The Fam

The Fam

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Confession: I drank the (oily) kool-aid

Essential Oils.  Most of my friends will read this post while silently chanting in their heads, "I told you so, I told you so."  I know, I know.  I'm very late to this party.  I was seriously the biggest skeptic out there.  I mean, it's oil.  It's "multi-level marketing".  It's all in your head.  It works just because you've made up your mind it will work.  Believe me, I had all the reasons why I was never going to drink that kool-aid.

So my skeptic friend, this post is for you. Especially if you have an ADHD child. 

I don't talk a ton about this but Reed was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 4.  I won't go into detail about the events that led us to have him evaluated but let's just say pulling a fire alarm at the day care he just started because he was kicked out of the last one may have had something to do with it. 

Fast forward nearly 5 years past this diagnosis and we still have not medicated Reed.  I don't really feel a need to justify the decision except to say that although his evaluation rated him "extreme ADHD", his ADHD has not had a negative effect on him socially, emotionally or academically.  He is not aggressive, he is not angry.  In fact, if you will allow me a quick mom-brag moment, Reed is actually in the advanced potential/gifted program at school.  But he just cannot sit still. (And a quick plug of encouragement to my fellow ADHD moms/dads who do medicate:  please hear me say you are a great parent and you are doing the best thing for your child.  I pray constantly about the decision not to medicate and hope that I will have ears to hear if the Lord calls me another way.)  With that being said, Reed does struggle with extreme impulsive behavior which certainly causes problems at school. 

We've never actually made it to the pre-set conference day since he started kindergarten.  This year was no different.  I sat down with several of his teachers just 2 weeks into the year and ugly cried my way through another conference trying to figure out how to accommodate my son.  I was so tired.  Do you ever feel that way? I was at a loss.  For years we tried natural solutions with minimal success. Although I will say our diet change made the most improvement overall and I've written another post about that HERE I was ready to try something new.  I started the conversation with a precious friend who sent me this video.  This video is a great explanation of how an ADHD and autistic brain works.  Food for my rational brain.  It's worth a watch if you are parenting a child on the spectrum or with ADHD.

In September 2015, we started using essential oils on Reed. I figured I'd try it until for a couple of weeks. Why not?

At Reed's normally scheduled conference, which was 3 weeks into his essential oil therapy, all of his teachers noticed a remarkable difference.  One of them even asked what I was doing because he wanted to try it on his own son.  He no longer comes home every single day with negative marks on his behavior chart. He is engaged in class and has better control over his impulsivity and his attention span.  Now, Reed even applies his oils and takes his supplements on his own because HE can tell a difference himself.  We are so thankful to God that we have found something to help him. 

Since we've had so much success with Reed, we started using essential oils in our everyday life.  Thieves and Peppermint helped Rowan rid a nasty cough in just 2 days.  We've used essential oils to combat the stomach virus, colds, headaches, car sickness, skin ailments and for just overall wellness.  None of my kids have been to the doctor for a sick visit since September. I have to admit, I'm still somewhat in disbelief they are working.  I mean they are just oils right?  But as I learn more, I've realized lots of interesting facts about essential oils. Did you know the bible makes over 200 references to oils for healing, for spiritual growth, and overall wellness?  I figure, if they are good enough for God, they are good enough for me and my family.  

So as I sat here tonight thanking God for the incredible positive change in my son, and all the ways essential oils have blessed my family in other ways, I couldn't help but want to share our experience. I guess I'm not the very last person on this planet to experience for themselves just how well essential oils work. My prayer is that our story can be an encouragement to someone else.  

*note: If you are interested to learn the specific way we are using essential oils for Reed and ADHD, just let me know. I'm happy to share!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

I probably should be fired.

It's been more than a year since I blogged. I probably should be fired from this gig. But's it's 8:34 and my entire family (minus the teenager) is in bed so I figure I'll give it a go. My friend Sarah posted a blog about the evolution of pregnancies.  And I read it last night after church where the baby crawled around on the ground eating crackers (off the ground of course) and some random lady was very concerned about this runaway baby, and the absence of socks on her feet, frantically looking for her mother until I dismissively waved to her and said, "oh she's mine, don't mind her digging through your purse."  Unless you have a knife in there.  But really, only if it's one of those really sharp  knives.  So, anyway, Sarah got me thinking about the evolution of raising children.

