Queen of the Distracted

Imagine life in a house with 6 kids - now imagine if 5 of those kids and their father have ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) - that is our house! Welcome to an inside view of my life and our home dominated by ADHD... THERE IS NEVER A DULL MOMENT!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls!

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls!"

Those were our oldest daughter Rachel's first words, from the time she was a toddler she would belt them out proudly standing on the arm of the couch. At the time we had no idea what ADHD was or that it would play such a central roll in our lives.

Since then we have learned a lot, not the least of which is how many individuals and families suffer in silence. We have experienced first hand how misunderstood and misrepresented a disorder can be.

As a family we decided to take action - to risk embarrassment and labeling to get this important message out to the world. Come join our family, share in our lives, and see ADD/ADHD as we see it...
A gift with a heavy price tag.

WELCOME to life in the ADD/ADHD House!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rachel's Bucket List Part II

      164.    Go waddling with penguins, do the really tap dance, hmmm?
166.  Wear Ozzy Osbourne glasses and go around in a purple trench coat talking loudly in a British accent all day
170.  Sit in a giant bowl of cereal and soy milk and eat it
174.  Ride a llama (Napoleon Dynamite quotes are a must)
175.  Wear glass slippers
177.  Make an igloo
179.  Go for a joy ride in a golf cart
184.  Go sledding with a team of dogs (Delilah and Lily on board with me all decked out in winter gear - her two chaweinnies)
185.  Talk to someone on one of those gigantic 1980’s cell phones
186.  Buy a neon green ninja suit
188.  Look up at the sky and scream. “Take me with you!”
190.  Sit underneath a footbridge and jump out when someone crosses, demand that they answer a riddle before they cross
192.  Hide in a suit of armor
195.  Write my own fairytale
196.  Adventure through the countryside acting out scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail
202.  Dress up like Robin Hood and run into a bank scream, “Steal from the rich and give to the poor!”  (Mark and I have discouraged her from fulfilling this one)
203.  Visit Washington DC and be very bored
205.  Play the harmonica on a dock and see if I can summon a whale
213.  Have a big movie moment, music and all
214.  Go to that ice cream shop that sells $1,000 dollar ice cream, order the cheapest thing on the menu and then laugh at everyone wasting their money
216.  Challenge Bobby Flay to a toast challenge and kick his butt
218.  Buy a taco shaped wallet
222.  Go snowboarding and get nicknamed, “the Falling Tomato”
225.  Kiss someone in the pouring rain
234.  Buy a giant slip on fin and a red wig and sing Little Mermaid songs on the beach
235.  Dress a chicken up like a rapper -- name him M. C. Nugget
238.  Learn to hack from R$%@&#
247.  Graduate from high school (next week --yay!)
250.  Acquire a Cajun accent
260.  Buy a book of crossword puzzles in a different language
271.  Play solitaire with GIGANTIC playing cards
282.  Learn the language from Avatar
288.  Go to the coast and ask the tour guide how to get to Bikini Bottom
293.  Host a polka party lollapalooza

Monday, May 24, 2010

Black Boot and Bucket Lists

Immobility and hyperactivity are not a good mix.  Rachel’s prom night injury has left her with a ruptured ligament in her ankle. Now she has a big fancy black walking boot that makes her look even more like an anime character than normal.

She is in the boot “until further notice.” Which may be a long time, she still falls at least once a day because of the crutches.  Or, like the other day, gets distracted while velcroing up the boot and ends up hurting her foot as she takes a step with it only half secured.

Immobility for Rachel has been close to a near death experience.  A great deal of her suffering, our collective suffering, is due to her immobility.  Forget Chinese water torture or bamboo up the finger nails if you want to make an overly hyperactive child suffer make her sit still.

This combined with nightmares where she has to have surgery only to discover that she is actually made of spaghetti has led Rachel to some rather deep thought.

Thus we have the creation of Rachel’s Bucket List…over 300 things to do before she dies.  This is a positive development, just before her 18th birthday in February she really thought life was over when she became an adult.  Now, she has some goals, over 300 goals.

I won’t put the whole list up here, though it is a great anti-depressant. Here are some of the more interesting ones.  Truth be told the whole list could fit under, “you might be ADHD if…” or “Box, what box? Where?”

Rachel’s Bucket List Part I -- favorites from the first three of six pages

  1. Be in two countries at once.
  2. Get a full body x-ray (MRI counts) for doing something stupid. (marked this one off)
  3. Find someone or something that makes me truly happy and never let it go.
  4. Perform in front of millions of people and have a great time.
  5. release an album (partially there)
  6. Put a pink wig on a horse and take a picture of it.
  7. Prove that happy cows don’t just come from California, happy cows come from anywhere and everywhere
  8. Be an arctic explorer with Lily and Delilah (her two chawienies)
  9. Eat every meal with chop sticks for a whole day
  10. Sit fully clothed with a loved one in an empty bath tub eating cheesecake and talk about our lives.
17. Buy rip away pants
18.  Act like a super hero for a whole day
19.  Finish at least one book and publish it
22.  Compare the difference between sparking water and regular water
24.  Become a Disney Princess, preferably animated
30. Count the tiles on the ceiling in the Hagia-Sophia
35.  Go to an exotic land and eat at McDonalds
37.  Go laser tagging wearing all white and see if I can win
41.  Become a Muppet
48.  Find out where I come from and who I am heritage wise
50.  Catch a wayward Chicken
52.  Have a serious conversation on a hamburger phone
58.  Eat California rolls in Japan
62. Live life as a musical for a whole day
67. Wear a giant fake mustache and still expect people to take me seriously
74.  Sign a bald mans head
75.  Make a turtle pie and then sit and eat it in front of a turtle
79. Watch Bananas in Pajamas with real bananas in real lil’ pajamas
85.  Sing songs from The Lion King with a ukulele to a lion at the zoo
86.  Go on a safari in someone’s backyard
88.  Ride a vespa in Britain pretending to be on an epic spy chase
96.  Ride on an elephant and sing Ellie the Elephant by Toy Dolls at the top of my lungs
100.  Never make mum and dad live in a rest home no matter how annoying they are as old people (I truly appreciate this one)
102.  Dye my left thumb green and go into a garden shop and see if anyone notices
108.  Take a bubble bath wearing a sea captains hat and playing with toy boats
118.  Create a secret passage way behind a bookcase in my house
120.  Sit in a boat in the middle of a field and talk to someone for hours and hours and say we’re stranded at sea
123.  Climb a water tower and sign my name in sharpie really small on the side
127.  Learn to be a much better cook
128.  Start my own brand of freezer foods
130.  Pretend to be in zero gravity
133.  Become best friends with a Great Dane and solve mysteries in a tricked out funky van
135.  Hug a man in a giant pencil suit
136.  Set up hundreds of toasters and make enough toast to feed a small country (Rachel is known for her excellent toast making skills)
152.  Cross the border to Canada singing The Border Patrol (their song www.blissmethod.com) counting down the miles as we go
154.  Get stranded on an island only to realize that we were close to land the whole time
161.  Walk dramatically down an alley wearing a trench coat and sunglasses (must randomly quote movies and show moves)