Thursday, June 27, 2013

Smiling Monkeys

No, there were no smiling monkey pics yesterday. It rained yesterday. Streets flooded. I got road rage. This is what it looked like.
Actor reenactment
Today was much better. And they both smiled.

Actual kids, not actors

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Smiling Monkeys


I don't have AD...wait, a squirrel!

There is so much I could say about living as an adult with ADD.  I would, in fact, but, I can't organize all my thoughts into something coherent that would be worthy of someone spending time reading it. Just getting to this entry has taken me weeks.

As a parent, as a mom, I can clearly see the impact of my ADD because it comes out in my family, specifically my kids. I can't organize my own time, my own life, how can I expect my children to be any better? How can I expect them to keep their rooms clean when I don't keep up with my own, let alone the rest of the house? How can I expect them to know what needs to be done, when I am too overwhelmed to know, myself? How can I teach my kids good time and money management, when I don't practice it, myself?
When did she have time to do her hair?
Once I start these questions, I begin the game of self-blame. It's my fault. I am not doing my job. I'm not an effective parent. I am breeding the behaviour, the problem, and not acting as part of a solution. But what's the solution? I'm not cut out for this.

Once that begins, it's not long before the defeat sets in. Suddenly, the hole gets deeper, and the light outside gets more dim. Before long, I've managed to convince myself that only something drastic will help solve this pickle I've gotten myself into, and I must act NOW.

NOW usually involves a frantic day cleaning the house, going through a closet, or rearranging the furniture in a room or three. With a weekend of frenzy behind me, I turn around and there is yet another pile of stuff that I hadn't seen in the madness, and I'm back to square one. I have to start all over again and tackle this pile. Will it ever end?

Now I'm paralyzed. I can't see past the things I haven't done, or how to upkeep the things I have. Before I know it, everything is back to the same state of disarray it was in when I started my frenzy. At this point, a child usually wants something to eat, needs me to do something for them, or decides it's a good time to piss the other kid off and start a battle royale in the living room.
Forget me away!
I have a supportive husband who keeps up with the dishes, and is often found doing the kids' laundry. I can't wait 'til those little buggers can reach the washer and dryer themselves. All kidding aside, I wouldn't be able to keep what little sanity I have if it weren't for Hot Dad.

Wine Running has also helped me curb some of the madness that comes along with ADD. Changes in my diet have also helped curb some of my symptoms, and helped my mind see things in a more positive light. I have more patience with my kids after I run, which is something I make a conscious effort to show every day.

Mommy running, by Ethel
There are times when it feels like there will never be a light at the end of the tunnel. Hell, who am I kidding, end? What end? Other times, though, I realize that it's all just one day at a time. I need to take things slowly (no easy feat for me), and not worry about everything all at once.

I'm doing my best to get there. I really am. I'm not certain why I wrote all this out. I think my mind needed to dump a few things, it's gotten pretty overloaded over the last few days. I guess if you got this far, I say thank you. I'm doing my best to make time to get back to the blog. And next time I see you, I will likely have a glass of wine in my hand, or be sweaty from running. What some might find crazy, I find to be necessary for survival. Oh, and chocolate. Chocolate is vital to making it through the tough times. And it pairs well with wine. Especially after a run. I digress....imagine that......

Monday, June 24, 2013

Something new, Smiling Monkeys

I'm not the world's most creative mom. I work. I have two kids. Who has time for that stuff?

One morning last summer, my kids were just super cute as we made our way to the car on the way to summer camp. I had to snap a shot. It was such a nice moment {ie: no crying, protesting, no word 'no'...}.

It's true, we do have these kinds of mornings sometimes.

I have this picture as my wallpaper on my phone, and I adore it. They look so carefree. So summer.

It got me thinking a month or so ago, that I should take their picture each morning. So I started to do so.

Some mornings are more pleasant than others. Some, not so much. Still, I take their picture.

I post them to Facebook.

And now, I will post them here. I will try daily, but, hey, I'm human. I'm a mom. I go to work. I snap these shots as we dash out of the house. Cut me some slack.

Here is today's submission. Two relatively happy kids on their way to camp. Early in the morning.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

"I'm going to live somewhere else"

We made it almost two years before giving her McDonald's. We made it five years before our first visit to the ER. We made it eight and a half years before she packed a bag and left the house for greener pastures.

