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On The Couch: Mystery Monday #3

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Today was a day from hell.

It started with one of my kids’ continued refusal of chores which shall hereto be known as “The 24-hour/Sit on the Couch/ My Mother is a Horrible Human Being/Laundry Boycott/Summer 2017 Manifesto.”

Other than informing said child they had until 5 p.m. to either get necessary work done or I would be throwing out their clothes myself… and if they still did not do them by tomorrow I would be disassembling their bed so I could have a room to myself (oh and I might also be giving the dog away in a week since I can’t handle undone dog poo on top of undone laundry) I  remained very very VERY calm.

Minus the screaming match with my spouse in the kitchen.

Which turned into me driving to Hollywood to meet a friend… alone.

Note: Child’s sibling didn’t want to go with me to Hollywood because they needed “More than a day’s notice” which was just as fine with me. (Rabbit trail: Finding out I was pregnant with them unexpectedly thanks to a leftover 99 Cent Store pee stick didn’t exactly give me very much notice one surprising summer…. but I digress.)

Guilt about leaving my children with nothing to do on a Monday faded into the Malibu sunset when I reasoned they could find lunch within the couch cushions that my one child remain prostate on. (Lord knows there was plenty of carbs, half eaten granola bars and crackers left with the chores not done.)

After a long ride to Hollywood where I ruminated on everything from my ineffective parenting, 17 years of marriage and the fact that L.A. drivers maneuver the roads like drunks on doobage, my friend never ended up being able to meet me because the parking was so bad.

Which resulted in me driving through traffic back towards home.

Except I didn’t want to go home what with the boycotting and the overall hating of me.

So I drove to my old stomping grounds for tacos instead.

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(It’s pretty impossible to be in a bad mood with surfers, homeless people, Hollywood writers and happy lights.)

A full and very happy belly later I walked across the street to the beach.

This move worked out smashingly if I do so myself, for when I sat in the sand, I looked up to my left and there I saw an incredible rainbow in the sky. (Look closely at photo on top of page!)

Odd or God?

I’m sure it was just that time of day….the way the sun hit the clouds at just the right moment… but the closest I’d seen to a rainbow in these here parts was the West Hollywood Halloween Parade. I’m just going to assume that my higher power put it there to remind me that there is hope.

That I am never alone.

That end even in times of darkness where I don’t know what to do there’s color, beauty, joy and radiance that transcends my understanding. For that, I’m so grateful.

The Takeaway (Besides leftover fish tacos?)

Sometimes the only thing to do is nothing. It is there, with that beautiful empty space, that I can move out of the way and let God make His magic.

PS: Big thanks to Tuscany who afforded a generous ear to the play-by-play drama which is my life with teenagers.

Thanks also to Valerie Coulman, a generous writer and friend who I met at the Southern California Christian Women’s Conference. While I stuffed my face with extra fries we laughed and prayed together and realize just how strong we are – especially when we don’t take ourselves so seriously.

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Let me know about anything cool that happened to you this Monday. Let’s connect!

My book is available on Amazon. Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on FB

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Fun Friday #2 – Sing to Your Kids

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Happy Fun Friday!

This is my official “Day Off” to hang with the kids, so keeping it short. But meanwhile, I give you this video I created for you a few days back. It’s goofy and silly, but that’s sort of the point. Let me know you think!

Until next time,

Andrea

My book is available on Amazon. Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on FB

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MTHFR Gene Post #2 – Got Tics? READ THIS!

Happy Tic Tuesday!

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As you can see, my pit bull lab mix is terribly excited about this topic. And you will be, too! And so, my friends, I give you….

More on the MTHFR Gene!

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No, it’s not translated as the Mother Fxxer Gene (though if your child has a defect in this gene, it may cause tics, Tourettes or a variety of other issues, which could cause you to curse in frustration. But there’s hope! Just read along.)

MTHFR stands for Methyl-Tetrahydrofolate Reductase, an enzyme which is in charge of the process of methylation in every each and every cell in your body. Methylation is a fancy way of saying “absorption.” If your body isn’t absorbing the nutrients, your body can’t function at an optimal level.

A Faulty MTHFR Gene – 2 Types

There are usually 2 types of MTHFR variations that can cause issues:

  • Homozygous
  • Heterozygous

Oh no! On top of being a mother fxxr we’re also dealing with gay vs. straight genes? Peace, people! It’s less confusing than it seems.

