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Scheduling Mama, Scheduling Kid

I’m back! It’s been about 2 of the craziest weeks since the holidays. If you’re like me, between kids and working and hobbies and errand running and family obligations stuff just gets so busy everything gets done but nothing gets done well.

I don’t like that. Call it the perfectionist in me, but doing a lot simply to check it off the list isn’t good enough. I want to be present in my life – even the mundane stuff like house cleaning and walking the kids to school.

Someone who knows a bit about mindfullness is a writer friend of mine, Kate Hanley. Check out her weekly column at Ms.Mindbody. She’s even written the ultimate Chill Guide which you can find at her website.

I can’t even close to call myself a meditator. One of my biggest beefs with that practice has always been, “How can I find silence when my kid is vocally ticking!”

But even if I weren’t kidding – which I am (come on, people, haven’t you heard of ear plugs?) – the fact is that I simply haven’t carved out the time to do it. I have, though, found some ways to  organize my time so that I work more efficiently.

I’d like to talk about that this week, for in taking care of Mama, it has worked out that I am less worried about the things I can’t control, like T.S.! I can just do my best. That’s all any of us can do.

In closing, I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite pics taken over the past 2 weeks. I’d love to hear how you and your family are doing, too.

Here’s my daughter and me at Pip’s First Confession. Yes, I confess I have been a bad blogger! Oh, readership – all 20 of you – forgive me!

Here’s Rex, the kids, and little Miss L chilling out on a weekend night before a typical Saturday sleepover.

And here we have one of my favorite moments from our snow getaway last weekend. The kids had been disappointed that our cabin wasn’t covered in white, but the very next morning, we woke up to just enough flakes to enjoy some delicious sample tasting and a sled run down the hill.

Life with T.S. can feel far from perfect, folk, but I promise you that the more you live in the moment, the more you’ll look beyond a few annoying tics and cherish the friendships, the love and the smiles. A few extra snowflakes? That’s just icing on the cake.

Until next time,  hug that ticker of yours today!

Andrea

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About Andrea Frazer

Find me at www.happilytickedoff.com! I'm a produced television, magazine, newspaper and national blog writer available for freelance writing in the areas of faith, parenting, lifestyle and healthcare. In addition to ghostwriting and content creation, I am proud to be publishing my first book. Called "Happily Ticked Off," it is a humorous mom-moir about raising a son with Tourette Syndrome. I can best be described as Erma Bombeck meets Nora Ephron. I live to connect with others through writing, authenticity and just a wee bit of sass.

12 responses »

  1. Beautiful pictures!! I need some of your time-management mojo!

    Reply
    • @ Margaret – Thank you! I can talk on Friday if you can. I am sorry I have not been around much. Will try to phone!

      Reply
  2. Ok. So I realize this is a very controversial area and I really don’t mean to stir the pot, but I was wondering if you’ve considered a correlation between the tics and vaccinations. I feel like people assume you’re one of those “crazy moms” when a suggestion is made like this, but I can’t help but wonder if that is the cause or one of the contributing factors to my son’s ts.

    I have 3 boys. Jacob, my oldest son, who is 7 has ts. My middle son is almost 5 (no signs of ts yet). Both of them were fully vaccinated. I used to think people who didn’t vaccinate were nuts. Now, after reading a lot about vaccination ingredients, risks, and thinking about what we experienced with them, I am scared about vaccinating(and considering not vaccinating) our new son, 4 months old. (He already got his 2 month shots though).

    My son Jacob started having tics around age 3, well after his first round of shots. Who know if that was from the shots? At age 5, 4 days after receiving his kindergarten shots, he was admitted to the hospital with a mysterious illness. He had a full body rash, fever, projectile vomiting, and horrible headaches and lethargy. No diagnosis was ever given. Nothing showed in the spinal tap, MRI, CAT scan and eeg. I was told by his ped and the er doctors that this was not a result of his vaccinations. Now, looking back…..I’m not so sure. Of course, I’ll never know 100% whether they were a factor in his developing ts, but at the same time the doctors can’t know 100% that they weren’t a factor.

