Friday Open Thread

Happy Friday! I came across this video last night, and had to share.

What about you? Were you lucky enough to snag yourself a seahorse?

What are your plans for today? Any big plans for the weekend?

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59 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

  1. Hey friends–my colleague and her 15 yo daughter are on my heart this morning. The daughter is back at a psych inpatient hospital, after having been there for about a week before Christmas. They have been really hopeful that the drugs she’s on now are really helping a lot and she has seemed to be doing well in school and socially, so her suicide plans that came to light yesterday were a bit of a surprise. I would appreciate it if you would add M to your prayer/candles/good vibes/thoughts list.

  2. Getting a thyroid ultrasound and bloodwork today, for enlarged thyroid. Which I was supposed to do 6 weeks ago…oops. Hopefully it’s nothing.

  3. We had the follow-up mtg about M’s learning/attention/focus eval yesterday afternoon. In a lot of ways it was great – we got a detailed report specific to M as well as a thumb drive of loads and loads of supporting info and research. The therapist talked statistics which made DH much more confident in the results. There was a lot of alignment between the therapists observation, the teacher’s responses, DH and my response’s, and M’s self-eval and test results. So that was good. The therapist said M is really self-aware which can be a challenge for her with some things but made it really nice for getting insights to the eval.

    The big take-aways: anxiety, especially with same-age social situations, that has been exacerbated by the school change this year. The anxiety also shows with anything timed – huge panic about it. The anxiety is also cyclical with her sleep – leaving her unable to sleep enough which makes the anxiety worse. The therapist thinks that these two things then are influencing her working memory – so ability to keep info in her mind and think through aspects of it that makes attention/focus on activities with lots of steps difficult. Her attention, especially to repetitive things, is also a problem. The therapist thinks that therapy and/or group social groups and developing a more targeted sleep routine may help the anxiety and exhaustion to an extent that that attention and focus become less of an issue. We’re meeting with him again in a couple weeks to talk more specifically through the next steps. We’re also meeting with her teacher to talk about things in school – social situations in the class, potentially support for testing, etc. And we’re connecting with parents of a few kids that seem to generally get along with M to set up some more one on one playdates so that M doesn’t feel so lonely in class. Anyways… long story to ask if any of you have experience with social group therapy with your kids? Any other things that you liked/found helpful if you were in a similar situation with your kids? A lot of the outcomes were, in a way, reassuring. We weren’t making things up. M isn’t just “not trying.” But now we’re also trying to make sense of it and figure out what to do.

        • My M went through some anxiety stuff about that same time- it sounds very similar to what you described. She’s still working with a therapist (who we love) since the anxiety seems to manifest in different ways at different times. We also used a couple of books- What to do When You Worry Too Much/a>, The Feelings Book/a>, and
          A Smart Girl’s Guide to Friendship Troubles.

          We definitely find that it gets worse when she gets tired and she’s learned to recognize it too. She’s very rigid about her bedtime routine and she gets tons of exercise so that she’s tired enough to go to sleep at night. She also likes to have something to plan while she’s lying in bed- it occupies her mind so her “worry bullies” can’t take hold. (So far she’s designed our new mudroom, planned the schedule and packing list for our vacation, organized every birthday party any of us will ever have, and made 1, 3, 5 and 10 year plans for herself. )

          Hugs sweetie. It’s hard to watch our kids go through this. I really think there’s a developmental leap at this age because so many of my M’s friends have gone through similar things, then it seems to ease off for a while.

            • More likely she’ll be some kind of uber-villian. Given the choice between Vanessa and Candace (a la Phineas and Ferb), she prefers Vanessa- the evil daughter of the villian- every time. I can sort of see it though- Candace is lame.

              • Vanessa has better clothes too (who wants to look like a walking candy cane??)
                Naw, I see your M using her powers for good. It sounds like she’s made much progress with her anxiety, that’s wonderful!
                V, I hope yours can find her way too. I think this is about the time when girls do get mean… ugh. I’m kind of glad I have boys, but we’ll have our own sets of troubles. Hugs.

