Tuesday, May 31, 2011


We had an extremely rough time with E last night. We were coming back from the campground and on our way up our street he saw that one of the neighbors was selling a mini-quad. He got very excited and wanted to go look at it. Tom told him he could, but also warned him that it wasn't something we would buy for him. We live in the suburbs; there is no place to ride something like that around here, nor would they appreciate that at the campground. He came back, talking about how much he wanted the quad. Tom again told him that it wasn't something that would work for where we live, etc. E ended up going to his room crying, very disappointed.

This escalated into HOURS of sobbing. He cried for at least the first hour about that quad. I told him that he was over-reacting, and needed to stop this. He then informed me that he wasn't crying about the quad anymore, but that he wanted to sell the game he had just gotten earlier at a thrift store, so he could buy a new game for his DS. I could tell we were descending into total madness at this point. He cried and carried on for another hour. I got him into the shower and found a tick in his hair. Needless to say that did not improve his demeanor.

In the meantime, he hadn't eaten since lunch and had refused dinner. By 9pm he was throwing up and we were trying to convince him to eat a few pretzels or crackers to get something in his stomach. He ate a few but threw up again, and could not be reasoned with.

I posted in a support group on Facebook and got some great responses. (Thank you, God for the internet!) One thing that was pointed out more than once was that he appeared to be rebounding. This is something I had read about ages ago, but because we didn't see this side effect on his first prescription, I had forgotten about it. Rebounding is simply symptoms that appear as the medication wears off, in addition to their ADHD symptoms returning. The person can experience all kinds of anxiety, anger, crying, etc. The group members suggested having his meds re-evaluated, and possibly adding something to help him during that transition time in the late afternoon. (His doctor had mentioned that a year ago as well.) So I'll be calling his doctor today to set up an appointment, and we'll see what he says.

The most helpful response I got was that I needed to view the situation as the Red Cross Vs. A Storm. I need to keep him safe, protect him, but I cannot stop what is happening. I need to focus on getting him through it and dealing with the emotional fall-out afterwards. I also need to keep myself in check, and be aware that these kinds of events with E are what triggers my own depression. I need to stay pro-active and remind myself that we will get through this.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My First Decade

Today marks the tenth anniversary of my sobriety. It's still a bit surreal to me. My sponsor gave me my coin on Wednesday night. It felt so good to see the pleasure on her face as she handed it to me and hugged me.
The hard work paid off, and by the grace of God I'm a first timer. I make sure I tell people that when I share in meetings, not because I'm so fantastic, but because people who are new need to see that it IS possible to do this without relapsing. After his infamous relapse David Hasselhoff was quoted as saying that relapse was a part of recovery. He's wrong. Relapse isn't a part of recovery, it's a part of the disease. If you do the hard work you will stay sober. No one said it would be easy. But it's better than what you left behind, that's for sure. Sometimes it can seem harder to be sober, because it feels like you have more problems. You don't; it just seems that way because now you have to actually face life and deal with it, rather than medicating yourself and escaping.

There is no other feeling like this on earth. I am thankful. I am blessed.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Dark Side of Air Freshener

I follow a lot of pages on Facebook that feature deals and freebies. I'm forever signing up for a free sample of something or other, which is great for making me think that I somehow am generating income. (I got two packets of Truvia sweetener in the mail today, which has to be worth at least nine cents! Score!)

So I don't even remember requesting it, but somehow I got some free Glade samples last week. These weren't ordinary samples, however, but three full size bottles of air freshener and a motion sensor gadget with two refills. I was pretty stoked.

So I put the little canister thinger into the Sense & Spray thinger and put it in the bathroom. I walked out, I walked in, and a little puff of fragrance comes out. Lovely. This is an excellent product and I'm pleased. Fast forward a few hours, after A and I have watched Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows and then gone to bed. I get up to use the bathroom like the senior citizen I am, and I flip the switch as I'm going in. The light makes the sensor react before I'm even in the room, and it goes off. If you ever wanted to hear me shriek like a little girl, you missed your chance. Seriously, the little whirring mechanism was hardly noticeable during the day. But combine scary movie with unfamiliar creepy nighttime sound in an otherwise silent house and I'm coming out of my skin when I think something's growling at me.

