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Even the Best Plans…

I had some really exciting plans for our blog, but those got put on hold with a recent trip to our pediatrician.

Lily has been having some pain in her ankle. Not enough for me to suspect something serious. She could run and play normally, the pain wasn’t severe and usually only after inactivity.

He ordered x-rays, just to be on the safe side. When he called the next day, he admitted his own shock in finding out that Lily had Osteochondritis dissecans.

Osteochondritis dissecans (os-tee-o-kon-DRY-tis DIS-uh-kanz) is a joint condition in which bone underneath the cartilage of a joint dies due to lack of blood flow. This bone and cartilage can then break loose, causing pain and possibly hinder joint motion. (Mayo Clinic.)

We were referred to an orthopedist who specialized in the foot and ankle. I was able to pick the same doctor that Navy saw when he broke his foot.

Next up, an MRI…

(Photos by Navy.)

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Sleep Isn’t Overrated

I really thought that we were seeing some progress with Lily’s sleep.

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Lily’s sleep stats for November 18-22.

Last week, she was getting her 9 hours of sleep 28% (2 nights out of 7) or having uninterrupted sleep 14% (1 night out of 7).

This week, she got her 9 hours of sleep 28% (2 nights out of 7) and had uninterrupted sleep 0% (0 nights out of 7).

It seems that she gets the quality or the quantity of sleep, but not both. On the nights that she gets enough sleep, she tends to have several periods of being awake. On nights that her sleep is uninterrupted, she doesn’t seem to get enough.

ADHD is notorious for causing sleep problems.

I relayed this to the nurse today. She really felt that it was a question more for the doctor.

We had discussed trying low-dose Clonidine to help her sleep. Clonidine (Catapres) is a blood pressure medication, but treating sleep issues associated with ADHD is one for Clonidine’s off-label uses.

We are going to try this for a week and follow-up. I’m hopeful. Even if this doesn’t work or has minimal results, we’ve eliminated one more thing.

ADHD and Sleep
Clonidine for sleep disturbances associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a systematic chart review of 62 cases.
Off-label use of clonidine

I didn’t know my kid wasn’t sleeping well!

I’m a fan of fitness wearables. I wore a Jawbone UP for several months before making the leap to a Fitbit Charge HR. I even wore the Jawbone and Fitbit together for a while to compare accuracy and data.

When I finally decided that I would go with the Fitbit, I let my 8-year-old have my Jawbone. She was in Girls on the Run and wanted to see how far she was running. I adjusted the goals in the app to better suit her (5,000 steps and 9 hours of sleep).

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Lily’s sleep for November 19-20, 2015. She woke up 4 times.

I hadn’t anticipated using the sleep data for her. I really didn’t think that she was having trouble sleeping. Soon, I started seeing patterns in her sleep and wake cycles and being able to correlate that with her behavior. When she had longer wake periods throughout the night, she behavior was affected during the day.

I started keeping a journal of her sleep with the data I got from the Jawbone and the behavior I observed. On the nights that she was having issues getting to sleep or staying asleep, I started asking her questions. It broke my heart when she was crying because she couldn’t shut her mind off.

How long has this gone on? How did I miss it?

Enter the Mom guilt.

I researched the accuracy of fitness wearables and didn’t find much. It’s still a relatively new technology to be applied to children. I did find an article that tested children wearing fitness trackers. While none tested were either that I’ve tried, it did give me hope that the research exists and more is in the works. Another article also pointed to the challenges of fitness trackers for kids. One being that children are more active in their sleep than adults and that the band could give some inaccurate results for sleep.

Was I being over-analytical? Was I creating a problem that didn’t need to exist?

I did some research about how much sleep an 8-year-old should get. Between 9-11 hours according to the National Sleep Foundation.

I tracked her sleep for a few weeks before calling our pediatrician. I relayed my concerns and scheduled an appointment. She was due for a med-check anyway. Of course, expect for the day of the appointment, she’d slept great, with only a few days where she’d had significant sleep disturbances.

Okay, I overracted. No harm done. Her grades are fine. No complaints from her teacher.

Except that she can’t get to sleep and doesn’t stay asleep. Some nights she’s up for hours in the middle of the night. Sometimes she will wake me up, other times she won’t. She’ll play. She’ll read.

She was crying the other day, exhausted, wanting to fall sleep. Tears streaming down her face that she can’t shut her mind off. She told me about the ponies (her My Little Pony toys that she’d been playing with), the math facts she’d been working on at school, the book she’d been reading.

More Mom guilt.

So, back to the drawing board we go!

Quantified Kids: Researchers Test Fitness Trackers in Youngsters
Fitness Trackers Could Boost Kids’ Health, But Face Challenges, Experts Say
Children and Sleep

The Gift of Girl Scout Cookies

Lily donated 26 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to the New Haven Food Bank.

Lily donated 26 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to the New Haven Food Bank.

Lily worked so hard this past cookie season. She worked the cookie booths with her troop and on her own every weekend. She exceeded her goal of 260 boxes by more than 100.

We also put out a donation box for people who wanted to support Lily and the Girl Scouts, but didn’t want to buy cookies for themselves. For each box of cookies donated to a local food bank, we would match that with a non-perishable food item.

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Lily picked out 49 non-perishable food items to donate to the New Haven Food Bank.

At the end of cookie season, there were 26 boxes to donate to the New Haven Food Bank. Lily picked out 49 items to donate. Lots of things most 7-year-olds would want to eat; mac ‘n cheese, pickles, fruit snacks, and ranch dressing, just to name a few!

The purpose of doing this was to teach Lily the importance of giving back to a community that has been so supportive of her. Family, friends, and complete strangers helped her not only reach her goal, but exceed it!

According to their website, the New Haven Food Bank served 1,652 in 2011. If anyone is interested in making a food or monetary donation, you can contact the Emanuel Lutheran Church office.

Lily has been asked to come back during Christmas break to see how her donations are used by the food bank and to help however she can. We’ll be taking some candy canes to pass out to spread some Christmas cheer!!

Throwback Thursday: Kindergarten

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It’s hard to believe that this time last year, Lily was in kindergarten. She was learning to write her letters and numbers.

For kindergarten, I saved almost every worksheet, coloring page, and craft project. Her backpack from last year is filled with papers that she brought home.

First grade, not so much. I take pictures to show family and friends how well she does on a project or test

What a difference a year makes!