May 27, 2011

Garden Update

Well it seems that our first attempt at growing a garden hasn't started off to well.  All of our veggies died.  *crying*  We were however very successful at growing weeds.  I do have several thoughts on the demise of our garden.
  1. The weather wasn't ready yet.  I'm pretty sure that we put our veggies in the ground to early.  Even though it wasn't freezing out, it still did get pretty chilly at night.  My garden growing cousin has confirmed this theory for me.
  2. We didn't have good enough dirt.  Being first time gardeners, we just used any old dirt figuring it didn't matter.  In retrospect I think our dirt didn't have enough nutrients to help our plants grow.  Thankfully my neighbor has some great fertilizer, that they use on their garden, they're willing to share.
  3. I left right after the veggies went into the ground.  My dad was in charge of the garden while my husband and I were on our honeymoon.  I'm pretty sure that he took really good care of our plants, but I wasn't there to know how things were growing (or not growing)
Now that the rain has finally stopped.  (We've had a week and a half of rain)  I have been able to go out and weed the garden.  The weather is finally warm enough for our new seedlings.  Yes we planted more seeds inside to transplant outside.  So here in the next week or so we will try again.  Here's to us being persistent.  Think I may even say a little prayer over our plants to help them grow and thrive.

~Your Earthy Mom

May 25, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Honor the sacred.

Honor the Earth, our Mother.
Honor the Elders.

Honor all with whom we
share the Earth:-
Four-leggeds, two-leggeds,
winged ones,
Swimmers, crawlers,
plant and rock people.
Walk in balance and beauty.

Native American Elder

May 23, 2011

Cake Bake

We made our first Dirt cake last night.  My youngest needed to make a cake for Cub Scouts' Cake Bake auction.  All the boys make a cake, the cakes are auctioned off, and the money goes to a charity.  We decided on a Dirt cake, because it was easy enough for a seven year old to make and would be fun to make/decorate.  It was also a messy project, and what boy doesn't like making a mess!  I supervised while my husband and son worked together on the cake.  We all had lots of fun and enjoyed the special time one on one time with just the Potato.
Here's how to make your own Dirt Cake:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
3 1/2 cups milk
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
32 ounces chocolate sandwich cookies with creme filling
1.Chop cookies very fine in food processor. The white cream will disappear.
2.Mix butter, cream cheese, and sugar in bowl.
3.In a large bowl mix milk, pudding and whipped topping together.

4.Combine pudding mixture and cream mixture together.

5.Layer in flower pot, starting with cookies then cream mixture. Repeat layers.

6.Chill until ready to serve.

7. Enjoy!

~Your Earthy Mom

May 13, 2011

Label me

I'd like to welcome you to my world of labels.

The Bug has sever anxiety, which causes her to have stomach problems.
Monkey is Extremely ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder).  When I say Extremely, I mean literally bouncing off the walls (at least when he's not on his meds).
Potato is borderline ADD, just had the doctor visit about that today.
Oh and all three of them are ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) to some degree.
And of course there is me.  I am ADD too.

So you may be asking yourself, "Why am I just putting it all out there like this, especially in this world of excessive labeling."  The answer is because, well it's completely true and because we are more than just a family of labels.  I know that it almost seems like everyone, kids to adults, are being labeled with some kind of disorder.  And I do acknowledge that there are times when doctors diagnose wrong, but not just with psychiatric disorders (my dad is living proof is misdiagnoses). 

So let me take you back thirteen years ago.

My Bug has always been a very sensitive and anxious child.  She couldn't wait to start school, but couldn't bear to have me leave her.  She was the child the teachers had to hold in a hug, while I went out the door, so Bug wouldn't chase after me.  After my first marriage, while I was on my honeymoon, Bug spent the majority of the week crying or being upset that I was gone.  As she got older she became less "clingy", but things didn't get easier.  Her anxiety causes her to be truly sick to her stomach.  The biggest cause of her anxiety now are Major life changes.  She has been seeing a therapist since she was seven.  I also admit that we use medication to help manage the anxiety.  Last year Bug decided she didn't want to take medication any more because she was doing very well, so I let her stop.  Pardon the express, but all hell broke lose.  She was having stomach problems much more frequently and the ODD was insane (and she was still in therapy).  After several months of this, Bug agreed the medication actually helped.  So we manage each day as it comes.

