Monday, December 15, 2014


It's been a while.  

Nothing much has really changed at home.  

My trip was lovely.   Derick lost  Jacob at a Halloween festival and that was a bit stressful.   I mean, thanks for letting me know, but what is it you want me to do for you four hours away?  He found his very favorite teacher and she kept him for a while, listened to his unmedicated rants, and then brought him home.    She was happy to do it because she is THAT awesome of a teacher but, wow, I am pretty embarrassed.   Still.

I FINALLY got the 504 coordinator to get back to me.   I was passed around like a hot potato for weeks and, what do you know?, as soon as I let them know I had a degree in special education they were very accommodating.

We had our meeting Friday.

Because he has a disability he is entitled to the 504.

They are making no accommodations at this time.


Some of his teachers were there.   They were shocked when I told them what goes on at home.  One of them said, "Well, I guess you can be happy he doesn't act like that here."  Um.   No.   Not so much.   If he can be pleasant and hard-working and helpful at school, I want that here at home.   None of those women birthed him.   Why all the disrespect for the people who have made his life possible.

We are still on the contract and now all kids are required to choose from a list of chores to earn minutes for Wii/Kindle/DS play.   That went very well the first week and a half.   Elizabeth has stockpiled six hours and twenty minutes of time.   Adam worked like a dog for a while and then he decided playing outside was a better option (I agree).   Jacob complains and complains and complains.  Anyway, Derick let him take the Kindle to Boy Scouts (that's new, will explain later) because all the boys take their
games!   And then the next day I asked for it back (because NO ONE is allowed to have electronics before school) and he said he'd lost it.   I immediately figured this was a ruse because he obsesses, part of his issue.   If he had lost that thing, he'd have been pacing the floor all night long but Derick was like, oh, okay.   And I was like, please go up and check, which he did and didn't see it.   Of course.   And then Derick is making plans later that evening to go back to the Boy Scout church and look for it and he just shrugged and could care less and I told Derick, um, he is playing you.  

The next morning I got up pretty early and noticed his light was on.   Hmmmm……I mean, it was really early, you know, that damn elf.    I am a 4 am riser during the month of December.   Anyway, I walk so very quietly up the stairs and push the door open and, sure enough, there he was spread out on the floor playing that Kindle.   I just walked right over, unplugged it, and took it off the floor where he'd dropped it and ran saying, "I just found it right here, Dad must have put it there"   Yeah.  

Well, Dr. Amen talks about how much ADHD kids desire the argument.   It actually calms that part of the brain affected by the lack of whatever chemical that is he lacks.  I did not say another word to him until ten minutes later I explained he had three minutes to get dressed, find shoes, and walk his ass to school or I was calling the police.  

And I meant it.  

My goodness what he destroyed and the names he called me and his siblings in ten minutes.

This was the worst fit yet.  

Not as long lasting as others, but he was crazed.

As he was leaving I told him he was not to come back to my house that I was not taking abuse from a thirteen year old child.  

When we got home around 5 he was at the park across the street.

I did not let him in.

It got dark.

My friend Rosemary called me said he was at her house.   I explained how we got there and she insisted on keeping him for the night.  

She kept him for two.

Of course, she said he was wonderful and well-behaved for her.

He was okay the rest of the weekend.    He is still mad that the Kindle has been indefinitely removed from his possession because of his lying.    He lets us know pretty often how unfair we are.   We tune him out much of the time.

A week more of school and then he is home for two weeks.  

I really don't want him here.   That is awful, but I don't.  

I don't want the police here either, but anything is possible.   It's just a matter of time before we get to that point.  

I hate ADHD.   Wish it would go away.   It's not welcome here anymore.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Well, she refused to add any more medications.   In fact, she took away the Methylphenidate we use as an override as the Daytrana is kicking in.  I guess that is my punishment for asking about it again.

She showed me all the symptoms of depression and bipolarism and I have to agree that, no, he probably doesn't have those.  BUT, BUT, he has something.   Surely all this angst is more than ADHD.

No.  He just has ADHD.  SEVERE ADHD.  Oh, and he's pretty angry.

Thanks for clearing that up for me.

We can do the clonidine for anger management again, but he had many choice words about that so I just let it go.

*Let it go, let it go, can't hold it back anymore…..*

He pitched a huge fit in her office about how he is 13, almost an adult, shouldn't have a contract to get his way, should be able to do whatever he wants, eat whatever he wants, not go back to anymore doctors, and I had to just laugh inside because all that bitching about what a big adult he was and all he looked like sitting there was tantrum-throwing two year old.

As we were leaving her office he turned around to her and said to her face:  "F#$% You" and then we got to the car and he was all like,  "Can I have my games when we get home?"   Seriously.   He thought he was getting his stuff for "behaving".  It'd be freaking funny if it weren't so sad.

The husband is out of town on business and since he knew there would be no chance he would be subdued or whipped or kicked out of the house, he really let me have it last night.   I finally took the little kids into the bedroom with me, took a triple dose of nyquil and passed out.   Thank you Man-Who-Invented-Nyquil.   Because of you I sleep.

While in my stupor slumber, he took all of his games out of his dad's study.  I thought they were in the safe but I was wrong.  I found him with one this morning and he lied right to my face about it.   When he wouldn't return it, I locked the tablet up.   He went apeshit, but still insisted he didn't have the game, OH, the humanity of being blamed for something he just DID. NOT. DO.  

I was finally able to get him out to the car and was only fifteen minutes late.   I dropped him on the highway halfway there because he just would not shut his mouth.  Don't call CPS on me.  We live 7/10 of  a mile from the school.   He and many others have walked to and from many times.

