Sunday, March 2, 2014

Misophonia : The end of family life as we knew it.

Over a year ago, my Princess started exhibiting strange behavior at meal times.  It was unbearable for her to be around any one that was eating.  She would either run down the hallway to her room screaming with her ears plugged and slam the door or she would fall to the ground and hold her ears while she sobbed.  She has always been quite dramatic and so we started punishing her for this behavior...which only seemed to make things worse.  We didn't know what else to do and we thought it was a behavioral issue that we needed to nip in the butt.

As the weeks went by, her sensitivity only seemed to get worse.  Not only did her outbursts happen when someone was chewing, but it was also when someone came down with a runny nose.  The sniffing and stuffy breathing sent her through the roof.  It also was happening when someone would clink their spoon or fork on their bowl or plate.

At her nine year appointment, I brought it up to her pediatrician to see what he had to say about it.  I was disappointed when he had no answers but rather referred her to a psychiatrist.  I will admit, we are all a little crazy in this family, but I know my Princess is not a headcase.  The thought of taking her to someone and her having that label was not a route I was willing to take.  I needed answers before anything else.  Why was she acting this way?

So, in the days that followed, I turned to the Internet.  I wouldn't always recommend doing this, but in this particular case, I found the answer I was looking for : Misophonia...which literally means - "the hatred of sound".  I found article upon article and several blogs that seemed to be describing my Princess to a "t".  

Misophonia is defined as a neurological disorder in which negative experiences (anger, flight, hatred, disgust) are triggered by specific sounds.  Although I was encouraged to have answers as to "what", it was discouraging to read about how this disorder effects a persons every day life.  I didn't understand all of the "hows" or "whys" but it gave me the little understanding that I needed.

Things had changed.  I have to admit, I had taken family dinner time for granted until this happened.  No longer could we sit around, all five of us, and catch up over dinner.  We couldn't eat out as a family, share popcorn at a movie, snack in the car on the way from here to there.  Meals were served and my Princess would retreat to her room and eat with the music on in her room at her desk staring at a wall.  On the rare occasion that we took the family out to eat, my Princess would pack her head phones and listen to music while she fought back tears...unbearable for us all....miserable really...but, this was life now.

Tonight, I witnessed a miracle.  Once in a while, for whatever reason, we are able to eat in front of her.  It's been happening more often lately...or with less of a reaction from her.  Tonight though, all five of us sat around the table.  There were no tears (I tried my best not to cry), there was no screaming, no ear phones, no loud music, no dirty looks, no falling on the floor, no banging her head with her fists...there was laughter...there was conversation.  We sat...we ate...we talked...we laughed...all of us.

At the start of dinner, I looked around the table and said, "Everyone, I would like to welcome a guest to our table tonight."  It was a little bit of a joke, but there was a lot of truth.  It's been a long time since we were five around the table.

It may be a fluke.  It may not happen again for another few weeks, months, maybe even a year.  I am trying not to get my hopes up...but, I had to celebrate this little victory I baked a loaf of apple cinnamon bread...and hopefully we can all eat it in the same room.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Goodbye Face Lotion

This winter has wrecked havoc on my skin.  No matter now much lotion I slather on, my skin still looks like a cracked, dry mess.  I have used the same exact lotion on my face since I was old enough to put lotion on my face...I am a creature of habit.  My Mom used it, so it must be good enough for me - was my way of thinking....not taking in to consideration that I have a different skin type than my Mom and I have aged about 20 years since first dabbing the ancient face lotion on my teenage skin.

I'm up for trying just about long as it's been tried by someone before.  Luckily, I have a sister who usually is making her own trail.  When she told me about the oil cleansing method, I was ready to give it a try.  I went out and got what I needed : olive oil, castor oil, and coconut oil ...and gave it a shot.

It felt really strange rubbing the castor oil and olive oil mixture on my face...kinda like a weird cooking experiment, but once I got past that it was wonderful!

My face lotion is in the trash never to be seen again and I will not be using soap on my face any more.  After I cleanse my face with the castor oil and olive oil, I rub a little coconut oil in to my skin for added moisturizer and I am good to go.  For the first time this winter, my face doesn't feel like it's on fire and my red, dry, itchy patches are gone.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

No puke on the carpet...

