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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Magnesium and Tics: The Miracle Drug

Well, the very scary, four-month, nervous breakdown inducing exciting summer with my kids has begun! If I had to compare it to swim lessons, I’d put myself in the water wing category. Tomorrow, I move up to the kiddie pool. By Friday, I’ll hit the steps of the big pool. By the weekend, I’ll be in the deep end. By Monday, well, I better be on a raft with a margarita in my hand. Since I don’t drink, however, I’ll settle for a decent routine where we can all get some work and play in.

Like last night! I took Stink to his first Dodger game. At first he was totally bored, but soon got into it. Who doesn’t love fries, popcorn, peanuts, Dippin’ Dots, and, of course, the foam finger? (And no, to answer some of your questions, I didn’t worry that he ate a lot of crap. We don’t eat like that every day, and for us, a little joy is worth it. I know some people are a bit more strict, but for now, the only thing I’m really a stickler on is gluten – as in NONE. Though last night, for the first time in two years, he had some very minor bits of Oreo in his Dippin’ Dots. He survived! Whoo hoo! Not making it a habit, though.)

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Side note: I’m pretty sure Stink was the only kid in the stadium that wore Heelies combined with mesh shorts and a Children’s Place camouflage suit jacket, but the Dodgers won, and they all matched in their shiny crisp uniforms, so it worked out. Besides, my kid could care less. “I’m wearing Cookie Monster Dodger blue!” he said of his tee-shirt choice. Really, in the scheme of things, his fashion choices are just fine with me.

Tic update

Some of his vocals are back again – sort of a minor throat quack deal. I don’t think it’s due to the lack of Taurine. I think it’s because his NAC also ran out.

NAC

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As I mentioned in a previous post, NAC stands for N-acetylcysteine. It is a natural supplement that acts as an antioxidant and glutamate modulating agent.  The only side-effect commonly seen with NAC is nausea. Stink has never had this, thank God!

According to this webinar, featuring Dr. Mark Mintz, “They (a study) found the N-acetyl cysteine decreased symptoms of trichotillomania (hair pulling) compared to placebo. It makes theoretical sense as NAC can modulate dopamine. So, there are reports that NAC can improve mood disorders as well (such as obsessive compulsive disorder). There needs to be more research and reports to have a better handle on the effects of NAC in Tourette, but it appears to show some promise.”

Tomorrow I will get some more NAC and I’ll update you next week.

More on Magnesium

One of the best posts I’ve seen on Magnesium is this one by Birth Faith. I’ll let you click on over and see for yourself what she has to say. She has studies to back up her findings on how this supplement works on tics. She doesn’t talk about using Magnesium as a supplement. Instead she says:

“So far the only remedy we’ve tried that has shown significant and immediate results is magnesium. Surprise, surprise. 🙂

For a little over a week, I have been doing an experiment. When I notice my daughters tics getting more noticeable and obvious, I put magnesium to work for her in one of three ways:

  1. back rub with magnesium cream,
  2. foot soak with magnesium bath crystals,
  3. bath with magnesium bath crystals.

Afterward, I watch her carefully to see if her body responds. Of those three treatments, I would say the tics subside most following the magnesoothe cream back rubs and full-body magnesium crystal baths, but all three have brought about improvements. This, of course, makes us very happy. With daily magnesium-boosting, her magnesium levels should be restored in a month or two, and perhaps her tics will disappear entirely? That’s our hope!”

I hope this helps you all! Until next time,

Until next time,

May God grant you the serenity to accept the tics you can’t change, change the tics you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

Andrea

Connect with me on FacebookTwitter and at Armonia on Mondays. (Email works, too! Warning: I’ll likely email back.)

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Free Range Me

Well, my kid made it to Arizona safely. Shockingly enough, I didn’t spend the entire vacation without him in an anxious mess. Sure, I breathed a sigh of relief when I knew his plane landed safely, but that was about it.

The few days without Stink included lots of cherished time with Pip and her dad. We all stayed up late a few times, curled up on the green couches with books akin to those fat fluffy seals sunning themselves on rocks at the pier. (I’m currently reading Anne Lamott’s Grace, Eventually and just laughing out loud. That woman is brilliant and about as neurotic as I am. Though I have better hair – and that’s not saying much.)