We go on to school and the kids start laughing.  I get there and lo and behold, there is that 3DS and three of it's games lying on the car seat.   I guess he missed those when he got there.    I am such a bad mother for never trusting him.

I shook until 9:30 this morning.   My heart pounded out of my chest until 9.   Adam's Mary Katherine Gallagher finger sniff tic was raging.   Elizabeth cried when I took her to her classroom.  Just another day in our lives.   Oh the joy.

I am going out of town with friends tomorrow.   I can't wait.   I can't wait to NOT see that child for three whole days.   The other kids, I am worried about.   I hate leaving them, but I have just got to get away.   I need my blood pressure to go down some.   I want to eat a full meal for once.   I want to sleep without Ny-quil.

ADHD.   It's a made up affliction.   If I were just a better parent it would all go away.


Monday, October 27, 2014

It's Been a While

Two months.

I'd love to say things have turned 180 and I have a respectful, kind teenager, but that would be a lie.

Some days are okay.   Just okay.   Some days are bad.  Pretty bad, but not quite as bad as it was this summer.   Although I do wait for it.   I feel like it's there, just waiting for the right time.

Starting school helped.   He has always been a child of habit and once he learned his schedule and routine he seemed to calm some.   Just some.

We did have a few mornings where he cussed me out and was rude to the other kids so I emailed his LDC captain who demoted him from the position he worked so hard for last year.  

That didn't help me much.    He still doesn't take responsibility for the behavior that led up to that, he's never wrong, you know?  But for four weeks all I had to do was remind him I had that email and he'd straighten up.   After he called me a few choice names and laid the blame for his LDC demise at my feet.   *sigh*

They issued tablets to the entire eighth grade at his school.   I know there are articles on the internet about ADHD kids and their addiction to video games.  If I were a crafty person I might find that for you, but well, if you want to know about it, google it.   You're smart.  Anyway, Jacob is very definitely addicted to video games, hence the contract and Jacob's grades were fantastic until that tablet came home.   I don't know whose great idea it was to load three games onto it, but yeah, there are three games on it.   I have contacted teachers, principals, and tech supervisors and no one can remove them for me.   I now have been corresponding with the 504 coordinator and hope to have a meeting with her soon.   I guess I'll have to get a 504 to either have the games removed or the tablet removed.   He finished the first quarter with an 80 average where he had a 100 average the day before T-Day (Tablet Day).

We went back to our regular therapist.   He had a lot to bitch talk about.

We go back to the psychiatrist tomorrow for a medication check.    Everyone still thinks he needs depression meds except her.   I hope to convince her.   At this point I will try anything and if nothing else, I do think his Daytrana needs to be upped.

The little kids had teacher conferences last week and both said they were doing very well.   For this I am relieved.   They are still exposed every day to so much they shouldn't, but at least they are thriving there.

Our ADHD is still here.   Like a bad houseguest, it has really stunk, but I continue to hope.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Fourth Day

I have nothing really new to report.

My husband and I came home with that admittance paper saying we'll-discuss-this and, well, we haven't discussed it.

I think we both buried our head in the sand with the thought that his "treatment" is over, he must be better,  I mean, that's what it's supposed to do right?

Jacob is doing better.   A little better.   Instead of melting down every third day, it's every fourth day.  Not ideal, but progress.    I like the extra good day.

He is still on the contract for his games.   He doesn't like it, but those first three days he complies.  The fourth day?  Forget about it.   He shouldn't have a contract, that is completely unfair, why is everyone so mean to him?  F*#k You, rot in hell.

I didn't realize we were in a four day cycle until this week.   After I had already volunteered to take Adam's best school friend for the day while his mom was at work.

Whooo, boy.   Did I mention that friend is an only child?

Thank goodness his mom is laid back and understanding and just happens to be a nurse with experience in mental health issues or otherwise Adam may have been looking for a new best school friend this fall.

Many times when Jacob gets in these moods,  I spend much of my time trying to diffuse them.  I get so wrapped up in stopping it, that I can't see what is actually happening, but this day I watched him and took notes(before we fled to a movie and lunch just to get poor friend out of there):

When Derick left around 5:30 that morning I woke suddenly remembering that he hadn't taken the games from him the night before so I had him go get them before he woke up.  He wasn't happy about having to walk a llllll the waaayyyy upstairs, but he did go get them.  Noted to self:  I will have to be the one to enforce that from now on.

When Jacob woke up an hour later he was livid.  He was sure the littles, who were still sleeping, had taken his things and he made sure they knew he thought so.  I rectified the situation but at that point he was so enraged and now he was mad at ME because hell no I can't take his things!  They are HIS.  Where do I get off?   I ignored him for the next two hours as did the others.  He cussed and griped that entire time, but we have learned to go about our business.    It does not escape me that we could likely have avoided the entire scene if my husband would have put down his phone and turned off the television and reminded him to bring that game down.  

Mood Killer Number 1:  No Sleep.   I am sure he was up until at least 4 playing those games hence the need to "turn it in".

So then the friend showed up and things amped up from there.  Did I mention friend's mom is the school nurse at the private school?  The private school that still causes him to freak out?  She is wonderful to him and was while he was there, but he had many choice words about that place in the three minutes she was in my home.   Like I said before, thank goodness she went to nursing school.

Mood Killer Number 2:  That school!  It still haunts him.  He has really got to learn to let it go.

*Let it go, let it go, can't hold me back anymoreeeerrree*  Embrace that please.

And then there was a friend.  And then Jacob was calling him names, telling him he was stupid, acting just like, no worse, than the three year olds I teach when they don't want to share.

Mood Killer Number 3:  Brother has a friend.  He has many friends.   Jacob is still struggling to make and keep friends.  Things have been better since switching schools, he actually went to a birthday party and when he does have his phone there are a few who text him, but no one ever comes over.  They never did.  Never has a school friend come over for him.  He is so immature he still asks for playdates with his 8th grade friends and I try to explain that it doesn't really work that way at his age, but he just thinks I am being mean to him yet again.

