My family's journey down the road less traveled....

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Shameless Product Endorsement

Let me begin by stating that the opinions expressed are my own and I am not receiving compensation for sharing them with you all but I wouldn't be opposed if that happened (wink, wink.)  I am not telling anyone what I think they should do, although I think most people would be better off if they took my advice!!   I am just sharing my own experience and opinion so please, don't get your panties in a wad.   This post is not intended to provide any medical advice, I'm not a doctor (I just play one on TV.)

The Boy Oompa-Loompa has ADD with vocal and motor tics.  Even before he started public school and the teachers conducted their assessment on him, I knew.  It wasn't an issue during our years of homeschooling because we had learned redirecting techniques that helped him regain his focus. However, in a classroom of 25 his fidgeting, twitching and humming was distracting the other kids.

Like all other parents faced with this diagnosis we turned to our family doctor.  Her plan consisted of a very low dose of ritalin.  We tried it for several weeks but The Boy was experiencing horrible nausea, headaches and loss of appetite which resulted in weight loss.  The doctor switched him to a patch that eliminated the stomach issues and headaches but cause a nasty reaction to his skin and left horrible burn marks.  It seemed to do the trick and we were able to get a cream to soothe the burns so we went with it.

While it greatly reduced his restlessness and tics so he could get through the school day, the medication made him flat and dull.  He seemed apathetic to everything going on around him. When he wasn't patched on the weekends, he was more himself.  I fully understand that the medication is designed to "bring him down" a bit but it totally bummed me out that my little guy was so radically different when he was medicated.

Fast forward two years and a higher dose patch due to a few growth spurts causing massive height and weight increases (of course only after I had bought him pants and shoes.)  He is still experiencing the burns and apathy but now is complaining that he doesn't like how he feels while patched.  He said it made him feel restless inside and we noticed he was becoming more aggressive.  I know that part can also be attributed to hormones but it was a problem nonetheless.

This is where the product endorsement begins.  Sorry you had to sit through that little story but it was necessary to get here.

Mr. Awesome© listens to Joe Rogan's podcasts frequently, okay like daily.  Okay, like multiple shows a day.  Anyway...several guests on his show have discussed Alpha Brain, an all natural memory and focus enhancing supplement.  I will admit to being skeptical, it's my nature, but I bought the fifteen day bottle and decided to give it a whirl.

Alpha BRAIN®
I am so thankful that we found this stuff!  The Boy noticed a difference immediately and where we had to fight and cajole him to "patch up", he willingly takes the Alpha Brain.  He says he feels more energetic, more focused and is able to get through a day at school tied to a desk with minimal tics and periods of distractedness (might not actually be a word but I'm going with it!)

The Boy takes 2 capsules in the morning then another one when he gets home if he has a lot of homework. His grades on homework assignments has gone up and the quality of his work has greatly improved.  When he is on Alpha Brain he isn't as twitchy and can sit, relatively calm, for longer periods, this is a major plus since his constant movement is exhausting to deal with.  The best part is that my little guy's personality is back...he's not grumpy or dull and the aggressiveness is almost 100% gone. He's always gonna have a little fight in him...youngest male child, two teenaged sister...nuff said!

Remember these are my opinions only, not a substitute for professional medial advise, blah, blah, blah.

Opinions of a truly grateful momma~Deborah

Saturday, October 03, 2015


So I'm sitting at my kitchen table on this cold, gray autumn day.  It's the morning after the homecoming game and dance in which I sat on freezing metal bleachers in the rain and wind cheering on our football team and watching my daughters and son rock out with the band.  All is quiet and I realize just how far I am from the woman I was 3 years ago.   Change is good my friends!

Three years ago I was hurt, heartbroken, bitter and angry.  I had lost so much in a very short amount of time.  That tremendous loss made it very difficult to see the good things that were right in front of me.  I shamefully admit that I checked out.  I was here,  but only going through the motions of living.  I did those things I was supposed to do but my heart wasn't really in it.  

I don't recall the impetus that inspired me to decide to go back to school but I am ever so thankful it happened.  While they were a gruelling two years in which I often felt overwhelmed, the experience restored my confidence and allowed me to once again hope.  The future began to not seem so bleak.  

I had the strength to "let it go" (yes, that stupid Frozen song is now running through my head making me want to stab myself).  I learned others' decisions are theirs to own and any fallout due to those idiotic decisions are theirs to live with. While I may see a better way, I can't stress myself trying to help them.  Especially when they are hell-bent on destruction.  

Ridding myself of all that emotional baggage has helped me see the blessing right in front of me.  I am married to a man who adores me, even when I don't deserve it.  While there are time I know he hasn't particularly liked me, he never looked for a way to cut and run.  I have three of the most amazing, talented and brilliant children to ever grace the earth who love me and think I'm pretty okay. They're teenagers so landing a solid "okay" in their books is like scoring a perfect 10 in the Olympics.  In fact, Mr. Awesome© and the Oompa-Loompas thought so highly of me that they wrote and recorded this little ditty:

This new season of life, while crazy busy thanks to work, kids and marriage, is amazing and I feel like a new person.  Am I still stressed, of course, but it doesn't overwhelm me anymore.  I know that I have to take care of myself, Mr. Awesome© and the Oompas and let the rest of it go.  I am a new me, and she's pretty freakin' awesome if I must say!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Triumphant Return of Eddie...