Before he was even born, ten years ago, Monkey was hyperactive. I'm positive he used my insides as his own personal jungle gym. As a baby, Monkey wasn't happy unless he was in motion. Once he was able to move on his own (crawling, walking/running) he didn't stop. He would climb anything he could hold onto. Thankfully he is also very coordinated and athletic. I didn't know much about how boys act, so I never knew my super active son was actually hyperactive. Kindergarten was the first time I thought maybe my son is more active than other boys. In school he would roll around the floor, be very fidgety, or look as if he wasn't paying any attention to his teacher. Monkey has been on medication since he was five. I've always insisted on the lowest dose that helps manage the ADHD. (He's been on the same dose for the past 3 years even though he's gained weight and grown.) We don't really see much of the ODD, accept in the morning and at night (times he's not on the meds) Monkey still is fidgety and he's definitely still very active. We also manage his ADHD with diet changes, lots of reminders, and trying to stay on a regular schedule.
My little Potato has always been oppositional and very distractable. With him it's a fight or a tantrum about everything. You say it's hot out, he says he's cold. Transitions often come with a tantrum, even with reminders given out. Simple tasks require repeated reminders, because he's gotten distracted. In school he's a crier if things don't go the way he wants/expects. We just recently had him tested and found that he's borderline ADD and extremely ODD. I decided that his ADD is manageable with out medication, by doing what we've been doing with him and his brother. I also got lots of helpful advice from the doctor on managing the ODD.


Here are some Tips and Tricks I've learned in the last thirteen years.
  • Routines - All kids need them. They definitely help our family. The kids know what is expected and it helps them feel like they have control.
  • Lots of Warnings - Let kids know when they will be moving from one activity to another. Example: Joey is playing with his trains. Parent "Joey in 5 minutes we will be eating dinner." then Parent "Joey in 3 minutes we will be eating dinner." then Parent "One minute we will be eating dinner." This lets the child know and helps them to remember.
  • Stand up - Fidgeting is just part of the territory. If my boys are having trouble sitting for dinner or homework time, I let them stand. The rule is if they're standing they Must stay at the table (No walking). This gives their body something to do and most of the time they stand mostly still.
  • Diet changes - There are lots of theories about different foods to help manage ADHD. The biggest diet change I've made with my kids is eliminating food dyes. I noticed a huge difference in (particularly Monkey) their hyperactivity level.
  • Unconditional Love - This is the biggest key to "managing" every day. Don't just tell your kids you love them, Show them how much they are loved. Hugs, snuggling, little notes in a lunchbox, reading together. Here are some more ideas.
  • Support groups - For your kids and you. Kids like to know they aren't the only one dealing with stuff. And for us parents it's great to have other parents to talk to and share ideas with.

Thanks for letting me share a little bit of our crazy life.

~Your Earthy Mom

May 11, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Treat the earth well.

It was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
we borrow it from our Children.

Ancient Indian Proverb

Wednesday Wisdom

With enough hard work and dedication dreams can become a reality.  ~Patricia Zhou

May 7, 2011

Earthy Mom vacations With Out the kids

Us on a boat in Jamestown 
The tree line is the original Jamestown Settlement
 As some of you may know, we became Mr and Mrs on Saturday April 30.  My parents' wedding present to us was the honeymoon (we are staying in their time-share) and childcare for the week.  It has been an amazing experience!  As a couple we have never vacationed with out the kids, and separately only once or twice.  The resort is beautiful.  It's like a condo and we have our own balcony.  Everything we could ask for in a place to stay.
We have walked around Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Yorktown.  I've truly enjoyed seeing these historic places and being able to take my time to look around.  It's been great to sleep in till noon or head back to the resort early just because we want to.  I have to admit though, while enjoying my adult time, whenever I saw something cool I always thought "would the kids like this?"  You see I am truly a Mom at heart.
We are at the end of our vacation.  I am sad and happy at the same time.  The time I've had here to spend just as a couple is over.  Lazy days and late nights have come to an end.  But tomorrow morning I will be home with my children, for some special Mother's day fun.

~Your Earthy Mom