Sooooo…….how do I eliminate these triggers?  Can I ever really rid him of these demons?  And will they even be the same in two days when the fourth day comes again?

The therapy he received has helped.  Some.  When he begins to get upset on the first three days he will slap his ears (not part of the therapy I am sure especially since this is a tic he's had for years) and when I think he realizes that he then gets his shoes and goes for a walk.  He won't share what was discussed "in group" but I am guessing this is a new coping skill he has learned.   It worked out really well for our neighbor's dog we were keeping until yesterday, because while he was here he took him.

Very tired from so many walks….

The contract, when people actually follow it, has helped.   He wants his stuff.  He wants it so much he does bathe and brush his teeth and make his bed and not call us names and complain all morning to get it and keep it for the day.  Most days he is even okay giving it back although he does let me know how he really shouldn't have to do that.    If someone would just remember to take. it. back.

The little kids start school next Tuesday.   They feel like they missed out on a lot of their summer.  I do not blame them.  I want a do-over as well.  Jacob doesn't' go back until the next week.  I really, really do wish it were the other way around.    That is mean, I know, but he wants to go back to school too.   He likes this new school and he feels good there.  He doesn't have behavior issues at school.  I want him to go back because I want the peace, but also peace for him.  It's his happy place.

We still haven't fully discussed the residential treatment facility.   I think we are in a phase where by not mentioning it, we don't have to face it, but I think eventually we will.  Yes, things are a little better and I am hoping they get even better once school is in session, but that fourth day is still hell.  As long as the fourth day is still here, we will have to talk about it.


Monday, August 04, 2014


So the insurance quit paying for the outpatient program.   I am not surprised.  Oh my could I complain about how much we are paying for said insurance and how others I know get it completely for free while they don't work, but I digress.   How is that going to help things?

Not happy.  Enough said.

Anyway, Jacob was booted from the program last Monday.  We had to have a meeting where they recommended a residential treatment facility for him.  I was like, okay sure, and then they informed me that it would be a three to nine month program and our out of pocket would be about $20,000.  

Um, no thanks?

Again.  Not happy.  Enough said.

We saw his regular psychiatrist that same day and she disagreed that he was bipolar.   People who are bipolar cannot turn it on and off.   Jacob can.   We are still with the same meds, just increased by 5 mg. each.   They had to order them, so I don't know if this helps yet.

The said we shouldn't tell Jacob about her recommendations, if we decide to take him there, just to go there.   My husband agreed.

I did not so the next day when he started his craziness I showed him the admittance slip and calmly explained to him that this would be our next step.   His eyes were opened wide.  Literally.

Since then, things have gone pretty well.  Oh, we still have our issues, but they are closer to that of normal siblings/families so I can deal with this.  When he starts to get out of control, I just remind him of that paper and things calm right down.  He is following his contract for his game and, in fact, just came down to let me smell his hair.   He has been clean for a week now.  


Monday, July 21, 2014


I just have to wonder.   What the hell goes through Jacob's mind?

He knows how to behave.  He was "normal" last Thursday and Friday.   He kept his voice down, he got his chores done, he cleaned up after himself, and even initiated conversation with us a few times.

I don't even know what happened today.

I am telling you, it's fricking insane here.

I had to put him outside.  AGAIN.  I had to disable our garage doors.   And the doorbell.

My mother bought us a book, as if we don't have or haven't read enough of them.   He apparently dug through my husband's things at some point because this is how he found it yesterday:

Way to steal my post-its.

I guess I should feel glad he was curious enough to check it out.   The vandalism I could do away with.

This actually points more toward a bipolar diagnosis as bipolar patiens do not think they have anything wrong with them that others are making it all up just to piss them off.   At least this is my synopsis from the things I have read and the time I spent with my mother-in-law.    She would also stop taking her medications.   Jacob, as far as I can tell, didn't have any today.

We couldn't find Adam's game this morning.   I had locked it in the safe a few days ago at Adam's request because he was just so tired of Jacob stealing it.   When I opened it today, it wasn't there.   I wracked my brain to remember if I took it out, but I know I didn't.   Adam went upstairs and found it underneath a shelf in Jacob's room.   Of course.   No wonder he acted like an ass and got his game removed.    Why behave?   He had a back-up.   That pisses me off, for sure, but the real problem with this is apparently he knows our safe code.   The safe that has all of our important papers,  emergency money, and Derick's guns.  I don't know much about that safe, but I sure hope you can change the combination.   How in HELL did he do that?

Elizabeth (because I didn't know how) had to install the Wii downstairs because Jacob spent so much time changing everyone's names to dirty words and erasing all of their accomplishments.    And really, I just don't want them to have to go upstairs around him anymore.

Since the contract did not work (no surprise there), I told him my next step was going to the school and talking with his LDC (Leadership Development Corps) Commander.   They have a creed they are to follow at all times and, well, he obviously isn't.  He LOVES LDC and has the opportunity to be a group leader and hold office next school year.    If Captain finds out he is behaving this way, that won't be an option any longer.   In fact, he may even be kicked out.   I would hate to do that to him, but I will.  I thought by actually putting him in this program he might realize I am serious, but so far, he doesn't seem to get it.   He needs to know I mean business.  

I have a babysitter here tomorrow and the next day for ten hours while I relearn the same crap I learned when I got my degree, but hey, I have to do it, and, well, I won't be here.    If he pulls this crap while she's here, he's going to find out just how much business I mean.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


So he did better on Thursday.   The cycle was starting again.   We wrote up a contract with conditions about how he would keep the game and why he would give it back.