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The day after he left, I had tea with Tuskany. While Pip and her daughter swapped books in the next room, Tuskany quipped that I had some free-range characteristics in my laissez-faire approach to parenting. I had to laugh, because in many ways, she’s not wrong. I didn’t check Stink’s luggage. (For all I know, he could have loaded up that suitcase with Twizzlers, pens and porn.)

I didn’t know who was parent chaperone was until I arrived at the airport that morning, groggy and disheveled from lack of coffee – hair resembling a greasy ballerina with bed head. (But my locks still looked better than Anne Lamott’s. The day I get dreads is the day I leave AA, my husband and join a traveling Reggae band: Mama Frazer and the Traveling Tickers, yah, Man.)

In stealing kisses from my man-child and reminding him to brush his teeth at least once on the three-day trip, I forgot to ask for his chaperone’s phone number. I reckoned to myself that if he needed to get in touch with me, he could take my advice and ask another parent chaperone or the teacher to use their phone.

I’m not sure how you, reader friend, would handle this. I do know that Tuskany would never operate in such a manner. I can attest to the fact that she is truly one of the best parents I know. She has this responsible thing down pat. (I mean, her kid eats veggies every day. EVERY DAY.) And her daughter, well, she’s a genius. Even Stink thinks so. (After Disneyland a few weeks back – which Tuskany was gracious enough to treat us to – again) he turned to me and said, “Mom, Nadia is the smartest girl I ever met. And she’s only in THIRD grade. Um… I think she’s smarter than me!” To which I responded, “She is smarter than you, kid!”)

Yup, I’m certain that this wunder girl’s mother would not only be sure that her daughter had her own phone, she would not be on a plane with a bunch of rag-tag public school kids going on an excavation in the first place! (I’d tell you the places they went, but I lost the itinerary before we even got to the airport. I had fuzzy ideas of sites containing red rocks, deserts and Indian caves with the name “Canyon” tied onto the end for the tourists – replete with gift stores and ash trays made from quartz.)

The thing is, though, I just knew Stink would be fine. He was surrounded by responsible adults. I even had cell phone #s for some of the parents who promised to send updates and snap shots. Here’s one from someone who, thank God, was kind enough to show me how much Stink was enjoying the culture on Day 1. I mean, really, could a mom be any prouder?

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Turns out all went well! When he landed late on Thursday, I watched him hunker down the hallway through the security gates. The moment he saw me, he threw himself in my arms. “Mom, I’m home!” he said, eyes tired, mesh shorts a bit stained from chocolate.

Or mud.

I couldn’t be sure and frankly didn’t care. I was just happy to have him home. He smelled of sweat, sweets and 12-year-old tween – the most glorious odor I’d sniffed in three days.

“Did you have a good time?” I asked him, taking one of his bags from his sagging shoulder.

“Yup,” he said. “But I’m so glad to be back.”

On the car ride home, his voice cracked. “Mom,” he said, looking at the rain outside, “This night… it feels so feels holy.”

Side note: This kid is going to grow up to be a con artist or a pastor. The verdict is still out. But I digress.

“Holy, huh? How come?” I asked.

“I guess because I was nervous to fly,” he said, “But then I said a prayer to God to get home safely. And then, I just felt peace… because I figured either I’d make it home to you or to my permanent home. And either way, I’d be okay.”

Re-reading that statement just now, I burst out laughing. It’s so melodramatic. But it’s also a true statement of his heart – a heart of a boy that beats of intellect, concern and faith. Its professions like that which not only make me grateful he has a God, but grateful that I do, too. This God of mine kept me from over thinking his trip. Without Him, I’d never let Stink go.

I’m certainly not saying that people who have faith are not allowed to be protective. But for the way I’m wired, which is pretty much tighter than a drum on pots of Yuban combined with hyper monkeys if I take myself too seriously, God keeps me from having a panic attack and screaming naked after my kid’s plane on the tarmac.

Classmates: “Dude, we’re at the Grand Canyon already?”

Stink: “Nah, that’s just my mom’s butt crack.”

My cheeks in the wind are not a national landmark any sixth grader needs to witness.

