A Graphic Organizer for 2017 LOVE

I am going to be the best kind of busy this year! 

Creating a graphic organizer is a trick I stole from the ADHD toolbox, but it’s great for anyone that wants to sort out their priorities for 2017. 

I’m ready… are you? I’d lovelovelove to see your 2017 graphic organizer in the comments!

✌️- Missy  

Celebrating Yoga Month with a Whole Food Challenge

I’m not a great eater. 

ADHD meds are a known appetite suppressant but once they wear off the body demands immediate satisfaction. Obviously, if I don’t make intentional eating a priority during the day, bad choices will be made at night. I’m a great lover of super-paletteables chock full of salt, sugar and preservatives, which are just about the worst thing you can have right before bed!


I’ve also been really wrapped in school, MBSR training and finishing my yoga certification. So if I get too busy or distracted to eat during the day I become ravenous at night. I make bad food choices, and justify it with the fact that I haven’t even anything all day so it’s not doing too much damage right? Wrong

So to celebrate yoga month I decided to challenge myself to a week of eating a whole food diet. These are the articles that got me thinking… 

m.additudemag.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.additudemag.com%2Fadhd%2Farticle%2F11028-3.html&utm_referrer=#2784

http://www.yogajournal.com/food-diet/healing-cuisines/


I’m headed to Sprouts to fill my fridge & cupboard with healthy things. I’ll post each day with a snap of a healthy snack or meal so follow me on Twitter and Instagram @missymrsmom & feel free to join me this week!

I’d love to hear some simple recipes and whole food ideas, so please leave a comment… Wish me luck- Missy

Lessons From Bad Yoga

I started yoga right after I had my youngest child. I don’t think I’d even been practicing for a week when I was diagnosed with postpartum hyper thyroiditis.   One troublesome symptom that I was having that didn’t really fit was joint pain; my wrists ankles and knees ached like they never had before. It took me several years to realize that the cause wasn’t PPT but bad yoga. That was humiliating… Like wake-you-up in the middle of the night with the cringing-stupids humiliating.  

The only reason I even got into yoga was because it looked easy and all my friends were doing it. It wasn’t and they quit within a month or two.


 I kept coming back to yoga though. I constantly circled and stabbed at it the way a cat does a snake; As in “It will probably hurt me, but it is just irresistible!“. I took a few classes but I felt like a blubbery sea lion among graceful, beautiful otters. After a few classes at the Rec I figured I had it down and could practice at home with YouTube vids and dvr’d PBS 80s Yoga! reruns.  

Insert cringy-stupids

Fast forward 4 years. I’ve been doing half-hearted yoga on my living room floor for a while and decide to take up running. I joined a running group at my local rec, and ran a 5K. In fact, I was up to 3 miles every other day for a while. It was pretty great but my neck hurt all of the time. My knees hurt all of the time.

I limped along that way for quite some time but then the day after Christmas the following year I threw out my back. I’d never done that before. It was awful, I couldn’t believe the agony. After that I because over cautious and careful. I started to really get into the connections that every muscle group has to each other and the importance of preventive maintenance on this old body of mine. Which led me right back to YOGA. 

The more I learned about muscle connections and interactions and the resultant joint health importance, the more fascinated I became. Not only did my pain finally go away but I understood my body and mind connection in a way I never had before. My natural inclination is to go as fast as I can when exercising. Go fast, go hard, and get done. It’s great for my ADHD side because my  brain is constantly looking for what’s next… ready to move onto the next thing. Yoga is more of a challenge in this respect because it’s about slowing down, and being in a moment. It’s about precise movements and intentional breathing. It’s about noticing things we might take for granted (our posture, our breathing, our inner thoughts) and allowing them our total focus if only briefly. For me yoga is a practice of intention instead of impulse, which is a constant ADHD struggle. 

So, for the past year I’ve been committed to yoga everyday and these simple rules:

Good Yoga 

1. Do it right. 

2. To do it right, I have to go out and learn from (and observe) other yoga students. 

3. To learn from other yoga students I have to stop worrying if I look like I know what I’m doing and start actually knowing what to do. 

I’m really focused on my practice now and I take every new class, workshop and class I can find. My greater understanding of yoga has opened up a mystical spiritualism I didn’t know existed in me. 

But mostly, good yoga feels GOOD. 

Do you have any bad yoga stories? I’d love to hear them!

Namaste- Missy

Tsum Tsum Tuesday FOREVER

It all started in Las Vegas. A cute little “BunBun” caught LT’s eye. Sure, we’d seen Tsum Tsum before but suddenly- LOVE. He won just ONE…

Which quickly turned to eight

Which became twelve. 
Then LT’s birthday party happened.
Sweet baby Jane, we gotta lotta cute around here. 