He had to give it back today.  Well, we take it away at night, but he isn't able to get that privilege today.  Or probably tomorrow either.   Shoot, probably not all week.

It's so freaking predictable it's not even funny anymore.

Where he was quiet and followed all the rules on Thursday and even yesterday morning, today he came right down at 6 am, started poking Adam with a Wii remote, refused to take his medicine, made strange noises, ran up and down the stairs, threw things, smeared food all over the granite and floor, and turned the television up and laughed like a drowning hyena.    My husband locked himself in (and me out) of the bedroom and then just left the house completely.   "I am not putting up with this shit on my day off" and slammed the door.

Gee, I don't ever get a fucking day off.   Ever.   I deal with his morning tirades all through the school year.  I go to work a stressed out mess every single day.  I clean the messes that he makes before he gets home to see it, I calm the others so they don't lay their grievances at his feet when he returns home.  I drive him to every therapist, psychiatrist, outpatient crazy care while dragging two others with me.  I deal with the teachers, I throw his medicine down his throat.   What does HE do?  Complain about it and then find something fun for himself to do because, hell, he deserves it.

I have a mandatory preschool conference next week.  My mother is extremely ill and cannot come watch them like we had planned on.   My husband just CANNOT take any time off to help me with this.  I can hire a teenage babysitter, but I am not really comfortable with that.   We are forty plus year old adults and this is very hard.   I am just so afraid of what will happen if I go that route.   If I do not go to the conference, I cannot work at preschool next year.  

I will probably get fired.  

I really LOVED that job.   I mean, without that, I don't really have a happy place anymore.   God knows, here isn't it.

Five more years.

In five more years he'll be 18.   At that time, he is out of our home.   I know that is harsh and I hate even thinking it, but he'll be 18.  I'll teach him everything he'll accept until then, but if he refuses to take it, then so be it, but he isn't staying here.  I don't owe him anything after that.   I remember my tiny baby and try to go back and think of him like that, but it's hard.   All I see is this rude, nasty creature and I just want to be free of him.   I had a boyfriend who cussed me out once and then burned me with a cigarette.   I promptly broke up with him and then got a restraining order against him the minute he came around trying to suck up.   I wasn't going to put up with that shit, but man, I put up with it now.  Society really frowns on dumping your own kid.   No one cares how the other children are doing.   We will talk to him and then send him back home with you.  You gave birth to it, you are dealing with it.  Period.  

Only five more years.

Thursday, July 17, 2014



The therapist thinks Jacob is also bipolar.


It's possible.

Derick's mother was bipolar.   She had a hard life.  A hard, hard life.

She was also very hard to deal with.

Ugh.   I knew when I married my husband this could happen, but you know, you don't really think it's going to happen.

Now not only am I worried for Jacob, I am worried for the other two.  What if they get it too?

Why did our kids get this and not his sister's?    She smoked and drank while she was pregnant.   I doubt she ate very well.   I cut out caffeine, blue cheese, lunch meat, all forms of pain medication and I had nine month long headaches.   Why does she get normal kids and we don't?  How in the hell is that fricking fair?

My husband interrupted the therapist to say he thought Jacob was like this because my mother and I spoiled him by buying him toys when he was a baby.    I wanted to reach in and rip his tongue out.

And OF COURSE we bought him toys!   He was our first child, we didn't HAVE ANY!

I guess our next step is to continue the three hours a day through next week.   The following Monday we meet with the psychiatrist to adjust his medications…..lower the ADD meds, add mood stabilizers and antidepressants.   If he refuses, he will be hospitalized in psychiatric hospital for a week to regulate the new medicines.

And THEN our summer will be over.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

Isn't that how the saying goes?

Maybe they were on to something.

Jacob refuses to bathe.

I am not real sure when this started.  When he was a baby a bath was the only way to calm him.  Some days I would put him in the tub ten times.  If he was in the water,  at least he wasn't crying.  Of course, then it exacerbated his ecxema and then he'd cry because of the creams, but hey, at least he wasn't crying during the bath.

I guess about the time he started school he stopped wanting a bath for fun.   I'd have to really put my foot down to make him take one every evening, but I just figured it was a kid thing.

Fast forward a few years and getting him to bathe is a full on fight.

Some days he runs some water (he ABSOLUTELY refuses to shower and I don't push that one due to the sensory issues) and sits there.  Some days he runs water and wastes it, he just stands there.  Some days he doesn't even go that far.   He'll just come down with greasy, sticking-straight-up hair and flip the eff out when I point out he's lying.  About twice a week my husband will corner him and put him in the shower fully clothed and wash his nasty hair.   We just gotta hope that soap running down is getting something clean.

The last time he washed his hair was Saturday.  Today is Wednesday.  The last time I saw a pair of his underwear in the laundry was early June.  The soap and shampoo I left on his bathtub at Christmas is still 3/4 full.  The last time I cleaned the sink was about that time too.  He doesn't brush his teeth either.

So far I haven't found any correlation to ADD and bathing.   He swims.    He seems okay with splash pads and sprinklers   I just don't get it.  It's gross.

I haven't pushed it much since he's been "in treatment".  I want them to make a fair assessment of him and this is part of it.   I am eager to see what they have to say.  Our family meeting is tonight.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


This kind of crap pisses me off.

Oh my goodness!  My precious cheerleader daughter didn't want to do her homework!  Her daydreaming was so, so worrisome.

I want some of that.

This is the kind of shit that makes everyone else in the world believe that ADD is a made-up illness.

Step right up!  Come see OUR ADD!  It will make your head spin.