With Stink gone, I held onto my own faith and my favorite acronym for fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. I reminded myself that the chance of his plane crashing to the ground was pretty far-fetched. But if we’re being honest, it was also too scary to imagine, so I just didn’t think about it. I trusted my gut, and my God, that he would be fine.

The night of his homecoming, after kissing him on the forehead, I had my own holy moment. I lit a candle, got into the bath tub and gave thanks to God. “Thank you for bringing him home… to me. ”

Until next time,

May God grant you the serenity to accept the tics you can’t change, change the tics you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

Andrea

Connect with me on FacebookTwitter and at Armonia on Mondays. (Email works, too! Warning: I’ll likely email back.)

The Tics are Completely, 100% Gone…

…because Stink is on a trip. Yes, my big sixth grader got on a plane yesterday with his class to hike the Grand Canyon and go on an archaeological dig. Not a bad scenario for a public school, eh? The most exploring I ever did in sixth grade was to go from one window of paned glass to the next for Stations of the Cross in our Catholic church. I’m thinking Stink is going to have a lot more fun and not even have to deal with incense. (Lucky bastard.)

Update on Tics

In case any of you are irritated at my false proclamation in the title, I will give you some hope that his tics have been dramatically reduced regardless of the Taurine being eliminated. I believe that the magnesium citrate and the NAC are our miracle workers. Frankly, I think it’s mostly the magnesium and not the NAC but I’m not willing to take that chance right now. I’ll do a supplement post next, but for now, I just want to talk about my 12-year-old. Why? Because he’s 12. And it is going by so fast. As I said in my post for my publishing company, Armonia, I only have 5 Christmases left with this kid.

Five.

That’s astounding. How many times have complained to him, “Put away your Wii system when you’re done with it!”

game

“Really? Do I have to remind you again that the table is for eating, not for your gaming obsessions?”

remotes

“Um, the chargers and the homework and the key chains and the Disney pins…can you please put them away?””

school shit

And yet, now that he is gone, and I have a perfectly clean dining room, my heart is heavy. How I miss his banter! I am longing to wrap him in my arms again and run my fingers through his muppet mop beautiful curls only to have him scold me, “Mooooom, don’t touch the hair!”

Somehow, this kid has gone from this…

mama 2

To this…

mothers day

And while I’m lucky enough that he’ll still cuddle with me there will be a time when he’d rather be with his girlfriend. (His type, by the way? Asian girls.)

Me: “Why Asian?

Him: “I like their long, straight hair. And they are so tiny.”

Me: “Yes, and you are estimated to be 6 foot NINE. That’s quite a height difference between you and future girlfriend.”

Him: “It’ll be fun. I can carry her around.”

Me: “Like a doll?”

Him: “Sure, Mom. Like a doll.”

I can’t say that anything out of his mouth these days surprises me. He is unique and opinionated. He knows who he is. That’s more than I can say about myself when I was 12, and I didn’t tic.

Moms, this is your daily reminder that our kids’ souls and spirits far outweigh their tics. Hug that little ticker today, because one day they will be trading in their Thomas the Train suitcase for a carry-on and flying to another state without you.

And, like me, I’m thinking you’ll miss them like crazy.

airport

May your attitude today be like my refrigerator: messy with joy and gratitude for the blessings you have in your life.

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Until next time,

May God grant you the serenity to accept the tics you can’t change, change the tics you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

Andrea

Connect with me on FacebookTwitter and at Armonia on Mondays. (Email works, too! Warning: I’ll likely email back.)

The Dangers of Taurine on Kids: I’m Taking Stink Off It!

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After speaking to a nutritionist today, I have decided to take Stink off the Taurine. Despite how well he is doing tic wise (see previous post) I was advised it can be very bad for kids. It acts as a stimulate and can greatly damage the heart. That scared me.

What is Taurine?

Taurine is an amino acid sold in supplements and available in energy drinks. Taurine also occurs naturally in the body and plays a key role in many biological processes, such as detoxification and regulation of nerve-cell activity. Although low levels of taurine have been linked to several conditions (including eye diseases and cardiovascular problems), research on the health benefits of taurine supplements is limited.