Of course, I know it’s impulsive ADHD-driven behavior. However, when one has very generous friends and a kid that sometimes has trouble differentiating between a new interest and a total world-altering, life-defining obsession… There is going to be an issue.A cuteness issue. You know you want some…

It’s certainly no secret that the acquiring of ALL THE TSUM TSUM is the goal. Pinterest introduced me to an TsumTsum Instagram trend that took up the majority of my Monday night. Add that Tsum Tsum Tuesday AND THE APP… 

I’m ALL IN. Somebody stop me? 
Nah… Follow the cuteness on Instagram @missymrsmom instead! See you soon, cutie!

Las Vegas- BOOM Goes the ADHD Brain 

LIGHTS! SOUNDS! PEOPLE! Must be Las Vegas! MrDad had a Convention, so we made it a tag-a-long road trip. 

LT was in overdrive immediately. After being stuck in a car and then stepping into the wildness that is a casino lobby he was in  full-body-boogie mode. Keeping him from accidentally kicking an innocent bystander was a full time job! We checked in and after a few minutes in the room MrDad suggested the “Fun Dungeon “, the hotel’s arcade, thus setting up the theme of our trip…

The Arcade. The ARCADE. THE ARCADE!!!


We planned ahead.  We instituted a budget for LT of $20 a day for spending money, with the ability to earn a tally mark (A tally mark equals a quarter ) for each sentence read while we were out and about and spontaneous good behavior. This was my way of including math and reading in our vacation!

LT blew through $36 on the first day and had two bouncy balls, three bendy flowers, one yellow duck and one dolphin keychain to show for it. He deemed it pretty good day.


Bun Buns – These are like Tsum Tsum but cheaper… yet more expensive if you’re trying to win them! He  won the orange kitten, Cutest, but we bought the rest at the gift shop… best seven bucks we spent!

Circus Circus was the best arcade hands-down in our opinion. 

“The Strip” was  also a great joy for his Ferrari -brain. The new sites came up so  quickly that they matched his attention span for once. So much to see, do and especially buy! We had a great time visiting the mall, they have a great big Disney store, and a great Lego store. If you are a Lego VIP member, don’t forget your Lego passport to get a Las Vegas stamp!

These guys were a trip! The caught us right at the bottom of the Excalibur/ NYNY escalators that cross over the “Strip” and lead to the M&M store. Usually LT hates having his pic taken, but he begged for this snap! Although, I wasn’t thrilled about Cap asking for a $20 donation… But that’s Vegas! 

The M&M store brought us this little gem AKA THE MOST ANNOYING TOY EVER. I took out the batteries and LT agreed it was a better toy for it, ha!

Of course, Serendipity!

These are the things that made our trip manageable, from an ADHD POV:

*We made a budget, so there were less arguments and meltdowns over acquiring things,

*We had a loose schedule that allowed for spontaneity but not loose enough that it encouraged impulsivity,

* We set aside Quiet Time each day. We lowered the lights, lounged on the bed and had no noise or only very quiet, mellow shows/movies/music,

* We took the bus instead of taxis. Not only was it extremely cost-effective but it forced us to pay attention to the schedules which helped structure our time. Riding also allowed us to look around while still getting two different destinations.

*Usually on vacation I try to make sure that we have lots of exercise in the morning but On this trip, even with our bus pass,we were walking upwards of six miles a day on our travels… so that was not a problem.

We had a terrific time on our vacation… Although we came home with a novel new penchant for stackable plush! 

Visit me on Pinterest (MissyMrsMom) to see the arcade-inspired birthday party for LT!

Until next time – Missy

Impulsive Fixation & Our ADHD Family 

Hyper focus is a debatable characteristic of ADD/ADHD… if you ask the experts. If you ask me (and my kids) you will get no debate; it exists and it will jack you up if not deliberately managed. 

The first step to controlling the characteristic is to identify it. I didn’t really recognize it in my own personality until I started noticing it in my youngest son. His impulsive nature leads him to leap from an interest  in a certain subject, fandom, toy line etc., to a total all-encompassing infatuation in no time flat. 


In the past 3 years or so, LT has cycled through a passionate and total absorption in The Wiggles, Octonauts, Max & Ruby, Superman, Trains, Ninja Turtles, Hot  Wheels,  Power Rangers, Baseball Cards, Captain America, Iron Man and Pokèmon… And with each newfound interest he becomes overwhelmed with the “desire to acquire” (as I call it). He becomes completely captured by the intense fascination and has an unbelievably difficult time transitioning to the things that need to be done. Like schoolwork. And chores. And eating. 