Hmmm, shitter must have been full.

Cousin Eddie, our very "special" barn cat who isn't a barn cat at all, disappeared about 4-5 weeks ago.  In that time we've had crazy below zero temps twice and we figured him for dead.  Either frozen like a giant kitty ice cube or eaten by a non-Disney woodland creature.   We were wrong.  The little schmidt strolled onto the back deck this afternoon as vocal as ever.  He's been meowing for 30 minutes straight and I can only imagine what he's trying to tell us.

Eddie: HEY!!!  I'm back, did you notice, hey I'm back!  Did you miss me?  I missed you.  Hey!!  Scratch my chin.  Ooooh, hey now scratch my back and belly.  HEY!!  Look it's that big dog who sniffs my butt while trying to look like he's not sniffing my butt!!  I'm back, did you miss me?  Huh?  Did you? Did you miss me?  OH MY GOSH!!  It's that kid...the one whose backpack I took a dump all over!  Hey kid...did you miss me?  Did you see...I'm back!  HEY!   Scratch my chin.  Ooooh, hey now scratch my back and belly.
LOOK!!  It's that little tube-like, sausage dog who humps me all the time!!  HEY BUDDY!  I was gone but now I'm back!  Did you miss me?  Huh? Huh? Did ya?  I missed you! humping.  That's just weird dude.  HEY LADY WHO FEEDS ME!!!  I was gone but now I'm back!  I missed you, dis you miss me?  Huh? Huh? Did ya?   Scratch my chin.  Ooooh, hey now scratch my back and belly. Can I have some food?  WAIT!  You need to stay in here and watch me eat.  HEY!   Scratch my chin.  Ooooh, hey now scratch my back and belly.  I was gone but now I'm back!!  I missed you.  Did you miss me?  Huh? Huh? Did ya?

Oh boy...yea....Eddies back!!

Did ya miss me? Huh? Huh? Did ya?...........................Deborah

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Epiphany...

Ya'll know on most days I'm about as deep as a puddle,  so I had to pull out the serious scuba gear for this one.  Overall, it's been a shitty year.  There have been highlights, of course, but in a generalized sense, we're talking piles of crapola.

As many of you know, I lost my Dad last December.  It sent me into a massive downward spiral of depression and guilt.  Sad that I'd never hear his voice again.  Sad for all the things he'd miss.  Guilt that I didn't visit enough or tell him I loved him enough.  It's been rough going and I still get weepy when I am reminded of him but I'm managing.

As a double-whammy, I  lost my Mom this year too.  What makes this even more tragic than losing my Dad, is that she's still alive.  She made the choice to remove herself from my life and it breaks my heart.  I'll never understand the workings of her mind, nor do I wish to, but I hope one day that she does and is able to find her way back into my life.

This brings me to my epiphany.  I've been so down and stressed by life's crap that I've missed an entire year. A whole year has gone by and I've felt no joy, happiness or anything for that matter.  I've been numb and I decided I'm sick of feeling like crap.

I only have a few short years to have my kids under my roof so forging a great relationship with them is so important.  I want them to look back and have more positive than negative memories of their childhood.   I'm not delusional enough to think it's all gonna be rainbow farts and unicorn rides but it can be good.  Really good.  I want to be one of those people who make lemonade out of life's lemons.  Only mine will be spiked with vodka, of course!

Will I still get sad and stressed?  Hells yeah, but I'm done letting it rule my life.  I'm focusing on just the good baby!!  I get to watch my brother and sister-in-law's beautiful daughter grow up and I need to make sure she knows all about her crazy Grandpa Jim!!  My sister and I are getting along better than EVER!!  My kids are totally awesomesauce.  Mr. Awesome© rocks too. I'm doing well in school and will have a kick-ass new career soon.  Life is good.  I just forgot.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner...

I love to cook and I hate to cook.  I'm contrary like that.  I enjoy creating meals and having people rave about how amazing it tastes.  Despite my lack of social life, I love the thrill of planning a menu and cooking for crowds.  It's the whining I encounter round about 6pm when the Oompas as the dreaded question of, "what's for dinner" and they don't like the answer.  Ugh, that again!?!?  Yes, you impertinent little monkey, we're having that, again.  It's the again that's killing us.

