Following Bunny Trails

“I don’t have ADD, it’s just that…OhLookAKitty!”

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Best-Laid Plans

The semester ended a week before Christmas.  I made it, survived, just barely squeaked by with a C in Statistics!  The big plan was to prepare for Christmas, and to send out cards with lots of letters catching up with loved ones.  The goal was to spend lots of time with the kids, baking cookies, making candy, playing educational games, etc.   My “to do” list included fixing, gluing, painting, cleaning, selling, and organizing.  And I had planned on writing several Bunny Trails posts, because I quickly found that I don’t have time to write them during the school semester. Well, you know what they say about “best-laid plans.”

My semester ended and the boy still had a week to go before his winter break.  I had a wrap-a-thon and checked off the first item of my to-do list.  Then I packed for our visit to friends and family, whom remain in the city we moved from a decade ago.  Gifts were exchanged, people were caught up on current family events, and we raced home as an ice storm was following close behind.  Only a couple of hours after we reached our homestead and unloaded the car, our world was glazed with a half-inch of ice.  The destructive ice came, downed trees and powerlines, and melted within 24 hours.  We were lucky; a mere 30 miles north of us had hundreds of thousands of people without electricity, some for days and even throughout Christmas.

The day after racing the ice storm home was the hubby’s much anticipated, annual family Christmas gathering.  We had a great time as usual, kids running around willy-nilly while the adults play catch-up and stuff our faces with pot luck food.  But in the hours following the party, hubby spent most of the overnight awake, making several trips to the bathroom.   He was feverish and exhausted, so I got up with the kids.  When he was able to crawl out of bed, it was my turn to crawl in.  I spent the rest of the afternoon feverish and ill.  We had been stricken by a noro/roto-type virus on Christmas Eve eve.  I rallied on Christmas Eve to do some shopping for food and supplies, and picked us up some fast food because I was not feeling spry enough to cook, yet the kids still needed to eat.  Hardly anybody picked at their supper, what a waste of money!  I fell ill again immediately after eating, duh-you don’t eat fast food after being sick!  Hubby got better and the kids only had a few symptoms but, for some reason, it clung to me for a while.  Christmas night was the worst, I hardly slept a wink.  When I awoke and realized the nasty virus had run its course, I suffered a headache all day.  I didn’t care, I’d take the headache over the stomach virus any day!  But alas, the headache morphed overnight into sore throat, swollen tonsils, and a deep cough.

So my best-laid plans dissolved into three weeks of sickness.  No cookies were baked, no candy made, no games played, none of my to-do’s crossed off the list.  School resumes for the boy tomorrow, and next week my college courses resume with a whole new schedule.  There is a silver lining to these events though.  I’m grateful that the illness struck between semesters; I can’t imagine attempting the course load I have ahead of me, while being this sick.  Besides, the children have no idea that they were gypped out of any holiday traditions.  They had a relaxing vacation with lots of TV watching, video gaming, and very few demands made of them.  All in all, a pretty darn good holiday.

































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Do The Eyes Hold a Secret?

I wish I could tell you that we removed all dye’s from our son’s diet, and his ADHD was all gone, but unfortunately that’s not the case.  We are attempting to finish the school year out on a positive note.  The teacher hasn’t called me to pick up the boy in a while, though the bus driver has told me that she had to get stern with him for hanging his arms and, occasionally, head out the window.   I still can’t take him shopping.  We haven’t been to a store in over a month.  I wait until daddy comes home and then I head out, sans the boy.  I have tried to hint that we would be shopping  later on in the day, but he instantly throws a fit.  I know that if he’s that upset at the mere mention of  going to the store, the actual experience of shopping will be a miserable one for both of us.  But I digress… [bunny trail]

There are good days and difficult days, but overall, I believe there’s been a pretty big difference since we went dye free.  I’m so proud of my boy, he’s not even 6 yet and he informs people that he doesn’t eat or drink anything with food coloring in it when they offer him something.  I think ice cream has been the hardest for him though.  On our Memorial Weekend vacation, we went to a fancy ice cream shop, and of the 40-some-odd flavors they offered, most had obvious colors.  The line of people waiting to be served went right out the door, so we couldn’t actually see all of the flavors before ordering.  It was pretty sad that out of all those delicious flavors, we had to ask the boy, “do you want chocolate or vanilla?”  This upset him more than the removal of his precious m&m’s, fruit snacks, or popsicles.   I finally allowed him to talk me into a nice lemon sorbet, and as the girl scooped up the ice cream and plunked it onto the cone, I saw for the first time that it was day-glo yellow.  *Sigh, what can you do?

The act of removing dye from our diet has naturally led to us greatly reducing our sugar intake, since sugar and dye seem to be synonymous with each other, especially in food marketed toward children.  (Don’t get me started!)   Except for our, all too often, summer ice cream outings, we usually opt for fruit to quell the dessert cravings.   There have been some dye sneak attacks though, gum is one of them.  You don’t usually think of gum as a food group, especially the sugar free kind, but so far I haven’t found one without dye.  Maybe Extra Polar Ice, it’s white, I haven’t checked yet… it doesn’t matter, the boy says that kind is too hot.  Poweraid Zero used to be a standby for long, active and  hot days, but I had to read every label until we found a Gatoraid Frost that was white.

