Happy Days Are Here Again

Things aren’t perfect, but I’m sooooo much more settled than yesterday. Sometimes it just means taking your mind off your worries and focusing on something else. Too much time is the devil’s handiwork, so they say, and that is very much the case with me.

This morning I got the kids up early and we headed over to school. I run the Friday parent coffees. It’s a really low key event where I brew Yuban, pray a parent brings some goodies, and let the conversation go where it will. It’s no stress, no major agenda – just a way to communicate.

Often, in the course of one hour, connections are made, projects are started, and spirits are lifted. Today, for example, I spent a good deal of time chatting with a new dad who is writing a book about God. Another friend of mine is also writing a book. And yet another father is, um, writing a book. You can tell my kids go to an L.A. school with all these side creative projects going on. I laugh that we are all earthy crunchy folk, though, as we’re writing novels instead of screen plays. Perhaps we will remain poor for such reasons, but the bonds created are rich and truly treasures.

I still have my moments of rumination over Stink, such as “How will our second big wig UCLA doc meeting go on Monday?” (Yes, five months later he finally set up an appointment for me. Note to moms: Advocate, advocate, advocate – with a smile if possible!) In the end, though, if I can chat with others and keep myself busy on positive tasks, life is so much better.

I’m off to finish some writing assignments, but I’ll check back with you Monday if not before. I am looking forward to resting this week and taking some good walks. I’ve been strung the heck out and it’s time to settle back down.

Hope you are all well!



Tarzan Has Swung In: My Patience Has Swung Out

The warble is official. I had hoped against hope he was a squatter. But it turns out this tic has signed a year long lease and is not going to switch apartments any time soon.

Even his acupuncture with the lovely Martina today could not evict him.

On a good note, Stink rarely eye rolls anymore, thanks to his needle sessions.

On a bad note, it’s not curing his vocals.

Either it’s because we need to go back to two times a week.

Or it’s the Wii.

Or it’s just plain because he has T.S..

I won’t lie. I’m fried today. But on the other hand, I’m really trying to see the good in all this. It’s mild. It could be worse. I find myself clinging to faith and seeing this as a test. God has plans for me. He has plans for you. So my kid tics sometimes. So your kid tics sometimes. Guess what, they are amazing people, and so are you.

That’s all I have tonight.

Except for this: When you’re having sex with your husband, right before crucial moments, if he doesn’t want to stop, it can be really fun to have him quote lyrics to really bad 80’s songs. Because really, after a long day of ticking and obessing about if your kid is going to Tarzan his way into a college scholarship, do you really feel like having sex?

If not, but you decide it’s good for the marriage and you remember something about Christian scripture about submitting to your husband – even though mine is an Atheist nerd who I truly feel would be happier humping his hand made light up L.E.D. sculpture – shouldn’t you have a good laugh?

My shining moment happened when I had him scream “Every body… have fun…TONIGHT! EVERYBODY WANG CHUNG TONIGHT!”

I really couldn’t help myself. You should try it.


Where I’m a Total Hypocrite

I am so mad at myself I don’t even want to start a new post.

Instead, I will simply cut and paste what I wrote to my support group this morning.

Either I am terribly human or just a selfish, awful mother. I’m hoping for the first.

You know, I write this blog for moms.

I write for TS New Jersey.

I think I’m doing fine.

Then Tarzan comes back. “Ah ah ah”

It’s light but an annoying warble. Don’t know if it’s from strep or
food cheats or Wii or what, but I’m pissed.

Tonight in the kitchen he warbles very softly.

So I very very softly warble to myself. “Ah ah ah.”

To which he perks up his head and says, “I don’t like when you make
fun of me.”

I have done this before. At least 5 times in five years. It’s not that I’m intentionally mocking him, I’m just so annoyed at that tic- so sad that my little kid’s voice is interrupted by this darn invader – I do it.

I try not to. Given he’s been ticking for so long and it’s only slipped out a little bit is not bad. But it’s enough.

