Sunday, April 3, 2011

Inappropriate Girl

Should I say that?  No.  Did that ever stop me?

You see, I have this tendency to say whatever comes to mind.  I should think twice about what I'm about to say, but often I just don't give a damn what people think.  That's one of the advantages of being 40 - I care a lot less about what others think of me.  Freedom!  (well, sort of.)

Anyway, that tendency is why my husband calls me "Inappropriate Girl."  I took it one step further and bought the domain name.  You'll find me here now.  Cheers!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Kitchen Adventures

There's nothing quite like being snowed in. You have nowhere to go and even if you did, you couldn't get there anyway. The only thing (well, not the only thing...) left to do is cook. And cook we did, all throughout Snowmageddon 2010 - soups, stews, bread, cookies, cupcakes, marshmallows, sausage...lots and lots of yumminess. None of the recipes we used involved any of the ingredients A can't have: wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, chocolate, peanuts, or potatoes (I've given up on mentioning watermelon - it's a non-issue).  If the original recipe did, we substituted ingredients she could have.  This really only seems like an achievement when you look through the average cookbook. Nearly every recipe has one or more of these ingredients. We've had to get really creative and we're having a ton of fun with it.

Ok, so it's not all fun. Some of the recipes are definitely not hits. Take last night's dinner: Santa Fe Chicken Chili. BUMD and I loved it; the kids, not so much. In times like these, I feel the need to create a 'make-up dinner' (yes, kinda like make-up sex). I'm still trying to figure out what tonight's will be. If I'd really planned well, we'd have had a 'make-up dessert': something really lush and yummy to make up for not having something they liked for dinner. Offering something else to A for dinner isn't really an option. There's only so much she can eat and we're trying to keep her diet as varied as possible (the other two just have to suck it up as a show of unity). I'm sure that this'll result in many stories about how their mother tried to make them eat healthily and ewwwww, so gross! That's probably a rite of passage - they're just getting a lot of miles on it.

In the meantime, they've become quite spoiled. There's nothing quite like having freshly-baked treats and hot, home cooked meals all day, every day. A's food challenges may have made our lives more complicated, but they've also made things more delicious. I'll try to share our cooking adventures a little more often. We're blessed with a bounty of good resources from the Internet. The food bloggers of the world are my heroes.  Thank you!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Nine down, ??? to go

So I said I'd cry if this happened, but it doesn't seem worth it. A is off of wheat now too. For right now, she can't eat anything that has these ingredients: wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, potatoes, watermelon, peanuts, or chocolate. The good news is that we're going to try and reintroduce either corn, potatoes, or chocolate in a couple of weeks. Given that it'll be Valentine's Day, I'm voting for the chocolate. Watermelon is a non-issue; she doesn't like it anyway.

We're eating a lot of good meats, fruits, and veggies - in short, a very healthy diet. No problem with that. I bought some more alterna-flours and I'm going to try bake some cookies today. This could be fun. My grocery bill is huge. I need to plan my garden for the summer. Thank goodness for the internet too - there's a ton of great recipes out there. I haven't food a decent one for bread...yet. Maybe I'll just have to make one.

That said, I'd like to eliminate the term "allergy free." Really, a recipe for water? 'Cause that's the only thing I can find that's non-allergenic. People have a vast array of allergies. There's no "allergy-free" recipe database that's going to take care of them all. I prefer the term "allergy friendly" because there's less of a chance I'll be let down. The last time I clicked on the featured recipe from an allergy free site, the recipe contained several ingredients we couldn't use. I know you can't please everyone all of the time, but we could compromise, right?

In the meantime, we're getting creative around here. It will be fun!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Updates as they happen

I've been slacking on updating the blog, but at least BUMD has been keeping up with things.  In case you're wondering:

The fifth First Annual Holiday Letter

...what happened after the letter went out (or, why holiday letters should wait until after the year ends).

From there, I should probably start updating more.  Gotta get these thoughts out of my head!

Friday, December 25, 2009

How to Preserve your sanity in Modern Day Times and Places

1. Begin each day cheerfully and unhurriedly.
2. If you feel sad, try to bluff it and act happy.
3. Calmly accept the problems of the day.
4. Avoid negative and useless worries. They only cause ulcers.
5. Substitute positive thoughts and emotions.
6. “Age Quod Agis” (Do what you are doing; That which you do, do well)
7. Hand nobody the right to depress you emotionally. It’s much more fun if you do it yourself.
8. Follow a moral code you believe in. (It doesn’t have to be Mommy’s or Daddy’s either!!!)
9. Cultivate a sense of humor and proportion.
10. Meditate daily and recreate reasonably often.

On the Subject of Labeling

It's clean-up time and I'm moving some stuff over from my other journal.

I originally wrote this in January, 2004.