Our ADD started at 6:30 this morning.   We were all awakened by the loud, incessant, not-at-all-in-tune whistling.   He says he just likes it.  I asked him to stop, he gave me an evil grin and went louder.  So now that we are all up,  HEY, how much fun might it be to eat everyone's food?  Every kid eats three whole boxes of cereal don't they?   I have two little ones sobbing at the moment because they NEVER wake up in time to eat THEIR cereal.   I am so glad he is happy about it though, I guess he is, he is maniacally laughing when he's not shoving that shit in his mouth.  They may have been able to eat the leftover bacon and hash browns  if he hadn't smeared that shit with ketchup (the littles hate ketchup), then blew it up in the microwave, and then figured it was some sort of abstract art and left it there for all to see.  When I handed him some towels and told him to clean it up,  he growled at me like a dog, told me I could burn in hell,  and ran upstairs screaming how unfair we all are.

He has refused to take his medications and we are to a point now I cannot force them on him.   He is small and weak, but the adrenaline makes him strong and violent and I'd like to keep my ribs intact and my glasses on my face, thank you very much.

According to "the book", this behavior is a direct result of the deficiencies in various parts of his brain.  He will subconsciously start conflict to raise his adrenaline levels because the adrenaline evens out those "bad" parts and actually helps him to calm and concentrate and go about his day like the rest of us just do.  I get that.  I feel for him, I really do.  It's just, one day I want him to move away and get a job and this kind of behavior isn't going to fly with the boss.  Or a wife.   I don't care what he has, he isn't going to sit on his ass and be waited on the rest of his life.   You smear ketchup all over the kitchen, it's your responsibility to pick that up.

So thank you Holly Robinson Peete!  I am sure you meant well and all, but you have no idea what ADD really is.  Your PSA isn't really helping the cause here.  If you really want to help, go to one of the many psychiatric facilities and sit in the waiting room and exchange stories with the other shell-shocked adults in there.  Listen to the kids fighting and screaming in the back and you may even see an ambulance come to take one away.   Look around and notice that you might actually be the only PARENT in the room.  Talk to the ones around you and learn the other parents have already relinquished their rights to the grandparents because they just couldn't take it anymore.  You will leave with a heavy heart when you see those poor old people, one with a cane, just doing the best they can when they really shouldn't be doing it at all.   You will be surprised to know that everyone of those kids are the same as my kid.  They take the same medications, they have the same outbursts, they have the same diagnosis:  ADD.

And not one of them is daydreaming.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Healing ADD

So he was better yesterday.

But he always is.

He wants his game back, so today, I am expecting stellar behavior.   Because we have ridden this ride so long and know this twist so well,  I know that most of today will be just fine and then about three he'll use his best manners to ask his dad if he can have that game back and he will oblige but preface it by saying, "I don't want to hear or see anymore of whatever-behavior-got-it-removed-in-the-first-place" and Jacob will say, "Oh, yes sir" and go about his business.

Tomorrow morning, the shit will hit the fan again.  

I know you're wondering, why the hell does he have the game at all?   Why give it back?

Well, because every class, support group, book, therapist, and psychiatrist says children, especially those with ADD need to work for something in small doses.  You cannot expect them to work and work and work and then work some more and the reward never come.   Kinda like how adults feel at the end of their two week pay period I guess.

So he has a hand-held game and that's all he wants.  Ever.  He has it for a day, is without it for a day or sometimes longer, gets it back and we start over again.

I have tried charts, reward systems, checklists, token economies, every single approach in the three books I kept from all those behavior classes in college and while they work spectacularly with the littles, not so much with the big one.

*Interesting fact:  I have a masters degree in Special Education with an emphasis in learning disabilities and, what for it, ……….behavior disorders.   Graduate Summa Cum Laude too.  Way to screw with me universe. 

His therapist called last week to say she read a book that described Jacob so well that she wanted us to read it too.  It is called Healing ADD by Dr. Daniel Amen.  If you watch PBS you can catch him during the money begging segments.    According to him there are seven types of ADD based on which part of your brain is deficient.  He does brain scans to note activity in the temporal lobe and frontal cortex etc. and diagnoses they type and then has a treatment plan to address those parts of the brain.  Jacob, of course, is the worst type.  According to Dr. Amen, he has Ring Of Fire ADD which affects many parts of the brain and is very difficult to treat.  OF COURSE.

Of all the books I have read on this subject (and there are MANY), I like this one the best because FINALLY Jacob is addressed.  THIS is the ADD we see.   Oh, how I wish it were as simple as sitting still.

So I am still reading this book.    There is a diet to follow.   I am slowly taking that on.    There is a lot to digest (see what I did there?).  

But for today, it is 7:45 and so far no outbursts.   I'll take what I can get.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Where I Am

So yesterday was interesting.

We spent almost three hours locked in the bedroom and then drove him to his two hour session.

My mother asked me to buy her some fabric so off we went.   This place is just far enough away that it makes no sense to return home only to turn around 20 minutes later and go back, so we find things to do.   We hit the resale stores on Tuesday.  The supermarket on Wednesday.   Thursday it was the fabric store.

So we go into the fabric store, which I usually love, and peruse the material.  I was looking for non-fraying satin so Gammy can make Adam a pair of pajama pants.  Oh yes, satin pajama pants.  So he'll quit wearing his sister's.   At least it makes me smile.  Anyway, I find the satin and I can't figure out for the life of me what I should buy.  I was confused.   In a fog.  I couldn't even do the math.  I mean, I struggle with math, but this was elementary basics, I DO know how to do that.   So I decided the hell with satin, scrapbooking sounds fun.

Until the entire row of colorful goodness completely overwhelmed me.

So we went to the yarn.  That's it!  We'll knit.  Ummm…..couldn't even figure out the most basic of patterns.

And then we left empty-handed.