I’m writing this out loud for accountability.

Here I have this amazingly confident kid who is not afraid of others but will have a complex about hs own fxxxin mother if I don’t
back off.


There’s nothing I can really ask for except to tell me to get my friggin’ act together.

And with that, this very human, fried out mama, bids you good night.

May the ah ah ahhhhhs be with you.


Tic Survival Tips: Never underestimate house plants

I have a friend who I adore. She’s so very real about her kid’s T.S.. She says that when her daughter was eye rolling really badly, she’d rearrange the houseplants on the breakfast table so she wouldn’t have to look.

It might sound drastic and mean.

I call it survival.

And I get it. It’s not that she is a horrible mother. Far from it. She’s a mom who loves her kid so much she feels the pain of every single tic. Every single time.

I have gotten waaaay better at dealing with tics, but even me – who my lovely support group calls “their fearless leader” – has moments of weakness and frustration. When Tarzan came back last week, despite the noises being faint, it sent me on a slow decline.

Yesterday, he was reading and mouth gaping over Captain Underpants.

Oh, and guess what, he is coming down with a cold and possible strep. Duh. Why can’t I remember that so many of his tics are tied into a weakened immune system?

For the first time in a while, I felt true defeat. As I was driving to the doctor’s office, I said to him, “Stink, you need to put that book down right this very second!”

I was frazzled. I am human. Apparently those angel wings I ordered are just not going to arrive from QVC!

I might not rearrange houseplants, but I’ve been known to stick deep diving plugs in my ears when his vocals are relentless.

I’ve made Rex read bedtime stories because I couldn’t handle another throat clear.

I’ve sent him away on weekends to friends I don’t see very often just so I could get a break from the coughing five times/a minute. (And what does he do? Come back tic free. Of course!)

Point of this post? You are not a bad mother if you need a break, feel frustrated, or even rearrange a garden pot or two.

Survival, my friends.

I’m off! It’s my birthday today, and rather than obsess over tics, I went on email and announced to my Friday group “Who can take my kids until 7PM on Tuesday for me!” Two people responded right away – God bless them. My kids saw a movie, at popcorn and maybe even conned them into a drink. ASK IF I CARE.

How about you? What are some of your survival tips? Or do tics not bug you? Or do you just smoke the doobage and eat Cheetos? I hear weed totally calms down tics. But the food dye in Cheetos? Meh.


UpTIC, Part II

Well, we had a round of acupuncture today. And Tarzan, nasty little swinging behemoth that he is, has decided he likes it in Stink’s body. No amount of needles could get him to find another spot to “Ah ah ah.”

That all said, Stink’s warble is very light. I have to practice what I’m always preaching to you: This too shall pass.

Do I think acupuncture works? Yes I do. I think he is doing waaaaaay better because of it, combined with a healthy diet. But he has T.S., which means some days he’s just going to tic.

I’d like to use this opportunity to encourage some of you newer moms. It might seem like you’ve figured out T.S.. Perhaps you started a new diet and suddenly all the tics go away for a month. You might convince yourself that you have escaped the clutches of those nasty buggers.

But then they make their return. And you are NOT happy.

Which I get.

But after doing this for five years, I can promise you that it does get easier. Not only will you become more accepting of what you can’t change, but you’ll change the things you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference. That’s the motto around these here parts!

In other news, my son got a haircut tonight.

Combined with shooting some hoops with me in the front yard, I’ve decided he looks like a tween and it’s freaking me out. He loves the game suddenly, and though he’s mostly long legs and wonky dribbles, I’m thrilled he found something physical other than the Wii to look forward to. Time will tell if he finds it fun enough to take on a class or two.

Keeping it short tonight. I have a bit of work to do for my kids’ school, as well as plan on getting to bed at a decent hour. Apparently eight hours of sleep does a world of good when it comes to remaining balanced. That, and writing. I got writing done today at Topanga T’s!

