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I want flowers in vases all over my house, but I forget to buy them.

I am afraid people will think I am foolish for wasting my money on something that doesn’t last.

I want to knit, but I forget to buy yarn, or I don’t know what to knit.

I am afraid that what I knit won’t turn out.

I want to feed my family well, but I forget to take things out of the freezer.

I am afraid that my beliefs about good nutrition are all wrong and will end up harming my children in the long run.

I want to write, but I can’t make sense of the words floating around in my head.

I am afraid that what I write sounds stupid.

I want to spend time with my children, but I don’t know what to do.

I am afraid they will realise I don’t know what I’m doing.

I want to live my life differently, but I am afraid.

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Groundhog Day

I’ve been reading a few blogs by ADHDers lately, and I’ve seen a recurring theme about how living with ADHD is like the movie Groundhog Day. Remember that one? Where Bill Murray keeps on reliving the same day over and over again? It’s a very accurate comparison.

Every night I go to bed swearing that the next day is going to be different, and every morning I wake up and it’s Groundhog Day again.

I rarely get enough sleep because despite my best intentions, I stay up too late. Usually it’s because I’ve gotten stuck on the computer; sucked into the ADHD hell that is Wikipedia. And I have two young children, so sleeping in is not an option.

I have no structure, I have no routine. I don’t know how to form one. I make lists that I then ignore, or that I follow religiously for awhile until something throws me off, then it’s back to square one.

I don’t know what to do with my kids half the time. I’d love to take them places, but by the time I get my act together, we don’t have enough time. I’d love to play with them, but honestly? I’m not really sure what to do. That sounds so stupid, but it’s true. Part of the problem is that Monkey Boy talks a lot. Constantly. (Guess who he gets it from?) Sometimes we have interesting conversations, but a lot of the time he’s telling me about all the different hero factory figures there are. Or about what type of attacks the characters in his LEGO Star Wars game have. My child talks in lists, I swear. Always has. And sometimes (often) it becomes an assault on my senses. I just need him to stop.

So I’ve been letting them watch a lot of TV lately, because that’s the only surefire way to ensure a bit of quiet for myself. And I hate myself for it, but I don’t know what else to do. I don’t even watch with them most of the time, because as soon as I do, Monkey Boy starts telling me what’s going to happen next. Or asking me what’s going to happen if he hasn’t seen the movie before. And then Pixie wants to nurse, which I’m starting to hate because she’s so freaking demanding, but I don’t know how to wean her without going cold turkey and listening to temper tantrums for weeks.

So they watch TV on their own. And I’d love to say that I use the time to get stuff done, but I don’t. I go on the computer, or I read a book because it engages my brain enough to allow me to recharge my batteries a bit. But I hate myself for doing it.

And then it’s dinner time and I don’t know what to make, or I do but I’ve forgotten to take it out of the freezer. So I make grilled cheese sandwiches, or we have chicken fingers and fries, or we order pizza, and then I hate myself because it’s not exactly a balanced meal and we have meals like that way too often.

School days are slightly better, but it means the morning is a rush, because I haven’t made lunch for Monkey Boy the night before, and I don’t know what to make, but at least he likes ploughman-type lunches, so that’s what he gets a lot of the time. And then we have to get out of the house on time, which is hard because Monkey Boy dawdles, and Pixie doesn’t want to wear her snowpants, but it’s freezing out and we have a fifteen minute walk, so she has to. Cue temper tantrum.

It gets a bit better in the evening, because C comes home and he puts the kids to bed. But then there’s dishes to be done, and toys to be tidied up, and I’m so overwhelmed and exhausted by this point that I can’t, even though I know it’s going to make me feel worse tomorrow. And we hang out and watch TV, or play a video game, and then I go off to do my own thing, with big plans to be in bed by ten. But then I pop on the computer to check my email or Facebook for a minute, and decide to just look something up quickly while I’m there, and the next thing I know it’s midnight and I’m dragging myself to bed knowing that I’m not going to get enough sleep and Groundhog Day is going to start all over again.

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Resurfacing is an appropriate title for this post. I’m resurfacing on this blog, but I also feel like I’m finally starting to surface from the dark waters I’ve been drowning in for the past eighteen months.

It’s been a long year and a half.