"What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think." – Emerson

I guess this is a sensitive topic for me. My three-year-old son was just diagnosed as having a "Biologically-Based Disinhibition Disorder"; that is, ADHD. This diagnosis comes as no surprise to those who know him well. C. has always been unique in many ways. It's difficult to adequately describe how we knew that something about him was more unique than other children. From his behavior to his speech, something was definitely amiss. We had him evaluated first by the school system's Child Find program. They indicated that he had delays in receptive and expressive speech, social and emotional growth, as well as gross and fine motor delays. They said that ADHD was a strong possibility. From there we went to a neurologist who sent us to a neuropsychologist. After extensive testing, the neuropsychologist pronounced C. to be a very bright little boy with ADHD.

For us, the diagnosis was confirmation of what we had already suspected. Our attitude is, here's our answer, now what can we do about it. In the coming months we will be working with a behavioral management specialist, among others. Whatever we can learn and do to make all of our lives better, we'll do. Knowing that he has ADHD clarifies why he sometimes behaves the way he does. It also lets us learn how we can best deal with him.

The strange part of this comes about when we let others know about his ADHD. For us it is a way of explaining why he seems so beyond energetic and outgoing. "Disinhibition" ought to be C.'s middle name - he's never met a stranger and thinks nothing of sitting on a complete stranger's lap and starting a conversation. Another ADHD description, "runs as if driven by a motor", also suits C. He is as rough and tumble as a little boy can get, except sometimes more so. Our neighbor, when discussing this with me, explained that she thought too many kids were diagnosed and that C. was just a typical little boy. But! Her son “was never like that” . Oh, and her daughter, who is C.'s age, is afraid of C. Wow, thanks. Just because ADHD is over diagnosed, doesn't mean he doesn't have it.

But I digress. Too many people are astonished that we'd allow someone to "label" such a young child. What, like we hadn't already? "C. E." was his first label, followed closely by "Big Man", "Destructo Boy", and “Conzilla” . His personal favorite is "C. Shine", which must always be followed by his song. He is an amazingly cheerful little boy who is enthusiastic about every success. Anyone who looks only at his ADHD "label" and ignores his beautiful smile and sweet disposition is missing out. Of course, their vision may be clouded by having been on the receiving end of one of his hair-pulling or shoving episodes. Or maybe they've had to chase after him as he ran out of the classroom. His teachers still manage a smile at the end of their day with him. They see the boy, not the diagnosis. Why can't everyone else?

The other concern that I've heard is, “I know the way people talk about ADHD kids. I don't want my child to be one of the kids they're talking about”. My guess is, if your child is exhibiting the kind of behaviors that would lead someone to suggest the child be evaluated for ADHD, it's too late. Trust me, people are already talking about the child. Know that the people talking about those kids are petty, narrow-minded folk. Anyone who judges a person based on their medical condition is an idiot who does not deserve my respect or consideration. There, I said it. If you can't handle childish behavior, get out of the field that causes you to deal with children. 'Nuf said.

I have little regard for labels. They are just something that someone calls us. My name is a label. To my husband, I am Julie or Jules. To my kids I am Mommy. Different labels, same me. My eldest daughter K. is often known as "the girl who wears glasses". Last year she was "the girl with the eye patch". My younger daughter A. is now known as "that cute baby". As a newborn she was known as "the baby with the rash". In the future she will likely be known as "that kid with no teeth" or hopefully "that kid with dentures" (at which point we will be known as "that family wearing barrels"). All different labels, for a different reason.

Labels don't scare me. People using labels scare me. The best thing I've read is that a label is only harmful if it is misused. If I use his diagnosis to figure out the best way to treat him, that is using the label properly. If I say "Oh, he has ADHD" to explain why he hit a kid while not disciplining him, that's misuse. Another misuse of labels, in my opinion, is refusing to try to get a diagnosis because you don't want your child labeled. Will ignoring the problem make it go away? I don't understand. I'm not saying you have to get him or her diagnosed with something. If you think there is a problem with your child, get him evaluated. If there is a problem, get the child the help he or she needs. If not, sit back and count your blessings. Parents should be their child's advocate at all times, regardless of the outcome. You know your child, you know when something is amiss. Act on it, don't try to wish it away. I cannot imagine not having C. evaluated for ADHD any more than I can imagine not having K. evaluated for lazy eye. But I suppose it is less socially acceptable to have an emotionally and socially challenged child than a nearly-blind-in-one-eye child.

The range of potential manifestations for C.'s "label" isn't much shorter that A.'s. No two kids with their conditions react the same. No one has a problem accepting that she has a medical condition, but his diagnosis often draws challenges. Why? Because his "label" isn't acceptable in our society. Hopefully someday it will be.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Representing the People

When people ask me why I'm so enthusiastic about Barack Obama, I'll show them this:

This is an issue that's important to me and he's addressing it. I love that he's such a good husband and father. We need more men like him and BUMD in the world.