I'll let you all in on a secret.  Ready??  Here goes...Mr. Awesome© is a creature of habit.  You name a restaurant in the central Ohio region and I'll tell you exactly what he would order.
Olive Garden: Chicken Alfredo (he'll then proceed to have the waiter grind 2lbs of Parmesan cheese on top)
Max & Erma's: Loaded Skins off the appetizer menu
El Campisino: Beef Taco Salad, extra cheese
Taco Bell: Burrito Supreme no red sauce, extra sour cream and a chili cheese burrito, extra cheese
Wendy's: Asiago Ranch Chicken Club, add cheese and guacamole
Frisch's: 2 plates of chili spaghetti (al a carte) and 4 dinner rolls.  He has NEVER in his life ordered anything but chili spaghetti.  No Big Boys for him!

You get the point.  If he planned our weekly menu it would read: chili, loaded skins, baked nachos, spaghetti, pizza.  Repeating over and over and over again!

I got adventurous this week and *shock and horror*, tried two new recipes I found over on One Hundred Dollars a Month.  Thanks Mavis!!  Of course, he's worked late, very late, every night this week and ended up stopping on the way home for takeout.  At least the kids liked the new dishes!

Curry Chicken

2 chicken boneless chicken breasts cut in bite sized pieces (original recipe uses precooked chicken)
1 large onion, chopped
Several cups assorted veggies (snap peas, broccoli, peppers, carrots-not included in original recipe)
3 tablespoons sesame oil (original recipe calls for olive oil)
5 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons curry powder
1 ½ teaspoons ginger
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 cups chicken broth
**I have had horrible experiences adding flour to recipes like this as it got all lumpy.  In this case I added a cup or so of the broth to the bowl with all my flour and spices then mixed well to make a slurry.  Make for a smooth sauce**

In a heavy pan saute chicken in sesame oil till cooked.  Add vegetables and cook on medium-high till tender. Add chicken broth, honey, and soy sauce, to the pan and stir. **Slowly whisk in flour, curry, ginger, and salt until there are no lumps.  Reduce heat, and let simmer for 30 – 45 minutes until all the flavors are combined and the sauce has reduced a bit. Serve over a bed of warm rice.

Crock Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken

2 or 3 chicken breasts
1/4 cup lime juice
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups frozen corn
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can {1 1/2 cups} black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp cumin

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low or 4- 6 hours on high until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Serve over rice or with tortillas and all the fixings.

What's nice about this meal is that you can dump everything into a freezer bag for busy days. Just pull out of the freezer the night before to thaw, dump in your Crock Pot and presto...dinner!!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!!!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Coffee Talk with my Subconscious...

Mrs. Awesome: Thanks for meeting me Subconscious.  I'm a little disturbed about the off the freakin' wall dreams of late and wanted to see what's going on with you.

Subconscious: Yeah, whatever.  I don't really see the big deal.  I still get coffee, right?

Mrs. Awesome:  No big deal?!?!  Dreaming about being in rehab with Whitney Houston and having GIANT freakin' squirrels use my hands as pacifiers is totally a BIG deal!!

Subconscious:  Can't blame me entirely, the rehab part was probably because of your high levels of alcohol consumption...ever think of that??

Mrs. Awesome:  I don't drink that much.  Only enough to drown out the Oompas' whining.....okay yea,  I see your point on that one.  They just whine so damn much!!!  That still doesn't explain the awful dream where I was doing my bidness on a toilet in the middle of a living room filled with relatives!  You gotta admit that's out there.

Subconscious:  Hee, hee, hee.....(clears throat), um, I mean that must have been horrible.  I got nothing on that one though.  Maybe you're really an exhibitionist in hiding??

Mrs. Awesome: Doubtful.  Now, about last night's "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride"...the Amish?  Really?

Subconscious:  Don't dis the Amish.  They're wonderfully, simple folk who really know their way around a quilt.

Mrs. Awesome: You are so frustrating!!  Get serious!! What are you trying to tell me that can be perceived by dreaming about Amish men submitting bids for my hand in marriage?  Why was the one guy trying to speak to me in German?  I don't know German, except for a few words I learned by watching  the Sound of Music.

Subconscious:  Drugs.  You must have taken drugs.

Mrs. Awesome:  I do not take drugs.  At least not the kind you buy in the ghetto from some shady character named Snake.

Subconscious: Yea, cuz' his name is Harry.

Mrs. Awesome:  It's Barry and bite me.  At least explain why my Dad was seriously considering some of the offers. Selling me off to the highest bidder?!?!

Subconscious:  Have you met you?  If I was your Dad, I'd do the same.  Now gimme my coffee!!

Saturday, October 05, 2013

What I Did Instead of Writing My English Essay...

Damn you Pinterest and your eleventy million amazing crafty projects that I want to make yet never seem to have the time!!  Until today.  I got my inspiration from Lynette over at Cleverly Simple and knew, after seeing her massive failure of a first attempt, that this was one project I could tackle.  By the way, if any of you are in the central Ohio area and are interested in learning how to save money, check out Lynette's seminars on couponing.  Fantastic!!  She breaks it all down and makes the process of using coupons a breeze. is my take on the pool noodle and yarn wreath:

Here's to successful recreations of Pinterest pins!  Guess I'll be spending tomorrow working on that essay.