    Meanwhile, I feel like since the age of 5 and after the hospital stay, his symptoms have definitely increased. I would classify him as having mild ts, but some days it just seems overwhelming (esp around homework time…ugh). He’s not on any meds.

    We’ve been doing the GF/CF diet (also egg free, soy free and avoiding all things artificial) for about 3 months with no real positive changes. We do Bonnies TS supplements, b12 and fish oil daily. It’s frustrating to see no real difference when we’re spending so much time and money planning special meals and buying supplements. I’m not real keen on starting him on medicine based on side effects I’ve read about and his young age. I don’t really know what else to do at the moment, but I feel like I need to find something because I feel like my child is slipping further away. (I do realize and try to stay focused on the fact that he is still a wonderful child and we’re blessed that he can walk and talk …sometimes too much 🙂 and pretty much do anything anyone else can) He carries his body in a strange way these days and is clearly “different” from other kids his age. I just ache sometimes for him. I want to make it better because I know it bothers him. I just DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. Most doctors will recommend meds and the ones who don’t and want to try natural things charge a bazillion dollars and of course arent’ covered by my insurance. Maybe we’ll try acupuncture??? or look into heavy metal detox (if that’s an issue for him, which I suspect it is).

    Sorry for the book and for sounding real discouraged. I feel like this is on my mind constantly and I don’t have anyone to talk about it with. and by the way, I appreciate your blog and check it often for a boost ! Hope I didn’t offend anyone with the vaccine talk!

    Reply
    • Courtney –

      You know, I totally agree with you on the vaccine thing. I wish I had written down the exact moment Stink started ticking, but it was shortly after his 5 vaccines in a row. I think he was pre-destined toward TS, but the ticks were triggered by the shots.

      There is something wrong in our society that so many kids are getting these funky neurological disorders.

      As far as the diet goes, I say keep with it. It’s something.

      I am sure I asked you this before, but what else is going on with him in his environment? Please forgive me for the repeat, but does he swim alot? Any other kinds of meds or vits? Are you seeing an environmental doc?

      I know a lot of moms with more severe ticking kids will say “you can’t cure this with diet and hippy alternatives” and to that I agree with some of it. But I’ve spoken to SO MANY moms who have found ways to greatly reduce the tics.

      How can we help you find that ?I am not talking false hope. I know that Stink’s tics were awful for a while and they are so much better.

      Off the top of my head, I can think of 4 success stories of people who have reduced tics.

      I will start collecting those stories as hope for you and others going through this.

      Also, I will email you offline. I would love to talk to you, if only to encourage you.

      YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You will get through this. We are here. Andrea (and others! please chime in and give some love and tips!)

      Reply
    • Courtney, hang in there. I was once in a DARK hole, living and breathing TS, but now RARELY even think about it (my son is now 9 and his tics have decreased since he was diagnosed at age 7). I tried the diet and supplement approach, hoping that those things were making a difference, to the point of becoming obsessed and “fearful” of him coming into contact with anything off my plan. I have now come to realize that in my son’s case, there is NO real rhyme or reason to his tics, and I stopped with the diet/supplements a year and a half ago. In this time, his tics have diminished to the point where today, nobody, not even myself, notices any of them. It made me realize that what I was doing really wasn’t making a difference and that the tics would just wax and wane as they so mysteriously do. The most powerful thing I did for him was to take him to a psychologist back when he was 7 and showing signs of anxiety (and ticcing). It was the ONLY thing I feel made a difference in his ticcing (when his anxiety diminished, his tics seemed to as well). The best advice I can give you is to stay off the message boards, etc. You probably know all you need to know about TS now, so quit researching and don’t read about other people’s unfortunate cases, as they will only bring you down (at least they did me). I don’t have much thought about the vaccination debate.If you want to email me, you can reach me at claud1001@wideopenwest.com. I’d love to chat if you feel like it.
      Hang in there!
      Claudia

      Reply
  3. I have been a bad blogger! Oh, readership – all 20 of you – forgive me!

