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.