It’s my job to guide my ADHD children on how to manage the different aspects of their lives, and I must be especially careful to address their focus issues. It’s heart-breaking to have to tell them that they are different, and the only balm I have is to give is a positive spin gleaned for decades of self-examination. 

Hyper focus has some useful applications in real life. Recognizing the trait can be a wonderful discovery; it speaks to an ability that we may not have known was even possible! It can allow people that struggle to regulate attention span to balance interests and necessities by giving a brief but intense capacity to accomplish tasks. If we give ourselves permission to immerse ourselves in the joy of our latest obsession after we accomplish our set tasks and chores we are training ourselves to employ a more “normal” time-management style. 

So, I manage LT’s time for him. As he’s just six, I think it’s okay but I believe it’s crucial that I explain everything we do.  I want him to eventually manage himself, so I keep my instruction brief, repetitive and use short phrases like:

*Lets spend five focused minutes on cleaning so we can spend ten fun minutes on Legos!

*If we focus on this homework, we can knock it out and have time for two “Phineas and Ferb”s!

I used to worry that I was making daily tasks too much of a negative but then I decided that they are called chores for a reason. So, we treat them as such by getting them out of the way and moving on to our most recent, and probably fleeting interest. 

Just a soon as I’m done with this blogpost… Does anyone want to play Pokèmon?


Please visit me on Instagram @missymrsmom

Missy


Chakras &Chemicals – Finding Balance 

My favorite author, John Green, was once asked,”If you could live in any time period, what would it be and why?” His answer:

That’s pretty profound.

Of all the amazing things that have happened in the past, the initial achievement of penicillin (and in its wake, other antibiotics) changed the world. It has allowed us to liveEdit through infections that used to kill us. It has allowed children to reliably make it through childhood without ruined eardrums and saved them from death via strep throat or  tetanus. 

This brings me to murkier waters of chemical relief.

I have ADHD and anxiety. Which came first? No idea, they’ve just always been there; feeding off each other and feeding off me. Impulsive choices led to guilt and fear, which led to the frantic and overwhelming need to feel better, which led to impulsive choices which led to… and so on. 

Over decades of hasty impulse-driven choices, over-corrections and desperate attempts to be better I’ve gotten to a place where I can manage my symptoms. However, I cannot manage them alone. I’m constantly in preventive measures mode. I surround myself with people who are a good role models, I am mindful and intentional, and I look to know myself so I can be the best version of myself.

I am, admittedly, easily and often overwhelmed. It is not uncommon for me to become so caught up in my chaotic anxiety-provoking life that I cannot pull myself out of the moment, and that can lead to regrettable choices. Yoga and meditation are great but sometimes I need drugs. No I’m not talking about pot (even the legal stuff) but Adderall and Ativan can be lifesavers.  

No matter how amazing these drugs have been for me, I still sometimes feel ashamed of my need for them. My logical side knows that they are a necessary component to living my best life but occasionally a mean little inner voice tells me I shouldn’t need them. 

That voice is a liar. 

And so. I strive to take only what I need, and give more than I take.  I’ve learned to take help how I find it. There IS enough help to go around and it’s our to responsibility to use what help we are given with eyes open and a willingness to give back. Most importantly, hindsight is a gift to be taken. Every experience has a lesson.  

My most recent lesson? Mindfulness and medication are a path to peace. It might be a long road, but I’m still going to take it. 

Kid-Can-Do Hot Wheels Garage

Ah, Summer. School is out, so of course…

“Mom, I’m booooored!”

Not to worry, friends! I’m going to try out lots of kid-can-do projects (with things you can find around the house) and post my #pinwins at least once a week. 

For our first summer kid-can-do: My son’s little friend is coming for a play date and he’s a big hot wheels fan. We decided to figure out a way to make easy hot wheel garage with stuff we have around the house!


We always have lots of cardboard boxes tape and cans of food. The only tricky part on this one was cutting the center parts… Otherwise this is a fantastic boy project! 


You need: A cardboard base, some canned food (we used larger on the bottom for a sturdy base, smaller on top for stability) and a long cardboard “ramp”. We also used tape and scissors. 

I placed the large flat cardboard piece as the base. (Next time I think I’ll add a few lines of hot glue underneath so that it doesn’t move so much.)


I cut 3 sides of a square into the middle of each box that makes up the second and third levels. Cut an opening for the ramp…

LT built it up, taped the long ramp on and vroomvroom, he was off!