I got in the car and tried to remember if I had been drinking or maybe snuck a seven year old leftover vicodin in the middle of the night.   No.  It wasn't that.    Too much caffeine maybe?  Didn't have any.  Someone poured my iced coffee down the sink.  Did I eat breakfast?  No.  But I rarely eat breakfast and have never had this reaction…..


Thirteen years ago when I had a screaming baby eighteen hours a day.

The shakiness, the fogginess, the stomach pain, the loss of appetite (which could be a good thing, I could lose 10 pounds), same stuff I encountered when a family therapist suggested I was struggling with post traumatic stress disorder.


Of course, it's very much the same this summer.   The screaming does go on almost all day and into the night.  The only difference this time is it's accompanied with words.  Very nasty, mean, ugly, disgusting words and names and phrases.

I was brought into a tiny room yesterday to pay the rest of our deductible for these services.  I explained to the lady then that I didn't think this was helping and could we move up to the next phase which will be SIX hours a day.  She didn't seem to care at all, said he was doing okay in the group and I could discuss it with his therapist at our family session NEXT WEDNESDAY at 4, here's the door, have a good day now.

No.  I am not going to have a good day.

My little kids have to wake up earlier than usual, spend three hours piddling around every single day when they'd rather be holed up in a fort in the living room in their pajamas.

I can't stay home and just chill which I really look forward to during the school year.  I love not having to get in the car, sometimes for whole weeks.

We never do get to go to the pool, our happy place.  It's too early in the morning to do a morning trip and too late in the afternoon to do it then.

I can't have a conversation with my oldest child or even be in the same room with him.   Not really what I would consider a "good" day.

Really, really hoping that something shifts and we can find that again.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

My New "The Real ADD" Blog

So, I thought about making an entirely new blog, but, well, eh, who has the time and this one needs some love.  If you can call it that.

Since my life almost completely revolves around our daily struggles with "ADD" and this blog is about my life, well, so be it.

So if you haven't read for a while or ever,  Jacob, my oldest, has ADD.  Not ADHD, ADD.   He also has an auditory processing disorder, anxiety, oppositional defiant disorder, and quite possible Aspergers Syndrome.

I don't care what label he has, I just know that it is tearing our family apart.

You know what I am doing right now?  I (and my two other kids) are locked in my bedroom and have been for about an hour now.   Jacob has been up since 6 am and his foul mouth has not stopped since.  Best I can tell he was set off because I asked him to take his medicine.

We were supposed to be up at the lake relaxing by the water with my parents.  Instead, Jacob has been committed to an outpatient day treatment facility.   I just didn't know what else to do.  After a similar tirade last Thursday, I called his psychiatrist who recommended this route.   My husband and I discussed and decided we could not afford it, but after he kicked Adam in the ribs and then ran off screaming down the street, we figured we had to do something.  So there he is.  Two hours a day.  I mean, what is he getting in TWO FRICKING HOURS.  When I agreed to this, I figured since they used the adjective intensive it would be, well, longer maybe, but whatever.  This will be his fourth day. So far, the only peace we have is in the two hours he is away.  My little kids and I will be staying in a hotel tonight.   If my kids can't have vacation, they can at least be away from this hell.

Every day I see something online or tv about how ADD is fake.  Please, all you naysayers, come here and see this shit.  You would be amazed.  I can guarantee you wouldn't last the day.  My husband can't.   He works longer and longer and later and later and you know what?  I don't blame him.  If I had somewhere to go and someone to watch him I would do the same.  Thirteen years of miserable unhappiness will wear on a person.

I love my child.  Oh man, I love my child.   Every penny I make goes toward attempting to get him some help, but so far, nothing has worked.  I am hoping this new endeavor will at least make some progress but I am not seeing any yet because right now, I don't like him very much.  Oh sure, blah, blah, I don't like the behavior, but I watch him fight everything we try and it kinda makes me not like the person much either.  I am human.  Sue me.

So here is where I will document every step we take because I am telling you, if someone had warned me that THIS was ADD, I wouldn't have believed them and maybe someone else can be comforted by the fact that they are not alone.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014


Remember last time when Jacob ruined our snow day by peeing on the bathroom rug?

Yeah, I may have been wrong with that.  (And I did apologize.)

Turns out it really could've been cat pee.  Who knew?  

Not me, that's for sure.

Ten days later I was all like, "What's up with all this people pee in front of every toilet (four) in the house?  Who did this?  I am looking at ya'll boys (and man)? "  And then I saw my cat exit one of those bathrooms and was all like, uh-oh.  

So I googled and guess what?  Cat pee that does not smell like cat pee means said cats kidneys are failing.  


But she didn't seem different.  

She was still jumping onto the counters.  And the beds.  And racing Adam across the house.   She didn't seem sick to me.    Surely this was a fluke and maybe the litter box is too dirty or the kids have too many shoes/dirty clothes/toys blocking it.   Yeah, that had to be it, because she sat right next to me on the chair arm while I was googling all this strange information.   

That was Friday afternoon.

Saturday morning she was dead.

Overnight she got worse.  She would jump up onto the bathroom counter but fall into the tub.  She wouldn't try to get up.  She slept in the bed with me and two of the kids but she didn't sleep much.  She paced a lot and then she curled up with each of us for extended amounts of time.  She always curls up with us, but then she gets down to go to her bed:  

She never went to her bed that night.  

(See how pitiful.  She was not doing well)

The next morning she was stumbly.   Derick said she probably had an ear infection and was taking her to the vet.  He'd be back with antibiotics and she'd feel better he said.  You stay home and take a bath and read your book and don't you worry about her.  

But I knew.  

He called me half hour later and said I had to come.  

So the kids and I went.  

Her body temperature was 96.  I guess a cat's normal temp is 102.  Who knew?  