At least my Clear Springs® scented bathroom smells awesome.

At Risk Moms

A few years ago I sank into an 18 month journey with depression. It wasn't my first go-round with it, but it was my first time dealing with it in sobriety. I couldn't drink it away and had no idea what to do. At the encouragement of the nonblogging friend, I saw my doctor and started on an anti-depressant. The good news is that I did eventually come out of my depression. The bad news is that the medication did not help me, and a year later I was twenty pounds heavier (a side effect of the last prescription I tried) and still felt miserable.

I was talking to my sponsor one day and she asked me if I would be open to talking to someone, like a therapist. I said I wasn't opposed to it, but that I didn't see the point. I wasn't upset about anything, and I looked at the depression like a medical condition and nothing more. I had no idea what I was talking about.

The truth was that my ADHD son was at the heart of my problem. My overwhelming feelings of failure and inadequacy had led me into a hole I could not climb out of. I felt completely helpless to do anything for him. I wish I had read an article like this back during that dark time:  ADHD Moms: Are we at risk? 

Once I knew what was causing my depression, I was able to find ways out of it. I took my heartbreak to God time and again, and asked Him to show me the way. I am thankful to no longer feel that way anymore, but it took a lot of emotional work. I had to choose to accept what I could not do, but focus on what I could do and not let negative self-talk eat away at me. My son is never going to be cured, and he may never be like other kids. And that's ok. I love him, God loves him, and he will be ok. God has granted me that measure of serenity.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

And I feel fine

Dear Mr. Camping,
So the world didn't end, and we didn't get raptured. I wonder what you thought when time ticked by and you were still here. Maybe you'll return to your bible and try to recalculate, and insist that it's nothing to be embarrassed about, like you did the last time your prediction didn't come true.

The truth is that you are talked about in the bible.
At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time. “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. ~ Matt 24:23-27

You have succeeded in making a mockery of Christianity. When people like you get on your soapbox, you damage the credibility of the Gospel. Many people will be so turned off by this date-setting nonsense, that they will completely discredit Christianity. Shame on you. It makes me sad to hear people making jokes about the Rapture. Sure, it's funny today because you're a big joke to them. But how can we get them to listen to us about the REAL Rapture, the one that will come one day? You've certainly made it more complicated. I pray for good opportunities to come out of this mess you have made, that somehow we can use it to spread the Gospel in spite of you.

I'm pleased to read about a church in California that is moving forward with compassion.
Pastor Jacob Denys of Milpitas-based Calvary Bible Church plans to wait outside the nonprofit's headquarters on Saturday afternoon, hoping to counsel believers who may be disillusioned if the Rapture does not occur.
"The cold, hard reality is going to hit them that they did this, and it was false and they basically emptied out everything to follow a false teacher," he said. "We're not all about doom and gloom. Our message is a message of salvation and of hope."

Jesus was clear that no one, not even Him, would know the time of His return. Only the Father knows. You're a charlatan. And not only that, your version of the Gospel doesn't even make sense. If you don't believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven, then why do you care when He returns?

After all the jokes are done and the hysteria dies down, we're left with the same reality we had before. Jesus loves you and wants you to know Him. It's not about rules. It's not about being god enough. It's about His gift and your acceptance of it.

NOTE: Since writing this, Mr. Camping has stated that he miscalculated again, but that the end is definitely coming this October. *facepalm*

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Neo Update

E has been using the Neo for a while and it's been a great tool for him. He brings it home frequently and we talk about what he's been writing. This is what he wrote today. (Tip: read it phonetically and you'll figure out what most of the words are.)