There are some days where I could swear the boy has a stash of brightly colored candy hidden somewhere in his room.  I know nobody’s perfect, and we all have our moods, what I’m talking about are the days where the kid wakes you up by leaning  into your sleeping face and says, “Make Me Chocolate Milk!”  And it all goes down hill from there.  I have noticed something on particularly difficult days, days where the child’s expectations and viewpoints are completely off the wall.  You find yourself saying things like, “Are you kidding me?”  “Are you for real?”  “Did you really just say that to me?”   On those days I can see a change in his eyes.  As he stares at me defiantly from his time-out spot in his room, I notice that his eyes are glassy.  I spent some time on the search engines looking for a correlation between shiny eyes and ADHD or behavior or diet or anything that would help explain what I’m observing.  I found articles from seizure disorders to optical issues that can cause the person afflicted with it to have so much difficulty looking at a close up object, that their repeated “looking away” to refocus their eyes can lead to misdiagnosing a child with ADHD.  Who knew?  But after filtering through the junk information and scary information on the net, I found several moms describing their children’s eyes as  “glassy”,” glazy”, or “shiny” after eating a bunch of sugar or dye foods.   So is sugar the problem?  Am I missing some hidden dyes?  What about the days where he’s in time out for speaking rudely even before breakfast?  Is he chewing the fabric of his brightly colored pillow in his sleep?

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Screaming Mimi

You know what can turn me from Mommy to Screaming Mimi in 2.5 seconds?  Running late!  I stink at time management!  And on top of that, I am a little bit of a self-perfectionist, so I’m really picky about  being on time for scheduled events.  It doesn’t matter how early I get up, if I lay out my clothes, if I pack the night before, if I set my keys and purse in the same place every night…  Some unforeseen circumstance is going to happen to make me late!  Where the heck are my keys?!!!!   Oh, they’re on the floor and  in my husband’s jeans that he wore yesterday, where else would they be?  Where are the baby’s shoes?!  One is in the yard and one is in the toy box, of course!

It’s even more complicated with young children who can’t dress or fend for themselves.  The 5, nearly 6-year-old is pretty capable of dressing himself by now, except he needs constant motivation to continue the process.  For example, he’ll put on his pants and then I find him playing in his room shirtless, sockless, shoeless.   The baby is obviously dependent on me, so there’s nothing I can say about that, other then the obligatory diaper blowout when we’re running late for something we absolutely can not be late for.   I have a doctor appointment this morning, so I help the boy finish putting on socks that suddenly grew too tight overnight  and get his shoes on the right feet, and leave to dress baby.  I hear the boy go outside, good start- easier to wrangle towards the car.  I finish dressing baby and I grab keys and bag, lock the door, and head to the car.  As we walk up the stairs, “Where Are Your Shoes?!” I can feel myself turning into a Screaming Mimi.  Set the baby down, (back starting to get tired) unlock house, locate shoes, scold boy for walking around the yard in white socks.  I finish and see baby girl sitting in the flower bed gleefully grabbing handfuls of dirt.  I scoop up baby, dust her off & continue to the car, while barking “Go, go, go” like a drill sergeant to the boy, who is suddenly interested in every ant hill and piece of vegetation in our yard on the way to the driveway.   I’m hollering “Get in the car, Get in the car, Get in the car!”  The neighbors probably think I’m the meanest mom ever, but in my defense, when you have a child with ADHD, it happens on occasion that their brains are so busy taking in information from all around them and trying to process it, that you have to repeat something to them over and over before they actually hear it.   I climb into the car and buckle baby girl into her car seat while trying to coerce the boy to get into his and buckle up.  He can only buckle himself in when we’re not in a hurry, by the way.  I’m sweating now.  I drive, pressing the speed limit as far as I dare.  I get caught behind an elderly couple meandering their way through town driving 5 mph under the speed limit.  We arrive to my doctor appointment, I hustle the kids into the building, check in.   We’re 10 mins early.  My appointment was at 10:30, not 10:15.  Mimi sits down in the waiting room, catches her breath, and apologizes to the kids.


In Honor of Mother’s Day


Thank you mom for teaching me that it just isn’t dish water unless it’s too hot to stick your hand all the way to the bottom of the sink.

T.Y.M. for discovering that a combination of Lestoil & fels naptha can get out just about every stain, but that if you scrub at anything with a hello kitty nail brush from the 80’s for too long, you will remove the color from the fabric.

T.Y.M. for letting me know that it’s ok to laugh at someone when they hurt themselves in an interesting way, but that it’s just good etiquette to ask them if they’re ok first.

T.Y.M. for reminding me to “walk in someone else’s moccasins” before hating them for their actions.

T.Y.M. for not allowing me to hate people who have wronged me.

T.Y.M. for taking me stomping through the woods to hunt for mushrooms & blueberries.  That semester you took Botany 101 was maybe one of my favorite seasons ever.

T.Y.M. for not being grossed out when I brought home frogs, toads, salamanders,  monarch caterpillars, & crayfish in cool whip containers.  And for not instilling in me the [entire] family’s repulsion of snakes.

Thank you mom for being you and for making me who I am today!