Taking Stinkoff Taurine Slowly

Rather than quit cold turkey, I’m going to take him down to one pill/day for a week, then every other day for a week, then one, then none.

Always Check with a Professional Before Using Supplements

Normally I don’t willy nilly medicate my kids, but I had read on many mom forums that Taurine was this miracle supplement and went for it. I won’t be doing that again.

For those who are praying type, I am asking for prayers that his tics continue to stay minimal and that the NAC and Magnesium Citrate were what was helping him and not the Taurine.

Here’s one supporting article on the dangers of Taurine for kids.

Until next time…

May God grant you the serenity to accept the tics you cannot change, change the tics you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I would love to connect with you. 

HolisTIC: NAC, Magnesium Citrate and Taurine

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This post is dedicated to Veronica who was sweet enough to write me a little note asking me where the heck I have been. She misses me! Hooray! I have missed this site, too. To be honest, I have been kind of a whirling dervish of house work, kids, trying to figure out employment, getting a new job, losing the new job quitting because my boss was an 84 year old maniac who couldn’t stop screaming about my subject lines “Horseshxt! Superfulous Horsehixt!”, fretting over finances, attempting not to fret over finances and ultimately deciding that my priority for now is to be as present with my kids as possible given that we have a four-month summer coming up.

Yes, let me say that again. FOUR MONTHS.

Here is how I feel about that concept.

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Just kidding. It’s more like this.

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But that’s okay. I am going to make the most of it. I have finally decided to make my income by concentrating full-time on Ebay and freelance writing. Sounds like a weird mix, but it works.

Writing Clients

Blogging for a surrogacy company – GlobalIVF

Bloggin for a prescription discount company – SimpleRX

Ebay

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Here’s my store. I am figuring out the most efficient ways to list, sell and ship my items. The ultimate goal is less thrift store items and more New with Tag items purchased downtown. I figure if I buy the same item in bulk, I only have to list it once rather than taking a gazillion photos/day. Other than filling orders, I can spend my time taking care of my wee ones and working on my book marketing which leads me to my final two points:

1. My kids are not so wee anymore: Stink’s hair is threatening to take over space, and my daughter is getting hips. I feel so strongly that I’d rather have a little less money but more quality time with my kids. Actually, what I’d like is a ton of money and time with my kids but I’ll take the second if held at gunpoint.

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2. My book is being published: I am excited to say I have a publisher for my book. It’s a boutique agency who has followed by writing for a while. Happily Ticked Off will hit bookstores, libraries and Amazon in September. Stay tuned for details and giveaways as it gets closer. Here is the publishing house’s website and my write-up. 

More Blogging Here

In addition to all the above, plan on finding more of my regular writing on this here blog. LIke this report on Stink’s tics.

They are dramatically reduced thanks to these supplements

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As you may recall, Stink had some pretty consistent vocals this year. We’re talking almost nine months of a quacking hiccup. When I put him on NAC they didn’t subside. But when I put him on the Taurine and Cal Mag Citrate, they almost went away within a week. I don’t know if the NAC helps in the combo or if it’s just the Magnesium and Taurine. I’m not taking the chance for now. He takes all 3 combos morning and night (one pill each).

I am honestly relieved to have less noise in the house, but as I often write about, I’m in a lot of acceptance about tics these days. Stink remains hilarious and eccentric and himself. I can’t really afford to cry anymore about something he’s not crying about.

Well, gotta go. Farmer Stacey is in town. She’s my friend with the 5 boys who lives on 20 acres in Northern California. We met when I wrote on Baby Center and she was a reader, pregnant with her fifth. I somehow didn’t scare her off. We met in real life last month for the first time and she’s back again this weekend. We have had so much fun. I think the highlite of her trip was going to Santa Monica Pier and seeing Hugh Jackman on a unicycle hanging out with the kids and me at 94 year old Grandma Stella’s mobile home park. She got to witness first hand Stella’s assessment of my terrible cooking, dirty housecleaning and big boobs. Plus she had more food and Italian trivia pushed on her than a millionaire at a used car lot.

grandma stella and stacey

I’ve missed you all so! Leave a comment and let me know how you and your beautiful kids are doing. As always:

May God grant you the serenity to accept the tics you cannot change, change the tics you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I would love to connect with you.