I highly recommend taking off the labels for a more authentic look but be sure to write with in the can on the bottom in sharpie. 

My favorite part? This project kept my ADHD kid busy for an hour in the late afternoon, which is the worst time of day at our house. Between everyone’s meds wearing off and the pre-dinner hangrys it can be a bad scene. This one saved the day!

If you have any cool kid-can-do projects please share!

For more fun ideas visit my “Camp Mommy” board on Pinterest (find me: missymrsmom)!

Yoga Bracelets & Healing Stones 

As a mom with two kids with ADHD/ADD, and with ADHD myself, it’s important that I model mindfulness and intentional actions. As I began to become more comfortable with my mala bracelet and its usefulness for centering at yoga and meditation, I felt like I had to share this nifty discovery!

At just this time a good friend of mine was going through a mystery eye deterioration; this is on top of her constant issues from recovering from West Nile Virus. She is an extremely mindful person and we’d discussed meditation a few times.

 While in Sedona I developed an interest in crystal meanings and uses. Two stones stuck in my mind; agate & amethyst. These stones had long been held as healing stones with a special focus on eye & immune health. Lightbulb!



This website was tremendously helpful in when I began to choose stones that would most beneficial  to friends… https://www.bestcrystals.com/healing-properties

I had great luck at Michaels and a couple of lucky finds at Joann’s but finding true stone beads was tricky. Be sure to check for key words like semi-precious, stone or natural. Know a few stones before you go, that way you won’t feel totally overwhelmed. 


Items I used:

* Clear Stretch Magic . 5 mm elastic

*18 or 27 stone beads with one contrasting-texture stone. 

String your beads, making sure your contrasting stone is in the center. This will allow you to know when you’ve reached the end of your round. Finish your bracelet with a double surgeons knot, for strength. 

A vid on how I use my bracelet:

Sit comfortably with a folded towel under your hip bones to help keep your spine straight. Close your eyes. Take time to follow a few slow, deep breaths. Center yourself and focus on your calm intentions. 

Personally, I silently chant a mantra like the Jesus Meditation or just use OM on the exhale. Your choice, of course. 

Hold your beads in your right hand, using your middle and index fingers. Starting at your contrasting bead, use your thumb to touch your bead on your inhale and pulling it toward you on your exhale. Do this until you come to your special contrasting bead. You can end your meditation here or continue in the reverse direction (not passing over your special bead) and begin again.

So, what stones would you use? Why? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Namaste – Missy

Mala bracelets, the Jesus Mantra & Om

I’m a big fan of yoga and meditation, as you may know, and I’m always on the lookout for ideas to promote mindfulness. My oldest son, the College Kid, took a Yoga Comprehension class last year and had a million questions about yoga for me. 


It was then I realized… I don’t know nothin’ ’bout yoga.

Okay, in fairness to me, I know a little about a lot of different kinds of yoga. I’ve tried several different disciplines; Hatha, Vinyasa and Bikram, but have no specific preference. I feel totally comfortable using individual aspects of different customs in my own personal practice of yoga, but I wanted to attempt to be as eclectically knowledgeable  my son expected me to be. 

With a sincere heart I started to work with CK, learning some interesting things! The best find we made was mala beads. 

“…Mala are used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra or the name or names of a deity. This sādhanā (practice) is known in Sanskrit as japa. Malas are typically made with 18, 27, 54 or 108 beads. In Tibetan Buddhism, malas of 108 beadsare used.” (from Wikipedia).

I’m not Tibetan, but I know a beneficial existential support when I see one! My first attempt at mala turned out well, but at 108 beads just too long. Not only from a length standpoint (they twisted halfway to my elbow when I tried to get them out of the way) but also from a mantra standpoint. I began by using the Jesus Mantra:

Lord Jesus Christ, son of God (on the inhale)

Have mercy on me a sinner (on the exhale)

My intentions were good but my ADHD brain just couldn’t hack it. For a more manageable size and time commitment I wanted to try a mala bracelet,also commonly called a yoga bracelet (hey alright), so I started the YouTube search. I found this vid and it helped me a lot, although I must admit not entirely my style. 

I’ve become a true “om” lover. I find  that, for me, it contributes to relaxation and centering in a pinch. 
My first bracelet was made from 11 large wooden beads; 10 smooth and 1 textured. The textured bead allows me to do multiple repetitions (like 33 of the Jesus Mantra  or just my new stand-by “om”) when I need a small, intentional break from the chaos that is my daily life. 

As I became more comfortable with my bracelet, I became intrigued by the use of specific healing stones… But that’s tomorrow’s post!