2 Genes Broken Down

If your child is Heterozygous (AKA: A1298) this means that he or she has one affected gene from the parent and one normal gene. It means their enzyme function will run at approximately 60% compared to a child that has no mutated MTHFR gene.

If your child is Homozygous (AKA C677T) it means they have 2 mutated copies of the gene, and their enzyme effience/absorption abilities plummet to 20 or 10%.

Vitamins With Optimal Absorption Are Key

Here’s where hope comes in. Once you know if your child has a gene mutation that is not processing his or her vitamins, then you can treat it through methylating vitamins. They are often much more expensive than regular vitamins, but the idea is that your child’s body will function at a much higher level than before as it’s they will finally be absorbing the fuel they need to run. Farmer Stacey uses these for her son. Again, you’ll want to wait until your child is tested and talk to a doctor about the correct dosage!

 

How to Test? How to Proceed?

You can test your child with a saliva test through 23 and Me 

Apparently the results are really hard to read, so you need to run it through another source. It can best be explained at Dr. Lynch’es website here. It’s worth checking out his site as there are also blood draws that you can do and run through labs. Here is a cut and paste of what he says to spell it out for you. Again, see link above to get more info!

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So What’s Next?

I am obviously no doctor – I’m just a concerned mama who is going to get her teenage boy tested. I advise that once you get the test results from a lab of your choice (blood or saliva – see Dr. Lynch’s site for better details), talk to an integrative doctor or check back with me in a few months and I’ll tell you what vitamins I am using.

Dr. Jill Carnahan on MTHFR

Dr. Jill Carnahan (image from her site) is another great source on the subject. She breaks it down with a good dose of science and layman’s terms.

Update on Stink’s Tics

And on that note, I’m off to watch an episode of Gravity Falls with my son. For those that have followed me from the beginning, Stink is doing amazing. He’s no longer dairy free and on no vitamins. Some shakes and tremors, but happy to be a ticker. I don’t push him toward any treatment, but if he does have the MTHFR gene I will be insisting he take a folating vitamin every day for his health. I will do so not as a controlling “I’m going to fix your tics” teenage mom. I honestly don’t believe it’s my business to do that anymore. I will insist due to his health. After all, he’s his own person. My only job is to keep him safe and love him like a MTHFR.

And I do.

Until next time,

Andrea

My book is available on Amazon. Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on FB

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Fun Friday – Sombreros for Taco Tuesday

I just got back from a beautiful trip to Lake Shasta. The trees were so green. The water was so blue. I kayaked without killing myself. #Itwasasuccess.

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While the views were outstanding, there was something even more incredible that took place in that beautiful country. It was something that, if I’m not careful – especially in my parenting- I can overlook. It’s called “Fun.”

From a spirited conversation on the plane ride over, to dinner out, lunch out and some amazing home cooked meals by Farmer Stacey, I didn’t have much to do other than to relate my stories, listen to hers and laugh.

While vacations can’t truly compare to real life (especially when I was blessed enough to not pay for the trip myself) it did remind me that life doesn’t have to be such a bore all the time. I can get so caught up in what “has” to get done (cooking, cleaning, shopping, working) that I forget what I “get” to do (talk with my kids, chuckle at a show with my husband, call up my  mom and dish over the time my father’s pants fell off in a Costco parking lot while talking to my sister about a great deal on Diet Coke.)

One of the things we do every Tuesday is eat tacos. But not just any tacos. Boring healthy kid-approved vegetarian tacos. (The teens aren’t vegan yet. I don’t have to mortgage the house for Whole Foods “Looks Like Queso Tastes Like Crappo” cheddar. Our veggie tacos are a simple fix of tortillas, beans, rice, lettuce, salsa and cheese.)

And sombreros!

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A few years ago I scored 8 cheesy sombreros for $4 at a Salvation Army discount day. Do they go with my retro tan and cream checkered floors? No. But is it hilarious to watch an unsuspecting guest put one on before saying the blessing over our food? Si, senoritas!

Until we get lice, we’ll be wearing those ridiculous over sized, Mexican noggin’ covers. On the inside, my kids are secretly dying at the absurdity of their six-one mother rocking out to mariachi music while wearing a cone shaped hat over her messy bun. But on the inside, secretly, I think they want some shakers to go with it.

