Brief update: Joshua went to an ADHD specialist on Monday to re-evaluate her original assessment of where he is within the definition of normal and what our options where in regards to medicine. We had stepped up Intuniv by this point. She prescribed a very low dosage of Ritalin. He's taking 1/4 of the dosage available for his size. In other words, we're starting on a very small a dosage to see some improvement on focus, attention and impulsiveness.

To offer positive re-enforcement, we're giving him a new silly band everyday he comes home with a "smiley" from his teacher. If he gets remarks about bad behavior like hitting or being disruptive then he has to talk to us about it and he gets no reward.

Per Donna Bateman's advice, we are also further cutting the sugar intake and switching to gluten-free products such as breads, pasta, cereal, soup, etc. Hunt's ketchup does not have gluten as a thickening agent and they offer a corn syrup free recipe- even better!! No more juices either. It's water and milk in our house. Luckily the boys LOVE soymilk and almond milk so we mix that in with cow's milk and they like that better than juice anyway.

Today: he got a smiley from his teacher and a silly band from his dad. :-)

Joshua is in trouble at school, thus at home this weekend too. He's been in trouble twice this week for the same problems he had in preschool. He's hit, kicked, punched and now poked with a pencil. Part of the reason is his impulsiveness. Sometimes he acts without thinking, as in his body moves before his brain can filter what his actions should be. Other times, like the kick and punch incident, he's defending himself with hurtful actions instead of walking away or using his words. I feel like we're regressed to 2 years old ago: "use your words."

He's been to the principle twice now. We're stepping up our game by making some small changes in the home, small changes to routine, having a zero tolerance for some actions such as hurtful actions, not listening, whining, and back-talk. And we're going to talk to an ADHD specialist about medication to improve better blood flow to his brain so he can focus and calm down. I'm also going to look into reflexology techniques.

I already told him he would lose Halloween trick-or-treating if he got into trouble again. Unfortunately for him, I said that this morning before he went to school- before he got into trouble a second time. As it stands, he won't be dressing up nor collecting candy.


Joshua now wears glasses! He picked out his own frames several weeks ago. He hasn't gotten the idea that glasses are sort of a "always" thing. We're still talking about when to wear them and when to take the off. He had the impression he could wear then when he felt like it, like a toy item. Little does he know he may have shortsighted vision for the rest of is life until he gets them zapped by a LASIK surgeon like me. :-D

It was a busy week last week! Last week Friday we planned to leave town for Lubbock to visit my mom for the weekend. To be random, we kept Elliot at home with us for the day. I really enjoyed my lil' dude's company! He was a charm and a helper, and he was so happy to have the attention of both parents without a competing big brother.

After a good breakfast, our first order of business was a vet appointment for Samson. He was out all day Thursday which wouldn't be a big deal for a normal, even somewhat healthy cat. But this was the tipping point for Samson. He was again emaciated, dehydrated, and lethargic. I was worried we would need to put him to sleep if he didn't perk up by Friday. Alas, he was not showing signs of improving. His kidneys just weren't keeping up and previous attempts to save him with medication and liquid injections weren't having a impact. We said our teary good-byes and left him at the vet to be put to sleep.

Life had to go on for us. We packed up and cleaned up, ran errands and filled up the car. When school was out, we got Josh then hit the road. An hour later in traffic, we left the DFW metroplex on 380 towards Lubbock.

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My mom is well. She's now in a rented home across from another cop. Her dog Lance is about the size of a pony. He was thrilled to have the boys around even though he's an old dog who can't fetch as much as he used to. We took the boys to a few local favorites: Maxey Park, Science Spectrum, Joyland.

Joyland is an amusement park in the north-eastern side of town. It isn't Six Flags, but it's fun enough for bored tweens and young kids. Joshua rode his first adult size roller coaster- and LOVED it! Elliot rode the huge swinging rocket and freaked out the first time but then decided to ride again and was totally cool with it the second time. Joshua's other favorite ride was the spider. Elliot loved his toddler sized roller coaster and the merry-go-round. And both were equally disappointed in the train ride. We came home to filthy boys who talked non-stop about the rides. The next evening was spent with Raymond and a couple of his friends. That was an interesting night too.

Both boys had minor medical issue on the trip: Elliot had hives, Joshua got diarrhea. Bt these setbacks didn't ruin the trip. This week both boys have requested, loudly, to go see Grandma Cindy again. I've explained that we need a fast airplane and more long weekends. I'm glad we all had a great time.


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Yesterday we buried Samson's ashes in the yard behind the kids' playset. I found a sleeping lion statuette as a marker. Joshua participated in the memorial by placing the box in the ground and adding one of his cat toys on top of the box. While the dirt was being filled in, he finally cried. He hugged me and talked about how he'll miss Samson. It was closure we needed as well as practice about memorials for when loved ones die. Merlin is healthy but entering his elderly cat stage. He's now about 16 years old or so. When his time comes, he has a spot right next to his best friend Samson. Hopefully that won't be for a few more years to come.

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