    • No experience but I just want to say I’m so glad you’re getting her some help. I suffered as a kid because my parents just wanted to sweep my issues under the rug, and/or just didn’t know what to do. I’m so glad M knows you are there for her.

    • Sleep routine is always the first thing they talk about. If you haven’t taken care of that, sure, start there. But I suspect most of us have already put a great deal of emphasis there.

      My elder son’s sleep problems were related to anxiety. That only became clear in the last year or so, but looking back anxiety was probably always a component. He’s very self aware of the things that calm him at night and he’s always thoroughly surrounded by his comfort items. I don’t want to push the comparison, because I think he and M sound quite different. But I really don’t think his sleep routine (which was very consistent anyway) was ever any part of the problem or solution.

    • Does she do any activities outside school? One thing I’ve always found to be helpful is to have your kid do an activity that’s not related to school to have friends/an activity that is separate from school. My daughter is a very serious tennis player. She has made friends with some of the girls she takes lessons with. If she has a bad day at school, she knows she has an activity coming up with a group of kids who don’t know anything about what happens at school and vice versa. While I think it’s good to strengthen friendships she has with people at school, it’s very beneficial to strengthen connections that can exist outside school.

      • Oh, that’s a great point. DH was miserable in middle school except for his involvement with Boy Scouts – different group, entirely different experience. Thank God or he may not have survived.
        (Of course this makes it hard on him that I won’t let the kids join BSA, as it was such a haven for him.)

  4. So, totally unrelated, but my DH mentioned this article last night by a musician in Galaxie 500 about how much artists make when music is streamed through Spotify or Pandora. I would be curious to know how much they make in royalties from radio play as a comparison, but here is how much he is making off his songs being streamed:
    “My BMI royalty check arrived recently, reporting songwriting earnings from the first quarter of 2012, and I was glad to see that our music is being listened to via these services. Galaxie 500′s “Tugboat”, for example, was played 7,800 times on Pandora that quarter, for which its three songwriters were paid a collective total of 21 cents, or seven cents each. Spotify pays better: For the 5,960 times “Tugboat” was played there, Galaxie 500′s songwriters went collectively into triple digits: $1.05 (35 cents each).”

    He earned 21 cents over three months.

    iTunes only pays 10 percent to the artist for downloads, Apple gets 35% and the label gets 55%. It makes you wonder what the attraction of being in a band will be other than just for fun if people can’t make anything at all (literally) off record sales. Will we have less music being put out in the future because people won’t have any hope of making any money off it?

    I guess it is another example of the same thing that is happening in journalism. They seem to have managed to retain control over e-books better than they did music or photographs or news articles.

    • Maybe there will be more independently-distributed music and the artists are making more since the label isn’t taking a cut. Certainly technology is making it easier to release music on your own. Macklemore is independent and made it to the top of the charts with Thrift Shop.

      • That is true, for example I saw Jay-Z also started his own label when he couldn’t get a record deal, so now he is the one earning the label money when his songs are downloaded legally. So much is done through filesharing though and now through streaming, it seems like you still are looking at a fraction of what it would have been in the past.

    • My friend is a full time musician and she makes a living from touring and shows. Her albums are funded entirely through donations (kick starter). Her fans want more music so they pay eagerly for her to make an album. Most people download her music from itunes.

      I think that’s the future model of how musicians will make money. I like it. The people decide what they want, not some music exec telling the public what they get.

  5. I don’t know whether to be worried or pissed.

    DH was in VT on business this week and decided to make a side trip into Canada for some winter festival. He left this morning and promised to give me updates because I was worried about the weather. I’ve heard from him once. I’ve called, texted and emailed with no response. Rationally, I suspect there’s a glitch with cell service across the border. But still, my stomach hurts. And I may not be responsible for what I say when he does call me. Ugh.

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