He gums were gray.  They are supposed to be pink.  

We cried.   The vet left.   We cried some more.   We passed her around and gave her kisses and she snuggled us the best she could.   She tried so hard to get up and be with Elizabeth who was in a ball in a corner.    Of all the kids she tolerated Elizabeth the most.    

The vet came back and said we could take her home but she wouldn't last much longer.   Phoebe hated the carrier so I couldn't put her back in it again.  I looked at her and could tell she was done.   She needed peace.   We needed peace.   I couldn't continue to do that to my hysterical children.   So we kissed her and hugged her and sat with her until the sedative took effect and then scared all the people in the waiting room as we attempted to get to our cars and make it home with an empty cage.  

I had that cat for 19 years.   I got her as a kitten at a pet store in a Virginia Beach mall for $30.  I didn't go there shopping for a pet, but I saw her in a cage outside the store as I walked past and for whatever reason decided I needed her right then and there.  They put her in a cardboard box of which she promptly escaped and attached her long sharp claws to my head and neck.   I somehow made it through a Wendys drive thru and then home and released her into her new home.   I unpacked my meal at the coffee table (where I always ate as a single yuppie) and she immediately raced over and stole the bacon from my sandwich.   Then she came back for fries.  

I named her Sara to begin with because that was my favorite name at the time.   She was not a Sara.  Three days later she was Phoebe Figalilly because I loved to watch The Nanny and the Professor when I was young.  

She was good company the next two years as I lived alone.  She greeted me at the door when I returned from work.  She would fetch furry play mice and we'd play that game for hours.   She loved to run and roll into the coupon cutting trash every Sunday morning.  She loved to jitter at the birds outside the glass door.   She would sit on the edge of the tub while I showered or bathed and she always slept on the extra pillow I kept beside my head.  

I have been with her longer than anyone else in this house.   Being a cat, she was not all up in my face like Ezra.  She didn't love everyone she saw, she was not a dog.    My dad would always tell everyone to stay away from her that she was a cranky old cat who didn't want to be messed with, not like his Mimi, his version of the-best-cat-ever, but he would end by saying, she does love Andria.  Andria is the only one she'll deal with.   And for a long time he was right.   She eventually warmed up to Derick and would wait for him at the door with fake furry mice too until he brought Ezra home and broke her heart.   She was always good to the boys in the sense that she never hurt them, but she didn't hang out with them much.  I think Jacob's months-o-colic scared her and Adam was scared of her so she stayed away.  When we brought Elizabeth home she was lying in the crib with her two hours later.  I said she must have sensed there was another girl in the house.  

She lived 19 years.   I can't really ask for much else.   She was my sweet baby.   I miss her.

Phoebe Figallily
May 12 1995 - February 8, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow Day


We are having a snow day in southeast Texas.    Never mind that it isn't snowing, or even icing, but nevertheless, we are having a snow day.

I want to poke my eyes out with a rusty fork.

I got so excited yesterday when we got the calls.   I thought they were crazy, but still…..NO WORK!  NO SCHOOL!  Yippee!!!

The little kids made a fort in the living room and slept away from me for the first time in weeks.

We were going to drink cider and watch Back to the Future (all three!) and not get dressed and love our life today.

Um.  Not so much.

I don't know why I ever think we will EVER have just a nice relaxing day.

As is usual for our mornings, it was ugly.

The same yelling, the same fighting, the same fits.   I don't even remember what it was all about, but eventually I sent Jacob upstairs and told him not to come down until his meds kicked in.

About an hour later I went up to retrieve him and saw his patch still in the package on his desk.  (Shame on me for trusting) and Adam's dirty clothes piled on the bathroom rug covered in pee.  Along with the tile floor and grout and the wall and sink cabinet surrounding the toilet.

Are you fricking kidding me?

Oh, he blamed it on the cat.  Which would not be too unusual, we have an 18 year old cat, but um,  it you've ever had a cat you know there is a distinctly different odor.  I've dealt with cat pee before.  Just last week even.  This, most certainly, was NOT cat pee.   As calmly as I could, I put the sopping wet clothes down the laundry chute and handed him the rug and told him to take it outside and hose it off.   He lost his ever loving mind and let me know that was MY job.

Oh, hell no.

Sure anyone else would just throw that rubber backed rug into the washer but guess whose husband bought a washer that has a great big Mr. Yuk sticker on the lid explaining how you can't wash anything waterproof or else you'll ruin your washer.    I mean, WHAT?

He wouldn't clean the rug.  Or anything else for that matter.  And I was informed it was a holiday so he didn't have to do anything and I should get my lazy ass downstairs and fix him something to eat because that was my job.

That's when I dragged his ass outside.

With the rug.

With instructions that he could come in when it was rinsed.

He spent 30 minutes beating on our front glass door.    There's a crack now.  I am waiting for it to completely collapse soon.  Then what do we do?  Invite the neighbors in?

I kept waiting for the police to show up.  It was 35 degrees outside and raining.  I probably should have let him in.  I know he was sure I would let him in.   I know my neighbors are probably still talking about me.  But you know what?  I told him to do something.  I don't think I was being unreasonable in asking him to clean the mess HE made.   I was NOT going to let a fit throwing toddler-like teenager believe I would back down and do it myself.  This child IS going to learn that HE is responsible for his behaviors and actions.    Thirty minutes later he finally sat down and shut up and I opened the door.   He washed the rug.  Sort of.

This is what we get.  Always.  It would have been easier to just throw the damn rug away.  I could've cleaned the floor myself.  (Adam actually cleaned the floor and wall and sink).   I could've said absolutely nothing to him today and avoided all of this.  In fact, I have done just that before because sometimes I just don't have the energy to deal with it, but he is almost 13 years old.  This has GOT to stop because,  HELLO ADULTHOOD COMING.  Plus, I just don't know how much more I can take.

