What Was I Going to Post?

What Was I Going to Post?

Oh boy do I have a lot to talk about today.

ADD.

Mommy brain.

Getting old.

Whatever you want to call it.

I cannot focus.

All kidding aside. I’ve been really thinking A LOT about this lately. We all have our excuses why our memories are shot to hell, but for me, it’s really been a problem for as long as I can remember…or not! And that’s the problem.  What makes it worse for me, is you (and Joe) and many of my close friends poo poo my self diagnosis of ADD or some kind of learning disability.  “You’re so smart. You’re a doctor. You remember so many things!” Well, no matter how hard I try to convince you otherwise, it seems to be a tough sell so I thought I’d write it here, exposing myself to the world (and all five of our readers).

Here’s the thing, Slink. For as long as I can remember, I can’t just sit in a lecture and pay attention and know what’s going on. It’s true, I’ll admit it, I’m pretty smart, so I can usually get the big picture very quickly. But for me to REALLY understand something, I have to read it for myself and write it down and study it again and again and again.  And most likely, I’ll forget it and have to do it all over again not that much later.  AND that whole process takes me forever because I can’t do it consecutively without taking multiple breaks.  It’s not that I’m lazy.  I literally cannot tolerate sitting there and paying attention for any long stretch of time.

When I studied for all my board exams, it took me hours and hours and hours.  Not because I wanted to ace the exam (I mean of course I did, but I knew I never would), but just so I could get through the material.  Every time I’m faced with these large amounts of information, the process is almost painful for me to take it all in.

While I was in medical school, I thought that the material was challenging for me because I was an artist.  I didn’t have a science background.  I did fine, but it was always a grind.  I never felt like I fully mastered it no matter how hard I studied.

Then, when I started to become more involved in medical education, I went to some workshops on the “academically challenged student.” They would present case after case of students who were really bright, but had some type of learning issue.  Because they were smart, these issues never really came up in undergrad.  Then, finally, in medical school when they were working at a new level, the deficit ultimately became apparent.  This was my aha moment!  They were talking about me!

I don’t think it makes me a worse person or a worse doctor.  I just think it explains why, for example, despite all my studying, I never do great on standardized tests. I’m not asking you (or anyone else) to feel sorry for me.  I’m just trying to make a point.  Learning disabilities, ADD whatever you want to call it, these obstacles are out there–even for “smart” people and it can be hard and stressful.

So why am I bringing this up? –in hopes of opening up the dialogue and maybe making some parents aware that even bright kids can face academic challenges.

Here’s some food for thought from the Times about what may be responsible for the rise in ADD diagnoses.

In truth, I was hoping to make this post much more poignant, but I lost interest…I’m only half kidding.

image c/o www.fgcuathletics.com

 
Well, it’s early and my brain is foggy after a party last night but this is the only quiet moment I have found since your post. And, even though it is quiet, there is the underlying anxiety that one of the four kids  in my home at the moment or my husband will wake up at any moment and spoil my few minutes of uninterrupted thinking. I mention this because I personally think for adults (and you) that if you have any sort of inkling of ADD, the second you have kids, especially more than one, the disability sneaks out and rapidly grows in our cesspool of trying to do a million things at once — answer their questions, read emails, answer their questions, check our phones, answer their questions, do our work, cook meals, laundry, answer their questions, read current events, organize their schedules, answer their questions, blah blah blah. It is ADD waiting to happen!

I hear that you would argue that is not YOUR problem, since you mention you have had this since you were young. And perhaps you have, however, being in the shadow of your (and many of our friends’) intelligence, it never inhibited you as a youth. As for medical school, I think that was finally the time in your life that you were really challenged, something was finally difficult. I think that is the way most people have to learn. Read, reread, reread again to try to lock it in.

I’m not saying you don’t have ADD, maybe you do, but I would hope that if you were going through school again as a child, you would NOT be diagnosed. I believe there is way too much of that happening now, and clearly you were able to accomplish what you needed both academically and socially. As for you as an adult, perhaps it is worth talking to someone to see if you are treatable. If not, at least you will stop obsessing over it and just move on like the rest of us, whose brains are getting full, and have to work hard to keep anything locked in. But if you do get some meds, I will be super curious to hear how they help! Personally, I long for a med that would eliminate all the stupid shit locked in my brain to make room for more important stuff.

ps: I was 90% done before someone woke up!

 

Media Madness

Media Madness

Can I watch a show? Can I check my instagram? Can I read a book on my ipod? Can I listen to my ipod in the car? Can we watch funny videos on YouTube? Can we just want one more show? Can I play on your Iphone? Can’t I just quickly post this one photo? Is my anger toward media at it’s maximum…YES!

I decided to do a bit of research this morning prompted by a heated discussion with Lucas about why I don’t want him to read a novel on his Ipod (no I am not of the generation with kids under 8 and comfortable with media) and it turns out, I need to calm the F… down. Imagine that!

From the google search results, I decided to click on the links that had positive things to say about technology instead of my normal approach of reading articles to support my negative gut instincts. I discovered, their eyes won’t be damaged for life (and neither were ours from watching TV too close), there are ways to bond over problem solving apps, social lessons can be learned through technology as well as a host of other positive influences.  So hopefully, after two weeks on vacation with no technology, we will all reboot and start over with a clean slate and a mom with a more open mind who notices the positive effects technology has on our family.

Oh, Slink.  I have so much to say about this one and my brain is just fried with work and camp and work some more.  And, sadly, mindless wandering around on the internet.  What a f##$@^g time suck.  This is something that Joe and I really disagree on. I generally feel that we (I include myself here–note previous sentence!) are all on screens way too much.  I like that you tried to look at the positive side of the issue.  Somewhere, there’s a happy medium.

 

 

 

Dinner Plan

Dinner Plan

Hello summer!