My Day 5/18/11
Today when I woke up I got dress then ate some sereol and got redey for skool I got unpakt and then did the plegolegints then went to speshel which was computer then did the dale5 then went to lunch and resees then did writing workshop then did math then I did stints I got to look at betas rollepolles and the crayfish then got pakte up and then went home did homework had diner at home to go to bed but I got a snak watid for my bruther to go to slepe before I code go to slepe.

The Neo is doing what we hoped it would. He can keep up with writing assignments and not quit out of frustration with handwriting. The spelling gets corrected later in the process, and he doesn't have to worry about lagging behind.

(And yes, the 'plegolegints' is my favorite, lol.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


A friend of mine sent this picture to me and I had to laugh. I told him, "Ha! They don't scare me, my life is already like that!" Dog? Check. Hyperactive child? Check!  Now I just need to find a store with this sign and drop my kids off. ;)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day

I have fond memories of the Mother's Day Tea that Miss Debby would always hold at her daycare & preschool.  The kids would parade in and sing songs praising their mommies. Debby would encourage them to sing so sweetly, and then to go sit with their mothers for cookies and tea. Most of us would shed a few tears of joy and appreciation. The children would present us with handmade place-mats and trinkets.  This was one of the events I knew I would really miss when we chose to put TC in a different preschool. I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I'm glad I won't have to be there for it without her this year. It's hard enough as it is.

I am beyond grateful for the gift of motherhood. As I said a few years ago, we had a bumpy road but not as hard as others, and ultimately ours led to three sweet babies. (If you weren't following me in 2008, please go read that post. It's a big piece of my heart.)

When we were trying to conceive the first time I naively thought it would happen right away. Over the months my heart broke a little more with every negative test. As we neared the end of that first year, I was in disbelief that we might need help to become pregnant.  Tom and I were visiting my mother's family for Thanksgiving, and I was waiting until we got home to test. I dreaded getting another negative, but at the same time I expected it. As we were exiting the turnpike I suddenly saw a rainbow. Not a full one, just a small piece, nearly hidden in the clouds. I felt like God was speaking to me, telling me that He had not forgotten me. I dared to hope.

When we got home I didn't even stop to bring in any bags, but went straight to the test and took it. I was in complete shock when it was positive. Positive?? After a year of trying. A year of tears and frustration. A year of alternating between shaking my fist at God one day and begging Him to give me a baby the next. Nine months later, A was born.

When A was about eighteen months old I was delighted to find myself pregnant again. How could it happen without any effort? I felt like God was giving me a generous gift, not making me go through that struggle again. The long story about that pregnancy can be found if you click on Losing Lily. (Read from the bottom up.) The short and devastating story is that we lost that pregnancy, and I lost one of my fallopian tubes as well.
With such a rocky history, we had no idea what to expect if we tried again. We were afraid, but we really wanted another child, so we risked it. I really couldn't believe it when we got pregnant right away. We still had to go through the confirmation process, however, which was nerve-wracking. Tom and I both felt like I was a time bomb waiting to go off. I had blood drawn and then drawn again a few days later to monitor my hormone levels. The results had us over the moon: my levels had more than doubled and we were overjoyed. They did an ultrasound just to be sure, and we were just able to see the tiniest little peanut with a fluttering heart. E was born after what felt like a year later, as I went to 42 weeks. I spent a night in the hospital at 35 weeks with contractions that seemed to give the baby an irregular heartbeat. Otherwise the extra-long pregnancy was uneventful. E was born all wrapped up in his cord, which explained the heartbeat issues.

A few years later I knew I still wanted more children. I had always planned (ha!) to have four children, but I was hoping at that point for three. After 8 unsuccessful months of trying I was at an emotional low. I was eating to soothe myself, and put on twenty pounds during that time. I just couldn't understand why it had to be so hard. I went back to my doctor who suggested we try Clomid and an HSG.