    Ha!

    Count me as one of the 20.

    And to Courtney – hang in there!

    Reply
  4. @ Claudia – Thank you for your feedback. I have a friend who feels like you do – that the supplements and diet made zero difference. If that were the case with Stink, I’d be thrilled, but it is not. I am so glad, however, that you bring up this point, because every child is different and there is no magic cure. My only suggestion is to really give it a go before deciding it doesn’t work. This means at least 6 months to account for the natural waxing and waning of the tics.

    I am glad your son is doing so well. That is so encouraging. Thank you for your comments and support here!

    Reply
  5. Thanks for the encouragement ladies! I know I’m going to get through this. I can’t wait to look back on this one day and know that our family is stronger because of this. ***And it will be really nice when I can talk about this to someone one day without getting weepy! =)

    Reply
  6. Andrea, I stumbled upon your blog late last night in the middle of yet another crying session and desperate internet search for anything that would give me hope that our beautiful 5 year old daughter would someday be completely free of the hard blinking tic that started out of the blue last summer and has waxed and waned (along with a few other less noticeable tics) since- or, at the very least, help me wade through all of the possible dietary options to try to minimize the tics, if possible. We have been through the same frustrating process as most – Pediatrician appointments and consults with two different pediatric neurologists (one of which was at a very prominent children’s hospital) only to be told that they are “just tics,” they will probably go away at some point,” and that worse case scenario is that it is Tourette’s which is “no big deal.” Somehow, I have to believe if it were their own flesh and blood it would be a “big deal.” All this to say that I know at this point that if anything is going to help minimize her tics I am going to have to find it on my own. But sorting out all the Mommy emotions to be able to even think straight is a challenge in and of itself. I can go from feeling empowered and proactive to completely overwhelmed and hopeless in a nanosecond! Isn’t is strange that, according to all the doctors, childhood tics are so “common,” yet there is noone even remotely close to me that has a child with tics. Most have never even heard of such a thing. It is a lonely place to be. So I truly appreciate moms like you that take the time to blog about their experiences and all the other moms that comment in return. While I may be “alone” in this small town, at least I know there are other moms out there that are going through this nightmare right along with me. I also really appreciate your humor. I am a self-admitted control freak that is knee deep in a situation that is beyond my control and that can be maddening. I need to be reminded that sometimes we have to step back, accept that we are in this for the long haul, that we may never be able to “control” it but that we can’t lose ourselves or our quality of life in the middle of it. My daughter is a very happy and creative little girl that happens to have tics. Thus far, the tics are not accompanied by any ADHD or OCD type behavior and have pretty much followed the waxing for 3-4 weeks and waning for 1-2 months type pattern. Even 6 months into this I feel like we are very early in the learning process. I have tried a few of the dietary adjustments but with this most recent bout of blinking, which started 2 weeks ago and is still going strong, I know I have to try more – even if the tics aren’t improved or just continue to wax and wane regardless, I have to feel like I am “doing” something to try to help her. I look forward to following your blog and your readers’ comments as we continue on this journey. Thanks again for your dedication to reminding us that we’re not alone. ~Kim

    Reply
    • Kim,
      I feel like we are at exactly the same spot in our ts journey. I also can relate to feeling alone.(Read my comment a few posts up….the book) I’d be so happy to talk with you. Maybe we can support one another during the ups and downs. If you want to talk, email me at courtney.garth@gmail.com.

      Courtney

      Reply
      • Courtney, Thank you so much for your note! I would love to talk with you. I will e-mail you tonight after my daughter goes to bed. It will be so nice to communicate with someone that is going through the same thing and truly understands all those ups and downs. 🙂

        Kim

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