That's right. Ethel decided today that we are mean, and she was going to live somewhere else. In a defiant act of unholy tantrum independence, Ethel got a duffel bag from under my bed, packed a few things in it, and triumphantly made a teary-eyed exit through the patio door. No good byes, no note on her pillow, no sorrowful look back with sad background music - she just left.
There was no looking back, and no cute puppy
 She went to the front yard. She went to the side of the house. She went from the front yard to the back yard, and back to the front. Daddy found her and tried to get her to take One Eyed Pete, her BFF cat. She said she would not take him because he would die. She didn't know how she'd get food for him. Despite the last minute nature of her decision, she had put some thought into it.

What horrible thing would drive an eight year old to decide to go where the grass is greener, you ask? Being told to change her clothes. Yes. In order to go see a play, in a theater, she was asked to put on an outfit that was color coordinated, if not a real ensemble. {insert shock and horror here}
You told your daughter to do WHAT?
Yes, we are mean parents that do not want our children to wear pink shirts and orange shorts with green socks and blue/green Crocs in front of the general public. Truly, our eye for fashion is skewed, don't you think?

We are obviously monsters. Unfit parents.

Initially very excited to see our friends' daughter in the play, once she discovered that her brother wasn't going and she would have to change her clothes, the deal was off. She.wasn't.going.

These are the times that drive a mom to drink heavily really question her parenting. And drink heavily. And yell. A lot.

Rest assured, Ethel returned home in less than 20 minutes. She figured out, faster than a college graduate, that life just ain't that easy. Honestly, I don't know why she came back in the house. She was probably hungry. Who knows.

She finally agreed to unpack her bag and write a letter of apology to the star of the play. She agreed to move home. She agreed to a few conditions, including apologizing to Mommy and putting away the things she unpacked. More conditions will follow, but we all need a bit of a cooling off period.

After some time beating myself up over everything from bad dinners to not teaching my daughter better fashion choices, I am now enjoying a beer blogging in peace and quiet. Daddy realized that we would all be on the news before long if everyone didn't make themselves scarce, so he took the kids to the library.

We almost had a mutiny on our hands when I suggested books that each of the kids should look for. Don't panic, crisis averted. They, quite wisely, conceded.

You thought I was kidding, didn't you.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Testing, testing, this thing on?

I have been absent. Bad blogger. It's not on purpose, or for lack of interest. I never could have anticipated how busy life would get with a husband, house, job, two kids, and the bit of a social life that I try to cling to. I feel like we emerged from the plague that hit over the holidays and hit the ground running, never looking back.

I can't juggle and I don't wear dresses
Fred has now completed kindergarten. His first year in institutionalized education went quite well, and I am certainly looking forward to his first grade experience. He has now lost six teeth (one of them at 2AM last week, which was awesome), and I'm still getting used to seeing him without his top fronts. He is very excited because without these key choppers, he proudly declares that he looks like a real hockey player (Duncan Keith of the Hawks, to be exact).

We've enrolled him in baseball for the summer, which he's really looking forward to. I can't count the number of cold spring days after the snow melted when he would take his tee ball set out back and set up a field and practice hitting and running the bases. I think the cutest part is the way he lays out the bases. His patterns are wonderful. :)

Ethel continues to excel in school and just finished up 2nd grade. She reads like it's her job and is still as artistic as ever. She began to lose some focus toward the end of the school year, something which we're trying to target to keep from getting too far off track. She's hot a huge heart, but often times her desire to help others keeps her from doing her own work. I admire her charity and am insanely proud of all her accomplishments this school year. She's excited to have a teacher she knows pretty well when she returns for third grade in August.

Hot Dad has finally found a hobby which I think is sustainable. He's joined a Lego User Group and spends lots of time building, researching, and sorting Legos at home. It's an activity the kids can get in to, and Ethel has taken to it like a fish to water. The two of them could play with Legos for days on end if I let them.

I have not just returned to running, I have regained my love of running. I started out slowly in the fall and slowly brought myself back to decent mileage, and along with that came some speed. I'm not breaking land speed records, but I am pretty happy with the way things are right now. I've run a lot, raced a bunch, and am having a great time.

I completed a Whole30 program in April as part of my attempt to kick start my diet and continue on the Paleo way. I can't say enough about how much I learned about food, my body, my mind, and my overall health. It was difficult at times, but I couldn't be happier with myself for sticking with it. I continue to eat clean and still feel great. I hope to soon post my daily diary that I kept during April. I also hope to jump the whole family into better eating, clean eating. We'll see how that goes.

Pictures and more details will follow, of course. I just completed my second Ragnar Relay Chicago, and am trying to readjust to life at home. It's funny how quickly one can adapt to the fast-paced life of Ragnar, living in a van with five others, yet, it takes several days to get used to being back to the life you spend every day living. It's crazy.

More will follow soon, I promise!