Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Living with ADHD

Yesterday when Logan came home from school it took me about 2 minutes to realize…CRAP…I never gave him his medicine in the morning. After years of struggling and lots of tears and heartache we are in a GREAT spot- and have been for a couple years. But its something we live with everyday and its not a problem that goes away. We have our ups and downs, and I am not always as patient as I should be, but we all try our best. Yesterday just made me think that although medicine is scary, and it certainly is NOT a fun process to figure out what works best, it is the best option for us.  I think that by NOT giving it to him I am doing him a disservice. He struggles and he just can not work to his full potential without it…why would I want to handicap him when he can do better?

I have written tear jerkers about our struggles before and I am not going to do that, because like I said…we are in a good spot. But we manage it, and live with it, and he thrives and excels in so many things, including education and sports. And he has tons of friends and is very popular with the girls (although I'm not sure that is always a good thing)! At 4 years old, in the midst of the trenches we were digging though, would I have seen this as the outcome??…to be honest I wasn't sure at that point. But we made it though…we more than made it through…. we made it up and over! I am more than willing to talk to people about ADHD and about our struggles, but be prepared for an emotional conversation. Even now years later, it brings tears to my eyes. I hope that by talking to others who are going though it I can help them. I had no one, and I know how isolating and emotional it is, and that just by talking about it you can feel better and know that you are not alone.

We are success. And I do think medicine is a great option. It helps my child be the best person he can be and why would I want him to be anything less?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sweet N Salty Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Explosion

Many of you requested the recipe for the brownies, so here you go…. They were the winner this year of the hotel dessert contest, so they must have been well liked. They were VERY, VERY rich and chocolaty and they needed to be eaten with a fork since they were so full of oozy goodness.
I made the recipe up as I went along, so feel free to add and change as you like too to suit your needs.

Sweet N Salty Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Explosion

2 1/2 C crushed butter pretzels
2 1/4 C Sugar
1 C melted butter
2 C Peanut Butter (I used 1 C PB & 1 C Cookie Butter)
1 T Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
2 Bags mini Reece cups (I recommend the unwrapped bags)
1 box of Family Size Fudge Brownie Mix (or 2 small mixes)
1/4 C Hot fudge
1/4 C Caramel Sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Crush pretzel and mix within 1/4 C Sugar and 1 C melted butter. Press into bottom of greased 13x9 pan. Set aside.
3. Mix Peanut Butter, 2 C sugar, eggs and vanilla extract together in a bowl. Spread on top of pretzel crust.
4. Pour bags of mini Reece cups over peanut butter layer.
5. Make brownies and directed and add in hot fudge and caramel sauces. Pour over Recce layer.
6. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes.
7. Let cool before cutting or else they will ooze everywhere.
8. ENJOY!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Rainbow Loom Fad

Last year the big thing was playing GaGa Ball (I still haven't figured that one out), this year its the Rainbow Loom…some dentist is making millions off selling their rubber bands for braces to make bracelets, necklaces and rings…. wish I had thought of it! 

The Rainbow Loom
My kids are obsessed. They are purring over YouTube Videos on how to make them. They are trading and selling; and talking about them ALL THE TIME!! 

And I am picking up tiny rubber bands from all over my house!! But I guess it could be worse...

Melina sporting a necklace 
Logan is showing off everything he has made

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Baby Beethoven

My baby doesn't know 
his colors….
but he can name every 
song on the radio!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Our Fruit Game

My kids are what you might call, to use a technical term, Fruitaholics. They L.O.V.E. fruit.

So over the past 2 years or so we have made it a "game" to try to taste every fruit we can find. We have tried everything from everyday fruits to exotic fruits that Kroger sells. We have gone to Dorothy Lane and Earth Fair to see if they have anything different. We have even made a trip or two down to Jungle Jim's in Cincinnati to see what FUN stuff we can find there!

While in Pennsylvania last weekend we spotted these…Green Plumcots, a fruit we have not tried - or even had seen before, so of course we bought them. They were very tasty; like a super sweet plum! YUM!!

The "game" is a great way to get kids to try new foods…you can do it with anything… and it can be FUN if you have a picky eater or an adventurous eater! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Life Organized

 I get a lot of questions on how I stay organized…these days I don't know if I do… 

I am enjoying my new real estate career, but it sure has thrown a curveball into my life in that it is very unpredictable; so I am learning more and more to go with the flow. But my OCD for organization still is hiding inside…So I will share with you what I do to try to stay organized in this crazy life!

This is my "Command Center"
I do my work for home, school, real estate and everything else from here.
This tiny space with my big red exercise ball (Its what I sit on instead of a chair)
is where I spent a lot of time.