Because it’s goofy.

And ridiculous.

And it’s fun.

And sometimes, you just have to go for it, mis amigos.

“Our egos are not our amigos!” I say, “Let’s drop the perfect routine and act like dorks because we can!”

PS: I don’t really think lice would stop my tradition. If you ever plan on visiting, you might consider making it a Wacky Wednesday instead. On those days, we just talk about camels and shout, Hump Daaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy at each other. Equally as enlightening!

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What about you? What do you do just for fun? I’d love to know!

My book is available on Amazon. Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on FB

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That’s One Mother FTHR Gene – MTFHR and Tics

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(photo credit: Mommypotamus)

Welcome to Tic Tuesday!

I’m so excited you’re here! But… I won’t lie – I’m tired. I have been up since 4am and it’s almost midnight in Mt. Shasta – a beautiful mountain town in Northern California that I’m just visiting for the first time.

My dear friend Stacey, who I met when she read me over at BabyCenter, flew me out to the home she shares with her five boys. FIVE. That’s about as shocking to me as the original diagnosis of T.S. my son got 10 years ago.

The reason I’m telling you about Stacey’s boys? Irony of irony – one of her sons developed a pretty serious tic condition right after leaving my house 2 years ago. (Quick – get off the computer before you catch Tourettes!) Stacey has done a LOT to heal her son’s symptoms, including the GAPS diet and following an environmental doctor’s supplement plan. I’ll talk more about these things in my next posts, but for now I want to talk about the MTHFR gene which, when undetected, had prevented her son’s healing. It might be affecting your kid, too!

MTHFR – What is That?

MTHFR stands for the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene. Say it five times fast: methyl-ene-tetra-hydro-folate-reductase.

To be more simple, it’s an enzyme in our bodies. This enzyme adds a methyl group to folic acid which helps the body properly use vitamins such as B6. If the gene is mutated, your child’s body is not able to get the nutrition it needs. This can cause all sorts of problems from mood swings, ADHD issues, depression and, you guessed it, tics.

Treatment

Specific vitamins can be given to your child that will help him or her absorb the nutrients they need. I will ask my friend specifically about the brand she uses and post before the week is up.

How to Diagnose

The diagnosis for this mutation is pretty simple. You can request a blood test from most naturopaths or do a saliva test for $199 through 23 and Me.

Excellent Blog Post on MTHFR

The Mommypotamus blog does an excellent job explaining more about the MTHFR gene here.

I’d talk more about how a man ten years younger than me flirted with me for two hours on the plane. (Yes, I told my husband. Relax, people. We only made out at the gift store later talked.  And it made me realize, as nice as he was, I’m so glad not to be in the dating world. I have the personality of an outgoing New Yorker but the insides of a stodgy librarian. It’s fun being me!)

I’d tell you about how Stacey had to bolt from the couch downstairs because a black bear decided to dig through her trash can and eat some of her organic GAPS brownie leftovers.

I’d tell you about how my sweet husband was kind enough to get up at 4am to get his wife onto a bus to get me to an airport where I almost lost my breakfast waiting for the second shuttle to arrive at the airport gate where I could dodge into a restroom.

But if I do, I might start ticking, and it’s not from the MTHFR gene. I’m just bone crushing tired.

New to T.S.? Come back next week!

You are not alone. Your child will be fine, and so will you. I promise. I do.

Until tomorrow,

My book is available on Amazon. Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on FB

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Happily Ticked Off is Changing…But Not. Join Me!

For those of you who are used to me writing just about Tourettes, don’t leave me! I’m going to be devoting every Tuesday to Tics. But, along with the theme of Happily Ticked Off, I’m also using this site to share what I’m going to start doing to get truly happy in my every day life. And I hope it will encourage you to do the same.

Here at Happily Ticked Off You Can Expect:

  1. Mystery Monday – I will write what I want! (Book reviews, interviews with authors, recipes for Camel Milk pudding. It’s a grab bag for sure!)

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(It’s a real thing… I can’t make this up)

2. Tic Tuesday – What’s new in the world of tics, Tourettes and Special Needs? Let’s support each other in raising our special needs kids. Whether its Tourettes, Autism or any diagnosis you weren’t expecting, here you’ll find a place for hope, healing and strength to deal with whatever comes your way. (And laughter. Because if you can’t laugh, you’ll cry. And you’ve done enough of that!)

