Sunday, January 25, 2009

Really amazing

This is a series of photographs, what wonderful creativity. Imagine, this is someone's job. I happen to like the song as well. I hope you take the time to watch it all--My favorite are the sock fishies. Enjoy.


It takes a village....

Or maybe it takes a village idiot?? To raise a child that is. I forgot. I forgot all about the late nights and the crying and the bottles and I'm sure there is more to come.

Samantha has moved in with the baby. She also brought a dog, which is now Tom's dog. That makes 8 additional legs in the household, which are all female. This is not a traditional family structure. I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing though. I know before Tom and I moved to Texas we spent several years in the same house with his mom. I never would have given up that living arrangement if I'd had the choice. I'm pretty sure ideally one should include as many adults as possible in raising a child to maintain one's sanity.

How nice it was to have my mother in law in the same house all the time. One more support person to help with the girls, not to mention to listen when I wanted to beat her son in the head with a mallet. Financially we were able to enjoy some nice vacations and do somethings which wouldn't have been feasible with a mortgage payment. As to vacations, it was wonderful having her with us there as well. So, I hope Tom and I are able to ease some of that anxiety for Samantha, we are enjoying Emma being here a lot.

Different cultures/countries have extended family living situations much more frequently than we do in the U.S. I wonder why that is?? The family behind us has the grandmother and grandfather staying home with the little ones ll day while the husband and wife go to work all day. (of course this family also had some kind of wacky ceremony in the back yard to "cleanse" the place when they first moved in--this included much chanting and bouncing--I do not consider it spying when it's right out your back yard!!)

If you havent visited my smugmug sight that is where most of Emma's pics are at, but here are a couple that haven't been posted on any of my sights yet. One of Tom and his new girl below as well. Go visit my other site http://www.aliceswonderland.smugmug.com/ for the other pics though.

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That goofy collar was purchased by my two daughters when they took her in for a rabies shot. Tom and I will be purchasing a different one soon. This picture was after the dogs face was about normal after the swelling incident from her allergic reaction to the rabies shot. . The steroid shots the vet gave her really helped. Our house is never dull.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Magical dragons

In my previous log I mentioned I was upset at one of those new baby reality shows. They lumped ADHD in with a laundry list of birth defects such as downs syndrome, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, and spina bifida. Are these folks serious?? As if ADHD is something to be frightened or overwhelmed by?? Both my girls have ADHD, I have ADHD, my mom has ADHD. We just have a long family line of ADHD.

My favorite description of ADHD was in a magazine I read many years ago. I'll paraphrase a doctor...he said that ADHD is a large fierce fire breathing dragon. It can tear you to shreds and destroy everything around you. However, if this dragon is tamed it is nothing shy of flying on wings of magic. In our family we have seen both the destruction and the magic.

In the past ADHD has gone largely undiagnosed just as Asperger Syndrome has been largely undiagnosed for so long. My older daughter was the first in my family to be diagnosed as ADHD, and as Tom and I spent time discovering all the facets of what ADHD was, it became quite obvious where this came from. There is a little spot in the back of the brain which doesn't generally produce enough of a specific chemical which is used to help one concentrate. Not so scary huh? Just replace the chemical or learn to overcome or adapt. Pretty easy stuff. Of course this is easier said than done by some. ADHD is now a federally recognized "handicap" and I could spend a whole day discussing how parts of the medical field and our school system has taken that to their financial benefit and not to the benefit of the kids. We recently found that military academy's and other programs deny based on ADHD.

Let's dispell some stupidity. First of all lets discuss medicating kids. For those of you who think this is a bad thing and that ADHD kids are being given downers and turning them into zombies--your wrong. The medication is actually a speed, an upper. It calms the child because it is the chemical which helps them concentrate and they can focus. If a child is medicated with ritalin or such and it calms them-then you know you have the right diagnosis, for a non adhd kid the medicine would speed or hyper them up. I'm not saying meds are right for all kids--sometimes behavior modification and changing a family lifestyle is enough to make a child successful.