We have had the stomach bug a lot this winter...a whole lot!  Back when the kids were younger, them throwing up was probably on my list of my top ten fears...maybe even my top five.  Now, not so much.  I hate when they are sick, but all of them are so good about making it either to the bucket or making it to the toilet.

On Sunday evening, my Little Man started complaining of a tummy ache.  Any time that happens, my husband and I have set up a basic procedure : move the child with the complaint to the couch, get out the old towel, and place the bucket with a trash bag in it in the proper place (on top of the old blanket) at a close distance to the child. We have it down to a science.  Then we wait...and usually it doesn't take long.

The puking started and my Little Man was a champ.  He slept most of the day on Monday and was almost back to normal on Tuesday.  We now cross our fingers and hope that my efforts yesterday of wiping the place down with lysol did some good.

It's the little no puke on the carpet.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


The older my daughter gets, the more I realize just how harsh this world is.

Maybe it's because something happened in me once I turned thirty.  Maybe it was all in my head, or maybe it really is a phenomenon that many experience upon leaving their twenties...all of a sudden, I didn't care.  I didn't care what the world said was beautiful or in, I was doing my own thing.  I didn't care what people said about me, I was doing my own thing.  It's really made life so much more enjoyable for me.  In these past six or so months especially, I have discovered that it's not up to me to fix something (or someone) or make sure someone is happy with the choices I have made (or even explain them)...I have my God and I have my little family and I am happy as a clam.  It doesn't mean that I don't value friendships and need those important people in my just means that I have redefined the "important" in my life.

This phenomenon that I experienced when I said goodbye to my twenties has made my heart ache for my little girl even more...if only it wouldn't have taken me so long to discover who I am and be comfortable with that.  My heart aches when I hear her criticize herself in any way...most recently her concern over "looking fat".  That word is like nails on a chalk board to me...I hate that word.  I especially hate it when it is coming out of the mouth of my precious baby girl as she uses it to describe how she looks in a pair of jeans.

After baby one and baby two did a number on this momma's body, I have been all about not letting myself go.  I have worked hard to get myself back in to shape and along the way, fell in love with running.  It's a lifestyle for outlet...and has provided me with a sense of self and shown me just how strong I am.  I am comfortable in my own skin and hope and pray I can teach my daughter by example.

I am learning though that I don't have to teach her to criticize her own body.  This world is full of picture perfect women up on billboards, beautiful flawless faces on T.V., flat stomachs staring at you as you stand to check out at the grocery store....and she's been watching...but, this momma is not about to let my baby girl buy in to mother should.

Just when I was ready to take drastic measures...and wondering if our countless conversations have been sinking in...I was pleasantly surprised to listen to a conversation she was having with a friend while they were working on a school project together in our kitchen.

Her project partner, a little boy who she's been in the same class with since they were in first grade, out of the blue said something about him being chubby and his belly being big...even boys can be self conscious.  I wondered what my princess was going to do and waited, like a fly on the wall, not saying a word.  He grabbed his stomach and shook it.  My princess got up and went on to say that it was no big deal...everyone has that.  She stood up and demonstrated how her thighs shake back and forth when she wiggles her legs.  They laughed about it and went on making their school project together.  Not only was she sympathetic, she was also able to bring light to a subject, pass it off as no big deal, and move on.

There are days where I feel as if I can do nothing right when it comes to raising my kids.  My shortcomings and failures stare me right in the eyes and convince me that my kids will most definitely need therapy.  But most often, there are moments like this one...that I am so proud of my children and wonder in the grace of God that he would entrust me with these three precious lives.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Flashback Friday : August 2002

I look at these two kids and find it really hard to believe that one of them is actually me.  We had just gotten engaged a few days before and we were on vacation with Dan's side of the family in Tennessee.  This trip was the first time we were going to be able to spend more that a weekend together.  Good times, good times...although, I would not want to go back for anything.  I would not trade where my husband and I are at in our marriage now for the younger, more carefree us.  Happy Friday Flashback Fun.