Child #1: Don't touch the baby.  Only if you have showered, washed your hands, and sanitized may you touch the baby.  And then you can only touch her feet.
Child #4: Please touch the baby.  If you have some leftover Popsicle on your fingers she can lick to entertain her, by all means, please insert your fingers in my baby's mouth.

Child #1: Baby proof at 37 week gestation.  Everything must have a cover, latch, lock.
Child #4: Baby proof when baby attempts to insert fork in socket.  When baby learns 6 short weeks later to remove the cover, take lots of pictures.  You guys, I must document this genius baby of mine.

 Baby #1: First birthdays.  You guys, Thade had a special outfit purchased just for the occasion.  I labored over his cake for 2 days.  There was a theme.  Like everything matched.  Reed got the same treatment, I think.  (cut my memory some slack I was 8 months pregnant with Adalae).  I can't even remember Adalae's first birthday.  There might be pictures of it somewhere on our computer where every photo taken for the last 10 years remains stored and unprinted.
Baby #4:  I've been asked what I'm going to do for Rowan's birthday so let's see.  Rowan turns one on the day that Thade graduates high school.  (OMG) I'll go to project graduation all night Friday, then host a birthday party, followed by a graduation party on Saturday.  I was feeling proud to get a paper invitation in the snail mail for all of these festivities.  What will we do at these parties you ask?  I HAVE NO IDEA.  We will eat cake and open presents.  My only aspiration is too be awake.

Baby #1:  I am not kidding, but I bathed Thade EVERY TIME he ate.  Meal, snack, it didn't matter. That baby was squeaky clean 100% of the time.
Baby #4: Gets a bath on spaghetti night.  And maybe a bonus bath in the kitchen sink with the dish soap if I'm feeling particularly ambitious.

PACI......  There is no such thing as a dirty paci.

But I do have to admit, the rules for all the children become much more relaxed when there are so many of them.  I mean, I might've put up more of a fight for Thade's prom outfit if these people of mine didn't suck the life out of me  request my love and attention for all of the time of all of the days.

Stunning isn't he?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pooping barbie dogs

I saw this ridiculousness on TV today and I could NOT.stop.laughing.  I mean, seriously, if a pooping doll wasn't enough, will people actually buy this crap?  And if I've offended you because you've already bought this crap (literally), well then I just can't apologize.  I just can't.

Which got me thinking about some other pretty amazingly bad toys I've come across in my day.  Like the Lightening Reaction Extreme Game. 
What is the goal of this game?  To not get electrocuted.  What do you win?  The right to not get electrocuted.  Believe it or not, I actually know people Rustin who shall remain nameless who have played this game.  There is not enough chardonnay in the world to get me grabbing one of those electrical surge conduits.

And what about the Skip It?  Remember this toy?
Hey kid, no friends to jump rope with?  I'll play with you.  We will have lots of fun.  Oh, and if you fail to jump over me, I'll slap you in the leg.  And hard.

Here's how you play Jacks. Go to the park. Set your jacks on the ground and make like you are having fun (you won't really be having fun, but play along). When another boy comes along with a much cooler toy, throw the little ninja-star jacks in his face and take his toy.

In unrelated news, we have a name for baby girl; Rowan Lane.  Here we are starting the 3rd trimester at 28 weeks.

Baby girl is healthy despite my "advance maternal age" status!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Celebrating Reed!

Reed is 7 years old today!  There are so many things I love about this precious boy. But most of all, I love his enthusiasm for LIFE. You will rarely see my Reed in a bad mood. In fact, he might possibly never be in a bad mood. He approaches everything with such zeal, and his consistent positive and happy attitude is contagious. And also sometimes infuriating when he is in trouble but STILL can't wipe that smile off his face. Reed has never met a stranger either.  As I sit here at Adalae's gymnastics practice writing this blog post, Reed has imposed befriended an eighth grader and is currently giving him a Pokemon lesson.  You're welcome kid. I know whatever you were engrossed in on your iPhone before my brilliant kid interrupted graced you with his friendship is not nearly as entertaining as learning about how Tentracruel's hyperbeam was no match for Skunktank's fury swipes.

And this kid's energy level.  Seriously y'all. He doesn't sit on the couch, he leaps on the couch with a full sprint start. He doesn't eat a meal, he shovels his meal into his mouth while simultaneously narrating his latest Minecraft creation with astonishing DETAIL.  Oh the details.  Doesn't he see my eyes glaze over when he starts in about these things I don't understand?