I have a big master calendar in our kitchen.
Its color coded for each member of our family.
That way the kids can easily pick out and see what they are doing that day
In addition to the calendar in our kitchen I use the COZI App religiously.
It automatically sync's to my phone, computer and I-pad and Michael's. This eliminates the 6pm, middle of chaos, phone calls to ask what soccer field someone is playing on - just look in COZI!
I use it for shopping list too- so convenient!

Speaking of organization on my electronic devices…I am super OCD about my email. If I have a page of emails it stresses me out. I only keep what is necessary for "action or response" in my inbox; otherwise its filed. I have a "folder" for everything.

At my desk I have a bin for each child.
And each child has a folder for each activity.
That way when I need information on something I can hopefully find it.

I also have folders and bins for all of my "activities"

I have a bulletin board where notes and invitations
 and things that are of importance right now get hung.
When the kids come home from school they have a list of things that must be done before they can do anything else. They know what to do, backpacks, lunch boxes, school work, etc. They put their schoolwork in here that is finished and we go through it once a week, and they show daddy their stuff, and then I pitch or save…mostly pitch….

This is a new thing I am trying this year and so far so good.  It hangs on the door to the garage.
At the beginning of each week I am writing what each child needs each day (dance shoes, water bottle, soccer ball, etc) and then they are responsible for checking it and getting their own stuff. I have to much to do and to much to think about to constantly say, "Do you have your_______?"
And with a daughter who would forget her head if it wasn't attached, this can get frustrating real quick!! I am hoping this will start to help them think for themselves and remember….and then when they don't have something the only person they have to blame is themselves.

The kids each have a backpack hook and I have each of their school specials lists and school calendars, that tell us if they should bring in something square etc., next to their school bags.

They each have a hanger too. That way there is no excuse for "I can't find…."

This is certainly not foolproof but it helps me function and get out the door
and places on time…most of the time!

Happy Organizing!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

1st Day of Preschool

Yesterday was a monumental day…both Meeka and Carson started preschool, which means that for a short period of time each week all 4 kids are in school. That was not the case yesterday, because the big kids did not have school, but I see the light! Everyone asked if I was sad…the short answer is no. Yes, Carson is my last baby, but he needs and wants to go to school and mommy needs and wants him to go to school. He was not so sure about going, but once there yesterday he went right in and he wants to go back today! He kept telling me, "I had fun at school!" Meeka, on the other hand, woke up excited for the first day and literally skipped right into school!

The obligatory Preschool Picture!

"Clipping In"
Look at me, I'm a big boy now!
(there are 2 Carson's in his class of 14,
so he has to be Carson M this year.)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Taking Time for the Little Things

Life is CRAZY…at least my life is crazy right now.

Playing makeovers and tea party
Its hard to keep up with everything and I feel like my head is going to explode sometimes…or all the time. There are a million things to do and I am going in a million directions. I am sure many of you can relate to the utter busyness and chaos that back to school and activities and everything else brings.  In the craziness I can't forget that my kids need my attention too - and not to drive them to soccer or dance or preschool, but to sit and listen to them and play with them. So I have made it a point to try to take time out of my day every day to spend with each kid / kids.

I try to walk away from it all and take a family bike ride for 30 minutes or run down to the park in the neighborhood or call a friend for a playdate. Or bake cookies or make dinner with one kid while we chat away about their day. Or sit and use a whole bottle on one sheet of paper, and end up with a "masterpiece." They need mom; not PTO mom or Realtor mom or cub scout leader mom or homeroom Mom…but just MOM! They love (at least right now they do) to have me around and I know someday they may not want to spend this time with me. I am sure I won't be cool anymore someday; so now is the time to spend with them, cherish them and talk with them…and hopefully down the line, even when I'm not cool anymore, they will still come to me to talk.
Carson's "project" we made together 

And I won't lie, sometime its hard to walk away from the million things that I should or could be doing. But I need to…they need me to. And I need to remember that everything else can wait.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Butterfly House

The little two and I met some friends yesterday for a very FUN morning at the Butterfly House at Cox Arboretum! The kids really got into it and were "reading" their books to discover what they were seeing. All the kids kept asking me to take pictures of things; it was very cute. 

 We looked like a school group traipsing through. 

 Vine Caterpillars will turn into Yellow Swallowtails 
 A Yellow Swallowtail


 Another caterpillar.
The kids loves spotting them throughout the garden

 Studying their books

 I think I can catch it!

 Cuties…minus some of the boys who were
having non of the posed picture taking!

 After the butterflies the kids found made a hideout and the
park dog decided to join them for a bit. They followed the dog around for
a long time until it decided to hop into the lake to get to safety. It just stood in the lake while the kids tortured it from the bank.