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3. Writing Wednesday –  This will be for you writers out there! Tips, questions, struggles and life related to art, writing and balancing what keeps our souls alive with day jobs, families, and real life stuff. (No, we can’t all sit in our skybraries all day and write the next Great American Novel or camel themed musical. But that’s the goal! And isn’t that couch amazing?)

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4. Fun Friday

These posts are going to be talking about how to put the fun back into parenting. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of freaking out over spending all this money I don’t have to provide fun for my kids that, at the end of the day, they don’t always need. It’s not about paying for fun that makes a difference, it’s being fun that kids remember.

EX: As much as I’d love to spend a week, all expenses paid, at the Great Wolf Lodge… obsessing over my 47 year old body while careening down germ infested water slides and bragging to my friends on Facebook who are sitting at home flogging themselves over having overdue library fines AGAIN and now their kids can’t find the books that are due in the first place darnit and… oh wait, that’s me… I’d rather focus on how I, as Mama, can bring humor and joy right back to my wolf pack at home.

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We’re Enough, Moms!

We can all get so stuck in what we think we should be doing for our kids, we forget that just being who we are is enough.

Yes, enough.

Even with the fridge missing the organic food.

Even with the running late to church. Again.

Even with the misplaced keys. Again.

Even with the career… or lack of career… or in between insanity of a career.

Time for Fun

I am no guru. There can be days when I’m feeling too busy to bring on the fun. But those days – especially those days – are when I need to be intentional about it. Otherwise, parenting is just one more thing on an already crowded to-do list. And really, that would be kind of lame. Lets support each other in the journey to walk on the lighter side of life. Wouldn’t a little more singing, a little less shouting, be lovely? Let’s do this together!

Until next time,

Andrea

My book is available on Amazon. Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on FB

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Teenagers. Detaching with Love. And Tacos.

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You might notice less cute pictures these days on my blog. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. My kids aren’t that cute anymore. They are teenagers.
  2. These teenagers don’t want to be photographed and put online anymore. They are certain some predator will track them down and kidnap them.  I try to tell them that no one but me would take the time to put up with their half done chores or pull vegetarian recipes out of my butt for dinner because they’re more worried about saving chickens and cows than their library book reminders, but I digress.
  3. I’m too tired from waking up at midnight thanks to them stomping around upstairs, to bother with a camera.

I’d like to say that I’m my cheerful self, despite the challenges of raising two kids, one of who is 6’3, 14, and eats more food than a baby cow. I’d like to say that balancing a day job, a little book marketing, some freelance gigs and the occasional conference doesn’t throw me for a loop. But nope. This about sums it up.

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And yet…

Here’s the deal.

When I get cranky, like I did in my last post, it reminds me that I’m not Super Woman. It reminds me that I need to pull my drooling head off my chest and remember that it’s not what my kids do but who they are that’s most important. This means me – their imperfect, sucks at cooking, over commits, running late mother gets to breathe life into them. Not just on Christmas or birthdays – but every day. I can be boring and angry (and sometimes I am) or I can choose to be playful and encouraging (which is what I strive for.. but not yesterday. Yesterday? #epic fail.)

Bottom line: Fun is everything. If I can’t have fun with the little things – like dancing in the kitchen to Maroon 5’s “Sugar” while neighbor kids stare at my wooden spoon microphone and wonder if I’m adding doobage to the cilantro – then I won’t have fun with the big things.

My kids are growing up… fast. I better enjoy it while I can… because the hard stuff… the “Oh My GOD you’re keeping me awake AGAIN” stuff is the stuff I’ll miss in … gulp… four years… when they are out of the house.

Or, let’s face it, still in the house. (My kids are not like other L.A. kids. They don’t take music and language classes. They aren’t winning sports trophies or modeling for The GAP. They  specialize at cracking jokes, begging for snacks and getting a degree in Sarcasm 101.)

I’d say I feel like a bad mom. And sometimes I do. But most days – even when I’m wondering what the hell I’m doing – I have to admit…

I adore ’em.

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The top note from my daughter reads: “Doing chores is doing something, relaxing is doing something, therefore relaxing is doing chores.”

The bottom note from my son reads: “Insert clever comeback here!”

Until next time,

And eat tacos. They always help.

My book is available on Amazon. Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on FB

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