The HSG is not fun. It's a diagnostic test that I found to be excruciatingly painful. It felt like labor pain. As they injected the dye and tried to get good x-rays, the technician asked several times which side I still had a fallopian tube on. My heart sank, as I saw the screen above me and knew what the results would be. I wanted to throw up. This couldn't be the end of my journey, could it? I sat on the table afterwards and cried, even as my doctor assured me that it could still happen for us. He encouraged me to finish the Clomid for that cycle, but did warn me that if it didn't work, I was now beyond his expertise and would have to see a specialist. Tom and I had agreed ahead of time that we didn't want to go through IUI or IVF, so if this didn't work, we were done. I could hardly bear it.

A few weeks later, when I took my last ever pregnancy test, I was completely stunned when I saw that faint second line. I literally fell to my knees on the carpet and sobbed and thanked God. I had no fear of another ectopic and went through the confirmation testing with confidence. TC was born that fall with the faintest breath of red hair, and the same blue eyes of his siblings.

God has been so gracious and generous to us. I am painfully aware of what it can cost you to have children, but also that my story has a happy ending. I have friends who have walked a much more painful and lengthy road that did not end happily. My heart breaks for them. I think of them this Mother's Day. I will celebrate my own mother, and my children will celebrate me. And for my friends, I will pray that God would comfort their hearts.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Katy Perry

Katy Perry: Strick Christian upbringing kept me from having a childhood

This makes me sad. The crazy legalism of her parents pushed her further from a faith with God, instead of closer. Where was grace in her childhood? Where was the love of God? It doesn't sound like they ever taught her about that.

My sister saw her in concert years ago when she was performing as Katy Hudson. She was disappointed when Katy turned from God and began a scantily clad Hollywood singing career.  Reading this article, I can see why she did. And I can't blame her. I would run screaming from parents who wouldn't even let me say 'deviled eggs'. What kind of lame nonsense is that?

I am putting Katy Perry on my prayer list, that God would send someone to witness to her about a real relationship with God, one filled with love and mercy and forgiveness. Someone who will serve her deviled eggs with a smile and tell her about how much Jesus loves her.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Tom took the kids camping this weekend. I was under the weather so I stayed home. When they came home E was the first to come and hug me and load me up with stories about the campground. He left the room and came back with something hidden behind him. He told me all about A giving him money so he could play the machine with the claw so you could get a stuffed animal. He then pulled out a stuffed sting ray and said that he had won this just for me. He handed it to me and beamed when I thanked him and hugged him. A little while later he wrote 'I love you' on the DS and showed it to me. I didn't let him see me cry.

This is the stuff that carries me through the hard days with him. He is beautiful and hilarious and brilliant.  He's so amazing. I'm so blessed.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mad Hatter Addendum

Ok I'm a dork, but this really made me laugh.

The Mad Hatter

I didn't watch the Royal Wedding. I'm not sure what the numbers are on how many Americans really watched it, but I do find the obsession with 'royalty' to be a bit peculiar.  (Didn't we fight a war with them in order to get away from monarchy rule? That rings a bell.) I do enjoy a good fancy wedding, although I personally hate attending them as I feel expected to wear a dress, barf.
What has really struck me has been the flood of reaction to the hat worn by Princess Beatrice. I'm sure by now you've seen it, but here it is.
You can't really miss it. There is even a Facebook page dedicated to it: Princess Beatrice's ridiculous Royal Wedding hat. Some of the comments are supportive, but most are critical. Some go so far as to say that she wore it selfishly to draw attention to herself on someone else's special day, or that it's demonic.  Seriously? It's. A. Hat.
This isn't the first wild hat that Beatrice has worn, as this slide show reveals. But honestly, people need to get over themselves. First, there is a huge cultural difference between the US and England. Seriously, these people drink tea more than coffee, which I'll never understand. But more to the point, they like to wear crazy hats. And I think it's awesome. I'm all for the free spirit, and self-expression. And let's remember that she's a kid, she was born in 1988 for crying out loud.

You do your thing, Beatrice, and pay no mind to the haters.