Exercise, The Magic Kingdom and Richard Simmons


I took a break from blogging, T.S. and all things work related yesterday to spend the day at Disneyland with my daughter. Thanks to Tuskany, whose hubby works at the studio, we not only got free parking and a free park entrance, but there was a substantial discount on merchandise and food as well. Plus she has an electric car, so no gas was required. (Well, I can’t say there was no gas. I had two cups of coffee. But that doesn’t count.)

To say it was a magical day is an understatement. It was exactly the medicine the doctor ordered. I am so grateful.

While I absolutely refused to post Facebook photos of myself and my kid in front of Cinderella’s Castle per my latest anti-boasting Facebook Embargo, I feel okay bragging about it here. It’s a reminder for me, when I look back at posts, that sometimes when the world feels like a big giant “no” there arealways people ready to throw me a “yes.” That was Tuskany, and I am so very grateful.

Side note: For those of you with friends two decades long, call them up and say hi. Whether they can offer you free theme park passes or not, there’s nothing like a live chat with someone who has loved you through the good, the bad and the ugly.

Throughout the day, I made a conscious effort to not look at my phone. I didn’t need to text my friend about my job interview. (Yes, it went very well, thank you!) I didn’t need to call my spouse about picking up my son. (Rex is more reliable than the inevitable waxing and waning of tics.) And I certainly didn’t need to check my email to see updates on my Ebay shipment, who needs help with their kids, or what some random website was emailing me about gluten free corn dogs that I can’t afford to buy now anyway. Yesterday was just about the people directly in front of me.

Staying focused on the present is no easy task for an over-thinker like me. Pinocchio’s nose made me think about lying, which made me think about the Monsanto cheating us out of healthy food.

As quickly as I’d bring myself back to the present, Cinderella’s lost slipper would make me think about my shoes. “Is that why my back is hurting? I don’t have proper footwear?” which inevitably lead to my son’s feet. “I need to get Stink new shoes. And really, if I think about it, he needs to do more exercise, that would help with the tics!” And just like that, I’d be down Alice’s rabbit hole quicker than you can say Giles de la Tourette.

But here’s the deal. At the Happiest Place on Earth, it’s impossible not to think about the magic of life. I might not be able to make all my problems go away like Bibbity Bobbity Boo. I might find myself fighting tic crocodiles for a while or being rudely awakened by the fact that my Prince sometimes has more frog in him than Royal blood. (Like last week… not our greatest week ever. But hey, I didn’t make a horny toad joke. Until now. Oh, well.)

james and andrea

But life is not a fairy tale. There are good chapters and bad chapters, villains and heroes. But in the end, with the right perspective, I can have Happily Ever After in accepting what it is I can’t change, changing the things I can, and having the wisdom to know the difference.

Yesterday, I accepted what I couldn’t change: The tics were still very  high.

I accepted what I could change: “Yes, Tuskany, I would LOVE to take my daughter out of school and surprise her with a Disney day. Thank you!”

And I had the wisdom to know the difference: I reminded myself that I had a plan to slowly incorporate some of Doctor Carroll’s suggestions when I get my full-time job. Until then, I would journal and write lists. Then, with the knowledge that nothing would be forgotten,  I had no choice but to focus full attention on a lovely little girl who is growing up before my very eyes.

I also would like to add that I had a another genius stroke of wisdom. My son needs more exercise, and so do I. With all the gray hairs I’ve gotten in the past two weeks worrying about what I can’t change, and his spike in symptoms, perhaps we can both start exercising to Richard Simmons. He makes me laugh like crazy, plus he has a video called Richard Simmons and the Silver Foxes. It stars his mom, Farrah Fawcett’s mom, Al Pachino’s mom and Sylvester Stallone’s mom doing leg kicks, twists, stretches and other good-for-you cardiovascular moves, all set to tacky 80’s music. When Simmons does a re-do with Stink’s mom, I’m in.


I’d love to know how you all are managing your lives. What exciting things are you saying yes to?