Come to think of it, despite a few more tics, life is feeling pretty darn good these days. I even found a shirt for $1.99 that I just adore. I’ll be wearing it tomorrow. It’s black and white striped with a bit of a puffed sleeve. I kind of look like a Double D Prisoner from the 80’s. I’ll take it.

Love you all.

PS: Anyone else out there find it would be easier to stop tics than keep a little boy’s socks clean?


A Slight UpTIC: PTTD

Stink has been a wee bit more ticky lately. I do mean wee. It’s small enough that I’d gladly take his T.S. the way it is now forever if I could. He just does this occasional minor sputtering with his mouth. And the Tarzan. Gooooooddddd the Tarzan. “Ah ah ah…”

A tingle ran down my spine the other day when I heard it. It was so faint. I’ve probably heard it only about ten times since. But this summer it was so persistent and non-stop, it about drove me mad. It wasn’t until I heard it again, after months of silence, that I remembered how much I really struggled with that one tic.

A friend of mine is going through something herself with her daughter. She’s had a few years of quiet. She thought she had figured out the “cure” for the tics. To have them come back – even if just a small bit – triggered a fearful reaction in her.

I call her response, and mine, PTTD: Post Traumatic Tic Disorder. Perhaps you’ve experienced this phenomenon also. It’s a reminder for me, and for you, that T.S. is a weird disorder. There’s a lot you can do to suppress tics, and accept them, but the biggest gift you can give yourself is to remember that often it rears its ugly head for no apparent reason. The only thing certain is change, right?

That said, I do think part of Stink’s uptick is based on having acupuncture once/week only instead of twice. I had cut down for financial reasons, as well as time (there’s only so many hours after school to get stuff done… two sessions/week of acupuncture is a lot to squeeze in) but I might just have to make it happen twice again. I’ll give it a month and see.

That’s the scoop on me. How are you?


#1 Piece Of Advice for Tourette Moms

I’m so pleased that my faithful commenter, Courtney, has happily connected with Kim a few posts below. It’s hard for some people to share their hurt over this disorder, let alone accept that it’s happening.

* Note: I don’t possess this privacy gene, much to my mother’s dismay. Perhaps I’ll score one at my favorite resale shop, Super Thrift. “Sale on Mental Filters! Used! You might speak Spanish after the installation, but give it a go and embarrass your family less!”

Even if a child’s case is “minimal” fear tends to run to the “maximum.” I commend those two ladies for finding each other and supporting each other. I encourage all of you to do the same. Kim and Courtney, let us know how you are doing so others can be supported and inspired.

I also thought I’d share my biggest tip for you T.S. mamas. Whether you are dealing with a small case of blinking or a much more severe case, I urge you not to forget this one main thing: Encourage your child’s gifts.

Encouraging our kids is absolutely crucial to their development as people, let alone kids dealing with a wonky syndrome.

Seeing your child thrive will also help you feel stronger.

I can’t say Stink is never bothered by his tics, but I would say that 99% of the time it’s simply a non-issue.

Me? I’d say when he’s ticking even a medium amount it bothers me 50% more than it should. But I’m working on that every day and have come a long way from the 110% magnitude I used to have. And, should his tics increase, I’ll likely go up again and have to talk myself off the ledge have you readers share with me what I’ve shared with you.

Every child is different. My daughter? She’s organized, a lovely ballet dancer with elegant form, and a budding pianist. She’s got usable skillsets!

My son? He’s, well, funny.

That’s his talent.

He’s given up karate. He has no patience for drawing. He’s good at school but doesn’t care about joining a sports team or a club. He just likes to make people laugh – all the time. A sense of humor is soooo important, so while I encourage him to be respectful in class and with adults and church (Dear Jesus, I don’t ever want to hear from the Sunday School teachers again about his rendition of Hail Mary Full of Farts) I am relieved he doesn’t take life so seriously. In doing so, he doesn’t take his T.S. so seriously. I believe his attiude seriously keeps his symptoms to a minimum. (And that’s no joke.)