Hello kids!

Hello lots of (ugh) meals!

Hello Six O’clock Scramble!

I have heard about this little menu planning gem for several years, but always prided myself in coming up with dinner solutions, especially with the help of Jarrett and the kids. But today, at this moment, I am feeling overwhelmed when I look into the near future and see hungry kids for too many meals for many weeks to come. So instead of wracking my brain for new ideas, for  $7/month I am going to let the Six O’clock Scramble do it for me. I am excited about this! A weekly dinner plan, an organized (yay!) grocery list, as well as tips on healthy eating. I know there are plenty of apps, websites, and folks out there telling us they will help us save time, money, stress, all to help us be a happier person, and already I am happier thinking about someone else planning at least one meal a day for us. What do you think Slink, you wanna give it a try?

I love this idea.  I’m not sure if it would actually save me time or stress me out because I’d feel like it was just another thing I had to make sure I was doing each week.  Let me know how it goes.  If it’s working for you, I may give it a try.

 

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect

Sometimes I get bummed out that I once was a photographer and now I’m reduced to shooting snaps of my kids with my iphone.  And then I run across something like this…

http://youaremywild.wordpress.com/

You Are My Wild is a weekly portrait project that brings together 14 photographers to document how they see their children.

It’s so life affirming.  It makes me love everything about photography, kids and the passage of time.

Check it out!  Now to pick up my camera…

image c/o Kelsey Gerhard for You Are My Wild

 
Such amazing shots and YES go pick up your camera! You are an incredible photographer and I love looking through your eyes on how you see the world.

Maybe we should make our own challenge of sharing one shot a week so it actually encourages me to capture a day in the life of Ferrier children. Seems older kids just don’t like having their picture taken…at least not by their parents.

“I Want…”

“I Want…”

Seems we are in the season of “I Want…” I’m sure you never hear those words from your children! In a moment of brilliance the other day, I was able to change my normal reaction – clenched jaw, tensed body, change the subject approach to one of sharing, laughing, dreaming and encouraging. Not only did I learn lots about the tangible desires of the under 15 crowd (2 more dogs, a private gym, a pair of basketball shoes for every day of the year, whole new wardrobe – who wouldn’t want that?!) but I also learned how encouraging my children were. I said, “I want to paint everyday and sell all my paintings”. They immediately said, that was easy, I could totally do that. While that is so nice and loving, I have a long way to go.

In the meantime, I discovered Daily Paintworks where artists join and paint everyday then put their paintings up for auction. A perfect way to get artists dedicated to painting and perfect for someone looking for a deal on art. Go check it out, there is certainly something for everyone. You need to sort through lots of paintings but once you find the artist you like, you can add them as a favorite and just keep an eye on what they are producing. I saw a beautiful piece this morning for $45! I know how much you love tiny oil painting!

Here are a few artists I love:

 

Artist: Edward B. Gordon

Artist: Cathleen Rehfeld

 

Artist: Rita Curtis

Artist: Carol Marine

First off, kudos for turning that situation around.  Sometimes I get so frustrated with my kids asking for stuff all the time.  It is kind of interesting to sit back and just let their imaginations run wild and listen to their fantasy list.  Secondly, wow, this painting site is a great idea.  I see what you mean.  It’s kind of like shopping at Loehmann’s.  You have to wade through a lot of crap, but when you find a gem, it’s really a keeper.  I’m especially fond of the last painting.  So simple and so beautiful.  I think you should add your stuff to the site.  What do you say, Slink?  A painting a day (a week?) for you and a photo for me?
Parenting Advice Post Boston

Parenting Advice Post Boston

We can’t stop our questioning kids (nor would we want to) but we can prepare for them. I find Alyson Schafer a very good resource when I need some parenting cliff-notes. Here’s a great link about how to talk to your kids about the events in Boston.

http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=fd5eb4e03f3839f6bdd2ddfcc&id=2bf8c0d3ec&e=4cf4a6badd

Great advice.  Sammy and Sara Rose are still in the phase of life where the world pretty much just revolves around them so I don’t know how much they even know about this.  I kept waiting for questions to come up after the Sandy Hook tragedy and nothing did.  I guess I’ll do the same here.  Samantha may have heard something, so it’s certainly better to err on the side of expectations rather than come into the conversation completely off guard.
Move Over Cheese Sticks

Move Over Cheese Sticks

I am on the lookout for some new “go to foods”. I spend all sorts of time and money travelling to and through grocery stores, totally blind to many hidden treasures…I know they are out there, I am sure of it, but what are they? Who has found them? What else can accompany the same old crackers, granola bars, nuts and cookies taking up prime real estate in our cupboards and cheesesticks, yogurt and hard boiled eggs in the fridge? Kumquats have recently been an exciting new addition to our fruit bowl. Perfect for snacking, however, you may want to refrain from eating directly after brushing.

What are staples in your home? Any ideas are welcome!

Great question.  I hope people comment like crazy on this one because I could use some good ideas as well. I’m currently binging on almonds myself.  My kids love edamame as a side dish, but I never think to have them around as a snack.  That could be good.  I think we need to make a trip to Trader Joe’s and each buy a few snacky bits we’ve never purchased before.
Teenage daydreams

Teenage daydreams

I find it crazy to be witnessing what we used to only dream about as teenagers – seeing our friends WHILE talking to them on the phone. Here my teenage boy sits, skyping with his buddies doing homework and just for entertainment. It just blows me away! And the amazing part is, I think they are as amazed by it as I am! At least for now.

I totally agree.  I have such vivid memories of being a kid and watching the Jetsons and thinking that their space-age life could never really happen!  You know I’m technologically challenged, and I like to keep things old school, but it is truly mind boggling to think about these incredible inventions that are now part of our everyday life.