Bonus points for anyone who wants to do a Richard Simmons video. Who is in? Leave a comment. I’ll be giving you a quiz next week, so no cheating. Get on your tennis shoes, strap on your fanny pack, and get ready to disco like a silver fox!


9 Ways a Naturopath Can Help with Tics and Tourettes


Today I took Stink back to Dr. Carroll. It had been over 3 years. Instead of fitting halfway on his exam table, Stink took up the entire table, his size 8 mens Nike’s dangling off the edge.

As usual, Dr. Carroll was calm, cool and collected. Just walking into the office I felt a sense of peace. I’d call it the placebo effect of Mama about to get some help, but Stink himself barely ticked at all. Between Stink’s “Tough Guys Wear Pink” tee shirt, and Dr. Carroll’s crisp and cool lavender pressed oxford, I felt like Spring had sprung again in my heart. I had forgotten how smart and lovely this doctor is. He really knows how to interact both with a neurotic mama (um, me) and a spirited, sweet kid.

Note to self: We need a calmer environment at home. Working on that. Sadly, I don’t drink wine anymore and I’ve never smoked doobage. Perhaps I need a full box CD set of John Denver. And a truck load of clove cigarettes. Thoughts?

Keeping this short as I have a big day with my daughter tomorrow. You know… the kid that doesn’t tic who is just as valuable to this family and worthy of attention. (Note to Moms: Don’t get so sucked into your “special needs” kid you forget that all your kids have special needs! And you do, too, cause you’re special!)

Here are 9 things Doctor Carroll had to say about tics

1. No gluten or dairy: It is the devil for all auto-immune disorders.

2. No video games: NONE. The basil ganglia gets over loaded with dopamine. Wires get crossed. It’s just bad bad news.

3. Check for food allergies: Get blood work done up to check for a comprehensive food allergy test. Once you know what your child is allergic to, you can best give him the nutrients he needs for his growing body. The testing these days has offending items narrowed down to food dye and specific chemicals. (Specific test links to come once I find out!)

4. Lots of exercise: If your child is addicted to video games, the physical movement will help the craving go away.

5. Fish Oil: Make Nordic Naturals your friend. It helps support a child’s brain and aids in focus.

6. Saliva based Genetic Testing: Get a work up done by 23 and Me. One swab of your child’s saliva and you can have real insight into what’s packed into their DNA. Knowing this can help your naturopath treat your child’s specific ailments.

7. GMO is the Devil: Yes, not feeding a child GMO can actually make a huge difference in their symptoms. I’ll talk about GMO more another day. First, I’d like to watch the movie, Genetic Roulette, which talks about how the chemicals in our food is a huge reason for the issues we are seeing in our children. 

8. Organic Organic Organic: Yes, this makes a difference. See #7. It’s not that much more expensive to eat organic if you are willing to shop on sale. Stay away from the Dirty Dozen and stick with the Clean 15. The verdict is split on if fruits with thick skin like bananas and melons have to be organic. Some say the thick skin makes it okay. Others say it’s bad because it gets into the “blood stream” of the plan either way.

9. Supplements: Once you have a nutritional plan figured out for your child, a good naturopath can provide suggestions for supplements that can work with his nutritional needs. (Ex: Dr. Carroll mentioned Gaba as an excellent source of “calm” for Stink’s overactive brain.)



Does this seem like a lot to you? It does to me. I can’t do ANY of it now. I just can’t. I’m on a budget. My husband is not on my alternative medicine train. And yet, I feel excited. I have a plan. To me it all makes sense.

For the next few days, I’m going to let this all sink in.

Then I’m going to hear about my job interview from yesterday.

And when I get something full time with benefits, I’m going to execute. Little by little, step by step.

PS: The one thing I don’t think I’ll do is take away video games all together. Why? Stink isn’t 100% on board. He’s almost 12. He must be proactive in this area. I would like to see if we did everything else, with video games down to a few hours only on weekends, if this will do the trick. If not, it’s out like a rotted organic peach.

Until Thursday, 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.

What about you? What do you think about the list?

More of my writing can be found at ChristianMingle’s sister site, Believe.com.