He had a psych appointment last week.  My husband took him for the first time ever.   He explained to her how we are reaching a breaking point and she prescribed yet another medication.   That makes three now.  So far I can't tell it's making any difference.   I bought a bunch of essential oils for a ton of money that someone else swore worked so well they were able to quit the meds.    I swear it made him worse.  At least they smelled good.   I have cut out dyes and gluten and artificial everything and still, here we are.   We will never enjoy an evening or a weekend or a family vacation or even a rare snow day because this is what we get during the hours he is here.

I love him, but I don't like this.

I want a good snow day.

One day.

Edited to add……two hours later…..

He is up in his room and I hesitate before calling for him to come down to get his folded laundry to put away.  I could just do it myself tomorrow, but I don't want to so I brace myself and ask him to come down.  He waited a bit but finally came, I held out the stack of clothes and told him I wanted them put up and he answered, "Yes Ma'am" and took them up.  Of course I haven't gone up to check that they aren't on the floor, but no fight.  This is the conundrum with him……Before the meds = hell; After the meds= not always so bad.  BUT…BUT….BUT…..I know if I'd woken him this morning, told him if he got through the day without fighting, raising his voice, or complaining we could go to Game Stop, then he would have been wonderful.   I know, because I've done it before.  Ugh.  

At least we were then able to have cocoa and cookies for lunch.  He declined.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Major Award

That's my girl!

Second highest average BAY-BEE!

That face is because she realized the boy with the highest average got a medal.  A medal.

She came back to sit with me after it was over and this was our conversation:

Me:  You got an award, aren't you proud of yourself?

Her:  This is not an award.  It's a piece of paper.

Me:  No.  You were recognized in front of the whole school for doing so well in school.

Her:  I want a medal.

Me:  Then you have to get highest average.

Her:  Austin better watch out.

Does this make me a better mother?  Because I think it redeems me.   My kid.  Who is raised by me.   Who possesses my DNA.  Got an award.

Ummhhhmmmm.........that's MY GIRL!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Strange Days

My children bicker a lot.  Over stupid stuff.  Everywhere.  Anywhere.

This afternoon we were in the car heading to yet another psychologist appointment when all three started screaming about something.  I don't even listen anymore.  I told them once to knock it off.   It continued.   I yelled at them to shut the hell up.   Still continued.   I sat and fumed for a bit and then I found a classical music station on the radio (91.7 for you locals).    Within thirty seconds it was quiet.  We rode the rest of the way in silence.   Adam even opened the door for Elizabeth when we arrived.


So we head home and it starts again so I instantly go back to the music.   Silence.

We ate dinner.  We cleaned up.   I have the television on the classical music station and all three are playing Wii together with inside voices.

I feel like this has to be a fluke.  Right?

I mean, I have heard that music soothes the savage beast, but really?

I guess I'll be adding this to our routine.

*please, oh please, don't be a fluke*

Monday, January 13, 2014


Every year I make a big list of the things I am going to do to make our lives better as the calendar changes.    Sometimes I stick to them, sometimes I forget all about them until I look back and see, oh yeah....oops.  I swore I wasn't going to make any in 2014, but I have this innate need to make lists and check off those lists, and work toward a goal.  It really is very annoying.

I did lose about 8 pounds last year.  I don't really know how I did it, except maybe the trip to Disney where we didn't purchase the dining plan and only ate one meal a day.   Combined with all that walking, I lost 15 pounds in just that one week alone.  Of course, they opened a Which Wich very close to me resulting in gaining some of it back, but I am now a size 8 again instead of almost a 12.  I'll take it.  I am 45 years old and approaching menopause.  I doubt I'll ever wear my size 2s again.   I hope to exercise at some point.  Don't know when that will be since I HATE it, but one day.  Maybe.

I did not blog every week last year, but I did double my blog posts so it's a start.  I don't think I'll ever get back to the way it used to be (sunrise, sunset), but such is life.  Hopefully I'll be able to document the big important things here because the baby books are collecting dust.

There will be pictures on our walls and stairway at some point in 2014.   Ditto curtains.

The biggest thing I want to change this year are our mornings.   Me, oh my.   I want to smash my face into the granite every.  single.  morning.   It is awful here.  Don't ever come here before 9 am.  Ever.  Or maybe do come here.  It will make you feel good about your life.   Oy.   I really don't know what to do for the hour-two hours we are waiting for Jacob's meds to kick in.  I have tried ignoring him, I have tried starting earlier, I have tried starting later, I have tried prayer, I have tried separation, I have even tried alcohol on non-school days.  Yes.  It's that bad.  I don't know what else to try yet, but we need the mornings to change.  The morning sets the tone for the rest of our days and I think if we can get this under control we'd all be so much happier.

Anyway, my boss gave us all a book called Jesus Calling.  Her intention was that we read it each morning and take that portion of The Word to sustain us while teaching our preschool children.   It's a daily dated devotional book with scripture.   With all that goes on here each morning, the last thing I have time for is reading.  Shoot, some days I get all the way to school and realize I didn't put any makeup on, so reading?  Gah.  My boss, though, was very insistent that we at least give it a try.  So I did.  I mean, I've tried everything else in the morning.  Why not?  So the first day I sit my little two down for breakfast while the big one is upstairs claiming something is unfair and I quietly juggled one page of verse and thought.  The three of us at the table in our own little world.


If I'm going to read it, why not read it out loud?

And that's what I am doing.

It hasn't miraculously fixed our mornings, but at least they have that message to take them through the day if they choose.

I'll let you know in 2015 how it worked.

Wish us luck.