No side hugs from my Reed either.  He doesn't hug me, he throws himself into my arms with everything he has and including the trust that I'll catch him. Even though I typically full on turn/flinch to the side to avoid a swift knee to the shin. Sorry dude, you're not 20 lbs and 2 anymore. You're SEVEN!

What a precious gift from God Reed is to our family. I thank the Lord daily for the day you were born Reed.  We love you buddy!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gender Reveal

So, apparently I am "advanced maternal age" which is kinda cool because I get all this extra prenatal care.  One of these extras was a special old lady sonogram at 13 weeks in which we found out our Downs chances are 1 in 623,000 (or something that sounded really unlikely, thank you Lord) PLUS the gender of our little pea! 

There has been lots of talk around here about boys vs. girls.

Boys are the best because:
  • They can wear the same pair of jeans for 13 days in a row and nobody would notice or care, including the boy himself.  In fact, boys don't much care about what they wear, or don't wear.  Reed comes in the door each day and immediately strips off his shirt and his underwear (yes, his underwear; don't even ask about this child of mine).
  • The more boys we have, the less weddings we pay for.
  •  Less drama.  I don't know about your daughters, but my mine came out with an attitude and a tiara. 

Girls are the best because:
  • Less pee on the bathroom floor.  Seriously, someone (not me but maybe you) should invent a training course on how to aim the pee IN THE BOWL. You know, like puppy training.  Now I'd pay for that.
  • ACCESSORIES.  I just love playing dress up with my precious little doll daughter.  The boys will have no part in styling their hair, sporting a cool trendy bracelet or skinny jeans.  On second thought, I think I'm OK with this.
  • They can just be still.  This seems to be an impossible feat for my boys, but Adalae is the best snuggler in the whole wide world. 

Turn up your sound and enjoy the littles reaction to the big news.  God has been so good to us. We feel so incredibly blessed and are beyond excited (well most of us anyway).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Summer is over

I've been thinking lately about how MUCH I miss summer.  It was a complete free for all around here for 3 months.  Reed and Adalae could no longer read or compute simple math problems after our 3 months of NO.LEARNING.AT.ALL but this is besides the point.  This was my first summer since I was 15 years old that I didn't have a full-time job.  So I took a 3 month vacation from work (and obviously from responsibly preparing my kids for the next grade level), just whatever.  We are playing catch up now, which means the kids read to us every day, which means I'm facebooking reading in that bedroom FOR.EVER.  I might actually die in that bedroom.   Seriously, it's great and all the first couple of pages but when will you remember that we learned the word "said" 2 sentences ago and 67 times total this week?

Speaking of school, Adalae loves kindergarten.  She brings her weekly homework home on Mondays and promptly completes Mon-Thurs homework..... on MONDAY.  She actually cried last Friday when she didn't have any homework in her folder. 

And speaking of Friday, Reed had an eventful day.  He colored on his teacher's computer monitor with an orange sharpie, peeled the googly eyes off the Kindergarteners work in the hallway, and damaged another kids binder.   I really just have to laugh, because the alternative is not very attractive.  Ain't nobody got time for ugly crying.  Plus, Reed's energy level, inquisitiveness and his, *ahem, creativity generally produces some pretty cute stuff too.  Like when he tells me he was "accidentally" wild.  Or when he phonetically tried to sound out "FWC" at the dinner table (you go ahead put those sounds together and you'll see what I'm talking about). Or when we read a Magic School Bus book about the human heart and he asked where Jesus was. Or when he asked if we are going to live in our house until it burns. Or when he kisses both of my cheeks-even at school in front of his friends. Or when he tells me he loves me to Pluto and back times infinity.

And then there is Thade.  What can I say about Thade except that my heart might explode with just how proud I am of the young man he is.  About the man he is becoming.  That boy has a heart of gold and loves Jesus.  What more could a mom ask for? 

I thank God everyday for these 3 blessings.  He has been good to me.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Celebrate Adalae

We sure had a great time celebrating Adalae over the last couple of weeks.

5 years old!

Having cake on her birthday, April 22nd
Her PINK birthday party last weekend, colored with beets and raspberries!
We decorated pringle cans to make music shakers and played a game with them.
Sweet Aunt Barbara helping her make a necklace.
I love her attack look.  Teeth gritted and all.
Then chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese raspberry frosting!
 And the added bonus of PJ and Grandpa in from Arizona.

Plus some of my family made it in from Abilene which they are so sweet to do almost every year for my kids birthdays.  Although sweet Adalae has brought a lot of typical little girl drama to us, she has brought us MUCH MORE joy.  Love you precious!