Second myth- ADHD causes behavioral problems. Wrong. ADHD is just a lacking in concentration. If left undiagnosed you will get behavior problems for different reasons. This difference in the child (which a child will self recognize pretty quickly once they hit school) causes self esteem issues, or makes a child feel stupid or bad. That's when you get a child who acts out. If diagnosed young enough you can change your lifestyle to accomodate an ADHD child and you won't have those issues.

Third myth- a child will outgrow this. Um, no. One just learns how to tame the beast, some days are better than others.

Enough of the "clinical" aspects of it. In general ADHD kids are pretty darned bright. They are extremely observant and see the world in a wonderful unique way. Because they can't concentrate they process so much stimuli all the time which makes an ADHD brain very quick. So quick that they pick up on things others don't...but also so quick that some fine details are skipped over at times.

Many brilliant minds have had ADHD such as Ansel Adams, Anne Bancroft, Beethoven, Alexander Graham Bell, "Pappy" Boyington, Hans Christian Anderson, Lewis Carroll, Leonardo da Vinci, Walt Disney, Cher, Thomas Edison, "Magic" Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Robin Williams, Henry Winkler, and Stevie Wonder--not to mention Mozart and Ben Franklin.

It's hard sometimes though, our brains move so fast we tend to forget things, we get distracted and sometimes we say or do things that are absolutely wrong. We're spontaneous to a fault (others usually love this about us). The people that love us know how good our hearts are, they forgive the stupid and sometimes hurtful things we can sometimes say, they respect our creativity and recognize that we have so many good things to offer.

So, to any mom or dad who has to hear that their child is ADHD-- CONGRATULATIONS!! I hope you take the time to help your child find and recognize their magical dragon.

PS--tomorrow I post new Emma pics.

ADHD..what is this beast?

In my previous log I mentioned I was upset at one of those new baby reality shows. They lumped ADHD in with a laundry list of birth defects such as downs syndrome, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, and spina bifida. Serious?? As if ADHD is something to be frightened or overwhelmed by?? Both my girls have ADHD, I have ADHD, my mom has ADHD. We just have a long family line of ADHD.

My favorite description of ADHD was in a magazine I read many years ago. I'll paraphrase a doctor...he said that ADHD is a large fierce fire breathing dragon. It can tear you to shreds and destroy everything around you. However, if this dragon is tamed it is nothing shy of flying on wings of magic. In our family we have seen both the destruction and the magic.

In the past ADHD has gone largely undiagnosed just as Asperger Syndrome has been largely undiagnosed for so long. My older daughter was the first in my family to be diagnosed as ADHD, and as Tom and I spent time discovering all the facets of what ADHD was, it became quite obvious where this came from. There is a little spot in the back of the brain which doesn't generally produce enough of a specific chemical which is used to help one concentrate. Not so scary huh? Just replace the chemical or learn to overcome or adapt. Pretty easy stuff. Of course this is easier said than done by some.

Let's dispell some stupidity. First of all medicating kids. For those of you who think this is a bad thing and that ADHD kids are being given downers and turning them into zombies--your wrong. The medication is actually a speed, an upper. It calms the child because it is the chemical which helps them concentrate and they can focus. If a child is medicated with ritalin or such and it calms them-then you know you have the right diagnosis, for a non adhd kid the medicine would speed or hyper them up. I'm not saying meds are right for all kids--sometimes behavior modification and changing a family lifestyle is enough to make a child successful.

Second myth- ADHD causes behavioral problems. Wrong. ADHD is just a lacking in concentration. If left undiagnosed you will get behavior problems for different reasons. This difference in the child (which a child will self recognize pretty quickly once they hit school) causes self esteem issues, or makes a child feel stupid or bad. That's when you get a child who acts out. If diagnosed young enough you can change your lifestyle to accomodate an ADHD child and you won't have those issues.

Third myth- a child will outrow this. Um, no. One just learns how to tame the beast, some days are better than others.

Enough of the "clinical" aspects of it. In general ADHD kids are pretty darned bright. They are extremely observant and see the world in a wonderful unique way. I'm sure many brilliant minds in the past were ADHD and have caused