I will leave you with this video taken last night after Pip’s ballet class. Stink came up with a 2 minute improv that might scare off some manly dads out there. But my husband and I (as manly as he is… ahemmmmm) just found this funny. Why? It’s STINK! And being Stink is just who Stink needs to be.

Stink is not his T.S.. He is beautiful. He is joyful. He is all boy. He’s….Little Miss TuTu!


2 Reasons to Live

My left and right boobies: Both healthy!

I am keeping this short for no other reason than to let you know I’m thinking about you all.

I’m also relieved to report that my first mammogram came back healthy. I had no reason to think it wouldn’t, but it was scary none-the-less.

The take-away from the experience was that I realized just how much I had to live for. Sure, I loved my life before, but sometimes I feel sorry for myself. It took thinking about what it would be like to not be with my kids – tics and all – to make me realize just how fortunate I really am.

Now, to be fair, all negative mammos don’t mean death. And all tics don’t bother everyone. Am I being extreme here? Sure. But fear works that way. It’s like a seedling that grows like, dare I say, a cancer. Once it’s there, it’s hard to stop it.

Let me try and squelch some of your fears with this tiny post: Your child is fine. You are fine. I am here for you – my big healthy boobies and all of my heart. We love you.



Stink Turns 9, Mario Turns 0

So most of you know how much I love Mario I hope that little fat fxx gets offed by Japanese Gaming Executives and is replaced by a First Person Shooter Game called “Crunchy Mama Vs. DS Satan Zombies.”

The object of the game is that the virtual hero you create, preferably a flabby ass forty year old like myself who wears thrift store Ugg boots and wreaks of Yuban, gets to huck gluten free cardboard type spelt bread at the heads of Video Game Creators. For every head that rolls, it’s one less tic you’ll have to deal with.

Lead players will also wipe out:

* Aspergers


* IEPs

* Un-inspired educators

* Uneducated buffoons who spell Tourettes “Turrets”

* Dill

That last one on the list? I just added it because I hate dill.

Without getting too personal about my son’s life – which is a joke because this whole blog is dedicated to analyzing every aspect of his confusing syndrome – I’ll say that I’ve been most frustrated about his obessions lately. The tics? Very very minimal. God bless acupuncture! But the constant never ending talk about Mario. DRIVING ME INSANE OH MY GOD SHOOT ME I’M GOING TO GO CRAZIER THAN I ALREADY AM.

Let’s assume he has a pending diagnosis that would make his inability to focus on anything other than his favorite topic impossible. Let’s say that with this diagnosis is hope for a brilliant academic future but a decent chance that he’s wired the way he is for better or for worse? Even if that is the case, I can’t take the talk about Mario 24/7. He has to curb it.

So I’ve installed the new Mario Behavior Chart which I’m making his teacher implement. It goes like this:

* He gets a star if he doesn’t talk about it before recess

* Same thing before lunch

* Same thing before dismissal.

* His teacher gives him a few extra stars if he doesn’t interrupt, say inappropriate things, etc.

I don’t care how much he talks about it on the playground.

This new system, let me say, is working! It’s not intended to be about censorship. It’s about letting the side of his brain that is super intelligent work on learning other stuff. It will allow new people into his world and enrich his relationships. It will tie in his weekend game time to good behavior.

This has all taken an incredible amount of patience. If I could, I’d drink three glasses of wine/day – I’m that tired by 8PM. But drinking is a slippery slope, so I’m not.

Not until Friday.

And then, all bets go out the window. Stink can play his beloved Wii and I can down some good red wine with the girls.

And on Saturday, during his Star Wars themed birthday party Fat Fxx Mario Debacle, I will be the first to take a baseball bat and whack the living lights out of that Fuzzy Plumber Pinata.

I’m obsessing a bit tonight. Do you think I have Aspergers or am I just jonesing for Friday?