead, if they act tired, they need to sleep. Thanks so much for you help yesterday! Take care. Monica

Tonya said...

My guess is a growth spurt. Just give them lots of opportunity to sleep and lots of food:).

Shelley said...

no words of wisdom - no advice - just wanted to wish you a happy belated mother's day. much love to you, mama ;)