The eighteen months or so since I last wrote here have been marked by many things: food allergies, deaths, major illnesses, major changes, and of course, my continuing struggles with adult ADHD.

It’s been hard.

In September 2010, Pixie was diagnosed with multiple food allergies. It was the answer to questions we’d had ever since she was born. Why she had such bad reflux. The eczema we couldn’t clear up no matter how hard we tried. The random, unexplained hives that I couldn’t pin down to a specific food. It was both a shock and a relief to find out she was allergic to dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and chickpeas.

It’s been an adjustment, to say the least.

We’re now a nut-free household, and though we continue to keep and eat dairy and eggs, we have to be very careful to avoid cross contamination. We also keep epi-pens around at all times, but we’re fortunate in that she’s never had an anaphylactic reaction. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean she never will; hence the epi-pens. And all this has meant changing the way I cook and meal plan.

Have I mentioned I have ADHD? And ADHDers don’t deal well with change?

The ADHD has been one of the most frustrating things of the last year and a half. It’s now been almost three years since I got my original diagnosis, and I feel as if I’ve made no progress. Part of that is because my therapist and I were not a good fit. He was very nice, I liked him, and he genuinely tried to help me, but his style of “talk therapy” was not what I needed. Unfortunately, I’m not very good at breaking up with people, and I’m kind of stubborn, so I kept plugging away, hoping one day I’d see a difference.

My therapist retired last summer, and I used that opportunity to make a fresh start. I went to a clinic that specializes in ADHD diagnosis and had a much more thorough evaluation. I was still given a diagnosis of ADHD (which I expected), but was also diagnosed with anxiety disorder (which I’ve suspected for some time). I’m trying a new combination of medications, and I’ve also found a wonderful new therapist. Along with traditional psychotherapy, she also does alternative energy work, which I’ve been finding very helpful.

I also met a wonderful, supportive group of women when Monkey Boy started school last year. I’ve always had amazing friends, but just about all of them live at least a half-hour away from me. Having friends in the same neighbourhood that I can call on the spur of the moment for coffee and a playdate makes a huge difference.

It’s still a struggle, and I’d be lying if I said I’m not still having lots of bad days, but I feel like I’ve made a bit of a start. The waters are receding slightly (although they still threaten to engulf me if I’m not careful), and the tiniest bit of sun is peeking through the clouds.

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Things I have found in the recycling bin this week (other than recyclables):

A piece from the shape sorter
Two sippys
My strainer
Fridge magnets
Puzzle pieces
A toy car



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Or: Why it takes all day to buy groceries

Make list.

Get bags.

Ask older child to use toilet.

Put on younger child’s shoes.

Ask older child to put on shoes.

Spend ten minutes looking for older child’s shoes; finally find them in the toybox.

Get both children out to car and into car seats.

Go back for bags.

Go back for list.

Go back for wallet.

Start car.

Older child has to poop.

Turn off car, unstrap both children and go back inside.


And wait.

And wait.

Finally get both children back into car seats, turn on car.

Turn off car, go back to lock front door.

Drive to grocery store.

Miraculously find prime parking spot that is close to both store and cart return.

Someone has left a cart in it.

Find sub-par parking spot at back of lot and far away from cart return.

Unload both children and trek to store.

Go back for bags.

Once back in store, explain to older child that, no, you will not be getting the big, impossible-to-steer racecar cart.

Try to pull cart from row.

Try to pull cart from row.

Move to new row.

Try to pull cart from row.

Sigh, bow to inevitable, and load children into big, impossible-to-steer racecar cart.

Push boat-in-disguise to produce section, knocking over one display and two little old ladies along the way.

Begin putting groceries into cart while tuning out ceaseless chatter of older child. Look down to consult list and realise that younger child has stolen in it during a distracted moment and turned it into a ball of inky pulp.

Wing it.

Respond absently to ceaseless chatter of older child while desperately trying to remember list. Hear child say, “Thanks mommy, I promise I’ll take really good care of it!” Realise you’ve just agreed to buy him a kangaroo.

Notice, too late, that younger child is on side closest to shelves. Remove small mountain of groceries from her seat. Consider taking them back to their proper places; think better of it and guiltily shove them onto an empty shelf.

Say no to chips.

Say no to ice cream.

Say no to toys.

Say no to chips again.

Push boat-in-disguise to checkout. Knock over two more little old ladies.

Stand in line that is longer than most amusement park lines.

Play ‘I Spy’.

Play ‘Simon Says’.


Tell a story.

Give keys to younger child in attempt to forestall meltdown.

Finally get to front of line, pay and push boat-in-disguise out of door. Pre-emptively apologise to any little old ladies.

Trek back to car and reach for keys to unlock door.

Look in pocket.

Look in purse.

Look at younger child.

Retrace steps back to store.

Find keys.

Go back to car and load groceries, return cart, and fasten children into car seats.

Younger child begins meltdown.

Drive out of parking lot and head towards home; hear older child say he has to pee.

Drive carefully and safely home with no speeding whatsoever.

Unstrap children with superhuman speed, race to door, fumble with keys, shoo older child inside.

Begin unloading groceries while carrying screaming younger child; discover older child has not made it in time.

Put down enraged younger child, throw frozen food in freezer, get dry clothes for older child, clean up bathroom.

Notice things are now suspiciously quiet.

Find both children ‘helping’ to unload the groceries. Frantically look for the eggs.

Find the remains of the eggs.

Finally put everything away, discover half the things needed have been forgotten, which means you have to go back and do this again tomorrow.

Discover you’ve forgotten to buy anything for dinner, which means you have to go back and do this again today.

Order takeout.

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Every now and then I like to browse real estate listings for our area. I’m looking for The Property; a few acres in the country where our kids can run around, I can grow organic vegetables and raise chickens, and C can be close enough to Toronto for work. I like to dream.

Today I found it. The ultimate dream property for us.

100 acres, 20 to 30 of which is suitable for farming. The rest is all wooded, with trails running through. There’s even a stream, as if we hadn’t already strayed into nauseatingly idyllic territory. It’s closer to my family than we are now, closer to some of our best friends, yet not terribly far from where we currently are. It’s even reasonably affordable, particularly considering the amount of land it comes with.

Can’t you just hear the theme from Little House on the Prairie swelling?

It’s all so perfect that you have to know there’s a huge catch coming, right?

Yeah, and it’s a big one. No house.

Not that we’d mind building our own. We’ve had such trouble with the current one that we’d probably like the opportunity to start from scratch. But it’s not doable right now.

So I’ll sit on my dreams awhile longer, work on our five-year-plan, and trust that another property will come along when we’re ready for it.

And then? I’m going to buy a lottery ticket. ‘Cause a girl’s gotta have dreams.

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Baking Day

Yesterday I made bread by hand for the first time in ages. It smelled divine, looked fabulous, and tasted delicious.

It felt really good to work the dough again, particularly as I was trying a new recipe that made it a lot easier to mix and knead properly.

The best part though?

That’s the wee little loaf that Monkey Boy made, right along with me. His first loaf of bread ever.

And in honour of Monkey Boy’s first bread-making experience, here we are, kneading together.

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A Beautiful Lunch

Often for me lunch is a quick, throw-together meal; one that I rarely take the time to make pretty. Yesterday I did though, and the results were a pleasure to look at, as well as to eat.

Avocado and Hard-Cooked Egg with Lemony Dressing (from Full Moon Feast by Jessica Prentice), served over leftover salad. Delicious!

Look at those gorgeous orange yolks. The chickens at The Farm are back on pasture, and it shows.

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We watch too much television here. Okay, the television isn’t on all day, and I try to be somewhat thoughtful about what we watch, but it’s still more than I would like.

I think it bothers me because I often throw it on just to give myself a break; something that I swore I’d never do.

(I swore I’d never do a lot of things before I became a mom…I have learned much since then.)

And I worry about the affect it will have on the kids’ imaginations. Lately a lot of Monkey Boy’s play has centered around the shows he watches. He still puts his own twist on it, but it bothers me. He even occasionally calls his play his ‘videos.’ It makes me shudder.

And then, riding home in the car from the ice cream store one evening, Monkey Boy looks out of the window and says,

“Sky, sky, how beautiful you are.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds an awful lot like poetry to me.

I think things might just be okay.

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Memo to Me

Memo to Self Re: Garden

Next time, when people who know more about gardening that you do tell you to plant mint in a bucket, listen to them. Your neighbours (and the other plants in your garden) will thank you.

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